It’s too early to tell, but I think I’ll look back at 2017 and remember it as the year I turned 40 and the year I developed arthritis in my knee. Not exactly two inspiring events to remember, but we don’t always get to pick happy, rosy memories. Life happens. Sometimes you make it happen and sometimes it happens to you.
I’ll end 2017 with 63 books read. Pretty good and higher than the last few years.
I came up short on my goal to read 12 non-fiction books, only reading 7 as the second half the year I started really concentrating on learning more about story, genre, craft and doing more of my own writing again. To learn writing, you need to read and I read a lot in the mystery/crime/thriller genre.
In no particular order, these are the books that stuck with me (when you read as much as I do, if you can remember the plot after a few days, it’s the sign of a good book) and that I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend to a friend.
One reason I write this blog is to time travel. Each Saturday that passes will never be repeated. The girls get a little older and a little farther away from me. One day they won’t want me to take their picture, never mind post it on the Internet. How embarrassing.
So I write it all down. To make myself pay attention. I’m not always great about being present. I’m trying, but some days are hard.
We did not travel this year for Thanksgiving. Well, we did, but it was just one town over. The end result of sharing food and time with family is always worth it, but for us, the drive down that harrowing Northeast corridor is never easy, even with the kids older now and not constantly on edge about blowing out diapers. It was nice to have a year off from road construction and turnpike rest stops.
It also left me plenty of time to bake and make dishes to bring over to our friends’s house on Thursday.
It ended up being an epic amount of food. There are probably still dishes I haven’t tried that were at the opposite end of the table. It was actually so much food, we re-gathered on Friday afternoon to do it again and try to make a dent in the leftovers.
But perhaps the best part of staying close was the lack of tolls on the short commute home and being in my elastic waisted pajamas pants by 8.
The Ashland Lions Olympic triathlon is a long-running (this was the 26th year), local race held in and around Ashland and Hopkinton, MA. Part of the bike covers the marathon start. It’s run by FIRM racing, a smaller outfit that does a variety of endurance events in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. They run the popular Appleman tri in July.
I hadn’t actually heard of this race until I literally ran into during a training ride in the area a few years ago. There aren’t many Olympic distance events in general (compared to sprints and 70.3s) and to find one almost literally in my back yard seemed like an invitation.
It took a few years longer than I thought, but I finally toed the starting line this past weekend.
If you live near Boston you have a spot for Patriot’s Day. Our spot for the past ten years has been just past mile 10 outside Natick town center.
The girls and I spent 3 hours there today cheering the wheelchair athletes, the professional athletes, the disabled athletes and all the other types of athletes out there today running their dream.
Maybe some day I’ll be at mile 10 cheering one of my girls. You never know.
Here are some photos that capture the day and the mood at the greatest race in the world. Continue reading
I drove into Boston on Sunday morning to attend Race-Mania, which has become the unofficial kickoff to the endurance season in the Northeast. It might not be spring yet, but you can at least sniff it. Time to start cleaning gear and firming up those race plans for the year. No better way to kick-start flagging motivation or find an inspiring race or new piece of gear than an expo dedicated to all things endurance racing.
Training for endurance sports can often be a lonely pursuit, even if you’re on a team or have a coach, so it’s always nice to emerge from the training bubble and mix and mingle with other people that think about run cadence, single versus double leg power meters or what flavor of gel is best at mile fourteen of your run. You are not crazy. You are not alone. You are just an endurance athlete.