It Takes a Village

Training for the Pikes Peak Marathon officially begins. . .tomorrow!

A lot goes into marathon training prep. Well, for me it does, anyway. Here’s what I’ve been up to in order to fluff up the wings on my feet to do just that. . .

I altered my marathon training plan to better prepare for Jodi’s Race for Awareness and the Bolder Boulder along the road to Pikes Peak thanks to help from a few of my runnin’ peeps. Here is the result thus far, subject to further alterations along the way, of course:

Marathon Training Plan Revisions

And yes, just in case you are wondering, the varied hues of ink in the right-hand margin does indeed indicate color coding for training options. Hey, I don’t call myself a nerd for nothin’, m’kay?

Next, I got a pre-training deep tissue massage from Erin at Personal-Best Bodywork to do everything I could to work out the marathon training kinks – figuratively and literally.

She started out the massage nice and easy; so I quickly encouraged her to beat me up a bit. “Do what you’ve gotta do to get any knots out. I can take it!” And take a beating, I did. Let’s just say that I was grateful the massage started face down - It gave me a chance to practice stifling many a painful wince while holding my breath without Erin noticing before I turned face up. Atta way to bring on the hurt – OUCH!

Aaaand let’s not forget one of my favorite parts – piggin’ out! Once training hits, all thoughts of cookies, junk food, and excess sugar are out to make way for finding the right balance of good fats, protein, and carbs in every meal. Thanks to a visit from Dhvani, an ol’ grad school BFF now calling San Fran home, tackling this feat was no feat at all.

We started out with a visit to the one and only Biker Jim’s Gourmet Dogs for some jalapeno cheddar elk, southwest buffalo, deep fried mac and cheese, and charred tahini cauliflower:

Elk and buffalo - majestic AND oh so tasty

Elk and buffalo – Majestic AND oh so tasty

Followed that the next morning with brunch at the True Food Kitchen with some of Jodi’s Race for Awareness Team NanaFlora – a name you should remember, as they will be making more than a cameo appearance in my blog explorations come June:

Brunch with Team NanaFlora

Just for the record, this was a healthy brunch. . .probably the only healthy meal I had the entire weekend. Don’t judge me.

We washed it down that afternoon with high tea at the Brown Palace Hotel - scones, sandwiches, and sweets – oh my!

Pinkies up!

Pinkies up!

The only thing that kept us from attacking this tower of tempting tastes was the fact that we were at the uber fancy Brown Palace amongst fellow tea lovers – including everything from an older woman with a funny, over-the-top sea foam green hat to ten-year-olds in frilly dresses and bows – exercising their best manners in public.

So, we played it cool and politely consumed our food and tea at what would most definitely be considered an acceptable pace. But if you ask me, manners are overrated.

Finally, to top the chocolate cake with chocolate icing of what could be described only as nothing less than a pretty freakin’ awesome weekend, Dhvani and I met a few of my friends for brunch at the Denver Biscuit Company. No words are needed here – The photo of one of our entrees speaks for itself:

NOM NOM NOM!

GET. IN. MAH. BELLY. NOM NOM NOM!

This, for the record, was not mine. Um, hmm. . .not that mine was all that much better for me. . .

Last, but nowhere near least, I spent a little quiet time at my favorite spot in the ever lovely Cheeseman Park to clear my head with what is always a beautiful view, even with overcast Denver skies earlier this evening:

Insert dreamy sigh here.

Insert dreamy sigh here.

Just how far a little time alone here can go - leaving all thoughts, good and bad, behind to focus solely on the ‘here and now’ – never ceases to amaze me. Hmmmmmm.

They say it takes a village to raise a child. I say the same goes for running a marathon – and, perhaps even moreso, all of the work that goes into even getting to the starting line in the first place. I’m looking forward to the road to Pikes Peak, and I know I couldn’t do it without the help of these – among many – fellow villagers.

Melissa Mincic, Ph.D., a long-time road and trail runner, conducts applied child development research and works to influence child development policy and practice at the University of Denver. Follow Melissa on Twitter at @nerdinrunshoes.

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