Monday, March 22, 2010

Running, Hiking, Swimming in the Mountains

From the minute my plane touched down in Denver, the excitement of seeing Andy, Katiy and Ogden was almost more than I could stand. Yes, I had booked a flight on Southwest that got me early boarding status and a seat in row 4. It just seemed right. Yet the beginning of my spring break in Denver was just the start of an incredible week of fun. Driving up to Louisville, Co was amazing even though it was night, I still knew the mountains were there waiting for me to see.

The first morning, I just went outside and there they were. Mountains. For this flatlander from Kansas, I am always in awe.

You've got to understand that with this guy here, there is a certain respect, honor, wonder, amazement, and yearning to be in the mountains and come alive with spirit and energy. The days and nights would bring time with my son Andy, Katiy, Berta, Kelsey and Ryan, wonderful talks, great restaurants, runs, swims in the local rec center (yes, Ironman/Boston/Big Sur training must go on.), playing with Ogden, laughs, a bus ride into Boulder for a shopping trip that I am still excited about, a half-marathon race with Andy, Katiy, and niece Angela (which by the way I ran after being at altitude for a day and a half),race support from my wife's sister Micki, and niece Alison, more runs and swims with Angela, an anniversary French Toast breakfast made by Chef Katiy that was amazing, visits to the dog parks, hikes that were beautiful that I later found out son Andy had run up this mountain 3 times and back during a lunch break for a training run...Whoa!, late night and early morning walks with the Og dog, peanut butter toast, the smell of pine trees, mountain turf to hike on, views that captivated everyone, tours of new offices for Andy and Katiy, and some good ol' relaxation.

Yes, it was quite a trip. Had I run a race before and not worried about the time? No. Did I love it when Katiy PR'd her race? Yep! Did I enjoy running and having the mountains to look up to along the way? You bet! Still shaking my head about Andy's mountain running abilities.Getting to see the wedding location for Andy and Katiy was very emotional and beautiful. Spending our anniversary in the mountains with a great dinner celebration, cool!

Respecting the weather was another factor on the drive home where we spent the night in a Red Cross shelter in Hays, KS. due to terrible roads and blowing snow (12:30 AM). Looking back though, it was just part of the beauty of the trip. The mountains aren't going to let you get away from them without making some kind of statement. The storm that blew over them reminded us that they are powerful yet breathtaking. Statement made.

Thank you Andy and Katiy for everything. Your love and warmth was very special! Can't wait to get out and see you again. Ogden, you watched over all of us with care and understanding.

Forward we go! May your roads, trails, and pools be happy and safe and bring you peace of mind!