Category Archives: Favorites

Telluride: Day 1

For the third weekend in a row I’m on a mini vacation in the mountains. This time to one of my favorite mountain towns, Telluride. I had never been here, but this town, and more specifically the Tim McGraw song about it, is one of the reasons I moved to Colorado.

We were here last year for the same race, Full Tilt in Telluride, but I spent a lot of my time in Mountain Village. This year, we’re staying in town and one of Evan’s friend’s girlfriend is here too, so I have a buddy.

Telluride is nestled on the valley floor in a box canyon so there is one year-round way in and out of the town.

 

At the end of the canyon is the largest waterfall in Colorado, Bridal Veil Falls. Although I have been to Telluride several times I have never been up to the falls, so I made the trek up to the falls Saturday morning. We got caught in some rain and the sky wasn’t Colorado blue but it was still incredible.

 

The hike/bike/drive up to the base of the falls from the Pandora mill is a little less than 2 miles, so as far as hikes go, it is extremely easy. The 365 foot falls are the largest free-falling waterfall in Colorado.

 

You can continue the additional half of a mile or so to the top of the falls where the power plant is. To the top, the elevation gain is about 1,200 feet. We couldn’t go to the house at the top or even down toward the top of the falls because it was closed for construction.

There were tons of waterfalls in New York growing up so I’m not usually that impressed by them, but these are truly awe-inspiring. It is no surprise that they were used in commercials to promote visiting Colorado.

The trail didn’t end at the top of the falls, so I did a very short trail run up a bit higher. The trail got steeper and rockier, but the scenery remained amazing. There were several little waterfalls all around and the wildflowers were gorgeous.

 

All the way down the hike there were stunning views of Telluride tucked into the valley. The sheer rock walls, vibrant red rock, and rugged mountains are so unique to the south western portion of Colorado.

 

We finished out the hike hungry, with sore feet, and in a steady cold rain. Just as we finished we got word that the boys had finished up their race practice and were at the local brewpub, Smuggler Joe’s, for a snack and a beer. That sounded amazing to both of us, so it didn’t take us long to put on dry clothes and get our tired butts there. Luckily it is less than one block from our condo. I had a Debauchery which was a Belgian Tripel and it was excellent. And strong.

 

After a snack and some rest a friend and I took public transportation a.k.a. the gondola to Mountain Village which is basically up and over the mountain. The Town of Mountain Village is new development and serves as the main base area for the ski resort. It is a drastic difference from the town of Telluride.

I don’t think I will ever get tired of the views from the Gondola. The mountain below falls steeply away, you get a peek at the end of the canyon, you’re staring at red rock cliffs straight on, all wall watching the already small town of Telluride shrink from view.

 

Believe it or not there area couple 4×4 road that go up and over that ridge and mountain bike trails that come down it into town.

 

After a quick tour of Mountain Village we took the gondola back to the midway point, the peak of the ridge, and wandered into a mountain top restaurant, Allreds, for a fancy drink. Just as we finished our drink, the boys called and we caught up with them to jump back on the gondola and head back to Town.

As I look around this town it is no wonder that people will do anything to live here and celebrities have been flocking here more and more recently. It is such a unique town with an incredible historic, but trendy vibe.

Off to savor more of this incredible town.


Have you ever wanted to live somewhere without having ever been there?

Weekend Recap: Lazy Bones

Well, not so much lazy bones ALL weekend. Just part of it. Here’s the quick recap.

Friday

We met friends at Great Divide Brewery for happy hour(s!). The plan was a beer or two then home for dinner. The plan went by the wayside. Beers were delicious.

 

We went out for dinner. I ate pizza again for I think the seventh day in a row. This time from a new place, Ignite!. It was decent.

It poured rain all night. It was glorious!

Saturday

Not surprisingly, since Friday’s plan went out the window, so did Saturday morning’s plan of getting up early to go ride bikes. Instead I was super freaking lazy. Finally by midday, I pulled myself together and headed out for a quick mountain bike ride. I demoed the carbon version of my current bike. It was love. But more on that some other time.

Following my bike ride, I headed to visit my Mom. We went shopping, but I didn’t buy anything. I did, however, get soaking wet. It is apparently Monsoon season here in CO now. Whatever that means. I’m fine with it as long as it isn’t in the triple digits again anytime soon.

 

It was tough, but I drug myself off my Mom’s couch and headed home for a little yoga session.

 

Then Evan and I made a tasty dinner! I’ll post the recipe up sometime soon. It is worth making the quinoa for sure!

Cheesy Mexican Quinoa + Corn + Chili Lime Chicken.

 

Sunday

Sunday started off with much more motivation. Evan and I were both up and out the door early to ride bikes. Road for her, DH for him.

I met up with some girlfriends to go for a very damp, but super enjoyable ride. We had no particular route in mind, just kind of wandered. The fog was so thick that it felt like it was raining. We covered about 25 miles and about 2,000 feet of climbing.

 

Immediately after our ride, I went to yoga. I thought it was the free beginner class. It was not. It was Yoga Sculpt. It was brutal. I was hungry and dehydrated and hot. In the end, good though.

I did some grocery shopping and started prepping food for the week and for dinner. It started downpouring. Again. This might have been the hardest rain I’ve ever seen.

 

Evan and I planned to have my Mom and Duke over for dinner since my Dad is out-of-town. On the menu was Heirloom Tomato and Peach Salad with Pork Tenderloin and Pineapple relish. Heirloom tomatoes are not easy to find and when you find them, they are not cheap.

Dinner was prepped and I braved the rain to grill the pork. Just on time, my Mom and Duke arrived. Duke had apparently been digging before the left home. Too cute.

 

Dinner was so good. The tomatoes were worth every penny and all of the running around. Recipe to come.

 

The weekend drew to a rainy close and I slept like a baby to the sound of it. I do miss regular rain.

How was your weekend? Did you have any good eats? Go on any adventures? 

28th Birthday Celebrations

Happy Friday! And a very special Happy Birthday to my Mom! She’s an amazing lady! I was her early birthday present 28 years ago, isn’t she lucky?

Birthday Celebrations

In case the internet hasn’t already told you, yesterday was my birthday! We celebrated on Wednesday and we celebrated more yesterday. I plan on extending my birthday celebrations for a solid month. Not annoying for everyone around me at all, right?

Evan and I pedaled to work yesterday. Even though we were tired from all the biking on Wednesday, it was a glorious way to start my birthday!

I didn’t have anything at work for lunch and it was my birthday and I love pizza and Wazee Supper Club is across the street from my office and I ate a whole pizza for lunch. It was amazing! Their bianca pizza (white pizza or garlic pizza) is excellent.

 

I skipped out of work a wee-bit early and headed to a new CorePower yoga studio that opened and enjoyed a class with only one other person in it for free because it was my birthday. I was a sweaty, hot mess by the end of class. It was a beginner class, but it provided some much-needed relaxation and detox.

My parents scooped Evan and I up and we headed to a combined birthday dinner for my Mom and I. She hadn’t ever had Vietnamese or Pho, so that’s what we had.

We went to Pho on 6th, which I have never been too. It was the nicest Pho restaurant I have ever been in, very nice decor, seating, and great atmosphere.

The four of us started with three appetizers: coconut shrimp, Vietnamese egg rolls, and steamed BBQ pork buns. They were all excellent and the sauces were outstanding.

 

Pho was the dish of choice. We each ordered a little something different, but all got the veggies which in my opinion is a must. I had Central Pho (the spicy version) with shredded chicken and veggies. It was hot, fresh, the veggies were crisp, the broth was light, and the flavor was excellent. None of us finished our gigantic portions.

 

With very full bellies, we headed back to my parent’s house for dessert! Carrot Cake. Mom made the cake, Dad decorated. It was moist and flavorful. I wanted to eat more, I just didn’t have the room.

 

I thoroughly enjoyed the low-key birthday celebrations and sharing my birthday with my Mom!

Feeling Flat

I had an amazing weekend and Monday was, well, a Monday. I’ll recap the weekend which included a trip to Vail and a super fun mountain bike ride on Cougar ridge from Vail to Minturn, but I’m waiting on photos. I was a slacker and didn’t take any or have my GPS, so it would be a boring post if I wrote it now.

 

In general, I’m feeling tired, sore, and in need of rest and the past few days have made that very apparent.

Workout – Monday

Yesterday morning I planned on heading to the gym to do some strength training, but when I opened the door to a cool morning I couldn’t resist running. Cool weather is hard to come by here in Colorado lately. We’ve had mid-90s temps for a few days now. It is kind of unbearable if you ask me.

I ran down to the park the stopped and did my strength circuits plus an extra just for fun.

 

Circuit 1

  • Front & back lunges – 6x each, each side
  • Incline push ups on low bar – 15x
  • Burpees – 15x
  • Repeat

Circuit 2 

  • Lateral pull-ups on medium bar – 15x
  • Hanging tucked leg lifts – alternating sides – 6x each
  • Squat jumps – 15x
  • Repeat

Circuit 3

  • Tricep dips – 15x
  • Reverse crunches on bench – 15x
  • Lunge jumps, alternating – 10x each side
  • Repeat

I ran home for a total of a little over 2 miles of running, but it felt like a lot more with those circuits mixed in!

Biking/Commute

Evan and I drove to work, but planned on riding home together. I love being able to commute with Evan. It is great to have a buddy and helps me push harder, slow down, spin more, support me or whatever it happens to be that I need on the particular day. Yesterday, it was just someone for support and to tell me to shift and spin instead of mashing my pedals.

I was tired. My legs weren’t burning or hurting, they  just wouldn’t go. I felt tired through my whole body and no matter how much I shifted, pedaling still wasn’t getting any easier.

We still made it home in reasonable time, about 53 minutes from my office, and I was thrilled to get off the bike.

The morning workout + uphill commute + nearly 100 degree temps beat me up.

Mountain Biking

Clearly, I needed some rest after yesterday’s ride home and this morning’s very sore legs, but I don’t take well to rest days, so I attempted a mountain bike ride this morning before work. It wasn’t my best ride, I didn’t make it far, I fell when I shouldn’t have, but ya know what, it was still awesome to be outdoors getting sweaty before a day in the office.

 

I only rode for about 30 minutes and kept it super easy to hopefully just get my legs moving enough to work out some of the tightness.

One Year

A year ago today I started this little blog of mine. I had some loose direction as to where I wanted it go, what I would blog about and how often I would blog. I’m pretty sure I have strayed from all of those and still don’t have a much clearer direction. For now, it is my place to share anything and everything, but I mainly try to keep it to healthy living related stuff like running, cycling, hiking, other adventures, travel and foodie stuff. I have no idea where it will go in the future, but it is something I truly enjoy and has become therapeutic for me, so I think it will stick around for a while.

30-Day Challenge Update

It has been about 10 days since I set my challenges so I am a bit overdue for an update.

Running: Sadly, I had to give it up. My knee was not getting better even with only one easy mile per day. The last I ran, until today, was about a week ago I think. My body needed it and there was just no sense in pushing myself to get through only one mile, because that is all I could tolerate, day after day.

I would love to add a new challenge to replace the running, but I’d rather wait until I finish the first set then start new challenges all at the same time.

No Alcohol: Easy-peasy. I really only had one day that was tempting last week while I was at a work event, but other than that, it is not big deal.

Workout

This morning I knocked out my strength training workout in about 25 minutes total. And that might even include my travel time to and from the gym. Believe me, I still felt it. I was drenched in sweat and shaky by the time I left. I really love those workouts.

 

I grabbed running clothes hoping to get out at lunch time and hoping even more that I could run more than a quarter of a mile before my knee started hurting. Well, the week of no running paid off! I ran 3 miles with zero pain. My legs were tired from yesterday’s riding and this morning’s lifting, but given the short distance I kept a reasonable pace. Booya! It was super hot out otherwise I would have run longer just because I was excited to be running!

Snack

I had lunch after my run and it was good, but then I polished off some raspberries as an afternoon snack! They’ve been on sale so I am snatching them up and eating them anytime I want totally guilt free. So good!

 

I’ve got an exciting evening of haircut, girls dinner for charity, and a birthday bbq!

Have a wonderful evening!

Hazelnut Crusted Chicken & Beet Salad

It feels like ages since I’ve spent some time in the kitchen and make an “actual” meal. Lately we’ve been just throwing together whatever is quickest. This was a welcomed change and really wasn’t super complicated still.

Hazelnut Crusted Chicken

Ingredients:

  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup hazelnuts
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup cilantro
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 Tbs. unsalted butter

Chop hazelnuts, panko, cilantro, salt & pepper in food processor until crumb sized. Pound chicken breasts to about 1/2 inch thick. Dip chicken into beaten egg. Coat in crumb mixture and press to stick. Heatbutter in skillet over medium heat. Add chicken and cook until golden brown and cooked through. 3-5 minutes per size.

 

Roasted Beet Salad

I have seen lots of different variations of this salad on menus and was excited to make my own when I bought these beets and greens at the farmer’s market. This is my take and we loved it!

Ingredients:

  • 1 beet (I roasted 3, but used only 1 on 2 salads)
  • 4-6 cups chopped red leaf lettuce (any other green would do)
  • 1 bosc pear
  • 1/4 cup crumbled gorgonzola cheese
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • salt & pepper

Preheat oven to 400*. Remove stem and scrub beets. Wrap each beet in aluminium foil. Roast beats for 45-60 minutes or until tender. Remove beets from oven and let stand to cool. Peel beets once they are cool enough to handle. To peel just rub the top layer off of the beet with your hands. I recommend wearing gloves so you don’t stain your hands. Chop beats into 1/2 inch cubes. Top greens with sliced pear, beets, and gorgonzola. For the dressing; whisk olive oil, vinegar, shallot, salt and pepper together. Drizzle on to salad.

 

Evan and I both cleaned our plates and commented how nice it was to have a meal that required some thought and more than 10 minutes.

 

Fresh roasted beets are noticeably better than beets you get at most restaurants, especially on salad bars. I’m glad we still have two left!

 

What is your favorite kind of beet salad? 

Workout

This morning I wanted to ride my bike, but hit snooze one to many times to have enough time to ride, so hit up the high school track instead. I did all kinds of running/sprint drills plus some push-ups both incline and decline. I definitely got my mile run in as well.

Okay, off to bed. Super long day tomorrow.

Buffalo Creek Trail Ride

This Monday is flying by. Wowzers! The weekend also kind of flew by with workouts, farmer’s markets, conferences, mountain biking, Ikea, and some family time and by time I mean napping at my parent’s house.

Buffalo Creek Mountain Biking

Sunday morning we got our butts out of bed early to go mountain biking at Buffalo Creek. Located in Pine, Colorado about 40 minutes from Denver, Buff Creek has miles and miles of trail. I have no idea how many miles of trail are actually within the park but you can connect with the Colorado Trail and other trail systems, so I’ve heard you can ride upwards of 60 miles and only repeat small sections of trail.

I was thinking I’d like to do a long ride, but Evan downhilled hard on Saturday and I wasn’t feeling top-notch. We ended up having a crew of six and we all agreed a 3 or so hour ride would be ideal. A buddy had a route in mind so we set-off up the road.

Our route was just shy of 20 miles and covered Gashouse > Charlie’s Cutoff > Homestead > Raspberry Ridge > Blackjack > Sandy Wash.

Most of the trails at Buffalo Creek are super smooth, with lots of corners, and are great to cruise on!

Raspberry Ridge and Blackjack were much more technical and climb a bit higher into the rockier section of the area. The views up there were pretty darn amazing though.

 

Evan and I had never ridden Blackjack which is the new black diamond trail. We helped do some trail work on it a few years ago, so it was cool to see the trail finally completed. For me, it was mostly a hiking trail. I definitely couldn’t ride most of the features. Maybe next time I’ll ride more now that I have seen the trail.

 

Myself and the other gal that was riding with us were pretty relieved to be off of Blackjack and back on the silky smooth, flowing trails. The descent down Sandy Wash was screaming fast and so flipping fun we never wanted it to end. In my opinion, Sandy Wash and Charlie’s Cutoff are must-ride trails for anyone that doesn’t hate fun.

I did track the ride on Strava, but my phone died at some point. It appears it was near the end of the ride though. The data is kind of confusing because I stopped Strava once my phone was charged at home. It is messed up, so there’s that. Oh wait, I might have just edited it to fix the problem. Hmm. I thought I was savvy.

Post-ride we chowed down and headed to Ikea where I had the best $1 ice cream ever. I almost got another one because it was so delicious. Then we headed to my parent’s house. They fed us delicious homemade meatballs and sauce and I napped. Then we at pie. And then went home. To bed.

Do you rest and relax on weekends or play hard and feel more tired after the weekend? 

Running Streak

Fail. I didn’t get a run in yesterday. I did lots of stuff and am not going to make excuses. I am super bummed that I missed a day, but I am going to get back after it and shoot for 37 out of the 38 days as long as my knee holds up.

Are you participating in the run streak? How is it going? 

Freshen Up

What a glorious morning in Golden!

Workout

I was a tired girl this morning. I wanted to sleep forever. Well, not really, but you get the point. I was a little ambitious last night and claimed I was going to get up early and get a 40 or so mile road ride in before heading to a conference here in about an hour. Didn’t happen. I think it is for the best. My body is tired.

That said, I still got seriously sweaty this morning. I ran exactly a half mile to a park where I did a few rounds of a circuit workout that included things like lunges, burpees, tricep dips, pushups, squat jumps and some other stuff. Then ran the half mile home. That’s a mile for Run Streak Day number six.

 

I did a bit more, mostly core, when I got home. I needed more props than the park had to offer. I left a serious sweat puddle on the living room floor.

 

Golden Farmer’s Market

I showered off and jumped on my bike for a quick trip to the Golden Farmer’s Market. Today was the opening day of the Farmer’s Market for the summer season. It isn’t a very big farmer’s market, but I can always find something to buy there. I have to limit how much cash I have on hand so I don’t end up blowing our budget on tasty dips, pickled vegetables, homemade granola, fresh bread and pastries (OMG I want them all), crepes and all the other deliciousness that is sold at the farmer’s market. This year’s selection doesn’t seem to be much different from last year, but it is always a nice way to start a Saturday. It is more fun when others join though. I picked up some greens – kale and red leaf lettuce – and some beets. Not sure what I’ll do with them yet though. I just love beets.

Do you have any good beet recipes?

 

Off to a conference for the rest of the day. Enjoy your Saturday!

Two Rides, Two Runs.

Running

Yesterday I headed out for a lunch run to keep the running streak going. My knee had (yes, past tense. bummer) been feeling a bit better so I hoped to get more than just a mile in. My goal was 3. I made it about 2.5. My Garmin reads two because I stopped it at a street light and forgot to turn it back on. The knee wasn’t into it after about a mile and a half. So frustrating.

 

Oh and I couldn’t find a bobby pin, so I had to get creative with keeping my hair back. Paper clip worked just fine until I had to take it out. I might have a bald spot now. Am I the only crazy that uses office supplies as accessories? Or have you done it too? 

 

Mountain Bike Ride

Since it was Thursday, that meant it was T.I.T.S. ride night! I haven’t been out with this group in quite a while, so I was pumped to ride. We rode from Ironworks, of course, and then hit up Green Mountain. Evan and I didn’t bring lights so our ride was a bit shorter than everyone else’s but it was super fun. I was pumped to be climbing strong and generally riding really well. It was an absolutely gorgeous night and Green Mountain had tons of bright wildflowers in bloom. We rarely ride Green Mountain in the summer or in the daytime so it was a bit of a surprise how pretty it was up there.

After climb numero dos, we stopped for a snack and most had a beer. I carried the beer all the way up there, but I didn’t drink mine. Made for a nice photo though. Actually, that was Evan’s and it did get drank. And he took all the photos too.

My Garmin died part way through the ride, but here is our route from Evan’s Strava. He and I covered a little over 13.5 miles and climbed 2,160 feet in about an hour and a half.

 

Bootcamp

Even though we got home at almost midnight and I was feeling a little less than 100% from the post-ride beers, I got my butt out of bed and hit bootcamp at the rec center. The awesome thing about bootcamp in the summer is that we go outside! This morning’s class was a lot of running. I definitely covered more than my mile during class, but my knee was killing me. The morning was beautiful and I just felt luck to be there enjoying the views of Lookout Mountain with the perfect blue sky.

Commute to Work

Annnnnd then, I showered off quick did a wardrobe change and jumped on the road bike to ride to work. Even though the ride is primarily downhill my legs felt it. They’re a little tired. For good reason I suppose. Regardless, I love commuting it is an awesome way to start the day.

 

Almost the weekend and playtime!

Do you use Strava?

I’m a Strava newbie but Evan is really in to it. I’m hoping to learn. I think it could be addicting though.

Amazingly Delicious Treats

Okay, so maybe these “treats” aren’t that amazing, but to me they were pretty freaking awesome and are both fairly new to me.

Please meet Cinnamon Raisin Peanut Butter. A little pricey, but so delicious. I bought this a week or two ago and spread it on a warm crumpet and almost died and went to Heaven.

 

Evan came home with a couple of sample bags of Pop Chips on Tuesday evening and he let me have the bag of Salt and Vinegars to bring for lunch yesterday. I am surprised that they made it until lunch. I couldn’t stop thinking about trying them all morning. Now, I can’t stop thinking about how delicious they were. In my opinion they had better taste than regular potato chips, I got more in the little bag, and they were only 100 calories and way less fat! Score.I didn’t really get to try this treat, but in two weeks I will get to try Batch #2 of Evan’s Sleepy Monkey. We bottled it last night and I cannot wait to give it a taste. It is one of my favorite IPAs, so hopefully this batch will be as good as the first!

 

Workout

Yesterday was one of those days where I bounced out of bed without thinking twice about it and was excited to get my workout in. I went to the rec center for the first time in ages and burned through my new circuit workout. It is super intense and super short. I love it. While I was there I also mixed in some laps on the indoor track to get my mile in for the Summer Running Streak.

Biking

After work I met up with a friend and went for a road bike ride. It was super windy and we, of course, didn’t notice it on the way out on our out and back ride, but it was extremely noticeable on our way back. It was like pedaling through mud. We weren’t pushing too hard and ended up covering about 22 miles in a little over an hour.