Here are five things making me happy this week: #1 I ran my first race on Sunday! It was a nice, low key 4 miler in Central Park that my friend Jena suggested might be a good way to get into organized runs.

"I can't feel my cheeks any longer."

It was brutally cold that morning, and it took awhile for my legs to warm up and I was freezing before and after the race. (But not during the race. I was just really sweaty then.)

Unnecessarily intense race photo in which I promise I'm thinking, "Dear God when is this over so I can take a nap?"

No worries! I'm happy to say I beat my goal time and had a blast. The chicken and waffles at Amy Ruth's in Harlem afterwards didn't hurt either.

I'm already looking ahead to my next race in March and am thinking about signing up for a half marathon. (This is probably all your fault, Mary Chris.)

All bundled up at the finish.

#2 On Monday I met up with Laura von Holt and we headed over to Lady Jane's Salon for the big eighth anniversary/Valentine's Day reading. It was her first time being there, so naturally Laura won a stack of books in a raffle and was fed champagne and brownies.

#3 This article about black fashion designers is a must read for anyone interested in fashion history.

#4 I've really been struggling with the pacing of this historical I'm writing right now, but ripping the structure apart with help from Gwen Hayes Romancing the Beat on Saturday was hugely helpful. I feel like I've had a breakthrough on this book all thanks to her story structure.

#5 And finally, thank goodness for the Second Avenue Subway which got me to my day job in the middle of a snowstorm on Thursday without my old 3/4 mile walk to the other subway station in the neighborhood. It's the little things.