Monday, June 28, 2010

Saturday Flea Market

I heart flea market treasures...

This beauty makes me want a landline like woah.
Old timey bank.

Tea light lantern.

Sweet serving platters!

This one killed me. Unassuming black book, usually a promising flea market find...

Filled with typed poetry and excerpts from books!

Country? Heaven? Yes.
Flea market gold. Struck.

Flea marketing (verb? 'tis now!) outfit
[please note I'm not sure I've purposefully shown my midriff since, oh, circa 2001, but I have a feeling this is the summer of midriff. Consider yourself warned.]:
Shorts: Target clearance rack several years ago. My sister made fun of me.
Shirt: Stolen from my mom's Goodwill giveaway pile.
Bandana: Stolen from Dad's closet.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Motorcycle Diaries

The Motorcycle Diaries Still of Rodrigo De la Serna and Gael García Bernal in The Motorcycle Diaries

Still of Rodrigo De la Serna and Gael García Bernal in The Motorcycle DiariesStill of Gael García Bernal in The Motorcycle Diaries

Still of Gael García Bernal in The Motorcycle Diaries

Still of Gustavo Bueno and Gael García Bernal in The Motorcycle Diaries
Still of Rodrigo De la Serna and Gael García Bernal in The Motorcycle Diaries

Still of Rodrigo De la Serna and Gael García Bernal in The Motorcycle DiariesStill of Gael García Bernal in The Motorcycle Diaries

Still of Rodrigo De la Serna and Gael García Bernal in The Motorcycle Diaries

'You haven't seen this yet?? I feel like you wrote this movie.'
-my friend G to me

I took that as the highest compliment, especially when this gem

popped out of Gael Garcia Bernal's mouth:
"this wretched life is now gone, the uninspiring lectures, the
papers, the medical exams. All of Latin America is ahead of us."
Speaking to my soul, man, speaking to my soul!

It turned out to be the absolute perfect movie because I'm headed

on a roadtrip exploring North America
this summer and my friend G is headed to
Ecuador to learn medical Spanish and hike.
And this film included:
Serious style inspiration
(canvas backpack? leather jacket? striped shirts?
yes please.)

I hope my trip ends with this quote also:
"Wandering around our America has changed me
more than I thought.
I am not me any more.
At least I'm not the same me I was."
Ernesto Che Guevara

Saturday, June 26, 2010


Friends watching the World Cup Opener, South Africa vs Mexico

You can't fake that kind of excitement, people!

USA vs Ghana
Do it!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Where I've been all week...

I've been living in a dorm.
With 15 teenage girls.
And it was awesome.
Well actually, the first couple of days were rough.
I was exhausted from the year.
I had no interest in anything medical.

I had the opportunity to join one of the girls shadowing a surgeon the first day.
I passed.
(Even though I'm a year into med school and have never seen a surgery.)

The second day we went to the pathology lab.
I tapped my foot,
and counted down the minutes.
(Even though there was the BIGGEST kidney I have ever seen in there.)

the next day we had a medical ethics discussion.
And I LOVED listening to these girls
discuss abortion
and discover a new level of sophistication in the abortion argument
and hear them ask curious questions fearlessly
and stand up for their values
(even when they weren't popular)
and saw everyone respect each other.

Today we watched a telesurgery.
Hernia repair.
I thought I had no interest in surgery.
Hello, captivated, where were you all year??

I saw these girls leading discussion groups
and learn skills
and shadow doctors
with such

and without
Believing in the world and themselves and JustinBieber.

And I saw age on myself for the first time.
And let me tell you,
it was a lot uglier than wrinkles.

(Well my lack of fire and the fact that NONE of the seven girls in my car one of the days knew that is was the Beatles singing "All my Loving" on the radio made me feel old. Sigh.)

I don't when I stopped believing in the world.
And that joy is worth fighting for.

Maybe I thought I didn't have enough strength to hold onto joy when I grabbed onto this year's schedule?

But these girls throughout the week
started chipping away at the steely gray encasement
this year had molded around me,
dissolving bitter,
letting go of angry,
seeing that blase is so pre-teen.

And now by the end of the week,
I'm beginning to remember
what it feels like
to believe
in a Channing Tatum movie.

And damn it feels good.

The girls wrote thank you notes every night to the people they shadowed.
So today, the other counselor and I wrote thank you notes to the girls.

But I don't think they really knew what I was thanking them for.
I didn't manage to cram that into these little notes.

But I owe them a lot.
I plan on reclaiming all the joy that was so present in their lives.
And holding onto it for dear life.
And it's going to be a good summer.
A very good summer.


None are so old as those who have outlived enthusiasm.
Henry David Thoreau

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Summer & Marathon IV: Tapering

Mark & I taking advantage of the watermelon & lemonade social outside the Medical School

Free at last. Free at last. Thank God Almighty we are free at last! School is done for the summer. That might seem slightly melodramatic, but I'm gonna go ahead and roll with the fact that that's pretty much exactly how I felt. Even through the adorable watermelon & lemonade social post test and the glorious North Beach BBQ that afternoon I kept feeling the pressure of my conditioned response to do laundry/return phone calls received in the last 3 weeks/pick up that dry cleaning that's been there since April/clean my kitchen/life things during those 12 hours of freedom before we start at it again. Even now, my brain can't quite trust the fact that I don't have to do anything. For TWO.GLORIOUS.MONTHS! But I'm getting there...
And in the mean time...

Back to our (somewhat) regularly scheduled program of marathon blogging!

So before the big race, you're supposed to 'taper off' your running. I remember being really excited when we finished the 20 mile run and knowing that the next long run would be the marathon. Had I known what tapering would do to me though, I probably would've chosen to run 20 miles a day!

Two weeks away:
We had our last 10+ mile run. We ran 12 and I remember thinking that it was a little too hard for only 12...(and don't worry, I know the phrase 'only 12' sounds ridiculous)

The boys before our last group run. Tapering makes everyone angry.

One week away:
I was actually home for a wedding, so ran my 8 miles Saturday morning with my older sister (who is usually up for any physical challenge) and my DAD (who hadn't run 8 miles since 1982 he informed us!). The run felt good, but it was weird to not get that long run 'feeling', where fatigue starts to set in and your knees start to ache...

The week before the race:
Oh man, herein lies where I started to feel the CRAZY. We dubbed this the 'HORMONE STORM' because it felt like the worst case of PMS/anxiety/feeling like you're getting sick/anger, all rolled into one, all week. It was not a pretty week. I don't think I did any studying (and worried about that fact) or managed to say one nice thing to anyone. I was convinced I was getting sick. I seriously considered not running the marathon when I discovered the forecast (thankfully wrong) was 87 degrees. I just kept praying that this feeling would pass once Sunday rolled around. Apparently this is a fairly common phenomenon called the 'Taper Blues', which involves feeling flat, fatigued, grouchy, achy, depressed and anxious. Who knew??

The ladies (and Mr. Muttonchops) before our last group run.

Last run:
The Thursday before the race we had one last short group run. It was 4 miles. It felt like 40. I started to get nervous.

The day before the race:
I slept in until 11 due to my grouchy, unmotivatedness (isthataword? itisnow.) but eventually wandered down to the farmer's market to meet some friends. We shopped and talked and sat in the grass and then each went our own way. I considered walking down to the waterfront to check out the race set up and starting line but the thought of walking down there (it's only like 3 blocks, y'all) seemed completely overwhelming, so I went home and curled up in my lazy boy recliner to read. Actually curled up sounds like it was an active choice, like I nestled myself in there lithely like a cat...I SANK into that chair. My body was made of lead and I just melded into that chair and didn't get out for 4 hours! I napped and read and contemplated the impossibility of running 26.2 miles the next day when I couldn't even get out of a recliner.

Eventually I moved to set out all my race day stuff: Gu, race number, neon yellow running jersey! Ate some pasta. And went to a friend's to watch movie.

Tapering is whack, y'all.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Taken from my friend's wall...

"There are a thousand, thousand reasons to live this life"
-Marilynne Robinson

This quote (and possibly my excessive consumption of Mountain Dew) kept me up last night.

Reasons that kept swirling around in my head:

1. Seeing the stars on a clear summer night when you get home from studying at midnight
2. Living as you intended without air conditioning, with a compost bucket, in a house graced with flowers
3. Falling into a comfortable bed exhausted from a fulfilling day
4. That god didn't stop at creating a world that simply functioned but filled it with art and stories and beauty and magic.
5. Mountain Dew

What are your reasons??

p.s. I promise I'll write about the marathon soooon, just as soon as this last Neuroscience exam is out of the way on Friday!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Sunday & Monday Costumes!

The tapering and marathon posts require, oh, you know, energy and brain power, which I'm currently a little lacking on. So here are some peeeectures of outfits in the meantime! Ok.

I got dressed up to check out the Unitarian Church on Sunday but looked up the church to see whether it started at 11 or 11:15 and found out that it was a special "Youth Sunday" that started at 10am. Whoopsies.

Dress: stolen from Marissa, Sweater: J. Crew from consignment shop, Sandals: from the street in India

This was Monday's fun. And all of these pictures are an embarrassing reminder that I should invest in a tripod! To take actual pictures! Ha.
Skirt: Actually the 'sausage' dress from American Apparel (from Erica!), Shirt: H&M, Blazer: From Mama, from the 80's!, Belt: Stolen from Cate, Necklace: Best $1 necklace I've ever bought from some random NYC store, Dreadlocks: from not brushing my hair

Sunday, June 6, 2010

The Marathon: Part III aka Long Runs & Long Post!

Long Run Training (and Long Post!):

10 Miles: First foray into double digits! Shockingly doable if you run at a nice, slow steady pace. I remember seeing our classmate Chris waiting at Mile 6 for us with some CountryTime lemonade in his Camelbak at mile 6. CountryTime lemonade has never tasted so much like nectar from the gods! Tried using Gu for the first time while running. Super bizarre to eat something while running! I quickly realize 2 things happen after long runs: I can't walk very well and I can't think very well, which makes Saturday studying difficult. I also learn the essential skill of lying on the floor and putting your legs up against a wall after the run to reduce soreness the next day.

12 Miles: My usual running buddy is out of town, so I run with the speed demon above who ended up finishing a full 40 minutes faster than me in the marathon. She slowed down and I sped up a little, so it was a little bit harder but good to know I could run faster than my settled upon 10 min/mile pace.

Mid-week 10 Mile run: I should note here that all of our long runs are normally on Saturday mornings, and they start and end at school, which happens to be situated uncomfortably (for us) on the highest point in town. So once you leave, no matter which way you come back, it's uphill.
[conversation with my running buddy, S, on the ending uphill part of this run]
S: I have to stop.
Me [channeling Erica]: No, you can do it! This is the training part that makes the actual run easier.
S: No, I have to stop. I'm gonna throw up.
Me: Oh. Yeah, we can slow down.

14 Miles: I remember feeling strong at the end. And being amazed by that. Also, starting to like Gu, which is worrisome.

10 Miles: Note to self: Don't ever attempt running 10 miles the afternoon after your birthday party which raged until 4am, especially if you have wildly decided to go ski/hiking that morning.
Erica told me to tell her when 10 miles became 'easy'. Today was not that day. Ouch.

16 Miles: Oh, 16 miles. This is the point when I hit my mid-training lull. 16 miles fell over spring break and was up to us to run. I waited until the second weekend to do this long run, but every run I did between the 14 and 16 miles was HARD. Even my 8-mile run around beautiful, bustling, glorious, springtime Central Park when I went to NY was I-must-have-rocks-in-my-legs, I'm-forcing-every-step, WHERE-THE-HELL-ARE-MY-ENDORPHINS hard.

So, my designated day to run the 16 rolls around, and it's raining. And cold. And I'm running the first 10 by myself. Luckily, I've conscripted my friend Annie (with her new shoes) training for the half-marathon to join me for the last 6 and I've just bought a small, waist CamelBak to carry my water and Gu, which I am super stoked about trying out, otherwise this run might not have happened! So I stock that up, layer up against the cold (back to hat, gloves, everything...did I mention it was spring break?!), put on my ipod, and my bulky raincoat because I figure it's one thing to run in the rain without a coat but it's another thing to run in the rain without a coat for 2 hours and 40 minutes.

About 20 minutes into the run, I realize it's not actually terribly cold (probably mid to high 40's), it just feels cold compared to the weather we had been having. But now I'm stuck wearing my hat because I forgot a ponytail holder and I'm sweaty and trudging along with a camelbak and a bulky raincoat with pockets stuffed with directions and my phone and gloves. Needless to say, this did not break my streak of bad runs. At 9.5 miles in I call Annie and ask 2 favors: I need a ponytail holder and a t-shirt stat. When I get to her house I shed my layers, hat, raincoat, and finish the run about 5lbs lighter!

This run was key for me though. This was the moment when it was hard, it had been hard, conditions weren't great, and there was nobody there to make me do the run except myself. I consider this run when my real training happened.

16 Miles (again): It turns out we did run 16 as a group after spring break. And this rekindled my love affair with running.

18 Miles: Now these distances just start sounding ludicrous, right?! That means running for 3 hours at my pace! This one was great though because the last mile and half of it was straight up Main St. (remember those bronchospasms?!). Well, who's laughing now Main St?? Huh? I can run straight up you without breaking stride after 17 miles! No wheezing, no nothing. Bring it. Goal 2: check.

10 Miles: Our mid-week run the Wednesday before our 20 mile run was 10 miles, which I thought sounded crazy. But you know what, 10 miles, after classes, before studying on a random Wednesday afternoon, no big deal! So bizarre! But 10 miles had finally become easy, and I told Erica so.

20 Miles: I hadn't hit the wall yet, but was told it could come anytime after 18 miles, so I wondered what 20 had in store. My running buddy was having some foot trouble so wasn't running, but I once again convinced Annie to run the first 13 with me. Poor Annie, I ended up telling rambling stories about Africa between miles 10 and 13 to keep us distracted. She was a trooper though. And luckily, a lot of the last 7 were on the bikepath along the water just like in the marathon, which is so beautiful. Also my friend's sister was visiting and she jumped in with me along the bikepath, which was amazing.

Again, the last mile and half was uphill, and I'm not gonna lie, it was hard. Weird, weird muscles get called into play when you run that long and you get tired and sore in your hipflexors or where your hamstring inserts into your gluts or your pelvic floor muscles?! And my knees were just burning with anger at me for most of the 4 months of training, but you just.keep.going. And you know what, there was no weird, abrupt 'wall'. It just hurt for longer, but it didn't get any worse. So I guess this 'training stuff' really works! I noticed that each long run, the distance I could actually RUN (as opposed to letting my legs go on automatic and not really having control over them) was longer and longer.

So, 20 down. Last long run before the marathon. Bring it.

6 Miles: Ok, ok, I know that's not technically a long run. But one of our classmates couldn't make the 20 mile run on Saturday, so we concocted a relay of sorts to help him run his on Monday. So I ran the first 6 miles with him and Erica and Mayo AT THEIR PACE, which was about 8:20 min/miles and it was totally FINE! I could run and talk and it wasn't hard. So, Goal #3 all that was left was Goal #1: Finish Marathon.

Stay tuned for Tapering, The Marathon, and Post-Marathon. :)

Friday, June 4, 2010

We interrupt this Marathon blogging to bring you...Decorating Inspiration

Besides medical school and running, the thing that's most on my mind is decorating. Ok, that's a total lie, decorating is on my mind more than both of those other things combined. As previously mentioned, the Buckley fam has up and relocated into a swanky beautiful new lakehouse. So the best way for me to communicate design ideas with Mama Buckley is through this here blog. And I figured you wouldn't mind seeing pretty rooms either.
Five of my favorite people in medical school also just moved into a big house in the country together, so maybe I'll put together another style board for them!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

The Marathon: Part II aka Training gets real

Bronchospasms and Doubts:

At some point towards the beginning of training, I ran a 7mile mid-week group run with Erica and Chris, my how shall we say...speedier friends. I was struggling throughout the run but somewhat keeping it together, even though the thought "I can't even run 7 miles, how am I going to run a marathon?" kept cycling through my head. That is until we came upon Main Street, the biggest, baddest hill in town. If you turn onto Main St by Lake Champlain like we did, it goes up and up all the way to school. It doesn't start off too badly, so I was breathing heavily but still running with everyone until we passed in front of Edmunds Elementary where the hill looks like it decided to throw its head back and laugh mockingly at me. I kept heaving and heaving, but the oxygen getting to my legs was no longer enough and they slowed, despite my best efforts, to a slow shuffle. Erica and Chris looped back around for me. We hit a part that leveled out for a while and I caught my breath somewhat, but then we turned up another hill.

The shuffling started instantly this time and then heaving and the wheezing took on a life of their own. A shackled rattling sound started coming from my mouth so loudly that Erica & Chris (now well ahead of me) stopped and turned to see what it was. I pointed to my mouth and shrugged my shoulders, my eyes slightly panicked, to indicate to them I had no idea what was going on. I'd stopped running and my ribs were fluttering in and out in jagged motions. It's sheer panic when you're trapped in a body that's lost control of something so vital as breathing. Erica and Chris ran back down to me. I could only get words out in random spurts since I couldn't predict when the spasms would let air cross my vocal cords. The embarrassment started to reign, my breath sounds were uneven and loud and I had uncontrollable tears streaming down my face. Chris, whose brother has asthma, told me to bend over. He put his hand on my back and told me to try to push my ribs against his hand, to gain some control with my accessory breathing muscles. My tears splashed against the concrete sidewalk as my breathing slowly calmed down. Woah. That was scary. That's never happened to me before. We decided it must be a combination of pushing too hard and the cold, February air.

Erica suggested we walk up the rest of the hill and then start running again.

'Woah, wait...can't I be done now?! Remember when that really scary thing just happened?!? Surely I shouldn't keep running. But I guess they would keep running?? Although I guess I'm not by home so I would probably need to run home at least. Maybe I should run with them a little first to make sure I'm okay.'

All this runs through my head as we start running again, and I actually feel fine except the residue of panic left in my lungs. We end up on one of Chris' 'adventure runs' through fences and woods and yards, which slows us down a bit and gives my lungs some more recovery time. As we head back to school though, we turn up another hill, less steep by relentlessly long. One of those hills that keeps going around every corner. A little ways up, I'm struggling and announce 'I think I'm going to walk' as my feet change gait, which is met instantly by Erica whirling around with shock and concern on her face "No. You can't stop now! This is the training part! This is how you train for a marathon because your body always wants you to stop, but you just have to keep going."

"Even when the last hill you ran up caused you to temporally lose control of, oh say, YOUR BREATHING??", I think. I really thought I would be off the hook with that one and still can't quite believe I started running again, but Erica's enthusiasm is a force to be reckoned with, the force that convinced all of us to run the marathon in the first place, and it turns out she was right. I ran up the rest of that hill fine, and it was probably good I did it right away. And on my way up that hill, I formulated my 3 goals for this marathon training:

1) Finish the marathon in under 4:30
2) Be able to run up Main St. without even changing pace
3) Be able to run comfortably at Erica & Chris' pace

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The Marathon: Part I

I ran my first marathon Sunday. I alternate between thinking that sounds ridiculously grandiose and that it might also sound all too common place. Like, Oprah ran a marathon, anyone can run a marathon! And it's true, anyone can run a marathon! I guess the difference comes in choosing to and in running it well. Or in my case, being conned into it and being very grateful for it.

The Backstory:

Never wanted to run a marathon. Never had run more than 6 miles. Never had trained for anything that I couldn't just go out and do relying on natural athletic ability. But the captains of our marathon club were so damn convincing and enthusiastic that I knew I would regret it if I didn't join and this surely would be the only time I would have such a group to carry me through so much training. So, I signed up, paid my fee, and decided to not really tell anyone until I was sure I could at least manage the double-digits of running...

The Start of training:

"First you think it's crazy, and then you don't think it's crazy, which is crazy. Then you think it's crazy again, then you don't anymore, but then you run it and realize it is crazy." -Erica, our captain, on training for and running a marathon

It started out harmless enough. "Run to a bar! Eat pizza and drink a beer!" Yes please! Even the mileages weren't outrageous for the first few weeks. 5-6 miles for our weekly Wednesday runs seemed innocuous enough until you realized that needed GEAR to go running because it was LESS THAN 10 DEGREES OUT. I don't think I'd ever run in a hat and gloves and wool socks before, and even though those first few minutes are terrifying it does make the winter a lot less intimidating. We also ran some in the blessed warmth of the indoor track, which was great but usually left one hip limping more than the other as you racked up a solid 60 laps in the same direction around that mini loop. It also became apparent through these long runs that I wasn't the only one to fall prey to our captains' siren song. My friend Shetal composed an entire hate email in her head to one of the captains while trudging up a hill at the end of one of our first 6 miles runs. Andrew confessed to me he had no desire to run a marathon and wasn't sure how he'd ended up here either. Annie had to BUY running shoes to start training for the half marathon because she'd never really gone for a run. I swear these captains should start selling ocean front property in Arizona...