Happy belated holidays and a on-time Happy New Year!
I’ve been a blogging delinquent this last month. My last post was a month ago when I was late wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving. I promise you though that this has been a really busy but exciting month!
|St. James’s Park (London Eye and Westminster Palace
December started and ended with a lot of European travels. Immediately after Thanksgiving, Josh left for a business trip in London and I followed a couple days later. We both spent the weekend in London before flying home on a Sunday. Even though I was only there for less than four full days, I was in love with the city as soon as I arrived. I had the chance to casually sightsee, meet up with a college friend for dinner, go on a personal city running tour through the Royal Parks, eat some really good and just spend a lot of time walking through the city. Everyone in London was complaining about how cold it was (I guess to be fair temperatures in the 30s – 40s is the coldest the city gets) but I loved being in a climate warmer than home.
|See the Eiffel Tower in the background!|
Coming back from London, I had two full very busy weeks at work before leaving for France the weekend right before Christmas. We booked a vacation purposely over the holidays since I had those weeks off from work. For the last ten days, along with Josh’s parents, we traveled in Paris and Nice before arriving back yesterday just in time to ring in the new year in my pajamas from bed. The whole trip feels like a whirlwind now, but we had such an amazing time in Paris despite the lousy weather on most days and capped the trip off with sunshine and warmer temperatures in Nice at a hotel overlooking the Mediterranean Ocean. While in Paris, aside from lots of eating, sightseeing, museums, and more eating, I had the chance to sneak in two rainy runs through parts of the Left Bank and along the Seine River. In Nice, I was spoiled with the nice temperatures and was able to run along the Promenade de Anglais (right next to the Mediterranean Ocean) during sunset.
|Sunset run in Nice|
After two amazing back to back trips to Europe, I am in love! There is something to be said about traveling when you’re old enough to appreciate the sights and culture and lucky enough to have worked and lived in one of the world’s best cities (New York) so that you can compare and contrast. I really enjoyed the “European” way of life – from the food, culture and history in the cities, shopping and styles, and layout of London and Paris. It is amazing to have parts of the cities connected by pedestrian bridges and rivers that aren’t terribly wide so navigating between one side to the other is fairly straightforward even by foot. Also, the proximity of the countries and cities to each other is incredible. London to Paris is just a two hour train ride away (I should have just stayed in London between these two trips!), Paris to Nice (and the French Riviera) is a five and a half hour train ride (or hour plane ride), and from there you’re less than an hour to Monaco and Italy. Brussels, Amsterdam, and other cities are just as close.
|I mastered the art of taking dorky selfies this trip|
Running while traveling is one of the best ways to see your new locale and I was lucky to have the chance to run while away. When you run along the Hudson River for over 50% of your runs and the rest in Central Park or in other parts of New York City, you really take for granted how lucky you are to run on such amazing routes. However, it has really made me appreciate the chance to run through cities you’re not familiar with, waterfront paths, and over bridges (much shorter and less steep ones). It is neat though how much pathway there is to run along the Thames or Seine Rivers all with views of the cities’ biggest attractions.
2013 has been a challenging and rewarding year in many regards on a personal and professional front. Despite some obstacles along the way, I am thankful for support from my friends and family in helping me accomplish some major milestones this year. I finished 2012 by completing my first marathon, but in 2013, I am lucky that my legs were able to carry me through another three marathons with New York City being the highlight. While running is a very individual sport, it is definitely a team effort. Between the support of my coaches and teammates, I am fortunate for the continued support from my friends and family who have to deal with my tough training and race schedules. On a smaller scale, it was a goal to complete the Local Barre I <3 Barre Challenge which I finished right before heading off to the airport to France, run in three continents in the month of December, and to run a total of 1,100+ miles for the year (a more detailed post about that to come).
I hadn’t really spent much time thinking about goals or resolutions yet this year but will definitely do so over the next couple of days. I am excited for what 2014 holds and look forward to sharing it with you.
In the mean time, I hope the new year brings much happiness, good health, and lots of running and PRs!