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Last week, Kale and I (typically fairly careful planners) decided to throw caution to the wind and head for the hills. ¬†How spontaneous and fun of us ūüôā ¬†Every summer, my dad packs up a horse trailer with horses, saddles, and camping equipment and heads west for a week of riding and being one with nature. ¬†Since childhood, I have usually joined him on such adventures but have been unable to join the last few summers as I was either out of the country or moving. ¬†This year, I figured, would be the same story, since we had just moved from California to Minnesota the week before and were anticipating starting our jobs soon. ¬†When I found out that my start date for work would be set back a few weeks due to slow paperwork processing, it was just in time to throw some clothes in a pack, put our camping equipment together and head to my dad’s for an early start the next morning.

This year’s trip was planned for the Big Horn Mountains in Wyoming, a favorite spot of mine. It’s a LONG drive, but the scenery is absolutely spectacular. It’s pretty remote and rustic, which means no phones, internet, or TV which suits me just fine. It’s nice to get away from all of that once in awhile.

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Matching cowboy hats

The weather was absolutely perfect all week. ¬†We had some wonderful trail rides through the mountain trails and up to mountain lakes. ¬†Kale hasn’t ridden horses that many times, but you would have never guessed! He was a regular cowboy. ¬†We slept in a tent, ate outside, had a fire every night, hiked, sat in the hammock and read/napped after rides, and took in the peaceful and beautiful scenery.

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Our tent and guard dog

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Buckley got to go too.  He loves these trips.  IMG_1096 IMG_0088

I did some running during our time out there, although it wasn’t too pretty. ¬†The first full day we were there, I ran an easy 4 miles, and by easy I just mean SLOW. ¬†It wasn’t actually easy at all. ¬†Turns out running in the mountains, up and down hills at high altitude is grueling! It was good for me though. ¬†I ran two other times, one 7 mile run and another 4. ¬†I ran my long run (14 miles) on Sunday night when we returned to Minneapolis. ¬†I couldn’t beat the scenery though in Wyoming. ¬†There was no traffic, no other people, lots of wildlife, and it’s really such a magnificent area.

I just read¬†this article¬†about the effects of high altitude training. ¬†It describes (briefly) what happens physiologically and gives tips on high altitude running. ¬†Check it out if you’re heading to the mountains this summer!

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A friend sent me this link from theOatmeal.com, have you seen it? The Terrible and Wonderful Reasons Why I Run Long Distances.  Loved it.

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Link

I’m so amazed by the outpouring of support for the city of Boston and the Boston Marathon Runners. Tribute runs have been popping up all over the US, the Red Cross has been overflowing with blood donations, and numerous other donations for victims and their families. Good people outnumber the bad, and we always will!

A tribute run in the area for anyone interested, and also in the area ūüôā

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In a few short weeks, I will be running in the San Diego Zoo Safari Park Half Marathon with several friends. I’m getting so excited! One of my good friends ran it last year and had a blast, so I’ve been looking forward to it since she told me about it.

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Here is the link to the race website, Safari Park Half Marathon

The race raises money for “rhino conservation in the wild by supporting anti-poaching laws, managing rhino translocations, reintroductions and improving security” as well as providing care to the rhinos at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. The race website has links so some really cute rhino videos (there’s a baby rhino named Charlee – adorbs).
See also http://www.savetherhino.org.

If you’re interested in donating to the cause, you can do so on the race website. OR sign up for the race too!

Also found on the website – love it:

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Workouts this week so far:
Sunday – 5 miles on the treadmill
Monday – cross-train – 25 minutes bike, 25 minutes elliptical, abs, arms
Tuesday – 4.09 miles (treadmill) in honor of Boston – marathon time when the bombs went off
Wednesday – biked to work (6 miles total). I have felt a little under the weather the last couple days, so I decided not to run too
Thursday (today) – still not feeling that great, but ran 4.13 miles outside because I couldn’t resist how nice it is outside ūüôā

In other news, I added a “Races Page” to document races and times in the last couple years – and I’ll keep adding to it. Some photos too.

Happy It’s Almost Friday!!