Doing hard things. And chasing waterfalls.

whitagram-image-6A little over a month and a half ago, The Gang headed west for the third installment of ‘Dirtbag Adventures’.  Before I go on, and considering I haven’t written a single solitary word about either The Gang or editions 1 and 2, I probably should define a few terms. See? This is what happens when you don’t blog for shit. It’s time to play catch up.

The-Gang
proper noun. The Gang.

  1.  Two couples, 4 friends, who find each other completely hilarious and laugh and hike and run and ride and eat pounds of tacos and drink gallons of delicious IPAs TOGETHER whilst adventuring and exploring uncharted territory. “Hey, this ridiculously hot and long hike would be way more fun if we were with The Gang!”
  2. synonym:  BFFs. chums, buds, pals, Poodles, homies, amigos, pisans, brahs, posse, squad, crew, #squadgoals

Dirt-bag-Ad-ven-ture
noun. Dirtbag Adventure.

  1.  an unusual and exciting, typically hazardous, experience or activity shared with The Gang.  “The Gang just got back from their third Dirtbag Adventure to Havasu Falls and lived to tell about it!”
  2. synonym:  exploit, feat, escapade, episode, really fucking good time. 

It all started back in February of 2019 when The Gang decided to try their luck at getting a permit to Havasu Falls in Supai, Arizona. Supai, and all of the falls – there are five – are within Havasupai tribal lands that are located in the Grand Canyon. The only way to access the Falls is through a permit which become available on-line in February. After a series of unfortunate computer crashes and a string of expletives involving 2 laptops, 2 iPads, Facetime and an iPhone, WE GOT THROUGH! And got our permit! But then reality set in. Pro-Tip: Be at the READY on the day the permits become available. We had two of us working the website. Stay the course. You’ll get there. But don’t dawdle. Game face- ON!

Wait. What’s the date? When are we going? Oh. Hang on. Shit. THAT’S TWO DAYS AFTER OUR MARATHON!!!!

After a moment of dancing around signing WE GOT THE PERRRR-MIT like giddy fools, we realized we had a slight problem. We had booked our Dirtbag Adventure complete with Escape Campervan Rental and Havasu Falls Backpacking Bonanza of a Life Time TWO DAYS after running a marathon we’d been training for. How are we doing this?  Havasu Falls was to be followed by limping hiking adventures in Sedona, Flaggstaff and in Zion National Park. We had places to go and trails to hike! This was going to be interesting. Yikes!

But back to the start of our adventure and our pulverized quads….

We ran Sugarloaf Marathon in Maine in a torrential down pour in May. It was also 40 degrees that chilly, wet morning. Sugarloaf is a great net downhill course.  It’s super off-camber towards the end and peppered with several decent hills throughout. It’s a quad buster. It’s a good race. I probably would have loved it more had I not breast stroked to the finish line. It POURED and damn, I got super cold.

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The medals are made of wood!

My Other Half ran a sub-3 (2:50 to be exact. WOWZAH!) and I ran a respectable sub-4 (3:57). Cheers all around! When we were done shivering and battling hypothermia, we hopped in the car and drove 6 hours back home to pack and get stoked for our Dirtbag Adventure THE NEXT DAY.  No rest for the weary! Sweet Jesus. No really. How are we doing this again? To say we were both beat up was a gross understatement. And it only got worse come Monday morning. We were rough. We looked at each other, shrugged and stuffed desiccated camping meals and headlamps into our bags. After all, we did this shit to ourselves. We had no one to blame. Nary a complaint or grunt was made. Just head shaking. And laughing. Lots of nervous, hysterical laughing.

Off we go!

We land in Vegas. I am using every muscle I have in my upper body to hoist myself up out of my seat on the plane. Other Half is laughing whilst wearing NEON compression knee socks. I am neither laughing nor wearing knee socks on a plane. I had to pull myself up 10 times to hit the loo. I have a bad belly.  NOOOO! At this point Dear Reader, had we both been starring in a telenovela, this would be the scene where the camera zooms in on a close-up of my panicked face and the music swells to a crescendo {Pause….End scene!}. Yup. I’m a mess. Fantastic. Because I’m not already having enough trouble functioning on a basic level,  let alone squatting and hovering over an airplane commode ten times. This is 5th Layer of Hell stuff right here. How am I hiking with a 35lb pack on my back, equipped with all supplies conducive to life for 4 days WITH POST-MARATHON DYSENTERY????  It’s not like we’re staying in a major metropolis with a CVS and Chipolte on every corner. No, no. There is fresh water, compost toilets and a first come, first serve campground but that’s about it. The village of Supai has a very small market and members of the tribe also sell Fry Bread which is a DELIGHT but otherwise, you are on your own for food. Have Jetboil, will cook. The village is several miles from the campground. There’s no Wifi, no service, no nothin’ – to us, that was even part of the allure – to unplug.  However, this is well beyond my comfort zone. Even my legs and belly know it. Pro-Tip: You will need a Jetboil or some type of camping stove to “cook” your meals with and make coffee. #priorities We purchased prepared camping meals of the “just add water” variety to eat. Remember, you can not fly with camping fuel. You’ll need to purchase it before you get to your final destination. We bought ours in a Walmart outside of Vegas after we landed. 

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And so it begins: Havasu Falls or BUST!

The Head of the Trail, The Belly of the BEAST…

We pick up our van in Vegas and drive right to the trail head. From Vegas it’s roughly a 4 hour drive, give or take. We are out there! We are so excited we are giddy. The trail head is 60 miles off of the “main” road on tribal lands. Our plan is to regroup in our Escape (shameless plug) Campervan and sleep at the trail head so we can wake up fresh as daisies and hike on in, skipping and laughing and holding hands and shit, our backpacks weightless, buoyed by our hopes and dreams of waterfalls. Yeah. Not so much for me. Reality: A 13 mile trek on some super sore legs with a back pack half my size AND ISSUES. (Yes. I woke up with issues.) I’m not even going to get into the belly saga just to say that if on the day you hike into Havasu Falls you are popping Imodium and Pepto like they’re Tic Tacs YOU’D BETTER LOVE THE PEOPLE YOU’RE WITH because they’re gonna get to know you way up close and personal. At some point during the trek I just gave up. I no longer gave a shit. Gang, just leave me. I live here now…. I was powerless to the Belly. Gah. Pro-Tip:  The only way into the canyon is to hike on in from the trail head with enough supplies for 4 days and 3 nights. That’s how long your permit is good for. I’m not even going to mention renting mules because I would never pay anyone or any animal to carry my shit 13 miles into a canyon when I can damn well do it myself. And if I couldn’t, I shouldn’t go. So there. I think you can also take a helicopter in but *see mule tirade. Hike in People. It’s gorgeous and all part of an amazing experience. Don’t rent mules. Don’t hire a helicopter. Just hike. You can do it. I did it. Even with a rotten stomach and dead legs. 

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Hiking into the canyon is glorious.

Needless to say, I soldiered on stoically, willing myself to get there without IV fluids. Dysentery and tired legs aside, the trek was gorgeous. And I will tell you this: the hike, a giant pack, super sore legs and my ‘issue’  made me realize that I am made of goddamn titanium. I have no idea how I made it. You guys, I felt awful. And backpacking? Dude, this was so far out of my comfort zone it was on another planet. I will run marathons in the pouring rain and hike for days, but backpack in, not shower daily, eat out of a bag and sleep in a tent? Not so much. I’m a Dirtbag, but Girlfriend does enjoy amenities and clean sheets. However, I’m always willing to try something. And where there is a will, there is a way- even if it doesn’t involve a super cute boutique hotel. The waterfalls were calling and I fucking went. Pro- Tip:  If you go, leave super early. Or you will bake and a difficult hike will become super hard face-melting one. The hike is long and on the way in, it is downhill.  It’s not easy, but it’s also not impossible. Bring plenty of water (and Immodium, Pepto and wipes if you’re me). Be prepared! And remember – LEAVE NO TRACE. That means….well. You get the point. Pack your biohazardous wipes and snack wrappers right on out with you. Everything you bring in, you take out. Hard stop.

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Our site: Two tents, two hammocks and a gorgeous spot.

Chasing waterfalls and not sticking to the rivers and the streams that we’re used to…

Some hard things are just worth it. No matter what. See exhibit A, below. No filter necessary. Yes, that is the actual color of the water. Havasu Falls is absolutely breathtaking. It greets you as you make the final descent into the camping area.  You hear it before you see it. It seemingly pops up out of no where. There are no words. When I got to this point, I’m not gonna lie, I teared right on up. I had a DAY. And I turned to my other half, kissed him and said WOW!  You gotta be kidding me?!?!? What a place! And I would like to state for the record, that we were here BEFORE BEYONCÉ! True story. Word on the street is that she scouted her video location based on my IG posts. #jk

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Exhibit A, Havasu Falls

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My all time favorite picture of us. ❤

This place is otherworldly. Once you secure your campsite- ours was along the Havasu Creek, a tributary to the Colorado River, you can roam, hike and explore to your hearts content. After a rocky start- my gut, a DELUGE after we set up camp and a super cold night requiring wool hats and puffer jackets, we emerged from our wet tents swaddled in gear and ready to explore! We made the “Descend at your own risk” hike down to Mooney Falls which was just as magnificent as Havasu Falls and far more terrifying to get to. Gotta admit, we felt a little bad ass. Speaking of bad asses, I woke up on the second day CURED! Phew. Thank you, Baby Jesus.  Pro-Tip: Bring Chacos or hiking sandals. There are plenty of water crossings. It’s just easier to manage in sandals than trail sneaks or hiking boots. Also, bring a rain jacket and one warm jacket just in case. It saved us.

The Gang survives the trek to Mooney Falls.

Mooney Falls.

They’re not kidding.

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Sheer terror but totally worth every harrowing, slippery step.

After making our way down into Mooney Falls we continued hiking on to Beaver Falls. The hike was stunning. So lush!

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Mega Lush!

So many river crossings! It was incredible. Round trip was roughly 13 miles. We might have taken a few wrong turns here and there. We regret nothing! Our last day was spent enjoying every damn waterfall we came across. It was truly a trip to remember. We hiked out super early – before the mid-day heat. The switchbacks on the way up out of the canyon WERE NO JOKE!  You climb quite a bit on the way out.  By a bit I mean roughly ~1000ft of elevation gain over a mile of switch backs.  But alas, every damn step was worth it. Pro-Tip: I can’t stress it enough- leave EARLY. Even though you’re not going to want to. Make sure you have plenty of water and snacks to hike out with. The hike out is harder than the hike in. On your way out you can chit chat about the 5 falls you frolicked in – Fifty Foot, Little Navajo, Havasu, Mooney and Beaver Falls. And, for the record, yield to hikers coming up the trail. Walking several people abreast on a narrow steep trail is never appreciated. Know that if and when you knock a gal and her mighty pack on her ass, she may turn into Carmella Soprano for a hot minute and howl at you. Awareness people. Awareness.

There are so many places to see, trails to hike and mountains to climb here in the States. Get out and GO! We live in too beautiful a place to not try and get out and explore what you can, where you can, whenever you can.

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Beaver Falls.

It is even possible to do it on a budget. Especially if you’re not averse to camping. I’m proud to report I am no longer backpacking averse! And if I can do it, so can you.  My list of new places to visit gets longer and longer as the years tick on. If you happen to get the chance, add this to your bucket list. It’s incredible. But if you go, remember, you are a guest here- a guest of the Havasupai Tribe. Respect them and their gorgeous, sacred land. It’s truly one of the most magnificent places I have ever been to in the United States. And go quick! Beyoncé was here for cripes sake. I’m guessing the secret is out once and for all. She’s got way more of a following than me. 😉 

Have you ever backpacked in to a remote location and camped? Camping, glamping or hotel? What’s your idea of a perfect vacation? 

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The Sunday Night Existential Crisis


Damn you, Weekend. Where have you gone? And for the love of all things Sunday, why do I get an insta-stomach ache when it gets to like, 8pm and I get the I DON’T WANNA GO TO WORK 3rd grade hissy fit going? It’s usually followed by a super dramatic stomp to the laundry room only to realize that I haven’t thrown my favorite running duds in the washer and what’s in the washer smells like dirty moldy feet because it’s been there since Friday, soaking wet.

WHAT AM I DOING WITH MY LIFE?!?!

*throws self on hardwood floor, clutches knees, and yells WHHHHHYYYYY a la Nancy Kerrigan circa 1994 clubbing*

Hello, Sunday Night Existential Crisis! It’s that moment each and every damn week where I question the very foundations of my existence. We’re talking frenzy, Poodles. What does it all mean? What’s the point of all this? When I am long gone, will I have left a teeny tiny mark, ON ANYTHING? Oh, yeah. We’re talkin’ DEFCON level 10 drama.

This shit more often than not follows a great weekend that I don’t want to end. This time it was a quiet weekend with My Other Half and the pups, running, hiking, exploring and relaxing together in Vermont. Nothing mega fab. Just quiet. No TV. No WIFI. Just books, beer, blankets and each other. Simple. Paired down. Together. I love weekends like that. I usually come home and rant about downsizing, camper van adventures, tiny homes and living off the grid.

These kind of weekends really do make me question my life choices. From lifestyle to work to what goals I am setting to what race I’m running to why aren’t i doing yoga to…..EVERYTHING. And then I stomp around like Grouchy Smurf instead of actually doing something. Totally crippled by my own ridiculous inertia. Such a brat.

So. Now that I’ve called myself out on my petulant self, here’s what I just did.

  1. Registered for the Vermont City Marathon
  2. Bought an unlimited month of yoga
  3. Re-Washed my damn running clothes

Boom. DONE. There. Take THAT Existential Crisis. NOW I have a plan. Because if I can bitch and sulk and stomp around yelling GAAAAAHHHH all Sunday night, I can damn well sit my ass down, be grateful for a lovely weekend, be thankful to have been surrounded with all that I love and decide what the fuck I am running this spring, sign up for a yoga class tomorrow and do my damn laundry.

Enough. GET IT TOGETHER, COLBY.

I feel better already. ☺️

Do you have an occasional Existential Crisis? Or are they just reserved for major life changes? What are you doing with your life? 😜

Runventure Awaits! Enter to WIN!

I’m sitting here weather stalking the weekend. Like a deranged polar bear.  Mind you, I am totally NOT complaining about the weather. I live in New England for frigid’s sake. And after all, it IS November. It should be chilly. I should be wearing cute boots and a puffer vest whilst sipping pumpkin spice beverages, like the basic broad I was born to be. Instead I’ve been wearing tank tops while running- all through October and even up until a few days ago. It’s been crazy.

PSL extra hot

My weather stalking isn’t for a big race or anything. It’s because we’re heading to Vermont this weekend and it’s supposed to be super duper cold. Like, singlet to snow suit cold. And besides, my Other Half, Drunk Otis and I are looking to get our run on in the Green Mountain State and I need to know if I’ll be rocking my new Janji Duds.

Full Fall Janji

Full Fall Janji

 

The new Janji Collection is off the chain- both Fall and Winter. I will be rocking my new Nepal Hoodie and new Nepal Crop Tights for sure this weekend. That is unless it is single digits. Then I’ll be all sorts of layered up a la Janji.

CONTEST ALERT!!!! 

Speaking of my beloved Janji, they’re doing a BIG PHAT RUNVENTURE GIVEAWAY in conjunction with their first ever Janji Travel Series! Nomadic Run: Mexico City. You can win a FREE trip to run around Mexico City with other crazy adventure loving runners! I love that Janji is doing a Travel Series. I think it dovetails so super well with the company’s mission-  funding clean water projects in various countries throughout the world.  10% of the sale of each piece of running apparel does just that. But back to Nomadic Run: Mexico City.  Here are the cliff notes:

Janji is proudly teaming up with Aire Libre to host our first ever Nomadic Run trip to Mexico City. Join us on this fully-guided, fast-blast excursion as we experience the amazing culture, food and, most importantly, the running scene of one of the largest and most dynamic cities in the world. We will venture from the busy streets to the vast surrounding nature, running our way through a volcanic crater and thick forest trails as we explore this striking terrain and throw back a taco or two. Or a dozen.

Running. Adventure. And tacos. See why I love this company? Discover the details and enter to win via my link: Janji Travel Series! Nomadic Run: Mexico City and win an all-inclusive spot on the trip and a whole bunch of Janji apparel. *Flights not included*  Do it quick! The contest ends at midnight on November 9th, 2017! Click the link for the date, itinerary and all of the details!

And now back to my regularly scheduled weekend weather stalking. 🙂

Adventure Awaits

To Adventure!

It starts with one.

One blog post. After 6 months of not posting.

One trail race. After running the race of my dreams.

One goat yoga class. After realizing my hip flexors were so tight I could play the opening chords of Stairway to Heaven on them. (And because baby goats. Let’s be honest.)

One amazing dirtbag adventure. After months of planning with The Gang.

One 200 mile bike ride across the great state of Massachusetts. After committing to kick cancer’s ass in my 13th Pan Mass Challenge.

One week spent in Wellfleet eating oysters and drinking delicious IPAs. After riding said cancer fighting bike like a Cancer Fighting Boss.

One time out.
To regroup.
Reset.
Reassess.
And say…
Now Fucking What?

mrs roperI think there comes a time after accomplishing a goal when you’re left a little dumbfounded.  Maybe dumbfounded isn’t quite right. Stunned? Stupefied? Dazed? All of the above?!  You may even find yourself a little lost. Funny. You think the momentum of achieving a goal would buoy you into setting another. But alas, Poodles. It did not. Not for me. The tide did not work that way for Colby. I stayed kinda still. Sure. I basked in the achievement. I even did stuff. Athletic stuff. And then I wandered around my own head a bit.

 

Boston was the cherry on the tippity top of my sundae. A big old exclamation point at the end of a long run on sentence. Even though I didn’t have the race I trained for, I had the race of my dreams. I felt so damn fulfilled afterwards. Like, if I never ran another step I would be OK with that. I felt like I had come so far. That my training was the best I had ever done. I felt like I was in The Fittest I had ever been. And it would have been ok if I never ran again. Hung up my Hokas and sat the eff down.  Because I felt like I was at the top of my game. And that wasn’t even with a PR. 

That was really how I felt. About running. About where I was at that point and time. I was all set. I know. Crazy talk. But true. And seeing as how I’m being honest and all, my body was honestly beaten down to a goddamn pulp after Boston. Totally broken. I was exhausted. I needed a time out. Big time. So I put my Hansons Marathon Method book back on the shelf- where I could still see her- and ran when I wanted to. Not because I had to. And I rode my bike. A lot. I hiked a ton and even managed to do some yoga. I even have been hitting the trails. But now, I’m getting a lil’ antsy.

It’s time.

I think I’ve asked myself – So now what, Colby? About a million times since running Boston. I’ve run, raced, yoga’d with baby goats (EPIC!), traveled, ridden, laughed with My Other Half and tooled around town with Drunk Otis Brown for months. But now. I think it’s time to jump back IN.  Into what,  I’m not sure. A kiddie pool of unicorns and BQs? A race in another part of the world? A half marathon PR?  Another stab at an ultra?  I’m not sure yet. But I’m ready. Stay tuned.

To being back! Cheers, Friends!

Have you ever found yourself semi-paralyzed after achieving a goal? Or, do you set another one right away, raising the bar higher? 

A Fortnight of Forgotten Runs

Fourteen Runs. Two entire weeks of training- poof!– done in a few shakes of Drunk Otis’ tail. Training for Boston with Hansons Marathon Method is flying by. Or maybe I just black out every week and forget the agony. Yeah. That’s it. Repression at its finest. That also means I’m behind 2 weeks of blogging, Poodles. I’m quitting the small talk. WHAT?!! And hopping straight to it. We’ve got miles to cover!

Monday: Easy run.7 miles total. 9:12 pace in sunny Florida! When we last we spoke, I was recovering from a bout of amoebic dysentery. Or, a stomach bug. Same diff. This was my first real run post gut issue. I felt great. Couldn’t possibly have been the view? Nah.

All runs are better along the sweet blue sea.❤️

Tuesday: Rest Day. Flight from 84 degree weather to 24 degree weather. I had to flip flop my scheduled rest day. Which meant the rest of the week would be chock full o’ pain.

Wednesday: Intervals. 400-800-1200-1600-1200-800-400, 400m recovery, 7:34. Warm up/recovery. 9 miles total. This is a tough one. I’d like to call it the Ladder of Pain. And Suffering. And All Things Unpleasant. I did it though. So at least there’s a little bit of sunshine in an otherwise cloudy, painful, cold, Not Florida day.

Thursday: Easy Run. 7 miles. 9:21. Here’s where things get hairy. Usually, there is a rest day between Intervals and The Dreaded Tempo Run. Because I had to shift my Rest Day to Tuesday, I was going into a new cycle sans rest. Remember, Easy Runs don’t seem so easy on tuckered legs. They stink.

Friday: Tempo Run. 7 miles at 8:34, 9.5 miles total with warm up and cool down. *cue choir of angels* YES!  Shock of all shocks, I felt great. And here I thought It was going to be hairy. Success! I rewarded myself with 2 beers. Cheers!

Take THAT Tempo Run!

Saturday: Easy Run. 8 miles total at 9:18. Not gonna lie. I was pooped. And it was cold. Really cold.

Sunday: Long Run. 14 miles total at 9:29. Nice and steady. Cold and windy. Money in the bank. Cha-Ching.

Monday: Easy Run. 6 miles total at 9:18. Rest Day? Where are you? Little did I know that I would have to flip-flop ANOTHER WEEK OF TRAINING because of work, weather and a gym that closed early. A “dusting” turned into 4 inches of snow and ice. Thanks, Mother Nature. You rat.

Tuesday: Welp. I got my Rest Day a day early. Which was fine. Except now I’d have to run another hard week. But then again, what else is new? It’s Hansons. Welcome to the Sufferfest.

Wednesday: Intervals. 3 x 1600, 600m recovery at 7:37. 6.5 miles total with warm up/recovery. These sucked the life out of me. Mostly because I drank the equivalent of 2 teaspoons of water all day. Not. Good. Tip: Just because it’s cold and icy out, you still need to hydrate. Preferably with Skratch Labs. I also found out I am a 2017 Taste Agent! See…Pop-Up Interval Day wasn’t all that bad after all. Good things happen to those who are dehydrated and exhausted. They drink Skratch Labs. 

Thursday: Tempo Run. 7 miles at 8:35. 9 miles total with warm up/cool down. Awful. And after my previous killer Tempo Run, so stinking disappointing. That’s what happens when you do two “SOS” runs back to back. (Something of Substance in Hanson’s speak.)  Which by the way, you shouldn’t do. There’s usually a rest day between them. This was a 1-2 punch. Tip: Don’t do this. You will be disappointed and beat yourself up. Especially if you do it on the soul-sucking treadmill.

Friday: Easy Run. 6 miles at 9:15 with Drunk Otis! He loves easy run days. He also loves Vermont which is where I headed after this run.

Hey, Lady. Get out of the car. We’re running.

Saturday: Easy Run. 10 miles at 9:18 in lovely, bitter cold Vermont! Beautiful run. Beautiful part of the country.

I ❤️my new Atlas snow shoes.

This run was followed by a 5 mile snow shoe hike with our Partners in Adventuring and Beer Drinking, Anthony and Carly. So much fun with great friends. Happiness abounds! And exhaustion.  But, whatevs.

Vermont trail porn.

Sunday: 3 mile hike in Vermont. 45 minute spin. Why no run? Because my ankle was not happy post snow shoe adventure. Girlfriend was super sore. In the spirit of listening to thy body and after consulting with my Partner in Adventuring and Beer who is a health care professional, we decided that ice and Advil would be better for the long term. Better to miss a run now, then be injured later. And in deference to my pin-containing ankle with limited mobility and lotsa issues, that’s what I did. But I didn’t like it. Not one bit.  I also obsessed about missing a scheduled run, resulting in my friend, Carly giving me a “Bitch, you cray. Chill.” talking to. Thanks, Girl. Thanks. I needed that. 

Silliness.

Total number of miles run in 2 weeks: 92. Damn. That’s a lot.
Number of miles hiked +/- snow shoes: 8 miles. 5 of which were up-up-uphill in said shoes.
Minutes I spun on my trainer because I bought I hadn’t run enough: 45.  

Do you obsess about missed runs due to injury as much as I do? Have you ever run or hiked in snow shoes? 


The Friday Five: Puerto Rico Style!

Hola, Poodles! Where in the world has Colby been, you ask? In lovely PUERTO RICO! Drinking, eating, running, hiking and yukking it up! What a time it was! Let me tell you. Re-entry has been proving to be quite difficult. I landed back in the States a tan, bloated hot mess. Hello, Vegetables? Where are you? You know, all the trademarks of a great vacation.  This week I’m hooking up with the DC Gals- Courtney , Mar and Cynthia for this week’s Friday Five Link Up- Colby’s Puerto Rican Fun Fest! DC-Trifecta-Friday-Five-linkup

Sit tight. It’s booze soaked. I know. You’re shocked.

First things first. We arrived in Puerto Rico after what seemed like a 15 day journey. In reality it was less than ten hours from door to door, but alas, we have a flair for the dramatic. We landed, grabbed our rental car (aka The Versa) and hightailed it to our condo. Which was everything we had hoped for, and more. The view from the veranda was EPIC. From there we boogied straight to the famed Kioskos de luquillo for some food and drink. And more drink. Our first sip? The mojito. Ahhhhhh. Ice cold and muddled with lime and mint, this rum drink was on point. It was a nice cold glass of WELCOME POODLE! You home, Girl.

A photo posted by Colby (@runcolbyrun) on Mar 4, 2016 at 12:27pm PST

 

Our second sip? You guessed it. A pina colada. When in Rome. Or, when in Puerto Rico as it were. This wasn’t your ordinary pre-made synthetic pina colada served up by some whirling slushy machine. This was a big ass fresh pineapple, hacked open with a machete and cored. The delicious rum soaked elixir was served up right inside. Fresh. And fabulous. Oh. And floated with some 151. When in…hiccup!

So this is happening. #cheers #pinacolada #beach #puertorico #vacation #happinessisatinyumbrella #sun #tan

A photo posted by Colby (@runcolbyrun) on Mar 5, 2016 at 10:38am PST

 

Our third sip? Beer. We would have been remiss if we did not get a bucket of the local suds. You can’t swing a baccalito (delicious cod fritter) without hitting a Medalla. This beer couldn’t have been farther away in taste from one of my delicious IPAs, but it did the trick. Cold, wet, local. And seeing as how my water intake was measured in thimbles this week, let’s call it my hydration mix.

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Bucket O’ Suds.

Our fourth sip? Coffee. Strong, delicious coffee. There is no better way to shake off a Puerto Rican Medalla and Rum Soaked Hang Over than by drinking coffee. Tankards of it. It’s is delicious. Our favorite brand was a Special Reserve Alto Grande. And we drank copious amounts of it right here.

 

A photo posted by Colby (@runcolbyrun) on Mar 11, 2016 at 3:47am PST

 

Our fifth sip? Screw the sips. We needed some grub to soak up all dat rum! Besides we were ravenous after hiking all day through the rain forest at El Yunque National Park. It was glorious. If you find yourself in Puerto Rico, check out El Yunque. We hiked for miles. Miles and green, lush miles. Right on up to the top.  No trip to Puerto Rico would be complete without sampling the local favorite- Mofongo. Made with mashed plantains, garlic, olive oil, and love, I ordered mine stuffed with vegetables. It was delicious. I also sprinkled on a local hot cha cha sauce. Plate of mofongo, a platter of tostones and a splash of hot sauce- HEAVEN!

I’m having serious withdrawals. Just sayin’.

 

Have you ever gone to Puerto Rico? Would you rather Resort It! Or, Go Local!? What was your last vacation? Favorite cocktail. GO!

A Picture Perfect Trail Run

It’s been a mighty long month or two. And by long, I mean Lord of the Rings on repeat long. Shit has been eternal. I solemnly swear I will finish the two race recaps that happened forever ago- one being the 2013 New York Marathon (awesome!) and the other being the Spartan Sprint at Fenway (off the chain fun!) before year’s end. Pinky swear. Talk about dropping the ball. Nice job Colby. Nice.

Work, LIfe and a Running Hangover. Yeah. That’s what happened. I took a week off after running New York. (Shock! Horror! Gasp!) And guess what? I didn’t spontaneously combust or suddenly become an amorphous, bloated Sack of Lazy either. I simply took a long-overdue, much-needed a rest. Actually My Ankle really needed the break. Shit. She was so thrilled, she sent me an Edible Arrangement. (“It’s about time, Bitch!”) Since The Break, I’ve been happily cross-training. Mountain biking with My Other Half, road running, spinning, weight training, burpee-ing, jumping rope, tabata-ing— A smorgasbord of weird workouts that have been kicking my ass. I love it. I needed to mix it up.

And guess what happened? I have found a new love.Trail Running. It’s been like a jolt of adrenaline for me. Completely energizing. Grounding. Peaceful. Serene. Whoop out loud, shit eating grin FUN. Now that’s RUNNING WILD! What a blast! I feel like I’m 10 again, whipping through the woods with nary a care. I want to harness that feeling. Bottle it up and open it when Work and Life become more stressful than I care to admit.

There are tons of great trails around these parts which I am discovering. Actually, WE are discovering. There is nothing better than doing something you love, with someone you love. It’s perfect. Today we bundled up and headed over to Rockland Preserve in Madison, Connecticut. What a beautiful spot. If you’re near, check it out. Lots of single track for mountain biking and tons of beautiful trails for running. We divided and conquered today. I felt like running and My Other Half wanted to mountain bike. Seeing as how he’s a Demon on a mountain bike, I figured I’d let him shred the gnar, while I got my run on. When we crossed paths from time to time, we laughed and high fived, smiling from ear to ear, love so crazily palpable. “You look great Baby!” He yelled. It was a Perfect Day.

Into the woods.

Into the woods I go.

Right turn Clyde.

Trails! Glorious Trails!

Me.

Shameless Selfie in my new Marmot. I LOVE this jacket.

My Other Half.

Oh hey look who I found! My Other Half, shreddin’ the gnar.

No hacks allowed.

I’ve got no business riding here, but running? I’m all over it.

Swirl.

Swirl. Such beauty you find when you wander.

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Quiet and peaceful.

Trails.

Trails with a side of trails.

Duckface Selfie on the Run.

Duckface Selfie on the Run.

Get Lost.

Such fun to get lost.

Slippery.

Just a touch of ice.

Babbling.

Pretty little brooks pop up from time to time.

Zippy.

So zippy in my bright kicks!

Shhhh.

I took a “wrong” turn and found myself here. Something beautiful about it though.

Give Paws.

Great, well tended, awesome trails at Rockland Preserve. Including this. My favorite find of the day.

Skinny Fat

In short, the progression from Thanksgiving to Christmas. Christ.

Truth

#truth

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