It’s no surprise to anyone who’s been reading this blog I’ve been in a bit of a rut.

I mean, it’s not all bad. I’m running, I’m hiking, I’m training strength regularly and upping weights. Sometimes, I get on my bike when there’s not another better option. Logging 8-12 hours a week of activity isn’t shabby especially when I can scroll back to 2020-2022 and see my average at 3-5. I’m not fast at anything right now, but I feel pretty fit when I can go run 4-5 miles on a random Tuesday if the weather isn’t trying to kill me with oppressive heat and go hike for 3-4 hours every other weekend and still walk the next day. In the five weeks around May, I went ~133 miles and only about 8 of those were cycling, so MUCH ambulation at varying paces.

I’ve logged my food every day, to some level of accuracy. I haven’t been mainlining deep fried bacon wrapped cheese sticks dipped in ranch (sometimes, a cheese stick or two in the air fryer with yogurt dressing… but you know what I mean) or other disgusting food in mass quantities. I’m just not being as diligent as I have been in the past. I’m not losing weight, but I’m not gaining. Admittedly, I’m not trying really hard. I want to want to try really hard, but if I’m being honest, I’m more motivated to whine about it than do it. And that’s not fun for anyone involved.

Work is being work right now. I’ve oscillated in my seventeen years of employment with my current company between feeling true gratitude someone would pay me for the cool things I get to do and leaving each day not sure if I want to come back for the next. I’m somewhere in the middle right now. This is okay – it’s actually quite excellent for work/life balance after quite a few years being megamaniacal about all the things. However, I do kind of live for being ALL IN on something in my life and this isn’t it right now. It feels like that recovery period after the Ironman, where you can’t fathom how you were riding bikes for 100+ miles and doing 20 mile runs even though you were totally doing that ish every weekend before the race. Now, it’s difficult enough to do a light 30-minute jog and you’re still giving your bike the side-eye as it sits alone in the corner of your room, where it’s been since the race weeks ago.

Looking at my life from the outside, one would see me as a highly successful, motivated, well-rounded and really productive person. And it’s not that I’m not – but none of these things have the SPARK right now. They’re not THE THING that wakes me up in the morning, excited to go make progress on some new, exciting, scary, challenging goal. I need at least one of those in my life or I feel adrift.

So, I went and walked/ran in the woods on June 8th for over 5 hours in 90+ degree heat, completing a half-marathon distance in like 4.5 hours (5.25 hours with stops) with 1400 feet of ascent. And this is just the beginning, hopefully.

I’ve always been a little ultramarathon-curious, but it’s never really come up to the top of the bucket list as it’s – in theory – the antithesis to the training I did. I’ve been focused all these years on getting faster and playing to my strengths (flat races in cool weather). Heat ruins my mood really quickly. I suck at running hills. Up is hard and demoralizing for me. I am not the most graceful with uneven surfaces, and that’s putting it kindly. Earlier in my life, the idea of going for a 3 hour walk in the heat ON PURPOSE FOR FUN sounded terrible (still does, but I’m choosing the suck so it feels… better?). Running trails would leave me frustrated with the slow time/pace so I stuck to roads to soothe my little ego.

So, it’s time to attack some of my weaknesses and pursue something new. Time to suck at something new for a while so I can get better at it. I’d like to progress towards traveling 50 kilometers on my own two feet in one day. I want to do the Grand Canyon Rim to Rim in one day. And I have no qualms personifying this meme…

I would be perfectly happy to wander in nature for 10+ hours while gorging on whatever food is available (chips now fuel my long workouts, not gels) and collect my medal at the end or limp to the North Lodge and die, or whatever,

That takes care of the training goal. It’s a long hill to climb (literally!), something new to learn and sink my teeth into. New gear, new races, DFL finishes will be with pride as I learn to be a badass in the wilderness. It will be really fun and challenging and difficult, but I’m looking forward to figuring out how to not die on the ascents (and tiptoe down the descents) and be more capable and confident running on rocks and managing all the craziness that comes along with long days again (without having to deal with all the swimming and biking gear). I still have love for triathlon (maybe just… long distance relationship status right now) and have some hope this will shore up some of my weaknesses there as well. And I’m guessing this will all translate to some really nice gains once it gets cooler and I do some road running races as well.

Even if not, I’m going to try something new that seems like it will fit pretty well with my lifestyle right now. I need a different type of pain cave right now. Let’s effing go.

Now, there’s the scale. I ended April at 183.7. I also ended May at 183.7. I think I may need to shift my focus here as well. I still need to track, otherwise I get… forgive the pun… way off track. But I think I need to give myself the month, hell, maybe even the summer, and stop half-assed trying to lose weight. Either I need to focus on it or not. And I’ve proven to myself that it’s not in the cards right now, for whatever reason. So, this month, my goal is simply not to gain weight and try to enjoy healthy food again (read: ALL THE VEGGIES).

I’ve kinda stopped the constant meal delivery of Snap and Factor because we were just going UGH at them. I have more than a few in the freezer because they were about to expire. I want to focus on varying my diet, making some delicious yummy food that’s not the same 10 meals over and over, and getting a lot of veggies, lean protein, and good carbs that fill me up and make me happy. This week we have some grilled al pastor for tacos and enchiladas and grilled chicken for pitas, wraps, salads, or whatever. Hopefully, that fixes that rut.

In terms of hobbies, the only one I’m really trying to push on is my book, since I’m still really motivated there. I have finished my edit pass, and ready to read it, I’m just giving it a little space first so I can be more critical. After that, I think it’s time to start book 3 (maybe next month?). I also woke up in the middle of the night at one point and put together some notes (let’s not call it an outline yet) for the whole series, so at least dream me isn’t in a rut and trying to be productive!

And, adulting gets to go last. I adulted enough in April/early May with the bathroom. Mostly everything is put back and organized. I haven’t touched paint or hardware but maybe I can get that done this month. We did get Joel squeezed into the guest room and a nice new adjustable desk, and we’ll probably keep it there for now. It’s been pretty cool to be able to leave the gaming stuff up on the dining room table and we may play some longer games (a turn or two a night) because of it! Also, the pool is open and lovely. So, mostly done what I meant to do.

June is already 1/3 done, but here’s what I’d like to do with the rest of it:

  • Keep the activity up and not be super picky on what I’m doing, just that I’m doing it. Weights 3x week. Try for at least 2 runs per week. Triple brick workouts sometimes because I can stand the heat better in 1-2 mile chunks. Lots of walks. Long hikes every other weekend or so. We’ll get more serious about this closer to the next race (end of Sept if I race a triathlon, mid-October if I skip it) but for now, move my arse and lift heavy things.
  • Track my food but not be as limiting (or at least pretend to try to be limiting). Use a little meal delivery as some easy options but get back to cooking healthy food atop piles of veggies like I used to eat more often.
  • Read my book, revise one more time based on my/Joel’s feedback, and start book 3!
  • Finish Seattle editing (yeah, my softball didn’t even happen) and start the Arch
  • Hardware/paint on doors, and break down the box pile in the garage for adulting

I think it sounds doable! Let’s see what happens, shall we?