The Rocky Mountain Half Marathon in all its wonder…ssh. Don’t tell…

So sorry for the delay.  It was a long weekend of very very bad wifi. And me hangin’ with friends took time, too. We were busy just …. hangin’ out.  Oh…and gettin’ this pretty thing.



The first time I ran this race, the first year it was run, was 2013. I couldn’t even find the words to tell you how great the race was.  I loved everything about it and the company. It was that good.

They got better. 

The Rocky Mountain Half Marathon put on by Vacation Races is a race series that celebrates our national parks. They are run in or near the national park of that race and then they choose a hike or activity near it to celebrate the park and encourage the runners and runners families to visit and enjoy the area. If you choose to do one of their hikes, you get a discount off of next years entry fee upon posting a photo of you and with bib and medal. Very cool. It’s pretty brilliant.

Things we loved about this race (prepare…it’s a long list):


That is all.

Okay..I’ll break it down.

The expo is held at the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado

Photo credit to Miss Sinclair…always camera ready

The views.

source: Rocky Mountain Half Marathon FB page~ blatantly stolen because it’s amazing and beautiful and hello…my camera did not take anything that stunning. Mostly because I was using my phone the whole weekend.

The people

The course support.

The company thinks of include in no particular order

clothing drop off at mile 3 besides bag drop off  at the start

hydra pouches for a cupless environmentally friendly race~ I love this. I’ve done it both years and it’s unbelievably easy and so much better than looking at all those cups thrown on the ground. 

three (yes three) race shirt colors to choose from

They had samples of the aid station supplies at the expo for people to try out

really clear concise emails to include the best race guide ever

upon arriving at the race expo you are presented with the race in booklet form

You can have someone else pick up your packet for you~ I know, a lot of races do this but really people, it’s the little things.

when you finish the race you are given a box of “race recovery and hiking food” and if you don’t like something they have bins to put the extras in so nothing gets wasted or thrown away.

you can purchase your photos beforehand if you choose and the after race photos are SO beautiful. Really clear and incredible.

They encourage you to go hiking and enjoy the National Parks.  It’s the point of their whole National Park series. If you choose to do one of the three hikes they have suggested and tag the race you can get a great discount at the race next year. Totally worth it.

The military discount is fabulous. 

OMG the course. Did I already say that?

Photo credit to the most fabulous Kristen Sinclair

photo by a REALLY nice runner guy who then proceeded to tell us he was “taking it easy this half” as he’s usually a “1:22 or a 1:19 halfer so this is a nice break”. LOL. um..thanks?

The police support and volunteers were SO positive and we really appreciated how encouraging they were.

If you find you can’t run you can defer or potentionally get some of your money back even up to the day before. Seriously. That’s nearly unheard of.

The medals are unbelievable. They do kind of look like a missile or an arrowhead but wow. Beautiful.


Seriously, even the bibs are beautiful. It’s the prettiest bib I’ve ever had.

The race is capped at 1500 people and we couldn’t be more thrilled about that. Estes Park, Colorado is a very small town that just has trouble supporting that many people anyway and it’s not shut down to just runners so it is BUSY that weekend. Hotel rooms are in short supply and you can expect places to be crowded. The beautiful thing…everyone was so nice and polite and clearly having the most wonderful time. 

Bart Yasso chatted with us at the expo and it was SO fun to meet him and engage him in talk of my favorite subject…Mt Everest! I loved it. LOVED it.

I read in the comments the leftover medals are used for a race where the runners get to choose the medal they want. HOW COOL IS THAT?  No waste here.

It’s an entire series of races covering the national parks. If you go to their website you’ll see all their races and when and where they are held. What a fabulous adventure to take to challenge yourself and to celebrate our beautiful nation. It’s a good reminder we sometimes get it right. #nationalparklove

There are so many things I can’t remember them all. Every time we turned around there was another little things that would make us shake our heads and say, “they seriously think of everything”.

After the race they send out a survey and ask how you liked it and what can they fix.

Then they fix it. 

I KNOW>…if only the government worked the same way.

If it’s not my favorite race it’s in my top two. It was amazing. It’s my second time running it and I love it more than ever.

Run on…


Filed under Tess

Oh yeah. We are makin’ TROUBLE now.

Kristen and Kat are here!!!

At least I think Miss Kat is here. I haven’t actually seen her with my own two eyes but I have it on good authority she’s at the hotel.

fx animated GIF


So…that’s a little creepy but it made me laugh so I threw it in there. Don’t judge me.

eyes animated GIF


Give me a break. I don’t get out much these days. And now with these girls we are tearin’ the place UP!

dancing animated GIF



We are leaving this morning after I pack

No I haven’t packed yet.


watching animated GIF

I said don’t judge me

quote animated GIF


Harsh much?


and right this moment they are busy texting me and I’m busy trying to type this so I’m going to go so I can pack and we can drive to packet pickup because


We’re not excited.

Not at all.

Plus Kat is hungry.

That is all.

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Run on…


Filed under Motivation, Races, Running

You know that whole…”I have a problem” thing?

It’s nothing new. We’ve talked about it before.

My everlasting and incurable love of all bags everywhere.

I finally admitted it yesterday when I stopped at Ross.

Ugh. I wanted like…six bags.

I know, I’ve talked about this before but SERIOUSLY> You guys have no idea my love for bags.

I think it’s a real issue I may need therapy for.

I thought about buying TWO!

I didn’t even buy one. I stepped away from the bags.

But I was sad.

I love the tote.  I mean…it’s asking for travel.  And though this isn’t the one I was looking at and had in my cart for far too long than I’d care to admit, it was the same gorgeous colors. Which totally ARE TOO springlike and cheerful. Whatever shut up so their neutral. They’re classic and always gorgeous. So there.

A crossbody? Why yes, thank you.  

Vintage??  I could die it’s so cute.  I found this one at a thrift store.


What about the backpack? My current love. I used to have one years ago when they first became popular and now I want another. But I’m picky.


This one is pretty gorgeous although I could maybe do without the tassles. I’d have to see it in real life. But I would never in a million years spend $228 on a purse. That’s crazy ridiculous.

I haven’t even touched on luggage. Formal, duffel, carry on.

Or sports. Gym bags, hiking bags, yoga bags.

I love them all.

I swear I won’t keep talking about bags. But I do really love them.


5.5 miles this morning with Miss G and then home to my smoothie. My cop of the day yesterday was so awesome. He is usually our quietest police officer and just sits in silence. Yesterday he made it his mission to make me laugh. But he did tell me his breakfast secret was pretty simple and he puts yogurt, banana, fruit (strawberries in my case) protein, milk (I used almond milk) and fresh spinach together with some crushed ice…

toss it in the magic bullet and it was so delicious. It is so my new breakfast.


Run on…



Filed under Motivation, Running

Sisterhood of the Traveling Shorts

Miss Andrea has the best style. Just the absolute best. She has a pair of shoes that turned my husband’s head. That’s really saying something. I mean…my husband does not generally notice shoes. I was impressed.

So I have a general rule when I buy something…I’ll hold it up and if I see Miss Andrea wearing it then I’ll give it a shot.

Years ago (too many to admit, I’ll say that) she wore these DARLING black express shorts with her black loafers and oh my gosh she looked cute. I was immediately envious of her long beautiful tanned legs (she’s way taller than me. Also Hispanic so I’m screwed on that tan thing but whatever).

As the years have passed the shorts have gone on to the “someday I’ll fit back into those” pile. Ugh. We don’t like that pile.

Well, I needed black dress shorts one day and she loaned them to me.

And I laughed.

they did not fit.

It was not pretty.

But they didn’t fit her so I just put them in my drawer.

Yesterday I needed some black dress shorts for dinner out with friends and grabbed them on a whim and HEY…


The shorts fit!

That was an exciting day right there.

So for now, I’ll wear them. But I fully intend to give them back to her.


Ten miles this morning….5.5 with Miss G who says her feet are feeling MUCH better (she could be lying, it’s possible. She’s TERRIBLE) and the other by myself. Felt great, it’s a beautiful morning! The sun was shining! The sky was bright and blue and it was just incredible out!

the sound of music animated GIF


Okay, it maybe wasn’t THAT good, but it was pretty good. Maybe a little warm out but otherwise nice. :)


Miss G has a thing about strangers so she tends to run a little guarded.  Some guy passes by with what appears to be his car keys in his hand. She looks at him and absentmindedly mentions he has something in his hand as she watches him walk away.

I casually told her it was a weapon he intended to kill us with then dispose of our bodies. Evil Bastard.

She turns and looks at me….very calm while she processes…then she burst out laughing.

Takes her a minute.  I like to keep her on her toes.


Today’s quote is a personal favorite. Most people, especially new runners, only feel the physical pain. But once you get past that and into the joy of the run (and yes…it does get there, I promise)  there is nothing that feeds me more than the run. Nothing.

Run on…



Filed under Motivation, Running, Spirituality

One plus one is…three? Really? I do math good.

We acquired a dog this week. Champ. I went to Home Depot to buy paint for the downstairs bathroom which yes, I’m finally painting. There was a family in front of the store. There was a young couple there with two older men. The girl was VERY pregnant. The guy had VERY blue hair (totally not relevant except for his bad taste). One of the older men was the girls dad…he was enjoying chain smoking as he sat next to her. The other guy….he was just there to not be helpful. They had a sign on computer paper and Sharpie that said “free dog, good with kids and animals”.  


I was immediately in distress for the poor dog who looked WAY too hot and way too smart for these people. I asked how old he was. The kid says, “two”.

I said, “how long have you had him?”

He said, “three years.”

I asked three times.

After the third time, having asked very slowly, he finally gets it, something is wrong with the math.

So he explains “I’ve had him since he was a baby”. Oh. that totally explains the ability to go back in time. 

I took the dog.

After much investigation on Sean’s part we found he had been at Every Creature Counts so we are taking him back to them today.

He’s a really really REALLY good dog and if we felt like a two dog family we would definitely keep him. But man, Montana is SO much work that I just don’t have the energy to deal with two dogs AND a teenager AND a cat with attitude.

Okay, that’s a lie. MT is no work at all but I should get to use that for a little while at least.


I’m supposed to run my 10 today. I need to get it done. I’ve had a migraine for like…a week. I have a Botox tomorrow and this is the first morning I’ve broken down and really drugged up. I do feel more human.

My Botox doctor doesn’t like my drugs because he says they cause rebound headaches but so far not drugging up is causing a major migraine so I’m choosing to just get it done. I feel a million times better. I can’t wait for tomorrow. Who knew I’d EVER say that (those thirty shots hurt like a son of a gun).


I’m trying to get Shaughnessy to go shopping with me. But if she doesn’t go…I’ll go by myself. Why? Because I need things. New bank new rules. Good times.



Run on…



Filed under Migraines, Motivation, Running, Tess

Cupcakes rule the world.

My head hurts.

Miss G and I ran our 5.6 today only we really only ran 4 I think and then …



both her feet started to hurt on the outside edges.

We immediately stopped and walked but I said no more running. No more walking.



See your chiropractor.

(she works for him, so…yeah. It’s easy to see him)

And we’ll see how it goes.

I said a silent prayer that my feet don’t give me problems as long as I’m careful. I think God figures everything else gives me a hassle and my head is bad enough, he’ll take it easy on my feet.

I told her to yoga tomorrow. We’ll see how she feels for Saturday but I think she’ll be yogaing (it’s a word) for the next week and she won’t like me.

Suck it up Cupcake.

You know, I was looking for a GIF that said “suck it up Cupcake” (yes, I do that. I think people have said all the things I say so there MUST be a GIF for it. There really isn’t but I always look). Instead I found this little GEM:

tina fey animated GIF

I have been doing this for YEARS!!!  I have taught many a fellow cupcake eater the wisdom of my cupcake eating style. I am astounded that Miss Tina Fey knew how to do this TOO.

We must be soul sisters.

Also, I want a cupcake.


I’ve been messaging like a fiend with Miss Katrina and Miss Kristen (otherwise known as Miss Katareena and Miss Kristine to those people who can’t pronounce their names…LOL) in preparation for our big trip to Estes for the Rocky Mountain Half Marathon next weekend (August 1st). We are SO EXCITED.  I’m excited to hopefully be able to spend three days not thinking about banking.

I have done a lot of running but not a lot of hills and not a lot of long mileage so this will be a surprise half marathon but I just don’t even care. I love this race and this race company and we get to have great fun for the weekend. So I’m going to not stress about it and just have a good time.



This is it. It’s so true. No one else is going to do it. No one else.

Run on…


Filed under Migraines, Motivation, Races, Running

Bad runs happen but the good run is just around the corner. And so worth it.

I didn’t run Sunday (my long run day)

The horror

what animated GIF


And Monday’s run became a walk (thank you Celiac)

Tuesday became a “rest day” (translation, I didn’t run)

So yeah…I was looking to bring it this morning and my little body did not fail me.


nice animated GIF

We had a much better running experience this morning.  A slow comeback after we both had a rough last week but it was so needed we pushed it through to finish the six miles. She’s running .75 of a mile of each of the six and I usually have her run the entire last mile so she’s really doing awesome for just running …hmm…five weeks?  I’ve lost track.

She said she was worried maybe she wasn’t meant to be a runner after all.

Um…no. It’s just a bad week and welcome to being a runner. Everyone has bad weeks. So wrong. But if you don’t have those, then you don’t get the great feeling from the good run, right?

I stayed after she stopped and ran two more laps to finish out at 8.29 or something completely not even for all you OCD running folks.

Funny, I’ve never been OCD about that.

I am now sitting at my computer at 9:30 in the morning eating Dirty Potato Chips Jalapeno Heat. Holy Wow are they hot.

funny animated GIF


It was such a good run,  I came right home and decided I would chill on the deck in the sun with a good book, my iPod and sleep a little and just relax.  Who can resist that morning experience?

Time to shower and be a grown up dammit. Off to work.

Man, a donut sounds so good. 😉



Run on…


Filed under Motivation, Races, Running

The things I do for love. Confession Tuesday.

I struggled with this title. I struggled with this whole event. I almost didn’t make this confession.

I thought if I just didn’t say anything no one would ever have to know this happened.

I have a really really good friend. She’s a single mom and she doesn’t get out very often.

She’s been DYING to see Magic Mike XXL and well…I wouldn’t go with her.

For obvious reasons. 

No, I never saw the first one.

For obvious reasons.

She’s asked everyone and no one would go.

Yesterday she asked me I said no…and cajoled and I said no…I asked if she wanted to go running (she loves to go running with me) she said no (wow!) and finally said, “It’s a great story of friendship, team building and self confidence. To have desire is only optional when seeing this movie”.

She was getting desperate. 

Well, hell. I live with teenagers. I’ve seen some bad movies. I can see this if she wants it that bad.

So I went. Gasp…

shocked animated GIF


Pretty freakin’ shocking.

She was in love the moment Channing Tatum showed up on the screen. Hilarious.

There were a few genuine moments of hilarity in the movie. I will admit to having laughed pretty hard. Those moments were totally worth it.

Other than that it was really really personal and I am “not that kind of girl”. Sorry Folks.

no animated GIF



In other news:

Revel Rockies were amazing and stepped up to refund all runners affected by the race disaster yesterday. This is not a cheap race and it could do some serious irreparable damage to the race company. Or it could save it. I will be there next year because I think they are a good company who had a bad break and they are trying to fix it. They’re runners, too. So good for them and I’ll say it again, the runners and their comments were terrible and they should be ashamed.


Running tonight, I’m two days behind thanks to said friend…she owes me big. LOL

One of my friends favorite artists…I really like it…

Run on…



Filed under Running

When a race goes bad… #RunRevel

I was supposed to be running a race this morning. The Revel Rockies Marathon. But a few weeks ago I got a little inklng it would be a bad idea. I don’t know, I trust my inklings. I would need a hotel room and I didn’t have one yet, I wasn’t trained for 26 miles but I could also hop down to the half marathon…, I just wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. So I popped onto the website and saw that I could defer for a year. I love races that offer me things like deferring. It tells me this is a race series that’s run by runners. It tells me this is a race series that is listening to its runners. So I paid a small fee and I deferred and I felt so much better and no guilt whatsoever. And look here it is marathon week and the week from hell at work. You can bet I’d be crazy trying to do that, too. No thank you.

The Revel Rockies​ was supposed to be run this morning and due to clear unforeseen circumstances...was cancelled. Sort of. They ordered 52 buses. Apparently one showed up. Rumors are flying. I’m so disappointed in my fellow runners right now.  This is what we know, last I heard.
1. Bus company has closed down.
2. Runners that found their own way to the start got to run.
3. Some marathoners were stopped (dropped?) at mile 11? Or mile 15? I have mixed messages in the comments.
4. Two sentence announcement this morning on social media.
5. stood for hours in the cold and wind waiting.

So I’m left with this:

How do you handle disaster?

Whose fault is it?

Do you wait to declare a verdict or is the running company guilty as charged before you even know the story?

I was reading the comments (oh I know, that was my mistake) and the runners were SO angry! They are heinous angry. They are wicked mean about this.

So my first instinct, I’ll be honest, is this….

sounds like the bus company owns this one.


If the race is cancelled it’s cancelled…no one gets to run. Sorry. This race is cancelled.


This race/company has an excellent reputation. I am not ditching my entire opinion based on one colossal disaster that seems to be the fault of outside forces until I hear different.  Let’s wait it out and see how they regroup.


I am 100% certain the race company runs this race almost completely on reputation. Reputation that lives for  social media. So when it goes bad, this is not good business.  They did not plan this. They did not wish for this. They did not do it for the money. No one is getting rich off of this. No one is heading to a foreign country with your race fees. Where were the race officials? At the time they were running the marathon. All those hours you were mad, they were still running the marathon. And apparently it wasn’t going well,  while that was going poorly they were trying to figure out what the hell went wrong with the buses so they could give you some kind of an answer.

I do not think it is at ANY point okay to be so angry you are not being productive with your words. When all  you are doing is inflaming the masses within the post you are not helpful to anyone, you are simply creating trouble. One commenter posted the race directors cell phone number. People were saying the race disaster was purposeful. They were running off with the money. They didn’t care how it turned out. I can’t imagine any race company that relies on its reputation not caring how a race turns out. I’m sure from the moment it started to go downhill the race director was immediately in damage control. It’s not just one race. It’s her whole company. Every time you google this race company you’ll hit this race experience. She’s going to want to hope the reviews end up with good recoveries.

I also do not think it is Revel Rockies responsibility to reimburse anyone for their airfare, hotel room, days off from work, meals out, general cost of travel, etc. This is a risk we take when we travel to races. I have a friend who traveled to a race and forgot her sports bra only to discover that on  race morning. She still gets upset and it’s years later. Who could blame her? The money, the time, the loss of the experience…it’s so upsetting. But we go into it knowing that anything can happen. ANYTHING>

Everyone is angry.

Yes, people traveled. Apparently someone came from Japan to try and BQ.  I agree, this is pretty awful. But again, I do not understand how it helps to immediately go on FB and ream the race director and everyone associated with Revel Rockies when I’m certain they are also furious and desperate for answers. 

As runners we pride ourselves on our close knit running community. Quick to have each others backs.  Reading those comments I couldn’t see any of that anywhere. And before you say I wasn’t affected, if it had happened to me or anything like that, let me just say this exact thing may not have but I’ve had my share of expensive painful tragedy and I hope I’m able to take a step back and view it objectively before throwing vicious hateful comments at the situation.   finding a calm reasonable way to handle the matter at hand as history has shown us that the vicious hateful comments really don’t get us anywhere and teach our children out of control anger is the way to get things done around here.

I had to stop reading. I hope tomorrow they have some good answers for the masses. I hope the masses get some sleep and some therapy. Not in that order.

Maybe they should all go for a group run.

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Run on…


Filed under Races, Running

Sweet List <3

1.  It’s been a really long painful week for everyone at my work. We’re all still struggling. Work is stressful. My boss said she just wants to do her laundry and make a meal rather than eat fast food for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I hear that. I just wanted to vacuumI vacuum. So today I vacuumed. I won’t even tell you how many times my canister had to be emptied. I’m just happy I got to do it.  If I could figure out how to vacuum the dog I would so do that.

2.  I paid bills. This is an extra bonus because upon looking at my watch and realizing two of my bills were going to be due before we got paid I questioned my bill paying skills…then I popped online and thought…”how did I do this??” only to realize we DID get paid and I didn’t even realize it. The entire last week just disappeared before my eyes. 

3.  My banking family is very much a family. I love them. It makes stressful weeks easier.

4.  Powering through my list of things to get done. It’s a little painful when it gets that long but it feels great to cross things off.

5. Early morning runs with Gloria (she still wasn’t feeling great so it was a short run).

6. Early morning walks with Malachi.

7. When I get to do both #5 and #6 on the same day…I feel very productive.

8.  I got a serious migraine on Friday and I medicated up and slept…and it went away. That’s the sweet part. It went away.

9.  I ordered new Lululemon shorts and they came in this week. Here’s a little secret for you…after searching endlessly for a good pair of shorts to run in I finally broke down and bought a pair from  Lululemon. This is kind of a big deal because because I just don’t shop at Lululemon.  But I love them SO much I’ve worn them to death on short run, long runs, hot runs, cold runs…everything and the suckers never MOVE. They are the best. And I don’t have slim pretty thighs like the chick in the picture. Mine are high maintenance. So I ordered another pair. Can’t deny it, I’m pretty happy about that.


What The Sport Short


10.  I love Hoda’s 5 secrets to happiness. 

We all approach personal happiness differently, but TODAY’s Hoda Kotb has five special ways she builds her own happiness daily.

  • Write down three things you feel grateful for daily.
  • Write down something great that happened within the past 24 hours.
  • Exercise a little each day.
  • Meditate for a few minutes each day.
  • Perform a random act of kindness.

“Somebody says if you do all five of those things a day, it works. And I’m pretty happy,” she says.~source

11.  Sunday morning. Really that’s all. Sunday mornings are the best.

12.  My mom’s brother died this morning.  No, that’s not sweet. But he’s in no more pain. His heart was in San Francisco and he was not so now he can be where he is much happier. And he is with his parents and his wife who all went before him. Love to my mom.

13. And my run last night was incredibly beautiful and not as hard as I expected with the hills. Ha. That’s a good thing. Love a great run. I felt so strong. Not to jinx it but…it felt good. 

Run on…


Filed under Tess