Sunday, January 27, 2008

Weekend Getaway

Before I left for California, Jeff and I celebrated his birthday with a trip to the Gold Lake Resort. See the picture below...not exactly how it looks in winter but just imagine the scene with a frozen lake and lots of snow everywhere. It was beautiful, and we had an amazing time.

To start off the weekend I went for a swim, not in a frozen lake, back in a pool, heated pool, in Boulder. Then we went up skate skiing in Eldora for most of the day at about 3pm we headed over to the resort to make sure we were in time for our couples massage. After the massage, we headed out to the natural hot springs right along the lake. Treking around the resort on the icy roads was a bit scary but once safely ensconced in the hot pools it was well worth the risk. After a nice soak, we got ready and went to enjoy our 3 course dinner. The food and wine was spectacular...the venison and the onion soup Jeff choose were terrific as was his wine selection and I am ususally one to really enjoy wine but this one was very good.
The next day, we went on a snowshoe in the morning; it was a nice and mellow with some good views of the indian peaks and peaks in the rocky mt. national park. We got back into Boulder about 1:30 and had to rush back home when I retrieved my cell messages and was notified that I had a bit less than 2 hours to report for an out of competitions drug test. It made the end of our weekend a bit abrupt; despite this it was still a great last getaway before I had to leave for training camp in California. I am definitely missing my boys now and look forward to visiting sometime in February.

I am traveling west....

The road trip with Mary from Boulder out to California was fun and speeding tickets, no spilled coffee, no cat fights....just pee stops every 90 to 120 minutes. We had a great time, and it flew by as we swapped off the driving every 3 to 4 hours or every other pee break. I am hoping to get some pictures up to highlight the key moments during the get excited to see those. We spent the night in Sin City and opted not to stay on the strip but paid extra to get a nice room away from all the madness where we got in a quick run, dinner, American Idol, and bed. The next morning, we got an early start and made it to Santa Monica by lunch in time for our afternoon swim workout. Unbelievably, I had a great swim workout...the 6K flew by and the 1:15s in a meter pool felt easy. I boil it down to the road trip taper; I highly recommend driving 17 hours - 13 one day then 4 the next - heading straight to the pool and you're guaranteed to swim PBs. Sometimes, the body does strange things but I won't complain when it gives me a good swim workout.
It is awesome to be in LA. Despite the rain which started the afternoon we arrived, I am very excited to get back into the groove of training with the group and to ride my bike outside and run without the fear of hitting a latent ice patch. I met my home-stay family and look forward to getting to know them over the next few months. Though I am going to miss my boys back in CO, I think this is going to be a very successful training camp and the start to a great year.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Not recommended for training

A few things that I have learned in the past few weeks......

Do not borrow your mom's ipod for a running workout....the songs went from Aretha to the B-52s to Bob Dylan to Snoop Dogg and Frank Sinatra. It was odd and shocking at the same time plus trying to run hard to old blue eyes isn't ideal.

Do not try to swim hard in the 90 degree YMCA pool enclosed in the 95 degree aquatic center without some nice ice cold water on deck. After a hard swim set, the only way to cool off is to pour the water directly onto your head.

Do not try to run on the Colorado trails after a messy snow left from a storm has started to melt. Either you risk running on ice and falling flat on your ass, which I have done - not fun at all, or you run through the shit-kicking mud that sticks to your shoes taking them from 8 ounces each to 5 lb shit-kickers. Just suck it up and run on the roads.

Do not eat the sausages and bacon wrapped scallops. They will not add in your training sessions the next day. And steer clear of the $60 pudding and canolis too just not a good idea.

And a final one courtesy of Marion Jones....
Do not cheat yourself. Whether it's simply backing down during a hard training session or doing something much worse. Not only is it not worth it, but it always catches up with you and you pay later. It just came out that Marion Jones will serve 6 months in jail for lying and cheating - more that Lindsey and Paris combined- if that isn't incentive to stay clean then maybe your integrity is.

Happy Training!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008


I hope that everyone had a festive and fun holiday season and new year. My crazy holiday schedule was daunting, but everything went like clockwork. Jeff and I did the double this year - we hit both Boston and Rehoboth for Christmas. The two flight legs from Denver to Chicago then on to Providence were a bit scary; it was a windy day and both landing were made at 45 degrees angled into the wind with the plane shuddering the whole way in...these shaky affairs made us a bit nervous. We flew Southwest which I love because it seems like they always get me there on all the years I have flown with them I only had one flight canceled that I can remember. We arrived on-time and in one piece, woo-hoo. Most of Jeff's extended family live in or near Bridgewater Massachusetts just outside Boston; I had a great time meeting the extended family and enjoyed spending more time with his parents. It seemed like our time there flew by...but we were able to get in some great messy trail runs and swam at the local club a few times. I had no idea the number of state parks in the area and was very impressed with the terrain though with the leftover snow and ice it wasn't the ideal time to run there.
After our trip to Boston; we headed down to Rehoboth. I always love going home and enjoyed taking Jeff there finally after he dodged the bullet last year by doing his snow dance. We had a fun time celebrating a belated Christmas with my extended family. Before Jeff returned to Denver, we also visited my good friend Ashley and Antonio in Bethesda and were able to meet their new son Lorenzo who is busy getting big and strong in the NICU. They moved back from South Africa this summer, and it is always such a pleasure to spend time with them.
Then, Jeff flew back to Denver on New Years Eve, and I spent an extra week in Delaware so that I could attend my sister-in-law Cindy's baby shower. During my extra week in Delaware, I managed to squeeze in some good base training around all the family outings. I swam in the 90 degree water at the YMCA, which is always fun - nothing like trying to swim hard when you body just wants to lull around in the hot bathtub-like water. But, other than the Y, the weather was great for running, and I even got to bike outside a few times. I was also able to catch up with my good friend Shan from high school; she too caught the pregnancy bug and is expecting her first in April. We met up in Easton and had a nice relaxing lunch and chatted about her wedding this past summer. She always has the craziest stories - only her wedding inn would have Michael Jackson refusing to leave and causing a scene and umbrella shortage before her rehearsal. The end of my trip culminated with the baby shower for Cindy; my mom and aunt did an amazing job with all the food and was amazing. My mom got tons of kudos for her various stratas, her cupcakes, and of course the homemade diaper cake; my contribution, the pumpkin chocolate bread pudding, also received some nice praise. It was sad to leave home, but I was also excited to get back to D-town and my two favorite men.

Painting with Amos

Before Christmas, I was forced to take some time off...that is my least favorite part of the season every year. It is always a nice treat to sit around for the first few days; then I start to get antsy and want to do some sort of activity. Luckily, the 2 weeks went by fast as I was busy around the house doing some painting and cleaning with the help of my trusty sidekick, Jeff's dog Amos. To be truthful, Amos is a 14 year old brittany spaniel and wasn't much help with either task. But his moral support, aka peaceful snoring, was quite reassuring while I was painting the entryway, kitchen, and dining room various shades from a soft muted gray to a tangy mustard, and subdued wine shade. While I fussed and fretted about the color and my lack of skills, it was a calming influence to watch the old guy just sleeping away the day on the couch. During the cleaning, Amos was a bit more active following me from room to room as I struggled with the steam cleaner he would jump out of the way at the last second. Finally, he tired of the cleaning too and retired to snore away on the couch. But Amos wasn't so happy when I waxed our hardwood floors. The poor guy sleeps there sometimes and now has trouble getting all his feet under him; just as one foots starts to get purchase and the rest will slip out so he'll fall back onto his stomach with all four feet in the air. Between our chores, Amos and I take long walks, and I get to pick up all his little packages. But I can't complain; it has been a treat to have a companion to help keep me entertained and make the 2 weeks of rest go by faster. I need to get a picture of my favorite helper up on the blog...I'll see if I can find a glamour shot from his younger days.