The Blonde Runs

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…Limbo in Minnesota


Since returning to the States, Nick and I have spent the last couple of months in Minnesota with his family.  It’s been a transition time for us in order to get our bearings, sort out some life things, make some adult decisions, and generally to just be in a state of limbo before moving back to Colorado (as we didn’t really need to rush back). You can scroll to the bottom for a bit more insight into how we feel about being back.  This should be a proper post at some point.

In the time that we’ve spent here, we’ve done everything and nothing.

We reconnected with our beloved dog, Chase.



I ran some 5k’s and placed 2nd female in both, albeit no PR (I was WAY off on that!).



We saw beautiful sunsets.




We spent time on the lake(s) via boat, jetski, and SUP.







We made plenty of bonfires.


I turned 34.


We celebrated our 1st anniversary in Chicago.

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IMG_1697We celebrated our freedom in one of the most patriotic places in the US that I know.



And we bought one of the most stereotypical Colorado vehicles that we possibly could.


But between all of those photo opportunities, we have been overwhelmed with transitioning back to the States.  In a word, it’s been hard.  We mourn for the simple life we had in Australia.  We desperately refuse to fall back into the same patterns, the same routines, because we have changed, in some ways.  And we are holding on tightly to the epiphanies we had while away, the dreams that came into focus, our hopes that have renewed life. We’ve been stressed with the decisions we’ve had to make thus far, and pray that those we’ve made are right for us in this moment.  And now we are nervous for yet another transition as we return to Colorado this weekend.  I know it will go better and more smoothly than I have conjured up in my head; afterall, we’ll finally be amongst the mountains again.  And through all of our transitions (past, present, and future) I can be confident that “home” is really wherever Nick is, and he’s the most important thing to me.



…One journey’s end


Coming home is a tricky thing.

We are sorting through a lot of feelings and emotions as we leave behind our life in Australia and transition to creating a new normal in the US.

I’m having a hard time properly describing this past AMAZING year in another country; equally struggling to articulate what it feels like to be back “home.”

Being patient as I work through all of this. Knowing it will get easier. Knowing I will never be the same person.



…the BIG news!!!

Well, I’ve waited long enough. I’m so excited, I could burst!  After alluding to the fact that big changes were coming Nick’s and my way, it’s finally time to share our excitement with all of you!


Australia pic

This was a big decision for us, but ended up coming at an opportune time in our lives and after much thought and consideration, we can’t say no! Nick’s work has a reseller in Canberra, and it was suggested last year that they do an “employee swap” with someone from both companies. After much back and forth, hearing nothing, then hearing some things, hearing it had potential, then that it was an 80% chance, but don’t-put-your-whole-life-on-hold-yet, and on a non-stop emotional roller coaster, it all became officially official at the end of February. Visa official. With Nick’s start date. Which ended up being 12 weeks before the wedding…

When this proposition became serious last fall, Nick and I were already planning our Colorado June wedding. Depending on the timeliness of the Visa process we knew there was potential for Nick to start as early as January. But, we decided no matter his start date, I would stay in Colorado with Chase, finish my school year with the students, and finalize wedding plans. So when he agreed on a start date at the beginning of April, we were SO grateful that it took a bit longer than expected and we were allowed a few extra months together. 12 weeks apart is hard enough, much less had it been 16+. But we are successfully 1 week in, and a mere 11 weeks to go until the wedding!  Needless to say, that goodbye last weekend was the worst.  So.  Difficult.  And part of us was criticizing the “younger” us who thought it was a great idea, last fall, to move internationally at separate times.  But we made the best decision we could at the time, and we both know this is going to be worth it in the end!

We are so excited to begin this amazing adventure as a newly married couple! Nick just gets a little bit of head start.  😉  But I’ll be returning with him to Australia after the wedding for a 1-2 year stint.  We have been plotting and planning our minutes while there! Travel is a huge passion of ours, and although we will make our home in Canberra, and will love settling in, we can’t wait to explore!

I know the next 11 weeks will be hard without Nick and I plan to keep myself as busy as possible. With the upcoming wedding, my running, races, Chase, all the packing, friends, and family, I will have plenty to do. And of course the prospect of moving to a new country with my favorite person has me ridiculously excited! I think the separation from Nick will make the wedding so much more special. And it will all be worth it in the end.

Not much will change around here.  I’ll still be running on the Oiselle team, I’ll still promise to blog often, and barely eek out one post every few months.  You know, the usual.  But my pictures might change!  I’ll miss the mountains, wildlife, and old trails dreadfully, but they will be replaced with the outback, kangaroos, and new trails.  And you can’t beat that!

Thanks readers for all of your support!  I can’t wait to share in this new journey with all of you!




…2014 intentions

I had intended to blog more consistently this year.  Look where that got me.  Guess I’m holding true to my commitment of keeping it at a new post every quarter.

January 1 hit and I have just been swamped with life.  And when I do sit down and consider writing up a post about the goings-on of said life, I choose instead to  have a glass of wine and do nothing for those sparse, fleeting moments.  You know how it is.

There are plenty of things to write about, and some really exciting changes (besides getting married in June) coming my way that I can’t wait to share, but for now let’s stick with my intentions.  Running intentions.  Race intentions.

March 15 – Sharin O’ The Green (registered)
April 13 – Horsetooth Half
April 26 – Cheyenne Mountain Trail Half
May 17 – Sageburner 50k
May 26 – Bolder Boulder 10k
June 14 – Leadville Marathon (registered)

To say that 2013 was great is a ridiculous understatement.  I pushed and challenged myself in ways I didn’t think I could.  I met and reacquainted myself with runners all across the US.  I tried new distances and I ran a bunch of miles (1665 to be exact, or 2679.5 km for my “not in Amurica” readers). Thus, I’m thrilled to see what will come my way in the running community in 2014.

Be looking for some exciting news I’ll be sharing in the coming weeks!  Plus, those race recaps and some awesome Oiselle items that landed and will be landing…



…2013 highlights

2013 was a big year for me, not only in the running world, but personally as well.  Sure there were some major disappointments to learn from, but overall, I had a full, rich year with new challenges and big leaps.  I certainly stepped out of my running comfort zone, and in doing so, have met some amazing people and opened myself up to untapped opportunities.  Below are some of the highlights of the year; moments that will be remembered forever.


Sharin’ O the Green 5k (2nd AG)



Golden Gate Headlands Trail Marathon (1st)



My first 50k-Greenland Trail



Lake City/Handies Peak





Hired a coach and ran with one of his groups over the Continental Divide



Started my 2nd year with the Oiselle running team


Bellingham/Victoria with this sweet gal

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Golden Beaver Trail 1/2 Marathon (blonde nav. was tricky and I got lost;
but the knee deep water crossing was a part of the actual course)



Ragnar CO-Ultra team (1st in all women/3rd overall)

Tears at the Finish

XTerra Trail 1/2 Marathon (where I met Heidi!)



Oiselle Photo Shoot


Aspen & Crested Butte trip with Nick



Oiselle Meet-up for PAC12 XC

(Bret, Shanna, me, Laura)



Club XC Nationals-Bend, Oregon

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Nick and my engagement announcement

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…5 things about having a running coach

After much hemming and hawing, I’ve bit the bullet and decided to work with a running coach. Not just any running coach. One that focuses on trail, mountain, and ultra running.

When I started training for the 50k this past spring, I had this notion that perhaps I should get some outside perspective about this running thing. Especially the trails. Sure, I’ve been a runner for over 20 years, but I don’t claim to know everything about the sport. As I completed training and my first 50k, the thought became more prominent. Finally, Nick encouraged me to make the connection when he said, “Even professional athletes have coaches.” Truth. So if the pro’s out there need them, then certainly a mid-packer like me desperately needs one! I’m not trying to be a pro, or ever think I’ll be among the elites; however, a coach could just give me a different perspective. A coach could get me out of a training rut. A coach could help me with form and being a more efficient runner. A coach could help me navigate the trails and mountains. A coach could offer suggestions for my long-run fueling issues that creep up occasionally. A coach could be a good thing.

So, I contacted Ryan Knapp whom I’d met through IG and had ironically just moved to Colorado. After chatting for a bit, we felt it was a good fit, and we were off. While I’ve only been with him for a month, I’ve learned a lot. Mostly about myself. I love this about running.

Here are a few things I’ve learned:

1. You might have to run with a Heart Rate Monitor.
Or, HRM as the cool kids call it. This was totally new to me. I’m used to running/training based on pace. Even my high school Cross Country and Track coaches had us train off pace. I suppose this HRM thing was a little high-tech in the mid-90’s. That, and who could expect teenagers to run with an HRM?! Back to being an adult…So when Ryan told me I had to go out and get an HRM I was…curious. I know a lot of people train based on their HRM zones so the science behind it has to be legit. Right? The first time I wore the band, I chafed and I screamed when I took a shower. I’ll spare you the photo. And the audio. But then I dug out some old Body Glide that I hadn’t used in years and it works like a charm. Once I did all my initial assessments and Ryan set my zones, it still took me about a week to get comfortable with keeping my eyes off of the pace and onto my current heart rate. But now that it’s been a month, I am starting to see how my heart rate really should be driving my training. It isn’t always about maintaining a pace, but more about maintaining a zone. My pace can fluctuate drastically within a zone, even within a few heart beats, but it’s about the effort I am expending.

2. You might get pushed a little bit. A lot a bit.
I’ve certainly been asked to do things in the past month that I wouldn’t have asked myself to do in previous training seasons. But the good news is that someone actually thinks I can do it. Otherwise, it wouldn’t have been asked of me. You want me to do HOW many fartlek workouts this week? You want me to maintain THAT zone for HOW long? Ryan definitely sees more in me as a runner than I see in myself. And I think that’s a good thing. Because then, he’ll be able to push me past some limits that I may have initially placed on myself out of fear.

3. You might have to start “asking permission” to do things.
Suddenly, I’m actually accountable to someone other than myself. Suddenly, I have to ask if a race will fit into my schedule instead of my typical MO of signing up day-before or day-of. Suddenly, I have to ask if I can substitute any workouts. Look, I’m a pretty Type-A kind of gal. I can stick to a training program completely solo with very few modifications. So, it isn’t that I don’t like the accountability, it’s just a totally different kind of accountability.

4. You might not be running 6 days a week.
This was also my MO. One rest day. That’s all you get, Rebekah! Work hard! But when talking with Ryan about my hopes for the future in running, I shared that running is a lifestyle, not a goal-and-done type of thing. I want to be running for the rest of my life. I want to race hard and push myself, I want to have short and long term goals, but I want to have seasons of rest so that I don’t get burnt out on this passion of mine. And I don’t just want to be a runner. I want to be a strong, healthy runner. I want to incorporate reasonable strength training to help me be a more efficient runner with better form. So, Ryan included that. He adds yoga and core work and strength training to enhance the running that I’m doing as well. Oh I’m sure that when I gear up for another big race (50k!), some of this may change. But then again, maybe not. And I’m okay with that.

5. You don’t have to plan anything.
Ever. All of my workouts are ready for me a week in advance. On Sundays, I know exactly what’s required of me for the next 7 days. It’s actually quite nice to not have to even think about what I should do each day. Kind of makes me feel lazy.

All of that to say, I’m so glad I’m finally working with a coach. While I do have some short term goals that get me through the rest of the year, I know Ryan can help me also prepare for the long term goals as well. I am excited for what this means for my running career.

Also, Ryan has a pretty good blog here.



…dealing with race disappointment

I’m not talking about a PR you were chasing and didn’t catch. I’m talking about the race that you registered for that you couldn’t compete in because life got in the way. Oh, that…

napatosonomaThis is only the second time it’s happened, but I was tearfully crushed over this one. Nick and I were supposed to be running the Napa to Sonoma Wine Country Half this past Sunday. A delightful little half marathon whose route meanders around the local vineyards, that offers a half-way wine “aid” station, and is complete with a wine tasting finish line. In a word, they are FUN. And this would have been my third of the California races in the series. Check out the entire series here.

Since the beginning of the year, our focus has been the house, and prepping it to sell. Fixing it up, making this, adding that. I’ve painted nearly every square inch of wall space in the house. I kid you not. This includes, but is not limited to: cabinet doors, closet doors, bedroom doors, bathroom doors, front and back doors, wall trim, door surrounds, and of course walls. My hand seems to be in a permanent cramped holding-a-paintbrush position.

All of that to say, that when we registered for this race at the beginning of the year, we had no idea that we would STILL be a living DIY show 5 months later. And while we may be in the final throes of piecing it all together, leaving for a weekend in Napa (of all expensive places) would have been a most irresponsible decision.

Trust me, I wanted to be irresponsible. But maybe now at the ripe age of 32, I know better. Sometimes.

I suppose the bright side is that we’ve accomplished SO much on the house in the past two weeks/ends and it will be listed tomorrow! We are beyond excited to leave this little house project behind and move on to some FUN adventures in the next 12 months. So, we take one step at a time to get there.

Praying it sells fast!