Friday, October 29, 2010

Partners in crime

My running partners (drinking buddies--most times), but for all intents and purposes our weekend in Healdsburg will be about the run and committing to another destination race.

And wine. More wine. Food and memories.

I am blessed to have met these ladies and know that they will get along fabulously! I am bummed that a few others were unable to make it. All I can I say is.....there is always next year and ample races around the country.

One day, I would like to conquer Big Sur. I don't know if I am ready for that particular hilly course yet.
Nevertheless, Healdsburg--here we come. Have a wonderful, safe, holiday weekend~ For once, I am not working or forced to wear an inappropriate costume to work.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Coming to fruition

I want my friends to enjoy our trip to Napa. I know we are not going to have enough time to sample all of the wine that I would like to drink. There are four of us which will slow us down, somewhat. More conversation, bathroom breaks and staying the intended course.
I was able to arrange a few wine tastings through acquaintances that I have met through wine dinners, industry, and other friends.
I know that I am fortunate. I do.
However, I was dismayed after calling a specific winery. I explained that they had been recommended as an excellent winery by a friend of mine. I mentioned that I was industry and hoped to arrange a tasting for myself and three of my friends.
I was told that the tasting fee was $45 per person. What?
She told me that I would need to speak to the rep before they could waive the fee for me. My friends would still be responsible for the cash---$135 total.
It's too much. You sample three vintages, some cheese and pay $45. And, it isn't an enormous amount of wine free poured. Ridiculous!
The woman was friendly and so I kept my concerns to myself. All I know is that I did not contact the rep. Instead, I sought out another winery and made plans to taste on Saturday.
I tried to make dinner reservations at Bouchon for Saturday night. Unfortuantely, I waited too long. The only available table was at ten pm. I cannot wait that long. Nor my friends.
I think we are going to check out ZuZu for tapas and wine. Or, Redd.
There is always Sunday for Bouchon.
And, we are going the responsible route. Sara Jo hired a car to drive us around Napa on Sunday. It is worth it. As much as we want to enjoy Napa, without a driver, one of us would have to not drink the wine.
This is not an option for me. I had the idea of this 1/2 Marathon since it focused on wine and is located near one of my favorite cities in the world.
Hotel reserved for San Fran.
T-shirt being made and (hopefully) picked up tomorrow.
Yes, the starts have aligned and Napa will be a successful race, weekend, trip.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Monday, Monday.....

Gloomy day off.
Ideal weather to sleep, procrastinate, delay a run. I should make time for the run as part of my recovery. I think it will help me recover, quicker, from the next twenty mile run. And, yes, I have another one of those right around the corner. Unfortunately, I think that is a solo one. The barefoot runner will be tapering then. It is the beginning of a new session and most people will be at the start of their training plans.
Solo 20 it ipod will be charged and I will have a positive mantra to get me through the run. I have to.
This upcoming Saturday, I am heading to Napa with Sara Jo, the Goddess and Megan to run the Healdsburg 1/2 Marathon. It is a rolling hill course and we run by 22 wineries. An amazing race with rewards that do not stop.
I intend to run the race, but not race it. There is wine available at the aid stations. How can I turn down free wine? Plus, I feel, this is about camaraderie. I believe that Lindsay understands that and is on board with my goal plan. She has run other races and enjoys running for herself. Sara Jo and Megan are both new to running. There is the fear of completion, stopping to walk, not going fast enough, etc....I know they will enjoy the experience but they have anxiety that I have gotten beyond. I told Sara that if she wanted to race it, she should. There will be plenty of wine, post-race, as well.
We are considering a stop in Santa Rosa to check out the Russian River Brewery. I met their brewer at the Great American Beer Festival. I enjoy beer and it will be a nice break from the wine flow. I plan on sampling a lot of wine.
Ironically, the 1/2 Marathon coincides, perfectly, with my training plan. I am supposed to back off this weekend, mileage-wise, and hit it hard, again, November 6th. Full circle to the 20 miles of upcoming bliss.
Maybe I will run later today. Rain inspires sleep or soup. I need to think past that in order to go actually go running........

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Mother May freaking tired.
For real.
20 miles.
People do it often. No, I am not trying to be facetious. There are runners/tri-athletes/athletes. People that enjoy these activities.
To me, 20 miles, is a lot. It hurts to stand up after settling in. Well, let me back track--a little. I ran 20 miles, yesterday.
I was hydrated. I came home with a cup of coffee and made a peanut butter and cheddar cheese english muffin. I napped.
I showed up, at work, at 3:45. Yes, I work weekends. No option in this.
Instead of sleeping, post-run, I worked. As much as coaches/trainers want to stress---it is only about the time on your feet, to me, it is a bunch of b.s. There is no down time on the weekends for me.
I run. I work. I sleep (limited amounts of recovery time). I work.
Eventually, I run, again.
Yes, there is no option for me. Running on the weekends translates to the working tired.
20 miles is nothing to a serious runner.
Twenty miles, to me, means being tired post-run and probably day after.
Stiff. Sore. In need of a salt bath. Yep, that is me.
This evening, I bathed and prepared to meet Steve and Sarah. Elway's always works. Sous chef, Cory, was in the house, and we tried the most amazing spawning shrimp with collard greens and grits. OMG---food food............................

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Twenty Miles

On deck....20 miles for Saturday's run.
I was up for it and had arranged a person to run with that runs with my group. Since most people in my running group ran the Denver 1/2 or Denver full, last weekend, I knew that I would have slim pickings on people that were actually running more than 8 miles.
Recovery runs or upcoming marathon next weekend, kept people in check. The only insane others were running NYC, North Carolina or Las Vegas that I found. I had to run the dreaded 20. I couldn't see it any other way. MUST RUN 20....
And, like I mentioned, I had someone to suffer through it with. I ran with the Barefoot Runner and again, had a profound conversation. He is refreshing since his perspective is positive and interesting. We talked politics, the penal system, education, family, upcoming travel, food, running. We talked about running, a lot, since, we both are trying to work through our own individual issues. He is competitive with his running. He has attended conferences regarding health benefits, the physicality/form of running, yoga and how yoga helps the running form and the spiritual angle of running.
He told me that story of a man that ran 75 consecutive marathons and how it wasn't about the spiritual sense you get, or a cause you run for, it was this man's determination to do it. For no other reason than to run from St. Paul to Atlanta. He wasn't a physically fit man or a healthy eater. But, he ran from St. Paul to Atlanta in 75 days.
I was semi-disappointed with our route, today, since it was a loop course. 8 miles to be exact.
As such, I would have to run two loops plus an additional two miles to equal twenty. Loops do not work for me. If I run near my car, I want to stop at my car and drive away. Tempted by the goodness of coffee that I visualize about during the run.
Yes, loops are not a good idea for my training plan.
Grady agreed. We did one full loop and I dropped my jacket off at my car. Very tempted to drive away but held firm to my resolve.
We started loop #2 and planned a way to not have to complete the second full loop. Mostly, because we knew that if we ran by my car, again, I would drive away.
We planned an out and back at mile 6 of the loop.
Up to this point, I felt great. Our pace was strong. I was hydrated. I knew there was only the return four miles. I crashed. Those last miles absolutely sucked! They took forever.
I know it was mental, for me, and I know that Grady was being kind to repace to stay running with me. He reminded me of the story of the determined runner to keep me going.
Wouldn't you agree that it's true? When you put your mind to something, you can achieve anything. It is all possible.
Last weekend, I flew to Santa Barbara to attend my cousin's wedding. I wanted to go. Who wouldn't? It's wine country and I knew that I was able to go and should since no other immediate family would attend. My cousins are older and most of them have children. Heck, even my sisters bailed on the idea. Super lame.
It was too expensive. The economy is bad...blah, blah, blah......Still, I went because I wanted to and it was awesome. Maybe not the whole attending a wedding, solo part, but wine country rules. I wore a green dress and really had a blast.
Yes, anything is possible if you put your mind to it.
Twenty miles conquered. In two weeks, I get to revisit another 20 mile course. Lovely......

Thursday, October 21, 2010


Izba. I love it. Normally.
I look forward to my massage appointments. I believe in bodywork and support that venture as often as possible. Izba is a treat for me since it is a little spendy. Completely worth it though.
Tonight, I walked in Izba and realized that the therapist that would be working on me was my least favorite at Izba. He talks too much. He thinks he is a comedian and talks throughout the entire process. And, last time, while working on my soaze, I cried. I was emotional--not hurt--but, it bothered him. He felt really bad that I was crying. This shut him up, though, which was the one positive of my last massage with him.
I think we both recognized each other and knew that this massage would be challenging. I wanted to overcome the feeling of dread and enjoy the massage.
Thankfully, in his initial attempts to engage me with conversation, he realized that I was not interested in talking. The massage was fine and I love the Boukreev Treatment that they offer. It consists of two banya sessions with a massage in between. A Banya session is where you lay down on your stomach in a dry sauna. They add peppermint to the heat and eventually, after 8 minutes, take oak leaves and beat your back. The banya finishes with a layer of honey being applied to your body. The whole process detoxes and revitalizes your senses and skin. Truly, I feel amazing right now.
I made it through the massage and was able to enjoy it. I did try to meditate to look beyond the therapist factor. Sure, some people enjoy talking while receiving a massage, but not me. I think it is distracting and if I wanted to talk to someone, I would make an appointment with my hair dresser. She talks, nonstop, and is extremely entertaining. While receiving a massage, I want to zone out and focus on how great I am feeling. Not talk about mundane crap or hear a comedy routine.
Next time, I will be proactive and ask who my therapist is or request one that I prefer. There are solutions to this obstacle.....

what is the adage---if you want something done right, do it yourself?.....

In preparing for my upcoming Healdsburg weekend, I approached the girls' with an idea of having t-shirts made.
I didn't want to wear a costume since I kept envisioning the chafe factor. You know--too tight anything and the 1/2 marathon would be miserable.
We came up with a logo--Taste Life. Well, we borrowed it from the Brian Thompson Foundation. I had talked to Shari about it prior to definitely agreeing to it with the girls. I mean, when you think about, that is precisely what we were doing....tasting life. Running, traveling, drinking wine and creating memories with friends. IT was the way to describe the Healdsburg Half Marathon.
I have a friend that makes t-shirts and he agreed to printing them off for us. He told me that it would take a day.
I believed him.
While I waited for the Goddess to use her contact to make a wine bottle image, I kept my friend in the loop knowing that we had to have the shirts in x-amount of days.
Monday, I called said friend, hoping to connect and get his e-mail information. That way I could e-mail him the images. He did not respond.
I waited. And waited and waited.
I ran into a mutual friend and asked her if she had spoken to him lately. According to her, he had been working, nonstop, since Sunday. Texting would be the way to go since he would respond to a text.
This morning, I reached out to him, via text, and immediately got this response--my life sucks and I cannot deal with this right now.
There is more to that story but I do not need to elaborate on his life.
Bottom line, I should of been researching screen printers on my own. I ended up doing it myself, anyways.
And, he probably wouldn't have been able to get me a deal. I would have paid more going through him since, of course, I would have thanked him, somehow, in a financial fashion.
I am waiting to see the finished product. Happy that it will be soon. Countdown to Healdsburg--9 days.....

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Paso Robles

Northward bound.
35 miles.
That was it. But, still, it took me awhile.
I exited and headed into the wine country of the central coast. I wanted to stop by Justin. I am a fan of Isoscyles.
I mentioned it to my boss since I knew that Justin Winery was in the area. He told me that it was overrated.
Still, I wanted to go to Justin.
Overrated or not, I was familiar with their wine.
Heading west on the 46, I passed numerous wineries. No mention of Justin Winery and since I had not written down their number, nor had directions to their winery, I was at a loss. Committed to driving, aimlessly, around the central coast wine region.
I passed 4 Wines and felt something. I felt that was the place to purchase wine. Yet, I continued on 46 to Justin. I continued, and continued and kept going until I reached the Hwy 1. I saw signs for Harmony, CA, and knew that I needed to turn around.
Of course, I am narcisstic. Yes, I could buy my cousin and his wife a bottle of Harmony wine and feel okay with it.
Or, I could turn around and find a bottle of wine at 4 Vines and know that this was the one.
So, I did.
I turned around and went to 4 Vines. AMAZING.
I did the wine tasting and was happy. I bought Jason and Lynsey a bottle of Heretic and for myself, opted, for a bottle of Monarchy--a blend of Petit Verdot and Malbec--awesome. I love 4 Vines.
I am so ready for the girls' trip out to Napa. Cannot wait!
In Paso, as I drove around, aimlessly, I kept thinking about my life in Denver. I love Denver. Truly, I do.
But, wine amazing would it be to live there?
Paso Robles was awesome.
I returned to Santa Barbara and had a lovely meal in my hotel room. As much as I wanted to enjoy a meal in SB, I was exhausted. I needed to sleep. I was lame.
Paso was amazing. I regret not spending my additional day in Cali there.
Another time................................

Monday, October 18, 2010

Food choices

This past year, I have eaten KFC, Pizza Hut and IHOP. The latter two were in the same week in fact. Before that, I have no idea that last time I have eaten at any of these restaurants. Yes, I am a food snob. Freely, I can and do admit that. Rarely do I eat fast food. I am healthy in most respects.
There are times, though, when I go along with others. I ate KFC while on a boat in the Bahamas. We had snorkeled and I basted in the sun. I needed substenance and that chicken tasted amazing. I couldn't believe how fantastic it was.
While in the midwest with my little sister and dad, we had pizza hut. I think mostly since it was convenient, simple and a no-brainer. Everyone loves pizza, right?
On Sunday, my aunt and her boyfriend picked me up and drove me to my car. First, we had breakfast at IHOP. I wouldn't have chosen it, ever, but I was with them and again, it was a convenient choice. Since we were in a college town, I knew they had other options, but I didn't stress over it.
We walk in to the crowded restaurant and wait. Our server was overwhelmed with 7 tables. He was moving fast, but I was in need of food. I ordered an omelette and small talked my aunt. The one upside of IHOP's menu was they listed all of the calories in individual dishes. I chose one of the healthier options.
Insanely crowded with impatient people. I watched this one woman approach our mutual server and say that in no way was she happy with his service or the fact that they were still waiting for their food. She was annoying and wrong. The entire restaurant was full and everyone was waiting for their food. It wasn't just their table. When restaurants are full to capacity, the kitchen is overwhelmed and everyone waits for food. A common occurrence that is blamed on the server.
I digress.
Breakfast ended and we drove to the Ranch. As we approached the venue, I was so thankful that I opted to take the bus to SLO instead of driving the previous night. I don't know how others drove down the windy, unlit, road.

Wedding in SLO

Saturday, I flew to Santa Barbara to attend my cousin's wedding in San Luis Obispo. Initially, I was on the fence with whether or not I wanted to go. I had bought tickets to see my dad in Kansas and I have the big 1/2 Marathon coming up in a few weeks. Flying to Santa Barbara seemed unlikely due to previous planned travel.
But, my aunt e-mailed me and asked me I would be attending the wedding.
I thought about it and knew that if I didn't go, there would be no other family from his mom's side of the family. And, it was could I say no to a trip to Cali? Wine country, olives, seemed like a no-brainer.
Plus, I had seen Jason three times in the last 10 years. I saw him a few times while visiting a friend that lived in Santa Barbara. And, I took a road trip of the western states and spent the night at his house with his brother, Scott, and Scott's wife, Kelly. We had dinner at the brewery and drinks at the James Joyce.
I knew him. I wanted to support him and be part of the celebration.
So, I closed Friday night. I rechecked my bags, made sure that I had my tickets and set my alarm. I was concerned that I would be sleep deprived but I was excited about my trip to the Central Coast.
I drove to SLO. I had a few hours to kill before going to the wedding. I drove around the college town. I love college towns--the energy of them. They are filled with idealism, possibility, hope. I wanted more time to check it out but wanted to arrive, promptly, at 3 pm.
The wedding took place at Tiber Canyon Ranch. A beautiful venue. Exceptional, really. Wine was available the entire event. I was in heaven, but trying to be smart. The road to Tiber Canyon Ranch was windy and unlit. I did not look forward to the drive back to the hotel.
The ceremony was short (thank god) and afterwards, photos were taken with family and people mingled. Hors doerves were passed and tables were set up with multiple olive oils to sample. In all honesty, I was enjoying myself. I spoke to my aunt, my cousin and met other guests and the staff at the wedding. I used to cater and so I was interested in how this company worked.
Eventually, Kelly, Scott's wife, told me that I should take the bus with the other guests to SLO and continue to drink with them. She even encouraged me to ask my aunt for a ride back to the ranch in the morning. I concurred. And, it enabled me more one on one time with my aunt. Breakfast was arranged and I had a way home safely. I knew that I wanted to continue to drink wine and not be concerned with my drive home.
We convinced the driver to drop us off in downtown SLO. I was grateful since I knew that it was near my hotel. We went to some club where they had bottle service. I think there were 15 of us that continued the wedding party. I danced. And danced and danced. It was great.
At this point, I was drinking vodka. I like vodka--always have. I have calmed down on my consumption since vodka, to me, is like tequila for most people. It makes me crazy! I drink wine now. Vodka is a rarity in my diet.
Saturday night, it was the only option since I was with the group. I could tell that I was reaching my limit and so I convinced one of Scott's friends to call me a cab. I waited outside for the cab. I waited and waited and waited.
Irritated, I decided to start walking. I had to be close to my hotel. I had driven around San Luis Obispo and figured that I was close to my bed.
I started walking and sensed someone behind me. I look up and there is this solitary guy walking my way. Inebriated, irrational and full of crime tv shows--CSI, Law & Order, The Wire--I run into a 7/11 and ask the clerk to call a cab for me.
She dials the number, waits for a split second and hangs up. I asked her to call again and she smarted off to me that I could call with her phone.
The cab doesn't answer and instead of purchasing the necessary Gatorade for morning relief, I storm out of the store.
I know. I was short-sighted on my decision to not wait for the cab. But, I knew that I needed to leave. It was in my best interest to go to the hotel and not drink any more vodka or wine. I was exhausted due to lack of sleep, flying and then the wedding.
I made it back to the hotel--safe--no encounters with random scary men. I watch too much tv....even Nip/Tuck has episodes that create fear in my mind when traveling, alone. Seriously. When I saw that guy, I freaked out, a little. I had this need to be in a cab.
I walk home, in Denver, but it is my home and I feel comfortable, here.
In SLO, inspite of the fact that I had driven around the town, I still felt extremely uncomfortable with my surroundings. I had no concept of direction. I had a general sense that I was heading the right way, but I could have easily gotten detoured.
Nevertheless, I arrived, safe at the hotel. I woke up, early, Sunday morning, wishing that I had Gatorade......

Monday, October 11, 2010

Lap top confused

In Kansas and have access to computer--Thank God!
My lap top is confused or so I would like to think.
Actually, I think, I broke the on/off button due to unhappiness with situation at hand. I talked to my computer guy and he looked at lap top.
Within seconds, he deduced--I should take it in to a shop. He could fix it, but it required him taking it apart.
I should see what they can do with it...if it is fixable and under $100. Otherwise, I am being "jacked" around.
Since I am in Kansas, I will have to postpone lap top fixing.
I miss my blog/writing/cyber stalking other blogs/etc....Granted, I could blog at Sara's house. Well, I prefer to write in private. Her house isn't an option.
Work is too public. Do I want them to know how insane I think they are???....Not so much. Again, blogging isn't an option there.
Or, I can drive to my aunt's house and hope that it is vacant. I am not creative while other people are in my space. Distracted, I log off and think of upcoming travel, food, bloggy things, etc. I miss my connection to the internet. I consider when I can/will be able to write out my thoughts.
Right now, I wanted to remember what it was like to blog. So, I convinced my dad that I Must use his internet tonight.
I am way too dependent on the internet.
I know this.
I am visiting family, running friendly, coordinating winery visits and dreaming of the day my lap top is functioning again.
Enjoy your night....Happy Columbus Day!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Positive outcomes

This training cycle has produced different outcomes than last year's.
First of all, I am more comfortable as a runner. If I wake up, hungover (yes, this happens from time to time---I am a wine drinker) I still get up and go. Whereas, last year, I was able to talk myself out of the run. I found multiple reasons why I should remain in bed/on the couch, with gatorade and nursing the self-induced state. I could go later. I will go tomorrow. I will go longer if I do not go today.
Second, I have more running dates. Yay--for running with others! There is the Goddess. Although, since she isn't training for anything, we can be extremely lazy. Or, I feel lazy. I know I can talk her into a walkabout instead of staying the course.
Sara Jo is a new runner and so she is fun to run with...always wanting to go, go farther, faster, pushing me, myself, to better myself.
Jamie, from Team in Training, and I have reconnected. I saw her at the Georgetown-Idaho Springs 1/2 and it motivated me to seek her out. We live near each other and she is a consistent pacer. On time and always up for a run. Each week, I know, that I can plan a running date with Jamie.
Now, there is Grady, who I ran with a few Saturdays ago--the Barefoot Runner. I think I can learn to appreciate running in a different way from running with him. Maybe I will try barefoot running.
I am realizing that I am truly benefitting from each person's unique sense of style when it comes to running and I am developing my own. I feel amazing!
There is more opportunity to travel with running. I love Destination Races and hope to do a few next year. I haven't been to Moab. I am fairly certain there is a race there that would be enticing. Or, International Races would be awesome. My friend, Shar, lives in the Bahamas and her boyfriend is a runner that has done the Bahamas Marathon. Wouldn't that be amazing? Run the race and reward self with water like glass post race. I think I would plan on a two week recovery there. Fully utilize the healing effects of water. And, potential for tan, snoreling, friendship.
Yes, I am seeing changes in myself that are more positive in regards to running. I am still a student but passing on my knowledge to new runners and other friends that questioning this path of health. I guess I am resourceful....