Balancing Life, Sort Of.

Some people seem to have that perfect balance of life — everything in order, everything at ease, everything balanced out. I am usually not that person. I prefer chaos. It’s harder to be upset about the outcome when you’re not really sure what to expect because you’re honestly not really sure what’s going on. All this chaos I let into my life is awesome — it’s energizing, it’s motivating and it’s exciting. It also makes planning difficult, which means my life very rarely has any sort of consistent structure. It is extremely difficult to balance anything in life when you are just bouncing from a motivated morning to an overworked afternoon without so much as a lunch break.
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Mountain Pavement

The title of being a “runner” is an interesting beast…and it usually comes with a qualitative adjective of some sort. In a way that makes sense, there are a lot of aspects to running. In other ways I find this silly. If you run, you’re a runner. Period. Of course, everyone has their own perception of what is required to become a runner and therefore want to be identified accurately. Okay, fine. But what about those of us who are a little mash-up of everything? Do we really need the adjective to justify our pace, goals or endurance? Eh. I hope not.
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#GameOnPGH — My Marathon Game Plan

Soo…last week I went on a tangent about who I am as a runner vs who I sometimes pretend to be. I’m still sticking with that “running for fun” mentality but in the name surviving the Pittsburgh Marathon I’ve decided to pull together something that resembles a training plan. Since this past weekend was the official kickoff of #GameOnPGH in Pittsburgh it only seems appropriate that I cobbled together my training with Monday being “Day 1” for me here in Colorado.
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My Version of Running

When it comes to running I like to float around this lazy river of denial, pretending I have the burning desire to become a type of runner I have never been…a dedicated run-nerd who loves speed work and is motivated by the numbers Strava spits out at me. Eventually I come to my senses, but not until I completely freak out, forget how to run and doubt my ability to walk. The fact I still think I could one day become that type of runner is sad, but at least I’m well versed in the feelings of self-doubt and worthlessness these ambitions breed so I can give up on my crazy wannabe runner notions and fall back in love with my lazy crazy before it’s too late!
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The Uncertainty of New Roads

There are some really awesome stories about Austria, Czech and Switzerland that I really need + want to share but let’s take a quick second to bounce back to one of the main topics of this blog — running. As you may have picked up from my most recent “currently” post I’ve signed myself up for a marathon. A road marathon. The Pittsburgh Marathon, to be exact. #GameOnPGh! I’m excited about it…and hating myself for it. Today marks Day One of my official unofficial scribble of a training plan. Instead of hopping out of bed when I woke to the sunrise at 6am I stuck headphones in and watched John Oliver between dozy naps for two hours.
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Tour de l’Argentine

One of my questions for Merlin while coordinating my WorkAway plans in Gryon, Switzerland was “how’s the hiking + trail running in the area?”, turns out Merlin was not lying when he said the options are endless. From the day I arrived the Tour de l’Argentine has been mentioned by multiple people, yet it still took me about 4 weeks to actually get out there and run/hike the loop. It did not disappoint! And I really should have done it earlier because now I really want to summit l’Argentine but I’m running out of time!
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Peaks + Valleys

What do you do when the clouds take over the mountain? The same thing you do when it’s a beautifully sunny day — you get your tush outside and find trails to explore! I’ve done a fairly good job of winning the fight against the snot factory that took over my sinuses but the weather has not been very good at supporting my quest to spend all my free time outside. Rather than greeting me with sunny skies and tshirt temperatures it’s been doling out lots of chilly clouds. But I am nothing if not persistent…clouds or not, outside I went!
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Trails: More Than Just Dirt.

While I’m here in Switzerland I’ll be spending a lot of time on the trails. There will be plenty of day hikes and long runs, just because I can. Trails will become a huge part of this little adventure for a few reasons — they are cheap, they take you to amazing views, they make me incredibly happy and they bring people together. The first two a pretty obvious, so when REI asked me to share what trails meant to me I wanted to share the effects dirty single track has had on my life!
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#OmniTen Adventures: The UTMB Experience

Earlier this year when I got an email from Columbia asking about my interest in running the UTMB race I got crazy excited. Of course I was interested! It was an ultra, in the Alps! Who wouldn’t be excited!? I said yes and asked questions later.

When we got the confirmed details that we would be running the OCC, the 53K baby sister of the full UTMB ultra, rather than the 170K/110M, I was less let down than you’d think. You see, I’d still be in France and Switzerland for a week but I wouldn’t have a 100+ mile race through intensely steep mountains looming over my head the entire time. Instead, I’d go to Europe, run my race in a day and take in the energy throughout the rest of the week. That’s exactly what we all did.
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#OmniTen Adventures: The OCC Recap

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The days leading up to the Thursday morning start of the OCC, a trail race that took us through the Alps from Switzerland to France, I was a bit of a sandbagging mess. The original plan called for the group of Columbia runners to stick together. I was cool with that, yay friends! Then I met Colin and Landon and realized just how massive their calves and quads were. Um. Yea. I couldn’t keep up with those mountain legs! Even with a summer dedicated to running instead of studying it’d be a gamble. So I freaked out. Hourly. Until they finally told me I could run my own race. They say it was to calm me down, but I think they were just terrified of having to put up with me for 10 hours!
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