Tag Archives: tea

Colorado Days Five, Six, and Seven

I woke up, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed in Denver, ready to head back to Boulder for a little trip north. A quick stop for coffee, and I was on my way- I’m definitely fueled by caffeine. I stopped to pick up Aaron, shower and change, and we hit the road for Rocky Mountain National Park.

I made Aaron stop a couple times, when I saw something pretty… and that happens a lot in the mountains!

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Traffic was crazy on the way up- I guess everyone wants to spend their weekends playing outside. We stopped at Kirk’s fly shop in Estes Park, picked up a couple flies…

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…grabbed a sandwich, saw this cool sculpture,

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and finished the trip north.

The drive into the park was pretty smooth, and it was beautiful. I kept watching for wildlife, but I didn’t see much. We looked around as we drove into the park, and speculated about where we thought there would be fish hiding out.

Eventually, we picked a spot, parked, and parted ways. I fished. I caught. Fly fishing does something to me- I cherish the peace and quiet and solitude.

The turbulence of the water was at odds with the peace in my soul, quite possibly my favorite juxtaposition. I love waterfalls.

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By the end of the day, I was tired but jazzed that I got into some trout, and I settled in for the drive back to Aaron’s. Unfortunately, I was too busy gawking out the window at the mountains to look at the map, and we got lost. It was just a couple hours out of the way, we drove through Loveland (such a cute name- it made me homesick!), and by the time we got back, it was pretty late. I love seeing the sunset over the mountains.

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The ride was pretty quiet, since hanger was setting in. Aaron barely survived the wrath of a hungry, tired Heidi. We ordered a pizza, and I fell asleep immediately after dinner. 🙂

Day Six began with a hot run on the Boulder Creek Trail. Six miles on my sixth day.

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This trail intertwines with the creek and the road like a braid, and I saw a variety of scenery!

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Boulder was preparing for their Ironman the following weekend, so I saw signs everywhere letting people know they should plan alternate routes. 🙂

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I was so hot when I finished my run that I jumped right in the stream. I advocate for cold water all over the place, and I know the science behind the water temperature needs of trout, so I KNOW how cold trout streams are… but there is nothing quite like sticking your head in one. I cooled down in a hurry. 🙂

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I started and ended my run at a busy park (Eben G. Fine), so there were two cars waiting for spaces in the small parking lot. It made my usual change-in-the-car routine a little more awkward- struggling to change out of stream-soaked running clothes in a car while you’re being mildly monitored is less than romantic. 😉 After I swapped out spandex for a sundress, I went to grab coffee and lunch at The Cup.

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I made a quick stop at Boulder Running Company to buy a perfectly tourist “Run Colorado” shirt, then I headed back to Aaron’s. A quick shower, a clean dress, and we went to Avery Brewing for dinner and beer

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The food was fabulous, the beer was great, and I was happy to relax. All these adventures were starting to wear me out!

On the way back to the car, I noticed this…

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Boulder: where even the fire hydrants are pretty.

We finished up dinner with frozen yogurt, probably the most innocent of my vices, and before I knew it, I was sleeping soundly.

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Day Seven, my last day in Colorado, started with me driving into Boulder, renting a bike and checking out the city on two wheels.

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My job as an alderperson has changed the way I think about cities, and it makes me extra interested in how other municipalities approach pedestrian and bicycle traffic. I took lots of photos and started formulating new ideas to take home.image6 (1)

I rode past my favorite Boulder fly shop

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…loved this downtown bicycle parking…

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…and returned my bike in time to head over to Celestial Seasonings for a tour of their tea factory. It was a perfect way to wind down my last day- relaxing with some hot tea.

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Since there are no cameras allowed inside the facility, I’ll leave you with this super sexy image of me in a hair net. 🙂

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I headed back to Aaron’s and starting packing everything back into my luggage. It’s amazing how much my clothes multiply while I’m on a trip. I suppose that if I stopped shopping on vacation, the problem would be alleviated. 😉

Day Eight. Coming home. Denver has a pretty cool airport.

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You’ll find me in the airport with my three necessities: my fly rod, my yoga mat, and a tripod. 🙂

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My flights were uneventful, and even with the time change and the three hour drive from the airport, I made it home in time for dinner and a nap. 🙂

More adventures to come- I returned from this trip with lots of photo shoots and meetings to catch up on.

As always, thanks for reading!

Miles this year: 350.3

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Running: the fun stuff, then the serious stuff.

I have a LOT weighing on my mind today. The last couple days have been pretty darn great. The temperatures cooled a bit to be more seasonal, and I had a few great running days in a row.
Awesome things to note: the co-op has my favorite mint tea on sale! I left a little bit for other people, but bought a bunch myself.

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Luke was working, and we had a few laughs over the Great Quinoa Shortage of 2012, a.k.a. they’re still out.

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Yesterday morning, I had a coffee date with my friend Jen, from high school. She is still as adorable as ever, and she’s in the midst of planning a beautiful wedding to her longtime love, Josh. She’s in town to do some clinical work or something over at Marshfield clinic, so I grabbed her for coffee while she was in my neck of the woods. It turns out that yesterday was her birthday! Happy Birthday, Jen! 🙂
After that lovely coffee date, I did something semi-stupid. I decided to start eating chia seeds, so I put a whole tablespoon in my yogurt. A tablespoon is a normal serving, but probably not the best to start with on your first day, right before a run. Danny stopped over so we could log a few miles together. He’s from Nashville, so it was extra awesome to catch up with him.

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Hmm, I should have called this week ‘Reuniting with Far-away Friends Week’ or something. 🙂 Danny was kind enough to slow his normal 5 min/mile to my 9:30 min/mile… With a few walk breaks. I’m not going to lie, I thought I might lose those chia seeds a few times. Luckily, I’d rather die than embarrass myself by puking during a regular run (especially in front of people!), so I held it together. 7 miles of catching up with Danny: check.

One of the things that Danny and I talked about is something that has just been on my mind constantly lately. Thanks to Danny for letting me air my grievances during our run 🙂
It has to do with speed, especially when it comes to slower runners. I’ll preface this by saying that while I am continually getting faster, I know that I am by no means a fast runner. A couple years ago, I ran DePere’s Noodleini 15K in the Athena division. Athena (for women) and Clydesdale (for men) are weight-based divisions- opposed to age-group divisions. The reasoning behind offering these categories as competitive options seems to make sense; it is more comparable for a 170-pound woman to race against another 170-pound woman, compared to a 170-pound woman racing against a 110-pound woman, even if they are the same age. Until that Noodleini race, I’d never placed in my age group. In fact, I was so far down the list, compared to other 20-29 year olds, that I often didn’t even look at my actual placement. I was simply interested in my official time, improving my race times, and competing with myself. Once I crossed the finish line, I finished second in the Athena division. I got this TROPHY!

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It was the first time that I’d gotten a trophy for an athletic event (I can put it next to all my hordes of MathCounts, music, and dance awards…). That race lit a new competitive fire in my heart- and I’d never felt that as a runner. I saw my name with a single digit placement next to it. It felt like some sort of small miracle.

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A few quick Google searches later, I realized that the majority of serious runners sort of consider those weight-based divisions to be a joke. I read a lot of opinions saying that all runners should race against each other, regardless of weight- and if the heavier runners think it’s unfair, then we should just lose some weight. While I still have body fat to lose, I am a pretty muscular girl, and I like it that way! I love being able to load my kayak on my car by myself, and help hold drywall during remodeling, and hold my own in a push-up contest. The runners in the weight-based divisions are often tall, broad-shouldered, muscular athletes. Take a peek at the times on that race’s division winners- those racers are fast! The Clydesdale men continually impress me with their speed. Racing in Athena and Clydesdale are by no means a piece of cake.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not overly offended by the opinions of other runners. Everyone is entitled to one! I just wonder if continuing to race in Athena categories is a mistake. I do realize that if I’m upset that my times are slow, and if I’m convinced that it’s because I’m lugging around a 160 pound body- I’m the only one who can change that. The only thing I know for sure right now is that I registered to run the Oshkosh 1/2 in Athena, and I’ve never felt so motivated to train for speed. I want to add another trophy to my rack of medals. 🙂

Enough serious stuff. Back to yesterday…
After a quick shower and some photo sorting, I made a delicious lunch. I was going to have a chicken salad, but then I decided to skip the leafy greens and just put everything I like in a bowl. Sounds reasonable, right? Chicken, onions, tomatoes, spicy mustard, Sriracha sauce, red grapes, walnuts, snap peas, a little tiny bit of mayo, and a bunch of spices. That disappeared faster than the fraud on my checking account last week.
(PS Chase is GREAT at catching that stuff!)

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I forgot to take a photo of Dale and I rehearsing last night. I’ll post a video soon, then you can catch a glimpse of this ‘dancing’ that I do. I’ll have proof soon. 😀

I was all set to head home from dancing and go straight to bed when Brian text me to let me know that after a somewhat hilarious afternoon at the driving range, Kenny and Brian were drowning their sorrows at Rustys, and I was invited. I can’t pass that up. I mean, come on, look at their bloody marys…

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I got mine with the garlic, but passed on the beef stick. With the beef, that beverage is more like a meal replacement than a night cap. 🙂 Thanks, boys, for the good times last night.

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This morning, I finished editing some photos, and I’m getting ready to run some errands before a lunch date with my photo mentor.
As you can see, I’m hard at work.

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There are so many of my favorite things happening in that photo. Breakfast, Monica’s vlog “Ask a Monican,” a pedicure (I went with blue this week!), and my marimba. Thus, the view from my couch on this dreary Friday morning.

If you’ve got something to say about weight- v. age- based divisions, please chime in! I’d love to hear some feedback. Thanks, y’all! 😀 Have a great weekend!

Miles this year: 159

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