october: more exciting than most

As usual, zero recollection of goals I set a month ago.

October Goals
Big changes.  DON'T BE SCARED.  Far, far bigger than I thought.
Do not overeat at the first stop on the cupcake tour.  PACING!!  It was weeks before I could look at another cupcake.  Okay, days.  DAYS.
At least one PR (spoiler, attempting a new distance).  A heap of life stress turned into the sniffles turned into my first-ever DNS.  No PRs for me this month.
Keep doing the "let's mash our workouts together and sort of capture the general spirit of the training session" rides with your girlfriends.  So much more important than nailing intervals.  Some of this, but all of my girlfriends are solidly in the off-season (as am I) so we captured the general spirit of several bottles of wine instead of rides.
Do not die in trapeze class (hope Sonja isn't reading this one).  Yes!
The new vegetable thing.  Or at least don't go two days without eating something green again because you are too lazy/stressed/exhausted to go to the grocery store.  Mostly a check, although the off-season brings along complex carbohydrates rather than leafy greens, but I'm swinging back around.

I feel like my body spent a lot of this month complaining.  I was ready to spend a lot of time in the pool, but my cranky shoulder piped up to the point that I have now taken three solid weeks off from the water...and counting.  I got a cortisone shot to help everything calm down, and the length of my to-do list has made any sort of training schedule an impossibility right now.  I think I'm ready to hop back in, although this morning I set my alarm to go swim...and when it went off, I read blogs (yes, I am over two weeks behind but I'll get there), caught up on email, and cleaned a bit more so the realtor can take pictures today for our listing before finally giving into my sweatpants and curling up on the couch with the puppies and the laptop to post something about my own life.  Maybe tonight...or tomorrow.  I'm not going to worry about it now, the only reason I want to go swim is because I WANT to go swim, and that's what this off-season crap is all about.  And only a tiny bit because I want it to hurt less in December ("Masters swim in Boulder is probably going to kill you," says Sonja).

Cycling motivation was at an all-time low in October, although I did have some fun rides.  My guess is that I won't be on my bike seat even once in November, and that's okay with me.  I did the same thing last November after a long season and never regretted it.  Any strength or speed that I lose is worth the mental break, and since I'm moving to Boulder and will be working for a company full of powerhouse cyclists, I'm not (that) worried about lacking motivation or training partners going into the next season.  

And running.  I took the first week of October off from running completely, mostly because I was still recovering from the idiot move of giving myself shin splints.  My first run this month was on my birthday, with the poet, and that set the tone for the winter.  I'm running right now because I want to.  I did one long run on a treadmill in Michigan, and that wasn't horrible, but then I DNFd my 70.3 and took a week of deep rest, which means my monthly mileage is low.  Heading into November, I'm planning lots of running for fun, running with friends, running easy and as much as I want.  And no heart rate monitor or watch.  I remember saying last year with glee to Sonja, going into November rest, "Let's see how much of a mess I can make before we get started December 1!"  And now I'm saying, with relief, "I know I can't make THAT much of a mess before we get started up again December 1."

When I talked about big changes coming a month ago, I thought it was because I was going to change jobs.  I had no idea that this month would bring along a fistful of job offers and I would take two of them - the first which would simply bring joy back into my life, and the second which would move us all.....two? thousand miles across the country (no, I still haven't google-mapped the drive).  I am happy, I am excited, and I am scared.  When this opportunity came around, I knew that if I didn't say yes this time, we would never go.  The timing isn't perfect, but there probably isn't ever a good time to burn your life to the ground and start over in a new city.  Our plan is starting to come together, and I'm pumped to the millionth to have put together a Thelma & Lousie-style road trip to get me out there by mid-November.  The only thing that breaks my heart about moving is the amazing friendships I will be leaving behind.  I feel actual grief, deep sadness, about not having these women as a part of my daily life, and knowing that this is the right decision for my family takes the sting away only a little.

So many things have happened in my life this year that make me grateful I decided to start a blog several years ago.  If I hadn't, I probably wouldn't have finished an IM.  Or even a half-IM.  Kirstin would never have brought a spaghetti squash to my house.  I would never have met Sonja, or most of my bitches.  I never would have tried kale.  Graham wouldn't be alive.  I wouldn't have found a home in triathlon, I wouldn't be living the (mostly) healthy life I am living right now and I definitely wouldn't be leaving DC on this grand adventure.  It's been a good reminder about the butterflies flapping their wings crap.  I wanted a place to talk about running at 10-minute pace and post puppy pics on the internet.  And just like that, I changed the course of the rest of my life.

Miles run: 39.4 (snort).
Cupcakes eaten: oh Lordy, let's not even count
Times I have made the heart-shape with my fingers while talking about clothes: 438
Times I have thought about going to a yoga class: several dozen
Yoga classes attended: zero (sigh).
Days I have forgotten to take either my asthma meds OR my vitamins OR all of the above: all of them
Sleepless nights spent worrying about the future: many
Times I have reaffirmed my desire to be present and worry less: many more

November Goals
Do not spend one single second stressing about training.  Move for fun, be healthy, love activity, and do not worry.
Do not go crazy selling stuff on Craig's List (anyone want a microwave?  some bookshelves? a queen-sized bed?)
Lots of puppy FaceTime is going to be necessary.  Oh, and husband and friend FT.
Stop whining about adjusting to altitude and just go run.  
It's probably time to stop fueling your body like a drunk locked in a candy store.  Small changes to swing back.

What are your goals for November?  Tell me about your trail races and your fun hiking and boxing classes and good off-season stuff to do.  


  1. What an October and November sounds like a crazy adventure...but in a good way!

  2. Can you ship me that bed? The new dude is not happy with my full. Lol!

    Good goals and WTG on pacing yourself with those cupcakes. Miss your face sister!

  3. Can I ask what wonderful company you'll be working for in Boulder? I'm only *slightly* jealous you'll be moving out there -- some of our best friends moved to Denver a couple years ago and we visit them a lot every year and I always love it so much!


  5. All I can say is everything happens for a reason and this is such an amazing opportunity. Congrats!

  6. I love it! So excited for you and willing you back to do one more hang out with Yasi and I before you leave!! OR...we will just have to set up a training weekend in Boulder - yeah!

  7. Change is good! What an exciting month. I can't wait to virtually follow you, Thelma and Louise cross-country. ;)

  8. Any chance you want to include a stop in Michigan during your road trip? I mean, it's TOTALLY on the way! :)

    Good luck!!!!!!!

    1. What weird-ass map are you looking at?

  9. I'm guessing there is no time for a puppy playdate. :(
    I'm running a trail race on Sunday. It's an 8k at a vineyard. Tough course but should be a fun time.
    Good luck with your crazy cross-country move.

  10. Aww, the bike rides, the spaghetti squash ... many good times. I will miss you awfully. Very excited to see what adventures you get up to out in Boulder. Also, I will visit!

  11. I can't believe you are going to be here so soon! While moving across the country (1700-1800 miles I believe) is stressful and there is no good time and it is truly is terrifying, as soon as we got here it felt like "home." I hope it is like that for you guys. And even if you can't see your friends every day anymore, distance doesn't destroy true friendships. Can't wait to see you guys and have beer dates and puppy play dates and run dates.

  12. I love your statement about how your blog has changed your life... Mine too! I started mine back when I was pregnant so I could post belly pics for my mom. Then it took on a life of its own as I 'met' a bunch of other athletes who were also posting belly pics for their moms. Really freakin' cool, I think... because at this point I actually have MET a lot of those ladies! And they are every bit as awesome as I thought they would be after reading their blogs for several years.

    Good luck with your move!!

  13. big changes without being scared? I would be scared shitless at the thought of moving to colorado. Embrace the change but keep a healthy dose of fear.

  14. Ain't the internet grand? I'm so excited for all of your new adventures. And also, packing and moving are the WORST, but road trips are the BEST, so I hope it will all balance out!

  15. The move will go well! Just believe it!

    We moved 60 hours after driving to/from Lubbock, TX so the hub could race Buffalo Springs Lake 70.3 this past June. From NoVa to Utah with a UHaul, an auto transport, a hub who stresses with big drives/vehicles (such that I did 80% of the driving while preg), and a whole lot of changes!

    There were moments to cherish. Hub met my amazing Grandma and aunt! My nephew fell in love with the hub! We developed the "we didn't hit anything. nothing hit us." mentality after one seemingly-close call with the UHaul and auto transport.

    We had a really scary moment backing up the beast in the pouring rain as the hotel parking lot didn't appear to be what it was. (We thought we had turn around room- wrong!)

    Just enjoy it! It's something you will never do in the same way that you are doing it again! If you have time, stop for the random picture or bit that you want to see/do! (We stopped in WY at the highest point on I-80 at a rest area. The extra 10 minutes were heaven!)

    Our goal for November is to welcome a healthy baby girl! Bonus goals- to be ready for said li'l one, to continue working out, to make financial goals reality, and to enjoy each moment!

  16. The roadtrip will be fun, really! Let me know if you want some recommendations for good places to check out along I-80 :)

    My November is all about getting back to training, nice and casual, and rejoicing that I don't have an IM to do next year. And being patient knowing I still have months to wait until my future is determined..and I need to nag people to write recommendation letters for me. That's about it!

    I was inspired by your cupcake photos...I will completely my cupcake binge this weekend and then be good for the rest of the month.

  17. Sounds like a big month in so many ways. Sounds like you are hooked up for Boulder, but if you want any recommendations (especially about any Avery IPAs - same goes for beer at the Mountain Sun), I'd love to share.
    I have a long, for me, trail race in a few weeks - I'm excited and really nervous about it. Once that is over, I hope to reacquaint myself with the pool and take a break from running! Signed up for a HIM in July, so I'll be looking towards that, without having to get into gear!

  18. You will love Boulder. Bobolink trailhead is one of my favorite trails. It's nice and flat with great views. If you are lucky you might run through some cows :)

  19. Times I have made the heart-shape with my fingers while talking about clothes: 438 - I can make a few guesses as to what some of those hearts were eyeing.... (STUDIO PANTS. Win.)

    Glad to have put at least one notch of Yoga on your November tally - whoop!

  20. Go trail-running at Chautauqua every day. Leave your watch at home. Take in the beauty of the Flatirons and the whimsy of dudes on their lunch break hiking in business suits and fancy shoes (this happens fairly frequently). Bike everywhere you go. SKI! You are SO not going to have a problem filling up your off-season!

  21. Ahh avoid Craig's List selling! My experience has been that people say they are going to show up so you cut your workout short or rush home from work only to find that they don't show up and don't even call. Not worth the $20 you would have gotten for the microwave.

  22. So very excited for you, Thom and the pups. Change is good and this is certainly change. Embrace it.


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