2018 Resolution Adventure Bucketlist

2018 Resolution Adventure Bucketlist

When most people set New Years resolutions they set goals like “eat healthier”, “lose 5lbs” or “exercise more often”.  While quite vague, these goals also lack a certain element of excitement to me.
My resolutions take a different shape, in the form of various adventures and races I’d like to accomplish before the year’s end.  I’ve compiled a list of my 2018 bucketlist goals and I’d love to hear about yours too!   Please post links to any events or adventures in the comments section below.

Zion trail half marathon:

April 20th, 2018
I’ve got a bone to pick with this race.  I completed the run back in 2015 when the storm of a century blew in the night before the event and was forced to trudge through ankle deep, thick, heavy mud and an anticlimactic course.  The route was changed last minute due to the poor conditions and so we were unable to experience the adventurous terrain and views as advertised.  The original course included a 1500 foot steep and rocky ascent complete with a section where a rope was included, right down my alley!
I finished in 4th place just seconds behind a women that I was neck to neck with for the last mile.  I want to go back this year with an improved strategy, experience the full course and go for a top finish!
My race report last year HERE. 

Pic of the cool part of the course I didn’t get to do in 2015. Photo credit: Fast Cory

Taking my son up his first 14er!

I did my first 14er when I was about 9 years old.  My dad took us up Mount Sherman, a great peak for beginners and kids as it is never too steep nor technical.  My 6 year old Wyatt has been on many adventures with us (including several 14ers in womb), has done several 5k’s and kids trail races and is excited and ready to train to summit this same peak over the summer.  We will take the West Slopes from Iowa Gulch route which is an easy class 2 with just over 2000 feet elevation gain over 4.5 miles.  I can’t wait to share this amazing experience with him!

Skyline traverse:

Boulder, Colorado is where I discovered my love for trail running.  In previous posts you can read about my many misadventures spending countless hours exploring the myriad of trails, more times than not getting lost while learning how to navigate and master steep terrain and long technical climbs and descents.

This summer, I’d like to complete the Boulder Skyline traverse where you summit 5 of the most iconic peaks rising from the flatirons and beyond.  This run is a doozy, at 16.4 miles in length, you will gain over 6,300 vertical feet.  It is not an adventure for the faint of heart, or weak of legs for that matter.  The run is best done with a running buddy or group as you will need a shuttle (leaving one vehicle at either Mnt Sanitas or South Mesa trailhead) and make sure to pack plenty of snacks, water, first aid and toilet paper.



Lake Dillon SUP triathlon:

July 14th, 2018
I did my first “off-road SUP triathlon” this past July.  The event entrails a 2 mile standup paddle board across lake Dillon, 12k mountain bike and 3.5 mile trail run.  The course is simply gorgeous with views of the surrounding snow capped peaks and fields of vibrant wildflowers.
I surprised myself with a 10th place finish overall for women (although I had a frustrating start after being boxed in at the back of the SUP section- note to anyone planning on doing a race like this, start in the front row!) and slugged through the 5k after not running for over 4 weeks due to a stress reaction in my calcaneous.  This race was something of a bucket list item and now I’m hooked!  I am shooting for a top 5 finish this year and hopefully some multi-day SUP adventures and longer races as well.
Learn more HERE

Longs Peak:

I’ve completed many Colorado 14ers but this one has always eluded me.  It is considered one of the tougher peaks on the list and takes much more time as it is longer, more strenuous and considerably more dangerous.  The copy from the official National Parks website sums it up pretty well “In the summertime, when conditions allow, thousands climb to Longs’ summit via the Keyhole Route. The Keyhole Route is not a hike. It is a climb that crosses enormous sheer vertical rock faces, often with falling rocks, requiring scrambling, where an unroped fall would likely be fatal. The route has narrow ledges, loose rock, and steep cliffs.”
More about Longs Peak

Grand Canyon “Rim to Rim to Rim”: 

I backpacked down the Grand Canyon with my family when I was just 12 and it was the experience of a lifetime.  We stayed in the lodge in the Indian reservation at the bottom for several days, exploring the area, taking day hikes down to the Colorado river and to play in the aqua marine waters of the Havasupai falls.
Sometime in November 2018, we are planning to do a self supported run from south rim, up the north side of the canyon and back again.  This would also be my first official ultra at full 46 miles and over 11,000 feet of elevation gain.

Cat Bradly, Salomon athlete and women’s winner of the 2017 Western states 100 mile endurance race recently joined our women’s winter trail running clinic and told us about some of her experiences during her attempts and eventual success of achieving the FKT  (fastest known time) in November for this route.

I will definitely not be going for an FKT but I hope to knock this adventure off my list this year.

Read a detailed firsthand story of the run HERE
 More about Cat Bradly’s R2R2R FKT (that’s a mouthful)!
Cat running in the Grand Canyon

 Run 1000 miles:

This is a slightly more conventional goal.  A friend told me about her resolution last year to complete 1000 miles (running) over the year.  This works out to just under 20 miles a week, an achievable goal but still enough to require some planning and provide some accountability.  I believe consistency and discipline are keys to success and I hope to reach and surpass my 1000 goal in 2018.   If you’d like to join me, check out the L2S March PI challenge (3.14 miles a day through the month of March)!

Imogene pass Run:

I knocked this event off my list back in 2011 however this popular high mountain race is a top priority for trail runners across the world so I thought it was a worthy add to the post.  Registration opens in early June and it is rumored that if you aren’t quick you could lose the chance for a spot within minutes.  Starting in Ouray, Colorado the scenery looks like something out of the Sound of Music.  After the initial road out of town you begin climbing and don’t stop until you reach the top of the 13,114 foot pass, just over 7 miles in.

The last 10 miles are an exhilarating downhill on a dirt road into the town of Telluride where a cheering crowd and post run festival will await you.  If this event has been on your radar I will share my top training tips I give to all of my athletes:  Focus on improving your power hiking and do a handful of long downhill runs to prepare your structural system for the sustained pounding.  Check out my post with tips and recommendations for long climbs to get some ideas of great places to train locally.

Learn more about the Imogene Pass run HERE. 

One of our group summits of Mount Bierstadt

~ Lauren Jones
L2S founder and adventure coach

L2S organizes training programs and outdoor adventures for Colorado women.  We just launched our 2018 “Race team”!  Join us to train for and complete some of the above events and adventures with us this year!  Learn more about becoming a member and our programs now HERE.

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Tips for choosing the right trail shoe

With the holiday season in full swing, now is the time to start looking for deals on new trail shoes!   If you are new to the sport or seeking to conquer more advanced terrain, there are a handful of things you should know regarding the fit and feel when shopping for yourself or a loved one.

Enjoy this popular post from our archive and happy trails!

Have you ever ran on a trail that had a lot of gravel and loose rock where it felt like your feet were slipping out from underneath you, kind of like a car on slick ice?

I like to use the analogy of our body as a car when talking about trail running.  Your backside is your engine, your quads are your breaks and the type of “tires” you put on your feet will determine how well your body manages different trail conditions.


Choosing the right trail shoe can make or break your trail running experience, we hope these tips help to “steer” you in the right direction!

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Back on track


Sometimes life throws you a curveball (or several) and training just doesn’t happen.

Sometimes the only thing to do when this happens is double down and welcome the opportunity to start fresh.  Build back your fitness from the ground up, literally.

It’s time to get back on track and we all know that for any kind of goal, whether it be weight loss, training for a race, or saving money consistency is king.

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Staying safe in Colorado’s rattlesnake country

Staying safe in Colorado’s rattlesnake country

This is a timely yet unfortunately necessary post.  Over the weekend, a Colorado triathlete was bitten and later succumbed to the venomous bite of a Prairie rattlesnake on a trail in the popular Mt. Galbraith Park.  A favorite hike for us locals but also known for its abundant bull and rattlesnake populations.
With cooler weather here and winter approaching, many rattlesnakes will be on the move to start heading towards their hibernation dens. This means that as the temperature drops at night, more and more snakes will become active during the day.
Due to this sad news, it would be easy to become fearful and avoid heading back out on the trails.  However, rattlesnake bites in Colorado are fairly rare.
I grew up in the foothills right in the heart of rattlesnake country and in my 30+ years (my parents started me young) of hiking, trail running and mountain biking these trails I’ve encountered on average 1 rattler a year and have been struck at just twice (one time in my teens I was wearing headphones and didn’t hear the warning sound of the rattler just to the side of the trail).
With my firsthand experience and work with Jefferson county rangers and open space experts, I’ve compiled a list of all you need to know about how to avoid rattlesnake encounters and what to do if you do see one of our slithering friends.
Our 14er training group hiking Mount Morrison in July. We saw a 6 foot long Bullsnake on the trail that day….

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3 tips to make your outdoor winter training more fun!

With cooler temps, mountain snowfall and winter right on our heels, many new trail runners are wondering if and how they can continue enjoying the trails throughout the season.  Well, I am here to tell you that now is not the time to resign to the boring old “dreadmill”.
Trail running during the winter is possible and in fact, can be quite the adventure.

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Running high: 5 tips for your next high altitude adventure

If you’ve ever experienced altitude sickness (aka Acute Mountain Sickness or AMS), you know that it is not to be triffled with.
Nausea, headaches, fatigue, dizziness and shortness of breath.  All classic symptoms of this condition that can impact anyone at any time, regardless of  physical fitness or acclimatization status.

With the popularity of high mountain races (Leadville trail run series, Spartan Breckenridge obstacle course races, etc) and summit chasing, learning how to prevent and mitigate AMS can mean a more enjoyable and successful experience.

Check out our 5 helpful tips for your next big adventure into the high mountains:

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Trail running tips for stroller pushing parents

Before I had kids I was trail running almost daily.  I live in Colorado where I am surrounded by steep and rocky trails, and after my 2nd son was born I was wondering how I would keep up my favorite past-time with a double jogging stroller.

Well, I am here to tell you that trail running with kids is easier than you think!  Here are 7 tips to help you get back out on the trails:

#1.  Get a good stroller.

The word “good” is relative in this sentence.  You don’t need to spend a lot of money on a stroller; sometimes a second hand stroller might be better for trail running; the trail is going to beat it up.

Ensure the stroller has knobby tires, front shocks and good suspension; it is important for the snow and ice.

Stroller Hack: If you can’t afford or don’t want to pay for a new stroller, but want to ensure your stroller is ready for stroller trail running regardless of the climate. Switch your wheels out. Purchase knobby tires from your local bike shop for the back tires and purchase a BOB front wheel. It is significantly cheaper than buying a new stroller.

#2:  Strap em’ in and lock it up.

You may be thinking “of course”, but you wouldn’t believe how many people don’t strap in their kids.  On a trail that is rocky or with any kind of incline/decline make sure that they are in tight!   If you have a front tire that has a swivel option, make sure that it is locked.  This will ensure that when you hit bumps or rocks the front tire goes straight over them, giving you and your kids a smoother ride.


You can even trail run with kids in the snow!


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Best front range trails for beginner trail runners, take 2

Trail running.   It’s the leg burning, heart pumping activity that can be so exhausting yet so exhilarating at the same time.  If you are just getting into the sport, imagining running up those steep, rocky trails that must be only meant for hikers seems like an intimidating endeavor.   Knowing where to go is key so that you can train your lungs and legs for those high grade climbs and technical descents.   After mastering our second round of trails appropriate for beginners you will be ready to to conquer any adventure this summer!

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OCR workout: Hanging out

With mud run and obstacle course race season well underway warm temperatures here to stay it’s time to take your training to the the great outdoors.   Here is another workout featured from our partner site Daily Outdoor Workouts.  


This is a buddy workout.  You need at least one other person to complete this workout or else plan on doing a TON of reps!If you have kids, no excuses!  They can ride in the stroller, bike or run with you!  Plan on 60-90 minutes for this one…


  •  A running route that passes at least 2 playgrounds or parks.  The further away the parks you choose, the longer/harder your workout!
  • A bar or tree with a branch you can hang from
  • Park bench

Warm-up and then……….
Run to the first park and complete the following with your partner (split the reps however you choose):

100 Tree donkey kicks* 
75 Dips
50 Hanging knees to elbows
25 Lunge hops

Run to park #2 and complete the following (split the reps with your partner):

100 meter alligator crawl (do this one together)*
75 park bench box jumps (or step-ups for level 1)
50 Tree hugger situps*
25 burpee pop-ups or pullups

OPTION 1:  Run home- great job!
OPTION 2:  Run 1 mile away from the last park and back THEN repeat the entire workout in reverse (starting with the 25 burpee pop-ups and going up from there) before heading home. You are a rock star!

“Tree hugger” situps:


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