Looking at 2016

It’s now or never to set some goals for 2016. I feel like if I haven’t set goals by the end of January, it’s kind of cheating!

Running: Running should be pretty exciting this year… if I can get back into it! For this first month of the year, I have been struggling! I haven’t had energy, time or motivation. Then when I do finally take a chance and run, I get a mile in and my efforts get thwarted, either not feeling well, weather, or something else. But I am very involved in the running community between work, my ambassadorships (Skirt Sports) and being on the Runner’s Roost Mountain/Ultra Team!

-I desperately want to get back into Half Marathon Shape! What I mean by this is being up in the 12-14 mile distance for my long run and feeling like I could run a half marathon any random weekend.

-Cruise the trails! I want to run at least one NEW trail a month! (And write about it!)

-Run my first TRAIL race! I am on the Roost Mountain and Ultra team after all!

-Run more miles than I did last year (733 was last year’s totals).

-Check off a race in a new state! I’ve already got one on the calendar (*cough* Washington *cough*).

Other fitness:

-Start a strength training program back up. I’d like to be lift one to two times per week. That’s about a realistic as I can get with my busy weeks of working, running and other activities I like to do.

Climb 5.10’s consistently and confidently. For other rock climbers out there, that’s probably not too difficult, but for me this will be a challenge.

Career: Yes I still have 3 jobs – Marketing/Race Production for 3W Races, High School Cross Country and Track & Field Assistant coach (two different schools) and Personal Trainer/Group Fitness Instructor for my local Community Center! 

-I already had a 2016 meeting with work (my main job with 3W Races) and I am looking forward to the 2016 work year. My “goal” isn’t so much a goal but to just keep working hard and learning more about working in the running industry.

Blogging: Expect some changes! During February, I’m changing up the design, functionality and look of Racing the States…in fact, the name may even change! 

-I really like this whole blogging thing. I would like to see it grow more. So, my goal is to post at least once a week (with a little leeway if I miss a couple weeks). 😉

Other:

-Visit at least TWO places in Colorado that I haven’t gone to before. Whether camping, snowboarding, hiking, or otherwise!

-Visit at least TWO new places OUTSIDE of Colorado that I haven’t been before! I have already checked this off with my first trip of 2016, so I’ll say FOUR new places (that way I have to get two more).

-I HAVE to knock off a new 14er this year. At least one.

Here’s to 2016! 

photo 4-5

2013 In Review and 2014 in Preview

It’s been awhile, yes I know. I will follow this post up with one with updates. There’s been a lot going on, but I wanted to get this post out of the way first. And it’s turns out when I don’t write for a while, I have a lot to say…so I apologize in advance; this one’s a long one!

I’m totally a bandwagon blogger…but even if everyone wasn’t doing a “year in review” post, I’d want to one anyway.

Let’s start off with the new year’s resolutions and goals I made at the beginning of 2013:

IMG_20130428_2005261. Run one Race a month. I got all months except December. December kinda flew by me! The beginning of the month was filled with work. The middle of the month was filled with the FLU! YUCK! And the end of the month was filled with the Holidays and Snowboarding – a lot of if! So, I was pretty close to this goal, but not quite. I did run way more than 12 races, a race per month, so I can kinda count this as done…kinda. So I half crossed it off…

2. And 13 races in 2013. WOOT! I did 14 races!

3. Keep track of all my miles this year. ROFL! ahahahahahaha, like that was ever going to happen! I did pretty well until about march….

LeadvilleRaceSeries_Logo4. Volunteer at a race. Done! I volunteered at the Leadville 100 Trail Race. It was a BLAST!

5. Do a full marathon. WOOT WOOT! In case you missed the series of posts, I completed the Vermont City Marathon back in May.

6. Add 5 more 14er’s to my list. I only got to add one this year. Oh well!

7. Meet at least two more bloggers! Shoot! I didn’t get to meet any of you this year!

Graduating from Personal Training School

Graduating from Personal Training School

8. Graduate from NPTI! I mean, this was inevitable, but it was still on my list! I even graduated with honors!

9. MOVE! wah, wah. : (

10. I want to knock off a few more states. Check! I got 4 more states knocked off! Utah, Maine, Vermont and Arkansas!

11. Write a sponsor letter. I’m totally crossing this off because even though I didn’t write a specific sponsor letter, I did apply for the 3W Ambassador program, and got accepted. This program is basically a sponsorship!

I had 11 totally New Year’s Resolution/Goals and crossed off 6.5 of them…. looking strictly at numbers, I probably wouldn’t be too happy, but looking at the things I DID get accomplished, I’m ecstatic! Looking at the things I didn’t get to cross off, I’d say they were out of my control and just weren’t written in stars!

The year started out great, with great intentions and sadly, ended a little stressful. But all in all, I’d say the beginning of 2013 was a successful year – month by month:

Don't judge: It's the morning after New Year's Eve and I'm not wearing much makeup. (resolute runner 5K, New Years day)

January: I was a month into my Personal Training school, I was working at Dick’s Sporting Goods selling shoes, I was beginning to train for my first Marathon, all was looking good! I did the Resolute Runner 5K (which is by 3W Races that I am now an ambassador for)..

February: A few virtual races this month: the Heart Throb and the Tackle the Miles 5k (presented by the ladies that run the 13 in 2013 group), I started working at hell Bally’s (but we wont get into that right now – I’m over it!) in addition to school and my other job, and I was taking advantage of my snowboarding season pass from the 2012/2013 season, and I saw one of my favorite bands in Concert!

Photo booth sillyness

Erin Go Braugh

March: In the running world, I did the Erin Go Braugh 7.77k with a couple of friends (also a 3W race), I quit my job at Dick’s thinking Bally’s was going to be alright, but we all know how that went….

April: My bday month! I remember having a lot of dating horrible dating stories/drama (I still think I could have written a ridiculously hilarious dating blog), I ran the Rave Run with a thought to be friend, ran my favorite half marathon, the Horsetooth Half, and that’s about all I can think for April. (ADDED LATER: OH, I can’t believe I forgot! I ran the Horsetooth Half in conjunction with the Running for Angels virtual race!!)

My first marathon

My first marathon

Then there was May: I ran THREE races (all in DIFFERENT states!) – the Dino Half in Utah, the Sugarloaf 15K in Maine, and my VERY FIRST marathon in Vermont. I also went to my friend’s wedding on an Island in Maine!

June: As I neared the end of school, I got hired as a boot camp instructor and administrator assistant for Camp MissFits and also prematurely competed in my first event since my marathon, Tough Mudder. OUCH, that was painful. I learned how to shoot a gun – I’m pretty proud of that.

IMG_20130624_124307July: Started off with the Half on the 4th, I graduated Personal Training School, quit that nasty place we all refer to as Bally’s and did a lot of sight seeing in Colorado Springs, Warped tour, conquered the Manitou Incline

August: Climbed 14,000+ feet on Gray’s peak, Volunteered at Leadville, started coaching high school cross-country at my alma mater, and ran the Arvada High School Alumni 5k!

September: Ran the Race for the Cure with my mom (I just realized I never did a recap of this race, darn!), visited the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, got pretty involved with my work, and started my own personal training business, but towards the end of the month dealt with a break up….

Costumes AND Jeans!!! These ladies were very nice and had super cute costumes. (They even made some minion noises).

October: My mother got married and I met that boy you keep hearing me mention, I ran Halloween Hustle 5K, started picking up random odds jobs here and there, and oh yeah, the camp MissFits Pumpkin bootcamp was definitely a fun thing!

November: Guess what!? Snowboarding season starts!!!!!! I also went to visit my Dad in Arkansas, PR’d in he 5K with the NWA Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving and I feel this is when life started getting really stressful…more to come on that in my next post…

More Snowboarding...

Snowboarding…

December: I spent more time snowboarding than anything else, enjoyed the holidays with my family and met the boy’s family, we had our MissFits Christmas Boot camp and I ended the year celebrating the boy’s bday.

Looking into the future/Goals/Resolutions/etc:

I accomplished a lot when everything is written down, but somehow I still feel like I took a bunch of steps backward; mostly in regards to my personal and career situations.

I’m trying to be super optimistic for the year 2014. It’s hard, it really is. It’s not starting out that well. Without going into detail, I’ve been pretty stressed about a lot of things, and I’ve been desperate for change. But A) it would be hard to explain it all in a blog post and B) I don’t really want to share that in the vast world of the internet. I apologize for being vague – I know when I read others’ vague writings, I get SUPER curious.

However, I’m feeling pretty motivated right now to make that change happen. I have a lot of options, goals and dreams to sort through and put into action.

Here’s a little bit of a look what I would like to accomplish this year.

My new year’s resolutions, if you will:

Running Related Goals:

1. Run 14 races in 2014. If interested in joining the #14in2014 community with me, you can check it out here.

Ambassador_Badge-12. Volunteer for at least two running events. Should be easy considering it’s part of my “job” as a 3W Race Ambassador!

3. I really would like to knock off another Marathon (either here in CO or another state). And yes, I was supposed to do the Sedona Marathon here in a couple weeks…..but I cannot for a few reasons (finances and painful knees)….more on that later…. : (

4. I would like to get at least one more state (preferably more, but I don’t want to set my bar TOO high with the stress of my finances and job situation).

Other Fitness Related Goals:

1. Climb at least one 14er. Setting the bar low this time here too, just in case this summer turns crazy like last summer and I don’t get to go as much as I would like.

2. Be happy with my body! This sounds really weird and is probably worth a whole blog post, and I’m not saying I’m fat or anything, I just want to go back to being more comfortable in my own skin, like I used to. I’ve fallen off my normal fitness routine wagon.

Life Goals:

1. Be stable. I mostly mean financially, but in all aspects of life as well. I won’t go into details, because that’s not appropriate for my blog, but this is a HUGE life goal for me.

2. I don’t know how to put this, but one goal of mine is to “nail down,” so to speak, a plan of action for my career. I have a dream goal/career in mind for sure, and I’m really passionate about it, but I need to nail it down and set a path with steps to achieving it.

3. Get my RRCA Coaching Certification. This will be the next step for my career plan..that I know for sure. The class is just so sporadic and pretty expensive, as most of you probably are aware. They came to CO last year, but I was still in school and had to take an elective that I couldn’t make up. I was super bummed.

Addendum 1/16 (numbers 4 and 5 were added after I officially posted this blog post): 4. After ready a blog post by one of my favorite bloggers Amy over at Lavender Parking Running, I am adding another one: Try one thing new every month. This could be something huge, like a new sport, event or activity or something small like a new food…or toothpaste…(Just kidding).

5. I’m also adding one I thought of myself: Become a more independent. To me, this means just learning how to do things on my own and not necessarily go to others. I’m pretty independent already, but for example, recently the boy taught me how to wax and tune my own snowboard. I was really excited to learn this and now I don’t have to pay someone to do it. Things like that.

new years resolutions

That’s all I can think of right now…but I’m sure as soon as I post this, three more ideas will fly up to my brain!

And with that, I will end this post. You turn: What is your number one new year’s resolution??

Resolute Runner 5K – Post Race Recap

I have so many blog idea running through my head! If only you could see my computer and purse. I have a million “sticky notes” on my mac and half a zillion pieces of papers with notes written on my them sticking in my purse and planner. I just need to get the time to sit down and write them. I’ve decided to start with my first race of the year.

Usually, I like to post a pre-race review before I run in any race; this time however, I didn’t decide to do the race until about a day and a half before I ran it. I’ve definitely registered for some races on race day, but It’s typically decided beforehand that I’m going to run it. Not this time.

I got a text from my friend over at CO2 Photography, and he asked if I was running the race since it was in my neck of the woods. I actually hadn’t even thought about running any race that day; mostly due to financial issues. I WANTED to do a new years run but wasn’t sure if I could budget it in. I thought about it over the day few hours and finally decided that it was worth it – the benefits outweighed the costs.

I registered the day and a half before the race…..and then it was New Years Eve. Running a race on the first day of the new year sounded like a good idea at the time…. It was the Resolute Runner 5K held by the 3W race series. They have a lot of events throughout Arvada and the surrounding cities. Their mission is basically to offer local racing events that support local businesses and benefit local charities. You can, and should, check them out here.

Resolute Runner 010

Since New Years Eve is actually one of my favorite holidays, I had to go out, but because I decided to do the race, I took the duty of being DD, aka Designated Driver, while my friends took the roles of being different DDs: Designated Drunks. I’m glad I did it though, not just because I didn’t want to run hungover, but also so that my friends could have fun, safely. And fun they had! But I also got to catch up with friends from college that I hadn’t seen in awhile.

After making sure my intoxicated new years buddies were home safely, I met up with a another friend who was unfortunate enough to have to work New Years Eve. Needless to say, I didn’t get much sleep, and couldn’t believe my alarm was going off when it did at 8am in the morning.

After snoozing for way longer than I should have, I headed to my hometown: Arvada, CO! I currently don’t live too far from Arvada, but it’s far enough away that I don’t have to venture into it very often…mostly so I can avoid seeing people from high school. (I don’t know how much everyone knows about Denver, but there are a lot of suburbs surrounding Denver that basically they all just mold together. Sometimes it’s two different cities on either side a major street). Luckily for me, it was New Years Day, early morning; unlikely chance to catch a former classmate out and about.

Don't judge: It's the morning after New Year's Eve and I'm not wearing much makeup.

Don’t judge: It’s the morning after New Year’s Eve and I’m not wearing much makeup.

I bundled up in my omni-heat base layer, that I normally use for snowboarding, under sweats and a long sleeved shirt. I put on my smart wool socks and still felt the chill through my shoes. Unfortunately, I don’t really own any headbands or warmers to keep my ears warm, so my friend let me borrow his – even though I warned him that I would probably return it with sweat as an interest rate. I picked up my race packet, pinned on my bib and dawned my new racing gloves. Being so cold, I stayed in my car as long as I could. Even when I left the warmth, I didn’t stop moving. I jogged around the park, hopped in place, and actively-stretched (OH YEAH! Using terms from school!) to stay warm.

I spend the time waiting at the start line talking with the other runners. I “bragged” about my blog, listened to a lady about her running stories and complained about how cold I was!!

Finally! The horn went off and we went running! I’ve actually never run a race (or run period) in this cold of weather. I couldn’t feel my toes. It was quite ridiculous. It wasn’t until I was MORE than halfway through the race that the feeling came back to my extremities and I exclaimed to the guy next to me, “oh! I do have toes!” He laughed and we talked about how hard it was to run without that feeling. I hadn’t really been running that much in general at the time, so I felt heavy and stiff, but I kept running.

As I neared the finished line, I picked up the pace and carefully ran over the ice towards the banners. I actually didn’t do too horrible. Nowhere near my PR, but I’m happy with the outcome. My final time was: 26:43! Not too bad for my muscles being frozen! I was 5/19 in my age/gender group which was 20-29 years old.

Looking down the at the finish line

Looking down the at the finish line

I hung around afterwards to watch the awards, because I think it’s polite and because the lady I was talking to before the race placed 3rd in her age/gender group! Overall I loved this event! Super nice people, it was put together very well and organized, and the loot was awesome! Handmade mugs from a shop in Estes park as well as the racing gloves I used to run! There was a couple local vendors there as well including Olde Man Granola, a local business…mmmmm delicious…I tried the sample granola mixed with my greek yogurt! They also sell super cute colorado beanies (ironically) that I REALLY want!

The awesome loot!

The awesome loot!

With the event finally being over, I went home and….slept. For a looong time.