Monthly Archives: July 2012

Days 290-292: Happy Trails

Day 290:  On Thursday afternoon Mike and I went hiking at Mt. Sanitas in Boulder.   The trailhead is just a short distance from the popular flatirons trail and I think it’s a much more difficult hike….which is always more fun when it’s over 🙂  It took us about two hours to scramble up and down the mountain and take lots of scenic pictures.  We even took a break to gobble down peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.  I am not sure what it is about hikes, even short hikes, but I have to eat a PBJ or it is not complete.  I absolutely believe this to be a true statement.

Day 291:  Yesterday my stomach was pretty upset all day, so I decided to get my workout out of the way as early as possible.  I ran a quick three miles to and from Washington Park and said quiet prayers that my stomach pain would not act up.  Luckily, the pain held off until the run was over.  I came home and made my new favorite (pre-wedding breakfast):

-3 egg whites, chopped mushrooms, green onions, spinach, bell peppers and asparagus with an apple

I have been eating the breakfast for the last week and it’s kept me satisfied until lunch.  Give er’ a try!

Day 292:  I just got back from a six-mile run at Washington Park. Feeling excited before about the run, I decided to take a different path the whole time and run in the opposite direction at the park.  I know, I know, getting CRAZY!    I just felt like I had to switch up my pattern to get out of my brain a little bit and let my body take over some more.  It worked.  I ran 6 miles at a 9.40 pace, which is a little faster than I normally run and I felt great.  If you’ve been running the same path for years, I recommend switching it up, no matter how odd it feels.  I promise your bod’ will thank you for it.

Days 288-289: New Inspiration

Day 288:  Yesterday I went to a Core Power Sculpt class.  No surprise there.  However, I did manage to shock the living daylights out of myself during class.  Typically I am one of the first people to arrive at a studio because I think having my first pick of mat placement in class affects my practice deeply (anyone else do this?).  Unfortunately it did not work that way yesterday.  I was running uber late and ended up having to squeeze into a corner.  This would not have been a bad thing, except the corner was right next to the heater/humidifier that heated up the entire room.  I noticed this 10 minutes into class when my yoga mat that is known for its’ sweat-wicking abilities, was no longer wicking.  It. Was. Soaked.  Normally I would have used this unfortunate corner heat situation as an excuse to say, “go easy Bets, it’s damn hot!,” but instead, I allowed myself to be inspired by the two women next to me who were not phased by this in the slightest bit.  In fact, they were the two overachievers in class who set the standard higher for the other 40 people.  I tried by best to follow suit.

When I came home I drank 4 glasses of water and took an ice-cold shower.  My body was spent, but my mind was proud of my ability to look past my excuses and dig a little deeper.   So thank you to those strangers on the mats next to me that made me realize all that I am capable of during a time when I was blinded (by sweat, of course).

Day 289:  My pal and Bonza Body trainer extraordinaire, Jamie Atlas, gave me a bridal workout schedule and nutrition guide to follow for the next 3.5 weeks.  He told me to ramp up my runs to 50-60 minutes three times per week leading up to the wedding.  Not many things could pull me away from my scuplting obsession lately, except for a badass trainer telling me what could potentially lean me down.  Challenge accepted.

Today I ran 5.5 miles to Wash Park, around the perimeter and home.  I even took a different path to make it feel fresh.  During my run I tried to keep my mind as far from wedding details as I could.  I decided to think about my goals.  Where do I want to be in life in 10 years?  How am I going to get there?  What sort of visuals were popping up for me?  It was awesome. Beautiful.  Plentiful.  And most importantly, it inspired me to keep going and preoccupied my busy mind.

Days 283-287: Colorado Love

Day 283:  As the days of my challenge tick by I am realizing that working out is now embedded in my everyday regimen, blogging on the other hand is the first thing to take the back burner when life gets busy.  I promise to you that I am sweating, life’s busyness has just taken the forefront.

Thursday morning I met a friend in Wash Park for a three-mile run and followed it up with a yoga sculpt class at Core Power (you’ll really start to see a trend here).

Day 284:  Friday morning I woke up in Denver to complete sadness.  My fiance came home from working a night shift at Buckley Air Force Base and told me to turn on the devastating news in Aurora.  Like most tragic events, it took me some time to comprehend the magnitude of what had happened just a few miles from home.  My heart was shattered for our state that has already endured so much pain in the past.

Working out was the furthest thing from my mind.  So much so, that I decided that a picnic in the  (empty) park, followed by an hour-long walk with Mike would have to suffice.  We talked and talked trying to work through the overwhelming day.  Sometimes I think that’s all we can to do find some ease.

Day 285:  Core Power Yoga Sculpt.

Day 286:  Ride to and from work and Core Power Yoga Sculpt.

Day 287:  This morning I went on a three-mile run and then to Bonza Bodies tonight for a bootcamp style class.  As I was in class tonight, I kept catching myself doing the wrong exercises, lifting the opposite leg as my classmates or zoning out to the point of not knowing what exercise my body had just completed.  It was a huge realization to myself that I am still processing some things and feeling a little stressed in life.  Running felt like a gift to my mind and although my body loved the hard class, my mind was left feeling more confused.

Tomorrow I will shoot for a yoga flow that can hopefully give my mind a little bit of a rest.

Days 280-282: Meditation

Day 280: On Monday I went for another hour-long bike ride.  There is something about riding away from the city that makes me feel calmer inside.  And with this wedding coming up, I’ll take whatever I can to help keep me calm!

Day 281:  Yesterday I went for an hour long walk and to yoga sculpt at Core Power in the evening.

Day 282:  This morning I went on a five mile run before it got too hot out.  It’s been awhile since I’ve gone on a run and had it feel good the whole time (I blame the heat!).  Luckily, today felt great and left me feeling positive about my running capabilities.  After I ran, I came home and completed Day three of the 21 Day Deepak Chopra Meditation Challenge.  I apologize profusely for not sharing this with you on day 1.  However it’s not too late to get in on the game if you’re for a game changer in your life:

21 Day Meditation Challenge

Days 278 & 279: Don’t Worry, Be Happy

Day 278:  When I woke up on Saturday morning every single cell in my body was telling me to take a break from working out.  I could actually hear my thighs saying, “come on Betsy, it’s been 277 days without a proper day of rest.  You can skip today.”  It’s a good thing my mind was somewhere else, otherwise this blog would have been a thing of the past.

Instead of partaking in a heart pounding, sweat blinding cardio class I coaxed myself into a nice easy bike ride on my hybrid (despite years of trying, I unabashedly, admit that I still cannot change a tire on my road bike- hence why I take my hybrid when riding alone).  I actually believed myself at first.  I hopped on my bike, went nice and easy down to the Cherry Creek Trail and then turned on Pandora and tore away for 35 minutes out.  I found groups of road bikers and tried to stay at their pace, raced to mile markers and drenched my shirt in sweat.  Then I turned around and rode back in for 40 more minutes.  I think I used most of my energy on my way out because I was exhausted on my way home.

When I got home, I showered and fell asleep on the couch for 20 minutes before hopping back on my bike and heading into work.  It really amazed me how a little bit of a mind games really turned my workout from a “slacker day” to one of my favorite solo rides.

Day 279:  Today I was feeling a little uninspired in life.  Do you ever have those days?  I have no idea why, I just was.  I decided to go to church and follow it up with a Core Power Sculpt class; hoping that the combination of the two would make me feel better.  The pastor’s message was about drawing strength from your faith and those around you.  He shared this video from the 1976 Olympics that filled me up with inspiration and strength.  I left church feeling renewed and I headed to class.  The instructor opened up class with a song that my Mom used to play for me every morning on my Fisher Price record player, “Don’t Worry, Be Happy.”  At first the song made me laugh and then it brought tears to my eyes during a minute long plank (at least I think it was the song and not the plank!).

My day started off feeling blah and by noon I was filled with motivation and reminiscent love.  It catapulted the rest of my day into helping me add new elements to my bride diet/healthy life.  Disclaimer:  I’m not on a real diet, I am trying to make my life healthier and the wedding has helped me make these changes.  I went to the store and (finally) bought Chia Seeds, Probiotics and a food journal.  Here are two links that describe what I am working on and what the heck Chia Seeds are:

Chia Seeds

10 Tips to Get a Bitchin’ Bod (not really the title, but I like it better)

What motivates you when you’re feeling a little blah?  How do you get unstuck when you’re convinced you can’t move?   Besides the obvious 80s songs by Bobby McFerrin, of course.

Days 275-277: Drowning in Sweat

Day 275:  When I first purchased my unlimited month at Core Power Yoga, I made a goal to go to Sculpt everyday for thirty days, but after two days in a row, I tossed that one out the window.  Although it is my favorite workout around,  my body wanted something different…or maybe just not so sweaty (see super soaked bra, eek!).

Day 276:  Yesterday a big group of lululemon friends went to Bonza Bodies for a 50 minute cardio circuit style class.  The room was not as hot as the heated Core Power classes, however it’s quite possible that I sweated even more.  Although I spent the entire 50 minutes catching my breath, it did not seem that bad since I had ten friends going through the same thing and laughing at our instructor, Jamie Atlas.

Day 277:  This morning another group of lululemon friends went to Pura Vida for Billy Potocnik’s 6 a.m. power flow.  He started off the class with a five-minute meditation that focused on gratitude.  It helped me focus on what I wanted to emotionally dedicate my practice to and concentrate on how to stay more present in my life….normally, I would share this wisdom, but I’ve been up since 5 a.m. and now I can’t remember what the key to that was.  I will ask him the next time I see him and make sure to put it in the blog 🙂

After an hour of some intense power yoga, I came home and made my new favorite smoothie and rode my bike into work:

-1/2 cup pineapple, 2 cups spinach, a handful of basil, half a banana,  1/2 cup of plain greek yogurt, 1/2 cup of cucumbers, ice and water*

*I don’t actually measure out any of my green smoothies, this is just an approximate guess.  If you are trying to get into drinking them, just play around with ingredients that you like and you’ll find the right amount of servings of fruit/veggies to put in.

Days 273 & 274: Loss

Day 273:  Yesterday I went to a local yoga studio for a 75 minute vinyasa flow and expected to come out stretched and relaxed.  What I came out with was way more than that.  I left class with a heart full of love, gratitude, sadness and definitely some anger.  All of which took me by surprise and led me to some peace.

The instructor started off class by saying, “I am going through a very difficult time right now, so please, please stick with me.”  I was not sure what was going on, but I could hear the sadness in her voice.  Immediately, I devoted my practice to giving her strength and love.  Eventually she shared with us the very sad news of losing her partner last week and the pain she was feeling.  Throughout the class she talked to us about what grief looks like and how we can prepare ourselves better for loss by becoming strong individuals that know how to look inward during rough times.  She then gave the metaphor of life being like a water balloon, when the balloon pops, the water is soaked up into the environment.  When the vessel leaves, we take in the essence of the person and they live on.  I was left breathless in class that is supposed to bring breath.  This woman just lost the love of her life and she’s teaching us how to deal with the pain.  She took selflessness to a level I have never experienced before.

After hugs at the end of class, I went out to my car and cried.  I cried for her,  for everyone I have lost in my life and everyone that anyone has lost.  The tears just kept flowing.  They must have really needed to flow out because they kept coming back all day and teaching me something with every new flood.

Thankfully, they stopped and I was able to piece together what the sources were.  Sometimes things happen or people get put in our path for a reason.  Not only is this amazing instructor in my life to teach a practice, she is also fiercely helping me clear my path to find focus on things that actually matter.

My heart is with her as she heals and I am ever grateful for that path…

Day 274:  Today I used my first class of unlimited yoga at Core Power to try our their Yoga Sculpt Cardio class (no weights, just cardio).  Oh. My. Goodness.  I know that I say this quite frequently, but I am going to say it again, that might have been one of the hardest classes I have ever been to.  I suppose the light-headedness might have had something to do with it, but it would have been challenging regardless.  If you’re looking to get into shape quickly, then I highly recommend adding this class to your regimen.  I am actually getting tired just thinking of it…phew.

Days 268-272: Lots of Sweat & Rain

Day 268:   I am starting to think that keeping up with the blog is harder than the working out!  This week was filled with lots of sweaty, humid, rainy runs.  Starting with a four mile run on the 4th!   The air in Denver was thick with smoke from Wyoming wildfires, which proved to make my run a bit tricky.  Luckily, I ran early in the morning before the air quality was too bad.

Days 269 & 270:  4 mile runs to the park both days and biking to/from work.

Day 271: Yesterday I biked to and from work and tagged on a few extra miles thinking that was all I was going to have time for before a storm hit.  Once I got home, I decided to go to Core Power for a Saturday evening sculpt class. Due to my newest Yoga Sculpt addiction,  I made the decision to buy an unlimited month at the nearest studio to add some definition to my guns pronto.    The 60 minute class has bursts of cardio, weight training and yoga poses.  It really is the perfect combination.

Day 272:  This morning Mike and I rode our bikes to lululemon to join their 4 mile run club.  We started out in the same running group for about a mile and then Mike naturally went with the fastest group at an 8:30 pace and I finished with a different group at a 9:30 pace.  Afterwards, we grabbed coffees and walked around the Cherry Creek Arts festival.  We fell in love with lots of art that we could never afford, dreamt of what our house is going to look like in a few months and then rode our bikes home (very quickly) in the rain.

It’s been quite the week, jammed with lots more last-minute wedding planning and holiday playing.  Five more weeks until the big day and again, my apologies for the blog slacking lately.   It will pick back up over the next few weeks!

Days 265-267: Yogs and Boards

Day 265:  On Sunday I went to Karma Yoga with my regular yoga friend, Sangeeta.  We flowed for an hour and worked on hip openers like it was our job.  Walking out, my body felt like jelly.  It was perfect.

Day 266:  Less than 100 days left!!  Time has flown by.  These next few weeks leading up to the wedding I will be ramping up the workouts, possibly throwing in two-a-days if my schedule allows.  Mike and I are working on a wedding diet as well, to make sure we are feeling our best for the big day.  This is my absolute favorite summer salad that will be making a regular appearance in our diets:

-3 cups mixed greens, 3 oz teriyaki tofu and a mixture of these fixin’s: almonds, scallions, sesame sticks, avocado, blueberries and dried figs

Yesterday I walked to the closest Core Power for a sculpt class.   I thought those classes were always hard, but add a 100 plus degree day and it takes t to a whole new level of difficult.  Regardless of how I was feeling I pushed through it and managed to make a friend as we left and walked back to our homes together.  Just two neighbors, walking on Broadway, soaked in sweat, talking about life and bonding over sculpting yoga.  It was the great end to a brutally hot class.

Day 267: Today Mike, my friend Jenny and I went to Avon at Nottingham Lake for our first standup paddleboarding experience ever.  We bought the groupons a few months back and decided we should use them before it gets too hot in the mountains.  Unfortunately, we had to use the inflatable paddleboards because the others were too big to fit on our cars (to bring to the lake).   Within the first few minutes of shoving off the land all three of us were in the water.  A few minutes later we had it down.  Well, Jenny and Mike really had it down, I had it down until I fell every three minutes.  I blame it on my lack of ability to focus on one thing at a time…and believe me, you need to focus on only balance or you are in the lake (every three minutes).

After two hours of paddleboarding Mike and I came home and went for a run a Washington Park.  It felt good to get in some more cardio after a day of semi-relaxing on the water.  Happy 4th everyone, I hope you find some time to sweat while celebrating our country’s independence with your friends and family!

Days 263 & 264: Adapt, Adapt, Adapt

Day 263:  Yesterday I learned a very important lesson on my bike ride into work; 28 year olds fall harder off of bikes than 4 year olds.  I was on my trusty hybrid bike without clip-in’s and I went to make a quick turn and fell….hard.  My bike flipped over me and my helmet whacked the ground.  I am ashamed to admit that my first thought was, “did anyone see that?”  Yes.  Yes, they did.  Someone and his great dane ran towards me and I mustered up an embarassing, “I’m okay, but my ego is busted.”  That receieved the laugh that I need to hear whenever I feel embarassed.  I got up, checked my injuries, looked around for my dignity, slid my chain back on my gears and pedaled into work.

Thankfully, I was only left with a few bruises and a swollen ankle from my bike fall.  But the swollen ankle meant I had to revise my workout of running for the day.  I decided on walking to Kindness Yoga after I got done at work.  I took a 75 minute vinyasa flow with a local favorite, Nick Wilder.  He started off class with an apology for not having planned a class for the day.  His previous job ran late, which left him without time to prepare anything.  Nick laughed off his lack of preparation, asked for requests and led us through a practice with inspiring words of adapting.  He turned something that others might view as bad, to something extraordinary….with 20 students watching and hanging onto his every word.  #yogainspiration

Day 264:  I would like to report that today I rode my bike to and from work without any spills.  I even managed to ice my ankle last night and go for a run after leaving lululemon this evening.  Even though I ran at 7:30 pm, it was still a muggy 87 degrees outside.  Woof.  I am not sure how people successfully run in this heat.  My goal was to run three quick miles and then return home to the air conditioner.   The goal was met, although I am starting to feel weary about my abilities to run outside for the rest of the summer.  Any tips from you running readers?