One of my 2023 goals was to run my first 10K. A secondary goal was to run a 10K in under an hour. I accomplished both this weekend, coming in — according to the chip time — at 51:13. (My watch said I was faster.) It was fast, but the competition among women distance runners 50 and older is fierce, and I wasn't even top five in my age bracket. I'm a little disappointed in that, and I keep running through all the things I'll do differently the next time I do a 10K. Mostly, I hope the weather is nicer, as I didn't get to wear my "fast shoes" as it was raining and they have zero traction. The race started and ended on grass, which definitely detracted from my ability to get started and to "kick" at the end. I mean, I am thrilled with how well I did. My training partners kept asking me what my strategy was for the race, and I really had no idea what to say let alone plan for, as I had no idea what racing for 6.2 miles would feel like. (Mostly: it hurts.) "Don't go out too fast," was probably the best advice Ann Marie gave me, but even if one tries to rein it in, one still spends a ton of energy jockeying around runners at the beginning, and that's something I need to remember. This was, after all, only my sixth race ever. Next up: the half marathon.

After the race, Kin and I went out for dinner at Rose Pizzeria, one of the pizza restaurants named "the best" in the East Bay. It certainly lived up to the hype, particularly the spicy caesar's salad made with Shared Cultures miso. I think it was supposed to be a sharable starter, but I wolfed the whole thing down, along with half the mushroom pizza, which just hit that rosemary-cream-sauce note perfectly. Kin and I always say we want to return to places like this and work our way through the whole menu, but there are so many great restaurants here that that would mean eating out every night. And that would interfere with my cooking — I made Eric Kim's Salisbury Steak recipe this week. Can't say I've had Salisbury Steak in anything other than a TV dinner, so when I say the recipe is great, know that that means it triggers a pleasant nostalgia less for a taste than the rare occasion Fred and I would be served something like this, often at the countertop before the babysitter arrived. Kin said he thought that the Salisbury Steak came with the chocolate dessert, so honestly that could be part of the fond feelings for the entree.

Kin and I have been watching the new Apple+ show Shrinking and enjoying it more than we anticipated. (I mean, I adore Harrison Ford, sure, but he is just so unexpectedly wonderful in this.) It's about grief, in part, and even though I'm moving into the rough part of the calendar year for me — three years since I last saw Isaiah, three years since he died, and then, in June, what would be his thirtieth birthday — I'm finding the show to be touching not triggering or insulting. Grief is unescapable, and technology can make it worse, even when one hopes (and is often told) that others' experiences, shared experiences — we are all grieving in some way, after all — can make us feel like we're less alone.

Virginia Sole-Smith wrote this week how "we've all been taught to control our own bodies in order to feel loved, to have a space in the world." And I do recognize that my fervent embrace of "fitness" and my attempts to control and train my own body are deeply deeply intertwined with my inability to control Isaiah's. I could not save my child. Perhaps I can save myself. — I mean, that's delusional, but it's real. It's part of my coping strategy for my own grief, no doubt. "Fitness," for me, then isn't about aesthetics, it's about power, or the lack thereof. Contrary to what Sole-Smith argues, it's not that "control is not love"; but rather there's a mad attempt to fill that loss of love with something something something anything.

I don't know… These are all ideas that I'm trying to stir into something much more publishable that this rambling summary of my week. Technology. History. Food. Grief. Labor. Caretaking. Performance. Data. Taylorism. Compliance. Behaviorism. We'll see what comes of it all. My goal is to launch my new writing project in June. Add that to the training schedule, eh?

Audrey Watters


Audrey Watters


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