With our XTERRA Beaver Creek triathlon only two months away and still scheduled to happen both Mike and I spent a great deal of time this month getting in our biking, swimming, and running. Luckily Flying Horse opened up their swim lanes by reservation only on May 11th. We swam three days, biked twice and ran 3-4 times every week. We had fun swimming together and biking at Red Rocks, Stratton Open Space, Black Forest Section 16 and the occasional road bike on the Cottonwood Creek Trail. It has been nice to have a race to work towards, even though in the back of our minds we know at any time it could be cancelled. What’s even better is that we have been able to train together. I’m so glad Mike and I like doing the same things!
For Mike's birthday this year I booked a weekend away to Beaver Creek at the Park Hyatt for some relaxation and outdoor adventure. Since the weather was a bit colder than we had anticipated, we left our mountain bikes at home and planned on doing some hiking instead. We left on Thursday evening and got to the resort a little after 9pm. The hotel was exactly like I had remembered it a year ago with some slight updates to the lobby. We headed up to our room, which we got upgraded to a suite, and turned on a movie and ordered room service while Mike finished up some work from the day. It was nice to just sit and watch TV together before drifting off to sleep.
The next day it was so incredibly cold and snowing and so we decided to sleep in. We ate a very yummy breakfast in the hotel restaurant before walking over to the Allegria Spa to check out their services. We booked a massage for the following day and then grabbed our coats from our room so we could head to the village to do some shopping. We went into the various shops and didn't buy much except for a cute pair of ski socks for Madeline. We stopped at Rimini's for a warm ham and cheese sandwich and a Nutella and banana crepe. It all tasted so good. After a few more shops, and talking with some pretty great locals, we headed back in the hotel to grab our suits so we could spend some time in the outside jacuzzi. We love sitting outside in the jacuzzi when its cold and snowy outside. There is just something so magical about it all. The rest of the day was spent napping and relaxing before heading to dinner at Hooked which is a seafood restaurant. We ate the most delicious Japanese rolls. They were like no other rolls we had ever eaten. Then we headed out to find some yummy dessert. We decided to drive down to Vail to grab some dessert at a local Ale House. It wasn't quite up to par but that was ok because the fries we had were delicious. Then we headed back to the hotel and grabbed our free s'mores kit and headed up to the room to eat the chocolate and go to bed. It was much too cold to actually go outside to the fire pit and roast s'mores.
The next morning, we woke up to cold temperatures but sunny skies. We ate another fabulous breakfast and then headed out on our hike up to Bear Lake. We took the Bear Lake trail which followed the creek. It was awesome to be able to hear the creek alongside the trail almost all the way up to the lake. Most of the trail was snow covered with the snow that had fallen the day before. It was actually really great to hike in the snow. The hike up to the lake was relatively easy and we enjoyed being together. It was super peaceful up at the lake and we enjoyed playing with two little birds who enjoyed our crumbs. We decided to head back a different way and took the Overlook trail which had us venture across the various slopes. It was pretty spectacular hiking through dense forests before popping out on the open slopes only to cross and then hike once again through another set of trees. This went on for quite some time and eventually we lost count of how many sections we went through. As we looked at our watches it became clear that we needed to pick up the pace if we were going to make it back in time for our 3:00pm massages. At one point we actually started running on the trail when we could. With only 15 min before 3:00pm, we were getting desperate to find a short cut back. So, like idiots, we decided to get off the wooded trail, and just walk/run/slide down the last sloped mountain straight back to the hotel. It was kind of crazy going straight down the mountain. Mike used his hiking poles and glissaded down some of the snowier sections. We just laughed and laughed all the way down. We made it back to our room with only a few minutes to spare. We spent the rest of the afternoon getting pampered and then relaxing in the 5-Step Aqua Sanitas Water Sanctuary. It was the perfect way to unwind after our 8-mile hike. After showering and getting ready for the evening, we headed down to the bar in the lobby area and ordered the most amazing appetizer while we killed time waiting for our dinner reservation at Mirabelle's. We ordered the Cheese and Charcuterie Platter and it was DELICIOUS!!! Then it was off to Mirabelle's to eat some tasty French cuisine. It was the perfect way to end a pretty perfect day and a pretty fantastic getaway to Beaver Creek! Of course, it snowed throughout the night and when we woke up to go home it was all snow covered. That was pretty magical!
I really do think there is nothing quite like doing something fun with your spouse. Mike and I both love many of the same things. One of the things we love to do that is easy and pretty accessible from home is biking together. We have really tried to take advantage of this great weather to be outside together. We decided to head out on our road bikes to bike from our house all the way to Costco via the Cottonwood Creek trail and the Santa Fe trail. The only major roads we had to cross were Briargate and Union Blvd. We road Royal Pine from our house across Briargate and once we popped out onto Austin Bluffs, we got right onto the wide sidewalk which turned into the trail at Woodmen. We biked all the way through the new section (which is AWESOME) and stopped at the Crit Café at the Criterium bike store. It was so amazing to sit outside on the patio sharing a burger together. I couldn’t think of anywhere I would rather be than spending quality time with Mike. Thank you, Mike, for lighting up my life with adventure and your amazing presence.
Back in the spring I found out that Billy Joel was coming to Denver to perform in August. There was no way I was going to miss out on this opportunity to see one of my favorite singer/songwriters of all time. I grew up listening to Billy Joel and watching his incredibly fun and entertaining music videos on laser disc. I remember sitting with my brother, Greg, watching those laser discs over and over again. Since I didn’t delay in getting tickets I was able to get some pretty great seats on the floor. Mike and I ended up making a date getaway to Denver and spent the evening at the concert and then stayed at the Ritz Carlton for the night. We got upgraded to a suite which was awesome. Thank you Platinum American Express card! We ate dinner at Elway’s at the hotel and then headed on over to the concert at Coors Field. We were pleasantly surprised at how cool it was to be so close on the field with the floor seating. We walked around and got a closer look at the stage before the concert started. We’ve both been to many concerts, but I think this was probably one of my favorites. Everything about the concert was perfect from the stage set up, to the great set list of songs, to the hilarious comments made by Billy Joel, and of course being there with Mike. I couldn’t think of a better way to spend our anniversary this year than to watch Billy Joel and stay the night in Denver together.
On a normal summer day, Quandary is a miserable slog up boulders (like most 14ers) and a line of neophytes trying to cut their teeth on a tall mountain. However, this was no ordinary summer day. Instead, we went early in the season while there was still plenty of snow on the mountain. We arrived at the parking lot early in the morning, only to find a moose hanging out right by the road. A good omen for the rest of the hike. The start of the hike wound up through beautiful forests and it was cool with the promise of sun. By the time we reached tree line, it was clear we would be in snow to the summit. Perfect. The snow was firm, so there was no post holing and we climbed quickly into the clear morning ski. Denverites were wondering who the speedy little kid was that was passing them, and all I could do was puff out of breath for someone to tell him to slow down. In the end, Peter would make it to the summit a good 30 minutes before me. The climb was excellent, and we had our spikes on as we made a straight line to the top. We stayed at the summit for about 20 minutes, had lunch and then headed down. The best part was that there was snow covering all the big nasty rocks, so we could glissade all the way back down. On our way, we saw mountain goats playing in the snow. It was quite the site to see. Once back to treelike, we ran back to the car (Peter because he can, me because I had to). It was a great climb with lots of wildlife, clear skies and good memories. So glad to have a cool kid like Peter who likes to be out in the mountains. It makes all the hard work worth it.
I love Father’s Day because the weather is warm and sunny, and we get to celebrate Mike. He is hands down the best husband and father to our family. I don’t know how he does all he does and still comes home with a smile on his face. He is frequently seen spending time with the kids, making time for me, cracking jokes and keeping us all informed of things going on in the world. It is not uncommon for him to tell us random facts too. We all feel smarter when we are with him. His talents are beyond anything I have ever seen. He is kind, smart, hard-working, skilled, patient, dedicated, and so incredibly handsome. I’m not sure where we would be without Mike. We are definitely lucky to have an amazing man in our life.
Mike and I were so excited to do a half marathon together in Las Vegas. We flew into Las Vegas on Friday evening and my parents picked us up at the airport and had our numbers waiting for us. Since we came in too late for the Expo my dad picked up our numbers when he picked up his own. Mike and I stayed at the Waldorf Astoria hotel since it was kind of a race/birthday weekend. We got into the hotel, made our massage reservations, and ordered the most fabulous chicken and spaghetti dinner to our room. We got up at 2:30am and were out of our hotel and into an Uber by 3:00am. We met up with my dad at the bus pickup and then we all rode the bus up to the starting line. The weather was perfect. We got to the starting area in enough time to go to the bathroom and warm up. With 10 minutes before race time Mike and I headed to the starting line. When I realized that the start was further down the road than I thought I started to jog. I made it to the front of the startling line with 2 minutes to spare. I was going for a PR today of sub 1:30 so my miles needed to be no slower than 6:50/mile. I started out running in front of the 1:30 pacer group. They kept going ahead of and then behind me for much of the race. I eventually tagged onto the tail of a really tall guy who was running the pace I wanted to hold. We didn’t talk but it was good to have someone to run next to. The first 9 miles were all at 6:40 pace and I felt awesome. As we made our way further down the canyon and sun started shining on our faces, I used my tall friend to block the sun from my face for 4 miles. It would have been perfect if he hadn’t stopped to use the bathroom at mile 8. Still, my body felt good and I wasn’t breathing hard. I made sure to thank him after the race. I continued on with a fantastic pace until mile 10 when the course took a turn upwards. That mile and the two after were a bit slower than they should have been. Miles 10-12 were low to mid 7’s. I had banked enough time that I knew I could still break 1:30 so I mustered all the energy I could and started to pick up the pace for the last mile of the race and clocked a 6:56 pace for the 13th mile. My official time was 1:30.19 for the Revel Mt. Charleston Half marathon but myself and several others clocked the course as long by .10 so my adjusted time is 1:29.43!!!! I placed 2nd in my age group, 7th woman overall and an overall 47th out of 1988 runners! This was the fastest half marathon I’ve run since I was 20 and pre 5 kids. Mike and my dad both ran great races considering they were both injured. Both came in under 2 hrs. Mike finished in 1:56 with an injured knee. He amazes me! This was his first race in over a decade. Afterwards, Mike and I went back to our hotel to eat, sleep, get a massage and sit by the pool the remainder of the day!