Well...it's been a WHILE since my last post! I can't believe it's already the middle of May...I have really been dreading the hot weather coming our way...summer is my least favorite season, but I'm sure the summer will go as fast as the rest of the year has been going, so maybe it won't be so bad!?! Cool weather will be here before I know it! And even though I am only just now getting out my summer clothes, it won't be long before I am dragging back out all those layers...Sigh...a girl can dream, right?
I am happy to say that I am back in the running world! It has been a long, SLOW process for sure. I wasn't able to consistently run the mileage or even think about doing speed work, so I was unable to do the WCR Clinic this year. I am still going to PT, but was informed yesterday (GRATEFULLY) that I only have a few more sessions before I "graduate"! I'm excited...not only because I am having so many pain-free days and am able to get back into the things I love to do...but because I will be free from the expensive $75 a session and the 2-3 hour chunk of time, twice a week! I am still doing the walk/run thing, and probably will be for a while, but I am up to 4.5 miles now and it has been a LONG time since I have been able to do that! I have also been able to go back to Sculpt class at the gym and this week is the first week I have been able to ride my spin bike, virtually pain-free! I can't say how good it feels to be back!
In other news, about 2 weeks ago, I was able to take a short vacay to Colorado and stay with my good friend Kristen, whom I hadn't seen in about 3 years. She lives in Lakewood, just outside Denver, and it was a great visit. I flew up there on a Thursday, courtesy of my little brother, who bought me a plane ticket with his frequent flyer miles! It was a huge relief, as I was NOT looking forward to the 14-15 hour drive. I picked up a rental car at the airport and after getting lost for a while, finally made it to Kristen's house. We spent some time catching up, amidst shopping at REI and Vitamin Cottage, followed by an AWESOME dinner at Watercourse Foods. I love that Denver has some great Vegetarian options, and if you are ever if the area, you have GOT to try this place! The following morning, Kristen and I awoke to a wonderland of whiteness, as it had snowed overnight and was starting to come down hard! We were supposed to drive to Estes Park that day for a weekend conference....Once the plow made it through, we were ok and it melted pretty fast. On the way to Estes, Kristen took me through Boulder and I seriously fell in love...
We hit up the World Market...I HAD to get my licorice Altoids..and were on our way to Estes. Of course, it started snowing crazy-hard, luckily we were behind a plow that, although it was slow, made the roads easy to drive on. We stayed at the YMCA Conference Center and it was bare-minimum basic, but pretty and clean. Kristen made me immediately check for bedbugs upon arrival and yay, no bugs! hehe....The Conference itself was pretty good. The focus was "The Centrality of the Cross" and was sponsored by the Association of Exchanged Life Ministries. I got some great resources for Bible study too. We had some free time on Saturday and Kristen wanted to take me to the Rocky Mountain National Park, since it was free that weekend, in honor of National Parks week. It was awesome...beautiful views, lots of elk grazing along the road...we snow hiked up to Nymph Lake and it was totally frozen over, people were hiking on it..
Sunday afternoon we headed back, but not before another stop in "The People's Republic of Boulder", as Kristen calls it..hehe...we did some looking around at the outdoor mall and hit up some awesome stores..Patagonia, Outdoor Divas, and several ethnic stores with imported goods. Boulder apparently has a large population of Nepalese people..Boulder was having it's Earth Day festival that day, so there were tons of booths, food, live music...and "hippie" people walking around. I don't know what it is, but I have always felt at home in that kind of environment...I guess maybe I am a hippie at heart? We tried a Vegan place called VG Foods and it was ok..I was expecting a bit more, and although my tempeh burger wasn't bad, it was overpriced and had no sides.
The rest of my visit included some great runs near Kristen's neighborhood and some trail hikes in the surrounding areas. We went to a great Nepalese restaurant in Golden..I did some looking around at thrift stores and the biggest Whole Foods I have ever seen! Kristen also took me to the Red Rock outdoor theater, the triceritops trail to see some dinosaur fossils, and the human body exhibit at the Museum of Nature and Science. I got to meet up with my cousin and stay with her one night and catch up. The trip was the perfect mix of sight-seeing, down time, catching up, and exploring. I had a bit of an issue with the altitude the first 2 days I was there...headache, fatigue..but it gradually got better with time and LOTS of water. The running stores in Denver are AWESOME and the running community is huge. If you ever get to Denver, go to The Runner's Roost and The Boulder Running Company. Both had an excellent selection, but my favorite was the Runner's Roost. The people were very down to earth and unpretentious, and their clearance table was awesome! I would love to go back to Colorado in June for the bluegrass festival....
There you have it...an update of sorts. As far as my running goes, I am trucking along and trying to stay realistic about my progress. I'm so thankful to be out there again, but it's hard not to be able to do the races I wanted to do this year. I think the Tupelo 14 miler is out this year, sad to say. I keep telling myself that taking my time will help me in the long run. I don't want to hinder my progress or hurt myself again, all for the sake of being able to do a race. I am sad that some of my friendships that seemed to come about through running seem pretty much non-exisitant, now that I can't do what I used to...but I guess I need to just accept that and move on. It hurts not to be included, but I don't want to hold people back. Thanks to those of you in Blogland who have been encouraging!