Sunday, August 12, 2018

This is 39- Goals Update

I needed to wrap my head around where I'm at with each goal and so I broke them down into four categories:

Goals that aren't going to happen
Goal that will mostly/partially happy
Goals that I've already accomplished
Goals that will be completed by the time This is 39 is over

It was great to see everything laid out so I have a better handle on what I need to focus on. I'm so proud of all the things I've done and know I will do. And also very happy that my All or Nothing personality type hasn't taken over to fully abandon the things that I knew would likely not get done perfectly. This has been such a good exercise in reminding me that it's not about perfection, but about progress.

Here are the goals I don't think are going to happen at all:

  1. Camp at or near the beach
  2. Denver trip with my twin to see the twins
  3. Sisters-only trip 
  4. Ski in California with Katie
Here are the goals that I think I'll mostly/partially accomplish:
  1. Buy and use really good eye cream every day (I think I will have missed just a few days)
  2. Create a solid emergency savings fund (this one could go either way- I don't think I'll be as far along as I had hoped, but...hopefully by the time I'm done with my year of This is 39, I'll have at least some emergency savings accumulated)
  3. Date night with Steve at least one night a week (when I'm not traveling)
  4. Resistance training 3x/week (I'll miss just a few workouts when all is said and done)
  5. Track each day's food in the Weight Watchers App (I abandoned this one pretty early on and I'm okay with it because I'm sticking to healthy food habits and consistently losing weight)
Here are the goals that I've already accomplished:
  1. Try Ethiopian food
  2. Eliminate credit card debt
  3. Exceed last year's Cycle for Survival fundraising ($18,746)
  4. Finish the remaining stair walks from the Secret Stairs of Los Angeles book
  5. Get 4 facials and 4 massages
  6. Go on a solo road trip that includes at least two nights away
  7. Learn how to properly apply eye liner (have to keep at this one)
  8. Read 20 books
  9. Stay on top of BRCA2 gene appointments
  10. Travel some place new
  11. Try meditating for 21 days in a row
Here are the goals that I know I'll accomplish by the time my year of This is 39 is up:
  1. Attend a yoga class at least 1x/month (I think I'll still do this 12 times over the course of the year, but I did miss the month I was in Ireland)
  2. Blog at least 2x/month about my goals and progress
  3. Be mindful of communication: try not to say anything about someone I wouldn't want them overhearing 
  4. Call my grandparents 1x/week 
  5. Do a Segway tour (this may need to happen in Lisbon)
  6. Get my photography hanging up somewhere in public
  7. Go to Weight Watchers meetings every week (I'm in the country)
  8. Hike 1x/month
  9. Journal at least 4x/week (I may not have hit this goal each week, but I think by the end of the year I'll have journaled 208 times)
  10. Milk a cow (in Ireland)
  11. No McDonald's for a year
  12. Nurture my marriage (although some days I'm better about it than others)
  13. Organize and back-up my photos (I've done a very, very good job so far. But this is taking a long time and seems like a never-ending project)
  14. Plan a kick ass 40th birthday trip (to Ireland & Lisbon) (already in progress!)
  15. Run a Half Marathon
  16. Try surfing with Steve
  17. Use my real camera 1x/month
  18. Volunteer 1x/month (must include something to help flip the House)
  19. Write an article/short story about Clancy and try to get it published (need to get this one started)
I have just about 2 1/2 months left to go. I know it's going to be a challenge to find the time in my busy, travel-filled schedule to get things completed...but I also know that I'll absolutely work my hardest to try each month. And who knows, maybe some of the items from the goals I don't think will happen, will somehow get done. Either way, the process of trying is nearly just as rewarding as completing a goal. (And that's one of the best takeaways I've learned so far!)

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Monday, July 23, 2018

This is 39 (Month 9, Update 2)

There were a couple of updates that I wanted to share for my second month nine update, so I'll hop right to it:

Hike 1x/month
Katie, Tara and I found ourselves cramming in an early evening hike at Will Rogers- my go to hiking place to fulfill my monthly goal- just a day before the end of my month. It was a glorious night- perfect weather for a back yard hike. We saw horses and a cute elderly couple having a picnic (which involved rosé) at the top, we had a great view of the ocean and downtown and we were all one in just under an hour.

I'll admit that I had different ideas when I set this goal. I had hoped to do more exploring of all the various hikes available to me in the Santa Monica Mountains. I had just come off the exhilarating (albeit is crushingly sad and challenging- emotionally and physically) experience of hiking Mt. Lafayette in northern New Hampshire when I set this goal last fall. So in some ways it seems like I'm taking the easy way out.

But I've got to give myself credit for still going out there and getting it done. And here's hoping that in the final three months, maybe I can step it up a notch and do new hikes so it feels a little more in line with what I had intended.



Run a half marathon
Of all the goals I've been working on, this is the one I'm most excited about and proud of. I have been training for 14 straight weeks. I've run nearly 150 miles in that time. I have missed only one run (my final week in Ireland). And I can now run eight miles without stopping.

My pace is slow (average of 11:30/11:45/12:00 minute miles), but I'm sticking with it. I figure for my first half marathon, I'll just concentrate on getting through it (without stopping). And if I decide to run another half marathon (which already seems likely at this point), then I'll focus on improving my time.

I was talking with my friend Cheryl about the walk/run method and I know it's just not for me. As many of you know, I'm very much an all-or-nothing type of person. And I feel like if I were to start walking, I may not stop. Also. When I ran a million years ago in middle and high school (thanks Hal for getting me into running all those years ago), I never stopped. It just wasn't how I ran. And so I kinda wanna keep going with that.

The next few months will be higher and higher mileage (my training plans gets me up to 12 miles I think) and also I'm traveling more and more for work. I'm being strategic with my travel- flying later so I can get in my long runs before I am away for the week. And I know I can (and will) say no to hanging out in the evenings so I can get my training in while I'm traveling. #priorities

I'm actually really looking forward to the half marathon and am hoping it will be a fun experience and the rewards for all the hard work I've put into my training!

Use my real camera 1x/month
I took my camera out for our little memorial for Clancy on the one year anniversary of when he died (July 11th). Steve, Katie and I went down to the ocean and scattered some of his ashes. It was a calm and beautiful night and I took my camera with us to try and capture the mood and energy of the evening.

I didn't take photos (with my real camera) of us actually spreading Clancy's ashes in the ocean (or them coming back on to me- oops). But I did get some from our walk down to the beach:


At the beach:

And I caught Steve in a quiet moment after Katie and I left a piece of Clancy behind in the Pacific Ocean:

Also. Because I'm still organizing my photos and stuff (it's like the never-ending project), I've been learning more about Lightroom (thank you Cyrena) and can finally use it for things like cataloging my photos and touching them up.

Volunteer 1x/month (must include something to help flip the House):
Another month, another stint of writing postcards to remind voters to vote in special elections. This time I helped with Danny O'Connor's special election in Ohio. Currently the results are too close to call (although last I checked, it was tipped ever so slightly in the Republican's favor). It's always a rewarding experience to volunteer for Postcards for Voters and I highly recommend you sign yourself up too!


In addition to this, I also signed up for two other volunteer opportunities to help with the mid-term elections:
  1. When We All Vote- taken directly from their website..."Volunteers across the country will give people an opportunity to register to vote through a partnership with Rock the Vote, and ensure people don't fall through the cracks in the voter registration process."
  2. The Last Weekend: Volunteer in the Midterms- taken directly from their website too..."Study after study shows that the most effective way to get people to vote is by having conversations with them in the four days before Election Day." Even though I'll be working Saturday, November 3rd and Sunday, November 4th, and traveling on Monday, November 5th, I've already signed up to volunteer the evening of the 5th and I'll see what I can do on November 6th (Election Day). 
If you're so inclined, sign up too! It feels really good to be part of the solution instead of just complaining about current events. Take it from me- someone who has been on the sidelines for like 97% of her life up until a few years ago.

So that's Month 9 for ya!

I'm already looking forward to Month 10 and will need to take a look at what I've done and what's left to accomplish.

Thanks for playing along!

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Saturday, July 21, 2018

This is 39 (Month 9, Check-in 1)

It's been a couple of months since I've done a run down of my progress, so let's get to it.

Attend a yoga class at least 1x/month
I had every intention of going to yoga while I was in Ireland last month, but it didn't happen. I waited too long into my vacation and then by the time I looked into it, the times weren't convenient. But don't you worry, I more than made up for it this month when Katie and I went to goat yoga here in Los Angeles! I was inspired to look into goat yoga when my friend Gayla and her daughter posted about it on Facebook. They live in Dallas, so I wasn't sure if it'd be an option in LA. I was so happy when I discovered that the only place in LA was just a few miles away from home.

Goat yoga is as ridiculous as it sounds. I have no clue who came up with the idea, but it is equal parts silly and hilarious. In our class, there were two goats who just roamed around the studio and would walk between your legs while you were in Warrior pose and would also jump on your back if you were in Child's pose or Cat/Cow pose. There was one woman who walked around with the goats, coaxing them with little treats and another who would clean up after them. Because listen. When the goat's gotta go to the bathroom, they just go wherever. When this happens in class, you're supposed to yell out "Blessings!" so the handlers know they need to clean up a mess. At the end of the class one of the goats relieved himself right behind me and my mat, but luckily not on my mat. So phew.

Katie and I had a really good time. It's not like the best class to take if you want a real yoga workout. But you can certainly get in enough of a workout for it to be worthwhile. And I mean come on, you can say you worked out with a goat on your back!




Be mindful of communication: try not to say anything about someone I wouldn't want them overhearingI'm doing okay okay job on this goal but could probably benefit from putting some additional intention towards this one. Overall, I'm being mindful of what I say, but I wouldn't say I'm 100% consistent with it. So...something to consider in the final three months of This is 39.

Blog at least 2x/month about my goals and progress
I waited too long this month cause I'm gonna hafta cram. But yes. This isn't a goal I struggle with accomplishing each month.

Buy and use really good eye cream every day
Check! The eye cream I purchased when I first started this ditty is almost gone. So I'm gonna hafta replace that. But this has become a habit that I don't have to think about too much, which is nice.

Call my grandparents 1x/week
Yep. Calling my grandmother is one of my favorite parts of the week. And as I've mentioned before, I love that she counts on and looks forward to it. It's been one of my favorite goals this year because there's a closeness between me and my grandmother that didn't exist before just because we both know what's going on in each other's life.

Camp at/near the beach
This one hasn't happened yet and based on my crazy travel coming up for work (and weddings and 40th birthday parties), I'm concerned that it may not happen. But...I'm also not prepared to call it yet.

Create a solid emergency savings fundI'm not making as much progress on this as I'd like, but at the same time we still don't have any credit card debt, so that's rad. And I think in the next few months, we will have a tiny cushion that I can continue to build upon in the next decade.

Date night with Steve at least one night a week (when I'm not traveling for work)
I will admit I've been a bit lazy with this one and we need to spice up our date nights. Part of the problem is that work has been bonkers lately and I'm so into my half marathon training and still keeping up with my resistance training so by the end of the night I Am Toast. Plus Steve is in Summer Steve mode, so it's not a good mashup. I'm hoping I'll find the motivation to be more adventurous with our date nights, but for now, they've been mostly about making dinner together, going to the movies and enjoying other routine things where we just get to be in each other's company.

Denver trip with my twin to see the twins
This one hasn't happened yet and there's a chance it may not happen. But there's also a chance that it may happen next month if a bachelorette party lands me there. We'll see. If we don't go in August, I don't know that I'll be able to squeeze it into the month of September, but I'll certainly try- especially if Katie is up for it.

Do a Segway tour
This has not happened, but it will absolutely happen and I can't wait. If I do go to Denver, this would be a good thing to consider. But it may be something fun to do in one of the cities I have to travel to for work as well. Detroit is an intriguing thought, but I don't know that I'd have the time for it. If I have to do this along Venice Beach, I will!

Get 4 facials and 4 massages
Yep! Last month I got a heavenly facial at Burke-Williams (thanks to some gift cards I received for Christmas/Valentine's Day) and I've now exceeded this self-care goal. And I think I'll continue to over-achieve on this goal too- especially since I have more gift cards to use. I do love this goal and appreciate that I no longer cringe at massages and that the facials help solidify the skincare routine I've got going at home.

Get my photography hanging up somewhere in public
I actually brought a couple of my photos of Percy home with me when I was in in Ireland in June. I had two photos blown up of Percy and the intention was that they would go up in the Thatch. I should have made that happen when I was there in June, but if I have to, I'll do it when I'm there in October. I have a couple of other photo ideas as well that I may set in motion. While I had hoped this would be a little more organic- like part of a photography exhibit or something like that- I think it's a goal I can still make happen.

Go to Weight Watchers meetings every week (I'm in the country)
I missed my first meeting three weeks ago. It's because I was eating like crap and didn't want to face the music. But. I stopped that nonsense and went two weeks ago to settle up, if you will, and it's been back on track ever since. It's good for me to have that level of accountability. This goal absolutely keeps me honest. And I do enjoy Weight Watchers (for the most part) and I love going and weighing-in and starting a new week of better eating.

Hike 1x/month
More on this in the next update

Journal at least 4x/week
I've slipped a little bit on this one. Because I typically write at night and I'm wicked tired by the time I fall into bed, some weeks I haven't been writing all four days. But I'm okay with that. I think this is one of those goals that will net out by the end of the year. I think I'll hit the number (208), but it won't have been from doing it 4x/week. I also think I'll need a new journal by the end of This is 39. Which for someone like me who really likes stationery and journals, this excites me more than it should 😛.

Learn how to properly apply eye liner
I practiced some while I was in Ireland (thanks Robin!), but I need to work on this one more. I know I'll accomplish this goal within the next three months. But so far I can't say that I've mastered eyeliner application.

Milk a cow (in Ireland)
I went to great lengths to try and cross this off my list while I was in Ireland in June, but it turns out that milking cows is almost entirely done by machines now. At one point a few days before I left Ireland, I stood in the middle of the Thatch (it was a locals night, so it wasn't filled with tourists or people there for music and dancing) and asked the bar filled with farmers who knew someone who had some cows I could milk. And ya know what, no one did. It's such a bummer. I'm hoping we can make something happen when I'm there in October for the 40th birthday party. But who knew it would be so hard to find a cow to milk in Ireland? (Not me!)

Nurture my marriage
It's been a rough summer for Steve. He's wanted to make some major professional changes that we just can't make happen yet. So it's been really challenging figuring out the best way to support him throughout all of this. I keep coming back to trying to listen and be supportive instead of being judgmental and reminding him what he can't do. And then I'm still trying to do the little things- like his laundry so he can really enjoy being on break, saying yes more than no (to things he wants to do when I don't feel like it, including restaurants to go out to or things to eat for dinner), leaving little notes here and there and generally trying to make life more pleasant for him (which makes life more pleasant for me too).

But August is when my work travel starts up and it's also when Summer Steve turns into School Steve and that has historically been challenging for us. So I'm keen to get ahead of this so we can be smarter about the ways we can support each other and nurture our marriage so we don't end up in a bad place.

Organize and back-up photos
Thanks to Cyrena (again) I've made more progress with this. But it's honestly one of those never ending projects. I am hoping that I've fully organized and backed-up all of my past photos by the time my birthday rolls around so that moving forward it won't be such a bitch of a project. Right now it's so painful because there are thousands and thousands and thousands of photos to go through and categorize and organize. I know I'll get there, but oof, this one is insanely time consuming.

Plan a kick ass 40th birthday trip
Katie and I are slowly putting plans in place for our 40th in Ireland. People have already bought tickets (eeeek- so exciting) and we've got a Facebook group going for people to talk through plans and stuff. (If you haven't been invited to it and you're thinking of going, let me know and I'll happily add you to the private FB group). One thing I really want to nail down soon is the transportation plan for the night of the party. The Thatch is three miles outside of town and we need to make sure people get to and from the pub responsibly. I'm also looking forward to putting together suggestions of things for people to do during the days that they're there. It's crazy that it's just about three freaking months away. Woah! It's going to be so much fun though and I seriously can't wait!

Read 20 books
This is another goal I crossed off the list. Since my last major update, I've read:

A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, And Leadership by James Comey. I wanted to read this so I could make my own decisions about this man and the pivotal role he played in the 2016 election. The book was a little slow at times, super interesting at other times, and overall a good read. I had no clue he was part of the investigation that led to Martha Stewart in jail, for example. Would I recommend it? I guess so. I got the book from the library and it was a good library book, but not something I need to own.

My Not So Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella. We chose this book for our work book club and since it was nearly 500 pages, I brought it with me to Ireland. Well, as it turns out, I finished this book four days into my two-week long vacation. It was very good and I absolutely would recommend it. Coming off of the Comey book, it was a really nice change and a book to get lost in. I haven't read a lot of Sophie Kinsella's books, but this made me look into others she wrote.

Yes We (Still) Can: Politics in the Age of Obama, Twitter, and Trump. I have tried to read a few politically leaning books and have struggled to get started or get through them (Hillary's book, Dan Rather's book, Ben Rhode's book), but I devoured this book. I absolutely LOVED it and found it fascinating, educational, inspirational and helpful in understanding how the election of 2016 turned out the way that it did. Dan is very sincere and honest and sarcastic and he played a front row seat for most of the Obama election(s) and presidency. So he has a great perspective. I'd absolutely recommend reading this book.

Surprise Me by Sophie Kinsella. I didn't love this one as much as I loved My Not So Perfect Life, but I read the book quickly and enjoyed the storyline enough to keep looking into more books by this author. I would recommend this, but I'd say read it after My Not So Perfect Life.

I'm so happy that I've been reading so much. Steve hates phones in the bedroom and as I work on nurturing my marriage and stuff, I'm doing way less on my phone (pretty much only sneaking it out when he's gone to bed) and way more reading actual books. Me likey.

Resistance training 3x/weekI think I've only missed one workout in the past couple of months. I've done a really really good job of staying on top of this goal and I'm super excited to have not only seen a difference in my body, but I can feel a difference in how strong I feel and in moves that I can complete much easier than when I first started. It feels good to be stronger and to make progress.

Run a Half Marathon
More on this in the next update

Sisters-only trip
I'm doubtful this will happen but...maybe?

Ski in California (w/ Katie)
Also doubtful this one will happen since I blew it in the winter and don't see us going water skiing!

Stay on top of BRCA2 gene appointments
For sure. I actually have another set of appointments on Wednesday. It feels good to be on top of this and to not have to feel anxiety over letting things slide for a year. Here's hoping Wednesday's appointment is uneventful.

Track each day's food in the Weight Watchers app
Nope. Still just not doing this. But I am eating well and eating according to the Weight Watchers program. I'm simply now tracking. As I (think) I've said before, if I were eating like crap, I'd take more of an issue with this. Since I'm making smart and healthy decisions consistently, I'm not gonna be hard on myself.

Try surfing (w/ Steve)
Not yet!

Use my real camera at least 1x/month
More on this in the next update

Volunteer 1x/month (must include something to help flip the House)More on this in the next update

Write an article/short story about Clancy and try to get it published
No progress made on this goal. Must get started!

(Already) Completed Goals
Try Ethiopian food
Eliminate credit card debt
Exceed last year's Cycle for Survival fundraising ($18.476)
Finish the remaining stair walks from the Secret Stairs of Los Angeles book
Go on a solo road trip that includes at least two nights away
Travel some place new
Try meditating for 21 days in a row

It's nice to see more of my goals get crossed off. And with three months to go before my birthday, it's good to see what I need to make happen. I'm not stressed about any of these goals. I'm feeling confident about nearly all of them. And for the goals that won't happen, that's okay. I refuse to put energy into worrying about what's not gonna get done when there is so much that I've accomplished and made progress on this year. Which is a really nice attitude adjustment from someone who usually isn't capable of such rational thinking!

I'm excited to see what I get done in the next three months and how close I get to crossing nearly all of these things off my This is 39 goal list!

As always, thank you for coming along for the ride, for supporting me and encouraging me, and for being excited for this crazy journey.

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Monday, June 18, 2018

This is 39 (Month 8, Check-in 2): A Solo Road Trip

During my trip here in Ireland I was able to cross another goal off my list: Go on a solo road trip that includes at least two nights away. While I really would have liked to have driven to Idaho or New Mexico (two places I'd like to explore), I knew that this trip would provide me with an opportunity to accomplish this goal.

To help ensure I followed through with the trip, in the middle of April I booked a B&B in a town called Allihies (pronounced Ah-luh-hees) after I was inspired by some photos on Instagram. The town looked super charming and cute and I knew it'd help me explore somewhere new within Ireland. The past couple of years, I've gotten a little lazy and have mostly stayed at Gene's with exploring just around this part of the country with short same-day trips. This goal helped me step out of that comfort zone and I'm so glad that I did it because I got to see a beautiful part of Ireland.

I set this goal because I just don't spend a lot of time by myself. I'm someone who replenishes her energy by being around other people. And even though I work alone from my home office, I'm always communicating with people and I tend to be fairly social outside of work as well. I was intentional with this goal. Even when I'm in Ireland, I'm still surrounded by a lot of people. I got some offers in the pub for some company, but I was happy to have the time to myself to just be, and see, and do.


The ride from Gene's to Allihies was a doozy. My directions were sending me here, there and everything and I'm pretty sure I was on the least direct way to arrive to my destination. Luckily, the last hour and a half was just unbelievably beautiful. Here are some photos I took while driving the Healy Pass:




And here are some photos of Allihies:


the yellow building is where i stayed for two nights




It was a quiet first night. I stayed in and used the night to take a pause from drinking and did some writing, reading and blogging. I was lulled to sleep by the sound of the pub below. And fended off the thoughts of "I should just go back to Gene's tomorrow."

On Tuesday I was up nice and early (and sober!) and took a quick drive to Dursey Island, which is home to Ireland's only cable car. I've been wanting to do this for a few years but was too lazy last year and the year before to do the drive. I had no real plans beyond getting on the cable car, but as it turns out, I decided to walk the length of the island and back (nearly 7 1/2 miles in total). With no water and no food and no hat and I got a wicked sun burn.

The cable car only holds six people at a time. Local residents have priority. And it's a five minute ride. I got there early because I didn't know how busy it would be and ended up waiting about 30 minutes before I was able to get on. One farmer got on with 10 bags of fertilizer and no one else could go on with him. I had to laugh at that. Here are the photos I took of my day on Dursey Island (which has no shops, pubs, restaurants and very few homes):






this is the farmer who took the cable car alone with his 10 bags of fertilizer! i realized he had to walk to his farm to get his tractor so he could get the fertilizer back!



I had an incredible day walking by myself, talking with the few people I met along the way (including an adorable older couple, Fergus & Margaret) and seeing another beautiful part of Ireland.


Once back in Allihies, me and my sunburnt face got a bite to eat at the only restaurant in town (O'Neills) and then went back to the B&B where I crashed after a long day outside in the hot sun and on my feet. 


I was up early again on Wednesday for what I knew was going to be a long drive back to Gene's. I made a lunch date to meet up with my friend Jen (who I met on my very first trip to Ireland- she and my sister Kara worked together on the Jersey Shore during college summers) whom I hadn't seen for 10 years!

Before that though, and the reason I got up a little earlier than I wanted, was because I was taking the longer way to get there so I could go and see Eyeries (pronounced Eye-ra), which was promised to be another cute coastal village in West Cork.

I was totally unprepared for how absolutely charming Eyeries was. I stopped and took a handful of photos and was bowled over by how precious the place was. It will go down as the cutest and most colorful village I've ever been to in Ireland. Here are some photos I took:






From there I headed over to Cork, but not before passing through another adorable village. I actually drove through and a few minutes outside of town I was still kicking myself for not stopping to take photos. So I turned around and caught these photos of Ardgroom:





So cute, right? And really, so bright and colorful and cheery. I loved both of these villages so much and am glad I went the long way to see them.

My lunch with Jen was delightful and delicious and I loved meeting Harry:


Overall, it was a great three days/two nights away. I powered through the anxiety and discomfort of being alone. I resisted the urge to cut the trip short by a night. And I got to see some more beautiful places in this country I love so very much. 

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Tuesday, June 12, 2018

This is 39 (Month 8, Check-in 1): All About Those Stairs

Over Memorial Day Weekend, I decided to just go for it with my stair walks. And by go for it, I mean finish all 17 remaining over a four day period. What can I say, I am my father's daughter: if it's worth doing, it's worth overdoing.


WHAT WAS I THINKING? 

I was thinking how I didn't want to have any more weekends this year devoted to completing stair walks. I was thinking how I didn't want to have more physical activity required of me in addition to my half marathon training and my three times a week resistance training goal. I was thinking that I could bang them out over a four-day period.

And I was right.

Crazy. 

But right. 

Friday, May 25th

Thanks to Heather, I got in two walks before work even started.

Walk #14- Magic Gas- 511 steps over 2.5 miles.
Walk #17- Fellowship Park- 148 steps over 1.5 miles 
Out of the two of these, my favorite was the second walk. Although we got lost, we saw some really cool places that were complete off the beaten path and made me want to explore longer. Walk #17 is definitely one I'd do again. I ended up getting in 20,382 steps and covering 9.50 miles. Side note: I also joined my friend Ivette for a Santa Monica stair walk after work. So that's why my step count was so high. #bonkers (I know.) 

Saturday, May 26th

This is when things started to get out of control. I decided to do three walks before meeting a friend and her parents for breakfast at 9:30 a.m. in Brentwood. So I got up super early and drove to the other side of town where I did these three stair walks in Silver Lake:

Walk 16- Allesandro Loop- 700 steps over 2 miles
Walk #19- Silver Lake Circles- 370 steps over 2.5 miles 
Walk #20- Sunset Junction Loop- 305 steps over 2 miles
Of the three of those, my favorite was walk #19. I didn't realize I'd be seeing the stairs painted like a piano so that was a fun surprise. And then the neighborhoods I walked in were really nice and some of them had super impressive gardens.

After breakfast I somehow talked Steve into going back to Silver Lake so we could do another walk together. We did this one: 

Walk #22- Coffee Table Loop. 268 steps over 2.5 miles.
I, of course, wanted to do another one. But Steve wasn't having any of it. So I ended up going on another walk- my 4th for the day- and really enjoyed it. Although, truth be told, my dogs were barkin'!

Silver Lake Terraces West- 190 steps over 2.5 miles
There were so many adorable and fun stairs and it made this final walk of the day so much more interesting and enjoyable. I ended up getting in 27,305 steps and covering 12.54 miles. 

Sunday, May 27th

I figured out at this point that I *only* had 10 more walks to go. The good news is the distance wasn't tooooo bad for all of them, so if I worked really hard I could probably make it work. So Sunday was the craziest day because I did six f'n walks. Here's what they looked like:

Walk #23- Astro Loop- 674 steps over 3 miles. 
Walk # 24- Silver Lake Terraces East- 762 steps over 2 miles
Walk #25- Swan's Way- 369 steps over 1.5 miles
Walk #26- Cove-Loma Vista Loop- 664 steps over 2.2 miles
Walk #28- Los Angeles River Loop- 115 steps over 3 miles
Walk #27- Silver Lake Court- 603 steps over 3.2 miles
My least favorite walk of the entire book happened on this day. It was Walk #28- the Los Angeles River Loop. In my mind, there's no reason it belonged in the book.

I had a lot of fun this day, although for sure my body was like "Molly. What in the hell are you doing?" The last walk was really hard. My legs were toast and there were a lot of up steps to climb. Somehow I persevered and miraculously got in all six walks! I ended up getting in 30,945 steps and covering 14.11 miles. 

Monday, May 28th

My body was tired when I woke up, but I got up in the 5am hour and made my way to the other side of town, again, for what I knew was going to be my final four walks of the book! Because I had been sharing all about my walks on Instagram, a friend reached out and said she wanted to join me. I snuck in one walk before meeting up with her and it was interesting:

Walk #38- Universal City- Happy Trail- 229 steps over 2.2 miles
Sandy and I met up at Griffith Park and I'm so glad I had company for this walk because it was the longest and hardest one of the day. It was also very pretty and a walk that I'd do again.

Walk #29- Griffith Park Loop- 463 steps over 3.8 miles
We got to see so much- beautiful Los Feliz houses and neighborhoods, Griffith Park, the Observatory and the Hollywood Sign. It was really nice. And while parts of it were challenging, it was great to have company! Thank you Sandy!

After we said our goodbyes, I drove to the other side of the park for my second to last walk of the day and of the entire book!

Walk #32- Fern Dell and Immaculate Heart- 193 steps over 2.1 miles
I loved the painted WHY on the sidewalk as I was starting my first walk. It was pretty accurate given all that I'd put my body through to finish the walks. This was not my favorite walk and I wouldn't do it again. There was one pretty stair case, but I couldn't take a good photo of it because I thought I was going to get eaten to death by a couple of dogs who lived in a house along that stair case. I was happy to be done with the walk, but there were parts of it that had me huffing and puffing. I don't need to say that my body was all "WTF?" But onward I went!

My final walk of the book brought me over near the Hollywood Sign. It was a perfectly fine walk, but I wouldn't do it again either. Just not all that interesting. If I had been more strategic about it, I would have ended on a really great walk. And I would have done it when Katie (who's joined me on a fair share of stair walks over the years) was in town. But alas, neither of those things happened.

Here's the final stair walk: 

Walk #35- Temple Hill- 108 steps over 2 miles 
It was a quick morning. With *only* four walks, I ended up getting in 26,559 steps and covering 12.22 miles. 

And this is how happy I was when I completed the book:

Completing this goal was bananas. I admit that. All told, over the four day long weekend I did:
  • 17 new walks (and my typical Santa Monica stair walk as well)
  • Logged 105,191 steps
  • Covered 48.37 miles
I have LOVED seeing the city of Los Angeles through this book. It remains my favorite way to explore the city and to show it off to friends who are visiting.

I look forward to continuing to do some of these walks, but I also look forward to, for now, putting my stair walks on the back burner so I can focus on my half marathon training and resistance workout goals.

Thank you for following along on this crazy adventure. I'm very happy to say that this goal is now complete- tracker updated! 

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