In July Avi and I moved into our own place together – our first house! We have plenty of space, including a spare bedroom that I’ve turned into yoga/strength room. Although the neighborhood is nothing like where I lived in San Francisco – suburban Cleveland Heights is no Inner Sunset – it’s very close to running buddies, which is quite convenient for group runs with Heidi and Nicole :)
In August Avi and I joined my entire extended family in Quincy, CA to bid my grandmother farewell.
The morning we scattered Gram’s ashes I went out for my longest run to date. I started out with my brother and his girlfriend, departing from Main Street in downtown sleepy, slow Quincy. Then we followed the hilly highway that led us out of town. Our footfalls took us onto a single-lane road, past cows and creeks and farms that had seen better days, toward Gram’s country home. An hour into the run, now alone, I picked up the pace, trying to outrun the waves of sadness. Faster, faster, the sun beating down relentlessly. Heart racing, lungs burning, legs and heart aching. I ran til I could not run any further; physically and emotionally spent, I walked the last bit back to the hotel.
And in the afternoon, on that clear, sun-filled day, my family and I drove deep into the Plumas National Forest. We scattered her ashes into the wind, high atop a mountain overlooking miles of trees and lakes. Together, we tearfully honored this strong yet gentle, patient, independent woman who instilled in all of us the importance of family.
My parents and youngest brother trekked out to Cleveland in September. I showed them that contrary to popular belief, Cleveland is NOT the armpit of the Midwest and is in fact a hidden gem! We ate quite well, indulging in Ohio craft beer and ice cream, and spent time hiking in the CLE Metropark at South Chagrin and in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. As I showed them my favorite running trails, my parents quickly saw what I loved about Ohio and why I run so joyfully here.
2 weeks after their visit I trekked home again to California. Mom and I went wedding dress shopping and I’m pleased to report that I found my dream dress! Even better, I paid for the dress entirely with running prize money! :) I also found our wedding venue – a beautiful lodge in Lake Tahoe that Avi and I both love. I’m eagerly awaiting our 2014 wedding!
Just 3 more months of 2013 to recap - stay tuned!