Weekend Recap: Stretching Myself at Work and On the Trails

This was a bit of a short weekend, but a great one! When I try title my weekend recaps, I usually try to think of a theme to sum it all up, and this weekend’s was something about pushing myself to grow in a lot of different areas. This weekend was a big one for reflection on how much I’ve pushed myself (and succeeded!) in both running and my career. Both are still certainly works in progress, but I am proud of how far I’ve come.

I recently got the news that I’ve received my hard-earned promotion to Director at my firm. I’m ecstatic! I’ve worked my butt off this year (and of course also in years prior), but when you work at a big firm, you never know what corporate bureaucracy might get in the way. I’ve grown significantly in the last two years since I started working in Florida, and along with new skills, I’ve also gained a lot of confidence. Whereas I used to have a major case of imposter syndrome and think that I was a total fraud, I’m now feeling really confident in my abilities and the value I bring to the firm.

In several of my prior promotions, I’ve thought that I deserved the promotion… but I would get scared once I actually assumed the new role, worrying about the new responsibilities. This time, though, I feel confident that I’ve already been doing pretty much everything I will need to do as a Director – including selling work, which is something I used to fear. In the last year, I’ve learned an approach to sales that I think fits me and my personality, and I’m feeling a lot more confident in how I communicate the value my team can bring to clients. Rather than worrying I’m not worth my bill rate, I’m proud of the major changes I’ve made for clients and the difference I’ve made at various businesses. I know that consulting certainly isn’t charity, but I’ve started realizing just how much I’m helping the clients I serve, which makes me feel awesome.

This Friday was our company’s Promotion Day, when across the globe we shut down and celebrate everyone who’s being promoted. Whether I’m getting promoted or lot, I always love this day, and think it’s amazing that we have such a strong commitment to our people that we all take a day to celebrate each other’s successes. In Denver, the festivities kicked off at noon, which meant I was able to get a lot done beforehand.

My Friday kicked off by meeting some of my girlfriends for a trail run in Golden. This group of “Trail Sisters” goes running every Friday at 6am, but every week so far this summer I’ve had calls that interfered with my joining the fun. But as silly as it sounds, I wanted my Promotion Day to be the perfect day – so I blocked off 5am-7:30am on my work calendar and made it a priority to go. I wasn’t disappointed!

We’ve gotten a lot of rain this year, so the wildflowers are beautiful on the trails! Unfortunately, it’s recently dried out a bit and been very hot, so there were forest fires blazing in Durango and Silverthorne, which were so big that there was smoke all the way back in Denver.

This week, we ran from Apex Trailhead in Golden. It was a bit of a long drive for me (45 minutes), so I ended up having to split off early from the group and head back on my own. The trail was also much harder than I’m used to – basically a steady uphill for three miles, and then (supposedly) downhill back to the start. I say supposedly because I didn’t make it that far 😉

About a quarter mile from the trailhead, we (literally) bumped into Courtney Dauwalter, the incredible ultrarunner who outright won the Moab 200 last fall (she beat the first guy in the race by more than 10 hours!). When I went to the trail running film fest a few weeks ago, I got to see a film about Courtney and also hear her speak, and I thought it was so awesome that now I got to share the trails with her! I just love that in the sport of running, we all get to run the same course… some of us just enjoy it longer than others.

I stuck with the group for about two miles, mostly maintaining a jog but stopping for breaks periodically. But when that two miles had taken us 40 minutes, I needed to turn around and head back down instead of continuing. Whomp whomp! I definitely felt like I was the weakest link in the group, especially since I had to turn around early. But rather than feeling discouraged by that, I felt inspired. I’m eager to come back and try this trail again, perhaps a few times on my own so I can see what it’s like when I go by my own pacing. I know I can get better at it with practice, and I’m looking forward to when the rocky uphill trail feels relaxing and easy.

Trail_Running_Enchanted_Forest_Apex

I took this pic on my way back, which was downhill, but still not easy! I never go too fast downhill on trails because I’m always afraid of falling.

Speaking of things that used to feel hard but are now easy… I hightailed it from the trail back home for a quick shower, and then headed out to pitch a new client. Time to put those sales skills to use! After my meetings, I then headed downtown to kick off Promotion Day in earnest.

This year’s events were really fun – starting with a champagne toast and lunch for the new promotes, and the chance to try out one of those cash grab booths where a fan blows around all the dollar bills while you try to catch them. I had never done one of these before, and I was really nervous, but I ended up walking away with a huge stack of cash!

Cash_Grab_Winner

I was nervous about going in the cash grab booth in a dress, but it worked out okay since it was a sheath. One of the analysts was wearing a flouncy fit and flare dress, and I didn’t envy her that extra challenge!

After a few hours, the Viewhouse opened up their entire outdoor space for everyone in the office to enjoy food, drinks, and yard games. There was even a tarot card reader and a caricaturist!

Promotion_Day_Caricature

I loved this caricature of myself, even though I think it looks nothing like me 🙂

After the office-wide celebration wraps up, people usually go to after-parties various places; our Advisory group went to 10 Barrel Brewery, followed by Finn’s Manor. I had a blast toasting with so many colleagues!

Unfortunately, I may have toasted a few too many colleagues, because I woke up absolutely exhausted on Saturday morning. I had made plans to go trail running with my friend Sarah, and set my alarm at 6:15am, but Sarah texted that she had overslept, and I encouraged her to take her time… I wasn’t moving all too quickly either! After a snafu on my part where I told her the wrong trailhead, I finally met up with her and we got started running around 9am, two hours later than planned. C’est la vie!

The trailhead where I had inadvertently told Sarah to go was actually in my neighborhood (literally only a mile from my front door), but it wasn’t one I had run often. We both were intent on running double digit miles, and I knew that unless we were going to do 17 or more miles (nope!), we’d have to do an out-and-back. So I had us go left instead of right, the usual way I’ve gone on that trail. The first mile had a big hill, but then I discovered why they call it Marshall Mesa – you are truly just on this big plateau with nothing around but open sky and mountains. It felt like being in the middle of nowhere, and I couldn’t believe that this magical place was somewhere I could literally run from my front door!

Trail_Running_Marshall_Mesa_Open_Space

This pic was taken about four miles into our run, which means it’s five miles running from my front door. How incredible is this?! I kept imagining I was Maria in the Sound of Music, spinning around in the grassy fields.

I was definitely running much slower than Sarah, so sometimes we ran together and chatted, and other times she ran ahead and then waited for me every so often. Either was great with me! We were out there for a solid two hours to get our ten miles in, but we did it – and I was really proud of us. That was the longest run either of us had run in a while (for me, since last fall’s half-marathon in Madrid), and I was so excited that I had been able to just go out and run ten whole miles without much preamble. That’s a long distance to do on a whim, and I think it shows how effective my running training has been!

I’d like to keep my distance a bit longer on weekends going forward, when I don’t have a deadline by which time I have to be at work. Post-run this weekend, though, I was zonked. I was surprisingly not hungry at all – which was especially surprising since I hadn’t eaten before I went out, so I had just run 10 miles on empty). Instead, I just wanted a shower and a nap.

Unfortunately, I had to settle for just the shower and no nap, as I had a ton of errands I had to get done before evening. Once I flew through those, I quickly got myself all dolled up in a new cocktail dress, and headed downtown. I had early dinner plans before tickets to see Book of Mormon, and I was pretty psyched!

It was a nice walk over to West 29th Restaurant and Bar, and we had the run of the place since we were eating super early (5pm). But that was because we were worried about time before the 7:30pm show, especially with Pride Fest going on downtown. As it turned out, it was good that we left early; we ended up making it into the theater only about ten minutes before the curtain, which was just enough time to use the restroom and get to our seats.

Kevin_Laura_Book_of_Mormon

No time for a pic before, so we snagged one after – but it was dark by then so the exposure wasn’t great. Still happy to commemorate the night!

It was a packed house, with every ticket sold, and we had a cool vantage point in the upper balcony looking down on the stage. Unfortunately, I felt like the acoustics weren’t stellar up there, and there were a few jokes I missed because I couldn’t understand the words (the Ugandan accents may have also made it tough). Even so, the show was super funny, and I was so glad I had finally gotten to see it! People have raved about Book of Mormon for years, and now I got to see what all the fuss was about 🙂

I didn’t get home until just before midnight, and I stayed up talking on the phone for a bit then (oops). As a result, the next morning, I didn’t set my alarm until 8am, and planned to skip my morning workout. But, as has been happening a lot lately, I inadvertently woke up at 6am despite planning to sleep in… so I quickly got ready for a trail run since I was up anyway.

After getting dressed in running clothes and getting all my gear together, I hopped in the car… and pulled out of my garage only to realize that the skies were looking pretty ominous. It was only then that I checked the forecast and realized there was a 50% chance of rain for the next two hours. Yuck! But I had already gotten ready and psyched myself up to head to Rattlesnake Gulch, and I quickly decided that I would still head there and hike/run anyway. The faster I went, the faster I’d be done, and a little water wouldn’t hurt me, right? I just hoped it didn’t turn into a thunderstorm… the sky was pretty darn dark.

When I got to the trailhead at 6:30am, I was literally the only car there, which was a first for me. Undaunted, I parked at the best spot on the street, and started heading uphill. Although I had planned on running the fire road at the beginning, I quickly switched to a power hike, and then traded it for running once I got up to the actual trail, where it flattened out a bit. I have learned that I have a lot of trouble running pure uphills, even if I can keep a reasonable pace on rolling hills that are actually steeper. Something about knowing there’s a break ahead makes it a lot easier to push through the uphills!

Rattlesnake_Gulch_Trail

This pic is about a mile in, and one of my favorite parts of the trail – very easy and runnable. You can see how ominous the sky looks, though!

I ended up only seeing two other hikers the entire (3.5 mile) way up. This is always kind of a quiet trail, but that was a new one for me, and I kind of loved it! I had the entire Continental Divide overlook to myself when I got there, and it was so peaceful to relax up there for a few minutes before reluctantly turning around to head down. I saw several more people on my way down, and it felt great to already be wrapping up for the day (and blazing past them since I was going downhill instead of uphill, haha).

El_Dorado_Canyon_Trail

How beautiful is El Dorado Canyon? This is one of my other favorite parts of the trail… I like it even more than the views of the Continental Divide at the very top.

I ended up finishing the entire 7 miles (up and down) in about 90 minutes, which I was really happy with! This route is a great, not-too-long workout… which was a good thing, as I was pretty tight on time. I got home at 7:30am, and had to shower, pack, and leave by 8:30am to catch a 10:30am flight to New York. I had a few workshops there on Monday / Tuesday that necessitated a Sunday fly out, and I had decided to leave early enough to be able to get dinner with Theodora.

To be honest, I spent most of the flight to LGA being pretty unhappy. The weekend hadn’t felt nearly long enough, and I felt really lonely flying thousands of miles away when all I wanted to do was be home and get to see more of the people I love. When I landed, I headed to my hotel to crank out a little bit of work, which certainly didn’t help my mood. But then I got to walk to my favorite place in New York for pasta, Zero Otto Nove, and as soon as Theodora walked in and we embraced in a big bear hug, I felt better 🙂

A lot of people have asked, but I don’t really miss living in New York. Of course I miss some of my friends there, and there are times I get cravings for some of my favorite restaurants there. But I don’t think I could ever see myself moving back to Manhattan. It’s fun for a few days here and there, and I love being able to walk everywhere rather than having to drive, but I just love Colorado’s mountains and trails too much to leave! It’s amazing to me that in all seasons there is something awesome and outdoors to do. (And also amazing to me that I actually enjoy the outdoors now, since I was a total city girl who hated it when I first moved, haha.)

Unfortunately, I’m not going to have much time at home in Colorado for a little while. This week, I’m in Chicago till Friday night, and not getting home till midnight – which means it’s just Saturday and Sunday at home before I fly out again Monday 🙁

But! In two weeks, my company is giving us the entire week of July 4th off. When friends and coworkers have asked about my plans, I excitedly tell them how pumped I am to stay home and sleep in my own bed. It doesn’t hurt that my town’s fourth of July festivities (a one mile race, parade, and pancake breakfast) make it one of my favorite holidays of the year! The countdown is on 😉

Source: http://www.50by25.com/2018/06/weekend-recap-stretching-myself-at-work-and-on-the-trails.html

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