Tuesday, August 22, 2017

The Colorado Life

Monday afternoon marked two full weeks since we arrived here in Boulder.  I've posted a few pics here and there on social media despite wanting to post 1000 and decided to use my blog for something other than running for a change, well let's be honest it will include some running too but anyway I decided to share our first couple weeks experiences and photos here for anyone interested.
Got to spend a little time in Iowa with my BRF!

LOTS of time in the car
Two Mondays, we pulled up to our house here in Boulder, exhausted and gross.  We had packed my forester to the gils as we totally underestimated how much stuff we still had left to bring.  Anyway we all carried a few things in and as soon as we walked in, immediately I knew we were home.  Emir had decorated the whole house with our pictures, knick knacks and arranged everything in all the rooms.  It looked great and the kids were so excited to walk into their home rather than a weird house full of boxes.
Welcome home!!!
 Emir went back outside to get a few things and came in calling for Niko and Una saying he had something for them, it was a 7 year old boy from across our circle that we now live on.  Turns out he also has an 8 year old brother and 2 year old sister.  The kids have quickly become inseparable riding bikes, going to the park, back and forth between our houses, making trades.  It's amazing how quickly kids bond and to have a kid come running in our house within 5 minutes of arriving was just the sign I needed to know "this is all going to be ok and work out."

I spent the better part of the first week at Target and doing things around the house.  One of the things I LOVE about it here is how much more freedom kids can have.  We live on a circle now which is connected to a couple other circles with no outlets so there is very little traffic plus there's sidewalks EVERYWHERE here.  There are also paths (biking, running, walking) EVERYWHERE so the kids can go many places without ever having to encounter a road.  Therefore,  the kids were riding and running around with their new friends all week which allowed me to get some things done, obviously still not as much as if they were at school but enough. 
path at the park

LOVE the views at the park

Aside from visiting Target, we have been enjoying the LARGE park that is less than a mile away.  It's beautiful there, gorgeous views, a lake and obviously awesome playground stuff for the kids.  A side note, currently there are goats at the park which at first we didn't understand why however we have since learned these are actually goats that are rescued from all over the country and employed by the city of Boulder.  They are called Mutton Mowers.  They also have a couple llamas that hang out with the goats to protect them from the riffraff.   I think it's so great but so funny.  The goats are basically hired as lawnmowers for the city.  I'm a little obsessed with them and may offer to go to the park more often because of them ;-)  hahahaha


Bubbles!! I wish she could live at our house

The city of Boulder has an incredible recreational program.  There's so many programs and also awesome facilities.  Last weekend we visited the East Boulder Community Center.  They have the usual workout equipment but also a rock climbing wall and a kick ass pool.  They have an 8 lane lap pool as well as a fun pool with a gigantic slide, lazy river and basketball net.  Niko has decided to take an intro to rock climbing class there to learn the basics and see if it's something he wants to get into as they have some amazing programs here for that. 


running with the cows

On Saturday we went to the Liquid Mechanics 3rd anniversary party.  It's in one of the other towns nearby, Lafayette.  We had a great time as there was tons of kids and live music, oh and the beer was pretty darn good too. 

Obviously I didn't go the whole first week without running, duh.  And I probably don't need to say it, but running here is AHHHHMAZING.  I mean yes there's been a couple times I just wanted to quit after a mile or two which I'm sure is related to adjusting to the altitude and the fact that we have been traveling for like a month straight but no matter how shitty the run, it's still a million times better than any other run I've had.  The scenery, the trails, it's just all so awesome.  And I would be remiss if I didn't talk about the community.  There's just running groups and group runs galore. Plus everyone here runs even if it's just a little bit each week.  I've already been asked by a couple neighbors to go on some short early morning and evening runs.  I also joined the Boulder MRTT (moms run this town) before we actually moved here to start making a few connections.  I even ran with my now friend Aubrey a couple times this spring.  Last week they posted a 15 mile run for sunday morning and I had 18 so I figured it was a perfect chance to meet more ladies from the group.  Everyone was so welcoming and I had the best time.  Back in PA, it was just so hard to fit in group runs or runs with a friend because they just didn't work with our schedule and usually I have to drive somewhere to get to one.  BMRTT is so perfect since everyone is a mom and has a million things so even tho it sucks, we all met at 5:30 so we could get our long run in and still be there for all the kid activities of the day.  Everyone is pretty much in the same boat so they all help each other out to make sure the runs get done.  And icing on the cake, I've made like 10 new running friends in about 2-3 hours of running together. 

MRTT running friends

Of course now there is a whole new world of trail racing available to me, all within such reasonable driving distances.  I have actually already signed up for my first Colorado race.  It is one the new UA Mountain running races.  I'll be running the 50K at Copper Mountain on September 9th.  It's only 1.5 hours away from Boulder and the race starts late enough in the morning that it's an easy drive race morning.  Since Copper mountain is a huge resort mountain, there are tons of activities year round so the family has decided to join me in on the fun.  I know it's going to be super tough since I haven't been training at altitude long but I'm still excited to take part in my first Colorado Mountain race. 

passed by Copper Mountain on the way to Leadville

While we are on the topic of trail racing, the infamous Leadville 100 took place this past weekend.  We made a day trip out there since it's only 2 hours from Boulder.  The town itself is so cute!  We spent the morning exploring town, the National Mining Musuem and of course The World's Highest Craft Brewery ;-)   The afternoon and evening we spent at Twin Lakes which is where the aid station for miles 39 & 60 is.  The scenery there is beautiful and the aid station is situated right around a few little stores so it was very convenient for those of us spectating.  I was impressed by the sheer number of people there watching and cheering.  It was a very fun atmosphere and we got to hang out with some friends as well.  I know it will be a giant undertaking if I get in but being at the race definitely made me decide to enter the Leadville lottery for 2018.  I can't live so close to one of the best 100 milers and not do it!  Plus we actually have way more crew and pacers at our disposal here in Colorado than we did in PA.  I know I would have TONS of support if I get in.  fingers crossed!!

spent some time with Jess while she crewed Tim

And since it took me so long to get back to writing this, the kids have started school.  Last Monday we went for an hour to meet the teachers.  We ended up meeting a bunch of other kids and their parents, some actually live right here in our little neighborhood, hence how I ended up with 7 kids in my house monday after the visit to school.  Every year Niko is always so nervous to start school even though he was in a small school with all the same kids the last 3 years.  This year was so different.  He was so excited.  He said he loved that so many of the kids in his class live so close and he can walk to their houses.  He also was super pumped that he was going to ride his bike to school. 

school time!

The lifestyle is just so much different here.  So relaxed, so outdoors, so active and everyone is incredibly friendly and happy.  I knew it was a perfect fit for Emir and I but it's become very clear very fast that it's a great fit for Niko as well.  Not to say that it isn't for Una but she is still so young that it can be difficult to get as good of a gage on her.  That said she seems to be enjoying herself and she's ridden her little minnie mouse training wheel bike more in two weeks of being here than the entire time she's owned that bike.  And this past weekend, Emir attached her little bike chariot to mine so now I can ride her to school too.  She LOVES it, giggling and all kinds of princess stuff in there with her.  And it's a great workout for me!

All in all, even though it hasn't been long, I think it's pretty safe to say, this was the right decision.  We didn't make the choice to move lightly.  It was a better career opportunity for Emir but it wasn't something we absolutely HAD to do.  If it was only he and I, we would have made the decision to move in two seconds as hello obviously we are mountain loving, trail loving crazy ultra runner people but we had a lot of other things to consider.  It's not going to be easy to be away from all our family and friends but now being here for this short time, I know that this was where we were meant to be.   We were trying to live a Colorado lifestyle without the Colorado but we were given an amazing opportunity to actually live that Colorado life here and I'm so glad we took it. 

family hike right outside our door

Pearl Street


family hike at Chautauqua

fun on pearl street

view from our deck

PS If anyone wants to join me at Copper Mountain, use the code BIBRAVE40 to save 40%

Monday, August 14, 2017


Disclaimer: I received OOFOS as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

Taking the opportunity to try a second product from OOfos was a no brainer.  If you recall, I freakin love the clogs.  I still wear them everyday that I work which if you know me hasn't been often lately but before my last day in Philly they were still part of my work uniform.  This time around I was sent the #OOlala sandals.  I basically live in flip flops 8-9 months of the year so I knew if these were even half as good as the clogs, they would be my go to every day.

Unfortunately, I didn't get them until after we had left for our annual Bosnia/Croatia trip because we did TONS of walking to show my sister Cindy around but luckily I had them when I got home to help my poor feet recover from the two Jahorina races Emir and I did and all the walking we did everyday.

No lie, the second I put the sandals on, I knew I would never want to take them off.  They are just so comfortable.  They also truly do help your feet to recover.  For example, Sunday I went on an 18 mile, 3:45 long run.  My feet were totally toast after that run however I felt immediate relief as soon as I put the OOfos sandals on.  The tightness and soreness definitely lessened as I walked around in the sandals.  The OOfoam technology works as claimed.  It lessens the shock on your feet as you walk and eases stress on other joints as well.  Simply, they just feel GOOD!  I just want to wear them all the time.

The added bonus is that the OOlala sandals are also super cute.  Some of the other models of OOfos sandals are fine for just lounging or in your shorts & t-shirt kind of outfits but the OOlala can be worn as your everyday sandals but also will look great with a cute summer skirt or dress.  I love the sleek look of the straps and they come in a wide variety of colors.  They also so far seem incredibly durable.  I've been wearing them hours on end and on some rough terrain and they still look brand new. 

If you haven't given OOfos a try yet, you are definitely missing out.