Small Town Living

I grew up in Washington, DC. A small city, in many ways, but a city nonetheless. I had museums and monuments. Restaurants and bars (that I started going to way too young I might add). But most of all I had culture. A melting pot mecca of art, humans, music and more.

Moving to Tampa in my early twenties was an adjustment. It was a city but it wasn’t. Downtown after 5 p.m. was a ghost town and the Florida suburban sprawl meant most people just commuted back to their little cookie cutter subdivisions complete with self-contained nightlife. I never felt at home in any of the areas I lived in with the exception of the small town feel of Davis Islands.

I have to admit, the plan to move to a town of 9,000 made me a little nervous. Though I was in love with the beauty of Evergreen from the moment we stumbled upon it last summer, living here was bound to be a tad bit different than I was used to and I secretly kept the mere thirty minute drive to Denver in the back of my mind as emergency escape. We’ve been here right about a month now and it’s been a whirlwind. If I was worried I’d be bored, I was wrong to be. From the abundance of incredible trails to the surprising calendar of town sponsored events, we’ve been pretty much nonstop with no need to go “down the hill” to the big city.

Over the next few days, I’ll be catching up on some tales of what we’ve seen and done. From the Dam Duck Derby to moving the teenager into her CU Denver Dorm I’ve been anything but bored. But first today we’re heading off to the Evergreen Fine Arts Festival for just another beautiful day in small town America.



Evergreen Town Race 10k

A couple months ago I registered both me and Don for the Evergreen Town Race 10k. We weren’t sure exactly what day we were going to get to Colorado but our goal was early August so why not? Personally I thought it would be a great way to see our new town from a slightly different vantage point and maybe even meet a few people as a bonus.

I’ve run twice since getting here a week ago, both just short four mile trail runs, and holy hell! I knew the elevation change would be an adjustment but I had no idea just how tough it would be. Evergreen sits at about 7,600 feet to start and the hills … Good God! My first run had about 800 feet of elevation gain and the second about 600. Nothing drastic really but in Florida I typically registered in the single digits. But the Evergreen Race was positioned as being all downhill. How hard could that be right?

Runners park at designated areas; one for the 5k’ers and one for the 10, and get bused to the respective race starts. We had about 45 minutes to kill after getting to the start but the weather was gorgeous, high 60s and overcast, and the surrounding area beautiful, so we just walked around a bit and chatted with a few people until race start.

I don’t usually run a lot of road. I far prefer the beauty of trails. But for a road race I can not complain at all. It was gorgeous! All downhill but nothing drastic. Just 453 feet of decent over the 6.2 miles (6.37 actually on my Garmin). Beautiful views and incredible houses with neighbors road side cheering us on.

All downhill was a little harder than I expected it to be. I definitely struggled with breathing. I tried to take most of the bigger downhills at a decent pace but walked from time to time as well. I came in a little over an hour. Serious SUCK. But I was lazy my last few months in Florida and now I’m lazy and oxygen deprived so I’ll take this as a starting point. Don, my non-running boyfriend beat me by about six minutes. Go figure.

We finished right by Evergreen Lake, a small lake right near the center of town where you can paddle board or kayak during the summer and ice skate come winter! I just still can’t believe that we live here now!

I have only one complaint from the day. I pre-registered with a shirt size selection. Small. But when I finally got to where we picked up our shirts at the finish, I had only medium or larger as an option. Not a huge deal as I really don’t often wear race shirts but I actually like this one! A cool retro design to reflect 40 years running.

We will definitely do this race again next year. Probably every year for as long as we live here. I’m curious to see how much we will improve after a year at these altitudes.