Friday Things

Hello everyone! Happy Friday to all! I feel like even though this was a short week, it took forever to get here, and of course the weekend will fly by too quickly! I’ve got one last long-ish run this weekend (8 miles) before the half next Saturday and plans to do some mega laundry. How is it that vacation always creates MORE laundry?

I’m doing things a bit differently this Friday. I bring to you a roundup of my favorite stuff from the interwebs this week:

Jenny Scherer talks about her struggle with anorexia and how it almost ruined her running career. It’s a great read about something that a lot of female runners struggle with–maybe not to this degree, but I’m sure guilty of the thought “If I weigh less, I’ll run faster”. This is a critical reminder that taking care of your body–no matter the shape and size–is most important.

There’s a Hogwarts Running Club!!!!! Thinking about joining when registration opens back up.

This couple made their own Drunk History for their wedding, and it is absolutely hilarious.

Yikes. Two Harry Potter things in one post. Sorry about that, guys. For those of you who love the series like me, did you see J.K. Rowling’s announcement that we’ve all been pronouncing “Voldermort” wrong for 18 years? I’m sorry, J.K., but what’s the point of coming out and saying that? Just let us interpret/have our memories of the series and leave it alone. Voldermort will always have that “T” on the end for me.

My calves are notoriously the most troublesome spot for me as mileage increases. Runner’s World has a stellar article on how to treat your calves to some TLC.

Any fellow history buffs out there? I’ve heard and read a ton on hiding Jews in various countries throughout World War II, and even some in rural Germany, but never thought about what it would be like in the heart of Berlin. This excerpt from a new book has me hooked. I plan on purchasing and starting it this weekend.

Anyone else get through Bachelor In Paradise? While I thought last season was waaaay better than this one, this Betch review on the finale had me in tears from laughing. #truth

Girls respond to failure differently than boys. Embracing mistakes and “failures” has helped me to make wiser and better choices for myself overall–but, they were never easy to do. This made me think.

Have a fantastic weekend everyone!

Colorado Trip, Part 2

Saturday morning after my run, we headed out to tackle some trail running of a different kind.

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For those of you that are not aware, Jeff and I share the same fondness for trail running. My preferred version is in my running shoes, while his includes four wheels. One of Jeff’s stipulations for the trip was to explore some of the trails around the area we were staying. So, we met up with another friend to explore the wheeling situation in Colorado.

Travis took us on some really awesome trails. Nothing too technical, but it every single one had KILLER views.

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In his element

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Freezing my butt off at the summit of the first trail.

The second trail we ran–Kingston Summit–ended at 12,000 ft. At the very top is a little rock fort that visitors have built and continue to add to. Not to be left out, we also left our mark at the top of the summit.

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It was an exceptionally fantastic day. We finished around 5pm and headed back to the apartment to change and get ready for dinner. After dinner, we decided it was a good idea (with the help of a few margaritas) to go into Denver to get some more drinks and eventually make our way to Voodoo Donuts. Let me tell yah, an Ol’ Dirty Bastard at 1:00 in the morning was a decision I regretted in the morning. But! I am glad to have finally experienced Voodoo Donuts, and they were pretty good.

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Food photography at it’s finest. You’re welcome. This is the Ol’ Dirty Bastard. Yeast donut with chocolate frosting, oreos and peanut butter.

(Forgive me Internet, but I am no connoisseur of donuts and really they tasted like any other donut I’ve ever had. It was good, but I’m just as fine going to Dunkin Donuts and getting a regular ol’ chocolate donut).

Sunday we spent the day just driving around exploring. None of us felt particularly great after Saturday night’s adventuring, so we got a great breakfast in Boulder and spent the morning wandering around. I’m completely in love with that town.

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That right there is Flagstaff Mountain. Coincidence? I think not!

We ended up crashing pretty hard mid-afternoon, so we ordered pizza, visited Trader Joe’s (a must for whenever we’re somewhere that has a TJ’s), and got ready to head back home.

Our drive home was uneventful. We perfectly planned it so that we got into Breckenridge as the sun was starting to rise and it was absolutely breathtaking.

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Colorado, you did not disappoint. I hope to see you again very, very soon!

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Colorado Trip, Part 1

To say this trip was great would be an understatement. We had such an unbelievably fun time this weekend, I didn’t want to leave!

Our original plan was to drive up through Moab over to the I-70 and go through Vail and Breckenridge, but Thursday night, Jeff’s buddy was telling us about massive amounts of construction happening in that area and how he sat there for almost an hour and a half. Since we wanted to just get there and start our weekend, we decided instead to roll through Durango and Pagosa Springs, and take the “scenic route” on our way home.

We left around 5 am on Friday morning and headed for the Rocky Mountain State.

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This trip was unbelievably pretty. As soon as we rolled into Durango, we stayed in the mountains the entire time. We were at or above 7000ft until we started the descent out of the Flatirons. It was unbelievable!

rockies

Our entire drive looked like this. Disgusting.

Mountain driving

Clearly not pleased with the scenery.

This route was longer–it took us about 11 hours to get there, but it was unbelievably pretty. It didn’t take long for me to look at Jeff and simply state “Yep. I’m definitely a mountain person.”

We finally rolled into Boulder around dinner time and we had one stipulation: good food and good beer. Our friends delivered and took us to a burger and beer place in Downtown Boulder.

boulder dinner

I was carbo loading for my long run the next morning. Totally legitimate.

After dinner, we explored the mall area for a little bit before I called party pooper and asked to head back. Between the early wake up call that morning and my looming wake up call/long run in the morning, I wanted nothing more than to crash and sleep.

boulder at night

Downtown Boulder

I talked about my long run on Saturday in yesterday’s post, but I’ll just say again it was so much fun. I did some research and found an awesome trail system near where we were staying. I woke up right as the sun was starting to rise and set off to explore for 12 amazing miles.

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12 miles

Once I made it back and showered, we headed out for breakfast and then a different kind of trail running!

Part 2 Coming soon. Have an awesome Wednesday everyone!

Training Log 8.31.15-9.6.15

Happy Tuesday everybody!

I hope you all enjoyed your Labor Day Holiday! Jeff and I had an absolutely ah-maz-ing time in Colorado. I’ll be back this week with a full update on that, but it’s safe to say I’m head over heels in love and hope to get back very, very soon for a longer visit.

In the meantime, let’s recap this past week of running. It was my last week of training for this half marathon I have coming up. Oh, that’s right. Had some of you forgotten? I’m running a half marathon in a week and a half. To say I didn’t train like I normally would for a race is an understatement, but honestly, I feel pretty okay going into this race. Okay as in, I’ll definitely finish it. It will by no means be a PR (but on a course that gains 1100ft how could it?), but I am actually excited to see what I’ll end up doing.

Monday – 4 miles, 2 treadmill + 2 w/Rudy

I woke up this particular Monday feeling like I was getting a cold. My stomach hurt, my nose was all clogged and my throat was awful scratchy. I wanted to run though, so I hopped on the treadmill to see how things went, figuring it would be easy to get off and get back into bed. Once I started running, I felt a ton better. So after two miles I got bored, grabbed the dog and headed outside for another couple of miles right as the sun was beginning to rise.

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Tuesday – 4 miles

Honestly. I can’t remember anything about this run. I think it was in the morning, and obviously, pretty uneventful. It was my first day of school, and I was already feeling incredibly crazed that week. So, it’s a miracle I got any miles in!

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Wednesday – 3 miles

I was SO tired. My alarm went off in the morning and I just went, NOPE. I headed home from work with every intention of running the six miles I had planned. When I got home, I sat on the bed for a while and tried to talk myself into running. Rudy was wiggling around asking desperately for a walk, so I figured I’d do that first as a warm up. When I got home, Jeff was home and we ended up talking about our days so when I finally went to go run, my friend was going to be over in an hour to get the low down on watching Rudy while we were gone. So, my six miles turned into three. And that’s okay. At least I got some miles in, rather than skipping them all.

Thursday – 6 miles

I rallied and was up at 5 am for 6 miles before 6 am. It was a great run, I felt strong and happy I got those miles in.

Friday – Rest day as we drove to Boulder

Saturday – 12 miles around Broomfield

This run was magical. I had googled Broomfield when we got in on Friday and found that they had an extensive trail system in the hills! Perfect. I headed out early Friday morning- 6 am – so that it wouldn’t infringe on our other plans for the day. I was nervous about how this run was going to go, since I didn’t do anything over 10 and my last 10 miler was a complete disaster.

I headed out into the beautiful morning as the sun was just beginning to rise.

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After running aimlessly looking for these trails, I finally asked a nice old man out walking his dogs and he pointed me in the direction of the trails. I found the dirt easily and settled in to explore this system for twelve miles. It was beautiful. It climbed in and around the hills in Broomfield giving me amazing views of the Flatirons in the distance.

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The first 7-8 miles of the run were great. I felt strong, I was running well and enjoying the hell out of myself. The fatigue started to set in around 9 and my legs got heavy goin up those hills. Overall, I felt really strong, and finished the run feeling good.

It made me excited about this race coming up. Even if it’s not the best race ever, I know I’ll have a great time running.

Sunday – Miles walking around Boulder and Longmont.

Total miles: 29

And now to “taper”! I’m going to try to keep my mileage kind of on the higher end of things this week–somewhere between 20-25 and then next week I’ll just run a few days before Saturday’s rest. I’m not tapering like I normally would since this isn’t a goal race and I’m just jumping back into training for Soulstice, which is just a few weeks later. Fall racing season is in full force!

Friday Things

Happy Friday everyone! 

Jeff and I are currently on our way to Colorado for the long weekend and I’m so pumped! I’ve had it in my head that I will love Colorado for about 6 years now, and I’m finally going to get to experience it’s glory! 

(Also, I’m writing this in the car on my phone. So apologies for any typos, formatting weirdness and the like.) 

-It’s been an insanely busy and hectic month! As looney as I felt for most of August, I’m sad to see it go. It’s headlamp season again for morning runs (blegh) and so chilly in the mornings! Long sleeves are being donned and rumors of a particularly nasty winter headed our way already has me missing summer days. While others are embracing pumpkin-flavored everything, I’m holding tightly onto the last bits of grilling and patio weather we’ll have for a while!

  
 
-I’ve started school! Bio 181 is in full swing and it feels SO weird to be back in a classroom. Particularly in a 100 level class. I haven’t taken anything biology related since I was a sophomore in high school, so I really feel like I’m starting from zero. But, after two lectures, I am happy to report I find it a heck of a lot more interesting than 15 year old me. 

-I kind of can’t believe I have a half marathon to run in 2 weeks. I plan on a 12 miler tomorrow morning, the first I’ve managed to get in this training cycle. While I don’t have any real goals for this race, I would like to have a good race. I’d prefer to run strong and well, I’m also really trying not to burn myself out. I’m acutely aware of the fact that I have races and goals to train for until February and that still seems like a long way away! 

-I’ve found myself transitioning to road running lately and it makes me happy and sad. It’s too dark in the mornings to venture onto the trails anymore, so my week day runs are currently on the roads. I’m getting some of my speed back, which is fun, but at the same time, I’ll be sad to say goodbye to these gorgeous views. 

   

-We’ll be in the Denver/Boulder area this weekend. Send me your recommendations for things to see, places to eat, and beer to drink. 

Have a happy long weekend everyone! Enjoy the last bit of summer lovin!

Training Log 8.24.15-8.30.15 + Catching Up

Hello hello!

Thank you all so much for your comments and encouragement on my last post! It’s definitely nice knowing I’m not the only one who felt lost and bounced around after graduation. I am VERY excited about starting this new chapter and pursuing this new goal. So much so, that I ended up going to the wrong class yesterday…

Ha! I thought the bio class I was taking was a Monday-Wednesday class, so I showed up yesterday ready to go. Turns out it’s a Tuesday-Thursday…guess I was just overly excited to get back into the swing of things!

I hope to keep blogging, and continue documenting this journey. I’m feeling pretty committed to running the full marathon, as planned in February, and it’ll be interesting how that goes with working and going to school. I’m anticipating a lot of coffee is in my future!

This past weekend was my birthday and a dear friend gifted Lauren Fleshman’s “Believe” journal to me, and I LOVE it. It’s got so many amazing tidbits, and it’s been really fun to handwrite all my runs and workouts again. I’ve only done it for a week (obviously, since I just got it), but I’m loving the documenting goals for the week and seeing how they’re met. I have a feeling it’ll get more and more handy the crazier things get!

So let’s get to last week’s workouts!

Monday – 3 easy miles w/ Rudy

I had run 10 miles the day before, so I wanted to just do a real easy shake out run. I knew if I took Rudy with me, I wouldn’t been tempted to run too quickly, so we did a nice and easy 3 miles after work. He did a lot of sniffing, I did a lot of stretching.

Tuesday – Cardio Barre Fusion workout- 60 min

I’ve been really lackluster in my strength training lately, so this was my attempt at getting back on the horse. And man! I forgot how great of a workout barre is. My quads were screaming by the end of it.

Wednesday – 6 miles, 4 solo, 2 w/Rudy

This was my first sub-8 min run in a loooooooong time. The first four miles I took by myself, and decided to run at a “comfortably uncomfortable” pace. I averaged 7:57/mile by the time I made it back home, and I was surprised by how well my body did it. I laced Rudy up and we set off for our normal hilly mile route. Our mile up the hill was about an 8:30, and we managed a 7:30 on our way back down. Getting these legs used to running fast again!

  
Thursday – 5 recovery miles

I was surprised by how springy my legs felt after my run on Wednesday. I purposely took it pretty slow, about 8:45’s and enjoyed the amazing weather.

  
Friday – 4 miles w/ Rudy

I’ve been loving taking Rudy with me on my runs lately. We did 4 easy miles together on Friday. A storm was rolling in, so I took him right when I got off work at around 2. By the end of it, the cloud cover we had was rolling out, and it got a little too warm out for him. But, he did great and came home and collapsed happily for the evening.

Saturday – 10 miles

I wanted to do 12 miles on Saturday, but I knew really quickly that wasn’t going to happen. Before I even left the house, I could tell my calves were sore and tired and this was going to be a struggle. By the time I made it to the trail head, it was 8:30 and HOT. This was not a good run. I bargained with myself the entire time. I tried to justify running 9 miles, then 8 miles and even 6 miles. I finally told myself to hit 10, make it to the double digits and save the 12 miler for next week in Colorado.

This was mostly a 10 mile hike with some running spurts thrown in there–I’m not going to lie. The trail was rough and much more technical than I was expecting and I’m just glad I managed to push myself through the 10 miles.

When I got home, Jeff suggested going to see the Man From U. N. C. L. E. And it was fantastic! I highly recommend it!

Sunday – 1.25 mile walk with the boys. Lots of wine. 

Sunday was my birthday, so after breakfast we went for a birthday walk and then headed down to Cottonwood for some wine tasting. If you’re ever in the area, I highly suggest hitting up Alcantara Vineyards. It’s beautiful and they have great wine. 

   
 
It was a great way to end the week and ring in 27! 

Total mileage: 28 

I seem to be stuck right under 30 miles. I’m not sure if that has to do with the fact I haven’t given myself a rest week or what, but it’s been a struggle. I’m hoping to finally nail that 30 mile week this week! 

On Life Changes And Going After What You Want

Guys. This is long. Like, 2000 words long. But, I needed to write this all out for me. I understand if your eyes glaze over and you’d rather skip this and come back another time. Thanks for being patient while my blog went MIA and I worked on this novel.

I did the whole college thing by the book: I graduated high school, got accepted to several colleges, accepted a scholarship from my school of choice, and moved to a new state to start a new chapter of my life. I chose a major that I enjoyed–history–without giving much thought to what I would actually DO with that degree. I was originally going to go into teaching and then dropped that in favor of doing an extended History degree, complete with an honors thesis.

I graduated after four years, right on schedule, with honors from the History Department, as well as the University. I had broken up with my long-term boyfriend early in the school year, and suddenly faced with singledom and entering the “real world” –with a pretty useless degree (let’s be honest)– I took the next logical step: Grad school.

I accepted a spot and Teaching Assistant-ship at the University of North Carolina Charlotte and moved even FURTHER away from my family and friends. I had started another new chapter of my life, yet again, all alone. I had picked a school far away, not because it held a degree I wanted, or I was interested in moving to Charlotte, but because I needed to get as far away from things as possible. I had to assert my independence. I couldn’t move back home and just find a job. I needed a career. And in order to have a career doing something with history, I had to go to grad school.

Moving to Charlotte was the catalyst that really kickstarted my love affair with running. I had run consistently since my sophmore year in college, but while in grad school at UNCC, my running picked up steam, but not in a good way (at least at first). I started running at least 5 miles a day and lifting weights on my non-running days. I was digging myself deeper and deeper into a hole of really unhealthy habits. I limited what I ate (even though I was burning through those calories), and almost completely isolated myself by locking myself in either my office, the library, or my bedroom. If I wasn’t in class, I was either running, studying, or laying in bed watching TV.

I found myself having trouble getting out of bed in the mornings, and distinctly remember calling my mom and telling her I couldn’t do it. She gave me what I needed to hear at the time–That it was OKAY to not continue the path I was on. After I had made the decision to leave Charlotte and the graduate program, I felt a little bit of relief. I found health living and running blogs and realized what I was doing to myself. I stopped running obsessively, but ran to free myself from the other constraints and expectations I had placed on myself. I started eating well. I was grocery shopping with purpose–buying good food and good fuel for myself.

After finals in December, I packed up my room, picked my Dad up from the airport, and we started the lengthy drive back to California. I moved back in with my parents, found a full time job, and started thinking about my next step.

I kept up my running, but in a much healthier way. I ran in the mornings before work and enjoyed the moments of peace and silence before the beginning of yet another busy day. Running became a way for me to heal myself. I was still having trouble with the foods I was allowing myself to eat, but I was spending time with old friends, planning a European backpacking trip with my best friend, and was on my way to becoming happy again. I had abandoned a plan I didn’t feel was right for me and was slowly becoming me again.

I chose to come back to Flagstaff and NAU for another shot at my master’s. I had settled on the idea of pursuing a degree in Public History and working in a library, archive, or museum. During my first semester back in grad school, I started training for my first marathon. Running became my escape from the stress and frustration of grad school. It turns out, this second master’s wasn’t much better than the first. I was back in a place I was familiar with and had friends around to hang with, but I wasn’t enjoying what I was studying. It felt like a necessary step I had to take to pursue in order to do what I wanted to do. The kicker with that, however, was that I didn’t even know what I wanted to do. I figured that a career path in museums was something I could do.

I trained for my first marathon while I was in grad school. It felt like a real goal I could achieve and one that would make me proud. Which caused me then to wonder, Why didn’t I feel that way about grad school? I never saw obtaining my Master’s as a real accomplishment–it was just something I had to do.

My second to last semester at NAU, I began an internship with the library in it’s Special Collections and Archives. I enjoyed what I was doing, and thought “yeah. I can make a life of this.” I had decided that when I graduated in December of 2012, I’d move away from Flagstaff and start pursuing this career. Well… that went to the pits when I met Jeff in June. Just a few months after we started dating, I knew I’d be staying in Flag in order to see where this relationship could go.

Meanwhile, I continued onward with my graduate degree, all the while becoming more and more disillusioned and disgruntled. I wasn’t enjoying myself at all. The classes I was TAing for, as well as the classes I took, were uninteresting to me. I looked at my classmates and felt like I was missing something. Why wasn’t I as excited as they were? I figured it was because I wanted to be in the public domain, and they were largely pursuing academic careers.

I, again, turned to running. During the three semesters I was at NAU for my graduate degree, I trained for and ran 2 marathons. Those weeks of training, the long runs, and the success of crossing the finish line were the real accomplishments to me. To me, 2012 isn’t the year I graduated with my Master’s. It’s the I met Jeff, ran 2 marathons, climbed to the top of Mt. Whitney–all while finishing up school.

My accomplishments began to shift focus–I didn’t find it in my grades or how my teachers thought about me and my work. I began to see it on the pavement, the way my body changed and got stronger, and the way my paces faster than I imagined they ever would.

After graduating, and deciding to stay in Flagstaff, I found myself a job. It had nothing to do with the degrees I had worked to earn. It had no future. But, it paid the bills and allowed me to continue running, while learning about health, nutrition and how to fuel myself to improve my running.

For a while now, I’ve questioned whether I belonged in the history field. The jobs I wanted all required yet another master’s degree, and I wondered if that was really what I wanted to do. I talked to Jeff about getting a degree in nutrition, or maybe becoming a personal trainer. I rarely talked about finding a job in “my field”. I chalked a lot of that up to the fact that we live in a small town with limited options. But really, I think I had checked out. If I had really wanted it, I would have made it happen.

I’m not somebody that sits on their hands and waits for things to come to them. I worked hard at school and earned myself a full ride for grad school. I ran a marathon, and then another, and then another until I achieved a qualifying time for the Boston Marathon. If I had wanted to be in the archival field, I’d have made that happen. I had opportunities, connections I could have utilized, but instead I wanted the freedom to do what I wanted–and that was run.

In January, I decided that enough was enough and I was going to take the next logical step in order to begin this elusive career…a second Master’s in Library Science. I applied, and was accepted, to the University of Arizona’s SIRLS program and was due to begin yesterday, August 24th.

Two weeks before the first day of school, I deferred my admission.

I can sit here and spew some more about the multitude of other reasons I came up with not to follow through with this degree, but the bottom line is this: I didn’t want to do it and that was good enough for me.

In May, I left my job at an art gallery and started working in a doctor’s office and it’s solidified it for me: I want to be in the medical field. When I deferred from my classes my first thought was going into nutrition to become an RD. I researched, picked my brother’s girlfriend’s mind (she’s an RD) and started looking at programs, schools, etc. Then I thought about nursing. I’ve had many people tell me many times I’d make a great nurse, but I always wrote it off because I was “squeamish”. Well, let’s  just say I’m putting that to the test.

I’m not sure of my path just yet. But, I am registered for a biology class this semester. I’m going to start taking prereq’s I’ll need for both career paths and figure it out as I go.

What does all that mean for my training and this little blogspace? I honestly have no idea. I love the community that I’ve found here–and would like to continue to be a part of it, but whether that’s through my own blog, I’m not entirely sure. I guess I’ll see what I have time for.

As for training….running will always be a part of my life. Always. I’m just not sure how training is going to translate into a new world of school + working full time. I’m planning on continuing forward with marathon training this fall and get that 3:30 in February, but if it proves to be too overwhelming and too much, I’ll reconsider.

I’m really excited about making this leap and pursuing something I’m really excited about. It’s been a long time coming, and I’m excited to see where it takes me.

If you made it this far, thanks for sticking through that! Yikes. Four gold stars for you.