Monday, February 27, 2012
But more importantly, I've started out my week by big pimpin'.
I am flying to El Paso today. My original flight was scheduled for 10:11 and as I waited to board, using my fancy pants early boarding Premiere status, the airline staff kept asking for a volunteer to give up their seat. I went over and asked when the next flight would be and, hearing that it wouldn't be until 5, I held off and boarded the plane. Once again, while sitting waiting to take off, the flight attendant said they were still looking for a volunteer and added that it was for an active duty military personnel, flying on orders. Already on the fence, I volunteered.
Once I got back to the gate, the wonderfully joyful woman I had talked to earlier greeted me with "Oh honey, it was you!! Thank you!" The United staff members were wonderful, not only setting me up with my $400 voucher, but also tacking on a second set of rewards - I can choose between 10,000 reward miles, $250 voucher, or 20% off a flight purchase. A whooping $650 flight dollars just for hanging out in the airport working, instead of working from El Paso. Oh, and she threw in a $15 meal voucher, too, and I'm getting paid per diem today.
But thats not why I'm big pimpin. Faced with uncomfortable airport chairs, slow internet, and constant airline announcements, I went for broke, bought an online one-time access pass, and am spending the day in the United Club area of DIA.
Boy, I don't know if I can ever go back. Its so nice up here. Comfortable chairs, free snacks (and good ones!), coffee, wine, spirits, and beer. I'm catching up on work emails while watching CNN and I haven't even explored all of what this area has to offer. I'm slowly making my way further into the depths of the Club area, going slowly so no one spots me as an outsider and sends me back down to steerage. I looked up the membership costs ($525/year - ouch!) but boy, if I had a lot of layovers (I normally don't), I can really see why it would be worth the price!
And goodness, I'm really glad I showered this morning and put on real pants!
Thursday, February 23, 2012
2.) My knee really hurt on Tuesday. I couldn't straighten it all the way in bed and couldn't lift it to be level with my upper leg, so I iced it and took the day off. Yesterday I had a long day, didn't get out of work til 7 and again took a rest day. Today my knee feels better than it has all year, since my graceful fall/slip down the slopes at Keystone. I think I'm going to take off tonight as well, let everything really get back to a happy place, then bang out an awesome 10k race pace run this weekend.
3.) Tomorrow I'm headed to Steamboat! Yay! Another weekend full of skiing, snowshoeing, and running, with a little bit of Euchre in there. I've never played it, but I'm going to a Cold Butt Euchre tournament on Saturday - who wants to be my partner?!
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
We were coming back from a weekend birthday celebration in Ouray. Eleven of us trekked to the southwestern corner of the state from Denver, Ft Collins and Steamboat to celebrate the 29th birthday of our friend Jess VanderKwaak. For her birthday, she wanted to go ice climbing, for which Ouray is internationally known. Our pick up truck full of 5 people arrived at 12:30 Friday night and we were up with the sun (some of us begrudgingly) on Saturday am.
Our early rise was somewhat thwarted when the rental shop didn't open til 9, so Jess and Morgan made good use of our extra time by doing an impromptu photo shoot in the street.
But then we got our gear and headed to Box Canyon. We first stopped to put on our helmets and crampons, so we could hike about a mile to our site.
After a short walk down the canyon, holding onto a guide rope, we were ready to climb!
We couldn't have asked for better weather and soon we were all up on the ice. The first climb was pretty easy, starting out with a 45 degree angle before becoming vertical.
The third climb was a bit more vertical:
And here's Katie, also a birthday girl, on our last climb of the day, a solid 180 foot climb!
Since I didn't want to walk out the way we had walked into the canyon, I topped out on this last climb, with shaking calves and tired arms.
The next day we were back at the rental place, picking up cross country skis.
After some debate, we headed 25 miles up and over a pass to the town of Silverton. Coincidentally, Silverton was having their annual Skijoring competition. Essentially, skijoring is a sport where skiers are pulled by either dogs or horses, kind of like a winter rodeo. They hold on for dear life and go over jumps and around object, collecting rings along the way. The goal is to have the fastest time and not die in the process.
Thursday, February 16, 2012
But, as a direct result of my workday, I decided I needed a mental and physical break. Instead of doing my planned workout, I left work somewhat early, got a bottle of wine and a 'modified' version of my favorite 'what a bad day' meal. Anyone who knows me, knows this means bread and brie!! I haven't had any in ages and, in the spirit of moderation, I got a demi-loaf and a small sliver of brie. I snuggled into my comfy pants and watched the first season of Sex and the City. It was needed and I feel ready to get back at it today.
2.) Last night I also realized, while the wine was nice, I don't really miss it. It was expensive (money that could be better spent elsewhere) and I awoke at 3 am, unable to fall back asleep (with a tiny hangover, to boot). It was nice to take a breather, but it re-solidified all my reasons for not drinking and I'm happy to continue down that path.
3.) I've been tinkering with what I eat before runs, having had some successes and some super bad horrible failures. Today I try another method: eat nothing. I'll nom on a banana at some point this afternoon, but then head out after work on a fairly empty stomach. To supplement my run, I'll snack on some of my "SportBean" jelly beans along the way, a few at a time. Hopefully this gameplan will eliminate any gastronomical pyrotechnics or, as Katie says, the "need to go whoops in my pants." Isn't running glamorous?
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
This is the motto/tagline of the James O'Rourke Memorial Triathlon, held in North Platte Nebraska towards the end of April. The sprint distance triathlon is held each year in memory of my friend Adam's father, who died in 1991 during the running portion of his first triathlon. I am honored to be racing the tri along with Adam and Morgan this year.
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
A big part of me wants to give in. To settle for a shorter run. But another part of my brain pushes me on.
It’s the part of my brain that knows the pain is only temporary. That somewhere between 2 and 3.5 miles, my body yields and running begins to feel good. This part of my brain didn’t always exist. I have never been highly self motivated to push my body harder and farther. When I first started running, I wouldn’t even run by myself. Instead I was dragged out kicking and screaming twice a week by the most persistent, and chatty, friend I know. Eventually she learned to lie to me about the distance, knowing I would only complain.
Now I almost always run by myself. I still complain to myself, feeling as though I can’t relax on a weekend until my long run is out of the way. I still tell myself, no one would know if I didn’t run the full distance. But I would know.
And that keeps me going.
I used to think that a half marathon was well beyond what I can do. It petrified me; like most people, I’m not a fan of failure. But now, as I’m prepping for my second one, I have moved from terrified to excited. My body can do this. It may not do it fast, but it doesn’t stop.
I may never be a strong runner and I may never get that addictive “I need running” high that others get, but I don’t quit. And its worth it.
Monday, February 13, 2012
After paying my registration fee, I quickly searched around for a training plan. Essentially, the biggest part of training is getting your sitting bits used to the saddle. I can attest to the importance; my sitting bits were quite angry with me after an hour spin class on Friday where we didn't come up out of the saddle for 45 minutes. I can only imagine how 6-7 hours on bike would feel.
The length and ultimate mileage of the training plans vary as well, some running 10 or 12 weeks and building up to anywhere from 60-70 miles before the main event. Similar to half marathon training, I won't be training the actual distance before the ride. The training plan I've liked best so far has 5 days of riding; I'm hoping to find one with 4. For the first 1.5 months, I'll also be training for a sprint tri in Nebraska (say what?), so I'll also want to sneak in some running and swimming. I want to have my training plan mapped out before my half in March so I can hit the ground running - if I give myself too much time off, I don't ever start again!
Of course, while I was looking up a century training plan, I also looked up training plans for the half ironman. They are intimidating, for sure. Not because of any individual workout, but because of the overall volume of workouts. I found an 18 week plan that I like, which gives me 2 weeks 'free' in June before I start up again. This weekend I will be with a buddy who trains for full ironmans, and I am curious to ask him how he balances life and workouts. I feel as though I could easily become a zombie who eats, sleeps, and works out. With all the camping, hiking, climbing, and kayaking I wanted to do this summer, I will have a full schedule to fit it all in!
For the century ride, at least, I have my good friend Morgan to ride with. She has already schemed about doing rides up Lookout Mountain before work at least once a week (a ride that she calls 'easy' - crazy girl!). I'm eager to remain on a training plan for the majority of the year (after both my tri and my half, I promptly stopped working out and got out of shape; I hate working out, just to workout, without a race to train for), but a bit apprehensive that my whole year is already planned out.
Other than that, things are pretty quiet around here. Another weekend of running and skiing, although with ice and flat light, the conditions at Keystone weren't all that great. Its another quiet work week filled with little odds and ends, but nothing overly filling.
Have you ever done a century ride? Did your butt survive?
Friday, February 10, 2012
2.) I get car sick really easily.
3.) I hate waking up to an alarm.
4.) When I'm not completely overloaded with work, I find it hard to accomplish anything.
5.) I'm excited to go to El Paso, but found out that neighboring Juarez is the murder capital of the world. El Paso is one of the safest cities in the country.
6.) I never quite feel 'put together', even when I've showered and pre-picked an outfit to wear.
7.) I think that chlorine totally counts as a shower.
8.) I already miss football season, but enjoy having Sundays free.
9.) I really need to clean my apartment.
10.) I think its ridiculous that weekends book up so fast.
11.) I'm still terrified of clip shoes for the bike
12.) I have a terrible memory for birthdays.
13.) I like running in the snow.
14.) In the past month, I've watched a friend get engaged and another had her second baby. There are three more babies slated for the spring, then begins the year of weddings. Sometimes I feel like I'm on the slow bus.
15.) I love my life in Denver, but sometimes I miss my friends and family back east so much that I consider some day moving back.
16.) I still check behind the shower curtain every time I come home.
Thursday, February 9, 2012
2.) My travel schedule is ramping back up again! I'm slated to head to El Paso Texas at the end of this month. Yee haw! I am looking forward to getting in some warm outdoor runs (don't worry mom, I'll steer clear of the Mexican border!)
3.) 2012 and 2013 are shaping up to be years of lots of weddings. Two are already planned, with a third shaping up (Congrats Risa and Paul!!!!) Between my half IM, UMD Homecoming, weddings (and associated events) and holidays, I might just move back east for a season or two!
Wednesday, February 8, 2012
Tuesday, February 7, 2012
Enjoying the condo rental only furthered an idea several of us have had to put in for a seasonal rental in Frisco next ski season. Typically these rentals are about $200/month and well worth it if you are saving time and gas. So far in 2012, I've skied all weekends but the first, so I have no doubt that next year, with a car that can actually go uphill in the snow, I would make a condo worth while.
Other than that, its been a quiet week in Lake Wobegon. I've got a friend coming in tonight from DC who I'll hang out with tonight and tomorrow. Then saturday is the Cupid's Undies Run - a 1.5 mile run around Cap Hill in your undies (or boxers and tank top, if you're me). Sunday looks like I'll be back up on the slopes, but honestly, I'm starting to wear down again and need sleep. These Coloradans are like the energizer bunny! Nothing can get them to sit down!