Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Hood to Coast: Where Insanity Meets Incredible

Ridin' in Style

Timberline Lodge right before our first Leg with VAN 1



Exchanges

Keepin' it Classy inbetween runs

MG! Such a great teammate and friend!

Caught my Bestie right before she kicked off Leg 1 for her team!

Finshed, waiting on Van 2, and we were showered. Heavenly.



Celebrations!

Look at those Medals!
Finishers minus Emily and Kiersten!
 Hood to Coast. What. An. Experience! 199 miles long, 12,600 participants. You are running in the extreme heat, you are running when it's cold. You run downhill, you run up a mountain. You run when the sun is up, you run in the middle of the night when it's pitch black and no one else is really around you with a head lamp and a reflector vest. You finish your leg and you aren't sure you can do another one. You run every 8 hours about. You sleep outside or in the Van. You have to go to the bathroom in the woods, or in a porta-potty. You have to eat at random and we never really had real meals. But you know what... I would do it again in a heart beat! The team bonding and cheering and physical limits you push with your body is unlike any experience. We were Van 1 and I was the 6th runner. So I always ran the baton to our next Van of runners. We got maybe 3 hours of sleep, some of us had heat exhaustion and some of us had bloody blistered feet but we fought through! Van 1's first set of legs were brutal because we were running in 95 + degree heat. Once we got back into Portland from the mountain some of us felt pretty sick. I especially wasn't sure I could run my second leg. But I chugged Gatorade and water and felt better by midnight which is right around when I ran my second leg. Second leg was nice and cool and once I finished my leg we went to Tent City to get some sleep. Even the 3 hours really helped recharge the batteries to then start our final leg. All of the camaraderie and Van support from our own team and from other teams was just so fun and encouraging! The Van support made a huge difference and made you want to push yourself even further. I ran 18 miles in roughly 24 hours and it was all different elements, and terrain. My body was pretty unsure about what I was doing to it, and my quads were pretty much shot by Saturday evening. I was so proud of my team, and we finished in 29 hours which I'm proud of! We didn't have the quickest exchanges... but you know what we had a blast! That was more what it was about for us as a team. It was so cool to see all of the celebrations and all of the excitement happening in Seaside. And no I didn't get to see Kevin Hart... :( But he did post a live video on Facebook that was pretty hilarious. You should watch it because he really does a good job of explaining the insanity that is Hood to Coast.

 If you ever get the opportunity to participate in this, DO IT! It is challenging and not for the faint of heart, but it is something I will always look back on and be proud of and have fond memories of! Looking forward to next year... if Dan let's me run again... ;)

**Shout out to the people who helped us compete and finish!! The friends that loaned us their Suburbans, the people who volunteered for our team, and the people who let us use their home to shower. When we got into Seaside Van 2 was on their final leg and so we were waiting for them to finish and we got to shower and clean up and rest and eat and drink coffee before they finished... We kind of got the better end of that...**

Love and Killing Myself for Fun

-Kate

Thursday, August 25, 2016

My Second Favorite City we Visited!

ROME!!




























We got to Rome early on a Monday morning, our last day before we flew home. That meant we had 1 day in Rome. 1 DAY PEOPLE! Not enough time at all. So this is what our itinerary looked like...

4:00 AM Wake up in Vernazza Cinque Terra
4:45 AM Board the train to our connecting train
5:30 AM I proceed to desperately race around the train station looking for coffee
5:31 AM I find a McDonalds and nearly pee myself with excitement
5:31:30 AM I start hitting my fists against the glass when I realize they are closed
5:32 AM A group of beautiful Australian men start laughing at me telling me they are looking for coffee too. We strike up a conversation and they decided to come with us to Rome instead of Venice and now I am dating one of them and we will probably get married next June
6:00 AM I wake up from all of my dreams to find myself sitting on a train headed for Rome with no coffee and no Aussie soul mate next to me because they actually decided to stay on route to Venice instead of coming with us... Rude. But whatever
9:30 AM We get off the train and are overwhelmed by the large train station and are a little unsure how to find our friend Andrew who was meeting us there. 
9:34 AM We look to our right and we see a man wearing a Rip City Jersey and we realize it's Andrew and almost start crying because we are so relieved. (Keep in mind please that unless we have WIFI we cannot communicate with the outside world) 
10:00 AM We drop our stuff at our Hostel and we proceed to walk to get our SCOOTERS!!!! 
10:30 AM - 2:00 PM We ride around to see Rome via VESPA.... We need to talk about this for a second...

Shannon has a scooter at home so she looked and felt great on one. Andrew has driven them MANY times in Italy and also knows how to get around in Rome. Katie knows nothing. Katie almost hit 4 pedestrians, 2 cars and a dumspter along the way. I was laughing and crying all at the same time. The gentlemen who rented me my scooter looked into my eyes and politely asked me not to crash the scooter. I could tell he wasn't sure how the next few hours would go, and to be honest I wasn't sure myself. But HEY, I did it! It was really fun, it's just a little intimidating considering they do NOT have lanes, or traffic laws really for that matter. It's just a bunch of Ya-hoos out there. But what an experience to have in Rome!! 

2:00 ish PM we gave the scooters back and went to see Rome on foot. The architecture and churches and history in this city gave me goosebumps. I am telling you. My mind couldn't intake all of the beauty all at once. Some people will say they don't like Rome because it's so dirty. But from my perspective it wasn't that bad and it didn't bother me. I was too busy looking up at all the beauty. The quaint shops in town, the lights the greenery. I am telling you I could have spent 2 more weeks there. The Colosseum is magnificent.  I could have stared at it for hours. When we first saw it we were on our Vespas and all of a sudden Andrew is telling me to park and I turn around and there it was!  We didn't go inside which I am bummed about, but we just didn't have enough time. We did see the Pantheon (Roman Temple) which is beautiful and majestic too. I just kept thinking about ancient Roman times when these buildings were the very place where people went for Entertainment and Worship. Just incredible. 

We weren't able to see the Trevi Fountain or the Spanish Steps, but it is all the more reason to go back! I would go back to see Rome in a heartbeat. I feel as though I only got a taste of the city and still have so much to see. The history alone in this city is unlike any place I have ever been. This city is where Paul was locked up in Prison when he wrote so much of the New Testament. People from Jesus' time walked the same streets I did that day and that is something I will always take with me. 

7:00 PM we were headed to dinner at a Pizza place we had made reservations for. My feet had blisters and I really wasn't sure I was going to make it. We had walked MILES upon MILES at this point in our trip. I was exhausted but wanted to keep going to keep seeing the city. The pizza was to die for at this place that I wish I could remember the name of. We sat and reminisced about our trip as we drank our final bottle of wine. We couldn't believe that the next morning we were flying home but my feet were really ready to be done with all of the walking.

10:00 PM We were back in our Hostel, exhausted but needing to pack so we could leave first thing to catch our train to the airport.

Dear Roma,

I love you. I will be back. I have so much left to see in your beautiful city.

Love and that kind of sounded like a threat...

-Kate 

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Ma New Favorite Summer Heels

Norstrom Rack: Steve Madden: $80.00


And yes I'm already aware my right foot's second toe is longer than my big toe... we all come with imperfections right?! It's what "makes us beautiful.." or some crap like that. Ha!



Then I went to Nike to get a few things for Hood to Coast that is THIS Friday!!


Not going to lie, pretty obsessed with this oversized sweater from their Sportswear Line

I went to to Nordstrom Rack with the very hopes that I would find exactly what I ended up finding. I was really hoping they would have been on sale, but that's ok..! They lace up the front which is fun and the heel isn't too tall that it makes walking hard. I am not the best heel walker, so when I wear my heels I have to be pretty sure about them. I know I bought them at the end of the season, but I have good feelings that they will still be perfect for next summer. (They also come in Brown in case anyone was curious). 

Next I went to the Nike Company Store. Still getting used to calling it that. I fell in love with that oversized cardigan and I am warning you ahead of time that I will probably be wearing this everyday in the fall... It's just the perfect sweater to lounge in with my yoga pants and can also be worn with jeans and a pair of Chucks. One of the better Nike trips I've made in awhile. The pants I'm wearing above are the most comfortable running pants. They are lightweight and have mesh on the back side for breath-ability. They fit perfectly and are so comfortable. I wish they had other colors in them, but regardless I bought two pair because they fit so well and they aren't too long for my 5'4 self over here. Sometimes Nike makes their yoga pants so long so I end up looking like a dork who has to roll them up at the bottom. The last thing I bought was that cute highlighter sports bra. These bras are SO comfortable and I love them. I sleep in them mostly, they are not designed for running. Or I wear them if I'm just going to be lifting weights at the gym and not doing any cardio. 

Seriously CANNOT believe Hood to Coast is days away. I am so excited and a little nervous but I know it will be a blast. My team is great, and this again is the year of checking things off my Bucket List! 

Job Promotion
Bought my Jeep
Went to Europe
Run Hood to Coast

2016 has been pretty special for me so far. And there is still so much ahead. I am thankful to my family and friends who have helped make some of these dreams a reality for me, and also God for allowing these gifts in my life. 

Still ahead this year: My friend Ali gets married in Spokane, the Dierks Bentley Concert, and then time to Party with my dear friend Cayly as we get her MARRIED! Blessed to be part of her Wedding Day as a Bridesmaid and so looking forward to the celebrations! 

Love and Life is Pretty Dang Good

-Kate

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Invincible


Do you ever have moments where you feel invincible? Moments where nothing in the world matters outside the present moment you are in? I pretty much lived my whole life feeling that way until probably college. I grew up in a safe, warm, loving environment. I always had friends in school, things came pretty easy for me. I was good at sports, I did as well in school as I wanted to. And for the most part looking back, I think alot of that was confidence building (probably some cocky moments in there too...). I am thankful for the environment I was raised in, especially because on top of all of that confidence was this layer of appreciation that my parents taught me. It wasn't like we had all the money in the world, we did fine and I never really knew any different. My parents took care of everything and made sure our needs were always met. Sometimes it was harder for me to act like the crowd because I grew up in a Christian home with strict rules and boundaries for everything. While other girls were shaving their legs and wearing lipstick, I was allowed lip gloss and glitter for my cheeks that was it. But regardless, I knew who I was for the most part and because of that I had this confidence about me. It wasn't until College that I started realizing that life wasn't as easy as it had been for me. I started having to work alot harder for the things I wanted...

Last night I was driving home from the East side over the Ross Island Bridge which is beautiful that time of night with the sun going down. I had my windows down in my Jeep, just driving listening to music and I felt this moment of invincibility. The breeze blowing my hair, the perfect country song on the radio, I felt alive. The moment left quickly when I realized my route was closed and I had to find an alternative way home... but for that 45 seconds or however long it takes to drive over the bridge I felt invincible.

As I get older and I experience more in this lifetime the more I realize how fleeting this life is. How quickly time comes and goes. How short a day is. How quickly birthdays seem to come now and how tiring day after day can be. All the more reason why I am so happy I got to experience other cultures and see some of the ancient world when I had the chance. Because the reality is, we're not invincible as much as I would like to think we are. As much as I would like to think I will be young forever, I won't be. So I guess what I am trying to say is, live in every moment. EVERY moment. Be present. Be the best version of yourself today. Help others, and be kind. Put others before yourself. Years down the road from now I want to have made a difference for people whether that is in small or big ways. Because that is what Jesus would do (and did) and I want to be more like him.

Love and Feeling Invincible

-Kate

Monday, August 15, 2016

10 Reasons Why You Should Go to Europe at Least Once!

"Wherever you go becomes a part of you somehow." - Anita Desai


Our first day in Paris and I had spent the previous night in a ball on the bathroom floor because I had what I think was food poisoning from something I ate in the London train station. Shannon woke up to me crying because I was so exhausted having not slept and we were supposed to go see Versailles the first day. I ended up rallying, took a shower and we decided to make our first stop the Eiffel Tower!! We were 5 minutes walking distance from there and it did NOT disappoint!

It seriously is as majestic in person if not more when you see it for the first time. I was giddy like a little girl when she receives her first American Girl Doll. 

And we proceeded to take a selfie with the Eiffel Tower pretty much anytime we saw it in plain view no matter where we were... I've got a hundred more similar ones..

Arc De Triumph!! This was so fun to see and it was the same day as Tour De France was finishing so we got to see some cyclists going around the monument too which was pretty exciting! 

Photo bombed by this guy... at NOTRE DAME!



A seriously Stunning building. Beautiful architecture and it sits right on the river. 

I started to get my appetite back so we grabbed our first real meal at this cute cafe. I already miss the darling cafes

We decided to get a little dressed up and go out for a glass of wine, we made a friend that evening and he took us to see the Eiffel Tower all lit up at night. More on that later :) 

Friends. Listen. Pleaseeeee listen. Europe is a place you want to go to. And you need to go sooner than later because I am a little afraid of complications that might arise in the future with border hopping. It was easy for us to travel from the UK to Paris and Paris to Italy. We only had to go through customs in London and then when we got home in Portland but I am not so sure it will remain this easy for long. Everywhere we went in Paris and Italy there were Military men walking around with heavy artillery. Which made me feel a bit safer but also like waiting for a bomb to go off. Fortunately Shannon and I felt very safe the entire trip. Even through staying at Hostels in Italy which I think alot of people are uncertain about. They were perfectly clean and safe which was a relief when you just want a comfortable bed and a little relief from the Italian heat and humidity.

The thing is I understand the excuses you have. I had them too. Your job won't let you have the time off, you can't afford it, you are scared of what is happening with ISIS and other terrorist organizations in foreign countries, you aren't sure you can handle the lengthy flight, you are afraid of the language barrier... the list goes on and on. I would be lying if I said I hadn't thought through all of those things and more at one point or another. My biggest hiccup for so long was the flight length. I always thought that I would have a panic attack being cooped up that long on an airplane but I kid you not that was probably the easiest part of the whole trip.

So just GO!!! And here is a list of the reasons why you SHOULD:

1. You aint gettin' any younger my friend. With the amount of walking around, hopping on and off of trains you do, it helps to be younger. Anyone can go to Europe but I am glad I got to experience it in my twenties, and to be able to flirt a little with the locals ;)
2. Experiencing new cultures seriously changes you and your perspective on life and on how you live your life.
3. The beauty and history you will see and experience is unlike anything we can or will know in the States.
4. It's amazing how much confidence you gain in yourself when you figure out how to get around and communicate in a foreign place.
5. You get to meet new people with completely different perspectives than you.
6. You will feel liberated!  I felt so free in that I was gone for 2 weeks and felt completely at home wherever I was. I was so worried that I would feel home sick or have a panic attack when I thought hard enough about how far from home I was. I am such a homebody normally that this was a big deal for me.
7. You get to experience food from it's origin. The croissants and macaroons and cheese sandwiches and baguettes and pasta and wine. Tasting all of those foods in it's country of origin was so fun! Shannon was a little more experimental than I was, but in my defense I had food poisoning in Paris, and that was NOT fun. So I played it a little safe after that.
8. THE WINE!! I mentioned it in point 7, but it gets it's own line too. The wine in Italy was so inexpensive and SO amazing!!
9. You obtain an appreciation for the blessings in your life in a different way. I was so thankful that I had the ability, and the means and the support of family to take this trip. I was also so thankful to come home to my big bed that has a mattress topper on it that I could snuggle back into.
10. I got to bring home some very fun Italian leather goods that I'm pretty obsessed with. I will take an outfit photo with my purse for you soon :)

There are so many other reasons why it's such an amazing experience. I know these memories  will stay with me for a long long time.

Love and Quit Making Excuses... the Time is NOW!

-Kate