I’m not a big fan of holidays but I do love the reflection that comes with Christmas and New Year.
I’m all about new beginnings, a fresh start and reflecting on what was good and bad.
What I loved about this year: working from home, being a stay-at-home-dog mom for a few months, a new job in the ski industry, a new puppy, buying new ski gear, making new friends who love to bike, and hiking all the 4,000 footers in one year.
What I didn’t love about 2020 I’ll keep to myself.
I’m excited for all the potential of 2021; and that’s what I love about this time of year. I love making plans (with cancelation policies clearly stated) and laughing and reaching goals and traveling.
One of many things that training and racing endurance sports has taught me is to keep move forward – no matter what. Keep Moving Forward. That is the theme for the 2020 holiday season.
Merry Christmas friends. It’s going to be a good year. We are going to get back to normal – a new normal where we can be safe, race safe and see our families. In the meantime, I will wear a mask and wash my hands and stay home as much as I can. I will be grateful.
Today was one of the days when I stepped back and said: wow, this is my life.
And yesterday and the day before – wow, this is my life.
Is it perfect, the way I thought my life would always be? Hell no. I never in my wildest dreams thought I’d be where I am today.
As I’m driving south from Gilford at 9 p.m. in thick fog, I’m anxious about getting home and letting my dogs out.
I seem to feel more anxious and scared about so many things: life, work, dogs, hiking, training, reaching goals.
But then the same things make me so happy: life, work, dogs, hiking, training, reaching goals.
All I’m saying is life is funny. It gives you everything you want, takes away everything you want and all that is left is you, on your sofa, writing your blog post, eating salad, drinking wine and glad your dogs are right next to you.
I started a new job at Gunstock Mountain Resort this week. It’s so exciting working for a mountain resort because 1) the people are fun and energetic 2) I am marketing fun summer activities such as e-bike tours, Segway Trail tours and camping and 3) I get to partake is said fun activities and most importantly 4) winter is coming.
As I drive the access road to the base lodge I pinch myself that this is my new life.
While Gunstock is located in the Lakes Region, working at a ski resort is the realization of a desire to get back to the mountains since moving back to New Hampshire in 2017. I’m a mountain girl. I love living rurally and thrive in mountain towns. And while I always look forward to winter, and hiking in the White Mountains, this year I’ll be back in ski gear, watching the weather and praying for snow!
Here’s the view from my office and looking out to the base area.
But the best way to view what’s going on at the mountain is viewing the web cams.
I’m looking forward to getting to know the trails around Gunstock and Belknap mountains.
I met my hiking friends at Lincoln Woods at 3:30 which meant the alarm went off at 2:00. We started shortly after 3:30 with headlamps hiking up Osseo Trail with the most elevation gain to start. It was a slog to Flume with a socked in summit but still beautiful to be up there. Onto Liberty and still no views but we felt the fog would burn off.
By the time we hit Haystack a gorgeous 360 degree view of the Pemi Wilderness and Franconia Notch made all the suffering worth it.
At this point everything hurt. The first eight miles my ankle was sore from spraining it last week and my balance seemed off. I used poles and they kept me balanced.
The hike to Lafayette makes you forget all your ailments with spectacular views and rocks formations. At the summit a light wind kept the bugs away. As we headed toward Garfield I struggled with leg pain every time I lifted my right leg. I didn’t feel great but I was happy to be there.
I began thinking about what my hiking partners said, that the hike would be about 18 hours and we wouldn’t get off the trail until 10:00 or so.
When I started the day, for some reason I was thinking we would finish in 15 hours. Mentally, I didn’t think I could end at 10:00 or later. So many things conspired to make this a day of not finishing what I started.
I really want to finish what I start but many times over the course of my endurance-athlete-life I get mental blocks. My legs are dead or I’m having a bad race and I just want to be done. I’ve talked to other athletes who didn’t finish what they started, whether it was a 100 mile race or a marathon and they told me – they just wanted to go home and be around their family. When I’m stressed or think I can’t finish I just want to go home.
When we arrived to a closed Galehead Hut where we were hoping to resupply food, I decided that I didn’t have enough food to make it over Twin and the Bonds. So I took the bailout option well….. And … because .. I couldn’t fathom getting off the trail at midnight.
As I hiked/ran down Twin Brook and Franconia Brook trail I was nervous. I didn’t want to hike alone at night so I ran as much as I could. My thoughts go to a dark place telling myself I would never do this again. I thought of all the things I did wrong: how I need to fix my injuries, train harder and keep working on mental strength. I hiked/ran about 26 total miles but my Garmin, that died at mile 19 didn’t synch to Strava so I have no elevation gain for the first 19 miles it recorded before arriving at Galehead.
Today, Sunday, I completed every run on my training plan that included 21 miles of running this weekend. And I talked to Mark about running a Pemi Loop in the fall.
I’m getting there – back to where I want to be: super fit.