Sunday, February 24, 2013

Seattle vs Denver, a Comparison of 2 Great Places to Live

I got an email from a friend who is graduating from college in May and is thinking about looking at jobs in both Seattle and Denver.  He asked me if I could provide him some information on living in both cities and to give my opinion on the pros and cons of both. 

Um YES, I just LOVE giving my opinion so he is in luck! (Mitch, I bet you didn’t think I would take this so seriously, HA!)

Plus everyone is always asking me what city I like better…. so without further ado, here is my detailed comparison of Seattle and Denver, 2 wonderful cities and great places to live.

(Note: These are MY opinions and are open for debate.)

comparison 1

WA vs CO 1comparison 2   WA vs CO 2 comparison 4   

WA vs CO 5comparison 5WA vs CO 4 comparison 6

 WA vs CO 5

comparison 7

WA vs CO 6

I don’t think one city or region is any better than the other.  They have their similarities, but are also so different. 

I loved living in Seattle and I love living in Denver.  There is so much to do in both places and I’m glad I have gotten the opportunity to live in both! 

Personally, I think Denver is a better fit for me.  Although I do miss Seattle and the water and the green….. 

Mitch, I hope this helps :)

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Life of Barb Update

So what the heck has been going on in the Life of Barb?  I know you have been dying to be updated……

1. Utilizing my Ski Pass.  I’ve been trying to ski every weekend and have been skiing 6 times since December (with the terrible snow, I am proud of this).  By being limited to going on weekends, Jeff and I have to get up at the a$$ crack of dawn to beat the I-70 traffic, ski our butts off, and get home to tend to the dogs.  It makes for a tiring day, but worth it!  Plus we have had a lot of friends who have visited Colorado and we try to join them when possible.


2. Starting Marathon Training. I started back into training for my May 5 marathon in Lincoln, Nebraska.  I also have a half marathon in Moab, Utah on March 16 which the training is going towards.  I took most of December and January off and have spent February trying to re-gain the speed and strength that I lost in the “off season.”  I needed the time off and am excited to be training again.  I have also been trying new workouts, running partners, and running clubs and it is going great!  I’m not jumping into tough training and gradually getting where I want to be (I admit, it can be frustrating that I am not at the pace/fitness I left off at, but I will get there soon). 

2013 workouts I ran a 10 Mile Race, the Snowman Stampede 10 Miler, on Saturday and maintained a 7:30 pace.  I was a little disappointed that I didn’t go faster, but wasn’t pushing myself either.  All in all it was a good measure of my current fitness and will just help fuel me to push a bit more the next few months.

3.  Home brewing.  Well I haven’t really done the home brewing, but Jeff has.  I am his quality control specialist and enjoy the fruits of his labor.  His first batch (a golden ale that came with the brewing supplies kit) wasn’t drinkable, but I’m not counting it as failure because the ingredients were over a year old and had not been refrigerated (rookie mistake).  The REAL first batch was an IPA and turned out really good!  Like surprisingly good and tasted like something we could get a local craft brewery.  What the hell, Jeff just might be good at this and I am so excited to continue tasting the different home brews that he is makes!

IMG_01894. Working.  I have been working on various major proposals at work (lots of writing, which is why this blog has been neglected as I only have a certain amount of words available in my little brain).  Many of the projects are located in Alaska, remote Alaska.  I should find out if we won some of the proposals in the next few weeks and if I get to make some treks up to the amazing state of Alaska.  The other proposals are for projects in the Pacific Northwest, so I might get to make several treks to my old stomping grounds as well.  Fingers crossed we win some of these proposals (and so that I can keep billable)!

alaska projects

5. Making Tough Decisions. Jay, the brown Italian Greyhound, is old.  I got him over 8 years ago when he was 5 or 6 and he has always had various health issues (seizures, unexplained hair loss, skin rashes, and the list goes on).  In the past few years he has really shown the effects of aging; he has lost vision in one eye (and the other one doesn’t see well), he has poor hearing, he can’t keep on weight, and has gotten progressively weaker unable to jump up on the couch and can’t walk down stairs.  In addition, the past few months the frequency of his seizures has increased and he is starting to become incontinent.  The little guy has one paw in the grave and it has been really hard to watch.  His mind is still there, but his little body is worn out.  The past week has been the worst as we have witnessed one seizure and found him laying in his bed in his own urine on several occasions (most likely from other seizures).  I know that it is getting close to making a really tough decision.  Jay is uncomfortable, on the border of being in constant pain, and upset over his inability to do the things he used to and to control his bladder.  I know this tough decision will happen sooner than later and I am starting to come to terms with it (over many tears and discussions with my mom and Jeff). Jay

He is the most loyal, gentle, and silly dog that I have ever had and has been an awesome companion to me (and Jeff) these 8 years.  I love my best buddy and I will miss him terribly when he not with us. 

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Runners Roost Race Team and Run Club

In November and into December I felt “blah” about running.  I wasn’t looking forward to running, I was going through the motions, my legs never felt fresh, and I wasn’t improving.  I knew I was getting burned out and decided to take a little break from training  in December and January (I still ran a little but wasn’t training).  I also decided I needed to change things up if I wanted to continue to enjoy running and start improving again.

I knew I needed to run with different people and to make running “fun” again.  Hopefully running with different people would also help motivate me it and to get out there to meet more people in my “new” city (who also ran).

I decided to apply for a running team through a local running shop called Runners Roost.  In early January, I found out that both Jeff and I made the team; we made the Runners Roost Race Team!

Runners RoostNot only would we be representing “something” when we ran, but we would be part of a running community.  I couldn’t wait to meet our “teammates” and start running with a “team.”  I didn’t really know what to expect or what being on the Runners Roost Race Team meant (and I am still learning what it means), but I was excited to find out.

Jeff and I attended our first Run Club at our “home store” in Lakewood, Colorado a few weeks ago.  For me, it was like going to try-outs for club soccer.  Who would be there?  Would I have anything in common with anyone?  Would they all be better than me?  Would they like me? 

Jeff and I got there to find over 20 people milling around the meeting spot.  For a dark winter night, I was impressed with the turnout!  All of a sudden the group of people took off on the route and Jeff and I followed along. 

Luckily, everyone was so friendly and welcoming!  There was a great mix of men and women, different ages and backgrounds, and all sorts of running abilities.  The 5 mile run flew by as I chatted with various people.  Pace didn’t matter, we just ran and got to know each other.  After the run, everyone proceeded down the street to local bar for drink and for more conversation.

Jeff and I both decided Run Club was a success and will be a weekly occurrence.  Its a great change up to our weekly routine and is a fun way to meet all sorts of different people.  And hopefully it will push our running comfort zone and lead into some other events (speed or track workouts anyone???) and friendships.

Thanks Runners Roost for everything!  I can’t wait for what 2013 brings!