2014 review

2014 has been full of new adventures, and I've been thinking back on some of the highlights:

JANUARY: We started the year with a midnight marathon and spent the next twelve months running. We skied for a fifth season with the Cern Ski Club, and I might finally be getting the hang of it.
FEBRUARY: Skiing, snowshoeing, and planning races, mostly skiing.
MARCH: Flowers start blooming and we fluctuate between ski days and picnics.
APRIL: We took a road trip to the southern coast and spent sunny days in the greening valley. The brightness and color surprises me every Spring.
MAY: Back to the trails, hiking and running, the Geneva Half Marathon, and a relaxing week in Majorca.
JUNE: Plenty of running, the weekly canton races and Aravis Trail. A visit from Derek's cousin and swimming in the river.
JULY: We ran the Laugavegur Ultra MaraÞon, and backpacked in Iceland. This was the most unbelievable landscape, rough and stunning, and we smiled through two wet and soggy weeks of camping, loving every minute.
AUGUST: We celebrated our 10 year wedding anniversary with a hike- 10 years- how'd that happen so fast? Before traveling to the US, we ran our longest race, the Swiss IronTrail 88km, and I made my first podium finish.
SEPTEMBER: Celebrated the wedding of Derek's brother and spent time with family and friends in Illinois. We returned from the flat lands to run our fourth Jungfrau Marathon with a pack of friends, followed by an impromptu double vertical kilometer race. One of the best days of the year was running Haute Cime and the beautiful weather.
OCTOBER: My in-laws came to visit, and we showed them a few of our favorite places. Raced the RER and Trail du Vuache for another podium. A beautiful month, warm and colorful, but gained my first overuse injury.
NOVEMBER: A climbing lesson, lots of hiking, and trying to be patient during recovery.
DECEMBER: The month was mild, and we grew impatient waiting for snow. We had our first randonnée outing and celebrated the holidays with great friends and lots of good food.

We had a steady race calendar, plenty of fun training runs with friends, and solo time on the trails. Besides running, we did a few other things this year like skiing and hiking and yoga. We spent long evenings with friends, sharing meals and wine and lots of dessert. We developed a weekly routine of watching the latest episodes of our current obsession, mostly as an excuse for school night hang-outs. We even shared a few tears, but always outweighed by hugs and laughter. 2014 was a good year.  


finally, winter

It seems that winter has finally arrived. We are being patient, letting the snow continue to fall today, and this week we will finally get to ski (yes that is the one thing on our minds).  After our walk in the woods, I decided to make a second batch of gingerbread to last through the week. I also attempted a vegan deep-dish pizza, and it was pretty darn good.



We were excited to wake to snow on the rooftops and covering the ground. The forecast had called for overnight snow, but I was careful not to get my hopes too high. The day was a mix of snow and rain, but with a wintry mix down here, we are surely looking forward to skiing in the mountains. We went for a walk, although, it rained on us for much of the time, and wasn't exactly a winter wonderland. The sun peaked out and we sat for some hot coco and wind block. 

The forest trail was flowing with snow melt and in the fields, the snow was wet and heavy, but there was enough to roll a snowman before heading home to dry out.


ho ho ho

Merry Christmas everybody! Derek and I really take our time enjoying our breakfast of homemade cinnamon rolls Christmas morning, and today we got to sit in the sun while we ate. 

Next up on the Christmas day agenda: stockings full of cliff bars and lärabars from the states (thanks mom), chocolate, chap stick. Moving on to the presents beneath the tree- for Derek- waterproof boots and a first aid kit, and for me, avalanche rescue equipment.  The safety and protection themed giving means we have the same mountainous plans for the coming year... 

We took a second round to finish the pan of cinnamon rolls, and decided to try out our new racing vests (thanks Stroms) by heading up to Reculet. We could tell a storm was coming, but we were fueled up from all the sweets of the morning. We passed a few others on the trails and exchanged holiday greetings and spread some cheer in our goofy hats. As we approached the summit, it started snowing! I got my Christmas wish for snow (and a run). It wasn't much but the ground was covered in white while we made our way back down. That's a new tradition I hope to continue. After our exciting little trip, we settled in to talk to our families back home, and finally get to work on the surprise scavenger hunt from Laura...coincidentally the first clue led us to take a photo of Le Reculet.

Hope you enjoyed a beautiful day, warm and cozy, and maybe some adventure too. Merry Christmas!


the night before christmas

We've been busy in the kitchen all day preparing for this evening's feast. Mostly, Derek has been busy in the kitchen since he decided to undertake the challenge of cooking the bird. Dan arrived this morning with some of the necessities for meat-making that I don't keep in our kitchen, like a baster, thermometer, a giant dish, and cooking expertise. Together, the guys prepared the capon for cooking while Jude and I hid in the other room chopping the ingredients for stuffing. Once in the oven, Derek pampered the bird every half hour for the rest of the afternoon until we pulled everything off the stove and out of the oven to join our friends and celebrate Christmas Eve.

The doorbell rang after dinner and we discovered a sack of gifts that Santa left for the kids- mostly pajamas to be cozy for the rest of the evening while the grown-ups (I guess that's us) indulged in the many desserts. After the party, we were excited to head home and settle down for our long winter's nap.  


tête de véret

The temperature is still mild and we are waiting for snow, but today we decided we couldn't wait any longer to begin our first season of touring. Most of the resorts have not opened for skiing, which gave us the opportunity to practicing along the runs. We started near Flaine and made our first climb to Tête de Véret. It was an absolutely clear day, and we started shedding layers immediately.  We climbed a bit before stopping to eat our gingerbread and drink hot coco. We didn't have much of the ascent left after our snack, so after de-skinning, we took a few stops to enjoy the quiet mountain on the ride down. The snow was shallow and hard with plenty of rocks to dodge, and like the first run each season, I felt completely unbalanced. Luckily, we should have lots of skiing ahead to savor our descents after each climb. This is going to be fun!  


mild december

We're getting pretty desperate for snow so we can start skiing. On our way up the Jura today, we watched a few guys make their way down the bare, rocky trails on skis- we are all growing impatient. For now we are focussing our need to ski by making some easy runs up to Reculet (easy because I have to take it slowly still on the lingering injury). Today was sunny and warm, but especially slick on the muddy descent. We took advantage of the mild temperature to sit in the sun and enjoy the view.  


christmas train

What better way to start the holidays than hopping aboard the Christmas train with friends in search of Santa and snow! We headed to Chamonix and made MBC our first stop for beers and burgers before boarding the train up to Montenvers to get us all in the holiday spirit.

After the ride, we searched for letters to spell out Santa's location. But before we went to visit him in the Grand Hotel, we run up and slid down the snow until our feet were soaked.