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Tuesday, December 8th, 2009
4:43 pm - WARNING: I am really proud of myself this year.......
1. What did you do in 2009 that you'd never done before?
I moved to New York City. Oh! And I ran a half marathon in Philidelphia. I pretty much kicked 2009's ass.

2. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I am sure that I had lost any bit of faith I had left in myself so I probably didn't make a New Years resolution. If I did it was probably something with weight. It has been for the past decade.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
This week! My aunt and our friend Katina both gave birth to little baby boys. I am so jealous.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
Yes. Stephanie May Opstad. But she gave the world FOUR incredible gifts. Also, my beautiful and talented voice teacher Linda Corwin.

5. What countries did you visit?
None. That will absolutely change in 2010.

6. What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009?
To receive some sort of monetary compensation for doing what I love to do.

7. What dates from 2009 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
February 11, 2009 = I got a check for $100,000 and my life changed forever.

March 16, 2009 = I flew with my two best friends to New York City for a second chance.

August, 2009 = I started doing improv regularly in New York City.

October 24, 2009 = I ran 6.25 miles for the first time in my life.

November 2, 2009 = Running 5 miles became standard.

November 22, 2009 = I ran a half-marathon.

December 7, 2009 = I contemplated running the New York FULL marathon in 2011.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
I know I keep saying it but definitely the marathon. I have never done anything remotely like that. In fact, I had always told myself that I could NEVER do anything like that. I have never been fully and completely willing to be proud of myself. That all changed.

9. What was your biggest failure?
The erosion of my relationship with my family.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
I had a pretty bad ankle injury after the marathon. But it felt more like a battle scar than an injury.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
My guitar.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
My roommate Wahima = I had no idea that moving in with Wahima was one of the best decisions I have ever made. She has been, and completely unexpectedly, incredibly supportive and wonderful.
My best friend Angel = Though this year has been amazing, there have been some patches of overwhelming difficulty. Angel has not gone one week, in the past 9 months, without talking to me. She has been my rock. She has been my cheerleader. She has been my thearapist. She has been spectacularly irreplaceable.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Well, in 2008, it was my own. So, in 2009, I shall refrain from judgement.

14. Where did most of your money go?
Changing my life.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Visiting California. And both times I got to see my Mommy.

16. What song will always remind you of 2009?
My Life by Erykah Badu
A Little Better by Gnarles Barkley
Empire State by Jay Z and Alicia Keys

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder? Happier
b) thinner or fatter? Thinner
c) richer or poorer? Richer.


18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Traveling, reading, and talking to my Dad.

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Worrying. But that is true every year and probably will be for many years to come.

20. How will you be spending Christmas?
I actually have no idea.

21. Did you fall in love in 2009?

22. How many one-night stands?
A couple. Whatever.

23. What was your favorite TV program?
The Wire is absolutely one of my favorite shows of all time. I discovered this show two weeks ago.

24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
No. Most of the people I know this year I did not know last year.

25. What was the best book you read?
Born To Run by Christopher McDougal

26. What was your greatest musical discovery?
The Arctic Monkeys and Grizzly Bear.

27. What was the best piece of theatre you saw?
Speak No More; a performance art, modern dance, choose your own adventure story utilizing the characters of Macbeth in a surreal Hitchcockian theme all performed in an abandoned school house in Boston. Incredible.

28. What did you want and get?
A do-over.

29. What did you want and not get?
A partner in crime.

30. What was your favorite film of this year?
Man On Wire is one of the best documentaries I have ever seen.

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I hung out with myself, made cupcakes, and had a dance party.

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Believing that certain people believed in me.

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2009?
Boobs and earrings.

34. What kept you sane?
Angel, Wahima, Facebook, my iPod, and marijuana.

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Dominic West

Holy crap. Holy....friggen......crap.

36. What political issue stirred you the most?
The disappointment with Don't Ask Don't Tell.

37. Who did you miss?
My brothers and sisters. All of my friends on the West Coast.

38. Who was the best new person you met?
Kiwi and Matt Callahan. Adi Blotman. Ron Hill. Kevin Laibson. Chris Booth. Heather Jewels. Paul Valenti. Chris O'Niel. The Woos. Justin Twardy. Leigh Stuckey. (I met you in '08 Christy....if you even read this....) Rachel's new husband, Adrian. Jeff Lepine. Garrett Willingham.

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2009:
I am the protagonist.

(1 Preached the good word! | Preach Brothas and Sistas!)

Friday, November 20th, 2009
9:30 am - The Joy Of Running: The Day After Tomorrow
I don't feel I am at all ready for the half-marathon on Sunday.

There are also a few factors that are really frightening me.

My calves are still a bit sore.

My ankle is swollen.

And I woke up with the beginnings of a cold.

Now, except for being in a musical and having to take extreme care of my voice, I have never had to truly prepare myself physically for anything.

But these next few days are going to be full of lots of yogurt, veggies, water, Airborne, and sleep.

I will see you all on the other motha fuckin' side.

(1 Preached the good word! | Preach Brothas and Sistas!)

Thursday, November 12th, 2009
2:42 pm - The Joy of Running: I get it
Today was my shortest run to date.

I had to turn around and head back because of my calves.

I don't know what to do.

I need to be a little more comfortable at this point.

But instead I am less so.

And now I am freaking out because my race is next Sunday.

Next Sunday.


(Preach Brothas and Sistas!)

Thursday, October 29th, 2009
4:47 pm - The Joy of Running: The Mystery of Roosevelt Island
SONG: "When The Sun Goes Down" Arctic Monkeys

I ran the four mile perimeter of Roosevelt Island today.

Roosevelt Island is a strip of land between Queens and Manhattan.

There are so many wonderful things that I discovered. Both beautiful and creepy.

I actually found another running blog called RUNemployed (damn him....) where he goes into historical detail about Roosevelt Island and all of its fantastically odd sites.

I decided not to post the link and to just show you parts of Roosevelt Island myself.

So, this is exciting. Something new and interesting to keep me preoccupied as the mile count slowly increases to ridiculous distances.

The fact that I have run over 10 miles so far this week is absolutely absurd.

If you told me a year ago that I would be running that much in a year I would have been really disappointed in myself for getting caught up in the whole cocaine scene.

But this is all me.

Sometimes I can't believe it......

So, stay tuned for the slow unveiling of New York's hidden treasure Roosevelt Island!

(Preach Brothas and Sistas!)

Monday, October 26th, 2009
10:30 pm - The Joy Of Running: Ten, mmmkay?

(1 Preached the good word! | Preach Brothas and Sistas!)

Thursday, October 15th, 2009
12:11 pm - The Joy of Running: Or Lack Thereof.....
The crazy, long haired hippie in charge of my running group was right.

The crisp, fall air is perfect for a run.

I had a wonderful, yet short, run yesterday.

I had an even better, longer, run the day before that.

Yet, there is still something inside of me relentlessly attempting to derail me.

What is that voice? Who is that asshole?

I get my running clothes on. I deodorize myself. I pin my hair back. I lace up my shoes. I position my heart rate monitor. I sync my watch. I attach the foot pod.

And I sit.

There is something in my head convincing me that this run is not the best option out of everything I could possibly be doing.

Which would be correct if "best option" meant "most fun."

But, in adulthood, "best option" means "thing you should be doing because it is good for you" or "least fun."

I also have a sneaking suspicion that the run-thwarting voice inside of me is the same voice telling me I am the chubbiest, most awkward girl the world has ever seen.

Wait a minute........

I've got it!

The voice in my head is lazy, tactless, and awkward in its - well, my skin.

The voice is in junior high!

The voice is in a state of arrested development.

Well, I hereby name my self-defeating voice George Michael.

Alright George Michael. It is time to shut up and run your ass off.

(1 Preached the good word! | Preach Brothas and Sistas!)

Tuesday, October 6th, 2009
3:59 pm - The Joy of Running: Dear Rebecca....
I recently recieved a message from a concerned reader of the blog.

The following is a dramatization of said message:

Dear Rebecca,
Don't stop running. If you stop running, this will spill over into all aspects of your life. If you stop running you will drink and smoke yourself into a drunken nicotine coma. If you stop running you will defeat yourself. If you stop running, the world will do the same.


The Running Man

Now, this reader and I happen to know each other (in fact, I am pretty certain that only people who know me are wasting their time reading about my "discovery" of physical activity). We have known one another for nearly seven years. Six of those years were some of the most self-destructive years of my life. Throughout those six years there were little glimpses of my head rising above the surface, gasping for air, saying I am better but inevitably the tide would pull me under and I would continue drowning. This reader was one of the many who attempted to throw me a life perserver but there is only so many times one can attempt to save someone who is drowning themself.

Initially, I was hurt. How could this person have such little faith in me. Well, if you would go ahead and re-visit the little paragraph above, I think they have a strong enough case. My constant attempts at re-invention became a sad Girl Who Cried Wolf....ALL THE TIME....and this reader was in no rush to run and warn the village.

I have not responded directly to the reader. This blog is actually my first attempt at addressing the matter.

And, frankly, the reader is right.

As soon as I started running, the water began to calm. As soon as I started running, the tide slowly subsided. As soon as I started running, I could breathe.

But I don't think the actual running was the catalyst for this metaphorical emergence. I think it was the consequences of this challenge.

I am truly enjoying, rather than fighting and denying, failing. I am finally excited to hurt.

So, I am not going to furiously peck out a defensive, adolescent response.

Dear The Running Man,
I can't believe you are still on the shore after all of these years. Don't worry. You won't be getting that life perserver back anytime soon.


(Preach Brothas and Sistas!)

Wednesday, September 30th, 2009
11:50 am - The Joy of Running: I Suck
I have not run for a week.

I am asshole.

(Preach Brothas and Sistas!)

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009
10:55 am - The Joy of Running: Quite Obviously Not Entitled 'The Joy of Blogging'
I have totally been lagging on the blog.

I am proud to say, on the other hand, that I have not been lagging on the running.

I will admit that there have been a few days where I have chosen a social engagement or an early bed time over my usual pavement stomping but I have remained pretty consistent.

I am running a 10K (which is roughly 6.5 Miles for all you Americans out there) on October 24th. I'd never thought I would look at 6.5 Miles and think, "Easy."

That makes me feel like such a freakin' bad ass.

Also, apparently the running and eating like a "poor person," the politically incorrect description of the necessary eating habits of a successful runner, is paying off. People keep telling me I look good. I don't really see it. It must be the fact that my good friend Body Dismorphia is still crashing on my couch.

Stay tuned.

(Preach Brothas and Sistas!)

Monday, September 14th, 2009
7:48 pm - The Joy of Running: Lame





I was unfocused. I was in pain. I was totally self-conscious.

My lumbering shadow mocks me from the pavement below.

My calves use my muscles as a megaphone.

"Boo!" they twinge.

(.......and I forgot my camera.......)

I hope this is merely a "dry spell."

Countdown: 69 DAYS


(Preach Brothas and Sistas!)

7:36 pm - The Joy of Running: Pre-Run
I really don't want to run.

I am writing to you from within the confines of my own head.

But I will.

Five miles.........

(Preach Brothas and Sistas!)

Saturday, September 12th, 2009
3:41 pm - The Joy of Running: Just Gotta Keep Keen and Cunnin'.
SONG: "Runnin'" by The Pharcyde

I had absolutely no focus.

And what little focus I did have was completely directed toward my calves.

My calves are really tight. And not in the post-millennium colloquialism (i.e. That's so tight!") sense.

I feel as though they are acting a little rebellious. And strength is not only in numbers but in shooting pain.

I even walk funny.

It was an absolutely gorgeous day.

A good day for sailing.

(as of 9/12/09)

(71) DAYS!

The sevens are getting increasingly harder to find.

(Preach Brothas and Sistas!)

Friday, September 11th, 2009
5:23 pm - The Joy of Running: Just Running in the Rain
SONG: "Fine For Now" by Grizzly Bear

The runs are very cathartic.

It's as if I am losing a tiny piece of my baggage every time.

There is a sharp pain in the arch of my foot. It feels like something is being pulled.

I wore a gray hooded sweatshirt. I felt like Rocky.

(as of 9/11/09)

I also did a little word hunt.....

(Preach Brothas and Sistas!)

3:13 pm - The Joy of Running: I'm Dynomite

Fall is officially the best season to run.

No wonder the marathons are held around November.

The wind is so encouraging and infuriating.

Like the run itself.

I figured I would try to get a picture of the view that awaits me at the edge of my little city.

(as of 9/10/09)


(Preach Brothas and Sistas!)

Thursday, September 3rd, 2009
2:00 pm - The Joy Of Running: That's The Way Love Goes
Those of you who keep up with the blog and/or my constant musings through various social networking sites are aware that I have been doing a lot of reading in preparation for The Marathon. My brain has been devouring articles, blogs, message boards, and books on the topic. I figure I want to fully prepare my brain. I want to read about every possible injury, every possible avoidance of injury, every training program, every nutrition guide, every first person marathon account. I don't want to have to be concerned with any of that. I want to be completely relaxed and knowledgeable. When I am running, I want my mind to be the last thing on my mind.

One book in particular has sort of become my Bible, my Qur'an, my "Runner's Manifesto;" Born To Run by Christopher McDougall. I carry it everywhere and open it whenever I have even a moment. It has become a tattered, cover-less hardback book filled with pink page markers and highlighted sentences. And I am only half way through.

"Running was romantic...Grueling, grimy, muddy, bloody, lonely trail-running equals moonlight and champagne....Relax enough, and your body becomes familiar with the cradle-rocking rhythm that you almost forget you're moving. And once you break through to that soft, half-levitating flow, that's when the moonlight and champagne show up. "You have to be in tune with your body, and know when you can push it and when to back off," Ann would explain. You have to listen closely to the sound of your own breathing; be aware of how much sweat is beading on your back; make sure to treat yourself to cool water and a salty snack and ask yourself, honestly and often, exactly how you feel. What could be more sensual than paying exquisite attention to your own body? Sensual counted as romantic right?"


When I first read that I thought it was a tad fanatical. If running is romantic, then so is punching yourself in the face. Either way, you are inflicting pain on yourself and not really getting anywhere.

"You can't think that way Rebecca," my mind lectured me.

I know. I know.

But, this "running romance" was not the most striking idea in the passage for me.

It was one sentence in particular; "You have to listen closely to the sound of your own breathing; be aware of how much sweat is beading on your back; make sure to treat yourself to cool water and a salty snack and ask yourself, honestly and often, exactly how you feel."

Ask myself "honestly?"

I can be honest.

I can honestly say that I have never truly considered my body's opinion. I can honestly tell you that I have treated my body worse than I would my worst enemy's. I can honestly admit that I have taken action to purposefully hurt my body. I can honestly disclose that I suffer consistent discomfort in my body. So frequent, in fact, that I honestly can not tell you when I did not feel that discomfort. I have sort of talked myself into accepting my body's fate. Honestly.

My body has always been, according to me, my biggest and most apparent flaw. At least I can hide my terrible temper or my annoyingly forgetful nature but my body is right out there for the whole world to see.

My body is always around. My body gets in the way. My body makes me feel uncomfortable. My body is awkward. My body is lumpy. My body is embarrassing.

I have hated my body my whole post-pubescent life.

But my body is not what is making me uncomfortable or embarrassed. The state of and obvious disregard for the care of my body is the real issue here. I can't very well be embarrassed of my unkempt, crab grass infested front lawn only to turn around and blame it on the lawn, now can I?

So after years of disrespecting and ignoring my body, I think it is time to give it a chance.

I know it is going to take a little coaxing to get my body performing to its fullest potential (a potential I am sure I have no concept of) but I am nothing if not charming.

But charm can't get me to the finish line.

For the first time in my life.


(Preach Brothas and Sistas!)

Monday, August 31st, 2009
10:30 am - The Joy of Running: You Got Me Feeling Emotion
Alright. To be honest, I am full of regret.

I regret saying anything about running a marathon.

I regret clicking "Submit Payment" on the Philadelphia Marathon website.

I regret purchasing all the gadgets, vitamins, and clothing required to do this crazy thing that I totally......yes.....


Now, what does one do in this situation?

I could quit: I would be out a chunk of money and an even bigger chunk of my dignity because, unfortunately, I decided to tell the internet community in order to "hold myself accountable."

I could lie: I don't think I have made strong enough friendship connections with people out here for any one to even considering coming with me to Philadelphia on race day. So, technically, I don't think I will have any witnesses. I could go to Philadelphia, eat a philly cheese steak, see something else Phili-centric, and come home. No one would be the wiser. Except, of course, me. And I would never let me live that lie down.

Or I could continue training for an event so taxing that the mere mention of your participation in said event leaves your audience wide eyed, dumb-founded, and inevitably saying they could "never" do something like that and how they couldn't run 13.1 [drastically shorter measurement of distance], let alone 13.1 miles.

So, I suppose I have to define what is most important; avoidance of humiliation and disappointment or tons of hard work........

(Preach Brothas and Sistas!)

Thursday, August 27th, 2009
6:24 pm - The Joy of Running: I'll Do It Tomorrow
The vacation totally tripped me up.

And I better get all of my tripping out of the way so as not to plow my face into the pavement in the coming months.

This is the first time my brain can not get me out of an activity.

I have to solely rely on my body.

And that is a problem because I don't trust my body.

My body and I don't listen to each other.

My body is merely the vehicle I use to get around spreading wit across the globe.

This must change.

I am going to be forced to turn my 1985 Geo Metro body into a......nicer....car.....metaphor.

To the "body shop!"

(3 Preached the good word! | Preach Brothas and Sistas!)

Wednesday, August 12th, 2009
8:21 pm - The Joy of Running: 100 Days of Summer

I am.....


to run the marathon.

I am frightened.

(2 Preached the good word! | Preach Brothas and Sistas!)

Tuesday, August 4th, 2009
9:28 pm - The Joy of Running: Time Won't Give Me Time
Dear Rebecca,

Hey. It's....uh....you. I mean, me! I mean...us?


You have nine days to make up our mind about this marathon thing.

Don't look at us that way. You went ahead and opened our big mouth and told the whole internet world we were going to run a marathon. Yet we still haven't signed on the dotted line.

Either do it or don't.

Don't waste our time pacing outside of a goal.

Either we are in or we are out.

So. You have nine days to reach a decision.

Why nine?

1. There are 109 days until the actual race.

2. I have a slight numeric OCD.

I don't mean to sound demanding but no more beating around the bush.

We are either in it or we are out.*

*NOTE: Giggle.

(Preach Brothas and Sistas!)

Monday, August 3rd, 2009
9:45 pm - The Joy of Running: 13.1
Dear "Reader,"

It has recently been brought to my attention, on several occasions, that there are actually individuals out there who are reading and, at times, possibly "enjoying" this little blog, The Joy of Running. I merely saw it as a way to hold myself accountable but apparently it has gained a little bit of a following.

Yes. I am qualifying a couple of inquiring friends as a "following."

So! My journey continues. And hopefully so does your patronage.




SONG OF THE RUN: "Here I Go Again" Whitesnake

The time has come to seriously start training for the Philadelphia Half Marathon I plan on running in November.


Here I go.........

In a second......

Just give me one damn second!


It's just, well, the adrenaline has subsided and the inevitable has kicked in.


I don't think I can do it.

I open up my web browser, type "Philidelphia half marathon" into Google, click on "did you mean Philadelphia?", and, hovering my mouse over the hostile icon screaming at me to "REGISTER NOW!!," my palms begin to sweat. I slowly retract my hand like a fishing line without a catch; disappointingly limp.

You see, once I "REGISTER NOW!!" there is no turning back. As soon as I click the eighth button in a series of never ending credit card payment verifications, I'm in.

And I do not have this "no turning back" mentality because of the payment. Though losing $75 would be a huge bummer, I am afraid the bummer is not large enough to keep me motivated.

I have been maintaining my running. I just don't know if I want to take the AP Test.

Stick around. This'll be fun.

(1 Preached the good word! | Preach Brothas and Sistas!)

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