I’m taking two weeks off for Christmas.

‘Tis the season to unwind and relax. I tell my clients to do it all the time, so this is my way of setting an example. I’m a little reluctant to stop blogging over the holidays because two weeks is a long time, especially since I’m currently writing Monday-Friday. I’m also in the middle of many exciting things as far as training and life. Plus I worry that I’ll come back in the new year and have zero readers left.

But I know I could benefit from the time off. I could make rest a priority for me this holiday season and truly embrace peace in the midst of a hectic and stressful time. So I feel this is something I need to do. The good news is that I’ll come back in the new year (Monday Jan 3rd) fresh and eager, with tons of things to write about. I’ll also continue making updates and posting pictures on my Facebook page, so feel free to add me there and stay in touch.

Before I go, some general updates:

1. Emma is no longer in treatment. She got a lawyer and took my parents to court. The judge felt that her rights were being violated and they let her out. She is currently living with my dad, and over the weekend she ran away. She was found and returned, but things are not looking great for her. My dad is refusing to let me see her, but I will see her on Christmas day at my mom’s house.

2. My running has slowed down as far as mileage. Ever since my four half marathons on four consecutive days, I have been taking it much slower. The weather has also been uncooperative, but every once in a while I get outside and it’s amazing. Some days I feel a slight soreness on the soles of my feet or in my knees if I’m sitting for too long. I’ve been taking that seriously, and resting until I feel 100%.

3. I’ve been tempted to keep running outdoors in shoes, but have opted instead for some barefoot treadmill runs. The treadmill and I are sworn enemies, but I’ve found that it’s possible for us to be in the same room and share a space together for a limited period of time.

I’ve also swallowed my pride and taken the treadmill on as more of a challenge. I see it now as a form of mental training, and I have fun thinking of ways in which I can actually enjoy it. Also, because I’m completely barefoot I find my body gives me better feedback than when I’m outside in my VFFs. So instead of covering longer distances, I’m being forced to slow down and pull back – a constant challenge for my impatient mind.

Some days I feel like I’m just learning to run all over again – which is both frustrating and exhilarating. Frustrating because I feel like I’ve regressed. And exhilarating because I get to re-live every little victory and re-conquer old challenges.

4. I’m in the process of thinking about and compiling a list of general ways in which I would like my running to evolve in 2011. Running goals, but something beyond specific times and races and distances. For example, I’d like to learn to meditate while I run. And to be able to do that for a long period of time. Block out distractions and run in my own zone in a way that I’ve never experienced before. I’m not quite sure where to start with that.

5. Books are a very big part of my life. I equate every holiday with an opportunity to read obsessively, and Christmas is no different. I easily have at least 20 books in my closet that deeply interest me, but I haven’t gotten to yet (on top of school readings). There are also a few books I have read, but still need to write up reviews for. I’ve also been forced to start a book wish-list because my friend Alan keeps blogging about books that I want to read but can’t justify buying yet since I’m already sitting on a pile of unread books.

All in all, I’m very optimistic about this Christmas and truly excited about the new year. It’s been an amazing year for me. I’ve come such a long way and although there’s been constant trouble, I’ve come out of things that I know I will never go back to. I am very proud of the person I’m becoming, and the road up ahead looks promising.

I’d like to wish everyone a very fun-filled and joyous Christmas and New Year. See you back here on January 3rd!