Weekly Mileage: 4/17-5/7

I have been MIA, but with good reason. I (mostly) unplugged for two weeks during a mega road trip between tours, away from cell service, and nowhere near a computer. This week, I hopped on a plane riding on two hours of sleep and returned to work on the opposite side of the country and have been catching up on sleep in my free time ever since.

I'm exhausted. I'm on cloud nine. I'm surfing the high tide of life. I have the post-road trip blues. I have a cheesy grin plastered on my face when remembering all the fun. But most of all, I'm finally feeling recharged and ready to establish a routine again which first begins with my weekly mileage post and recapping a road trip I won't soon forget...

Monday, April 17 - After 5.5 weeks working in Indiana, we said peace out! goodbye and caught a flight home to Colorado. Casey continued on to Los Angeles from DIA to visit his brother in Long Beach. I flew my mom to Denver, met her, rented a car and drove home to Winter Park to unpack, repack and get all of my camping equipment. || REST || Indianapolis, IN + Denver, CO + Winter Park, CO

Tuesday, April 18 - After grabbing some snacks at our local grocery store, coffee at my go-to, and hitting the post office to pick up some packages, my mom and I departed Winter Park for Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park. || REST || Winter Park, CO + Monument Valley, UT/AZ

Recognize this road? Hint: I'm pretty tired...I think I'll go home now.

Wednesday, April 19 - Watched the sun rise above the mitten buttes, made coffee/tea + breakfast for my mom and I, ran the Wildcat Trail that circumnavigates the left mitten (the only public trail where you don't have to hire a Navajo guide), packed out our camp site and we were off to see/stay/help my brother move to a new location in Fountain Hills, AZ || 4 miles (trails) || Monument Valley, AZ + Fountain Hills, AZ

The View Campground

Thursday, April 20 - 6 mile run in Fountain Hills, AZ + 2 hours at Topgolf with my broseph || Fountain Hills, AZ

Friday, April 21 - 5 mile run + soaking up every moment with my mom, brother and niece! || Fountain Hills, AZ

Saturday, April 22 - 5.8 mile run + my niece turned 5 months! + spent the day helping my bro + his wife move into their new home. || Fountain Hills, AZ

Sunday, April 23 - Ran 4.2 miles in the morning + moving day part II + spent the night in my bro's new place! || Fountain Hills, AZ


2 Rest Days 
1 Flight
3 Time Zones 
25 Miles Running
2 Days Moving
2 Hours at Top Golf
4 States (IN, CO, UT, AZ)
1st Time in Monument Valley

Monday, April 24 - Finished the final touches of my brother's move, returned the UHaul, and departed Fountain Hills too soon. Why is it that time flies at warp speed when you're surrounded by those you love most? We said our tearful goodbyes, and left Fountain Hills for Sedona (Cave Springs Campground). || REST || Fountain Hills + Sedona, AZ

Tuesday, April 25 - Took a ride on nature's freezing cold water slide at Slide Rock State Park (x2!), explored downtown Sedona, hit up Cathedral Rock and drove 22 miles north of Flagstaff to stay the night at Kendrick Cabin, a retired U.S. Forest Service Fire Guard Station built in the 1960s, nestled just below the San Francisco Peaks. || REST || Sedona + Flagstaff, AZ

Wednesday, April 26 - My mom hasn't spent a lot of time in Flagstaff, so I took her to one of Casey and I's favorite coffee joints, showed her the Route 66 Amtrak station, downtown Flagstaff, Buffalo Park, NAU, and then Walnut Canyon National Monument where we viewed the remains of cliff dwellings built/inhabited by the Sinagua ("without water") people between 1125 and 1250. Plus, mom got her Lifetime National Park Pass for $10 before the price is set to increase. Then we were off to Grand Canyon National Park nearly five years after taking my mom there for the first time to celebrate the end of her cancer treatment (May 2012). Upon arrival, we set up camp at Mather Campground, hit up the lodge, had dinner, watched the sunset from Bright Angel and then made smores and drank wine by the fire. It was such a great night spent under a beautifully lit sky in one of my favorite places with my favorite person. || REST || Flagstaff + Grand Canyon National Park, AZ

Thursday, April 27 - Woke up to watch the sunrise over the Grand Canyon. Afterward we drove to the Desert View Watchtower where we took in more scenic views and watched a beautiful elk enjoy her breakfast. Eventually we peeled ourselves away from the glorious scenery to go shower for the first time in days, packed up our camp site, and spent some more time strolling the South Rim near Bright Angel Trail. Eventually we had to make ourselves leave and start the drive to our next city: Las Vegas!

En route to Vegas, I learned that I would be rejoining Casey out East starting May 1st for a short tour with a marketing company and client we absolutely adore. Therefore, I pulled over to cancel my original flight, researched a new one that would get me close enough to New Haven, sent it for approval, and later that night booked it (I love this crazy tour life!). As we continued the journey to Sin City, my mom mentioned she hadn't seen the Hoover Dam in 20-30 years so we made sure to add it as a stop and then I also added the nearby Lake Mead Overlook before finishing the drive to our final destination. We finally checked into our hotel(!), rested a little bit and then finished the night by walking to Cosmopolitan to have a late night dinner at Holsteins Shakes and Buns. || REST || Grand Canyon National Park + Las Vegas, NV

Friday, April 28 - I was having a hard time grappling with the idea that our mother/daughter road trip was about to come to a close and wanted to maximize the most of my mom's remaining time. After showering/checking out, we made our way back to the Cosmo to eat breakfast at my Vegas go-to: Eggslut (tip: order the signature Slut or the Fairfax). Ever since this place opened, it is a MUST every time Casey and I pass through (most recently in February). Once we came down from our Eggslut high, we cruised down Las Vegas Blvd to Downtown Las Vegas hitting spots my mom remembered from previous trips (my mom and dad eloped in Old LV) like Circus Circus and Fremont Street while I mixed in some new to her spots like the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop (as seen on Pawn Stars) and the Downtown Container Park. We packed in as much as we possibly could, and yet it still felt like we didn't have enough time to accomplish everything we wanted to do.

Before we knew it, it was time to take my mom to the airport to fly back to St. Louis and for me to pick up my next road trip bud, Logan, to kick off her 29th birthday celebration. Mom and I made a quick trip to the Whole Foods I always stop at near the airport to pick up beer and reload on snacks and then it was time to swap out roadies.

After picking up the birthday girl, I learned that she hadn't stumbled around Las Vegas in the past (which almost made me cancel our plans entirely to stay on the Strip), has never seen the Hoover Dam and just saw Lake Mead from the airplane. You guessed it! En route back to the Grand Canyon (almost exactly a year after we ran R2R2R) I made sure to stop at the Hoover Dam/Lake Mead Overlook again so she could get a solid taste of Nevada (sans Eiffel Tower margs, slots, and lights) before our quick departure (FYI, I LOVE parentheses PLAYING TOUR GUIDE! Please visit me in WP or on the road any time. Seriously). We finally made it back to Mather Campground where we each crushed a beer, a PB&J, and two smores (each) before attempting to catch a few hours of sleep before the running fun began! || REST || Las Vegas, NV + Grand Canyon National Park

Saturday, April 29 - This year we opted for a shorter run, and a new route to celebrate Logan turning 29! This girl could not have pieced together a more perfect 20-mile run. We got to revisit some of our favorite parts of South Kaibab and Bright Angel trails, first by running the Rim Trail to South Kaibab Trail, descending SK to Tonto West, Tonto West (which by the way we didn't see a single soul on!) to Indian Garden, then headed out to Plateau Point to sit back and enjoy our staple lunch (PB&J) while watching the Colorado slice through the canyon. It was hard to leave this majestic view but eventually we made our way back to Indian Garden and up to the South Rim via Bright Angel.

Plateau Point

Logan got a small snack, we soaked in the sunshine and the views, caught the bus back to the Visitor Center to get my rental car, hit the lodge for pizza + celebratory beers (what a difference mileage in the Big Ditch can make on post-run libations) and then finally made our way back to our camp site where we broke down everything so we could get moving to our next stop: Monument Valley. Yes, it is THAT GORGEOUS it deserves a second visit (and many, many, more). We watched the sunset over the mittens, set up camp, read for a hot second and passed out. || 20 miles || Grand Canyon National Park + Monument Valley, AZ

Sunday, April 30 - We woke up to watch the sunrise in Monument Valley (damn, it's BUTTE-ful), enjoyed coffee + breakfast, walked down the Wildcat Trail to the foot of the West (left) Mitten and decided we should probably hit the road if we had any hope of ever getting home because if you know the two of us personally, you know we had a million more stops planned in-between. Next up: Cedar Mesa, UT or the site of the newly protected Bears Ears National Monument. We saddled up at the Kane Gulch Ranger Station where we each bought a map (because we both plan on returning to this area) and chatted with two of the nicest rangers we have ever met. We all came to the consensus that my rental didn't have a high enough clearance for Moon House Ruin, which realistically/unfortunately we probably didn't have enough time to explore anyway, and opted for Plan B: House on Fire.

shoes: Altra Olympus 2.0
House on Fire

We drooled over this well-preserved Anasazi dwelling, mesmerized by its history and its condition. We hiked past it a little further attempting to spot more (unadvertised) dwellings before turning back around to continue the trip home. Next up was Moab where we enjoyed the most delicious gourmet quesadillas from Quesadilla Mobilla (thanks for the intro, LB!). Following a solid food coma, we took the scenic drive by Fisher Towers and loaded up on Starbucks not long after crossing the state border in Rifle, CO. I rode that Pikes Place Roast high all the way to Denver where I dropped off Logan at her car and backtracked home to Winter Park where I made it home before 11 p.m. The fun didn't end though as I stayed up until nearly 3 a.m. unloading the car, putting everything away, preparing our condo for my departure, unpacking/repacking, showering and finally got about 2 hours of shut eye before waking up at 5 a.m. to do laundry (that Pikes Place was on point). || 4 miles hiking/running || Monument Valley, AZ + Bears Ears National Monument + Moab, UT + Denver + Winter Park, CO


24 miles of hiking/trail running
2 Time Zones 
1 Birthday 
Endless Adventures
4 States (AZ, NV, UT, CO)
1st Time in Cedar Mesa/Bears Ears 
One Helluva Road Trip 

Monday, May 1 - Got up at 5 a.m. to do laundry. Finished packing and departed Winter Park for DIA around 6:45 a.m. Dropped off my rental car and caught my first flight of two en route from Denver to LaGuardia (layover: Chicago). From LaGuardia I took a taxi just a few miles away to meet Casey (our work vehicle is too big for him to pick me up from an airport) and we drove to New Haven, CT for our next event. || REST || Winter Park/Denver, CO + Chicago NYC + New Haven, CT

Oh hey, Chicago!

Tuesday, May 2 - Worked || REST || New Haven, CT

Wednesday, May 3 -Worked || REST || New Haven, CT

Thursday, May 4 - Worked || REST || New Haven, CT to Providence/Warwick, RI

Friday, May 5 - Worked || REST || Providence/Warwick, RI

Saturday, May 6 - REST || Providence/Warwick, RI

Sunday, May 7 - Explored Newport, Rhode Island with Case || Walked 6-8 miles || Newport/Warwick, RI

Who knew the International Tennis Hall of Fame was in Rhode Island? 


0 Miles Running
5 States (CO, IL, NY, CT, RI)
3 Time Zones 
2 Flights
4 Events 
Countless Hours of Sleep
Battery=Fully Recharged

After clocking nearly 3,000 miles (2,930 to be exact) on an epic road trip with my 65-year-old mother who was down to camp for the first time in 40+ years, embracing new adventures, new experiences and making priceless new memories along the way + spending time with my brother while soaking in every baby smell, coo, and smile from my niece + returning to the Grand Canyon with my trail sister/birthday girl/ultimate adventure bud = my heart is literally about to EXPLODE with happiness. I am so grateful for my family, my friends, my boyfriend, and this life that I have worked so hard for and risked to have. The icing on the cake was melting into the arms of my better half in New York and feeling whole again.

Next week's goals: Running 30(+?) miles including speed work + weights. Plus, cranking out a crocheted scarf or two (I've got about 12 or so to crochet between now and October as "thank you" gifts for those that have donated to the ACS). And lastly, settling back into the work groove as we're officially back on the road for the remainder of the year (or until Thanksgiving-ish) with three separate tours and I couldn't be more excited!

Final note: Life is short. LIVE. Seriously, LIVE. Dance in the rain. Take risks. Smile more. Love hard. Travel far. Retirement is not guaranteed. Nor is your health. Stop putting your dreams or your goals on hold, grab life by the horns, and ride off into the sunset!

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