chords and cadence

Another runner's writ

Archive for the month “May, 2013”

New eyes

I’m on the plane going back to the only other place for which I’d leave Colorado. I wish I could say it with more eloquence and have it carry the same conviction without a hint of embellishment, but I just had one of the single best weekends of my 24 years.

Everything I anticipated happening, happened: quality family time, patio sitting among pine trees, drier skin, altitude headaches, and then some. I was appeased to no end (save the headaches and dry skin), rendering me lying in bed at night, reminding myself that I have it all.

Growing up in Evergreen, driving the same narrow and curvy roads, seeing the same trees, waking up to the same encompassing mountains, and breathing the same thin air never seemed special. It was just life. It was frustrating to always wait until your parents could drive you to your friends’ because it was too far and mountainous to walk or ride your bike (and face it, you were too lazy anyway and your parents were probably frustrated, too). It was normal to wake up to elk in the front yard, go for a walk around the lake (not the mall) and talk about life and complain about boys and confess secrets and cure hangovers (note: not discovered until this trip #toolate).

While we took a hangover-easing walk around the lake (thank you, Little Bear), I told my best friend that I felt like I was seeing everything through new eyes. She nodded and knew, which is why we’re so solid.

It’s not as relevatory as I’ve made; I’ve had an affinity for the mountains for quite some time. This time was just different. And it wasn’t just that I missed the elevation, the laid back mountain lifestyle, or the ridiculously beautiful scenery, it was something internal, too. I’m still trying to figure it out…probably something along the lines of discovering what my “spirit animal” is or whatever. I’m sure a trail run this weekend will bring some clarity and there will be a new blog post next week (so stay tuned?)

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As serendipity would have it, I came across this quote when I was bored and browsing through Pinterest on my phone, waiting for the plane that would take me back to Nashville, my other beloved home, and it solidified:

“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” -Marcel Proust.

Oh, indeed, Marcel. Indeed.


When was the last time you did something for the first time?

When was the last time you did something for the first time? Or even realized you were doing something for the first time?419601_10151632395851469_280030731_n

When was the last time you ran like a kid? Swung on the swings during your lunch break? High-fived another runner out on a run? Drank mimosas with your friends at 10 p.m. on a Tuesday while it stormed outside?

I’m not currently following a training schedule (when you’re on one from November-April a break is necessary), and it’s changing how I run. Now instead of aiming for mileage, time, or speed, I am aiming to just feel joy. To run happy. To do things for the first time, or at least be present in the moment and being attentive while I’m there.

This isn’t to say that I didn’t find joy in my training runs, I did very much. But this joy is different; it’s unpredictable what will trigger it and when. Spontaneity at its finest.

Some running-related examples of pure joy/first time happenings lately:

-Listening to Springsteen’s “Glory Days” while running over a bridge across the Cumberland River in the warm Tennessee sun. If that doesn’t invigorate you deep down, shoot son. (Okay, that video is from 1985 and fantastic. Click on it.)

-Dodging fallen tree branches (but totally splashing through the puddles) on the sidewalk after a storm from the night before. Ten points if you don’t step on the cracks!

-Sprinting up a hill just for the hell of it. (Okay, Busta Rhymes helped).

-Stopping to take a picture of  that white church steeple poking through the trees in the distance on a trail run. Love them Tennessee hills!

-Not hitting a single stoplight on an urban run. Seriously, when does that EVER happen? But, it did.

-Realizing that bipedalism is totally awesome (And other “____ is totally awesome” realizations that seem pretty obvious, but are enlightening all the same).

-Getting into a zone with new Daft Punk, and letting the legs do the work. (Next time I might actually dance AND run, thus hopefully starting a rad and vibrant movement).

-Listening to Kings of Leon (“Ragoo” if you must know) while running by their star on the Music City Walk of Fame. Mentally giving them a high five and saying out loud, “Good on ya, boys!” (screw the on-looking tourists!) and turning it up.

See, the little things are the big things. When the little things happen for the first time, they’ll never be recreated the same way; they will remain those joyful moments you can write blogs about, that you’ll remember as the first time this happened.

So, when’s the next time you’re gonna do something for the first time?

My birthday list

On my 21st birthday, I was supposed to fly to Rome with my best friend. We should have left the Berlin-Tegel airport at 6 in the morning and we should have spent the entire day reenacting marvelous scenes from Roman Holiday and seeing where Caesar was killed, and wishing in fountains, and eating gelato, and drinking red wine while Italian waiters told us they were looking for a wife.

Instead, there was a strike by the RyanAir employees and I ended up drinking a Jack & Coke in a can from a convenience store, and sleeping, and being disappointed, and getting lost, and almost missing my later-scheduled flight. I ended up without my best friend, but meeting up with her parents in Rome anyway (we were, essentially, strangers), and eating one of the most gluttonous, fabulous meals I will ever remember, and being sung “Happy Birthday” by a full, Roman restaurant of perfect strangers.

Ever since, I’ve thrown out all expectations when it comes to what happens on my birthday. It’s like, que sera sera…ya know?

But, in case you’d like to know…This is what’s on my birthday list. You’re allowed to take notes.







Also would not refuse:

Sky diving

Concert going

That bicycle bar thing I’ve seen on Broadway

A serenade from The Avett Brothers

Lunch with Keith and Nicole down in Franklin

Train trip through the Alps

Pretty much anything in a spa (definitely mud bath)

Tornado chasing (preferably with pros, but would also consider going rogue)

A race entry into the Big Sur, Berlin, or London Marathon (all three, and let’s get married)

What I’m really most psyched for though, you can’t buy me because I’ve already bought it. No, not getting all “Independent Woman” on you, but it’s a plane ticket home and a race entry for the Bolder Boulder. Seeing my family and running in one of my most favorite places on the planet is gonna spoil me silly. Can you tell I can’t wait?

Anything else I receive will be an excellent, superfluous bonus.

(Except maybe the ridiculously awesome/essential nap time coverup thing…)

Ten songs I hope I never get tired of hearing

1. James Taylor: “Fire & Rain”

2. Paul Simon: “Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes”

3. Debussy (as played by David Oistrakh): “Clair de Lune”

4. Neil Young: “Heart of Gold”

5. Ray LaMontagne: “Jolene”

6. Laura Marling: “Sophia”

7. The Black Keys: “Little Black Submarines”

8. Punch Brothers: “Rye Whiskey”

9. The Avett Brothers: “Laundry Room”

10. Bruce Springsteen: “Born to Run”


Catching up

Here’s the latest digest in my running world recently. It’s not in chronological order because, well, that’s boring.

Girls on the Run finished up on May 4th with the girls’ final race, a 5k, that happened to be in the rain (I know…again. Really. Seriously.)

465711_10151610379286469_675069006_oI was so proud of them all, and can’t wait to join back as a volunteer and running buddy in the Fall. Until then, I will enjoy sleeping in a little on Mondays and Fridays, or just going for runs closer to home 😉


935703_10151598210191469_957198782_nUm…. I MET KARA GOUCHER!

Holy smokes, how did I not declare that earlier?!

The Olympian and former CU Buff graciously came out to the Country Music Marathon Expo (April 26th) to sign autographs and pose for picture, after picture, after picture.

I was so excited to meet one of my running heroes, and have an autographed issue of Runner’s World with her on the cover. She was so very nice and patient with the long queue of people waiting to meet her. She is an incredible woman, and I am lucky to have met her.


I was looking at my Runner’s World race calendar a few weeks back and realized that my birthday (May 27) and the Bolder Boulder were on the SAME day this year! And I thought: What else would I want to do for my birthday but be in Boulder, running? The answer is nothing, except maybe cake and beer.

I’m really excited to head home for a quick trip, spend quality time with my family, run be back in the mountains, and hold Jack like a baby while he looks at me with smug indifference.

My kick ass mom has signed up to run with the race with me, although we found out I am starting WAY earlier that she is. I’ll be able to cheer her on with my dad and sister after I finish, and vice-versa and everyone will be happy.

Seriously, can’t wait to be back in Boulder and run that race on my birthday. It’ll mean a lot. I’m not seriously training for it, just keeping up my fitness and mileage and enjoying runs as I go on them. For the first time since I started training for Asheville in November, I don’t have a certain target I have to hit every week. Running is more relaxed, and I’m really enjoying it.


I went to Myrtle Beach this past weekend with two girl friends. We’ve traveled together in Berlin, Rome, and Copenhagen, but we thought a beach trip closer to home would be a little more doable this time.

Since we’re all independent women and understand how the others enjoy their leisure time, it was no surprise for me to go for a run on the beach. I ran without music and loved the different texture under my Reebox. It was also awesome know that I would feel so much better in a bikini an hour later having ran five miles, so there was that boost! Also realized: I wouldn’t mind living by a beach one day and getting into more running workouts sans shoes! How fun would it be to do sprints barefoot in the sand? I wasn’t feeling bold enough to do that, alone, in front of beach goers.

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As for future races, I’m signed up for a 10k trail race on June 1st and a 10-mile trail race on June 16th.

I’m choosing my next marathon wisely; I really want nice weather, and am itching for another destination race.

Leaving you with this video today. Enjoy. Run happy. Live well.

Support Knobby Knees

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This is my best friend since before Taylor became Taylor.

She wears blue cowboy boots on the reg.

She loves the Denver Broncos, even through unmentionable losses to the Raiders.

She prefers sleeping bags to plastic bags, and nights under stars to nights in fancy bars.

She’s a designer, a dreamer, and a darn good writer (but she doesn’t know it).

She’s climbed mountains in Peru, designed a wedding dress for her sister, and hiked the entire Colorado Trail.

She’s called Colorado, Wyoming, and San Francisco home, and still does in different places in her heart.

Last summer we slept in a grove of aspen trees and climbed a 14er and made a pact to move to Salida, Colorado when we’re single and 50 and not taking any crap from bosses or life or husbands or kids. (I can’t wait).

Next February, Angela will join Summit for Someone in climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro in Africa, having raised a mind-boggling amount of money for Big City Mountaineers. Like she wasn’t amazing enough already.

But, she needs help. And for the first time, I am not there in person to support her, and it sucks.

If you are in Colorado, please consider supporting Angela at her pantsless fundraising event on May 10 at Pete’s Patio Bar in Denver, which you can read all about here:

Also, this:


Angela is a rare breed. Meet her while you can.

Drink some beer. Win some prizes. Help a good person do something good.

I’ll be pantless in honor of the celebration. Hope you will consider it, too.

East Nasties post marathon


East Nasty finishes 26.2 at the Country Music Marathon, April 27, 2013 in Nashville, TN. Yes, we were soaked. Yes, we had the time of our lives. Yes, we’d do it all again.

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