What’s New With You: Vacation, Tidying, and Winter Running



Hello! Happy almost-Friday! I am excited to be joining back up with Gretchen and Kristen‘s What’s New With You? link-up, for the first time in many months!

As for what is new with me: honestly, not a whole lot. So, I’m gonna get super chit-chatty with you today, and just throw out a few odds and ends that have been swirling around in the world of Hanna lately.

My 30th birthday vacation is officially happening!

This week we finally made the major arrangements for a trip we’ve been planning to celebrate my milestone 30th birthday in March. We are going national park-hopping in Utah! We’ll spend three days exploring Zion National Park and then head up to Moab to explore Arches National Park and run the destination half marathon I’ve alluded to several times on this blog: the Canyonlands Half Marathon on March 18th.

This trip has been in the works forever, but this week we booked the flights and rental car so it finally feels like an actual thing that is really going to happen!

My birthday is on March 12th, but our trip is the 13th – 19th, so I won’t actually be on vacation on my 30th birthday as I had originally envisioned. We moved it back a week so I could run the half marathon on the 18th. At first I thought it was kinda lame to not take a 30th birthday trip on my 30th birthday, but it will be nice to celebrate my 30th here at home, and since we leave the day after, I like that going on vacation will be the very first thing I do as a 30-something :-).

I want to be in shape for the half marathon, but training/time goals? LOL. I’ve mentioned several times that my destination half will not be a goal race, and now you can probably see why! This will be a very active vacation and I’m not going to compromise any of that to rest up for a race; also, I don’t know how these Midwestern lungs are going to respond to that altitude. So my strategy is to just assume I’m going to run a personal worst and have a blast doing so.

13.1 miles with that scenery? Yes, please!

2017 is now going to be my most vacation-heavy year ever: in addition to the Chicago Marathon this fall (which thankfully is only a couple hours away so will not require any more expensive plane tickets!), we’re also going to Mexico in January! Kevin’s best friend is having a destination wedding on a resort near Cancun. I’m going to be a traveling fiend in the first quarter of 2017, but what a way to kick off the year!

Tidying and Minimalism Lately

With the advent of nesting season, the past couple months have seen me getting into a much more productive mood, and I’ve been doing a lot more tidying lately both at home and at my office. Nothing huge, just some little things here and there I’m working on. Our bedroom is constantly neglected when cleaning/tidying our place, so the big thing on my radar is to start clearing the clutter from my closet, dresser, and laundry bins. I’ve also done my semi-annual cleaning out of my workout wardrobe, and finally, I am whittling away at my new project of completely decluttering and making over my office space. I have a vision in mind for it and I hope to be able to share the final product once I’m done – let’s just say I am taking the term “minimalism” to heart!

I constantly feel like a fraud for having a blog that’s half-focused on minimalism. I’m a total n00b to this and I worry that anyone who might read my blog and then took a look at my lifestyle would be like “minimalism WTF??!” But then I took a look at my lifestyle and I realized that while I have a lot of work to do, I’ve actually made great strides toward living a more minimalist life. Our apartment is often messy, but we’ve really reduced our clutter – we’ve gotten rid of old furniture that never got used and just took up space, and we really don’t have many decorative items that serve no purpose. The few we do have are unique personal items or thrifting finds. I’ve whittled down my wardrobe so much that I now barely use one of the 5 drawers in my dresser. I still spend way too much money on eating out, but other than that I actually don’t spend much on clothes or gadgets I don’t need. I’ve eliminated goal clutter this year and I’ve gotten much better at saying no to commitments I’m not passionate about. And now I’m about to be a minimal marathoner!

So, without discounting all the work that needs to be done in my minimalism practice, I have to give myself credit where it’s due. So far I’m not half bad!

Training-Free Winter!


It’s almost time for those of you running spring goal races to start your winter training cycles! This is the first time in 3 years I won’t be joining you, and it feels weird! The entire time I’ve been a runner, winter has been full of long runs and hard workouts, and it’s kind of odd to go into a new year without also jumping into training.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve loved it! Cold weather running is my happy place, and I love spending the dreary monotonous winter getting in awesome shape. But I’m glad I’m not training for a marathon or big goal race this season. I am not feeling ready for “training mode” at all right now, hence why I don’t even want to follow a training plan for the Canyonlands Half. Besides, with all the travel I mentioned above, there’s no time!

I absolutely loathe humid summer running, but I am excited to shake things up and flip my training schedule around next year. The downside of having a goal race in the first half of the year is that by the time I’m done, I’m pooped and have no motivation or energy left for the rest of the year, so I end up spending the summer and fall in a listless off season while everyone else has goal race fever. This year, I won’t start training until after the spring race season, so I can still spend that time gradually building up fitness without the pressure. And since fall marathons are so popular, I’ll have a lot more training buddies! I’m also happy for the change because I think training for a marathon in the summer will force me to be better at time management. The hot summer weather will force me to get up early for all of my runs, including on the weekend, so maybe I can finally train for a marathon and still have somewhat of a life this year!


Any trips or big things planned for 2017?

Who wants to come run the Canyonlands Half Marathon with me??


14 thoughts on “What’s New With You: Vacation, Tidying, and Winter Running

  1. That 1/2 would be awesome. I would be tempted to run with my phone to take pictures along the way. I hope to do a lot of the National Park Halfs when the kids are in college. Of course, I won’t be able to afford the travel then…Ha. Congrats, on the nesting and de-cluttering. You mentioned that the decorative objects you have are either thrifts, or sentimental…I am the same way. It takes a while to decorate that way, but it is worth it. I like the patina of the old things, and the history that goes with them…
    Minimalism and food…I spend WAY too much on food. We don’t really go out to eat a lot (maybe 1-2xs a month), but I waste a lot of time and money shopping for food, and not sticking to a “meal plan”.


  2. That half marathon looks amazing! Your whole 30th birthday trip sounds like my ideal vacation! 🙂 Some of my friends and I decided we wanted to do a destination half this spring as well. We had to choose one that worked out with my spring break, so we decided on the San Diego Half Marathon. I’ve never done a destination half before, but I’m really excited! A fun girls weekend, a break from the cold, and a half marathon in a beautiful place…sounds perfect!


  3. That trip will be AMAZING & so will the half. TAKE LOTS OF PICS!!! Zion is my favorite National Park I’ve been to so far. Absolutely stunning.

    As far as minimalism goes. I think about it kind of like I think about “clean eating”. It seems to mean a lot of different things to different people. But there is no cut & dry definition. I think to me, if you’re working to cut back on possessions & thinking thoughtfully about what you have and bring in to your home, that’s minimalism, or at least working towards it.


  4. I would looooove to run Canyonlands! I live in Durango, CO so it’s only a couple hours away. My parents have done it twice, but March is the dead middle of my busiest time at work so I’ve never been able to get away. They do a similar race in October, The Other Half, that might be on my agenda for next fall. It sounds like a really awesome 30th birthday trip! I am doing a half marathon is Florida at the end of January, It feels really weird to be in serious training mode now rather than getting started up in April/May for a fall race!


  5. Oh man, that sounds like such a wonderful vacation. I went to both Arches and Canyonlands on a family vacation 10 years ago, and they were incredible. I have never in my life experience silence and stillness like I found in Canyonlands, and I would go back in a heartbeat.


  6. This is so exciting! I know I’ve been a bit MIA around here but I’ve been reading regularly. I’ve been to Zion and Moab a whole bunch of times so let me know if you have any questions. You should also try to stop in Bryce on your way to Moab. I’ve also ran this race a couple of years ago and might have even blogged about it.


  7. eh, i think it is all relative with things like minimalism. compared to one of my best friends, i am a hardcore minimalist. she has a 3 story house, 6 bedrooms, 3 cars, lots of things and stuff, 3 kids, 3 dogs.. i love her and don’t judge her obviously, but it’s very different to my life. we were able to get my 3 bedroom house into my mother in law’s basement. it’s pretty roomy but her bedroom furniture wouldn’t even fit. so you know.
    anyway. i would happily walk that race with that scenery! wow! that is amazing. i have been to zion, but to be honest it was my first trip to the US in 2009 and i don’t remember a whole lot! i think i have a shirt from there that i still wear lol. as for big trips for us next year, hopefully going home to Australia and also ‘swing by’ New Zealand while we are so close lol. we’ll see!


  8. What a great race and birthday trip! My husband really wants to take a trip out that way – maybe we can compromise and go at the same time as that half 😉 My 30th is in October and I am really hoping things shake out so that I’ll be able to take a trip for it.
    I SO need to find some time to declutter, especially my workout wardrobe. I have some things I’m holding onto that need replacing but I just can’t find the time or energy to clear them out.
    I’ve only ever run spring marathons but you’re right – there are so many in the fall that you definitely won’t be lonely!


  9. That sounds like such a fun and scenic race! I think you’ll enjoy it a lot, especially since you’re not putting the pressure on yourself to race hard.
    I wouldn’t consider myself much of a minimalist on food until I really think about it. I make most things from scratch and we cook at home often – but nothing fancy most work nights, just meals cooked in the oven or crockpot. I think we really only eat out 2-3 times per month unless we’re traveling or have family in town.


  10. That race looks amazing! I’ve wanted to run a race in a National Park but can’t seem to make it work with my schedule. I admit I need to work on clutter. I have a bad tendency to hang on to things. I can rationalize keeping anything. I really need to work on that.


  11. Wow the Canyonlands Half looks amazing! What a great 30th birthday trip!

    I have zero concrete plans for 2017, which is very strange for me as I am a planner. I’m actually surprised that I’m not panicked by not having plans when it’s already December 2016, but apparently I fly by the seat of my pants these days! This is the new me. I’m wild and free! (omg i need to buy a 2017 planner during my lunch break today and fill it with things)


  12. Destination races are so awesome. We’ve only done Vegas but there are so many amazing places I want to visit. Have fun and enjoy all your travel.


  13. I firmly believe Utah is the most underrated state in the nation. 🙂 I’ve lived here for two years, but I haven’t yet managed to make a trip to the south of the state. It is beautiful down there, though!


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