|Saving lives...one opossum at a time.|
The spring brought grad school interviews and quite a few fun runs. Rosie ran her first 5K, with an impressive time of 41 minutes...and that's pretty good, given her basset stature. But I'll be honest, Rosie's training mostly consisted on taking naps in the afternoon sunbeams on the back porch. She's got her priorities straight. I ran my first half marathon this spring, with a not-so impressive time that I'm strategically choosing to not share with you. That first half marathon got me hooked, and I've run two more since then. Most recently, at the Empire State Half Marathon, I ran a personal best time of 2:07:42. Next year I'm thinking I'll run all 26.2 miles of the marathon...time for a new challenge!
Towards the end of June, before Rosie and I packed up for school, I decided to take a solo trip to Big Bend National Park. Big Bend is the perfect place to escape to if you're looking for a little time away from the big city (or the small city...it's pretty empty out there). I backpacked through the Chisos Mountains for about four days and returned home with a clear head, a few blisters, and some crazy stories involving unpredictable summer weather patterns and close encounters with a few black bears.
Then in July, we loaded a truck (with the help of my very generous parents), and drove from San Antonio all the way to Syracuse, NY! It was a long drive - 1890.5 miles and 7 states in 5 days - but we enjoyed lots of good food and visits with friends and family along the way. I started grad school at Syracuse University in August, and I'm working towards my PhD in biology. This semester I've been busy with reading and writing and applying for graduate fellowships, but soon I'll be starting on my own research. So exciting! I've already gotten a great start on some small projects and publications. And in January, I'll be assisting my advisor on some behavioral data collection with North Atlantic Right Whale mother/calf pairs off the coast of Florida.
So far, Syracuse has treated us well. I love my apartment and my new friends and my school. And Rosie spends one or two days a week in doggie daycare making lots of new two- and four-legged friends. I do miss Texas (there's not much decent Mexican food up here), and I'm a little terrified of the lake effect snow that will be headed my way soon, but Rosie and I are always up for new adventures. Hopefully 2013 will be just as exciting!
Wishing all of our friends and family a very merry Christmas!
Leanna & Rosie