31 May 2010

One Year Update

It's been over a year since I arrived in Europe with a big grin and a pair of running shoes...but that day, and the 133 that followed, still seem so recent. Every day, I'm reminded of the experiences I had out on the road: I can hardly get through a conversation without some anecdote coming to mind...of a place I visited, of something I learned, of a lifestyle I was exposed to, or of a person I met. I hope my mind will always remember these things, just as my muscles remember every time I lace up my shoes and head out for a run. I think the reminders will always be there...although some will surely (and in some cases, hopefully) fade away: so far though, I just can't seem to lose this backpack tan. Ridiculous as it seems, it has been there constantly since my trip, even though I've only very recently been on another run with my backpack.

One of the many things I have missed is this blog, so I thought I'd come back and give a long overdue update on how things have been going since I returned to my "normal" life in the US of A...here's the compressed version:

I spent some time with my family on the west coast, and shortly afterwards caught a plane back to New York City. Once there, I took a job working for an artist to pay the rent while I worked on my graduate school applications. I found an apartment and moved my things out of storage (finally, a larger wardrobe!) and got back to basics (or back to the grind, depending on how you see it). I kept up running around 70-80 miles a week, despite living in one of the worst places for running ever (New York is great...Bushwick, Brooklyn sucks). I at least had a massive supply of chocolate milk powder always waiting for me...

The combination of relatively "bad" runs (I did get out and go on some good ones a couple times a week...with people!) and living in a room with no windows/sound insulation turned me bored and halfway nocturnal for a while...but after some months, things started falling into place and the change did me some good. I was accepted to Princeton's architecture program, and will be spending the next three years working to gain my Master's there. To celebrate the change, and to make the physical transition from one school to the other, I went on a three-day, 75-mile run from Columbia in Manhattan to Princeton, New Jersey with the same trusty setup I used when I was in Europe (hence the backpack tan re-boost). I also recently ran a PR in the New Jersey half marathon on a very hot day...and as a result, am now in the very elementary stages of training for the Chicago Marathon in October...my first "real" marathon. These exciting bits of news happened so recently and close together, that writing them so briefly doesn't really seem out of place...I just saved you the relative feelings I went through by not typing a thousand lines of ellipses at the beginning of this paragraph...

Two weeks ago, I suddenly moved all my things back into storage and took a greyhound bus to Pittsburgh. I met my oldest brother there and together we hit the road in the '68 Corvette that my dad bought back when it was new. I got a flat top haircut and made my first weak attempt at a mustache so that we'd look era-appropriate as we drove west along "Route 66." It was a great trip, and despite some engine troubles, we made it to California in about a week...driving about the same distance I covered on foot last year.

Now I'm with my dad again, hanging out and working at the ranch...in the same place I was the last time I made a post to this blog. I'm back to running on mountain roads, enjoying the fresh air and gasping for it at this high altitude. Two days ago I got caught in a hail storm during my run and had a pretty painful uncovered four and a half miles getting back home. The weather looks like it's starting to clear up though, and I'm looking forward to a good month or so here before I head east again in July.

As to the future of this blog, I must admit that I've had many thoughts of a revival...but I don't know if or when exactly that could happen. I do keep finding myself on Google maps, examining what lies between Amsterdam and St. Petersburg...

I hope you've been doing well, and until next time...happy running!

24 comments:

  1. Ryan,
    Thanks for the update.
    Exciting news about Princeton :-)
    Take Care.
    Katarina

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  2. Thanks for the update. You've been missed. As for google maps take a look at London to Lviv

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  3. Wow!, Its great to see your post again!. You have been busy, btw have u thought about a cross country run?? maybe to Cali????

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  4. Hey Man, you know Leiden is still around the corner from Amsterdam. good luck with everything.

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  5. I don't think I ever commented last year as I read along, but I am still talking about your adventure. I just told someone about you last night, so your experience obviously made a lasting impression. Happy Year Anniversary! Congrats on Princeton! Keep the blog and the adventures up somehow. Thanks!

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  6. Thanks for posting! I was driving today and thought, "I wonder what Ryan is doing now!" Good thing you posted because I was wondering. Good luck with your next step in life!
    -Jessie

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  7. Keep up the great running tours and great adventures. It can still be done.

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  8. So happy to hear from you again! Congratulations on your acceptance into Princeton. I hope you do decide to do another European run.

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  9. Glad you came back and gave us a update. Still one of my favorite blogs of all time.

    Logan
    Ithaca, NY

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  10. I also have wondered what you were up to in the past year. And I also bring up your blog as a conversation subject from time to time, i.e., "this guy ran from amsterdam to athens in a few months and he also likes chocolate milk." It's pretty neat to imagine how many people around the world have discussed your penchant for running.

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  11. Hey Ryan!
    You must visit Greece again to run in the original Marathon race.

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  12. So glad to get the full story. Your cryptic email about a flattop haircut, sketchy mustache and a convertible as a reason for not drinking a bunch of gin in the park left some lingering questions. It's pretty funny that you'll be the stable one now and J&I will be on the move! We won't have much in the way of internet access, so updates will be few and far between, especially compared to your posts last summer. If you want to come to Hawaii anytime between December and April, let me know. We'll be there mooching off my parents and possibly running the Honolulu marathon.

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  13. I've been wondering what you have been up to--thanks for filling us in and perhaps starting the anticipation of an Amsterdam-St. Petersburg run in the (distant?) future. Good luck on your studies!

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  14. Nice topic in a useful blog )
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  15. I was so excited to see that you wrote something new!!! Glad to see things are working out wonderfully for you and keep us updated!

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  16. Hi Ryan,

    I just was checking some internet stuff and thought to have a look at your blog. You've updated it, I am glad to know everything is fine with you! Here in Italy things are going well too (and in Belgium too, my parents are becoming grandparents at the end of July - my sister is pregnant)
    Fabio and I made a two-week trip around the west coast, from Los Angeles to San Francisco, heading to the several national parks the States are rich of. It was amazing and we really really enjoyed!!! One of the best trips I ve made so far. We wish you all best and let us know when you 're graduating! Lieze

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  17. Hi Ryan - I second Logan of Ithaca on the favorite blog :) Was also wondering last week if you have posted anything new. Am happy to hear you're in Princeton for the post-grad and am equally inspired to start my training for the half marathon in Singapore, this December. Keep running and keep that 1000-kilowatt grin on you!!! :D

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  18. Great update, your year is full of fun and adventure. Great job!!!

    zbsports

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  19. A little late catching up, but thanks for the update! Hope all is going well at Princeton and good luck in Chicago, if that's still in your plans. Keep us all posted every now and then!

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  20. Ryan, I've been thinking about you the last few days. Came to the blog and found you posted back in May- wow doesn't seem like it was a year ago (year and half now). So glad you're well!

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  21. I've started my miserable grad school life when you started running~Following your blog while i myself proceed through my journey. When you finished, I finished half. Now, my journey almost end as well~ all the best. Good luck!

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  22. Why have you stopped blogging, Ryan? Looking forward to seeing you write.
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