It’s Okay if it’s Scary…

Disclaimer: While this post does end with some chatter about communities and companies it is not a sponsored post. I’m sharing about Bold Betties because I think it’s a great community and about the Trail Running Camps + Conference because it’s a great opportunity to talk trails and get to know locals + athletes!

Sometimes life is terrifying. That moment when you are required to step outside of your cozy, cuddly comfort zone and into the reality of your decisions…it’s scary. But it doesn’t have to be. Well, maybe it does have to be a little scary, that’s where all the adrenaline and anticipation builds from. But it doesn’t have to be paralyzing.

In the past year I have done some pretty insane things, things I didn’t think were possible. I ran my first ultra marathon and loved it. I started a brand new job based around an adventurous lifestyle. I impulse registered for a 24 hour race and got a PDR in the first 7 hours. I survived my first 50 mile race, and my second. I hated my life for the last 8 miles of the Four Pass Loop. I DNF’ed my first [two] races. I made my first ever PT appointment and ended up experiencing dry needling on my first visit. And in a few days I’m taking on my first 100 mile race with an undertrained body but the confidence to cover the distance, no matter my pace.

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None of that would have happened if I hadn’t tentatively stepped my comfort zone and onto the single track of the Front Range trails. Nor would have I survived any of teary lows without an incredible group of friends that were also there to share the giddy highs. I discovered trail running before I knew there was such a thing as “trail therapy” and now I kind of live for it, or because of it.

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I guess what I’m trying to say, in that complete mess of sentimental weirdness, is that time spent on the trails is pretty incredible. And if you give yourself the chance to take a risk and try something scarily new you’ll learn things about yourself that surprise even you. You’ll be able to push your body past the limits YOU set for IT. And along the way you just might learn who you are and figure out who you really want to be.

The people who run trails and ultras tend to be pretty awesome [I mean, have you met me? Okay, bad joke, but really…myself aside, they are pretty great!] and more often than not they are quick to support each other. Advice is given freely, salt tabs and gels are shared, mishaps are only mocked for a few miles and no discussion about bodily functions is off limits, ever. We’re all out there for the same reason – to get in some quality trail time so we can do it all over again tomorrow – and we’re all willing to help each other out along the way. We’re stupid, we’re crazy and we’re insanely enabling!

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If you’re one of those trail running crazier and happen to be in the Colorado area with a little free time October 10-11 you should consider heading over to Estes Park for the Trail Running Conference. It’s a great opportunity to get together with local runners, chat with professional athletes [they’re approachable and full of knowledge, I promise!] and check out the new gear coming out for trail running. Plus, it’s only $45 for two days of trail talk…you can’t go wrong with that, right?!

[And if you want more than just a few days of casual trail talk check out the Active at Altitude Trail Camps – there is still one 2014 camp left!]

Of course, just because it was the trails for me doesn’t mean it’ll be the trails for you but why not give them a try? Get outside, play, explore, run, hike, bike, trip, fall, crash, pick yourself back up… Find what you love. And if you can, do it all with friends.

If you’re in the Denver/Boulder area and are looking for someone to go exploring with you need to check out Bold Betties. It’s a community of women in the area that get together and explore. They try new things [ziplining, hiking, river rafting, etc] and they do it together…because it’s easier to take that step into the unknown when you’re not alone.

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And it’s not just about going out with a group. If you’re already headed out solo or with friends but not sure what to pack Bold Betties can help! They have crazy detailed packing lists that make my color coordinated lists look like children’s drawings! You can also rent gear so you’re prepared for whatever trip your crazy family and friends plan for you! Basically, if you’re a woman who wants to get outside more but aren’t sure where to start Bold Betties is there for you!

Recent Ramblings [+ FlipBelt Review]

Disclaimer: At the bottom of this post there is a review of the FlipBelt. I received the FlipBelt through a Sweat Pink campaign; however, all opinions are my own.

It’s been a crazy busy week! Well, last week was crazy busy so this week is going to be spent playing catch up. And it’s the not-so-fun kind of catch up that involves lots of laundry, an empty fridge and the incessant need to sleep all day long. Of course, as I write that I’m laying in bed with a bag of chips. That urge to sleep is going to win but at least the dryer is doing it’s thing to produce some fresh smelling clothes! Last week was big for two reasons – work and running. On the work front it was a big week – we had the Grand Opening if our first Colorado retail store with Sierra Trading Post. This is a huge deal for us so we had all sorts of fun stuff planned. On Wednesday night we hosted a preview party for local bloggers with burritos and camping games. I don’t know about all of the bloggers but I had fun! Rebecca and Amy recapped the event if you’re interested!

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We already talked about how “omg, I can run again” but since then more thing have been falling into place for the Run, Rabbit, Run 100. After a week of playing chasing my tail (and every runner I know, including strangers) to replace my main crew/pacer that bailed on my last week it looks like things are working out. My chances of survival are increasing! And since I’m back on the trails and running around again I finally had a chance to give the FlipBelt a try. The belt showed up two weeks ago and I’ve been playing around with it since. When I ran roads I’d often wear my SPIBelt and since I’ve moved to trails I usually have my Ultimate Direction Jenny pack with me but I’ve always heard great things about how much the FlipBelt can hold so I wanted to give it a try.

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It went on a few adventures with me – to the Fort Collins Peach Festival, on a hike with Paige at Hall Ranch and a morning run with Paula at Washington Park. It’s pretty handy. If you haven’t seen a FlipBelt before it resembles a wide, double layered waistband that has slits on one side so you can fill it with necessities then fold the slits inward so they all stay put. You can fit quite a bit in it (keys, credit cards, ID, cell phone, granola bar wrappers, etc) and it fits snuggly around your waist even when chuck full of goodies.

Overall? It’s not a bad belt but I’m not in love with it. The color is obviously awesome, but beyond that there are two main reasons it won’t become my new favorite. It’s not easy to put on (try pulling it up over a running skirt) and it’s a lot of material to have around your waist (I already fold most of my waistbands). I may be biased as I’ve never had problems using my sports bra as a pocket for my phone/keys and I may be spoiled by my UD Jenny vest. That said, if you’re looking for something to hold a few things while you’re running and have had issues with other waist packs bouncing check out the FlipBelt, it does not wiggle! You can grab one today for an extra 10% off, just use sweat33. The code works until September 7th so get shopping!