A Triumphant(?) Return to Writing, Part 2

Since this is just a continuation of my last post (and it’s long enough as it is), I see no need to bore you with any sort of intro (you’re welcome). So, let’s get to it…

MAY:

May involved a lot (for me) of running (20/31 days! who even am was I??), including a couple of races (well, a race and a half). I also finally realized that I no longer hated hiking, which certainly made the rest of my summer more fun and interesting.

I “raced” the first weekend and did okay despite not really trying. Mama Reven and Lynn raced too, which is always fun. The following weekend was the Wapack Race. I had signed up for that race with two goals: 1) beat last year’s time and 2) beat someone else who was running it (and shall remain nameless). I was pretty confident that #1 would happen, since part of what slowed me down so much last year was how wet the trail was. I was slightly less confident about #2, but was convinced that sheer stubbornness could make it happen. But then it POURED during the bus ride to the start, and I knew that beating last year’s time wasn’t going to happen–the trail is really rocky and steep in a lot of places and I’m not a very confident downhill runner on dry trails. Also, the runner I was hoping to beat ended up not racing. With my goals no longer relevant, I decided to drop out after the first aid station and fast-hiked my way to the second aid station where Tim was waiting for me. It was certainly not a proud moment, but given how many better-than-me runners I saw slip and fall in the first few miles, I like to think I made the right call. The only thing worse than not beating my goals would have been an injury–and given how clumsy I am in good conditions, that had seemed almost inevitable.

Post-race shot of me and the moms
Post-race shot of me and the moms at the Stonyfield 5k

JUNE:

June was a pretty fun month. The last two races in the Will Run for Beer Series happened, and if weather hadn’t been so goddamn horrible for both–and by horrible I mean approximately 200º and 3298563592% humidity–I probably would have PRed at one of them. But whatever, at least I got my super cool, bright yellow beer jacket! June was also kind of awesome because one of the yoga studios I was going to had a 6-week “Yoga for Runners” series. One of my life goals is to someday have my own studio where I teach some sport-specific classes (e.g., yoga for runners, yoga for cyclists, etc.), so it was cool to see what that might actually look like.

Lots of other fun things also happened. I…skipped a day of work to hang out on the Cape with my friend, Freddie; went camping with another friend, Jon, who was visiting from Florida; hiked Lafayette (still the worst fucking mountain that has ever existed–file this one under “Type 2 Fun”) with Tim; and hiked/ran Cannon by myself. I had never done Cannon before, and had no idea that it was such a fun mountain! I’m sure that if Tim hadn’t dragged me up and over Lafayette on the windiest, rainiest day of the summer the day before, I would have enjoyed Cannon even more…but I guess I can’t really blame him for that since it’s a well-known fact that I’M the weather jinx.

Oh hey, beach day :D
Oh hey, beach day 😀

JULY:

Being my birthday month, July is almost always my favorite of the warm-weather months. A few years back, I took two weeks off of work as a birthday present to myself and spent one week on the Cape and one week in West Virginia. While I haven’t been able to celebrate that much in the years since then, I have continued to make fun Priority #1 during my birthday week. This year, I was able to take the week off and Tim and I had a sort of adventure staycation. I treated myself to an “Ashley Triathlon” on my actual birthday–run, climb, yoga–and it was a perfect start to the week. The next day, we headed up north–despite some horrible rainy weather–to hike for a couple of days (Mt Waumbek one day and Mt Hale the next) and stay at the cutest little inn (Wildcat Inn & Tavern) ever. Tim’s cousin, Andrew, was visiting from Scotland, so at the end of the week we went back up to the mountains to hike some more with him and his ladyfriend (Eisenhower? Pierce? one of those…I don’t remember which) before switching gears and heading to the Peck beach house for the weekend. The rest of July was far less exciting than birthday week.

CW from top left: Tim on the super exciting rock pile summit of Waumbek; a badass spider web that was either on Waumbek or Hale (can't remember which); me on the slightly more exciting rock pile summit of Hale; and Jack, Tim's parents' super mean cat, relaxing at the beach
CW from top left: Tim on the super exciting rock pile summit of Waumbek; a badass spider web that was either on Waumbek or Hale (can’t remember which); me on the slightly more exciting rock pile summit of Hale; and Jack, Tim’s parents’ super mean cat, “relaxing” at the beach

AUGUST:

I slipped back into a little bit of an activity slump in August, but I have an okay-ish reason for it: I started a new job! It was really exciting and stressful and it happened SO fast. While I had been on birthday vacation, I was contacted by Brookstone about a copywriting opportunity. I had a phone interview that week, a real interview the following Tuesday, and got the offer that Friday. I miss a lot of things about EMS, and I cried halfway through my first week at Brookstone, but now that I’ve settled in I am really enjoying myself. I get to do a lot of catalog work now, and it’s definitely my favorite part. One of my strengths as a writer has always been keeping things succinct (this blog excluded, obviously), and there’s a lot of that going on in the catalog.

There’s some real pretty trail running near my new office. I should be taking advantage of it way more than I currently am.

The biggest drawback to the new job is the commute–my 45-minute drive (which was bad enough!) suddenly turned into an hour and 15 minutes. Unless I’m on a road trip, I hate driving for more than like, 30 minutes at a time. This two-and-a-half hours in a car every day thing has taken more of a toll on me than I thought it would, and everything from my mood to my running has suffered a little bit. It was also incredibly difficult to find a new place to live for a while, but we finally found a place and after this weekend my commute will be a glorious 25 minutes! There are A LOT of things I’m going to miss about our little adopted town of Westminster–incredible roads for biking (even though I only did that once all summer), Wachusett being a mere 5 minutes from my driveway, all of the delicious treats at Vincent’s, and our awesome neighbors–but I’m optimistic about our new place in Wilton, NH. On my way to check it out, I drove by what appeared to be a lot of different trail heads, and the Wapack range will be super close, so I should be able to get my running back on track…especially with all of my new free time! There’s a yoga studio 4 walking minutes away from the new apartment, as well as a super cute little cafe that my dad and I sampled before meeting with my new landlord. We’ll also be able to take about an hour off of our travel time up north now, and Mama Reven is verryyy excited that I’ll finally be back in NH.

This is what I imagine my mom looks like when she thinks about me being back in NH

So there’s a lot of good stuff going on at the moment, and even though I normally don’t like change, I’m mostly okay with it this time around.

Also, hopefully getting back 8+ hours of my life back every week means that I’ll be a little more motivated to get this blog going again! (But, as usual, don’t hold your breath…)

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