Taking a Break | Visiting Valley of Fire State Park

On Black Friday, rather than deal with crowds of eager shoppers looking for great deals, we took a little road trip to visit the Valley of Fire State Park.  It's about an hour's drive north from Las Vegas and well worth the drive to get away for a bit.  To our surprise, the park entrance had a super long line and we ended up waiting about 20 minutes to get to the gate.  I guess we weren't the only ones not interested in shopping!  

I know I say this all the time, but I really do just love getting outdoors with my family and enjoying our time together unplugged from the world, even if it's just for an afternoon.  We sometimes (read lots of times) are so overwhelmed with being busy, that we forget to slow down.  We know we should, but  we end up getting wrapped up in our day to day routine.  We get lost in the chaos of life.  This is why it's so important to be intentional with our lives and our relationships with others, especially our family.  It's important to carve out time to be together to visualize how you want to spend your time with each other and make it happen.  For us, we find that being outside exploring nature, brings us together.  There's less bickering and whining out there.  There's time to breathe and laugh and just be.     

What kinds of things do you do when spending some time with the ones you love? I'd love to hear about it and get some ideas for my crazy bunch too! xo



December Health & Fitness Goals

This is the last month of the year and I plan on making it a good one.  December is always a time for me to reflect on the year past and work on making improvements for the next year.  I usually do this in a very informal way.  Maybe I'll grab a notebook and write a few things down or I'll put it in my notes app on my phone while waiting in line or something.  But this year it will be different. This year it will be intentional.  I've already scheduled a day for the hubs and I to sit down and talk about 2015 goals.  Everything from finances, vacations, business, and health is on the agenda.  2015 will be my year to organize and make things happen!  Who's with me?!?! 

On to my recap....October was such a good month for me reaching my goals, I really set the bar high for November thinking I could keep it going and really I should have.  But, life happens and I still have a hard time staying focused and disciplined on vacation.  I only ran 3.5 miles that week and that really put me behind on my goal for 60 miles.  I tried hard to make it up that last week in Nov, but I came short 7 miles.  53 miles isn't so bad, right?  Again, that trip to Texas got in the way and I ended up gaining 3 of the 4 pounds I lost in Oct.  Boo...but, I worked hard and lost them when I got back so, I'm back where I was in October, but not where I want to be yet!  The 12K trail race went great and I was really happy with my time.  You can read the full recap HERE ;) And extra core work, well, yea, that didn't happen.  

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For December I really, really, want to lose those elusive 3 lbs.  Like for real, I have to!! No excuses.  I'll be training hard for the Spartan Beast & Sprint coming up in January and running will help me a ton. I did lower the milage, though, because I know it's going to be a busy month and we'll be going away for a weekend too.  300 burpess? Why not, bring it on! 

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What are some of your goals for December?  Are you taking it easy this last month of the year or are you gonna end 2014 with a bang?  

Trails of Glory 12K | Race 13 of 14

This past Saturday Jason and I ran the Trails of Glory race put on by Desert Dash.  We also ran their Blood, Sweat, and Beers 10K trail race earlier this year and loved it.  Trails of Glory was also a great time!  We ran the 12K distance, but there were also 8K, half marathon, 30K, and full marathon distances.  Vegas is a small town and it was a local race, so we saw lots of familiar friendly faces and even saw one of our neighbors there!  For being a local race, there were lots of folks that came from all over the country and even Canada to run this race.  

The race started at 8:30am and it was sunny and warm!  We could not have asked for better weather mid-November!  The trail was just as advertised, not too technical, no steep inclines, and lots of fun.  The trail started with a bit of a decline, which was super nice and got me off to a fast start.  Jason took off ahead of me soon after the start.  He was never too far ahead, though.  At the first mile we ran by the famous "Duck Tree".  Apparently it got it's name because bikers would have to duck under it and yell "duck" to warn anyone coming behind them.  Eventually, people started putting ducks on the joshua tree for decoration and voila, Duck Tree was born.  I was having issues with my headphones and had to slow down or stop a few times to fix my music.  I seriously need a new phone!!! Anyhow, at some point around mile 3 or so I passed Jason.  At that point I started to get a little tired and the trail's elevation started to go up nice and steadily.  I slowed down some till I got to the aide station and then it was fast-going again and I had a strong finish.  I looked down at my Garmin I noticed it read 6.90 miles, not quite the 7.45 miles a 12K should be*(more on that later!).  I was sort of bummed, but didn't make a big deal about it.  I felt great and was able to take a few pictures of Jason coming through the finish line.  He came in about 10 minutes behind me.  He wasn't too happy with his time, but he hadn't been training for this race and was just happy to get out there and run a good trail.  We hung around a bit, took a quick pic with our pal, Lisa (she's awesome!) grabbed a banana and called it a day!  

We live about 12 minutes from that trail, so we stopped by our house to shower and change before picking up the kiddos at my sister's house.  When we got there we were greeted with mimosas!  I know, I say it all the time, but my sister really is the best!  Of course, we were starving after the race so after picking up the kiddos and enjoying our celebratory mimosas, we went to our usual breakfast spot, Egg Works!! 

*So, turns out some jerk (not anyone running the race) was seen removing some of the race flags and signs and most of us running the 12K missed a marker and turned too soon, cutting our race distance by half a mile or so.  Why someone would do this, is beyond me!! Grrrrrr.....

I've got one more race to run before 2015 to reach my goal! Woohoo!! How are you doing with your fitness goals this year?