Wow, I did not mean for this hiatus to take this long. I didn’t mean to take a hiatus at all, but it just happened – due to holiday overwhelm, work work work, a little laziness, and little funk. All of that together means a very long gap since my last blog post. I’ve missed blogging! But I just haven’t felt like I’ve had even a minute to get my thoughts together, let alone post. So this is going to be a catch-up post of all that’s happened since I wrote last.

When we were last together (virtually), I had just started hiking with the TNT Hike Team. I’m still on the team! and since then I’ve done some amazing and beautiful hikes around the Bay Area, all on trails I’ve never hiked on before. Which is pretty amazing, considering they are all within an hour drive of my house. Most of the hikes have been in the 3-4 hour range, which is pretty substantial.

Nature Appreciation Moment
Nature appreciation moment
Sunol Wilderness: breathtaking!
lunch break at Rodeo Beach hike
me and buddy Jon at Rodeo Beach
Can you see the Pacific Ocean? Wooo!
Inspiration Point hike

I did a couple of goofy events, including the Weight Watchers Thanksgiving morning Turkey Trot (my third in a row). It was POURING rain that morning but it felt good to get out and do a wet little 5k walk with some other leaders and members.

trotting turkeys

Another thing I did was go to Las Vegas over the first weekend in December. I’d originally booked that weekend for the Las Vegas Marathon, but at the time I hadn’t known I was going to do the triathlon. I knew I wasn’t ready to do a half marathon quite so soon. But I went for a fun weekend anyway and ended up participating in the Great Santa Claus 5k, which beat the Guinness World Record for the most running Santas in one place! Ten thousand Santa Clauses was pretty surreal and hilarious (and very Vegas). The Santa suit (including beard) was included in the registration fee. It wasn’t my best run by far, but I did finish and it was a great way to get back into it. Sort of. Ha.

Getting suited upTa-daa! Ho ho ho!
Wow, that's a lotta Santas!
Greatest cheerleader ever
Run, Santas, Run!

Even though I wasn’t running the Las Vegas Half, I knew a lot of people who were, so it was the first time I went out and cheered for a marathon. That was an amazing experience. I made a sign and stood out in front of our hotel. There was a water station so I immediately got to work passing out cups of water. The crazy thing is that it emptied out in less than an hour. That was rather unimpressive. Having to tell people, “One more mile to water!” Ugh. I also heard some nasty rumors about many many people puking after the race, and that the water we’d been handing out had come from fire hydrants. I hate to think that was true.

Sadly empty water stop

I got to meet the fantastic Paola who started running with Team in Training in LA this year. She’s got the bug! She’s hooked! I got to see her both coming and going, and when she came back around on her return loop, I got to walk with her towards the finish. It was great to finally meet her after being blog/Twitter buddies for so long. I was carrying my favorite “If your feet hurt, it’s because you are kicking butt!” sign. I have to admit, after seeing all the cold runners out there in the dark (it was the first nighttime marathon) I was kinda glad I hadn’t signed up myself. Kudos to all those who finished!!

Did I mention it was FREEZING?

The other thing that happened is that I was officially invited to become a mentor for the Summer TNT Triathlon Team! Me and Lily! YESSSS! We are so excited. My awesome mentor from last season, Annika, is now going to be one of the training coaches (and she will ROCK it). The team is going to be training simultaneously for the Wildflower Tri (which sounds hecka hard to me, very hilly!) and also the South Maui Triathlon (YES). I think my plan is going to be to do the Wildflower Sprint Tri in May, as well as cheer on all my teammates for the Olympic, and then do the Olympic Tri in Maui. Good plan? I think so. I am so pumped!!! And I really do feel like I need an Olympic triathlon do-over. Doing the Marin County Tri was an incredible experience, but I learned a LOT and I am ready to put that learning to the test. Plus I am so, so, so ready to train with the team again. I am ready and excited to be a mentor. We will have a new coach this time, who sounds scary. “He’s intense.” More intense than Haakon? OMG!

Our tri team had a little reunion/holiday party a few weeks ago and it was so awesome to see everyone again, tacky sweaters and all. I miss them!

Go Team Holiday Sweaters!
Lily with our team honoree, Izzy Faith!
Coach Haakon and Vince both have impeccable taste.

These weeks since the triathlon have convinced me that I really do need a team or group of some kind to keep me going. I’ve had some workouts, but they have been few, far between and wimpy. I give up way too soon when I’m alone. I have a hard time starting and a tough time going if I feel the slightest ache or twinge.

Today I tried out a new group: the local WOW team. I met them through Coach Michelle and they’re really cool – about helping women to be fit, mostly through running and walking, for their whole lives. I like their philosophy a lot. Today I met up for a group run. There were about 15 women there at the Berkeley Marina (foggy but pretty). Anyway, the plan was to run for an hour. We started with a 5 minute walk to warmup, then people were going to run 30 minutes out and back. When people started running, I immediately had this thought “I’ll just walk” but then I remembered that I’m allegedly doing a half marathon in a month. I started running too and one woman just happened to be at exactly my pace. How awesome is that! We ran together the whole way and it was really pleasant and distracting. For the first couple miles my feet were SCREAMING at me and I know that if I’d been alone, I would have just plain quit. But I noticed the second mile, they were hurting less and by the third mile they felt just fine. We ran just a hair under 5 miles at a pace I hadn’t run in many months. I was so excited and felt so good when I finished, that I came home and signed up for a New Year’s Day 10k. (wanna come with me?) Yay! I’m ba-ack!!!