Here’s the thing: I don’t really do internet meet-ups. They’re not my thing. They stress me out, because I am an introvert to my core. I don’t like small talk.

But with these people? These aren’t meet-ups. These trips we occasionally post about are long distance friends convening on a place and spending a precious, concentrated, and very finite amount of time together. 

Through years of blogging, these have become my people. Witty comments on posts became asks that showed general mutual interest in each other’s lives. For convenience’s sake, we moved from Tumblr to gchat and texts. We sent each other Facebook requests. When I eventually met each of these lovely humans, it felt natural. It felt like I had known them forever. (With the exception of Chris, who I actually had to bully into following me the morning we met in Conway, Arkansas back in 2011. “No, I’m sure you don’t follow me, actually. But you do follow my sister.”)

With these people, we create blissful reunions, and every moment is savored and treasured. Last weekend was doubly special, because not only were we all lucky enough to come together from very disparate geographical locations at the same time in order to spend a weekend with each other, but we also got to celebrate as two of our clan tied the knot.

There is still a fairly noticeable taboo against meeting people online, especially through blogging. People just don’t get it. Even at present, when most romantic relationships form online through dating websites, there is still a stigma surrounding people who make lasting friendships with people that they meet online. That said, I have never been one to give any fucks about taboos.

To me, calling these people The Internet is just a way of describing how I know them. Just like I have my college friends, high school friends, and adventuring friends, I also have my blogging friends.

I hate when people say “real life” friends to differentiate how they know their humans, because it feels backhanded. Because I met someone online, does that make them less real? By using these words, they are insinuating that the strength and impact of relationships formed online are less important, less meaningful, and less tangible than those formed by other means.

In many ways, The Internet holds some of the strongest, most profound relationships in my life. They are founded in mutualism and communication.

These humans are real life, and I love their guts.

The Bizzle Sizzle will never Fizzle

One of the absolute most amazing things about starting a blog for me have been the friendships that have happened. When starting this blog it was all about a way to document my life and obtain my goals and dreams. It has been all of that, but the part where I would make some of my best friends ever was not.

I was so lucky to have Jbizzle329 come all the way out to Utah to visit me. Such a lucky guy I am, truly! We had met once before in New Orleans and other than that have never spent time together. To spend Monday to Friday with someone you have spent so little time with it is a risk, but for some reason when it comes to people from tumblr it isn’t even a worry. There is such an amazing bond that only those who have walked this path can describe. I think the word is crazy.

I could do a super long recap of our trip and tell you all the wonderful jokes, ( oh and they were so wonderful ) the lyrics to our future number one smash hit, ( You’d steal if I told them ) and how a panther jumped on me while camping on me and the bat that tried to steal my nose from my face. But maybe those moments are best left between two wonderful friends. However since this is fitness related, maybe I talk about all of fitness that was happening.

I decided that we would do 20 miles of trails. 4 miles of tube floating on the river and some good upper body climbing and lunging to make it an all around workout. I was amazed at how awesome Jbizz did. She was such a trooper and just smiled and laughed almost the whole time, except for the one small meltdown when she thought that her future home was going to be between two rocks. Truly between a rock and a hard place. However no one was hurt and a great time was had by all.

First was Angels Landing in Zions National Park. 5 miles round trip. But some major elevation gain and some holding onto a chain to not fall over 1000 feet straight down to your death. She smiled and loved it! I was so proud.

Next up was Bryce Canyon, It was a nice cool down minus the lack of air for Jbizzle, but with 5 more miles she totally was a trooper seeing she couldn’t breathe at the 8000 foot elevation mark.

That night we camped and slept under the stars and watched all the shooting stars and looked into the milky way trying not to think that a snake or scorpion could be our new cuddle buddies that night, but the next morning we were right on the trail to play in some very narrow and wet slot canyons. Maybe she was a bit spooked at first, but in the end she was throwing ninja moves up cliffs that I couldn’t even get up! I was so impressed!

I saved the final six mile hike to a beautiful desert waterfall that we could just relax, ice bath and build sand castles. All happened and I am pretty sure we secured ourselves a spot in the 2013 Sand Castle Building Invitationals

Well and in final I think that our engagement photo at the Salt Lake Temple can sum up how wonderful the weekend went.

Ella welcomes Tumblrs to our house first by snapping at them to let them know this is her house. Then she makes them play Frisbee with her in the back yard. Finally Ella sits on our guests so they know who to pay attention to.

Real talk time. (Uh, I hope you don’t mind me posting this, girl.)

Up until very recently, I had never seen myself as very strong or even in very good shape. Sure, I felt like a badass when I ran 10+ miles, but I guess that never felt like “this is who it am.” Does that make sense?

When I was in Phoenix I took an Olympic lifting class with Celeste’s coach, Matt. We did snatches, clean and jerks and front squats – things I don’t do nearly enough to be very good. After a particularly shallow and frustrating jerk, Matt came over and said something along the lines of “you’re a great athlete who just doesn’t do these movements often.” Wait, me?

Anyway, the point here is I do feel strong and athletic now. I don’t feel like an imposter at CrossFit or strength class now. I’ve come to realize that I don’t have to be the strongest (because damn, so many of you are way stronger than me) to be an athlete. I already am one.

Chubby young Allie is freaking out right now, believe me.


Indy Mini Recap

It was a race I had said for weeks I was going to just cheer on and not run, simply because I had not been running much since the Marathon.

It was a race that comes a weekend before the official end to DietBet challenge.  And being away from home would mean eating out all the time.

It was a race that I was going to alone for the first time (as I have always raced with my group of local running friends) and specifically with my runner partner Jen.

It turned out to be a race that I felt full of life and energy the entire time!  It was probably my best run ever in terms of my body/mind both feeling good. 

I think between only drinking water for almost 2 months now I am hydrated.  I think that by eating mindfully I am fueling myself more proper than ever before and that made a huge difference.

I think that having Nava there to run with me was also great.  I am so used to running with a partner  that I feel very comfortable racing along side someone else.  And Nava was a good sport as I joked around (sometimes at her expense) and kept us both moving.

I proved to myself that I could maintain healthy eating while away.  Which in the past would have been harder for me than the 13.1 miles. 

I got to add a super cool checkered ribbon medal to the Wall of Awesome and it stands out quite nicely!

But most of all there is a group of people “the internet” who are just as friendly, warm, inviting, funny, crazy and awkward as you might expect them all to be.  Its hard to explain how you can meet them for the first time but because you have been following along in glimpses of their lives on here you feel like you have always known each other.  Sure some are shorter than you may have imagined but then some are much taller (Shortmom).  About the only thing your not sure of is what their voices might sound like - kind of the opposite of listening to your favorite DJ on the radio and wondering what they might look like. 

In any case, if you are ever able to meet up with one/some of them at an event or race or meetup - please do.  You will be so glad you did, I know I am :)

This was a great race and a great weekend.

P.S. A very special thank you to jBizz and her family for being such nice hosts and opening up their home to everyone!

Until next time….

That weather graphic is supposed to designate rain. It may as well mean shards of glass are falling from the sky.

But Bob! It’s rain, not snow!

That doesn’t mean I have any more desire to go outside than if it the temperature were below freezing. This time of year cold water instead of frozen water just means nothing to shovel away. Not that I would pick up a snow shovel in April anyway.

By the fourth month of the year I have completely surrendered to any remaining winter elements. In other words I’m working in pajamas and taking a nap at lunchtime today. And perhaps sobbing quietly because I have no desire to run or bike. You win, mother nature, you win.

Earlier this morning I was texting with another Tumblr. It was Jessica. No, not the mean Jessica in Chicago who said to me last night “shut your dirty mouth.” Nope, this was the nice Jessica in Wisconsin.  We were friends until last night when she said we can’t be.

Apparently Grey’s Anatomy counts many Jessicas among its quickly dwindling fan base. The Jessicas got a little sensitive when I disparaged that awful show; they just have different ways of conveying their feelings to me.

I’m glad that this crappy weather is moving eastward so Wisconsin Jessica, who used to be my friend, can enjoy it.

And speaking of “shut up,” Chicago Jessica wasn’t the only Tumblr who said that to me last night. Yeah Allie, I didn’t forget about that. By the way Allie, I’m having red velvet cupcakes for breakfast, lunch and dinner today and I’ll love every bite. I will even share with you. Oh wait! You can’t have desserts. So sad :(  [I’m lying about being sad.]

Mother Earth, Jessica, Jessica and Allie. Oh and now I see Corrinne agrees with Chicago Jessica.

Favorite Friday!

It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these.

Text-only posts are where it’s at, folks.

4 of my favorite things this week:

  1. I had a fabulous time driving all over creation and adventuring with friends new and old, but I am oh-so-very happy to be home. Twenty four days is a lot of time to be living out of a car. I am quite pleased to have my bed, my puppy, and my blender back in my life. #priorities
  2. Gillian and I, against all odds, do not [yet] want to kill each other. After spending an insane amount of time in close proximity to one another, we thought it would be inevitable. Typically, our relationship functions best from a distance, given our polarized personality types. I think there’s been some personal growth here, guys. I’m impressed with us.
  3. Snail mail. Sending and receiving, few things make me happier. Mail boxes (and USPS employees) rejoice, for I am stamp-happy today.
  4. COFFEE CUBES. Don’t hate. It’s the little things, y'all.

3 of my favorite Tumblrs this week:

  • Becky, because she’s legit the sweetest thing since sugar. And she does all the talking so I don’t have to.
  • Jason, because of reasons.
  • JBizz, because of wine-induced video texts and posts.

2 of my favorite songs this week:

1 of my favorite inspirations this week:

  • Toby started his Tumblr after Monday night’s Do Life 5k in Louisville. He’s lost 50 pounds, is marathoner and two-time Ironman, and he’s currently training for IM Louisville for the third year in a row.

This is Katie’s story to tell so I will keep it brief. It was beautiful and perfect and filled with love, laughter, happy tears and some pretty serious dancing.

The dog of honor walked down the aisle with Katie’s brothers. Joost and his mom put on clogs and traditional Dutch hats for their mother/son dance.

The internet had to explain to an entire table how we knew each other and Katie (thank you Chicago marathon for providing me with a plausible explanation). The cutest slideshow ever. A wonderful toast from the best man and both dad’s.

A room full of people who traveled (literally) thousands of miles to celebrate this special couple. So happy to have been invited to be part of this celebration.

The room was very dark so I apologize for the quality of the photos.

1. Minnesota made Pearsons candies and stroopwaffles from Holland greeted us in our hotel room.

2. You better believe I’m going to drink the wine when the wedding is at a winery.

3. Luggage tag place cards.

4. Married!

5. The hubs and I.

6. These two! I laughed all night long. So happy to have finally met Jbizz.

7. The beautiful bride.

8. Not entirely sober any longer.

9. The most appropriate hashtag ever.

10. Mr. and Mrs.