*Change is GOOD!*

If there is anything I have learned this past year, it is this: change is good!

Don’t get me wrong, though. It’s scary as hell. There is comfort in the familiar… among the places, faces, and routines that we experience day in and day out. The magic of change, however, is that by letting go, we create space to allow for new places, faces, and routines to become a part of our world that we may not have experienced if we were too frightened to let go.

Space also allows us to discover new things… new jobs, new relationships, new hobbies, new interests, new communities, new foods, etc. In some cases, it also allows for us to focus more deeply on the prominent passions in our lives if we are willing to let go of the things that no longer serve us.

Toward the end of 2016, I felt myself desiring a shift to create more space so that I can invest more time to focus on some specific goals, personal development, and truthfully, a little more downtime for self-care and sleep. I’ve spent several months analyzing where I invest my time, what activities give me joy, and making a mental list of things that I need to purge.

It is no secret that this space has been neglected. I guess I’ve come to realize that this website and blog have fulfilled the initial purpose in which I created it. (For newer readers, Wasn’t Just the Wine Talking was created to chronicle my journey of qualifying for and running the Boston Marathon. This goal was accomplished in 2015.) After almost four years of sharing here, I feel it is time to move on and allow the little time I do spend crafting content, to be spent on other endeavors.

So with that said, I am announcing that Wasn’t Just the Wine Talking is going to be put to bed. This will be my last post.

The decision did not come easy. Trust me. I’ve connected with so many readers over the years and have found so much value in the support and encouragement from strangers who didn’t feel like strangers but just running friends. I’ve truly appreciated each and every follow, like, and comment and knowing that I’ve influenced people around the world!

The website will remain up until and active until my URL expires (in March I believe). I will be removing my Wasn’t Just the Wine Talking Facebook page right away, however.

You’re probably wondering if I’ve decided to quit running, if I’m going to run off and join the circus, or just what in the heck I’m going to be doing to fill the void…

I AM NOT GOING TO QUIT RUNNING! In fact, I’m running the LA Marathon in 10 (TEN!!!) weeks and really need to focus my energy on training and preparation for that. Beyond that event, I’m not yet sure what else the year has in store but I’ve decided that it’s best to focus on one thing/goal at a time and give 110% to that instead of spreading myself out among too many things at once.

I AM NOT GOING TO JOIN THE CIRCUS! I am, however, going to invest more time in building my writing business (Learn more at www.bloggerbitch.com) and finish the coursework to obtain my real estate license. I want to learn how to brew my own kombucha, work on writing my novel, read more, devote more time to making self-care a priority, and spending time with my boys (and girl whenever possible).

I’m on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook so if you’d like to follow future adventures and endeavors, feel free to give me a follow. (I’m less active on Twitter and Facebook AND I’m trying to reduce my time spent on social media in general. Another time suck!)

It has been such a great few years and I, from the bottom of my heart, thank you all for allowing me to share my journey with you. I wish each of you the best and many, many great years of running ahead. And remember, change is GOOD!

Farewell.

xo Hyla

*The high life*

Over the weekend I attended my first Oiselle Volée meet up!

Before I share that story, let me just tell you that in order for me to go, I had to step outside my comfort zone. So here’s the truth bomb… I drove on the freeway.

Any SNL fans out there familiar with the skit, the Californians? (Google it if you’re not. It’s hilarious!) “You take the 101 to the 405 toward Santa Monica, exit at Sunset…”

The freeways and the amassed traffic are a nightmare. One that I managed to avoid for 8 solid months. Until Saturday. The 405 is such a joke here. So much so that I actually saw a greeting card in a gift shop once that read “I’d take the 405 for you.”

Which is exactly what I ended up doing in order to drive out to Pacific Palisades where I met up with two other SoCal members of the Oiselle Volée team. It was worth every steering wheel-gripped mile!

We met up at 8 AM for a hike up the Los Liones Trail to the Parker Mesa Overlook. It was a cool morning to start but sunny. Round trip, the hike was 7.5 miles with about 1,300 feet of elevation gain. Basically, all uphill as we made our way to the overlook and then all downhill to return to the parking area. The trail became more crowed as we made our decent so clearly it’s a popular choice for hikers, runners, and cyclists looking for a challenge.

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New friends, Saturday morning hikes, sunshine, and ocean views!

The view was incredible! Given that I live on the east side of town, it’s not too often that I get to see the ocean and to be able to view miles of it stretched out as far as I could see was pretty spectacular. I also tend to forget that there are some vast green spaces here too. It was a welcome reminder that there are wild lands within the sprawling city.

Whenever I explain to someone that I’m still fairly new to the Los Angeles area, the first thing they ask is how I like it. My typical response is something along the lines that it’s growing on me or I’m starting to feel acclimated. However, while hiking back down the trail in the company of two great women, the sun shining down on me (in November!), breathing in the fresh ocean air… it occurred to me that I’m actually sort of starting to love it here. (Minus the traffic, I later told my husband.)

It was a fantastic morning and I’m so grateful for the connections I’m starting to make through my Team Nuun, Oiselle Volée, and November Project affiliations (as well as a Saturday morning group that meets for a run and coffee hosted by the Fleet Feet store in Burbank). So worth the drive on the 405!

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The high life!

*Weekly mileage ~ July 25-31*

Mileage for the week of July 25th – July 31st

Total weekly mileage: 22.5

Total July mileage: 122.5

Total year-to-date (2016) mileage: 707

Run review:

7/25     No run/rest day

7/26     33:35 min./4 mi./8:29 pace

7/27     1:11:01 min./8 mi./8:52 pace

7/28     33:17 min./4 mi./8:18 pace

7/29     34:11 min./3.5 mi./9:46 pace

7/30     No run

7/31     27:06 min./3 mi./9:00 pace

The past two weeks have been a bit of a whirlwind full of fun summer adventures. Just the way I like it!!! But as a result of my escapades, my training has suffered a little. Now that I’m home, we are getting ready for school to start, and no outings are currently planned until I head back to Portland for the Portland Marathon, it’s time to buckle down again.

I need to spend some time going over my training plan and make a few minor adjustments but with limited mileage the past few weeks, I’m feeling fresh and ready to step up my effort and complete this training cycle!

Good thing, because I just realized the marathon is 67 days away!

*John Muir is my homeboy*

“In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.”

                                                                                  ~ John Muir

The naturalist and environmental philosopher, John Muir, was waaaay ahead of his time. Having died in 1914, long before modern conveniences and technological advances, he recognized our innate need to connect with the natural world. His foresight has allowed for the preservation of some of the most beautiful, serene, and untouched parts of the country. I feel it is an honor to be able to go into the wilderness to witness such spaces. For the second time in a month, I was submerged in some of the back country that Muir is renowned for and I’m beyond grateful.

After a trial one-night, 8-mile backpacking trip a few weeks ago, my brother, sister-in-love, soon-to-be three-year-old nephew, and I set out for a more challenging two-night trip. Over the course of three days, we hiked approximately 25 miles up and over passes in the Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks. We camped at two different lakes, visiting three over the course of the trip. It was magical. Being that we were in sequoia territory, I made my brother make a quick pit stop to get this pic:

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Sequoia trees grow in groves and are native to only the western slope of the Sierra Nevada mountains.

When I venture out into the wild, I’m seeking quiet, an escape from the busyness of society and life, and to see parts of the country that few will see with their own two eyes. I return with much more than that, just as John Muir predicted. (It also made for some hardcore cross-training!)

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I will note that I (happily) did not encounter any bears though we did see a paw print and bear poop right on the trail.

*Weekly mileage ~ July 18-24*

Mileage for the week of July 18th – July 24th

Total weekly mileage: 27

Total July mileage: 100

Total year-to-date (2016) mileage: 684.5

Run review:

7/18     33:30 min./4 mi./8:21 pace

7/19     43:27 min./5.25 mi./8:17 pace

7/20    39:40 min./4.75 mi./8:21 pace

7/21     1:49:23 min./13 mi./8:25 pace

7/22     No run (backpacking)

7/23     No run (backpacking)

7/24    No run (backpacking)

Last week was pretty much what I expected. I took the weekend off from running in exchange for approximately 25 miles of cross training, er hiking, through rugged mountain terrain carrying a 35-40 pound backpack the entire time. (More on that in my next post!)

I’m satisfied with the 27 miles I did run (putting me right at 100 so far for July) and if I factor in the mileage from backpacking, not to mention the elevation ranging from 8,000 to 10,000 feet, it was a solid week of training!

Later this week I will be off on my next adventure so I know my mileage will be somewhat limited but I’ve made the necessary adjustments to my training plan to accommodate my travels and am confident that I’ll be able to pick up where I left off when I return.

I hope your week is off to a great start!

*The family that adventures together…*

Running, without a doubt, is at the top of my list of favorite things, as is probably obvious since I write a running-related blog. However, it is not my only love.

When I was growing up, my father, a wilderness enthusiast, had my brother and I hiking, camping, road tripin’, and exploring the western part of the US as often as possible. As a kid, I could have cared less. I remember, on a couple of occasions when I was in my teens, being pissed that I was camping in Colorado instead of cruising around town, or stuck on a beach with my parents somewhere on the Olympic Peninsula instead of hanging out at the local Taco Bell with my posse. (To make matters worse, this was waaaaaaaaay before we all had cell phones and social media to stay in touch.)

Fast forward a few years and I cannot even begin to express the gratitude I’ve found for my upbringing and my own love of the outdoors. I’ve done the exact same thing to my own children and it gives me so much joy to see my daughter plan hiking trips with her friends and beau. (The apple never seems to fall far from the tree, right?)

In recent years, one of the things that I’ve been most grateful for are the opportunities to, once again, share these types of adventures with my lil’ bro. My adventurous excursions pale in comparison to what he, and his wife, have accomplished over the last 14+ years but I’m just grateful that every once in a while, they invite me to tag along!

Last weekend was no exception.

The four of us: my brother, sister-in-love, nephew (not quite three years old), and I went on a two-night camping/backpacking trip about four hours northeast of Los Angeles in the Sierra Nevadas. The original plan was a two-night backpacking trip but due to the fact that it was a holiday weekend, and we didn’t pre-reserve a backcountry permit, it seemed we’d be campground camping for the weekend. While still fun, they were looking forward to testing the backpacking waters with their toddler in tow. As is turns out, we made a second attempt to get a permit and we got one for the second night. Score!

My experience backpacking is still limited and I learn something new every time I go. I also fall in love with it more each time. It amazes me to think how few people will ever get to experience this:

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Blue Lake

Despite the mosquitos (and there were A LOT of them!), this adventure was everything I fall asleep at night fantasizing about. I can’t wait to do it again! And, hopefully, one of these times, bring my boys along!

 

*Bring on summer*

There is no excuse for my absence here but in my own defense, I’ve committed to allowing myself to slow down a little bit. The last several months… scratch that. The last several years(!) have been seemingly nonstop and full of busyness. In a way, I find it ironic that I moved to one of the fastest paced cities in the country yet find myself tuning it out and favoring a slower pace instead. It’s something I’ve been craving for years and it feels like it has finally started to manifest. Even amidst the hustle and bustle of the city.

Summer break has officially arrived which I think I need as much as my kiddo needs. His school experience was quite different from that in Oregon. They are pretty serious about “culmination” and after just five weeks, he and 549 of his fellow classmates, completed 8th grade and are ready to move on to high school in the fall. (Which I’m TOTALLY not ready for. And by fall, I mean the middle of August. Why in the heck do they start the school year so early???)

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On to high school!

I have been running and this week was a pretty solid week even though early on my back was grumpy for a couple of days. I’m currently 18 days into a running streak, finally broke 500 miles for the year, and hit double digits this week! Several months have passed since the last time I ran more than 10 miles so it feels like quite the accomplishment. That run also got me back on track with my training for the Portland Marathon since I didn’t hit my long run mileage goal last weekend.

This morning I was planning to run to the Hollywood sign, which according to Google Pedometer is roughly 4.5 miles from my apartment. It would have given me another 9 miles or so for the weekend and some great pictures. However, the trail/old road, clearly marked on the map, was gated and locked with no alternate access options that I could find. The nearest other entrance would have added at least another mile and there was no guarantee that it wouldn’t be gated and locked either. So I turned back for home and called it good at 6 miles. I’ll save that adventure for another day!

For my friends and followers in the Portland area, I learned about a neat little fun run coming up on Thursday, June 23rd. The second annual TEDxPortland 6k is a family friendly, non-competitive event and a bargain with registration priced at $25.00! It begins and finishes at OMSI. On-site registration and packet pickup will begin at 7 PM and the run will start at 8 PM. (Advanced registration is available through Athletepath.) There will be refreshments at the finish line, including a beer garden, live music, and a raffle with more than $2,000 worth of prizes being given away. Participants are encouraged to “paint the town Ted” by wearing red. There will also be prizes for best-dressed runners.

For more information or to register, visit their event website, HERE.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend and the beginning of summer vacation!