Eighty Days and Trying Not to Count

IMG_6925With spring finally upon us (though not without a snow shower here and there) and nearly four months since my last post, our remaining days in Latvia are numbered. Eighty days remain, to be exact… enough time, in the eyes of Jules Verne, to circumnavigate the world, but not nearly enough time for me to reach the point of feeling ready to leave this beautiful place that has come to feel like home. Having never truly had a place I’d consider home, at least in the sense of a hometown or a simple answer to the question “Where are you from?”, it holds great meaning that Riga – which I knew almost nothing about before M. was assigned to work here – has become such a place of comfort. Indeed, I will miss it. We’ll be heading back to the U.S. for about a year, and following that, on to Yekaterinburg, Russia, where many new and exciting adventures surely await.  Continue reading →

Last Latvian Summer

img_4098As the sun rises later and sets earlier with each passing day, Mother Nature announces that fall has arrived, with her crisp breezes and turning leaves. Even though autumn is my favorite season, its arrival this year is a cruel reminder that our remaining days in beautiful Latvia are quickly slipping away. With only about nine months left in our tour here in Riga, our last Baltic summer has officially come to an end. We spent a good chunk of it with family and friends who came to visit us, and proudly showed them the city and country that have become our home over the last eighteen months. We snapped countless photos along the way so that we could forever cherish the true wonder that is summer in Latvia. Here are 50 of my favorites.  Continue reading →

One-Woman Marathon

IMG_4131Some days are diamonds…. Some days are rocks.  – Tom Petty

I ran a marathon today. With no spectators, mile markers, or bands along the course, it wasn’t a typical marathon. Just me, my race pack, a few good snacks, and some tunes for 26.3 miles (an extra tenth of a mile for good measure). It was a one-woman marathon, and the farthest I have ever run on my own and not as part of a race.  Continue reading →

The Steepest Hill in Riga

IMG_1245In my experience, most runners have a love-hate relationship with hill running. A necessary part of any solid training regimen, it is tough and gritty, often leaving us gasping for air. But, as with most things in life, the more we do it, the easier it becomes, building strength, power, and confidence in a way that few other workouts can. Ask any runner and he or she will be sure to regale you with mighty tales of hill conquering following hours of intense training, sweat, and yes, possibly even tears. And probably some vomit, too.  Continue reading →

Running in Riga

IMG_0133Naturally, one of my first orders of business upon arriving in Latvia was to figure out where I can run. To my delight, there is no shortage of running paths in Riga, and even more exciting is that Riga has quite a large running community. I had been a bit worried that a woman running, often alone, and sometimes with a dog, might be a strange sight here, but it is not. I am surrounded by runners everywhere I go, and M. and I have already found quite a few trails during our first week here. They have provided the perfect avenue (literally!) for exploring the city on foot. Continue reading →

Time on Feet

time on feetThe last couple of months have been a struggle for me when it comes to running. I’ve been working through a chronic knee injury that has recently flared up in a bad way. I’ve been able to run very intermittently and at times, not at all. When I first felt the discomfort that has become all too familiar over the years, I immediately sought physical therapy in an effort to address the problem as soon as possible and still (hopefully) get myself in shape for a spring marathon. I also decided to shift my training … Continue reading →