Weekend of October 4-6
My mom’s visit this fall was a full twelve days, extended from eight after I signed up for a half marathon in Louisville that I thought she would have fun spectating. However, with my stupid calf injury, I had to withdraw from the race and couldn’t run! I was really disappointed, though my physical therapist has been awesome and is helping me get back to running hopefully in two more weeks.
On that note – I’ve been seeing Emily at Colorado Sports PT, and she is awesome. Last Thursday, she had me try something new – dry needling. Have you ever done this?! It’s pretty scary-looking… she sticks long (but thin) needles into my muscles, looking for the point where I get a “deep dull ache”. Then after she finds that spot and lets them settle in for a bit, she uses a TENS machine to pulse electricity through, making my muscles ripple with the current. The pain honestly isn’t as bad as you’d think, but it is a weird feeling! However, my muscles are definitely much looser afterward, which is what I need. Even my good right calf is pretty darn tight 🙁
My Friday kicked off actually away from my mom for a bit; after my women’s book club at work, I stuck around downtown for an Orangetheory class with my friend / coworker Sara. I have been woefully lax about Orangetheory lately, but I really do enjoy using the strider, and even looked into seeing what the price point is to get one at home. (It’s a Keiser, which is really high quality, so… pricey. I will stay tuned to Craigslist.) It was great to get sweaty in a class, and especially fun to do it with Sara!
Afterward, I headed home, where Mom and I had a light dinner while watching Fuller House. I hosted a watch party when this show first premiered, and most of my friends panned it, but my mom and I love it! Some of the earlier episodes were definitely a little too cheesy (especially when they broke the wall to make jokes about Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen not being willing to make guest appearances on the show), but most in the later seasons are just adorable, and good wholesome fun. Mom and I love it 🙂
On Saturday morning, I was able to sleep late (thank goodness), then my mom and I went to tour the Superior Historical Museum in Original Town Superior. It’s a small museum, but there is actually a lot to read and learn! We unfortunately only had an hour to spend, but said we’d try to come back later in the afternoon before they closed. (Unfortunately, we didn’t make that, so we’ll have to go back again.)
From there, we drove all the way up to Milliken (a suburb of Fort Collins), where I was picking up a special Craigslist find… this stationary bike, to make a DIY Peloton for my house! After a ton of research, I found this post on Reddit that suggested ways to make your own affordable Peloton setup, and I used CamelCamelCamel to sign up for price drop alerts on both the Sunny and the Efitment bikes, and I’ve also been scouring Craigslist to see if anyone would be selling them. Lo and behold, someone was selling a brand new Efitment bike for only $250! It was fun to drive up that way with my mom and show her the gorgeous mountain views from I-25… this was a part of Denver she’d not seen.
We picked up the bike with no trouble, and while we were up that way, decided to get off the highway and head through Longmont for a stop at Yaya Orchard. I have long been on a quest to find cider donuts in Colorado, to no avail. This year, Trader Joe’s came out with their version of cider donuts (which they rolled out nationally), but when my mom and I went to pick up a box, we found they happened to be sampling them that day… and they were terrible 🙁 Dry, dense, and not at all like my beloved Indian Ladder Farms cider donuts of my youth. So when I heard that Yaya offered cider donuts, I was cautiously optimistic…
…and OMG, these turned out to be fantastic! If you can believe it, my mom and I both agreed that they’re even better than Indian Ladder Farms! The inside was light and cake-y and flavorful, while the outside had a distinctly fried crisp that Indian Ladder hasn’t quite gotten. But the same delicious granulated cinnamon sugar was on the outside… and it was perfection! Meanwhile, Yaya Farms turned out to be pretty beautiful, with gorgeous flower gardens, a petting zoo, hayrides, and even a totally Instagram-worthy old green pickup truck overlooking the orchards and the mountains.
We headed home so glad that we had taken a chance and stopped… this is definitely going to be an annual fall tradition!
Once we got home, I immediately set up my new bike and took it for a test spin. Combined with this inexpensive cadence sensor, it worked like a dream! I was really impressed with how the app pulled in the cadence via Bluetooth. I think I am still going to get a speed sensor as well (to track distance biked), but just the basic cadence sensor is really all I need.
We had a bit more time at home to relax; then we were off in the other direction, down to Denver for dinner with my friend Sara and her boyfriend. We went to Postino’s, a regional wine bar chain that I used to love going to in Arizona with Adam. Believe it or not, I hadn’t been to the Denver location before, even though it opened several years ago! It didn’t disappoint, though – the wine was incredibly reasonable (three times the per glass price, or $30/bottle for the house blend we chose), the bruschetta board was amazing, and my mom and I shared a brussel sprout salad and turkey panini, both of which were delicious. I will definitely be back!
The next morning, though, it was time to burn off all that wine… and hit the pool. I am very cognizant of the fact that I’ve been breathing every two strokes, and always on the right side; my understanding is that for a triathlon, I’m better off breathing every three strokes, so that I’m alternating sides. On Sunday, I intended to alternate laps with one on the right and one on the left; however, when I actually tried breathing on my left, I was a mess!
Thanks to the line on the bottom of the pool, I’m aware that I normally swim pretty straight when I breathe on my right side. But on my left, my form got all wonky and twisted around, so not only was I weaving back and forth like a drunk swimmer (I did drink a lot of wine Saturday night, but I promise I was sober on Sunday morning), but I could barely get a breath. This was definitely going to require some practice!
I settled into a rhythm of three laps breathing on my left (and forcing myself to push through it), then one lap of breathing on my right, to remind myself of what good form should be, while also giving me a chance to better catch my breath. It took a while (probably about 2000m!), but eventually I was able to get comfortable breathing on the left, till I felt fairly even going back and forth between the two. I still stuck with the three strokes left / one stroke right for the duration of my swim, though, to make sure I was getting the practice that I needed. As a bonus, I found it was really easy to count laps when I was doing a 3:1 ratio, since all I had to track was whether I had done a right-breathing stroke the last time I went one direction in the pool, and that told me where in the set of four I was.
After I finished my 4000m (woo hoo!! That’s 2.4 miles!!), I rinsed off with a quick shower (my skin has been a mess lately so trying to keep it moisturized after all that chlorine!) and then headed out to the main gym floor to hit the lateral trainer. I was tired after that long swim, but knocked out 10K in 45 minutes, which I was happy with – I guess I had more energy than I thought. I then headed into the hydromassage to relax and help my muscles recover a little more, and was pleasantly surprised to find that while they weren’t playing the beautiful ocean films that I love, they had on the track and field world championships instead. SWEET!
When I got home after my workout, I was exhausted – that was a lot! Luckily, my mom and I didn’t have anything on the calendar the rest of the day, so I was able to lounge around and relax until dinner. We wrapped up the weekend with a girls’ night out dinner at Teocalli Cocina in Lafayette with my friends Cathryn, Elisabeth, and Jen. I loved my chicken enchilada, which was smothered in an outstanding tomatillo sauce, but was less impressed by some of the other dishes.
All in all, a great weekend… I was going to be bummed when Mom had to leave on Tuesday 🙁