Gone with the old and in with 2016!

Hey everyone! I hope you all had a fun and safe holiday with your family. I have been gone for quite a while and I missed the running community a lot.

I am back in Kansas again (finally!) after traveling pretty much all over our hemisphere. After Utah I left for Virginia for a week and then I went home to visit family in South Florida. Frank and I then flew from Fort Lauderdale to Cabo San Luca in Mexico and traveled up the length of the Baja peninsula to San Diego before heading home. I have been pretty exhausted from travel, but now I’m back and ready to train (although I should have been training prior to now, but really, that’s water under the bridge).
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Frank and I enjoying Mexico
 

Elly was pretty thrilled to see me after I got back. Honestly I was a little worried she would forget about me.
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Elly burrito-ed herself into my blanket. I guess she was cold. She still remembers and loves me.
I have some crazy stories about our travels, but now I’m just glad to be home and getting back into a rhythm.
I want to take a moment to reflect a little on 2015. I had a crazy year, with a big move, big travels, new friends and jobs, and a whole lot of running. I ran my first half marathon, and then PRed twice on the half (including at Estes Park, CO). I trained for the Chicago Marathon, and even though I turned my ankle and couldn’t run it, I still trained hard and learned a lot about what I am capable of.
So 2016 is here and I have a few goals. I guess it’s easiest if I list them out…
1. Get back to real training again. I haven’t really gotten back to the level of training I was at before I turned my ankle, so first and foremost, that is my goal. I know it’s possible because I already did it. I want to get back to running 35+ miles per week.
2. PR the half marathon either at A1A in February (that’s so freaking soon), or at Rocky Mountain in July (this is where my current PR is).
3. Run the Colfax Marathon in May… and not get injured this time, so no mountain biking for a while. I have no time goals. I just want to finish injury free.
4. Run the Chicago Marathon in October. I need to redeem myself from last year.
5. This may seem like a crazy one… but PR in the Marathon at Chicago (since I’ll have a time from Colfax).
and finally (and most importantly)… go injury free this year. No ankle turns, no knee issues…just some good ole’ injury free running.
I think in 2015, although I did manage a lot, I got too caught up in race times. This year I want to run by feel, and if I run a little slower sometimes, honestly, I don’t care. I don’t want running to stress me out, which it occasionally did last year.
So, there you have it… and I can’t wait to see how it all goes! I’m super glad to be back!
How was your holiday? Any cool new travels? What is your big 2016 goal?
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Heading West!

By the time you read this, I’ll be on my way to Utah!

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I promise to take pictures!

Lows throughout the week are in the teens, and since we are camping, I’m kinda expecting to spend my nights pretty cold. We should be in Moab by the end of the day Saturday and then the exploring begins!

My birthday is this coming Tuesday (Nov 24), but I celebrated it with my friends here in Manhattan a few nights ago. We went to my favorite hibachi place in town, where I knew they would throw a big celebration for my birthday. It was crazy fun and I even got this gift:

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Sometimes it’s kinda bad…

I thought this was the perfect coffee cup given my feelings about Kansas.

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All of us at the Hibachi Restaurant! I don’t really know all that many people here yet. 🙂

In less fun news, Frank fell off his bike and landed himself in the emergency room with a few stitches. He hit a curb, flew off his handlebars and landed right on his chin. The doctor said that the cut extended all the way to the bone. Honestly, just looking at the cut makes me kinda queasy (I am going to spare you any photos). He’s been taking it like a champ, though. He says it doesn’t hurt, but I’m really not sure that I believe him. He’s a little beat up on his left arm and leg. We’re just hoping he heals fast and that this doesn’t slow him down in Utah.

I am going to do my best to stay on top of blogging while I’m out in the desert, however, I don’t expect to always have internet access. So, if I kinda disappear for the week, have a great Thanksgiving! 

Training (or something like it) Update

I’m not sure that I’d go as far as to call last week training. I only ran a little over 6 miles but I did tons of yoga. I was exhausted from all of the yoga and travel during the conference and couldn’t really muster the energy (or time) to go for a run. I gotta say though, 6 hours of yoga a day for two days can make you pretty freaking sore.

On Tuesday, I ran with the Manhattan Running Company run group, where we did a route up one of the biggest hills in town. I ran with a few girls while we complained on the uphill and cruised the downhill. It was a pretty fun night! On Wednesday, I went for a pretty easy run around town. However, it turned out to be kinda nuts. There were 60 mph winds and a parade going through downtown. Running head on into the wind was a rather humbling experience for sure.

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Veterans Day Parade heading through town. I caught this while I was out for a run. 

South Florida was pretty awesome. My dad and I went kayaking through the Loxahatchee watershed in the Everglades where we saw tons of birds and a few gators. It was incredibly peaceful. We saw no one else out there besides a few motorboats on a canal and it was crazy quiet. We’ve already been talking about going back when I come home for Christmas.

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My dad and I out in the Everglades.

Saturday and Sunday were both conference days. My mom is a yoga teacher as well, so we usually go to this conference together and attend all of the same workshops. We had classes with world-renowned teachers including Jason Crandell, Sean Corne, and Rodney Yee. Jason has always been my favorite teacher and any time I have a chance to take workshops or classes with him, I do. At the conference, he offered two workshops that we attended, Backbending and Inversions. Backbends have always been some of my least favorite postures. I’m not bad at them, but I always feel like I’m going to explode when I get out of them. He had some really good tips that didn’t really fix the explosion problem, but did make me feel like I could tolerate the postures a little better. I plan on writing up a little guide to backbends and include some of his tips in it.

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My mom caught this shot during the workshop. We did Wheel Pose about 10 times in the class. 

My favorite workshop was on inversions. Jason went through some basic warm ups to help prep the body for more challenging inversions such as handstand and forearm stand. He had me demonstrate the postures for the group (which was one of the most nerve wracking experiences of my life) and he talked a lot of the importance of learning to balance with your fingers, which I have a hard time with. Overall, the workshops were a thrilling and eye opening experience. I really feel like these teachers inspired and furthered my practice.

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This was a crazy awesome assist that Claire Missingham gave me during her workshop. 

This week I’ll be heading out to Utah for the week of my Birthday and Thanksgiving. I’m hoping to see Lizzy (Run Hare Run) on Friday when I drive through Denver and then it’s out to all of the National Parks Frank and I can get to in a week. I’ll take lots of pictures and blog from there!

Are you traveling for Thanksgiving? Where are you going? Ever been to Utah?

First Time Pacer

I had a ton of fun this weekend down in Fort Lauderdale at the Yoga Journal Conference! I always feel like these conferences really push my practice to the next level and inspire my yoga teaching. I’ll post more about it later.

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I hate backbends, but I took a workshop on them that really helped me tolerate them.

I have some pretty cool news!

I am pacing the Bill Snyder Half Marathon in May 2016! I just received the email of our assignments, so it’s official. I will be pacing the 2:25 group. I am super excited and feel that it will be a really great experience.

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If you’ve been following me for a while, you probably read about when I ran my first half marathon at the A1A Half. I used a pacer to get me to a sub-2 hour finish. Honestly, without them I would have gone out too quick and not run the smart race that I did. I really wanted to pay it forward and get people to the time they want.

I’ll be back to post more later, but I was super excited and wanted to let everyone know!

Have you ever paced a race or used a pacer in a race? Any tips for a newbie pacer?