Sunday, October 31, 2010

About That Half Marathon We Ran...

I figured it was about time to post about the Denver Rock 'n Roll half marathon we ran TWO WEEKS ago. I knew that running a half marathon would give me a good idea about whether or not I could handle a full marathon. I knew I would either think "that was awesome, I can't wait for the full marathon" or "no way will I be running TWICE this distance!"
The night before, we had a yummy pasta dinner at Olive Garden, courtesy of Arlene and Ron. We got a good night's sleep and woke up ready to run, albeit a little bleary eyed at 5:15 am.
As it turns out, the half marathon was a great experience for both Matt and I. We got off to a bit of a rocky start, since our light rail train didn't get us downtown until 20 minutes before the race started. We basically had 20 minutes to us the restrooms in the convention center, walk (RUN) the 4 blocks to the race start, check our gear and get to the starting line.
But we made it, and once we got started running, everything was fantastic! The race as a whole was very entertaining. There were lots of spectators cheering us on with signs and cowbells. My favorite sign said "Your Feet Hurt Because You Are Kicking So Much A**!" :)
I liked the Rock 'n Roll marathon because they had live bands playing every mile or so. They were really good, and it made me wish that I could linger a little and listen longer. But we had a race to run!
Matt and I challenged ourselves to run 10 minute miles so that we would finish in 2 hours and 15 minutes. We barely kept this pace at the beginning. I think this was partly due to the fact that it was so crowded that it was hard to find a good "pace." Once we got about halfway through the race, I guess adrenaline kicked in and we really picked up the pace. Our final time ended up being 2 hours, 6 minutes and change.
Around mile 9 or 10, someone was handing out "Gu." Gu is an energy substance that comes in little packets. I can't really describe its consistency other than that of toothpaste. There are lots of different flavors, like vanilla, mandarin orange, berry, etc. By the point where we were offered Gu, I was HUNGRY, to I took one. It was a bad idea at first. When you are thirsty, a pasty gooey substance is not the best thing to put in your mouth. Luckily, there was a water station not far afterward.
I think the Gu did give me some more energy, because we finished the race strong. The best part about the whole thing was getting to see parts of Denver that I had never yet been to. Such as City Park (zoo, museums) and Cheeseman Park, which is just a beautiful pedestrian park.
When we crossed the finish line, I definitely had a "runner's high." I felt like I could have kept going longer. Perhaps not another 13.2 miles, but a marathon definitely didn't seem impossible. It actually made me really excited to sign up for a full marathon. As a matter of fact, we signed up last week for the Nashville Country Music Rock 'n Roll Marathon, April 30, 2011. It is nice to have another goal to work toward now that the half marathon is over.
Here are a few pictures at the finish line. I would have liked to take more along the way, but i didn't really think about getting out the camera while we ran.

Enjoying a celebratory beer in the MGD64 beer garden after the race.

Downtown view from the finish line festival.

Pongo and Perdi Say...

Happy Fall to you all!!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Weekend Home Update

I have been antsy to spruce up our front entry hall. For one thing, it's just empty and unwelcoming. It also drives me nuts that shoes just pile up there. Not something that really welcomes people into the house. See for yourself!

Not very welcoming, am I right?

Luckily, Matt and I happened to wander into World Market this weekend and found the perfect solution. It required me to drive to two different World Markets, on opposite sides of Denver. Matt had to do a little bit of work too. :)

Here is the finished product! A coat hanger, shelves, and matching bench/shoe holder. We are so excited about the outcome! Pongo didn't get off of the bench part all evening, so we know he loves it!

Close up of the shelving unit.

And the bench. Apparently, we will have to ask Pongo's permission to sit on the bench, since he has claimed it as his own already. I think it has been a successful decorating weekend!