Antelope Canyon: In Words

Do you have one of those friends that you can call up anytime and say, “i think we need an adventure”? And then, next thing you know, you and your friend are running across a mesa in the middle of Arizona in February?

If you don’t have one of those friends, I recommend finding one.

My friend is named Danielle.

So Danielle and I decided that we needed a trip out west to escape our mid-winter New England blues. And we decided that we needed to run the Ultra Adventures Antelope Canyon Half Marathon because why not.

This half-marathon trail race follows a single track around the plateau of Page, Arizona and sprinkles in a few miles of desert sand and slickrock along the way. The unbelievable scenery, which includes Lake Powell, makes it tricky to keep your eyes on the trail and off the horizon. While we didn’t pause for nearly enough photos or selfies, Danielle and I did manage to capture our middle-of-the-pack finish in the slickrock ampitheatre.

And then we promptly ate tacos.

But the race itself was just one of our vacation adventures. We were lucky enough to check out some traditional Navajo dancing, as well as a fireside chat on the local geology and history of the land and the tribes. (PSA: Hats off to Ultra Adventures for their support of the local community, as well as their dedication to the environment. The race is zero waste, the aid stations run on solar, and the composting toilets create a nutrient rich soil. And if you litter on the course? You’re disqualified. Boom.)

Danielle and I also made time to visit some of the iconic sights – namely Upper Antelope Canyon (one of the most photographed slot canyons in the world), the Horseshoe Bend of the Colorado River, and Zion National Park.

And if all of this awesomeness wasn’t enough to convince you to find your own friend like Danielle, we also spent plenty of time singing along to overplayed pop songs; eating peanut butter out of a jar in lieu of actual meals; and assuring each other that its definitely OK to wear the same clothes multiple days in a row.

So as Wilfred Peterson says, “A man practices the art of adventure when he breaks the chain of routine and renews his life through reading new books, traveling to new places, making new friends, taking up new hobbies and adopting new viewpoints.”

Find your own Danielle and go adventuring.



Heads Up, Wings Out

I’m not particularly fast (yet). I can’t use the word fartlek in a sentence without giggling (and I’m OK with that). I’ve only been running for a little while and I somehow manage to injure myself more than I’d like (i was rocking a big ole’ boot last week). And I’m certainly not a running blogger.

But man, I’m really in love with running.

There’s nothing like the post-run feelings of exhaustion and accomplishment, wound together tightly. I adore spending Saturday mornings listening to my favorite podcasts and winding through the back roads and trails here in NH. And, of course, running provides me with quality time with my best girl (below left).

Z and Toronto
Zealand (left). Running in Toronto (right).

But I also love the feeling of community that running provides (particularly when I’m injured and looking for tips to heal, train, etc). I connect with others when I read my favorite blogs and Runner’s World. I meet interesting locals at nearby races and run clubs. I spend afternoons laughing and running with my Girls on the Run team. And now, I’m looking forward to connecting with other birds through Oiselle Volée.

Screen Shot 2015-08-05 at 21.16.53

Sure, I could just join a local running group for free and call it a day. But there’s something special about Oiselle, what they’re doing, and what Volée means. It’s more than just running. The Oiselle Flight Manual advises us to build the sisterhood, set wild goals, own the journey,  be a superfan, and more. Per Oiselle,”We’re building a new kind of family. One that is strong, supportive, passionate, and all-in on a woman-up world.”

Don’t you just love that?

So here’s the takeaway: I’m looking forward to building some bonds with other birds*, particularly here in gorgeous New England. Heads up, wings out!

Hiking in the White Mountains.
Hiking in the White Mountains.

*I’m nursing an injury right now and (regrettably) taking it a bit slow … So bear with me!