{3,2,1…Happy 2014 Goals}

20131231-160335.jpg

Here they are…my fitness related goals for 2014!

{#1-Run my first ultra marathon}

20131231-151108.jpg
So this is a big one for me (and a scary one)! I’ve been thinking about going longer for a few months. Registration for the Kettle Moraine 100 opens Tomorrow and I’m signing up. I’m not totally cray cray though…I’m signing up for the 50k (31 miles) in honor of my 30th birthday the weekend before. I’ll save the 100k and 100 mile races for when I really lose it.

{#2-Run more trails}

20131231-151426.jpg
This goal goes with goal #1 since most ultra marathons are on trail systems and the 50k is no different. I’ve been liking the trails more and more for the private conversations with nature (not literally) and their scenic beauty. Getting state park passes for Christmas from the in-laws seemed like the ultimate sign. Plus with our amazing road trip this summer I have a feeling there will be some great trail runs!

{#3-Cross off two more states at minimum towards reaching my 50 in 50 ultimate goal}

20131231-152659.jpg
I’m registered for both of these races. I’d love to run more than two this year, but alas I don’t have an unlimited racing and travel budget. Without a sugar daddy for a husband, I will be content with the great places I do get to visit this year.

{#4-Complete a Century ride}
After injuring my ankle and rediscovering biking after a ten year absence, I realized how much I enjoy cross training on the bike. This summer I plan to ride the entire La Crosse State bike trail to the Sparta-Elroy trail to the 400 trails end in Reedsburg…exactly 100 miles in a day!

{#5-HIIT workouts after short runs and yoga once a week}
I was very inconsistent with HIIT workouts last year. This year I’m scheduling them after my short run days. I started doing yoga this year and want to make sure I do it at least once a week. More would be great, but I need to be realistic, too.

{#6-Train and Pace my husband to finishing his first marathon}

20131231-155358.jpg
I put this one last because I don’t think he needs that much help, but I did make his training plan, buy him running clothes and fruity GU for Christmas, and will be running with him so it counts for something.

Those of you who have ran a marathon before probably remember all the questions and uncertainty you had while training for your first. I’m going to document what it’s like to train with your husband along with all those first marathon experiences in a new post each week. If you’ve never ran a marathon yet or are training for one, join us! Stay tuned!!

When the champagne has worn off start thinking about YOU! What are your 2014 fitness goals? You only get one body…how will you take care of yours?

Happy 2014!

{enjoy fall…}

20131112-173820.jpg
With fall nearly over and cold weather temperatures here, I have to say I enjoyed this fall.

20131112-173656.jpg
But, I don’t think people know what that means. I don’t just mean I enjoyed it, I mean I got out in it and enjoyed all the changing season had to offer. And I documented it with lots of photos I love.

20131112-173513.jpg
I played in leaves crisp to the running shoes and bright to the eye. I explored the reds, oranges, yellows, and browns throughout my home state. I explored new trails and old trails taking in the sights of fall-shades so brilliant you almost can’t imagine them. I saw plants with their flowers long gone and trails blanketed with leaves. I ran through the woods enjoying the freedom and glory you only experience when alone just you and the trail.

20131112-173054.jpg
I hiked paths along rivers, lakes, streams, and forests…alone, with my husband, and with friends. I saw tracks, animals, and signs of old life in those woods. I watched leaves fall doing their delicate dance and swirl before falling to the ground for one last display of color.

20131112-173346.jpg
I listened to fall. I heard the wind blow through the trees, the branches and leaves creating their own music and rhythm like a fall symphony. I heard animals of fall collecting, gathering, scurrying, and seeming to enjoy the same things I was. I heard leaves fall from their trees and land ever so softly on the ground. I listened to the water move slowly and quickly soon to be stilled during winter months. I heard the light pounding pattern of my feet as they hit the soft ground below.

20131112-173247.jpg
I smelled the scents of fall. The crisp, earthly leaves…the grass and its greeness still holding on. I smelled the dirt that has a scent unique to fall as Mother Earth prepares for the cold days ahead. I smelled the crispness of cold fall mornings. I took in the scents of apples on trees and the smell of late flowers of autumn.

20131112-172630.jpg
I felt fall’s wind on my neck, in my hair, and on my ears. I felt nature’s contrast of cold mornings followed by autumn’s sun slowly warming me with sunshine. I felt raindrops on my face and the soft Earth beneath my feet-the perfect spring to a runner’s step. I felt leaves I collected in my hands, and the contrast of roughness of a tree’s bark compared to its leaves. I enjoyed the warmth of my morning coffee in my hands as I hiked through nature’s splendor.

20131112-173200.jpg
I thought about life. I worried about things big and small. I forgot my worries. I planned the trivial details of the week’s to do list. I dreamed big and let my imagination run wild. I thought about fears and losses. I remembered the things experiences I’m grateful for. I thought about my past. I imagined the future. I thought about nothing. I thought about everything.

20131112-172836.jpg
I danced, smiled, laughed, and felt full of contentment as I stood in falls subtle sounds, leaves falling all around me as if I were in a movie, taking in every color and painting a permanent picture in my mind to last me through the long days ahead while bottling the crisp scent of fall in the woods. I felt the peace that you only feel when you’ve spent a day in nature-a feeling another person or place can’t quite replace or create.

20131112-172719.jpg
When I say I enjoyed fall…that was what I meant.

20131112-172927.jpg
It had been too many years since I’ve enjoyed fall. I mean really enjoyed fall. There are only days left.

20131112-172459.jpg
Slow down. Get out there. Enjoy fall.

20131112-172541.jpg

Pilgrim Pacer Race Report is almost done!

{Friday Fab 5}

TGIF!

{#1-The Great Gatsby}

Screen shot 2013-10-17 at 9.57.30 PM

Ryan and I watched this movie a couple of weekends ago.  I had never read the book before and LOVED the movie so much I watched it again the next day while grading papers.  Just as good as the movie is the soundtrack.  I’ve had some of the songs on my running playlist for the past two weeks.  Definitely check both out.  I just got the book in the mail and am hoping to get some reading in this weekend.

{#2-Autumn Beer}

IMG_4307

I’m a big fan of seasonal beer.  I love Blue Moon’s Harvest Pumpkin Ale, but had never tried the Caramel Apple Spiced Ale until Monday.  The fresh apple juice with cinnamon, nutmeg, and caramel malts is fall all the way!

{#3-Honky Tonk Half Marathon}

20130830-085212.jpg

Sunday I’ll be heading to the Honky Tonk Half Marathon.  I know a few of you are racing this weekend.  Will anyone else be racing there or elsewhere this weekend?

{#4-Hitting the Trails}

IMG_4281

After racing this weekend, I hope to continue my goal of hiking somewhere new each weekend this fall.  So far, I’m 4 for 5 of hiking in new places each weekend.

{#5-October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month}

IMG_4069

Now that it is getting colder outside in the mid-west, I am back to wearing hats often.  All of my favorite hats are from Under Armour.  One of them happens to be hot pink and has a breast cancer ribbon on it because part of the purchase price goes to breast cancer research and charity organizations.  Under Armour has some very cute ways to support the cause.  There are also many local races to support the tas’!

Happy Weekend!

{Friday Fab 5}

{#1-Local Beer}
2013-06-20 21.42.45
Ryan and I love sampling local beer. I saw this brew a month ago and have been waiting for the perfect time to try them out. Tonight is my second night not working and at home in the past two weeks, so there was no time like tonight. We liked both Capital Brewery’s Lake House and Island Wheat. I added a flower from our backyard! Perfect.

{#2-Bumper Sticker Truth}
2013-06-20 22.51.57
Saw this in the parking lot of Walgreens. Truth!

{#3-Caprese Pasta Salad}
2013-06-20 19.14.44
The flavor of this pasta salad was awesome! It was so unique; the fresh garlic and basil along with pine nuts gave this pasta dish a flavor all its own. Ry and I decided we might add some chicken next time for some extra summtin’ summtin’…;)

{#4-All Trails App}
2013-06-20 22.53.32
So the picture above is how I spent more time than I care to admit (hours) planning my runs for while we are on vacation for two weeks. While for some this might be a waste of time, it is the best guarantee I have for completing some high mileage weeks in deathly hot conditions, and increases the chances of running in some awesome locations. Plus, I LOVE running in new places, exploring new trails, and seeing new things. I’m giddy just thinking about it. Knowing where I’m completing each run, what the terrain will be like, and how to get there takes all of the guess work out of running while on vacation. Definitely worth it if you want to get your runs in. Check the All Trails app out for your phone which will find your location and tell you about nearby trails. You can also use their website after becoming a member. It is my go to for finding trails at home and on vacation.

{#5-Popsicles}
2013-06-20 22.53.57
Summertime and warm weather mean popsicles. I mean who doesn’t like them; even the cast on Mad Men said so! I’d been looking for the perfect popsicles containers and I believe I’ve found them. I will be posting all about popsicles in a separate post because I try to keep Friday’s short. Today’s flavor, we will call Lime Berry, included blended strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, blueberries (3.5 cups), greek strawberry yogurt (1.5 cups), and fresh squeezed lime juice (from 1 lime). Cheaper than buying them in the store and way healthier, too.

What do you do in the summer to stay cool?

Happy Weekend!