10 thoughts from a really hard barre class

I am a huge fan of barre. Tonight’s class was one of the hardest I have ever done and this I what I was thinking. 

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1) I wonder if anyone has ever cried in class before. 

2)  I suspect I might be having a seizure there’s so much shaking.

3) I hope that defibrillator is charged. 

F@$&!

4) I am pretty sure my hamstrings don’t do that.

5) I didn’t know I had muscles down there but I guess I do. 

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6) I guess I do have abs under this mommy belly after all.

Oh F@$&!

7) I could go all Xenia from Goldeneye  and choke a man with my thighs. 

8) I should be ready to start my second career as an ass model tomorrow. 

9) I hope I won’t have to use these arms to operate, or drive, or even hold a pen tomorrow. 

Holy F@$&!

10) I should have bought a ranch style home. 

Damn, that was a good class

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Assigning Blame for My Crappy Summer Run

Remember my summer goal? I haven’t exactly kept up. During a recent summer run I did, however, manage to assign a lot of blame.

1) The humidity

Running through soup is the worst. I almost died a little while back running in Park City; but honestly, I much prefer the cardiovascular agony of that experience to the feeling of swimming through hot, thick fluid while pounding the pavement. I would like the only tackiness on my skin during and post-run to be my very own sweat and not the atmosphere building up on my pores. Gross! Humidity ruins running for me.

2) My thighs

I know the blogosphere is rich with those who argue that thigh gap is an unnatural and unreasonable body goal. But when it’s hot and humid (see #1 above) running capris or layering shorts over compression garments is really not feasible due to the substantial overheating they cause. However, the absence of thigh gap in running shorts results in a burning from chafe that escalates throughout the run. And the thought of the tackiness of body glide to prevent it in the soup (see #1, again!)….ugh I can’t even imagine despite the fact that rubbing thighs make for a less than awesome run.

3) That barre class that I took

Speaking of thigh gap (see #2 above), the effort to make the hammies and the quads along with the sartorius, tensor fascia lata, and gracilis (that’s right these baby muscles I didn’t even know could hurt until I started barre) lean, long, and strong might eventually abate the kissing inner thighs. But, in current practice, running too soon after a barre class leads to quite of bit of muscular agony with each step. Don’t get me wrong, the muscle strengthening I have gained from barre has made me a better and stronger runner (and led to a wider set of summer beach wear options) but, ouch!, the soreness does distract from being able to enjoy the run.

4) The sun

Typically it’s bright sunshine that lures me out to run. I have dark skin. I don’t burn. But on a sunny summer day the sun is my enemy (perhaps not as much the humidity but still). Constantly looking up for a cloud, or tree, or building to cast a shadow and alleviate the fire raging in your skin definitely ruins a run.

5) My hate of mornings

I know I could have avoided some of this bitterness at the weather ruining my run had a simply gotten out there before the sun (see #4 above) became such a foe, lingering mid-sky cockily, an while the refreshing dew was still cooling the early dawn air.  But I suck at mornings and, despite my best efforts, runs after 7am are easier for me than runs before 7am. This time of year, though, the conditions are oppressive soon after 7 and I spend my run cursing myself for having slept in. Calling yourself bad names makes you feel like less of a badass runner.

 

6) My running partner

My husband is my go to running partner. Typically he keeps up with me or I keep up with him; we make a good pair with our matched 29 inch inseams. But evidently the humidity is less of a battle for him. He runs ahead of me and then waits, patiently, for me to catch up. This waiting part seems so smug to me. Maybe it’s just the humidity getting into my head but a this moment I want to both stop running immediately and divorce him and thinking about divorce tends to take away from the joy of running with your life mate.

 

On Spring Running and 3 Races in 30 Days

The first day of summer has finally arrived. I am making plans to stay fit for the coming months so that I can head into fall half marathon season both motivated and rested. 

You see, after a long, hard winter it ended up being a glorious spring for this aspiring runner.

Between Christmas Day and April 4th I never stepped foot outside in my running gear near my home base. A total of 120 inches of snow had accumulated out side my front door. The roads were too narrowed by eyeball height piles of white fluff that lingered into the early days of April. Thankfully, a few work trips to Vegas, Chicago, and Orlando allowed me to squeeze in 7 short runs. That was it. I ran the Disney half on January 10th and only ran seven more times during the rest of Jan, Feb, and Mar. 

It was a long, hard winter.

When the roads and sidewalks finally emerged in early April the pressure was on. I had signed up for a Ragnar Relay months before and it was less than 5 weeks away. I didn’t feel pressure to train for distances (my 3 relay legs were supposed to range in distance from 3.2 miles to 7.6 miles and I was confident that my untrained body could pull that off based on past experience) but I did feel urgency to become comfortable running in the dark (something that I had tried once and it had freaked me out) and running on little or no sleep (I had previously never run post call; it turns out that the post-call runs are perfect for Ragnar training).

And so it began. Random runs of random distances at random hours. #RagnarPrep

Meanwhile, there was Ironhorse half marathon on the horizon. The event that had become an annual tradition for me and my best friend from residency. She moved just two hours south of me and a really lovely half course was just an hour between each of us in Simsbury CT; and, it did not occur on a prime weekend thus making it easy for me to get the time off to run. In years past, we (I run with my husband too) had loosely adhered to a 8-10 week half training plan on the Runner’s World app. Loosely because until recently getting my act together to get in the weekday runs was impossible; it would have required waking up sufficiently early enough to actually run. (Thankfully, I have pretty much turned that around with my detox.) This year, we had to get through Ragnar before before we could wrap our heads around training for a half.

And then the May call schedule came out. I cannot remember the last time since graduating medical school 15 years ago that I had all 3 days of the Memorial Day long weekend off. Since my first half a few years ago (the half that started this blog and the half which I did on a crazy whim with just 3 weeks to go having never run more than 6 miles in a row), I was always envious of my running friends who ran the Boston Run to Remember that weekend. I never could. I was either on call, pre-call (and thus needed to be available as back-up), or post-call (there’s no way to get to a 7am gun let alone run 13.1 miles after being up all night). So, when the May schedule gave me the gift of the weekend off, I was delirious to find out that the race was not sold out.

And there it was. My 30 Day Race Plan. From May 8th, the day the vans pulled up for Ragnar, to June 7th I ran an overnight relay with 3 legs that ended up ranging from 3.2 to 9.0 and two half marathons–one urban with a huge field with thousands of runners and the other through the Connecticut countryside along with just over 1500 other runners. 
And now my plan for the summer. 

  
I am in no hurry to pack in the miles. I am ready for a break from distances for a few weeks but I do want to keep up the running momentum. This is something I have struggled to do in the past with our humid summers. But I am a different person now, capable of getting in run in the wee hours before it warms up if needed. I have trained my body to do distances on very little prep. Now, I want to get a little faster (and hopefully drop the 7lbs I gained during the sedentary winter–one craves comfort food when snowed in and please don’t ask about the high quality cardio equipment I house in my basement gym). 

My goal is to run 3 miles 3 times a week no matter what. There are lots of hills in my area. Though I managed to run my first leg of 3.2 miles at Ragnar at a 9:59 pace running a 10 min/mile has never been within my capacity. I hope to turn that around too by the end of the summer. While running for has never been about speed for me, I do feel that I will be much more consistent getting in quick running workouts in the future if in can do three miles in 30 minutes. Along with the weekly running goal, I also plan to hit my local studio for Pilates, Barre, Zumba, or HIIT at least three times per week for additional strength building, core work, toning, and cardio (with different muscle groups than running) that will all make me a better runner. 

I am honestly relieved not to have a high pressure race goal this summer. Instead of focusing on a date and location I am focusing on myself and looking forward to a fun running summer which will leave me well rested but fit and energized for a couple of fall half marathons that I am eying depending on the call schedule. 

Happy Summer Solstice running friends. 

My Barre-versary

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2 years ago, I was on a girls’ trip out of town, and my best friend from high school dragged brought me to my first Pure Barre Class.  It was not long after the birth of my child and I was getting back into the gym, eating better, and making positive changes to get healthy again.  In fact, I had been working out with a personal trainer and entered into my first class thinking it was going to be “fun”.  Ha.  A few excerpts from my brain during that first class…

Those weights are small.

Why are these weights so heavy?!

Wait, that was only the warm-up?!

Ummm, why are my legs having seizures?

My leg is supposed to go where?

Sweet, I’ve made it.  They just turned the lights down, that must mean class is over.

(*%!  Dang.  It’s not over.

My. Abs. Hurt.

I am definitely going to be feeling that tomorrow.

As you can see, this was NOT what I had expected.  In fact, after that first class, it took me two months to go to my local studio.  And when I did, I committed for one month only.  So, how did all this change?  How did I go from waiting two months before braving a 2nd attempt to now taking Pure Barre classes wherever I go and planning on taking my 500th class later this year?

 

1. Progress beyond the scale

It’s easy when trying to get back into shape to focus only on the numbers showing on the scale.  And, yes, with Pure Barre I did lose weight.  But, even before my clothes began to fit differently, I noticed other changes which kept me motivated … my flexibility improved – I could go further in my stretches and hold them longer.  I progressed from not being able to do a single full body pushup to completing all of them during the warmups.  My legs and shoulders started to show more and more definition.  My strength increased – picking up my child became easier (despite his rapidly growing size!), and I began to notice less backache at the end of a long day at work.  This workout changes your entire body, not just in pounds, but also in inches, in strength and in flexibility.

 

2. Inspiration outside of class

Pure Barre is challenging.  Okay, let’s be real, it’s hard!  And even though it seems unrelated, Pure Barre has really started helping my diet as well.  Yes, there are some days I still *might* eat a cookie in the parking lot before class (hypothetically speaking of course), but lately I have really been asking myself – do I want to throw away all that hard work I just did by making this not-so-smart food choice?  And let me tell you, after I have literally gotten my rear end kicked for the past hour, I want to make it count!

 

3.  Classmates

I love my studio.  I can’t say it enough.  I’m sure some of this is because I work with a bunch of men for the most part, and it’s kinda nice to have some girl time, but I really do appreciate my time with the instructors and classmates.  Bonds are made at the barre.  Trust me, when you are pulling off of the barre, tucking, lifting, and shaking, the best person to understand what you are going through is standing next to you!  These bonds carry over into “real life”, and I am now proud to count several of my classmates as friends.  Plus, who else is going to help you glare at the instructor to start calling out “Final 10”?

 

4.  Anti-ADD

Every class is unique – the exercises, the music, your classmates.  This keeps the workout new and fresh and never boring.  Plus, honestly, I’m not sure how you can get bored when you are sweating so much 🙂

 

5.  Always something…

to work on.  Whether it is going deeper into thigh work or working on the splits or building up to the 3 pound weights, there is always something to improve upon, become better at, or a new goal to set.  And these new goals provide continued, new motivation to stay consistent both at the barre and at the dinner table.

 

So, here I am, celebrating my barre-versary, and thankful to my best friend who introduced me, the instructors who continue to push and inspire me, and my classmates who sweat with me.

Bye Bye Bouncy Boobs

As my quest for personal fitness has progressed, I have done more and more research on how to excel. I ask friends, I subscribe to Runner’s World, I read fitness blogs, I follow the fitness twitterati, and I do a lot of internet searches for things like “best jog bra.”

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Based on this extensive and, umm,  totally scientific research it was clear with p-value < 0.0001 that I was running in the wrong bra. My my single stretch panel, mesh T-back  bras that I had stocked up on in an array of colors at ~$30 a pop were woefully inadequate for my 34Ds, status post 26 months of breast feeding (totaled across 2 offspring).

So, when the running bra pundits led me to brands that start at more than $50 (for an undergarment, whoa!) I had a hard time. The child-of-immigrants in me just could not justify replacing them–they weren’t damaged in any way and technically they fit still fit me. They just weren’t meeting for my goal of running without bouncy boobs, which of course is a phenomenon that has been scientifically proven to cause back pain and slow running speed.

Also, I just hate trying on bras; too much work. Embed from Getty Images

Recently, however, there was a 30% off sale on bras at a local running store I happened to wander into. Being a girl who loves a sale, I took it as a sign that I had to finally try on all the high end, super support offering brands that I had been hesitant to try. So after over an hour trying on multiple styles from 3 brands (including Moving Comfort, Shock Absorber, and CW-X) I was ready to make some decisions.

I quickly ruled out underwire; I have never exercised in underwire (in fact, I don’t even take call or operate in underwire–for me underwire is strictly limited to casual days and fashionista moments) and nothing about these high end bras changed my mind.  Bras without any closure mechanism were quickly booted to the discard pile as well; it turns out that the more support these bras provide the more torture it is to get them on and off (my hate of trying on bras was reproduced thus supporting the initial data). Finally, I just can’t get on board with molded cups; I get that they render a more flattering shape for the ‘girls’ but I hate how they feel and quite frankly I don’t really care if the girls are flattered while I work out because its not like the sweat and scrunched up looks of pain are flattering anyway.

I ultimately settled on the Shock Absorber Jog Bra. [NB: The US manufacturer website is totally sketchy compared to the Canadian and all of the European sites and only has black and white where as the other sites have other colors.] Given the sale and the fact that I had not seen the brand elsewhere, I bought one in black and one in white. The manufacturer’s description is below

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  • Infinity-8 design for scientifically proven support
  • Soft, seamless inner reduces repetitive friction injury
  • Wide, padded, non-slip straps with advanced technology
  • Reflective tape across cups for high visibility
  • Full back opening for easy on & off
  • Soft, gel, non-rub hook & eye for comfort
  • Moisture-wicking, advanced sports performance fabrics
  • Available in 30-36 A 30-38 B/C/D/DD/E/F

See that, it is all about the science!

I have worn my Shock Absorber now for running indoors and out, for barre, for zumba, and for pilates.  First, with the hooks and clip in the back it can be fully open and thus a breeze to put on. Not having to suffocate myself to get ready for a workout, booyah! Second, despite my admonishing effect on the breast shape as a selection criterion, this style is definitely an upgrade in that regard as there are separate, fanned out, two-ply panels for each side creating a more traditional feminine silhouette.  However, despite the two layers, this is not going to provide the modesty, especially on a chilly morning with a thin run top or in a cool workout studio with a tank, that bras with molded cups provide but I don’t really care about that. Who’s looking anyway!? Finally, the bras do have some reflective seems and the marketing suggests the bra could be worn alone but I am definitely not there yet with the rest of my physique.runbra_02

In terms of performance, the straps are soft, though not padded, with many levels of adjustment so there is no digging what so ever into the shoulders or the back. Also the closure on the back leaves the scapulae free to move. The 2 hook lower closure and plastic clip for the t-back promote a good posture which is super helpful during barre classes. The support is very firm, without being uncomfortable so there is no bounce whatsoever during both zumba and running. I really just feel so much more well supported without feeling restricted. Importantly, there is no chafing even after 10 mile runs. The only problem I had was that the hardware on the back was uncomfortable on the reformer when laying flat but one does not need industrial support for pilates, so shame on me!

Honestly, I am so annoyed at myself for ignoring the science and waiting so long to do this. I mean, I get evolution and global warming so I just don’t know what my mental block was with this particular facet of getting my running groove on.

I learned early on that wearing the wrong clothes (ouch the chafe!) or the wrong sneakers (back pain, jaw pain, neck pain!) could really sabotage any running aspirations I might have. But, I totally underestimated the bouncy boobs effect. I guess since I didn’t know better I just tolerated these bras that provided little support other than compression into a uniboob.  I liked this one so much that a found a color not listed by the manufacturer on Amazon and got a third in fuchsia/highlighter yellow [curiously, the same photoshopped runner below appears in the Amazon third-party seller sites in a few more colors].  I highly recommend this for anyone in the mid-30s C-D range look to say goodbye to bouncy boobs.

 

Holy $#!% That Barre Class Was Waaaay Harder Than Running 10 Miles

It’s no secret that the traumamamas love trading in our heels and our kicks for grippy socks. sock_lrg_1

While I am no veteran Pure Barre client like @surgeoninkicks who is already well past her first 100 classes, I do have her to, ummm, thank for introducing me Pure Barre and I have returned time and time again (having tested out some of the competition) whenever I can.

So today, my barre hopping brought me back to PB River North in Chicago.

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I felt good heading into today’s class. I was joined by a friend who lives nearby (and was originally inspired to try Pure Barre by this very blog); I always enjoy workouts with friends better than solo endeavors. I was still on an endorphin high from the two road races I ran over the weekend. And, though I sometimes go months between Pure Barre classes, I had squeezed in a class at PB Boston just one week earlier during yet another work trip. You see, the moves and the music change about every 4-6 weeks or so (the flow of the class from warmup to abs, to upper body, to seat and thigh, back to abs, and then finally to cool down, back work, and stretching stays the same); so I find that having been to a recent class (even if it is in a totally different part of the country) prepares me to be a much better Pure Barre pupil.

So yes, I was feeling really ready when I headed to PB River North this morning, warming up with a brisk half mile walk from my hotel.

But you know, I still always feel pretty pathetic at Pure Barre as I compare myself to those who attend more often than I do. They hold their planks with precision while I am biting through my lower lip to keep from buckling, thinking “Ugh, my abs are sooooooo weak!.” They wield the 5lb weights while making their triceps jump while I am examining my arms lifting 2lb weights wondering “Is that my tricep?” They have just the right amount of shake without stepping away from the barre during the seat and thigh work but this is when I start audibly cursing, question myself “What the F… possessed me to do this again?!” Their abs snap back so efficiently that their gracefully straightened legs rise up to the ceiling; meanwhile my stupid tight hamstrings make my legs look like giant claws and no matter how much harder I squeeze my abs nothing seems to happen. At this point, I am praying “Dear lord please let it end.” I somehow fake my way through the floor based ab work with my legs once again entirely unable to cooperate with being straight thus exacerbating my abdominal failings. And then, finally, we get to the back work and (thanks to all the pilates I have also done) I am a back dancing queen so I start to feel good about myself again, “Woot, I rock!” But then we get to the stretching. The time has come to “bend yourself in half” says the Pure Barre teacher and all I can think of with my still nearly upright torso despite my maximally stretched legs and back is “Well at least it’s over. Bring on the disinfecting wipe.”

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I am thinking “Holy $#!% That Barre Class Was Waaaay Harder Than Running 10 Miles!” but you know what I felt great (and was soaked in like 5 times as much sweat as any run I have ever done even in warm weather). This is a fact about every Pure Barre class I have ever taken. No matter how inadequate I feel during class, no matter how much I curse through the lift, tuck, and burn, no matter how much I ache in parts of my body that I didn’t even know could ache, I always feel fantastic after the class.

I am already lamenting the fact that I may not be able to get to another Pure Barre class for quite some time. I would laugh at myself for all the self-deprecation during class except, well….., my abs still hurt too much to do that.

Relax, Recharge, Reunite: Analysis of a Girls’ Getaway

I am just heading home from a 4 day weekend with some of my college roommates. We have now known each other for longer than we hadn’t before we met in our late teens. As our 40th birthdays were approaching a couple of years ago, I suggested that we all get together to celebrate sometime this summer. After multiple Google searches for ‘girls’ weekend,’ many destinations proposed and rejected, and several ‘anonymous’ doodle polls, four of us amazingly agreed on a time and place and pulled it off.

It was the first time since graduation that we met ‘just because.’ There was no wedding or baby shower, no reunion, no conveniently timed and located work meeting. We wanted to, and in retrospect needed to, just be together for the sake of reconnecting with women we hold dear in our hearts, who will forever share a piece of our soul even if the hustle and bustle life keep us largely apart and disconnected from each others’ daily lives. We came together from different corners of the country. This is what friendship is all about.

So we friends, who have moved geographically and/or practically away from each other over the years, slipped right back into our easy friendship in a swank condo in downtown Denver. (Denver BTW is a great destination for a girls’ weekend offering a balance of outdoor adventures, culture, and urban fun but this blog post is not about that.) We laughed together. We cried together. We ran, hiked, biked, swam, and lifted/toned/burned* together. We shopped together. We relaxed together. We perused social media together. We ate and drank together.

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Mostly we just talked and talked and talked while we did all these things together. We had so much to catch up on: so much advice to seek; so many opinions to render; so many feelings to share. It’s not that none of us have equivalent friendships in our daily lives to do all this sharing, all this bearing of heart and soul; but the same challenges of life, be they work, kids, personal health, etc., that get in the way of us keeping in touch also get in the way of those local friendships.** Some of us, however, just don’t have women who are true friends close to our current homes, part of our daily lives. And for us, the reconnecting was ever so much more meaningful.

In theory, since we value each others’ friendship so much, we could call or text each other, we could Skype or Google Hangout together, and we could email or (gasp) send letters to one another to stay connected. But we don’t. We just don’t. It’s not that we don’t need or want to. We just aren’t able to execute on our friendships when everything else is a more immediate priority. So, without the rigors of daily life bearing down on us, without the distraction of some other event calling us together, we were able to just let go of all the things that keep us perpetually apart and be together this past weekend.

We all benefited. We felt unconditional love and received honest input on things that are weighing heavily on our minds. We learned more about ourselves and our relationships with others. We deduced what undergarments should and shouldn’t be worn and for what occasions. We exorcised demons of roommate fiascos of long ago. We built new memories and hatched ambitious plans for the future.

From gut busting guffaws, to smirks and smiles and frowns and tears, we had a great time. Part therapy, part fun, part vacation—girls’ getaways are an undeniable fact of life long friendships, quickly mitigating the challenges of distance and distractions of modern life. A perfect way to relax, recharge, and reunite.

*See Pure Barre

**This is why so many women who are in geographic proximity do ladies’ night out much in the way we did this weekend.

 

 

More Barre Hopping

I was back on my Pure Barre National Tour this past week while away for a much needed girls’ weekend with some of my college roommates in Denver. When I can’t go to my local Pilates studio, PB is a great way to keep the core from devolving and to offset travel related caloric indulgences.

Not all of my travel companions were interested in PB. So as to not interfere with any group bonding activities and to get the calorie burn done well before indulgent brunches, I booked three 6am classes at the Highlands studio. It’s such a treat for me that I had no problem getting up (if only I could do that more often at home).

As is always the case, the instructors were very welcoming. And, unlike past experiences, the PB Highlands instructors spent of lot of time correcting during the class. This is perhaps due to the relatively small class size (it seems that the people of Denver like to sleep in since every other studio I have been (Chicago River North, Naples FL, Memphis TN, Boston Newbury St) to has been packed or so filled that I couldn’t even get in (thanks for nothing PB Philly and DC)). Anyway, through I have done PB enough now to anticipate the next body part to go into tetany, I don’t know the exact moves so the special hands on attention was much appreciated.

I even did my first class today with these doohickeys. 20140722-125537-46537113.jpg
No my hamstrings don’t do that and yes some parts of if were definitely channeling the reformer. It was a great workout that definitely challenged my strength and flexibility while getting my heart rate up. I left feeling lean, cinched in, and powerful.

Most of all it felt good to be doing this for myself despite the late nights, indulgent eats, and outdoor activities (which some might use as an excuse to not keep up the core and seat work) of this girls’ weekend.

Avoiding a Vacation Set Back: Day #5

DURING MY 2 WEEK VACATION, I HOPE NOT TO GAIN MY TYPICAL 5-7LBS. MY GOAL IS A DAILY POST ABOUT WHAT I DID TO AVOID A VACATION SET BACK.20140722-091936-33576986.jpg

Yesterday got away from me so this post is a little late. It was a day filled with lemon (the color), relaxation, art, culture, and food–especially food–lots and lots of yummy amazing delicious food which obviously had to be balanced by some physical effort. The day started with Pure Barre. I was especially excited because one of my friends decided to join me and I was wearing my new favorite summer work out outfit. Here I am in the Athleta Stride Capri in what they call Aloha Yellow and the record breaker tank in white.

After barre, three of us went for an easy 3mi run along the Cherry Creek Path. I have run before Pure Barre before but never after. With the altitude that I am not used to and the muscles that were still sort of in tetany it was tough but I got her done. We chatted while we ran so it wasn’t the fastest pace ever. I can’t recommend running with friends/partners along new routes while traveling enough. You get in your workout (so more food later), you get to bond, and you get to explore the locale.

And then there was brunch. We went to a local chain called Snooze where there is always line out the door and a long wait. We waited 45 min on a Monday and it was so worth it. I am pretty sure a single pancake there (which you can get in multiple varieties including the familiar chocolate chip, blueberry, etc. and the more far fetched cinnamon roll, strawberry malt, etc.) is like 3000 calories. I opted for an omelette with a single sweet potato pancake on the side. So I was totally indulgent but I did exert some control by choosing the omelette as my savory item instead of the hollandaise and sandwich options that would have the added high carb bread and I did sub the hash browns for fresh fruit. My god it was amazing. The 10 block walk back and forth also helped temper the yummy in our tummies.

After an afternoon at the spa (nothing like a massage to soothe the Pure Barre worked muscles), we took in the Chihuly exhibit at the Denver Botanical Gardens.  This allowed the opportunity to work off a bit more of the pancakes with more walking. Chihuly is always fun. I ended wearing one of my favorite Pleione tops from Nordstrom.  It’s super comfy and a great bright yellow. So there I was again donning lemon.

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Finally, we ended up at a very highly reviewed restaurant built into a former service station called Root Down. We have eaten very well this trip but this was hands done the best meal and definitely a contender for one of my favorite foodie finds ever. We ate tapas style and the flavors and textures were so amazing. They call it “globally influenced seasonal cuisine.”  This just might be my new favorite type of cuisine. We ate something called Devils on Horseback and seared Colombian arepas and amazing meatballs with balsamic blueberries and several mor20140722-092315-33795218.jpge amazing dishes. Sadly we ate so much that we left no room for dessert.  Sitting on a patio on a mild night with a view of the city from up on a hill was also a treat while treating ourselves to a totally indulgent meal. And yes, without really planning it, I wore my go to summer dress that I have had for years and it is lemon yellow.

 

The Fitbit logged 20,054 steps yesterday.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Avoiding a Vacation Set Back: Day #2

 During my 2 week vacation, I hope not to gain my typical 5-7lbs. My goal is a daily post about what I did to avoid a vacation set back.

So, yesterday was such a fun day that I didn’t get to write this post until today.

20140719-055047-21047776.jpgDespite a late arrival and hitting the sack at 1:30am, when my alarm went off at 4:4
5am so that I could find my way to Pure Barre Denver Highlands by 6am, I bounced out of bed. It’s hard to be away from my local pilates studio when I travel and I love, love barre so I try to make Pure Barre my tourism treat. It was a tough work out but I loved it and can’t wait to go back for two more sessions during this trip. What was especially awesome was being able to noodle around such a cute neighborhood afterwards where I had my choice of nearly half a dozen local conveyors of iced coffee. That’s me with a much deserved post-Pure Barre iced coffee in granite grey Be Free Knickers and a glass blue Record Breaker Tank from Athleta. And, no I am not barefoot but it’s hard to tell because I recent scored the perfect nude (for me) thong-style sandal from Tory Burch (the Miller sandal, they call it sand, I call it nude for me).  (I wish the nice lady who took my picture had not caught me mid-speech but since I also promised to share some fitness looks I will post my post-Pure Barre iced coffee pic. Ugh.)

20140719-055046-21046101.jpgI was then lucky enough to spend the day noodling around Denver by bike along the Cherry Creek and Platte River Trails and through the Washington Park neighborhood. We rode at a leisurely pace about 2 hours. And let me tell you, riding to lunch sure makes it easier to enjoy a giant sandwich on french bread. We found Vert Kitchen tucked away in a cute little neighborhood. Such a gem. My fig, goat cheese, turkey sandwich on a crusty roll with champagne vineger was so delicious. I paired with a melon soup that was very good but surprised me with it’s savoriness when I was expecting sweet. That’s me somewhere along the trail in casual chino shorts in cactus pink from Caslon (a Nordstrom house brand) and a super light weight black and white striped tee I picked up at Marshall’s. It was a great choice for a casual, active day.

littemanicecreamdenverThe friend I am traveling with and I also did a lot of walking. This included walking with hand made waffle cone in hand (containing a simply indescribable form of deliciousness called salted oreo) from Little Man Ice Cream and walking to a very indulgent dinner at Lower 48 with a few friends from our past who happen to live in town. Having such an active day meant I could simply enjoy multiple tapas style apps and family style plates along with a great almond butter bread pudding soaked in maple butter for dessert. Foodie heaven.

The FitBit captured 20,576 steps yesterday.