Fall Friends and Family Fest

Spending time with old friends and family do wonders for the soul. We’ve been lucky enough to host and visit a slew of friends and family in the past month. We reminisced, laughed at how ‘old’ we’ve gotten and had fun just hanging around in sweats having a cocktail or two.

Our first guests of the fall were our friends Ryan and Claire. They’ve been friends of ours for about a decade now (what?!) and currently live in Rhode Island. Huge Colorado State fans, we planned their trip for a visit two years ago when the 2016 CSU football team announced a game at Minnesota. Needless to say we’d been looking forward to it for some time.

While not all of the fun things I had planned came to fruition thanks to crummy weather and most of us coming down with bad colds, we had a great time! Here are a few highlights.

 


A few days after they left, we drove to Omaha to celebrate my Great Uncle Dan’s 75th birthday. It was a mini-family reunion of sorts. Unfortunately my dad and stepmom were out of the country and my Walker siblings away at school, but it was so much fun having almost the entire family together. It was fun introducing my kids to extended family and just celebrating as we used to on holidays when I was growing up.

Once back home, we only had to wait a few more days for my sorority sister Kirsten and her husband Brandon to arrive. Kirsten rocked the Medtronic Twin Cities 10 Miler! It was definitely fun to be a spectator for once. Ella and I also ran the Family Mile. She finished it in 12 minutes which I’m pretty sure is faster than I ran my first mile!

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We had better luck with babysitters and were out and about all weekend.

Ah, it was a like a breathe of fresh air being with them. I definitely ate and drank too much and ran too little, but I wouldn’t trade a moment of it.

Just this past weekend we also were treated to a visit from Josh’s parents. We enjoyed a nice dinner, took in a show at the Guthrie Theater and went on a train ride with the entire family. It was another great weekend.

Next weekend, it’s off to Indianapolis for the Monumental Half. I’ll have to write a little update on how training has shaped up. It’s been quite a ride these past several weeks. Can’t wait for more visitors, even if it isn’t until we thaw in the spring!

Staycation With the Girls

We’re down to our final week of living in Colorado. Our days in the state are numbered, as are the days until my 30th. Currently 15 to be exact. Seeing as how we will be in Minnesota on my actual birthday and have will known pretty much no one, Josh suggested I celebrate with some friends before we leave. I originally wanted to have a huge birthday party or fly off to NYC for the weekend, but neither one of those options were really feasible. Instead we spent a weekend having a little staycation.

Saturday morning I met a few of my friends at The Brown Palace in downtown Denver for a little pampering. Greeted by a mimosa, I knew it was going to be just the relaxing morning I needed.

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Mimosa in hand and comfy robe on, we all chatted in the lounge before one by one, we were taken off to our services. Kailen, Kirsten and I started with our nails as the other girls got massages or facials.

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After nails were done, I got an amazing, somewhat painful massage. I really do carry stress in my shoulders. We all finished up around noon and felt refreshed and relaxed.

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As we were walking to my favorite little place in LoDo The Market for lunch, a sign appeared.

Signs Everywhere

I take this as our move being meant to be. Between this, selling our house so fast and Ella’s favorite daycare teacher deciding to move home to Minnesota (YEAY!), I don’t think things could be falling into place any better.

We devoured huge pieces of cake with our lunches and said goodbye to Kailen and Jill. Obviously after such a strenuous morning we were exhausted.  We checked into our suite for some R&R before getting ourselves ready for a night out.

Re-energized and showered, Rachael, Sarah, Kirsten and I headed to dinner. It was a beautiful night for some rooftop dining and to enjoy the bottle of wine Josh had sent to the table as a surprise.

Rooftop dinner

It was pretty early and we weren’t ready to head back to the hotel yet so we stopped at a bar on the way back to the hotel. The name of it escapes me at the moment but they had all sorts of infused vodkas. I wasn’t brave enough for some of them, but Sarah and Rache were all over the pickle shots.

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I think I’m getting too old for shots, but my root beer infused vodka was pretty tasty. We hung out there for a while chatting and people watching. Our favorites were the neon clothed group and a guy carrying around a rugby ball. To each their own.

With our fill of people watching we decided to hit one more bar on our walk. We got so caught up talking and laughing that we walked right by the bars and ended up at the hotel. I had enough anyway. We went up to the room and spent more time talking before I had to get in bed.

At 5:45 the next morning I was wide awake. my body now believes if I get five hours of continuous sleep, I have had enough. That and the girls were so engorged I was in pain. 14oz later, I still couldn’t fall back to sleep. I got dressed, put on my shoes and hit the fitness center for a five mile run. It was slow and I was not feeling hot, but I’m so glad I ran.

Everyone was up by the time I was back and showered. We ate a tasty breakfast then headed our seperate ways. I’m going to see most of them next weekend, but Rache will be out of town. There were long hugs and tears when I dropped her off at her house. Ugh, I’m going to be a mess this week.

I’m so glad I got to spend some quality time with them.

 

A celebration is in order

This is my friend Jill smiling just before starting her first chemo treatment.

Jill Chemo

That funny thing on her head is a cold cap that restricts the blood vessels in your scalp to try to prevent the toxins from getting to your hair follicles. Experimental, but it has worked and she’s kept her hair.

Over the past several months, Jill has undergone chemo every few weeks. Today is her final round of chemotherapy. Throughout the entire treatment process she and her husband John have remained ever positive, happy and caring. I’ve been so impressed by her strength and bravery. I’m lucky to count her as a friend.

Radiation is still to come, but today is a day to celebrate. It’s going to be a good day. Happy Last Day of Chemo Jill!

Colorado Half Marathon Training – Week Five

I was tired when I started the run at 2pm. I thought about putting it off until Sunday, but knew that I had to get it done. With the sun high in the sky and a gentle breeze, the JT Pandora station on and my Fuel Belt around my waist, I was off. I decided that unless I was at a stop light, I would pay no mind to my Garmin. Long runs aren’t for race pace anyway.

It could not have been a more beautiful March day. It was nearly 60 degrees and the streets were filled with cyclists, walkers and runners. I kept my music low enough that I could hear the sweet sounds of spring all around me. I lost myself in the environment and without even a blink of an eye, I was at the half way point and what a half way point it was.

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On my run home I thought about how lucky I was to be healthy and live in such a beautiful place. As I ran by my friend Jill’s street, I thought about how much I missed our runs together and how exciting it will be when she can run again. I wanted to stop in to say hello, but knew that she wasn’t going to be feeling well after the round of chemo she had that Friday.

When I made it home, I was greeted with big hugs from Ella, who then told me I was stinky and needed a shower, and a big drooly smile and squeal from Anderson. Josh congratulated me on a great run before I hopped in the shower as not to offend anyone with my runner’s high induced stench. It is runs like this one that quiet the voices in my head telling me that I can’t do it or these speed workouts aren’t worth it. (Obviously they are because I had an average pace of 8:38 min/miles!) These are the runs that keep me sane and appreciative.

Monday – 6 mile tempo
Tuesday – Rest
Wednesday – 5 x1200 @ 7:35 min/mile
Thursday – Circuit of push-ups, sit-ups, jumping jacks and squats
Friday – Rest
Saturday – 11 miles
Sunday – walk with the fam

Fall has arrived

The mornings are cool, leaves are starting to change and the sun is setting earlier every day. This weekend we had a very busy schedule of fall festivities.

Friday was Longmont’s annual Oktoberfest. We weren’t sure if they were still going to have it with all the flooding but instead of cancelling it, they moved forward with it making it a fundraiser to assist the flood victims. Josh partook in a stein holding contest:

He was in the top four before his arm gave out. After the contest, it was time for face painting and some snacks.

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Of course a beer for mommy too. Luckily Ella didn’t scold me telling me that beer is only for daddy this time.

We listened to some polka music and headed home to get some rest.

Saturday we took it easy in the morning. I slept in a little bit, after being up with Anderson the entire night before. My friend Jill came over and we went for a run around my neighborhood. It was nice to have a running buddy. I cannot find my Garmin, very distressing, so I don’t know pace or anything but we covered 3 miles only having to take one walk break. More on postpartum running this time around to come.

I hurriedly got cleaned up and we went to our last baseball game of the season. It was the perfect September night for America’s pastime.

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It was a late night. We got home around 10 pm. We all slept in, even Ella on Sunday morning. After breakfast we were joined by our friends Cassie and Monte, plus their two kiddos, at a local apple orchard. The kids had a good time filling our baskets with apples and feeding cores to the horses an donkeys.

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By the time our Sunday evening walk was over, we were all exhausted. It was a great weekend.