Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Leadville 100...Prerace...

Two weeks ago we arrived home from Leadville.  It was an amazing experience, and sadly it did not end how I had hoped.  Here is the first part of the story, the pre-race events.  

We hit the road on Wednesday at 1:00 pm.  Ken was lucky enough to be riding with Katie and me.  Kya originally was going to join us, but at the last minute we decided to board her.  We missed her, but the whole race was pretty stressful and having a dog with us would have made it more so.  

We arrived to our condo in Vail at 10:30 pm on Wednesday.  We called it an early night, anxiously awaiting our adventures the next day.

We woke up on Thursday to crisp mountain air!  After running a few errands, we went for a hike on the trails above our condo.  We figured a short, six mile hike would be just what all of us needed to get acclimated to the elevation.

Ken hiking through the aspens.  I can only imagine how gorgeous this is in September when the aspens are golden.

We hiked three miles to a creek and found spot to hang our hammocks and enjoy some snacks and wine.

Ken being daring with his hammock location

Could it be anymore obviously that we shop at the same place?!?!  We love Lucy!  P.S.  This was not planned at all.  If only Ken had a pair...

More aspen groves

I loved the view of the windy river.  The clouds started to move in for an afternoon shower.

Ken loved this quick little hike

Looking back across the lake towards Piney River Ranch

I had a great time with my people

We stopped off at Vail Village for a glass of wine while we were waiting on Abby and Heidi to arrive from Kansas City.  I was so grateful that I was going to have so many people with me for this adventure!

Abby and Heidi had rental car issues, and it took two and a half hours to get a rental car.  Yes, they had a reservation.  I guess it was college move in weekend around Colorado, which caused a lot of issues.  After they arrived, we made some race plans and enjoyed some dinner before calling it an early night.

We woke up on Friday and drove to Leadville for packet pick up and the race meeting.  It felt odd being in Leadville and looking at the mountains where I would be running the next day.

Checked in and ready to roll!

The packet pick up at the race headquarters was crowded and kind of a waste.  I think it should be included at the high school where the race meeting is with the other vendors.  I know the race series wants people to buy their merchandise, but they can sell it at the expo where there is more room.  The race instructions made it sound like the high school was just around the corner.  In reality, it was about a mile walk.  Not an issue for us, but could be for people with children or the elderly.  

I was heading straight toward the sparkling energy drinks.

The pre-race meeting.  We all really enjoyed listening to Ken, the founder of the Leadville 100.  Seriously, my Ken cannot stop quoting Ken.  

My race crew!  They all gave up their free time to help a girl out.  Katie, Abby, and Heidi all had children starting school the day before and did not hesitate to come to Colorado.  I am so grateful for wonderful friends!

We stopped of at Pb Brewing Co for lunch and a beer and decided to drive around to find the different aid stations so the crew would know where to meet me.  We also got a peek at some of the course.  

After the Leadville tour was over, we ventured over to Lionshead in Vail for a pizza dinner.

Cheers!  You have to love the party pooper with the water glass...

Looking back at Lionshead, which is now our favorite spot in Vail.

When you know for certain you are tall enough!  This never happens.

We spent the rest of the night making sure we were organized for the next morning and went to bed early for our 2:00 am wake up call.  To say I was starting to get nervous would be an understatement!

Thursday, August 2, 2018

2018 Missouri River 340...

Well, Ken did it again.  Last year after he finished, he never said he would not do it again, so I should not be surprised that he registered for this race again in January.  He had fun doing it last year and wanted to take what he learned and apply it to this year.

What that meant for me was that I was going to get to take three days to drive across Missouri again, yay.  Actually, I did not mind it at all, it was kind of fun.

I was solo the first full day and then Ken's parents met me in Jefferson City on day two and were with me until the end.  We had a lot of fun and I even got to impress Bill and Linda with my driving on windy roads.  After all, I am a small town girl at heart.

Ken at the start of the race in Kansas City

I always think this view of downtown is pretty

After Ken started, I ran 15 miles since I have a small race of my own looming around the corner.  Ken called me to let me know he was going to be at his first stop earlier than expected, so I hustled to drop Kya off at the vet and go to meet Ken,  

I met Ken in Waverly and it was nice to see him and that he was in good spirits.  I gave him his night gear and made my way to Marshall, MO for the night to stay in a hotel.  

Ken happy in Waverly

The next morning I met Ken in my favorite small town of Glasgow, MO.  He got there around 8:30, and sadly the winery I visited last year was not open so I had to skip it.  I ran around the downtown area, stopped for some cookies at a bakery and drove to Franklin Island.  

Leaving Glasgow

Ken was still quite a bit ahead of where he was hoping to be, so he made plans to get to Jefferson City and continue on from there to find a place to camp.  

We saw Ken at Coopers Landing and Jefferson City, before we called it a night.  

The next morning we met Ken in New Haven before he powered on.  I like to think that the Casey's breakfast pizza I provided in New Haven made an impact on him finishing faster than last year.

Ken and Justin leaving New Haven

The ground crew stopped off at wineries for wine tasting before making our way to St. Charles for the finish.  Ken's goal was to finish before 7:00 pm, which was about 5 hours earlier than he planned and about 20 hours faster than last year.

Coming into the finish line at 6:00 pm!

So very proud of him!

Justin and Ken, MR 340 under 60 hour finishers!

We stayed the night in St. Charles and drove home on Friday.  Ken was pretty tired since his sleep was pretty messed up from the race.  I believe he got less than 6 hours of sleep total during the race.  

While cleaning up, someone decided to check out her dad's kayak.  Maybe she is wanting to go on a kayaking trip?

Kya the Kayaker.  She is so sweet to appease me and let me get her picture in there.

Well, that was the MR 340 2018.  The jury is still out on if Ken will do it again next year.  He has debated about doing it with a partner for something different.  Let's be 100% clear, that partner is not me.  This girl plans on keeping her feet on the ground, well, unless it involves swimming 2.4 miles in the river.  

Congratulations Ken!  You make your family of five so proud!

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Norway and Copenhagen: Final Thoughts

First off, I made a little video to showcase our time on this trip.  Thanks to my friend, Wendy, for the idea! 

I really love this video

Now for some final thoughts on this trip:

  1. We really did enjoy Norway, despite the weather. The scenery was gorgeous and the people were so friendly and king.
  2. Speaking of people, everyone with the exception of one person, spoke perfect English.
  3. This was a very difficult trip to plan.
  4. Copenhagen definitely deserves more time and was one of my favorite cities to visit.
  5. The hiking was tough!
Norway was one of those places that was most likely a one and done trip for us.  I am so grateful that we got to experience, but feel at peace with everything we were able to see.  

Happy Travels!