This weekend was quite eventful in multiple ways. The main one being that I saw Matt for the first time since I helped him drive out to San Francisco. I’ll admit that I was a little nervous about him coming out to visit me since the last time we were broken up and he came to visit we got back together. I was at a very different place in my life back then, and in a very different head space. But it’s still our habit of breaking up, spending time apart, and then when we see each other again, getting back together. I’ll write another post (coming soon) about my feelings about his visit and him in general. But this post is focused purely on the events that happened this weekend.
He flew in on Friday so Moose and I drove to the airport to pick him up. Moose was sooooo happy to see Matt that he started crying and squirming as soon as I stopped to get him. I had made cookies for Matt in return for him bringing me Game of Thrones, but I kind of went on a baking spree and made one batch (about 48 cookies) each of snickerdoodles, chocolate chip, and thumbprint cookies. Needless to say we couldn’t eat all of them (well we could but it wouldn’t have been pretty) so I made a plate to bring over to one of my friend’s apartment, which is conveniently two blocks from Argonaut. Apparently there isn’t a very good bourbon selection in San Francisco (one of the city’s many shortcomings in my opinion), so we stopped in to see what they had in stock. There wasn’t anything good in the locked cabinet so Matt just bought some more casual (cheaper) bourbon for the weekend. I then dropped him off at the Vail office to get lunch with his former coworkers and proceeded home to continue working from home and take a pretty epic nap.
After Matt’s lunch, his coworker/friend Kylie, Matt, and I went to SkiRex, a huge ski and snowboard sale that Colorado Ski and Golf puts on every Labor Day. Matt owed me money so he bought me a new all-mountain snowboard and I bought myself a new splitboard. For those of you who don’t know, a splitboard is a snowboard that can separate into two separate “skis” for backcountry boarding. Without the splitting functionality it’s pretty hard to go uphill on a snowboard without hiking. We ended the day by having dinner at Breckenridge Brewery, making a quick stop at Ginn Mill to see if my favorite bartender was working (he wasn’t), and then home for a nightcap and sleep (and yes – Matt slept on the couch).
We awoke Saturday morning with time to go for a nice 4 mile run along the Platte River, shower, and get decked out in Hokie gear before Drew came down for the VT/Alabama game. The game didn’t start until 3:30 mountain time so we got lunch at Sports Column, where we met a nice couple from VT. The Iowa game was on so we cheered for Iowa (Sports Column is an Iowa bar) until it was time to head over to Jackson’s for the Tech game. We had the upstairs bar, which turned out to be a very good thing since there were 250+ people that showed up for the game watching party. Unfortunately we lost to Alabama but our defense looked really strong and our offense has a (potentially) great new running back that reminds me (and everyone else at the bar) of Ryan Williams in his freshman year. Hopefully their rushing yards are also similar!
After the Tech game, it was time to head up to the mountains since Matt and I were running the Glenwood Springs Half Marathon on Sunday. We finally made it to Matt’s house around 10 pm, after a stop at Cafe Rio for a barbacoa quesadilla. Yum!! The alarm sounded bright and early, giving us just enough time for Matt to shower, me to sleep in a little longer and throw on my running clothes, grab our hydration packs, and hop in the car to begin the hour+ drive to Glenwood. The drive is actually really pretty, especially the 14ish mile section through Glenwood Canyon, which is the second deepest canyon formed by the Colorado River (after the Grand Canyon of course). We made a quick pit stop at McDonalds for bacon, egg, and cheese biscuits and then headed to the start. Neither of us had looked at the elevation profile when signing up, so Matt decided to check it out on the drive. It might have been better to remain blissfully ignorant since the elevation profile showed us climbing and descending Red Mountain. That’s 1,700 feet in 4 miles, which normally is probably close to runnable for me, but since I haven’t run in 2 months seemed pretty daunting. Especially when we got to the start and saw the monster.
The race start was uneventful. The race director said a few words about the course, the most important being the different mile marker colors for the 10k and the half marathon. And then we were off. We ran for about a mile on paved roads before getting to the start of the trail (and the climb). I convinced Matt to hike it since I wasn’t going to drag his butt across the finish line when he used all his energy on the first 4.5 miles and didn’t have anything left on the last 9 miles. We got to the first aid station (MM 1.5) in about 17 minutes, I grabbed a Honey Stinger waffle, Matt grabbed some Honey Stinger energy chews and some water, and we continued with the climb. About half a mile after the aid station, Matt decided he was feeling really good and wanted to run the uphill. So I let him run and continued on with my hike. I saw him again about a mile later, hiked with him for a bit, and then he took off. I didn’t see him again until the aid station at the top, where he was leaving as I got there.
I stopped at the top, took some pictures, drank some electrolyte replacement drink, and started the descent. I LOVE running downhill. Like, a lot. Like, more than most other things in life. So with 4.5 miles downhill, on a nicely graded dirt road, and an 8% decline, I decided to take off. I made it to the aid station (3 miles down the road) in about 20 minutes, including a quick pee break. That’s crazy fast even for me. One mile I finished in 6:05. I’ve only run a mile that fast once in my entire life and that was when I was 12. When I passed Matt I told him that I would wait for him at the aid station. So I talked to the two Army Sergeants manning the aid station for about 8 minutes before Matt showed up. I was impressed because Matt was the second person I passed on my way down, followed by 5 other people. He was the third person I saw come into the aid station, meaning he had passed 3 people on his way down!
We regrouped and continued on with the race, which transitioned from steep uphill/downhill to gently rolling singletrack. If downhill running is my favorite, rolling singletrack is a close second. A very close second. Unfortunately for me, my stomach decided to rebel against the electrolyte replacement drink I had at the top of the climb and 8 minutes of standing around caused my quads to turn into cement blocks. I once again let Matt run ahead of me while I did a pitiful combination of shuffling and slowly jogging. There was a short connector from the climb/descent to a 1.5 mile loop that we completed twice before heading for the finish. The loop was a nice combination of dirt road and singletrack. I know I walked more than I ran, but it was nice to enjoy the trail. At this point my only goal was to finish under 3 hours and not be the last person to cross the finish line. I finally came into the finish at 2:52:34. I was not the last person but I was far from the first. Matt had crossed the finish line about 4 minutes ahead of me. Although I was a little upset that Matt beat me, I was happy that he had trained for the race with enough focus to actually, legitimately beat me. Moral of the story – I need to get off my lazy butt and start running again.
After the race, we stopped at Target, Costco, and Walmart to gather the supplies needed for pulled pork (and for Matt’s house to be more than just a glorified campsite). We then went home, where Drew was waiting for us, to get started on prepping the pork. Matt made the rub and I rubbed the pork down, covered it in foil, and let it sit. I then took an amazing nap. Probably the best sleep I’ve had in a while. Until Matt woke me up to yell at me. We sort of sorted that disagreement out and went to Nozawa to enjoy half price sushi for probably the last time this summer. We got a boat. I don’t think I’ve been to Nozawa without getting a boat of sushi this entire summer. It was good!
Monday morning dawned with Drew calling Matt about our ETA for a hike in Holy Cross Wilderness. We quickly threw everything we needed together and headed out to the Fancy Pass Trailhead. This is the trail I heard about after Gaby, her brother, and I hiked/ran Missouri Lakes. The hike to Fancy Lake is much more mellow than the hike to Missouri Lakes, although it looked like the climb to the pass was much more intense for Fancy Pass. We didn’t actually make it up to the top of the pass since it was already 12:30 when we made it to the lake. We did do some “off-trail” scouting and then started our climb back down.
Tuesday morning I dropped Matt off at the airport and started contemplating the events of this weekend. There’s still a lot I need to sort through, but I do feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders. Overall the weekend was alright, there were parts that were a lot of fun and parts that were really bad. This weekend pretty much summed up Matt and I’s entire relationship in one weekend (minus me getting mad at him – which I didn’t do this weekend, but it took a lot of effort not to at some points). Although I was already confident in our decision to break up, this weekend further cemented that idea in my mind. I hope that Matt can come to the same certainty. Until then we aren’t talking…much. We’re supposed to not talk to each other for a month (his idea not mine) but it’s been three days and we’re still talking to each other. More than we were before he came to visit.
Anyways, this upcoming weekend I’m MOVING! It’s pretty much at least a yearly occurrence (if not more frequent) for me. But this time I might stay a little longer. I’m actually thinking of painting!! Which means I should probably stick around for longer than a couple months since I don’t want to have to paint it back when I move out. I’ll post pics of the new place after I get the keys tomorrow!