The Blonde Runs

Colorado lovin'


…Round 2 as Auntie

My great news was followed by more great news! I was gifted with a nephew this week!

Bridger McKinley was born on 9.12.12 weighing in at 8lb 11oz and 21″ long

Of course big sister, Juliet, is delighted. For now…

So, I guess it’s been a pretty happy week around here.

And did I mention that the leaves are changing and Colorado is simply beautiful right now? Fall running is my fave.



…for Oiselle

I am thrilled to announce that I’ve been chosen as a

Oiselle ambassador!

A little over a month ago, I began the process of applying for this prestigious title. While I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, I was very hopeful that a company like Oiselle would acknowledge and respect my passion for running.

Founded in 2007, by a runner gal just like you and I, Oiselle is a women’s running apparel company that understands the pure and organic beauty of running; one that appreciates the sport for what it is and the women who find themselves in it. Their clothing is a step above. They cater to a woman who wants a flattering and functional top or bottom.

Oiselle believes that the act of running:

“has always been about something more. At various times it’s our therapy, escape, religion, and girl time. But perhaps simply enough, it’s been our sense of freedom. And thus the name Oiselle (pronounced wa-zell). A French word for bird, it alludes to that feeling of weightlessness that most runners know and love. That sense of flight – when the legs go fast and the heart goes free.”

I am so honored and fortunate to be representing a company in which I truly believe. The team, the athletes, are a unique “flock” of women who I am proud to stand for and fly with. I can’t wait to begin connecting with them all!

Oiselle‘s motto of “Go fast. Take Chances” pulls on my heartstrings. It hits home. It motivates me.

This is a dream come true!

Twitter: @oiselle_team



…out of summer

Today is my last day of summer. Academically speaking, that is. Tomorrow, I report with the masses of teachers in my district to get re-aquainted with our buildings, teammates, and how best to educate our youth. New year, new philosophies.

Gone are the days of sleeping until my body feels like waking up. Gone are the days of getting up at 5am for a run to beat the heat, because I want to, and I can always go back to sleep after. Gone are the days of late morning coffee dates. Gone are the days of early afternoon happy hours. Gone are my “summer problems” that weren’t really problems at all. Gone are the days of forgetting WHAT day it is.

I’m not really gripping. Because as much as I enjoy the summer break from the stresses of teaching (I know we all have work stress), I also enjoy starting again. See, I’m type A-(yes, that’s a minus), so a good schedule or routine or PLAN is kind of great for me (fitting, that the runner thing worked out for me too). But, I think I’m flexible enough to stray from the plans/schedules/routines when needed. Hey, I’m a teacher. We stray and improvise all the time! Yet, it’s the plan that drives me though. And it drives the boy cray-zay.

And the boy will have his hands full come the end of August. Because not only is this month the start of the school year, but it’s also the start of the next step for “us.” I’m moving in! We’re so excited! And you ladies know what this means! *wink, wink* That’s right…divvying up the household jobs. I don’t have to do everything for myself anymore! 😉

The new living situation will take me farther north, so I’ll be leaving the Boulder area. Instead, I’ll be in another great outdoor/active/college community that I love: Fort Collins. Oh, I’ll still be close to the mountains with tons of trails and a fun downtown. And I’ll still be in the Boulder area every day, because my job takes me just outside of the town. But, that means a bit of a commute. At least temporarily. The boy and I love the Boulder area and hope to be back down this direction in the next year. Just need to put a pesky little house on the market at the beginning of the year and sell.

This month will be a busy one, but a rewarding one, too.

Oh yeah, and I mentioned something about fall running goals. That post will be up shortly.



…and researches Colorado 50k’s

True to my 2012 goals, I’m exploring the possibility of running a 50k this year! For those wondering, a 50k is 31.07 miles. Just 4.87 miles longer than a marathon. This seems doable. I’ll leave the 50 milers to those much stronger than I!

I looked at some races this morning and narrowed it down to two:

Greenland Trail 50k on May 5th

The Bear Chase 50k on September 30th

Initially, I was leaning toward the Greenland Trail 50k. It’s nearly 3 weeks after Boston, and I was thinking this would be great timing, coming off of marathon training. Also, I could run it before summer, as there are some pending personal plans that might hinder training during these months (no, I’m not having a baby). This race sells out fast, as it’s the largest 50k in Colorado. If I decide to do this one, I need to register soon.

The boy suggested the fall Bear Chase instead. First, if I became injured training for or running Boston, I wouldn’t feel pressure to run the 50k so nearly afterward. Second, if I choose the fall race, I can focus on training properly for it, i.e. primarily on trails, and a little extra distance. This race’s registration doesn’t open until February.

Luckily, I feel like I have a little time to think about the best option. By the time February rolls around I’m hoping to have a little more direction in my relationships/personal life, which will, in turn, effect my race plans. To bad everything can’t be cut and dry! But, what fun would that be!



…on running conversations

If there is one thing I love, it’s talking about running. I love hearing about other people’s experiences and I love sharing my own.

Lately, I’ve been able to do a lot of marathon talk with a guy I met at the Lululemon Run Club.

(Hope you don’t mind that I share your story and questions, Scott!)

Scott was just recently accepted into the hard-to-get-accepted-as-a-foreigner Tokyo Marathon! While it’s a rather large race, at 35,000, they only accept a certain percentage of international competitors into the race. Like, a minuscule amount. So, for kicks and giggles, Scott and a couple of friends submitted their names into the lottery. And ALL. THREE. WERE. ACCEPTED. A little crazy? A little bit, yes! Crazy awesome! But Scott isn’t so sure…

He’s run a handful of half marathons, but never thought he’d run a full. So, when he heard about my “runners disease” at Run Club, I think it piqued his curiosity. Granted, I think I started badgering him with questions about his training plan, long runs, hopes and dreams, etc., when my ears perked up to his mention of running the Tokyo Marathon.

Since then, I have been his sounding board for some very legitimate distance running/training questions. Hopefully, I’ve been able to give him some sound guidance as he embarks on one of the greatest races of his life.

I’m sharing his questions here. If anyone wants to add to what I’ve already said, please do so in the comments section. If you disagree with me, I reserve the right to delete your comment. Just kidding.

Do you do any trail running? Or is it better to stick to the pavement for marathon training?

I love trail runs! I’m so lucky that trails are abundant in Colorado! Oddly enough, I don’t usually incorporate them into my training plans. I think I get too enslaved to the pacing and numbers on my watch to slow down for a trail run. And I tend to think that my training should resemble my race terrain. But I know that trail running strengthens me. And I tend to run them when I’m not training. So, why not run them when I actually am? Perhaps it’s something I remedy next training cycle.

How often do you run a week?

When I’m training for a race, I’ll run 6 times a week. And some of those days are 2-a-days. However, when I’m not in a training cycle, it really depends on how I feel!

What’s typically the “longest” run you’ll go on?

My longest run is a 22 miler that I log about 4 weeks away from the marathon. Prior to that, I consistently run 17-19 milers every weekend. I throw in another 20 about 6 weeks out. Keep in mind, that it takes quite a while to get to that point. A nice base. Lots of buildup.

My problem truly is “pacing.” I do fine in a group typically going as fast or as slow as they can without problem. But, running by myself I always go out “too fast.” I was researching some of those GPS style watches and noticed that the Garmin’s have a personal pace setter or something like that? Thoughts?

Yes, some of the Garmin styles have the pace setting option. You can program the watch to beep at you when you drop below a certain pre-set pace. This is a great function, especially when the idea of pacing may be foreign. “Pacing yourself” is such an arbitrary term. Mainly because it is determined per person, per race, per distance, per day, per feeling, etc… You can’t teach it. You have to experience it. You have to learn your body. You have to practice. It comes when you tempo. It comes when you race. It’s just a matter of time before you know what works for you.

Also, if nervous about pacing at a race, most large long-distance races provide pacing groups. Choose the group you feel most comfortable running with. You can always re-evaluate as you race and determine whether or not you should speed up, slow down, or stay put.

What do you put on the soles of your shoes for running when the ice does come?

Here in Colorado, we are bound to have a decent snowfall, at least a few times, between October and April. So, we diehards have to be well-equipped to handle the snow and ice on the roads, sidewalks, and trails. I use Yak Tracks. Made of springs and rubber, they are easy to slip on the bottoms of your shoes. More importantly, they provide that needed “extra layer” to keep you safe in the elements when the thought of staying inside by the fire has you feeling stir-crazy. I just saw that these came out. But, I haven’t tried them. Yet.


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…and writes again

I’m back!

I’ve done this blogging thing once before. But after going through some life changes last year, I went on what was intended to be a short hiatus. As the months went by, I wasn’t even sure I’d return to my love/hate relationship with blogland. Oh sure, I toyed with the idea. I even started a new blog, hoping to write about my new personal experiences, post life changes. But the motivation and inclination never rose to meet the keyboard.

But I like writing. I like writing about what I love. And I love running.

So, 10 months later, I return. Writing about running. Or, mostly running. I’m sure a smattering of personal items will rise to the surface on occasion. But I want this new blog to primarily document the day in the life of a runner. Albeit, a mid-pack runner.

Follow along…


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…at thirty

Today is my birthday.


I wasn’t nervous about turning 30. Sure, I’ve had the natural skeptics. Those who thought for sure I was. Those who thought I was covering up an apprehension with a casual, “no, I’m really not.” In fact, I was looking forward to it. Wanting to embrace it, even, and gladly kiss my 20’s goodbye. You see, for me, 30 is a turning point. Not the “mid-life crisis” type of turning point where I make rash and expensive decisions. The turning point where I know my next 30 years will be better than my first. 30 has brought about unknowns, unchartered territory, and utter happiness.

Years ago, there was a “place” I wanted to be when I reached this milestone. A place that revolved around material goals. Things I wanted to have. A status I wanted to attain. This was nothing I considered to be out of the ordinary, but natural progressions in life. A condo to a house. A nicer car. A plant, to a dog, to a…nother dog. But in getting wrapped up in a possession, or a status, or a way to be perceived by others, I failed to consider my heart. My emotional state.

And now, since my life has taken some drastic changes in the past year, I am forced to reconsider. I am forced to swing the pendulum toward what truly mattered most. Things I had forgotten all along. My heart. My happiness.

In the past few months, I can say I have found my happiness again. Without the possessions. Without the status. Who needs those things anyway?

Here’s to a happy life!


PS-I broke all traditions by not running today. It felt good.