November Check-In

by | Nov 17, 2019 | Mindset

Peter and I were talking the other day about how much we miss the old blog-o-sphere days. We both had our own racing blogs (his; mine) and we both followed a ton of other racers blogs. It was triathletes like Maija and Marni who inspired me to be the racer that I was, and am today. I’d log on every day for their recaps of workouts, meals, life—it felt like we were friends, and I loved reading dozens of blogs of women who were killing it in sport. Those days are gone—most racers just post to Instagram, and bloggers like me who still write on their websites are doing more how-to/general content versus the meandering catch-ups. I’m not listing my daily training or food log, nor do I do race recaps without focusing on general advice rather than 100% on my feels. It’s not a bad thing, but I do miss those blog-y days. So, I decided that once a month, I want to hop in and do a bit of an Editor’s Letter check in because, hey, this is my site and I am technically the Editor in Chief (plus every other job).

It’s actually hard to start writing a blogger-style entry at this point: I’m so used to the element of ‘service first’ that it’s hard to even know how to start a self-indulgent post. I don’t want to end up making this a recap/calendar of events, or a list of what’s happened already.

We’re in a pretty big state of change right now—prepping for yet another move (close by but a move nonetheless), packing for three vastly different trips, prepping for trying to have some holiday time off from at least a chunk of work stuff, and getting ready for a hectic first few months of the new year. (And accepting that hectic is just the way our lives work.) I feel like I’m both putting down roots and yanking them up at the moment!

And of course, ever present is the push-pull of wanting to be at home versus wanting to travel all over. When we’re making future plans, travel sounds amazing. When we have months and months booked out, suddenly staying home seems appealing. It’s a great problem to have, but it is a weird internal struggle between settling down and adventuring away.

I have similar push-pull when it comes to the idea of minimalism, especially with the more strident Kondo-style getting rid of anything that isn’t necessary or joy-sparking. Take, for example, bike shorts. I have about 10 pairs of really great shorts that I love, some barely worn. I’ll argue that getting rid of 8 of those pairs because I only need 2 is short-sighted, since I know that they wear out and will need to be replaced. The answer, I think, lies in the more simple two point plan:

  1. Hey, stop buying new stuff you don’t need!
  2. Get rid of stuff that truly is worn out, doesn’t fit, or isn’t comfortable

But getting rid of stuff just for the sake of getting rid of it to feel more minimal? That’s where I’m drawing the line, because I’ve been there, and it tends to lead to me buying more stuff, often replicas of things I had gotten rid of. Sigh.

In more training-oriented news, we got hit with A TON of snow last week in Ontario, which has led to some interesting training moments for me. It’s been extremely slippery, colder than I’d anticipated for November, and while the first snowy run was fun, the current icy situation outside is not overly appealing. It’s a good reminder on the home vs away note that winter training is really hard, and we’re lucky that we get to go to warmer climates to work with other athletes in the same situation.

My own running for 2020 is still a little undecided. With the second Shred Girls book due to come out in July but no exact date, I can’t plan a race calendar until I know what book launch will look like. I’m also indecisive when it comes to big races versus smaller races, 50K versus 50 miles, FKTs versus competitions. I’m holding off on picking my next big scary goal but I am thinking about it a lot! Part of the jumping off point is the overarching question of how far I want to push this ultra-running thing. Do I actually want to ‘go pro’ and all that entails, or do I want to just race ‘for fun’ (albeit really competitively). My heart says pro, my brain says ‘pro, but umm, remember the other 100000 things you have going on?’ I can argue both ways, and ultimately, it’s more a question of identity and mental attitude and some minor training shifts/approaches versus a truly life-changing choice or decision, but it’s still one that I’m taking very seriously.

Basically, I have a lot to ponder while we’re in Costa Rica this December in terms of big picture, plus a lot of project-planning for stuff that’s already in the works, like my Speaker Series I’m hosting in Collingwood this April and the recent launch of my latest book,“The Athlete’s Guide to Sponsorship”! (Plus some proposals, a fully written new novel, and other fun stuff for 2020. If the project list isn’t ridiculously lengthy, I’m annoyed.)

Let me know in the comments—do you want more posts like this? I’ve been mulling over the ‘how personal do I get’ topic a lot and have a few deeper posts in mind, so let me know if that’s of interest or if I should stick to more outdoorsy advice!


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