Ragnar 2015 Recap: My Runs Along Cape Cod

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IMG_3631Before I go onto to multiple posts about the bonding and the beast mode and the best trail mix ever, I will simply recap my role in this relay race with all the bells and whistles of my Nike Running App, Fitbit Charge HR, and Ragnar materials along with a fashion play by play brought to you by my obsession with Athleta.

IMG_3641For those who don’t know, the Ragnar Relay Series is a series of overnight relay races in cool places across the country where teams of 6-12 runners run various legs from one point to another covering about 200 miles in about 2 days. Historically, the non-running teammates follow along in a rented van that also doubles as a hotel room for most teams. With a few half marathons under my belt since I ran for the first time in 2011 (2 miles at 14+min/mile), I thought it was time to mix it up. So when a Facebook friend asked for a couple of more teammates for her Ragnar Cape Cod Relay team I was intrigued and felt up to the challenge.

My husband and I essentially joined a team of strangers, hence our not-so-original team name “Never Get in a Van with Strangers,” nicknamed #StrangersInAVan for race weekend social media shenanigans.

We all met for the first time about about three months before race weekend. We picked our legs based on known abilities and desire. With a 12 person team, we were each destined to run 3 legs each. I was in van#2, runner#9. I was scheduled to run a 3.2 mile easy run, a 5.6 mile hard run, and a 7.3 mile very hard run. I was concerned by the incremental increase in difficulty as time passed but the ninth spot was a good fit for me with other spots being better for others in my van.

Strangers In a Van: Van#2

Strangers In a Van: Van#2

A few days prior to race weekend, my final leg was increased to 9 miles. Ugh. With just 7 on the docket, I hadn’t run more than 6 miles since the Disney Half Marathon in January. But, it was what it was and I was in. All in. And so it began. My first ever relay race.

On race weekend, van#1 started in Hull, MA at 7am. Using the Race Pace Calculator, we needed to arrive at the first major exchange at Duxbury Beach by 10:30. My first leg began in Plymouth MA. Here’s how it went.

IMG_3644IMG_3635IMG_3638 Leg9outfitLeg9

I ran in my Athleta Be Free Knickers and a mesh run top from last season. As with all the runs to follow I ran in my Newton Fates, RoadID sneaker pouch, Asics Kayano running socks, Under Armour Braided head band (discontinued as far as I can tell), Shock Absorber run bra and Nike sweat band (really any sweat band will do). Since it was daylight I also work my Nike Running sunglasses (Nordstrom Rack purchase from ages ago-but they never slip or fog and haven’t been damaged in multiple trips). It was warm inland where I started so I did not wear a jacket (I had brought along 3 Athleta running jackets for contingencies) and unfortunately this ended up being a really chilly run for me as I approached the ocean. I never warmed up and I think the cold made me run faster than I every have before for this quick run which sadly had little in the way of a view but had plenty of horse poo to assault the senses along the way.

After van#2’s first round of runs, we stopped for dinner and a quick rest before our overnight runs began. I curled up in the fetal position resting my head on my husband’s shoulder as he leaned against the window. In this gloriously comfortable position I got about 45 minutes of restless sleep. Then we were off to van#2’s second round of runs. Mine began in Yarmouth MA. Here’s how it went.

IMG_3643 IMG_3636IMG_3639Leg21outfitLeg21

This was my overnight run. I have run in the dark before to prep for Ragnar but never truly in the middle of the night. The light and reflective gear made it impossible to garner an action shot but I ran in my Athleta Be Free tights and Stripe reflective, waterproof running jacket. The mist was heavy that night and it kept me dry. My Amphipod Xinglet reflective harness, Petzl Tikka+ headlamp, and Nathan strobe light met Ragnar code and totally did the job during a really, really, dark run. About a mile in a lovely young woman named Lindsay came up beside me. “I hope you don’t mind me shadowing you?” she asked. “I am really nervous in the dark.” I didn’t mind at all and we ran the remaining 4+ miles nearly side by side. It was reassuring when there were animal sounds by the roadside. I will say, though, that this stretch of run had one of the most generous side walks ever and that was appreciated.

When our second round of runs were over the sun was rising. We were at a critical decision point. We were close enough (an hour round trip) to our overnight cottage rental in Truro to refresh with a proper shower or we could try to catch 2-3 hours of sleep at our next exchange point in Eastham MA. As a trauma surgeon who often must function at a high level of performance for 36-40 hours in a row, I know that a shower is equal to at least 4 hours of sleep so I chose the shower. We all met up again at the exchange point in Eastham as van#2 began its final set of runs with my personal anchor run to begin in Wellfleet MA. Here’s how it went.

IMG_3642 IMG_3637 IMG_3640Leg33outfitleg33

This was my unexpectedly long run. It was hot. The elevation was a bitch. I was on just 45 min of sleep but at least I was clean when I took off in my Athleta Maze Be Free knicker  and Forerunner Tee (discontinued as far as I can tell). I wore my Brooks ventilated running cap (a TJ Maxx purchase from long ago) over my Under Armour headband to keep my head cool. I was a mess after this run. It was long, hot, and uphill. I was lucky that the van could stop at multiple points along the way to give me water and cheer me on.

As you can glean by the stats on my distance, pace, and heart rate, things got harder for me as time, distance, and elevation simultaneously increased. My heart was clearly working hard, at points clocking in at 170 bpm. You will also see that the Nike Running App running on my phone’s GPS, the Fitbit Charge HR app running on an accelerometer on my wrist, and the Ragnar maps are pretty good fidelity for a novice leisure athlete like myself in terms of mileage and route for each of my Ragnar legs. In the end, despite the challenges, I felt like a beast when it was all over and I know my teammates did too.

BragnarFinish

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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. 

   
 

10.1 Travel Tips From a Surgeon on the Go

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I was traveling for work again last week. While I am not the typical business traveler, I do fly about once per month. It’s taken me a while, but over the years I have become a smarter traveler. Here are ten tips on what you need to do prior to take off.

1) Lose the 1-Quart Ziplock bags.

tumi_toiletry_bagI used to hoard Costco size cases of these because I would take several on each trip as the original one inevitably failed. I now travel with a Tumi split toiletry kit (sold as the Laval or the Lima or the Alpha 2 Split travel kit) that has a clear quart size half where I store all of my 3oz or smaller liquids and gels and two smaller clear zip pockets on the opposite side to store my tooth brush, cotton squares, razor, etc. I have been through security over a dozen times with this. No issues.

2) On the subject of travel size liquids, ditch your body lotion when traveling.

It’s easy fill said quart with all the liquids and gels a gal like me needs while away. If you aren’t planning to check a bag, this can be a problem. Luckily, while I am unwilling to part with many of my lotions and potions for hair, skin, and hygiene, I have found the perfect solution for moisturizer that saves me 3 ounces of room in my toiletry kit. Basin’s solid moisturizers don’t need to go in a 1-Quart clear bag but still smell amazing and relieve dry skin. Basin_lotion_sticks

3) Bring along dry shampoo.

When I travel, I want to look my best. For short trips (this one was just two nights), I use my full size tools to show my wavy hair who’s boss before leaving (the index blow out). Once I have put in all this effort, I don’t want to just wash it out with the next shampoo so I extend my style with a travel size Batiste dry shampoo. The cherry scent doesn’t give me migraines and I get multiple days of shiny locks without an oily itchy scalp. Plus, I can travel with less shampoo and conditioner (yah, more room in the Tumi!).batiste_dry_shampoo

4) But the blowout will need a little maintenance, so bring a mini flat iron.

Luckily most hotels these days have 1875 watts hair dryers so I don’t need to lug one with
sephoraminiflatironme. Of course, if I am extending my blow out I don’t really need all that power and I don’t want to take up lots of cargo space with my full size barrel brushes, 2 in curling iron, and 1 in flat iron.  But I do have some waves and curls that spring back against the index blow out. To touch up these spots I use my Sephora mini flat iron to control the wayward strands after dry shampooing. The heat resitant bag is awesome for packing up on the last day right after getting ready.

5) Speaking of looking your best, no matter what make-up you choose to pack, you must pack the right make-up brushes.

I typically don’t wear make-up at home, but, like I said, I tend to try harder when I travel. After all, I am not wearing my OR mask or taking overnight call. I’m not rushing for a 6am meeting or rounds. The commute from the hotel room to the conference is so forgiving that I can put a little bit more effort into my appearance. I don’t travel with all my make-up, just a few go to items that allow me to put on my business face (Smashbox Photo Finish Primer, Philosophy Supernatural Airbrush Canvas, Origins Liquid Lip Color, and Clinique Water Resistant Cake Eyeliner) or glam it up for evening events (Nars Eye and Cheek Palette and DiorShow Iconic and Blackout Mascara). Of course none of thesesmashbox_travel_brushessephoratravelbrushes will work if applied with crappy brushes. I have found the perfect set of travel brushes in the Smashbox trio that I have paired with a Sephora travel brush set. They all travel together in the Sephora case.

 

6) Since traveling will wear you out, no matter what make-up you bring and how awesome your brushes are, you must never leave home without a highlighter.

touche-eclat_Alt1YSL Touche Éclat is hands down the best beauty product I have ever known. While I could pair it with multiple other products to give me a slept like a baby look after a red-eye or a long night at the hotel bar apres meeting, what I really love about this product is that it is also a stand alone miracle worker. When my entire morning routine falls apart and don’t have time to hit the make-up bag, I can still almost fake sleep by just dabbing a little under my eyes and on my brow bones, along the sides of my nostrils, and around the upper lip. No other products necessary. Love this product. I wouldn’t both trying the competitors out there. YSL created this genre of beauty product and nothing else compares.

7) Unless it’s tropical on both ends of your trip and over all land masses in between, carry a packable coat with you.

packable_jacketA few years ago, I made the mistake of traveling during winter from the east coast of the US to India without a winter coat. Yup, I just sucked up a slightly chilly ride to the airport leaving my coat at home figuring I didn’t want to lug it around India for a month with temps in the 80-90 degree F range. But I got stuck in London along the way due to a snow storm. No flights in or out for 3 days and I didn’t have a stinking jacket. So now, I have a packable down coat. If it’s cold at home when I am leaving, or if the destination is chilly or if I get stuck in another unexpected storm, it keeps me warm. When I don’t need it, it weighs nothings and takes up nearly zero space in my luggage. Plus, it can also double as a cozy little pillow during layovers or oLandsEndPackableCoatn the plane when compressed. I got my Active Basic Packable Jacket from Bob’s stores for a steal and it continues to serve me well. The pix of the more expensive one from Land’s End below show the packability and pillow effect better though.

8) Along the lines of portability, never travel without ballet flats.

carolineI love my heels for non-scrubs work attire and since I always workout when I travel a also bring a pair of cool kicks with me. For years, I would just throw on the sneakers for rambling through the terminal. Quite frankly, while I am totally embracing the sporty chic look on my weekends at home, I have decided that sneakers with quasi-professional travel attire is not the look I am going for. So now, I travel in my Tory Burch Caroline Flats. I honestly love these shoes so much that the biggest hassle these days is which color of the 5 pairs I own I should take with me. As a bonus, I can toss them in my work bag as a high heel rescue if ever needed in case of emergency during the business meeting.

9) Speaking of quasiprofessional attire, travel in comfortable pants.

athletapantduoI fly coach (I am in academic medicine after all).  While lots of professionals travel clad head to toe in the suits/dresses they are intending to wear on the other end, I just won’t subject myself to that kind of discomfort. But, keeping the blazer or cardigan out of the luggage is a huge space saver. I used to travel in jeans but honestly I am just not in love with that look (though lots of men pull of jeans, button down, and blazer with aplomb and I don’t begrudge that eye candy). I have found that Athleta’s In Fusion pants and herringbone Chaturanga Leggings (both in black) pair exceptionally well with the black blazer or cardigan that I inevitably take on these trips with me worn over any one of my casual or more formal tops.

10) Invest in a layering top that works for work and for play

adea_promoI have already declared my love for Adea layering tops in this forum before. Nothing is more versatile or comfortable. I never travel without a white 3/4 sleeve scoop neck Adea top (but as you can see, there are other colors and I own 20 of them in various shades and shapes) I can wear it under short sleeve or sleeveless dresses and tops. I can wear it as the base layer under a suit. I can wear it as an undershirt under a blouse or button down. I can even work out in it if in a pinch and then hand wash it quickly. It dries in under an hour.adea_colors

10.1) And finally, since you don’t want to risk running out of juice when your trying to follow this blog on the WordPress mobile app, get yourself a portable battery charger.

jockery_chargerI have only had my Jackery portable charger since October and I honestly have no idea why it took me so long to get one. For years if would run out of power on my mobile phone in-flight (out of luck) or mid-meeting (need to hunt the periphery for an electrical outlet). I have even had to seek out post-meeting dinners based on weather or not I would be able to eat while having my phone plugged in. The solution to these battery life problems is simply having a back-up charger that is super portable, reliable, and matches most of my accessories. Bonus, I keep it with me on call too so I also no longer worry about running out of juice at an inopportune time in the midst of a 36 hour stretch at the hospital.

What are some of your travel must haves?

 

 

 

 

Top 8 Reasons My MommyDoc Rocks!

8) Some mommies wear yoga pants, my mommy wears scrubs. More cost effective than Athleta. Less see through than Lulu.

7) I always have a pro to go to for help with my homework. After all, she had to ace test after test to get into med school. And, she studies hard even now to maintain certification.

6) She’s taught me to suck it up. To quote “Unless there’s visible brain matter don’t cry!” I think this is because, in the absence of head injury, there were no days off during her many years of medical training.

5) But, for minor boo boos she always has a stick of dermabond handy to mend my wounds. Hours in urgent care purgatory thus avoided.

4) No episodes of Grey’s Anatomy wasting space on the DVR. Because you know, like she says “That *stuff* ain’t real!”

3) She doesn’t over think the parenting advice out there. She doesn’t have time to. So if I need a little screen time to give her a chance to to rest I get screen time. If I need to stay up late to get a chance to see her I get to stay up late. If I need toilet water…. There are no rules to MommyDoc parenting.

2) She understands science. So, I am up to date on all my vaccines.

1) She is a great role model. I know she feels guilty that she spends less time with me than other mommies spend with their kiddos. I hope she doesn’t get sucked into the mommy wars because those kids don’t have her to look up to.

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.

Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images

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

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 #4

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.

Skipped the morning workout today given we had planned a hike in the nearby Eldorado State Park. There are so many amazing outdoor options to choose from in the greater Denver area we were almost paralyzed with choices but when the forecast predicted 95 degree temps we opted for the state park with a natural spring pool nearby. We have a mixed group of fitness levels so opted for an easy hike. Post-hike we cooled off with a quick swim before heading back (via Nordstrom’s Anniversary Sale at the Flatiron Crossing store).

Here I am before I got too hot and sweaty in my Caslon 9in inseam clean front chinos and an Athleta Tinsley tee (yes, when they went on sale I bought them in multiple colors but as much as I am currently obsessed with Athleta is really is criminal to have ever expected anyone to pay $44 for the shirt; however at $15 it’s a figure flattering, go to active tee when you don’t want to look like you have specifically put on gym clothes). The Saucony Peregrine trail runners I grabbed on Zappos just days before the trip served their desired purpose well. My feet were comfy, no blisters. The treads held the terrain well, even on steeper declines.

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After a long day of hiking, even with cooling off at the time warp Eldorado Springs Resort Public Pool, no one was really in the mood for a meal requiring an intense amount of effort. So we aimed for casual and, having had our share of outstanding new American farm to table the last couple of days, we opted for ethnic and chose a cuisine (Malaysian) that none of us had ever had before. The meal was meh but it was fun to try something new.

The Fitbit logged 23,792 steps today. About 4.5 of the ~9mi was attained during the hike.

 

 

 

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.

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.