catchfoot SOME NOTES FROM LA SF OAK LON TOK NYC SBO

// Berkeley Half Marathon Report//

I’m not really sure what an official race report looks like so consider this format the mobile catchfoot-special.

*Pre Race*
I didn’t train as regularly for this race as I had the previous, summer season. Weekly mileage was between 10-15 miles at best at a never wavering 10 minute mile pace. Going into this race I decided I would not aim to PR, but just enjoy the challenge.

The night before the race I ate a healthy meal of creole food including étouffée and vegan jambalaya. A very bold move, I know. I felt awesome and energized the next morning despite having some residual soreness in my quads from running hills earlier in the week. I ate half an apple, had a huge cup of coffee, and was out the door by 7:30a for an 8 o’clock start time at Berkeley’s civic centre.

*Miles 1-2*
Cruised through downtown Berkeley. The weather was gorgeous: sunny and crisp. I wore a fleece band to cover my ears (wind tunnels) from the elements, and snuck some headphones underneath as well. Yep, for all of my ranting about music while running detracting from the experience, I decided to listen to some tunes for this race. I’ve had a few more positive experiences recently with music and figured it wouldn’t kill me. Or, it would and I didn’t mind. People were laughing, chatting, instagramming, and I made a Vine.

*Miles 3-7*
Dear god, whose idea was this? We got out of the city and into a Bay frontage road which sounds lovely except for the fact that it was an out-and-back. We ran down 2+ miles, the whole way, staring into the faces of the glistening elite runners who had already started back on the opposite side of the trail. How awesome for them to see the sea of people they were better than: the 99% chugging along, 2-3 miles behind. Once I was running back, all I saw were old ladies striding and well, other people who were probably not equipped to run even a 5k. But whatever, good for them! After all, it was a gorgeous day and this was all in good fun! Up until mile 7 I was right behind the 2:00 completion pacing group— running much quicker than I had realized I could. Scared that I may actually up the bar for myself, I subconsciously fell back. I turned off my headphones and just listened to the sounds of feet pummeling gravel and my own huffing along the bay shore.

*Miles 7-10*
The best part. Here, we ran along the water, on narrow trails. Probably too narrow, but we made it work. I saw one woman stop to pull off a toenail but otherwise nothing to report. Calm, steady, enjoyable.

*Mile 11*
More switch backs. There really is nothing worse than running down and having to turn around. So much fertile earth to pound, why not just elongate the course? Now behind the 2:10 pacers.

*Mile 12*
Gravel. All loose gravel. It was worse than running in sand because you could easily roll an ankle. Thankfully no one was injured.

*Mile 13*
The cruelest mile. The course had been flat up until this point and some people approached the enormous hill at the end of the race as a welcome challenge. Me? Not so much. My quads had started to ache and my knees buckled at the sight. But I literally closed my eyes, flapped my arms, and powered through, keeping pace. Immediately after the hill climb, we descended and actually finished the race downhill. The clock said 2:19 and I was like, yeah… I figured. But then remembered I was 3 of 5 waves and actually started ten minutes later! So my final time was :2:10… almost a minute better than my last race. I am nothing if not consistent, eh?

Melbs and Nala were waiting for me at the finish line. We walked the beach afterward, met up with so friends for beer and macaroni, rode bikes and had a joyous celebration.

*Overall*
Good inaugural event. Super well organized, and beautiful course. Was definitely more trail running than was advertised, and the switchbacks were unnecessary. I’m pleasantly surprised with my time.

Today, I’m walking as though I have wooden legs.

My next race is in January, at Disney. Maybe I’ll go for a PR? Or maybe not!

My heart is broken. Take me back to the good old days!

My heart is broken. Take me back to the good old days!

(Source: davinowsky)

On this day last year, I told @mmelbs that I would run all the way around Lake Merritt, not really believing it myself.

Right now, I’m standing in the exact spot I #selfied myself at 9 months ago, after running in the rain for the first time.

Two half marathons down and two to go. I’m still not very fast. But I’m still running.

// The final countdown//

It’s been a while since I last posted here. Let’s chalk it up to my being busy and a tad overwhelmed. We are just five days out from the wedding, four weeks home from a trip to India, three days recovered from hosting my future in-laws, about to leave on a two day road trip… all while packing up to move next week!

I know this is a lot to do at once, but believe it or not, this level of stress has been my “new normal” for so many months that I am a little worried about what I’m going to do once this is all over. In the past three weeks I’ve actually been in search of MORE major stressors. I didn’t realize what I was doing at first, but with enough people pleading me to “calm it down” I’m starting to see a scary trend emerging: if I have a free day, I’ll squeeze in a weeks worth of plans. I’m addicted to being busy.

Someone warned me that after my wedding I may go through a postpartum depression. I hope she was wrong, but it seems conceivable. As such, I have a roster of weekend projects to complete in our new house and I’m very excited to be busy AT HOME, which is a distinct improvement, right?

Anywho.
Here are some more standard headlines that I should have blogged in the past couple of months:

- Why I trained for three months with a fancy running group but bailed on the race

- How I slowly (and finally) lost the 20lbs I gained as a less secure young adult

- Time Travel: Mumbai, Hong Kong, Frankfurt, Seattle, Portland, New York, San Francisco, and LA in four weeks

- How to double your wedding costs without realizing it

- How I’ve grown to love Public Speaking

- Everyone is having babies now

@mmelbs’ awesome co-workers at @chroniclebooks threw him a surprise wedding party. So much love they had to add pages to the card!! Thanks, guys! #melbyfoot

@mmelbs’ awesome co-workers at @chroniclebooks threw him a surprise wedding party. So much love they had to add pages to the card!! Thanks, guys! #melbyfoot

After reading Shantaram I had to come here! It is definitely an international hot spot for travelers and actually has great Indian food. The best part though, is that there are casting agents waiting outside for “American looking” people to cast as extras in Bollywood films. We had to say no to the 12 hour commitment. Can you image though?! (at Leopold Café)

After reading Shantaram I had to come here! It is definitely an international hot spot for travelers and actually has great Indian food. The best part though, is that there are casting agents waiting outside for “American looking” people to cast as extras in Bollywood films. We had to say no to the 12 hour commitment. Can you image though?! (at Leopold Café)

// Operation Bear Hunt: Complete//

Night seven of our hunt, we go out around 9:30 per usual, lay out the cage in a dark area between his two favorite houses in Preservation Park, and go sit on our bench to wait.

About ten minutes go by and we hear Bear meowing in the distance. He is across the street and sitting on the sidewalk watching us. We remain cool and just sit and talk to him: “Hi Bear! It’s good to see you, too, Buddy!” After ten minutes of this back and forth, Mike slowly stands up and inches towards him. I mean, literally inches per minute. He crouches down to his knees once he reaches the other side of the street so as not to scare the cat away and eventually he is just sitting right next to Bear.

I remain seated, heart racing, on the bench across the street. I can’t see Bear, but Melbs looks like he is petting him on the ground. This couldn’t be! Bear has run away from us each night and imagining him letting anyone pet him is breaking my brain. Apparently we wore him down… or he was worn down? He LIVES to be petted and I couldn’t believe he had survived so many weeks without human contact, to be honest.

Anyway, next thing I know, Melbs is cradling Bear in his arms. GASP! I start hyperventilating, crying, running. Melbs shouts to “go get the trap, let’s go home!!” so  run back into the dark alley, grab the wire cage, tuna and sardines flying everywhere. I run as fast as I can back to Melbs, who is still peacefully holding and petting Bear. And then something changed…

The sound I was making with the metal cage, the sight of the cage… my fast moving… all freaked him the fuck out. He wriggled around, claws out and twisted himself out of Melb’s grasp. OH FUCK! We were going to lose again! Mid-air, Melbs grabs him by the scruff of the neck and Bear starts clawing all around, ripping into his forearms, and biting his hand. Panicked that he’d drop him, I take off my coat and try to cover Bear in my coat. As soon as I put my hand/coat near his head he must have twisted around and grabbed ahold of my hand with his mouth.

The bite into my finger was slow-motion. I could feel the thickness of his tooth ripping into my flesh, into my finger nail bed. I screamed like I was being stabbed. All the while, Melbs held on to Bear and we got him wrapped up. We shoved him into the cage and looked at each other: Bear wasn’t moving and we worried we had hurt him stuffing him inside. "fuckfuckfuck" We ran across the street, into our building and slid into the elevator as a neighbor was going in. My hand was bleeding all over the place, Mike was holding a tattered cage with something wrapped up inside, unmoving. Naturally, I made small talk with the neighbor and apologized for the awkward scene.

When we got to our apartment, we took the cage upstairs, locked ourselves in the bathroom and pulled Bear out, still wrapped in cloth. He came out easily, looked around, let out a meow, and started drinking out of the toilet like nothing had happened.

During the next few minutes while we washed our wounds in the sink, Bear poked around, found his food bowl, his litter box and started rubbing up against us, purring. Again, like nothing had happened at all.

After taking ourselves to the ER where I got X-Rays on my finger and found out he’d bitten right through, we collected our antibiotic RXs and went home. Bear hasn’t left our sides since. He slept with us last night, curled up next to Nala. And as usual, pawed at my face this morning at 6am.

That is the end of the story, I hope. Thanks for following along. Your support has meant the world.

Late night update since I am wide awake… after 7 consecutive nights, we finally caught Bear. Not with the trap, but with our bare hands. It look Melbs about 20 minutes to creep up on Bear slowly enough to not freak him out, and I think building up the trust these past few days have really helped. When Melbs got close enough, he pinned Bear to the ground and grabbed him!

As soon as I saw him holding the cat I sprang into action, ran to collect the trap and started running towards Melbs and Bear. When Bear saw the cage I was holding… HE FREAKED OUT. Like demonic. He started thrashing around and ripped open Melbs’ forearms. I tried to cover Bear with a jacket and as soon as my hand was close enough, he chomped down. HE BIT THROUGH THE BONE IN MY FINGER!

I will spare you the details, but we’ve gone to the ER, are on antibiotics and I’ll be in a split for a while. We are all home and well now. Bear adjusted to his old environment immediately and has been eating for the ast 30 minutes. Currently, he is watching TV while I type this.

It’s literally like it never happened. It was all a dream to him, I’m sure.

Late night update since I am wide awake… after 7 consecutive nights, we finally caught Bear. Not with the trap, but with our bare hands. It look Melbs about 20 minutes to creep up on Bear slowly enough to not freak him out, and I think building up the trust these past few days have really helped. When Melbs got close enough, he pinned Bear to the ground and grabbed him!

As soon as I saw him holding the cat I sprang into action, ran to collect the trap and started running towards Melbs and Bear. When Bear saw the cage I was holding… HE FREAKED OUT. Like demonic. He started thrashing around and ripped open Melbs’ forearms. I tried to cover Bear with a jacket and as soon as my hand was close enough, he chomped down. HE BIT THROUGH THE BONE IN MY FINGER!
I will spare you the details, but we’ve gone to the ER, are on antibiotics and I’ll be in a split for a while. We are all home and well now. Bear adjusted to his old environment immediately and has been eating for the ast 30 minutes. Currently, he is watching TV while I type this.
It’s literally like it never happened. It was all a dream to him, I’m sure.

// Bear Hunting//

We have been stalking our cat Bear for the past five nights. Yes, we “found” our missing cat… sort of.

Bear escaped our massive apartment building and *somehow* found his way down six stories to the ground level. Despite numerous attempts, fliers, and phone calls, we hadn’t seen him in almost a month. Then, last Wednesday a neighbor called to say they saw a small black cat in the park across the street.

At first I begged Melbs not to go over there. It was going to be yet another disappointment and I was just coming to terms with the loss and ready to move on. But he insisted, and went out into the night alone. About ten minutes later I received a text message, “I just saw him.” And my heart leapt. Still, not wanting to get my hopes up yet again I replied, “are you sure?” And he said, “100%”.

It took me about 3 seconds to fly myself out of the building— ill fitting pajamas, no shoes, clay mask on face. I tip toed into the park myself and Melbs and I sat silent, waiting to see Bear again. About twenty minutes passed before he peeked his little head out of the bushes across the way and gave a little meow. He was looking right at us… he knew who we were.

We didn’t know whether to sit still or make a move, so we sat for a minute and then when he didn’t approach us we slowly stood to walk towards him. He ran. And we didn’t see him again that night.

Seeing Bear again was like seeing a ghost. As I said, I had just come to terms with losing him and had recently packed away his food bowl and cat box. I had started to remember the positive things: at least we got to experience raising a kitten, it’s kind of nice not being pawed in the face each morning, I like not scooping poop out of a box…

But there he was, alive and well, right across the street from our home all these weeks! I was proud of him. He was clearly resourceful, able to hunt and keep himself alive and unharmed. I wondered if he tried to come back home but just couldn’t find a way back into the building. I wondered if he loved being out in the wild and that this was his plan all along?

Regardless, Melbs and I resolved to bring him home. So, we have returned each night in vain with food and are now armed with a humane cat trap stuffed with sardines, hoping to get Bear and restore him to our home.

It’s been difficult. Really difficult, and again, I’ve lost my cool. It’s incredibly frustrating to not be in control. Trying to rationalize your efforts with a cat is futile. He is scared, he is fast, and to be honest I’m not sure that he wants to come home.

Last night, after we laid the trap, we sat out of sight on a park bench… barely breathing and trying to keep quite, hoping to hear a “SNAP!” You could hear a pin drop in downtown Oakland. All of the sudden, we hear a loud MEEEOW and to our left is Bear. He was so close, and looked so precious… just like when he was my baby at home. We didn’t move a muscle and he meowed a few more times and then just as quickly as he showed up, he scampered away not to be seen again.

What was he telling us? To leave him alone? That he knew who we were and wanted us to try harder for him?

One thing is for sure, he is smarter than the average cat. He won’t go near the cat trap… I’ve done a ton of research on catching difficult felines and this process could take weeks. It has been all-consuming and it may just be the beginning.

It’s a comical scene, Melbs and me. Each night we get ready for bed but then around 9pm we pack up our cage, some stinky food for the cat, a big blanket and slink out of our building on a mission. Our neighbors inquire about last nights attempt, and the park security guards always give us a thumbs up when we sneak behind the locked park gates. We are the craziest cat people you know.

For us, this experience has been stressful but has also brought us closer together as a couple. With wedding planning, heaps of travel, and demanding jobs, Melbs and I haven’t spent so much time together in months. Whatever the outcome of our Bear hunting, I know that this is just another colorful part of life and we were meant to live, love, and learn through it.

Wish us luck tonight…

Weekend in review, twenty second edition:

Flew up to Santa Rosa for wedding planning activities (see goblets), flew back down to Oakland to get a cat trap from some craz-o (more details when I have them to share), lots of sardines, and finally a break at a friends pool. Thank goodness.

Weekend in review, twenty second edition:

Flew up to Santa Rosa for wedding planning activities (see goblets), flew back down to Oakland to get a cat trap from some craz-o (more details when I have them to share), lots of sardines, and finally a break at a friends pool. Thank goodness.

when a tweet won't cut it