You’re so much better than you think you are

You’re in an interview, and the person behind the desk asks you, “What are your weaknesses?” That good ol’ cliche weakness-but-not answer: “I’m a perfectionist.”

I’m here to tell you that perfectionism is a REAL and SERIOUS weakness. Being a perfectionist means that you are NEVER satisfied with your own work, even if it meets all criteria demanded. There’s always something more to be done. Perfectionism delays launch dates. Perfectionism causes other work to not be done. Perfectionism causes anxiety and panic. Perfectionism is a SERIOUS weakness.


I am a recovering perfectionist. I have always leaned into an all-or-nothing approach to my life and my hobbies. This was great in some ways: I have discovered my natural talents and obsessively pored over them to make myself better; I graduated valedictorian from high school (never mind the size of my graduating class); I did well for myself in my career at a very early age. It also caused me to feel suffocated in the middle of a restaurant before I was even 21 years old — that was my first panic attack.

I have run two races in the past week: the Tinker Bell Half Marathon (at Disneyland!) and the Bay Area booze classic, Bay to Breakers. You may recall that exactly 7 weeks ago, I ran the Rock’n’Roll San Francisco half marathon. I haven’t run this many races since I was in high school cross country.

Last weekend before the Tinker Bell half, I was 90% sure I would not run. I was running on only a little sleep, and I had run a total of four times in the preceding six weeks, along with two SoulCycle sessions, which I count as hill repeats. That makes an average of one “run” per week. I started to feel so burdened by this race, and I swore that I would take a break from running. And yet, I woke up at 3:45am the morning of the Tinker Bell half, drank coffee, ate a piece of cold pizza (remember, I was #dgaf about this race) and I ended up running THE ENTIRE THING. To me, this was a huge freakin’ deal. It also made me realize: I was discounting myself.


Perfectionism and impossibly high standards cause anxiety. Undeniable fact for me. The moment I realized that I was going to make it through 13.1 miles without stopping or getting injured, I was energized beyond the endorphins: I experienced a breakthrough. If you’re someone who doubts yourself or feels stuck going uphill, do something HARD and do it at all. Do like Woody Allen said and realize that showing up is [percentage variable depending on source] of the equation.


Our cool dude friend Aaron cheered us on mid-race, just after Hayes Hill. #BayToBreakers

I signed up for Bay to Breakers 12k a couple days before the race took place, which is when I realized I wasn’t even sore from the half marathon. Next on my list: next week’s Color Run in San Jose, where I’m going to run faster than my longer-distance pace. Also: I’m kinda just going for everything in my life as if it’s good enough. Need to send a card to someone? No need for an epic ode. Whatever you write is good enough. Want to get fit? Working out a couple times a week at your own pace is good enough. Somehow, “good enough” became “bad and lazy,” and that’s so wrong. Perfect is the enemy of done. Don’t let some unwritten standards come between you and a task/goal/idea to be executed. Insert some joke here about Nike and JUST DO IT!

Utah isn’t just for polygamy

Fresh of the plane from Salt Lake City, I present to you a serious athlete:


Let’s talk about the circumstances informing this photo.

It was April 17, and Amanda Delzell was in Salt Lake City for the first time in her adult life, having only visited on occasion through extended road trips as a child.

It’s customary in Utah to make sure that your guests are provided with PLENTY of wine upon their arrival, so I gladly accepted each glass, offset only by the pizza so heavily topped with meat that the crust drooped.

After sleeping off the wine on a futon-esque piece of cheap furniture, I woke already dressed in my running clothes: tech tee from my former running club in LA, lululemon Pace Rival skirt, some crazy-ass New Balances, and a Nike hat.

After planning for a 1.5 mile walk to the start line and discovering a more actual 2.3 mile trek, my friend Scottie (alternative name “Scoffers”) and I ended up running probably a mile or more, all while holding my backpack down from bouncing. We were still at gearcheck when the gun went off — but we made it!

And then took many successive selfies, because we decided last-minute to run while holding our phones because we had no pace goals whatsoever. (Scoffers and I both imbibed.) But we ended up at a nice casual (while at 4000+ feet elevation) 9:50/mile. So, whatevs.


(Oops, this photo was downloaded from snapchat and therefore TERRIBLE QUALITY)

I want to also take a minute to highlight one of the best, most interesting meals I’ve had. Forage has been around since 2009 and serves a ton of crazy local courses. I didn’t take any photos because SOMEONE TOOK AWAY MY PHONE (aka my sweet friend Amanda’s boyfriend, who constantly berated me for each time I checked the Mariners’ score before removing my iPhone altogether) but Scoffers took a shot of the menu:


Thankfully ol’ Aaron (the phone napper) permitted one photo. The guys were super lucky to be seated at the girl’s table.


And on a final note, sometimes taking a weekend trip because the flights are super cheap is a super good idea. You might even feel really rejuvenated and happier. Recommended. Five stars, two thumbs up, and one unicorn.

The best links so far in April

I spend far too much time on the Internet. But you know what? It’s #educational! I click on anything that interests me, and anything that seems like I should know (mostly things like The Dress, The Baby with No Nose, etc). I also settle for just reading the title and looking at the associated image, which allows me to “ahh!” in recognition when others bring it up but secretly scramble to get more details before they find out I’m a faker.


Anyway, here’s the best links I’ve collected on my poor overworked phone browser. To establish my credibility in recommending these links, I will quote Ron Swanson in the best episode of Parks & Rec ever (“The Fight” in Season 3. Go watch immediately): “Son, you should know that my recommendation is essentially a guarantee.”



How to Breathe When Running: I am such a shallow breather, and I think it’s from always wanting to be sucked in. I’ll take the slightly puffier tummy if it means I can breathe more efficiently when running.


How to Overcome Burnout and Stay Motivated: every time I read the HBR I remember I should do it more often. This is such a problem for driven #millenials who obsess over a job they enjoy. Burnout, by the way, can transcend work — I experienced it hardcore a few months ago with my personal/extracurricular life more than work and it was gnarls Barkley (is it still cool to say that?). But that’s a separate post for another time.


Saturday Night Live Goes After Scientology, Clearly: or rather, after neurotology. There’s nothing as satisfying and universal as the American tradition of the SNL parody.


Why You Should Be a Christian Feminist: I’m not really prepared to discuss this little number fully but I’d love to hear your thoughts. The article doesn’t really make sense for any nonreligious people, so I realize the audience here is narrow, but for those Christian ladies (or gents!) who are reading, I want to hear every single thought in your head on this topic.


Having a Loaded Calendar Can Backfire: what really got me about this link was the tag line I saw on Facebook, which read “Stop the glorification of busy.” I have this theory (simply titled The Busyness Theory) that people feel validated and called to brag about being busy, when really it’s all about priorities. For example, someone might claim, “Sorry, I didn’t go to the bank to get cash to pay you back. I’ve been so busy.” Twenty minutes later, they’re recapping every minute of the Mad Men season premiere. Wow, you’re so fancy and busy.


Netflix: ok, sorry, nothing specific here. I just thought I should honor the way I spend 79% of my time.


Please immediately share with me every single awesome or intriguing or weird or hilarious item open in your phone browser. 


Anyone else like me and have 4749447 links opened to read…eventually?

Running with runners, and running silently

I’m really new to the Bay Area (under 5 months!) so in my effort to integrate, I joined a running club. Amazingly, these immediately became my people. 

That’s the cool thing about runners. Maybe it’s that sort of Stockholm Syndrome effect where you go through something difficult together and it bonds you inexplicably. (I’m sure there’s a term more specific to captive-captive bonding, as opposed to Stockholm Syndrome which is captive-captor bonding… Does anyone know?) In any case, I fell in love with a bunch of people who are willing to do the New Jersey Camera Point even after a run. 


(I am still super proud of my generosity for taking the photo instead of being in it. Just kidding, #strategic because I was still super sweaty and red.)

I run by myself far more often than I go with others though — mostly due to scheduling. Today I got a taste of desert beauty. 


Terrible photo because I DONT STOP FOR NO PICTURE! But you get the gist. 9 miles of palm trees today… Followed immediately by this:


Y’know, for Easter. This was at one of the classic desert restaurants, Las Casuelas Nuevas in Rancho Mirage, CA. It was perfect but given that I had just run 9 miles I sucked it down in three sips. 

This weekend was absolutely filled with food, by the way. SO MUCH FOOD. Easter brunch at Roy’s (like the Hawaiian fusion place) was surprisingly delightful with brioche sticky buns, ramen, and pork belly with eggs. And time in the pool was accompanied by “sangria”:


That was my cup btw. Just kidding! Ps: I’m pretending I’m making a huge feminist statement by posting this picture. I am a feminist, but maybe this picture is just a picture of a woman and a pitcher of white wine and a floating pineapple cooler? Maybe we should be more concerned that I didn’t properly use the pineapple as a drink cooler and holder? What do you think? #NoThighGapGate2015 #Scandal 

I also chose to make sure today’s mileage did not burn enough calories to compensate for my massive food enjoyment, so we went to Rita’s Italian Ice/Custard shop in La Quinta. JUST ATE THE WHOLE PLACE OUT OF BUSINESS, DON’T WORRY ABOUT IT. 


I don’t know how I will return to normal food. I eat a lot of salads at work. Will my tastebuds even accept the non-sugar? If you see me pacing and shaking, looking for a sugar fix, PLEASE SEND HELP.  

What did you do for Easter?

Any feminists out there? Duh, of course there are! 

Best thing you ate this weekend? Extreme detail needed.