Off to Ragnar We Go: Van #2 hits the road

This is the van before we pick up 4 more runners. 

   
 

And here I am ready to go in my pre-run Athleta In-Fusion pants and t-shirt (style unknown but it’s super comfy so I own it in 3 other colors). And of course to ward off any pre-run leg swelling I have my Pro compression knee length socks on. 

   
 

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‘Twas the Night Before Ragnar

‘Twas the night before Ragnar

And all through the house

There were piles of crap all around

The need for gear could not douse

Three outfits to run in, zip locked to keep handy

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Piled with deodorant and dry shampoo in a giant gym bag

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Whilst a giant tote stores foam rollers and meds, and for when breath starts to reek some hard candy

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And in the overnight bag, a real bra lest my apres Ragnar look start to sag

All paired with the matching back pack to to house electronic gear

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To ensure no crinks in the neck with it too comes a neck pillow

Of course real rest will not come without the sleeping bags that appear

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For them there is a hamper filled with pillows and blankets as snuggly as doughDSC08069 Sleep yearns for sustenance so we have a sack of carb laden, electrolyte rich food

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And finally the Race Bible to ensure that all is understood.

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Ragnar hear we come!

Not-A-Morning-Person Detox

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I suck at mornings. I always have. It’s genetic (just ask my dad).

My past efforts at transforming myself into a morning person have all failed miserably.  There were occasionally times where there was a burst of morning joy (yes, I even made a top 10 list about why I should do this yet still failed) but inevitably the joy turned to despair and I returned to my usual ways of barely waking up on time for the latest I could possibly be where I needed to be. My mornings are typically a flurry of being in a rush and arriving at wherever I need to be totally cranky. People in my current job have seriously asked me when they first see me in the morning why I am so angry.

In college my worst grades were in the classes that started at 8:30 or 9:00am.  Luckily by junior year such classes could be avoided. My choice of medicine was quite a challenge in this regard as medical education is decidely not 9-5. Thankfully the labs were you had to be present were all after lunch and the rest…well I will leave that to my lab partners to divulge (this was before ever class was recorded and notes available online thus precluding any necessity to be present for didactic portions of medical education). And residency/fellowship…. oh well, I can’t even begin to tell you how hard it was for me to show up at 5:45 every day but I had a spouse who has since the day we married (and is a morning person) been able to supply me with the requisite amount of caffeine in hand and boot my ass out the door in time to make it to rounds (but I did deliberately place at #1 on my rank list a general surgery program that did not require its interns to preround; yes, I am such a bad morning person that I chose a pivotal part of my surgical training to get out of that extra 30-60 minutes of work before 6am rounds).

While I have chosen a career where being on your A-game in the middle of the night is perfectly fine (in-house overnight call as an acute care surgeon; most grants, manuscripts, and data analytics can be done when my second wind hits in the evenings or overnight), figuring out how to fit working out into the mix of a busy surgical career and life as a wife/mother has been a challenge. Excluding mornings from this has made the challenge that much harder. Every day I say to myself, “No problem, I will just exercise after work.” Turns out I am great at lying to myself. Most days, I am just to tired or cranky or hungry after 11 or more hours at work (yes, even when not taking care of patients, it is a rare day that I am working fewer than 11 hours; I have tried to fix this and I am convinced that it is just not possible with a surgeon’s schedule) and find myself crawling to bed, face half-covered in drool, after having fallen asleep on the couch at some point with just 4-5 hours to spare until I have to be back a work.

A few weeks ago, emerging from a long, snowy winter some 7lbs heavier than the fall, I knew I needed to change my behaviors once and for all since saving workouts for the evening has not been successful was clearly not the solution when morning workouts failed to stick in the past.

Somehow though, when I travel for work (or for vacations for that matter) I am able to fit in morning workouts even on very little sleep. So with this current effort at conquering my not-a-morning-personitis, I analyzed my successes while away from home to try to make a major change in my at home routine.

  • First, travel requires forethought and organization that I don’t typically apply in every day life since every day life just happens whether or not I am trying. Part of that forethought is making sure I have my workout gear and that I set my alarm clock to be able to fit in a 30-60 minute workout.
  • Second, when I travel, there typically isn’t a couch to accidentally fall asleep on (note: stay away from suites for this reason) in a big heap due to physical or mental exhaustion the night before. So, on my pre-workout evenings while traveling I get under the covers, read or blog for a bit (I do more pleasure reading or blogging on a trip than ever at home), and let myself fall asleep in the proper place.
  • Third, away work meetings, though still painfully early, usually start an hour later than any of my work obligations while at home. (Bonus: west coast meetings give this east coaster’s not-a-morning-person ass the illusion of extra time in the morning no matter what time the clock says that meeting starts. Yah!)
  • Fourth, because I am a totally technological loser, I can never figure out hotel alarm clocks so I just set my iPhone to wake me when I travel. For some reason being able to wake up to a fake choo choo train sound works better for me than the shrill of a typical alarm clock.
  • Fifth, I typically don’t have the patience to find the local NPR station when I travel (yes, I know there’s an app but remember this is still the morning and we’re still talking about me conquering said morning so finding the screen with that app is an almost insurmountable challenge). Without a great NPR news story followed by another (since this is commercial free radio) and so on and so forth, without the familiar voices of NPR’s Morning Edition emanating from the clock radio, it’s just easier for me to abandon the hotel bed.
  • Finally, when morning arrives (even if it is at 5am),  I am able to rise, brush my teeth, have my caffeine, and get dressed to workout over the leisurely course of 30 minutes or so before heading out to workout.

So here is how the detox happened. It started three weeks ago chosen deliberately due to an odd stretch of time where I was neither traveling nor on call (because being up all night tends to ruin multiple subsequent mornings for me).

First, I had to make my body understand that it was okay to be up much earlier than I need to be anywhere officially. So I started setting my iPhone to wake me up in the mornings since clearly I have no capacity to respond to my actually alarm clock. I just woke up, maybe had my coffee, and then stayed in bed while awake. This was it. Five mornings in a row I just got up early and did pretty much nothing. I just needed to get my body to get used to being up early and not rushing anywhere.

The following week, I actually got out of bed when the iPhone rang, brushed my teeth, had a cup of coffee, and got ready to work out (all without rushing). And then, I actually did work out. That week I focused on indoors in the home gym. No travel time. No pressure. No one to impress. I also conned my husband into joining me (I mean, I needed the coffee after all) and made sure there was something totally sinful to keep up with on the DVR. And you know what, it worked. Each morning for 7 consecutive days we worked out in the basement (and we blew through Newsroom, which I high recommend and moved on to Bloodline, equally compelling to get one up in the morning to see what happens next). On days that we did not time the alarms perfectly or pressed snooze a few too many times, we adjusted our run times to 30 or 45 minutes but 4 of those days we got in an hour long workout.

Each of those seven days was a great day for me. More energy when I got to work. No one asking why I was in a venomous rage when are arrived at my place of employment since I had worked all of that “I would rather be in bed” anger out of my body already. The evenings without pressure to try to work out only to be angry at myself for having not done it were so much easier. And, no more messing up my back by falling asleep on the couch in a contorted position. I would get myself upstairs and to my proper sleep location because I knew I had a morning workout I needed to be up for. I slept so much better. (It’s not that I didn’t know all of this already but transforming such knowledge into action was always the hard part.)

After two weeks of not-a-morning-person detox, I was feeling pretty good. The following week, however, had a few challenges. On Monday of that week, we were nervous for a family member and needed to be at a far away hospital pretty early and we blew it. But we got back on track the next day and it was getting to the point when I really wanted to work out in the mornings. But alas, some mornings are rough, especially those that require me to be at work before 7am. However, I was determined not to slide back to my old ways. So, on the days when even a quick 25 minute jaunt on a machine in my own home was out of the question we turned to the 7 minute workout. Yes, I am partial to the New York Times version of it. My husband turned me onto it. It’s what he did at the hotel when, during his last trip, every treadmill and elliptical in the crappy gym was taken by 5am. Sure, the workout can be repeated over and over for a great cross-training workout but even just seven minutes will get the muscles sore and the heart pumping so on the morning when the alarms just weren’t timed right to be at work for 6:30 and on the day that I had to leave at 5:45 to get my kid to her field hockey tournament on time, I worked out for exactly 7 minutes. But, hey it was better than no workout and it allowed me to stay on the wagon of morning workouts.

So, is this it? Is my detox process complete? Am I finally cured of my not-a-morning-personitis? Will I relapse? I am not sure.

But, this morning was the start of the fourth week and I got up and out for a quick 3 mile run and it felt good. I am hoping that my slow, calculated effort this time based on analysis past successes (as opposed to taking advantage of jetlag after a bout of traveling) will be the secret of life-long success in the days, months, years to follow. I give you permission as followers of the blog to hold me accountable. And please share your stories on how you make mornings work. I need all the help I can get to keep this up.

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

.jogbra frontjogbra back

  • 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.

 

Two Days, Two Races, One Windy City

It was a great weekend for me running wise. I was lucky enough to be in Chicago for work on the same weekend that two of my good friends had decided to run races entirely separate from my travel plans. Having missed the Baystate Half Marathon in October–the race that first sparked an interest in becoming more committed to running and that later inspired this blog’s first post, I was excited to hit the pavement in the Windy City with these besties. Unfortunately, they had each signed up for different races.

Luckily though, Chicago is basically entirely flat (save for the occasional manmade slope of an overpass or on-ramp). And, both races were on the long side for me but short of 13.1 so presumably physiologically doable for my body. So, I decided to do both which seemed just crazy enough that my trusty running partner/spouse decided to join me for the weekend.

We have a soft spot in our hearts for Chicago where we spent 8 years while I was training to be surgeon. Both of our children were born here. And, though I never ran while I lived here, my first every ten mile run in October 2012 happened along the lakeshore trail. My pace was 11:59. I had started running just14 months earlier (with a nearly 14min/mile for just two miles) and had never run more than 6 miles before my plane landing in Chicago on September 27, 2012 (on a whim inspired by husband who running his second Baystate Half, a childhood friend who was running her first, and my just released call schedule that indicated I would be neither post-call or on-call on race day I had signed up for my first half less than 24 hours prior to that first lake shore trail long run).

First Chicago 10 mile Run

First Chicago 10 Mile Training Run

Back to this past weekend.  Sadly (for me), @surgeoninkicks is quite a bit faster than me; so, even though she was my original inspiration to sign up for the second race (having already signed up for the first to join my college roommate on a run) I did not get to run with her and she is thus absent from race day photos. Here are the before shots.

Chicago's Perfect Ten: Before Race

Chicago’s Perfect Ten: Pre-Race

Hot Chocolate 15K: Before Race

Hot Chocolate 15K: Pre-Race

So I felt ready with fond memories, good company, great views, and no hills to conquer Chicago’s Perfect 10 (mile) and the Hot Chocolate 15K. The Perfect 10 started at Navy Pier and was a small, easily navigatable crowd that would celebrate post-run with beer and the usual freebie snacks (think powerbars, goo, go-gurt) while the Hot Chocolate started at Grant Park and was a total zoo with corrals A through T but the masses would celebrate post run with a fairly unique hot chocolate (duh!) and fondue experience with freebies more suited for dipping in chocolate (think pretzels and rice krispie treats). Both races supported good causes, Gateway for Cancer Research for the former and the local Ronald McDonald House Charities for the latter. Both had timing chips in the bib but only Hot Chocolate had live tracking.

The routes for each according to my Nike Run App (and how I did) are below:

Chicago's Perfect 10 Course

Chicago’s Perfect 10 Course

Hot Chocolate 15K Course

Hot Chocolate 15K Course

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was blustery and overcast both mornings with the recorded temperature between 37-40F and wind gusts up to 20mph making it feel closer to 25-30F according to my Accuweather App. Brrrrrrrr. I crossed the starting line just before 8am both days. The sun came out during the last mile of the Perfect 10 and never during the Hot Chocolate.

If you don’t care about what I wore or the gear I used, skip the next paragraph

Preparing for the weather gearwise was a real challenge for me. I had a hard time judging how warm I would get once I really got going but was afraid of being so cold that my joints would stiffen up. I had packed a range from fully fleeced leggings to vented running tights to capris for the bottoms and from a fully fleeced half zip to regular half zip (both with thumb holes to keep the wrists covered) with unvented and vented long sleeves and tanks to go under. For the Perfect 10, I went with my new Athleta Sting Be Free running tights which have convenient pockets along with the standard rear zip pouch along with one of my many Adidas Perfect Rib tanks and the Nike Element half zip. My legs seemed fine on for the Perfect 10 but my arms got cold though my core seemed fine. So for Hot Chocolate I kept the bottom the same with just a Nike Hyperwarm half zip over my sports bra (my Shock Absorber Run Bra is worthy of it’s own blog post [coming soon])  Both days I wore I had a fleeced earwarmer head band from Reebok (now discontinued), North Face e-tip running gloves (perfect for starting the app to coincide with actually going past the starting line despite my deep corrals), and Nike wristbands (to wipe the snot from the wind and cold more so than any sweat). And, finally, per my usual MO I ran with my Nike shades (despite the lack of sun the shades protected my eyeballs from the blistering wind that had my non-shaded companions shedding tears) and Yurbuds (since earphones were allowed and my runtastic mix propels me during runs). Currently, I am running in my Newton Distance Us (4 lug model; if you don’t know what I mean by lugs, please click on the link).

Ok, resume reading non-fashion conscious or non-gear geek runners

The Perfect 10 course was almost exclusively along the Lake except for a little jaunt under a bridge where the Lake meets the river (due to construction) and a quick loop through Grant Park. The Hot Chocolate, however, started through the City’s underground. While Chicago’s urban plan in the heart of downtown involves a series of duplicate roadways for trucks to get to skyscraper loading docks without marring the main city streets is genius in my opinion, these streets hardly make for an inspiring vista for a runner trying to get some momentum and motivation. Then, after some weaving through the city center, we headed down Michigan Avenue and back up the MLK Blvd where there is some architectural interest until finally ending up back by the Lake but only after running through the bowels of the McCormick Place Convention Center where the lighting is intended for cars with headlights rather than runners running after sunrise.

Both course led to me getting sentimental about the first home that my husband and I ever purchased and the homes where our children spent their first years. We ran by the school where my husband used to take my daughter for Music Together.  We ran by the church where one of my best friends got married. We ran by countless signs for the commercial real estate firm by which my husband was once named Employee of the Year (just weeks before he would once again have to give up his career aspirations so that I could pursue mine). I mourned the loss of being able to listen to Lollapallooza from my deck, bike to the Lincoln Park Zoo along the lake or walk to the Field Museum. I freaked out (again!) by the weird headless Agora sculptures at the corner of Michigan and Roosevelt.

The memories are deep for me in that part of the city along both routes and running past it all was bittersweet. After all my weekend of running was brought to you by one set of grandparents taking my son on an adventure to Hershey PA and another facilitating my daughter’s Indian dance performance for the Hindu New Year, Diwali. So if I still lived in this city with the buildings reaching the clouds and the inspiring lake front running path, I would have a lot less flexibility to run literally and run off whenever work or kid-free leisure called. But at least I can still smile after the occasional tourist run, or two.

Chicago's Perfect 10: Post-race

Chicago’s Perfect 10: Post-race

Hot Chocolate 15K: Post-race

Hot Chocolate 15K: Post-race

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.

 

 

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 #3

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.

20140720-011954-4794400.jpgOur girls weekend really started in earnest today after a late night arrival of the final two of the four of us last night. Lucky to have someone with with a similar stature and speed to run, I had company for my morning run. And, though the altitude (my highest running locale ever) was a bit of a challenge and the heat was getting on even at 8:30am, we willed ourselves to get 5 miles done along the Cherry Creek Trail in Denver. This is me enjoying my post run hibiscus iced tea (in the Athleta Vibe Relay capri and a standard issue Adidas white ribbed tank.)

 

The afternoon consisted of noodling around the Lower Downtown neighborhood before heading to high tea at Brown’s Royal Palace. Followed by a quick jaunt to an art festival on Pearl Street in Boulder before capping the day off with a great meal at Salt Bistro. (more photos to follow–too tired to pull of media at the moment. It’s been a very active day.)

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The Fitbit captured 27,301 steps today.