Vines, Pines, and Inclines

I only had a three-day work week, but I am beyond excited/relieved that it's Friday and the weekend is here again. Even though I graduated from college only three years ago and haven't been in the workforce for more than a second, I'm still already depressed at the idea of working 9-5 for the next 40 or so years. I honestly don't think God intended for us to be living this way. It's no wonder that the number of anti-depressant prescriptions and alcohol sales is forever on the rise and that Americans are more stressed out and miserable than ever.

Luckily, I really do enjoy my job and the idea of going to work every day doesn't put me in a bad mood. Sure, if it were up to me, I wouldn't be working at all. Rather, I'd be sleeping in, eating and making good food, playing with my dog, and spending time with my friends and family. However, that is not the reality of the world we live in. We need money for everything and as the economy continues to take a turn for the worst, the little money we're already making just isn't enough. So we have to work more. Spend less. And live in stress and fear of our bills and other financial obligations.

So everyday I wake up, I thank God I have a job that I actually like, and do what I need to do for my family ... and live for the weekend.


I had some good fortune yesterday that unfortunately came at someone's expense. Tomorrow is one of our city's coolest races and I opted out of participating because it's also one of our city's most expensive races. It's called the Vines, Pines, and Inclines Trail Run and takes place at a local winery (and yes, the idea of getting free wine afterwards was a big drawl for me). It's one of the toughest courses around and boasts three hills that previous runners have not-so-affectionately named The Hill of Discomfort, The Hill of Pain, and The Hill of Death. Unfortunately, I recently signed up for two different races (a half marathon and a 5k), so my running fund has already been depleted for the remainder of the fall.

I checked out our local road race group's Facebook page and saw that a woman was unable to participate in this trail run due to tearing her ACL (yikes!) during another race earlier in the summer. She wanted to know if anyone was interested in having her entry registration ... for free! My running buddy Mandy immediately threw my name out for consideration and I echoed her response, expressing my extreme interest in running in this woman's place. A few hours later it was official, and I am now entered in the race without having paid a dime (and I get a free t-shirt. Weee!)

Mandy ran the race before and filled me in on a lot of the gruesome details. Only well-seasoned runners who run 5-minute miles and have conquered races like the Leadville 100 Mile Trail Run (a marathon in Colorado with an elevation that peaks at 13, 185 feet above sea level) have been able to make it up The Hill of Death without walking. So I have aptly renamed the three hills The Hill of Ouch, The Hill of Probably-Not-Gonna-Happen, and The Hill of Screw-This-I'm-Going-Home. I'm really excited for the challenge and have absolutely no intention of setting a goal pace. I just want to have fun, run through some beautiful local scenery, and possibly get a little bit tipsy afterwards.

I hope you all have a splendid weekend, and I will see you back here next week!