31 December 2014

Looking back at my year

In 2014:

i read 45 novels. i got a nickname from my niece. i watched my little sister get married. i fell in love. i fell out of love. i flipped a snowmobile over...twice. i ran through Logan canyon, Ogden canyon, Provo canyon, Red Rock canyon (NV), and Big Cottonwood canyon. i didn't miss a single night of scripture reading. i remembered how much more i love sunrises than sunsets. i learned how to set and keep boundaries. i ate more HBCs at Zupas than i can count. i found three new running buddies. i discovered the 12-step program. i killed four hobo spiders in my house. i slipped on the ice twice. i had my best roommate ever. i went to three great concerts. i hiked through Moab, Utah.

i gained a social life and a group of new and amazing friends. i sent out Christmas cards for the first time ever. i lost three toenails. i redefined my relationship with God. i finished decorating my office. i removed instagram from my life. i learned how to make beautiful snowflakes. i completely restaffed my reservation center. i developed a strong relationship with my little brother. i talked my dad into going to Jordan and Israel with me. i religiously watched every episode of "So You Think You Can Dance." i wore out three pairs of running shoes. i finished an embroidery project i started last year.

i developed a love for houseplants. i became reliant upon a sponsor. i competed in 11 races. i got addicted to Spotify. i started dating healthy men. i experienced trail running for the first time. i watched a pro baseball game in Arlington. i became obsessed with "Lake Street Dive." i bowled my best game ever.  i attended the funerals of both of my grandmothers. i journaled religiously. i had two life changing experiences. i ran more than 1,000 miles. i wandered through Yellowstone National Park. i found a photo of my paternal grandfather when he was a kid. i went to zoos in two different states.

i spoke at a recovery conference for those affected by sex addition or betrayal trauma. i wrote 31 blog posts. i didn't cut my hair once. i burned all my letters from "he who must not be named." i got caught on the security camera at work falling flat on my face. i celebrated when the cheesy bean and rice burrito ended back on the Taco Bell menu.  i decorated two Christmas trees. i had two Russian teenagers live at my house for a week. i ran through the vineyards in California. i made my dad proud. i grew to appreciate what i see when i look in the mirror.

i had a good year.

And i have this feeling that 2015 will be even better.

17 December 2014

To my someone

Dear Someone,

i miss you today. Not in the sad i-wish-i-had-a-shoulder-to-cry-on sort of way. Rather, it's in the i-have-had-a-great-day-and-want-to-share-this-feeling-with-my-someone kind of way. It's when i want to show you my new manicure, and tell you about the baby bird that i'm babysitting, and watch the snow fall with you, and feel this serenity together.

Yesterday i was watching a movie with a girlfriend and, at the very end, the protagonist looks at his wife with all the love showing in his face. It was all i could do not to rewind and watch that 5 seconds over and over.

i know (oh so clearly) that life is not like a move with perfect endings, love at first sight and grand romantic gestures overcoming all the problems in a relationship. i've said many times that i don't believe in fairy tales or "romantic comedies."

But i do believe in true love.

And some day i want to look across the room and see that same look in your eyes and on your face. A look of deep and lasting love. A look that will only come from you when you see me as i really am. My deep beauty, not the surface stuff. A look that means you love everything you see.

i can't wait to see it,


16 December 2014


i got to spend a week in Las Vegas with my family over Thanksgiving. i enjoyed the incredible weather which provided me with some gorgeous runs (including my first 20 miler!). But mostly it was about the family.

Here is what i did:

*Lots of hide and seek with Jane

Always hiding with "grandpapa"

* Spent time outside (walks, parks, baseball, running)

Spinning with Mom

Pushing Jane. She yells "Higher! Higher!"

Yes, this is how i catch a baseball

Jane would stop, get lined up and say "Ready, Set, Go!"

* Made and ate a lot of food

i was in charge of the veggie tray

Baking with Jane and Erika

She did an excellent job stirring

*Put up lights both inside and outside

Working with Dad to get things just right

Lighting the palms with Ian

Finished product

*Tried as hard as i could to get enough snuggles and tickles and kisses and hugs from my niece to make it all the way until Christmas.


i hope your holiday season is full of many happy moments.

18 November 2014

Captain's Log, We Run This City, (RagLV-2014)

Ragnar Las Vegas. My third of the year. The last race of the season.

Van 1 at the start line
You know the story at this point: 200ish miles, 12 friends, 2 vans, 3 legs for each runner.

i was the captain of our team "We Run This City." i had run a Ragnar with almost every person in my van already this year. This might have been one of the best teams that i have had. My abs hurt from laughing almost as much as my legs ached from running.

These are my people...crazy like me.

We started up at Mt Charleston ski resort and then ran down off the mountain and along I95 into Las Vegas. The route had the team loop all around Vegas, up to Blue Diamond and then out to Henderson and back over to the southwest of the city, ending only minutes from my parent's house.

Brice meant business!
One of the things that made this team amazing was how supportive the runners were of each other. There was much cheering and encouraging and water-giving and tunnel-making.

Supporting Anna through some nasty desert

My first leg was nasty. Really nasty. It was hot and sunny with no clouds and no shade. i was running along I95. Yes. Right along the highway. That was strange for me. There was a lane closed down for runners but my van couldn't stop and support me because of the route. So i was carrying my own water. The sun blasted off of the pavement and there was a 9.5 mile, straight, ugly shot in front of me. i was getting over a cold and my lungs rejected the fact that i was asking them to work extra hard. It was pretty slow going for me and i was ECSTATIC to see my team waiting for me at the end.

The best part about running in Vegas? Sleeping in a house between legs! After we all finished our first leg, we went back to the 'rents to regroup, nap, eat and get ready for our night runs.

My Dad came to see us off!

i have never in my life had a run like my second leg. i was a little worried since i had been coughing like nobody's business since i finished my first run. But my Dad was there and my team was encouraging so i put on my tough face and got ready to go.

My run started with a lovely downhill. As i bolted along, my dad, on his way home, drive up alongside me and threw me a few words of encouragement. Before i knew it, the first mile was over and my running app told me that i finished it in 8:30. Fast for me. The road flattened out and my core temperature rose enough that i started stripping layers...without stopping. And i started passing people. Mile two hit and i finished in 8:25. i told myself i had to slow down or i would be trashed before the end of the leg. After briefly stopping to pee behind a bush, i took off again.

The moon was out and almost full. i was outside of the city, running through the desert with the moon and my headlamp to light the way. The music was blasting in my ears. My heart was beating with the pace of my feet. i was FLYING. i couldn't slow down. i was passing runners like crazy. 5, 10, 15 people. i flew past the water station. Miles passed and even with my potty break i kept it right at 8:30 mins/mile. In the distance, the lights of the city came into view.

Coming to the end of my 5.5 miles, i didn't want to stop!! i was on the highest of runner's highs. i was exhilarated and bouncing with energy. i had never run so fast for so long before. My own personal record.

high on running flying

After our round of night legs, we once again hit the house for rest. When i woke up the team to leave for our last leg, there was much grumbling. But by the time we got to the exchange and got our runner ready to go, we were back on track and ready to run!

Van 2 coming in to pass off to Van 1
We decided that we were going to "go thoroughbred" on our last legs!

My last run was an interesting one. i was walking pretty stiff because of pushing myself so hard during leg 2 and i was tired from not sleeping because of coughing. But once i got started, i just kept plugging along. My training kicked in and i settled into my long distance pace, even though i wasn't covering nearly the miles that i normally do on a "long run." It was my longest leg at 10.2 miles but it wasn't as hard as my first leg. It was cooler and at least i was zigzagging through some trails and different city streets.

Such a happy sign

Not only that, but my van was there to support me (they were a lovely sight every two miles) and even my dad showed up to leapfrog support and cheer me into my personal finish line.

25 miles, baby!!

i was so proud of my team and the runners that pushed themselves as hard as they possibly could!

The whole team

One of the fun parts about this race was that EVERYONE in my van got a double medal (one for running Las Vegas Ragnar and one for doing two Ragnars in the same year).

 But since i did THREE this year, i got three! 

The best part of Ragnar? Having an amazing team.


My body will try to turn on me, but my mind is much stronger.

Sometimes the most encouraging thing is a kind "you got this!"

Having other people rely on me isn't as scary as it used to be.

i really am a runner.


I can do hard things.

Nothing motivates me more than wanting to make my father proud.


Chasing tail lights in the distance is the best way to spend a sleepless night.

13 November 2014

With Jane

Moments captured at my little sister's wedding.

11 November 2014

It has been a bad day

Mistake #1- Waking up.

Mistake #2- Thinking a 12 mile run would make me feel better.

Mistake #3- Pretending to care about what i looked like.

Mistake #4- Not giving myself enough time in the morning to shovel snow and scrape car windows (thus making me late to my management meeting).

Mistake #5- Only bringing a salad to work for lunch.

Mistake #6- Actually caring if a boy texted me back (he didn't).

Mistake #7- Refusing to admit that it's not going to break 20 degrees today and therefore not dressing warm enough.

Mistake #8- Agreeing to be social tonight when all i really want to do is blast some Copeland, take a bath and eat ice cream for dinner.

Here's to a sunnier tomorrow.

28 October 2014


The Harry Potter soundtracks are playing at work today. It was 22 degrees this morning and i had to scrape ice off of my windshield.

We had a work party with baked potatoes, chili, and pumpkin carving.

Happy. Happy. Happy.

Jack 0'lanterns at our work pary

Me with my two assistant managers

22 October 2014

High on October

i had a pumpkin flavored Jamba Juice this morning ::giggle::

My girl friends baked apple pie with me this week. It tasted as good as it looked.

My friends came over to watch "Arsenic and Old Lace" which is one of my FAVORITE "Halloween" movies of all time. i love Peter Lorre. i LOVE Carey Grant. i love LOVE Frank Capra. If you haven't seen it yet, please promise me you will find it and watch it!

But one of my favorite things about this month has been running through and walking through and crunching and gathering and looking at the gorgeous leaves.

There are only one and a half weeks left. i have the best Halloween costume idea and can't WAIT.

20 October 2014

Too many running pictures?

...but i LOVE sharing them.

Actually, i am just not sure how i missed posting about my fourth half marathon. The weekend before Ragnar Napa Valley, (Sept 13th) i ran the Big Cottonwood Canyon half. It was freezing at the start line, and pretty hard to shed the layers up in the canyon at the race start.

The race was the biggest (except for Ragnar) that i have done and was beautifully organized. There were huge mile marker signs along the course, texts sent to my family members as i passed certain check points and photographers along the way snapping shots of the runners. 

The course was stunningly beautiful. The leaves were just starting to turn and the road was windy and interesting. 

yeah...i ran that
i finished the first 10 miles with a 8:50 min/mile pace. My last 3 miles slowed down a bit and i averaged 9:01 min/mile. Coming in at the finish, i was pushing so hard and fast that i felt like my feet weren't even hitting the ground anymore. And then i saw this picture and realized that they weren't! ;)

Home stretch

i got my best time ever.

i also wanted to share one of my favorite pictures of myself of all time. The Ragnar crew snapped it of me when i was on my last mile of my last leg of Ragnar Napa Valley. i was running on sheer will-power at that point. 

i love this shot because i had no idea that my picture was being taken. i was tired but i knew how close i was to finishing. i had never pushed myself so hard in my life and even though i thought at some points during the run that i wouldn't make it, when they took this shot, i knew i was going to conquer. For me it captures the essence of me, the reason that i run and puts an image with these words:
"Running strips life back to the bare essentials. When we challenge ourselves, it breaks down barriers. It brings us back to our essence and peels away the layers of ego we surround ourselves with. Emotions flow freely, the struggle is obvious, and most of the competition is with yourself." -Granak Cunningham

09 October 2014

Things to Do when you are sad in October

* Listen to Halloween music (today it's the "Corpse Bride" soundtrack)
* Eat a honey crisp apple
* Hang lights around the house--all orange and purple
* Wear a big soft sweater (i feel like i'm wearing a hug)
* Buy a pumpkin
* Cry
* Sleep in a pile of blankets
* Drink hot chocolate
* Snuggle with a kitty
* Visit the library
* Walk (or run) down a tree-lined street
* Brew some coffee and breath deep
* Watch an "October" musical (yesterday it was "Phantom of the Opera")

i was very sad the last few days and did ALL of those things.

They help :)

02 October 2014

It's finally here!

Yesterday October started. The leaves are barely starting to change and pumpkins are starting to decorate people's porches. For me it was a day full of leggings and boots, hot chocolate, hot bubble baths, windows open with the cold filling the house, and snuggling into bed with an Autumn book

Plus, for the first time in my life, i started October with a nice 10 mile run. i want to get in as many crisp outdoor miles as i can before i end up on the indoor track.

Tonight will bring tomato soup and grilled cheese, Halloween decorations and another 8 miles.

i love you, October.

24 September 2014

Running through the Fall

i know it's not October yet, but yesterday was the first day of Autumn. My favorite season. It's still a little warm here (although we have had a day or two where i wore leggings and drank hot chocolate) but i know the fall will be over all too soon.

"Fall has always been my favorite season. The time when everything bursts with its last beauty, as if nature had been saving up all year for the grand finale." -Lauren DeStefano

i had one last summer race before Autumn arrived. And it was a big one. My second Ragnar of the year.

Ragnar Napa Valley: From San Fransisco to Calistoga. 205 mile relay race. i only knew one person on the team and she ended up in the other van, so it was an adventure and a perfect opportunity to make some brand new friends.

i got all "dolled up" for the race.

After driving all day on Thursday and sleeping for about 5 hours in a hotel that night, my team met up at the start line in San Fransisco to send off runner #1.

i was in van #2 which means that we had about 6 hours to wait until we sent our runner off. It also meant that my first leg was in the blazing heat of the afternoon. i got to run 6.6 miles up a very long hill with no shade and no way for my van to stop and assist me. i was sweaty and overheated, but happy to be out and running.

By the time our last runner finished, the sun was setting and we decided to try to get some sleep before our legs in the middle of the night. We pushed all the seats down in the van and thought we would all be able to sleep on the floor. It wasn't the most comfortable and all of us slept except for most of us. i don't think i even got 30 mins of rest.

After not sleeping, our van took over the middle of the night shifts. My second leg started around 3am. i wish i had gotten some sort of photo documentation, but i was honestly too tired to think about it. It was a stunning run. i ran 8.3 miles through a heavy fog. It was dark and the roads were deserted. The leg started in Santa Rosa and ran out into the country. Even though i could see very little, my head lamp illuminated the way enough that i could tell i was running down tree lined lanes with vines dripping down into the road. When i finished, i was soaked to the bone and unable to tell what was sweat and what was dampness from the humid humid air.

Once our final runner finished, we were all struggling to keep our eyes open (and some runners had completely given up). The last runner finished as the sun rose and we knew we had to sleep before the third round of legs. So we found a field at our next exchange point where many other Ragnarians were spread out sleeping. i never thought that i would be so happy to plop my sleeping down in the middle of the dirt. i got about 2 stunningly beautiful hours of sleep.

My third leg was brutal. It started at 2 in the afternoon. There was a 100 degree heat index. i was running through the rolling vineyards of Napa Valley which offered very little shade. And once again, because of the course, my van was unable to support me. It is one thing to run 11.4 miles, but quite another to do it in the heat of a California day with only 16 ounces of water, after very little sleep and having already run so many miles. My van passed me when i was about 2 miles in and i hollered at them to chuck me a water bottle to dump over my head. i was already burning up. But the landscape was absolutely stunning and the other runners on the road were so supportive. They helped keep me going.
i have never been as happy to see a sign in my life

When i reached the exchange and sent off the next runner, i started to cry. i had never had a more physically demanding task in my life. i was so overcome that i had finished and so grateful and so emotionally and physically exhausted. Ragnar volunteers handed each runner finishing that leg a present. It was a sweat band with embroidery that said "Ragnar Napa Valley. Leg 34- 11.4 miles. Eternal Glory!" Maybe it was just a little thing, but i was so grateful that they acknowledged how hard that last run really was.

After running 26.3 miles in about 26 hours

Our team of pretty amateur runners didn't do so bad! We finished in 35:08:15.7 In other words, 35 hours, 8 minutes and 15.7 seconds.

We pretty much felt like rockstars

When i finished i was trying to figure out why the races aren't getting easier! i mean, i'm running so many miles and yet every time i compete, i feel like it's the hardest thing i've done! Then i realized it's because i keep pushing myself. Faster, longer, harder in each race. i am getting stronger. And the training continues. 

i don't have a race in October because MONEY, but i am looking forward to some LONG Autumn runs through my cool and flat Idaho.