Monday, March 30, 2009

More photos from last weekend.

Shot of the Balanced Rock at Garden of the Gods

In front of balanced rock

Family under Balanced Rock. Glad it didn't fall...that would have put a damper on the wedding

Shot of Garden of the Gods

I spent most of my Saturday morning at the airport trying to get Madison on a plane to visit her dad. It was quite chaotic due to the snowstorm, spring breakers, etc. I finally got her on her plane only to find out that the plane she was on had hydraulic issues. Now, I’m not too good with mechanical things, but I do know that when you say there are issues with the hydraulics, that’s not a good sign. I wanted her off of that plane. I heard that there was a lot of going back and forth about whether to try and fix that plane or get a new one. The pilot himself finally got off of the plane and requested a new plane. Thank god, that saved me from looking like a fool and yanking her out of there. They had the people onto a new plane in record time. I was impressed. I left the airport around 1:00 and headed home. I called Rick to let him know I was heading that way and he was just getting home from the store. He was planning on grilling me some yummy food. He’s such a great husband! We ate salmon steaks, baked potatoes, asparagus, and bread and settled in to watch the Mizzou game. Unfortunately they lost, but I was incredibly happy that it wasn’t a total blowout! We will have an awesome team next year.

Sunday, I went on my twelve mile run. The roads were finally cleared up as were the sidewalks. It was a gorgeous day, the sun was shining and it was near sixty. The only bad thing was that the wind was roaring. Rick went on a road ride at the same time that I did my run and he said that he actually had to pedal downhill it was so windy. I was climbing back up the incline to our house and was having a ton of trouble due to the wind and my asthma. My legs felt great, but man, I thought I would have a heart attack my chest hurt so badly. I got back to my house and downed a glass of chocolate milk and hunted for something to chow on. I opened the fridge and low and behold, there was a brand new jar of open peanut butter sitting there. I had been having withdrawals since we had been out for a few days. I had seen it sitting in the cabinet earlier, but we buy the all natural stuff that you have to stir and I’m too much of a wimp to do it. Rick has actually gone so far as to say that the only reason that I married him was to have someone to stir my peanut butter for me. While it is a plus, I do love other things about him. I downed a few spoonfuls and showered and changed clothes. Not much went on the rest of the day, did a few chores and lounged around with Rick.

Friday, March 27, 2009

How About them Tigers???

From sweet to elite! Are we headed for the final four? Let's cross our fingers. What an exciting game it was last night. People are still talking about that halftime shot. I guess we get to play top-seeded Connecticut for the West title on Saturday.

Not much going on at the home front. I didn't make it to coyote duty last night. I didn't feel like trudging through 12 inches of snow; I hope the shooter felt the same way. I got in a nice easy 40 minute recovery run on the dreadmill and then spent some time stretching my muscles. I felt like jelly after the stretch...mmmm what a good feeling. Rick came home and whipped up a batch of super awesome chili, which was perfect for a cold, snowy, night. I had planned to start it before he got home, but all we had ingrediants wise was meat and one can of beans. He told me NOT to leave the house and go to the store (he knows how I drive in the snow), that he would do it when he got home. Fine with me. Since I got home so early, I got some laundry and house cleaning accomplished and just got to relax and hang with Madison the rest of the day. I love snow days!!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Uhhh...wasn't it just seventy degrees the other day?

Scenes from my front and back door.

So we are supposed to get up to 16 inches dumped on us today and tomorrow. Looks like we are well on our way! It was in the seventies the other day! Madison's school was cancelled and my work let us out early. It took me 40 minutes to get home and normally it only takes 10 minutes. Traffic was bad and the roads were slick, which basically led to total chaos.
In running news, I've gotten in a five miler on Monday and a six miler last night. Tonight's run will be on the dreadmill....I'm so excited. I am doing a twelve miler on Sunday, let's hope that doesn't have to be on the dreadmill. I would die! Tonight will be just an easy paced recovery run.

One more thing.....Happy Birthday Laura! Hope it's a great one. :)

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Finally...A Wedding

Saturday, we got up and loaded up on pancakes, eggs, bacon, and coffee and then everyone went their separate ways to enjoy the gorgeous day. Rick’s family went to Cripple Creek to gamble, several of our friends went hiking at various places, Tim and Paula went to visit Colorado Springs breweries, Rick stayed at the lodge, and I took my family to Garden of the Gods. I had been there with Rick a couple of years back and I wanted my family to see how beautiful it was. It didn’t disappoint and my family really enjoyed seeing Pikes Peak, balancing rocks, and all of the rock climbers in the park.

Garden of the Gods

View of Pikes Peak

We finally headed back to the lodge around 1:00, so that I could take a nap before the ceremony started. I’m not used to staying up late and it was WAY past my bedtime by the time I finally hit the sack on Friday. The ceremony was supposed to start at 5:00, so I had plenty of time.

I was just waking up when everyone started streaming back to the lodge to change and hang out. The caterers arrived at 3:30 and our wedding officiant and acoustic guitar player arrived around 4:00. We were a little unsure of whether we would be able to hold the ceremony outside or not, it was cloudy, cold, and a little windy. However, at 4:00, the sky opened up a brilliant blue, the wind died down, and it was a perfect temperature for an outside wedding. Yay! I better get ready now! My sister helped me put fake extensions in my hair and curl it and put it up; it turned out really pretty. My mom, Madison, Madison’s friend Ronnie, and I just hung out in Rick and my honeymoon suite until the ceremony started. There were lots of pictures, a lot of laughs, and a few tears, but I am very happy that they were all there with me.

Finally at 5:00, Tony, our acoustic guitar player, started playing Cannon in D and I knew it was show time! I sent my two little flower girls (my niece Ryan and our friends’ daughter Elsa) out ahead of me and Madison (she walked me down the aisle) and I followed. I was shaking by the time we reached Mary (the officiate) and Rick, so Mary suggested that we hold hands. That was a great suggestion; it was wonderful to look into Rick’s eyes throughout our vows. We said our vows etc and then my sister Laura gave a very touching, yet funny reading for us. It was perfect. Thank you Laura!

Flower girls

Walking mom down the aisle

Gazing at Rick

Trying to get my ring on

Putting Rick's ring on

Rick says his vows

Cute little flower girls

Laura gives a reading

Listening to Laura

Still listening to was a great reading that she wrote herself!!!

Kiss the bride

New family walking down the aisle; check out Rick's ring :)

All and all the whole ceremony was perfect. I could not have asked for a more beautiful day and the wedding was so small and intimate that we had lots of interaction between us and our audience. I am so thankful that I was able to marry the love of my life surrounded by our families and close friends. I am truly blessed.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Memorable night of Music and Friends

We left for the mountain lodge where we were going to be married today. I woke up a little tired, a little stressed, but ready to get down there. Before we left, I got in my ten mile run. It started out really crappy since I was so tired and I kept coming up with excuses on why I should just stop and go home. I finally just had to tell myself to suck it up and get it done. It was slow going, but I finished and went home to shower and change. When I got there, Rick’s friend Dirk and his wife Amanda were at our house. It was so great to see them! Amanda is due to deliver their little girl in July and she looked wonderful. She’s currently in med school right now and still has a couple of years left; what a brave woman!

Tara and Rick at the Lodge

Tara, Rick, and Poi Dog

Tim playing with Poi Dog

Tara and Laura

Rick playing with Poi Dog!

Frank signing Rick's guitar

Rick and Frank

Rick and friends having a great time!

I finally went over to pick Madison and her friend from school and we headed to the lodge around 3:00. I had planned a surprise show that night for Rick and his friends. Rick has been a fan of a group called Poi Dog Pondering since his college years and I had arranged, with the help of our friend Tim, for them to play at the lodge on Friday night. They were to arrive at the lodge around 7:00. We were barbequing burgers, brats, pork tenderloin etc and were just relaxing and catching up when I made the announcement of the show. The look on the guy’s faces was absolutely priceless when I made the announcement and they walked in! Tim has had a couple of Poi Dog shows at his house, but none of us have ever been able to make it. The show was great and I had brought Rick’s guitar down with us, so he was able to play with them as well. I was so happy that it turned out so well. Everyone appreciated a most memorable night.

My family enjoying the show

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Countdown to ball and chain day.

Only four more days. I spent the entire weekend cleaning house and running errands. You never realize how dirty your house is until company comes in. I vacuum, mop wood floors, etc at least once a week, but this weekend I did DEEP cleaning. Spider webs came down, dust on the baseboards went bye bye, and I finally scraped that spaghetti sauce out of the microwave. It feels good to have a fresh house. I did take some time out to do my nine mile run on Saturday and that felt awesome. I ran it in my new heart rate training zones and I had so much more energy throughout the day, I love this new method of training. I feel like a normal person instead of completely spent all of the time.
Today is my first day off of work for a week. I'm going to try and get the rest of the odds and ends wrapped up and relax the rest of the day. Our first guests arrived yesterday from Sonoma, CA. Rick took the day off to pick them up from the airport and will be off all week from work (although I noticed he had his computer out yesterday answering important e-mails...shame on him). He took them skiing today, but I decided to stay home and relax before the mad influx of people. Our wedding is really small, just Rick's mom, dad, brother,sister in law, and their kids, my immediate family, and a few close friends. Rick's family will be here tomorrow, mine will be here on Friday, and the rest of the group will be filtering in over the next couple of days. I'm getting really excited, yet slightly stressed!
Not much else to tell right now, I got in a 50 minute run yesterday in heart rate zone 1 and I plan on mountain biking or trail running tomorrow. The weather here is perfect. Sevety five today and seventy tomorrow. Wedding weather up in the mountains will be in the sixties, which means we will get to hold the wedding outside!!!
The next time that I post, I will probably have tons of wedding pictures and candid shots....I can't wait!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Copper Triangle August 2008

Tonight I downloaded the registration forms for the Copper Triangle. Got them filled out and ready to be mailed tomorrow. I can't wait; it will be so much fun. I don't think I've been on my bike all winter. We did a couple of winter time road rides last year, but none so far this year. Rick and I have both been running. I think that I've finally convinced him that YES, he does like to run. He never really did before. Anyway, back to the Copper ride, it's an 80 mile ride that goes over three mountain passes, which means climbing. The first two passes aren't too bad, Vail pass killed me last year. It was hot, I was tired, and I had never been so glad to see a summit in my life. I actually cried when I saw the sign. It's a little bit of work, but the ride is very well supported and the scenery is gorgeous (see picture above).

Stretching before my run. Piper always gets in my way.

I've gotten a few runs in this week. Monday night I had coyote duty (see my previous posts if you have absolutely no idea what I am talking about), so I got in a very nice paced 5 miles. I didn't see any coyotes, the hazing must be working because normally you at least see a couple at that time of night. Wednesday I did a 5.56 mile run. I started out with an easy 15 minute warmup, then picked up the pace for a couple of miles and left off with a nice easy cool down. The cops were patrolling the park on Wednesday night. They stopped me as I was running to ask if I had seen any coyotes.
Any whos??? I responded, playing dumb (monitors are not looked upon too kindly)
Any coyotes, he asked.
No, but I'll let you know if I see any.
I guess we're doing our job then, he smirked.
Dumb ass, I thought, he's not doing anything. The shooter hasn't shot a coyote in the past few weeks because the monitors have been scaring them off. How ironic that this idiot thought he was "doing his job".
Tonight I got in a 3 mile recovery run and one more coyote duty. I won't be able to patrol at all next week(family and friends coming in for my wedding), so I wanted to make sure I did a few this week. Saturday morning I have a nine mile run scheduled plus coyote duty from 6-8 a.m.
Keep on running! Tara F.soon to be Tara M.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Out with the Old and in with the New!

My new Brooks

Old worn out Brooks

My new shoes are the bomb. Yes, I am in love. I’ve gotten a couple of 5 mile jogs in this week and it’s like running on clouds. Feels so different from the slap, slap, slap against the hard pavement in my old shoes, which are going to shoe heaven very soon. Although, they would make good dog poop scooping shoes….hmmmm. They might have a purpose after all.

I have had several opportunities to run because I’ve spent a couple of night in the park on coyote duty. Let me explain. There are coyotes everywhere out here. I’ve seen them in the parks behind my house, crossing the roads in my neighborhood, hell I’ve even seen one close to downtown. I always see them early in the morning while out on my runs. They’ve never once bothered me, they just run away. One time, one crossed the road in front of Piper and me and sat down to curiously stare at us as we ran by. The thought crossed my mind that it might attack, but as soon as I turned toward it and said “boo”, it turned and scampered off. They are actually kind of cute, but I would never try to cuddle with one. I enjoy my limbs too much. Anyway, one of the Denver suburbs, Greenwood Village, has decided that these little critters are a dangerous threat to society and have hired an exterminator to sit in the city parks and shoot them. Now, I agree, they are a problem, but I think that we should educate people, not have sharp shooters carousing in our parks next to people’s houses. Not only that, but coyotes are sharp critters, if their population starts going down, they compensate by having more babies. They seem to be smarter then the GV city council and its mayor. Anyway, the Humane Society of the US contacted me and asked if I would like to be on “coyote duty”.

“What’s coyote duty?” I asked.

“You basically just have to patrol the parks, watch for the sharp shooter, and scare any of the coyotes away (to give them a natural fear of humans.”

Ok, I can handle this. I have to run at night anyway, so I told them yes.

My first session was on Monday night. I was a little nervous about being in the park after dark with a sharp shooter, so I made sure to pack a headlamp. There aren’t too many coyotes running around Greenwood Village with a headlamp on, so I figured this would distinguish me from them if the shooter caught sight of me. I started my run with my rock in hand (to throw at the coyotes….I know, Rick and Madison are laughing at me too) and decided that I would put in five miles as I was looking for this idiot and coyotes. There was a child’s soccer practice going on and numerous kids at the playground, so I felt pretty safe that there wouldn’t be a shooter that night. However, it got dark, the kids left, and I was alone with my rock. Dark shadows fell over the fields and the trees and I anxiously ran through the dark park. Suddenly, every shadow was a shooter and every noise was a coyote. I squinted trying to see dark shapes (I can’t see very well after dark) and finally gave up. The only way I was going to see a coyote is if it jumped right in front of my face. I finished my run and left the park.

I did the same thing last night. Five mile run and coyote duty. No shooter, no coyotes. The Wildlife Guardians seem to be thinking that our plan is working! The shooter was spotted in another park and even had the audacity to confront one of our monitors. He’s mad because us rock throwing warriors are scaring all of the coyotes away.

Tonight I am doing a three mile tempo run and no coyote duty.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Wow…the weekend just flew by. It was an extremely busy, but productive weekend. I wish I had another couple of days off to enjoy the 70 degree weather we are having here! Friday night, I left work at 4:30. I’ve been working like a dog lately, so I thought that I’d take out early to enjoy a run in the warm weather. It was my first run of the week due to the knee/leg problems that I’ve been having. I got in an easy 4 miles and my leg seemed to be doing a little better. I ran in the park on the soft trail and I think that helped quite a bit. We had Smashburger for dinner that night; well, Rick and I had smashchicken and Madison had the smashburger. It’s a pretty decent meal for a chain restaurant. After dinner, we went to the bike store to look at road bike pedals. Rick had finally decided that he was going to try my Keo Looks and I was going to order the speedplays. They didn’t have them in stock, so we had them shipped to the store. They’ll be here in a week; I can’t wait to try them.

Rick doing chores.

Madison and Ronnie at Breckenridge

Tara and Rick getting ready to ski

I got up on Saturday and took Piper for a run at the park. We did an easy paced 6 miles on the soft trails and I got to thinking that maybe I needed new shoes. I have been running in the Brooks Adrenaline for awhile now and my current ones were pretty shoddy. These are stability shoes for people with pronation issues and the bottoms of mine were pretty worn down. No wonder my knees, calves, and back were hurting. I’d been putting in over 20 miles per week on worn out stability shoes and my body was letting me know that I needed new shoes! So after running Madison around and completing numerous errands, I made it over to the bike store and purchased a brand new pair of Adrenaline GTS 9. Awww….comfort. I can’t wait to run on them.

We spent the rest of the day working around the house and getting chores accomplished so that we could go skiing on Sunday. I cleaned, Rick worked on our family room blinds, and Madison worked on a school project.

Sunday, we got up around 5:30 and rounded our ski gear up and went to Breckenridge. Madison and a friend went with us, so they could shop and check out hot snowboard guys. It was a gorgeous day. It was supposed to be 70 degrees in Denver, so it was 35-40 degrees in the mountains. Rick and I were burning up. We are used to skiing in a lot lower temps, so we were hot with the warm sun beating down on us. We got in tons of runs before packing it up and meeting the girls by the car at noon. It was a great day, skiing in the morning and then back to Denver to enjoy the warm weather for the afternoon

Sweaty after the first run of the week!

Piper got a new toy!