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Heyyy throwback Thursday! While I’m head over heels for spring at the moment (if you follow me on Instagram, you know this) but today we’re going to talk about fall. More specifically, the half marathon I ran last October, arguably the best time of year to be in Colorado. It had been a while since I’d trained for a race + I got the itch hardcore last summer, so I talked my super awesome + equally crazy friend into running one half of the Durango Double with me.

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I ran the road half marathon segment of the Durango Double, which features a trail half on Saturday followed by a Sunday road half.

This course was perfection. I can’t even put into words how perfect it was (though these photos do a pretty good job), except to say that my final time was a personal record by 15 minutes. FIFTEEN MINUTES. And my last official half marathon was in St. Louis at 465 ft above sea level. Compared to Durango’s 6512 ft. This, ladies + gentlemen, is nothing short of a miracle. If you run at all, you know.

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Plus, they give you a pint glass + free beer at the finish line, so who can complain about that? And to continue the miracle that was the Durango Double for me, I now give you the best official race photo of all time:

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(Photo cred to Brashear Photo)

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No one looks that put together while running a half marathon. I swear I didn’t in real life – and yet there I am looking all cool + collected while I casually PR by fifteen minutes. Oh, Durango Double, how I love thee. You make a girl look good.

 A few tips if you’re traveling to a race this season:

1. Compression socks are your best friend – wear them under your travel clothes when you’re on the way home from your race + they will do wonders. We had a 6+ hour drive after our race and I don’t think I could have walked the next day without my compression socks.

2. As tempting as it will be when you’re in a new city, be very careful what you eat the night before your race! I was lured by a delicious pasta + felt super unhappy about my life choice two miles into my race. TMI? I’m just trying to save you all my pain, people. I know you love traveling as much as I do + exploring new places to eat is one of my favorite parts, but for the love of your digestive system, wait until after your race.

3. Bring layers for running! You never know what the weather will do – our race was beautifully sunny with a random patch of snow smack-dab in the middle. Yes, it’s annoying. Yes, you won’t be packing light (and I am usually a big advocate for that). But spring + fall are both fickle seasons, so don’t take chances. Unless you like to live on the edge, you risk-taker, you.

Are you a runnerd like me using a destination race as an excuse to get in a little travel? No spring races are in the calendar for me, but I’ve already decided that I’ll be running the road section of the Durango Double again this fall + I already can’t wait.

In March I had the great honor of working on a very different kind of project – capturing a few of my great friends DJing at the South Beach House Sessions, an event during the annual Winter Music Conference in Miami. It was an absolute blast (and so hard to keep from dancing while I was filming!) + I’m stoked to be able to share it with you today. I am so inspired by the passion, energy + integrity of these guys + it’s awesome to be able to support them.

Happy Friday, everyone! Let’s get our dance on.

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If you haven’t heard me say it already, let me repeat myself yet again. Miami was amazing. I had been in a work-induced frenzy for the entire month of March, and was so exhausted by the time this vacation came around I was questioning whether I even wanted to go. I know, ME not wanting to travel. It was bad, guys.

I was headed there with friends for the Winter Music Conference + I knew that it would be a stretching trip for my introverted self. Meeting new people, being in crowds, little sleep and minimal alone time – these do not a happy introvert make (can I get an amen from any fellow introverts out there?). But at the same time, I somehow just knew in my gut that I needed to go. And even though it took me a full 48 hours to really settle into the pace of Miami, once I did, I realized how much I needed it.

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During the course of the trip, I ate the most amazing Cuban food, Colombian food, some really delicious pizza + my bodyweight in frozen piña coladas. And of course it wouldn’t be a proper vacation without at least one nap on the beach + one terrible sunburn. Check, check, + check.

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We spent most of our days (+ all of our nights) listening to the most amazing music, in venues ranging from huge dance clubs, swanky hotel rooftops, tiny kitschy bars + everything in between. My personal favorite was Do Not Sit On The Furniture, mostly because of its disco ball shaped like a shark + bar decorated with cassette tapes. Somebody give their interior decorator a high five.

It was so genuinely incredible to see the way music transcended so many levels, so many different + distinct venues, yet in the end everyone was there for the same music. Art is such a powerful thing! To meet fellow artists who were so in love with their craft, that they had such high energy + passion whether playing to a handful or to a crowd – that was one of the great gifts of Miami for me. Sometimes being an artist can get a little isolating + lonely. You can find yourself so deep into your current project, into the comparison trap, or just in too many conversations with your inner critic. But there is nothing like community: it gets you out of your own head + into such refreshing conversations + experiences. I connected with so many genuine, inspiring souls on this trip + I am so grateful.

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PS. If you want to hear more about what I learned about life + business on my trip to Miami, sign up below for Postcards from Evergreen Lane. The first newsletter is going out later this week!

PPS. The video I shot while in Miami (ok, so I did work while I was there…but only for an afternoon!) will be up on the blog later this week. I can’t wait for you to see it.

  • VictorApril 14, 2015 - 9:14 am

    I am glad and honored that you came and experienced Miami. Miami is always in my heart, it took me in and it gave me a place in Southbeach and for that I am humbled. Miami can be mean when it comes to its music and i soo happy I have survived that. I hope that you will be able to join us next yr! I am happy that you got into the pot with us and see whay we do and we gp through. House music baby!ReplyCancel

    • Annabelle NeedlesApril 14, 2015 - 9:29 am

      It was perfect Victor! I definitely went to Miami with the right people :) thank you so much for bringing me along + showing me such a great time! And I’m definitely coming next year…you’re not going to be able to get rid of me now!!ReplyCancel

Miami House Stalking

Please tell me I’m not the only one who takes photos of pretty buildings while out exploring? But seriously, who can resist all of these retro pastel beauties? (The correct answer is no one.)

Miami, you so pretty.

I hope you’re having a great weekend full of adventures, whether you’re close to home or far away. I’ll be out for a run, house-stalking in my own Denver neighborhood, and missing this Miami one.

That’s the trouble with travel, you see – you go leaving your heart all over the world, so it’s always missing somewhere.

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When I visited Salzburg for a day trip last year while I was staying in Munich, it quickly rocketed to a spot among my most favorite places. I’m not sure if it was the misty weather, or if some other magic was at work, but Salzburg was like a dream.

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Also on my list of supremely magical things: there exists a place in this world where you can buy a train ticket TO ANOTHER COUNTRY for less than $30, round trip. This is the stuff dreams are made of, people.

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I wish I could have spent several days here, wandering the streets + eating Sacher-Torte. But as it stood, I only had a day – so I hit up a few of the major highlights: hiking up to the castle, visiting the cemetery that inspired scenes from Sound of Music, Mozart’s birthplace, and a walk along the river. Not to mention grabbing a few beers + some delicious schnitzel…it was a day packed with as much awesome as I could manage.

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(Fiat Panda, a Top Gear favorite of mine that I was probably too excited to see in person)

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This is absolutely one of those places I left saying, when can I get back here as soon as possible? Anyone else have the struggle when booking plan tickets whether to head back to places you’ve loved + want to explore more, or adventuring to a location you’ve never seen before? I have this problem all the time.

The struggle is real, and it’s because of cities like Salzburg.