Even though this is primarily an outlet for me to discuss running, I am only going to briefly touch on the marathon that Ashlie and I ran while out in Colorado these past few weeks. Truth be told, the marathon was kind of an afterthought, especially since I knew my training had not been stellar. As such, I was not expecting an impressive result. I will say that Ashlie ran a very good race to run only a few minutes off her PR, and I ran a mediocre time but somehow finished third.
We flew out a week in advance, both to acclimate to the altitude and to get some honest-to-goodness vacation time in, since the week after the marathon would be filled solely with conference-related activities for Ashlie (notably, presenting for two and a half hours on her No Pass Zone implementation!). I will summarize the trip in a few bullet points:
- Colorado is staggeringly beautiful. Even in Denver, on a clear day, the mountains in the distance are gorgeous. Driving and hiking in the mountains is incredible, and it was difficult to keep my eyes on the road when the landscape is so amazing.
- Denver is just like any other big city. It is big, smelly, and busy. Ashlie and I were really expecting to like the city itself, but it did not appeal to us country bumpkins at all. LoDo (the hip slang term for the Lower Downtown district) was nice (at least compared to Rochester’s downtown), but wasn’t really our scene.
- Our friends Bryan and Katy, who moved out to Golden two years ago, were incredibly hospitable and awesome. They cheered for us during the marathon, cooked dinner for us, bought us groceries and firewood, gave us ideas of things to do, and Bryan even took a vacation day to go hiking with me while Ashlie was at her conference! It was beyond awesome seeing them and I can’t even describe how grateful we are for their help and excitement.
- Our friends Christen and Brandon came out for the weekend and they both ran the 10-miler. Despite employing Brandon’s patented training method of eschewing running in favor of watching TV, they both did awesome and had a blast!
- While Denver did not live up to expectations, the surrounding towns were awesome. Boulder, especially, reminded us of Ithaca with its pedestrian mall and college town feel.
- Ashlie did awesome with her presentation at her conference, and was even recorded and the video uploaded to the website! Only 11% of applicants get accepted to present, and she got in on her first try!
- We randomly saw Nickel Creek while we were in Denver. On our way to Boulder one day, we passed a venue advertising that Nickel Creek, one of my favorite bands, was playing that night. A quick phone call later, and we both had tickets! They played an amazing show, although our seats were up in the stands, which always makes it hard to really feel the energy of the band.
- I saw more Subarus in Colorado than I have ever seen before. I am pretty sure they are the official vehicle of the Mile High City.
- The weather out there was insane. When we first arrived, it was snowing and we got about six inches of snow on Monday. By the next Sunday, it was sunny and 85 degrees. Later that week, there were multiple tornado warnings (which I had the distinction of driving through, unbeknown to me at the time)! Luckily, we emerged unscathed.
- My bad travel luck rubbed off on Ashlie, as she missed her flight out of Denver, and had to book a separate flight home. As I write this, it is almost midnight in Rochester, and she has yet to land.
- As much fun as it was out there, I am very happy to be back. Denver is much too big of a city for me, and it was very stressful navigating it every day.