Archive for July 2013

Run Away // Cannonsburg Ski Area

Let's talk about expectations. 
There isn't a day that goes by where you don't hear or feel this word. It is often hidden in conversations, threatening you to abide by it. From the moment we are born, expectations are forced upon us and in some ways, make us who we are. Frankly, I'm getting a little sick of them. This past weekend I was blessed with a visit from some amazing friends. We talked endlessly about our lives, desperately catching up. It seemed like we always ended up pursuing the topic of "what is next" for all our lives. Do we do what is "expected" of us; get married, buy a house, pop out children, keep the same job we had for years, live in the same city forever, retire, then do nothing... or do we go against the grain? 

I like to think that I live by my own expectations, no one else's, but let's be honest... that's not true. We all bend, but the hard part is figuring out how far? I guess I can say this is one of the purities found in the world of running. Or at least in my personal world of running there are no expectations from others. It's my goals, my races, my miles. No one expects my husband and I to run another ultra, but we are. In fact, I've found it's the opposite. People think we are crazy and question us constantly on why we would do such an "awful" and painful thing. If I lived up to their expectations, I would probably be sitting on my ass every night watching tv. 

For me, I love spending my time running: roaming trails, meeting and running with new friends, and getting time to think. This is my reality. This is my expectation.

Next time someone expects something of you, ask yourself first if this is truly what you want. 
Your life shouldn't be played out like everyone else's. 
Life is worth living. So live it well. 

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Mixology Night // Raspberry Mint Summer Shandy

You guys, it's been hella humid here. 
The stickiness and sweltering air immediately takes me back to high school summers of cross pollinating corn. Illinois weather is just a tad hotter and more humid than Michigan, so add that on top of walking thru corn fields with jeans on and you've got a really awful summer job. Good news, I don't have to do that anymore, but if I did you can bet your ass I'd be coming home and making a summer shandy every night. 

I love how simple this drink is. You can make homemade lemonade, but if you are in a hurry concentrate works just as well. To allow for the perfect beer to lemonade ratio, let your guest pour as much beer as they want in their cup, topping it off with the lemonade. Adding the frozen raspberries instantly takes it up a notch and makes it super pretty. 

Have you enjoyed a summer shandy yet?  
For those who don't like the taste of beer, I suggest you try this out and add lots of lemonade and berries! You'll be surprised how yummy and easy it is to drink! 

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Weekend Adventures // The Bowl

The Bowl. 
This spot ignites a swell of memories. 
Most of them include chilly fall nights, large campfires, booze, and the legendary Carl Morrison bringing us Taco Bell in the middle of the night. These moments were the epitome of my college career. The nights where we felt carefree, full of life, like there was only the present. I recall these all vividly, but one occasion at The Bowl stands out clearly from the rest. 

It's daytime. As usual, Zach is up to something and won't tell me where we are going. Driving slowly out to the country side, we pull over to the side of the road. I immediately recognize the place, even though we never come out here during the day. The Bowl. Zach grabs a backpack and reaches for my hand, leading me the way. We take the hard way up the dune, like everyone should. The air hits my face as we summit the top and the view kills me...every damn time. Racing down the other face of the dune, we fly towards the lake, heels kicking up sand. We sit down as Zach reaches into his backpack to pull out sandwiches, a bottle of wine, and my favorite candy. I'm thinking of how cute he is, how he always likes to surprise me, and how these precious occurrences are how I want to spend the rest of my life. With a smile on his face, he tells me to close my eyes. I hear him reach into his backpack once again, then move behind me. Gently, he pulls my hair back and secures a necklace around my neck. Whispering in my ear he says, "I love you." It was the first time he had spoken those three words. It would be the first of many. 

To celebrate our two year wedding anniversary, Zach and I headed back to that spot. We ran thru the Saugatuck dunes and recollected the grueling workouts we did there in years past. We hiked up to The Bowl, then ran to the lake. All to remember that day, to remember how it all began. 

Happy Anniversary my love. 

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