Thankful

Time flies when you’re having fun//being an adult with a real world job (not always synonymous). There are so many things I am beyond thankful for lately. And in the spirit of Thanksgiving this week: a list!

These days, I am thankful for…

1.) The lush, vibrant colors of Pacific Northwest trails. Over weekends not on-call, you can most likely find us (or rather, not find us) hiking/backpacking around Oregon with Cabo and friends. This state rocks.
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2.) Family. I/we couldn’t have a better support system. From birthdays, to graduations, to weddings, we’ve seen family a ton this year (but of course not nearly enough). Not a thing more important to me than family, and I just love mine. If you’re reading this, thanks for being awesome, guys.

Bonus: my sister and her crew live just 2.5 hrs from us. Back in Boulder, it was my bro who lived only 3hrs from us, and now in Portland, we get to be this close to my sister. Plus, it just means we get to see our parents twice as much when they visit (*hint, brother, get your butt out here).

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3.) Our new house! Back in August, Weez and I BOUGHT A HOUSE (still doesn’t feel real) and it is definitely the coolest. It’s gorgeous, in the perf location, backs up to protected green space and TRAILS (literally, our backyard runs into a 10-mile trail system), and fits our current needs perfectly.
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It took a couple months, but the place is all set up and as ya’ll know, we love hosting dinner parties and family/friends’ visits. It’s fantastic having 2 extra guest rooms! More on the house later :)

4.) Adventure. And the much appreciated holidays-from-the-real. I’m really looking forward to our annual Thanksgiving Backpacking Trip this week, and then CHRISTMAS ‘break’ in 3 weeks!

Also back in August, Weez and I traveled to the Galapagos for 2 weeks of adventure/SCUBA diving/wildlife photograph’ing/beach-lounging/bike-riding/seal-stalking/tortoise-rescuing. Such a dream.
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Seals are the CUTEST. Basically, the Cabo’s of the Sea.
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The infamous blue-footed boobie:IMG_0592 IMG_0368 IMG_0230

5.) Running. It’s been my therapy. Our Us Time. Whether it’s a quick 1 mile loop with Cabo or 6 hours on single tracks, I have fought hard to keep running from falling back seat. And the streak lives! 326 days and counting.

We ran – and completed!!! – the Silver Falls 50K on November 7, 2014 and it was painful/empowering/wonderful.
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Weez and I ran together the whole time (not always rainbows and butterflies, but ultimately so glad we had each other to pull along) and we WOULD HAVE finished side by side except he totally cut me off to finish a whole second ahead of me. What happened to chivalry?! Sheesh.
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5:59 well-spent hours on delicious single tracks, ducking around waterfalls and giant trees. Would I do a 50k again? Heck yeah.

6.) And finally, Weez. Goodlord I could not do this thing (life) without him. He makes me laugh when I’m sad, tucks me in when I’m tired, challenges me when we both know I need it, and supports our family in immeasurable ways. He’s basically crushing life, and I can’t believe I won by snatching this guy up.
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Life has its ups and downs and this year hasn’t always been particularly easy, but I am so thankful for my family, friends, and health. Plus, our totally goofy dog. She’s the best.
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Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! What are you thankful for this year?

8 Weeks Till My First Ultra!

I’ve been a runner for 16 years. A marathoner for 5. And all this time, I have yet to dip into the welcoming world of ultramarathons. Until now!
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Here I am, 8 weeks out from my first 50k and I am excit-ervous.

All year long, I’ve been maintaining a decent base. Nothing to write home about, maybe 20-30 mile weeks, but the streak lives :) Everyday in 2014 has been graced by a run – from 1 mile down the block and back, in my PJs, at 11 o’clock at night; to running loops around our hotel floor in Ecuador; to 2:30hr trail runs on the weekends – I’ve been lucky to run everyday.

As fall approaches (yaaayyyy!), I knew I wanted to register for another marathon this year.

About 4 weeks ago, when I was inviting my brother out for the Silver Falls marathon, he somehow convinced Weez and I to register for the 50k instead. You ultra runners are hilarious like that. “Oh, come on, it’s only JUST another bazzilion miles…”

So anyhoo, he roped us in, and here we are. 8 short, SHORT weeks away from 50K.

We’ve been inching our long runs up every weekend – starting from 90 tempo minutes around town to 2hrs on trails (funny, how those can be almost the same mileage) to this past week of 2:30hrs – we’re creeping to the 16-20 mile LR zone.

But honestly, we’re kind of just wingin’ it.

Ultra runner friends: Do you have a recommended 50k training plan? Any advice on back-to-backs or max distance to hit? Can I ramp up into the 50K or should we spend a week or two tapering?

Looking forward to quality miles over the next 8 weeks!

Cheers to eating healthy, living well, and happy hours spent on single tracks!

Two Very Important Birthdays

Two of my favorite little ladies celebrated their birthdays last week/month: Cabo turned 3. And our baby niece, Joan, turned 1.

Cabo got loads of attention and ridiculous/gourmet $2418 per pound doggie treats for her birthday because we love her and spoil her more than anyone probably should spoil their dog.

Cabo at 3 years :)
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Now, our girl is 3 years old/strong/opinionated/goofy/playful/shy/protective/curious/gentle, but she was once just a little pup: 15lbs of fur and bone, found wandering the streets of NM before she adopted US and changed our world :)

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GAH that FACE?! She kills me. She’s pretty much the sweetest dog, ever.
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Cabo got to enjoy copious amounts of real-person birthday cake with the little lady of the year — Joan — during her 1st birthday “Cake Smash”.

Joan is our only (for now, hopefully!) niece and guurrrrlll does she have my heart.
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ILOVETHISBABE.

I mean, I dunno, yeah, she’s alright :)

Joan at 1 is sweet as can be; mellow and tender; genuinely happy; playful and smiley; and juuuust on the verge of taking off into the world of walk-running. Gosh, those little legs, when they stand up and tumble down as she tries taking an unassisted step. I can’t even handle it.
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Then it was time for cake!
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Joan’s big bro, James (he’s 3+ now), had fun helping with the cake smash, too.
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We may or may not have smooshed his face into the cake. Come on! Was his face not in perfect position?! He was totally asking for it ;)
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I can’t believe it’s been a whole year, baby girl. My have you grown :)
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Where has the time gone?

Yeah…  Okay, we really love being aunt and uncle :)