23andme and diving into the Deep Web

It was my birthday month, and so I celebrated by getting a 23andme DNA test. This sent me on a journey back in time to find my ancestors and now I've traded in the internet for the deep web! I got tired of all those click bait advertorials and the political echo chamber anyway. Nowadays, you'll find me hanging out on the internet archive, library archives (and this one), newspaper archives and ancestry.com  and reading more books. Here is what I got from the 23andme DNA test:

I'm from all over the world!

My great grandparents migration

As a person of "mixed race", I had an inkling but was always curious about my family history. I was born in the USA, so that means I'm "American".  I could go even further and say that I'm North American with actual ancestors from here. I'm half Northwestern European, the other half Mexican, which is really half Spanish and half Native American, or as we like to call in Texas,  "Texican." The actual roots of North American being the Native American part. I have some Ashkenazi Jewish, Scandinavian, Yakut ancestors and even some Neanderthal traits! And guess what? WE ARE ALL FROM AFRICA!

This was a great gift to share with my family, and with a little surname research, it was confirmed. A few months ago, I did Inside Tracker and it's interesting to see how you can use specific personal data to gather health information. And now, combined with DNA research and family health history you can really get specific and personalized health recommendations, thanks to science. That makes a lot more sense to me than a one size fits all diet recommendation. What I realized is we really are blessed (and cursed) to live in a world with all this information. Granted, you have to filter through it all. Unlike our predecessors, we have access to all this scientific data and loads of records online so you can really get a good sense of where we have been, where we are now and formulate the best way forward. We could increase our lifespans, if only we weren't misguided by the wrong information and strayed away from education and towards poverty. I've learned so much about my family history, and about the history of where I live now in just a few weeks. The only thing that is lacking is more history and information about the Native American side. It is sadly due to racism and colonialism that this information has been suppressed. I'm hoping with more research I can find more out about this fascinating history. It has really widened my perspective and also helped me appreciate cultural diversity in myself and our society. Being "mixed" is actually more prevalent than I thought, and we are not outside the norm. Race is not as black and white as people would like to think.

February in Pictures

Here are the things that made my February:

Running on Trails

Enjoying the warm weather that second week of Feburary

Water World Swim #beachlife at Crissy Field

Monthly evening run on the Embarcadero with Back on My Feet

Donating blood

Hanging out with this guy
I did some more painting and baking and a little strength training. It was my birthday month so I celebrated with a new piece of gear and a 23andme DNA test. See the next post to find out more!


Kaiser Half-Marathon

Fun times at the 35th Annual Kaiser Permanente San Francisco Half-Marathon & 5k presented by Pamakid Runners! This is a nice race to keep you fit through the winter. I ran with Back on My Feet, and we had two first-time  half marathon finishers that were not easy to keep up with! Our front runner is a long-time runner and is blind, so he ran tethered to one of our spectacular volunteers.  Last year I really wrecked myself on this race with sciatica pain, so this year I was more laid back and ran a slower pace near the end. "Start slowly then taper off!" as my runclub motto goes. And so I live to run again! Gotta love the medal that George Herbert Rehmet designed! It has a whale that actually swims across the Golden Gate Bridge! Chip time was 2:18:00
10th half-marathon and 4th time doing the KP SF Half.


January in Pictures

Month in review:
  • Started off the new year on the Beach! Took some time off from training to indulge in hobbies of art and baking. I think I will start a new art blog. Stay tuned!
  • Baked bread. Got a new cookbook!
  • Restarted Kefir Grains. Probiotics is my flu shot.
  • Life Drawing and aquatint printmaking at Mission Cultural Center
  • Added to my sketchbooks, and did a few new watercolor paintings
  • 6 hour Drawing Marathon at Fort Mason to benefit the Bay Area Model's Guild
  • Went to see the Rodin and Klimt show and artists' books at Legion of Honor and the Crossing Paths / Michael Roman show at Mission Cultural Center
  • Ran with BoMF (I ran about 70 miles this month)
  • Did the Hot Chocolate 5k, just trying to run under 30 minutes and got 3rd AG!
  • Did the 23andme DNA test to get a better picture of my ancestry

Splashing into the new year at the beach!

Hot Chocolate 5k, 3rd AG 26:19

Bike Commuting

1 Hour Watercolor Paintings

Home Baked Sourdough

Filling up sketchbooks

Klimt and Rodin Show at Legion of Honor

New Year, New Shoes! Checking out the On
Starting off the new year with creative inspiration and momentum!


New Year's Flexsolutions

Next year's going to be better. I can feel it. As long as we make it better!
I have another private journal that I have been doing everyday for almost a year and that one little "lifehack" was the foundation to many others:
  • Downsized and streamlined my space
  • Streamlined finances, done with student loans! 
  • Got rid of Comcast and switched to local, affordable ISP that supports Net Neutrality
  • Learned to bake sourdough bread
  • Added a few more paintings & drawings to my sketchbook and attended several art exhibits
  • Took a printmaking class
  • Gained clarity and acceptance around personal issues
  • Got a New Garmin & new to me Tri Bike
  • Signed up for Bikeshares
  • Took a selfie of health with Inside Tracker
  • Emergency kit refreshed
There were many things I accomplished without setting out to, just from jotting down ideas and notes in my dear diary and staying open. So for the New Year's Resolutions, this year I invented a new word for them called Flexsolutions. I have been practicing more intuitive goal setting, and letting things evolve organically. Filter out the noise and distractions and move closer to what the heart wants, which is more creativity, consciousness and purpose ...and time outdoors! Less packaging and fluff, continue to support companies aligned with my values and ditch the others!

I have in my mind next year to do a 70.3, but ulitmately the flexsolution is to follow what the heart wants and keep moving. Think globally, act locally!

I have a love/hate relationship with social media right now, but I still find little nuggets of inspiration out there. Last Year's inspiration was Design the Life You Love by Ayse Birsel. This year's inspiration is this book Tinker, Dabble, Doodle, Try Unlock the Power of the Unfocused Mind by Dr. Srini Pallay, which I heard about from the Bulletproof Podcast. If you like endurance podcasts there a lot here. Feel free to share others and your inspiration in the comments.

End of Year Recap

 2017 was the year of the sciatica injury! I still managed to stay active and get some miles in, do some fun runs and go to USAT AGNC! Holiday weight less than last year at this time.

Swim: 63 miles
Bike: 3,300 miles (including unlogged bike commutes)
Run: 550 miles
Stand Up Paddle: 70 miles

Mileage goals were out the window. I remember having to take some time off running to heal my pain. Turns out swimming is great for sciatica! I joined masters swim group and did get my swim goal in there. Volunteering also helps when you get injured, which I did every week. It is inspiring to see new runners achieve their goals. Also, new open water swimmers in my swim group achieving their goals! We sometimes forget what it's like and take it for granted. Getting injured reminds you! This year I upgraded my Garmin which makes it easier to log workouts and steps. You'd be surprised at how many miles you get in steps every week! I remember ten years ago when I started this blog, and my inspiration was the famous quote by Lao Tzu "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step". Here I am at the 10,000 + mile mark and feel like I'm at the beginning again. The start of the new year, learning new things each year.

Upgraded to Vivoactive HR in August.

2017 in 2017: Family Team PRPL surpassed 2017 miles goal and is at 2500!
Here is how the year panned out, in a fun video by Strava.

Started and ended the year with DSE Runs:
  • DSE Marina Green 5k
  • The Great Cupid Run
  • KPSF Half-Marathon
  • The Super Run 5k (March)
  • Oakland Half-Marathon
  • BTWD
  • DSE Rainbow Falls 5k
  • Lots of fun events with Water World Swim 
Here is how the year panned out, in a fun video by Strava


December in Pictures and a Video

This is it! Last month of the year! Taking time to relax, reflect and occasionally cave in to cravings of holiday treats! Time to say goodbye to those we lost, time for giving, quality time, and time to daydream about the possibilities of next year and years to come.

Supermarket Street Sweep, benefit ride for the food bank
Running in  Golden Gate Park
Neighborhood outdoor movie night with popcorn, hot chili bowls and toy drive
Morning run with Back on My Feet Team SoMA
Weekend in Bolinas
Park walks - pick up a copy of Stairway Walks in San Francisco
by Adah Bakalinsky
DSE Rainbow Falls 5k
New Year, new socks! Blood donation perks

23andme and diving into the Deep Web

It was my birthday month, and so I celebrated by getting a 23andme DNA test. This sent me on a journey back in time to find my ancestors an...