Friday Tidbits

Folks, feast your eyes on the 2012 Spirit Award winner from my Ultimate Frisbee Team!

I’m super stoked.  It’s my first time ever playing Ultimate so it was insanely sweet of my team to nominate me.  We had a tournament last weekend to cap off the season (where I scored twice!) and was presented with this adorable “Spirit Award Winner” disc.  *blushes*  Awww, shucks.

Hope you  have a spirited weekend!

My Presence, a follow-up

A mere six months ago, I wrote a sorta sappy post about how Hubs and I were choosing to spend time together instead exchanging loads of Christmas gifts. To save you the click through, here were the dates we had decided on:

Hubs Date:

1. A hike and hot chocolate.  As in, Hubs wants to drink hot chocolate at the summit.  That’s all sorts of adorable.  We need to find a thermos, stat.

(the)Candace’s Date:

2. I’m copying last year’s because creativity is not my strong suit and I thoroughly enjoyed the adventures of our morning running date, capped with breakfast.

Shared Date:

3. Either snowshoeing or cross country skiing (also a repeat), depending on what equipment we can round up on the cheap.

If you don’t remember (I barely do), we did hammer out the second date, a frosty morning running and warm sticky buns, in a timely fashion.  But aren’t you just dying to know what we did for the other two?

Frankly, we forgot about it until last week.

To remedy that, we decided to go for a hike.  We set off on Chautauqua’s Second Flatiron trail on a sunny Sunday afternoon:

Hubs also got a chance to break in his new hiking shoes, which were a total steal from Craiglist!

The hike was mostly trails, but also included some scrambling to keep things spicy.

We were blessed with perfect weather, each other and a reminder of how very lucky we are to be here in Colorado living our dream.

Eventually, we made it to the top.  Pretty view – eh?

Long gone are the days for hot chocolate, but you know I’m flexible:

Happy to be with my handsome date, especially when King size Reese’s are involved.

And, that’s it.  Hub’s date is officially checked off.  Seeing how the snow has been gone for two seasons already, we may have to improvise on the third and last date.  Hubs can’t wait to spend more time with me, because working from home and sharing every meal together just isn’t enough Candace for him.

Raves & Faves: JULY

Here is my Top 7 (yes, 7) list of July loves. In other words, another chance to List thing-ys. *claps*

1.  As if my knees and joints didn’t ache enough already trying to keep up with skinny high schoolers, I decided to play on an Ultimate Frisbee league.  Oh and also?  I’d hardly ever thrown a frisbee before so I assumed this would be a complete disaster.  But, I’m enjoying the heck out of it!

What’s absolutely adorable about this league is after the game, each team has to come up with a cheer and SING IT to the other.  Talk about good sportsmanship – consider me a huge fan!

2.  Got my hair chopped.  It went from this:

To this:

IT’S SO MUCH EASIER.

3. My discretionary spending budget finally rolled over.  THANK GOD.  I’ve been getting my spend on!  *rubs hands together*

4.  At Lululemon, where I do free yoga every Sunday, you can donate your gently used yoga mats to Mountain Dog Rescue – called the Downward Dog Movement.  They use the mats to line the dog crates so they are nice and cozy…how wonderful is that?  Since I “earned” a (free) new mat, I brought my old one in to donate to a deserving furbaby.

That is, until a lady behind me snatched it right back out of the bin to use for her practice that morning.  People seriously drive me NUTS.  Between her and the passive agressive lady that brings her grocery coupons to class, they make me want to whack them in the face with my half moon.  That’s not very centered of me, now is it?

5.  Just by happenstance, I fell into a garage sale and made $60!  You know I put that right back into my spending budget!!!  Actually, I had to give Hubs half because we’re married and all.  But, it was exciting nonetheless.  It forced me to go through all of my clothes, most of which I cringed at selling so cheap since they are nice but I just can’t figure out how to put outfits together with them.  I may write a long-winded/boring blog post on cleaning out my closet, so stay tuned for that juicy bit!

Here I am with the garage sale hostesses and the new water bottle I scored (for free) for my bike rides:

 

6. INSTAGRAM.  I alluded to this last Friday, but Instagram is delicious.  For most of you, this software is oooold news.  But, Hubs just got a new phone (with a nice camera) and he’s been Instagraming (new verb) like a madman.  It’s about a bazillion times easier than carrying around our massive DSLR – and Instagram transforms any pictures (even the ones I take!!!) into something somewhat polished.  Best of all, he’s been capturing the little day-to-day moments of our life, which is so sweet.

7.  The Flagstaff Run.  Each week, our cross country kids are challenged with a steep mountain run up Flagstaff.  It’s fairly short but rigorous.  If you make it up in less than 27 minutes, you earn a very coveted Flagstaff t-shirt.  You know how stingy my budget is these days and I wanted that free shirt.  I *needed* it.  So, I busted my 33 year old arse right up that mountain and got one.  Here’s me sporting it afterwards, admiring my own Facebook post about it.

Of course, during last week’s attempt, I fell and banged up my knee pretty bad – still hurts! – and got lost on the way down.  It’s an up and back course, so frankly it’s almost impossible to get lost on the way down.  I am a bonafied idiot somedays.

8.  BONUS ENTRY!  THE 2012 OLYMPICS!  Since we don’t have TV, Hubs set up a proxy server to hack into the British online streaming of the Games and we’ve been glued to the computer ever since.  My Hubs should be awarded the Gold for his Supernerdom!!

July stormed out of here (with lots of lightening and thunder to boot) and August showed up to the red, white and blue party.  Go USA!

Check out July 2011 Raves and Faves and if you are feeling really feisty, July 2010 Raves and Faves are just a click away as well.

Bolder Boulder

A few light years ago (Memorial Day weekend), I told you that Hubs and I were gearing up for our first Bolder Boulder.  I ran the entire 10k – that’s 6.2 miles – carrying our clunky DSLR so I could tell you about it.  Better late than never?

Memorial Day started early.  Hubs brilliantly suggested we ride our bikes to the midway point of the race loop and park our bikes there.  That way, all we had was a reasonable walk to the starting line and then the same for the finish line.  Biking saved us a bunch of headaches since all of the roads were blocked off and there were, you know, over 50k runners and their families to share the town with.  It was nuts!

My fancy timing chip:

In hindsight, we should have afforded ourselves more time at the starting line because it took almost an hour just to check our gear! We figured if we missed our wave (the one we qualified for that day on the treadmill weeks earlier), it wouldn’t matter because new waves were starting every minute for the next FIVE HOURS.  FIVE HOURS!!!

Side note: They dedicate the first three waves to all of those courageous folks, past and present, that have served our country.  Love. that.

Miraculously, we did manage to squeeze into our wave just in time…our start time was 7.15am!

A real close up pre-race picture:

Lots and lots of runner legs:

The race started and Hubs and I set out.  There was loads of entertainment around every turn and we soaked it all up!

We ran into the Blues Brothers:

We enjoyed tons of bands and jugglers and cheerleaders and people in costumes…

We may have also snacked on marshmallows

and bacon…

Obviously we weren’t breaking any records (we finished in just under an hour) snarfing down bacon and carrying a fancy camera around, but my potty break at mile 5 didn’t help things either.

The finish is awesome.  You run a final lap inside the Folsom Field stadium, with the crowds cheering you on.  I felt like I was in the Olympics!  This is what it looks like – can you spot the local wildlife?

Hubs with 6.2 miles under his belt and his hands full of race swag (including two beers!):

He was just one of the many folks picking up their post race lunch totes.

We sat in the stadium for a while, watching the waves (and waves and waves) of finishers come through.

We had a while to wait still before the elite race (the final race of the day), so I did what I always do when I have too much time on my hands:

Then we moseyed back to where we parked our bikes, grabbed a seat and a coffee to spectate the elite race, which has one of the largest purses in the country so it attracts incredible talent!

Holy fit, Batman.

Afterward, we biked home and still had the rest of the day to BBQ with friends at a local park.  Good, good times.  Well, not our actual Bolder Boulder race times but you know what I mean.

A Candace Date

You know the spiel.  For Christmas, we swapped some presents but the real gift was choosing to spend time with one another and blah blah blah.  Since I don’t like waiting in line, I chose first.

It’s a total repeat of last year because I’m a simple lady, that or my brain is too small to come up with anything different.  Unlike last year, to Hub’s dismay, I had it in my wrinkly forehead that a SUNRISE run in the mountains would be all the more special.  Think of the grand pictures we would take!  How could he say no; I mean it was my date after all?

A break for some science:  Based on a lot of things, like the Earth’s axis and complicated stuff we learned at one point but replaced it nonchalantly with Jersey Shore quotes, the sun rises in the East and sets in the West.  The mountains are West of us.  So, as you would guess, my visions of sun soaked mountain glory didn’t quite happen, but don’t fret, the story still has a happy ending.

Hubs and I shivered all the way to Wonderland Lake trail.  He was less than amused by the murderously chilly air.

We set off for an easy run.  It was quiet except for the crunchy snow (or maybe that was my kneecaps grinding together?) and my excited chatter.  Proof there was actual running because you know how I get when I start telling stories:

Proof also that my hair looked too stupid to take any close ups:

We snagged a sunrise over the suburbs with our backs sulking against the mountains

and then headed home for some fresh-out-of-the-oven sticky buns for breakfast.

See, I told you it had a happy ending.

Coach Candace

“We cannot always build the future for our youth, but we can build our youth for the future.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt
For me, running was the perfect sport.  There were no cuts, no starting line ups.  Instead, each race was a wide open opportunity to be, simply put, a better person than you were before you stepped up to the starting line. 

I’ve taken so much from the sport of running that I’ve been yearning for a chance to give back.  I wanted, in some small way, to try and repay the gifts my coaches gave to me.  They gave me what I needed most: a place to build up my confidence and help heal my self critical heart.  It was a safe place where I could be part of a team, celebrate the strength of my own body…feel like it was worth being me for once, you know?

So, a few weeks ago, I officially became Coach Candace.

I’m coaching a high school cross country team and loving every moment of it.  I honestly believe, buried behind the confused stares and eye rolling, that my loving encouragement is really making an impact on their lives.  See?

My Other Half

As you know (but probably couldn’t give a crap), I scooted through a half marathon over Memorial Day weekend and turns out, I survived to tell you about it.

Two noteworthy events: I recruited my own personal cheering section (Hubs and MamaP) to help distract me from the task at hand and I pilfered so many Trader Joe’s yummy-rific granola bars at the finish line that I feel simultaneously smug and ashamed.

Race Morning unfolded in complete chaos because I did everything I warned my running class NOT to do:  The night before, I ate very running tummy unfriendly foods (handfuls of Doritos, lime cheesecake, and a brat).  Then, we stayed up way too late because Hubs was trying to figure out the race logistics while I somberly debated on whether I should wear my black tank top OR my black t-shirt.   (Caught in a fit of indecision, I ending up wearing both and had to ditch the t-shirt at mile 4).  Race morning came much too early and during the frantic car ride to the starting line (Hubs was driving), I inhaled a sloppy peanut butter bagel, washed it down with Grape Gatorade, put on my makeup (diva alert), called MamaP, did my hair, slathered on sunscreen (which proved to be unnecessary) AND pinned my race number to my shorts, all while buckled in.  I called myself a very talented multitasker (which is not a word); Hubs called me ill-prepared.

Anyway.  Hubs dropped me off at the start (just in time for a pee break) and snapped the only pic with our beloved Nikon because the threat of rain (and probably my early morning antics) had his eyes twitching.

Ta Da.

(This look brought to you by using self tanner on my legs but not on my arms.  I’m awesome.)

“Hey, good luck, wife for life!”

“Thanks!  Tell Mom to look for me, I’ll be the one wearing a white hat!”

And then I was off in search of a port-a-potty and Hubs drove off in search of MamaP (she was later recovered in a Walmart parking lot, eating garlic bagel chips and drinking gas station cappuccino).

By some miracle, I ended up at the starting line with a fully charged iPod and running watch, an empty bladder and peanut buttery-Gatorade breath.  I was ready.

The gun went off.  I started running.  This part is boring so let’s skip over it.

MamaP’s undying enthusiasm and Hubs calm disposition made them quite the cheering team.  They trucked all over town, lending their support, taking pictures…even hollering at me from a busy intersection.  They were cheering lunatics, I tell you.

“SIL, I think I see her white hat – my God, here she comes!!!  Let me get my camera!”

“Um.  Carol.  That person is a man.”

“Oh.  My bad.  Are the bagel chips still in the car?”

Here, proof of MamaP’s many false starts.

As the white hat sighting tally continued to climb, the candace sighting remained a concerning constant:

But, thankfully MamaP was able to *finally* capture a picture of me, which thrilled us both to no end.

Conversely, it was not hard for ME to spot MamaP.  I can recognize her voice anywhere.  I’ve been loving that voice since my days of backstroking around in her gut.  And it doesn’t hurt that her fiery red hair is a beacon of something (not sure what) that I could never mistake as anything but my one and only, MamaP.  Her and Hubs cheered like crazy for me and I gobbled up the attention like it was one of my MIL’s desserts.

Oh and the fact that our wedding song popped onto my iPod during the last mile and the finish line was at the very place I got married almost *exactly* two years ago and knowing the two of them were together, my new family and my old family, waiting to root me on at the finish was a total warm fuzzies overload.  I cried.

I finished and have a medal, a bushel of granola bars and a very thankful heart to prove it.

Then we went to Perkins to stuff our faces, the end.

Oh, the weather outside is frightful…

But we keep running.  Because we take being Santa’s favorite helpers very seriously.

It doesn’t look it, but it’s COLD outside.  And slick.  Wish us luck, it’s going to be a long winter.  This post is logged under my sweat and ponytails category.  But, that’s misleading.  In actuality, our sweat has frozen over (basically we sweat snow now) and our ponytails have been swapped for hats/scarves/face masks.

Cheers to the post-run fiery hot showers that are aging my skin faster than my full time job.

Helmet Hair

It’s getting chilly out (well, KINDA.  It’s been an usually warm fall!).  Anyhoo,  it’s time to put the bike away for winter.   I don’t put the helmet away though.  I keep that out and wear it to parties because safety is always my top priority.

I thought I’d bring you along for my last ride.  Oh come on, what else were you going to do for the next 2 minutes?

Hubs packed me a lunch and sent me on my way.  He works from home now and is very relieved when I finally make it out the door and quit my incessant jabbering.

Bye Hubs!  I’ll probably email you 11 times today!

I peddle casually out of my neighborhood and take this quiet time to think about the day ahead.

Before I know it, I realize I am not biking at all anymore.  In fact, I am zooming down the hill from my house (because I am fancy like that) at approximately a bazillion miles per hour (I stopped peddling long ago) and it’s so freaking cold that my nose hairs have frozen together.

FROZEN TOGETHER.

It also crosses my mind that if any of the seniors residing in the assisted living center next door decide to take a motorized morning jaunt in their wheelchairs, I might not be able to yield to them since I’m moving at the speed of sound.  Not that they could hear me coming anyway.

It takes a while for me to thaw but once I do, I take the rest of the ride into the office to soak in the fall-y view.

Too soon, I arrive at work.  Off to save the world until I win the lottery!

Well.  It’s been 8 hours and I didn’t save the world but I did pay my energy bill and fought with forgotten passwords.  I’ll try again tomorrow.

I grab my helmet and head out.  I may be reading into things but I think my helmet is trying to tell me something.

That I am special.  Anyway.  I’m off!  People are a lot nicer to me when I am on my bike.  I’d like to think it’s because peace and harmony and kindness abounds in the world and not because they are mistaking me for an 11 year old girl.

Don’t be impressed, the hardest part about this little bike ride is passing by this lovely establishment twice in one day.

How would the Hubs ever know if I swung in and got myself a cup of curly fries before dinner?  Exactly, he wouldn’t.  Let’s keep it that way.

Ah, almost home.

Sorry, that’s the massive assisted living complex that completely blocks the view to my actual house.  You remember my morning concerns.

I just have to make it up the (frozen nose hair) hill until I can rest.  *sigh*  Here it goes…

And after a little while (which seems like forever), I’m home.  Thanks for coming with me.

“Hey Hubs!  Guess who’s hooooome!?!  In other news, I’m so hungry that I could eat my arm off so we need to have dinner right now.”

What is everyone else doing to prep for winter?

These are some soggy days

My week started out like this:

thecandace peeks out at her running buddy: “Think we should still run?”

Becky: “Let’s do it, I can’t imagine it’ll start raining any harder than it is right now.”

thecandace: “You’re right.  Let’s hit it.”

But, Becky was not right.  We got soaked.

And you know what?  The rain hasn’t stopped coming.  It’s been raining, no, POURING since then.  Basically, Minnesota is sinking into the ocean and I thought that wasn’t supposed to happen until 2012?

Stay dry? And try to make it to Friday.  Flashback Friday.

Update: This flood was a nasty one and Minnesota is still reeling from all of the water it received and the damage it caused. I know many houses and roads (and everything in between) were destroyed. I send out my best wishes of healing and hope during this very sad and crappy time.