I’m training for my 20th marathon – Marine Corps Marathon 2015 – as part of Team Semper Fi. I welcome your support! https://runsignup.com/gomogo
(And promise running shenanigans will resume here soon)
I’m training for my 20th marathon – Marine Corps Marathon 2015 – as part of Team Semper Fi. I welcome your support! https://runsignup.com/gomogo
(And promise running shenanigans will resume here soon)
Snow on palm trees. What?
It took me nearly 5 years between marathons #13 and #14 – you’d think I’d have run (err, shuffled) right home and written the post about my Great Comeback Marathon at Myrtle Beach. Alas. No.
Now, in the wake of all that has happened in the past two weeks, it seems pretty anticlimactic, not to mention irrelevant, to write about a marathon from over two months ago. But there are some highlights to revisit, and I suppose they are worth revisiting.
First, leading up to the race, I made sure to do all the right things: I worked 10-12 hours a day, I didn’t exercise at all, and I got super stressed-out in the office (see items 1 and 2), so I was a joy to be around. Oh, and my birthday was Fat Tuesday, so I celebrated by not going out and by watching the State of the Union like the DC nerd I am. (Don’t feel too bad. I celebrated early, on Sunday, with Bon Jovi and drinks with friends at my homeboy Lincoln‘s bar.)
But the day of departure finally arrived, I deleted access to my work email from my phone, and I made my way to meet Nikki at the airport. We boarded the bus to our teeny tiny plane, only to realize Cokie Roberts was on board with her husband (she helpfully pointed out a place for Nikki to place her bag). Now, Cokie is on the board of my organization, and I’d just had a bad week…so for the purposes of conversation my place of work became “Safeway.” I was pretty sure she wasn’t running the marathon, but that would have been particularly awesome.
We flew into Myrtle Beach and took a cab to our hotel. Unfortunately it reeked of smoke. He took us on the short ride into town – and I began freaking out that I’d convinced 6 friends to run a race in Cancun; specifically, it looked like Cancun threw up. I had not been to Myrtle Beach since 1976, and since I was 2 then, my memory wasn’t so good. Of course, I had to say this on Facebook…and (of course), when my post went up I found out a friend from growing up lived there, and I’d just insulted her city. Sorry, Brandi!
Myrtle Beach was an awesome race, because everything was very closely located. We stayed in the Sheraton, and the expo was in the convention center attached to the hotel, so we could walk to everything without even having to go outside. Priorities, though: Nikki and I convened with our NYC friends and went in search of food before doing anything else.
One of the people in this photo wearing stripes flew all the way from Switzerland to join us. (She’s crazy.) (Love you, Andrea!)
After lunch, we headed to the expo. No signage, but we just followed the fit-looking people.
Best part of the expo?
Baby tigers?! What do baby tigers have to do with a marathon? Not too much. But this race’s beneficiary was the The Institute for Greatly Endangered and Rare Species (T.I.G.E.R.S….get it?). More on that later.
We breezed through the expo, gave some money to service dogs-in-training (if you took out a dollar, they’d take it from you, and dump it in their charity’s bucket. Awesome party trick.)
Then we went in search of food again. Dinner time!
Traveling with my friend Ilse is like traveling with a personal concierge. She had done tons of research, scoped out good places to eat, and made reservations for nearly all of our weekend meals ahead of time. Even when we found a closer place, the reservation was magically switched – all I had to do was show up and eat. This is my kind of vacation! Dinner was Italian, and delicious, and ended with a birthday tiramisu for me (+ 3 days) and birthday chocolate something for Nikki (actual birthday).
We all went our separate ways, so we could set our alarms for (4 a.m.) an early-bird (6:30 a.m.) start time. Honestly it had been so long since I did a marathon that I couldn’t remember what to do. So I took a shower, laid out my clothes, and talked with Nikki. At some point I fell asleep, because next thing I knew the three alarms (and our wakeup call) were blaring and it was time to get up.
The good part about not remembering was that I also wasn’t very nervous. I ate my gross soy nut butter sandwich, had some coffee, and used my foam roller. The start line was about 3/4 of a mile away from the hotel, so we followed everyone else walking in the street. I peed behind a gas station, and Ilse, Phil and I lined up.
Then Bubbles started the race.
As we passed Ms. Bubbles, I thought she might be taking a poo, but she was just lying down in the median (the half-marathoners were separated from the marathoners by the median; the course is shared until about Mile 11). Also, as you can see from Ms. Bubbles’ backdrop, at 6:30 a.m. it was still dark. This reminded me a lot of running the Honolulu Marathon, where the race begins at 5 a.m.
So then what happened. Lots of running. 26.2 miles of it, actually. Ilse, Phil and I stayed together for the first 18 or so miles, and Ilse and me until after mile 20. The highlights, if you want to call them that, of what I remember:
The post-race food and goodies were excellent – soup, chocolate milk (better idea than reality, at least for me), Cape Cod potato chips, and who knows what else.
This is perhaps the most boring race recap I’ve ever written. I don’t even have a photo of all of us from the end, because I am too cheap to spend $30 on MarathonFoto to get one, and I haven’t seen Sandeep (who took one on his phone) since race day.
I really, really wish I could post them, but MarathonFoto is smarter than I am.
Anyway. Overall, Myrtle Beach is NOT Cancun, at least not in the wintertime. The people are exceptionally friendly, the food was good (and inexpensive) and we had a great time. If the most negative thing I can say is that “the cabbies smoked in their cabs,” well….I guess that worked out alright.
Once again, I am going to ponder…what could I run if I really, really trained? I am beginning prayers to the Keep Me Safe From Injury God now. Let’s see what happens!
My heart doesn’t even know how to process this, or where to begin. All of my Wellesley sisters know what I’m talking about. So does everyone else who’s ever gone to school in or near, or lived in or near, Boston. This day, so inextricably linked to who we are as a college, and to who I am as a runner. Who I am as a person.
I’ve long said Patriot’s Day – Marathon Monday – is my favorite day of the year. For 21 years it has been the brightest spot of the spring, the turning of mud season into spring, a day of celebration, and, once I moved westward, of internet tracking and fond memories, and finally, goals met and success.
In 1992, Marathon Day was the day after Easter. It followed Wellesley’s spring open campus weekend, when I decided, aw, hell, yeah, I’ll go to a women’s college. From the second I set foot on campus in June 1991, I knew I belonged there; it just took me ten months to accept it. I’d been running since I was 8, and the excitement of Boston and all its surrounding towns was palpable.
In 1993, my friend Karen and I ran our first half marathon together at Boston, as part of a college organized bandit plan. We took a van out to Hopkinton and ran back, ending just past Thunder Sports in the ‘Vil. At the time I didn’t think I’d done anything harder. Or cooler. And I’d yet to learn about writing up race reports, but how I wish I had documentation of what our emotions were that day! We thought we’d climbed Mount Everest, and we rewarded ourselves with ice cream. This was the epitome of “seemed like a good idea at the time.” My body, only vaguely prepared to run those 13.1 downhill miles, did not see dairy as a welcome introduction. I was savagely ill, stopping in bathrooms in Munger and Pomeroy on the long slog back up to Claflin, Whitney carrying my belongings all the way. I haven’t felt the same about ice cream again.
In 1994, I trained on icy roads with my friend Oana, my first running soulmate. Over miles and through a cold, cold winter, we poured out our hearts and deepened our friendship. While we knew each other well, how little we knew about training. Coolmax hadn’t been invented. We put on layers of sweatshirts, sweatpants, and socks. All cotton. We’d do our long runs westward, reversing the course, towards Natick and beyond, stopping at 7-11 to buy more water. Gels? Had gels been invented? I’ve no idea what, if anything, we ate. Race day came and again we took the van to Hopkinton, and ran back. No ice cream. Better experience.
Many friends know I struggled with an eating disorder for years, from late junior high through the middle of Wellesley. The summer of 1994, living at dear old Theta Chi on Beacon Street, with Oana as my roommate and a bevy of MIT boys as housemates, and a kick-ass therapist who finally had my number, marked the beginning of my recovery. Oana and I commuted to Wellesley together daily for our summer jobs. We continued to run, and she taught me to lift weights. I admired her, this strong, proud volleyball player who was not afraid of food in the way that I was, who was proud of her body and what it could achieve. The Theta Chis with whom we lived, who didn’t give food any emotional weight, and who ate whatever without a second thought, they taught me, too. I ran along the Charles, I ran on the course. I walked to Star Market in the Prudential and bought groceries and tried to comprehend how they wouldn’t kill me.
My recovery and Boston? Linked. You can do a lot on nothing, as I did slumming through high school cross-country races, running somehow just fast enough to get by and not kicked off the team out of Coach Bugg’s pity. But you cannot run a marathon on nothing. You have to feed your body, and without fuel, you can’t do it. I often wonder what kind of runner I might have been in high school, if only I’d eaten.
1995 marked Oana’s graduation year, and we resolved to run the entire marathon. We continued our runs together. I surrounded myself with strong, proud, athletic friends, and continued to learn how to trust my body and to eat. Six weeks prior to race day, I was diagnosed with a stress fracture. Of my femur, the largest bone in the body. (If you’re gonna do it, go big. I guess.) Though I’d been eating “normally” again for almost eight months, my body was not ready for the kind of pounding that 16-, 18-, 20- mile training runs produce. Into the water I went, doing long, boring aqua-jogs alone in Wellelsey’s pool while Oana slogged along alone on the roads through the rest of a dreadful winter. Two weeks before race day, I went back to Newton-Wellesley Hospital for a follow-up visit, where I asked my orthopedist if I could run. I’ll never forget his reply: “Maureen, I’m a medical professional. I’m not going to tell you it’s ok to run.” I countered (always a bargainer, me): “But will I do permanent medical damage if I run?” And he finally allowed that no, I would not.
So I ran. But I didn’t run the whole thing. I “compromised” and ran the last twelve miles, meeting Oana and Regan at the Boston Chicken in Wellesley Hills, just before the steep steep downslope to the Newton-Wellesley line. We passed Newton-Wellesley Hospital. Oana struggled up the hills. I ran on adrenaline steps in front of her, holding out my hand behind me, telling her to grab it, to follow me. We crossed the line on Boylston, bandits but still treated with unbelievable care, given our mylars and carefully shifted out of the lines, away from the medals. It was my first Boston finish line and I knew I’d be back, with a real number that I’d earned. We lay on Boylston Street, feet in the air, as my mom and aunt fetched us bagels and coffee.
1996 was my own graduation year, and marked the 100th running of the race. There was a lottery, allowing in a people who hadn’t qualified, and tripling the size of the field. I entered the lottery, but wasn’t selected. So for the first time, I didn’t bandit. I volunteered, earning my first Boston jacket as I served pasta to the masses at the Hynes Convention Center. I was honored to attend a weekend lunch hosted by Wellesley with the top women elite, from Uta Pippig to Tegla Loroupe, joining the captains of Wellesley’s varsity teams. On race day I stood on the sidelines for the first time, part of Wellesley’s storied tunnel, cheering the masses and tearing up at Dick Hoyt as he ran past, pushing his son Rick.
1997, was I there? Probably. 1998, I was working at Wellesley and living in Boston. My friend Julie was marking her own Wellesley graduation with the marathon. I ran from my apartment near Boston College and met her at the top of Heartbreak Hill, running her in to the end, using the same “grab my hand-behind me” technique of three years earlier.
I was weeks away from my own watershed, the core-shattering suicide of my dear friend Matt. I left Boston that summer, moving first to Colorado, then later on to California. I didn’t set foot on the course again until 2007.
I ran my first full marathon in December 2000, 6,000 miles away from Boston in Honolulu, finishing nearly an hour and 30 minutes slower than the necessary qualifying time. On my 9th marathon, on a cold, rainy day in Napa in March 2006, I finally qualified. On Monday, Ezra Klein’s excellent article gave it a name: I was a “squeaker,” sneaking in with just 58 seconds to spare. Just weeks away from that year’s Boston, I’d missed the window, and waited over a year to make my way to the official starting line.
A nor’easter meant the 2007 race was nearly cancelled for the first time in its 111-year history. My training buddy Kim and I laughed and shrugged and struggled through the day. It was far from pretty, but we did it, and (to her chagrin, I must imagine), I relived my college glory days over every passing mile. I was met along the way by friends Ryan and Ilse and my mom, all three of whom traveled just to support me. My aunts and cousins lined the course as well.
That fall I requalified at CIM with Ilse, shoring up my squeak by over two minutes in Sacramento, celebrating with Minnie, Jon, and Diana. I went back to Boston to run again in 2008, watched the Olympic trials, met one of my (then) heroes at a bar, and celebrated with my parents, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends.
It still wasn’t pretty. It’s harder than Ironman. But I was still living my dream.
That December I adopted my Turkey, love of my life, and chose the official Patriot’s Day for her made-up birthday; I only chose the “official” since “observed” marathon day changes year-to-year, and the vet needed a date for her chart.
In 2009, I could’ve gone back, my qualifying time still “good” for another use. But grad school and an empty bank account had the better of me, and I opted to do the Krispy Kreme Challenge instead. A fall and a torn tendon that November kept me out of the marathon scene. Surgery in 2012 and a slow recovery meant it was almost 5 years between Boston 2008 and my next marathon, the one for which I’ve yet to write a race report, Myrtle Beach 2013. I didn’t requalify at Myrtle Beach, but that wasn’t my goal. At almost 5 years out, I was happy to finish with my still tendon intact and standing upright.
When I saw a Wellesley friend post “prayers for Boston,” I was confused. I’d been tracking friends, and random blogger acquaintances all day, feeling sad I wasn’t there, but prayers? Had it gotten hot? A snowstorm? Why prayers? Boston.com was down, but the NY Times had enough of a snippet that I turned on the TV. I gasped in disbelief, and frantically started trying to reach my friends. It felt vaguely reminiscent of the early minutes of 9/11, trying to figure out if those we knew and loved were in harms’ way or safe. I sobbed as I dialed Minnie, and then her husband Jon. My own phone began lighting up with texts from friends near and far wondering if I was there, too. All the while I kept seeing more and more Facebook posts from friends I hadn’t even realized were there.
I’d wanted to go to Boston this year, to cheer on Minnie and Diana and celebrate their success with them, when they’ve given so much to me for the 12 years since we met. Instead I was diverted to “dog camp,” springing LizzieDog from the kennel for a week while my parents are gone for three. I knew relatively quickly that Minnie was ok, but no news of Diana for over two hours made my heart ache. I revisited her time splits, and studied the map of the final mile, trying to calculate how close she would have been. I know absolutely nothing of what it must have felt like to be there yesterday, to have been in a place celebrating joys and accomplishments, and have it taken away. When Minnie and I finally spoke live this morning, my heart broke for her pain, but it was also uplifted by her stories of the outpouring of generosity she, Diana, and everyone around them experienced.
How to describe what Boston means? The deep friendships formed while training, running, traveling and racing? The postcards of Wellesley and images of friends in the newspaper I’ve saved from our student days? The closest I’ll ever feel or be to feeling like a “champion,” high-fiving kids and drunken college students the entire way? The recovery and celebration of my body and soul from a soul-sucking and body-draining mental illness? The celebration and joy of humanity on perfect spring days? Every memory I have of this race, and this place, is so deeply intertwined with my closest friends, my family, and everything that I know and love. Boston isn’t the name of a city, or a race, or a course, to me. Boston is everything.
My first legal Boston in 2007 was the same day as the shootings at Virginia Tech, and afterwards, my friend Sarah – a Tech alum – shared with me her sadness that a place she loved so much and was such a big part of her life and so many happy memories would now be always associated with such grief.
Now I understand what she meant on such a different level. I have loved this place since I was born, and this race since 1992. My friend Jen said it well on Facebook, and I’m stealing part of it here: “Patriots Day remains to me the one day each year when everyone in Boston is just…happy. I love Boston, but it’s a city more often associated with the cold and gruff than the warm and fuzzy. Marathon Day is the exception. Everyone is your friend, everyone has a smile, and there’s a sense of all being part of something together.”
I don’t have the words. Those are the words.
Pray, run, peace. My memories are all about me, but for every one of me, there are hundreds of thousands more. The race will be run again. Boston will be ok again. The outpouring of support and warmth is wonderful. But the happiness, the unadulterated joy I felt for this race, and everything that Boston has been to me, those have been changed. Pray. Run. Peace.
Other excellent posts from some of my favorite writers that begin to capture what I want to say, in far fewer and far more poignant words:
I probably shouldn’t write that, because I know I’m totally jinxing myself.
I probably also shouldn’t believe in jinxes, but seriously, after the past few years of mishaps, wouldn’t you?
But maybe my spate of bad luck is over.
After the “can’t sit up” day with a bad back, and the resulting trip to creepy chiropractor and my fabulously awesome PT, I took the entire week off from running. I swam once (almost drowned), I stretched, and I did the elliptical. I even stopped Body Pump. And I didn’t run.
Instead of a long run, I drove 225 miles to East Bumblefudge, NC, to meet this sweet gal. Does she look familiar?
She might. Let’s look at it this way.
Since the week before Christmas, I’d been obsessed with “Lizzy” on PAWS of Hertford County’s website. Why? Miss Turkey came from PAWS (via a foster). This gal was 4 years old, and in all likelihood is Miss Turkey’s baby – and she’d been there for over 5 months. Who can say no to that sweet face?
My parents had considered adopting her, but decided they weren’t ready – my “childhood” dog, Sniffer, has been dead for almost 15 years. But several weeks later, they decided, well….maybe we’re ready. Let’s go meet her. And more importantly, let’s see if Turkey likes her.
Turkey and Lizzie didn’t seem to have an issue with each other, after a walk, and a romp around the shelter’s yard.
All good? Let’s drive 225 miles back, Lizzie in my parents’ car, and Turkey in mine. 450 miles in one day (with a back issue)(and one pullover by a cop that resulted in me needing to make a court appearance near Richmond on March 22) did not a happy camper make. But Lizzie farted the whole way home, so really, I think my parents had it worse.
Things did not continue quite so smoothly, Turkey got a gash to the eye, and let’s just say there’s now a behavioral therapist involved (for Turkey, not for me….though one for me might be cheaper and would not involve hot dogs and Thundershirts). As soon as they realize there is fun to be had together, we’ll probably be waxing nostalgic for these days.
One week later, I ran my three hours…quadratus lumborum survived. Then I got sick and stayed home for 4 days. Totally not related.
Despite staying home for 4 days, the next weekend I got doped up on sudafed and ran 16 miles with Flora and saw the fabulous Sweaty Emily out and about – shrieking “I know her!” as she ran by.
If you’re keeping track, this means my “training plan” consisted of approximately two runs a week for all of January, no Body Pump, and only one 20-miler. I know that it’s been nearly 5 years (58 months) since my last marathon, and that’s a dang long time, but even I remember that this is not the ideal way to do things.
Alternatively, I guess I could consider this a 6-week taper, chased with cheese.
Either way, this weekend’s gonna be…interesting. I’m bringing muscle relaxers and a jug of wine. Hope TSA lets me through.
Here’s why you shouldn’t plan: if you plan, it will go wrong.
Today marks one year since my ankle surgery, which commenced 8 weeks on crutches and 12 weeks of no driving – and included 1 month living with my parents and another living with my friend from work.
You want a reminder of how much can change in five years? Remember when this guy was a hero? Now rumor has it he’ll finally confess to Oprah in an interview tomorrow. (I am so, so curious as to whether/how she’ll respond, and if she’ll go all James Frey on him. I watched the James Frey interview and felt like I was in the principal’s office. Only worse.)
Training has been going insanely, amazingly well, which is (perhaps) why I have been loathe to write about it.
After the ridiculously windy and awesome Thanksgiving 5k, where I ran a time I hadn’t seen since I was a 16-year old, I started to up my “long run” miles. I ran 12 miles alone Thanksgiving weekend. It took me the entire day to make it out of my apartment, so I started looking for a weekend running group, knowing that it would only be getting darker, there’s no better way to waste a weekend than sitting around “thinking” about running, and that it’d be a lot more fun to run with friends.
The weekend after Thanksgiving I ran the Annapolis Half Marathon – my first half race since November 1, 2009 (the weekend before I wrecked my ankle). Annapolis was the only half I could find scheduled between December and February that wouldn’t require flying (shockingly, winter is not a super-popular time for halves on the East Coast). It required getting up at 3:55 a.m. and driving 45 minutes to – wait for it – Annapolis, but it was a great race and I would recommend it (in addition to a nice 1/4 zip coolmax shirt, we got nice coolmax hats). Mentally, I really wanted to do a half race to regain some confidence, and also to remember what it felt like to race for that many miles (it feels terrible). I also made a bunch of mistakes, which is the whole point of doing a test run. Apparently when running races in December on the East Coast, it is important to be in possession of a warm hat, or an earband. Fortunately, there was a vendor selling just these things in the tent before the start, so I bought one and was saved.
Proof I ran a race and wore sexy black earband:
I ended my streak (ok, two races, not exactly a streak) of running sub-8s and getting PRs, but I was happy with a 1:49-something (especially because it included a 1:30 potty break).
The weekend after that, I sucked up being “shy” and “afraid to talk to strangers” (ridiculous, given my profession), and went out to meet the DC Road Runners, who do a long run every Saturday. Guess what? They are nice. And it has been 1000x easier to get out of bed in the dark on a Saturday knowing there’s a group of people to run with – even if 95% of them are way faster than me.
Which brings me to my point. My “plan” was to run 3 hrs this weekend, as the first of my longest long runs before Myrtle Beach. I was going to do two or three three-hour runs; I’m a subscriber to “time on my feet” vs true mileage training, so I don’t really care how many miles it works out to be. Last weekend I ran 2:40 and took my first winter ice bath (terrible, terrible experience)(the ice bath, not the run), so 3:00 seemed pretty reasonable.
How poetic! My longest long run on the anniversary weekend of my surgery! Oh, I could hear the muses sing.
They’re not singing. They are snorting.
Earlier this week I tweaked my back, to the point I called in sick to work on Wednesday because I COULD NOT SIT UP. There’s no better way to feel your age.
Everyone had their theories – it was the 17.5 mile long run last weekend! It was Body Pump! It’s my stupid, OSHA-violating work set-up! It’s my mattress!
Maybe it’s all of the above. But that doesn’t help my back feel any better. I called, begged, and got into see the chiropractor I don’t much care for (and haven’t seen since the day before surgery last year), hoping that might help. He adjusted me, and it helped temporarily. But he also tried to get me to buy new orthotics, asked about my supplements (of course he has some of those to sell, too) and was generally creepy. I can’t take advil or any NSAIDs, so ice and stretching are the only things I can try.
I went back to work on Thursday, hobbled about, and begged the awesome PT to fit me into her schedule. Which she did, and helped 100x more than Creepy Chiropractor. On Friday I went back to CC again (desperate times, I’d agreed Weds to go again on Fri), where he tried to tell me I’d need to come back 3x a week for the next 5 weeks leading up to my race. (Yeah right, buddy. Don’t think so.) (Dr. Rabbetz I miss you so much, please move to DC and open a practice here!)
I felt better, and decided I’d try to run yesterday (knowing full well 3 hours was probably not going to happen). It didn’t. I ran with two of my new running buds for an hour before the group met at 8 – several weeks of running another hour AFTER everyone had finished had become demoralizing – and I felt ok for that – just a few twinges. But the second hour was badness, and I returned home before everybody else. 2:07 in the bag.
7# ice bath, tiger balm, lots of stretching, the entire new season of Downton Abbey, several glasses of wine later, and it’s still sore. It hurts to sit for more than 20 minutes, and it really hurts to get in and out of my car. (Let me introduce you to the quadratus lumborum).
So today, I found myself in the pool for the first time in almost two years, ready to aqua-jog for the first time in three years. I am sad to report it is still boring as all heck. After “running,” I swam another 10 minutes, and didn’t drown. Somehow my stroke count is lower than it used to be (go figure).
This week I’m laying off my beloved Body Pump. I’m stretching, I’m going to get up from my OSHA-violating desk every 20 minutes, and I’m going back to the pool. I just spent the entire Golden Globes broadcast looking for my mattress receipt (still under warranty!). I guess I’ll see what happens.
The good news? It’s not my ankle!
Here we are, 52 weeks:
A few years ago one of my favorite bloggers (Kristen @ The Frugal Girl) began a tradition of writing a list of 50 things for which she is thankful every Thanksgiving. So as not to taint her memory, she doesn’t review last year’s list until she is done. Now, lots of people have been writing “one thing a day” on Facebook this year, but I like the purity of Kristen’s 50. The first 10 are super easy. 10-30 takes a little bit more thought. But 30-50 – you really, really have to think about what you appreciate. Dig deep! It’s worth it.
This year marks Kristen’s 5th year of 50 Thankful Things. I know I did this myself two or three years ago, and was curious to see what I’d written (“escaping work at – ahem – ‘Walgreens’” comes to mind, so that would make it 2010). I was going to violate Kristen’s “rule” and review it, but I can’t seem to find it on this computer…so who knows where it has gone. Guess I followed the rule after all.
Anyway….behold, 2012. (In no particular order.)