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David Life in Colorado

David Does Winter

David posted a couple of videos recently on the Familyvance YouTube Channel that we hope you’ll watch as an enticement to come visit Colorado in Winter. Our Texas friends and family always blanch at visiting in Winter because they think it’s too cold. It’s not, it’s awesome weather for being outside, and it makes sitting by the fire afterward all the more special.

The first video is just to show what it’s like to run in Winter through snow and ice (spoiler: not that bad, kind of fun). The second video is a trip to Eldora to snowboard and ski with his sister, Valerie and family. Only Valerie appears in the video, but there should be another video produced soon that will show Elijah, Joshua, Lindsay, Lauren … the whole crew.

The videos are a little wobbly, but hopefully they give you an idea about living in a winter wonderland. We mostly love it because of adventures like these. Enjoy.

David Goes Running

David Goes Snowboarding

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Life in Colorado

South Platte River Trail

The South Platte River Trail is a 17-mile long paved trail along the South Platte River, running from Thornton, northeast of Denver, through metro Denver, and into Lakewood, southwest of Denver. Jessica, Josh and I visited the Thornton portion of the trail on Saturday, March 7th, 2015 in search of a duck, namely a Barrow’s Goldeneye.

South Platte River Trail

Platte River Trailhead Park in Thornton is about a 40-minute drive from our house in Boulder, and when we arrived around 2pm the parking lot had only a few cars. There is also a “fishing facility” here, which appears to be enclosed ponds with what I assume is stocked fish, but it is closed during the winter so I couldn’t explore and investigate. The park itself is really just a parking lot with a gazebo nearby and access to the river trail. The trail, as mentioned, runs through very urban surroundings, with warehouses, power lines, barbed wire fences, railroad tracks and all the amenities of the modern industrial park in abundance.

South Platte River Trail

The three of us walked a few hundred yards downstream (which oddly, at least to this Texan, is North-Northeast), but soon turned back upstream since Jessica thought that’s where her fellow birders had seen the duck she was after. It was a beautiful day, around 50 degrees and sunny, and the paved trail was lightly traveled by bikers and the occasional walker, birder and runner. I decided the running prospects were too good to pass up (beautiful day, flat paved trail), so I changed clothes and set off on a 4 mile run. (As an aside, I surprised my slow self when I ran my fourth mile in 7:58. Surprised and saddened.)

The trail runs along the river, but in places it is several hundred feet from the river itself. Down on the shoals were a couple of men and families fishing. Parking lots and bathrooms, picnic tables and benches appeared every so often. And even though you’re walking/running through an industrial park, it still feels like “being out in nature” with the rabbits, prairie dogs and the ducks. Oh yes, the ducks. Along my run I stopped, for Jessica’s sake, to ask obvious birders if they had seen a Barrow’s Goldeneye, and one lady claimed to, but on further questioning wasn’t sure of the difference between a Common Goldeneye and a Barrow’s Goldeneye! Can you believe that?! Duh, obvious!

South Platte River Trail

Upon finishing my run I returned to Josh and Jessica, who unfortunately hadn’t spotted her duck that day. Josh and I walked the mile or so back to the car with Jessica lingering behind and continuing her duckless quest. A friend had told Jessica the trail was not a safe place for females walking alone, but we never sensed that vibe, and it rather seemed like a pleasant, uncrowded natural oasis amidst an industrial desert.

Jessica soon reached the car and we left, duckless but undaunted. We agreed that we might not ever return. However, if there’s a particular bird there, I’m sure Jessica will be back. I might also like to explore the fishing options. All-in-all, a nice place to go if you have a reason (birding, biking, fishing), but not somewhere you would make a destination.

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Juice and Joy

Obligatory 3M Report

My 3M experience is forgettable. I’m happy for Sarah as she did fabulous.

We rarely had a training run where both of us felt good.

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One week, I’d be feeling superb while Sarah struggled. The next week I was whining (as usual) while Sarah was strong.

It didn’t matter the distance or terrain. It didn’t matter if it was thick and warm or crunchy and cool. We ran at odd times to accommodate our odd-mom schedules. There was one long run where we both felt like crap. We met at 1pm on a Saturday afternoon as that was the soonest we could both meet. We advise anyone to avoid running at 1pm on a fairly empty stomach.

I wasn’t as dedicated this year. I didn’t run as much or train as long. I started out fine, and Sarah and I had a race plan. I think it was between mile 2 and 3 that I knew something was wrong with me. I shook it off and thought I’d feel better after a Gu at the 5.5 mile water stop. I didn’t really feel better at all. I think I whined a bunch. I slowed us down from our race goal. At mile 7 I got quit dizzy and pulled out. I sent Sarah on with instructions for the rest of the race. She didn’t want to leave me, but I didn’t want to mess her 1st half-marathon up for her.

I walked a bit and thought I could catch her. Each time I ran, I’d feel nauseous and as though I was running 400s rather than a snail pace. It ached everywhere. I saw Linda cheering between mile 8 and 9 and almost quit as I asked if her car was nearby. Then I thought of David. He’d finished already. He’d given fibers of himself he didn’t know were there (I’m not saying that b/c that is what he told me after the race, I’m saying that b/c that is what I knew at the time he’d done). I thought of him jogging back down the course to meet us, looking for me, seeing Sarah, hearing her say I was not well and back further, him running along and not finding me.

I kept going. I tried to run. I walked. I made it to Duval and started to cry. I hung my head as I passed cheering Gazelles hoping they wouldn’t recognize DV’s lame-ass wife. By this point, I knew David was close. I tried to stop crying. Tried to stop feeling sorry for myself for feeling sick and sucking. Then I saw him. He was running on the sidewalk toward me. I couldn’t hold back my stinging tears anymore. The woman next to me gave a surprised look at my sob as I wiped my eyes and shielded my face from the world.

He knew already that I wasn’t well. He’d passed all of my running friends: Erin, Barb, Gayatri, Leslie, and Sarah. He saw me struggle, saw me pull out and dry heave, heard me lament about the first 10 miles, and heard me whine. He stayed with me until the last 200 meters where he pealed off to avoid crossing the finish line again with his chip.

Even after the way I felt, how I struggled, how I wanted to quit from feeling sick and dizzy and weak, I felt like I didn’t try hard enough. Isn’t that funny?

No race ever has been that hard for me. I am glad I finished. I hate that I took so long to do it. I don’t want to hear cheer-me-ups or any such nonsense.

Let’s all clap for Sarah as she finished her first half-marathon! Now we are on to training of the Rosedale Ride on March 28.

Categories
Juice and Joy

What Kind of Runner I Am

Ah, running. What can I say?

Humid, sticky long run last Friday morning with Sarah, Barb and Leslie A. Felt like a moist spring viagra from canada morning. Doesn’t G-tree dislike me saying “moist” or was that someone else? G-tree, here’s a “moist” shout-out for ya. 😉

Circuit is still one of my favorites. Can’t get used to this Texas weather even though I’ve never lived anywhere else. Wanted fewer clothes running on Friday. Wanted more clothes Monday night at the AHS track for circuit. Perfect weather for running today, and I see some cold air is on slate for tomorrow. Maybe this year I’ll finally purchase decent running tights??

A perfect time this afternoon with my boys. A bit of whining on their part for going to the trail (really, it wasn’t me whining for a change). Once they settled it that we were going to the trail to bike and run, they were fine. We headed out the NE side of the trail to the 5 mile marker and back. I wanted a short tempo run, but it’s always hard with kids in tow (they were on their bikes).

Joshua asked for a stop at a lovely little tree patch before the wooden foot bridge east of The Four Seasons. There’s a little art statue thing that we admired. About 20 ducks were having a river party, and Joshua looked like a model lazily leaning against a gorgeous tree in its fall party clothes. The squirrels were like kittens scampering up for food. Some kind soul had left some peanuts on the statue, which we we tossed to them. I really think I could have petted them if I’d wanted to. They came closer when we did the “Tchk-Tchk-Tchk” of kitten and cat calling.

So, we took about a 5-minute break during my tempo run. I think that says a lot about what kind of runner I am. I don’t know many folks who pay much attention to the stunning scenery offered at Lady Bird Lake. If they do, most are too serious to actually stop. That stop Joshua requested today was the highlight of my run and my day.

Categories
Juice and Joy

Just Because Too

I’m running a little bit more now. Maybe 3M. Maybe not.