half marathons races travel

Recapping 2018, Saying hello to 2019!

Hello, friends. Happy New Year!

And happy first full week after the holidays!

What a year 2018 was. Apologies for being MIA the second half of it. It’s been a little crazy around here, but in a good way.

There was a lot of travel in 2018 — for races, for weddings, for family visits, and for just fun.


I ran half marathons in five new states: Maine, Washington, Kansas, Missouri, and Rhode Island. I also ran the Chicago Marathon! It was my first World Major and my third full marathon. I owe you guys SO MANY race recaps. They are coming! Btw: I much prefer the 13.1 distance over the 26.2. I just feel like a full marathon is way too long. Yet, as I’m writing this, I know deep down I’ll sign up for another one in the near future. Runners: you know how it goes. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

State #21 - Portland, Maine for the Maine Coast Half Marathon
State #21 – Portland, Maine for the Maine Coast Half Marathon
State #22 - Seattle, Washington for the Rock 'n' Roll Seattle Half Marathon
State #22 – Seattle, Washington for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Seattle Half Marathon
State #23 - Hiawatha, Kansas for the Mainly Marathons Prairie Series Kansas Half Marathon
State #23 – Hiawatha, Kansas for the Mainly Marathons Prairie Series Kansas Half Marathon
State #24 - St. Joseph, Missouri for the Mainly Marathons Prairie Series Missouri Half Marathon
State #24 – St. Joseph, Missouri for the Mainly Marathons Prairie Series Missouri Half Marathon
State #25 - Westerly, Rhode Island for the Surftown Half Marathon
State #25 – Westerly, Rhode Island for the Surftown Half Marathon
Congratulatory cupcake from colleague Kevin for completing my 25th state!
Congratulatory cupcake from colleague Kevin for completing my 25th state! Cupcake was delicious. It was from Magnolia Bakery in Union Station.
Marathon #3 - Chicago Marathon!
Marathon #3 – Chicago Marathon!
2018 Chicago Marathon Medal
Marathon #3 – Chicago Marathon!
Sign at the Chicago Marathon expo: "It's only a crazy dream until you do it."
“It’s only a crazy dream until you do it.”

In June, I visited family and celebrated my birthday in Los Angeles. Also, on my birthday, the Washington Capitals won their first Stanley Cup. It was an exciting day for all my hometown friends and family. In September, I traveled to Truckee, California for my good friend’s wedding — a beautiful ranch wedding, with gorgeous views of the mountains and trees. And in November, I attended my cousin’s wedding at a beautiful vineyard in Stonington, Connecticut. Fun fact: Mystic, Connecticut, which is a town within Stonington, is where the movie Mystic Pizza was filmed.

Celebrating Rachel and Troy in Truckee, California!
Celebrating Rachel and Troy in Truckee, California!
Celebrating Kethida and Kelly in Stonington, Connecticut!
Celebrating Thida and Kelly in Stonington, Connecticut!

Also this year, I went diving in Belize and saw the second biggest coral reef in the world, and I visited family in Honolulu, where I met my cousin’s 1.5 year-old daughter for the first time and swam with giant sea turtles.

Early morning in San Pedro, Belize
Early morning in San Pedro, Belize
Diving in the Hol Chan Marine Reserve near Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker, off the coast of Belize
Diving in the Hol Chan Marine Reserve near Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker, off the coast of Belize
Swimming with sea turtles in Oahu
Swimming with sea turtles in Oahu
Swimming with sea turtles in Oahu
Swimming with sea turtles in Oahu
Sunny hiking in Oahu
“This spot right here looks good.” – Sunny, sitting down halfway through one of our hikes in Oahu

In between all of the traveling, there’s been work, more work, spending time with family and friends, and trying to maintain a balanced, healthy life.

I don’t usually do New Year’s resolutions. My thing is typically to just be better / do better than last year and to do more things outside of my comfort zone, such as signing on to a challenging work project for growth, or learning a new skill, or solo traveling to a new country.

Those things are on my list again for 2019 — be better / do better than last year and do more things outside of my comfort zone.

But I’m adding another one to the list: to spend more time on this blog.

I’ve decided to refocus this blog a bit. It will still be all about running, races and traveling, but it’ll also focus a little more on overall health and wellness.

Over the last several months, I’ve become more interested in longterm health — maintaining a cleaner diet, eating less processed and packaged foods, doing more consistent strength-training, getting more sleep — things my future self will thank me for.

Note: I still LOVE pizza and burgers and ramen and french fries and bbq and spam (omg spam musubi!), and will still highlight those delicious things, especially when I come across them during my travels, but will also focus on some healthier meals that I typically eat day-to-day.

So, stay tuned for more activity on this space.

Btw, a great book I read recently is Genius Foods by Max Lugavere. His book focuses on how the foods you eat affects the way your brain ages. He talks about the link between our dietary and lifestyle choices and our brain functions, suggesting that what we consume directly affects our ability to focus, learn, remember, create, analyze new ideas, and maintain a balanced mood. Some food for thought.

What are your goals / resolutions / intentions for 2019?

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