Travels
Queen of Trades; Travel and Photography

yesterday I went separate ways from my dad and his gf. Its been about a week and a half since this journey started and it is not close to completion. As usual, I randomly decided to go ahead and extend my trip. The journey is never over and I really wanted to just keep going so I decided to continue my adventure west.

Today is the Yellowstone 5k and I decided to go ahead and sign up for it and do the race. I'm not sure how I will do or if I will place but I thought it would be fun to find out and see. After all, I had already done the half so why not the 5k. It could be interesting to see if I place and if I do then I will gladly accept and if not then at least I got a run-in and a medal for participation.

 

After the 5k is complete I plan to head a little further west in Idaho. It's a beautiful state (even if gas prices are not, yikes) and there is some good climbing that I can do while I am here. Plus I never really got to fully explore this state and the last time I was here I really was surprised by what was in store for me. Hopefully, it will be to the same effect this time. I may even stop by some local hot springs and check those out and get a nice hot soak in (maybe even scare some people by my nude body). Once I explore more in Idaho I don't know what I will do. I haven't looked that far out but I am excited to see where I will go. Eventually, I will need to head home (I plan to be back on the fourth of July) but for now I am fully ready to enjoy this time out here, exploring, working, and just being alive.

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As always art purchases are appreciated but not required. They help with travel and the making of more artwork. Here is one of my pieces down below. Please check it out and if you want to see more, click here. 

 

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Well, here it is. The verdict you have been waiting for. Let me first say that the profile for the Tetons Half Marathon from Vacation Races will be almost 100% correct. Give or take a few things it was pretty damn close to being exactly what we were expecting. The distance (as you know) Is a half marathon, so a total of 13.2 miles, and as always those races, no matter the location can be ball busters just from the idea of having to run the 13 miles alone, and I never ever recommend running that distance cold. 

So with that being said the Tetons half marathon was probably one of my favorite half marathons I've done. The race itself had a small section that was gradual with the rise in elevation and it was mostly a flat paved road. They do say that there is a section that's gravel but it's only the last two and a half miles and really it doesn't affect the running much if at all. Really what affects the running is the fact that you are running at 6000 - 6500 feet of elevation and if you are dehydrated or have the runs or something then that could impact the run itself which I, unfortunately, had the effects of dehydration against me. 

See before every race I drink a lot of coffee and this morning was no exception. With getting up at 3 a.m and having to walk lylah around to let her do her business and also be race-ready I was definitely in need of a pick me up. I slept really well by going to bed around 5-6 p.m just to make sure I didn't get dicked with the sleeping situation at hand. Now the race itself doesn't start until 6:30 but the problem is that they close the parking lot (where the race line starts) and 5 a.m and if you are not there then you have to go to Teton village which is pretty far away to just park the car. Once you start the race you are going to the finish 13 miles away and will then be shuttled back to the parking lot or parking area you ended up at. It's quite the spectacle and we wanted it to be as easy as possible. The solution? Be up at 3 a.m to have the first pot of coffee and then make a second pot (to go) in the truck with us and we sit in the parking lot until 20 before. 

 

At this time we're waiting we are drinking coffee but guess what I forgot to drink a bottle of as well? Water. good old-fashioned water and with that decision being made I dicked myself. When the race started it was not only beautiful but the perfect area to push myself. Sadly that was not the case. with any long-distance run, I always pull back a lot. the first half of it I try to stay in the 9- 10 range just to get a feeling for my body and to know what I'm up against. Staying in that time zone is also staying in the orange threshold on my watch (which means I'm pushing but not overexerting myself) but when the 2nd mile went off with a time of 9:40 and in the red zone and max heart rate I knew I had to pull back immediately. I was surprised by this realization of how slow I would have to be but I also knew that it was necessary. 2 miles in and already maxing out is not ideal and you would not make it far if you kept that up. 

So pulling back I kept onward slowly but surely. The time range predicted for me was between 2 hours and 2 hours and 15 minutes with the wave I was in and it was not far off in the end. With the fact that I was running slower than normal (due to dehydration) and the fact that by the last leg I had a stitch that was making it painful to run and breathe at mile 12 I still managed to run a pace good enough to get my time at 2 hours and 16 minutes. I placed 61 out of over 200 women in my age group and I loved the views every second of the run. Not only that but I got to experience it with my father. I know that it's not easy to run halves and I know that he did one with me last year but I'm glad he did another one with me. Making memories and running together means a lot and I got to experience such a beautiful course with him. we even ran into each other on the course a few times (he had a few poop experiences, hehehe)  and I was glad to see him (for the most part) enjoying the course. 

All in all, if you plan to do a half marathon for the first time I recommend this course. It's flat, it's beautiful and it is just an experience so rewarding to cross that finish line in such a miraculous place. 

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Tomorrow morning is the day. The race will begin and we will be finally done with our long-awaited adventure. When we signed up for this race there were many unknowns and many thought about how bad this may be. Nonetheless, we decided to sign up for it anyway. The reason? I mean if you have ever laid your eyes on the Tetons you can't help but want to go back. This is my third time in the Tetons and I can't get enough. The way that they draw you in, the peaks calling out to the adventurer inside. I just want to stare at them all day and never leave. Of course, I also want to climb them. I can imagine being up there and just climbing away at this unimaginable height but with feelings of contempt and of course fear. Because what is an adventure like that without some fear inside. 

Our day tomorrow begins at 3 a.m and will end somewhere between 8 to 10 depending on speed. The race itself doesn't start till 6 but I am ready to face the course. We heard from another person that the race is actually pretty nice and not too difficult. Of course, this was from a racer who was told this by her friend, and of course, said friend is not here. So we don't know about how fit she is, or if she likes the harder races in general. We have no idea but we are taking her word for it. 

 

I'm hopeful and I feel as ready as I can be. I don't know how fast I will be in the end but who knows. I may surprise myself in the end and if I do well I will take it. After all, I did what I could to get ready and I definitely pushed myself to be mentally ready to go forward and take on the challenge. Physically I don't know. I gave up alcohol for three whole weeks and for two months I've been keeping the carbs as low as possible to not only manage my body but my weight as well. I even managed to lose a few pounds which sounds weird to point out but not only was it necessary to do but it was comforting to know that my hard work was paying off and gave me a little extra confidence boost. 

Once the race is over I do plan to consume alcohol and get my drink on. After all, doing thirteen miles can do that to you. Make you realize that you are an amazing human being and that you are capable of pushing your limits but it's also a reminder that you can have fun once you have done the hard work. Wish us luck on this adventure and hope that nobody (in our group anyway) has any **** stories occur...even if would be funny to tell later on. 

Stay tuned for tomorrow's update on the course. 

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A lot of people have mixed feelings about school. Some people have a wonderful time where you make tons of friends, you have an amazing boyfriend or girlfriend and you make good grades without a problem. You do trips together and you get to enjoy your adventurous life as a teen without interruption. Then there's the other side of the coin where you are unsure of who you are, what you want to do, you are sad, bullied, or depressed and it's hard to get through the day. Now some are in the middle of those two groups depending on where you stand in the social status of the people around you or depending on the extracurricular activities you participated in. 

Nonetheless, everyone was treated the same when it came to drills. Fire Drills, Tornado Drills, active shooter drills, and of course back in the day the bomb drill (or maybe the special hurricane drill if you lived somewhere like Florida). It didn't matter your status, what group you liked to be with, who your friends were, or who your mom and dad were. In the end, WE ALL had to do those drills. I remember a few times we did an active shooter drill. It wasn't a common one like a fire drill but once a year we did have this performance acted out and it was funny at the time. Of course, by saying it was funny, I mean that in a "were kids and this would never happen to us" kind of funny but in today's age most kids are not so lucky. 

In school, I was always aware of how serious these drills were, mostly because of my education in the art form of firearms. I knew the safety precautions, I knew how dangerous they could be, and I knew that you NEVER EVER Point it to anything you don't want to "kill" or harm. By the time I was twelve we had them in the house and I started shooting all kinds of guns. from pistols to an AR 15. Whatever my dad had I learned to shoot and whatever I shot I made sure to follow the rules to the best of my ability as a twelve-year-old. 

Most kids in school don't know what a gun is capable of and I think most of this is this soft age were living in. Were scared of vaccines, scared of germs, scared of weapons and making our children "monsters", scared to eat dairy for the cause of bloating, and scared of anything that moves. It's outrageous how our society has gotten to this point. We have gone soft on the kids with language and with sheltering from the big bad world. If children knew what firearms are really capable of I think that would solve most of the issues we have with them taking up weapons as a result of being depressed or as a form of rage. If we stop lying to our kids about the reality of our world and really tell them what's going on instead of sprinkling it with "pixie dust" it would really give them an insight into what they may face not only as children but as an adult and maybe just maybe more people would take action instead of sitting on their hands and wondering when the right time is to "help" so they don't get shot when that time does present itself (if ever).

Who knows. Maybe someday people will get their **** in order. Who really knows, only one can hope. 

 

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The saying goes "As the cookie crumbles" and man does it crumble. 

It's been a day of working and I can already tell you changes that need to be made in this setup. First and foremost I need to set up a cooling pad for the floor. This heat is ridiculous nad even with me switching the van on and off to help with battery life for the fan we installed it is H.O.T. Now, most of you are probably thinking, well just open the doors, let the air innnnnn. Yea the issue with that is noise. I can hear it all around if I even open a crack. So you have a sweltering sauna while you're talking to people on the line. 

Second, I need something to help out with this "desk setup". Currently, I'm using a cooler for my computer and mouse and then I am leaning back against the bed frame to have some support for my back. I'm thinking of a foldable piece of wood that will be on the passenger side so I can have a desk-like area useable for everything I need including "work". Of course, it would be useful for also the coffee that I need to consume since I have to be up early for the hours I'm currently scheduled for. Coffee is always a must to deal with the crazies that come on my phone line. 

Third and last. I need to add in a second bug screen on the passenger side to help manage the nasty buggers in our ecosystem and to also help with future airflow. I think in the end it's just going to make travel life that much easier. As well as get the window screen installs configured so that I have the ability to let air in while we sleep without being eaten to shreds. 

Only two days in and I'm learning so much already. I'm hoping by this winter this van will be 90% finished. It's amazing the way it is now but you can always improve as they say and I am ready to get my hands dirty and make this setup even more fluid than it already is. 

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