Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Denver Trip


Mr. M and I just got back from a fantastic trip to Denver filled with sights, drinks, friends and laughs. I wish I could take credit for the planning but had a lot of help from a friend of ours who I have discovered is my traveling kindred spirit =)

*Since I’m not sure how my friends feel about their lives being posted on the internet I will keep the pictures and stories vague (to protect those who may have eaten 2 gallons of ice cream, had a small slip on the dance floor, ordered Canadian bacon pizza, ruined a chipmunks life, forgot to scoop a dog poop, or other such random non-specific examples).



3:30am 3:45am Leave for the airport

5:13am Arrive exactly 2 minutes before they stopped taking checked bags. Whoops!

7:00am Greeted with hugs, donut holes, and a ride from one of my bestest of friends who drove an hour to pick us up at the airport on her birthday….did I mention she is one of the bestest? 

10:00am Mr. M and I enjoyed a delicious breakfast at Over Easy and both discovered new favorite drinks.
Fresh lemon, Colorado honey, and Cucumber--three of my favorite things!

11:30am Hike the Seven Bridges Trail in Colorado Springs
Shady and beautiful, perfect for an August day

2:00pm Much needed drinks (heavily caffeinated for this girl!) and lunch at Brother Luck’s 

3:30pm Mr. M naps while I catch up with said bestest friend

7:00pm Birthday dinner at a restaurant that happened to be hosting a Trivia Night. This involved several rowdy debates I.E., Which country has the 5th largest land mass in the world and takes up a little over half of its continent? Hint: it’s not Canada (I will never let Mr. M live that down)



9:00am No one woke me up because they had to go potty (or already did), wanted watermelon, or threw their binky out of the crib = heaven!

11:00am Hit the road

11:25am Stopped so I could pee (sorry!) at Krispy Kreme..Spent 5 minutes watching the donut conveyer belt
Image result for krispy kreme

1:00pm Arrived at Ameristar Hotel in Black Hawk, did some sightseeing in Central City, Mr. M eats $7.99 Prime Rib and we drink $3 beers—love the prices here! Waitress gives us the senior discount—I try not to be offended

2:00pm Meet up with some more friends and proceed to drink, gamble, and laugh WAY too much. (Note to self: ‘Let’s just split a bottle of wine at dinner’=NOT a good idea)

11:07pm Discover pool closes at 11:00pm



6:30am Drink 24 glasses of water and head up to pool on the 36th floor—gorgeous view!

9:45am Set out with Starbucks in hand on our way to Fort Collins

10:15am Wonder aloud whose idea it was to drive a windy mountain road after a late night in the casino (turns out it was mine…)
Driving through a mountain

11:00am Meet MORE friends at Smokin Dave’s BBQ in Estes Park. Yum!

12:30pm Stop for ice cream…spend 5 minutes watching the dry ice ice cream maker
Note the 2 galloon tub of ice cream in the forefront of the photo-PROOF!

5:30pm 6:30pm 5:30pm Shuttle to wedding arrives to give us a ride…long story involving road construction, getting lost, and holding up the ceremony…but I won’t get into that!

7:00pm Dance and laugh the night away with great friends at a terrific wedding



11:00am Crash romantic bride and groom brunch at Fort Collins Brewery. Stop at Odell Brewing Company and even get a private tour of New Belgium from the new Mr. and Mrs.!
Just what the doctor ordered!

4:00pm Head back to Denver, Mr. M buys grossest looking burrito at super shady gas station (I feel like that should be documented incase he gets food poisoning or something)

6:00pm Relax at hotel, watch Pitch Perfect (NOT Sports Center) and pack for the way home



3:30am Shuttle to the airport

9:00am Land

12:00pm Home to squeeze the world’s cutest little men!!!
They wanted to feed this small bale to the chickens #chickenlovers #justlikegrandpaQ


Thursday, August 13, 2015

New Post from D: Finding Inspiration

Well hello again!  After re-reading my last check-in, I realized a lot has happened in just a few short months!  The biggest update is that my foot healed up miraculously quickly and I've been running again!  Ha.lle.lu.jah!  My love for the run just will not die. :)  I've been extremely cautious getting back into it and hopefully the lower mileage will pay off for some long term injury-free training (fingers and toes crossed)!  As much as I'd like to do more, I'd much rather be running a little bit than not at all.  Fortunately, zero running during the entire month of June hasn’t kept me from getting out and enjoying some fun training and races this summer!  I’ve had a blast competing in two relay triathlons with great friends, getting in my first century rides ever (huge rite of passage for this newbie cyclist!), and was even actually able to complete an entire triathlon solo (under-trained or not).

Before recapping the races in detail, I’ve been reflecting on these recent experiences a lot lately.  This Sunday, I’m competing the Pigman Long Course Triathlon in Palo, IA.  After missing the registration window (injuries don’t allow for a lot of future planning), I somehow snagged a bib-transfer on Facebook and got my name in the hat for one of our region’s oldest ongoing half-Ironman races.  It also happens to be a 40 minute drive from my sister J’s brand new house in Anamosa, IA!  A highly recommended race, in my native state, with some good friends, and having my family there to watch?  Deal made! 

Being my first injury-free triathlon of the season and my first race entering as an elite (yikes!), nerves are high and playing a little larger piece in my preparations than I’d like.  This, on top of scanning the entrant list this week and seeing an outstanding field of nationally competitive athletes, has led to a few sleepless nights.  (Check out the preview!) Sure, going after an award in a small town race is one thing, but going up against nationally acclaimed competition???  Part of me wonders how big of a fool I will make of myself in only the third triathlon of my life.   The other part of me; however, is ecstatic to participate in such an event.  The women racing are well-known pro and amateur triathletes and having a chance to compete against them and hopefully meet them will be a dream come true. #starstrucknerd  

I’ve also requested my nephews, who are coming to watch, be thrown into my sweaty, smelly arms as soon as I cross the finish line.  Seeing them cheering me on during the race and knowing they’ll be there at the finish brings tears to my eyes just thinking about it.  Sorry for the inevitable sap that always manages to come out in these posts, but these little guys mean so much to me and my family’s support is never less than amazing. Let’s hope the sweat will disguise the tears Sunday!
Lincoln taking me on enough rides to make me sick at our county fair in June.
Brooks felt the same way...

I have three simple goals for the race:
    1.  Execute the race plan.
    2.  Enjoy the moment.
    3.  DREAM BIG.

My coach will undoubtedly put together a set of meticulously planned instructions for the race.  From a week of torturous tapering to pre-race set-up, race watts, and nutrition; he has it covered. 

Success will not be measured by how I place upon my competitors, but how well I execute my plan.  Wisdom that focusing on factors outside of my control (opponents, weather, etc.) just cause undue stress is key.  The purpose is to simply do the best that I can do on race day.  

This brings me to my next goal: Enjoy the moment!  Triathletes don’t compete for prizes or notoriety; we compete for the love of the sport.  Pushing myself to the limits and enjoying the wind in my hair (however snarly and sweaty it is) brings me joy without bounds.  God has blessed me with an amazingly resilient and healthy body and for that I am beyond thankful.  I plan on soaking up the experience and remembering why I do this: out of pure joy. 

Lastly, armed with some new inspirational gear from my favorite local running shop, my last goal is to dream big.  A fear of failure will only lead to indecision and inaction.  Taking a risk like competing against some pretty fast females is daunting to say the least, but it will be an excellent opportunity for growth.  I’ll learn a lot about what it takes to get to the next level and who knows?  Race day magic has been known to lead to miracles in the past and I’m not leaving out the possibility of a decent finish! J 

Stay tuned for race recaps soon!