Saturday, June 30, 2012

Week in Review

I noticed that the last 3 posts have been dedicated to beer.  Delicious beer, Mmmmmm.  But don’t worry, I have been doing other things besides drinking beer.

We had visitors this week!  First we saw Jeff’s aunt and uncle from STL; they were down in Colorado Springs but had to evacuate late Tuesday when the fires got out of control and needed a place to stay.  Then my brother, sister-in-law and nephew stopped for the night on Wednesday on their way to Montana.  They are both teachers and go to Montana every summer for a month to stay with her parents.  They are so lucky!  We only had a night with them, but we had a great time playing with JP.

Visitors We still have been running and strength training, just not “officially” training for anything.  It has been nice not to feel obligated to get in a specific workout and our legs probably needed the time off.  We will start a half marathon training program next week.  Jeff and I both want to get faster, so we will do more tempo runs and speedwork.  We also will continue to lift 2-3 times a week.  I was pleased this week with a pseudo tempo run I did, I felt great and haven’t lost any speed or fitness these last 3 weeks, woooo hooooo!

tempo It has been really hot here in Colorado so running this pace made me really excited for the upcoming months and races.  I also hit up the gym and did some treadmill running to avoid the heat.  I usually hate the treadmill, but it didn’t seem so bad this week. 

Last night I met up with my friend Beth (college roommate and soccer teammate) up in Boulder.  It was so awesome to see her; she travels ALL the time, so our visits are few and far between.  This fall her and her boyfriend are going to quit their jobs and travel the world for a year.  I am so excited for them and think it is awesome they are doing it!!!!! 

Beth and I went to an outdoor short film festival that was presented by New Belgium Brewery.  More beer, although some of the samples were not delicious and were disappointingly gross.  The short films were surprisingly awesome and really entertaining!  We enjoyed our beers, the company and the nice evening weather. 

beer and filmsThis afternoon Beth and I are headed to the mountains for a hike.  Its already hot here in Denver, ugh.  Thank goodness we can escape to the mountains.

Oh and Jeff is in Athens, Georgia this weekend for a wedding.  He is with is 2 best friends and they all left their women at home to enjoy a boys weekend.  Its 100+ degrees there with 100% humidity…. I’m glad it is a boys weekend.  I’m sure they are having a sweat-tastic time!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Huckleberry Honey Hefeweizen

*This is a guest post by my older brother, Mark.  He drove through Denver this week with his family on the way to Montana to visit his in-laws for the month.  Jealous.  When he got to Montana he tried one of the local brews and asked if he could do a review.  So here it is, thanks Mark!

Name of Brew:  Huckleberry Honey Hefeweizen

Name of Brewery: Bitter Root Brewery, Hamilton, Montana

ABV: 5.37%

MT beer ***This is a seasonal Brew***

For my annual summer trip to Montana I try to purchase only Montana brewed beer for consumption during these two plus weeks (drinking helps make staying with the in-laws more palpable).

Usually deciding on a beer takes real time because of all the great choices, but today was easy, I quickly grabbed the "Huckleberry Honey Ale."  

A little history of Montana (from a complete outsider).  Apparently huckleberry is like the state berry and people out here want everything to include this fruiting body.  You can get huckleberry in just about anything: jams, taffy, coffee, lotions, soaps, ice cream and NOW BEER! 

I went to the website and this is what they said about this brew:

"Our Summer Seasonal is back!  Everything and more that you would expect from a light summer seasonal:  Incredibly refreshing, big Huckleberry aroma, and a nice balanced experience for the palate, not too sweet with plenty of malts coming through!"

As I opened the bottle, a fresh fruity aroma was easily detected.  It poured well creating a nice head.  It had a light amber color (like most Hefeweizen).  

As for the taste, the honey's sweetness was most noticeable with only a slight fruity aftertaste.  As someone who doesn't eat huckleberry, I would describe the "berry" aftertaste as just "fruity." 

This is a great summertime beer that would be great on a canoe trip (if it came in cans).  This might be a repeat purchase. Plus the label had a scantily clad female which is always an eye catcher.


*I think Mark should do all my the beer and wine reviews, he is much better than me.  I really want this beer now and think I might make the 8+ hour drive to get some, and maybe stick around to play in Yellowstone.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

a HOT day at the Colorado Brewers Festival

Yesterday, Jeff and I went with some friends to the Colorado Brewers Festival in Fort Collins, CO.  It was an outdoor festival and it was a balmy 100+ degrees outside, awesome. 

Jeff remembered to bring the tickets and a printout of a list of the breweries and beers that would be served at the festival, but forgot his wallet.  Doh.  We channeled our inner 19-year-old selves and through trickery and deceit were able to get Jeff in!  Jeff was extra jovial and excited to make it past the ID checkpoint and couldn’t wait to fill up his mini mug with glorious beer.

welcomeWe paid $20 for ten tickets; each ticket got you a 4 oz pour of beer into the mini mug.  I felt like a strong giant with the mini mug and for some reason the beer tasted extra delicious out of something so wonderfully miniature.

CO beer fest

We always “forgot” to give our ticket to the pourers and ended up with double the amount of pours than we were allotted (we WIN at life).  And the extra tickets were then used for some pizza, brats, and waffles to keep us going strong all day.  The Waffle Lab waffles were outstanding, I went there twice but could have gone another 20 times.  I love waffles.

festival booths

We tried and enjoyed the following beers:

  • Avery White Rascal
  • Backcountry Brewery Telemark IPA
  • Boulder Beer Kinda Blue Wheat
  • Breckenridge Agave Wheat
  • Breckenridge Vanilla Porter
  • CB & Potts Big Horn Hefeweizen
  • Coopersmith’s #13 Apricot Ale
  • Crabtree Ginger Bee Ale
  • Funkwerks Tropic King
  • New Belgium Biere de Mars
  • Odell St. Lupulin
  • River North River North White
  • Ska Brewing Modus Hoerandi
  • Ska Brewing Steel Toe Stout
  • Fort Collins Weizenheimer Wheat IPA
  • And I’m sure some others that we forgot about…….

cheers There were only a few I remember not liking (the CB & Potts Hefe tasted too banana-y), but for the most part all breweries had great options.  Colorado beer is some of the best in the country, I even dare to say better than the Pacific Northwest (sorry). 

It was a great day with great company, despite the horrible heat.  I can’t wait for the Great American Brewfest in the fall!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

You can never be too safe…

…When it comes to a seasonal beer, especially if it is a summer Wheat or Wit.

safe beer On the way home from work, I decided to stop and pick up some beer to review because its……THIRSTDAY!  (I have been slacking in my adult beverage reviews, sorry) 

In honor of the recent summer solstice, I picked up 2 aluminum can 6-packs, a Wheat and a Wit.

IMG_2285 Morning Wood Wheat, Pug Ryans Brewery, Dillion, CO

IMG_2286The back of the can says:

“Nothing quite compares to a Morning Wood.  Guaranteed to put a smile on your face.  Brewed and canned at 9,156 feet above sea level in Dillion, Colorado, it is no wonder that Morning Wood Wheat is an award winner.  Each can is filled at high altitude and with the attitude of our brewers.”

Our thoughts: 

A lighter wheat, more like a light beer than your typical Wheat.  Refreshing and easy to drink.  Nothing overly special, but would be a great beer to bring on a hike and drink at the top of a mountain.  Plus it has a hilarious name!

Lava Lake Wit, Crazy Mountain Brewery, Edmonds, CO 

IMG_2287 The back of the can says:

“This Ale is our take on a classic Belgian Wit.  To make this wit unique, we add un-malted wheat, rolled oats, two varieties of classic European hops, chamomile, curacao orange peel, coriander, grains of paradise, and a rare yeast strain from the Old Country.  This is a brew that can be enjoyed both on the slopes or on the beach.”

Our thoughts:

We had too high of expectations for this brew and were thinking it would be similar to the Avery White Rascal that we love.  Unfortunately it has a strange spiced flavor and tasted a little watered down?  It has a weird taste and I don’t think we will be purchasing this again.  Bummer (also, this was $8.99 for a 6-pack, WAY over-priced).

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Acronyms and the overuse of !!!! and :)

I admit, I am guilty of the use of LOL, multiple !!!!!’s and the :) …… I apologize and I try to only use them in personal situations.  But using these is so easy and seems so typical because I am bombarded by them via Twitter, blogs, and sometimes even at WORK.

WORK is where I draw the line.  Please, do NOT ever use LOL, OMG, tots, !!!!!!!’s , :) , :( , or <3 when emailing me in regards to work-related subjects.  And for the love of God, NEVER email these things to a client.  For some reason, this sends me into a Negative Nancy/Chief Darkcloud RAGE!

One female I deal with at work is a frequent offender.  

  • Her extreme displays of positivity in ALL emails is NOT contagious and, in fact, does the exact opposite of what she is setting out to accomplish.  “OMG I had a turkey sandwich for lunch too!!!!! We should be BFF’s!!!!” Really?!? 
  • Her “Happy Friday!” or “Merry Monday!” or “Have a Terrific Tuesday!” for some reason irritates the heck out me and makes me gag.  No happiness or merriness has resulted on any of those days. 
  • Her use of “Sweeto Burrito” made me throw up in my mouth.  Where did that come from!?!?
  • The 5 smiley faces :) did NOT make me smile :(

I know you must be thinking, “Wow, that is a crazy rant and was sort of mean.  Why do you care what she emails and why does this bother you so much?”

I’ll tell you why, and maybe you will (sort of) understand where I am coming from:

  • I work in a male dominated industry where (in my opinion) I have to work really hard to get respect
  • I have a few things going against me; I am female, I look 10 years younger than I really am, and I am not that ugly
  • For these reasons, I go out of my way to be professional and try to carry myself and say things that demand respect.  I do this because (I feel) some people make assumptions of my intelligence and capabilities based on my appearance
  • I feel emails (or even every day conversation), that contain the above-mentioned, set back young professionals, especially women, in my industry
  • Certain people expect these sort of emails out of someone like me.  When I carry myself professionally or have an intelligent idea, instead of it being expected, it is more of a shock.  People, please don’t fuel the fire by actually feeding into these expectations!

Alright I am done now.  Sorry for the rant.

Have a WONDERFUL WEDNESDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  KK?  ;)

Monday, June 18, 2012

Garden Update

I know everyone has anxiously been awaiting for an update on the garden (sarcastic), so today is your lucky day!

We have only 1 casualty, the cucumbers.  Upsetting, I know, BUT, the other plants are all thriving!  We have a few little tomatoes in there and over the next few weeks we might have us some vegetables.  So. Exciting. 

(Yep, this blog post dedicated to my garden just shows how big of a loser I am, I REALLY need to start running again…..)

garden update


May 6

June 17

Sun Sugar (yellow cherry tomato)



Sweet 100 A (red cherry tomato)



Sweet 100 B (red cherry tomato)



Thin Skin A (bell pepper)



Thin Skin B (bell pepper)



Sonora (small pepper)








0” (dead)

You are reading this correctly; I actually took the time to measure each plant when I planted them and then measured them again to track my progress…. and put the information in a table to compare the progress.  Obviously I am the coolest person on the planet and I know everyone will be lining up at my door to befriend me.  And everyone is going to want my delicious vegetables.
Side note, I have found several dog turds amongst my garden.  Apparently a little rat dog (Elle) seems to think it is appropriate to crap in the garden.  Not ok Elle, not ok.  And these turds usually appear when she is mad at us for not taking her on a walk or scolding her for something.  Goddam Elle, the vindictive pooper. 

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Lost Creek Wilderness, Goose Creek Trail

I FINALLY got out hiking yesterday.  The past few months have been spent training for a marathon training so there has been little time for another else, hiking included. 
My friends knew Jeff was in St Louis for Father’s Day weekend so they asked if I wanted to go for a day hike with them.  I jumped at the opportunity and brought the best little hiker with us, Elle (Jay is too old for hiking so he was left at home).  We drove about 2 hours southwest of Denver to the Lost Creek Wilderness to hike the Goose Creek Trail.
lost creek wilderness The trailhead starts in an area that was affected by the June 2002 Hayman Fire that became Colorado’s 2nd largest fire in the state’s recorded history burning over 138,000 acres of land and 133 homes.  The terrain is now barren with charred trees.  It is interesting to see a naked mountain exposing many interesting rock formations.
Hayman Fire land
Less than a mile into the trail you get to Goose Creek and all of a sudden you are in a normal lush forest that was unaffected by the fire.  This is where the majority of the hike was and we met up with another few friends that had set up camp to stay out there for the night next to the creek.  I wish I had my camping gear, it was the perfect camping spot next to beautiful “River Songs.”
Goose Creek Campsite The 5 humans and 2 dogs, Ernie the black lab and Elle the rat dog, headed out for our day hike.  We took a trail none of us had been on and we saw some awesome rock outcrops. I LOVED IT!  We even checked out some caves.
caves and rocks
The top of the trailhead was on an expansive granite dome with more incredible rock formations
IMG_2216I was not familiar with this type of geology (plus I was a bad undergrad and didn’t listen to or retain much of the geology I was taught) and this only stirred my increasing desire to go back to grad school here in Colorado.  I would love to be able to identify all the types of geology to sound smart on hikes like this and impress my friends with things like “These granite dome formations were uplifted to the surface during the formation of this mountain and over millions of years is eroded into these concentric layers.”  Instead, when everyone asked “the geologist” questions and I just stood there like a turd and said things like “Well that rock is shaped like a dog” or “Big rock, must be granite.” 
big rocks
granite dome
Breathtakingly gorgeous!  So of course we set up various photo ops.
photo op1 photo op2 photo op3 We then headed back to the campsite and rested our feet in the cold creek.
creek And finally back to the car to drive back to Denver.  I was exhausted by the time I got home, but what a great day! 
I can’t wait to continue exploring Colorado!!!!!

Friday, June 15, 2012

So much free time when I am not running….

I decided to take this entire week off from running (or any working out) to give my body a rest.  What the heck do non-running people do with all of their free time?!?  To top it off, Jeff has been gone for work (and out of town again this weekend) so I have been left alone to entertain myself. 

I have been so bored all week and I can’t wait to start running and working out again.  Never thought in a million years I would say that, maybe I need some other hobbies or make more friends. I have been tending to my garden and mowed our out of control lawn; I am continually waging war on horrible weeds and am trying to keep our yard from bringing down the neighbor’s property values (I’m a considerate renter).  See, I really need more to do.

Not that anyone really cares how I’ve been feeling after the marathon, but I will tell you anyway, here you go:

  • I have felt a bit more tired than usual and have been going to bed before 9 PM every night and sleeping like a rock.
  • My legs were a little sore Sunday/Monday, especially going down stairs or hills; probably due to all the down hill action during the race.  Otherwise I felt normal by Tuesday and could have gone back to running if I wanted.
  • I had a few blisters on my toes, but for the first time post marathon, I DID NOT LOSE A TOENAIL!  WOOO HOOO!  I ran in my Saucony Kinvara’s, I think I will continue to do my races and speedwork in them.
  • I’m already thinking about what I want to do next and can’t wait for the next race!

So, what’s NEXT in regards to running??? 

  • Get FASTER.  Incorporate more speedwork and tempo runs and actually push myself in regards to pace.
  • Race my first 5K in the next month (need to find one to do), shoot for sub-20 min 5K.  Yeah, I have never really raced a 5K, I just jumped straight into the marathon/half marathon distance.  I’m stooooopid.
  • Race my first 10K before my next half (sometime in August), shoot for a sub-42 min 10K.
  • Sign up for a bunch of mountain half marathons (they have a bunch near ski resorts) and stay in half marathon shape through August.  Camp in the mountains before and after running, to combine my favorite things to do.
  • Run a sub-1:30 at the Denver Rock and Roll Half Marathon, Sept 23
  • Transition into marathon training into October and run the New York Marathon Nov. 4, don’t know my goal time yet, but I want to PR.

    Wednesday, June 13, 2012

    Celebrating in Park City, UT then the Drive Home

    After our marathon, Jeff and I left Provo and headed to the mountains to stay the night in Park City.  We got to our hotel and shared a bottle of some Napa wine to celebrate our PRs.  We drank our Valley of the Moon Cab Sav that we got when we drove through wine country in January from our awesome plastic wine glasses; it was pretty good but nothing special (esp. for the price).  The rat dogs wanted some wine, but they are light weights and I hate when they get drunk so we didn’t share (Elle just sniffed at us from under Jeff’s sweatpants, where she was hiding).

    wineWe got a cab and hit up Main Street Park City in the late afternoon.  We sampled some brews at Wasatch Brew Pub and had some cocktails at a few other bars.   

    park city

    The weather was perfect and the scenery was beautiful.  Can’t wait to come back here in the winter to ski!

    wasatch brewery patio Being the crazy people we are, we made it until 6:30 PM before we called for the cab and headed back to the hotel.  Exhausted from the 3:30 AM wake-up call and running 26.2 miles, we were asleep by 8 PM

    The next morning we loaded up the Trailblazer and headed back to Colorado via I-80 through Wyoming.  We liked taking a different route home and loved the gorgeous road trip scenes (even the wind turbines). 

    WyomingWe also snacked on our delicious road trip food.  Yeah, we *try* to be healthy by only having access to fruits and veggies…..

    road trip food Once we got close to Colorado, we noticed a plume of smoke.  As we got closer and closer to Fort Collins, we realized that there was a big problem in the mountains.  The High Park forest fire started early Saturday from lightening, and is still burning.  The smoke is even horrible in the Denver area, which is 1.5 hours south of the source.  I will be staying inside as much as I can until this gets under control!  So sad.

    high park fire

    We had such a wonderful mini-road trip to run the Utah Valley Marathon and can’t wait for the rest of the summer (camping, running, hiking, trail running…..)!

    Tuesday, June 12, 2012

    UVM Race Photos (Screen Shots)

    They really make it hard to take screen shots of race pictures these days.  Geez, its like they want me to actually buy a photo or something. 
    UVM Jeff and Barb We both look surprisingly good for running 26.2 miles! 
    Race 1Downhill, WEEEEEEE!!!!! Its like we were running side by side the whole time, adorable.
    race 2 Heellllloooo UPHILL into the WIND!  Jeff seems to really be enjoying himself?  Maybe someone said something funny?
    Finish line photos.  I think that shirtless man may have out-sprinted me, darn, I thought I had him beat.  Jeff looks so strong!

    Monday, June 11, 2012

    Utah Valley Marathon Recap

    Jeff and I are still basking in our PR’s from Saturday’s Utah Valley Marathon.  Thank goodness both of us exceeded our expectations and ran PR’s, otherwise it could have been a long drive home for one (or both) of us.  That is the risk running couples take…. but the reward is AWESOME if both runners in the couple have success!  It is so much fun to share the excitement of a PR with someone you love and have trained with. (I apologize for the nerdy sappiness, I will try not to make you gag anymore)


    3:30 AM – We had to get up early to catch the 4:15 AM bus to the start.  That is way early for me and I was glad I set  everything out the night before; I was like a zombie getting ready.  We stuffed our faces with bagels and peanut butter, a banana, and coffee before rushing out the door at 4 AM (nothing like cutting things close…...).


    (Don’t ask me what Jeff is doing here, but he is thinking “I’m gonna own this marathon beotches!”)

    4:15 AM – We were the last in line for the bus and therefore got the only school bus they had, rather than the luxury buses everyone else rode in.  We ate the rest of our food (protein bars and GU chomps) and drank some electrolytes on the way to the start.  Luckily the school bus had no shocks and every bump encouraged my intestines to get moving and I was ready to empty my bowels by the time we got to the start line (too much info, but I don’t care!). 



    Jeff and I jumped in a few minutes late and did the typical marathon start dodge-and-weave the first few miles trying to hold back our pace.  Jeff and I stayed together and the first few miles FLEW by.  In fact, we got to mile 7 and I thought it had only been 5 miles (I LOVE WHEN THIS HAPPENS!).  It was about this time the wind picked up and was in our faces, I HATE headwinds.  BUT the wind did cool us off because it started heating up at this time.

    MILE 1-7At mile 7, Jeff took out a GU and reminded me to do the same.  Then came the first real hill, I just put my head down and owned it.  It was also at this time that I lost Jeff.  I love him, but I never looked back and just continued to run my race and my pace.  Sorry Jeff…. but I knew you would be fine :) 

    [BARB] There were plenty of awesome down hills where I just let myself go, although the wind was still relentlessly pushing me back.  Sometimes the wind was so bad that I would stumble a bit and I had to crank up my music just to hear it!  I concentrated on passing people and made a little pact with myself that I would not let anyone pass me from this point on.

    [JEFF]  At this point, I decided to turn on my music…from my SanDisk (MP3 player). Yeah, they still make MP3 players. You can get one at Costco for just $59.  It has 8GB of space, that’s a lot of MP3s!!!  I really was feeling good especially after starting off 15 seconds per mile faster than I had planned. I told myself, let’s just go with this.  Why hold back?!?!

    MILE 8-13[BARB] By the halfway point I hit a 1:39 and was on pace to hit my goal of 3:20.  I also was feeling great and decided to increase my pace.  I continued to pick people off, especially all the Lululemon-wearing matchy-matchy women.  Seriously, I feel like every female ahead of me was taunting me from behind with either obnoxious ruffles or ugly patterned clothing.  One female had on disgusting bun huggers with ruffles and her butt cheeks were hanging out.  For some reason all of these horrible running clothes irritated me and I just wanted to get in front of them (or push them out of my way).  Anger = fast Barb

    [JEFF]  At 13.1 miles, I looked down at my watch and saw I was on pace to run a 3:19 marathon. I thought to myself…well typically, for most people, the second half of a marathon is slower than the first half… Like 20 minutes slower, due to “hitting the WALL”.  So then I said to myself, based on this statistic, I will not even PR today!  This can’t be true.  This is not good.  Maybe I can just maintain my pace, and I won’t hit “the WALL”.

    MILE 14-20[BARB] I knew the second half of the marathon was going to be easier than the first from driving the course the night before, so I just continued pushing my pace and kept feeling great.  The scenery was gorgeous and seeing women in ugly clothes ahead of me were few and far between.  I was continuing to pass people and had yet to be passed, woooo hoooo!  I took a GU at mile 14 and then again at 20.  I also was drinking water at every water station to keep hydrated.

    [JEFF]  I knew that the second half of the marathon was more downhill than the first, but I still feared hitting “the WALL” or cramping up.  But there was a tiny bit of hope in my little pea head, that I kept telling myself, maybe I can maintain and hit a 3:20, or even break 3:20!  So I continued to run..  and think...  and enjoy the scenery… 

    MILE 21-25[BARB] I can’t believe how great I felt the last few miles.  My splits in the last 10K were the fastest of the race.  I just saw the finish and went for it.  In the last .2 miles someone tried to pass me, the first person since I made the pact to myself at mile 7.  Oh no you won’t pass me person…. so I just kicked it in, didn’t get passed, and finished with a PR! 

    3:17:19 (official), 99th finisher overall, 20th female, 5th in 30-34 age group

    [JEFF]  I told myself around mile 15…I can’t wait until mile 22.. b/c then I will only have 4 miles left.. well… 4.2 miles left.  So I was getting so excited for mile 22!! ?? I know, I’m weird. 

    Mile 22 came and I was still on pace to break a 3:20 marathon.  I felt good, and I could finally say I only had 4.2 miles left in the marathon.  And the next few miles seemed to fly by.  Every other marathon I’ve run the last 6 miles seemed like an eternity.  Not today…not at the UTAH VALLEY MARATHON.  I started to become a believer.  A believer that I would be able to complete a marathon under 3 hours and 20 minutes… and guess what..??  I DID!!!  BOOM!  I am so lucky to be have the ability to complete a marathon, let alone in that time frame.  WOO HOO!!

    3:19:35 (official), 115th finisher overall, 97th male, 18th in 30-34 age group

    ** I (Barb) could hardly finish this because of the hilariousness of the difference between how I write and how Jeff writes…. and also how different are mind-sets were during the race! I think we should start blogging each of our accounts of every experience, too flipping funny and interesting!**


    9:30 AMWE ARE DONE RUNNING, got some water and a delicious creamy popsicle (don’t remember what it was called) and hobbled straight to the car and back to the hotel.  A shower never felt so amazing…..  

    done running

    It was at this time I remembered that I didn’t get the Boston Qualifier shirt that I knew the race was rewarding to BQ-ers.  We then checked out of our hotel, loaded up the rat dogs and all our stuff, and headed back to the finish to get my shirt and check out the finish line festivities.  I got my sweet long-sleeved BQ shirt and a heck of steal at the California Pizza Kitchen booth ($1 for EVERY ITEM, we ate lunch for $6) before we loaded back into the car for Park City, UT to celebrate our PRs!!!!!

    The Utah Valley Marathon is a GREAT race!  It has great scenery, is mostly downhill, and is in a city full of ridiculously nice people.  The race entry fee was reasonably priced and you get nice technical t-shirts, and if you get a BQ time, you get an additional shirt!!!  SO COOL!  This particular year was not blessed with great weather as we ran during a wind advisory (up to 50 mph gusts according to the news) and it was warm (60s).  But if you get good weather, this race is DEFINITELY PR-friendly!

    Saturday, June 9, 2012


    Got myself a PR at the Utah Valley Marathon…. AND so did Jeff 3:19:35!!!  If there wouldn’t have been a wind advisory (up to 50 mph gusts) and warm weather (70s at the finish), I can’t even imagine how much we would have smashed our PRs!

    More to follow later…. we are up in Park City for the afternoon/night and then headed back to Colorado first thing in the morning. 

    BOOM goes the dynamite!

    Friday, June 8, 2012

    Preparing for the Utah Valley Marathon!

    After a mini road trip across Colorado and Utah, Jeff and I (along with the rat dogs) arrived in Provo, UT and started our “day-before a marathon” routine

    road trip

    We checked into our hotel, dropped off Jay and Elle, and headed to the expo for the Utah Valley Marathon.  The expo was small and we were in and out with our race bibs and T-shirts.  We decided to eat some Italian for lunch, gelato for dessert (I have a strange superstition that need gelato the day before a marathon, I think I am 8 for 9), and then back to the hotel to check on the dogs.

    While back at the hotel I noticed that my T-shirt was for HALF marathon, and I am doing the FULL!  So back to the expo to get the correct race T-shirt. 

    UVMAs I was walking into the expo, I bumped into the author of a blog I follow, Hungry Runner Girl.  She is how I actually heard about this particular marathon and after asking her about the course several months back and she said it was PR conducive/awesome scenery, I signed up (plus it was within driving distance, 8 hrs, of Denver).  Thanks Hungry Runner Girl!!!!

    She is actually the first blogger that I have ever met in real life…. I always wondered if bloggers were what I imagine them to be.  Well, she set the bar high, because she is just as genuine, nice, and engaging as she is on her blog.  It was such a pleasure to meet her and her husband. They are two awesome people who have many adventures ahead of them (baby on the way, moving across the country) and it will be so much fun to continue following their journey, especially after meeting them!

    Jeff and I then decided to drive the marathon course, something I have done before and like to do.  We are SO glad we did this…. we now know what to expect and are even more stoked about the race.  The course is absolutely GORGOUS!  Plus it is mostly downhill, with maybe 3 longer hills in the first half of the marathon. 

    mile7 UVM2See, how amazing are these views?!?  If it stays cool and the wind is not too bad (both these are concerns at this point), things will go our way.  There is a potential for it to be windy, but you can’t control the weather…… so fingers crossed the wind is calm between 6-9:30 tomorrow morning.

    On our way home we walked around the BYU campus (beautiful!) and then grabbed spaghetti from Olive Garden to share back at the hotel.  We just finished getting everything laid out (including finalizing our music playlists, yep I am particular about things) and prepared for the morning and are laying down to sleep.  Tomorrow morning will be here before we know it!  Oh and we have to catch the bus to the start by 4:15…. way too early!

    morning Good night, hopefully I have good things to report tomorrow!  If not, then there is always the next marathon :)

    Thursday, June 7, 2012

    While on the topic of hybrid animals…..

    Elle looks like the cross between a fruit bat and a meercat.  Exhibit A:

    hybrid animal ELLE

    See, I don’t really have dogs.  I have dog-like versions of hybrid creatures

    I should be the spokesperson for Italian Greyhounds, “Get an Italian Greyhound, your dog could end up looking like a KangaDeer or a MeerBat!”

    Wednesday, June 6, 2012

    How much weird stuff can I witness in 1.25 miles?

    Tonight Jeff and I headed over to Crown Hill Park where there is an inside path that is 1.25 miles and an outside path that is 2.5 miles.  We took the rat dogs with us and decided to trade off running and walking them.  I started walking the dogs on the 1.25 mile path. 

    I don’t know if strange things gravitate to me, or if I just notice things, but all sorts of weird stuff went down in those 1.25 miles.

    1) As Jeff ran by on the outer loop, he waved at me.  In between us were 2 pre-teen boys.  One of the boys waved back at Jeff (he didn’t see me) and then turns to his friend and says:

    “That’s my cousin.  He’s a runner.” But he said it like he was bragging and in a really creepy tone.  And not only that, the boy was Hispanic (Jeff is a red head). 

    not relatedSo weird on several levels.  First of all, why would he claim Jeff was his cousin and why would he brag about it?  Secondly, are runners so cool that when you see us you want to claim we are related??

    2) Two half-drunk men were fishing and drinking a 30-pack of Natty Light.  One of them men kept thinking he had a fish on his line.  He would dramatically reel in the line like he was fighting a 30-pound bass, but each time would come up empty and act SOOOO disappointed and shocked that this monster fish wasn’t on the hook (it kept getting stuck on the bottom of the lake).  This happened several times in a row.  Did he really think they were catching things?  Or was he that drunk?   

    3) A large man is slogging along and right as he gets to me, he stops, lifts the sunglasses off his eyes and with an appalled and disgusted expression says:

    “What ARE they?” and points dramatically at Jay and Elle like they were some sort of alien that should be quarantined.  I get that question a lot, but most people are not that weird about it.  I understand that my dogs are really bizarre looking and most people stop and ask me what they are, but really, is it necessary to point and mock my poor dogs’ appearance?   

    I awkwardly smiled and gave a fake laugh and said Italian Greyhounds. Yeah they are different.”

    What I really wanted to say was, “I’m a geneticist and one night got a little drunk and decided to cross a kangaroo and a deer.  This is what I got.  Messed up, riiighhht?” 

    hydrid animal JAY

    Next time someone is rude like that, I’m saying that to really confuse them and make them feel stupid.