Hey friends. I haven’t felt as compelled to write this past week with all that’s going on in our country, but thought I would check in and share a snapshot of the past two weeks.
Life lately has involved a combination of staying engaged and taking action + taking time to process with quiet breaks and, of course, lots of movement. Here’s a look at some of those recent moments.
Tuesday + Wednesday 1/17-18
After the Sunrise 6K my legs were crazy sore and I opted for several days of yoga. It was pretty awesome, especially since I went to Tuesday night vinyasa with my sister, and Wednesday night slow flow with Chris. I tend to practice yoga by myself – either literally at home or by heading to public classes solo 90% of the time – so it’s always fun when I actually go with someone. The vinyasa class was not the best idea for my already aching calves and quads, but it did feel good to move in that familiar way and unwind some tension. Slow flow was perfect for me the next night, and allowed me to stretch out my feet and legs while also getting out of my head, a most welcome form of rest and ease.
Friday morning I joined NP to take some feelings out on the hills. We ran the back side of Summit Ave followed by some “cross country spice” on the grassy hill. I was pretty pumped about this workout because as I mentioned previously, I’m easing back into these workouts and taking the mammoth front hill out of the picture sounded pretty great. My heel felt awesome and I was also feeling tense about the inauguration, so it was amazing to finally let myself loose on the hills. Cross country involved jumping over trash/recycle bins, crossing the hill at the bottom, and then sprinting back up on the far side.
Jumping over things and making goofy faces was the perfect way to boost my mood and shake off some anxiety. Photo evidence below…
Thanks to a pretty busy day at work, I missed a lot of the actual inauguration but the tension in our office was palpable. Luckily I was able to catch up with friends over tacos, beer, and ice cream that night. Some days you just need to enjoy all the good things in life, right? Or else why are we here?
I woke up bright and early to have a wee bit of oatmeal (remember how I love oatmeal?) before heading off to join the Janji Nomadic Run Crew. Since we’re away most weekends over the winter to ski, I really wanted to make it to this run. Exploring the city on foot is one of my favorite things, and I absolutely love that Janji leads such fun adventures (dare I say…runventures) to check out Boston’s coolest murals and secret spots.
I had posted to our group page that I was planning on running the 6 mile loop at around a 9 minute pace, and a few were down for that plan. It was almost 50 degrees out and sunny and as much as I love a true winter, it felt better ahhhhmazing to run in a t-shirt in January. I had an awesome time, and actually ended up moving a bit faster than planned at ~8:40s. It felt great considering how long it had been since I’d run more than 5 miles, and I was sore (but pain-free!) for days.
After the run, a group of us changed and re-fueled at the Janji store before heading down to the Common for the Women’s March.
I’ve held off on publishing this post because I’ve had trouble finding words to describe this experience. It’s obviously still something I’m processing and we’re still in the thick of this mess, so it just isn’t something I can sum up neatly. That being said, the march was a wonderful chance to be surrounded by passion, energy, and calls for action.
I was admittedly a bit nervous to join considering how much I hate crowds, but it was the sheer number of people that ended making the biggest impression on me. The speakers were incredibly inspiring and motivating, the signs were powerful (and often straight-up hilarious), but I have never seen that many people in one place. Ever. In my life. That we were all here together, for so many different-but-not-so-different reasons, united for an overall movement was staggering. And to see a place that is so familiar to me–Boston’s beautiful public green space at the center of our city–absolutely filled with people who came out to march was an image I’ll never forget. It was the best I’ve felt in weeks, and gave me a lot of hope and pride to be from Boston. There is so much uncertainty ahead, but I left feeling re-energized about the work that needs to be done.
After a night out Saturday and a quiet Sunday, Chris and I woke up to a dreary, rainy Monday morning. During our first few steps of running to the NP workout, we both had a moment of “Whaaaaat are we doing?!” Between the freezing rain/sleet/snow, sideways wind, and lack of solid sleep over the weekend, leaving bed seemed like a questionable decision at best. But of course, it wasn’t long before we were both laughing at the craziness and fun of it. I had a familiar feeling that despite the shitty weather – or really because of it – this morning would be great. As we ran along in the dark, we noted how ludicrous this prospect would have been to us just a few years ago. Running before dawn with 34 degree weather + rain and wind? I don’t think so. Yet here we were, and actually laughing and having a great time doing it.
The workout was at Harvard Medical, and consisted of a warm up run, followed by lots of partner work. First we tackled 50 push-ups and 50 leg-lifts each. I think I can safely say that this was the first time my legs were what held me back in leg lifts. Normally I start to feel my abdominals burning well before anything else, but my hip flexors were still confused about the previous week, so this was extra tough. We then transitioned to trading off running laps and a circuit of squats, lunges, and jumping jacks.
I’ve missed a lot of Mondays recently due to work, so it was SO much fun to be back at it. I love that these workouts hit every bit of your body, and often involve the core and upper body strengthening that I need. Needless to say, I’d long forgotten about the cold and gotten over the fact that we were going to get pretty wet, and had an amazing time.
We wrapped up with a wheelbarrow race. I think this was my first time wheelbarrowing without Jana, so my partner had a lot to live up to. Luckily he crushed it!
Even though my legs were freezing by the time I arrived home, I had so much fun and loved starting my week with all of that good energy. NP Mondays, you’re still my favorite.
After a crazy work week on top of diving into as much concerted action as I could muster (donations, phone calls, and emails – oh my!), I was beyond ready to head up to Vermont and recharge. We meandered around Vermont Friday, spending visiting some of our favorite local spots and stocking up on important snacks.
We woke up Saturday and made our way to the mountain after a leisurely cup of coffee and breakfast. We used to be pretty aggressive about getting on the lifts early, but we were on the sloooow train this weekend.
I can’t believe how incredible it felt to spend all day offline, taking in some gorgeous views and fresh air on the mountain. It snowed most of the day, making the skiing great and everything beautiful. It was like Hollywood movie snow too, falling slowly and windlessly (sometimes I make up words) in the prettiest way. In case it wasn’t already clear: I’m in love with snow. It’s just one of those things that brings me instant joy, magic, and connection to the outdoors. I know most Bostonians would disagree wholeheartedly, but there is really nothing more fun to me than running, walking, or skiing in the snow, and then enjoying it from inside by a fire with a hot cuppa.
Chris’ mom and I talked a lot on the lift about how good it felt to concentrate on movement. Skiing often reminds me of trail running in that way, where you’re fully focused on what you’re doing, engaged in the present, and using your whole body to move. If you space out or get distracted, you hit the ground – just like on the trails. It’s an incredible break for my mind and great work for my body.
I shared this on Facebook the other day, but I’ll share it again here. I am a strong believer in the importance of taking time to take care of yourself, especially if you’re someone that tends to feel deeply, take things hard, and find yourself burnt out. Give the linked article below a read if you like, and consider taking a rest when you need it. Personal outlook: disengaging is no good, but rests are key to staying strong:
Chris and I are still in Vermont until Tuesday, and enjoying lots of outside adventures and lots of resting inside. This mini vacation was much needed, and I hope you’re all taking care of yourselves too. ❤