Sunday, August 15, 2010

Reset with a Blog-fest weekend!

This past weekend started a couple months back when some bloggers wanted to try to gather for a weekend of a little girl love, running, and high altitude training (ok, I just threw that in for a little arm twisting to come to Colorado). Nowhere better than right here in my own backyard, and so we picked the Georgetown to Idaho Springs Half Marathon to be our destination. One of my FAVORITE half marathons. It starts high up in the mountains and runs along side a roaring stream and loses about 1000' in its 13 mile adventure. Gorgeous, but it's not super easy; it is what I consider a "rolling downhill" course and finishes about 25 degrees warmer than it starts when that sun comes up over the canyon walls and heats that course up. But thankfully, it never hits those atrocious temps some of y'all been enduring this summer (I still have no idea how you run in that stuff) - gotta love the high country. I love the quickness of this course with his downhill advantage, yet just enough uphills to not trash your quads to shreds. My PR on this course is 1:44:21, which was last year - I was in pretty prime shape then. I had hoped to smash that time this year (even by 1 second :) ), but my damn heel has other plans and I did not run it. Still....as official "Event Coordinator" of blog-fest weekend, I think it was a major success.

Thursday night, Marcia rolled into town from her digs in Chicago for a detox from her crazy life at home, escape the oppressive Midwest heat and humidity and spend some high-quality time with none other than MOI! Alright, a couple other bloggie souls, too. Katie A. was not able to make it, unfortunately, but all others who initially started this journey were there. Yay!! Marcia and I went downtown for a little dinner, conversations, and a quick tour of the Denver skyline. Very fun to catch up on life since our last visit in Boston.

Friday morning brought us lounging around in the morning, trying unsuccessfully to get her in to 24-hour Fitness for free (that place drives me crazy sometimes), and then packing up the car and heading over to pick up Tara , who played hookie a little early from work so we could get an early start to Idaho Springs (about 45 minutes from Denver) for race packet picked up. Then it was time to met up with that crazy chick, Shana, and her hubby who were in from the Midwest also, to gorge ourselves with some mile-high pizza pie from Beau Jo's. Isn't that pizza just screaming yum-ness???

And here us lovely ladies are, (Shana, Marcia, Tara, Me) all fueled up with carbs and ready to run (aside from me, I just carb'd up .... and expanding since I'm not expending those calories. Unlike!!). Lunch was so fun, we laughed so much and everyone just got along exceptionally well (I'm the only one who has met all these fab ladies, the rest of them had never met one another. I'm so blessed!! Shana I met this spring when she was here for the Bolder Boulder, Marcia I met in Boston and spent most of a day together, and Tara...well, we live close by and go to the pool frequently and make fun of ourselves for our excessive talking and little swimming).

After lunch, we tried to drive the course but it was mostly blocked off for vehicles due to construction but I think they got a feel for how the course was. Here we in at Georgetown Lake, the start of the big race tomorrow. Tara's not much of an attention seeker, is she?

After this picture, Shana and her husband (who, btw, is super nice and was being very patient with us crazy chicas) left for a hike while Marcia, Tara and I headed about 25 minutes West to the town of Silverthorn, where we were spending the night at my friend's condo. This little brainiac idea of mine saved us about 2 hours in the morning by not having to drive to the race start from Denver....plus it gave Marcia some time in the high country where Tara and I are just so freaking blessed to live.

We headed into the cute little historic town of Breckenridge for dinner where we ate more carbs (why I'm subjecting myself to all their carbs and calories, I'm not sure. But it's going to have to STOP. Grrrr) and walked some around this quaint little town loaded with charm. The pic below isn't from our trip - even at 9600', you don't often see this much snow in mid-August, but this I like the picture.
Early to bed, not much sleep, and early to rise on Saturday to get the girls out the door and to the start line. Woohoooo! Tara was having some stomach issues but I told her to suck it up and get on that start line! Pep taks are an acquired skill, obviously. The porta potty lines at this race are totally insane; people were 20 deep still when they announced the 2-minute start so out of potty line they came with full bladders and are now lined up to race. Look at them holding it in at the start!! (Mr. Garmin is more obsessed with his watch than his the hot chicks holding their bladders in front of him, he obviously doesn't know what he's missing).
The gun goes off, the girls go their merry way, and thankfully I hear no more whining from Tara for a couple hours.

I hung out with Shana's husband for a couple miles as the race circles back to the start line and you're able to see the racers again at mile 2. We were able to see all here and cheer them on, then we headed to about the half way point to try to do some more cheerleading. But the race runs on a trail across the river here so it was impossible for them to hear us amongst the roar of the river. But I did manage to see Tara run by before I thought it best to head down to the finish line in Idaho Springs as I knew parking in this tiny town would be atrocious for the 3000 of those running and I didn't want to miss anyone.

First to cross the finish line was Beth coming in about 1:47. Yahoo, Bethie. I was standing with the masses, about 30' from the finish line. Though I wasn't particularly sad I wasn't running this race at the beginning, I felt a pretty sharp pain watching those runners giving it their all as they crossed that finish line. Not being able to run was definitely having an affect on me....and not in a good way. Soon I saw Tara come in around 1:57 and here I left my viewing spot to join her at the end so I wouldn't lose her in the sea of runners on the football field. Not long after we found Marcia and Shana - the two flatlanders survived without oxygen tanks and rocked that race course!! I was sooo proud of everyone. We eventually ran into Beth and got all chatted up about the race and whatnot and snapped this doozie of all those awesome runners:
Beth's husband, Ken, Beth, Tara, Marcia and Shana. Way to go guys,!!! What an awesome day (and entire weekend!!) with awesome company!
I'm not sure how I got so lucky in my life to have such fabulous women in my life, but I have. And I hope I will never take them for granted. No, I can't run right now, and yes that's just about killing me, but these girls may not realize it but their hard work on this race is motivating me. Tara had stomach
problems at the start, Marcia and Shana were running in about 1/2 the oxygen than they're used to - yet no one give up, despite them wanting to. When I see the girls all happy with exhaustion, it's making my bummed-out self a little more pumped to turn my excess poundage from looking like it's current blob state to the right to a much more desirable state like that at the left (oh yea!!). More bad news with the insurance on Friday left me sleepless for nights and eating my way though half of Colorado -- and not really caring that much. Yes, I had another setback with the heel and my insurance (more later this week on that) but I am tired of feeling sorry for myself. My pathetic attempt at what little exercise I have been doing since SF has been nothing short of an "excuse." The old me never cared much for excuses. The old me needs to find herself again. These wonderful ladies did not give up and I will not either.
It's time to hit the reset button and make some changes in my world. Just because I can't run right now, I CAN make myself a better me. I can see the potential for something better awakening - thank you ladies, you have truly inspired me and it was a blast to hang with you this weekend!!
I am sooo behind on blogs and am back to work on Tuesday....but I WILL be catching up in the next couple days. Promise.
Be strong, friends! Be strong!

56 comments:

misszippy said...

Sounds like SO much fun! Wish I could have joined you guys for it. And seriously, hats off to the flat-landers--that could not have been easy. Hats off to you too, b/c it was probably just as tough to sit it out.

Leah B. said...

Those pictures are amazing and the town looks beautiful! I bet it was hard sitting out but at least you got to spend time with fellow runners! I hope your heel gets better soon!

ann said...

amazing pics! i hope your heal gets better quick. great weekend!

Mark said...

Great post, Jill. Sounds like a wonderful time, hope your heel gets better, soon. I know exactly what you are going through.....you will be back!

Teamarcia said...

Thanks again for fabulous weekend--oxygen or not! It was beyond fun and you were such a good sport about your heel. Major bummer on the ins. but I know you will overcome and be back better than ever.

C2Iowa said...

Sounds and looks like an awesome weekend. Nice job to the coordinator and everyone who was able to run.

Sorry about the insur. co. -- if you are able to "adapt, improvise and overcome".

marathonmaiden said...

definitely some wonderful women! i'm so jealous of all the fun you got to have :)

hope the heel bounces back fast! and that it's not too much a hassle with insurance!

onebadrunner said...

so glad you put this together. it was the perfect weekend to end the summer and get ready for fall racing season.
you're going to be great for RnR!
Love You!

onebadrunner said...

ps - i'm squatting in most pictures!
what's my problem??

Laura said...

What a great weekend! Good job on changing the negative talk...Been there that is for sure.

ShutUpandRun said...

What a great recap and I'm sorry I missed the festivities leading up to the race. Jill, I know things will get easier. I just know it. Not being able to run and watching others do it is the ultimate expression of love in my book. You are a dear and devoted friend and an inspiring and strong runner. You will come back for this and will be even more dedicated and strong for it.

Andrew Opala said...

you had me at the pizza

Christi said...

Wow, it looks like you had a great time with your blogger friends! I am sorry that you could not run but I understand where you are coming from. I have not had the summer I expected this year but I am working towards resolving that.

Have a great week!

Anne said...

Loved hearing about all you wonderful women getting together...I would love to meet you all! :)

Ugh about the heel...you're doing the right thing giving it time off...but, I know you'll get yourself back in shape...so that when you can run, you'll be flying!

Run Jess Run said...

That sounds like a super fun weekend with some super fun people!

Katie A. said...

I'm so sad I didn't get to join in the fun! :( Sounds like you ladies had a blast!

I'm sorry I haven't had a chance to get back to you - really. And calling me out here on the blog really isn't cool.

If you hadn't noticed I'm in the middle of some big changes right now, all the while trying to train. I have a ton on my plate and I would hope you could understand that it isn't about you it's what is going on with me right now. I'm sorry I can't be more attentive right now - I promise it will get better!

Slomohusky said...

fun meet up! yet maybe i missed something? i know you had heel issues, but never read any diagnosis or treatment for it. what's going on with the heel?

onelittletrigirl said...

Looks like such a fabulous time!!!

And I love love the photos :)


Good luck with the next few weeks- getting back into the swing is always crazy!

AM-GoalsfortheWeek said...

I just read Marcia's post and I'm jealous!! That is such a great weekend. What better way to do a half, than w/other cool bloggy gal peeps who all share a love for running!

AM-GoalsfortheWeek said...

oh, and just read the last part of your post again..sorry about the insurance issue? ugh. take care of YOU;-)

Marlene said...

Sounds like it turned out to be a fantastic weekend. Yay bloggy meet-ups!!!

ajh said...

Oh no what is the new setback with the heel? It sounds like you had a great weekend with all of these ladies! I totally get the envy of the others as you watched. I am getting worried about my upcoming relay! I tried 2 miles this weekend. Okay. Tried 1 the next day. NOt okay. Just took my bike for a tune up. It is going to be comparable to the cost of the birth of my first child. I have to say though I am LOVING the bike. Don't feel it is the same workout at all - at least the way I ride - but hey it is something. Keep in touch on your heel. I will be curious what you find out. I expected more things sooner from not running. I thought my heel would just say, "Why thank you Andrea for that little break. Now let's do some miles again!" Not so much!

Emz said...

yay for meet-ups!

So much fun!

Love the pictures!!

T.C. said...

What fun, what fun! I know it's hard to sit out but hanging with your running buddies will keep pulling you forward! You'll be back at it before you know it!

lindsay said...

Gee thanks for the invite!! And I thought we were friends... ;-) I'm definitely not sharing my maxed-out insurance with you anymore!

No just kidding. You can still take advantage of my met-deductible. Healthcare screws us over so much it's time we pay then back :) Seriously though, sorry that you're still having physical pain as well as pains from insurance. At least you had a fun weekend to distract you for a bit?

Irene said...

It looks like you all had a wonderful time!

*Laughing over the potty line picture!*

Jennifer said...

Wow, what a great time! You are such a saint for getting everyone together and making an event out of it. Sorry about your heal, insurance companies are such over-stuffed pigs!

Tara said...

GIrl, you are going to rest up, take care of that foot and then come back better then ever! I know it was tough watching us out there when you couldn't race, but you are such a great friend for dragging us all over the place. Hang in there, you'll be back.

Whine? ME whine? No way, that was just "constructive complaining".

Melissa said...

So glad y'all had a good time. That pizza looks ten shades of awesome.

Tina @GottaRunNow said...

Fun times! Wishing you'll be out there running soon!

NY Wolve said...

we often drive from Denver to Aspen, and go right through Idaho Springs (a Starbucks there). That is a pretty tough place to run a half marathon for flatlanders for sure.

As for your heel, hope it gets better. Don;t do as I did when I was hurt, eat drink and be a sloth that set me back at least three months once my foot was better. Previously, I had resolved that the next time I was hurt, I would lift weights in down time. I didn't. I wish I had, for sure....

Runners Fuel said...

Looks like a ton of fun!

DRog said...

Whats with all the snow? ahhhh ...just the names make me drool: Georgetown / Idaho Springs, Breck, Silverthorn...when I was a student at CSU a Summit County Ski pass was $300 and the Vail pass waz $150 (of course we would get both)- I miss those places!! Love BeauJoe's...

yes...do Find the old you! Yes You Can!
-Derek

Adam said...

NICE! gotta love blogger meetups. We're still on for pre-RnR Denver right?

That pizza looked AMAZING!

I'm with you, cheering is SUPER fun, but it is honestly a bit sad when they finish that you couldn't be there with them. Next time.

Ellison said...

The only thing that pizza pic is missing is the required coffee ice cream that follows it....Nice post!

Anne said...

Other than the fact you couldn't run, this sounds like an ideal Girls Weekend. I really hope the insurance issue is resolved soon. It's hard enough healing without that added hassle. Stay strong!

Beth said...

Jill-

I feel your pain, I have wanted to do this race for months and had to sit it out because of a knee injury. I went and cheered my hubby on who did awesome, but it was very painful to watch and not participate. I was even jealous of his tired sore legs (starting to think I am crazy). I have similar goals to take of some excess weight while I can't run so I can come back stronger and faster. I hope you have a speedy recovery!

Rad Runner said...

What a fabulous summer your having!!!!!!!!!
Yummy, everything just seems some yummy! From the food to the fun times! keep it UP! :)

Molly said...

well I'm glad that one of you guys posted a photo of the pizza!!!! Jealous of your meetup!! : )

sorry about the heel setback...hope everything works out.

Heather said...

Looks like a great weekend, so much fun! Hope your heel gets better soon so you can get back out there. :)

Suzy said...

It sounds like you had a wonderful girls weekend! I hope you can figure out the heel issue so you can get back running without pain sooner as opposed to later.

Abby said...

That pizza dough looks sooo good right now...

Sounds like a great weekend!

HappyTrails said...

I WANT that pizza!!! Did you use the honey on the crust??? My mouth is watering for Beaujos pizza! Wish we could have met you all for lunch - it would have been so fun. Keep your chin up - keep up your swimming, biking, and gym work as it will keep you in decent shape for you to spring back into running down the road. The new Triathlete magazine (a couple on the front) has some great articles in it this month for cross training through an injury, the psychology of dealing with and injury, and other good stuff. Pick it up! I hammered myself on the long, super technical descent of our run yesterday (13 miles, 6400 ft drop, LOTS of continuous rocks) and my hips, glutes, and IT are shredded. I couldn't run a step the last 4 miles of our 19 miles. I guess I need to start a specific strengthening routine! I hope I can run the rest of the week! Yikes! Have a great rest of your week!

ajh said...

Do you have my email?
It is ajhatgmavt.net

I would love to know more about your heel.

LMC said...

You have a big heart! Here you are cheering running friends while you are not able to run and are dealing with other issues. Things will get better and you'll be back stronger, I have no doubt. Hang in there and we'll stay with you!!
BTW, that pizza looks awesome!!

Jamie said...

Sounds like a fantastic weekend with friends! Hope the heel problems are figured out soon so you can join everyone on the race course next time.

All Things Jaime said...

Sounds like such a great weekend and that pizza looks amazing!!

Glenn Jones said...

Wow! What a great time! I've heard a lot about Silverton - but never been. In fact, the only time I've been to Colorado is when I'm connection at DIA. But a HM with a 1000' net downhill? Hmm....

Sherri said...

What a total BLAST!!!

Julie said...

Hi Jill,
OMG, how did I miss this post!?! I got back from vacation and my life is a total freaking catch up game:) This was so fun to read! You are so lucky to have met all of those blogger pals:) Great pictures and lots of fun!

You need to come to Minnesota and do a race here...you would kick some bigg time butt because of the extra oxygen:)

Happy Friday Jill!

Abby said...

Thanks for your note, Jill - good luck with the start of school!

And use a sharp knife when cutting off that heel - wouldn't want any unnecessary added pain ;)

Petraruns said...

You're such a lovely person to support your buddies like this Jill - and we ARE on the fitness trail together you and I. Every day is a new day so let's get going!

Black Knight said...

Very nice post with wonderful pics. It sounds like a beautiful week end. That pizza looks like the italian one. You cannot believe but in this moment my daughter has come asking: "dad would you like a slice of pizza"?

mizuno wave said...

Great post there, I like the pictures too. It is that the event has lot of fun and excitement.

TX Runner Mom said...

Sounds like an awesome time!

Tricia said...

so fun!