Well hello old friends! I think this may have been the longest I’ve gone without a post in quite some time and it felt really good to take such a long break. If you follow me on social media you know I spent most of that break snowboarding and skiing (yep, I’m back to both now!) in Vermont.

Over the past several weeks I’ve had some surprises, some bad news, a lot of time with friends and family and countless glasses of wine and plates of Italian cookies. Instead of looking back, let’s move ahead with just some glimpses of how 2018 ended, shall we?

The family that dabs together, has a ton of fun at the Christmas card photo shoot!

WEEK OF JANUARY 1, 2019

RUNNING

I have done very little running, unless you count running up a mountain with my snowboard in my hands because I missed the trail cutoff or one of my kids lost a ski or pole. I’m not complaining.

I eased back into training last week since the Duathlon National Championship is a mere 14 weeks away.

Monday – snowboarding and skiing

Tuesday – travel day back home

Friday – long run | 8 miles | very slowly since I was sick whomp whomp

Sunday – 30 minute easy run off the bike | 4.2 miles

Total = 12.2 miles

My boys on the mountain top!

CYCLING

Until I can try fat tire biking in the snow, I will be doing all my rides in the basement on the trainer. I know there are some hearty souls braving the elements outside this time of year but I’m not one of them!

Wednesday – big gear repeats | 1 hour | 17.2 miles

Sunday – FTP intervals | 1:15:00 | 22.9 miles

Total = 40.1

SWIMMING

My coach has been setting up some 5am weekday swims and I was able to make exactly one so far, but it was a good one. It’s so much nicer swimming with other people, even if you don’t get that much time to chat. I was able to really clean up my stroke and came out of the pool feeling much better about the months of training ahead, which will culminate in June, when I attempt my second half ironman.

Wednesday – swim drills with coach | 1,800 yards

Thursday – form drills + 25s + 100s | 50 min | 2,300 yards

Total = 4,100 yards

THINGS I LOVE

This may be best described through a series of pictures:

Visiting NYC for Christmas! Honestly, I hate New York City #sorrynotsorry except for Christmastime! We have a tradition of visiting the city and seeing the tree, going to a show (we saw Aladdin and it was fantastic!) and seeing Santa at Macy’s. The boys firmly believe the Macy’s Santa is THE Santa and so we wait for hours, even with a reservation, and it’s worth every second. We also dabbed it out with the FAO Schwartz soldiers.

My long awaited night seeing Hamilton (at the Bushnell in Hartford, CT) lived up to the hype. I now want to see it again on Broadway. If you ever have the opportunity to see it – don’t throw away your shot!

Severe close up of me and my husband excitedly waiting for the show to begin!

We host Christmas Eve and it’s always a perfect blend of friends and family. This year was a great one.

From left: My MIL, FIL, my hottie husband, me, my spiritual gangster SIL and my bearded BIL.

One of the most interesting things the boys asked for this year was a typewriter. They are into writing their own books and comics so of course I was more than happy to grant this wish. It’s very cool and very frustrating, as the boys quickly learned.

And they are wearing shirts I got them to promote their YouTube channel, Amazing M + V. The kids call this “merch” and they were beyond excited.

THINGS I DON’T LOVE AS MUCH

Not having a sense of direction when it seems the whole world is declaring intentions for the next 12 months.

My NYE consisted of dinner at 4:30pm, sledding with my family at 10pm and bed by 11:00pm. Wild.

Sure I have races I want to do well in and I have family goals for 2019, but I’m definitely lacking professional goals. Freelance writing has lost its appeal for me and I’m not feeling a strong pull in any other direction right now. Ok, that’s a lie. I have a few ideas of some different directions I want to go in but I’m also really enjoying the freedom of not having a strong professional goal.

I love all the time I get to spend with my kids and in Vermont and reading and lunching with friends. But I also feel guilty about not making an income or having a profession, especially when I’m asked the dreaded question “what do you do?” Um, as little as possible. You?

Also, the bad news I received over the break was of a high school classmate’s sudden death. She was one of the sweetest and most sincere people, a passionate teacher and mom to two young boys. She also has a twin brother and great husband. The whole thing was obviously shocking and sent ripples of grief though our entire class of ’93. Just another thing to add perspective to the beginning of a new year.

Maybe 2019 will be more about surprising myself. Maybe I will take the greatest risk of all and have no direction so that I can say “yes!” at a moment’s notice, and also say “no!” and have no good reason for it. This is me living dangerously. Watch out people.

READING

Is four books at once manageable? No. No, it’s not. I’m trying but I’m not doing a great job. I got myself into this mess when we had a two month break from book club since the holidays are insane and no one is reading…oh except me who decided to over-read!

Most of the books are on my iPad but there’s still something about a real book, especially my well-worn and dog-eared copy of Owen Meany. Yes, I’m that person.

For now, I’m trying to finish A Prayer for Owen Meany (because it’s a Christmas tradition for me and yes I know it’s well past Christmas!), Becoming by Michelle Obama, Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan and The Life We Bury by Allen Eskens.

Maybe my professional goal can be reading. And, if I’m going to do that, maybe I can throw in professional napper too?

In case you’re wondering, all of the books are amazing! The Life We Bury is our book club read for February. I’m halfway though and I cannot stop listening. It made my sickly 8 mile run go by much faster than I’m sure it otherwise would have.

RANDOM EXCHANGE OF THE WEEK

I felt really good being back on skis for the first time in about 15 years! I wasn’t exactly relaxed but I didn’t fall and picked up the flow of it fairly quickly. I think Miles summed up my feelings with this exchange:

Me: How do I look?

Miles: I was three when I started skiing, right?

Me: Yep.

Miles: Well you look like I did when I was five.

And there you have it. I ski like a five year-old.

Me and my Miles.

Have you made any resolutions?

What was the best thing you did over break?