I don’t know what came over me this week, but I was sort of a running machine! I ended up running 6 out of 7 days this week, which should never happen (and hasn’t for years). The circumstances just kind of worked out that way, but this won’t be happening again any time soon. My mileage still wasn’t very high (32.1 miles total) which is why I think I managed to make it through with my back in one piece.
Monday, 7/10/17, 3 mile run, Personal Training- legs: Last Sunday, I woke up with horrible back pain for no obvious reason (which, if you have back problems, is something you understand), so I wasn’t sure what Monday would hold. I had no plans, but I felt fine when I woke up and decided to go for a short test run to see how I felt on the run. I did an easy 3 miles, then headed to the gym at lunch to hit legs. Leg day is the best.
Tuesday, 7/11/17, 5 mile Speed Workout, Personal training – arms and shoulders: Since I knew I’d be leaving for Napa on Thursday morning and had kickball Wednesday night, I knew my only shot at getting a speed workout in for the week would be on Tuesday night. As much as I hate to admit it, I’ve really been having fun with these workouts and haven’t minded doing them on the treadmill. It’s way better than having to do them outside! This week, I bumped it up to seven ¼ mile intervals and did 4 at 7:45 pace, 2 at 8:00 pace, and 1 at 7:30 pace with 9:30 recovery pace. It was 5 miles total and I felt strong! I’m building up to doing 8 intervals at 7:45 pace, and then we will move on to longer intervals. Personal training went great, too! Arms and shoulders are no longer so hateful.
Wednesday, 7/12/17, 6 mile run, Personal training – chest and back, kickball: Pearce and I ran together on Wednesday morning for a very, very sweaty six miles. There’s just no escape from the heat right now. I’m about 2 degrees away from becoming a sports bra runner, honestly. Or just doing all my workouts on the treadmill in the gym until October. As hard as I find chest and back days at the gym, I have found something I actually like doing there – bench presses! Today I was able to bench press 100 pounds two times, which was an amazing feeling. Shout out to my amazing trainer who has confidence in me and knows what I am capable of, because I would never push myself like that without him. We also won our kickball game in a close match, and I got on base a few times!
Thursday, 7/13/17, 3 mile run: Although I really never run 4 days in a row, I wanted to get in a few miles before spending all day flying out to California. They were sweaty, they kind of sucked, but it definitely felt better to get my legs moving before the long travel day!
Friday, 7/14/17, 2 mile run: What is happening to my life?! After getting to California and meeting the other journalists, two of us decided to run together in the morning to shake out our legs after the long travel day. We were about to spend a whole day at the vineyards, so a little extra movement couldn’t hurt! We ran from our house in downtown Sonoma and loved exploring the historic plaza and checking out the town on a quick run!
Saturday, 7/15/17, OFF: Thank goodness I only brought 2 running outfits out to California or I probably would have done a couple miles that day, too! I went for two short walks just to move around, but mostly just drank all the wine and ate all the cheese in Napa.
Sunday, 7/16/17, Napa to Sonoma Wine Country Half Marathon!: I’ll write a full race report this week and tell you all about it, but the Wine Country Half Marathon was SO MUCH FUN! I ran with one of the other journalists who was running her very first race EVER! I can’t wait to tell you all about it and show you all the pictures from the course! For now, here’s a sneak preview.
So yeah, 32.1 miles and 6 days of running last week! Not too shabby. Next week will definitely be a step back, but it’s nice to be seeing a little higher mileage, even if only for a week.
I’ve never been to Napa Valley before, so I’m extremely excited about this opportunity. Even though I know basically nothing about wine (except how to drink a lot of it), I’ve wanted to head out to the valley for a long time. When HomeAway reached out to me about coming to the race as part of their press team, I jumped at the chance!
HomeAway is a travel accommodations company that helps homeowners rent out their properties to travelers around the globe! HomeAway is the parent company for VRBO and VacationRentals.com, among other similar companies, and they have the largest selection of rental vacation accommodations in the world! We’ll be staying in one of the gorgeous Sonoma properties on their website, which will make race day super convenient!
While we typically tend to think of host hotels as the easiest option for destination race accommodations, that isn’t always the case. In some situations, the host hotels sell out immediately, are outrageously expensive, or perhaps have minimum stay requirement that doesn’t work for you. If you’re traveling with a bunch of friends or family members, it’s fun to be able to all stay together, too! I’ve stayed in vacation rentals several times for races, including my trips to Alaska for the Mayor’s Marathon and Colorado for the Aspen Valley Marathon, and ended up saving a ton of money in the process.
I can’t wait to experience the beauty of Napa and Sonoma! The race is a point to point course that runs from Napa to Sonoma, and it’s got a slight net downhill. This was part of my motivation for last week’s long run – it suddenly occurred to me that I should probably run for longer than an hour at some point if I’m planning on finishing this half marathon in one piece! There’s also a 5k option, so this would be an amazing destination race for running buddies of all abilities and paces, since it is walker friendly. Oh, did I mention there’s a wine stop along the course?!
So, I can’t wait to show you everything from Napa this weekend! Follow me on Instagram, where I’ll be posting tons of stories and daily photos. I’m planning on posting updates from the race course, too, so don’t miss it! There will be vineyards, there will be wine, there will be cheese, and there will be racing! I can’t wait to share it all with you.
LEAVE A COMMENT: Have you ever been to Napa Valley?
Ahh, the dog days of summer are upon us and gone is my will to run. Ironically, this week brought my first long run since the Prague Marathon, but more on that in a minute. I always welcome July because July means that it is almost August, which means it is almost September, which means it is almost time for reasonable temperatures. Am I wishing summer away? Yes. Does it seem to be helping? No.
Monday, July 3, personal training – full body, 75 minutes of walking: Tragedy struck when I realized that my gym would be closed for personal training on Monday and Tuesday due to the holiday! It would still be open for workouts, but not training, but I had yet to lift by myself before. My trainer assured me I would not drop a weight on myself and wrote out a plan for me to do on Monday. I made it through in one piece and then spent 45 minutes walking at incline on the treadmill. Combined with an outdoor walk earlier in the day, I got in 75 minutes of walking, which was mostly as boring as it sounds.
Tuesday, July 4, 10 mile run: I knew I wanted to run on 4th of July before we headed out to celebrate, but I figured I would do 7 miles. That’s still kind of a long run for me these days! While running, I thought that maybe I should do 7.4 since it was July 4th, but then it occurred to me that I might as well just do 8 miles. And then I thought maybe 9 miles. Ultimately, I ended up with 10! It was nasty hot and humid, and I took plenty of walk breaks, but I enjoyed it. It wasn’t miserable. First double digit run in like 2 months!
Wednesday, July 5, 50 minutes of walking, personal training – legs: I knew running wouldn’t be a good idea the day after my first long run in months, so I opted to do a couple of walks instead. Then, it was time for leg day! It felt like forever since I had seen my trainer, and leg day is my favorite. Since my range of motion is improving, I’m able to do more and more exercises safely, including deadlifts and a bunch of different types of leg presses (apparently, there is more than one). I wish every day was leg day.
Thursday, July 6, 5 mile speed workout, personal training – arms and shoulders: I woke up a little sore on Thursday thanks to leg day, but it’s a good kind of sore. After work, I headed to the gym for training, where we hit arms and shoulders. I really hated both of those when I first started training a few weeks ago, but they are getting to be slightly less miserable. Even triceps weren’t so painful today. It was a long workout – about 75 minutes, and afterwards, it was time for my weekly speed workout! I wasn’t feeling as confident since I was still sore and had just put it in a tough workout, but I was also excited to test myself. I started with a 1 mile warmup and then did six 1/4 mile intervals with 1/4 mile recovery, then a 1 mile cooldown, for a total of 5 miles. My previous workouts have been a total of 4 miles, so this was a change! I also ended up mixing things up a bit unintentionally. I did my first interval at 8 minute pace, but accidentally bumped the second one up to 7:45 pace without realizing it. When I saw that I survived, I decided to switch back and forth for the rest of the intervals, and then do the last one even faster. All told, I did 3 intervals at 8:00 pace, 2 at 7:45 pace, and the last one at 7:30 pace! Quite exciting, and I didn’t collapse.
Friday, July 7, 5 mile run, personal training – chest and back: Pearce unexpectedly was able to run on Friday, so I finally got to run with her this week! Even though I had just run the night before, I couldn’t pass it up. It was pretty brutal with the heat and humidity, and I actually felt pretty faint for a while afterwards. I never really drink electrolyte drinks, but I decided to run and grab a Powerade Zero before I headed to the gym for my workout because I felt like I had no strength. Thankfully, the drink helped a lot and I was able to power through my workout! Although chest and back is my least favorite day, I do kind of like doing bench presses for some reason.
Saturday, July 8, 75 minute walk: Since I did my long run earlier in the week, why not do a long walk on Saturday? I definitely wasn’t running 3 days in a row, but the walk was a nice way to start the morning. Still profusely sweaty, of course.
Sunday, July 9, OFF: I was hoping to run this morning, but I woke up with horrible back pain for no apparent reason. Well, actually, I think the reason is that I had to drive AJ’s very uncomfortable (to me) car home from Columbia last night, which is about a 2 hour ride. Nonetheless, no run for me – I’ve been laying down the entire day. BOO.
Chobe National Park is located in northern Botswana near the confluence of the Chobe River and the Zambezi River. The park is famous for its abundance of wildlife, and I wanted to see as much as possible while I was there. A couple of days before I was supposed to leave for my trip, I went to the G Adventures website to try and pre-book as many excursions as possible. Although I had been to the website many times, I had only ever seen two options – the Okavango Delta flight and a Zambezi River cruise. I had every intention of booking both, but this time, I saw a new option – a photo safari on the Chobe River. The safari included the use of a DSLR camera with a telephoto lens and an 8 gb memory card that you would get to keep, and promised instruction from a professional photographer on how to take the best wildlife shots. Um, SIGN ME UP. Well, when I arrived in Africa and met the rest of my group, I realized that I was the only person on my tour who had had the opportunity to book the photo safari. I just lucked out! I felt kind of bad, but hey, right place, right time.
My guide convinced me that the sunset game cruise was the best option (the other possibility was doing a morning game drive), and I trusted that he knew what he was talking about. I got picked up from our campsite around 3:30 and we headed to the insanely beautiful hotel that our boat would leave from. (Note: if you want luxury in Africa, you can get it. The resorts there are absolutely insane. One night in that place probably cost the same as my entire trip.) Our small, 8-person boat had seats with specially fitted tripods and gigantic DSLR cameras with zoom lenses. I like to think that I have a pretty good camera, but nothing makes you question your choices faster than staring down the barrel of $5,000+ in gear.
Our guide on the boat was a professional photographer who has made his living photographing wildlife, so we were in good hands. Fortunately, there’s no possible way to take a bad picture with that type of camera, so with some simple instruction, we were off! I wasn’t sure what we could expect to see, but the first thing we found was a crocodile – our first of the trip!
Our little boat enabled us to get really close to many of the animals, so although the zoom lens was insane, it also didn’t hurt that we weren’t too far away to begin with. Even though I don’t like birds (as you know), I don’t mind photographing them from a safe distance with a giant camera to protect my face.
We saw a lone bull elephant way off in the distance and headed over to see if we could get a good shot of him. Right as we pulled up, a whole herd of elephants came spilling out of the bush towards the river, including some babies! I couldn’t believe my eyes, as this was my first baby elephant sighting. I probably took a thousand pictures. Luckily for you, I will only show you two.
After the elephants, we headed off in search of hippos that frequented the area. We didn’t find any, but there was a group of elephants bathing in the water and reeds that were very close to the river. Although there were several large boats nearby (river cruises are popular but typically take place on larger pontoons), we were able to get super close to the elephants because our boat was so small! They continued peacefully grazing the entire time.
There was a small herd, with a baby elephant and several adults, and they were splashing and playing in the water and just having a grand old time. I couldn’t believe how close we were and the amazing detail I was able to capture in the photos. There was also a hippo mixed in among them, which is apparently quite rare – you don’t often find hippos and elephants together like that, I guess.
The sun started to set, but none of us were done taking pictures. The most incredible oranges and pinks were coming from the glowing sky, and the elephants in the foreground were making for some amazing pictures. It actually worked out beautifully that I had brought my own camera and my phone, because the zoom lens on the other camera actually prevented us from capturing the colors of the sunset. So, without further adieu – here’s my pride and joy, taken with my Sony a6000 right as the sun was going down (and thanks to the photographer on our boat, who taught me how best to capture the light).
I mean, is that not insane? As the sun went down, I actually started tearing up because I just could not process the beauty of what I was seeing. Elephants are 10 feet away from me and THAT sunset is happening right now? It was almost too good to be true, and I never want to forget that moment. I stopped taking photos several times just to take it all in and absorb the moment.
On our way back to shore, we finally spotted the elusive hippos we had been seeking! It’s pretty crazy that they are so incredibly huge, but are actually very fast on both land and in the water, making them very dangerous. You’d never think that just by seeing their eyes pop up out of the water, though!
Luckily, we got to see one out of the water, too, which was even better. I think I love hippos the most – they always look like they are doing something sneaky.
Oh, and we finished the night with a full moon, because of course we did.
The next morning was a really big morning for me – at the time, it was to be my last game drive before heading home (I later ended up adding another rhino drive on to my tour). I was feeling a little stressed because I had not yet seen a lion, and I suddenly really wanted to. It’s funny – before leaving for the trip, I would have said I didn’t care what I saw as long as I saw something…and that was true until I saw everything else I wanted to see. By the end, I was dying for a lion! Still, sometimes you don’t realize how much you have left to see until you see it. For example, it didn’t even occur to me that we hadn’t seen a hyena yet until we saw one right at sunrise!
There’s something so thrilling about safaris, and it is hard to explain. It’s like you go out there and you know you’re supposed to see animals, but you still jump out of your seat with excitement when you actually do. Maybe it’s just me, but I always had a very pessimistic idea about what was likely to happen on game drives and that just meant I was always pleasantly surprised.
As we drove along near the river (where many animals would be coming to get their first drink of the day), we saw a large herd of cape buffalo. Cape buffalo are one of the Big Five, but to that point, we had only seen one lone male at a time. It was pretty crazy to see such a massive herd!
We were about 50 feet away from them, and suddenly, some of them started trotting towards the river. They started moving a bit faster, and I said to my friend Jon, “Wouldn’t it be crazy if a lion was chasing them or something?” AND THEN THERE WAS A FREAKING LION.
Thank goodness my camera was strapped around my neck or I would have probably thrown it out of the truck in shock and awe (PS, remember that phrase? A simpler time when our biggest problem was George W mispronouncing the word “nuclear” every day). Seriously, I lost it. I could not believe that I was actually seeing a lion. And I really could not believe it when another lion appeared and they started hunting!
My heart was pounding as I vacillated between wanting to take a thousand pictures but also wanting to actually witness what was happening (the whole “look first with your eyes, then with the camera” thing). Everyone on our truck was absolutely freaking out and we were all trying not to squeal out of sheer excitement. Seriously, have you ever seen a lion hunt? Because I have.
In the end, the lionesses didn’t end up killing anything (although they gave it the old college try), which I was somehow both disappointed and relieved by. The buffalo proved to be a little too big for just the two of them, and all of the babies managed to escape. Close one!
Our group could not believe our luck, and it really was luck – only half our group had been able to see the lions hunting, because the other half had gone on a different route and didn’t get there in time. Safaris really are just the luck of the draw! Let’s all agree that I got really lucky in Chobe National Park.
We finished off our safari by getting super up close and personal with some baboons. You’re probably thinking what I was thinking, which was “Um, aren’t baboons really mean and dangerous and intent on throwing poop on you?” The answer is…apparently not in Africa?
All I know is that we pulled up to an area with bathrooms and it was surrounded by baboons. Our whole group just sat in the truck hesitantly, and our guide was like “Oh it’s fine, they’ll leave you alone.” So we literally walked just feet away from a whole herd (tribe? group? conglomerate?) of baboons, including moms and babies, and prayed to stay feces-free. Mission accomplished.
So yeah, you could say I saved the best for last, right? Chobe National Park not only defied my expectations, it defies explanation. I mean, sure, I just wrote 1800 words about it, but I also included about 20 pictures, and those are worth a thousand words each, as they say. I think you can see why.
LEAVE A COMMENT: What animal would you be most excited to see on safari?
Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who’s the most motivated one of all? Me, apparently. I don’t know what has happened, but I’m going out of my way to get my runs in, enjoying my time in the gym, and even forcing myself out of bed to walk and kayak while on vacation. I even limited the amount of alcohol I drank this weekend at my parent’s lake house. Again, who am I?
Monday, June 26, 5 mile run, Personal training – legs: By some act of the Supreme, Monday was a beautiful, cool morning with minimal humidity. Pearce and I were positively thrilled to head out for 5 miles together and catch up from the weekend! Then it was my favorite kind of training day: leg day. I don’t know that my legs are actually stronger than my upper body, but it sure feels that way.
Tuesday, June 27, 4.5 miles of walking, Personal training – upper body: I split my walks up into two different segments – 3 miles and 1.5 miles. It was another beautiful day, and I was almost sorry to not be running. Personal training was upper body, and I confirmed that I definitely hate chest exercises the most. Arm stuff is getting to be slightly less miserable, though.
Wednesday, June 28, 6 mile run, Personal training – legs, kickball: I think Wednesdays are the most exhausting day of the week! I got in 6 nice and cool morning miles with Pearce, then headed to the gym at lunch. I did the leg press (which I don’t do very often for whatever reason) and did 270 pounds, which maybe is not a lot, but seemed like a lot to me. Onward and upward! After work was kickball, which I am apparently now playing again. I got on base twice, kicked the ball my farthest ever (must be all the leg days) and scored a run. Our team is still undefeated, so I must not have screwed things up too much.
Thursday, June 29, 4 miles (speed work), Personal training – chest and back: Since I knew I was running with Pearce again on Friday and I’d be out of town for the weekend, the only day to do my speed workout was Thursday after personal training. Bobbi decided that I should stick with the same workout as last week, but add one more interval – meaning I did a 1 mile warmup, then five 1/4 mile intervals at 8:00 pace, then cooled down. I actually felt great and decided to bump up the speed on my last interval, so I did it at 7:45 pace! I am thrilled with how the speed work is going so far. We did chest and back at the gym, including my very first foray into a real bench press. I did 75 pounds, which my trainer was quite pleased with. I have no idea if that is good or not, but it is good for me, so I’ll take it!
Friday, June 30, 5 mile run, Personal training- full body: Friday was not a lovely cool morning and I ended up being completely soaked from head to toe by the time Pearce and I were done running. Oh well. The miles were done and I got my 4 runs and 20 miles in again this week. Personal training was really fun – we did 1 set of a bunch of different exercises, so I never got bored (not that I do anyway). I definitely felt a week’s worth of workouts catching up to me!
Saturday, July 1, 3.25 mile walk, 1 hour kayaking: AJ and I headed up to my parents’ lake house for the weekend after work on Friday, so that meant some creative workouts this weekend. After running 3 days in a row, I knew I wouldn’t be running Saturday, but I got a good walk in with my cousin. The terrain where my parents live is super hilly, so it was a good workout. Then, a bunch of us went out kayaking for an hour – I ended up going 3.25 miles. I can’t help but make stuff like that into a workout, so I kept paddling big circles around everyone when they would stop to rest or chat. I’m fun that way.
Sunday, July 2, 3.25 mile walk, 1 hour kayaking: I brought running clothes with me with great intentions of running on Sunday, but ultimately, I decided against it because that would be 5 runs in one week, which I am really not supposed to do. I also was pretty exhausted still, which didn’t hurt, so another walk and kayaking day it was! Not a bad way to stay active on vacation, though.
LEAVE A COMMENT: What’s your favorite way to workout when on vacation?
Ever since a few years ago when AJ and I purchased a personalized travel map for our house, I’ve had Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, marked as a dream travel destination. Victoria Falls is the largest waterfall by surface area in the world (width by height), and it is right on the border of Zimbabwe and Zambia. When I thought about visiting Africa, Victoria Falls seemed like a foregone conclusion. Ofcourse I was going to go on safari and of course I would see Victoria Falls while I was there. How could I not? So when I discovered that G Adventures offered a safari that included a trip to the Falls, I knew it was the right tour for me.
We entered Zimbabwe from Botswana and managed to survive the border crossing unscathed. Overland border crossings in Africa are notorious for being corrupt, taking a very long time, and generally being unpleasant, and our guide was the most concerned about this one. There are a few different types of visas you can get for entry into Zimbabwe, and which one you need depends on how long you’ll be staying and whether you intend to leave and return. I opted to get a joint visa that would allow me to enter both Zimbabwe and Zambia, while most others opted to stick with the Zimbabwe-only visa. It cost me $50 USD, which was still cheaper than the UK residents paid for their Zimbabwe-only visas!
After a short drive, we arrived at Victoria Falls National Park. Our guide warned us that we would get “soaked” at the Falls and recommended that we dress accordingly and consider buying a poncho. Honestly, I didn’t believe him. I expected to get wet, so I slipped on my Airstorm Jacket from KUHL, but that was the extent of my preparation. This proved to be a mistake.
Victoria Falls National Park has a beautiful trail system set up that takes you from point to point along the massive falls. Since the falls are a mile wide and have shifted over time due to changes in the water flow of the Zambezi River, there are tons of incredible geological formations to see along the way. My first glimpse of the falls took my breath away. The double rainbow didn’t exactly hurt.
It was in that moment that, once again, I was reminded that I really am making my dreams come true. I put Victoria Falls on my bucket list, and in what felt like no time at all (but was actually years in the making), I found myself standing right in front of it. Those moments and realizations remind me of how lucky I am, of course, but they also remind me that, just like my parents told me when I was a kid, anything is possible if you set your mind to it. Maybe that sounds cliche, but it truly does keep me motivated. I know that if I want to go some place badly enough, I can do it – I just might have to overcome a little anxiety, a few logistical challenges, and work a little more to get there.
As we made our way along the trail that would lead us past the falls, I started to notice that the mist we were feeling was increasing intensity. At that point, I was glad I was wearing my rain jacket, but we were a far cry from getting soaked. Besides, the beauty of the falls and the ever-widening view of them was well worth a little dampness.
There are about 9 or 10 different stops/stations on the trail for people to look out at the falls and catch a view, and I stopped at all of them. What was most amazing for me was that pretty much no matter where you were standing, you could see a rainbow somewhere! I assume it’s always like that, but I like to think that maybe it was just the case on that day. Even though I was there in June, during the dry season, there was still pretty good water flow. I’m told that’s not the case if you visit later in the dry season, like August, but we had no problems.
Andddd then the mist basically became a downpour as we reached the end of the trail. If we weren’t already soaked before, we definitely were now. Literally, every inch of my body that was not covered by my (very effective) rain jacket was completely soaked. And you know what? It was awesome. When else are you going to be completely soaked by mist coming off of Victoria Falls? Probably never. Gotta just go with it.
The following day, after my game drive in search of black rhinos, I decided to head over to Zambia. This wasn’t a country I had originally planned on visiting (I didn’t know it was an option!) but when I realized I had the chance, I jumped on it. Country #30! We had a free day to use how we saw fit, and while most of our group either stayed at the pool or headed to go bungy jumping, I opted to visit Livingstone instead. I already had my visa, after all! I ended up having the campground call me a driver who would take me across the border and to Livingstone and then walk around the city with me. My driver’s name was Enough, and he had grown up partially in Victoria Falls and partially in Livingstone, so it ended up being perfect.
I’m not gonna lie – after having very little opportunity to shop on the trip, I was dying to grab some things to bring home. I don’t buy a lot of souvenirs when I travel, but I do have 3 things I try to get in every country: a Christmas ornament, a piece of local artwork, and postcards. I sometimes forego the artwork if I don’t find anything I like, but the ornament and the postcards are non-negotiable. My grandma is 92 and I cannot let her down by failing to send her a postcard. Fortunately, there was a craft market with tons of options for souvenirs at way lower prices than anything you can find in Victoria Falls
After purchasing a few items (but not finding any postcards), we continued to walk around the city. I really enjoyed walking around Livingstone because it gave a glimpse into what life in a city in Africa is really like. Victoria Falls is very touristy (with good reason) and many of the other places I had been on my trip were not really near a population center, so Livingstone was my first chance to see normal life. Everywhere I looked, there were people selling fruit and vegetables, crafts, blankets and more. The best thing was that no one was aggressive or overly salesy, which is sometimes the case in Victoria Falls. We just got to walk around for hours and take in the sites (with me asking hundreds of questions along the way).
Since you are obviously very concerned, please note that I did manage to find postcards eventually, although only one person had them out of all the little shops we visited! The things I do for my grandma 🙂
Unfortunately, I could only spend about half a day exploring Livingstone because I had to be back in time for a sunset cruise on the Zambezi river. Rough life, right? This would be my last night in Africa, so I knew I wanted to send it off with a bang. And what better way to do that than by enjoying another perfect African sunset? In all seriousness, I did two sunset river cruises while on my trip and they were both wonderful. I could have done one every single day and never gotten sick of it!
LEAVE A COMMENT: What’s your “pinch me” travel moment?
Can we talk about how exhausting it is to try and get in shape? Good lord. I thought marathon training was tiring, but combine running with personal training and I am dead. So very, very, dead. It’s a good feeling, though – I know I am accomplishing a lot, and it’s gratifying to watch the weights go up (very slightly) and see myself getting stronger! I definitely hit it hard this week. On a somewhat related note, I do not go to the type of gym where people take selfies…so I’m sorry to say that you may have to miss out on this element of my life. It will be sweaty, red-faced, running selfies only. SAD!
Monday, 6/19/17, 5 mile run, personal training – legs: My morning on Monday started with a 5 mile run with my friend Pearce. The air in the mornings is now just completely saturated, and while running in 100% humidity is not my most favorite thing, I’m continuing my hypothetical transition to a morning runner. Thank goodness for Pearce giving me a reason to actually get out of bed! When I got to the gym, my trainer said he wanted me to come 3 days in a row and then see how I did the rest of the week, so we started with leg day. I think leg day is my favorite, probably because my legs are realistically the strongest part of my body.
Tuesday, 6/20/17, personal training – arms/shoulders, 45 and 30 minute walks: You know what is not my favorite training day? Arms and shoulders. Specifically triceps. Why do we even have triceps? More importantly, why does my trainer love working them so much? The worst. I got my steps in with a morning and an evening walk, so all around, it was a good day.
Wednesday, 6/21/17, 5 mile run, personal training – full body, kickball: Another humid morning, yay! Thank goodness I have a running buddy now or I might not ever run at all until September. Personal training went great, and I am just starting to feel the effects of a few days in a row. My trainer said to see how I feel the next couple of days and if I’m feeling good, come to the gym, and if not, stay home, so we’ll see! I unexpectedly ended up playing kickball tonight, too, since our team was short on girls. I decided to just be an alternate this season since I had so much (ridiculous) anxiety about playing last season, but it turns out, I was needed. Thankfully, we won our game and are still undefeated and I made no fatal errors.
Thursday, 6/22/17, personal training – chest/back, 1 hour walk: Nope, I do not hate arm workouts the most. I hate chest workouts the most. I felt fine this morning so decided to head back to the gym. This whole personal training thing is fun. Each day is like a new competition to find the exercise I like the least! Fortunately, there is a wide variety to choose from. I got up to do my walk in the morning and felt like I had been hit by an exhaustion train, so I must be doing something correctly. I’m not really sore, just overall tired, and I can tell I’ve been working hard.
Friday, 6/23/17, 4 mile run (speed work), personal training – full body: I was supposed to get up early on Friday morning and do my speed workout, but that did not even come close to happening. I was exhausted when I woke up and just decided to do my speed workout after personal training instead. Truth be told, I was feeling pretty intimidated. I don’t think I’ve done a true speed workout in over 3 years! It ended up being a great decision to wait and do it after training. I hopped on the treadmill at the gym (another thing I was dreading) and decided I would just try it and see if I could hit the paces Bobbi had suggested. If I couldn’t, I would modify – no big deal. I was doing quarter-mile repeats – just four of them – but trying to do them at 8:00 pace seemed crazy. Well, spoiler alert – I not only did it, I did it pretty easily. I finished the workout feeling like I had a few more intervals left in me, but I needed to get back to work. I’m so glad I went for it!
Saturday, 6/24/17, 1 hour walk: Nothing too exciting today! It was a rest day, so I just took a 1 hour walk to try and get as many steps in as possible before we headed to AJ’s parents house to visit for the day. I was definitely ready for a day with no hardcore workout!
Sunday, 6/25/17, 6 mile run: Another day where I was supposed to get up run and just ended up ignoring my alarm. I need my sleep, ok? I ended up running after we had done errands and I didn’t head out the door until around 12:30. While it was hot, it’s been cloudy today so it wasn’t that bad. That makes 20 miles run and 5 personal training sessions survived for the week – not too shabby!
LEAVE A COMMENT: Do speed workouts intimidate you? What is your favorite (or least favorite) one?
While I’d like to say I’m not big on New Year’s resolutions, I have to admit that I’m pretty big on New Year’s mantras. I like looking back on the past year and thinking about what went well while also recognizing what could have gone better. My New Year’s mantras of years past have certainlyRead more