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?
WEEK OF JANUARY 1, 2019
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
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
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!
We host Christmas Eve and it’s always a perfect blend of friends and family. This year was a great one.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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?
Miles: Well you look like I did when I was five.
And there you have it. I ski like a five year-old.
Have you made any resolutions?
What was the best thing you did over break?
Welcome back! I missed you! I’m glad you had time away from the blog. Kind of refreshing, no? Don’t worry about professional goals. I think sometimes when you go in with no intention, an opportunity will present itself that you never even anticipated. Be open! Thanks for the book recommendations. I’m reading Crazy Rich Asians and Becoming. Maybe your book club read will be my clubs next read?
Thank you! And I’m SO open to new opportunities and I’m sure something will present itself…or not, which is also fine.
I certainly hope your Book Club picks The Life We Bury because it’s fantastic. Still not done but it’s only getting better…
Living in the DC suburbs, I often feel a little embarrassed when asked what do you do? Don’t let people bring you down. I am also not a resolution person. Have to move at your own timeline. Looks like you had a lot of great family time and relaxation. Happy new year
Thanks for the encouragement! And I agree 100% with moving at your own pace in everything. Happy New Year!
I saw on some news program that Tom Hanks collects typewriters. He wrote a book about his typewriter obsession called Uncommon Type. It took me back to college where I wrote all my papers on my electric Smith Corona. Mine was tan, but my sister had a baby blue one. LOL! I sold mine at a garage sale, but I’m sure they’d be worth something today.
I didn’t mean to go off on that tangent…anyways, Happy New Year! Looks like you enjoyed yourself thoroughly. And don’t beat yourself up for not having a job. Seriously, working is overrated.
I totally saw that too! I had typing class in high school and I swear it really taught me all I needed to know so I was ready for the age of computers. I love the classic typewriter I got them (on Etsy of course) and they are too. What’s old is always new again at some point.
Thanks for that great takeaway – “working is overrated.” Love that!
Ugh… sorry about the death…I’m reading Becoming. She’s such a good writer… miss them. The only resolution I made is to let go of feeling guilty about a slew of things! Sounds like you should let go of feeling like you need a “legitimate” answer when people ask you what you do… it takes a lot of time to be seriously badass!
Definitely let go of the guilt! I know that’s easier said then done but it’s only hurting you. I learned a lot about guilt in the years since my mom died.
And you’re right about the big question. I’m just going to say, I work at being a bad ass every day, and see what happens. Maybe I can do an experiment and document it! HA! Just found a goal…thanks Paria 🙂
I am so very sorry about your friend. How very hard. Sending many prayers.
Your family is so cute. Love the dabbing! I too am finding a lack of direction which is definitely hard . . . we will find our paths right?! Much love to you and your family this new year!
Thanks so much friend! And yes, I truly believe we will find our paths.
BTW – I added “I miss me more” to my running playlist and think of you when it comes on. Great song!
Wasn’t the blog break divine? I don’t realize how much pressure I put on myself with the blog until I back off a bit. You’re holidays sound wonderful. No resolutions here. Just a goal to be mindful about getting enough protein.
Oh that’s actually a great goal! I think I almost overdo it where protein is concerned 🙂
I’m really sorry about your friend. It’s never easy to process something like this.
I’m glad you had a good break though. Honestly, about resolutions… there’s no rule that says you have to have them. and there’s no rule that says you SHOULD have professional aspirations or resolutions. Some people thrive in a career, some just in a job, some have to try several creative or physical outlets before they find their “thing”. and it’s totally ok. so definitely shake that off because you never know when the passion to do what you are meant to do will strike you.
I have goals but I always have goals. I have things I want to change and improve. I’m a work in progress – aren’t we all? 🙂
Thank you so much for your thoughtful comment. It is really appreciated! And everything you said about careers and jobs is so very true. And YES we are all a work in progress which is awesome!
It’s good to read from you again!
I have the same tendency to start multiple books at once. I finally finished one of the three (or four? if you count a re-read on Audible) I’m currently reading… so naturally, I started to pick out more to read.
I don’t think we always need big shiny fancy goals in every area of our lives. Contentment can be a good thing! Like Angela, I think it’s the times when there aren’t big goals that exciting opportunities can present themselves.
I’m so sorry about your classmate – that is utterly heartbreaking.
So glad I’m not alone with the multiple book thing! And thanks for your words about goals and just being content. I have to say, I’ve been super content and happy just keeping up with the day to day and all the training, of course. It’s nice to not HAVE to do anything, except laundry of course 🙂
I’m really sorry to hear about your high school classmate. It’s so hard to hear about death especially during the holidays. And frankly, I think professional goals are overrated. Can I be a professional reader and napper with you?? PS so glad I got to see you in VT!
Thanks Christine. And thank you for saying professional goals are overrated. I loved that I was able to talk with you (although briefly) about this when we met. I certainly hope I get to see more of you in 2019!
I love seeing how active you are with your boys! I stayed home with my three kids and tried to be the “active” mom on the floor playing with them as much as possible. I did not take them skiing, though,because they’d have to maneuver me to the ER for a broken bone of some sort (I am THAT clumsy). No resolutions for me, but I do try to take on a few new monthly challenges now and then. Happy 2019!
LOL! You are too funny! And yes, I love that I found something I can do with them that we all love. It took a while but better late than never. I’m sure you will find your activity too. Just being able to stay home with them is such a gift!
My 2019 is to figure out my life lol. I’ve had so many life changes in 2018. Need a happy, “normal” ’19
I think we should schedule a run and talk about it. I miss you friend!!
New York for Christmas is on my bucket list…sounds amazing!
We just got lots of snow in our local mountains so I’m looking forward to a little skiing.
I’m trying to get on my bike but it’s so darn cold in the morning (and I live in Southern CA) no way I would ride in the winter in Vermont!
It really is and it never fails to put me in the full spirit of the holiday!
Hope you can get out and ski soon. The snow has been great in VT! And thanks for backing me on the outdoor riding thing in the winter – SoCal or not!!
Glad you’re back!
It is a strange time of year- I like making goals/intentions but with my youngest likely going to kindergarten I’ve had some of those career questions too… do I keep doing what I’m doing and ramp it up? Or switch gears to something else?
Have fun ramping your training back up!
I guess it’s good to have options, right? And I can’t believe your youngest is going to start kindergarten! Wow. That is going to be amazing and heartbreaking.
Thanks for your words Laura, as always!
I’m so sorry for the loss of your friend, Allie. It was a rough year in terms of loss for a few of my close friends, and I’ve resolved to make the most of the time I have with the people I love.
I am also feeling a bit directionless…what do I want to be when I grow up? I’d take a professional reader/napper job any day!
I think since I lost my mom when I was 17, I’ve had a different perspective and have always made the most of my time – or at least tried to – but this was a painful reminder that we really have no control over what happens. I’m truly sorry you have suffered recent losses too. But also glad it has made you think more about how you spend your time and with whom!
I think we would both be amazing readers and nappers. I smell a business idea…:-)
Just out of the blue I decided to send my mom a handwritten note at least once a month during 2019. I call her a couple of times a week and text her regularly, but I thought she’d like to get some “old fashioned” mail. On Tuesday evening she called after getting her first note earlier in the day and said that I’d made her day. Yeah, I’ll be keeping that resolution!
I’m with you on biking in the cold. My husband rode this morning and it was 22° with a feel like of 17°. That’s just nuts, especially since we have a spin cycle in the basement.
It’s so great getting handwritten notes! I love having my kids send thank you notes because it usually makes the recipients day – especially since they draw pictures and smiley faces all over them.
I give your husband ALL the credit! I went out a few times in winter past and it was horrendous for me. I’d rather stay in the basement for a few months 🙂
I started running again this year! That’s my new year’s resolution. I wanted to be fit again. Sorry to hear about your friend. Anyway, Happy New Year!
Just having a little giggle about the old typewriters, and how the kids of today respond to them.
I was amazed to see smaller ones wondering what to do with an old rotary dial telephone. You forget how quickly technology is moving. Next, they may well wonder about cars that don’t run on electricity.