20 + 2 Questions (Answered!)

So we still have this Liebster thing going on over here.  Next up is answer 11 questions from the person who did the nominating.

We’ll start with Jeano‘s questions (which she actually just stole from Logan).  Slacker.

[But, see, this whole Liebster thing actually works, though – because now I’m reading Logan’s blog, and I wasn’t before.  So Logan, those hits you just started getting from Singapore?  Those are from me!]

1. If you could have any job in the world, what would it be?
I’d want to run a research lab working at the interface between exercise and biochemistry to better understand how exercise “works”.   For example, the lactic acid debate: Is it really lactic acid that’s building up and causing fatigue? Is it something else? What’s breaking it down/carrying it away, and what exactly happens when we do tempo runs that makes us more tolerant/faster to process this exercise by-product (whatever it is)?

Ideally, my lab would also have lab meeting during lunchtime runs.  🙂

2. Do you have a bucket list? If so, what are some things on it?
Not a “bucket list”, per se – but I do have a “31 Before 31” list. I was actually inspired to start one by Efo over at Just Run With It. I think a yearly list makes so much more sense than a bucket list. I could procrastinate a bucket list for years – but with 31 things in one year, I have to get started right away!!

Here’s a peek at a few items from this year’s list:
Completed: Run a Ragnar Relay, Buy a breadmaker and use it 2x/week, Start a running blog (!!!), Take a photography workshop/class
Not Yet Completed: Get some road tires for my cyclocross bike, Read 1 book on investing, Go zip-lining, Take 2 camping trips in California (…and then we moved – so this one’s a wash for the year!)

Those are some sweet not-road tires you have there, Mr. Bike!

Those are some sweet not-road tires you have there, Mr. Bike!

3. Favorite book (right now or ever)?
Ever: To Kill A Mockingbird (Harper Lee) / The Prophet (Kahlil Gibran) / A Ring of Endless Light (Madeleine L’Engle)
Currently: Animal, Vegetable, Miracle (Barbara Kingsolver) / Willpower (Roy Baumeister & John Tierney) / Fitness Swimming (Emmett Hines) <— Very temporary; it’s a pretty old book, but I’m intrigued by some of the drilling he suggests

4. Favorite place you’ve traveled to?
New Zealand.

Hike on Fox Glacier, New Zealand

Hike on Fox Glacier, New Zealand

5. Dream trip?
Last year, my husband and I took a four month sabbatical and traveled all over the place: New Zealand, Singapore, Japan, Cambodia, Greece, Italy, Austria, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, England, and all across the US. I sorta feel like I already got my dream trip!

But goodness…that trip was supposed to “check-off” places on a travel list, but unfortunately, I’d love to go back to most of them. I’d love to do a series of the New Zealand Great Hikes one summer. We adored Athens, and really want to explore more of Greece. I think I could spend a month in and around Florence and the Italian countryside. Three days in London were pathetically insufficient, and a quick tour of southern England makes me eager to explore the rest of the UK. We’ve been tossing around the idea of going on a safari lately… And that doesn’t even TOUCH South America! We are also seriously considering a Japan trip this summer, and I’ve found some hikes in Hokkaido that look really awesome. So…yeah…

6. Favorite distance to run?
Just run for fun: 5-15 miles.
Race: Half-marathon, or anything on trails.

7. What race do you really want to do in the future?
I love this question! For now, every time I get an email about the Ragnar Trail Relays, a tear comes to my eye. But KMN and I are actually eager to do some racing in other parts of Asia, too.  Stay tuned…

8. Favorite season?
FALL. Moving on….
[Seasons are a sensitive subject since we’ve come to the tropics.]

9. What is your favorite snack?
Healthy: Hummus or Greek yogurt with honey and nuts
Neutral: Seaweed snacks!
Unhealthy: Brownies or chocolate chip cookies, half-baked, super mushy, and still warm from the oven.

10. If you could live anywhere, where would it be?
In the moment.

11. Sweet or salty?
Usually sweet.  Unless I need electrolytes…

Now, on to Green Girl Running‘s (can I just call you GGR forever, please??) questions:

1. At what age did you learn to ride a bike?
The normal age? Probably about 6 or 7, I guess?  It had a banana seat.  I was a child of the ’80s…

2. Have you ever broken a bone?
Possibly my nose, and definitely a metatarsal. You know how people say, “And I felt/heard it snap.”? Yep. That was me…

3. Are you a morning person or a night owl?

4. What was the first car you ever owned?
1989 (90?) Buick Skylark – with a blue velour interior. Oh yes, folks. A blue / velour / interior.

5. Do you prefer mountain or beach towns?
I love mud in my sneakers, but hate sand in my sneakers. So, mountains it is!

Tough Topanga 10K in LA, June 2012.

Tough Topanga 10K in LA, June 2012.

6. What’s your favorite weekend activity?
Friday Date Night with my husband, and relaxed workouts where I’m not stressed about what I have to do/be/find next.

7. Cat person or dog person?
I’ll play with both, and cuddle them if they’re yours…but honestly, you can take them all back home at the end of the day. My favorite pets are vermicomposting worms and Saccharomyces cerevisiae (yeast, for lab work and bread making).

8. What’s your proudest accomplishment?
If I weren’t so traumatized by the whole thing, I’d say it was getting my PhD. But there was so much negative stuff associated with that, I primarily associate a feeling of “relief” with that time. I’d rather be proud of something that really matters. So…maybe making long-distance
dating/engagement/marriage work for 6+ years.

9. What’s the nicest thing you’ve ever done for someone?
Breathing deeply and conjuring all the grace I can.

10. What’s the nicest thing someone has randomly done for you?
A friend-of-a-friend has recently helped me make some professional connections here in Singapore. No reason he had to do that, and he hardly knows me. I’m both embarrassed and humbled…

11. If you had to live one day over and over (like that movie Ground Hog’s Day) what day would you choose?
Quite possibly (sorry for the cliche), our wedding day. I got to marry my best friend – and we were surrounded by and lifted up by so many people that day.  Lots of friends and family traveled from all over to show their love, lift up our marriage, and celebrate with us. I was absolutely and completely overwhelmed by love.  What could be better, really?

New Jersey Wedding!!

New Jersey Wedding!!

Well then. I’m already over 1,000 words (I try not to go much beyond that, race reports excluded), so that’s a wrap for now.  Tune in later for a few blogs that I’ve been reading lately, and some questions you can answer yourself (blogger or not).

In the meantime, let’s get some positive mojo flowing for the end of the week:

What’s the nicest thing someone has randomly done for you lately?


12 thoughts on “20 + 2 Questions (Answered!)

  1. greengirlrunning

    Haha… YES! You can call me GGR forever 🙂 Your 4 month trip sounds absolutely amazing! Ragnar Trail Relays?! Didn’t even know that existed! Sounds waaaay better than the road relay… that I’m doing in May, though that one is super fun. Nicest thing someone has randomly done for me lately would be last September when Dean Karnazes ran up beside me in a half marathon and stayed with me chatting, offering advice and helping me to a PR. He also said he’d finish a couple seconds after me so I could tell everyone I know that I beat Dean K in a race 🙂 He so easily could have run right by me… I felt so honored that he hung with me.

    1. Holly KN Post author

      WHOA! I have a little bit of celebrity jealousy there! I guess there’s nothing like a little proximity to Dean to make you want to suck it up and gut it out, eh? 🙂

      And the road Ragnars are pretty fun, too – as it sounds like you already know. And I’m not sure the experience would be quite the same without arguing over directions in a van of 6 stinky runners at 3 AM! 🙂

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  3. Jean

    Haha yes, totally a slacker. And proud of it! Or at least, not nearly as embarrassed as I should be. And like you said, it introduced you to a fun new blog. Wins all around!

    Seaweed snacks aren’t healthy?! I figured that would be the healthiest thing you could possibly eat. One of my best friends is Korean and whenever I go over to her place there’s a stack of dried seaweed squares sitting out, and I’m afraid to say they really gross me out. She eats them like potato chips! Although now that I think about it, I love roasted kale… Whatever, seaweed tastes too sea-like.

    I would LOVE to hike in New Zealand. Such a wonderful place. Maybe when I live on the West Coast and the trip is, like, 20 hours instead of 24.

    I’m sorry to hear that getting a PhD was a traumatic experience! Makes me think I should be worried about what I’m getting myself into…

    1. Holly KN Post author

      I assume they’re pretty neutral. They’re pretty salty, but also have some other salt/mineral replacements (maybe I could just suck on them instead of drinking Nuun?); but they don’t really offer much else, nutritionally-speaking. I figure that, for someone who doesn’t have high blood pressure, they are pretty neutral. [*Not a nutritionist, though.]

      The first time I tried them, I thought they were gross. It took me another 8 years to actually try them again. Now, they’re like crack. Eat one…and I can’t stop.

      Don’t let my PhD experience stop you. The ONLY thing I would suggest is that you take a good hard look at why you want the degree, and what opportunities it will open up to you. If it seems worthwhile, go for it!

  4. Logan @ Mountains and Miles

    I want to go to New Zealand and travel around in like a VW Bus and backpack and do all sorts of fun things so badly!! Zach and I have talked about making it our honeymoon trip (once we eventually get engaged and then married, ha…baby steps).

    My sister just got accepted to a PhD program for Epidemiology. I’ve always wanted to go get my Phd, but I did my MA right after undergraduate, so after 6 years (plus 13 years as a kid) of school, I was ready for a break. It’s definitely still an option for the future, though!

    1. Holly KN Post author

      Down there, they call it “freedom camping”! I think that’s what we want to do the next time we go! 🙂

      Don’t get me wrong – I’m actually not against PhD programs. I AM against people going into PhD programs without seriously considering their potential benefit/gain from them. And I happened to have a mediocre experience – but I wouldn’t try to dissuade anyone who’d thought it through thoroughly and was ready for the commitment! [Ha. Put that way, it sounds kinda like what I’d say about marriage!]

  5. Efo

    Oh man, New Zealand is definitely on our travel list. One day! I’m so flattered that my life lists inspired your 31 before 31! Get it gurrrlll

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