7 THINGS

You know when you go on vacation and come back and are constantly wondering what day it is? Yeah. That’s definitely me today. It’s a Monday, but really kinda feels like a Wednesday? to me. One of the best things about this weekend was that the lake trail is now dry and snow-free! I got out there on Saturday morning and was so so happy. I’m planning on getting back out there today to get my last 20+ mile run until my 50 miler! I’ll simulate the race course by doing a 3-mile warmup (the course has us do a 3 mile loop and then 3 x 25k loops) and then 2 loops of the 10 mile lake trail. It’s supposed to be rainy until Friday, so I think mother nature is giving me a sign that today is my long run day ; )

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Brady was also in his usual spot last night - he loves to hide behind our fan while we go to sleep?!? Anyone elses cat do this?

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After I ran Saturday morning, we headed to the movies to see the new Avengers: End Game! It was SO good. Normally I have a really hard time watching a movie that is 3 hours long, but this one was done so well and it honestly felt like several movies in one.

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Also weekend chores including laundry. Just realized that Brady is basically the highlight of this past weekend. I guess I missed him on my trip ; )

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The weather was so beautiful this weekend, so we also took advantage and got a few things done outside including taking the cats out! There are too many coyotes, mountain lions, and foxes near our home so we choose to keep them indoors, but will take them out on leaches/ harnesses during the warmer months.

Maple says her harness complements her fur so well.

Maple says her harness complements her fur so well.

Cat bouquet!

I think this photo also gives nice scale to how giant Brady is compared to Maple. Ha. I  swear  they are brother/sister!

I think this photo also gives nice scale to how giant Brady is compared to Maple. Ha. I swear they are brother/sister!

And we went out for a hike out Mad Creek yesterday afternoon! The trails were crazy busy, but DRY so yay!

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-How was your weekend?!?

-Anyone else see the Avengers movie this weekend? Thoughts? No spoilers though!

-Are the trails dry where you are?

29

Last year in my 20’s?!? The past 9 years have seemed to both fly by and go ridiculously slow. I remember being 22, fresh out of college, and wishing so terribly to be in my ‘late 20s’. I thought that I would finally be considered an ‘adult’ to others and respected more-so than I was in my early/mid 20’s. Well, spoiler alert: I honestly don’t think much has changed in terms of what others perceive of my ‘you’re so young age’, BUT my perception of what they think has. I don’t really care anymore. I embrace who I am, my capabilities, my strengths, weaknesses, and honestly- a ‘I don’t give a F*** what you think because I know ME’. Maybe that’s conceded, maybe it’s confidence, maybe it’s seen as a ‘bitch’ to some - I’m no longer fretting over what others think. So, there’s that. I am me and I will embrace myself and continue to grow/learn/challenge myself/ and love myself.

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So, in honor of turning 29. Here are 29 things that I’ve learned/ done in the past year : )

1. It’s ok if not everyone likes you. What’s most important is that you like yourself.

2.Find your passion and don’t let anyone dull your fire. It will be hard at times and really f*ing tough and you’ll question yourself a lot, but don’t give up.

3.Love yourself. At the end of the day, it’s you so it’s imperative that you love yourself before you look to anyone else.

4.Give yourself a priority list. What are your priorities for the day, month, year, your life? I’m still learning what mine are, but knowing whether or not something is ‘hard priority’ or not has helped me let things go and move on. Focus your intention fully on what is important to you.

5.If something doesn’t bring you joy or isn’t a necessity, then why are you doing it? Somethings you have to do that aren’t necessarily ‘enjoyable’ like cleaning the bathroom or laundry, but other things like wearing clothes that don’t make you feel great or uncomfortable shoes. I’m just over that.

6.I love to cook and create in the kitchen. Cooking something from scratch is super satisfying to me and like running, it almost always brings me joy.

7.I love to sign-up and conquer really scary-to-me things. Maybe I’m considered a ‘thrill-seaker’. I like to think of it as pushing my boundaries. There is no better feeling that conquering something that you once imagined impossible. Last year, that was my MS Run The US 175 mile segment. This year, my 50 miler.

8.I’m learning to not sweat the small stuff. If I don’t feel like running, I no longer feel compelled to run. If I don’t feel like cooking dinner, well then I’m not going to cook dinner. Cold pizza sounds great. I used to hold myself to super high standards, but I’m learning to let those things go (and also- wow does it feel empowering to do so!)

9. Upcycling clothes is my jam. I used to LOVE to buy all the clothes, but upcycling is so much better for the environment and cheaper. I will definitely never purchase used gym/work-out clothes, running shoes, or everyday shoes —> the necessities ; )

——————————————————-Now for things I DID this past year!

10.I think my biggest thing that I did this year was go to therapy. It was really REALLY REALLY hard to make that step, but wow did it help me to finally break out of my anxiety/depression/ PTSD shell that I’ve been in for many years. I blogged about this more here if you’re interested.

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11.Got engaged to my main squeeze! I blogged about this more here if you’re interested in that sort of thing : )

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12.Ran my first ultra on a very queezy stomach and wanting to DNF halfway through. More of that here.

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13.Fundraised over $10,000 for MS Run The US.

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14.Ran 175 miles over 7 days for MS Run The US and crossed that finish line with my two favorite people. One of the best days of my life.

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15.Put together and hosted my first 5k! Wow was that hard. Ha.

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16.Started to do strength consistently three times a week AND switch up my strength training routines every 6-8 weeks. <— One of the biggest reasons why I think I’ve gotten stronger at running AND stayed injury-free.

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17. Started to do things that I want to do, regardless if anyone else wants to join me. I would constantly feel the need to stay at home if that’s what Alex wanted to do, but I’ve learned that ‘doing me’ is also important. So, I did more solo hiking, cross country skiing, and longer runs and feeling less-guilty about it (although sometimes I do feel guilty).

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18.PR’d the half marathon and broke 1:45. I never would have thought it was possible and I ended doing so without even setting my sights specifically on it!

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19.PR’d the marathon. I was actually pretty injured (knee), so I scaled back my goals of breaking 3:45 and just decided to mainly enjoy the race. I ended up walking away with a 3-minute PR.

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20.Started journaling and meditating. These two things have been HUGE for me to see growth and get me out of my depression-hole I’ve been in for years. I’ve loved finding the simple things in life really enjoyable and going on more runs without headphones. I’m more present and able to enjoy something simple as noticing the leaves falling, sipping coffee in the mornings, or the quietness of reading a book.

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21.Weekly yoga. Even if it is just ten minutes, I LOVE this time. It’s helped me regain some of my flexibility that I lost and improved my strength overall.

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22.Received my first Age Group placement at a half marathon!

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23.Visited a new National Park, Capitol Reef!

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24. Went backpacking in Rocky Mountain National Park

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25. Paced Kristen (past MS Run The US alum) through the night miles 52-71 during the Run Rabbit Run 100 miler. She ended up finishing!

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26. Played hooky at work and went to some pretty iconic Denver city spots, like Union Station.

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27. Saw Celine Dion and cried because she was so beautiful.

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28. Took part in the Honey Stinger photo shoot. Still one of my favorite memories, even if I could barely run since it was only 5 days out from MS Run The US relay. Ha.

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29.Joined the Bib Rave community and found incredible, supportive people there. Finally a running community to be a part of!

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These are honestly my favorites posts, so if you’re interested here is a look back at 28.

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-Favorite way to celebrate YOUR birthday?

-I LOVE birthdays. Always have super high expectations and have normally been disappointed because I’ve relied on OTHERS to provide the excitement. This year, I’m doing ME. If their plans don’t fit ‘into my day’, then it doesn’t matter. I will celebrate MY way.

-Favorite cake/ ice cream / cupcake/ or candy to eat? Either black raspberry ice cream or cookies n cream. Love either TIramisu or coconut cream pie (not really a huge cake person otherwise). LOVE cupcakes. Preferably something with strawberry frosting. Sour Patch Strawberries, Swedish Fish, or Sour Green Apple Belts.

Training Tuesday: 10 Reasons Why I LOVE The Treadmill

Ok so probably if you’ve followed me on any of my social media platforms, you know that a fair share of my training has been done on the treadmill. Thank you Mother Nature! Between the ice, below 0* temperatures, and insane amount of snow we’ve gotten this winter- I don’t think I’d be able to get in half of my morning runs unless I had the treadmill to run on! I LOVE to run outside, but when I have no other viable and safe option —> I go to the good ole ‘mill. I thought it would be fun to share some of my favorite reasons why I LOVE this as a training option!

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-It builds up your mental strength. There’s nothing like knowing that you can just hop off at any time, but you focus your brain to be able to withstand that temptation over time.

-You can really hit your paces. I know that if I want to hit ‘x’ pace during a mile repeat or marathon paced miles, I just put the treadmill at that speed and hang on.

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-It builds up your leg strength with those incline options! There’s nothing else better (in my opinion) to get in an absolutely killer hill workout that won’t quit. I also love these treadmill hill workouts from RunFarGirl.

-It’s a safe option when you don’t have someone else to run with or know where you are. I LOVE to explore new cities on my own two feet, but sometimes it’s not always the safest option (especially if I’m traveling solo). I know that I will be able to get my workout in and be safe —> the most important part!

-It’s a nice change of pace, when you’re tired of your usual running routes. Sometimes I get in a rut of running the same ‘ol roads/trails. The treadmill helps me switch it up and I get the feeling like I’m taking a “break”.

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-It saves you from running outside when the weather is just AWFUL. Snow? Sub-zero temperatures? Insane amounts of ice? Blizzard? Extreme heat? The treadmill is really a gift when the weather outside is not the best.

-It keeps your easy runs honest. While the time goes by slower, I like to utilize the treadmill to keep my easy runs truly easy. There’s no downhill segments to speed up your legs- I just pop it on a really slow pace and completely ‘zone out’ for those miles. Sometimes they’re my favorite runs of the week.

-Netflix and treadmill? It comes in waves of sheer-boredom with the ‘mill and gratitude, but I (most of the time) love to catch up on one of my new shows (that I save specifically to watch on the ‘mill) OR zone-out to a show that I’ve seen a thousand times. I also really love to watch the news on the treadmill. Total geek, yes I know. If it’s the Today Show —> even better!

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-Simulate your upcoming race course. I live in a super hilly area (i.e. I don’t believe I’ve ever gained less than 400’ on a run no matter how ‘flat’ the road looks), so when my legs are absolutely trashed from running hills or long the day before - I honestly do not want to look at a hill ever again and driving to a flatter road isn’t in the question —> the treadmill at .5% incline feels incredible. I also know that training for Mt.Washington Road Race, I’ll need to really work on a pretty steep incline (12%-22%) - there is no hill around here that spans out for miles at that incline so the treadmill the BEST option.

-There is no traffic to worry about. Sometimes I get really frustrated with cars on the road not paying attention to me or plow-trucks coming straight at me. The treadmill is a really nice change of pace where I can feel SAFE and really zone out without having to worry about Mountain Lions mauling me, getting run over by a distracted driver, or being plowed up by a snow plow. <— one of my biggest fears right there!

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Tell ME some of your favorite reasons why you love the ‘mill!


Weekend Recap

Happy Monday! I have been in such a funk lately and hoping it passes soon. I’ve been congested for over two weeks now and it’s really starting to wear on me. Nothing like not being able to breathe out of your nose when you’re trying to drink some water (OR RUN!!). Hoping it passes soon. We got something like 14” OF SNOW YESTERDAY?!? Yeah and I decided to go outside and run in it. It was so beautiful, but I didn’t wear my traction spikes and had a really hard time in a few spots where I kept slipping on ice/ unplowed dirt roads.  

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My legs were also so tired from our skin up the mountain by our house on Saturday.  

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We ended up going higher than we had before and making our own ski tracks on the way down (which was SO AMAZING!), but wow did my legs feel it on Sunday!  

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And yes, it basically snowed here all weekend.  

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Saturday I got so many of those “little things done” that I normally don’t get to- I.e cleaning the humidifier, my bras, cleaning our duvet, throwing out all those useless items under our bathroom sink etc. Since none of that is interesting, here’s a pretty cute photo of Brady asleep in a very odd position.  

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Also had steak & cheeses Friday night.... it was Sooo good!  

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How was your weekend?! 

Favorite dinner you had? 

Tips for uncongesting yourself?!?!