Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Lawnerd 4 Life

My goodness, I've just had the nerdiest day possible AND I LOVED EVERY SECOND OF IT.

The morning started off, of course, with a healthy dose of SCOTUSblog. I'm going to have serious withdrawal symptoms after tomorrow morning, until next summer. What? You don't spend your morning bus ride SCOTUSblogging? Ugh to the Voting Rights Act decision. Much love to RBG. #lawnerd for life

Later, some colleagues and I went up to the Ninth Circuit, who are sitting en banc in Seattle this week. (Usually, when the Circuit, which is the Court just below the U.S. Supreme Court, hears cases, they do so in panels of three judges. After the panel has issued its decision, the Circuit can decide to hear a case "en banc," or in a panel of 11 judges. It's a big deal and very few cases are granted an en banc hearing. So, it was a pretty exciting and rare opportunity to see the Circuit sitting in Seattle.)

Almost all of my work is governed by the decisions that the Circuit issues, so in my head they're the "high overlords on the hill." Another one of my friends refers to them as the "tallest trees in the forest." They're a BIG deal and it's FASCINATING to go see the judges in person, after spending so much time reading and rereading their opinions.

We observed a case about the circumstances under which the border patrol has reasonable suspicion to stop and search a vehicle. So, it was a pretty fun set of facts and a reasonably easy issue to understand, thank goodness, since this falls outside my specific area of expertise. The plaintiff's lawyer was dreadful and the Government's attorney was awesome. And the judges were SO FUNNY and SO SNARKY. It was way better than the panels that I've seen. I loved the sparring that was going on between them and the Government attorney: I was literally grinning from ear to ear. It's times like this, when I'm so happy watching a really, really good argument happen, that I know I'm in the right profession!

Afterwards, we all had lunch before going on a second field trip, which I'm not going to go into detail about, but it was also great. I love asking questions and getting a better perspective on how my work fits into the larger picture.

And, then, tonight, I spent an obscene amount of time watching the filibuster proceedings in Texas. In my past life, I did a LOT of Model UN, so I'm actually very, very good at parliamentary procedure. It's amazing how much you can accomplish by knowing those rules! I never thought, however, that it would mean I had some basic idea of what was going on in the Texas Senate. My political nerdy heart was oh so happy! I just swoon when people start quoting out of big books of rules. Again, this is why I'm a lawyer. I also grew up around legislators (my mom worked for the Indiana legislature for ~30 years) and I forget how much I kind of love that world. Maybe I should think about going to the Hill someday...

I know. I'm a nerd. This post isn't about running. But, I do like to remember that there are things I'm passionate about, other than running! LAW!!!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Joyce's Ice Dancing!

I'm working on tracking down photos from the Seattle Rock 'n' Roll Half (AWESOME). Short version: pacing was the best thing ever and I absolutely loved it.

Until then, by all means, please enjoy this video from the "ice show" my adult ice dance class was in...I'm the lead dancer in the group that starts to the right of the camera - that my roommate managed to follow most of the time. I'm rather pleased at how well it turned out - it looks a lot more like it did in my head than I ever expected!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

3 Mile Tempo & Spirit of the Marathon

I am really terrible at this blogging thing.

So, just wanted to comment on tonight's run, really...I'm into week 2 or so of official "I'm GOING to PR a half marathon this fall, which will involve me actually training for a half marathon for a change" training. Tonight was my first official tempo run at goal pace (I'm not saying what that is right now).

It was only three miles, but I'm torn between being cool with having finished it with each of those three miles at or just under goal pace (with some hills thrown in, because this is Seattle and even the flat routes have hills) and harrumphing because it felt so hard. (I am also harrumphing because the 18 pound cat has decided to sit right on top of my arms as I'm typing. RUCIFEE!) I think I need to focus on the positives here, but there's a little part of me that's a little scared, because I know that my goal for Eugene is ambitious. And, besides, that's what training's for, right?

BUT, the part that really, really sucked is that some asshats threw fireworks out their car windows at me WHILE I WAS RUNNING. Sure they were "just" those little poppers that explode when they hit the ground, but it was friggin' scary. WHO DOES THAT!? Especially on Capitol Hill?? Fuckwads. I shouted at them, because there wasn't much else I could do. I was less scared than I could have been, because lots of other people were around and heard it happen, so I didn't feel so vulnerable. Still, I'm glad that I don't do much running with music these days, because I might have been less aware of what was going on.

Spirit of the Marathon II

Went to Spirit of the Marathon II last night, just like every other runner in the country. It was a fun outing with my running club besties, but I didn't love the movie (and I do dearly love the original - I've watched it more times than I care to mention and it STILL makes me tear up). Mostly, the narrative structure didn't work for me in the same way.

In SOTM I, you meet the runners as they're training and see their build-up, which is simultaneously building up to the emotional climax of the movie - the race itself. Here, we met the runners on race morning and the directors cut their stories in amid footage of them running the race. I just didn't feel like this structure built the same emotional connection with the runners, nor did it feel like we were on a journey together. It was more like: "here are people running a marathon...yay!" It lessoned the impact of the race and, frankly, ignored what I have learned, over two marathon training cycles, which is that the training is where you learn to be a marathoner. It isn't actually about the race at all, but the journey to the start line. SOTM II just didn't capture that for me the way that the original did. But, I'm glad I went and I'm glad to have seen it (like everyone else in the world, I now think the Rome Marathon course looks AH-MA-ZING)!

Yay SGLRG Movie Night!