{Don’t Act Your Age-30 Things During My 30th Year}


My little sister and I way before “30” had any meaning or expectations.

This post has been sitting in my drafts since October.  Since I’ve already started in on this list, it is definitely time to share it.  I’m not getting any younger after all.  For some reason I was a little afraid to share it as these thoughts are so personal and often seem so different from others.  This post is simply my thoughts and not based on any person, event, or conversation I might have had with anyone.  You might totally disagree with my thoughts, and that is fine.  We all get to make our own choices in life, and this post shares a glimpse into how I want to live my life.  In the spirit of this post and not acting my age-here goes.

I not sure what it is about turning 30 that has me wanting to be adventurous and try new things. When I was a kid I thought turning thirty meant you were old. It has always marked in my head when one really became an adult. I imagined I’d be married with children and acting a whole lot older than I do. The reality is that I don’t feel any older than I did ten years ago. I don’t have children because I’m having too much fun with my freedom and independence…except my cat who I do consider to be my first son.
I still love new experiences, being adventurous, and doing stupid things I should have learned not to do in the last ten years. I would rather spend money on an experience than save it for 35 years later when I might be dead. I still have the ignorant “it won’t happen to me” mindset far too often. I don’t always eat my vegetables. Sometimes I have too many drinks when I know it won’t feel good the next day. Just the other night after a couple of drinks with friends I put a giant temporary tattoo on my arm that took up my entire forearm just for fun. Sometimes I eat popcorn for dinner. How can I be turning 30?

Turning the big 3-0 doesn’t really scare me or freak me out; it is just a number after all. I’ve always believed you are only as old as you decide to be. There are no ages to do things at or not do them at. Yet at times I feel societies pressure to follow these often unwritten age rules. But why?? Why must this, this, and that happen by this age. Why should I be slowing down instead of speeding up? Who decides these things? Why are we supposed to start acting old?
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Maybe it is more of that ignorance is bliss thing combined with the fact I don’t have kids, but I refuse to get old. I want to be young. By young, I mean alive, curious, full of wonder and wanderlust, and desire to fill my life with rich and rewarding experiences. I want to be a life-long learner and goal setter. I want to fight for my right to PaRtY!
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As I get older in a numerical sense, I feel there are fewer and fewer people around me who don’t act their age. People sacrifice so many things in exchange for what they are supposed to have and for who they are supposed to be. I slowly see people give up on dreams, goals, or hopes because they say they are too old. Too this. Too that. But what we are is too afraid. Too worried about our age and how it looks to others. Too fearful of bad things that have held us back previously. Too set in our ways to do something differently.  Too stuck on a path or plan to ever diverge.  Now I ‘m not talking quit your job and move across the country (although if my husband ever said he would I would be tempted-but he NEVER would).  I’m referring to letting adventure find me and not being so afraid of it when it does.  To do the things I’ve said I want to do, but never have.  To stop waiting for those experiences to find me, and instead create those moments for myself.  To do more following of the Holstee Manifesto below.
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I credit running for the most part for giving me a younger spirit that doesn’t want to think old. It has taught me in the past few years about how much I want to see the world, how unhappy I am with the mundane and average, how working hard rewards you in so many ways you can’t even begin to imagine. Running has shown me how age is just a number not a sentence, statement, or dictation of how to think, act, or feel. Seeing people in their 70’s and 80’s still running and living active lives inspires me everyday to do the same. And I’m talking LIVING people! These young souls are not home-bound and plagued by health ailments. Can I guarantee this won’t be me-obviously no. Can I guarantee you I won’t wait to find out-an astounding YES!
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As I enter my 30th year on Earth, I want to remind myself that we only have this one life to make our own rules and follow our own dreams. In the end it doesn’t matter what society says. It’s your life! So many runners, moms, dads, and individuals out there DO inspire me because I see them going for it. Readers of this blog inspire me with their goals and dreams. They work hard to balance family, responsibility, and their dreams.
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Besides being a list person, setting smaller dreams and goals gives us a sense of accomplishment while lighting that motivational fire under our arses. This year I want a list of 30 things to go for leading up to my birthday and in my 30th year, and I need your help. What are some ideas to add to my list in my journey to and during 30 years young? What cool experience did you make, see, do, explore, etc.  I want a balance between the adventurous and the it’s-ok-to-have-a-calm-life.

Goals for 30th year
1) Race 30ish mile race (50k)
2) Skydive
3) get a tattoo
4) improve blog
5) become a trail runner
6) read 30 books (This will be hard for me as I usually read like 8 books a year…on a good year.  Any suggestions?)
7) hike in natures beauty (Yellowstone, Grand Tetons, Glacier National Park)
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8) visit Portland, Oregon
9) take a(nother) road trip
10) become a yogi or at least get committed to yoga/take classes
11) become a Marathon Maniac
12) go scuba diving
13) visit another country (plan to travel to Mexico with family)
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14) visit ten (minimum) new state parks
15) cross at least two more states off my 50 in 50 list
16) try new foods (new ethnic eats)
17) Try 30 new to me beers
18) complete a century ride on trails (Perrot State Park to 400 Trail in Reedsburg)
19) get a massage-truth, I’ve never had one
20) go downhill skiing again-it’s been 7 years
21) complete a monthly photo challenge-I’ve got a ton saved, but have never done one
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22) go ice skating again-it’s been 16 years
23) ride on a train
24) visit another baseball stadium

I still need six more ideas. I’m open to suggestions! Keep in mind these events will happen in the next 16 months, so I can’t fly to Mykonos, Greece or visit the Australian outback as much as I’d like to-unless your paying ;)! I want to make the next year about adventure, fun, and living life…not about a number!


{Friday Fab 5-Baked Potato Soup, Sol, Slice of Chicago…}

I was having tech issues today hence the late post. Better late than never!

{#1-Baked Potato Slow Cooker Soup}
It is delicious! Seriously! The husband adds bacon to his!

{#2-Slice of Chicago aka Heaven}
Dinner with the family this week. If you live in the La Crosse, WI area check out this great local place!

{#3-New Water Bottle}
Perfect for the running science teacher!








New beer tried in my quest to try 30 new beers in my 30th year. More on this challenge in a special post tomorrow.

{#5-Indoor Running}
Lots of indoor runs this week. BRRR. Who wants to move to Cali or Hawaii with me? The husband won’t.

Happy Friday!

{Friday Fab 5-taco chicken chili, ugly sweater 5k, pay it forward…}

{#1-Slow Cooker Taco Chicken Chili}

Friends liked this chili at our Friendsgiving get together that proved interesting!

{#2-Holiday Flowers}

Seeing these flowers on our island every time I walk through the kitchen makes me smile. I love the textures, colors, and smells. Such an easy holiday decoration.

{#3-Gingerbread Beer}

Leave it up to Blue Moon to brew up this hint of spice brew. Delicious!

{#4-Ugly Sweater 5k this weekend}

You can register even right before the race. Plus, with highs in the 20’s in our area it will nearly be a heat wave this weekend!

{#5-Kits for the Homeless}

For pay it forward day in the #elf4health challenge, one of the things I did was create these bags for future homeless Ryan and I drive by. We are each keeping two in our car to be ready at any given time.

Happy Weekend!

{Honky Tonk Half Marathon}


It was an early and cold start to the morning in preparation for the Honky Tonk Half Marathon. I woke up to my alarm at 5:45 a.m. tired and so cozy warm in my covers. You know the feeling; the air in your bedroom is cold and the covers are oh, so warm. It’s that amazing feeling where you never want to get up and feel like you could stay in bed for hours. Who are we kidding, I would actually never do that for fear of wasting my day, but sometimes I might spend 30 minutes slowly waking up. Well, hours for me this a.m. meant ten minutes. I checked the Weather Channel hourly forecast in hopes that it hadn’t actually gotten as cold as they’d said it would. It had. I scrolled facebook to see if there was anything super exciting in my news feed, although at 5:45 a.m. that is not usually the case. Then when I’d stalled past the point of leaving on time, I got up, showered, and got dressed for the race I wasn’t feeling so much.

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From earlier this spring!

I really wasn’t ready for running in pants, layers, and a headband. You see, it seems it wasn’t so long ago that this was an everyday thing. That’s because last winter lasted FOREVER and EVER, Amen. With snow flurries still flying in early May and a cold, rainy June I am just not ready for winter running yet. Fall is my favorite time of year to run ,but it seems we are already in colder than fall temps. It was 28 degrees when I woke up-not acceptable. But, what can I do. Put on my big girl running tights and suck it up I guess.

Enough complaining already! Or is it. I was in a grouchy mood on the drive to Wisconsin Dells. I pulled off the interstate and realized I was almost out of gas, but really didn’t have time to stop for gas, so I took a chance and pulled into the parking lot with 40 minutes before the race began. Because I’d payed extra money to pick up my packet race morning, I wanted to make sure I had plenty of time to get my race gear, use the bathroom, and get to the starting line on time.

The race was low key, fairly organized, and there was no waiting in line for restrooms or navigating through crowds. Aside from logistics, I was not really sure how I’d run. I knew I was treating this race like a longish training run, and that I had only run one 8 miler since the Big Cottonwood Marathon 5 weeks earlier. The 8 miler had been awesome, but sometimes one run is great and the next one is terrible.

The race started on time and headed downhill. I remember thinking that uphill finishes are my favorite-NOT. Like I said, I was kind of grouchy. The fall colors were beautiful though. Around mile 1.5 we had gorgeous views of the Wisconsin River and fall colors near the Wisconsin Dells River Walk.

Screen shot 2013-10-20 at 5.46.01 PM

It was actually cloudy during the race, and I didn’t feel like taking pictures, so I found this one online. It really looked like this though fall color and all. (http://www.flickriver.com/photos/27847413@N00/sets/72157625219745538/)

A mile ahead we turned onto the main street of downtown Wisconsin Dells, crossed the Wisconsin River, and then turned down a country road with rolling hills and lined with trees showing their colors for the miles leading up to the half marathon turn around.

mile 1-9:18

mile 2-8:22


At mile two I made a mental note that it seemed there would be a lot of uphills on the way back. Still grumpy! Probably good I was alone at this race. I would have been nobodies cheerleader.

mile 3-8:55

By mile three I was not crabby anymore. Imagine that; running improves your mood. I’m feeling a little sassy as I right this report as I had such a great day doing all things active and fall. There were great views of the water, rocks peeking out of the hillsides, and tree lined roads.

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Ditto with this photo (dell.com)


mile 4-8:16

mile 5-8:47


At mile 5 I took my first GU, a new flavor I had never tasted before, Salted Caramel, but had ordered just for my fall races. This may be my favorite GU ever. It might have been the fall flavor, the colorful leaves, and cool temperature. Or it might just be these are awesome. Imagine eating a rich caramel; sweet with a hint of salty. It was divine. Cam from Modern Family would be so proud of my word choice.
Honky Tonk Half Marathon 2

Soon we hit the turn around for the half marathon. It is often at this point in a race that I encourage myself to pick up the pace. I also couldn’t believe that we were already half way.

mile 6-8:48

mile 7-8:29

mile 8-8:20

At mile 8 I was hoping for some water, but the water stop was out of cups. I knew I’d survive, but I felt bad for those full marathoners who would hit that water stop at mile 21. If those volunteers didn’t replenish the cups, then their lives might be in danger.

Getting high fives from the kiddos!

Getting high fives from the kiddos!

mile 9-8:06

mile 10-8:24
Honky Tonk Half Marathon 3
Mile 10 had water AND cups. We climbed the hill and rolled back down (not literally). We then made the turn back down the main street of downtown Wis. Dells before turning back towards the start.


Once I saw the River Walk and the 5k turn around, I knew that I was going to feel good the rest of the way.

mile 11-8:18

mile 12-7:46

Mile 12 was uphill, then a slight downhill, and then uphill before flattening out for the last 100 meters. Poor marathoners. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

mile 13-7:11

This out and back course had rolling hills, with some that were of medium size. I hate to say this to hill haters out there, but I really didn’t notice the hills. Even though I rarely train on hills, I’ve always considered myself a good hill runner. I always pass a large number of people without much of an increase in my perceived effort, and almost never see those runners pass me in future miles. Today was no different. I ate those hills for breakfast!

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Speaking of hills, the downhills which I had previously not loved in the past-ain’t no thang! After running down a freakin’ mountain last month, I could really tell how much better I was at running downhills. Either that or my pain tolerance has increased to new levels after the pain cave of an experience I had those last 6-8 miles running the Big Cottonwood Marathon in Utah. Maybe it is some of both. Regardless, hills seem a lot easier than they used to.

Big Cottonwood Marathon 11

I came through the finish, accepted my belt buckle medal, cowboy hat, and banana and water. There was a free beer ticket that came with our race entry, and growing up in Wisconsin I learned that you don’t pass up a free beer even if it is only 9:55 a.m. I’d like to say this is the earliest I’ve ever enjoyed the barley pop, but we all know that’s not the case. I mean some Badger games start at 11:00 a.m. and required tailgating starts long before that. Then there is the Oktoberfest parade that begins at 10:00 a.m. You wouldn’t want to bring beer that went bad to the four hour long parade, so you’d obviously test it ahead of time.



After drinking up my one whole beer and enjoying the live country band for a few, this cowgirl was onto greener pastures. I had plans that involved Pumpkin, Spice, and Latte followed by a hike.


A photo from my post-race hike.

I really enjoyed this race course. The country roads in the fall were scenic and the hills were surprisingly a breeze. I’d recommend the race to anyone who lives near or far. The morning logistics were simple with plenty of parking and a warm place to stay inside with restrooms and food/drinks to purchase. The belt buckle medal is unique and the free cowboy hat a fun touch to fit their theme. I’m not sure where exactly the theme fits the Dells, but yeehaw.


Aside from the race there are so many fun attractions in the area that it is a great race to make a weekend of. With nearby shopping, hiking, and family friendly fun (indoor water parks, Knuckleheads, etc.) there is something for everyone. Literally everyone if you consider Cruisin’ Chubby’s, too. I did’t consider this though.


Honky Tonk Half Marathon (RunKeeper said 13.56 miles)
Age Group-6/69

{Friday Fab 5}

{#1-Pool Party}

This past weekend we held our annual pool party. I love hosting parties with a theme and like beer, too. This beer tasting theme was a duh for us. We had snacks like beer bread and beer dip, pub mix, and wings (Honey BBQ and Buffalo) for starters. Later we had potato skins while I was making personal pizza crusts for people. Once the crusts were done friends added their choice of sauce and toppings before putting them on the grill. Dessert was Blue Moon Cupcakes (these were my favorite!) and VooDoo (Guiness) Cupcakes. I used another stout beer, VooDoo, in place of Guiness. I’ve linked the recipes I used in case anyone is interested. We had a great time!

{#2-Ran my longest run yet!}

It was a slow 7 miles, but it’s good to be going again.

{#3-Honky Tonk Half Marathon}

This half marathon in Wisconsin Dells has been officially added to my fall racing calendar in an effort to race local this year!

{#4-Back to School}

This has been consuming all of my time this week. Eeek!


Our anniversary gift arrived this week. I’m hoping we will be able to get it out and juicing this weekend! I have so many combinations I want to try!

Anyone have any great juicing recipes?

Happy Weekend!