Tag Archives: snow

A Snowy Run

24 Nov

In honor of winter finally arriving in Denver, I went on a run after work on Thursday. It was a balmy 16 degrees.

But I was determined to go on a run (while Emma was still at daycare no less!) so I put on my winter running clothes and sucked it up. The park where I had planned to run was closed, so I drove to the closest greenway trail and ran there instead.

Luckily, the majority of it was gravel, or else my run would not have happened. The cement was really slippery! But the gravel was fine.

20131121_162227I brought my headphones and phone along so I could listen to music, but I didn’t end up using them (though I did use my phone to track my run). I really enjoy being outside for runs, even when it’s cold, lost in my thoughts. I like hearing the crunch of the snow under my shoes, the (scary) German Shepherd barking at me as I run past his yard, the geese honking overhead, my breathing white in the air. I like how everything feels still and quiet when it snows. 

I also like being able to just enjoy running and not feel like I have to rush back to Emma. Which is why I’m going to try to run after work more often.

While I didn’t cover the 2.5 miles at the fastest pace (11:53/mile), I felt great the whole time, giving me confidence that I can run a 5K on Thanksgiving morning.

I couldn’t help but think when I was out there, “Working out at the gym just can’t compete with this. Who would choose a stationary machine over exploring the outdoors?”

I know it’s different strokes for different folks. But I got to say, running is pretty awesome.

You’ve got to be kidding me.

8 Mar

Remember how my last baby shower almost got snowed out?

Well, here’s the forecast for my baby shower tomorrow in Denver:

forecast

Seriously?

What are the freaking odds?

It has only snowed (for real) in Denver once all ‘winter’. And it was on the day we were flying back from Florida. And now this.

Bah.

Elk Camp 2012

23 Oct

The best thing about elk camp this year was that I wasn’t miserably cold during the day OR at night like I have been in past years. That wasn’t a side effect of pregnancy though – Travis just did a better job in keeping the stove stoked.

The worst part about elk camp this year was that we didn’t get an elk. 😦 It happens. We’ve been lucky the past 3 years.

It was cold and rainy when I got up to camp Friday night – and before we went to bed, that rain turned into snow. We woke up to this on Saturday:

Beth and I spent most of Saturday in the tent. We read, played Bananagrams and talked about baby stuff. This is what the dogs do while we’re chilling in the tent:

 

They lay on my bed.

The guys came back for lunch and then it cleared up a bit so we went on a walk on the road near our campsite.

 

 

The guys came back around 7 and we ate dinner around the campfire.

Sunday, we hung out in the tent until the afternoon and then the sun came out! So we went on another hike on Ute Pass Trail. We were camping and hiking in the heart of hunting territory so we have to wear blaze orange and keep the dogs on a leash.

It’s hard to find any “easy” hikes around in the mountains so we just took a lot of breaks on the uphill parts.

When we got back to camp, I made a fire (with quite a bit of help from Beth) while Beth started on dinner. Then the guys came back, we ate and went to bed around 9:30 (while was late compared to the previous 2 nights!)

Monday was by far the nicest day we had. It was 60 and sunny. Beth and I went on another hike up Morgan Gulch. I forgot my camera so I don’t have any pictures. But it was pretty. We saw a pack of about 8 deer on the top of a ridge. After our hike, we ate lunch with the guys. They went back out and we sat in the sun for a while reading and doing a crossword. I actually got a little sunburned! Then it was time for me to head home.

Even though camping is a lot of work, it’s fun to get up into the mountains. And I got to do a lot of reading and hiking, which is what I wanted! I finished the book Unbroken – VERY good book. It’s a little intense (since it’s about POW camps during WWII) but the ending is awesome. And it gives a different perspective to WWII than I had ever read about before.

 

 

Life lately.

12 Oct

It’s that time of year: elk hunting. Travis and his parents headed up this morning and I’ll head up right after work. Since I spent pretty much all of my PTO going to Alaska for two weeks and I can’t take unpaid time off without VP approval (stupid corporate policy), I will only be going up for Saturday, Sunday and Monday, heading down Monday night. Everyone else will come back down Wednesday. If you’re wondering, I don’t hunt. I hang out with my mother-in-law and we do fun stuff. 🙂

Read about our trip last year here.

Even though I’m going to freeze my butt off and I am really not looking forward to heading out to the lug-able loo at 2 am (thanks to pregnancy), I am looking forward to doing some hiking and lots of reading. The forecast calls for snow near us so we may or may not see any snow. Luckily, I have my warm boots this year. No more cold toes for me!

One more thing I’m excited about – driving my new car!

After 3 trips to the dealer and much hemming and hawing, we finally signed the paperwork for a 2008 Mazda Tribute. The Tribute is just the Mazda (and slightly less expensive) version of a Ford Escape.

I absolutely love it! It handles like a car and accelerates really fast (thanks to the V6 engine). And best part, I won’t have to spend 20 minutes on a Friday afternoon sitting in the parking lot at work because my car won’t start. (Yes, that happened last week.)

This past Monday night, while Travis was heckling with the dealer, I went to Starbucks (car shopping stresses me out because Travis and I have opposite buying personalities) to read my book Unbroken and have a good hour-long phone chat with my dear friend Holly who lives in Minnesota. It was so enjoyable. (Oh and Unbroken is a good book too!)

I tried the Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate. It was ok, but I wouldn’t order it again. Too rich.

Last week, we awoke one morning to a light dusting of snow. Now I know that the weather (especially that of a week ago) is not breaking news but I bring it up because I am LOVING Denver’s weather this fall. It’s been cold, dreary and rainy – reminds me so much of Minnesota.

 

This next picture is kind of dark but you can just barely make out a pile of grass sitting on the carpet in our living room. What is it doing there? Charlie puked it up. We’re convinced that she’s part cow. Who eats that much grass? No wonder it didn’t agree with her. (I promise she gets plenty of dog food to eat and is not starving to death.)

 

And lastly, a quick thought I had this past Sunday at church – I was standing in the sanctuary during worship and thinking about how amazing everything is in my life right now. It’s not perfect by any means but I can honestly say that 90% of the time I am completely content and grateful for all of the things God has blessed us with. At the same time, I recognize that my joy is partly because God has worked everything out with Travis’ school and PE, getting pregnant, finances, house stuff, a new car, etc. exactly how I wanted Him to. But He didn’t have to do that. He didn’t have to make everything happen this way. And yet, He did. He chose these circumstances for us, as much as we so do not deserve them. So I am praising and thanking Him for this season of excitement and joy, knowing that it won’t last for the rest of my life, but embracing the wonderful reality of NOW for the gift that it is.

I also recognize that this attitude of contentment in my heart is God’s doing – on my own, I am naturally bent toward discontentment and ingratitude. Like Ann Voskamp says, “Ingratitude was the fall – humanity’s discontent with all that God freely gives.” Without God, I would find something to be discontent about even in this season of abundance. So I am doubly thankful, not only for God’s blessings, but also for His allowing me to recognize them as such.

We sang this song in care group the other night and I think it sums up these ideas well:

Blessed Be Your Name
In the land that is plentiful
Where Your streams of abundance flow
Blessed be Your name

Blessed Be Your name
When I’m found in the desert place
Though I walk through the wilderness
Blessed Be Your name

Every blessing You pour out
I’ll turn back to praise
When the darkness closes in, Lord
Still I will say

Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your glorious name

Blessed be Your name
When the sun’s shining down on me
When the world’s ‘all as it should be’
Blessed be Your name

Blessed be Your name
On the road marked with suffering
Though there’s pain in the offering
Blessed be Your name

Every blessing You pour out
I’ll turn back to praise
When the darkness closes in, Lord
Still I will say

Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your glorious name

You give and take away
You give and take away
My heart will choose to say
Lord, blessed be Your name

 

Have a great weekend!

 

 

Our Evansville Trip

3 Apr

This morning, we woke up to this:

Snow. A lot of it has already melted and it’s supposed to warm up to high 60s later this week but still. Snow in April. I just hope that our tulips and lilies don’t die because of it (we did cover them).

Anyway, we flew out to Evansville Thursday morning – like I mentioned before, we actually flew to St. Louis, where my parents picked us up (it was right on their way), and we drove the remaining 3 hours to Evansville.

We got to Jeremy and Jen’s house around 4 pm, where we finally got to meet this little guy:

He’s even cuter in person. At first, he cried every time I held him. But the last few days we were there, I got to hold him for at least 20 minutes before he wanted something or someone else.

Since he’s so young, we mostly just hung around the house. We cooked all of our meals, except for ordering Chinese in the first night we were there, and my mom and I made 5 freezer meals + cookie dough for Jeremy and Jen.

We also played a little cornhole:

We did some weeding and stump ripping-out:

We did a LOT of baby holding:

Baby J is a spit bubble factory!

Travis will be a good-looking dad:

Baby J loves this play mat – his little legs and arms go all over the place and he blows lots of bubbles. His bibs were always soaking!

They have two dachshunds – Libby is the girl (bottom left) and Chief is the boy (bottom right). Libby and I are friends.

As always, I drank plenty of wine and regular soda, ate lots of sweets, and pretty much just enjoyed myself. I have more thoughts about eating and vacation that I’ll share in future posts but for now, I’ll say that this vacation involved all the things a vacation is supposed to.

It’s good to be back into the routine of things, but we already miss our great family and cute little nephew!

And if you’re wondering if being around Baby J affected my desire to have a baby of my own, the answer is Yes. I want one even more now! 

How to NOT Prepare for a Race.

10 Feb

Don’t:

Run only 2 miles the week before.

Let your sore throat prevent you from drinking water.

Have a busy work week plus plans after work that keep you out at least an hour and a half past your bedtime each night.

Ditch your Thursday run for 2 glasses of chardonnay at happy hour and pass out in a chair (at home) before 8 pm.

Eat sweets like they haven’t touched your lips for a month.

Eat food like it’s going out of style.

Stay out late at a hockey game the night before the race.

Plan the race for a morning of cold and snow:

Do (Attempt to) Redeem Your Race:

Fit in an easy 2-3 mile run on Friday and Saturday so that your body doesn’t curse you for springing 13.1 miles on it out of nowhere.

Be a man runner and dress for the weather instead of whining about it. That’s why you bought a $110 Speedy Bullet (blindingly bright) jacket. Wear your UnderArmour tights UnderNeath another pair of running pants. Don some wool socks and winter gloves. Possibly buy a winter running hat instead of your chintzy ear warmer.

Drive only 15 minutes from your house to the start line.

Download a GPS-tracking app so your friend can come out and cheer you on as you run past her house.

Ditch the Camelbak that annoyed you on your last 10 mile run. Stash Shotbloks in your jacket and drink water at the aid stations. Bring a piece of bread with peanut butter too, since you know you love it it helps you not feel sick after mile 8.

Have fun. It’s only running, for pete’s sake.

Would you wear an ear warmer or a full hat for this race?

How have you redeemed a week of poor race preparation?

New Discoveries.

4 Feb

Thursday night, I discovered that a salad is not a good pre-run meal.

Friday, I discovered that it’s actually kind of nice that everything in Denver shuts down with a big snowstorm, because I get to work from home.

I also discovered that working from home with nothing to do is only slightly less boring that being at work with nothing to do.

I discovered that it takes two feet of snow for Denver to actually plow main side roads with any sort of decency {these pictures were taken Friday morning – it continued snowing all day and we ended up with about 2 feet).

This afternoon, I discovered that the plows still don’t always do a very good job because I almost got stranded at the library.

This morning, I discovered that running 11 miles, or 115 circles, on the indoor track is surprisingly painless with a friend. (Thanks Heidi!)

I also discovered that with no wind and no hills, I can run a 10:45/mile pace for 11 miles…

…and that despite good intentions and a camera, I can still forget to take a picture of my first-ever blogger meetup, and instead make do with a crappy picture of me in my bathroom.

This afternoon, I discovered that the day before the Super Bowl is an even worse day to grocery shop than the day before Thanksgiving.

I also discovered (again) that one of my all-time favorite kinds of candy is Australian Style licorice. Seriously, try it. It’s amazing. (I found it at the regular grocery store in the candy section.)

And finally, I discovered that Reese’s peanut butter eggs are just as delicious as I remember them. Mmmm…

Have you discovered anything new this weekend?

This is not good.

2 Feb

Of course, right when I’ve gotten used to Denver having no snow and spring-like temperatures, someone decides we need a foot or more of snow dropped on us. Didn’t they know I had 11 miles planned for Saturday? What am I supposed to do now?!?!

::sigh:: (first world problems)

Would you rather run 11 miles on a treadmill or do 110 laps around a track?

A New Season

23 Dec

I am very excited for the beginning of a new season: training for a marathon. I spent the majority of 2011 training for triathlons, culminating in my first Olympic distance. While I love the variety of multisport, there’s something about getting out on the road and slogging out a bunch of miles in preparation for a long distance running-only event.

And I was just thinking this morning that if I used my two cross-training workouts a week for biking and swimming,  I could even be in triathlon shape by the time the marathon is over!’

I saw this little “Best of 2011” on RunToTheFinish and liked it so much I’m going to do it:

What I’m looking forward to in the season of marathon training:

  • Mapping out new routes on mapmyrun.com
  • Exploring new areas of Denver on foot
  • Buying cute new running shoes
  • Feeling the good hurt in my legs of running many miles

  • Visualizing myself finishing my first marathon
  • Calling myself a marathoner
  • Eating like a horse and not gaining a pound
  • Developing runner’s leg muscles

  • Listening to books on tape and sermons while I run
  • Seeing my pace get faster (hopefully!)
  • Exercising mental endurance and positive thinking (You got this!)
  • Spending my Saturdays running a crapton of miles and then taking a nap

I tried to take the dogs on a walk this morning and it was more than a little difficult, what with traffic, a foot of snow and a temperature of 15 degrees. I ended up turning around early because Charlie started limping, showing that her paws had gotten cold. Maybe she could wear the Frankenbooties we bought Katy? If we put them on one of them again, I’ll record a video – that is, if I’m not dying laughing.

Our favorite thing to do lately to joke around with our sweet little pooches is this: if we’re watching TV and a commercial or show has a doorbell ringing in it, Charlie thinks it’s real. So she’ll get all excited, bark and even jump up to see who’s at the door. To prolong the hilarity of the situation, we’ll rewind the DVR to replay the doorbell noise. By the time we do that 4 or 5 more times, I’m seriously crying because I’m laughing so hard. Dogs are an endless source of amusement.

Finally, for your viewing pleasure, I took a picture of this car on our street:

 

That car is totally plowed in by 3 foot snow banks on both sides. Our neighbor plows our street (since the city never does it, by law – isn’t that ridiculous?!?!) and I think he plowed that car in because it’s been sitting there (in front of our house, mind you) for weeks now. Both Travis and I had a good chuckle over that.

What do you look forward to when starting a new training plan?

Have you ever been plowed in? I haven’t, but there was one time when I wasn’t able to get out of our driveway in college.

A White Christmas in Denver!

22 Dec

Well, it definitely snowed! Last night, when I got home from my women’s group, I told Travis that we should go on a walk in the snow. So we did.

I love going for walks in the snow.

So do the pooches.

We were very snowy by the time we got back. It’s still snowing this afternoon and so far, we’ve gotten about a foot. It was a little hairy driving to work today (because CDOT only has 75 plows for the entire Denver metro area!) but we made it! I was sooo tempted to call in because there’s hardly anyone here today (and there will be even fewer tomorrow!) but our VP ordered in lunch from Qdoba for us, which was nice and fun. Tomorrow is going to draaaaggg by though.

…………………………………..

On a brighter note, this weekend is Christmas!

I am so ready for some time to relax, hang out with Travis and friends, and eat delicious food! This is what we have planned so far:

  • Dinner and a movie with friends Friday night (Christmas Eve Eve)
  • Dinner with friends and their family on Christmas Eve
  • Special breakfast and dinner on Christmas day, just the two of us
  • Church on Christmas morning
  • Relaxing on the day after Christmas, before we go back to work

We haven’t decided when we’re going to open presents yet, but my vote is Christmas Eve morning – then we don’t have to wait!

Other than going grocery shopping tonight after work, I’m all ready for Christmas, which has meant a very relaxing, enjoyable week. It’s been so nice to drive home, knowing that I can go lay on the couch the minute I walk in the door, instead of running around doing errands or workouts.

I was just thinking yesterday as I drove home, that taking this week off from training was probably the best decision I could’ve made. Instead of stressing out over how to fit all my workouts in and wondering how I’ll ever manage with marathon training, I’ve been building up excitement and anticipation and will start marathon training ready to tackle the beast of 26.2.

The slower pace has also allowed me time to reflect on the amazing-ness of Christmas and quiet my heart, which is what I’ve been wanting! Come, Lord Jesus!

What are your plans for Christmas? Are you done with preparations?