Wedding Teaser & Jerusalem Travels

Hello from the other side of the world! On Monday I hopped on three different planes which eventually landed me in Tel Aviv, Israel. Our days are jam-packed with historic sites, museums, running and ALL THE FOOD. (We’re slowly learning to pace ourselves through 10 course meals.)

Yesterday we toured the Tower of David; today the Old City of Jerusalem, walking the 14 points on the Via Dolorosa and ending at the Western Wall.  We had lunch and a guided tour of the world-renowned Israel Museum and ended with dinner on the Mamilla Mall. More to come….

But just two days before my jaunt across the Atlantic Ocean, we had a dream wedding weekend – perfect weather, lots of love and the best people we know, and a wedding that went off without a single hitch. My head and heart are still floating, and in denial that it all went by so quickly. Until better wifi..and the real photos from our amazingly talented photographer, the lovely Kelci, arrive,  just this.

Wedding hidden valley music 1

Hidden valley music wedding 3.7

 

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March Madness: Jerusalem & Canyonlands 1/2-Marathons

The quest to run at least one race per month continues (Jan, Feb), but March is totally throwing down the gauntlet and being like, THAT’S what’s up, y’all. In the span of 15 days I will have run two half-marathons on two continents;  a personal feat I never had on my bucket list, but will be accomplished nonetheless.

I have no idea how I so epically lucked out, but the stars decided to align so perfectly that my feet will be touching down in Asia for the first time. (Ignore the fact that two days after we get hitched, I’m jetting out of the country. He understands wanderlust and adventuring; we’re good!) Once that sinks in, I’ll be running the Jerusalem (1/2) Marathon for my first international race. And once that sinks in, I’ll actually be sinking my legs into the Dead Sea for a little recovery + cloud-9 floating.

jerusalem-marathon-2015
Image source.

To say this is a surreal opportunity is an understatement. To be honest, I had no idea there was a Jerusalem Marathon, but it seems like thousands of runners were a few strides ahead of me in their international race adventuring. To feed my wanderlust, there was no way I was passing this one up. More to come!

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Once that adventure wraps up, we’re heading to Utah! He’s never seen southern Utah or the Grand Canyon, and I never turn down a chance to gallivant around the Southwest and get back to my roots. We’re capping the trip with flights + nights in Vegas, because it’s direct from here and he doesn’t turn down a chance to hit the strip (we’re different in that way… #notmyfavorite).

In the middle of this back n’ forth, we’ll set up camp in Moab, UT for a few days to run through the Canyonlands and hike around the National Parks in the area.  A few teammates will be there, so it’s a TAD family affair!

Canyonlands Half-marathon
Image Source.

By the time we get back from all of the above, April will be creeping up and it’ll be time to start picking a distance to fill that month’s box!

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Joy is…(Wedding Things Edition)

Joy is what happens to us when we allow ourselves to recognize how good things really are.  – Marianne Williamson

To any and all who have planned a wedding/ life event, no matter what size or destination, you know this week is filled with all the brain chaos! Every single contingency runs through your head at least 50 times; the mental dream of things running perfectly smooth is elusive. But at the root of this mind-screw is, hopefully, a feeling of joy you’ve yet to fully experience.

Life is about to change, in a BIG way. You’re about to partner up with your favorite person in this world, for life. And that never actually seems to feel “real”. (At least not yet…)

Before I know it, this week will have come and gone oh so quickly, I’ll have put a ring on him and life moves on! So, until then…

Joy is…

…bringing your East coast + Midwest friends and family into the California sunshine for the weekend! You’re welcome, guys. We love you.

2015-02-14 15.18.28

….involving great friends in the process, and being like whoa, our friends are really f-ing talented. (As seen below, thanks to The Paper Vault!)

H and M Invite front

….finding a catering company that operates their own micro-farm and uses these love-grown vegetables to fire up their “live grill!” at every event. Yes, we’ll have that.

2014-09-25 14.15.07 2014-09-25 14.23.16

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….the phenomena of  people from all of your different life circles gathering in one place, at one time. And knowing this only happens once.

…the potential of  photos like these to add to the best-life-people virtual scrapbook. Kelci, your job will be easy! These are willing subjects.

UM_PSU 1933954_991933400444_7568671_n
jasonIMG_2252 Cozumel Captainsstmichaels_headstands 
1923408_577022165884_8057_n  Sciupacs_6.14.14

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Hellyer Half_Running Together

At the end of the day, the joy is simply in knowing I get to run
life’s biggest adventure yet
with this guy.

——

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Brazen Racing’s Hellyer Half-Marathon

We have a goal to race at least once per month this year, and most of those adventures will be on the trails of California’s Central Coast! Brazen Racing showed us a great time (and thorough a**-kicking) with our first trail half-marathon last September, so we’ve been looking for the right opportunity to cross under their inflated Start/Finish arch again.

Hellyer Half Starting Line

BR’s head honcho, Sam, offered me a free entry to the Hellyer Half-Marathon, so I convinced my main squeeze to join in the fun. There’s no better way to distract yourself one week before standing at the altar! We happily joined in for some sunny  and supported paved-trail miles.

Brazen is known for trail races around the San Jose area, but this course wouldn’t typically be filed under that category. That’s 100% fine by these legs – it was the perfect chance to see how well my fitness has bounced back from the knee chaos that was. It was his chance to snatch up that 1:29:xx PR that he’s been chasing (successful!).

Hellyer Half-Marathon:
Flat, out-and-back (no surprises!) and well-supported!

Hellyer Half Trail

His goal was to practice starting SLOW (relative term here) and building up to a successful negative split. My goal was to simply make it through 13.1 miles with “ease” and finally feel like the injury is behind me.

The first few miles were a little rusty – remembering how it feels to race for endurance, warming up, getting my stride to a comfortably-hard effort. I settled into an 8:30 pace and turned on auto-pilot. The first half was spent in this zone, with two very happy feet and one happy ego. I practiced my race-fueling strategy (taking a tip from Dean Karnazes and trying out dark-chocolate-covered espresso beans), ran without tunes (ah, the zen…) and snapped a few pics along the way.

Mile 7: We turned around  and headed straight back. Around mile 8 I decided to turn it up a notch and see what happened. That felt fine, so I picked people to chase and started passing them. I also spent a lot of time doing head-math, which most runners know is just a way to a) distract your mind and b) feel like you’re pretty dumb. It’s effective all around. For mile 10 I decided to drop into sub-8s, and from mile 11 –> the finish I found my 7:30 stride again (oh, it’s been a while….).

Mike was hangin’ out around mile 12.5 with his paparazzi hat on – and hopped in to run through the actual home-stretch with me.

Hellyer Half Marathon_mile 12

I came in just under my 1:50 goal (1:49:46 – 4th AG) and for today, that wasn’t all easy breezy. But damn it felt so good to get out there again, without “what ifs” but with a healthy system that’s happily building up the machine (as Coach K would say). 

Hellyer Half Marathon Finish_DOTR

OOTD: TAD visor & TAD Squadra running singlet.
Fuel: 12 oz water + OSMO active, espresso beans (4), 3 shot bloks
Shoes: Mizuno Wave Rider 17

There’s a lot more to come this year, and this was the perfect way to open my eyes to what I’m ready to chase. (For now, we’re just glad we made it out unscathed and in top shape to walk down the aisle this week…)

Thanks for another great race, Brazen! We’ll see you again soon.

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Life with Micro-Adventures

On at least two of my weekly runs I tune into the Art of Adventure podcast led by fellow blogger Mary Loudermilk’s husband, Derek. They’re living it up as true adventurers in Ubud for the time being – which is fascinating in and of itself – but he interviews life adventurers every week! The episode always ends with this question: What does adventure mean to you?

Two answers have stuck with me:

Adventure is a roller coaster of {emotions} and transformation.
Ericka Dhawan

Adventure is indulging your sense of wonder.
Shane Snow

Last month’s Outside Magazine featured various Happiness Hypotheses, as part of a “Happy + Healthy 2015” spread. Christopher Keyes wrote one that straight up defines how we’re trying to live life here during our relatively short stint in California: “Microadventures amp up your mood.”

Chance of success? Slam Dunk.

Asilomar Beach Sunset Surfer

Two weekends ago we decided to take an overnight trip to San Luis Obispo (SLO), because why not? We had nothing stopping us (see: obligations, schoolwork, wedding work) and we keep saying “We should go to SLO”. So, we went. This was planned in a manner of minutes on Thursday evening, and by Saturday afternoon there we were driving along the most beautiful highway in the nation (imo) with the sun out, windows down and Taylor Swift blasting. We stopped at Big Sur Bakery for a treat, because that’s what you do, and we pulled over to stare at (uh, quite disgusting) elephant seals yelling at each other but barely bothering to move.

Bixby Bridge Highway 1_DOTR

Sunday morning we decided to run around SLO and then hike, because according to our “Central Coast Day Hikes” book, there were quite a few options and we have a long list to start checking off!  And apparently we also had “hike above the fog and literally be on top of the clouds” to check off, too.

SLO hiking_DOTR

SLO hiking plank_DOTR

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Micro-adventures*: impromptu outings to take advantage of where you live and why you live. Seeking things that bring you joy. Wondering about your surroundings, and indulging that curiosity with experience. Not wasting any more time because there just isn’t enough of it; you do what you prioritize. Excursions that bring transformation.

*as defined by yours truly.

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These micro-adventures should be anything but overwhelming. They can be a quick weekend road trip, or an impulse flight purchase, OR they can simply be running on a new-to-you trail, trying a new restaurant, or choosing to spend Tuesday night watching the sunset on the beach because life won’t always present you with this opportunity on any night of your choosing.

Asilomar Sunset Surf

The sunset we decided to catch after our usual run through the Farmer’s Market.

No matter what your micr0adventure list looks like, it should bring you joy and transformation. It should change the way you look at something.

It should just feel like the best thing to do in that moment.

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What are some of your favorite ways to get in “micro” adventures? I’m taking tips to add to our growing list.

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