Big Sur International Marathon 2017 Recap and Review (Marathon 22, State 17 — California)

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Race: Big Sur International Marathon, a race that some regard as the most beautiful marathon in the United States

Location:  Point-to-point course from Big Sur, California to Carmel-By-The-Sea, California; approximately 2 hrs south of San Francisco

Time of Year:  6:45 am on a Sunday at the end of April, when the flowers are in bloom

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Non-Race Travel: The Best of St. Moritz, Florence, and Rome

IMG_3321Better late than never on this one!  My husband and I were fortunate to be invited to a wedding in St. Moritz, Switzerland in mid-January this year.  I honestly had never heard of St. Moritz, but as soon as I Wikipedia’d it, I was pretty pumped, even if I mis-pronounced it for several weeks until someone correct me (Mor-RITZ, not MORE-itz).  We also decided to extend the trip with stops in Florence and Rome, Italy.   Here are some of the highlights.

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Mesa Phoenix Marathon 2017 Review and Recap (Marathon 21, State 16 — Arizona)

IMG_0209What:  The BMO Harris Bank Mesa-Phoenix Marathon, aka The Phoenix Marathon, aka The Mesa-PHX Marathon. (There were approx 17 different hashtags associated with this race at various points — a little bit of an identity crisis, I think.)  (Not to be confused with the Rock ‘N Roll Arizona race, also held in the Phoenix area.)

Where: Mesa, Arizona, just a few miles outside of Phoenix.  Race started in Usery Mountain Regional Park and ended in the Mesa Riverview shopping center.

When: Saturday on the last weekend in February.

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Year in Review 2016

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Dear readers,

2016 has been a doozy — filled with epic highs (emotionally and in terms of altitude), big life questions, one terribly disappointing election, and many miles in the air and on my feet.  You can check out my goals for 2016 here  and my upcoming goals for 2017 here.  Thanks a million to all of those who supported me and brought joy to my life this year.

To recap, here are a few facts about 2016…

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The Best Tips for Healthy Vegetarian Eating While Traveling

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I’ve been traveling a lot for the past few months, commuting between DC and Colorado each week for work.  I’ve spent a lot of time in airports, and a lot of time hangry on airplanes.  But I’ve figured out a few tricks for how to eat healthfully (and as a vegetarian or vegan) while on the road or in the air and avoiding that gross-I-just-ate-a-ton-of-junk-and-now-sit-the-rest-of-the-day-on-an-airplane feeling as well as the I-am-going-to-eat-my-luggage-because-I-am-so-hungry feeling.  Here’s what I’ve learned.

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Top 8 Washington, DC Fun Facts for the Rest of America

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As I was traveling out west and various other places this summer on my 50 state adventure, I noticed that when it would come up that I live in DC, I would get one of a few different reactions.  One: the look of disgust and assumption that I worked in politics (aka was part of “the swamp” that needed “draining”).  Two: shock that I lived in the city.  You know, where there are people that don’t look like me.  Three:  the ever-classic, DC’s part of Maryland, right?   Kind readers and countrymen, I’m here with a listicle to help clear up a few things about this place!

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Top 10 Tips for Your First Backpacking Trip

img_1970This summer, I developed a strong desire to spend some time in the wilderness.  Real adventure that gets me out of my comfort zone.   (For the record, I had done one real, adventurous, very legit camping trip in Alaska when I was in high school, but I was along for the ride with some camping experts and didn’t do any of the planning, so it didn’t feel like that counted.)  So bought a bunch of stuff at REI, researched online, and planned a short, beginner backpacking trip for my husband and our dog in Shenandoah National Park.  Of course it rained on the planned weekend and we had to cancel our adventure.  A few weeks later, I did some camping in Wyoming at formal campsites and really loved sleeping outdoors, but I didn’t want winter to arrive without having done a real backpacking trip.  So I somehow persuaded my wonderful husband to head out in much colder weather than originally anticipated (it was now October instead of August!) for a backpacking trip.  We survived!  Even with just one little weekend trip, I’ve already learned a ton, and I wanted to share it with other aspiring adventurers.  Without further adieu:

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