November 26, 2012

The Mile High City

Last week I went to Denver, Colorado for a week long SOAR training. The training was a 'Train the Trainer' (TTT); a course that I will eventually be teaching but first I needed to become certified and actually take the training, so off to Denver I went! Prior to last week I had had a layover in Denver a couple of years ago but I had never actually been to the city. Once I was back and people asked me 'how was Denver' my response has been 'it was nice from the inside of the hotel'. Which is pretty much true. The entire week was spent in the Loews Hotel in the town of Glendale, Colorado which is about ten miles outside of Denver. We also didn't have cars so unless we wanted to take the hotel shuttle or a taxi we were pretty much stuck. Luckily there were a ton of places to eat within walking distance (more on that later). It was also awesome to be able to look my window and be staring at the Rockies every morning - what a great view!

Snow coming into Denver!
View of the Rockies from the hotel.
The training was great - there were about 30 people in my group and I got to connect with trainers from many of the states I work with including New York, Nebraska and Missouri. We arrived Monday to set up the room and prepare and then the training started Tuesday. It was a uneventful and (relatively) short flight to Denver when compared to the trip back, but that experience will have its own blog post! The first two days were more or less an extension of the Stepping Stones to Recovery training that I attended a couple of weeks ago in New York City; and the last two days were more geared toward training the material. The most nerve racking day was definitely Friday. We were given a section of the curriculum and asked to teach it to the group while being videotaped! But the worst part was that after we completed the 'teach back' we watched the video with the group and critiqued ourselves! Talk about stressful! I of course nailed my teach back but was a nervous wreck none the less! The next TTT will be in Orlando, FL in March and I am looking forward to (hopefully) extending the trip to a mini-vacation!
Working out - I would be remiss if I forgot to mention something about workout in the Mile High City. Before I left a few people warned me that I would not be able to work out as much or for as long as I do at home; I sort of just nodded and said whatever but man were they right! That high altitude is no joke! I was still able to work out every morning but the length of my workouts were seriously decreased and my daily mileage was essentially cut in half. Obviously training in higher altitude can have a positive effect on later performance so I am interested to see how training there will improve (if at all) my upcoming 5K time. Turkey Trot here I come!
So the food. Denver has AWESOME food! Even their chains are delicious! Everything is organic, farm to table and made fresh when you order! Within about a mile radius of the hotel there were a ton of good places to eat; everything from Jimmy John's and Qdoba to restaurants I had never of before like Tokyo Joe's and ModMarket. There was also a Whole Foods and an awesome beer store! My favorite though was definitely the ModMarket, it was basically a Panera-style farm to table eatery; a must have in my book when in Denver! ModMarket also did something interesting - they printed the price of each of your selected items and the calories on the back of your receipt, I thought that was pretty neat!
Awesome noodle bowl!
Amazing pesto and sun dried tomato pizza!
Printing nutritional and price information on the back of the receipt - pretty cool.
On Friday after everything wrapped up I was able to head into downtown Denver for a couple of hours before my red eye flight back to the east coast. I ended up being dropped off at the 16th Street Mall which is essentially a pedestrian mall with popular stores like Forever 21 and H&M but also a lot of novelty stores like I <3 Denver and the Breaking The Mold candle shop. I ended up doing a little shopping, picked out some gifts for some people back home and had an awesome dinner at the Mellow Mushroom! It was too short though and definitely not enough time to explore Denver. I hope to one day go back, especially to do all the outdoorsy things that I missed this go round!

Denver, you have my vote as one rad city! Hopefully one day we'll get to meet again!

The sun coming up over the Rockie Mountains!


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