Monday, January 10, 2011

One Fifth of the way to Fifty

The Other Half
This fall, Kevin and I went to Moab, UT, one of our favorite places. After lots of training, I was (mostly) ready to complete my first half marathon! 'The Other Half' was probably the most well organized race of any I have done. The run was on route 128 outside of town. Running along the Colorado river on your right and the beautiful red rock formations on your left was breathtaking (or perhaps I didn't have my breath because I was running). They had aid stations every two miles, most of which I didn't stop for, but it was a great way to help pace yourself. I had some knee pain after about 10 miles, but made it though with a smile on my face!

Jingle Bell Run
Kevin accepted a position as the Associate Pastor for family and community ministry in Elkins, WV. So, at the beginning of December, we (with lots of help from friends) loaded up a moving truck, then packed up our car with our pets and our extra stuff and began a journey across the country. The truck would be arriving in Elkins after about a week, so we took our time driving, stopping for a few nights along the way. One such stop in Columbia, MO allowed me to get in another race. This time, it was just a 5K. It was cold, but not too bad. After doing a 1/2, the 5K seemed pretty short!

10 races down 40 to go!

I am looking forward to continuing my life goals here in WV stay tuned!

A Tale of Two Trail Runs

Well, if you are reading this, you have noticed that I have not been very prompt with postings on my blog. Partly, this blog is going to move a little slow since I'm talking about life goals and not daily things. Mostly, though I have not posted out of laziness, forgetfulness, and the like. I will take this opportunity in the new year to make a fresh start and catch you up on my progress toward my life goals.

50 in 50 by 50

The Bandit Run
Last spring, I ran two trail runs. The first was a self proclaimed "grueling" run in Simi Valley, CA not far from where my grandparents live in Ventura. My aunt and uncle had rented a house for the month of March in Ventura. So, Kevin and I took this opportunity to visit family and for me to check off California on my 50 in 50 goal. I trained hard, but as the time got closer for the run, I wasn't so sure I was ready. I mostly was running on dirt roads, not trails (as all the mountain trails were covered in snow). This race was also a longer race than I had done (16K) before. Starting the race, I felt pretty good, I had a good pace and it wasn't too hard...yet. Then, I was headed straight up a mountain side doing steep switch backs. Several people around me started hiking instead of running. Soon, I was just hiking too. It seemed to take forever to get to the top of the mountain. Eventually I came to a ridge with a spectacular view of the ocean, that I didn't care too much about. The remainder of the way to the turn around spot was more gentle up and down and I picked up my pace significantly. The turn around spot was the only aid station and it seemed to be glowing as I approached it. I thought I heard angels singing as I helped myself to delicious water. Normally, I am very cautious going back down hills on trails, but not this time! Finally, I made it all the way down and across the finish line, I don't think I was ever this happy to be done with a race!

Earth Fair Trail Run
The second race I ran with Caitlin while we were visiting our friend's Henry and Emily in Charlotte. It too was a trail run just past the North Carolina border into Columbia, South Carolina. This trail run was a little different. The race was smaller, shorter (8K), and didn't have much elevation change. Part of the trail was just running though meadows, part was in the woods, and we actually started the race on pavement. I slacked off on training following the Bandit run, thinking this one would be a breeze. It was a lot easier and quicker than the first trail run, but it was hot and humid, something I wasn't used to. One great thing about a small race is placing when you haven't even run that fast! 8 states completed!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Summer 2009

Summer in Colorado is hard to beat. Mild temperatures, beautiful wild flowers, and crystal clear lakes are an everyday occurrence in the mountains near our house. My husband is the program director at Highlands camp in Allenspark, CO. My role during the summer at Highlands is small, but I love hanging out with the summer staff and I enjoy seeing glimpses of God's work though the chaos of summer camp.

This summer, Caitlin and I completed a couple more states, working towards our 50 in 50 by 50 goal. In July, we ran an 5K race in Cozad, Nebraska. We appreciated a flat, low altitude course, but had a hard time in the heat. The next weekend, we ran right in town for the first annual Allenspark "Run like the Wind" race. Caitlin was a huge encouragement and kept me going through all the steep hills! Finally, in August we headed up to Cheyenne, Wyoming for a Race for the Cure 5K run. I'm not sure if it was the running for a great cause, the cool weather, a relatively flat course, or maybe I was just in a little better shape than the others, but this race was my favorite. Just as the race was beginning, Caitlin and I talked about how when we run these races across the country, we become a part of that community, even for just a day.

After saying goodbye to the summer staff and starting back into our "normal" life, Kevin and I headed to Santa Fe, NM for Labor Day weekend. We enjoyed southwest architecture, art, and of course food. Kevin was a great support in getting up early Monday morning to take me to another 5K race; "Hearts for Honduras" coordinated by the local Catholic church. I didn't get my best time during that race, but running (ok let's be honest...jogging) along the sunflower lined streets with the mountains in the background was beautiful.

6 states down and only 44 more to go!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Snow Cave

Kevin and I made some progress toward my goal of spending the night in a snow cave. (our dog Ellie helped a bit too!) We created a snow cave in our yard after a huge spring snow storm (almost 3 feet of snow). Since it was our first attempt at a snow cave, we decided to see how it lasted overnight. In the morning, the cave was in tact, but as it warmed through the day, the cave began melting quickly. Now that we have the general idea, next winter we'll give it another try and hopefully spend the night!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

The List

At 27, it may seem pre-mature to create a bucket list. But I'm a goal oriented, list making type person, so I thought I'd give it a try. Some of the items on my list are vague, some are specific, some are serious, and others a little silly.

My Life Goals:
  1. Live graciously. grace (n): beauty or charm of form, expression; a sense of what is right and proper; thoughtfulness toward others, goodwill, favor; devine gift; unmerited love and favor. gracious (adj.): having or showing kindness, courtesy, charm; merciful; compassionate.

  2. Run 50 races in 50 states before I'm 50. My friend Caitlin and I made this same life goal while running together last summer. We had heard of others running 50 marathons in 50 states, and wanted to do something more realistic. So, we will count any oragnized race that includes running; a great way to see the country & stay healthy.

  3. Learn to do the following well and often: exercise, speak Spanish, cook, and play the piano.

  4. Publish something. When I was young, I wanted to be a writer. When I was in PT school I wanted to publish a reasearch article. So now, we'll just wait and see.

  5. Sacrifice something great for someone else.

  6. Go on a big adventure. adventure (n.): a daring, hazardous undertaking; a happening.

  7. Go to Paris. I've wanted to go to the city of love and lights since I started taking French in 8th grade.

  8. Sleep in a snow cave.

  9. Uphold my marriage vows & cherish my family (people, and pets)

  10. Know what it is to be Loved by God. God is immeasurable and I will never know fully God's unending love for us. But, by pressing on towards that goal, all my actions and thoughts will be shaped.

At the end of my life, I have this romanticized view of looking back on things, seeing that I have accomplished these goals in wonderful, even unexpected ways. But, even if that doesn't happen, hopefully by putting together this list, I will live without regrets.