Let's start with the most exciting part. Running. While I haven't been running nearly as much as I was at the beginning of the year, I am still running. I am also surrounding myself with runners. They're definitely my people.
And just because I haven't really been racing much (going fast aggravates my hip way too much), doesn't mean I haven't been around the racing scene.
I have been volunteering at club races which is exceptionally fun. I get to be around the running atmosphere and some of my favorite people.
I also get to wear really cool outfits and look super official.
The marathon that I was supposed to do came and went, but I still ran the 10k. I had told Karen that I would stay with her (as she had JUST ran the Boston marathon and wasn't racing this race). I somehow lost her at the water station about 2 miles from the finish. There were only three women ahead of me and all of a sudden I decided to go for it. Turns out, I actually am competitive when it comes to racing. I passed all of them and came in third woman overall. Then my knee hurt so badly I couldn't finish cooling down. I am a real idiot sometimes.
There has been no shortage on nature the past two months. I have made a conscious effort to leave the comfort of my bed and get outside every single weekend. And now that it's summer, I can go outside every single day. It's only day four of vacation and I've already done three outdoor adventures. I can get used to this.
Karen directions a really awesome trail race that happens in June. Information about the race is here if you are interested in running a phenomenal trail race through the redwoods next year. I knew that I would not be racing it, so I offered to help as much as I could (mostly because Karen is one of my very favorite people in the world and I want to spend as much time with her as possible). So, she asked if I could come with her to mark the 10.5 mile course. A day in the redwoods with one of my best friends? Yes please!
The course is not easy, as it has a 2,500 foot elevation gain in the first four miles, but the last 5.5 miles look a little something like this. It's my favorite form of therapy.
Thank you, Karen, for this amazing photo!
I took my good friend a few days ago and tried to do the same trail. Unfortunately, I went right instead of left and we weren't able to do the course, but we did have a pretty awesome hike.
I take hiking really seriously.
The trees never fail to take my breath away, and I grew up with them in my backyard. I really wish I could see them for the first time. I can't even imagine what that must feel like.
For Mother's Day weekend, my fast marathon friend and I took my mom to the mountains. We went out a day early for a little trail running. It was really ugly and hard to look at.
The next day was spent in the wilderness.
I seriously cannot decide if I prefer the ocean or the mountains more. Both are such happy places for me.
It's also river season now! Around March, when the weather starts changing and the sun is out more, I always get the river itch. It's not really safe to go to the river, however, until around May. You better believe I was out there the first chance I got!
Yesterday, I went on the first rafting trip of the year. We usually take our own boats out from our property on the river and float down, but yesterday, we went on a guided trip. It was really nice not having to guess how to navigate myself down the river and to just sit back and soak in the sun (for four hours).
My first year of teaching has officially ended. I truly cannot believe that it is over already! My classroom was a bit of a different circumstance and I can't explain it due to confidentiality issues, but some days it was so incredibly mentally exhausting, I thought it would never end. Other days, however, were like this.
Words cannot explain how much I enjoyed my first year and how much I learned. I had SO much fun. I also had one of my proudest teaching moments when I received this as a gift from a student. She knows me well. Right down to the orange skin. And what's a run without amazing lipstick???
I am going to miss my daily dance sessions with this guy. He's going into the credential program this year. I am so proud of him!
The people I worked with are amazing support systems and I have made some life-long friends. Next year will be a whole new ballgame and I am so excited about where my future in teaching Special Education is going.
I am SO lucky to have such an amazing group of friends. We have so much fun together.
There have been themed parties.
There have been unicorn sightings.
There have been gym trips.
And plenty of intellectual moments.
My friends keep me sane. They also love me even when I decide to go out in public like this. I mean, what else can I ask for??
A blog post wouldn't be complete without mentioning the family. I still go to Sunday dinner every single week. My baby has grown up! She's going to be TWO in August. What?! She has learned how to plank, so we do core work when we hang out. Like aunty, like niece!
She's also gotten really good at taking selfies. Don't mind my crazy eyes! I swear I am not, in fact, insane.
She's also learning to love the nature, just like her Aunt Rachel.
My mom and I have also been doing a lot of Netflix watching together.
So that's the update of my life for the past two months. I swear I am still around and reading everyone's blogs. I also try to comment as much as possible! Thank you for not forgetting about me!