Summer Bucket List 2018 | Camping in Utah

Our family enjoys being outdoors.  We like to go hiking and take walks at the park.  Jason and the kids like going on bike rides and as you know, I'm a runner.  However, we just recently started going camping as a family.  I guess you can say we are officially "outdoorsy" now ;) To check out my 5 tips for camping with kids, go HERE

Anyhow, we'd been camping twice and both times to the same place, Navajo Lake in Utah, so for this year's camping trip we decided we'd try someplace new.  We made reservations to a campsite in Central Utah called Kents Lake.  We went with 3 other families, all of which had also been with us on our last camping trip.  We arrived on a Thursday afternoon and spent 2 nights sleeping in tents and enjoying the fresh air.  The weather was a bit warmer than our last trips, but we appreciated it at night.  We had one afternoon of showers and hail, which put a slight damper on our lunch and made Elysse freak out, but it cleared up pretty quickly and all was well again! 

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The main highlight for our family was Diego catching his first fish on the lake! It was so special to see his face light up! Huge thanks to the family fishing next to them for sharing their secret weapon with us and helping him figure out what to do once he'd caught it.  

The camp site was fine, but I wouldn't recommend it as it didn't have flushing toilets.  Now, I understand we're camping and all, but flushing toilets are a basic necessity for me.  They had vault toilets, which is really just an outhouse.  Also, compared to Navajo Lake, there wasn't too much to do around the campsite or on the lake.   Of course, when you're camping with 13 other people and you are all good friends, you don't need much more than that!  We still had a really good time with lots of laughs and new memories were made.  We can't wait to go camping again together, just not at Kent's Lake this time.  We're thinking of changing it up and doing some beach camping in Southern California next summer. What's your favorite camping spot? Have you been camping at the beach? Let me know in the comments below.  

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Self-Doubt Before Race Day | Rock N Roll Half Marathon Nashville

So, as I type this I should really be packing for my trip to Nashville, since we'll be out tonight.  My flight leaves at 6am tomorrow, so I have an early wake up call.  Anyhow, I'll get to it before I have  to get into mommy-driver duty! 

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I'm super excited to be running the Rock n Roll Half Marathon in Nashville this Sat. Not so much because I love country music, hilly courses, and humidity, but because I'll be running alongside my BFF since high school! This will be her first half marathon and I'm thrilled I was the one who motivated her to sign up.  I was asking if maybe she'd like to run the 5K, but she surprised me and said she'd join me in the half marathon! You can imaging my excitement!!! She's been training for about 12 weeks and I've been supporting her via text messages and phone calls. This got me thinking about my own first half marathon and how my cousin, who's an avid marathon runner, came to run alongside me for my first half marathon.  I remember how happy I was to have someone with all of her experience running with me and supporting me.  It really helped make my first half marathon experience such a good one! As excited as I am to now be the one paying it forward and being the "experienced" runner, I'm also nervous about my own performance.  Hills aren't my jam, I mean, let's be honest, they aren't anyones jam! I'm also not as fast or fit as I was a few years ago and it's messing with my head (see what I did there?).  I've put in the miles and ran hills in my training, but I'm afraid I'll be seen as a fraud.  Like, yea I call myself a runner, but then I'm huffing and puffing at mile 10.  I'm afraid I won't be the best support for her or worse yet, that she'll be the one supporting me! Won't that be embarrassing!?! 

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I'm working on keeping a positive mindset and trust that I won't fail.  I need to trust that it's going to be a fun experience, no matter the outcome.  I admit, this is hard to do.  It's hard to feel your best, when you know you could do better because you have done better.  Ok, I know I am overreacting to a hypothetical situation and it's silly, but it's the truth and I can't be anything but honest.  Have you ever felt this way before? Be it running or another aspect of your life, I bet you have. I can also say from experience that things aren't usually as bad as you think they're gonna be.  Am I right? So, I am leaving it all here on the blog.  I'm typing it out here but then I'm going to think of how happy I'll be seeing my best friend, who I haven't seen almost 5years.  I'm going to focus on how awesome it is that I'll be running my 14th half marathon in 2 days.  I'm excited to visit and explore a new city and eat some pretty good food too!! And, I'm gonna go pack...

Who's been to Nashville? Any recommendations on must-see or must-eats? I'll be back next week to let you know how it went and if you are struggling with feelings of self-doubt too, stay strong and know you aren't alone. XO 

 

2017: A Year in Review

Here we are at the end of yet another year.  Most years go by really fast for me but, I think 2017 didn't go by as fast as other years.  We definitely had some busy seasons with work and travels, mostly during the summer and October, but the rest of the year felt smooth and less rushed than others. I'm so not complaining about that! I am not one to glorify busy and enjoy taking time to enjoy my days and not feel rushed.  

A big highlight of the year for me was becoming part of the Rock N Roll Marathon Series ambassador program, called Rock N Blog and I'm excited to be a part of the team again for 2018!  This definitely set the tone for my running schedule for the year.   I ended up running 18 races!  Seven of these were virtual 5Ks, but they still came with some awesome race bling!! One was the Run Love Virtual 5K by Running Skirts and the other 6 were with the Rock N Roll Race Series!  I also did a fun non-competitive community 5K with the kiddos. And 2 more 5Ks, one at  Rock N Roll San Diego and the other at Rock N Roll Las Vegas as part of the Remix Challenge.  I ran 2 obstacle course races, the Vegas Spartan Super and the Badass Dash.  Lastly, I ran a total of 6 half marathons this year. By far, the most half marathons I've ran in 1 year! My favorite was the San Diego Half Marathon, not because I PRed or anything, but because it was such a fun race! If you want to check out any or all the race recaps, you can do so HERE

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Traveling and getting out to explore new places, near and far, is a big part of our lives. This year, 3 of our trips were race-cations! We traveled to San Diego, Seattle, and Napa for me to run half marathons + we got vacations out of it too, I'd say it was a win-win for everyone!  For Spring Break we visited the Getty Center in Los Angeles, Six Flags Magic Mountain, and Malibu. We took our summer family vacation visiting the Pacific Northwest. We spent 2 days in Seattle and rest of our week was spent in Oregon.  We stayed in Portland and saw the main sights in the city, as well as visiting the Oregon Coast and the Colombia River Gorge, including the famous Multnomah Falls.  We also took a kid-free weekend getaway trip to San Diego, mostly to run the Rock N Roll 5k + half marathon but also to unwind a bit.  It was great.  Another trip we took was to the Sonoma/Napa Wine Valley.  That was a fun trip we took with our friends without the kiddos too.  I ran the Napa to Sonoma Half Marathon and the rest of the time we visited some amazing wineries and ate some delicious food! 

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We also planned smaller weekend and day trips throughout the year to Southern California, Valley of Fire, Willow Beach at the Arizona border, and Sand Hollow State Park in Utah.  We had a great Summer Bucket List, full of activities and even though we didn't finish everything on the list, it was a ton of fun!  This year we also celebrated my parent's 50th wedding anniversary! 

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This time of year, I always like to reflect on all aspects of my life and really take note of what worked, what didn't, where I can improve, and start planning for the upcoming year.  It can be difficult to balance life and I know it's impossible to get it all right, all the time.  The best I can do is learn from my experiences, grow, and start off with a good plan. I hope you too take the time to reflect and learn from this past year and not just dwell on what didn't go right, but really embrace and appreciate all the good too! XO Jessie