1st Half of August Updates

I know it’s way worse in the Pacific north-west, but this is our air quality for the last few weeks here in Colorado. It’s gross and makes running outside way more difficult.

Like a lot of bloggers, I’d like to regularly do “updates” posts talking about what’s going on, keeping me active on the blog and doing general updates related to my blog. Ideally, weekly updates posts would be relatable for people, but that might be too ambitious for me. I have tried this in the past without much success. So, twice a month to start, I’m going to try to keep some updates including current likes, obsessions, books I’m reading, tv shows I’m getting into, updates with each job have, etc.

If you’re up to date from my last updates post, you’ll know we are officially moved into our new place. It’s been quite the adjustment as we are still in the middle of renovating and basically living amongst boxes in two of the many rooms in our new house. It has been nice being closer to main downtown Golden and we have been walking around a lot when we go out to eat or just want some ice cream at the local shop, Golden Sweets.

The good news:
-Our office is officially done and almost set up in terms of unpacking the office boxes!
-Our bedroom is ALMOST done. We have stained and finished the floors and are working on the baseboards. Once that’s done we’re done with that, we can move all our bedroom stuff in there!

Bedroom

The bad news:
-The next big room(s) to work on will be the living room and the bathroom. The living will be tough, especially with animals, as it is literally in the MIDDLE of the house and you have to walk through it to get to anything else. When we start that, we will literally have to walk outside and around the house to get to each side. Plus, the animals add a whole other level. We need to have someone watch the dog while we do the living room (DAD!?!)
-The bathroom, and thus the shower, can’t be worked on until the living is done because we have to walk through the living to get to the bathroom. Urg.

Office

Making lemonade out of lemons:
-Becuase we don’t have a working shower, we have been using our gym membership at the local climbing gym, Earthtreks, to take showers. I feel really weird going in there without working out, so, I’ve been working out a ton more! After cross country practice, I’ll head over the gym, do some strength training or rock climbing and then get my shower in. Healthwise, I’m feeling great, looking great (I guess), my running is getting easier, and I’m actually getting to climb a lot; something I haven’t been able to do for a while. Schedule-wise, it’s a pain in the butt because I then get home a lot later than I’m used to.

The first half of August was just normal as I adjusted to the new living quarters and cross country season started, but as the month has gone on, it has gone exponentially busier. I did get a chance to meet up with a friend of mine and hike up to South Table. It was nice to catch up with her and get in a hike, even if it was just across the street from our house.

New/current happenings in the world of Golden Mountain Guides:
We hit a tiny bit of a slow down with school starting but then it picked right back up this week. Earlier in the month, I helped guide a group of ladies for an Intro to Rock Climbing clinic. We also had a free clinic last Wednesday on Self Rescue techniques that should pull out some clients! Marketing for the win!

New/current happenings in the world of 3W:
The first half of the month was just normal 3W work and timing one of our races, but starting this weekend, it’s about a month straight of race directing and/or marketing events every weekend.

New/current happenings in the world of coaching:
The season officially started on August 6th and we practice 5 to 6 days a week. We’ve been hitting the streets and trails pretty hard but we also like to throw fun things in there like our water relay!  Our first scrimmage/meet is this weekend with our own fundraiser event, the Ram Run 5k on August 25th. I, unfortunately, can’t be there since I have to load a truck for a race for 3W, but I’m excited to see what the kids can do.

YOU can participate and help our program out! REGISTER here for the local event in Lakewood, CO or do the RAM REST (basically a “virtual” or a way to show your support and get a t-shirt!). Just put you want to support Cross Country!


What I’m reading:
I just finished up “Let Your Mind Run” by Deena Kastor. I highly recommend this for runners! It was a great read about resetting how you talk to yourself and ways to motivate yourself. I am already using pieces from this book and applying it toward my coaching. I also just finished “Dragon Teeth” by Michael Crichton. I am a huge fan of Michael Crichton and this is the third book to come out after his death. This book wasn’t my favorite of his, but it was still a fun read about the old west and the hunt for dinosaur bones!

What I’m watching:
Um…. we haven’t been watched much tv/netflix at this week, mostly because we moved the computer into the office finally and haven’t set up the tv. I do put on movies in the background while I work on stuff sometimes and for the past two years, starting at the very beginning, I have been watching every Disney movie. Yes, seriously. I’m up to the 1970’s and this week I watched Hamad and the Pirates and The North Avenue Irregulars.

This goal was started after a trip to Disneyland and I became fascinated with the Disney corporation as a whole. Actually, I’m not the only one that does this! While searching for some of the old movies, I came across a Jess! She’s an aspiring movie director/producer and is also watching every Disney movie and started a YouTube Channel to track and review all of them! Check her out and follow Every Disney Movie Ever; she’s adorable and educated about film/movies. I love her reviews and comments on the actual movie quality, new techniques, and overall movie opinions.

What I’m listening to:
I’m still trying to get through all of the Bib Rave Podcast! I’m almost there (I have a 30-45 min commute to work, to job #2 of the day and then home)! One I really enjoyed lately was about ice baths and icing in general! This hits close to home for me as icing chronic pain/injuries is a very common practice of our athletic trainer at the school I coach for and most studies these days are saying icing daily is actually preventing healing. I’m of this belief too and this trainer’s practices with our athletes is becoming a point of contention!

What I’m loving at the moment:
My Lush solid shampoo and conditioner. Since we still don’t have a shower at home, we’ve had to shower at the gym. I found an amazing product…a solid shampoo and conditioner! It’s easy to transport, better for the environment (no plastic waste), and lasts a really long time! Here’s an article on solid shampoos and conditioners. I found out about this product from a travel blogger. Even once our shower is done, I’ll probably keep using these. The company as a whole is amazing:

Noteworthy:
I’m running the Fortitude 10k in about two weeks! Check out my blog post on why I’m excited. Join me on Labor Day in Fort Collins! Use coupon code: WWINF15 to save $5!

2017 In Review

Looking back on 2017

2017 has probably been one of the worst and one of the best years I’ve ever had in my entire life.

It was most definitely one of the busiest years I have ever experienced. But it had a lot of fun moments.

It was definitely the most stressful year. But it was rewarding.

Grand Teton National Park

There were a lot of tears. And a lot of smiles.

There were times I wanted to quit everything and give up. And times that I wouldn’t trade for anything.

It was one of those years.

A lot of the bad included losing a step-grandparent, stressful home/work life balance, a tragedy within our cross country team, hail damage with a shifty, unethical car repair shop, loss of two pets, and probably more that I have repressed.

The good included a lot of travel, realizing love sees no bounds, a successful second year for Golden Mountain Guides, being part of five weddings and lots of time with family and friends.

I really am ready for a new year, carrying lessons from this year.

Here are some highlights from the past year…

January… started off slow. I started training to be a race director, track pre-season started, I started my #60HikesDenverChallenge (trying to hike/run all 60 trails in the 60 Hikes Within 60 Miles of Denver Book), we did a little bit of snowboarding and I did yoga challenge.

Walden Ponds, Boulder. Start of my #60HikesDenverChallenge

February…I did my first race as the sole Race Director (the Heart Throb 5k in Longmont), track season really starts, and we went to see the Mummies exhibit at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science.

See me in the background?? Literally holding back the flag from the wind as the race started. Sometimes race directors do some random tasks.

March…Ran the Erin Go Braugh 7.77k (my favorite of all the races the company I work for produces), and went to a Bridal Shower for Ben’s sister (which means wedding madness for the year starts).

Oh yeah, my outfit was AWESOME!

April… lots of work between all my jobs and my birthday month (wooo… 30 – that’s sarcasm in case you’re curious). But 30 did come with a zombie-themed escape room (we didn’t escape, for the record).

May… was full of the State Track & Field meet (one of my jumpers missed state by just a few inches – literally), running of the Bolder Boulder, and got hired for my first freelance writing job (10Hikes.com)

June…a ton of hiking (for my #60HikesChallenge and 10Hikes.com), a typical bachelorette party, and the first wedding of the year (Ben’s youngest sister) gets married. I also got a spot on a Ragnar Trail Snowmass team at the last second.

July… brought wedding #2 (Ben’s Cousin), a trip to Pennsylvania, lots of work (finished up my first 10Hikes project which reviewed the 10 best hikes in the Denver Region), and another Bridal shower (for my friend this time).

August...included another bridal shower (Ben’s other sister), a Trip to Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone National Park, a bachelorette Pary in New Orleans, and Cross Country season starts.

September… Held wedding #3 (my friend), I race directed my biggest race yet (a 500 person 5k), and two trips to Moab with Ben (one for scouting and back again for guiding a 12-women group).

October…was wedding #4 (Ben’s other sister), I finished up my second freelance writing project (reviewing the 10 best hikes for Rocky Mountain Nation Park which is not live online yet), we did another Moab trip, we travelled to Florida and on a cruise for wedding #5 and I ran the Miami Beach Halloween Half Marathon.

November…Cross Country season had ended but work with the running company picked up for our biggest race of the year (Broomfield Turkey Day 5k/10k). Then Thanksgiving brings some nice time in Estes Park as we prepare for the holiday season.

Relaxing in Estes Park, Rocky Mountain National Park, Sprague Lake

December…here we are, in December. This is when we try and play catch up with all of our jobs. Christmas was busy travelling between all of our families and we travelled up to North Dakota to see my friend and her new baby (baby #2 for her) and on to Dakota, IL for New Years and to visit Ben’s Grandparents. We even hit up TWO National Monuments on the way!


In the beginning of 2017, I set a few goals to focus on for the year. Let’s see how I did….

Running Goals –
1. To love running again (I do enjoy the sport again, but I’m not on a meticulous plan; I’ve going a week or more between runs sometimes.)
2. And work my way through hiking/running all 60 trails in the “60 Hikes Within 60 Miles” Denver Edition (I got 17 of the 60 done. I did take on a freelance writing job involving hiking for 10hikes.com which involved hikes that are not in this book. I hiked 50+ different hikes this year. Maybe 60 was pushing it, but not bad for how busy the year was.

Other fitness –
I like to be active in general and play in the great outdoors, but I have one specific goal in mind:
3. Climb 5.10s consistently (I got ONE 5.10 done!)
3a. I guess that means I better start strength training regularly again…too. (Well, I definitely worked out more than I did the previous year, but not as much as I had hoped. I did climb a 5.10 in the gym just a few weeks ago, which felt pretty good.)

Career –
4. I would like to see more clients with Golden Mountain Guides than last year
5. Learn more about the tourism industry, in particular, marketing. (We did see more clients than last year! It’s pretty awesome to see your own company grow! And I did learn  a little bit more about tourism, mostly through our own company.)

Other –
6. Travel to FIVE new places, in or out of Colorado. (Check X5! See above and all the travel we did this year! We even made it to at least 8 National Parks of Monuments).
7.  Learn about a new topic every month. (This gets 1/4 green. We started out strong, learning about Egyptian History, oceans, and I took a month to study Jumps Coaching (track and field). But as our business got busier, we put this one hold, only to pick it up in November, studying Mayan History)

Overall, I am truly glad this year is coming to a close. I’m ready for a “new start” of sorts in 2018.

Chasm Lake – One of my favorite photos from 2017.

Let me re-introduce myself….

Let me introduce myself...Hi! I'm Whitney!

Let me introduce myself…Hi! I’m Whitney!

Yes, I’m done with my National Park posts…for now….but in the process of talking about our wonderful parks, I have gained a bunch of new followers!

Welcome! Thanks for following along on my adventures; I hope you enjoy them!

Since a lot of you weren’t with me when I starting this blogging adventure about four years ago (woah. shock and disbelief!), I’d like to re-introduce myself to you all and share how I started, why I blog now and what you can expect to read from me.

Running Ragnar Road Relay 2015

Running Ragnar Road Relay 2015

Well, for starters, I’m Whitney! Currently in Golden, I have lived all over the Colorado front range growing up from Colorado Springs up to Fort Collins. While many people argue this fact, I am a Colorado-Native…Ish. I was indeed born in a different state (South Dakota) but moved here when I was measly 6-months old… So you can call me whatever you want, but I feel like a native because I have no memories of South Dakota and I was born on an Air-Force base which is like neutral territory, right? Anyway…

While I don’t believe peoples’ jobs define them, mine are pretty close to my identity which hasn’t always been the case in the past. I have always been a jack of all traits and have had many random jobs in the past (even dressing up as Mr. Peanut, true story), they have all lead me to my current careers (yes, plural). I own a mountain guiding business in Golden, CO called Golden Mountain Guides. I also do marketing and event production for a running company, 3W Races. Somewhere in there, I have found extra time and I also coach high school cross country and track & field.

My boyfriend and I, owners of Golden Mountain Guides

My boyfriend and I, owners of Golden Mountain Guides

That gives you a little bit of a back ground on me and you can understand why I believe, in my rare case, that my jobs may actually define me. Although, it is not all that defines me. I have a HUGE love for all most things outdoors including running and climbing, and probably an even bigger love for travel. All of those things led me to creating this blog.

Attempting Mt. Whitney

Attempting Mt. Whitney

Dang, I can’t believe it’s been a little over four years since I started this! You can see history in the making here, with my first post. After reading some old stuff, I feel that I have come a long way.

Originally this blog was made to document my goal of running a race in every state. While I still really want to accomplish this (I’m up to 13 states!), over the years my blog as become way more than that.

Running like the Wind, or at least trying to, in Washington.

Running like the Wind, or at least trying to, in Washington.

It became a place to vent, to challenge myself and others, a motivation outlet and seeker, and has been becoming a sort of lifestyle blog. Back in the beginning of the year, I “re-branded” Racing the States. While the web address still reads the same, I have come to title my blog “Racing and Wandering” and changed the look and feel completely.

Now, I’d like to think of this writing outlet as a “wanderer’s lifestyle” blog. I still run, a lot, but I have a stronger desire than ever to see very inch of this world. In the last couple of years or so, I have gotten more opportunities to do so by means of travel and have seen some incredible places (last year I got to go to London baby)!

My dad and I on a double-decker bus in London.

My dad and I on a double-decker bus in London.

I’d like to be able to share my adventures with my readers, in addition to my running. I’d like to motivate more people to seek out what makes them happy, and if it’s travel, offer up places to explore, ways to do it wisely (and cheaply) and hope that you never feel stuck in this world.

Death Valley!

Death Valley!

Follow along! Click that button to the right…

Instagram is my favorite! Or Facebook is ok too.

Re-Post – Gear Review: SLS3 Dual Pocket Running Belt (and giveaway!)

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(I was given a free Dual Pocket Running Belt in exchange for a blog post on my opinion and a gear review. All words and opinions are my own. Giveaway at the bottom.)

Lately I have been having a weird issue with low energy while in the middle of a run. I have started carrying peanut butter packs or a Bobo’s Oat Bar while running, just in case. The desire to carry my phone with me while training (so I can Instagram and tweet…oh yeah, and for safety), combined with the need for something to carry it all in (besides putting it all in my sports bra), left me looking for an accessory to fit my needs.

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So when I got an email to try the Dual Pocket Running Belt by SLS3, I jumped at the opportunity!

I’ve taken the belt out on many runs already and have loved it! The SLS3 Dual Pocket Running Belt will definitely be a part of the majority of my runs and races from here on out.

It is exactly as it sounds: a running belt with two pockets. Bonus: there are also a bunch of other wonderful features such as it’s water proof, adjustable, and “expandable” (it stretches to fit whatever you need to carry with you). It’s very lightweight and weighs as much as whatever I put in it. I tested the SLS3 Dual Pocket Belt by putting as much stuff in it that I might need in the future (maybe for a long run or a race). It was stuffed with two energy bars, a phone, car keys, and credit cards/ID  (fits my android that’s bigger than an iPhone) and probably could have fit more!

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The only other running belt I have, or even have tried, is a water carrier belt; I couldn’t even tell you what brand. When I run with that fully load with my belongings and water, it bounces around on my butt like crazy, and I can never get it adjusted just right to be comfortable. I end up with some sort of chaffing. This is not the case with this SLS3 belt. It didn’t bounce, ride up or down and stayed exactly where I put it on my waist.

20160123_131211The specifics:

  • Two zippered pockets (making it so I’m not worried stuff will fall out).
  • Fully adjustable waist band that’s easy to adjust (fits sizes 24″ to 32″).
  • Small and compact (1.5″ wide without anything in it).
  • Connects with a plastic buckle.
  • Fully washable.
  • Four colors to choose from: lime, purple, blue, and black. (Blue’s my favorite!)

Why I really liked it:

  • Very comfortable!
  • Didn’t bounce around while running.
  • Water resistant – even the zipper! (That means you can wear it in the rain and snow AND your sweat also doesn’t leak through.)
  • Lightweight – I barely noticed it was there and was only as heavy as the stuff I put in it.
  • Fashionable! It looks good, not like some that stick out when you run and look goofy.
  • Expandable (the pockets look small, but they fit a lot of things I want with me for a run).
Testing out the waterproof-ness in the muddy snow!

Testing out the waterproof-ness in the muddy snow!

Cons:

  • I can’t really think of any except the fact that it doesn’t have a place for water. Then again, if I needed a water belt, I would try SLS3’s Hydration Running Belt.

This running belt has been added to my running gear collection as a staple. I haven’t raced with it yet, but I look forward to having a secure, comfortable place to put my car key and phone for the next race I run!

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Right now SLS3 is running a limited time introductory price. The belt retails at $29.90 but their Amazon store has it listed for $16.90 (43% Off). Click HERE to look at it and get one for yourself!

Also, save 40% off the SLS3 Website with coupon code: BLOG40

GIVEAWAY: Enter to win your own! Click HERE to enter the raffle!

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