I’m Bad at Doing Things: “Progress” on my 30-Before-30 Goals

Tomorrow (today, by the time most of you read this) is  my birthday.  Last year, when I turned 28, I made a list of 30 things I wanted to accomplish before I turn 30. As Iooked over that list again today, I realized that I haven’t accomplished many of them — and there are some that I don’t care that much about anymore. Funny how much difference a year makes.
pic9(By the time I finished this post, I was feeling unaccomplished, so I put in this picture to remind myself that sometimes I do meet goals.)

Here’s a check-in on my 30 Before 30 goals:

  1. Learn to can and freeze fruits and veggies. Nope, haven’t done that. And we didn’t even plant a garden this year, so I won’t be learning this summer, either.
  2. Attempt to get published in an education journal.  I haven’t submitted any articles yet, but I have worked on some this summer. So that’s progress.
  3. Run a 3-hour marathon. Ha. Hahahahaha. I think it’s safe to say that this is not going to happen in the next year. Three hours is 13 minutes faster than my PR, and while I’d still like to keep that goal on the (nearly impossible) horizon, it’s a horizon that’s MUCH more than a year away.
  4. Visit the ocean at least twice. We went to Myrtle Beach this May, so one visit down, (at least) one to go.
    photo 3 (2)
  5. Save money and get better at sticking to a budget. Well, we were  doing better on this one until everything we own decided to start breaking. There’s definitely still room for improvement here.
  6. PR in the half-marathon. I guess that would require me to run a half marathon, wouldn’t it? I haven’t run one in the past year, and I don’t really care if I run one in the coming year, either, since I’m seriously considering a venture into the ultra world. We shall see.
  7. Put in a beautiful backyard.We’re working on it. We didn’t make as much progress this summer as we’d hoped to, since we were never home, but we got the tree trimmed, we’re getting a shed delivered next week, and we plan to get in sod and sprinklers this fall.

    Since there's no real yard yet, I drew you a picture. It's okay to be amazed by my Paint skills.
    Since there’s no real yard yet, I drew you a picture. It’s okay to be amazed by my Paint skills.
  8. Visit my grandparents more. Fail. I saw them at Thanksgiving and Christmas and once this summer. I’m bad at familying.
  9. Make more local friends. Also bad at friending.
  10. And continue growing the friendships that I have. See above.
  11. Hang out with our neighbors. Bad at neighboring, too.
  12. Volunteer.  I took a baby step in this direction, giving the local Hospice my information… but they never contacted me and I never pursued it. Add “volunteering” to the list of things I’m bad at.
  13. Run the stairs at Red Rocks. Hey hey, I accomplished one! This was when I ran with Amy, and neither of us took pictures, but I promise it happened.
  14. Go white-water rafting. Still haven’t. Still want to.
  15. Get a new computer. Two goals done! I finally had to break down and buy one, because I couldn’t get anything accomplished on my old laptop.
  16. Go on a girls’ trip. Half-successful. Three of us went wine tasting in Palisade last spring, but we were missing our fourth wheel Lindsey, so it wasn’t complete. With everyone having babies and such, I’m not sure that it’ll happen this year, either.
    photo (2)
  17. Go to California. Not done yet. Maybe next spring or summer. If not, I’m okay with it…. as long as I get to see Lindsey somehow.
  18. Buy a china cabinet. Still something I want to do, but I doubt it will happen in the next 12 months (See #5).
  19. Run a race with my brother.Guess what? I haven’t done this one either. I’m the worst.
  20. Get a massage. Nope. But my awesome mother-in-law bought me a spa day for my birthday. The salon recently lost their massage therapist, but they might have another one hired by the end of the month, when our appointment is. So maaaybe I can cross this one off, too.
  21. Restain our deck. DONE! Boom. No picture to prove it, because who wants to look at a deck picture, but it’s done.
  22.  Eat at Fruition. This is another one that I haven’t accomplished and don’t really care if I do. I think I was getting desperate to get to 30.
  23. Find or invent a tofu recipe that my husband will eat. I’m not sure which is more far-fetched: this goal or the 3-hour marathon.
  24. Visit the wildlife sanctuary in Hudson. Steeee-rike. .
  25. Hike into the Roubideau Canyon with my family. No, and I still REALLY want to. Dad and I were just reminiscing about the first time we did this hike, when I was just a little kid.
  26. Take our nieces on a mini-vacation. People are over-scheduled these days. Also, excuses are easy.
  27. Go rock climbing either outdoors or on a wall. Can someone please teach me to rock climb? Pretty please?
  28. Go for a trail run. DONE. Several times, in fact. And I plan to do more and more and more.

    I even ran a trail RACE! At NIGHT! Photo credit: Chris Boyack of Colorado Photo Company
    I even ran a trail RACE! At NIGHT! Photo credit: Chris Boyack of Colorado Photo Company
  29. Stand up on waterskis. At least I tried this one. Waterskiing is hard, apparently.
  30. Go to Pawnee ButtesThe Buttes are still about and hour and a half away. I still haven’t gone. I fail. Again.

So, that’s embarrassing. I have a LOT to do this year!

Are you ever bad at accomplishing goals you set for yourself? 

Can you help me do any of these things? Please?

55 Things My Dad Taught Me

Today is my dad’s 55th birthday. Over the years, Dad has taught me many lessons — some directly, and some just through example. In honor of his birthday, I’m passing 55 of those life lessons on to you.

life lessons

  1. Treat your spouse with respect.
  2. Work hard. Always.
  3. Try to see the good in people. Even if their lives are messy, there’s bound to be something good within them.
  4. Set high expectations for your kids.
  5. Don’t be afraid of a challenge.
  6. Never stop learning.
  7. Keep your temper in check. Losing it only makes things worse.
  8. Marriage is a commitment. Don’t bail out during the tough times; work through them.
  9. Always pack a jacket.
  10. Keep tire chains in your car — even if that car is a Dodge Neon (this one literally saved my brother’s and my lives one time).
  11. Do little things for your spouse, just to let him/her know you’re thinking of him/her.
  12. Don’t give up on dreams you’ve had for a long time.

    My parents went to Alaska last fall, fulfilling one of my dad's lifelong dreams. This picture is not from that trip. I can't find any of those.
    My parents went to Alaska last fall, fulfilling one of my dad’s lifelong dreams. This picture is not from that trip. I can’t find any of those.
  13. Go to the mountains as much as possible.
  14. You don’t always have to say what you’re thinking.
  15. A long walk can solve a lot of life’s problems.
  16. Always think about how what you’re doing now will affect the future.
  17. Sometimes, a hug is all somebody needs to feel better.
  18. Stick to your values, even if sticking to them is difficult.
  19. Read every chance you get — even if it’s just a few pages here and there.
  20. Buy good shoes. If you buy cheap ones, you’ll get what you pay for.
  21. Expect men to respect you. Get rid of the ones who don’t.
  22. You have to take risks to make gains.
  23. Listen.
  24. Nothing tastes better than a granola bar on a mountaintop.
  25. You can effectively express your thoughts without swearing.
  26. Learn to write legibly. If you don’t, it will frustrate you forever.
  27. Trust in God’s plans.
  28. Check the oil and keep the windows clean.
  29. Appreciate your body and take care of it.
  30. Take the time to enjoy and appreciate nature.
  31. There’s nothing wrong with having a dish of ice cream a couple of times a week.
  32. Don’t separate frozen hamburgers with a paring knife. (Okay, so maybe I taught myself that one, but Dad’s the one who took me to get the ensuing wound stitched up).
  33. Be confident.
  34. Face your fears and overcome them.
  35. Real men can cry.

    We were both crying at this point.
    We were both crying at this point.
  36. Always shake out your irrigating boots before you put them on.
  37. Keep a notepad in your pocket. It serves to record ideas or things you don’t want to forget, and its pages work as a Kleenex in a pinch.
  38. Persistence always pays off.
  39. Always pee when you have the opportunity.
  40. Make stupid jokes and laugh at them.
  41. Wear sunscreen. And a hat. (Although I’m still really bad about the hat thing).
  42. Don’t let people take advantage of you.
  43. Don’t have a discussion when you’re fuming. Cool down first.
  44. Spend as much time as possible with your family.
  45. Spankings can be beneficial.
  46. But for some kids (i.e. Cassie), the phrase “I’m so disappointed in you” stings for far longer than any spanking.
  47. Also tell your kids when you’re proud of them, even for little things. That phrase sticks with them, too.

    This is an awkward picture from my undergrad graduation. My brother, Jordan, and I all graduated the same day... at different times. It had been a long and exhausting day. But Dad still made sure I knew how proud he was.
    This is an awkward picture from my undergrad graduation. My brother, Jordan, and I all graduated the same day… at different times. It had been a long and exhausting day. But Dad still made sure I knew how proud he was.
  48. “Noodle” your finger into the dirt before digging potatoes so you don’t cut any with your shovel.
  49. Be patient.
  50. Help people move when they need help.
  51. A three-minute phone call can make someone feel like the most special person on Earth.
  52. Respect the outdoors: Leave no trace.
  53. You don’t have to drink to have a good time.
  54. Be yourself. If people make fun of you for your values, your habits, or your personality, ignore them.
  55. Use your head. (That’s my dad’s signature phrase, said to us when we definitely weren’t using our heads or when we were leaving the house to go somewhere we’d be tempted not to use our heads. Though it became a family joke, I find myself now telling my students to use their heads.)

Dad has taught me many more lessons, big and small, and I’m sure he’ll continue to teach me many more. I am truly blessed to have such a wonderful father!

What are some lessons your dad taught you?

What are some lessons you hope to teach your kids?


Fall Classic Marathon Training: Week 8

Hello friends! Can you believe we’re in the last week of July? This summer is flying. I finally went in to work today (normal work, not college summer class work). As I was taking care of this
photo (1)it occurred to me that I need to do more upper-body work. Desks aren’t really heavy, just awkward, and I didn’t love hoisting them all around. I’m a pansy.

But that’s not really related to last week’s training. Let’s talk about that.

AM: 12 miles easy, which didn’t really feel too easy after last Saturday’s downhill 20-miler.

PM: About an hour of strength training at home because I was too lazy to go to the gym. Which is probably why I have wimpy arms.

AM: 8.2 easy miles

PM: Just a quick core workout, no stretching or foam rolling. Oops.

AM: 800m downhill repeats on the incline trainer. With my outdoor warm-up and cool-down, the workout totaled 11.4 miles.

PM: Core, stretching, etc.

AM: 9 miles easy with a pretty sunrise
photo 1 (2)PM: An hour of strength training, at the gym this time

8.4 easy miles. Nothing else that day, because we went to Denver and bought a shed. Our life is so exciting. I also bought this:
photo 2 (2)I’m a moron and washed my old Camelbak in the washing machine. It was an old model that I’m pretty sure they don’t make anymore; the bladder and tube didn’t come out. I’d washed it many times before (stupid stupid) with no problems, but that last wash melted the antibacterial lining, sealing the tube together. After many attempts to undo the damage, I gave up and bought this Nathan pack.

22 miles.
photo 3 (1)
I didn’t get out as early as I meant to (I don’t even know what took me so long to leave), and it was HOT by the time I finished. I was grateful for my new hydration pack!


Totals: 71 miles run, 2.5ish hours strength/stretch

That  was my first 70+ week of 2014. It feels good to get my mileage up again! This week is a little lower mileage but has some tougher workouts, so we’ll see how those go.

What are you training for right now? How is your training going? 

Teachers — are you back in your classroom yet?

Spill It, Sunday: Flashbacks to Favorites

Remember that time I said I was going to start posting four times a week? Yeah… that worked out. Only not at all. So I was going to bail on linking up with Arman for Spill It, Sundays this week and go back to posting my training recap on Sunday nights. But then I realized that would be a jerk move — linking up here, here, and here to highlight my posts and then ditching the linkup when I’m supposed to highlight other people’s posts. So I’m back for Spill It, Sundays for at least one more week,

The Big Man's World

This week, instead of linking to our own past posts, Arman asked bloggers to link to favorite posts from other bloggers. I started looking through my Pinterest, and I realized that I have pinned a bunch of workouts and recipes, and then never done/made them. So here’s a list of workouts I need to do and recipes I need to make, all originally created by some of my favorite people on the Internet:

First, a workout I have done: Megan’s 5-minute abs. Don’t let the five-minute thing fool you; it’s brutal.
5 minutes to flat abs

This one I haven’t done, but Paige just posted it the other day: Trainer Paige’s Spin Workout You Can Do at the Gym. 
I will do this  once marathon training is over. My gym has a few spin bikes, but no spin classes, so I’m excited to try it!

I also haven’t done Brooke’s Boredom Buster Full Body Workout yet, but it looks like a good one for the post-marathon workout ADD I always get. It too will be tried in a couple of months.
Screen Shot 2013-10-21 at 3.49.51 PM

Of course, after I do those workouts, I’m going to need some food… like these delicious-looking recipes I pinned but haven’t tried. I blame the recent 95-degree weather and lack of air conditioning.

I’ve got to give a shout-out to the link-up host for these Lean Curry Burgers.  I saw the recipe and fully intended to make them that night … and then had tuna again. This week, then!

I don’t even have an excuse for not making this one, as it’s no-cook: Jesica of rUnladylike’s Chickpea and Avocado Oh-So-Good Spread.

Marissa posted these Paleo Blueberry Energy Balls long ago and has mentioned them several times since. Every time, I think “I should make those!” Maybe I should actually make them, then.
Paleo Blueberry Energy Balls 2

And one more. These Pumpkin Cupcakes of Heather’s look incredible. A friend and I decided the other day that we’re going to exchange pumpkin treats once a week in October, and these will be perfect.
Pumpkin Cupcakes with Spiced Protein Frosting

So if you’re wondering what I’ll be eating this week, there’s a good chance that it will be some of these things. (But not the cupcakes, because it’s not fall).

Are you going to try any of these recipes or workouts?

Do you ever pin things and forget all about them?

Any great no-cook recipes for me? Feel free to leave a link in the comments! Unless you’re a spammer. In that case, go away.

Eight Fears

I meant to write this post yesterday and post it last night, because all the “how to be a good blogger” articles say to post at consistent times, and I usually post on Tuesdays. But then I decided to do yoga instead (out of character, I know), so once again, I’m not doing things the good bloggers do. Guess how much I care. 

Anyway, I’m continuing on with Kristin’s Ten Day You Challenge. (P.S. If you don’t read Kristin’s blog, do it! She’s training for an Ironman. I’m exhausted just reading her training recaps). I didn’t really want to write today’s post, because fears are… scary. And I don’t want to think about them. But I have to write this one to get to to “seven wants,” and my materialistic side wants to write that one, so here it goes.


1. Mice. Is there a worse creature? If there is, I don’t want to know about it. Every fall, my poor husband endures my nagging until I’m sure he has stuffed steel wool into every possible place a mouse could maybe consider getting into our house. If one ever gets in, I am moving out. Because ick. (Also, I really hope no student ever reads this and uses this information for evil purposes.)
This is not a realistic depiction of the horror that is mice.

2. Losing someone I love. I have been fortunate in my almost-29 years on this planet, as I have not lost anyone close to me. Although I know it is a natural part of life, I don’t want to deal with it. Ever. On that same note —

3. Losing a student. This is, unfortunately, something that I have experienced. And it’s dreadful, and it hurts, and I want it to never happen again.

4. Conflict. It might seem crazy to list this as a fear, but it really is. I hate conflict and try to avoid it at all costs… which usually then just makes more conflict. And yet I just keep repeating this cycle, because I am smart.

5. Regret. I fear that one day, I’ll wake up and be 85 years old and have a long list of “I wish I would’ves.” So I’m trying to go places, and experience things, and build and foster relationships, so that fear never becomes reality.

6. Failure. This goes hand-in-hand with my fear of having regrets. My fear of failure keeps me from taking certain risks… but then not taking them leads to regret. So… something to work on.

7. Parenting. I’ve mentioned before that, at least right now, I don’t want kids. Along with just not wanting them, I have a healthy fear of being a parent. Kids are easy to screw up. And they are mildly terrifying, too.

8. Any story from those horrible Dateline special features. You know the ones: “A quiet little town. A warm summer night. An open window, and a woman home alone… who was never seen again.” Seriously, that crap is spine-chilling… and that’s what I don’t like it when Jordan goes out of town.

What are some of your fears (rational or irrational)?

Fall Classic Marathon Training: Week 7 and Western Colorado Adventures

I got an e-mail today explaining that the Colorado Fall Classic Marathon had to change its name because the Colorado Marathon folks got all worked up about it. (The e-mail was worded more professionally than that, don’t worry.) I think that’s a little petty on the Colorado Marathon’s part, but whatever. Either way, I’m still training for the same race, and Week 7 of training was a much-needed recovery week. Here’s how things went:

AM: 6.1 easy miles

PM: An hour-ish of full-body strength training

AM: 7 easy miles

PM: Core, stretching, and foam rolling. My right hip is finally loosening up, so I guess all this foam rolling is paying off.

AM: Tempo intervals for the week’s only real workout (besides a long run). I did 5 x 2000 meters with 400m recoveries. It was unusually humid for Colorado (96%…ew), so I was a sweaty mess when I finished. 10.5 miles total, including warm-up and cool-down.
photoPM: Core, etc.

AM: 6 recovery miles

Later AM: An hour of strength training. We were heading out of town to visit my family, so I did my strength work right after my class ended at 10 instead of waiting until later in the day. I had no idea the gym would be so busy at 10 a.m.!

I started the day with an easy 4.3-mile run, enjoying the sunrise over the mountains.
photo 1After breakfast, we took off for Telluride. It’s not quite two hours from my parents’ house, and Jordan had never been there, so we thought it’d be a fun adventure. We took the Last Dollar Road on the way there. It was really ugly.
photo 2We had to look at horrible scenery like that for the entire drive. It was really hard on us.

When we got to Telluride, we planned to hike to Bridal Veil Falls. Turns out, it’s not a great hike — the “trail” is a road, so hikers have to dodge (and get dusted by) four-wheel-drive vehicles. But the views on the hike more than made up for that:
photo 4And the fall itself was well worth it.
photo 5After the waterfall hike, we had a picnic in the town park, rode the gondola, and went into several shops whose merchandise cost more than my monthly paycheck.

I had mentioned to my folks that I was hoping to get in a 20-mile downhill run while I was there, and Dad had determined which route would be best for me. He offered to drive me up to the start, and Mom and J tagged along because they love me. (As Dad put it, though, spending an early morning in the mountains is really no sacrifice).

This was my favorite run in a long, long time. For reasons that the pictures make obvious, this is one of my favorite places in the whole world. We spent a lot of time here growing up, so this run was full of memories and overall nature-loving. We saw several deer on the way up, as well as an elk who was too swift for me to get her picture.
photo 2 (1)This is where my run started:
photo 4 (1)This was on the way down:
photo 3 photo 5 (1)And this was where I finished:
photo 1 (1)Not too shabby, right? And my family was leap-frogging me along the road, so I had my own mobile aid station. That was awesome, because I only had to carry my handheld bottle instead of a big Camelbak.

This run was not only beautiful, but  also terrific downhill training. Check out this elevation chart:
elevationI was still sore today (I’m sure the seven-hour car ride yesterday wasn’t helpful), so I take that as a good sign that I’m getting prepared for the race.

Rest. I stretched a bit when we finally got home (I-70 traffic is the worst), but that was it.

Totals: 54 miles running, 3ish hours strength, a couple of hours hiking, and a whole lot of family time and outdoors enjoyment.

How was your weekend?

Ever been to Telluride?


Spill It, Sundays: Flashbacks #3

Hi folks! How was your weekend? Mine was fantastic — we  visited my parents and my beloved mountains. More on that tomorrow, but here’s a mountain picture to hold you over.
photo (3)

This is the last week that Arman’s Spill It, Sundays are featuring flashback posts…. which is really kind of good, because I haven’t been blogging all that long and I don’t post all that often (or all that stellar content, let’s be real), so I was running out of flashbacks to post. But here are three more for you to read if you missed them the first time!
The Big Man's World

A Letter to My 16-Year-Old Self: All the things I wish I’d known when I was 16… and some things I still need to remember.

My Boston Story:  I wrote this reflective post on the one-year anniversary of the bombings at the Boston Marathon. I so wish I could’ve run  the race again this year.

How to Shop Healthy When You Have to Shop Wal-Mart
: Because some of us don’t have options. But it really is possible (and not that difficult) to eat healthily when Wal-Mart is your grocery store of choice  (or necessity)

I hope you enjoy these posts if you didn’t catch them the first time!

How was your weekend? Any adventures?


Chase the Moon Relay Recap

This post is a little wordy. For a quick review of the race itself, scroll to the bottom. 

A few months ago, via Twitter, Logan started trying to convince Amy and me to run this crazy, all-night trail relay called Chase the Moon. Though the thought of running trails at night scared me, I decided that it’s good to do scary things sometimes, so  I agreed to it… especially after we assured one another that none of us were, in fact, serial killers (none of us had met in person at that point). And so, Team Cereal Killers was born. Later, we managed to talk Aimee and Brooke into joining the team, so we moved into the five-person division.

Last Friday night, Team Cereal Killers met for the first time, ready to take on Chase the Moon.
photo 4Logan, Brooke, Amy, me and Aimee. And our cereals, of course.

The race started at 7 p.m., so Jordan and I left home around 3:30, planning to meet the team between 5:30 and 6. As we drove, rain started pouring down. As it rained harder and harder, I got more and more nervous. I never run in the rain… because it hardly ever rains here, and when it does, it passes quickly. This storm was a typical quick-mover, thank goodness, so by the time we all met up, put up Amy’s and Brooke’s tents, and took a group photo, the rain had slowed to sporadic spits. By race time, it wasn’t raining at all. It was, however, humid (to me. Logan, who lives in D.C.,  thought it felt delightful).

I was our team’s first runner, so at 7:00, I lined up at the start to listen to instructions and the National Anthem. And just like that, we were off!
photo2I started WAY too far back, which meant I spent the first mile or so weaving, which is never good (but which I always do, somehow). Eventually, the crowd thinned, and I settled into a comfortable pace. My plan was to run nice and easy, at long run pace, since I was counting my two loops as my usual long run.

And then I hit the first aid station at mile 3.7, and they told me I was the first woman through. That’s when Competitive Cassie came out. I didn’t care that there were still over 11 hours in the race. I was first right now, and I was gonna stay first through the first loop. And this is why I can never do a race as a training run: I am mildly crazy.

I picked up the pace a little (the long downhill stretches helped). Since it was still daylight, I also got to enjoy some gorgeous views of the sun setting on the foothills and the city below. No, I did not take a picture. I was WINNING, remember? Before I knew it, I was back at the start, where I handed off the baton to Aimee, and she took off.

Thanks to Logan for this picture!
Thanks to Logan for this picture!

I changed out of my sweaty clothes, said goodbye to Jordan, and spent the next several hours hanging out at our little camp and getting to know my awesome teammates. Aimee was back before we knew it, finishing her lap in the dark. We realized, as she passed us unrecognized, that identifying our teammates in the dark was nearly impossible. The next few runners on our team came in shouting, “Cereal Killers!” so we’d be ready.  In hindsight, that’s probably not a great thing to shout as you come in off a dark trail in the middle of the night…

Aimee handed off to Logan, who handed off to Amy, who passed the baton to Brooke. I have no pictures of this, because it was dark. All the pictures I attempted looked like nothing. When Brooke got back at around 3:30, it was my turn again, so off I went. I knew my second lap would be much slower than the first because of the whole darkness thing, so I told myself to just take it easy. My Garmin beeped at mile 1: 8:35. Not too bad, I thought.

Then, at mile 1.3, I tripped over a big nothing and fell flat on my face. Awesome. I broke the skin on my knee and filled my water bottle cap with mud, but I wasn’t hurt. I assumed that was the universe telling me to not get cocky, so I slowed down considerably and paid closer attention to my feet. Thankfully, I had no further incidents, and I actually enjoyed running in the dark. It was quiet and peaceful (but there were other runners out there, so I felt safe), and the full moon and city lights below made for some pretty sights (on the rare occasion that I looked up post-fall).

(Another stolen photo, this one from Colorado Runner Magazine)

I finished my loop in the slowest time I’ve ever run ten miles, and my team told me that unless I wanted to run again, we were done. The race directors (and website) had originally said they’d cut the loop down to 10k between 5:30 and 6. Since none of my teammates were up for another 10 miles, they had asked the race directors when the loop would be cut down, planning to wait and run the 10k loop. They were  informed that the course wasn’t being cut down  after all. Since all of us are training for other races and none of us were dumb enough to risk pushing too hard on another 10-mile loop and getting injured, we called it quits after 61.8 miles and 10 hours.

Somehow, even quitting early, we managed to win the women’s five-person division (there were only two other teams in our division), so all of us except Aimee stayed for the awards (she had an hour’s drive home and needed to get there before the lack of sleep caught up with her).
photoThe medals glow in the dark. So do the race shirts. That’s pretty nifty.

In a nutshell…

Like any race, this one had pros and cons, but I think the pros far outweighed the cons. Here’s a quick summary of my opinions on both:


  • The course. It was a pretty course, not at all technical (a major bonus for a night run), and very well-marked. Orange paint, ribbons, signs, and glow sticks marked the way, and anywhere you could possibly get lost, a volunteer was stationed to keep you on the right course. I have the worst sense of direction in the history of directions, and even I had no trouble staying on course. Also, it was cool to look back and see all the little lights from headlamps bobbing along below.
  • The volunteers. These people were amazing. They stayed up all night, too, but I never even saw one yawn. They were peppy, encouraging, and ready to help with anything.
  • The support. Water, Gatorade, and snacks were plentiful — more helpful for the solo runners, I’m sure, but nice for us relayers, too!
  • The solo runners. Seeing people of all ages and sizes running for 12 solid hours was inspiring. The solo race winner (a woman) ran over 70 miles in the 12-hour race. She is amazing.

There were a couple of negatives, but any inaugural race is bound to have some hiccups. I’m sure the race directors will work them out for next year.

  • The washing-machine style loops. Odd-numbered loops were run one direction, and even-numbered loops the opposite. I understand why they did it this way, but it got a little confusing in the wee hours, and I really didn’t like scooting over as I met people in the dark. I was afraid of a twisted ankle. This is not a deal-breaker, though, especially since that’s just my opinion and I’m sure some people liked it.
  • The last-minute distance change. This will be a really easy fix for next year — either they’ll do the cutdown to 10k, or they won’t advertise that they will. It just threw us off because everyone was on training plans and had certain mileage planned, and it was frustrating to have those plans foiled. Again, not a deal-breaker, at least not for me.

Would I do this race again? Maybe. I definitely prefer daytime running — I loved seeing the scenery on my first loop and didn’t love the undivided attention on the trail in front of me on the second. BUT… next year, the race is July 31-August 1. August 1 is my birthday. That means that if I ran three loops, I’d turn 30 while running 30 miles. And that might be too cool to pass up.

Would you do or have you done an all-night run or relay?

Want to be on my team next year and ring in my 30th with me? 

Nine Loves

Looks like I’m turning Kristin’s 10-Day YOU Challenge into a 10-week challenge. Oh well, I’m sure she won’t mind. To read my 10 secrets, go here.


Here are my 9 Loves:

1. This guy.
Picture 041I don’t want to make you jealous or anything, but Jordan is probably the best husband on the planet. He makes me laugh constantly. He supports me in everything from running to teaching to family life to whatever — and he believes in my biggest of dreams even more passionately than I do. I am one lucky gal to be spending my life with this fella.

2. Family.
Facebook-20140715-032634My family (top photo) is awesome.  And then I got really lucky and married into an equally awesome family.

3. These girls. Facebook-20140715-033121These are my college roommates. We had some great times, but more importantly, we formed solid friendships. We don’t get to see each other much anymore (because of lame excuses like  “jobs” and “babies” and “living in separate states” ), but when we do, we pick up right where we left off.

4. Mountains.
Because who wouldn’t love them!

5. Running. 
pic9That one is a given, of course, but I couldn’t list my loves and leave it off!

6. Books. "Research"Normally, I cannot sit still. But give me a good book, and I can sit and read for hours. I love getting lost in a good story.

7. Travelling.Getting on the train with my BFF Sam, who was pretending we were going to Hogwarts.I haven’t traveled nearly as much as I want to, but I love to go places!

8. Peanut Butter Puffins.
photo (2)
Which is why I wore a Puffins necklace (artfully crafted by Logan) at Chase the Moon (just for the picture, not while running).

9. 90’s music.

Nsync and Joe Diffie make me nostalgic.

What are some of your loves?

Who was your favorite 90’s band/artist?

Colorado Fall Classic Marathon Training: Week 6

Wow, I can’t believe Week 6 of marathon training has already come and gone. And I can’t believe that race day is two months from TODAY. Time is flying!

Here’s how last week’s training looked:

AM: 12.1 miles with 8 at goal pace. Goal pace was still hard, but it went a ton better than the last GP run I attempted, so that was encouraging.
photo 1PM: About an hour of full-body strength training 

AM: 9 miles easy
PM: 30 or so minutes of core,  stretching, and foam rolling
photo 2Just planking. And sweating.

AM: Downhill cruise intervals. I did a 2-ish mile warm-up outside, then hit the incline trainer at the gym for 10x1000m with 200m recoveries, then cooled down outside. 10.5 miles total

PM: Another short core/stretching/rolling session

AM: 8.2 easy miles over the river at sunrise with a billion birdies (that’s what the black spots are, not dirt on my phone)
photo 3PM: 45 minutes of full-body strength, in my basement this time because I could not get myself motivated to hit the gym.

AM: 5 miles, slow and easy, just to loosen up before that night’s Chase the Moon relay

PM: Lap 1 at Chase the Moon, 10.3 milesI started too far back. This is my "Get out the way" face. I started too far back. This is my “Get out the way” face.

AM: And I do mean “A.M.” I started running at 3:30 or so and did my second 10.3-mile lap. I was really tempted to do another lap but decided that was stupid, since my stomach was upset and I’d run 25.6 miles in less than 24 hours
photo 4Team Cereal Killers: Logan, Brooke, Amy, me, and Aimee. I promise I will write a recap soon; I’m waiting to get the official race pictures. But Amy’s is up, so you can read hers!

Sunday: Rest. J and I took a nice long walk, which felt incredible on my tight legs, but otherwise, I just chilled. And it was glorious.

Totals: 65.4 miles, some strength/stretch/etc., too little sleep

This week is a recovery week. I have one tough workout and a 18-20 miler scheduled. The rest are slow, easy, and shorter-than-usual runs.

How was your training week? What’s next on your calendar?