My First Freelance Writing Job (and It’s now live online!)

I’ve always liked writing. Ever since I can remember I’ve loved it. When I was in 2nd grade I used to write stories about a dog name Scruffy that smelled of cookie dough and went on adventures (If I ever find these, I will definitely show you all).

Later, I used to write stories about haunted amusements parks in a journal I kept. They were never very good, but I loved to imagine what would happen to my characters (think: the shy, smart girl gets the cute, popular boy).

In high school,  my english teachers loved my writing and one saved my re-telling of a mythology story for future classes. However, It wasn’t until I started this blog, and mainly in the last few years, that I realized how much I really liked writing and thought about doing anything with it.

I started writing some stuff for a novel and have thought of freelance writing jobs. I have submitted articles to different publications, none of which got accepted, but finally I saw a great opportunity that was perfect for me! I’m not sure where I first found out about the job, probably social media, but I applied to be a contributor for 10hikes.com

After exchanging some emails, I got the chance to write about the best hikes in the Denver region!

10hikes.com is part of 10Adventures.com,  a Canadian company (you’ll see everything listed in kilometers!). For 10Hikes.com, they select the 10 best hikes for major, popular regions like big cities or national parks. Contributors, like myself, compile the list based on experience, research and physically going out to find the best hikes. We hike them, recording the map data, take pictures and write about each one.

I get paid to hike! How sweet is that!?

My first region, Denver area hikes, is finally live on the website and I want to show you all! Check it out!

My favorite of the 10 hikes I chose is number 1 on the list, Beaver Brook to Chavez Trail.

I just got assigned the Rocky Mountain National Park region! I’m so thrilled and already started hiking them while trying to pick the 10 best ones (a very hard job).


Look! It’s me!

Follow along in real time of where I’m hiking on Instagram! 

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#60HikesDenverChallenge – Bear Creek Park

(For 2017, I have a goal of getting through all 60 trails in the book “60 Hikes Within 60 Miles: Denver”  You’ll see these posts all year-long. You can find a lot of info on each of the trails in the book, but I’ll highlight some things each time in addition to including my experience and opinion on the trail. The number below is associated with how they are labeled in the book if you have it.)

Trail #16 – Bear Creek Lake Park: Bear Creek Trail
Completed: 5/2/17 | Number Completed: 13/60
Mode: Running
Location: Morrison/Lakewood, CO – C-470 & Morrison Exit (CO – 8)
Distance: 4.42 miles
Difficulty: easy
Type of trail: Hard packed dirt, balloon configuration
Exposure: half of the trail is in the shade
Facilities: Pit toilet restrooms along the park (none at the trailhead)

 

My Experience:
There’s really not much to say. I wanted to get a run in after track practice and drove a few miles to Bear Creek Lake Park, parked in the free lot, and ran the trail from the book.

This trail isn’t all that special. Submersed in the middle of the city, it’s a nice escape from the hustle and bustle without a far trek. The trail system can get a little confusing, but, there only so many miles, that if you did get off track, you’d just loop right back to the main park. There are also lot of trail races here and I’ve done a 10k around the lake.

To follow the trail from the book, park in the free lot just north-west of the C-470 and CO-8 (Morrison Rd) intersection. Carefully cross the street, and hang a left on the biking trail. This takes you under the highway and is the walk-in access to the park. Follow the sidewalk until the bridge, crossing over the river and make a quick left on the trail. This leads you through a parking lot (a paid access lot), across the street and you’ll enter the Owl Trail on the other side. Parallel the river until the Fitness Loop Trail (a looped trail that used to have exercise equipment). This is will loop around, giving you views of the lake, Mt Carbon and the area camping. It will reconnect to the Owl Trail and you’ll retrace your steps back to your car.

Pros:
-Close to town
-Easy miles (unless you add in Mt. Carbon)
-Lots of other things to do
-Dirt trails making it a nice soft surface

Cons:
-Crowded
-Not that scenic
-Can still hear the noise from the roads

Tips:
-Tip avoid crossing the major street from your car, you can drive into the park, and pay a few bucks to get in. State parks passes don’t work here.
-There’s a lot of stuff to do in the park: camping, horse back riding, water sports
-If you’re a runner, check your local racing calendar for races inside the park. A great one is the Bear Chase Series.
-To actually get a HIKE in, add Mt. Carbon into your journey.

Overall:
A lot of tourists flock here for some reason, same with locals. No offense to them, but there’s much better, scenic, more relaxing places to camp and visit not far away. For people coming from out of state, you’ve already come this far, just drive a bit longer and go into the mountains! If you’re a local, yes, run here, play here, etc. It’s a great, close by area to squeeze in some activity to a busy life. But if you have more time, just add a bit more to your travel time for a much better place to play. As for being in the 60 Hikes Within 60 miles of Denver book…. It’s not much of a “hike.”

Bear Creek Lake, Mt Carbon


Gear Reviews: LEGEND Compression Wear Recovery Socks

Some of you might know, I am a Legend Compression Wear Ambassador. I was contacted last year by one of their team members after they saw my blog. Super flattered, of course I accepted it! Back in June, I was the first Legend Compression Ambassador of the month! Woot!

While compression socks are not a new thing, LEGEND is focusing on the right way to compress. Their hashtag, #rightnottight hones in on their graduated compression technology (instead of just being a super tight sock). They want all athletes, from the elite to the casual jogger, to perform at their best and extend the life of their legs and live their own Legendary life. #BeALegend

The recovery socks are 20-30 mg of compression and meant for post-exercise and travel. Key features:

Why I love the Recovery Socks:
1. They are super comfy!
After a race, I’ll a throw on my recovery socks, memory foam sandals and be good to go for walking around the expo, heading back home in the car, or sitting on a plane.

2. They are the perfect amount of compression.
They are not too-tight and I can wear them to bed, something I can’t do with regular compression socks.

3. They are not just tight on the calves but on my feet as well.
I’ll wear them even just after a long day of standing. I also get plantar fasciitis regularly and these socks are tight around the feet to help relieve some of those symptoms.

4. They really do work! 
I bring these socks whenever I am doing a relay race, traveling, or when I know I have a bunch of days of hard running in a row, like a Cross Country Camp. I’ll wear these after each run or while sleeping and I really feel like my legs are a lot less sore. Without them, I would never be able to complete some of the hard running events I do.

Tips:
1. Think outside the box. These socks aren’t just for after a race,  you can wear them to keep your legs fresh while traveling, after working on your feet all day, or sitting at the desk.

2. Buy a pair of strap sandals. Or anything that you can put your whole foot in (i.e. not thong-flip flops). That way you can still wear the socks and not have to put on stuffy closed-toed shoes.


You can find the LEGEND Compression Wear Recovery Socks HERE.
Only $42.50, they are a worth it!

Click HERE to get $15 off your first LEGEND Compression Wear Order!

Don’t forget: #BeLegendary


Your turn: Do you have a favorite compression gear brand? Would you try LEGEND?

Racin’ Rams Cross Country Camp

I have been very lucky to have found a coaching job for the last six years. I know that it can be pretty hard to find an open, paying, position in high school sports and I’m grateful everyday I get to show up at a school and run with the kids. After all, I do get paid to run!

One of the best perks of coaching high school cross country are the camps. Not all schools do them, but the few schools I’ve gotten to coach at have had a summer camp With Arvada, we went out to Portland, Oregon to run around. With Golden and now with Green Mountain, we got to trek it up to the mountains and run like crazy for a few days. I went to Breckenridge last year with the previous school I coached for and this year got to go up to Winter Park for four days.

View from the condos

Our Map

The camp starts out on a Tuesday with a run, of course, and we ran five miles through the town of Winter Park. After some down time and lunch, we got in a few games of ultimate frisbee before heading back to the condos for spaghetti.

Wednesday, we got in two runs, one in the morning and one in the afternoon, time to wander in Winter Park, and a choice of game night or movie night before lights out.

The first run brought two different options: an 3.75 out and back on Vasquez or a longer, lollipop course through the local trails.

Run two, had us jogging through the pouring rain on the trails. I really liked this trail, “Twin Bridges” and went back for a second loop.

On Thursday, we hiked the trail the winds up the slopes of Winter Park Ski Resort and later ran about 3.75 miles along the Fraiser Creek Trail. The night brought the obligatory pizza eating contest at Hernado’s Pizza and was supposed to end with a competitive game of capture the flag. However, the rain had other ideas for us, and left the game field too dangerous to play on.

View from the top

With our last day, Friday, we brought camp to close with a long run. The kids ran out and back anywhere from 5 miles to 10. I got the honor of running with a freshman that wanted to reach that 8 mile mark. We trucked along. The whole way out was an gradual, steady incline. Tough as nails, my new-to-running buddy toughed it out. We reached the turnaround and cruised the four downhill miles back to camp.

Can you see Emma up there, way out in front?

All of the kids did amazing and had achievements to celebrate, a lot of them new to running. With minimal complaining, lots of time to bond, the Racin’ Rams had a great camp to kick off the 2017 Cross Country season.

That’s a lot of kids! And that’s just the ones that got to camp! There’s even more! Excited for the 2017 season with a new school!

Happy Coach! Also, this girl, (one of my favorites – shhhhh, don’t tell anyone) in the back, is new to running, tough as nails, and just keeps pushing on to get better, never complaining!