Colorado Adventures & Happy 4th

Happy Independence Day! We are having a great time here in Colorado- thank you for all of the recs! Hard to fit it all in, but we are doing our best :)

I wanted to stop by and wish you a great holiday wherever you are! Also congrats to the Jaybird sport winner! Hope you enjoy the headphones as much as I do! Stay tuned for additional Giveaways.

Here are some Colorado highlights so far:

We spent our first full day going all around Denver. We hit up the Denver Botanic garden: so beautiful, even in a sweltering hot day. Hello dry heat!

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We made stops at a brewery (Renegade), and whisky distillery (Stranahan’s– loved it!). Our day of indulgence also included a delicious brunch and a super-authentic Mexican restaurant for dinner (the kind we don’t have in Boston). Mariachi music was awesome! 

The next morning, I worked some of Saturday off with a run around Washington Park. Good spot for doing just that! Afterwards, we headed out to Aspen-Snowmass, 3.5 hours west of Denver. We weren’t alone on the road on this holiday weekend! We loved walking around Aspen in the evening, with dinner at White House Tavern to top it off. 

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Yesterday, we hiked in the Maroon Bells area, just outside of Aspen. The surrounding Maroon Peak towers over a breathtaking 14k feet, and our hike started at roughly 10k. Views were worth some minor struggles with elevation! Maroon Bells are also known as the “The Deadly Bells” due to the “downsloping, loose, rotten and unstable” rock that “kill without warning”. We had no issues, but opted for a shorter hike to Crater Lake as opposed to a longer hike into the Maroon-Snowmass Wilderness. 

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If you’re curious, here is a great guide to Maroon Bells recreational area and other hikes in the beautiful state of Colorado. 

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We are off on another hike today before road-tripping back to Denver for some fireworks and other 4th of July things. Hope you have a great day with friends & family!! 


xo Jane

 

 

 

 

New Favorite Gear: Jaybird Headphones GIVEAWAY!

Happy Friday! This week was a busy one, but I managed to get in some exercise at the end of the work day several times. I’m still trying to figure out my next goal (potentially thinking a bit too much about it these days). While I figure out my next steps in running, I’m still enjoying the summery Boston scenes on my runs.

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Today I am doing a GIVEAWAY!!

On my runs, I often go back and forth about carrying headphones. Sometimes it is nice to get out there gadget-free and enjoy some quiet, reflective, soul-searching time on the road or trail. Other times, I love turning up the tunes or podcasts for added motivation or just to pass the time. Nothing makes me move faster than some solid beats in my ears (my sister always makes fun of the random music I listen to)!

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We are now in the midst of summer, meaning sweaty, humid runs which may bring real issues with electronics, especially headphones. I have found a pair of headphones that I truly love: Jaybird X3 wireless headphones. These sleek but solid bad boys are sweat-proof with multiple fit and wearing options, so you can customize the way they fit in or around your ear. They’re built to sustain all weather conditions- humidity, rain, wind, snow- Jaybirds are unfazed by the elements. Connecting to the “MySound” app via Bluetooth will allow you to customize the music specs, which results in an excellent sound.

Lastly, Jabrid X3 headphones come in two colors and available at Best Buy, Platinum and Camo…or by reading this blog!

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The remote buttons and wireless feature minimizes the fuss while on the go. And very importantly, the 8 hour battery life will usually carry you through an entire workout! :)

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I am excited to take these with me on more adventures, no matter the weather!

TODAY I AM GIVING AWAY A SET OF JAYBIRD HEADPHONES! 

One lucky reader will win a set.

To enter, just leave a comment saying what’s up!

GOOD LUCK AND HAVE A HAPPY 4TH of JULY WEEKEND! I am heading to Colorado with Mark to visit some dear friends. Hiking, hot springs, and beer tasting (even though I prefer wine) are on the schedule! See you later on Mountain time!

-What are you up to this 4th of July holiday? Any traditions?

Anyone have Colorado recommendations?

-Do you run with headphones? Favorite running gadget?

Canyon City Marathon Review

Happy weekend! Hope yours is off to a great start. I’m heading out on my favorite running path in a few minutes but wanted to stop by to write about one of my previous races since some of you are working towards a BQ!

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Last November, I ran the Canyon City marathon just northeast of Los Angeles (Azusa, CA to be exact). Mark had a work trip in Palm Springs and asked if I wanted to join. Without hesitation I said yes and naturally proceeded to research the local races being held that weekend.  This REVEL series marathon and half marathon were on the list, and situated between LA and Palm Springs, so we signed up!

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Findmymarathon.com touts this race as being the #1 fastest marathon in the country, a solid BQ option. I would say that unless you have appropriately trained for severe downhill running (i.e.- no give whatsoever in the first 13 miles), then this might not be a PR for you.

Here are my takeaways from the Canyon City marathon:

  • After running a 1:37 first half, I crossed the finish line in just under 4:00 hours with an incredible positive split. They always say that PRs are made from negative splits (i.e.- a race strategy where you complete the second half of a race faster than the first half). This marathon was not designed for negative splits. The first 13.1 is severely downhill (no give whatsoever), the second 13.1 with rolling hills where even flat grade feels uphill after the intense downhill. The slight bumps in the second half are not inconsequential. Recommendation: proper downhill technique is a must to conquer this race.

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  • Mental game with the change in elevation profile is also essential, and it was lacking for me on race day. As soon as my legs started to cramp at the half-way point, there were few spectators for encouragement and I mentally succumbed to the challenges of this marathon. I was disappointed in myself for allowing these thoughts creep in, and I am continuing to work on my mental strategy and mindset for these situations. I think that I should have just been honest with myself from the beginning that I wasn’t mentally and physically prepared for this race after signing up on a whim. Recommendation: keep your mental game in check and know why you are out there!

  • This is a scenic race. Situated deep in the San Gabriel Mountains, you feel like you’re trail running but able enjoy the easy pavement terrain. Recommendation: take in the spectacular sites along the way. Starting near the summits of these mountains awards you with special views and feelings of being a badass trail runner.

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  • Even though the race is held in November, and the location has a relatively dry desert feel, race day temperatures can rise significantly and result in all kinds of problems, especially if you’re not good in the heat. California can get warm no matter the time of year- race day temperatures reached 80 degrees in Azusa (the finish line). Recommendation: hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Can’t drink enough water and electrolytes before, during, and after the race.

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  • Overall, this felt more like a local race than an overwhelmingly large, corporate race. The organization and direction was top-notch, from the bus transportation to the start, a starting line with plenty of goods and porta potties, and more than enough water stations along the course. I met some interesting people at the start and on the bus, mostly local to the area and mostly just running the race for fun.

Would I run this race again? Unless I am able to adequately train on miles of downhill roads (uncommon in the Boston area), I am not certain I would run this race again. There are many other races out there that area more BQ-friendly for my quads and soul. But thanks Canyon City, for running a scenic, challenging, lovely race that I could add to my list of accomplishments.

Couple of shots from Joshua Tree National park which we visited the following day (definitely recommend checking out if you can!)

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What are you running this weekend?

Anyone run a downhill race? What are your thoughts?

Where did you PR? 

Enjoy the rest of your weekend! xo Jane

 

Austin Half Marathon Recap

Mark and I spent President’s Day weekend in Austin, TX and we both ran the half marathon on Sunday February 19th. I really enjoyed the race, despite the heat, humidity, and hills, which were a far cry from February in Boston. This race was perfect for my training for the Boston marathon, which seems to be creeping up quickly!

We stayed at a hotel close to the race start, which was very convenient for the 7am start time. I ran a couple of miles on the treadmill to warm up and meet my required long run distance, then I woke Mark up and we were off!

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KEEP READING!

Wineglass Marathon Recap

Two weekends ago, I ran Wineglass marathon held in beautiful Corning, New York. It was my 18th marathon in my 11th state. I didn’t run my fastest time (3:54), but it was a beautiful race and a fun weekend with friends. My friend Molly also ran the marathon, and had a great race- having her there capped off the experience!

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KEEP READING!

England Adventure- Part 2

Hope you’re having a great week! I can’t believe that we are almost through September. After starting a new job last week, I haven’t had much down time to blog or even run much!

My last post described part of Mark and my trip to England, so here’s part 2! Stay tuned for some running updates — RRCA coaching and Boston Marathon entry — soon.

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As far as England, one of our days was spent exploring the Cotswolds, a picturesque section of western England full of “chocolate-box” villages, thatched roof cottages and historical British homes.

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KEEP READING!

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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Keep Reading!