If I were in charge…

I tried going on a group run for the first time this week. (Well, I mean, assuming you don’t count running races or triathlons as group runs…)

Spoiler alert: Hated it! Never going back.

The website said to show up at six to sign a waiver and learn the route and the run would begin at 6:30. I showed up at 5:55 and then sat around, making awkward small talk, as the bar became increasingly crowded with runners.

Everyone looked around kind of anxiously, pretty sure they were in the right spot since there were so many other people in running clothes, but not really sure what to do. There was no sign and no one who looked like the right person to ask. Lots of looking around for some type of leader/organizer. Lots of looking at watches.

There was a pile of waivers on a table in the corner. After I noticed some other people sign them and put them into a box, I intuited that I should follow suit. Also on this table was one printed copy of the route.

Eventually a guy turned to someone next to him and said, “Can you help me get everyone outside?” And herd mentality sort of took over and all 50 people or so went outside.

I looked around for somewhere to put my things (I had asked, and someone said there’d be a bin for wallets and keys and whatnot?) but I didn’t see anything and there was no one to ask, so I just ended up holding my phone and my wallet in my hand and hoping no one would steal my bag. (I imagine people left things in their cars, but I had ridden my bike.)

Guy-who-I-assume-was-kind-of-in-charge: Okay. Hi. Does everyone know where we’re going?

Me: Hi! No!

Guy-who-I-assume-was-kind-of-in-charge: Or do you know someone who knows where they’re going?

Me: Hey! Nope!

Guy-who-I-assume-was-kind-of-in-charge: Alright, you just go down across here and then onto the trail but just for a bit and then you cross the bridge and you’re through downtown but then back through commons park and up this other road for a bit. And there’s enough people, just follow everyone else!

Me: Hrmmmm.

So everyone takes off. In the opposite way I thought we were going, based on the map.

Within three minutes, I am completely behind everyone else (I was running at an 11:30 pace). Within a half a mile, I am running by myself in the dark on a deserted trail. By the ten minute mark, I’m baffled as to where I’m supposed to be, so I just head back to where we started.

Total distance covered: 1.77 miles.

Total time to get there, wait, get lost, and get home: Two hours

Wahn wahn.

I don’t really mind that I was left behind. I know I’m slow so I expected that. But here’s what would have made this much better:

1. Some sort of sign/human greeter upon arrival to just say, sign a waiver, look at the map, we’ll all leave at the same time at 6:30. Answer any questions.

2. Somewhere to put belongings. Even just a designated corner of the room.

3. Maps for everybody!

4. Posting the route online.

5. Extra mad bonus points: chalking the route?

Even easier? The next time I want to run with someone, I will run with my friends! And leave my wallet safely in my house. And if I want to have drinks and pasta afterward, I will put beers and spaghetti in my fridge! Ta-da. The Mel Running Club.

Dear Salmon, You Suck!

Even though I get really irritated by cyclists who don’t follow the rules of the road, I don’t, of course, generally make it a habit to tell strangers they are doing something wrong.

“Excuse me, you are in violation of Denver Municipal Code, Section 54-578, because you do not have any lights on your bike and it’s dark.”

“Dude, it’s actually safer  to ride in the street, and it’s the law, so you should really get off the sidewalk.”

Right? No. Not a good idea.

The one area where I make an exception is when people are going the wrong way down a one way street. One, it makes me so incensed I’m moved to shout. Two, it’s the only thing you can kind of play off like, “Hey, maybe you didn’t know…?”

I mean, that’s happened to everyone, right? You’re not in a familiar neighborhood and you turn the wrong way down a one way street. I used to live on a one way street, and I probably saw someone going the wrong way about once a month. It happens, honest mistake.

So I tend to shout, in the nicest way one can shout, “Hey, his is a one way street!” As a helpful tip. Not as a reprimand.

But I shouted this to a dude yesterday who was riding the wrong way down Lawrence, in downtown Denver, in a traffic lane, in the closest thing Denver has to rush hour.

He turned and gave me a look that clearly communicated in one second that he did know he was going down a one way street, and that he did not care. And that he found me stupid for caring. His face was so smug and dismissive…so…facially eye-roll-y, that I very much wish instead I had shouted,

“Hey! This is a one way street, DUMBASS.”

Half Marathon Training – Week Two!

What up! Week two went much more according to plan than week one. I did exactly what I was supposed to do every single day. Amazing.

By far the high point (slash low point) of the week was peeling myself out of bed at 5:30 AM on Thursday to run five miles. You should be so impressed by this.

  1. It was dark! I wore two blinky lights plus a headlamp plus a reflective vest and tried to stay on busier roads.
  2. It was friggin’ cold! Had I known it was 17° outside, I’d have likely stayed in my bed. By the end, my butt was numb.
  3. I hate running in the morning and always have.
  4. The last time I ran this far was in September, in the Boulder Sunset Olympic Triathlon.

I promise I will stop saying “I haven’t run his far since…” because every week it’s going to be since last September.

It was dark when I left Thursday morning and it was getting dark when I left on Tuesday evening. Captain Safety to the rescue! The blinkies and the vest on Tuesday:

I added a headlamp on Thursday.

I thought the headlamp would bother me, but it was totally comfortable.

The other remarkable thing about this week is that I went to yoga three times. I didn’t even think I liked yoga, but suddenly I’m one of those people saying, “my body is so craving yoga right now.” Barf. I mean… Om?

Westword wants to know if Denverites will drive to Boulder to shop there. Maybe if this had happened a few years ago, but by now I’ve been living without Trader Joe’s barbecue soy crisps for four years. On the other hand, if I’m in Boulder anyways, it’s worth a detour. But not if it’s too far out of the way. I mean, it’s not like they sell wine. (The two buck chuck is famous, but the $5 Bear’s Lair Chardonnay is what I might actually sit in traffic for.) 

Trader Joe’s is Finally Coming to Boulder (For Real)

Bikinis and Boots

So.  Chris and I are going on our first honest to goodness real vacation EVER this month. Not going somewhere for a wedding or the holidays or a baby shower or for work. Just getting on a plane to Mexico to lay on the beach and be moony at each other about our anniversary. On Sunday, we went to Target to buy new swimsuits, something neither of us has done since moving to Colorado. And, something that felt weird to do since it was nine degrees outside.

(Sidenote: I’m pretty sure it has been like 5 years since I bought a new swimsuit. My go to suit is one I bought in high school, still fits! Which makes me feel like any time I have ever spent fretting over calories and pounds and other boring things like that has been an utter waste since no matter how little or much I have eaten or worked out, I have stayed almost exactly the same size, head to toe, for the last 10 years.)

Anyways, I’m in Target and I take a picture of myself in a potential new swimsuit on my phone and text it to Chris for his opinion, because he’s off looking at Man Things. I also think it will make him laugh, because since I was cold, I left my boots on while I was trying things on.

Cut to today, and of course one of our tech guys at work wants to put our new mobile app on my iPhone so I can test it out. I’m sure you see where this is going. Of course that photo is on the screen when I hand it over (because I was looking at it, debating deleting). Awwwkward. SO awkward. Sorry for showing you a picture of me in a bikini and boots, dude!

Actual photo, deleted, but here is my artist’s rendition.

(I’ve decided I am all about the non matching tops and bottoms.) I ended up with a gray top and one blue bottom and one pink bottom. And while I very much like the way they look, there will not be any photos of me in them my phone ever again.

Half Marathon Training – Week One!

Mmm, so this picture kind of sucks. But. This was my first official week of training for my first half marathon!

It ended up kind of messy since I had stuff after work Monday through Thursday and I ended up feeling really sick to my stomach Friday afternoon. Running only twice this week was not the plan, but my evenings were just full.

Running in the morning isn’t really an option for me during the week.

  1. My gym opens at 6 am, but I get to work at 7 am, so not enough time.
  2. My other options for running are outside (in the dark…on the ice…in my “up and coming” neighborhood, no thanks!)
  3. Or on my always-on-an-uphill-treadmill downstairs, where our semi-permanent house guest has been staying.
  4. PLUS, I actually hate working out before work. Always have.

So evenings it is.

I have “Life” on my calendar not to list excuses for shuffling things around, but more just to keep track. And to give myself props when I have stuff and I still manage to stick to the plan. Like tomorrow…when I’m having a tiny dinner party but still planning on getting in my scheduled three miles! Or last week when I went ice skating with my team at work and then sipped water at the bar so I could hit the treadmill afterward.

This was also a weird week because I ended up walking to work most mornings because the roads were really icy, and I just wasn’t feeling up to the nerve-wracking bike ride. Walking to work is nice, but it’s one more thing that takes up time, tires me out a bit (my work bag weighs a good 15-20 pounds depending on the day), and means I have to wake up earlier.

Today is Monday, first day of week two! I just got home, and I should…do something. Crunches. Bike. Crappy treadmill. But I just got home, and it’s 9:00 PM, so it may just be bedtime.

Awkward Tacos

I eat at Chipotle a lot. Like…a lot. There are weeks I eat lunch there Monday through Thursday.

Yesterday, not one but two employees commented on my ordering a bowl instead of my usual two tacos. “Hungry today!” “Going all in!” Which made me feel like I needed to explain that I was going to eat half now and eat the rest in place of my usual afternoon snack. (Which I did.) And it made me feel like I needed to explain that the way I order (extra veggies, extra salsa, no dairy) is actually a pretty healthy meal and not the food bomb their typical burrito is. (Kept that one to myself.)

Second, as I’m paying…

“Mel, you don’t work at corporate do you?”

“Like, Chipotle headquarters? No.”

“Oh. We all thought that you did.”


We all? Awkward.