11 July 2011

2 years later...

34 Kilometers.
I woke up in the late morning today, eyes still a bit blurry for a long night of work on the computer. With rain pattering on my window I prepared myself in the old familiar way: short shorts with a debit card in the back pocket, worn out Adrenalines on the feet, and a t-shirt with a cherished line cutting through a map of Europe. "Yeah, this is about to happen," I thought for a moment before taking the first step into the rain. I've yet to become completely accustomed to the Swiss landscape, and my legs felt a bit like rubber as I powered up the Uetliberg on the southwest side of Zurich. As thunder rolled above me, I briefly pondered the likelihood of my getting struck by lightning. It was going to be a long run to Zug, but I smiled as I recalled being in this same place almost exactly two years earlier. "Bring it on."
I guess there's some catching up to be done, so I'll try to make it quick. To pick up where we left off, I was at my dad's ranch until about this time last year, where I worked, ran and drank as much as one should when living in the country, all with the company of my good friend Jake. During this time, I also grew a ridiculous moustache. In mid July, we packed up all my things from the west coast, and took a very slow road trip back across the country, where I began to get settled into my place in Princeton, NJ. The remainder of the summer was spent doing an excellent combination of renovating, unpacking, and running like a maniac. School started in September, and all in all it has been just about what I expected: a very small but well-rounded class (only 13 of us!), long hours in the studio and a good amount of juggling priorities. The first month was especially hard, as I made my best attempt to stay well rested while intensely doing studio work and getting in the last month of preparatory training for my first "official" marathon.
In October (10-10-10!) I raced Chicago, and with much credit due to my friend and fantastic coach Jon Clemens, everything came together surprisingly well. I crossed the line in 2:25:44 to come in 44th overall and really couldn't be more happy with the way it went. After the short weekend trip, I was back to school for more crazy projects, and of course, more running.
The winter in NJ was a rough one, as snow kept me entirely on pavement for about 4 months...but I had some good breaks, including a trip to the ranch for Christmas, a week without electricity in an island in the San Juan's and a half-marathon PR in Carlsbad, California. Somewhere along the line I also managed to meet my long-time goal of running sub-15 minutes in the 5k (Photo Above)...and grew an even more ridiculous moustache (now gone, again).
My school work has been engaging, and I've been really free to play around with the things I love, integrating more electronics hacking and computer science into my "architecture" projects. Towards the end of the spring, I got in contact with the research group of Gramazio & Kohler at the ETH in Zurich (I had visited them on my run!), and through a scholarship provided by the ThinkSwiss program gained the possibility of going to Switzerland for summer research.
With my first year of graduate school under my belt, I can now say quite happily that I'm living in Zurich for the summer and enjoying every minute of it. Apart from being so expensive, this place is really a dream: mountain trails in every direction, lakes and rivers for swimming, and all that a good city has to offer. My job is also incredibly rad: I'm working with a big robotic arm that can drive around and lay bricks, programming it to follow my hand and build walls where I indicate (and that's only the start of it!).
Anyways, that's about it in summary. It's getting late here, so I think I'm going to hit the hay. I had a bit of nostalgia today running to Zug and swimming at the same dock on the same lake I ran to two years ago. My trip has defined so much for me, and it seemed so strange to just step out the door and relive a section of it.
I hope the last year has treated you well as well, and look forward to more updates soon...I'm back in Europe!

18 comments:

  1. I am gonna guess that you are in the yellow tank? (#30)... I followed you awhile back on your trek, you amaze me!.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Welcome back. I also followed your original run, and am also in Switzerland (but a wee bit outside of Zurich).
    Enjoy. Switzerland in the Summer is amazing (but then so is Switzerland in the Winter).

    ReplyDelete
  3. Haha, yep. No. 30. Thank you both!

    ReplyDelete
  4. welcome back! I am an aussie in Amsterdam that followed your run and was absolutely inspired by it...and my brain keeps ticking over with the last sentence of your previous post...what lies between Amsterdam and St Petersburg.....now that...wow...

    But enjoy being back in EU and living the high (and high priced!) life here - Switzerland is fairy tale beautiful.

    ReplyDelete
  5. YAY Ryan blogs again! And is back in Europe and Zug no less!! Love seeing how you are and Zug/Zurich is amazing.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hey, good to hear from you and welcome back to Europe. Make sure to say hi if you pass through Frankfurt!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Great to read your update! I had friends running Chicago and I saw your results - I wasn't surprised! Keep up all your great work and enjoy your summer back in EU. And (not that you need to hear this) keep flashing that great smile!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hey Man, nice seeing you're still kicking! I've been out of hospital since a couple of years now and am back doing Kung Fu, Tai Chi, Pakwua, Gym and with some luck I'll also get back running!
    I still need your skills for that house of mine :)
    Sasa (Sasha, Parma)

    ReplyDelete
  9. omg! so good to read this, i haven't logged into my blogger account in forever and i can't believe it has been two years!!! since i first stumbled across your blog!!!

    I think I was holed up visiting relatives out in the middle of nowhere Canada when I first found it, and I always loved reading it. The whole concept was very inspiring and the way you presented it always made it feel like readers were running right along with.

    I still can't believe its been two years!! thanks for the updates! The ranch/ridiculous mustache thing sounds like alot of fun! lol

    ReplyDelete
  10. Ryan's back in Europe! I just checked your blog last Saturday when I heard that a friend of a friend's is planning to run from London to ...(somewhere in Europe, I forgot), but the distance he plans to cover was something like your 2009 epic :) I sent him the link to your blog so that his friend can read and understand what's to come. Cheers!! :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hi,
    I have a quick question about your blog, do you think you could email me?
    David

    ReplyDelete
  12. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  13. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  14. If you really want to make a difference in your cars fuel consumption and want to take out maximum from surging petrol prices then you need to do your best to improve fuel efficiency of your car in the long run. The same is the case with energy saving as well. There are few specificcar maintenance measures to be followed in order to obtain the unobtainable.
    car maintenance measures

    ReplyDelete
  15. I am Mariam used every single spell worker on the internet, spent untold amounts of money and discovered they are all fakes...i was the fool though; doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. In the end, I decided that I wanted a tarot reading to know what my future held for me; I contacted a woman who lives locally to me and she told me about a man named (Priests Abija); he does not advertise on the internet, has another job for income, has no set prices, makes no false promises and refuses to help anyone that cannot be helped and even helps for free sometimes, he will give you proof before taking money. He is a wonderful man and he was the only person who actually gave me real results. I really hope he doesn't mind me advertising his contact on the internet but I'm sure any help/ extra work will benefit him.contact him here as +447053820826 or spirituallighthealing101@live.com He travel sometimes.i cant give out his number cos he told me he don’t want to be disturbed by many people across the world..he said his email is okay and he’ will replied to any emails asap,love marriage,finance, job promotion ,lottery Voodoo,poker voodoo,golf Voodoo,Law & Court case Spells,money voodoo,weigh loss voodoo,any sicknesses voodoo,Trouble in marriage,HIV AIDS,it's all he does Hope this helps everyone that is in a desperate situation as I once was; I know how it feels to hold onto something and never have a chance to move on because of the false promises and then to feel trapped in wanting something
    more.

    ReplyDelete
  16. European countries for me are the safest places to go to especially for seniors who are already eligible for a seniors travel insurance. They are the safest places on Earth.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Hello" thankGod for the wonderful healing spell power which Dr eziza render to my life which oracle support, i was been diagnosed with HIV-AIDS over 7years now which has lead me to unployment and loosing my relationship with my fiance after he heard that i am suffering from the VIRUS, i tried begging him to allow me stays with him, but he still insist on letting me out of his home, until a friend of mine on facebook from SOUTH AFRICA told me more about Dr eziza the great healer, that he is going to help restore and healed my diseased with his powerful healing spell, she send me of Dr eziza email address and i quickly contacted him, and he replied to after 30mins of my message that my disease is a little and minor disease, that he will solved the disease immediately only if i can accept all he requested from, i told him yes, because truly i know that " HIV-AIDS IS A WICKED AND DEADLY DISEASE I EVER KNOWS ". so i did all he want from me and suprisingly on friday last week DR eziza called me that my problems is solvesd that i should hurry up to the hospital for a checkup, which i truly really did, i comfirm from my doctor that i am now HIV-NEGATIVE AND NOT LONG +, I jump up and was crying heavily because truly the disease drive alot of things away from my life, my friends, my cousin, my fiance and relatives, but now since i was comfirm NEGATIVE- my lost friends and fiance has been back to me begging for forgiveness, i have forgiven them and now we are now best of friend. again i will say to Dr eziza that he is blessed and may the almighty God which i serve raise him and his family to the higher level in life. Thank and god bless. Please email DR eziza for healing and solution now at = drezizatemple@yahoo.com
    FROM U.S.A

    ReplyDelete
  18. Travelling to Europe at a cheapest cost is nothing new Europe Flight Deals Planning a vacation is a joyful experience whether it's with your family, friends or even if you're travelling alone

    ReplyDelete