First Training Week of the New Year

The new year is an opportunity for a fresh start and often, some awesome running. This year has been different. The problems of 2018 have dragged on and are greatly affecting every aspect of my life  including my running. In the new year, I should have felt that extra push to train and make 2019 the best, but with only one week in, it’s been hard and messy.

My husband works for a nonprofit that receives funding from the National Science Foundation. With the current government shutdown, we don’t know when his paycheck is going to dry up. We are heading towards uncharted territory and I have never been one to do well with that. Since his insurance is cheaper and better, we are both on his company’s plan making our healthcare one of the many things up in the air right now. And it seems like there is no end in site.

It’s hard to run and exercise when you are exhausted from the stress of a difficult situation such as this. I find myself moving slower, wanting to stay in, and generally allowing any excuse to be the one that has me skip a run. I am no stranger to anxiety and I need running for this very reason, but it is often the first thing to go when my life gets turned upside down.

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Beautiful snow on Monday’s run

This was my training last week:

Monday: 9.1 miles along BST trail in snow (~1800 feet of gain)

Tuesday: 6.5 miles up Grandeur Peak (~2500 feet of gain)

Wednesday: 7 miles up Millcreek Road (~1200 feet of gain) + Climbing

Thursday: OFF

Friday: OFF (Should have run)

Saturday: 12.5 miles on Park City trails (~1300 feet of gain) + Climbing

Sunday: Hiking and sledding for 4-6ish miles

Total Mileage: ~38 Miles and ~7500 feet of gain

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Frosted hair on Wednesday’s run

Overall, I feel deflated this week and I’m hoping for some good news in the next few days with regards to Frank’s job. Sydney (my cat) has been having some health issues but recently seems to have made a few big steps in the right direction. I’m glad to at least have that partially resolved.

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Park City sure is beautiful

My next two races coming up are Running Up for Air (RUFA) 24 hour and Zion 100. I feel like I’m not in the best of shape at the moment, but I’ll get back there, certainly by Zion. RUFA might be a bit of a slog which I’m prepared for. Since it will be mostly walking, I imagine it will be more of a mental battle than a physical one.

My goals for next week are to drink more water (I’m terrible at that) and do some more fast running. I need to feel my legs move.

Training Next Week:

Monday: 10-12 on road + climbing

Tuesday: 10 miles on hilly trail

Wednesday: 16 miles LSD on trail

Thursday: Climbing

Friday: Run/hike up steep terrain

Saturday: 6 miles road + Hiking

Sunday: 6-8 miles + Climbing

Thanks to HoHo Runs and Taking the Long Way Home for hosting the Weekly Wrap Linkup!

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How has your new year been?

 

A Dream Come True

I’ve spent my whole life loving and admiring the mountains, but always being a plane or long car ride away. It hurt to watch the Rocky Mountains disappear from my rearview mirror each time that I came home from Denver. The drive back into Kansas is long and monotonous, and more than anything, I wanted to live in the mountains. Not visit once in a while, but have a bit of ownership to them. I’ve talked about living somewhere in the Rocky’s since I was in the 4th grade and it always seemed like a dream that would never come true.

It has been a long long wait, but my dream finally became reality. On March 3rd, I am leaving Kansas to live in Salt Lake City, Utah. Suddenly, my running pictures are going to be a lot prettier.

This is so much more than a simple move for me. It is me, finally being in the place I’ve always wanted to live. It’s me, doing what I always said I was going to do. This means the world to me, in every way.

I’m glad to say that I won’t be running Colfax, because there is a marathon much closer. On May 20th, I’ll run the Ogden Marathon, less than an hour from Salt Lake. I loved Colfax, but I want to run my city! I want to run Salt Lake!

So, there you have it. No more uncertainty (except that I have no idea where I’m living, but we’ll get that under control), no more waiting for my big day. The dream finally came true.

Utah… Here I come!saltlake.jpg

Running, Goals, and Some Unknowns

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Hey Everyone!

It’s been a long time since I’ve been running hard and training for anything specific. My last race, the Route 66 Marathon, was a bit of a flop largely because I walked to the starting line severely undertrained and a bit burnt out from my ultra. I am once again back on my feet and I am determined to get to a May marathon with some better training under my belt.

You may notice that I have not really committed to a specific marathon yet. Unfortunately, I will likely be unable to for a while. Frank and I are looking to move from Kansas and we are not really sure where we will be come May, but I am training to run a race on May 21, the day of the Colfax marathon. I will plan to run Colfax if I am still in Kansas, or if I am driving distance from Denver. I want to run a half marathon some time in March, but unfortunately, I am unable to say where or when it will be yet. It’s hard training without specifics, and it’s very hard living with so many unknowns in my future. I feel like I cannot commit to anything beyond about two weeks since we could hear back from somewhere at any time and we would have to be ready to go.

One thing is for sure, we are looking to move out west. I have spent my entire life in the flatlands of the US, and we have been looking to get to the mountains. The western half of the US is huge, so I feel confident (and hopeful) that something will turn up soon.

Looking ahead into the unknown of 2017, I do have a few goals that I believe are attainable.

  • PR my marathon

I honestly don’t care if it’s by 2 freaking seconds, I just want a PR. I will train for a 3:50 time, but come race day, I will be happy with anything that is a PR.

  • Run a sub 1:45 half marathon

Ok, this one is a little more specific. My last half was 1:47 and it was very comfortable. I was in one of my favorite places in the world, Estes Park, and I hope to go back there for that sub-1:45 in August. I definitely think this is within my abilities, but I will need to work for it.

  • Run a 50-miler

Last year I ran a 50K, and I can honestly tell you that it was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. However, those last few miles made everything worth it. I ran through the trails of Omaha with a giant smile of my face, so excited to be an ultra runner. Well, my new goal is to run a 50-miler, which I am hoping to do in the fall.

This week I will be getting back to my usual training updates, yoga posts, and random other things that make there way on to my blog. Thanks for being patient and waiting for me to be ready to train hard again.

And of course, here’s a picture of my favorite fur-ball.

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How do you deal with unknowns? Does change stress you out (it stresses me out)?

 

Moving to Kansas!

It’s been a while since I’ve written a post. To be honest, my life has been absolutely insane with the move. Last week I hardly got any time to run, but even with all the craziness, I managed to get a 5k watch PR on my last run with the Fleet Feet running group.

Last run was a good one! This was the first time I've seen my overall pace at 7:something!
Last run was a good one! This was the first time I’ve seen my overall pace at 7:something!

On Friday afternoon, Frank and I gathered our stuff, the cats, and hit the road. We drove through most of the night until we got to Booneville, Missouri, where some close friends live.

I don't think Elly and Sydney were very happy with the ride.
I don’t think Elly and Sydney were very happy with the ride.

On Saturday, our friends took us to some pretty parks and into Columbia, home of the Mizzou. We got some good food, chilled out and spent the night at their place.

Missouri has some pretty hiking!
Missouri has some pretty hiking!

The next day wasn’t exactly ideal. It rained ALL DAY LONG. We got to Manhattan, KS around noon and had to move our stuff in during a thunderstorm. I also did some damage to my back moving the bed, but we still managed to get some pretty good pizza walking distance from our place!

So, this was the view driving into Kansas...It's moving weather!!
So, this was the view driving into Kansas…It’s moving weather!!

I woke up Monday morning and hit up a yoga class, which helped my back a lot. Despite my pain, I couldn’t help but go out for a run. I did 4 easy miles along the river. It turns out that Kansas is really beautiful!

Beautiful river views.
Beautiful river views.

My new run group meets up on Tuesday nights, so I went 3.2 miles with them. They picked a really hilly route. Now, people think Kansas is flat. Apparently, it’s not. Like… not at all. The route included what felt like a mountain to my poor Indiana legs. I think I have some work cut out for me.

Elly is making herself right at home here in Manhattan, KS.
Elly is making herself right at home here in Manhattan, KS. I’m pretty sure this is the cutest cat in the world. 

Tomorrow I am going to check out some trails. I’ll let you know how it goes!

How has your week been? Have you conquered any new routes lately?

The Chicago Marathon: I’m in!

It’s official. In 164 days, I’ll be running the Chicago Marathon.

I'm running the Chicago Marathon!!!
I’m running the Chicago Marathon!!!

What’s in front of me are months of upping my mileage, stretching like crazy, a few 20 miler training runs, and well, crossing that finish line. I think if it hadn’t been for the support of my friends here (especially Kristina’s #peerpressure post), and my family, who are going to be there in Chicago with me, I probably wouldn’t be doing this. I’m nervous, excited, happy, a little shocked, and well, hopeful that I’m not a complete moron for signing up.

I'll be crossing that start line soon enough!! 162 days, to be exact.
I’ll be crossing that start line soon enough!! 164 days, to be exact.

I guess some really long runs will give me a chance to learn my way around my new town! I’m pretty excited about that.

My new apartment is that tall brown building. I'm gonna be living downtown!!
My new apartment is that tall brown building. I’m gonna be living downtown!!

I’m also going to use this as an opportunity to really get back to my yoga practice. Now that I got the cyst on my hand removed, I’ll have full range of motion in my wrist again. That means I’ll soon be back to handstands and arm balances! Oh, and I’m sure some leg and core strengthening won’t hurt my marathon training.

Do you have any big races in the fall? What’s your favorite distance to run?

Moving to Kansas: 5 Things I’ll Miss

As most of you know, I am moving soon! On May 8, I will be making an epic journey to Manhattan, Ks with Frank and our two (angry) cats. I expect it will be fun and I am so excited to have new places to see… however, I am sad to miss some stuff here. This is going to be a two-part blog entry! This first one includes 5 things that I will miss about South Bend and the next (which I’ll post next week) are 5 things I am excited about in Manhattan, KS.

Well here we go…

The Purple Porch Co-op

This is my co-op. They have a farmer's market every wednesday, and it's awesome!
This is my co-op. They have a farmer’s market every wednesday, and it’s awesome!

This is the best place ever. I love the Purple Porch. It is a food co-op that started as a small Farmer’s Market on Wednesday nights. Now it’s an actual grocery store! The best part is that I’ve been around to see the transition. I love the people, the vibe, the farmers, and the food. They are an amazingly supportive community. They’ve given me free food, you know, cause I’m a grad student and we are a poor group of people. They’ve given me a community… really, I don’t know what I will do without them.

The South Bend Adventure Club

The caving group from the South Bend Adventure Club. Pretty awesome time!
The caving group from the South Bend Adventure Club. Pretty awesome time!

When Frank and I moved to South Bend, we had left a club called OAR (Outdoor Adventure Recreation) in Gainesville. OAR was a great group of people and we had tons of fun. So, we tried to recreate it in South Bend. Amazingly, we were rather successful! We managed to create a community of over 1300 people (and counting) that like to go outside, hike, climb, caving or whatever else there is to do in the area. A lot of the people in the club became some of our closest friends, all of whom I am sad to leave. The club was such an awesome thing, and it’ll be an adjustment to not have that for my weekend fun!

East Bank and River Trails

A pretty bridge on the River  Trail.
A pretty bridge on the River Trail.

The East Bank and River Trails run for about 15 miles along the St. Joseph River. I just love them. There are always lots of runners, people walking their dogs, and just lots of happy people. With it being along the river, I get to see a good amount of birds and wildlife, along with an occasional angry goose (or river otter). I do almost all of my long runs here and a lot of my tempo runs too. I just love the river and being close to it (although, Manhattan, Ks has TWO rivers).

Fleet Feet Group Runs

I'll miss this group of people. They do an awesome job keeping our runs fun!
I’ll miss this group of people. They do an awesome job keeping our runs fun!

I really like running socially for my slow and recovery runs. The Fleet Feet running group meets once a week at a bar about a half-mile from my house. We run a 5k route and then all hang out to eat dinner/drink. It’s a pretty fun group of people and I’ll miss them a lot. I’m trying to get a few of them to run the Sunburst Half Marathon on the same day as my Hospital Hill Half!

Down Town South Bend Events

Downtown South Bend!
Downtown South Bend!

South Bend used to be a booming industrial town back in the 50’s and 60’s, but in 1964, the Studebaker plant when under and lots of people lost their jobs. South Bend went through kind of a dark age after that. However, a few years ago, a large group of young and educated people moved into town and wanted to really make a great city. They started a ton of fun events down town and tried to get a good community of people involved. Events like Ignite Michiana, where Frank gave a talk about the Adventure Club, and monthly events like Science Café, First Friday, and Green Drinks allow for things to do after work. We made a lot of friends in the downtown crowd and had a lot of fun. I’ll miss all the people and having a group that really wants to see the city grow.

I guess the real thing that I’ll miss is all of the friends I made here. I’ll be back around these areas often, while I finish writing my dissertation, but home base will be in Kansas. I’m crazy excited about what’s to come, but I’ll miss all the friends I’ve made here.

What do you love about your town? Do food co-ops exist where you are?