Confessions, Whiplash, Decisions, and a Marathon

I was hoping I would get a chance to write this post, it's a subject that has been on my mind for a while. First, for those interested let me give you a quick breakdown of what has gone on this past month.


1 First, I slacked off for about two weeks in August on marathon training. Which normally wouldn't be a big deal, but something happened right as I got back into it which set me back more, I'll explain in a minute.

2 I've been enjoying exploring new places, the photos today are courtesy of some of this past weekends rock climbing and caving adventures.

3 I have a marathon coming up this Saturday. I only decided to run it about a week ago. When I finish this marathon it will be my 40th overall.

4 I have to volunteer at the same marathon I am running (for a college class), luckily I scored a day before the race at the expo volunteer gig.

5 If any of you remember my back diagnosis about 2 years ago, well my back does not enjoy running long distances, after about 15-18 miles it's nearly impossible for me to bend over. So I tell myself to suck it up buttercup! Exercise is painful but good for it!

6 I did a mini rock climb up around a waterfall last weekend and then went caving, and broke major rule #1 don't try anything new a week before a marathon, LOL Luckily, I was fine.
But I will be honest as I placed one foot and had to swing my body to get my other leg around a rock corner (no rope) with only a waterfall and long drop off with sharp rocks below me, I was more tense than normal only because I didn't want to fall and ruin my marathon plans, LOL

7 I dropped 12 pounds over the past two weeks, I wanted any extra advantage I could get to help me knock a few more minutes off my finish time!

9 Despite a few obstacles, I am very happy! Life really is pretty great, I'm doing good in my classes! I realize nothing is ever perfect but it's all about attitude and when you decide to be happy life has a way of being great even when bad things happen!


* In early September I was in a car accident, a high school kid wearing one of those medical boots well the boot was too big and he couldn't get it from the gas to the brake in time. Short story, he slammed into me ruining my cute car and giving me a case of neck strain aka whiplash.

* I had to take nearly two more weeks off running to let my neck heal.

* The reason I waited until a week ago to decide about the Marathon this Saturday is that my neck has not been recovering very quickly.

* My running pace has suffered drastically. Pre-accident I was running at a pace which would have allowed me a finish time an hour faster than I am running now after the accident. Because after about 12 miles my neck gets pretty stiff and sore and I am slowing down because of it.

* The good news is my ruined car was able to be fixed. The kid who hit me had insurance and although I had a rental for several weeks, I finally have my car back and it looks good as new.


* I decided knowing my body pretty well that I was only going to do a one-week taper or 10-day taper. This allowed me to get in the extra long run and get back into running steady but gradual after the accident a few weeks ago.

* I did get in two 18 milers and one 19 during training, one before and two after.

* I'm slow, really slow. To put it frankly, I'm about an hour slower than I was pre-accident when it comes to 18-miles. That's a huge deal, especially since I was originally already planning a slow 5 hour marathon finish time. Now I'm very worried about an extremily slow close to 6 hour.... I can't even think about it too much, I cringe... (Obviously it's a mental issue, I'm working on that even as I type!)

* While normally no biggie just suck it up and deal with it. Not in this case as the marathon I'm running is a strickly finish 6 hours or less. I'm glad they do that, I like that they cater to people who train to run races. But, I literally have no room for error I'll get my first DNF if I can't deal with my neck pains. But trust me, I will do everything in my power to get that finish!

MARATHON yes this one is an EMOTIONAL one for sure!!!

This has been nearly a five-year battle (4 years 9 months to be exact) back from a work foot tendon injury that most never recover from. Years of specialists, physical therapy, set backs and only the dream of running a marathon again.

I cannot tell you how excited and nervous I am for Saturday. I remember the first specialist I was sent to when I originally was injured and remember vividly him telling me to give up running and find a less active sport because I probably had seen my last marathon in my past.

Of course, when he told me this I did what any sane person would do, I ignored him and dismissed him like yesterday's trash and went out and found a specialist who works with athletes and runners and one who believed I could recover. And yes, I did find that man, and he and a physical therapist who was also a marathon runner worked on my team to get me back. While they did tell me it would take time and setbacks were likely, they knew if I worked hard enough, did everything right, used patience in my recovery, that I would have my chance to line up at a marathon again.

It's been a battle, I won't go into all of the details. But the fact that my body is ready and can in fact run a marathon now is a thrill in itself. Which is why, even when I was in the car accident I wasn't going to let it set me back any more that I had to let it.

Yes, this marathon because of the accident might be one of my slowest ever, and it might hurt quite a bit more than normal. But the beauty of running especially 26.2 is that anything can happen. Good or bad, so there is just as good of a chance of me doing better than what seems possible just as it is to have the greatest worst race ever! So I am optimistic!

So yes Saturday I am lining up and as I knock out miles 1 through 26.2 I'll be thinking (for a minute) of that first specialist who told me I'd never run a marathon again.

Why think of him? Because no one can ever tell me what I can or cannot do. I have way too much passion for life and for the things I want to do in my life. The only one who tells me I can or cannot do something is ME and since just like the marathon requires I have a butt load of endurance for any obstacles or setbacks life tosses my way!

So nerves, excitement, pain, and thrill... Well Bring it, because Saturday morning the laces will be double tied and this body is conquring the marathon again!!!!

Slot Canyons, Caves all inside a Cathedral, Definitely an Adventure Worth Taking!

It's been a while since I've kept up my favorite posts which are my Travel Tuesday posts. I've been on a lot of adventures this past year and it's time I start sharing them with you all.  This week I'm going to showcase my most recent travels which took me to Cathedral Gorge State Park in Eastern Nevada.

Funny story, I only learned about this park about a month ago. Came across a blog post about it and it only took one image and I knew I was going to go find it. When I realized how close it was to me, that just made it a done deal!

Let me tell you this is a very lesser known spot and a bit out of the way. Even on a Saturday, we had most slots, caves, tunnels, and hikes to ourselves.

It's a smaller state park but it makes up for it in what you are able to see.

We went through over 20 slot canyons, same types of rock but each had their own uniqueness to them and colors as well as surprises.

The tunnels and caves were pretty interesting to go through as well. Down on my belly a few times hoping my butt wasn't too big to fit through the tunnel cracks, LOL  Luckily it wasn't.

You can tell why they call it Cathedral, because of the texture and the height of the walls.

The best advice I can give if you are going to visit this park, get out and explore. The more you do on foot the more you will find.

In fact, we ran into a couple down there who had gone through the entire park and each stop and hadn't seen any of the slots or caves. The reason being they didn't get out and walk towards the cracks and crevices. They are everywhere, but you have to venture into them!

No technical skills required to see most!  There are a few rope areas, the ropes are provided, but mostly these slots and tunnels are for anyone who can walk and move through them.

How to get there? Well, they are about a 2.5-hour drive from Las Vegas. Or if you are from Cedar City or St. George Utah, you're looking at 1.5 hours.

I found the canyons to be creepy and hauntingly beautiful in the best ways. I would highly recommend this for anyone who is on a road trip in the area and wants to take a beautiful detour!

Summers are hot, we were hiking in around 103. But it's in mid-elevation (over 4,000 feet) so spring and fall are probably the best times to visit. Winters do get colder and likely some snow.

But no matter the temp, once you get back in the slots it is much cooler. I'd say 10-20 degree's cooler in spots, so they are a welcome experience to go through.

I do actually have a lot more pictures, but I'll save them for Instagram. If you don't already follow me on Instagram and you enjoy travel pictures, I have to say I post about travel about 99% of the time.

There are so many places in this country that are absolutely stunning, but I am just going to say it out west we have sights that are unbelievable and nothing like the rest of the country has! You have to travel here to see them, and if you know a local to give you tips it will make your adventures all the greater!!!

Well, I can't really say much more about this park, it's stunning and unique! The pictures say more than I can, but even they don't really do it justice!

If you go:

* Bring lots of water and snacks.
* There is currently a $7 car entrance fee.
* There is a campground, dump station, showers, and water.
* It can be seen in an afternoon or a day or two.
* There are also other nearby state parks worth seeing about 15-30 minute north.
* Be careful not to damage the rocks and canyons
* Hiking in the caves and slots, you will get dusty and dirty
* Do not hike into the slots when it is raining or if it looks like it may rain.

Summer Fun, Finally

Okay so great news, I finished my thesis project and paper. (Granted the race is still coming up, but all the work for the school project is done and finished.)

It was sooooo much more work than I thought, I am lucky I didn't have to take on a job during the summer because between setting up the event and everything which was required for the class and the research paper, I literally felt like I had no time on my hands.

In fact the last 3 weeks of the class I did virtually nothing but write and edit that paper over and over...
However, great news besides the happy dance of being done. The professor gave me an A.
On my paper portion, I was given 99 out of 100 points, which is pretty fantastic and so rare that I am still jaw-dropping awe!

I literally was only aiming for a passing grade, but this was beyond my expectations! Which also helps since I have returned to school I have so far successfully only earned A's....  Yeah, that's a pat on my own back LOL

Okay, so what does a girl do after she spends several weeks glued to her laptop, sacrificing all camping and hiking opportunities, becoming addicted to caffeine in the process of many long days and nights working on a paper?

She spends a two-week vacation with family. I went up to Bear Lake, which is basically Utah's little Carribean. This lake because of its unique two underground sea's that filter into it, and the white sands and clear waters produce amazing colors when the sun is out and literally, looks like the waters in the Carribean! (As you can see in the images.)

Depending on the sun and clouds the lake water is various shades of different colors, and pictures seriously cannot do this beauty justice! You can literally see visibility from the surface about 30 feet down to the bottom, possibly more but thats as far as I've tried.

I had so much fun paddle boarding, literally daily most of the day LOL
Then I taught my nieces and nephews to paddle board, I had the 4-year-olds up on it. I had my 6-year-old niece paddle me around while I just kicked back lay down and relaxed and let her do all the work.

I have also mastered the double standing (me and a kid) both standing and paddling. LOL
I didn't fall the entire trip until my nephew swam up under me and tipped me over when I wasn't paying attention, LOL Gotta love kids.

My sister can do hand stands on the boards, I am seriously amazed at it. She claims a yoga class she took which showed her correct technique to get into a hand stand helped.
I am not as coordinated, but I'm going to start practicing LOL (FYI it's a good thing my sister doesn't read my blog, she'd literally kill me for posting this image, LOL)

I even tried wakeboarding for my first time ever. I did get up the first time for a few seconds, but while my legs were super strong for it, my arm strength needs some work.
I thought it would be like waterskiing, which I can do even if I'm not great at it. But wakeboarding to get up takes loads of arm strength.

My nephew and my sister did pretty awesome though. Next time I go, I will be better for sure!!

We also took an afternoon and went over to an area called Tony Grove, hadn't been before it is a beautiful little mountain lake, we did the short hike around it for fun.

I started classes back up today, and I'm looking forward to another heavy semester. 16 credits this semester, but I think because I won't have to deal with the thesis that took me the past entire year I can hopefully enjoy it more and not have quite as much work (in theory LOL).

Giveaway - FREE Race Entry

It's about time I offer a giveaway for Sea to Shining Sea Virtual Races.  I'm going to skip right to the point and make it easy for you.

Below you will find a Raffelcopter form with several options to enter. Select one or all, or come back daily to earn additional entries, that's it!

NOTE: If you have already registered for this race and you are the winner you will be refunded your original registration price and be given the free race entry.

Above pictured is the medallion and t-shirt you will earn for participating in the race. For those who know what a Virtual Race is, here is the Rafflecopter to enter. For those who need additional information on this race, scroll down below to find out more.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

How does a virtual race work?
You register for a race distance, then train and come event week you run, walk or hike your way to your goal. You pick your own course, and you can complete the distance at ANY pace you prefer fast or slow it is entirely your choice. In return like a street race, you will be provided with a race t-shirt, finishers medallion, and race bib to show off your accomplishments. Need more details? You can learn more HERE.

Also, Virtual Races are not only fun motivation for yourself, but they can also be fun for the whole family. A healthy competition among friends or co-workers or a great way for your kids to have fun being active and earn a finisher's medallion for their accomplishments.

Are you already training for a big road race this fall? Virtual races can be great motivation to stay on track and earn some extra bling for your long training runs!

Want a guaranteed spot in the race? REGISTER HERE and use promo code FUNRUN15 for 15% off the registration price.  Or learn more HERE. If you register now and are the winner of this giveaway as stated above you will be refunded your registration price.
Tweet: Love to run, walk or hike? Come and enter to win a FREE race entry @runwybridlplanr

Cliff Jumping, Bucks and a Few Updates

I've been so busy with putting my thesis paper together and all the things I have needed for the thesis project, I've neglected my own blog. Decided I needed to create a quick post today and share some updates.

First, I want to thank so many of you who have been so kind to help me promote the Sea to Shining Sea Virtual Race. I appreciate every little or big thing you've done more than you know. It's meant a lot to me that you were willing to help me! I will always be there for you if you need help some day with things and projects you are working on in life!!!

While I have been kept indoors for the past two weeks (mostly) and I have another week to go, because my thesis paper for the project is due this coming Friday. Well technically it's due next Tuesday, but I have a personal goal to have it all done by Friday because this girl needs some vacations before the fall semester begins in a few weeks!!!

What have I been up to? Took an evening to go cliff jumping with some friends a while back, had a great time and my friend took this awesome photo. You may have seen it on IG, but I love it looks like I'm running through the air, LOL

My parents are in town so they can help me with my thesis paper, we took a break last night and went and check out some wildlife. The images aren't great but we did see a beautiful 6pt buck and two 4 pt bucks.

Tonight we are taking another break to go see a Tuacahn Broadway in the desert play Disney's Newsies, I've been looking forward to this a while. We bought season tickets this year and this is the first time we have been able to get together to use them!

You may have noticed I had to edit the design on the finishers medallion for my virtual race.

Apparently, the vendor told me that my original design while they would do it it may open me up to liability if a child had gotten the piece and broke off one of the small objects??  Who knew parents let their kids suck on finishers medallions?? But then I guess in today's world nothing surprises me, so when I did the re-design had to make sure the same idea and components I loved about the first medal were in place and it is less of a liability?? LOL LOL LOL

Also, the ribbon design and the t-shirt colors were determined. So in the above, image you can see all of it, exactly as they will look as the iron cast is being created right now by the vendor!  I really love how it all turned out!! That says a lot because normally I stare at my work in design so much I'm tired of it before I show anyone. But I created a medal I'd be interested in earning! Yes, I am excited to participate in the Half Marathon in my own Virtual Race.

Today is actually the last day to register before the price increase. FUNRUN is the promo code to save 15% off. If any of you are interested in registering, you can HERE.
But please don't feel like you have too, I am just over sharing this right now because well my life sort of resolves around it right now, LOL Don't worry there is an end in sight, LOL

But I will say you may think a Virtual Race, not much too it LOL They are far more work to put together, organize and promote than you'd think. Seriously, it's been like a part time job on top of the school, LOL
Oh, well it could have been worse. I could have picked a boring project, at least this one has held my interest!

I created one more slide show video for the project, you can see it above. My sister, her kids and her trail running friends helped me with a photoshoot to obtain all the images. You've probably seen some of the other images they helped me as I included them in several blog posts that I created to guest post on other blogs. LOL Yes, that's another reason why you haven't heard from me, I wanted to make sure all the blog posts on other blogs were different or worded differently to avoid google rankings blacklistings or anything with copied posts! (Yup, I would never do that to my friends!!)

I can't wait to be done with everything on my thesis! Fingers crossed I survive the week!!! Not playing for 3 weeks of the summer at all, is slightly killing me LOL *Keep telling self, it will be worth it LOL*

Tell me something you've done that I've missed while having to be a thesis writing hermit this past month?

Can I Be a Guest Blogger on Your Blog? - I Need Your Help

While you've been hearing a lot of this the past month, I hate to ask, but I need to. So for my college thesis project, I need to show the various type of influencer promotional work. I have some going on with influencers, but I need A WHOLE LOT MORE and I have two weeks to gather it all to include it into my final write up.

This is where I am asking for those of you who follow me who may want to help me in this. Honestly, if this was for self-promotion I wouldn't ask. But this really is entirely for my college thesis project, and to be honest I'm literally breaking even with it on costs at this point, so trust me I'm not even making money off of it!

Basically, I'd love to write a blog post for you, if you would allow me too. It would be a simple post, and it would be marketing the Run Sea to Shining Sea Virtual Race Event. I can send it in either HTML or Word... Any format you would like! (If I do this on several blogs, I'll send different images and use a little bit different verbiage on each so they don't look all exactly the same!)

Oh, and it doesn't matter if you have small, medium, or large blog. I need as many bloggers who will let me. I really just need links to show within my thesis project and screen shots of Influencer posts so if you're willing blogs of any size, I'd be so grateful!!!

I will do all the work for you, all you would have to do is set it into a blog post to go live by the 31st of July.


If you'd rather, you can write your own short blog post and I'll provide you with ANY images or information you'd like!


If you don't want to run it on your blog, I'd take any social media mentions you will offer. I'll even send you an image that you can choose to write text in your post or just share the image. Then I can include these links within my thesis project.

Just FYI your blog can be any size, large or small. I just need to be able to showcase influencer blog posts.   Thank you in advance for anyone will will consider this!!!

I should mention, I can't compensate you for letting me a guest blogger if you choose... Sorry!

I also totally understand if your not interested.

You can let me know in the comments below if you'd like to let me do this. Or feel free to email me at

Trips and Fun

This summer has been busy but fun and the best part is summer has just begun.

I'll share some of the fun. I recently visited Bryce Canyon National Park and did a lot of hiking and sightseeing. Absolutely loved it! I live nearby it, but truthfully I hadn't been there since I was about 12, so it was great seeing it again and hiking around it.

I'm actually hoping I can make it back there soon. I have a few hikes I didn't get a chance to do that I really wanted to.

I'll have to do some Travel Tuesday posts soon and share some of the hikes!

Additionally, I visited the Escalante National Monument area and went hiking to a lesser known slot canyon called Zebra Slot. It was a beautiful day, 100+ and really enjoyed seeing this new area.

Again for this one, I'll have to write a Travel post on and show you more images sometime!

Most my trip in these areas was hiking in smoke-filled air and sky. Which isn't great I know, it's sad we had (still do now 3 weeks going) a massive wildfire. It's burned a beautiful mountain range over 40 miles so far.

But it did make for some beautiful sunset photo's as you can see above and below. No there was no filter used on these photos. If you follow me on Instagram you probably already saw these and many more.

But I also came across lots of wildlife on this trip, here is a 5 point beauty I saw on one of my last days on the trip.

I also visited another place called Red Canyon, basically, the name says it all. It is a beautiful place, one I've only ever driven past. But this time I got out for some hiking!

Red beautiful and desolate this area is actually really pretty and much different than I originally thought! I won't overload with pictures like I have said now 3 times, I'll tell you more about it sometime in a Travel Tuesday post!

I am back right now, I have 4 weeks left of my thesis class this summer. The project is really taking off, but it is sooo much work.
And I still need a few other influencers who wouldn't mind helping.

Basically, if you want to just help me out, let me know in the comments below and I'll email you some images you can use to help promote it. I'll take any and all promotional help I can get from influencers!

Or, if you want to earn a free entry. I have THIS PROGRAM running right now, it's fairly simple. Promote it any way you want and as much or as little as you want. If you can get 6 people to sign up using a unique promotional code I will give you, then you earn a free entry! There is more information HERE.

Also, and this is one I am still working on and haven't 100% decided how many or how I am going to roll it out.  (That is what I am working on this week for my class :)
But I will have a required post and amount as well as a schedule of what to do and when. Those who participate in this one will automatically receive a free entry as payment for their influencer services, if they post and promote as will be required. As well as complete a small influencer survey that I need for my final.  If you are interested in this, watch for it on my blog. I'll be sharing it as soon as I have all the details and marketing materials created. (Hint: it most likely will be next week.)

I'll leave you with a few more beauties from Bryce! (If you're wondering yeah there is a lot of smoke in the air in these pictures, that's why they have a more haunting look LOL)

Utah is so beautiful, I seriously could never get bored living in this state!!!

Tell me what summer adventures have you taken or done so far?