On Thursday, I got a special surprise – at lunchtime, I had a call from the Walmart pharmacy in Longmont. They had extra doses of the COVID19 vaccine and asked if I could be there in 90 minutes to get one! I started literally jumping for joy and dancing around the house with glee, and Sadie got into the act too (though she had no idea what was making me so crazy). I know the vaccine isn’t a panacea, and I will of course keep distancing and wearing my mask, but it will be such a relief to not be stressed out whenever I’m around people who are doing a poor job with either! (Like – people in the ski lift lines who get too close and also think that their mask doesn’t have to cover their nose.)
I did one more work sales call, while clearing my calendar after that, and as soon as it was over, Mom and I hopped in the car and dashed up to Walmart. I was so excited the whole way, but also nervous that something was going to go wrong and I wouldn’t get it… but I did!
I was so giddy that I actually got the vaccine, and was in a great mood the rest of the night. I just couldn’t believe I had gotten called up to get the vaccine!
When I came home, I knocked out some more work, and then started preparing a celebratory dinner. I’ve been really excited to make these char siu style pork chops over sesame noodles to pair with Teneral Cellars’ Dissent Zinfandel, and bought pork chops and rice noodles to make that… but then I was reading online that the vaccine can be made less effective by drinking. (Granted, it’s less effective if you’re drinking a lot, not necessarily one glass, but I didn’t want to take any chances.) So I made a pretty simple supper of cherry-glazed pork chops, mashed potatoes, and steamed broccoli instead, and skipped the wine.
I went to bed early and slept hard, but woke up with my arm super sore – like, I couldn’t lift it over my head for two days! But no other side effects from dose #1, so that’s a pretty minor complaint.
My Friday morning was a bit rushed, as I had a 7:30am meeting, but I got a 10K run in with Sadie, and managed to hold an 8:42 average pace! I was proud of that – the vaccine clearly didn’t slow me down 🙂 Meanwhile, I had a nice treat from work, in that there was an announcement at our morning all-hands meeting to take the rest of the afternoon off. I was thrilled to get the extra time to catch up on a lot of work / emails I’ve been behind on, rather than being swamped in meetings all the time. (Let’s not talk about what it says about my workaholism that I hear “afternoon off” and repurpose the time to do work rather than other stuff.) But I did have a nice relaxing evening with mom – making soba noodles with kale and shrimp for dinner, and then watching not just one but two episodes of Smash. It was a treat!
The next morning, I woke up just before 6am… but before I could do my workout, my mom turned on the faucet in the kitchen and realized the hot water heater wasn’t working. Ugh!!! I have a tankless water heater, and this has actually happened a few times before, so at least I knew what to do – call my favorite plumber (Corey with Fortitude HVAC, for anyone in the Denver/Boulder area). Once I got that lined up, I took Sadie out for a long run. And when we finally got out there… oh, what a run!
Sadie and I did six miles around the south side of my neighborhood, and then stopped home for water since she was being really nutty – chasing every squirrel and pulling like crazy. When we went back out, we headed for the north side of the neighborhood, which I hadn’t run in months. I was honestly not feeling the run – I don’t know if it was the podcasts I was listening to not being as inspiring as usual (I’m catching up on Rachel Hollis’ Rise podcast, which I normally love for hikes / long runs), or if I was daunted by how much further I still had to go. My goal was for this to be Sadie’s longest run ever, which meant we had to do 15 miles. That seemed really far!
But going to the north side of town helped. On the south side, I know the distance of every street and cul de sac (so I can vary my route while still getting home in time for meetings on weekdays); on the north side, though, while I knew my way around, I didn’t know how much distance various loops would add, so I was kind of just tacking on a little bit at a time. And then it started adding up fast! When I finally got to 14 miles, I started feeling good and like the end was in sight. My feet were definitely starting to hurt (I think I need to trade in my sneakers for new ones), but I was super proud of how far we had gone.
I turned on The Greatest Showman soundtrack for the last mile, and “From Now On” was the perfect song to end this run – “And we will come back home, home again” – I had such a huge smile on my face! 18 miles done and dusted, and those last four miles were actually the fastest of the whole run. Attitude is everything!
Although Sadie was thrilled to be running so long while we were out there (and I was careful to make sure she didn’t seem like she was getting tired), she was zonked after we finished, and crashed hard on the carpet in the dining room. Meanwhile, since we didn’t have hot water yet, I took a cold shower – yikes! How do people do that regularly?! All I want after a long hard run is a long hot shower…
But I was still able to get some comfort in the form of a big batch of pancakes and some coffee, which was a nice way to relax after my run. But I didn’t have time for too much relaxation – next on my Saturday agenda was meeting my date from the last weekend to head up to the mountains!
When we got out to Vail, he headed for the cross-country trails with his dog, but dropped me off at Golden Peak for 90 minutes of downhill skiing before the lift closed. This was the first time this season I’ve skied somewhere other than Beaver Creek, and while it was just a few runs and I didn’t get to the back side, it was great. However, you won’t be surprised to learn that my legs were so tired, which I stupidly hadn’t been expecting.
Skiing was done all too soon, but I knew I’d get more in the next day. As for our plans for the night, I had been texting with my friends Kirk and Heather, and they invited us to come meet up with them all the way out in Eagle, for drinks at Bonfire Brewing.
When we first pulled up, I was a little nervous – there was an outdoor patio that looked super crowded with unmasked customers. (It drives me nuts when people think being outside absolves them of all risk; it’s still not a good idea to be packed close together and maskless!) But we bypassed that area and headed to a tented section that had widely spaced tables, and a neat app setup where you could order beer and pay online and a (masked) server would drop it off right at your table. We all hope this continues even post-COVID; it was great service!
Since I hadn’t eaten much all day, the beer definitely hit me hard! To help counteract my drinks, my date and I stopped at Walmart on the way home to pick up ingredients to make cookies. We ended up getting a boxed “deluxe” mix: chocolate chip cookies, a tube of raw (but edible) chocolate chip cookie dough to put between them like a sandwich, and rainbow sprinkles to roll the whole thing in after. It was both fun and delicious, but I was glad that for once I didn’t go hogwild and overeat; just one of these giant sandwiches was pretty filling.
Sunday morning, I woke up super early and ended up reading for a while, then knocking out some work emails. By 7am, my date and I headed down the street to Sunrise for breakfast burritos, and after enjoying them back at my house, it was off to Beaver Creek.
We met up with Kirk and Heather at Elk Lot, and then walked up to the Landing to catch the lift up from there rather than take the shuttle. I regularly walk to the Landing from the employee lot, but I hadn’t parked at Elk and done this before – it was really easy! Even after COVID, this may become my preferred spot to recommend that my friends park when they want to ski Beaver Creek.
We only got to do one run with Heather, as she volunteers with SOS Outreach and was teaching that day. But my date and I stuck with Kirk and hit Grouse for one run (not enough coverage on the bumps), and then hung out in Rose Bowl. My legs were still super tired on the bumps, but I loved the smooth steep downhills – so fun! My technique has definitely improved this season, thanks to all the instructor training I did… though unfortunately, my skill on the groomed terrain makes my bad bump technique stand out even more 🙂 Next season, I am definitely planning to do some bump clinics and lessons to fix that!
Kirk left us after half a dozen runs, and my date and I skied a bit more, then headed down to call it a day. I was glad he was willing to wrap up early! We headed home and I took a quick shower while he packed up, then stopped at the Roastery Cafe on the way out of Minturn to pick up pastries for “lunch”. (Yeah, this was a sugar-filled weekend). I was glad we grabbed a quick lunch, though, as we got on the road early enough that traffic wasn’t too bad at all. I stopped for groceries on the way back, and then was so happy to be home with Mom and Sadie for the night! No matter how much fun I have, I always miss my girls when I go up to the mountains.