Tuesday, November 09, 2010

{Half Marathon, Denver 2010}

Blogging. I go through phases with it. Some weeks, I can't get enough of it, and I feel like I
have a lot of things to share. Other weeks, like recent ones, there isn't a great deal that
seems important or interesting enough to bother putting into cyberspace.

The last few weeks have been kinda crazy. My friend, Lindsay, lost her mom very
unexpectedly and far before her time. I made some attempts to be there for her and her
family, just in pain for them over their tragic loss. I can't even imagine what they've all
been going through. It's a sad situation, to say the least, and Diane will be missed greatly.
We had impromptu doggie company for a handful of days, too. Four large dogs and a cat
makes this house a hectic, hairy place to be. The day after I returned the dogs to their
house, I popped out of town for a long weekend to visit my brother, Pam and the kids.
(We had an awesome time ... photos to follow.) A great deal of video editing awaited me
upon my return, and somewhere in there, life threw me a few more curve balls. I'm just
starting to catch my breath again, and it seemed like a good time to get back to blogging.


They're at it again. David, Barb and Jason -- who can practically run a half marathon in their
sleep -- completed another 13.1 mile race in the PF Chang's Rock 'n' Roll circuit. This time,
their adventures took us to Denver (in mid-October). It was my first time there, and I loved
it. Here's the trio just before they made their way to the starting line:

It was a chilly morning -- 45 degrees -- and an awesome change from the weather in the
desert. I went down and waited for the runners to fill the street before me, just as I
realized I was on the wrong street. I ran up to the corner on my left and a few minutes
later, my runners jogged by and waved hello. :)

Once I knew they were off and running, I cut across the course in hopes of seeing them
again at mile three or four. I missed Barb and David, unfortunately, but at least I got to
see Jason. Race morning is so much fun. There's awesome energy everywhere. I cheered
on the runners I didn't know and chatted with a few spectators.

There were over 15,000 entrants at the race from all 50 states and 18 countries.
This was the first time Denver hosted a Rock 'n' Roll marathon and half marathon.
It sounded like the course was set up well and things seemed well organized. Word
has it, the music and bands were pretty lame. (They have bands every mile of the
race; thus, the "rock 'n' roll" marathon.) Barb was vocal about her disappointment!

They might have been proud of all that running -- deservedly so -- but I was proud of my
new shirt. I tried to take a self portrait but could only manage to get the background in
focus. Grrr. Anyway, we found this at the Nike store the day before. How fabulous, right?
I'm the designated cheer leader, supporter, holder of personal items, and photographer on
race day. This is, therefore, the perfect shirt for me. :)

I eventually found a spot from which to watch thousands of athletes pour in after a long
race. David, Barb and Jason all finished in under two hours! Rock stars, I tell ya.

Here's David, moments after his one hour and 54 minute finish, putting on his metal.
(He's racking up quite a collection of these things. We need to think of something to
do with them.)

And this is David, again, doing what he did for two straight weeks leading up to the race --
coughing. Poor thing had tight lungs, chest and head congestion and an achy body from
being sick. He sounded terrible after his run that morning. Thankfully, he'd gone to the
doctor's office and she gave him an inhaler to help things along.

We "did Denver" -- as Debbie from Dallas would say -- before and after the race. First,
we went to the Denver Art Museum for the King Tut exhibit, which I should warn you,
was half cool and half disappointment. It was interesting and beautifully laid out, but
then it ended before it should have. We were all expecting to actually see King Tut or
his coffins or something. The name of the exhibit lent to that expectation, you know?
The Egypt display at the Field Museum in downtown Chicago that I saw two weekends
later was better, in my opinion. Anyway, it was still nice to go and check it out.

Incidentally, are any of you watching The Next Iron Chef? This broom and dust pan
installation from the front of the museum was on the show last week. Apparently, the
sculpture was in Vegas at one point because I caught a quick glimpse of it as the
contestants arrived there for the remaining weeks of the competition. :)

We also took a ghost tour on this tricked out bus. It was so much fun. The ghost tour was
a little creepy and a lot appropriate for October. The bus itself is the country version of
blinged out. You could sit in recliners, a couch, a saddle, or an upholstered bench. It's
trimmed with Christmas lights and makes a variety of noises to the delight of all on board.
It was cool to get to ride around Denver's parks and old neighborhoods. It's such a beautiful
area with a lot of character in the homes and buildings. We'd absolutely recommend this if
you're ever in town. Just fyi, they have a history tour and a ghost tour to choose from.

Of course, we sampled some wonderful food at many fabulous restaurants because that's
what we do. Overall, we had some excellent dining experiences. I think my favorite was
at Rioja ... or maybe Euclid Hall. Larimer Square is an eclectic little area. Good people
watching, adorable shops, horse drawn carriages, and amazing eating. It was nice not to
have to rent a car. Everything is close and walkable in the downtown area.

And that's a wrap on our 'lil trip to Denver. It's good to get away every once in awhile --
change scenery and try new things. The next race David has planned is the full marathon
(26.2 miles) here in Phoenix this January. Pretty amazing.


Kristi said...

Great job David! (Barb and Jason too!) Denver is such a cool city, I would love to go on a ghost tour :)
PS So sad about Lindsay losing her mom, glad you could help her out some

Ale said...

Hi Sam,

I finally had a chance to read your last posting. I am so sorry about Lindsay's mom. Good she has good friends around her...like you :)

It seems you guys had a great time in
Denver! the pictures as always are great! Thank you for sharing!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the tour of Denver, I have always wanted to go there. (I heard there is a huge salvage center there). Jill use to live there and it looks beautiful. I feel your pain on the self-portrait, that isn't an easy thing to do! So sorry about your friend's mother, that is nice that you could be there for them!

House of Foodies said...

I must have been sleeping when you were blogging in November. This is a great post about our Denver trip. Fun pictures and fun memories. It's like I have access to your personal diary :-) Good times!!