Okay, I’m Ready To Write About Running Again

Deep Breath. Edit. Edit. Close Computer.

Deep Breath. More edits. Delete, delete, delete. Close Computer.

Fuck it. I’m just going to press publish.

Yeah. I haven’t been here in a while. But I’m back and back with a doozy. So strap in, get comfy, or maybe uncomfortable depending on your opinions; this is a really long post. It took me a while to get my thoughts straight and even then, this post seems a little chaotic and random. I’m still kinda nervous to post this one for some reason! But I feel like I have to get something out there about my thoughts and feelings toward the running community in relation to covid before I can move on and post other stuff.

Also, “enjoy” the photos; the ones posted here are a collection of what I saw that represented the times we are living in. 

I was definitely avoiding writing anything about COVID. I wanted to, but I  didn’t know where to begin and I didn’t know how deep I wanted to dive in. I was also trying to avoid a lot of online running groups (and still am for the most part) but I can’t completely do that due to my job. Reading people’s posts about covid made me want to avoid my running-related blog even more.

But I’m back. And I’m ready to talk about running again. Right now, in relation to COVID. We gotta get this out of the way.

I started this post at the end of March when the pandemic in the US really started to be noticed (I say “noticed” because it was probably already here well before that and should have been addressed sooner, in my opinion). This post, although edited over and over, was supposed to go live after my last post which was March 31st.

It’s now July, in case you didn’t know (and I wouldn’t blame you; I’ve lost all track of time).

In my little world, Layton turned 9 months old, then 10 months…and then 11 months old, and now we’re planning his 1st birthday party! I also started another blog (Creating Mama; you should check it out if you’re a parent or like crafting!), all my jobs took a hit and my pay, hours, and responsibilities changed. In the big world, there were stay-at-home orders, tons of people lost jobs, people were getting sick, protests on the stay-at-home orders…then the Black Lives Matter movement took precedent to bring much-needed attention to the injustice people have been and still are facing. And somewhere in there, there were murder hornets…right? And maybe an alien sighting back in May? I’m not even sure anymore. And now, I feel like we’re on repeat.

Even though I have been avoiding putting all my thoughts together about our current situation, I did want to share some of my thoughts on COVID in relation to my blog and running in general, but when I started writing, I was overcome with thoughts of “seriously?! In the grand scheme of things, running being affected by COVID is so small and unimportant.” And I still feel that way.

At the beginning of the pandemic, when everything was just starting to get shut down and states were starting to put “shelter in place” orders out, I had to stay off Facebook and other social media due to new anxiety triggers but also because there were so many people completely distraught that their races were being canceled. It was all over my social sites because that’s the community I’ve built up. And yes, I realize how ironic all of that is considering my job, my financial livelihood, is literally dependent on running events.

Listen, I know running is a lot of people’s passions, hobbies, and livelihood. Heck, I’ve literally made a career out of it. And I KNOW most of my readers are these people. However, I feel, that’s the beauty of having a passion such as running. Running itself was never canceled. In its purest form, all you need is your body and a good pair of shoes (heck, even the shoes are debatable these days; I saw a lady running barefoot in the street yesterday!) but reading people’s comments about how the race they’ve been training for was canceled and how “unfair” the race director was being by not making a decision in that instant was driving me crazy. I know, I know, there are tons of benefits of an in-person event (competition, the social contact people seem to need, the reward of the finish line, etc, etc), but this period of time is TEMPORARY. It really is. I promise you. I don’t know how long temporary will be, but overall when you’re 80 years old, this year will not seem that long and by golly, you’ll have great stories to tell. Nevermind the fact that we have way bigger fish to fry than a few races being canceled (i.e. literally a virus killing people).

I am actually glad I waited a while to finish this post. Some of the things I had previously written down or thought were pretty dramatic at the time and now seem irrelevant. The truth is, I still actually have some of the same feelings and opinions about the virus itself, the seriousness of it and how the world (and the U.S) handled it, but in the beginning, I started experiencing true anxiety for the first time (which is still lingering in random spells, mostly in the form of insomnia), which led my writing to be pretty dramatic. In the beginning, I was so worried and so unsure of what was going to happen. I did not like the thought of not knowing things (mostly about work and our finances in addition to the unknowns about the virus). And there is still a lot of unknowns in regards to all of those things.

Over the months stuck in quarantine, I’ve learned that my opinions and thoughts are pretty different than a lot of people, but I don’t want to share the bulk of my opinions because really, I DON’T Like having debates and I DON’T want to learn that more of my friends don’t care about others’ lives. Bottom line, I think that if there are some things we can do as a populace to save lives from a virus that shouldn’t have even been in the mainstream world population in the first place… that it’s worth it (read: “stay home orders”). And even if there is conflicting data on whether an action works or does not work, if there’s even a small chance it could save someone else’s life, even if that action makes you uncomfortable for a small period of time, it’s the moral, ethical, and right thing to do (read: masks). Science and findings DO change – that’s the whole process of science – but in this situation, the scientific findings on the virus and masks, etc. have been the same. Listen to the damn scientists!

Okay, okay. Moving on…

I am trying to be as diplomatic as possible. I don’t want to have “woe is me” pity party, nor do I want a debate on this blog, I just want to record my thoughts and opinions about this time and how it relates to my hobbies, career, and life….and this blog.

Let’s go back to the beginning of March…. life was “normal.” I was working all three of my normal jobs while having a baby at home. Track season had just started, race directing was going just as before as I prepared for a bunch of upcoming events.  In track, we had our first scrimmage when we learned that a parent of a student had come into contact with someone COVID positive. Back then (ha! that sounds ridiculous), not much was known. From that day on, I was bombarded with emails, and events were starting to get canceled. In my world, a concert I wanted to go to was canceled, some friends spoke of plays being canceled, we (at the running company I work for) were starting to get the emails that cities were banning events over 250, and track (and all high school sports) were put on a 14 days pause (spoiler, that “pause” was indefinite). As for Golden Mountain Guides, the rock climbing company I own with Ben, March was the time we would just start getting busy, but the phones weren’t ringing. People weren’t traveling.

The day things really got really REAL to me, was the day that Jeffco (the school district I coach at) closed schools. That was weird. That meant Track was officially canceled. For the whole season. We had had one scrimmage for the 2020 season (and, oh boy, does my heart go out to the seniors!!). At the running company, our last in-person event was a Saint Patrick’s themed event and, in my opinion, it was borderline probably not supposed to happen, and I was super uncomfortable being there, not just in terms of COVID, but also as a hard-core “rule follower.” We were pressing the 250 order that was just put in place (for the record we literally had about 240 racers and about 10 staff/volunteers), but looking at the city we were in’s website, it was debatable that we should be there. I remember a racer gave me a hug after winning a prize and immediately realized what she did and apologized saying, “oh maybe I shouldn’t have done that” and I was immediately paranoid. That same day I attended a funeral later and was constantly thinking I could be carrying it to all these people!

After that, more emails started coming in. Each city that we hold a permit in (and we have over 50 events), was sending out emails. Some races were not until the summer or near the end of the year and those emails would say “we are closely monitoring the situation and will keep you posted” and some were very concise: “You can no longer hold your event.”

Let’s give you a bit of perspective: The company I work for has 50+ events a year and thus are constantly getting registrations, some for the next event in a week, and tons for events 8 months down the road. With COVID-19, no one was registering for anything. Nothing. Not even future events. It all came to a halt.

Then there’s the damage control. What to do with the canceled event. Turn it into a virtual race? Defer everyone to the 2021 date automatically? What about people requesting refunds?

What about us, the staff??

I’m part of a lot of running groups on Facebook and I saw everything from “this is stupid!” to “give the RD’s a break.” I saw people mad at races for HOLDING an event in the beginning and people mad at races for CANCELLING the event.

Anyway. All that was to explain, my life was drastically changed. My main job was reduced in pay and hours, track was canceled, and Golden Mountain Guides was closed.

During the “shelter in place” orders and quarantine, we (my family) got a lot done. We worked on projects around the house we’ve been putting off and caught up on work put on the back burner. I actually started working out and running a lot more! I started out keeping track of the number of books we read, projects completed, puzzles done, family walks we did together and miles ran, but I quickly lost track.

Life was so weird. But we were doing okay. We could plan with a known shut down, thinking it would only be a few months.

Now that cases are starting to go up again, the anxiety and defeated feelings are creeping back. It’s been really rough for the last month of not knowing what’s going to happen with all my jobs, the company I own, and what we should start doing (i.e. should we look for other jobs, hang tight a little longer, etc, etc).

To wrap things up, without getting into it more,  I did want to share some thoughts and things I learned about myself throughout the pandemic:

-Free time and “being busy” is all about perspective and prioritization. It’s also about saying no to things you truly don’t want to do. During quarantine, I learned that I need to prioritize things I WANT to do (with a healthy balance of things I HAVE to do, because, you know, money and food) and not put too much on my plate that takes from things I WANT to do and truly enjoy and make me happy. I’m still trying to figure this out.

-I learned that I CAN make time for running more…if I’m willing to get out my comfort zone and run during my not so ideal times of day and weather…. or while pushing a stroller.

-I also learned that I NEED to make time for myself. That could be running, a long shower, a skincare routine, time to blog…anything really. But since it’s available to me, I need to be better about “handing over the reins” and push a little bit to ask for a moment for myself.

-I learned the importance of having multiple things to identify with (hobbies). Not me particularly, I actually feel I’m very good at not putting all my eggs in one basket, but I watched many people just lose it, lose their wellbeing and become depressed, because their identity was so tightly wound with something that was greatly affected by COVID.  I’m going to use coaching as an example; if you devote your whole life to coaching and those things aren’t able to happen, that cannot define WHO you are. Just because your season gets canceled, doesn’t mean you should be depressed.  Yes, grieving is allowed and warranted, but you have to move past it too. I always have highly encouraged people to find additional hobbies or modes of exercise they enjoy; it’s the same when you get injured and can’t run anymore. For me, I also really like hiking; that fulfills me as much as running. I also cross-stitch. 😉

-Even though my pay was significantly cut and there was so much uncertainty, truth be told, I was super grateful for the break. With all my jobs and raising Layton, it was much needed.

-However, it was also a very interesting time. Layton reached so many (mobile) milestones during that time, that once I did resume work (part-time), trying to get anything done with Layton crawling (and now walking) all over the place is nearly impossible. Scratch that, not nearly, it IS impossible.

-Marriage is hard. Although I’m not technically married, being in a committed relationship takes work. It’s not easy. But it’s worth it. The pandemic, and things we did to put money on the table, were rough on us. That sounds like one of us took up prostitution. I assure you, we did not; Ben just took an overnight job.

-I learned that I would gladly trade a few months of a paycheck if it means saving lives.

-I learned, or reinforced the idea, that I don’t need that much social interaction. I’m perfectly fine being stuck at home for long periods of time. Truly an introvert here! I have so many hobbies and things to do, that I did not get bored (although we were pretty strict with the “stay at home” following and I was craving hiking for awhile). But really, I don’t need to see people that often! HA! (In a serious note, I totally understand those that do and I know that the quarantine had a lot of bad repercussions and led to higher domestic violence and suicides and for that, I’m truly saddened.).

-I think nature loved, and needed, the break.

-The pandemic followed by the black lives matter movement really pointed out that our country needs help. I don’t know how or what kind, but we as a whole are so divided and so closed-minded and rude and uncaring. I’m not saying all, certainly not myself or friends or family, and I do hope a majority of people are good. Recent events have pointed out the bad. I don’t think I’m perfect at all, I know I have a lot to learn and work on, but it is sad to see how many people still do not believe in equality for all and good vs bad. I believe there are good and bad people as a whole and that we need to change some things to make sure the bad people are recognized and punished appropriately and that good people are recognized and celebrated appropriately.

– I still don’t understand why people went crazy with the TP!!

-Honestly, I’m not sure I want to go “back to normal” or to the way it was before. I’ve learned a lot about people and friends that I wish I didn’t know. I also learned a lot about what I feel is important in my life and I realized I am ready for change.

As things are slowly going “back to normal,” I’m apprehensive about diving right back in, yet if I don’t, I feel like we’ll be left behind and be in a very tough spot, financially. It’s not “over” yet; cases in the US are increasing again and hospitals are more than full still.

When it comes to my jobs, we’re starting to prepare for our first in-person event in August. I’ll be timing it but it won’t look anywhere near the same as our normal races. I’m also glad that cross country practices are able to start up (with a lot of social distancing and safety measures in place). It gives me a schedule to stick to again and I have to remember what day of the week it is now. But I am nervous that we’re doing all this work and prep for something that may not happen in the end (i.e. competitions may not happen or schools don’t reopen – who knows!). Our phone is starting to ring at Golden Mountain Guides again, but every trip we take does come at a risk no matter what precautions we take and regulations we put in place regarding mask-wearing and sanitation.

It is just so much right now, still. But we’re just taking it one day at a time.

Also, can anyone tell me if we still need to be worried about the murder hornets?

Yes, that last line was my attempt at humor.

Racing The States Is 8 Years Old!

BTW, I’m still avoiding putting all my thoughts together on our global pandemic. Every day is different. Every day I feel different. Some days I’m calm and positive and others I’m in full-on panic mode, breaking down into tears.

For now, here’s another post I’ve been working on.

COVID-19, an empty, roped-off playground.

When our local municipalities decided to shut down schools and ban gatherings over 10 people, I ended up with a lot more free time on my hands since all of my jobs were impacted. I’ve been keeping busy with random, long put-off projects and one of those was going through my blog.

I went through all my posts to see what was online, in the interwebs. I deleted some, edited some, made sure links were still working, pictures were still there, etc. While doing so, I noticed my blog anniversary had just passed. My first post was 8 years ago, March 1st, 2012.

Looking back, I can see that my writing style is still relatively the same, I’ve just improved a bit. I used to use too many exclamation points and a ton of ellipses…

Okay, maybe I still do that!

This is a perfect representation of me at the time.

Some of my first posts were TERRIBLE; I deleted a few. Some posts I really liked and I’m still really proud of. But I really liked looking back through them all and reminiscing about where I was at those points in my life.

I went through some times of posting regularly and there were other times of barely posting anything.

I really liked that I used to be consistent in my “pre-race prep” and “post-race recap” posts and I used to do a lot more about updating on daily training and running. At one point I did a regular “Tuesday Newsday” which featured weekly recaps of my training. Maybe I’ll start this back up.

Probably not.

I love that my blog has really become a history keeper.  That’s why I didn’t delete a lot of them, even if some of them are embarrassing. It was cool to see my personal history… who I was friends with, who I was dating, things I did, my career changes, life milestones, etc. It’s also a history of what was going on in the world at times. I wrote about the movie theater shooting here in Colorado, the Boston bombings, and now there will be COVID-19 posts.

For those of you that may have not been here from the beginning, here are a few of my favorite posts, most popular posts and a few that I think you might enjoy!

 My most popular post (according to the stats): Conquering the Manitou Incline.
-I first did the incline in 2013 and then again in 2015. I wrote a review of my experience and it’s been my most viewed post.

 My 2nd most viewed post: Ragnar Relay, Snowmass – Post Race Recap
– This was a first-year event for the Ragnar Trail relay series and I got to run for free as a 3W Ambassador. It was a blast and I was hooked!

Least Views: NYRR Virtual Turkey Trot
– I don’t blame you, this isn’t my greatest work nor the best topic.

Here are a few of my personal favorites that I’ve written over the years:

My Rugged Maniac Review 
– I ran this race back in 2012 with my dear friend Shay. To this day, I have never, ever, EVER been colder in my life.

My First Marathon Review (series) 
– I ran my first and only marathon, the Vermont City Marathon, back in 2013. I loved everything about my training and experience. I was at a really weird place in my life at the time, but running was such a constant and controllable thing that I was very proud of my finish.

Wow! Look at that girl! 25 Years Old!

Ragnar Trail Colorado
– This is one of my personal favorite posts. I originally wrote it for a couple of different publications that fell through and left me pretty disappointed. But I ended up posting it to my blog anyway and I still love it.

CTM Band Review
– This was my first gear review after becoming a BibRave Pro and I got creative with the style and it ended up being one of my favorite pieces.

5 Tips for Making Your Bolder Boulder Experience the Best
– This is for people local to Colorado, but still one of my better posts.

Things I Didn’t Know About Running Postpartum
– By far the best post I think I’ve ever written and it’s relatively new.

Notable or historic posts:

Attaining the Runners’ High
– This was one of my first “research” type of pieces but I really just like the story of my pothead roommate getting his first runner’s high.

My First 3W Race, the Resolute Runner 5k … and the rest is history! (If you’re new, I now am a race director for 3W Races).

Boston Bombings – this happened a month before I was to run my first marathon.

Ben starts appearing in my posts

And Layton was born! 🙂

Here are a few other posts that you might enjoy! 

Volunteering at the Leadville 100 

A collection of National Parks posts

My Running Story

I hope you enjoy these favorites of mine and they bring some joy into your day.

Layton and I’s First Race – The Leap Day 5k

I’m still trying to process what’s going with all the COVID-19 stuff. The day the schools closed and governments shut down events, my life instantly changed. I have a lot of thoughts, fears, feelings, and things to say, but I’m still trying to process them all. Yes even over a week into this thing.

In particular, the running community and outdoor/travel industry are in a state of limbo. I know there are many worse things in the world than some races being canceled or people not being able to travel, but you see, my daily life and career ARE the running world and outdoor industry and I would like to share my thoughts on that eventually.

Right now, with the inundation of news like cities shutting down, or how long the quarantine will last, and the recession… it’s just too much right now for me. Not to mention the frustration when I see climbers being rescued, people still getting together and running in groups, people still venturing into the mountains to hike or ski….ugh.

I will organize my thoughts/feelings, but until then, I’m going to share this post I have been working on from Layton and I’s first race together. 

I love running with baby Layton! I couldn’t wait for the pediatrician to give the “go-ahead” that he was strong enough for the jogging stroller. We’ve only been on a dozen or so runs together so far but I love watching him look around at all the sights with a big smile on his face while I run!

Since his birth, I have been through some ups and downs with running as I get back into it. I did a few races without him postpartum but recently I finally got to race WITH him! I was really excited about this opportunity and declined all offers of babysitting because I wanted to run with him. On Leap Day this year, Layton and I ran our first race together!

With one extra day of the year, I knew I wanted to take advantage of it. Luckily, the company I work for decided to do a Leap Day 5k and I didn’t have to work it.

The Event:
Being Leap Day and the fact that it fell on a weekend, 3W Races decided to take the chance and host a one time race. They (we) even offered free entries to anyone born on leap day and it was also filled with a ton of LEAPING activities… like leaping over hay bales on the course, the standing long leap challenge, and the high leap challenge!

It was chip timed, had great sponsors, free photos, and really cute swag (one of the other reasons I wanted to do it!). And I didn’t have to work it!


The Course:
This event was at a new park for 3W Races, Carpenter park in Thornton, CO. This small, cute little park had fantastic views, tons of parking, and was in a great location. However, even though the park was small, the course was actually pretty challenging.

About half a mile into the race, you encountered a steep, packed-gravel hill! While this would still be challenging to the everyday runner, try pushing a stroller up it! There were two other hills on course, though concrete, were still a bear to push the stroller.


I did like the course, even if it was difficult. It was a ballon configuration and I liked the way it wound around the park. On the “balloon” part, you ran really close to the expo area and that’s where the leaping challenge was. Once you got back to the two-way traffic, the “string” part of the balloon configuration, you had to go back down the gravel hill and finish up another hill.

Layton and I’s Race:
It had been a while since I had run (probably since the 408k virtual race), so I wasn’t expecting too much in terms of my performance. I just wanted to run as much as I could (versus walking), finish with Layton and have fun.

We got to the event pretty early because I wanted to allow for extra time if diaper changes or pre-run feedings were needed – this was our first race together after all, and I didn’t know what to expect. Once we grabbed our packet, we headed back to the car to stay warm.

About 20 minutes before race time, we got out of the car and situated the stroller. It wasn’t too cold on race day, but it was windy! Because of this, I decided to keep Layton in his car seat instead of putting him forward-facing in the stroller to keep him warmer while I was running. This meant the stroller was a lot more heavy. I did a little bit of jogging around the parking lot to loosen up and get a feel for the stroller.

Then it was race time! I got in the crowd of runners, me and Layton in the stroller. This was a whole different experience for me. I was near the middle of the crowd and my spatial awareness was way off, as I bumped into a few different people, apologizing as I went.

Once the gun went off, Layton and started into a jog and within half a mile, he was asleep. I, on the other hand, was at the first hill, a steep, gravel, windy thing. I was right next to a friend of mine and she helped push the stroller as we, what felt like, sprinted up the hill.

I had to walk at the top of the hill and after that, I switched between jogging and walking through the rest of the race. When we got to the hay bale hop challenge, I carefully steered Layton between the hay bales while I hopped over and continued on!

leap day 5k


It was a hard race for me. Between pushing the stroller and not having run in a while, I was struggling. I finished in 36:15.

leap day 5k finish


Afterward, I hung around the expo and chatted with some friends and then went over to the after-party for my free beer at Periodic Brewing.

Although the Leap Day 5k is the slowest 5k I’ve ever run, it’s definitely one of my most memorable.

BibRave Pro Product Review – Handful Bra

Disclaimer: I received The Closer Bra from Handful to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews

If you read my last post, I talk about things I didn’t know about running postpartum. The number one thing I did not know about was running with larger breasts. You may laugh, but this is serious! (It’s okay, you can laugh. I’m laughing).

I was GIFTED with smaller breasts. I’ve never had any issues with running and pain in that area. I’ve survived from the beginning of my running journey with super cheap, Walmart brand sports bras. This was great for my wallet but bad for these new jugs that I received from growing and feeding my baby.

I’m actually NOT complaining. I love my new size.

However, I didn’t know how to RUN with them. My first run postpartum, I mistakingly put on my old sports bra and went out the door. Boy was that a bad idea! I didn’t know that larger breasts bounced that much! Holy moly! Is this what other women have been dealing with their whole lives!?!

Take 2: My thought was to just double up the bras! And cue the chaffing….

Okay. Take 3: I had this other, tighter sports bras in my drawer. It was still Walmart brand, but definitely the tightest sports bra I had owned. Let’s try that! Okay…it’s on. Now, how are you supposed to breathe!? Sure, they didn’t bounce anymore, but I could barely get the thing on and off, let alone take a full breath.

You don’t really need to breathe while you run, right?

Something has got to give!

Insert: Handful Bras, The Closer. Thank you, Handful. You’re the breast, I’m mean BEST!

(Sorry, I couldn’t help myself).

Handful is all about providing comfortable, cute, and functional gear for women. You know the whole made BY women, FOR women thing!

Found on their website.

They make a handful (see what I did there) of different types of sports bras from high impact, to everyday wear. All of them are chafe-free, quick-drying, and have pad & stash pockets (places to keep keys or add cups to the sports bra).

I specifically got The Closer to test drive. This one is for high impact activities (like running) and zips up the front, making it easy to get into but still providing the support I need.

I’ve taken the Closer on a few runs and absolutely love it!
-It is tight enough to add the perfect support for running impact.
-It zips up the font, making it super easy to get into (and out of once it’s all sweaty)!!
-But it’s rarely sweaty because it dries really quickly.
-It’s actually pretty cute and stylish!
-It comes with removable cups which can give you a little more oomph, if you’re looking for that, or cover up the “headlights.”
-I didn’t experience any chaffing with The Closer (Disclaimer: I do live in a dry climate, so it generally takes a lot of running and a high humidity day in Colorado for us to experience chafing out here.)
-I also really love the material! It is very breathable, which is great so you don’t feel overheated from wearing too many layers, especially during the winter!

Bonus: It works great for breastfeeding!

There’s only one, tiny little thing I don’t like. I like that it does zip up, but sometimes, under the right shirt, the actual zipper itself looks funny; it creates a bump under the shirt!! I know, that sounds silly and it only happens under really lightweight, flowy shirts, but sometimes it looks weird! HA!

Overall, if you’re looking for a high-quality sports bra that actually works, is easy to get on and off, doesn’t chafe, and goes with your stylish running clothes, look into Handful bras. You won’t regret it.

Check out Handful Bras here.

See The Closer here.

Save 15% on any Handful Bra with coupon code: BIBRAVE20

Here’s what the other BibRave Pros are saying:

Slacker Runner | Fun Size Athlete | Amanda | Riley | Run Strong Run | VanessaRunning for my LifeRun Nerd GirlBarking Mad About RunningMaiPretty Lil Mudder | The Celiathlete |