chords and cadence

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32 reasons I run (and I’m not getting over it)

I really don’t want to do this. But as a runner, and a writer, I simply must.

I’m going against myself to give MORE attention to an inane article (and poorly written at that) published on the Wall Street Journal titled “OK, You’re a Runner. Get Over It.” Basically, the writer makes an outcry about how people who run, like to run, and like to express it via social media, their bumper stickers, or choice of clothing. (Ha!)

Instead of inciting anger or rendering me doubtful about why I do what I do, the article made me laugh and pity Couch Potato Chad Stafko. Good thing there are programs for reversing that…

Not ones to sit down and stay quiet, the running community went a little vocal when this came out. Instead of writing an argumentative piece counteracting all of Chad’s statements, however, I’d like to thank him first. His article did make me feel a little nuts for loving running so much, but you know, I’ve been looking for what sets me apart from all the other blonde 20-somethings working in the bluegrass music industry. Being nuts is a good identifier. So thanks for the exercise in self-identity, Chad.

I appreciate his article, too, because it made me contemplate the reasons why I run, and why I love it. So in our list-driven world, I’m contributing mine: 32 reasons I run (and I’m not getting over it).

1. It’s free

2. I get to shed femininity and spit and snot rocket and other non-feminine things

3. I genuinely enjoy working up a sweat

4. Post-run beers

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A nice Highlander after my first marathon in Asheville, North Carolina.

5. I have witnessed more beautiful sunrises and sunsets than I can keep track of or Instagram


At my favorite place, Percy Warner.

6. Getting my nature fix. Because nature is neat.

7. The opportune moment when you pass another runner and give each other high fives

8. Hills


Real live hill on a 6k trail race course. Brutal. Badass.

9. Stairs


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Chattanooga, Tennessee

11. Heroes, and chances to meet them


Olympian and CU Buff Alum, Kara Goucher and me at the Country Music Marathon Expo, April 2013

12. Weight loss/management (special note: Since I seriously took up running, I’ve lost 30 pounds.)

13. My Garmin

14. Free swag at races

15. Free food and drinks at races (pshhh race fees. shhh!)

16. Running friends who like to talk about running with you, and you don’t feel like you’re boring/confusing them


These are my awesome East Nasty friends after we just finished a 5k and were looking for beer and food, but we were so fast that it was still so early and nothing was open yet.

17. An excuse to wear a headlamp

18. More showers

19. Exploring new places

20. IT’S THE MOST FUN THING TO BRAG ABOUT EVER, so deal, because I’m not gonna stop

21. Every month I get Runner’s World in the mail, which isn’t bills, bills, bills.

22. Tech t-shirts

23. New shoes every few months

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24. Empty streets early in the morning

25. Running past graduations, circuses, parades, food truck festivals (a lesson in always carrying cash!), proposals, breakups, and many very nice and vocal homeless citizens. Been there, done that

26. Jamming out to music like Foo Fighters, Neil Young, and Tom Petty, and learning all the words because you never rotate their “Greatest Hits” off your playlist

3rd Annual "VH1 Rock Honors" - Show

Dave Grohl, whom I adore.

27. Playlists

28. Athletic wear, because I wish I could get away with wearing tights and Oiselle ALL the time (something of which Stafko totally doesn’t get, which must really suck for him)

29. It gives me something to write about (ahem, hence this blog)

30. I have to do something better than my boyfriend, because he’s really good at a lot of things

31. Two words: Foam. Roller.

32. I really enjoy pancakes, and I also really enjoy being a size 4


Best ones in Nashville are at the Pancake Pantry, mark my word!

Sorry I have to stop there. I could go on. But if you’ll excuse me, I’ve gotta run.


What’s “off season”?

After finishing Chattanooga 4 Bridges, my go-to reaction has been to find the next race. Whether it’s been another marathon, or another half, my fiendish impulse since I’ve bursted into a serious runner has been to search for, nail down, and train for my next race, and write a blog about it. I mean, that’s what addicts do, right? Search for their next fix? (I mean, I guess some of them could write blogs…)

But. I’ve had a nagging feeling of “what’s next?” Instead of relishing in the ubiquitous thirst to nab another goal, the nagging feeling has been just that: NAGGING. I have been reluctant to it. I don’t want that feeling. I don’t want “what’s next?” yet. I want it to leave me alone.

Because of this reluctance, I’ve been wondering what’s wrong with me. Since January 2012, I have been training for something; it has become a huge part of my identity, and one of which I am very proud. For 21 months, I’ve trained for half marathon after half marathon, then trail half marathon, marathon number one, marathon number two, marathon number three (turned half marathon) with even more races in between.

Luckily the impending identity crisis was avoided today when I happily found my answer to “what’s next.” It’s what they call “off season” and I hear it’s pretty common, even for elite superstar runners like my hero Kara Goucher.

Yeah! Off season! You know, a time where you cross train, go to Disneyland, race for fun in a tutu, move down to your villa in Miami (unless you’re LeBron James and you already live there. Which makes me wonder: where does LeBron go in the off season? I digress.), stay out late at smoky karaoke bars and not worry about feeling good for a 12-miler at 7am, eat pancakes because you want to, not because you have a massive hunger after running 20 miles.

So that’s what’s what, guys. I’m in the “off season.” I wish I could say I’m going to Disneyland or moving down to Miami, but I haven’t convinced my boss that bluegrass is prevalent down in Miami. I mean, let me know if I’m wrong, and you’ll be my favorite person in the world. I’ll call up LeBron and we can all chill, my treat.

To keep up with my fitness (because I can’t sit still, even if it is the off season), I’m enjoying the gym rat status and getting lost in new beatz I’ve loaded on my Shuffle: Lady GaGa’s “Venus” makes me giggle like a school girl; Bruno Mars’ “Treasure” is my jam; I pretend Drake is serenading me in “Make Me Proud.”

I’ve been modeling my workouts after the Tabata method, going hard on one exercise for a certain amount of time, resting a short amount of time, and jumping back in for another set. This has made my overall gym time shorter,  but I’ve walked away feeling like I’ve worked harder and I have rendered myself quite sore as a result.

I’ve relied on treadmill and Stairmaster intervals for cardio, as well as short sprints around the indoor track, which give me a lot of confidence when I pass by all the walkers and “joggers.” Yoga has been practiced a lot more, making me wonder why in the world I wasn’t a yoga practicer in Boulder. I’ll never

I fully believe there is a season for everything, so this concept of an off season shouldn’t come as a surprise to me. But I’ll be the first to admit: I have been swept up in the race craze. It’s not hard to want more, to dig deeper, and to put another tech tee in your drawer. While this is also the season for being thankful (which should be an exception to the whole “season” thing altogether) I am thankful to say that I’ve discovered that the time is right for an off season.

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.

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