My “weekend” started a little bit early this week, as I took Friday off work to go to the beach. I decided last month that it was silly that I’ve been working in Florida for 1.5 years and have barely seen the ocean, so I am now trying to take one Friday off a month to stay in Florida and enjoy the beach!
Last time I stayed at the Westin Fort Lauderdale Beach; this time, I stayed two doors down at the W Fort Lauderdale. Honestly, it’s a toss up which I liked better. The bed at the W Fort Lauderdale was heavenly (even though it’s not a Westin Heavenly Bed), but the pool and the beach were about the same at both. However, I did like that the W Fort Lauderdale offered a free fitness class every morning on the beach. I didn’t set an alarm and used a sleep mask to try to sleep as late as possible, but still woke up at 7:30am, which was plenty of time for me to get dressed and get down to the beach.
I had never done a literal beach bootcamp before, and I can’t say that I loved it. Even though we were out at 8am, it was already really hot and humid, and I felt like I was giving up because of the heat / sweat (and the sand that then stuck to me after sweating) rather than because I was actually pushing my limits. Still, I was glad that I gave it a try!
After bootcamp, I headed back to my room to knock out some work emails, and then headed down to the beach. The W offered beach chairs and umbrellas for guests, and after slathering myself in SPF 45, I gratefully took refuge under an umbrella with a book. I like sitting by the pool / beach to read, but I don’t want sun-damaged skin to go with it! (I get enough of that when my sunscreen wears off on a trail run / hike.) Even in the shade, it was pretty hot, and I eventually headed inside for more cold water… and then curled up in the luxurious bed to continue reading out of the heat. It was really nice to take this little getaway, and some stress that popped up in the afternoon made me even more grateful that I can make this a regular occurrence.
I flew home to Colorado late Friday night, crashing into bed almost immediately when I got home at 11pm. But even though I had taken the beach day, I still had the entire weekend ahead of me! I was psyched.
Saturday morning started with a ton of chores, and then I headed downtown to meet my friends Amanda, Caeli, and Heather downtown. FitBit Local was hosting their monthly free class that’s half bootcamp and half yoga, and this month, it was on the roof deck of the Westin Denver! (It was definitely an SPG kind of weekend, huh?) I was running about ten minutes late, but when I arrived, it didn’t seem like I’d missed much. And I was happy to get a little less bootcamp, since my body was incredibly sore from three days in a row of Orangetheory last week.
After the yoga portion of the workout, the crowd mostly dispersed… but Amanda, Caeli, Heather and I changed into our swimsuits and then hung out for the “pool party” portion of the event. They had some sort of vodka drinks on hand (plus a full bar), but I opted for a kombucha instead. Does that mean I’m getting old / crunchy? 😉 It was great to sit with the girls and catch up – I hadn’t seen any of them in a while!
I couldn’t stay too long, though – I was headed to Capital Hill to stop by a friend’s birthday party, and then made my way home, running lots of errands along the way. But soon after I got home, I had more quality time with Heather, who came over for dinner. I cooked a simple lemongrass chicken stir fry, and we had a great night on the patio eating that and sipping fruit-infused seltzer. Sometimes healthy, quiet nights are the best ones!
I got to bed around 9:30pm, and then woke up Sunday morning around 6am – glorious to get that much sleep! After some more chores (do they ever end?), I went out to the neighborhood trails to kick my day off with a trail run.
I had wanted to run long, since I would be skipping workouts Monday and Tuesday in preparation for the Superior Mile Wednesday. But I didn’t really have a gameplan for exactly how far I wanted to run. I had chosen to run without my trail running backpack, because I wanted to be as light as possible, but that meant I didn’t have water or fuel. I decided I didn’t care – and even though I was doing an out-and-back, I didn’t really limit myself in how far I went.
From Coalton Trailhead, I headed west around the Marshall Mesa loop – the same route Sarah and I had run a few weeks ago. I love how wide open the views are – almost right from the parking lot, you can see the mountains spread out in front of you for miles.
Once I got to the next trailhead and switched to the High Lonesome trail, the hilly twists and turns made me feel like I was miles and miles from anything else. This is the part of the trail that makes me feel like Maria in the Sound of Music – I just love running out in the middle of nowhere, getting relaxing time to myself!
For the first time, I made it to the end of the High Lonesome Trail, but I decided to keep going a bit more at that point, and ended up going all the way to 6.6 miles before I turned around. That meant that I’d be doing a full half-marathon once I made it back to the start, and I was really excited about that! The pace I ran was significantly faster (10:14/mile) than when I had done 10 miles on these same trails two weeks ago (11:42/mile), and I definitely picked it up in the final few miles, running sub-10 minute pace for miles 11 and 12, and an 8:40 pace for the final mile. By the time I made it back to my car, I felt fabulous. I want to start making it a regular weekend routine to run this beautiful trail!
After the run, I flopped on the couch for a while, then pulled it together to cook lunch. I made this simple mushroom garlic stir fry (using shiritaki noodles to lighten it up), and paired it with some lemon garlic sauteed bok choy. I decided that one of my goals for vacation is to branch out and cook a few new-to-me recipes (rather than just throwing something together without a recipe, like I usually do), and both of those were keepers!
…and I say that, but for dinner, I went with my standard simple thrown-together stir-fry bowl of veggies (that night, mushrooms and zucchini), sauce (tomato), and pasta. On the pasta front I branched out and tried Trader Joe’s black bean pasta, and it got a huge thumbs up – slightly chewier than regular pasta (in a good way), but not a unique flavor so you could sub it in for anything. This product is a keeper!
Coming up after my weekend… two days off work, focused on GSD around the house. How awesome is it that I get to stay home instead of being in a hotel??? I am pumped. (Sorry, SPG.)
On Monday I was a bit haphazard in my approach to chores, but today I got a ton done – from gardening, to new sprinkler installation, to stopping by the DMV and getting some networking done, to finally trying my hand at making summer rolls.
With all that activity, I almost forgot that I didn’t work out… almost. I’m hoping my legs are fresh, and I’m excited to see how the race goes tomorrow!