Running Social

Running saved my life. Well not literally but if you are one of the few lingering people who used to read my original MySpace blog (yup MySpace) you know I started running at a time I needed something for me. I was still somewhat newly divorced, with joint custody of my daughter, and desperately trying to figure out who I was if not a wife and full-time mother. I was numbing all my kid-free lonely nights with happy hours, bad dates and vodka. Lots of vodka. And I was getting far too complacent with it all when a friend’s fork in the road led me to the pavement.

Fast forward a decade. I’ve run multiple marathons and ultras. I tried and loved the tri thing and worked my way up to a half Ironman (a full is still bucket list!) I joined running groups and made amazing friends that turned running into happy hours and best of all somewhere on the trails I found me.

When we decided to move to Colorado, I was excited to find a running group and explore what I knew were going to be endless trail options. Running has no doubt become my social existence and it’s a great way to meet new people. But a couple years of not really giving running my all, followed by a last few Florida months of limited trail time led to my westward arrival a tad bit out of shape. And of course we have hills here! That I have to run UP … with almost no oxygen. I knew I needed to get over it but I admit I was embarrassed. Mortified to met up with a group only to have to walk way more than I could run. I got out on my own a few times but I was playing it safe with meadow trails and I really wanted company.

A few weeks ago I put a post on a local trail group looking for someone to help me keep from getting lost! Slowly. I got a lot of “welcome to Colorado” comments and one offer from a girl who lives nearby who was willing to show me some of her favorite local trails. I met up with Sarah a few days later and was thrilled that she didn’t mind humoring my need to hike most of the up hills. Since then we’ve run together a few more times and even got Don and Ellie out there with us one morning!

 

Today Sarah and I met up with the Denver Trail Runners. She’s run with them a couple times and was really eager to run the trails they were running. Though the group introduction was brief and the time it took before 90 percent of the group had left me in their dust even briefer, the run was amaze-balls! Seriously gorgeous. I can’t even begin to explain how much I love it here.

That’s me in the front. And when I say front I mean only in front of the couple people who were nice enough to bring up the rear with me. We were going down hill at this point. I know because I was actually running and not sucking wind trying to get up hill.

And this is me pretending that I’m running up the mountain and actually having fun doing so!

 

I know it will take time before I acclimate to the different environment but I’m done being embarrassed! I may be the caboose for awhile but it’ll definitely be worth it.

Dam Ducks

I’m going to try to catch up a bit on some of the awesome that we’ve experienced since we moved to Evergreen about a month ago. It seems there is always something to do and by the time I’m home and settled in I’m too tired to think.

Small town life has such cool little events and, so far, one of my favorites has been the Evergreen Dam Duck Derby. What is a duck derby you ask? It’s an annual festival put on by the town of Evergreen during which a firetruck drops thousands of numbered rubber duckies from above the Evergreen Dam. Then, as spectators run along side the creek, the ducks wind their way through town. Duck wranglers (awesome volunteers with rakes and sticks) wade through the waters ensuring ducks navigate rocks and branches to successfully reach  the finish line about half a mile downstream. Each numbered duck is sponsored by a town residents or visitor alike and the winning ducks bring cash prizes and gifts.

So much fun!

Seriously, I was so excited about this adorable event that it played into my planned arrival date. I wasn’t going to actually insist we rush the road trip but it was in the back of mind for sure. Thankfully, we got here with days to spare and there was no shortage of ways around town to be sure we could participate! From local stores to online, we were able to buy a duck package last minute.

The Duck Derby itself was just part of a small street festival that was more kid-catered than applied to us so we prefaced the drop with a couple local brews at Cactus Jacks, a cool creekside restaurant. We may have popped into one of our new favorite places, Revival Brews, for another as the ducks, and crowds of people, made their way downstream as well.

Our ducks didn’t win. Maybe they stopped for a drink along the way as well. lol. But I can’t complain. We supported our new town and had a great time doing so!

Watch the video I created (and forgive my absolutely horrible video skills!)