Happy happy holidays everyone!! I hope you all are having some fun times with your loved ones. I have been home for over a week now, and it has been filled with lots and lots of R&R&R (the extra R is for “reflection” 😉 ), family/friend/church time, and of course running :).
First, let’s go through what’s been up this past holiday week!
Christmas at Church
When I got home last week, I immediately went into church mode as me and the other young professionals (aka college kids + recent grads) were asked to host Sunday worship on Christmas. We immediately jumped at the opportunity – we use to play together in high school, so getting together for a reunion sounded more than fun. The first few days were filled with quality time at church for rehearsals, as well as lunches/dinners to catch up afterwards.
That’s me on bells!! I also played acoustic guitar 🙂
We also had Christmas Eve service at church which was a blast. My whole family was involved – Dad MC-ing, Mom running food, sister leading worship…it’s so nice to come back to my home church which will always feel like home.
My brother on the right playing jeopardy!
Hiking in Coldspring
A huge treat this week was seeing my Harvard friend, Andrew. Every time we’re home, we go hiking together. I call him my “hiking husband.” 🙂
The weather was pretty chilly, so we opted for a pretty challenging hike to keep us moving: Breakneck Ridge at Hudson Highlands State Park. This is one of my favorite hikes in the area. I’ve done it so many times! It’s incredibly vertical in the beginning, requiring lots of climbing on all fours. It was definitely a work out :P. The rest of the trail had rolling ups and downs, but much less intense.
One section had these cool icy cliffs. It was so nice to catch up on Andrew’s past semester at Harvard (I love hearing his funny stories on college life) and talk about what’s ahead.
Baking with Jason
Another highlight of the week was seeing my very good high school friend, Jason. We love to bake together, and he recently found a recipe for matcha green tea lava cake based on our trip together to Spot Dessert Bar a few months ago…we immediately jumped at trying it out.
The recipe had lots of components and room for error, but we’re both pretty skilled bakers and they could not have turned out out better 🙂
It was such a treat to tackle this recipe and catch up in the kitchen 🙂
Other home/friend shenanigans
The rest of the week was filled with quality time at home with the family, running errands and making the rounds with some other friends too.
Most of the week was spent doing this. I’m currently reading Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo by Amy Schumer. It’s incredibly hilarious – if you’re looking for an easy read or need a pick me up, this is the one. Also watching tons of Conan videos…I recently discovered the hilariousness of Conan; HANDS DOWN the funniest late night host 🙂
Also, lots of movies with the family. As you may remember, we love to have our movie nights after dinner each day.
Lastly, I’ve been getting lots of running in! Next week marks the official first week of marathon training, and I’ve been working at building a strong base with 3-5 milers so I can hit the ground running 🙂
With the new year coming up, I’ve been thinking a lot about goals for the new year. I think runners are naturally goal-oriented people, I know I am. I definitely feel my best self when I’m working towards something. BUT, I am NOT a fan of new year resolutions. Every time I make them, I usually drop them after a few weeks. I think it makes more sense (for me) to make short-term goals, forseeable for a few months, verses ones for the whole year, especially seeing how fast things change at this stage in my life.
Looking back to my running goals last year: I decided I wanted to 1) run at least 1x per week (check!), and 2) hit 1,000 miles for the year (not check…I hit just under 800 miles for the year). A part of me was disappointed when looking at my 2016 running log, but then I reminded myself – not running led to other goals being accomplished: I raced my first two triathlons and open water race, and also thoughtfully took off fall marathon season this year to recuperate and gain my love back for running. Even though I didn’t accomplish my running goal, my priorities changed throughout 2016, and meeting other goals shouldn’t undermine not meeting an original one.
With that said, I do have a few short term goals for the next few months! I have my heart set on the Newport Rhode Race Marathon in April. I cannot wait to run this scenic, coastal race and more importantly, feel the sense of progression through training over the next few months. I also want to refocus this blog onto running, more carefully documenting my training/eating/running thoughts (which was the original intent when I started it). Lastly, the usual career stuff – to pass my Spring actuarial exam (I will be re-studying for my Fall exam which I failed), and an overarching goal of making healthier choices in my personal life.
Please note that my outlook on goals is what works FOR ME. Everyone has different ways of approaching how they achieve that sense of accomplishment, so please take what I say with a grain of salt :).
This is the last post of 2016!! I’m beyond grateful for the support I’ve gotten from this blog this past year – it has been such a refreshing and FUN project to work on, and I’m so glad to have taken the first step to start it this year ❤ Thank you all, and happy new year!!