I have been totally delinquent — too busy watching the Olympics (eventing!!!) to blog. Oh, and running and hiking (Billy Goat, Old Rag) and sleeping and OTF-ing and reading some awesome books (Into Thin Air (read it twice in row…), How Bad Do You Want It, A Walk in the Woods) and listening to the Ultrarunner Podcast and watching awesome documentaries (Meru and Sherpa) and modern dancing and trying my darnedest to eat reasonably healthy. Busy busy but mostly good stuff! Training is going well for Mesa Falls, and Chicago is just around the corner so I am working on my A-race mentality and getting all the pieces in place to give myself the best shot at a PR/BQ. Oh AND I entered the Big Sur lottery. Slim odds, but as they say, if you don’t play you can’t win. But the BIGGEST update…
I’ve been given an amazing opportunity through my work to spend the next few months in Colorado part-time!!!!!!!!!!!!! For about a million reasons, I am so so excited about this, and honestly, it could not have come at a better time.
Since the beginning of the summer, my adventure itch has been itching like CRAZY (luckily, it’s adventure and not a mosquito bite), and in several moments, I’ve felt a sad disappointment (frustration?) of Is this all I get to do?, followed by fantasies of quitting my job and living in a van and driving through America. I also may or may not have Googled the qualifications to become a gym teacher. (Hint: I’m not qualified.)
Since the peak (nadir?) of this one-third-through-life crisis, I’ve been working on living more in the “now”: not freaking out about what does or does not lie ahead, reminding myself that deep down I am proud of my career as a badass lawlady, and being more tactical (aggressive?) about getting out there and doing all the other things I want to do (trail running, hiking, little adventures, big adventures, etc.). All told, I have a damn good situation going on, and I am so appreciative of my #blessings. (REI is also feeling appreciative of the money I’ve spent there during this period of my life. I even bought a bear canister!)
And just as I was mastering my angst and lacing up my Altras — COLORADO! It really could not be more perfect.
So, my plan while I am there? Eat, sleep, run, (work,) repeat. I am not going to squander those miles and miles of trails!
Not only am I excited to run some of the best trails in the whole freaking world (expectations too high?), I’m also excited to turn up the intensity of my training with some of that nice thin mountain air. Idaho will be NBD and Chicago will feel like a piece of cake, right?
Some elevations for comparison:
- Highest point in DC: 410′ above sea level (I live lower)
- Old Rag Mountain (pictured above, last weekend): 3,284′ above sea level
- Abingdon, VA (my old home, and this weekend’s destination): 2,087′ above sea level
- Boulder, CO: 5,430′ above sea level
- Ashton, ID (home of Mesa Falls Marathon): 5,259′ above sea level
- Mt. Washburn (post-Mesa Falls hike!): 10,223′ above sea level
- Quandary Peak (my Labor Day weekend plan!): 14,265′ above sea level
- Chicago: 594′ above sea level
- And just for reference… Everest (the topic of aforementioned Into Thin Air and Sherpa): 29,029′ above sea level
So there will probably be a little adjustment when I get to Colorado…
Until I head out, I’ll be cramming with all the dirt and rocks I can stand. I don’t want to embarrass myself in the Flatirons. A bunch of miles with my old trail running buddies in Apple-at-cha this weekend won’t hurt.
Friends, send me your Boulder/Denver life tips, running routes, restaurant suggestions, and must-do activities! Also, I’m still looking for all the best advice for the Mesa Falls Marathon and my accompanying trip to Yellowstone and Tetons. What can’t I miss?
Hope everyone is having a really lovely summer and cranking out a million sweaty miles. It will be worth it in the fall (fingers crossed)!
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