*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!

 

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*Following in my footsteps*

Two years ago this past weekend, I went to a shakeout run as part of the Vancouver USA Marathon festivities, hosted by Mr. Bart Yasso from Runner’s World. He is a true gem and I was honored to meet him and get an infamous “Bartie” with him. I’ve had the privilege of “running” into him a few times since then, including at the Boston Marathon race expo and again last summer when he was in Vancouver for the marathon. (I even bought him breakfast!)

Anyway, now that I’m residing in Los Angeles, meeting up with him while he was in town for the marathon last weekend was impossible. However, the coolest thing happened! A few months ago, my daughter was hired by Energy Events which puts on the Vancouver USA Marathon. On Friday afternoon while I was sitting at work, I received this:

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My daughter, following in my footsteps.

Day made! Better was the fact that when she told him that she was my daughter, he knew exactly who I was and even remembered meeting Mr. WJTWT in Boston. Truly, one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet!

I came across this link earlier this evening and considering the timing, it is kind of ironic. More so, I discovered that I’m in one of the photos!!!! I finally made Runner’s World! Super cool!!! (I’m in the 6th photo as you scroll down in the purple Boston Marathon jacket on the left!)

*Great day for athletics*

Figuring it’s been a long time since I last posted a Fuel Friday post, I was planning on sharing a recipe for a carrot cake muffin that I made earlier this week. However, I spent too much time doing other things (mostly mindless perusing of random stuff online) and ran out of time so maybe I’ll save it for another day.

One of the distractions was the coverage of the CrossFit Regional events going on this weekend and I’ve gotta give a shout-out to all of the incredible athletes that competing at regional events this weekend. Even if CrossFit isn’t your thing, it certainly is inspiring to watch these amazing athletes leave it all on the floor after months of training.

In particular, I want to wish Carleen Matthews, who hails from my neck of the woods, the best of luck this weekend. She has been a super mentor to my daughter and is a one of the most dedicated and passionate athletes I’ve ever known. Last year, I was honored with the opportunity to accompany my daughter to the regional competition to watch Carleen work for a spot on the podium and that she did. She finished in second place and earned herself not only the opportunity to compete in the Games, but also the title as one of the 40 fittest women in the world!

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Team Carleen shirt from the 2015 Regionals.

 

(*Carleen had a rough start in the first event but WON the second, finishing the first day in third place, out of 40 competitors.)

True to my own passion, I switched gears and am now streaming a middle distance track meet. I’m equally inspired by the work that they’ve done to toe the line in hopes that they’ll be closer to earn a spot on the Olympic team.

What a great day for athletics!

 

*Weekly mileage ~ Feb. 15-21*

Mileage for the week of February 15th – February 21st

Total weekly mileage: 13.5

Total February mileage (to-date): 81

Total year-to-date (2016) mileage: 241.75

Run review:

2/15          35:06 min./4.25 mi./8:16 pace

2/16          29:00 min./3.25 mi./8:56 pace

2/17          No run/travel day

2/18         3 miles on hotel dreadmill

2/19         25:30 min./3 mi./8:20 pace

2/20         No run/travel day

2/21         No run/recovery day

As far as running is concerned, I don’t even want to talk about last week. Yuck!

While I may have had a low mileage week, I sacrificed my training for a really, really good reason. I feel so fortunate that I could travel to San Antonio to see my daughter graduate her Army Advanced Individual Training as a combat medic. The girl has done me proud! Not only did she graduate as one of the top soldiers in her company, she was also the guidon for her company and received recognition for Junior Leader of the Cycle, which is a huge honor!

The trip was a whirlwind and there wasn’t a lot of downtime or rest. I knew flying home on Saturday that there was no way in hell I was going to come out unscathed, as far as illness was concerned. Lo and behold, a slightly scratchy throat manifested Sunday and hung around on Monday. Today, slightly scratchy became moderately scratchy, swollen, and sore, accompanied by sinus pressure, a headache, some chills… ugh. My attempt to take it easy over the weekend failed me and now I’m battling a full-on bug.

I’m trying to get back into the rhythm but I’ve just had so much going on – on top of not feeling well.

One day at a time. One day at a time. One day at a time.

I hope you don’t feel abandoned… I promise I’m not going anywhere! I haven’t been super active on social media lately either but feel free to connect with me there too. Have a great final week of February!!

*A look back at 2015*

Holy shit.

Pardon my French. But seriously, guys. It has been an incredible, wild, messy, fun, year. Like, holy shit! Let’s do it again but with more incredible, wild, messy, fun, adventure!!!

My hope for you, as you look back at your own year, is that you feel the same way. And that, like me, you are ready to make more epic magic awesomeness happen in 2016.

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If you’ve missed my monthly highlights over the past year, you can read them individually at the links below.

November

October

September

August

July

June

May

April

March

February

January

As for December, well, I figured I’d just include my stats and a few highlights here!

December review:

Total miles: 128.25

Longest run: 8

Total days running: 28

YTD mileage: 1,868.25

Some of my favorite December moments included:

  • Finishing a small 5k as the first-place female finisher.
  • Celebrating the season with family and friends at several gatherings sprinkled throughout the month.
  • Watching my little drummer boy perform at his winter band concert.
  • Seeing my soldier for the first time in five months when she arrived home for the holidays. We made a scene in the airport. I cried. And hugged her a ton. Probably one of my favorite memories of the whole entire year!!
  • Feeling content finally being under the same roof with Mr. Wasn’t Just the Wine Talking and our kids after 147 days of being spread out across the country.
  • Waking up to snow!
  • Spending time with my parents, bother, sis-in-law, nephew, and my own family in the mountains for a few days for an early Christmas.
  • Receiving some really great Christmas gifts including a new sleeping bag that I cannot wait to test out on a near-future adventure!
  • Planning for 2016. Lot’s of big stuff on the horizon… running goals, business goals, family/life goals… I have so much to be grateful for this past year and so much to look forward to next year!

Last but not least, THANK YOU! for being a part of my year and sharing in the triumphs and struggles. My life is so enriched by the online community that has been created based on our common love of running, health, and wellness.

I wish you all a fantastic 2016 filled with lots of love, good health, adventures, and of course, happy miles! Cheers!

*Weekly mileage ~ Oct. 5-11*

Mileage for the week of October 5th – October 11th

Total weekly mileage: 11.25

Total October mileage (to-date): 42.25

XC mileage (part of weekly total): 0

Total year-to-date (2015) mileage: 1,559.5

Run review:

10/5            No run

10/6            34:33 min./3 mi./11:31 pace

10/7           No run

10/8           31:13 min./3 mi./10:24 pace

10/9           No run

10/10         52:32 min./5.25 mi./10:01 pace

10/11         No run

The only thing I can say about last week is this: WHEW! I’m glad I survived! Between a cancelled trip to South Carolina (and the heartbreak I suffered as a result of not being able to see my daughter), a head cold, birthday celebrations, a mini over-night crabbing adventure, and a night out on the town… I’m grateful for those 11.25 miles I did get in! They were all run at an easy pace as I wasn’t feeling well and still trying to respect the fact that I did run a marathon the weekend before.

I’m super pumped about this week though! I feel a ton better and am focusing on training for my cross-country meet at the end of the month.Taking it easy last week was a good thing and I believe that my body will be much more responsive to the training I’m going to be doing. Lots of XC style running and drills! In fact, tonight at my teams practice, we ran the 5k course that our local high school uses when they host meets. Complete with a creek crossing! Even after just a taste of it today, I know I’m going to love it!

So back at it this week, focused, and ready to kick some ass! Wasn’t Just the Wine Talking wishes you a great week!

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*Goodbye, July*

July Review:

Total miles: 119

Longest run: 10

Total days running: 22

YTD mileage: 1,242.5

Some of my favorite July moments included:

  • My family’s first official 5k. We ran the Red, White, and Blues together on Sunday, July 5th following a mellow, fun 4th with family and friends.
  • Spending a few days in Central Oregon. Mr. Wasn’t Just the Wine Talking’s family has a long-tradition of playing in, and now organizing, a golf tournament. I’ve been going for 20 years and we look forward to it every summer.
  • Taking my son and his buddy hiking at Smith Rock State Park. It gives me a lot of joy to share the things I love with the people who I love!
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I think hiking is growing on him!

  • An early morning trail run at Forest Park. Trail runs are far and few in between so I savor those opportunities when they arise!
  • An amazing evening celebrating Mr. WJTWT’s birthday made complete with a bottle of prosecco, his and her’s pedicures, happy hour, takeout of one of his favorite dishes from Portland-area, cult-fave, Pok Pok, and a picnic in the park with live music and an outdoor movie. SO. MUCH. FUN!
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This guy lights up my life! (This was not part of his birthday outing… Central Oregon shenanigans while working at the Cascade Lakes Relay.)

  • Hiking Forest Park with the whole family. (Portlanders are seriously blessed with such an amazing urban park right in our backyard!) This outing was especially meaningful as we were counting down the days until our daughter departed for basic training.
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My peeps. Life isn’t the same with her gone. ; (

  • The arrival of my sister-in-law and nephew. It was a welcome distraction with all the other activities going on!
  • A small, sweet family and friend gathering to wish my daughter well as she prepared to depart for basic training.
  • Not a favorite moment, per se, but within the mix of emotions I was feeling as I watched my daughter pass through security and down the concourse at the airport, I felt so much pride. I’m really excited for her to begin having her own life experiences as a young adult. My mama heart has been pretty tender but I know great things are in store for her.
  • Another trip to Central Oregon! While it was technically a work trip for Mr. WJTWT, we were able to get in two great hikes, soak up some sun, enjoy some time in the pool, sleep outside under the stars, and regroup after a busy, busy month!
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If you haven’t noticed, I’m REALLY fond of Central Oregon! But look at this! It’s gorgeous there, no?

I can’t help but feel a little sad that summer is passing so quickly. Cross country starts in four weeks and the school year not long after that. Our autumn season is looking to be a busy one so I want to savor every single second August gives us! More adventures happening soon!

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Me in my element.

I hope you are having an amazing summer too!!