Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Rock that was Castle

Yesterday we were scheduled to finish up our shoot around 3ish and had decided that we would try and get some hiking in afterwards. But it was 3 and we had driven away from the mountains for the location so we were trying to figure out where to go and how to fit in maximum fun-mountain-y time with only 3 hours of daylight left over.

The people we were interviewing recommended this place called Castle Rock and without really asking a lot of questions (that one’s on me) we headed off to find it. They had said there was some climbing and a bluff and a castle that was shaped like a rock. I mean, that’s all I need to spell out a good time.

I didn’t really know how to get there so I just started driving down a highway (with vinnie and rich following) and then when we got to the tollbooth, I asked directions. Oops – needed to be going south, not north. Gotcha. Turn around, pay the toll again.

So we drive for awhile, we’re not really seeing anything, getting a little discouraged but feeling mavericky and discovery. Annmarie was playing cracked out dj, flipping the station every 5 seconds in order to fully engage our rocking out abilities over a wide spectrum of musical choices.

We finally reach the town of Castle Rock and smack in the middle there’s just this random giant rock. We circled the thing twice to figure out if this was the actual Castle Rock and then circled two more times to figure out how the heck to even walk up it. It was basically a bluff with a rock – we had just driven almost an hour to find this darn thing and this is it??

Whatever, we’re here, let’s do this thing.

We were wearing far more appropriate footwear this time.

We park and start walking up and it’s a nice walk, nothing fancy - and then we start feeling a little frisky. First of all, Vinnie decided that he wanted to grab the camera so he runs back down to the car but tells us not to wait because we’re girls and we’re slow and he’ll catch up before we reach the top.

So that prompted Annmarie and me to start running. We came to this little cut off that was pretty steep but was also kind of sandy and slippery. Annmarie climbed up it first and we took some pics and then I ended up scrambling all the way to the top of it for some unknown reason and of course felt all proud of myself. Like – REALLY proud of myself.

Little did I know that little climb was just the tip of the iceberg for the day...

So we all make it to end of the path eventually; there’s not really anyone around so we’re not quite sure what people do up here. We can see the top of the rock way above us, but there’s no clear way on how to get up there.

Maybe it was the mountain air that was making us high, maybe it was just that we were all feeling great because this shoot has been so easy or maybe we all just went a little crazy because we’re all a little crazy. Whatever it was, Vinnie started scaling the rock to get to the top and one by one, we all followed suit.
It was incredible.

And holy crap!!! We scaled a giant freaking rock!

At first Vinnie went up and I followed him up but then kind of chickened out because I couldn’t figure out for the life of me how I would get back down. (my first attempt)

So I come down and Rich goes up after Vinnie. Annmarie and I kind of stand there trying to figure out how we’re gonna join in the fun too when Vinnie starts heckling us to climb up by saying “there’s like a THOUSAND people up here!”

Sure enough, this pack of high school kids appear at the top of the rock to climb down. Two of the girls are wearing flip-flops – which, talk about inappropriate footwear! I made a crack about the flip-flops being very silly to wear while scaling a mountain and the girls just kind of smirked at me.

That is until she broke her toe on the way down!

We were climbing up when we heard some commotion right below us and sure enough, she had caught her toe, bent her nail back and broke her big toe because of the flip flops getting caught on the rock. Vinnie and Rich, being all chivalrous and stuff, immediately climbed down to help her. It was such a typical high school scene. Her girlfriends were all concerned and the bonehead boys she was with just stood there looking dumb and being very unhelpful.

Annmaire and I decided to follow the bonehead boys suit and leave the ER scene behind us. We climbed right up to the top .. ALL BY OURSELVES!

Omg – totally worth it. It was just stunning. We decided to celebrate with a few yoga poses.

And then being total video geeks, we proceeded to take a slew of pictures to document our journey…. And create more awesome album covers.

Ok - so going down was way scarier than climbing up....

Who knew Castle Rock would actually rock?!?!

On a separate note, earlier in the day, we took a lunch break during our video shoot and Vinnie tried to convince us that there such a thing as a blueberry shake. Annmaire wasn’t buying it.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Me Heart Denver

I'm in Denver for the week shooting a series of interviews for work. I've actually never been to Colorado so I was extremely stoked. I haven't been out west since I left Sun Valley, Idaho over 6 years ago.

6 years... man, it's amazing what changes in 6 years!

I love the mountains. I love the mountains so much I want to marry them. Me and the mountains are heading off to Vegas and we're a gonna get hitched at the Elvis chapel of the bells. I get to be Elvis though, I'd look way fly in a cape.

After our shoot on Monday, which, btw was easy like Sunday morning, me, my client Annmaire and my crew decided to head up into the mountains to check out Red Rock amphitheater. We were planning on just walking around a bit and maybe buying some crap at the store since my legs were still a bit sore (ok, lots sore) and Annmarie was wearing heels. Totally inappropriate footwear for the mountains but my adorable gold flats weren't much better.

But the camera dudes being macho dudes decided to run down to the bottom of the ampitheater - probably wanted to 'feel' the acoustics' or something similarly male.

Annmarie and I sat at the top of the theater all princess-y and superior and watched for a bit and then finally got super jealous and ran down to the bottom to join in the fun too.

One in heels and one with a bum leg. Very rock star of us.

There was some blatant rule breaking going on at Red Rocks.... damn hippies.

Mile High stadium is a very distracting stadium. I have a GPS and the british lady who talks to me from it rarely leads me astray. But apparently Denver confuses her and she keeps giving me the wrong directions. For some reason though, those wrong directions always happen to occur when we're admiring the stadium. I have now made about 4 wrong turns (in all of 2 dys) right by that stadium.

Damn you and your distracting wavy forms!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

In the shocking news category ... after yesterday's awesome error, my legs are sore!

I even took an ice bath yesterday to help the legs and in further shocking news, an ice bath is really, really cold.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

the accidental awesome runner

So this morning I accidentally ran a 15k.

Let's start at the beginning.

My super cool trainer, Sandi, had told me about a 5k coming up that sounded fun. It ended at the Milwaukee Ale House, so by 'sounded fun', I mean it sounded WAY fun. I tried to convince some other people to run with me but my convincing powers were on hiatus. I was going to try and meet up with Sandi before the run, but it was going to be kind of disorganized and crazy at the start so we knew that might be hard - no problem, we'd run into each other at the Ale House, and really, that's the most important part.

So the race begins and it's disorganized and crazy, just as expected. There's a dude hollering into a megaphone about the bag drop and the starting time and the turn-off for the 5k and I kind of vaguely hear it but I'm not really listening because sometimes I forget that directions are helpful for a reason.

The race begins and I crank the tunes on my ipod - jamming to the Killer's 'Human' and Chris Brown's 'Forever', a little britney spears, a little t-pain. I was aiming for a time of 27 minutes for the 5k - I love to run, but I'm not very consistent with it. I don't ever try and pace myself. I just run and see how fast I can go and then I get tired and I walk and then I say to myself, run, dummy! and so then I run and then I get tired and I walk. See a pattern? The first 5k I ran a few weeks ago, I got a time of 28:28 and me being a bit crazy, decided that I would try and beat that time by 1:30. 27 just sounded like a fun time.

About a half mile into the race, there's the great fork in the road. Pretty much everyone was going straight. When I went to pick up my race packet, everyone was in the 5k line so I assumed that the 5k was the popular route - the prom queen of the race. So there was some logic behind my mistake. I heard a girl in front of me ask the guy with the orange flag which way the 5k was and he pointed straight. Well, apparently, my headphones filter "15" into "5" - I went straight and holy crap - did you know that a 15k is way farther than a 5k?

Yea, who knew!?!

It wasn't until we got to the 3 mile mark that I realized my mistake. We just kept running farther away from downtown - I kept thinking, hmm... maybe there's a shuttle? Maybe there's another Milwaukee Ale House? Didn't occur to me that I was in the 15k route until I passed the 3k sign and heard no joyous yelps for the finish line.

HOLY CRAP!!! I'M RUNNING A 15K?!?!?!?! I've never run farther than 6 miles!

Ok, frick - what do I do? I could turn around, but I'm already 3 miles away so I'd have to run back 3 miles anyway - what's another 3? There's all these other people doing it - hey, there's a 90 year old woman running! Well, dang - surely I can do this too.

So I just decided that I was going to run this darn 15k and FINISH this darn 15k. There were about 3 places along the way that I could have jumped off the course and taken a shortcut to the end, but all I could think of was, oh man - Sandi will be so proud if I actually finish this! And I'LL be so proud if I finish this!

But mostly I'm crazy stubborn and I hate failing at anything so I just kept running.

Which was really awesome when my knees starting to hate me... and was also awesome when my Achilles starting screaming obscenities at me.

Dude, I'm such a moron. Apparently, you are supposed to TRAIN for a run like this.

I finished under 1:30 - ok, only by 5 seconds, but still!! I had made my goal of 27 minutes for the 5k - right before my life flashed before my eyes as I realized my mistake. I had been hauling and super smugly passing all these other runners somewhere around the 2 mile mark. Well, all those runners just as smugly passed me around the 6, 7, 8, and 9 mile mark. CRAP!

It all paid off in the end as I crossed the finish line, stuffed a bagel in my mouth and realized I had just finished and actually ran the whole thing! Yay me!

I finally made it to the Ale House and met up with Sandi and her husband who actually ran dressed as a scarecrow - very impressive - they were with a crew of people who run triathlons on purpose. Whoa! I was greeted with appropriate and rewarding reactions of horror mixed with hoots or laughter and disbelief.

And then I downed 3 beers to dull the pain.