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Saturday, February 27, 2010


Hey ya'll, I'm back to reality...freezing cold weather and running my arse off. So, vacationing in Mexico at a beach front resort in February does NOT suck. Top that off with 5 other lovely ladies, endless hysterical conversations, and a steady stream of adult beverages at your beckon call. I'm not going to lie - it was pretty awesome. My BFF Amanda is getting hitched in June and this was her bachelorette extravaganza trip!

I'm a pretty efficient luggage packer - I have a "no-check" rule pretty much no matter the trip length. As I was getting ready to pack my carry-on, I laid out all my contents: 3 bathing suits - check; shorts/tank tops - check; flirty dresses - check; 3oz toiletry rations - check...and work-out clothes, um...what to do?? I am going to relax, veg and hang out with my awesome girls -- do I really want to be the only one working out?? The resort did have a gym after all...but ugh. Well, I decide that I would fold up my work-out gear into a little pile and decide in the morning, last minute. So needless to say the 5 inches of snow outside on the morning of my departure only left me wanting as much sun as possible, so I threw on my flip flops and used the extra space for another pair of sandals instead! Six days sans running wasn't going to kill me.

Of course when I arrived to meet the girls, they all said - "we thought since you've been training you were for sure going to workout, so we brought our stuff!" Figures. Well, I did end up working out...albiet vacation-style. Yoga with Javier was at 8:15am beach side -- which yes, is early for vacation, but we learned pretty quick we had to be strategic in gaining the best lounge chair position around the pool. If you waited after breakfast to stake your claim, your view was relegated to the kiddie pool - not my idea of people watching and WAY too far from the beverages. So, I would get up around 7:4am, grab towels at the pool hut and claim 6 sun loungers for the rest of the day. Next stop: a little downward dog with Javier on the beach --wait, that sounded bad -- I mean, relaxing yoga by the ocean. Then it was breakfast buffet, sun, more lounging, and of course...pre-lunch beverages. Then at 12:30pm it was time for Francisco and Christian's daily water "eh-roh-beeks" (use your best Mexican accent here). This is my kind of eh-roh-beeks. One gets very tan and very nice ab development working at a beach resort everyday...I'm just sayin'. After such a strenuous, exhausting water workout, it was all I could do to muster up the strength to work my way 20 feet to the swim-up bar and pick up my margarita glass - whew!

Ok, so before you kill me...I know not everyone is able to go on a beach vacation in February, but in all fairness I have resumed my normal butt-in-gear routine. I'm back running on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday, and strength training Tuesdays and Thursdays. I also ran the Charles Harris 10K Run for Leukemia this morming since I figured it would be a good post-vacation run and would give me some pre-race practice. It was good to get out there and feel the jitters of race day and the swarms of people. I tried mentally to get in the groove right from the start, but honestly it was so *freaking* cold and windy (in the 20s) I felt like it was only after mile 2 that I began to feel my legs and brain warm up. I didn't do horribly and ended up with a little over a 10 minute mile alternating running/walking. (Given my knee issues, I've been training all season according to the Jeff Galloway method). My team mates Carol and Kristen ran the race too and we had a little silliness post-race. Check us out:
Well good's time to rest up this weekend and back to the grind on Monday. And oh, we're having our TNT Mardi Gras for a Cause fundraiser 6-8pm at Park Tavern Tuesday, March 2. Come out if you can for a night of fun, music and drinks to benefit The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. $20 bucks gets you a wristband for beer and wine and there's a silent auction too. I'll be there - will you??!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Snow and Mexico

Yee haw!! So the best news is that I made my fundraising goal this week!! THANK YOU to all of you who dontated in support of my goal - you have no idea how much it means to me. I have watched my little fundraising meter inch up every day and have been so excited, whether it was $13 or $100 - thank you for giving so generously to this cause. And to all of you who have been following along, sending notes/emails of encouragement too, you have no idea how much your thoughts have kept me going. This has been an amazing challenge - very hard, but extremely positive. I have a few weeks left to fundraise so I don't want to stop here!

Those of you in the ATL, mark your calendars - I want to invite you out for a drink at Park Tavern on Piedmont Park, March 2nd from 6-8pm. More details to come, but basically for a small cover, you can drink all you want during the two hours and all the money goes to the Team in Training hosts. Drink, have fun, and hang out for a good cause!

A little soreness in the knees this week and the crazy weather has disrupted training slightly; the Wed run and GTS today were cancelled, but I still managed to get some miles in most days. Well, tomorrow, I'm off to vacation in Mexico with by best girlfriends for some MUCH needed sunshine for the week - the goal will be to rest and rejuvinate. The only spandex I'll be wearing is in my swimsuit! The Snow-pocalypse sure is pretty but, man do I need some warm! The Purple Train moves on...and will be slightly more tan upon my return.

Hasta luego, amigos!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

As The Treadmill Turns...

Chapter 1.
Tumultuous. Treacherous. Turbulent. Words that describe the toxic relationship with the big, gray Mr. T. He can be cold. Distant. Unyielding. Matter-of-fact and rigid; a total machine. For as many buttons as he has, he likes to push mine. But then he can be so deceptive; his big, strong arms outstretched for me to come closer: "Come on up here, Karen, I've been waiting for you. I knew you'd come back."

That's what I hear underneath the whirring and hum of his torso. I hate him. I need him; the frigid temperatures outside keep me coming back for more. What to do?

Confession. These days when I'm spending most of my time with Mr. T, I'm afraid to admit...I close my eyes and think of other machines. There, I said it. I shouldn't do it, but I can't help it. For so long I had this relationship with Mr. Elliptical - Eli I call him for short. I know he's mad at me for leaving him so suddenly, with no explanation, hardly even a good-bye. He tries to be a sly about it, but I see him looking at me from across the commercial-grade carpet.

"I thought we had a good thing going, Karen?," Eli silently mouths to me so Mr. T doesn't hear.

"I did too," I whisper under my breath, "But sometimes your goals change, you know? You have to get out there and get out of your comfort zone, stretch your legs, push yourself."

I thought it would be less painful with a clean break, at least for now. I told him we could be friends, and that didn't go over well.

"It just hurts because I see you have to walk right past me to get to...him. What's he got that I don't have, huh? What!?!"

Snap, snap.
Ok, so clearly you can see the treadmill begets boredom for me and you're getting a peek into my efforts to self-entertain. Silly, I know. My mind drifts, as my legs are moving, but I'm going nowhere. Well, call it a lack of sunshine, or the spandex-overload cutting off the circulation to my brain.

I have been wearing a lot of spandex.

Well, I hope to add Triumphant to my list of descriptors. All this can only mean one thing - it's time I get a new iPod playlist, don't you think?