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At a Crossroads

I never meant to abandon this blog. Not truly. Even with the sporadic nature of my updates, I still liked knowing the site was here. Still entertained thoughts of writing regularly at some point. But life got a little bit crazy and a lot bit stressful, and as time went on I found myself less willing to share the details. And that’s the thing about blogging — if you can’t share your life (even a small part of it), if you can’t be authentic, there doesn’t seem much point in continuing. At least not to me.

The main fact of the matter is this: I’m not the same person who started this blog. My running has suffered recently, my priorities have shifted, and my day to day life looks very different. That’s not a bad thing. Everyone evolves with time. But in many ways I feel as though I’ve outgrown Health on the Run…or at least changed enough that it doesn’t really feel right to blog here anymore.

So no, this is not a revival. This isn’t necessarily a goodbye forever, either. But it’s a brief update. My hosting for Health on the Run is set to expire soon and I currently have no plans to renew it. I am sure this will surprise no one. But even still, it was a tough decision — hard to fully let go after all the time I’ve dedicated to this space over the last few years.

That being said, I don’t actually want everything that is up here to disappear. So I’m in the process of moving it all over to a free WordPress.com site. I can’t promise that I’ll ever do anything with that site…it’s more to preserve the posts that already exist than anything else. Assuming it works (which, let’s just cross our fingers and hope it does), the address should stay the same. But in case it doesn’t, I wanted to let any of you still reading here know that it may be going away.

IMG 1536

So where am I leaving you? Well it’s not some dramatic, awesome ending that I had envisioned (as if that’s really possible anyway). Life is always changing, and things look pretty different now than they did just a few months ago. The basic story:

We had a stressful summer filled with lots of uncertainty followed up by an even more stressful fall. After a lot of waiting, agonizing, and discussion, Evan and I made the decision to leave Vermont to pursue an exciting new opportunity (for him). We spent the entire month of October apart, prepared to move to one part of the state of Massachusetts, and then suddenly everything changed again. Evan took another new position and our family redirected our home search to Central Massachusetts. I can tell you up front that this was not the dream location I had envisioned for our family. And it’s hard to give up living in a place you truly love — my favorite place I’ve ever lived — for a place you never ever saw yourself moving to. Life is funny like that though.

Of course this big change meant that I needed to leave my job. So at the very end of October, we moved in with family while we searched for a house and I began a new phase as a stay at home mom. I won’t lie — it’s a bit weird to be home now with a toddler after spending the first (almost) two years of her life working. But there were a lot of issues with my old job (not the least of which was the fact that it was temporary — public health grant life) and many, many days that I wished I could be home with Amelia instead of in the office. Where I agonized over constantly having to divide myself between working-Lauren and mom-Lauren. Never being able to fully devote myself to either. Always falling behind a little bit in one or the other. So I am soaking up this time at home with my little one while I have it. It has been a new adventure, not without its struggles of course — especially living in someone else’s house — but a phase I am trying to appreciate as much as I can. Particularly since I don’t expect it to be permanent.

Unfortunately all those months of stress and uncertainty combined with a few other personal issues caused my running to suffer. We ran a few races in August (a 5K and the 100on100 relay) and I felt incredibly burned out and drained afterward…despite the fact that my training wasn’t particularly heavy. I ran both races without much bounce in my step and realized that maybe I just needed a mental break. I have been running in some capacity since I was 14 years old. And so of course I expect to go through periods like this. But if I’m being perfectly honest, running hasn’t been quite the same since Amelia was born. That may sound like a sad revelation, but I’m surprisingly okay with it. This is the phase of life that I’m in now…maybe someday it’ll be different, or maybe I will continue to grow and evolve in different ways. Only time will tell.

100on100 Team 2015

All I know is that running has been a driving force in life for almost as long as I can remember. It helps to define who I am, and (when going well) can bring me incredible joy and satisfaction. So no matter what it looks like — whether I’m just jogging a few days a week or training hard for my next goal race — running will always be a part of me in some way. We can never stay distant for very long.

On the housing front: we are finally set to close on our new home in a few weeks. A house in a town further outside of Worcester than we were originally looking, but one where I think (hope!) we will be very happy. A place that reminds us of Vermont…at least, as much Vermont as you can find in Central Mass. We are so excited to start this next chapter of our lives there. To finally SETTLE somewhere after all this time in limbo.

And, last but certainly not least, after a long wait we are so excited to announce that our little family will be growing this summer!

Valentine's Day Baby Announcement 1

Valentine's Day Baby Announcement 2She looks super excited about it too, right??

So there you have it. Lots of changes: some okay, some great. All in all I think 2016 is going to be a very exciting year. I’m sorry I probably won’t be around to share it here, but I will still be over-sharing posting regularly on Instagram if you’d like to take a peak at our current happenings. I will warn you though — it’s a lot more kid-focused than running these days.

And who knows? Maybe someday I will get hit by the blogging bug again. But until then – THANK YOU! Thank you for reading. Thank you for supporting me through so much change over the past 4 years. For the comments and the emails and the connections I’ve made through this site — I will be eternally grateful.

Over and out.

-HOTR <3

32 Responses to At a Crossroads

  1. For one who moved from Maine to outside of Worcester, in the central MA region, just know there’s still a lot of nature’s beauty and lots to discover <3

    • Thank you!! It’s honestly really good to read this. And for as disappointed as I was at the beginning, I have to say that we’ve been happily surprised the more time we spend out there. Once you get out of the city, there’s so much woods, trails, green space, etc! I’ll miss the mountains, but we’ve been excited by what we’ve discovered so far.

  2. I’m sorry to see you go! I have enjoyed following your blog for a few years now! Before you leave, I’ve been trying t figure out how you did it but the race bibs you did for weekly pregnancy updates. My hubby and I loved those and although we are not pregnant yet, the process has started and I would love to do race bibs ( my hubby and I are ironman triathletes so it fits us as well). I’ve tried googling it but I haven’t seen anything like yours!

    • I just made them in PicMonkey! http://www.picmonkey.com/ Super high-tech 😉 If you don’t mind the yellow/green colors I used I can see if I can find a blank template (think I might still have one!!) and email it to you…then you can add whatever text you want. Either way, the website is free and really easy to use.

      • If you have a blank template, I’d love it if you could email it to me! I’ll mess around on PicMonkey and see what I can try to make.
        Thanks again and good luck on the next adventure!

  3. Well I am sure happy that the blog world connected us :) Not sure what I would have done the last couple years without your friendship! I (as you already know) totally understand and relate to everything you posted here… such a different self, blogging world and life. But so great to have this space to look back on and remember <3

  4. First of all, congratulations on baby-to-be! I will really miss reading your blog; thank you for all of that you have shared over the past few years. Wishing you all the best on the new adventures in your life! I’m not sure how far outside of Worcester you are, but if you’re looking for some local mom connections/forums/groups I may have some for recommendations for you. Good luck!
    Katrina´s last post ..Half-Marathon Training: Week 1

  5. So sad to see you go but respect your choice for you and your family! Congratulations on your growing family and have a GREAT year!!

  6. I’m so happy the blogging world brought us together, but I totally understand leaving it. (I’ve thought about it myself, but haven’t gotten there yet.) Your thoughts and writing always resonated with me, so I’ll be sad to see that go. Congrats on the upcoming addition to your family and hoping for the best in all the changes in your life! Certainly will still follow you on the rest of social media. Thanks for sharing your running and life with us!
    Susan – Nurse on the Run´s last post ..2016 Olympic Trials Marathon – and a Long Run

  7. I am so happy for you and the Conkey crew, and for all of the excitement that’s ahead for you four (plus the fur family). I love you and while I’m sad you’re hanging up your HOTR shoes for now, I’m so eternally grateful for the internet.com for bringing us together. You’re forever one of my favorite people. LOVE YOU LOVE YOU LOVE YOU.
    Ali´s last post ..All The Things I’m Loving Right Now

  8. i’m a long time reader as well.I think I found your blog through Ali and I did that weight routine for years and I still do it here and there.

    i can appreciate you needing to step away from blog as life moves on. i wish you and your family the best.

    My college roommate grow up and now lives in Whitinsville with her family and I am amazed at the number of running races there are in and around that area.

    as with everything you will come to love where you live for all the reasons you thought you might hate it

    i’m heading over to Dartmouth on Monday and we’ll be making all our normal stops, Dan and whits, king arthur, i’ll give a wave to everything for you.

    best wishes to you and your (growing!!!) family

    • Such a late reply (I apologize!!) but hope you had fun in the Upper Valley!! We went back to visit a couple of weeks ago and did the same! It was so good to be back…even though the weather was awful. Definitely need to take some trips up there this summer.

      And Whitinsville was one of the places we looked/considered! Ultimately it was a bit far for my husband, but we love that whole area. I’ll keep my eyes open for any races around there though!

  9. Oh – I will miss your posts! Your pregnancy updates were a great resource for me when I was pregnant – there’s so little out there for the fairly seasoned pregnant runner.

    Congratulations on your growing family and new life adventures. What little I’ve seen of Central Mass. seems decently leafy and pretty and wild and green – certainly more than where we live in Boston!

    • Thank you Grace! I do love all the open spaces and greenness out here…while still being relatively close to Boston when I need a little bit of culture :)

      And thanks for the note about my pregnancy posts too. I definitely want to make sure I save those somehow, as even I find myself going back to them now.

  10. Lauren….
    Reading this made me very emotional
    Although our journey are very different and many years are between us…some parts are the same….
    I am in a town that I never dreamt of living in or want to live in…still today I would never choose to live here, but I am here and I have been here for almost 16 yrs now. I left THE most beautiful city in the world to be here and I am still homesick. BUT I have my family and that makes it ok. it will be the same for you.
    I quit my career for my boys and it was incredibly hard but I would do it all over again. They are 10 and 11 now and it is the best thing I could have done for my family. I now have a part time job that is absolutely not rewarding intellectually but at least I contribute a little to the finance..:) Since I have taken this job 2 yrs ago my running time has been reduced to almost nothing and after a few injuries well it has been very hard to get back to it. I struggled with accepting all these changes. I don’t have all the answers of course but the one advice I have is make sure there is something for YOU in the plan. A couple of hours per week. I have taken up Yoga! I hope you will be happy in your new home. I feel so lucky to have met you and had the best running experience of my running days with you. Team Night Van 1. Call me maybe!!!!

    xxx

  11. I grew up in Worcester! I can personally attest that it is not THAT bad 😉 Good luck with the move, I will miss you on this little corner of the Internet!

    • Haha sorry! I really hope that I didn’t sound too down on Worcester (or offend any natives!) Honestly, as someone who went to high school on the South Shore and then college on the North Shore, I hadn’t given Worcester much thought before now. But I’ve really been pleasantly surprised! We haven’t explored the city much but there seems to be lots going on. And of course a lot of green/open space in the surrounding towns, which I love!

  12. What they all said – also sorry to see you go! I discovered your blog in 2014 and loved reading the pregnancy,baby gear and baby updates as I was pregnant at the time.
    Congratulations on your growing clan – we are also expecting a second baby in May! I also live somewhere that is absolutely not where I want to be long-term, but your new location sounds much better than that and I hope you’ll be very happy and enjoy all the time you get to spend at home with your kids! Nothing can replace those moments :)

    • Congratulations on your second as well! You’re getting close now :) Hope things are going smoothly with the second pregnancy!

  13. I am a new mother to two and currently a stay at home mom. A place I thought I would never be too. But am liking it and knowing that it is a season of life. My running has changed dramatically as well. In fact, I have changed it from focusing on training heard to now training hard with young ones but not being able to nap after a long run like pre baby days : )

  14. I Love you and I’m proud of you. :)

  15. Lauren, it has been a real joy reading your blogs through the years. You have an honest and true sense of story telling. I will miss your writing and the great stories of running and family. You are a smart, beautiful mother, wife, runner and daughter! Take your time at home and keep writing. The world needs great story tellers like you.

    Lastly, I still occasionally read my favorite blog post of yours. What will happen to it now?

    I love you!
    Dad

  16. As someone who had side projects and a blog before having kids, I totally get it. Things just change when you have a family, and it makes sense that priorities shift. Running for me now is a way to keep my body healthy, but I don’t do it in a competitive way. I do it when I can because I enjoy it and also to set a good example for my boys, but as I type this, it’s been a few weeks and that’s ok. I also work in Worcester and live about 30 minutes east of it, and grew up a little south west of Worcester. There’s a lot of great parts to Central Mass (and some eh parts). Yes, it’s not as magical as Vermont or the coastal areas, but there are still cool things to discover and lots of good people. And it’s WAY more affordable than the Boston area. I felt that way 9 years ago when I first settled in the town I’m in, and now I love it, largely because of the people and families we’ve become close with.

    • That’s so good to hear!! We are west of Worcester and the difference in affordability between here and Boston (or North/South Shore) is dramatic!! Glad you’ve grown to love the town you live in and meet great people – we are hoping for the same :)

      And yes – running will always be a way I can set a good example for my kids. I love that it can be a part of your life in so many different forms.

  17. I struggle with this too. What once seemed fun (blogging) now seems like more of a chore than anything, yet I can’t quite give it up. I’ve tried changing my blog’s name to see if it helped. Nope.

    I’ll miss reading your blog but will keep up on instagram! And if you ever want to be FB friends, let me know!
    Lee (formerly at in my tummy)´s last post ..Sickie

  18. Lauren!

    How will I keep in contact with you without your blog?!?! Even sporadic, I’ve loved our connection. I’m grateful for the year we lived across the hall from each other (ahem, 12 years ago….) and I always wished I could have hung out with you, Annie and the gang for the following years (yet somehow being in CA…)

    Anyways, I will continue to stalk you on FB, celebrate your life journey, (congrats on the pregnancy!) and love you forever.

    Remember, it was this month, 12 years ago, we were super cool on our day try to NYC. xxx

  19. Thank you for all you’ve done for the running blog world the last few years. It’s been a wonderful place that helped me learn & grow, and I hope the same for everyone I’ve connected with on there. Good luck with all your exciting new chapters! <3

  20. Congratulations on the upcoming arrival of baby #2, Lauren! What a lovely family s/he will join :) I totally get changing priorities. We just had our first in early December, and I already see that blogging will take a far back seat to pretty much everything else in my life. Plus, we’re really not the same people we were when we began our blogs. I hope we’ll be able to reconnect sometime :) Also, as someone who spent a lot of time in central/western MA, I can say that there are some beautiful places to explore. It’s tough leaving a place you love (I never thought we’d leave CT, for example) and it’s A-OK to mourn the loss of a phase of your life.

    Best of luck and hugs from the west coast :)
    Jessie´s last post ..A Family of Three

    • Jessie – congratulations on your new addition!! It’s life changing and wonderful but definitely requires a priority shift. I hope everything has been going well with you and the baby! Best of luck!!

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