Let me re-introduce myself….

Let me introduce myself...Hi! I'm Whitney!

Let me introduce myself…Hi! I’m Whitney!

Yes, I’m done with my National Park posts…for now….but in the process of talking about our wonderful parks, I have gained a bunch of new followers!

Welcome! Thanks for following along on my adventures; I hope you enjoy them!

Since a lot of you weren’t with me when I starting this blogging adventure about four years ago (woah. shock and disbelief!), I’d like to re-introduce myself to you all and share how I started, why I blog now and what you can expect to read from me.

Running Ragnar Road Relay 2015

Running Ragnar Road Relay 2015

Well, for starters, I’m Whitney! Currently in Golden, I have lived all over the Colorado front range growing up from Colorado Springs up to Fort Collins. While many people argue this fact, I am a Colorado-Native…Ish. I was indeed born in a different state (South Dakota) but moved here when I was measly 6-months old… So you can call me whatever you want, but I feel like a native because I have no memories of South Dakota and I was born on an Air-Force base which is like neutral territory, right? Anyway…

While I don’t believe peoples’ jobs define them, mine are pretty close to my identity which hasn’t always been the case in the past. I have always been a jack of all traits and have had many random jobs in the past (even dressing up as Mr. Peanut, true story), they have all lead me to my current careers (yes, plural). I own a mountain guiding business in Golden, CO called Golden Mountain Guides. I also do marketing and event production for a running company, 3W Races. Somewhere in there, I have found extra time and I also coach high school cross country and track & field.

My boyfriend and I, owners of Golden Mountain Guides

My boyfriend and I, owners of Golden Mountain Guides

That gives you a little bit of a back ground on me and you can understand why I believe, in my rare case, that my jobs may actually define me. Although, it is not all that defines me. I have a HUGE love for all most things outdoors including running and climbing, and probably an even bigger love for travel. All of those things led me to creating this blog.

Attempting Mt. Whitney

Attempting Mt. Whitney

Dang, I can’t believe it’s been a little over four years since I started this! You can see history in the making here, with my first post. After reading some old stuff, I feel that I have come a long way.

Originally this blog was made to document my goal of running a race in every state. While I still really want to accomplish this (I’m up to 13 states!), over the years my blog as become way more than that.

Running like the Wind, or at least trying to, in Washington.

Running like the Wind, or at least trying to, in Washington.

It became a place to vent, to challenge myself and others, a motivation outlet and seeker, and has been becoming a sort of lifestyle blog. Back in the beginning of the year, I “re-branded” Racing the States. While the web address still reads the same, I have come to title my blog “Racing and Wandering” and changed the look and feel completely.

Now, I’d like to think of this writing outlet as a “wanderer’s lifestyle” blog. I still run, a lot, but I have a stronger desire than ever to see very inch of this world. In the last couple of years or so, I have gotten more opportunities to do so by means of travel and have seen some incredible places (last year I got to go to London baby)!

My dad and I on a double-decker bus in London.

My dad and I on a double-decker bus in London.

I’d like to be able to share my adventures with my readers, in addition to my running. I’d like to motivate more people to seek out what makes them happy, and if it’s travel, offer up places to explore, ways to do it wisely (and cheaply) and hope that you never feel stuck in this world.

Death Valley!

Death Valley!

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Instagram is my favorite! Or Facebook is ok too.

“To Be a Runner” – Book Review

PhotoGrid_1470008936201Are you looking for inspiration? How about a unique view about why we run? Or, are you looking for a fantastic reflection on your passion? Look no further! Martin Dugard has you covered!

“To Be a Runner” is amazing. Truly. By far one of my favorite running books. Actually by far one of my favorite books. Period. Written by Martin Dugard who writes professionally for Runner’s World, Sport Illustrated and Esquire as well as true-life novels. He also coaches cross-country and has a lifetime of his own running experience.

I had apparently read this book before, not remembering that fact until I was deep into the familiar words. I found quotes and bookmarks previously highlighted from my first read through and adding more as I read along. I don’t read many books more than once, and even after a second time, I’ll most likely read this again… and probably again….

What’s great about this book is there is a chapter, page or quote that will apply to every type of runner, at any given point in their running life. Reading it a second time, I am finding the previous quotes I highlighted don’t apply and I’m adding new underlines in places that I can relate to now. I’m willing to bet, on my next read through, I’ll highlight even more quotes, a different part of the book speaking to me.

Martin J. Dugard - AuthorI’m guessing the first time I read this book was before I was a cross-country coach. Now, reading through Dugald’s coaching experiences, I am finding excellent sources of  encouragement I intend to pull out and use with my kiddos like, “excuses limit us and prevent us from being the best possible versions of ourselves.

I’m also finding words to describe my love of trail running: “On those trails, nagging riddles and problems have a way of uncomplicating themselves, revealing to me in step-by-step detail how they might be resolved.”

As I read on, I find myself completely lost in this book…. smiling, crying, laughing, shaking my head in agreement. I find myself wishing I too could write like this to describe my life and love of running.

10814907One of my favorites quotes comes from the chapter “Run Date” where the author tells about how he and his wife catch up and get away together on runs: “The loneliness of the long-distance runner in overrated. Like all the best things in life, a great run becomes even more wondrous when shared with someone you love.” This quote is a perfect representation of my boyfriend and I.

I don’t remember quite what I got out this book the first time, but this time, I get the feeling that I’m not quite sure what I want from running. I fell like I’m missing something that the author has. I feel lost, but I want to find it again, that passion, so that I can write like this as well. I get the urge to get outside and find it, right now!

I will leave you with one last quote; this quote being pretty close to how I’ve been viewing the current running world and why I feel like an outsider:

One of the great downfalls of the modern running movement is how anal and joyless some of its leading voices have made it. Think of me as that great voice in the wilderness that says it’s okay to have fun out there.

Throw the logbook away. Stop pausing you watch at stop lights. Go right when you meant to go left.

Wander.”

Racing & Wandering: The Improved Racing the States

You may have noticed a few changes, and not just visually.

Right away you may have noticed a new layout and photo! Those are all photos I’ve taken on adventures around home and other places I’ve been to.

You may have also noticed I changed my blog’s name. It is now Racing & Wandering by Racing the States. Don’t worry, my website is still found via http://www.RacingTheStates.wordpress.com (some day I’ll buy my domain name).

Besides the name change, Racing the States is becoming more of a lifestyle blog, but not in the sense that you’re thinking. I’m not going to write about what color to paint your nails this spring or the cutest fall outfits to hit the town in… it’s more about my specific lifestyle. It’s about trying to balance my love for adventure, travel and the outdoors with the need to fund it all. It’s about how to do be active, adventurous, and explore the world and be able to pay for it all.

This means you’ll see more of my adventures including climbing, hiking, backpacking, camping and traveling in addition to my running. You’ll also see tips on how to balance all of that and do it cheaply, efficiently and still have fun…all the while maintaining a healthy life. I’d love to share more about things to do and what to see.

Never fret, I’ll still be writing about running…expect to see more post about places to run, running-related reviews, training and race recaps.

So, welcome back! Navigate around! You’ll find a menu about with info on who I am, my original project, Racing the States, a quick link to places to run, and a list of blogs I follow and love reading.

Stay awhile, read a bit and follow along as I take on the world while Racing and Wandering!

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Blog cover photo with sponsors

  1. Hanging Lakes, Colorado (2015)
  2. Oahu, Hawaii (2005)
  3. Costa Rica (2011)
  4. Breckenridge, Colorado (2014)
  5. Death Valley, California (2016)
  6. Oregon (2015)
  7. Joshua Tree National Park, California (2016)
  8. London (2015)
  9. Kuai, Hawaii (2005)

A. Runner’s Roost Mountain and Ultra Team Ambassador

B. Skirt Sports Ambassador

C. 3W Races, Marketing and Ambassador

D. Bobo’s Oat Bars Ambassador