This is 31.

I’m stubborn and want to keep my weekly blog going, instead of just fizzing out once again. I figured since the instagram #miniblog is en vogue, I’d borrow and repurpose that concept to re-share my latest thoughts from the ‘gram on turning one year older after a tumultuous last 12 months.

Also, if you’re not following me on Instagram, you might as well go fix that.

I like spending my birthdays doing something challenging and, as I’ve come to learn, prefer tackling these adventures alone. It gives you ample time to reflect on the past year’s lessons and start dreaming up what’s in store for the next 365.

This birthday tradition started a few years back, with a standard HPB-assigned 100x100 birthday swim. Soon after followed 128 mile and 129 mile rides for my respective 28th and 29th birthdays. Last year it was a crazy mountain bike ride up Kenosha Pass. This year I was worried my birthday adventure would be a little boring, thanks to a recovering broken ankle, but Lucy and I have been hiking a lot for rehab, so a double 14’er sounded like just the right adventure to take on.

For the uninitiated, a 14er is a mountain that peaks over 14,000ft; there are 58 in Colorado alone. I had one under my belt and wanted to add to my list. Lucy and I started at sunrise to hike up Grays Peak to 14,278’, where we took our obligatory peak-bagger photo, before walking down, across and up a steep ridge to Torreys Peak at 14,275’. Six hours of hiking, scrambling and tail wags later, let me just say: Colorado, you are might pretty.

Looking back, thirty came and went with plenty of struggles and set-backs, but also some new adventures and significant growth. It felt a little like a two steps forward/one step back kind of year. Here’s to more leaps forward this upcoming year, because I had a full day of dreaming and scheming and planning today and let me tell you, thirty-one sounds great.

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What I’m Reading

Why Your Desk Job is So Damn Exhausting. Oh. Also, I don’t know what episode but there was also a really great podcast by Sonya Looney and she talked about setting parameters on when she did “work work” leading up to a key session or race. As someone guilty for working a full 8-hours remotely the day or two before an Ironman, I think it’s time to reconsider my strategy.

If you’re into hiking adventures, one really good book, apparently also a movie, about tackling the Appalachian Trail. It will simultaneously inspire you to tackle the AT, while at the same time suggesting it’s a terrible idea.

How Being Judged Affects Your Work As I read this, I could not help but think about it in the context of triathlon coaching. Several friends are coaches, while many friends are coached—and lots of stories from both ends of the experience spectrum.

Timely, given I received a “rockstar” rating during my work review last Friday (after the past six months spent feeling like I was struggling) but why feeling like a fraud can be a good thing.

(Not Yet) but I picked up Kara Goucher’s new book from the library last week. A quick flip through and it looks to be a little light in terms of anything outside of pretty pictures and journal prompts—but I’m still hoping to be surprised.

What I’m Cooking

I intended to make this for next week, to make good use of all the corn I got from the Boulder Farmer’s Market this past week—but that has not happened yet. Stay tuned. Also, can we talk about shishito peppers? New obsession (side note: this section is really only here to inspire me to try new things… so I’m all ears for any new suggestions).

What I’m Doing

Working. A lot. I’ll be heading to Denver next week to demo what I’ve spent the last two months building and agonizing over, and it will be launching to the public in a week. I got a massage last Friday and my guy was pretty much like, “dang girl, you are definitely stressed about something!” I’ve also been tackling daily PT exercises that include a lot of single-leg actions because, apparently, I need to re-learn how to walk and run again. More on that in a later post.