It feels hard to justify writing here these days. It seems sort of self-indulgent. With my newsletter every week and the pseudo-race reports on Instagram, how much more could you all really want to know about me?
Still, maybe you don’t listen to the podcast on Fridays or follow my weird jokes on twitter. So to sum up real fast: I decided to race a bunch of halves late into the season. Shanghai 70.3 went alright; I was 6th and China was interesting. Cabo 70.3 went terrible; I DNF’d after a jellyfish sting. I ran a 37:16 10K on Thanksgiving and won(!), because I actually am fast, it just hasn’t been working out always. And then Challenge Daytona was fine, and also crazy; there was a huge storm and we ended up racing laps around the Daytona Speedway and I was 6th again. Then I went on vacation, sorta.
There you go. Life in a nutshell.
Oh, and also we’re moving and I’m sick and I don’t ever really even know how to answer when people are like ‘what have you been up to?’ Well, I had to call UPS a bunch today to re-direct packages that were going to arrive before we’re moved in; oh, and I’m going to go to Peru in the spring I think, and also my sister’s coming to visit. So the usual.
I was going to write something after my China race at Shanghai 70.3. And then I was going to write something after my Cabo 70.3 race. I was going to tell you two stories that I think might be the most me stories ever.
1. In China, I raced OK. I went for it and blew myself up and then hung in enough for 6th place. The whole time in China, though, I rarely knew what was going on and everything was also super big and important, with TV cameras, etc. The awards ceremony was no exception. People were talking in Chinese up front and I was sitting in the back drinking some beers and then all of a sudden I heard my name. Oh, shit! So I ran up to the stage and shook some important official’s hand before I realized I hadn’t set down my beer…
2. Two weeks later, I was in Cabo, fit and ready to go. I saw some stingrays while we were swimming, got stung by a jellyfish, came out of the water in a group and started riding. But something was wrong. I was weak and feverish. I was burning up and going backwards. I was so thirsty and convinced I had heatstroke. Except it was 7:45 a.m. and, like, maybe 70 degrees out. Nothing I tried to troubleshoot was working; it had to be because I sucked. Or maybe it was the jellyfish sting. I rolled into T2 looking for the med tent. There was a lot of Spanish and a lot of crying and a lot more of me not understanding what was going on. The nurses kept asking, “Where is the pain? Do you have the pain?” And I was probably more incomprehensible than usual, what with the sobbing. I was still burning up too, so I climbed into what seemed like an ice tub. Except it was actually a cooler, with drinks in it. So there I was, in Mexico, sitting in a cooler and visibly shaking from the cold even though I was still burning up, and I looked up and I was surrounded by the nurses who were all staring down at me incomprehensibly. I don’t really speak Spanish, but I’m pretty sure they were saying, ‘What the fuck is that crazy girl doing?’
Anyway. I was trying to think of a sum-up for this year. It started with things looking a little rough and then rolled right into the terrible concussion in Bermuda and the cracked tooth no one believed me about. Now the year is ending with me sitting in the middle of a pile of bags and boxes, and coughing. It hasn’t been my best year, but it hasn’t been all bad either, so what are you going to do?
This year, I went to: Bermuda, Finland, Sweden, China, Mexico, weirdly no Canada this year. Florida, Maine, upstate New York, Wisconsin + Chicago, Arizona, and naturally all over California.
According to my online training log, I trained: 648 hours, give or take.
That happened in:
– 4,687 miles biked
– 1,071 miles run
– 399,386 yards swum (which I’m going to assume is weird because of open water and also meters)
– and also a bunch of strength training and stuff
Here are some of the cool things I worked on:
- I got to be on national radio talking about the Tenderloin. (The longer story we did for Bay Area is better, IMO. But that just depends on how much you want to know about housing policy in San Francisco.)
- This is probably my favorite thing I wrote this year: My cover story about Flora Duffy!
- Triathlon, triathlon, triathlon! I wrote about the future of tri retail in Triathlete Magazine and about NCAA triathlon for California.
- Almost all my Salty Triathlete columns are online now too.
- My second favorite thing I wrote this year was actually about the no good very bad Olympic halfpipe skier. I actually think she was in the right, and I hope I did her right.
- I wrote a ton of espnW pieces about female athletes: Sarah Sellers, Paige Alms, Kate Courtney (right before she won the world champs!), Lucy Charles, and of course Alyssa.
- The vast majority of work that pays my bills, though, is less glamorous stuff, lots of which no one ever sees: producing and social media-ing, making calls and edits, writing content for different companies. And the stuff people do see doesn’t usually make ‘best of’ year-end lists, because people think it’s not as cool or as high-profile. Still. It took a lot of time to eat all those eggs, so.
- And also, I got to write about our SwimRun experience.
Really, though, the thing I’ve been proudest of this year is our newsletter and podcast. The newsletter is at 67 episodes, and you can read the full archive here. (#33 was the most read — drafting in Texas!, followed by #34 and #48) And, if you haven’t listened to the Friday podcasts, then you should start with our most popular episodes: the SwimRun episode, the pre-FKT episode, the post-FKT episode, and (my favorite) our most controversial.
There’s actually been a lot of stuff happening behind-the-scenes this year. We’ve started to build a following; I got to talk some about the future of triathlon at the Outspoken Summit and did some FB Live-ing with Sara (and my mom) at Lake Placid. I’ve gotten sent all over to cover triathlon. And as I’ve done more research and analyzing, more people want my opinion on triathlon topics, which is sort of nuts and sort of amazing. I joked I should open a consultant business. Maybe it’s nothing, just a hobby I know a lot about now; or maybe it’s the before, when it’s all about to come together. There’s this thing in freelancing where you never know when a connection you put out there in the world comes back to you, you never know which person you work with will end up recommending you for some other job. You talk to people and you do research and you keep at it, and you hope some day it all comes together.
Or it doesn’t. We’ll see.
I spent a lot of time earlier in the middle of this year wondering if I should get a “real job.” Be an editor at a magazine and triathlon for fun on the side. Maybe I will do that some day, but maybe it was just the concussion talking.
My plan this next year is to be fast. It’s actually a decision I made this fall. That it’s time to be fast, like for real. Which is a little bit about deciding so — at least at this point. I made that decision in 2016 and now it’s time to make another one.