If you have spoken with me since November 15, 2013, then our conversation was probably dominated by one topic: my training for the LA Marathon. My obsession got me to the start line and more importantly to the finish line. I had a some expectations for myself, of which I only met one (two, if you count getting to the starting line) but the experience was unforgettable and I am so happy to finally be able to say that I have run a marathon. Continue reading
I have been practicing yoga at least once a week since Thanksgiving because it is good for me. In so many ways, it is good for me. Lately, however, I have been practicing restless yoga. During poses I have been restless and my mind seemed to be arguing with my body, not able to thank it for supporting me through all my crazy ideas of fun, like 18 and 20 mile runs in back-to-back weekends. But today the yoga instructor, Kerry Armstrong from Salt Lake Power Yoga, was able to read my little brain bubble floating above my head and said the perfect thing for me, “Find your drishti.” And that was it, I focused on the point between my feet and the whole class changed for me.
I had just broken up with my future husband and my new running buddy had just been laid off. We both had some spare time on our hands and decided to spend it trail running. So we planned a trip to Durango and Telluride, CO, packed up the camping equipment, and stole away to the mountains to become reacquainted with the things that made us “who we are” through lots and lots of trail runs. We dubbed this running vacation “Cross-Country Camp.” Upon arriving home, we vowed to repeat the experience every year to make sure we never lost touch again. Six years later….we finally made it back out. This time to Tucson, AZ. Continue reading
I live in a mountain town and I love to trail run. In my opinion, trail running is the purest form of running. The surroundings keep you so entertained that you don’t need any music. The rocks, tree roots, and other obstacles keep you on your toes. And the constant undulation of the terrain is a hill workout and a speed workout all in one. But the best part of trail running is the adventure of it. Every run is different. Sometimes it feels like you are just out there to get lost! The Lost Prospector Loop is the literal extension of that feeling running this loop right now is spectacular!
As I was hiking this afternoon I realized that if I ever decided to come up with a line of toenail polish I would definitely use Fall as my inspiration. I also decided that if I was a fashion designer, my Fall line would be called Mother Nature and it would be a mixture of bright colored and neutral tone ombre.
Sometimes an afternoon hike through the woods just calls for photo montage. Color is courtesy of Mother Nature…and Deer Valley.
I visit Hawaii about twice a year. It is one of my favorite destinations: perfect beaches, perfect water temps, snorkeling for days, and farmer’s markets on every corner. Every time we tell friends or family we are heading to Hawaii, they respond with, “Again? How do you afford to got there so often? I want to get on your program!” For all of you wanting to get on our program, here is how we do it.
Booking a flight eats up a big chunk of the budget right off the bat. I set a Kayak alert so I know when prices drop and am willing to book immediately for any period of time in our open time frame. The key here is to be flexible on dates and to be proactive. I have ever found a flight from SLC > KOA for about $450.
The cheapest way to stay on the island is to camp for about $30-50/night. The beaches in Hawaii close at night so it is illegal to camp on the beach there are plenty of campgrounds that can be booked through the state or county. You will also have access to flush-toilets and showers behind doors if you camp. If you don’t have a tent, some of the islands have little cabins where you will just need a sleeping bag + sleeping pad + pillow that are on the $50 end of the range. The Big Island and Kauai have the easiest and most plentiful camping options. You won’t be staying in a five-star hotel with all the amenities but you will likely meet some pretty cool folks and get some great local recommendations.
The first stop on any Hawaiian vacation should be a local farm stand. The growing season is 365 days a year in Hawaii and every island has amazing locally-grown fruits and veggies. Grab yourself a bag of coffee, some bananas, stuff for a salad, and veggies to dip in dips like Hummus. Eat at least two meals a day from your farm stand stash. The other secret is happy hour. Every restaurant has a happy hour menu in the 3:00-6:00 time frame. This just happens to be timed to perfectly coincide with dinner-time on the mainland. Eat your big dinner and get yourself a $5 Mai Tai during Happy Hour. This isn’t usually the healthiest food so make sure you get your five-a-day in before this meal. The other bonus is that by eating dinner on your mainland schedule will make the readjustment to coming home much easier.
When it comes to Hawaiian transportation, get yourself a car with the best gas mileage. Gas can be so pricey there that you may spend your savings from renting a gas guzzler on gas. If you have a Costco membership, bring your card to buy gas (and sushi) at the cheapest place on the island.
It is rare that I buy any souvenirs or extras on any vacation but if you need to, you have $100 to do it. I have spent it on a pedicure, a 5k race entry fee, locally crafted hand-soaps, and/or a beach umbrella rental. You might need to rent a snorkel gear (if you don’t have it already), buy a beach wrap (which works better and dries faster than a towel), or eat sushi instead of salad. If you don’t spend it, you can always blow the whole lot on extra leg room for the plane ride home.
So there you have it! If your trip to Hawaii is about beaches and blue water then this is a great way to do it and do it often. Get with the program!
Lately I have had a singular focus, setting goals. I suppose my focus has been so narrow that one could say I have had a goal to set a goal. But seriously, I have spent every available moment of my life thinking about what is coming next and how to get there successfully. I keep thinking of goals that look good on paper, such as “PR in the half marathon,” or, “go sub-3:30 in the marathon,” but for some reason those goals are not sparking any excitement in me and without excitement, there is nothing else. I have been able to see the end of the dock, walk to the end of the dock, but I just can’t seem to jump off the end of it and submerge myself in full-blown, goal-digging. Continue reading
Since having finished my marathon (as I have been calling it lately) I have had some difficulty finding the inspiration to keep training. I know I have some pretty lofty goals for my next marathon and for the next year of racing so not wanting to go for a run has been mildly frustrating. I keep telling myself that I just need to take a break and that I will soon find my drive again, but I worry that I am kidding myself. Then this morning, with my eyes glued to the tele, I watched history in the making and found myself lacing up my shoes and heading out for a run.
In an unusual bought of body confidence, I chose to wear this as my top to yoga this morning. It has been sitting, along with its non-identical twin, in my underwear drawer for over a year. I purchased these yoga bras on Black Friday in 2012 when I justified the purchase, thinking, “It is such a great deal and I have always wanted to be one of those girls who can pull off a bra at yoga class. And this one fits so great!” For a year it has been haunting me in the back of the drawer, begging to be used or given away.
Christmas week is finishing up and as I stand back up and brush my hands off, I have been forced to come down from the high provided to me through those incredible spirits that surrounded me this week. This detox wasn’t wanted, or expected really, but as with all things I have done my best to learn from this experience what I can and arise each day having learned a lesson from yesterday. For the past 24 hours I have been giving myself a close-up examination of my mood, my needs, my wants, etc., and I have been doing some journaling (my pen and paper act as a therapist regularly) to learn from all of this and I came up with a few one-liner-mantras. Continue reading
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This last week one of my running buddies, who recently moved to Moab, UT, guided me through a sunrise run with the ancestors.
I have been craving some spontaneity in my life lately. I keep wanting to get out and do some unplanned things to make me remember to appreciate the life I am privileged to live. To me there is something about doing new things (rerun prevention) that helps me review my perspective and renew my passion for my life. Friday night I exercised my spontaneous nerves by signing up for two races and making plans with three great girlfriends.
Once in a while an experience is challenging enough that it provides one with great satisfaction. I am a believer that this satisfaction comes when character is strengthened from lessons learned. It could be finding a strength you never had in you or recognizing a weakness and overcoming that challenge. Yesterday was a combo day for me, I have a friend who found a strength that she never guessed she had and I learned to have the patience that my body needs to heal itself. On both accounts, I found extreme satisfaction and I that is cause for celebration.