The Blonde Runs

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…Limbo in Minnesota

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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.

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

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We saw beautiful sunsets.

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

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We made plenty of bonfires.

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I turned 34.

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We celebrated our 1st anniversary in Chicago.

View More: http://megandaasphoto.pass.us/nick-and-rebekah--wedding

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

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

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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.

XO,

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…One journey’s end

Goodbye

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.

XO,


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…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.

March

Sharin’ O the Green 5k (2nd AG)

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April

Golden Gate Headlands Trail Marathon (1st)

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May

My first 50k-Greenland Trail

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June

Lake City/Handies Peak

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Minnesota

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July

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

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August

Started my 2nd year with the Oiselle running team

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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)

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September

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

Tears at the Finish

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

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October

Oiselle Photo Shoot

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Aspen & Crested Butte trip with Nick

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November

Oiselle Meet-up for PAC12 XC

(Bret, Shanna, me, Laura)

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December

Club XC Nationals-Bend, Oregon

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Nick and my engagement announcement

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XO,


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…Winona, MN

Not to be confused with the Winona tank from Oiselle. Though I did wear the Winona in Winona…

After the awesome weekend that was Grandma’s Marathon and the USATF Half Champs, Nick and I headed south for Winona, Minnesota. He had a project there to work on for the week, which left me to my own demises during the day. I took full advantage of the running trails in the area, promoted by my friend Erika who went to school at beautiful SMU. After spending a few days exploring on foot, I can honestly say that this is one of the most beautiful places I have ever run!

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Winona is nestled between the Mighty Mississip’ and picturesque bluffs. And all you have to do when you get to SMU is start running toward those bluffs, trails appearing out of nowhere. They double as ski trails in the winter, so they get plenty of use year round from the college kids (Yes, I’m now at the age where I can call them “kids”). It’s a mini-labyrinth of paths encased in lush, green foliage making it feel like you’re a million miles away from anyone and anything. Cue the photos:

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Lake Park
Approximately 5 miles of blacktop around Lake Winona (consisting of 2 lakes). Complete with a beach, water sport rentals, rose garden, gazebo, bandshell, etc. Nick and I ran this route a couple of times in the mornings before he’d go to work.

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Holzinger Trail
Seemingly endless trails in the bluffs for amazing single track riding/running. Lush, quiet, serene. Nick brought his bike, so at least we could both enjoy what we love. This was one of those runs where I felt I could have gone on forever. Swatting bugs and dripping sweat, aside…

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Clearly, a beautiful week of running in Winona! As much as I love Colorado, it certainly made me a little envious to be running on such green trails.:)

XO,


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…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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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!

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

Grays and Torreys-May

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Mt. Elbert-June

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Mt. Sneffels-August

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I met some fabulous, inspirational people.

Scott Jurek
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Courtney C

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

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I’ve done a little bit of travel.

Hawaii-January/February

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Boston-April

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Whistler-July

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Telluride, CO-August and September (2 trips)

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Minnesota-March and December (2 trips)

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

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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.  

XO,


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…to cold Minnesota

The boy and I are leaving early Friday morning for Minnesota.  He is from a small town about an hour north of Duluth and while we will be staying there initially, we will end up in the cities where his sister and other relatives live (plenty of friends too).

Those 10 days in Minnesota will be cooooooold.  I’ve been obsessive about the weather.  And the prospect of spending my days in the mid-teens (and my runs only slightly cooler) has me packing an extra bag!  I’m sure I’ll stick out like a sore thumb in my down North Face jackets and vests, my knee-high UGG and Sorel boots with the faux-fur lining.  Colorado girl.  Who cares.  At least I’ll be warm.

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But, I love going to Minnesota to spend time with his family.  It’s always a good time.  Always relaxed.  And the days always seem to last a little bit longer than they do here in Colorado.  Maybe it’s the slower pace.  Maybe it’s the lack of scheduling.  Maybe it’s the fact that I can actually take a moment to breathe and not rush.

Regardless, I am packing my Oiselle race kit in case I have a race to run!  I’ve already been scouring the interwebs for local races during the time we will be there.  I’ve found some that strike my fancy but it all depends on what is going on and where we are.  It will certainly be a last minute plan.

Wish us luck on the road trip out there!  Seems we could be on the tails of a storm that just passed through Colorado.  Might make for an interesting trip.  Good thing the boy won’t allow me to drive.  And it’s not because I’m a bad driver!  At least I keep telling myself that…

XO,