That Time I Was a Swimsuit Model - What the What?!

So that happened. I'm still a bit dumbfounded by the fact that
  1. I got asked to be a swimsuit model
  2. The shoot was in Palm Springs
  3. I was surrounded by people who I love/respect/idolize
  4. I got confused (multiple times) as Kara in pictures
  5. I ran with Kara and Lauren... and I only felt like a slug on one of those runs!
  6. Please see #'s 1-5 repeatedly
No seriously though - that happened?! Before I get into the details I need to put out a HUGE thank you to Sally. First and foremost for asking me to be a model (the 'ask' alone was enough to send me reeling) and then for an absolutely amazing weekend. For making me feel like family. I'm touched beyond belief.

Back to the deets... The 'ask'. It came on a Friday night while I was out with friends. A text from Sally saying 'hey gal, want to be a swimsuit model'. Um... YES! It didn't matter where, it didn't matter when - I would make it happen. The fact that it ended up in Palm Springs was completely icing on the cake. I would have donned a swimsuit while hanging out at Greenlake if they'd asked me to.

I drove down to Seattle on a Wednesday (I would say last week but this post is obviously getting away from me) to meet up with Sally, Mac and Lesko for a little spray tan action. I have never had a spray tan so I had no idea what to expect. All in all it was a pretty interesting experience. Stand naked in a tent in front of a stranger - check. Apply a butterfly sticker to judge darkness - check. Smell like chemicals for up to 24 hours - check. Be completely tan from head to toe without any tan lines - check. It was weird but I have to admit the tan looked completely natural.

The next day we flew South to start our little desert (no worries Mac, I spelled it right) adventure. The schedule was Thursday - arrive and get settled, Friday - photo shoot, Saturday - photo shoot, Sunday - play and fly home. The nest had rented a fantastic Airbnb house nestled up against the mountains with a very open and modern layout not to mention an amazing view and pool. 

Waiting for the rental car.

Sally at the house

Picking up Kara and Lauren

This is ugly... so ugly.
Brownie batter

Brownie batter part 2 - way to get after it Katron!

I'd give y'all the blow by blow but that might be a bit overboard, long winded, and basically I want to keep some of it all bottled up in emotions rather than words. So, as per usual around these interwebs I'll give you some of the highlights (first in pictures then in words).

First run up the mountain with Lauren and Sally.

Getting my hair ratted

Blue steel

NBD, just hanging out with Kara.

Lauren and Kara playing with Jude

The Oiselle swimsuits are #amazeballs. There's no better way to describe them. I got to wear all of them and in every color and basically I want them ALL. They're stylish, sexy and functional. I expected nothing less from this company since every piece of clothing I own from them can be described in exactly the same way. I am anxiously awaiting their arrival - as you should be too.

Kara and Lauren... to be in the presence of such incredible talent. In the days leading up to the trip I was nervous. I'm not entirely sure why although I can easily blame insecurities. Basically, I just didn't want to make an a** out of myself. 

I've spent time with Lauren before. She's easily one of the funniest people I know and fairly unassuming - putting you right at ease and making you feel like an old friend immediately. I had no idea what to expect from Kara. I needn't have worried because just like Lauren, I instantly felt a simple comfort level around her. 

They are two of the most genuine people I've met. Down to earth, inviting, caring, supportive, and inspiring. Loving mothers who both have such a passion for family and for the sport of running. They are literal extensions of what Sally has started with Oiselle. 

It was incredible to be a fly on the wall for 4 days straight and just watch the magic happen. The creative energy in the house, the compassion. I watched as a larger support system began to form right before my eyes. It moved me in ways I simply cannot describe in words.

So yeah, that happened. I'm excited for the pictures to start coming out regardless of if I'm in any of them. It was an incredible weekend full of memories. I mean I've already had my acting debut in the April Fools video (if you missed it, check it out here). Surprisingly I haven't had any casting calls... ... ... 

And more pictures.

Quick run post shoot on day 1.

Lesko, Kara, Me - day 2.

Kara, Lauren, Me - day 2.

Much needed nap.

Every baby loves a cardboard box!

Dropping Kara off at the airport.

Jude hanging out in a spike bag, hydrating at Joshua Tree.

Until next time Palm Springs - Sally, Katron, Mac


Mercer Island Half Marathon Race Report

This post is going to be short and sweet. Mostly because no one wants to hear me complain how things didn't go my way when in reality they went just fine and it's more about my unrealistic expectations than anything else. And I apologize ahead of time because I know I don't want to hear the positive 'lift me ups' - sometimes it's better to have the taste of disappointment to become a stronger/better runner. 

I had a wonderful weekend with friends, teammates, and family. The weather on race day could not have been more perfect - mid 40s and cloudy at the start with probably mid 50s and sunny for the second half of the race. The scenery from the roads on Mercer Island are spectacular. In the moments when I actually looked up (few and far between) they were breathtaking and had I been out on a solo long run I might have enjoyed them. The race was well run and well supported - kudos to a pretty amazing event.

The blow-by-blow of the race: it just felt hard. I got in a solid warm-up but my legs were dead from the moment the race started. They had no umpf and they sure as heck didn't want to run 13.1 miles at any sort of speed. With tired legs comes a distracted and tired mind. The miles on the east side of the island seemed all over the map. I'm not sure if it was because of the rolling hills, or the Garmin simply cutting out in the trees but I'd look down one minute and see a 9 min pace and then the next I'd see a 5.xx. Regardless, I never felt in a groove and cutting the tangents constantly, along with the rolling hills wore me down.

Thanks Katie for the pic and the cheers!

The groove came... oh wait, it didn't. I felt good for a mile. Somewhere around mile 9. Winning?? Then there were the real hills. I was thankful to see Jena in the middle of the long climb and she kept me going strong-ish through right before the final climb to the finish. She paced me, encouraged me, and reminded me to drop my t-rex arms (sorry you had to remind me like every 10 feet!). I can't even begin to explain how helpful it was to have her just for that short time and her yells as she pulled off and I trudged on made me dig just a little deeper into my already empty tank.

And with that I was done. 9th female overall and a time of 1:30:28. I'd like to point out, however, that that puts me 91st overall. What the what?! That's a super deep men's field. CRAZINESS!! 

Thanks so much for the hospitality Leskos!

The rest of the afternoon was spent snacking on bagels at the Lesko house, getting stuck in wicked traffic heading back to my parent's house, and hanging out with my brother and his family. Oddly today my legs feel fantastic. There's absolutely no soreness. So what the heck!? Oh well. 4 weeks to wrap my mind around wanting to run twice the distance. I'm not there yet.


Getting Away

One: it's been far too long since I had a weekend away that didn't involve a race. Two: I visit the peninsula far too infrequently. Three: I take training far too seriously.

That's a lot of 'far too's for my liking.

Last weekend we got away. There was no race on the schedule. There was no agenda. There was just the hope of being AWAY. It was all very successful given that it was fairly last minute planning. The only thing set in stone was the cottage reservations on the water - Friday through Sunday.

The highlights: 
- Fantastic meal at Fountain Cafe in Port Townsend! Trio of lamb sliders... yes please. Mushroom Risotto... yes please. I was ridiculously stuffed and had leftovers to spare but it was delicious.
- Quaint waterfront cabins.
- Belgian Waffles with bacon inside... yes please.
- Storm chasing in La Push.
- Saying 'La Push'.
- Being completely swallowed by a rogue wave... thigh high waters and then splashed up the side as I scrambled up logs.
- Hiking back to the car drenched.
- Driving pant-less back to quaint cabins.
- Being lazy and doing whatever we wanted.
- VHS movies. Who owns those anymore?! High Fidelity which surprisingly was made in 2000 but seems more like an early 90s film.
- Trying to do my long run on a 'spit'... which basically means running on the beach as the tide comes in and deciding that wasn't the safest idea and turning around only to get yelled at by some crotchety volunteer who 1) informed me there is a 'no running' policy in the park (what the what?!) and 2) that I hadn't paid the park entrance fee and was therefore doing something illegal... umm, I can give you my gel - that probably is equivalent to the park entrance fee? Sorry, longest run on sentence ever.
- A whole series of jumping pictures on said 'spit' before getting yelled at. #selfieexplosion #yesiwasalone #noimnotashamed
- Ferries. I love ferries.

So with that I leave you with how breathtakingly beautiful the Pacific Northwest can be - even on cloudy days.

Drive over Deception Pass to the Keystone Ferry.

Run #1
Saw Megan warming up for her first bike race - well done lady!

Drive to the coast

Can I be any more 'northwest' dressed?

Second Beach in La Push

Run #2
Dungeness Spit - you can't 'run' on it for future reference...

I 'may' have taken a few jumping pics... it 'may' have taken a long time... I 'may' be narcissistic.

Our cottages, cute no?