England Adventure- Part 1

Mark and I spent last week across the Atlantic with his grandparents and their British friends in Southwest England. We had a great time in this mostly rural part of the country. So much fun in fact, that I couldn’t fit it all into one post!

On our first real day in England, we got to see Stonehenge, Britain’s most iconic archeological site. I won’t go into the details on the history and landscape (that’s what Google.com and guidebooks are for)- but I will say that this 5,000-year-old structure is definitely worth a visit if you’re in the UK. 

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What I Learned from My First Trail Race

Happy Monday! For some of us, it’s back to the grind. I spent the weekend in New Hampshire with my family, including my brother and cousin whom I hadn’t seen in awhile. I always find it tough getting back to the bustling world of work and the city, so am slowly adapting this morning. Hope you all enjoyed your summer weekends wherever you were!

My time up north included a lot of outdoor activities and micro-adventures on either side of a tremendous storm that hit the mountains on Saturday night. Losing electricity and water for a few hours following the storm was fun, but I was happy for these amenities later in the evening once the power returned.

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Benefits of Being Outside

Happy Monday! Hope you all had a great weekend.

Mondays can be tough, and beyond this fact there are many life situations which cause stress to enter into our lives. Studies have suggested that proximity to greenspace and exposure to natural environments can be associated with many mental health benefits including mood and self-esteem boosts, lower levels of stress, and reduced symptoms of depression and anxiety. It’s even been shown that spending time being immersed in the outdoors has resulted in feelings of awe and inspiration. Personally, I often feel more relaxed, recharged, optimistic, and often inspired when I surround myself in nature while running, hiking, or walking.

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Back to Blogging on a Tuesday

Hope you enjoyed celebrating America’s birthday and the associated food and drink, time spent with family and friends, fireworks, and all things red, white, and blue. My long weekend was the basic New England “fit in as much as possible during these summer days off” situation.

Before I talk about my weekend, I wanted to share that I am excited to be back in the blog world! A couple of months ago, I decided to take a break from blogging about my life. In reality, what I needed was a mental shift away from running (and subsequently writing about my little obsession with the sport) after my last big race. It has been a restful recess, but I have now started to train for my fall marathon (Wineglass in NY), and am eager to return to my writing routine! My next chapter of posts will focus on everything from marathon training to the adventures and “micro-adventures” (as Alastair Humphreys would say) ahead in Boston, New England, and beyond. I encourage you to: 1) follow along 2) stay in touch and 3) after you read my posts, get outside and enjoy the short-lived summer weather. Looking forward to catching up and hearing how YOU are doing!

Back to the long weekend. Here’s a recap:

Saturday: Started off with a long training run in my home town, followed by a family party with lots of hydrating and non-hydrating beverages. This was followed by more food, drink, and games with friends later that night. No photos to capture these moments unfortunately!

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Destination Utah: Part 1, Canyonlands & Arches

Good afternoon readers! Hope your day is going well.

I have been working on my post for Utah for awhile now, and it’s been tough to narrow down the photos to use for this blog- the state is so photogenic! There is so much to say about Utah that I decided to break up the posts into three sections- stay tuned for a post on Zion National Park as well as the Big Cottonwood Canyon marathon review!

When I signed up to run Big Cottonwood Canyon marathon (Salt Lake City, UT) in September, Mark and I decided to make the most out of being out there. We booked a week-long trip, with the marathon falling in the middle of the week. Neither of us had been to Utah, so we wanted to see as much of the state as possible! Thank you to friends and bloggers such as Hungry Runner Girl for inspiring us to visit Utah!

IMG_0882Canyonlands National Park

After landing in Salt Lake City, we picked up the rental car and headed directly east to Moab (about a 4 hour drive from SLC). We checked into our glamping site, Moab Under Canvas, and headed to Canyonlands National Park for a quick afternoon visit.

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Sun rising slowly over Moab

Canyonlands is a beautiful national park, and we loved the areas we explored on the Island in the Sky side of the park. We checked out Mesa Arch via a short hike, and then chose a slightly longer hike up Aztec Butte. Both hikes offered incredible views of the canyon.

366Mesa Arch

We wished we had more time in Canyonlands, but it was hard to fit everything in!

345Looking over Canyonlands

367View from Mesa Arch

Our stay at Moab Under Canvas was a memorable experience as well. It was truly glamping at its finest! Everything you would need under a tent, with hot coffee and breakfast each morning and relatively clean portable bathrooms with showers. Camping under the Moab sky allowed us to see a night sky that was nothing like I’ve ever seen- everything from the milky way to the north star was glowing. We would highly recommend staying at MUC if you’re in Moab.

326Our glamping site

Following our first night in Moab, we spent the day at Arches National Park. This majestic park has over 2,000 stone arches, and amazing sandstone rock formations molded over thousands of years by the elements. The sunsets over arches national park are also incredible, lighting up the red rocks so they appear to be on fire.

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453Arches at sunset

Arches is accessible by car, with lots of parking at many of the must-see sites (we did go slightly off-season, in September, as opposed to the peak July and August season). Many of the sites require walking and/or more intense hiking. Given that we were running a marathon a few days from our visit, we decided to stick to the easy to moderate trails. Some highlights include balanced arch, skyline arch, delicate arch (only saw from ground), fiery furnace, and park ave.

IMG_0884Delicate Arch

438Fiery Furnace

We can’t say enough about how much we enjoyed Arches National Park. It was a stunning and unforgettable, very different from anything we have ever seen. Words do not describe the incredible beauty of the park, and it is a must-see when you are in that area of the country!

IMG_0883Arches at sunset is incredible!

Seattle Review

A few months ago, my sig Mark and I jetted off to Seattle for a long weekend. We loved our time in this beautiful northwestern city- including the food and coffee,  and access to amazing national parks!

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Trail runners/hikers/outdoors enthusiasts: I’m sure you’re aware of Mount Rainier National Park. A roughly two hour-three drive from Seattle, the park offers many hikes of different durations and difficulties. Mark and I drove out to the northwestern section of the park for a two hour hike which started at Mowich Lake– an unbelievably crystal clear and majestic sight!

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