My parents came down on the 16th and stayed with us for about two weeks. We're renting a townhouse, and I can't tell you the difference it makes when we have guests. It was really pleasant to have my parents (and sister for six days) because we all had enough space that we weren't crammed in.
I closed a deal on December 24th, so I had barely any work the rest of December, and I was able to really take it easy between Christmas and New Years. The end of the year can be hectic, so having that week off after the craziness of the previous couple weeks was wonderful.
Unfortunately, running has not been so great. I've had "traveling" aches and pains that mean I can't really run more than three miles right now. I mean, I could, but it wouldn't be smart, and why hurt myself just to run an extra couple of miles right now?
The beautiful sunset run that led to that photo also led to a day or two of weird achey pain on the left side of my left thigh.
Sam, my physical therapist, thinks that a lot of this is in reaction to general post-marathon tightness combined with some long hours I pulled in the weeks following the marathon (i.e. a ton of sitting), along with tweaks in form that are happening as I work to activate my glutes more. I'm focusing on strength training that activates the glutes, core work and stabilization work. It's not the most "fun", but it will pay off in the long run.
Thankfully, though, none of these aches and pains have extended to hiking, so while my parents were visiting we did plenty of that. Nothing too strenuous since my mom is unfortunately dealing with some foot and hamstring issues (we're on the injured struggle bus together), but enough to get some gorgeous views.
We hiked around Palos Verdes a bit:
Hiked a couple miles up Black Star Canyon (and I am coming back to run this gorgeous trail when I am 100%):
Did some hiking on the San Juan Trail and checked out the views from the Main Divide Truck Trail:
And hit up the Harding Truck Trail when my cousin, Julia, came down from LA for brunch and a hike:
My parents left on the 29th, so Sourabh and I had a quiet New Years Eve at home. It consisted of a home-cooked meal, Mean Girls, and working on my selfie skills with Mason.
|Very productive NYE.|
We also tried out a new sunset-viewing spot, above Corona del Mar. Two thumbs up.
The next day, I drove up to LA to hike the Hollywood sign trail with my cousin. It was a pretty packed trail, but that didn't make it less enjoyable, and thankfully it was pretty clear so we got some great views:
I've also embraced the down time to read several books, something I totally failed at in 2015. I'm hoping to make 2016 the year of the glorious return to reading. It's just so much more rewarding than scrolling through social media. Since December 28th, I've read:
- Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling (Kaling and Tina Fey are my favorite celebrity authors, with apologies to Amy Poehler -- also they're the only three I've read...)
- Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel (largely set 15 years prior to and then 15 years after an apocalyptic pandemic -- the writing was fantastic and the story kept me up past midnight to finish it. It was nominated for a National Book Award and won a science fiction award, deservedly, I think.)
- This is How You Lose Her by Junot Diaz (he is such a wonderful writer, I enjoyed this book even though I didn't really like the main character that connects the short stories together.)
- After Dark by Haruki Murakami (my first Murakami book, but definitely not my last. Like with Station Eleven, I stayed up late tearing through this book.)
So, clearly I'm on a good run with reading. Hoping that even when work picks back up I can continue to read at least a few books each month.
Tomorrow we fly to Peru and Bolivia, and I am so excited! It's the rainy season so the weather might not be ideal, but exploring a new place is always fun regardless of weather. I'll post plenty of pictures once I get back, and then I'll start detailing some of the strength and physical therapy work that I'm doing.