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I tried

Today is the last day of my tri team’s healthy habits challenge

I’d say I was about 75 percent successful. My hydration habits have definitely improved. (I'm sitting here with a water bottle right now.) I managed to foam roll for a week. And I’ve gotten better at putting the phone down before bed and picking up a book instead. (Currently reading Hillary Clinton’s What Happened. Figured I should pick this up after she became my Ironman mantra.) 

Life, however, did get keep me from going all-out on the healthy habits. 

On the weekend I was supposed to be avoiding alcohol, Big Ginger and I went to the Vikings-Saints game. And the Minneapolis Miracle happened. And I may or may not have cried in public and then run down the street cheering and hugging a bunch of people I have never seen before in my life. 

I mean, how on earth was I supposed to not drink? 

(Related: How on earth was I not supposed to not drink after the Vikings lost the NFC Championship game? And how on earth am I not in fetal position, pulling out all my hair, as all these Eagles fans arrive in Minneapolis for the Super Bowl? Gah!) 

Then the weekend I was supposed to avoid added sugars, Annie and I went to Austin for a girls trip that revolved entirely around food and trying to eat as much queso as possible. 

Call me a skeptic, but I’m pretty sure queso isn’t gently melted cheese straight from a grass-fed cow.


I'm almost two weeks into the January challenge, and I think I'm the most hydrated I've ever been in my life.

So do I notice a difference?

My skin feels better. My lips aren't perpetually chapped anymore. And my heart rate doesn't immediately skyrocket during a run.

And I pee a lot now.

I mean, like a whole lot. As in, I often have to excuse myself mid-meeting at work. And I need to make sure I use the bathroom before getting in a car (because is there anything worse than sitting in traffic and needing to pee?). And I sometimes wake up multiple times at night to fumble my way to the toilet in the dark.

Mouse is like, "Again? Really?"

I do box jumps now

They're little ones, but I do them.

To mix things up over the off-season, learn how to lift and try something new, I started going to Alchemy, a studio with classes that are sort of a hybrid of yoga, strength and high-intensity intervals. It took me awhile to get used to the class format. (Also, I feel like everyone in these classes is young and ridiculously good-looking, and I'm like the old lady who shows up covered in cat hair and asks too many questions about form and modifications.) The yoga is definitely not traditional, and I occasionally feel like a bumbling fool when it comes to working with weights, especially heavy ones. ("You want me to do what with what?") And let's not even talk about pull-ups and how I can't reach the bar without using a box to get myself up there.

But whatever. The workouts are fun and challenging, and everyone has to start somewhere. And I can definitely feel myself getting stronger -- especially when I'm swimming.

the trials of winter

I'm going to drop the stoicism for two seconds and tell you the truth: This winter is kicking my ass.

This is my life now.

It's either snowing or so cold that the highs are sub-zero and windchill is like -20. This wasn't a big deal last year, when I lived in a towering apartment building with indoor parking, a gym, and a lap pool. But then I had to go get married and become an adult and now I have no luxury amenities and have to park outside and shovel a driveway. (Life lesson: Don't grow up.)

And my car hates this weather and won't start. Yes, friends, Wally the Mazda has decided he's 100 percent Californian and F this shit. Which made for fun logistics this weekend when I had a run off the bike, but couldn't run outside because frostbite, but couldn't go to the gym because Wally was protesting winter.

Wait, it gets better.

You know what else is awesome about winter? Frozen barf. In mid-December, someone puked in the snow along the walkway to work. And because the snow has not melted, it is still there. It's like a permanently installed pinkish stain of disgustingness. And I see it every single day, sometimes multiple times if I decide to walk somewhere for lunch. And as some of you know, I have this total vomit phobia where I am just absolutely unnaturally terrified of other people's puke, so every time I walk past the frozen barf, I imagine it reaching out for me and pelting me in the face like a tiny horrible snowball.

Oh my god, is it spring yet?

hello, 2018

To prep for the 2018 race season, I sent my coach my goals for the year. They include a new half marathon PR (because it's been seven years and dear god, where has the time gone?), beating Big Ginger in the swim at Victoria this June, and learning how to flip-turn (one day I'll be a "real" swimmer).

I also signed up for my tri team's January challenge, which is all about developing healthy habits like drinking 64 oz. of water a day (I fail at this constantly), not looking at a screen 30 minutes before bedtime (which I'm also terrible at, thanks to my NY Times crossword app addiction), and foam-rolling for 15 minutes every day (yup -- bad at this too).

I need to drink four llamas a day.

But outside of health and fitness goals, there are three things I want to do more of in 2018. I wouldn't call these resolutions -- that makes them seem heavy and obligatory and not at all fun. And these things are all about feeling good and fulfilled and whole. Who doesn't want to feel good and fulfilled and whole?

So here goes:

Travel. This is what I miss most about my new life in Minneapolis; when I lived in Seattle, I traveled almost every week for work, and now I only travel a few times a year. (First world problem: I lose my MVP status on Alaska in 2018 -- first time not having it since 2013. I'm just not flying enough anymore. It makes me sad.) My little heart is restless for new places! Since I'm not racing Ironman this season, I have time for more trips.

Make things. Whether it's baking more bread with Pat the sourdough starter (for the record, Pat has changed my life, and I can't tell you how much I love spending weekends baking) or writing fiction again or taking more art classes, making things -- learning things, trying new things -- feels so good.

Give back. I just started volunteering for Feline Rescue (hello, leveling up my cat lady status!) and will be helping with a few upcoming events, including a running event (more on this soon -- it's going to be awesome) and their annual Glitter Ball.

Lots of exciting stuff in the works! Cheers to 2018!