I Like to Ride My Bicycle

The second full day we were in Telluride, Matt and I decided to go cross-country mountain biking.While I’ve been road biking for a while now, I’d never even been on a mountain bike before, let alone ride down a ski mountain. Needless to say, I was a little nervous.

After a ride up the gondola, we made our way to the first track – Jurassic. It was a single track trail (meaning it is only wide enough for one bike) that ran through a section of woods with a lot of switch backs. I was surprised to find of much the bike would skid when I would brake. However, I wasn’t quite brave enough to let myself go that fast. After a few miles of downhill, we reached the valley floor and took the river tail back into town. I survived the first run.

Unfortunately, the second trail didn’t go quite as well. After another trip up in the gondola, we made our way over the Village Trail. This one was a little longer and had a lot of switchbacks. Unfortunately, on a few of these 180 degree turns, the bike slipped out from under me and somehow ended up on top of my legs. The end result was a lot of bruises – not very attractive.

After our second ride, I needed a break. We decided to stop for lunch and some liquid courage.

Soon enough we were back up the gondola and on to our final trail, Prospect Trail. This was the longest and hardest of the three we tackled. A couple of miles into the bike, we heard a familiar noise… thunder. Unfortunately, Matt and I were finding ourselves in a situation where we were trying to outrun (well, outride) another storm.

Thankfully we made it down in one piece

Just a little muddy!

Hiking in the Face of Danger

The first full day Matt and I spent in Telluride we decided to take a little hike. I told Matt that I didn’t want to do anything too crazy so we decided to hike to Beaver Creek Falls. This is a relatively easy 2 and a half mile hike to a waterfall. I had planned to hike to the falls, then turn around and hike back. Unfortunately (yet not surprisingly) Matt had another idea.

There were a couple of other people at the falls when we got there. Matt decided to ask them if there were any other options for our return trip. They told him about a hike that climbed up to the top of a ridge (note that the didn’t use the word hill) and then over to the ski area. From there we could either take the gondola back down into town or continue hiking.

Matt looked at me (as if I had any option) before marching onward and upward. We continued to climb. And climb. And climb. Soon enough I started to feel the effects of the altitude and had to take frequent breaks to put my hands on my knees, hunch over and pant. Never before had walking taken so much out of me.

We continued on for over an hour. Thankfully the scenery was incredible so I kept my complaining to a minimum. As we got higher and higher, the ridge we were looking for seemed to just get further and further away. After many switch backs, we finally started to see the path flatten out. Unfortunately, this was right around the same time that the clouds rolled in and the thunder started.

At first, the thunder seemed to add a cool ambiance. Then it started to scare the crap out of us. Stuck on the ridge of a 12,000 foot mountain is not somewhere that you want to be during a thunder and lightning storm. Matt and I proceeded to run, yes run, the rest of the way up and across the ridge. We encountered two locals who asked us if we were training for the upcoming 17 mile run that went over one of the mountain peaks in the area. We simply told them “no, we are trying to get away from the storm.”

“Silly tourists” they must have thought.

Thankfully, after a little panicking and some yelling by me at Matt (clearly this was his fault) we made it to the gondola safe and sound. What started out at an easy 5 mile hike turned into an 8 mile dash for our lives.

That’s the thing about being married to Matt – life is always an adventure!

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A Mother’s Work is Never Done

In order to get to Telluride, Matt and I had to drive more than 6 hours from Denver. Technically we could have flown into Telluride, however it was much more expensive and would have complicated things since we were flying out of Denver on the way home. So, we decided to drive.

Neither of us were really bothered by this. We don’t have a car now and never spend much time in a car. Really the longest car rides we have taken in the past year have been in the taxi to the airport. And let’s face it – the scenery on the drive to Telluride was going to beat anything we could see on a drive in NY! Plus, in high school (the last time I had a car) I was known to do some of my best sing-along singing in the car . So, not only were we not bothered, we were kind of excited.

See – doesn’t Matt look excited?
Road Trip Supplies

Unfortunately, some people — I won’t name names — were less excited about all of this driving. It seems as though even though I’m nearing 30, the thought of me and my husband driving 362 miles is just too much for my mom some people. I guess the fact that in high school I fell asleep while driving (on the highway) to swim practice will haunt me forever.

I’m happy to report that after a quick lunch stop in Leadville (home of the Leadville 100 featured in Born to Run) to visit one of Matt’s college buddies, we made it to Telluride in one piece.

Not only did we take in some incredible sights during the drive, but Matt even got to enjoy some of my fabulous singing along the way!

The Benefits of Marriage

Sometimes I think marriage is man’s ploy to enslave women.

Since getting married I have had to clean up after two people instead of just one. I spend twice as much on groceries and toiletries. I wash double (maybe even triple) the number clothes and dishes. And I have half the amount of space in my closet. I am really not seeing the upside.

But like all things in life, it is easy to focus on the negatives.

This weekend I got to see a lot of the upsides:

Friday

Matt took Abby, her friend and me to the Rangers hockey game. Not only did he provide the tickets and purchase our food and drinks, but he also sat quietly while Abby and I communicated in the way that only sisters truly understand.

Saturday

After morning swim practice (just like the good old days) Matt let me crash his “boys brunch” at Daddy-O’s, home of the best bloody mary ever. Afterwards, I met up with two of my favorite Harvard swimming teammates and then went for a manicure. When I met back up with Matt and the boys, they all complimented me on my newly painted pink nails. It was like having 3, somewhat feminine, husbands.

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Sunday

After a quick workout, Matt and I met up with our third-wheel for a lovely Hell’s Kitchen brunch at Eatery. Afterwards, we went to the movies to watch the highly anticipated Hunger Games. It was awesome – I absolutely loved it! On the way home Matt and I stopped at Columbus Circle to purchase new running shoes. After getting fitted for a lovely pair of black and hot pink New Balance shoes – I proceeded to aimlessly walk around the store.  As I was walking around the store, Matt went over to the cash register and paid for our shoes. Although Matt and I have joint checking, we each have our own credit cards for which we have tried to set a budget. As a result his budget will be taking the hit for this purchase – if that’s not love, I don’t know what is.

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When we got home, Matt decided to get our taxes in order – a process that is so much more time consuming and complicated than you think. I thought about making some cookies but then proceeded to lie on the couch watching terrible reality tv.

Suddenly married life doesn’t look so bad.

Love, Dad

My sister and I often share funny emails, notes and/or voicemails from my father with each other. I can’t really explain what it is about his messages, but they always bring a smile to our faces. I think it is his witty sense of humor that isn’t over done (which clearly, I didn’t inherit). Or maybe it is the formality of his electronic communication, something he hasn’t fully embraced – you will never see him “lol-ing” or using any sort of emoticon. Sometimes, he gets caught up in work and doesn’t have a lot of time to wonder the aisles of a hallmark looking for the perfect birthday card. I think my sister I have each received at least a few birthday cards that he picked up from the hospital gift shop, wishing us a speedy recovery or sympathizing with us over our loss of a loved one.

Good old Dad.

So, I just had to share with you all the most recent communication I received from him. I missed his call over the weekend and thankfully he decided to leave a voicemail. I’ve transcribed his message below:

“Molly. It’s your father. I am watching the Crossfit Games on ESPN2. I don’t want you doing this anymore. You end up looking like a really scary cyborg. I don’t know if you are checking this out, but, um, think about what you are doing?”

Click.

Ahh, another priceless piece of advice from my dad. But to be honest, I don’t know what he is talking about. Muscles are beautiful, right?

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Look out ladies, as soon as I learn how to do 1 pull up, you are all in trouble.

CrossFit and Bloodies, The Perfect Combo

Matt and I have started to settle into a 2012 weekend routine. And I like it.

Since I started participated in CrossFit with Matt, we now make a weekend activity out of it. We go to one of the morning workouts on either Saturday or Sunday and then enjoy a delicious brunch at one of the local restaurants n Williamsburg. This tradition is something that I now look forward too – especially if it involves a bloody mary!

This weekend, after our workout, we went to a new restaurant, Diner. I heard about this place from a co-worker (I think their cousin may own it, but I am not really sure) and after researching it a little more on Yelp, I decided this would be a good post-workout spot. Well, let me tell you, we were not disappointed.

Williamsburg is known as being a popular location with hispters, and The Diner certainly appeals to that character type. From the red, shack-like appearance, to the menu scribbled on a piece of paper, to our waiter who looked like he was a 70s gym teacher – it was amazing. We split a stick bun (diet, what diet?), and I got eggs and toast while Matt indulged himself with the country breakfast. The bloody mary was good, but it didn’t live up to the bloodies at Daddy-O’s, we favorite spot in the West Village. All in all it was a great experience.

We also spent some time this weekend celebrating some of our favorite friends. Saturday night started off with an engagement party for one of our favorite couples Jen and Nate. We are so thrilled for them and can not wait to hear more about the wedding planning process. I was particularly excited because I clued Jen into the wonderful world of pinterest – I hope she will spending hours on their looking for inspiration!

Afterwards, we met up with a lot of our friends to celebrate Mike Smeets’ birthday. It was quite a night filled with dancing, cupcakes, and a bar the promised “more fun” – Thanks for including us in the festivities!

Born To Run

I have to admit it, I don’t LOVE running. It is hard. And unlike biking, where you can coast and soar downhill, it is always hard. Unless you walk – but then, that isn’t running. But despite my sometimes negative relationship with running, there have been a few moment where I have loved running. The problem is, I had to suffer through weeks of hatred to get to that point. Weeks where I forced myself to get out the door and run the 4-5 miles, every step a challenge. But slowly, my body got used to the act of running and eventually, I found myself enjoying it. And I could time, I even thought, “hey, this is awesome.” Unfortunately, I am not quite at that place right now. And considering I am overseeing the Robin Hood Marathon Team, that isn’t a good thing!

During the honeymoon, Matt read the book “Born To Run.” I picked a much more advanced book… “Mini Shopaholic.” After finishing our respective books, Matt couldn’t stop talking about how good his book was, while I was slightly embarrassed to even tell him the title of mine. I decided that I needed a little more substance in my life (I don’t want to be the weak link in our marriage), so I decided that I would read Born to Run as well. And who knows, maybe I would learn how to enjoy running again.

The book is written by Christopher McDougall, a journalist for Men’s Health magazine and casual runner. The question “Why does my foot hurt?”  leads McDougall on a journey into Mexico’s Copper Canyon.  In his quest for answers, McDougall discovers the Tarahumara Indians, who are quite possibly the and greatest distance runners on the planet.  Their real name “Raramuri” translates into “The Running People”.

The Tarahumara are literally born to run and from an early age Taramuhara children play running games which continue well into their old age.  It is not uncommon for 80-year-old Tarahumara to run literally all day long through rough, mountainous terrain on little more than Pinole (a corn mixture used as a type of superfuel – There are no gels in the Copper Canyon!)  Not only are the Tarahumara excellent runners, they are also known for incredible health, long lives, serenity, and their peaceful nature.

Born to run tackles many issues, including why are so many runners injured every year (some data suggests as many as 80% of runners get injured every year), does running make a great man or woman or does a great man or woman make a great runner, and ultimately – aren’t we all “Born to Run” by our very nature, history and bio-mechanical makeup?


The book details facinating stories that include many of today’s well-known names in ultra running such as Scott Jurek, Ann Trason (there is a great account of the history 1994 Leadville 100 showdown between Ann and the Tarahumara), Barefoot Ted, Jenn Shelton and Luis Escobar, among others.   All these runners (aside from Ann) are involved in the final climatic story of this book which centers around the first ultra-distance race in Mexico’s Copper Canyon. 

In the end, the book was both educational and motivational. Mid-way through the honeymoon, Matt took me on a 3 mile trail run that wound along the cliffs lining the ocean in Kauai. And while I have a very long way to go before I am able to participate in an ultra marathon, it was inspirational. Not only was I inspired to run; I am now on a search for Pinole (the magical corn superfuel that keeps the Tarahumara going!)

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who runs, even casually. And even if you aren’t a runner, it is a very interesting story, filled with unique characters.

Below is a rather long video that tells the story of the Tarahumara that was shown on the Discovery Channel. I got to say, I LOVE the dramatic narration!