Saturday, December 21, 2013

Dreams and Gratitude

I recently had a post on the website about gratitude. Gratitude seems too simple to have any major effects on a person’s mood. At any given moment, even when filled with a negative outlook, it’s actually kind of easy to find something to be grateful for with a little effort. It could be as simple as being thankful for free water at a water fountain, owning a pair of socks, or for owning a old laptop with a taped on space bar and a missing key because it still gets the job done (thank you to my laptop for allowing me to type this!). It’s probably the simplest thing I have ever done to improve my mood/ life. After a few weeks of putting some effort into finding things I’m grateful for, it’s now an effortless mindset and my mood has remained stable and positive for the longest stretch of time since I can ever remember. While I believe everything on has helped me, gratitude has been a major piece of the puzzle.

With that said, lately I have been filled with a sometimes almost overwhelmingly grateful feeling towards everyone who has supported me, big or small, this year. Maybe it sounds cheesy, but the past few months I’ve had dreams come true in large part to you. It has been my dream to support my modest lifestyle through being creative in a variety of ways (writing, trying to help those who with me share the journey of healing depression, videos, artwork, t-shirt designs, and a book), and it has been a huge honor to have my creative passions displayed in people’s homes or have my thoughts enter the minds of others as they read my words. While I’m not sure how long this dream will continue, words cannot express how thankful I am for the time I have had living my dream and helping the dreams of others by always giving some proceeds to charity (again, all because of you!).

Sincerest thanks to all reading this.

Merry Christmas
Happy Hanukah
Joyous Kwanza
Happy Holidays,


Saturday, December 14, 2013

1 Day Left and a Super Sweet Poem


My sister, Rachel, wrote an amazing inspirational poem based off a painting I made. Please check it out if you haven't already:

Run Wild, Live Happy,


Thursday, December 5, 2013

Find Your Free- T-Shirts are Launched!

Launched my first shirt design!

Everyone wants to feel free. We want both our minds and our bodies to feel free. We want the freedom to fly where no vehicles can go. That’s why we run. Running has the magical power to free our minds so we can dream big and believe in our capabilities in every aspect of our lives. Running gives us the freedom to go to places that are only reachable by foot, and places so beautiful they take our breaths away (sometimes also caused by the lack of air in the mountains). This design represents that freedom we get from running, so where your shirt proudly and inspire others to find their free.


If you like it you can buy it here:  Get it as a present to yourself or for the runners in your life! 

You can only get it until December 15!

I'm trying this out using Teespring which is mostly a good thing but has one downside. The shirts will only be printed if 30 are sold. The reason I'm using Teespring this time is because it's no risk money wise for me. I was nervous about ordering and buying a ton of shirts that may or may not sell. So this way I don't have to invest money I really want to use for Christmas presents. Also, Teespring ships the shirts straight to you which is great for me and Sage since our apartment is already filled with camera equipment, painting supplies, and running/ exercise stuff. :)

A note on some of the shirt choices:
Mens: Dark gray option coming (hopefully) sometime tomorrow. (Thanks Sage for picking out the men's shirt.) 

Ladies: There are two women's specific shirts. 
-The Bella Women's Favorite Tee. It's a junior fit so it's a bit smaller than a regular women's tee. I actually have this shirt in a small and it fits me perfectly, but it wouldn't if I was a tad ummmm....bustier. It looks exactly like the shirt in the above picture. The small fits me just like the picture below but its slightly longer.


7% of the proceeds will go to the Boys & Girls Club.

I am also going to apologize in advance if I go overboard promoting it. I only did a 10 day campaign so people could hopefully get it for Christmas presents.

Thanks for all the support!!!

Much love,


Find your free

Monday, December 2, 2013

How Stress Can Hurt Your Body

Remember this?

If you don’t, here’s the summary. My stomach was constantly bugging me and I was having trouble absorbing vitamins and minerals, especially iron. The inside of my stomach was irritated and red, but that’s all the doctors could tell me. I was extremely frustrated. I just wanted more energy again.
According to Dr. Lissa Rankin’s book Mind over Medicine, my story mirrors thousands of others. Dr. Rankin worked in Marin County California, a place where people strive to eat healthy and stay fit. She was seeing patients that, like me, eat a very clean and natural diet, and exercise regularly. Interestingly, these patients were just as sick as the patients she saw when she lived in an area filled with poverty and fast food. She then spent her time researching the subject and came to the conclusion that stress or any negative areas in your life can make you sick. (If you don’t believe this, read her book and keep reading this. She was raised to be skeptical so she really did her research.)
Though I’m not sure if this was the complete root of my problem, it really made sense to me after reading the Tapping Solution by Nick Ortner. In his book he states:
The stress response can cause a massive cascade of events in your body, including:
·    On average four times less blood flow to your digestive system.
·    Lower absorption of nutrients.
·    Less enzyme production in your gut. (As much as 20,000 times less! This is one of the reasons why, when you eat a meal while you’re stressed, you’ll often feel bloated and uncomfortable.)
·    Decrease in gut flora population.
·    Increase in cholesterol.
·    Increase in cortisol and insulin levels.

Notice, the main two things I was experiencing, stomach problems and trouble absorbing nutrients, can be caused by stress.

As you may have noticed by my blog and website postings, I have been really working on healing my depression and reducing stress. And guess what? There is a very noticeable difference in my energy. While I’m still having trouble getting my iron up, something is obviously going right because I don’t feel like sleeping all the time and I’m once again motivated to do the things I love!

For ideas on how to decrease stress in your life and gettingto the roots of your problems check out While the website is for depression, it offers some good knowledge for everyone.

Run Wild, Live Happy,


Sunday, December 1, 2013

Find Your Free

Last few hours to pre-order Beautiful Girl! Click below for more details.
Part of the proceeds will be going to partners of the Half the Sky Movement.

HUGE THANKS to everyone who has purchased the book!

I've also been working on designing some fashionable (for men and women) t-shirts! Below is one of the designs. Hoping to have some shirts available for purchase in the next few days. Something to keep in mind for holiday presents. :)

Run Wild, Live Happy,


Sunday, November 24, 2013

How to Avoid Burnout for the Overly Determined Runner

This past Saturday I had the pleasure of being at the first annual Front Range Fall Running Clinic put on by Integrative Healing Acupuncture and Wellness. While I learned a lot of great things, one thing that really struck me is something all the elite athletes there had in common. Of course everyone had insane passion and drive and that led each elite to not only prosper, but also to burnout. Moreover, they experienced the burnout that could lead to months or years of bad races.

Feeling burnt out?
Before I go on, to give this post a little more value, I’ll list the athletes who spoke on this (I’ll give a quick background but I’m not going to spend all the time I could typing out their ridiculous amount of achievements):

Sage Canaday: 2 time Olympic Trials Qualifier, 2:16 marathoner, 2012 USATF mountain runner of the year, and winner of A LOT of ultras.

Trent Briney: 4th at the 2004 Olympic Marathon Trials, 3 time Olympic Qualifier, 2:12 marathoner, 5:37:56 50 mile time at JFK 2012, etc, etc, etc.

Jimmy Archer: Professional Triathlete  for 12 years. (I’m sure he’s done awesome at plenty of triathlons, but I barely know anything about the triathlon scene and I won’t pretend to.) Coached by some of the best running coaches of all time: Dr. Joe Vigil and Mark Wetmore.

I’m also going to reference some women who weren’t at the clinic, but have openly talked about their burnout:

Nikki Kimball: Elite Ultra Runner for the North Face. Tons of competitive ultra wins including Western States in 2007.

In her irunfar pre-race interview before Western States she said:

“In hindsight, I should have taken 2009 completely off, and I didn’t have the guts to do it. I think I’d be racing a lot better now if I would have. If I could tell that to someone that was starting to experience that slow down after eight to ten years of racing ultras, I’d say take the year off and you’ll come back way, way stronger. We’re seeing that like Dave Mackey took a bunch of years off and came back strong. You usually just see people when they start to slow down if they’ve been on the top quit and not stay with it. But I love the sport, I love the people in it, I want to stay with it. But I should have taken the year off.”

Lynn BjorkLund: In 1981 she won the Pikes Peak Marathon in record time. Lynn also had some major track and cross country wins.

 “I trained too much. It made for one exceptional race, but I spiraled into years of chronic overuse injuries that took away my ability to run, as well as the joy of it.” What ailed her after the 1981 Pikes Peak Marathon? “My ankle, my foot, my knee, nothing singular or specific. If I could replay race day, I’d give that record back in exchange for a life of healthy running. It wasn’t worth it.””- Legends of the Trail by Meghan Hicks, Trail Running Magazine

Back to the Front Range Fall Running Clinic.  

One woman, after hearing each elite athlete talk about burnout, asked “How do you listen to your body? How do you know when you’re overdoing it.?” GREAT QUESTION!

Most top athletes can look back and admit they knew they were overdoing it and should have backed off. While there is certainly a fine line between pushing one’s limits and pushing too hard, athletes, when honest with themselves know where that line is. It’s just all too easy to get focused on goals and not back off. However, the elite athletes had some great advice, and hopefully by hearing their advice you’ll pay more attention to your body and have the mental strength to back off.

The signs of (being on the verge of) burnout from the elites:

·         Being constantly tired. If you’re training hard there will be plenty of days where you’ll be tired, but if you’re fatigued on a daily basis and you’re getting enough sleep, there’s a problem. It could be completely from training, or the heavy training might mean you’re not absorbing enough minerals and vitamins, so get a blood test.
·         Crankiness. This can very well be your mind sending you a message that your body is saying to slow down. Triathlete, Jimmy Archer, said that when he finally let his body recover after experiencing chronic fatigue syndrome that his family and friends told him he seemed like he was back to his old self because he was smiling and laughing more. So if you don’t have any serious reasons to be cranky, check in with your body and your training to see if you’re overdoing it.
·         Compare the times of your standard routes/ workouts. This is (in my opinion) a great reason to have a training log. If you have a standard route, and you know how long it normally takes you to complete it, and that time starts getting slower or you’re working extra hard to stay around that time, it’s a good sign you need a break. Same with workouts if your tempo runs or intervals getting are getting slower or your working really hard to keep the same pace. (Of course, weather conditions need to be considered.)
·         Constant injuries. Some people may just get injured easy or experience injuries due to bad form, but constant or chronic injuries may also be a sign to slow down. It’s your body saying “I just need a break!”  I’ve seen to many great runners have a small injury that turned into a an injury that required them to take the majority of a year off. Better to just listen to your body and take some time off or lessen the training load.
·         Sleep problems. Sage pointed out that a sign might not only be having trouble waking up, but trouble falling asleep. It doesn’t seem to make sense that falling asleep would be a problem, but your body is a little out of whack and that can lead to problems falling asleep.
·         Motivation. Are you running and pushing yourself because you love it, or are you doing it because you just feel like you’re supposed to be? If it’s the second reason on a daily basis, you’re not only on the road to physical burnout, but your mind is telling you that you need a break.

Other ways to avoid burnout from the elites:  

                As I mentioned above, sometimes you just need to listen to your body and back off training. However, the elite athletes mentioned ways to avoid even having to back off peak season training by doing a few other things.

·         Winter cross training: Snowshoeing and skiing are great ways to keep your endurance and work on a few other muscles in the off season, while having less impact force on your body. If you enjoy playing indoor sports like basketball, hockey, etc., go ahead and play. You’re still staying active while giving some of your running muscles a rest.

·         Plan rest weeks. Many top athletes use the 3 weeks on, 1 week off rule, or something similar. For the 3 weeks on, your miles might be high and speed workouts might be hard. Then you take an off week so your body absorbs the hard training. During this week you lessen your miles and you cut down the intensity of your speed work.
·         Rest (seriously) after races. This seems like common sense, yet runners tend to start thinking about another race and then push too hard to soon. Yes, your body might feel good a week after a 50 mile race, but get 20 miles in a long run and you might start feeling like crap. I know some runners like to race a lot, but is there a price to be paid in the results or months or years down the road? (Look back at Nikki Kimball’s comment above.)

So that’s the end of my summary of what the elite athletes had to say. There are of course other ways to listen to your body so you don’t burnout and other ways to avoid burnout. This is where I, and I’m sure many others, would love to hear from you. If you’re not used to commenting, think of it as helping someone else avoid the hardships of burnout.

Run Wild, Run Happy,


In case you missed it:
I wrote a book called Beautiful Girl that aims to spread the message of what real beauty is:

Sage and I made a running form video that will hopefully benefit your running:

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Beautiful Girl (hopefully a beautiful gift)

Hello Beautiful People! 

Some of you may remember one of my blogs from last year about a short book I made for women of all ages. At that time it was just something you could print out from home, but now it's an actual book! It has also been updated a little since the online version.

The book is called Beautiful Girl and it's simply meant to help women young and old realize and remember what real beauty is, despite the messages we get from the media. The pictures (provided by some awesome people) show true beautiful women of all ages from all over the world.

Hopefully, you are thinking it would make a great gift for the beautiful girls in your life!
(It would be a perfect stocking stuffer for Christmas!)
I'm taking orders now until Dec.1st. I'll then order all the books to be printed at once.
The cost is $10 plus $2.00 for shipping, so the total is $12.00. (If you are out of the country send me a message) As always 7% of proceeds go to charity (I'll give more if I can). To buy, go to Paypal and send the money using my email address: You can leave a message saying it's for the book but I should know by the money amount. PLEASE make sure you include your address so I know where to send the book. :)

Additional info: 
size: 8.25 by 6 inches
30 pages

Rachel (not me) and her little sis

If you feel like this book will send a good message, please consider sharing this post. THANK YOU!

Much love,

Very special thanks to Sage for help making this happen. :)

Monday, November 18, 2013

Proper Running Form: Tips and Techniques to Run Faster

Sage and I have been working really (really) hard to put together another running form video. We wanted to bring together what techniques Chi, Pose, and Enhance Running have in common. These are pretty much also all the same things the fastest runners in the world have in common. Hopefully, you can get something out it that will help your own running. If not, I hope you at least enjoy the views in some of the shots. :)

Run Wild, Run Happy,


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

It's Just Running... But It Isn't

I’m training pretty dang hard.

My weekly miles aren’t the highest I’ve averaged, but they’re starting to near the 3 digit mark.

I’m also doing the most speed work (intervals and tempo runs) I have ever done since I started running, by far, really far.

And you know what; I would happily do more if I didn’t have to worry about money.

Why am I running so much and doing lots of speed work? It would appear I’m training for some big race, but I’m not. (Although Sage and I will be running my sister Rachel’s 10k and that’s huge to me, but for sisterly reasons.) Besides my sister’s 10k, I have nothing in the foreseeable future. At first it was my choice, but now I honestly have no money in my budget to travel and enter races. But that’s okay I suppose.

I am just completely in love with running just for the sake of running. Even if I’m pushing hard on the pavement for a speed day, I’m absolutely loving it. I’d rather be making my heart pound inside my chest than be sitting indoors any day. Then, there are the days up to the summits of Green and Bear that I just can’t seem to get enough of. On weekday mornings I often have the trails to myself on the way up except for some squirrels sprinting across, beautiful blue birds flying ahead of me, and sometimes even the splendid but odd looking wild turkeys! Judging by the looks of the canyon that the trail is in, I’m guessing there are some mountain lions too, but I feel much safer in Boulder than when I lived in some small mountain towns where animal bones and carcasses were daily sightings. As I start up I’m always in awe of the huge rock slabs to my right and then embrace the shadows and the light that alternate in warming and cooling my body. Yesterday, as I turned the corner to top of the canyon, where the trails split to go up Green or Bear, the sun hit everything around me in the most perfect way imaginable. The much bigger mountains showed their white tops in front of me, and birds flew towards them. In that moment, everything was perfect. Every part of me was filled with peace and joy. At that moment, I was exactly where I was supposed to be. Though I might not feel quite that level of perfection every day, I normally come close and I always feel I am where I’m supposed to be when my legs come as close as they can to flying.

                Sometimes when I’m not running, my head tells me it’s silly to spend so much time running. However, during these moments my heart suddenly screams “Running helps you follow me (my heart)!”  and I know my heart is right, I sometimes just have trouble listening.

                Running isn’t everything. There are obviously much more important things like friends, family and making the world a better place that my life should be (and are) focusing on. But, I believe running is more than just running because it helps me be a better person as my mind and my heart are both strengthened by my runs. Running is my anti-depressant (if even just for the hours I am running), it’s my way to experience the beauty of nature, it’s my path of learning to follow my heart, it’s my steroid for mental strength, it strengthens my connection to my highest levels of thinking, it’s a bond between me and similar souls, it’s all that and so much more. It almost seems crazy how the simple act of running can bring so much to me. Yet, my heart reminds me at this moment it is not. It is the gift that was given to me to help find all the beauty in myself and the world.

                So while on the surface, my miles and hard work seem pointless, I know in my heart that the miles are striving to point me in the right direction.

Run Wild, Run Happy,


Thursday, November 7, 2013

The POWER of Introverts

There’s a word for “people who are in their heads too much”: thinkers.

Let’s get this straight: Introverts enjoy being around people, are smart and creative, make great public speakers, are great listeners, are extremely passionate, are awesome leaders from business to social justice, and are just plain wonderful.

I used to not like labeling myself as an introvert, but after listening to Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain while I was painting, I can’t help but be a little proud of being an introvert. In fact, I now really think a negative aspect of U.S. culture is that introverts can often have a bad rep. It gives the idea that introverts can’t do certain jobs or don't like being around people, which isn’t true. I love being around people, it’s just that I also need my alone time to think, read, meditate, write, paint, etc.

I first came across Susan Cain when I saw her Ted Talk (notice she’s an introvert but is also a great public speaker: 

I was inspired and intrigued and so I requested Quiet from the library. What a smart idea that was! I was happy to find out that I share some of the same qualities that some of the best thinkers who have ever lived had as well. Rosa Parks, Gandhi, J.K. Rowling (I thoroughly enjoyed my nights of reading the whole Harry Potter series), Bill Gates, Eleanor Roosevelt, Abraham Lincoln, and Albert Einstein are just a few of the many famous people who would fall under the introvert category. Without their alone time to think, none of them would have had the success that they did.

While at some points during the book I think there is a bit of negativity on some famous extroverts (which I don’t think was intended), I think the book offers some much needed praise to the role of introverts in society. More importantly, it offers some very good advice that both extroverts and introverts should know such as relationships between extroverts and introverts, when someone should push their comfort zone and when they shouldn’t, things companies can do to improve the work of their employees, and introverted kids.

One of the last sections of the book is a must read for teachers and for parents who have kids with introverted qualities. As a kid, I remember often coming home from school often completely wiped out. Most schools are embracing “group think” even when research shows that this isn’t the best idea for any type of kid as it limits them embracing the power of their own mind before they share ideas. For introverted children though, it’s exhausting and frustrating. Sure, they need to talk out loud and share their ideas, but not all day long. They need time to think before they speak.  Introverted kids, just like adults, are often sensitive and feel strongly about certain things. This should be embraced and respected. These strong feelings will give them the motivation to speak up on things they deem important. I’m rambling, but the book gives great advice and ideas to parents who want their introverted child to be as comfortable and successful as possible.

"The next generation of quiet kids can and should be raised to know their own strength." -Susan Cain

I could go on and on about the great research in the book, but you’d get much more out of reading (or listening to) the book yourself.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

A runner's rambling...

Happy almost All Hallows Eve!

I'm very grateful to have my dad in town so this might be my only post this week. I'll make it short and sweet. :)

I was lucky enough to do a drawing of my friend and his wife at the finish line of UROC 100k. He had the great idea of adding additional characters to tell the story of the race, which involved quite a bit of snow and wind. It was creative, imaginative, and at first a tad challenging to put his ideas into the drawing, but I really enjoyed it and was pleased with the result.

Here's a view from my first trip up Flagstaff mountain in Boulder, CO.  The trail just re-opened last week and with my favorite trails up Green and Bear (my favorite trails up Bear just opened up today!!!!) closed, I decided to head up the trail last Saturday which I had previously avoided due to the road crossings. Since the road was closed to the public, going up Flagstaff was really nice and I enjoyed the trail and the views. The one thing that really bothered me was that there wasn't actually a trail to the very top! Trails just went around the top. How silly! In the picture I'm wearing shorts from INKnBURN, my new awesome sponsor. I am extremely grateful that they asked me to join the team and thought I would be a good ambassador, partly due to this blog. Just to let you know, INKnBURN has a long sleeve tech tee that looks like a Christmas sweater... it is simply awesome.

My sister Rachel wrote a great blog about the lifestyle choices we have both been making to not only give ourselves a better life, but also choices that are good for the planet. Check it out here:

It's that time of year to start thinking about Christmas presents! If you want to give something meaningful maybe think about a charcoal drawing or painting from I Believe Art:
Special discount for people who read my blog.

Run Wild, Run Happy,


? What is the most common crime corn commits? 

Answer: (backwards so you don't cheat) gniklats

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Tart Cherry Juice for Runners

          When Sage and I went to Oregon this past summer to visit his family, his mom got us hooked on organic tart cherry juice mixed with mineral water. It's now my official nighttime drink. It tastes great and is an awesome drink for runners.

         Here's why:

1) It's a great recovery drink.
    -Research suggests tart cherry juice is a wonderful recovery drink. "The antioxidant, anti-inflammatory properties help reduce muscle damage, inflammation, pain, and the oxidative stress associated with endurance training." (Kitchen Cures by Peggy Kotsopoulos)

2) Helps with sleep.
    -Tart cherry juice won't make you fall asleep, but once you fall asleep it will help you stay asleep. Tart cherries contain the neurotransmitter melatonin which helps decrease insomnia and waking up once you fall asleep. This means you'll get higher quality sleep.

3) This doesn't directly have to do with running but....
  -Tart cherries also helps stop the growth of cancer cells and helps prevent diabetes and Alzheimer's disease.

Run Wild, Run Happy,


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Running Poetry Slam!

Just in case you haven't seen Amy Marschak bust out this poem on running....

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Blog Post 101

Hello everyone reading my 101 post! I didn't realize it when I hit a 100 so why not celebrate 101?


Anyway, I know instead of just really using this as my personal blog, I've been posting a lot of updates from my website. Thankfully I have finally figured out (thanks to Sage) how to add a subscribe button on my website. See here: So while I still might just link to the website sometimes, hopefully I won't be putting the same info in two spots.

Now, an awesome photo by Sage. However I will take credit for getting him to take the picture.

and just for fun...
I wonder if I'll be taller next year?

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Dealing with Negative Thoughts and Creativity in Trail Running


Just a couple quick things I really wanted to share with you.

The first is the page I just added to my website: Challenging Your Thoughts vs. Positive Words.
Please check it out and if you think it will help someone, share it.

Secondly, iRunFar posted an article called Trail Running and Creativity with a comment from me in it. If you go to and send me (I Believe Art) a message mentioning the article I'll give you $5 off a drawing or painting. It's never too early to start thinking about holiday shopping! Sorry it's not more, but 7% already goes to charity and I have to pay rent somehow.

If there is anything you would like to see on the website or here on my blog just let me know. :)

Monday, October 7, 2013

Eating Away Depression

While unhealthy eating might not be the main cause of depression, it can certainly make things worse. Thankfully, the opposite is true as well. Healthy eating may not be the total cure for depression, but it can make a huge impact on how you feel physically any mentally.

With that said, the newest page to is all because of my beautiful sister, Rachel. She's been researching the topic for weeks, reading plenty books and articles, so that we can help heal our minds through food. The page is called Eating Away Depression so check it out and show Rachel some love by sharing the page, leaving a  positive comment, or checking out her blog:

Here are some other websites and books that have been rocking my food world:

-The author of the site, Vani, does a great job of investigating what's really in some of the standard foods many Americans eat. It blows my mind on some of the additives found in common food that is illegal in other countries. She's really doing some great work in her efforts to get companies to put out better food, or be more honest with their labeling. It's not just about food we know has crap in it like Gatorade or candy, but also things like Lean Cuisine or Subway.

Kris Carr: Her book Crazy Sexy Diet and her website:
-She's in her 40's and looks like she's in her 20s.... need I say more?

Kitchen Cures by Peggy Kotsopoulos
-Tells how to eliminate food cravings, boost energy, and get younger by eating foods that heal.

Food is meant to make us feel good, not cause heart disease, obesity, cancer, diabetes, etc.. Please, take the time to learn what you're putting in your body. If there's an ingredient on a package that you don't know, look it up. Your body will show you some love for it.

Sending my love to all!

Run Wild, Run Healthy,


Thursday, October 3, 2013

The View at the Top is Nice, but it's Not Bad on the Way Up Either.

I’m just going to say it.
I am so proud of my boyfriend, Sage, for finishing 6th at UROC. Not because he managed to finish 6th on a bad day, but because of how he reacted to it. I had never seen Sage train so hard for a race before. He gave it everything he had. Then after all that work, he had a bad day. While others (by others I mean me) would have been upset and down on themselves, Sage was okay. Sure he was disappointed, but he was still happy with his life and a race wasn’t going to change that. In fact, we had a great time on Sunday as we rode our bikes to Pearl Street to have dessert instead of dinner.
                What really amazes me is that Sage almost always has this great sense of what matters in life. Even as people who have never met him say mean things about him through a computer, Sage just shrugs it off saying that they just don’t understand his situation and that’s okay.  I have never seen someone handle negativity, in any aspect of life, with so much grace.
                It’s been said that certain people come into our lives for certain reasons. I understand now that Sage came in my life not only to make me happy but to help me change how I see things. As Sage can attest, I often don’t handle things very gracefully, but I’m learning through him.

                To celebrate his 6th place at UROC, I want to share a fun interview I did with him earlier this summer. It may not be magazine worthy material, but it was a fun way for me to work on writing skills and so I’m happy with that. (I'm completely okay with the fact that it might be lame that I thought it was fun to interview my boyfriend to work on my writing skills.) 

The View is Worth the Climb

Trail Runner Sage Canaday Climbs His Way Up to Become One of the Best.
Written by Sandi Nypaver

To be honest, I really didn’t like Sage Canaday very much when our paths first crossed. I posted a Facebook status on my page looking for guidance on deciding between two races I wanted to do and his advice was “Go for the money!” He was joking of course, but I still thought he was insensitive and certainly not someone I wanted to represent the sport of ultra running. But when he swung by my small mountain town for a run, he quickly changed my negative opinion.  These days he’s playing his guitar for me in our small cabin overlooking the Rocky Mountains.

At the age of 26, Canaday left the renowned Hansons – Brooks post collegiate training group after running a 2:16 marathon in order to pursue his trail running dreams. Before he left the team, he told his coaches and teammates his future plans in trail running and they all laughed, thinking he was joking. Thankfully, Canaday knew it was time to trade in his road running shoes and pick up a pair of trail shoes that could take him through mud, streams, and snow. His decision not only led to an improved lifestyle, but ended up paying off big time as he became the US 2012 Mountain Runner of the Year and won a handful of competitive ultra marathons, often with a course record in tow.

                The idea of trail running as a career hasn’t always been complimented with an excess amount of praise and admiration for the now 27 year old Oregon native.  Canaday’s been scrutinized for his speed, and has been accused of taking performance enhancing drugs.  He has also been dubbed as one of a handful of runners who is changing the good nature of ultra running by being a full-time runner with plenty of sponsors. When asked about the topic, he responded by saying that while the comments are hurtful, it’s only a small glimpse of how harsh the elite road running scene can be. Despite the harsh comments, Sage is happy knowing that most trail runners will do what they can to support his dream. He goes on to admit that he still realizes it’s a privilege to be able to live off the money he makes from running, as many people have tried and failed.  Though the statement “It’s a dream come true” might be a little corny and an overused, I often hear him say it and mean it wholeheartedly.

                Running isn’t Canaday’s only passion.  He picked up a video camera when he was 8 years old and has been making videos ever since.  As I listened to him talk about his ideas for his YouTube channel, Vo2max Productions, his eyes lit up as it was clear his passions for running and filming are intertwined. As he edits film from a trail run or a training discussion designed to help others with their own running, he often loses track of time as the clock goes from PM to AM.  The creative process captures the attention of his mind, a mind that seems to be able to move even faster than his legs, which has ultimately helped his videos reach over a million people. Canaday scarcely mentions to anyone that he also uses his filming success as a catalyst to help others in need by donating a portion of his earnings to charity a few times a year.

                Canaday, is constantly busy, yet he is determined to keep improving his running in addition to all other aspects of his life.  Behind every runner is a lot of sacrifice, sweat and untold stories of failure and pain, and Canaday is no exception.  He lives for the sport and all the pain that can come with an ultra or running up a mountain. I can’t help but smile as I watch him bound up a mountain like a dog that doesn’t know the difference between uphill and a downhill, because I know he has yet to show the world his full potential.


SN: When did you first think about doing an ultra?
SC: When I was on the Hansons- Brooks team I saw an ad for The North Face 50 mile Championship and really wanted to do it. I knew the longer the distance the more competitive I could be, especially off the road. I wanted to train differently and was extremely motivated when I began ultra training.
SN: Is training for trails harder or easier than road racing?
SC: It’s different and I’m still learning just how different it is. I’ve recently found out I need to focus more on the time I run and how much vertical I do rather than miles. It is easier to be motivated to start a run with such great trail access but I find it a challenge to train for the different race courses because of the differences in elevation, terrain, etc. Running is definitely more enjoyable on trails!
SN: What’s the biggest challenge you have faced switching from road to trails? What have you learned?
SC: Staying on course and being able to run technical downhills. I’d rather have a big uphill at the end of the race than a technical downhill because I feel almost out of control. I started focusing a lot more on running downhill and getting in more climbing rather than worrying about how many miles I run.
SN: What do you miss most about road running?
SC: I miss knowing the course will be well marked and it’s rare to get lost. I also enjoyed being able to run even paced miles.
SN: What’s the best part about running ultras?
SC: Drinking beer after the race with other competitors and people! I really enjoy the sense of accomplishment from running ultra-distances as well.  Then there is the variety of trails, animals, the sunrise, and race challenges. It’s hard to choose what the best part is.
SN: You’ve trained with a team since high school. How’s running solo?
SC: I sometimes miss the camaraderie of a team but then again I feel like I get that from the ultra-running community. It’s nice to run my own pace on easy days. Always running with a team can get too competitive and we could run each other to injury.
SN: Is it true you once considered going pro in another sport?
SC: I played disc golf in high school and traveled to other states for tournaments and was pretty good. I thought about going pro so I could travel and even make some money. My dad, brother and I even built a course in our backyard. I also really wanted a beer sponsorship but I was too young to get one. (Canaday finally got his beer sponsorship with Avery Brewing this year).
SN:  What are your future goals?
SC: I really want to see what my full potential is and get the most out of my body that I can. Hopefully this will allow me to keep travelling and competing with the world’s best.  It’s also my goal to keep my life balanced and running in perspective. Hopefully I can always be involved in the sport and still be running in my 70s!
SN: Has success always followed you in running?
SC: No, I actually didn’t think I could run in college because I regressed so much my junior year of high school due to an iron deficiency. I had to use my sophomore times to send to college coaches. Then when I got to college at Cornell I gained 20lbs and went home for a semester to figure out what I really wanted to do. I struggled with my first year on the Hansons-Brooks team as well. I trained the hardest I ever had and ended up running a disappointing marathon. I felt too tired to compete.
SN: What foods keep you going?
SC: Cheese! And peanut butter, sweets and beer! I also eat plenty of organic veggies, fruit and grains. No meat though since I’ve been a vegetarian my whole life.
SN: You have some family history to be very proud of. In fact, a book was written about your ancestors. Can you talk a little bit about that?
SC: The book Stubborn Twig tells the story about the triumphs and tragedies of my Japanese American family. My great, great grandpa Masuo Yasui traveled from Japan to America in 1903. He built a life for him and his family from almost nothing and became a prosperous businessman and orchardist. Because of my family’s hard work, they broke race barriers in business, schools and sports while excelling in almost everything. Then during WWII my family was put in internment camps along with thousands of other Japanese Americans and they lost everything. Thankfully, my family endured and once again built a life they were proud of.
SN: What’s an odd fact about you?
SC: I can ride a unicycle and juggle at the same time.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

I'll be honest. You Rock. Seriously.

Hey Everyone,

I just want to start off by saying thank you. The most sincere thanks ever. Seriously.

When I posted Steroids, Hormones, Cortisol, Fat, Cancer, Acne and Other Crap I was definitely fired up. I had been doing so much research about food and I had been outraged on some of the things I had learned. Honestly, I probably could have better reinforced I wasn't trying to turn anyone into a vegetarian, I was just wanting everyone to really consider exactly what they were eating. I didn't even cite my sources well. Also, Heather had some great advice in the comment section for everyone who eats meat that I really should have included. Please check that comment out as taking the advice would lead to improvements for the health of people, animals, and then environment.

Back to the point- Everyone was awesome about it! I woke up the next morning thinking that I could really have some negative comments but that never happened. I'm so incredibly grateful to have such a great community around this blog. Everyone either welcomed the info or was like "hey, this post isn't for me, but I'm happy this helps Sandi and other people." How awesome is that?! I love, love, love when people can dislike something but be nice enough to not ruin someone else's happiness, as long as he/she isn't doing any harm. If everyone in the U.S. government were like everyone who reads this blog, it wouldn't be shutdown right now! 

So thanks- you all rock.

With that said, please read my sister's wonderful post about a special family member we have:

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Monday, September 30, 2013

Steroids, Hormones, Cortisol, Fat, Cancer, Acne and Other Crap

                The facts below aren’t meant to scare you to into becoming a vegan, they’re just mean to get you to reduce your intake of meat and dairy. I really wish I would have been taught some of the things I’m about to tell you in school, but I wasn’t because companies are spending millions to get us to think eating animals is healthy in order to have the company keep making millions. I’m sure many of you reading this are like me, and grew up with meat being the center of most meals. After reading this, I hope you consider introducing Meatless Mondays into your home or better yet, try only eating meat and dairy a few days out of the week. I promise you, there are tons of delicious, filling meals you can have without meat or dairy.

What’s in your meat and dairy?

Steroids and hormones:

                The steroids make animals grow bigger faster, way faster than the animal should be growing. Hormones are injected into female cows to keep them relentlessly pregnant and lactating. (I can’t imagine how awful that would be!)Then the cows are injected with a growth hormone to double the milk they make. Since these female cows are constantly pregnant, they have way more estrogen then they should.  This extra estrogen is coming out in their milk. Then, to add to all the glorious things in meat and dairy, animals fill up with cortisol right before they die. Why? Because they sure as hell know what’s going on as they enter the kill chutes. They have beating hearts and emotions just like humans. That means they are going to experience complete terror, just as humans would in the same situation, just before they die. The release of cortisol floods their tissues and ends up in the meat people eat.

What’s this mean for your body?

                It would be complete ignorance to think that the steroids, hormones, and cortisol from animals isn’t going into the people that eat them. Let’s think about this. Do you really want the hormones that make animals bigger in you? The hormones aren’t going to make you taller, they’re going to make you wider. Then, if you’re like me and already trying to reduce the cortisol you produce, then you shouldn’t be eating animal meat that’s filled with it. Cortisol is an excellent way to pack on the pounds around your stomach.  There has also been a lot of research on the effects of this in kids. If you haven’t noticed, many kids are going through puberty sooner. Bring on the acne! Dairy is a huge cause of acne.  Also, that estrogen in milk is causing a delay in emotional development in boys. Sorry girls!

(FYI: Almond milk is awesome! I love the 30 calorie vanilla almond milk.)

If you don’t want to give up all meat, at least give up ALL processed meat!

                Bologna, hot dogs, salami, and whatever else is made from disgusting random animal parts like asses, is also filled with just as gross chemicals. The American Cancer Institute says that no amount of processed meat is healthy. This is because processed meat is known to cause cancer. Seriously, this stuff is as dangerous and can kill you. Don’t eat it. I’m not saying that because I’m vegan, I’m saying that because I care about your health!

Also, if you would like more info on this subject please check out my past blog: 
How to Defend Being a Vegetarian to Your Midwest, Meat-Loving, Family:

For more info on this subject please read:

Crazy, Sexy Diet by Kris Carr

Good Medicine EXPELLED: Processed meats cause cancer. So why do schools feed them to children?

(I have to say this) I gave up meat because I love animals. Pigs are as smart and as emotional as dogs. Cows too have plenty of emotions. This is an awful thought, but now when I see people eat meat I can’t help but compare it to a person eating a dog. It’s basically the same thing and it’s really sad. It’s not just the fact animals are being killed for food, but many are being tortured even before they are killed.

"Pigs are no less intelligent, emotional, or social creatures than dogs. Calves are sensitive and playful. Chickens love to gossip with their friends. And all mothers love their babies." -Kris Carr

Run Wild, Run Healthy,