Where I’m At

11/25/2014

Howdy friends – I have not posted much on the blog front lately because frankly, there hasn’t been too much to write about.  A few weeks ago, I went ahead and got another MRI on the old foot because my ankle pain was persisting and getting worse.  :-/  Turns out, I don’t have broken ankle (I kid, partially) but rather, tendinitis of the flexor hallucis longus tendon.  “The whaaaat?”  The FHL basically runs from your calf, over/through your ankle and underneath your big toe.  This tendon helps to bend your toe down.

Anatomy of Flexor Hallucis Longus Tendonitis

The diagnosis on the FHL makes complete sense as my calf is always very tender and I have complained of pain my big toe forever now.  The tendinitis diagnosis was also a big of a relief!  I had been worried I had either a stress fracture in my ankle OR a torn medial ligament of some sort, neither of which would have been fun to treat.  I was also surprised (and annoyed) to hear that the MRI showed there is still significant signs of swelling and fluid in my heel (aka plantar fasciitis) which, if you follow this blog, you know I’ve dealt with for-freikin’-ever.  Thankfully, it does not hurt though but I am being mindful and treating it along with the tendinitis.

The treatment for tendinitis can be tricky as there is no blood flow in a tendon, rather they are just tough, fibrous tissue.  Blood is good for healing injury.  So I ended up getting a cortisone injection in the FHL basically into my ankle bone (ouch), took a week of rest, have two prescription medications (one tablet by mouth and one compound cream to put on topically), and have been using an at home Tens unit for therapy.  The combo seems to be doing well.  I’m not an advocate of repeated cortisone injections to manage pain, but they can  be very helpful to quickly manage swelling when combined with rest. I will see how my FHL feels in about 2-3 months, when the cortisone is technically worn off.

So, if everything goes as planned, my foot will be “better” by the first of the year.  I’ve also gotten a new pair of running shoes, Newtons, and I am easing my way into those very slowly to try to avoid any further injuries!  The verdict is still out on how I feel about them.  They kind of make the soles of my feet feel like I have hot spots, but not sure if that’s just my imagination.  Anyone else run in Newtons?

So other than truly focusing on getting my foot 100% before next September, I’ve been running 10-15 miles a week, keeping up with my 2-3 times a week swims, keeping up with my athletic conditioning workouts, taking 1-2 yoga classes a week and teaching lots of cycling classes at the Y.  I haven’t been outside on my bike a lot, primarily due to traveling and crappy weather, but I’m trying not to stress about it because I’m sure I’ll make up for it next year leading up to Ironman.  :) We got out a few weekends ago on a beautiful, chilly day, and did a nice long ~12 mile trail run / hike at Crowders Mountain. I was sore for days after but it was worth it.

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I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving.  I’ll be out at the turkey trot with my family and hope to see some of you out there!  Thanks for checking in everyone!


Never Say Never

09/29/2014

My performance at Ironman Los Cabos in March 2013 was very lackluster mostly due to my bum foot but also partially due to temperatures of one MILLION degrees (for the record, I do NOT do well in extreme heat)! I went in to the race the most prepared, the most fit and the most excited I had ever been for any of my Ironman races (well, maybe excluding the first), but also injured and hesitant as to how my foot would hold up. I did all I could to put my foot to the back of my mind on race day and told myself I would finish the race over hell or high water. After losing my timing chip while diving over waves to start the race, I had an eerie feeling the day was not going to go as planned. The “calm swim” in the Sea of Cortez I’d experienced the day prior ended up being oddly similar to swimming in the crashing waves of the ocean; the nice cool temps and awesome breeze that we had the 3-4 days leading up to the race picked up to all out gusts on race day; the “rolling bike course” (as advertised) ended up being what I can only classify is border-line mountainous climbing over 8,000 feet; and the “flat shaded” run (as advertised) was anything but flat and shaded. I guess that is the downfall of doing an inagural event. Lesson learned: the Mexican Triathlon Association is a bunch of false advertisers🙂

I came back from Cabo with my tail between my legs and questioning if triathlon/running could continue to be a part of my life. I was depressed about my foot and my performance but proud of myself for not giving up. Most importantly, I promised myself at the finish line that I’d never put myself through walking/jogging a marathon in agony again. If that meant no more running, then so be it. Since then, I’ve been focused on having fun, staying fit, working on my overall strength and flexibility, and getting my foot healthy.

Well a year and a half after thinking I’d never be able to run pain free again, I registered for Ironman Chattanooga on September 27, 2015! I’m a bit shocked that I actually did it but super excited for what’s to come. I think my life will change a lot in the next few years and I want to do one more big race before any of that may happen. 🙂 I plan to tackle it the same way I did my first Ironman – have fun and complete the race with a smile on my face. No pressure, no time goals, no expectations. 🙂 I plan to continue to teach classes during training, continue with my strength workouts and working out with my sister and best friend, and will incorporate longer distance biking, running and swimming early next summer. I’m excited for the adventure ahead and look forward to training with a lot of the local athletes who also registered!

http://www.ironman.com/triathlon/events/americas/ironman/chattanooga.aspx#axzz3EkeNEqcj


Langley Pond Olympic

09/02/2014

Race reports are a little fewer and further between this year but they exist and that’s the best part! I wanted to do at least one more race in 2014 before the end of the season but was having a hard time finding one that fit my schedule. I have heard good things about Langley Pond and liked the idea of doing a new course, so I registered about 2 weeks ago.

We left Charlotte Friday a bit later that we originally planned only to have to do an about-face on the highway at 8pm in Rock Hill because my car was shaking and my right tire was smoking. I called my sister to tell her the trouble we were having and she graciously offered to let us take her car down there. We headed up to her house and were back on the road at 9pm – for a 2 1/2 hour drive to Aiken. Being one who desperately needs my sleep, Derek so awesomely offered to drive and I was able to get a little much needed shut eye after a very long, stressful week at work.

The alarm sounded at 5:30, way later than I would have liked had we gotten more than 5 hours of sleep, but way earlier than I wanted to get up. We made it to the race site with sufficient time though to set up and get ready for the 7am start. The venue was nice and small and easy to maneuver.

The swim was changed to 2 loops of the sprint course that morning (still don’t know why) but it was fine overall. It was a beach start so when the gun sounded, we ran into the water and people started swimming. Being intimidated (and not capable) of lining up on the front line of the swim when men are involved, I situated myself second line back. I ended up running about 25 yards before being able to dive in which was ultimately fine with me because less time swimming is…awesome. 😉

The female age groupers started 3 minutes after the open wave and I thought I saw a girl swim past me about 1/2 way through the 2nd lap. Yup. Regardless the swim was generally uneventful, which for me, means is was a success. I never found myself way left (a little, but not way) or way off course and I never felt terrible. The first turn buoy got pushed out quite a bit on the 2nd lap so the Olympic course was a little long and I always tend to add a bonus 100 meters for myself by swimming like a drunk fish, but all in all, this “got the job done” for today at 30 min and 8th female.

The run to T1 was literally 0.32 miles (that is FOREVER) in bare feet on gravel roads. My feet suck in general and running on gravel / uneven surfaces for this long wasn’t that awesome. If I do this race again I will stash some shoes to put on out of the water. I think my transition was 2:30ish.

The bike course was a fun 2 loop 24-mile course. About 2-3 flat miles, about 3 miles of granny gear, about 3 miles of flat, and about 3 miles of screaming fast false downhill and descents. So fun! The weather was perfect, my power meter was actually working and my power was right on target. Overall, a great ride! Finished in 1:04 and change and 1st female.

The run course was also really nice- flat, some shade, and I love out and backs to see other athletes. I felt great for the first 2-3 miles but my endurance was really wavering for the last 3 miles. The volunteers told me I was the first female at the first aid station which was kinda cool, but means nothing that early on. After I made the turn around, it was quite a long while until I saw another girl so my motivation to keep trying to push SUPER hard faltered a little. And I was really starting to hurt. I hung on as best I could to some sort of pace, and by mile 5 and just wanted to be done. The very last mile literally comes right past the finishing shoot and then sends you back out about a 1/2 mile before you finish up. I didn’t love that or running again on the same uneven rocky surface we ran out of the swim on (twice) and my ankle was pissed but it was pretty short and over relatively quickly. All things considered, this was a decent run. Ended up 46:46 which was good for 2nd female today.

Overall finish time was 2:25 and 1st female. There is definitely a lot of room for improvement in my overall fitness and my race performance but I am just so happy to be where I am in my life right now with a good balance between training and having fun that I am at relative peace with it. I again realize there are lots of girls that could have / would have beat me, but its all about who shows up on that given day! 🙂 I’ll take 3*-3 this season (thanks C. Behme!).

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Not sure if there will be any more races this year but have had tons of fun doing the ones I have, that I may look for one more before the weather gets cold. Racing in the cold weather is NOT my thing! Hope you all had a great Labor Day weekend and got to do some things that make you happy too!


A Time Trial and Strength Training

07/18/2014

Whoa – two posts in one week!? I must be getting wild!

I have been jealous every week I’ve seen the results and people talking about the time trial up at the speedway, which I’ve done quite a bit in the past, so I wanted to make it a point to get my butt out there and do at least one this year. After doing it, maybe “jealous” was a bit of a stretch.

I had to take my dogs to the vet on Wednesday😦 so I took a half day at work which helped motivate me to do this particular one. Trying to leave work to get ready and get up to Concord at 5:30 is normally a huge buzz kill. It was nice to be a bit more relaxed about this one. We arrived with plenty of time to warm up a little before Derek’s start at 6:30. It was his first event and I was more nervous for him than myself!! I like when the pressure is off me. 🙂 He did great for his first time ever and I know he’s got more in him next time. Part of time trialing is just figuring out just how hard you are capable of going for that exact distance – no more and no less. He rode at his exact goal speed and had “fun” doing it!

After watching Derek finish his ride I started my own a little before 7:30. I hit it hard the first lap and tried to get settled into a good groove that I could sustain for the next 6. I didn’t actually watch my power this time because I didn’t want to be discouraged if it was significantly lower than I’m used to seeing in past time trials. Head games.🙂 So I set a goal speed (26.5) and just watched it and my distance the whole time. And tried to not to puke.

I wish I could say I felt awesome but after about 2 laps, I did not. By the 6th lap, I saw 7.25 miles and was delirious about if this was my last lap or my 6th. I came around the 4th turn on what I had hoped was my 7th lap, but looked down and saw 8 miles and almost quit. I take full responsibility for this. I had a really small lunch that day since work was very busy (read: cup of soup) and nothing but two hard-boiled eggs before we left for the track. I was starving before the ride so I knew energy would be an issue but I came unprepared with any gels or food. By lap 7, I was seriously out of gas. I pressed on as hard as I could and kept telling myself, ok, pick it up at the 3rd turn. Then I’d try, and I wouldn’t go any faster, so I’d think, ok pick it up at the 4th turn, and the same. The finishing stretch was all about not falling off my bike, honestly.

I was shooting for 22:40 and I finished in 22:39- not too shabby a time prediction on my part! The craziest/best/funniest part is that this was actually the highest 20 minute power test I’ve ever done!? After I’d caught my breath and caught up with Derek, I checked out my average watts and lo and behold, my jaw hit the floor. Given my time was over a minute slower than my best there at the speedway, I figured my watts would correlate (since it wasn’t super windy)…but surprise!

I’ll get on a little soapbox now for just a brief moment. The past year and a half since my foot injury has taught me the importance and benefit of cross training and, more importantly, strength training. When I was knee-deep in swim bike run, I used yoga as my sole method of strength training – which is not a bad form I’ll say. These days however, I do TONS of burpees, short 100/200 meter sprints, tons of pushups, planks, squats (body weight, jump and weighted), lunges, side shuffling, and in general just a significant amount more strength training. I continue to be surprised to see some of my results this year not be too dramatically off where they used to be when I was solely focused on swim, bike, run training, which is definitely attributed to my overall increased strength. Now there are definitely workouts I could / should do that are swim, bike, run specific, that in conjunction with my strength training, would net great results, but I’m not into being all too focused right now – more just doing what feels good, having fun and staying fit. I will say though, less is more!

My time was good enough for 2nd female as I was edged out by another great rider Sarah by 4 seconds. Makes you look back and think “doh, shouldn’t have let up that time” but I did the best I could and she also had a great ride! Congrats Sarah!

If you are around uptown during the week and want to join our little group sessions during lunch, anyone is welcome! We work super hard but have tons of fun! I’m also happy to plan such workouts for anyone who might be interested!

Happy Friday all!


Jimmie Johnson 5k and LKN Excursion 65 mile ride

07/17/2014

This past weekend I decided to run my first stand-alone 5k in about 4-5 years and my first organized bike ride in probably 2 years! I love the LKN Excursion and have done it a few times in the past when training for Ironman, and this year (or maybe last?), they added a 5k before the ride. I was gonna be up there to do the ride I might as well get a run in too! Efficiency at its finest.

JJ 5k

The 5k was up first and it certainly reminded me why I don’t tend to do them very often – they’re REALLY hard. My overall lack of fast twitch muscles also doesn’t bode well for short distance, fast run running but I work with what I have. 🙂 I tried to remind myself that the run was primarily a workout, but in the back of my mind it was also as a little “test” to see how well (or not well) all my cross-training / athletic conditioning type workouts are doing for my fitness vs. solely swim, bike, run.

I lined up about 4 people back from the front behind a few speedsters with the goal of running a little below or right at 24 minutes. I thought that would be a push, but feasible given I haven’t been running much. The first mile I felt good (you usually always do), the second mile I felt not-quite-as-good, and the third I felt like complete dog doo. My mile splits went from fast, to fast-ish, to slow-ish. I found some speed for the first ~15 minutes, and then it slowly escaped me but I pressed on despite a massive, overwhelming urge to walk about 2.2 miles in. There is something to be said to just knowing how to suffer, I suppose. I finished in 21:54 which was enough for 5th female / 1st age group. Small field🙂 If only I could have stayed on pace mile 3 with mile 1 and 2…but overall I was pleased to achieve my goal for the day! 5k – check!

LKN Excursion

In years past, any opportunity to ride a 100 mile supported, organized ride, I was all over it. This year, I was not – I opted for the ~65 miler at LKN Excursion. I had a bit of trepidation about my 60+ mile bike ride fitness as the longest ride I’ve done in quite some time is about 50 (without a 5k sufferfest beforehand) but figured why the hell not give it a try! I expressed my 65-mile trepidation to my friend and his response was “you’ll be fine, we’ll just sit up front and hammer”. Welllllll ok. 🙂 Definitely not the “we’ll just ride easy” response I thought I’d get – time to put on my big girl pants!

The weather was great, hot and humid which I’ll take any day on my bike over windy and cold (side rant: people – it’s July, it’s North Carolina – it’s hot, it’s humid – fact! If you don’t like the heat, this is likely not your state. If you’re surprised by the heat “this year”, I don’t understand – it’s hot every. single. year! Complaining doen’st make it cooler. End rant – back to business). I set out with the front group and felt great riding their pace and even doing a little work upfront myself. After 10 or so miles we got organized into our small-ish group and were able to do some really fun pace lining, put out a nice fast pace, and enjoy riding hard at times, and not quite as hard at others. I had forgotten (with all my due respect) just how awful some people handle their bikes and how awful they are to ride in groups with, but overall, it was a safe, fun ride with great people.

Sadly, about 25-30 miles in, that humid 5k started to take a toll on me. I forgot my salt tabs (which help with cramping) and tore through my 2 bottles of water/nutrition on my bike within the first 60-90 minutes so I was left scratching my head about what I was going to do with ~90 min of riding left to do an no fuel. For a 60 mile ride, most people will have enough nutrition on their bike so they don’t have to stop. And if you actually get in with a good group of people to ride with, you don’t a.) want to ask the whole group stop (cause they won’t – especialy when timing chips are involved) and b.) want to stop because then your group will take off. With my great group surrounding me, I blew past the rest station at mile 30 but by mile 45 my calves were cramping so terribly on every pedal stroke I knew I had to get some fluid and nutrition. THANKFULLY, three awesome guys said they would stop with me, I guzzled a whole bottle of Gatorade, crammed two salty crackers in my mouth, topped off and we were back on the road. We didn’t have the big group we had before but at least there were 4 of us to share the work. We still managed a decent pace after the stop and still had just as good of a time for the last ~20 miles. I felt very thankful they stopped with me – riding alone is the pits!

If you are training for something or just like to ride, I highly recommend this ride in the future. Great course, great support, and great people! I’m glad I decided to do this event and will likely be supporting in the future!

I wrapped up my day after a coma-like nap at the Justin Timberlake concert where I danced myself into the ground, had entirely too much to drink and had a really awesome time with my three favorite girls! It was quite the day – needless to say, Sunday was “less awesome” but totally worth it!


Dabbling in Some Racing!

06/03/2014

After a 15 month hiatus from triathlon racing, I was able to complete my first two of this year!! I’m so happy to be able to participate again that even when I’m panting, my legs are burning or I’m being drown by another swimmer, I’m still smiling on the inside. That’s was this year is all about!

Inevitably, I’ll give an update on the ol’ foot cause that seems to be what has guided my life for the past year and a half. My heel is good to go…no pain! Though it took significantly longer after surgery to heal than I was told to expect (e.g. ~6 months vs. 2 – 4 weeks), it truly seems to be behind me and it’s a great feeling! However, the whole time my heel was sucking my ankle was also, I just didn’t realize how much because the pain from my heel was so much more dominant. Unfortunately, despite a healed heel🙂, my ankle continues to be pissed off, swollen and sometimes black and blue after I run. It really doesn’t like right turns, slanted roads or rocks / stumps / roots at all. The upside though (!!) is that if I don’t for ~2 – 3 days after, the pain essentially goes away, much unlike my heel that hurt 24/7 leading up to and after Cabo. So for now, I’m running no more than ~2 days a week and no more than 3-5 miles each time and cross training / doing other stuff the other 5 days. And I’m delighted to be able to do that! I freikin’ HOPE there is a day when I don’t have to deal with pain anywhere, but I’ll take this any day after what my heel presented to me.

Anyway, given my ability to run a little this year, I decided I’d do a few races for fun! I don’t have any sort of “race season” planned out, I’m just doing what feels right at any given moment. I’m also trying to select races and courses I have never done before because I think comparing results to prior years would kind of suck, quite honestly. I’m 100% certain I’m not in the best shape of my life right now so no need to pour any salt on that wound. 🙂

Carolina International:

In early April, I was starting to get the itch to do something competitive. I have been competing in something basically my whole life and last year sucked from that prospective. Racing is fun, it keeps me motivated and it’s a great social outlet. I searched high and low for a sprint so I could ease my way back into racing but unfortunately there weren’t any that fit my schedule. So I quite literally said “screw it” to myself and registered for Carolina International. My sister got married the weekend before so I knew training would be a little lackluster leading up, but I also knew I could (at minimum) complete the race. I had zero expectations on my performance and was just beyond excited to get out there and have some fun. I thought 100 times leading up to the race that worst case scenario, I could walk the run.

The weather was maybe the most perfect weather I’ve ever raced in, the course was great, and it was so nice to have friends and Derek out there supporting. My sister was very bummed she missed my triathlon re-deubt being on her honeymoon, but I knew she was there in spirit! Like pretty much every race I’ve ever done, this race can be summed up as follows: mediocre swim, fast bike, ok run. Some things never change.🙂 I very purposfully stayed relaxed on the swim as to not overdue it considering I had been questioning if I had enough endurance for a ~3 hour race leading up to the event. I’m naturally a slow swimmer, so a slow swimmer attempting to stay relaxed = really slow swimmer.

The battery in my power meter was dead on my bike so I rode 100% on percieved rate of exertion. I looked at nothing except how many miles I’d gone. It was nice to ride with no pressure, no numbers, no expectations. I just spun up the hills and cruised hard on flats and downhills. And smiled. I set out on the run excited but in question. I literally had no idea how I would feel. Overall, I would say I surpised myself. Don’t get me wrong, I felt like death at variuos points due to the mountain-like hills that we ran up and down, but given my little run training, I was pleased to see miles ticking off in the 7’s. When you are really dialed into training / racing / results / splits, etc you pace yourself, you know HR’s you should / shouldn’t be seeing, and you know what approximate pace you can run x distance. This was the first time I literally had no idea. I likely ran a bit too hard miles 1-3 but I didn’t do a whole lot of “course recon” (read: none) prior to the race so I didn’t realize quite how hilly it would get. I managed a 7:45 ish pace overall for the 10k with some serious positive splits but seems like that was pretty common…those hills were long!

The funniest part about this race was I went to have fun I ended up winning by default because my friend Carrie swam the wrong course. It was my 2nd only ever race win but will always be “*” to me.

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Tomahawk:

My boyfriend has recently gotten into cycling / triathlon training so we have been looking for his first race to do. Post wedding, my sister was also looking for something fun to do. I recommended Tomahawk because I’ve never done the course, it was nearby and it looked pretty fun!

My focus on the weeks leading up to this race was totally on them and making sure they were ready. We did a few open water swims which are always beneficial to do prior to a race, though I’m fairly certain I’m triathlons worst ever open water swimmer.:-/

Anyway, it poured rain most of the drive down to the race and I thought to myself how much I wished it would stop raining for Derek and Dawn’s sake. I knew neither of them had ever ridden in the rain and they would not be comfortable, but also wished it would stop raining for my own sake.🙂 and it did…at least for long enough for us to set up transition and get in the water.

This swim was a time trial start by order of registration which I liked and was happy that Derek wouldn’t have to deal with the chaos of the open water start at his first race. I’ve also quit racing “open/elite” this year partially because I’m not in good shape, but partially because I hated it. I just prefer blending as an age grouper and I was glad I did so I could time trial start with the age groupers too! Dawn, Derek and I were all seeded one after another and that was comforting to have them around before the start.

The swim was nice, a little choppy and definitely very long, but I actually felt good and swam somewhat harder than I usually do. My watch clocked 0.74 miles which is quite longer than 1000 meters so I felt slightly better about my very lackluster time post race, and overall this was an ok swim. I’m working on not pulling so significantly to the left and this was a better effort, though I have so much work to do if I plan to keep racing.

I could feel the rain pick up for the last 200-300 meters of the swim and by the time we exited the water it was pretty much pouring. It rained nice for the first 5 miles on the bike and then it let up. Overall my ride was ok – I rode a bit timid because of wind and wet roads but rode hard when it made sense. The course was a great mix of rollers and meandered nicely through the countryside. I passed quite a few men and a couple women but mostly just spent the 18 miles alone.

I headed out for the 8k trail run even more skeptical than I was for the Carolina 10k given I have next to zero experience trail running and have a pissy ankle that doesn’t like right turns or uneven surfaces. I made a point to run in a pair of trail shoes I have and was thankful I did. The trail was quite nice but definitely challenging to get any good speed going. I wasn’t sure my Garmin was working because it was telling me my mile splits were 9 min or so but, given my lack of trail experience, I thought that pace could quite possibly be true. Thankfully it was not. The course was an out and back and I hadn’t seen any girls coming towards me for the first 2+ miles. I started to wonder if a) I was still on course and b) if there were any girls ahead of me. A little less than a mile from the turnaround I saw a tall girl running towards me looking a hell of a lot stronger than I felt! I didn’t think anything about her again because I just needed to focus on not killing myself on the trails!

I crossed the finish line around 1:56 and was happy to have another race under my belt! Even more exciting is that apparently I was the fastest girl to show up that day too! I realize that had a whole handful of girls I know decided to race, that the outcome would have been much different but heck, they didn’t.🙂 The best part was the sweet bag, a hat, a $50 gift card to Inside Out Sports and $300 check that was presented to the winners! I may have to start training specifically for Tomahawk 2015, like, today! And Derek picked up a 3rd place age group and little gift card as well! Serious swag!

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So that’s what I’ve been up to in a nutshell. My focus this year is not on splits or times or anyone else’s splits or times, it’s simply on having fun and doing what my body will allow. Winning has been fun, but I’m honest and realistic enough to realize that I haven’t gotten more fit, just a little more lucky.🙂 I hope to be able to do a few more races this year but that won’t be decided until I can stop limping from the last one. One day at a time!

Ta-ta for now my friends!


Maya Tulum Yoga Retreat Day 6 and 7

04/11/2014

I didn’t get a chance to update yesterday because life here in Tulum has kinda taken on a very similar pattern as it has at home….on the go! I’ve met some super cool girls so we’ve been coordinating meals and stuff to do during the day, which means coordinating schedules and bouncing from here to there with less downtime. I’m not complaining because the girls are great and I think they will be people I keep in touch with through yoga retreats, email, Facebook and such, but is has definitely taken a toll on my “me time”. One can never have too many friends and connections!

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Anywho, yesterday was a great day. We’ve keep saying that the days have gotten better everyday and yesterday was my favorite! The morning was filled with yoga and breakfast with friends followed by an afternoon on the beach. The weather was the best we’ve had yet. The breeze was constant so there was never a sweating moment while hanging in your lawn chair but there wasn’t a cloud in the sky! Even with my 9,000 lbs of 200 SPF, I still managed to get a nice tan!

5:00 yoga was taught by Sem again and he is great but very intense. He wants every single person in the class in the perfect posture before we move to the next. When there are 10 people in the class, this can take a while! Needless to say, it was a great workout and I left with burning legs and hips! We also worked on lots of arm balances which it’s always fun to challenge yourself to try new and different postures.

I had mentioned I was teetering on doing the 1000 rep workout to my friend Sydney after class and she was all over it. I was excited to have a buddy to do it with! I definitely miss my sissy and Emily this week! Sydney is less into cardio type fitness than I am so we set her a goal to complete 6 rounds while I did 10. She did great and made it through 6 1/2!! She has been “boasting” (jokingly) that she worked out with an ironman and it’s making me laugh. I’ve always liked people who are funny.🙂

After the workout, we met our little group of friends for an awesome dinner of salad, almond crusted fish, veggies and corn cake for dessert! Yes, corn + cake. Sounds awful, but was seriously the best thing I’ve had since I’ve been here!! The perfect mix of sweet and salty deliciousness.

We ended the night with tons of laughter and lots of fun crazy stories. All of my friends here are from NYC and they are usually unique, deep, interesting people and these 4 define that! It’s been super fun!

This morning started my last full day here. I’m truly sad but all good things must come to an end.😦 I’m already in a routine here and am bouncing around from place to place so vacation life is almost the same as home life by now (without some people I miss and my sweet puppies) so that really means it’s time to return to reality. The first Monday at work after vacation is always tough.

This morning there was a 7am meditation before our 8:15 practice. I have refused to set an alarm while I’ve been here so I went to sleep last night telling myself I’d go to meditation if I was up in time. Well I woke up right at 7 and was ok with skipping. It was so cool out so I headed out for my last run while here….a 45 min slow-ish run on the great running path. I have enjoyed having no hills for a week.🙂

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I made it back just in time for 8:15 class which was challenging. It was with Victor again who has been my favorite instructor and we worked lots of tough core poses! I can say with 100% certainty, I am stronger after this week. 2 1/2 hours of yoga a day for 7 consecutive days will definitely do that! It’s a great feeling!

After yoga we soaked up the last few hours of rays this afternoon. I dozed in my chair my fair share and again, I’m not sorry. I’m reading Ariana Huffigton’s book, (founder of The Huffington Post) Thrive, about unplugging, the need for sleep, meditation, yoga and general taking care of our minds. It’s pretty appropriate and kind of ironic that I’m reading it. I knew nothing about it when I downloaded as it was a last minute recommendation from a friend. Very fitting though.

Tonight’s yoga class was Slow Flow and another favorite. It was exactly what my body needed as I am a little sore from my 1000 reps last night. It was truly the perfect way to end the yoga week.

I will update more on my overall thoughts on this trip, what I’ve learned, reflected on, etc when I get back. I sit and wait on my friends for our final dinner together. Funny how you can get to know people so well in just a weeks time. I’m so glad to have met them though…they have made my trip complete.

Dinner tonight will be fish tomales, mashed sweet potatoes, veggies and the most delicious salad I’ve had in a long time. I don’t even know what the lettuce was, different from anything I’ve had, but amazing.

Thanks for everyone checking in! See you in the states!


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