The Blonde Runs

Colorado lovin'


…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!




…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

Screen shot 2013-12-27 at 9.10.35 AM

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

Processed with VSCOcam



…on Boston

I have wanted to write about the Boston tragedy since I found out that Monday afternoon, nearly two weeks ago. Anything that I came up with was a muddled mess in my head, and seemed so insignificant to what others have written. But I also didn’t feel as though I could say nothing. Letting this awful event fade away without sharing how heartbroken I am. Especially since the Boston Marathon has been a huge part of my life on two separate occasions.

I don’t think you need to have run Boston, or even be a runner, to have felt an overwhelming sadness for what happened at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. You just need to be human.


I was shocked when during my lunch hour I pulled up the news, innocently checking the snowy Colorado weather forecast, to see that two bombs had gone off at the Boston Marathon finish line. I wasn’t able to research much, as I was on my way to pick up my littles from Music and follow up with an afternoon of Math and Social Studies. My thoughts were jumbled, thinking of what possibly could have happened, and of the 10+ people I knew (either personally or through blogging/Twitter/IG) were okay. I couldn’t think straight and quite possibly was the worst teacher ever that afternoon. For the rest of the afternoon/evening, I was overwhelmed with text messages, emails, phone calls, and PM’s of people who felt prompted to check on my well-being.

Tell me you aren’t in Boston…
I saw what happened. Are you okay?
I’m so glad you didn’t run Boston this year.

See, last year was “Hot Boston.” The high was around 90 with humidity around 80%. All runners were allowed to defer to 2013 if we chose to not take on the heat. I went through with the race (more of a hassle to cancel flights, hotels, family spectators, training, etc) and ended up running my worst and slowest marathon. While I am, now, so grateful that I ran Hot Boston, I know that what I suffered through pales in comparison to what so many suffered through (and are still suffering through) due to the events of this years race. Mentally, physically, emotionally. And of course I wondered how many took BAA’s offer to defer and were running the race this year, instead of last…


I have been deeply heartbroken by the bombings. Such an innocent event that celebrates hard work and dedication was marred by hatred and selfishness. But the runners, the heart of all of this, have shown true resiliency. While I didn’t think for a moment that this would get us down, the confirmation came from within, in these past two weeks. The runners. The meet ups. The #runforboston jaunts. Short and long. The yellow, the blue, and the rainbow of others colors representing Boston race years.

Because we won’t stop running. We won’t stop doing what we love.

I am proud of us.



…a 2012 wrap up in pictures (mostly)

My little running world has definitely been full of ups and downs in 2012.  Each has been a memorable learning experience and I know they will propel me toward my next goals.

Here is a photo-doc of 2012 with only a smattering of words.

Boston Marathon-April

While this 2nd running of Boston was less than thrilling, due to the heat wave (~90 degrees), I endured and finished with a PW.


Leadville Heavy Half-June

I had always wanted to run in the Leadville Series, so I hit the trails/mountains during the summer and geared up for the Leadville Heavy Half (15.4 miles) with my friend Danielle.  The twist, I would run another half marathon the next day.


Steamboat Springs Half-July

The day after running Leadville, I drove to Steamboat Springs for another half with my friend Erika.  I was really excited to attempt back-to-back halves, but I crashed and burned on this 2nd race.  The last 5 miles were painful.  I am happy with my attempt but would train differently next time.


Great Urban Race-August

The boy’s brother came into town and wanted to run the Great Urban Race in Denver.  It’s a mix of running, puzzles, and challenges.  Surprisingly, we landed a 6th place finish!


Redline Turkey Day 10k-November

All that running in 2012, coupled with a late 2011 marathon caused some scar tissue in my left hamstring. After a few rounds of PT in September, along with some build up in October/November, I felt ready to get back out for a race. This first race as a Oiselle ambassador was run with Erika and my brother on a cold, windy, Thanksgiving morning.  I loved getting out there!



This year, I was also able to run/hike some 14ers this past summer.  Some old, some new.

Grays and Torreys-May



Mt. Elbert-June


Mt. Sneffels-August



I met some fabulous, inspirational people.

Scott Jurek

Courtney C


Bridger (my new nephew)-Juliet (my niece)



I’ve done a little bit of travel.







Telluride, CO-August and September (2 trips)


Minnesota-March and December (2 trips)




And of course, my proudest accomplishment was being accepted as a Oiselle ambassador-September

Oiselle Team Badge


To finalize 2012, I have one more race to run.  Tonight, a local Resolution 5k at 6pm.  It’s the best way I know to end a year and start a new one; with a run.  Nothing amazing, just something fun, light, and a reminder of why I do what I do.  My love for running has carried me for over 20 years.  It has brought about new distances I never knew I’d attempt, new friends I never knew I’d make, to new places I never knew I’d travel.  Running helps define me.

I am a runner.  



…with gratitude

While I believe in living with a grateful heart every day of the year, it’s on Thanksgiving that we have the opportunity to pause and reflect on the things, great and small, for which we are most thankful.

Since this is a running blog, I suppose I should start with how grateful I am to be running pain free. I almost forgot what it was like. There are truly no words to explain how I feel when I’m out there on the roads or trails. In the words of Oiselle, it’s “that sense of flight – when the legs go fast and the heart goes free.”

Naturally, I’m also thankful for this guy. Never have I laughed more. Never have I felt so loved. He’s salt of the earth. The apple of my eye. He’s my favorite. (his dog is pretty cool too)

I’m blessed to have my immediate family so close. It never gets old seeing these two littles.

And friends, near and far, always make my heart sing.

Of course, this beautiful place where I live.

Yes, there are the simple, yet complex things, such as gratitude for a job, a roof over my head, a car to drive, and food on the table. I’d say, all in all, I’m a pretty blessed girl. And I hope that not a day goes by without me knowing that.



…to the western slope

It’s been quite some time since I’ve actually had the opportunity to sit for awhile and blog. That’s what a day off work can finally do for you. Give you back some time. It feels good. This is what I miss…

If you can’t tell, I’ve been stressed at work lately. More than normal. So, the boy planned a little weekend get-away to Colorado’s western slope; most famously known for its wineries and vineyards.

Last year, this exact weekend, we were in the same area of Colorado for the Rim Rock Marathon. We found some wineries that we loved, so we were anxious to get back to the area for a revisit and some new finds.

The typical 4+hour drive promised to be longer with a big storm hitting the mountains on Friday night. We left early on Saturday to avoid some ski traffic (of which there was none) and arrived in Palisade around lunch time. It made for a cold weekend but the white snow blanketing the red cliffs created a beautiful contrast.

We soon got to work on wine tasting. Here is a list of the wineries we loved and the wines we bought (note, we are partial to dry reds):

Whitewater Hill Vineyards: 08 Cabernet Sauvignon

Hermosa Vineyards: 06 Merlot, 08 Cabernet Sauvignon, 09 Cabernet Franc,

Garfield Estates: 08 Cabernet Franc, 09 Syrah

Maison la Belle Vie: 08 Merlot

Anyone else partial to the 08 and 09 grapes? Okay, maybe just us.

We came away with 9 new bottles. It was much worse last year.

Next up, the race I registered for last night…yikes! Am I even race ready?!