Fitness Friday- Vacation Recovery

My Fitness Friday posts were on a break due to a vacation I took; 10 days away to visit family for Thanksgiving. It was a tropical location (included picture), but it rained nearly everyday I was there, so although I didn’t come back with a tan, I did have a good time. During the 10 days, I ran 3 times, took 2 walks and did 1 day of body weight exercises. I allowed myself more rest days because ‘I was on vacation’ but found that after 2-3 days of not exercising I would get antsy.

As a result of taking some days off and leaving off with 1 week to go to complete the Body Revolution program, I decided to go back to Week 9 which would give me another 4 weeks of workouts and carry me until the end of the year. Although it’s not typical, I did not want to just start back on week 12 after nearly 2 weeks off and not feel like I finished strong.

Overall this weeks workouts were ok, as recovering from jetlag really effected my energy level and sleep pattern. I wasn’t falling asleep until 2 or 3am so I didn’t torture myself by waking up early to complete the workouts before work, so that meant I was back to doing them after work.  I was happy to get a run in on Sunday, especially because this is the latest into November I have run since I normally take the winters off. As I mentioned before I want to try to get 1-2 runs in a week throughout the winter so I don’t have to start over with my training when spring rolls around.

Monday & Tuesday I did the DVDs. This time around since I felt more familiar with the routines I used heavier weights than I used the first time through. Although I started off the workouts with low energy after being at work and commuting home, 10 minutes in I felt a lot better and by the end I felt glad that I did it; the first step is always the hardest. Wednesday was a different story, although I had brought my running clothes to work to run at the fitness center, I had something come up after work that I had to take care of and by the time I got home at 7pm I was so completely exhausted that I was ready to fall asleep right on the couch so I gave myself the day off to save my energy so I wouldn’t get sick/rundown. Thursday was a DVD day, though I had to cut it a couple of minutes short to make it to coaching on time. Friday was another lost day as I got home from work a little later than usual and had to make myself dinner before heading to coach swim practice, so I made the most of the 10 minutes I had by completing a Tabata Cardio workout, and figured it was better than nothing!

As I write this is late on a Friday night, and although I almost skipped writing because I want to finish the last 50 pages in See Me, the newest book by Nicholas Sparks, I knew that I would feel better after I wrote something.

I hope you had a good week, and remember tomorrow is a new day to make better choices. You do not have to wait until Jan 1st. Do something today your future self will thank you for

Recommended Article: 8 Things Running has Taught me about Life

Thanks for reading!

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Adventures Abroad: Last Week in London

In case you didn’t read my first post about traveling abroad….to celebrate my 7 year anniversary of traveling to Europe I am sharing emails I wrote to friends and family which chronicles my 6 weeks in London and various weekend visits. Week 2 was a weekend in Paris, Week 3 was All Around England, Week 4 was about Scotland, Week 5 was about Amsterdam… and now I end with my last week in London.

July 4-6th, 2008: I was able to get some exploring done in the middle of the week, I went to Parliament Hill, which has a really good view of the city, and it is also where Guy Fawkes and his buddies sat waiting to watch Parliament blow up, which never happened because the gunpowder never worked. When I got up there I just walked around the area there, and decided that I really liked the area (Hampstead Heath) because it was very quiet and more suburban feeling and there was a huge park (Parliament Hill is within this Park) and this park was described as a place to walk off the Sunday Roast, and I really could just imagine doing that and just going for walks there. It was just a really nice area. After that I went to Regents Park to see Queen Mary’s Garden (for the people who love gardens- this was a really beautiful one), and then went to the Sherlock Holmes Museum- I did not go in because it was closed, but I did almost get hit by a cab when I was crossing the street, because sometimes I look the wrong way (or don’t look at all), and often times if I see people crossing in front of me, I just assume it will be ok for me. Well a cab came pretty close to hitting me and then the driver started yelling at me to watch out for cabs. Oh well. After that experience, I walked to the North of Regents park to Primrose Hill- no specific importance to it, just that it was a nice view (with less trees in the way) of London and Regents Park.  After that I started to head home, and instead of following signs to a tube stop that was only 7 mins away (and I would just be following signs- because it did not show up on my map) I decided to walk to a tube station that was on my map, if I got lost I felt more comfortable having a map with me, plus it didn’t look that far away anyways. It turns out it was about twice as far away, oh well, its not like I had any place to be. But after walking about 6 miles that day I knew it was time to end my day.

Friday June 4th: I woke up early (well, tried to anyway got up around 9 which isn’t too bad) and I went to take a tour of Westminster Abbey- where we weren’t allowed to take photos, but I did get one from the outside looking in before a guard yelled at me (people like to yell at me here!). But WM Abbey was very beautiful, at one point I was very overcome with the enormity of it and how beautiful and breathtaking it was to be standing in such an old church where people come to worship. At the end of my tour I also lit a candle- for my friends and family and for my safe journey home. After the Abbey I went to go see the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace Continue reading “Adventures Abroad: Last Week in London”

Adventures Abroad: Week 5, Weekend in Amsterdam

In case you didn’t read my first post about traveling abroad….to celebrate my 7 year anniversary of traveling to Europe I am sharing emails I wrote to friends and family which chronicles my 6 weeks in London and various weekend visits. Week 2 was a weekend in Paris, Week 3 was All Around England, Week 4 was Scotland… we now continue with Week 5

June 26-28, 2008

To start I am going to talk about the people I hung out with all weekend- Jen, Laura and Lindsay- I actually met them last weekend in Scotland and Lindsay was the one who was a really good judge of the kind of person I am (good head on my shoulder and takes charge of things). But I hung out with them all weekend and had a lot of fun, the only unfortunate thing is that I am starting to have fun with people here and I am coming home next week. But Lindsay and I have really hit it off, she is from Michigan State and is going to be an RA this year and she is really fun to be around. We are a lot alike in some ways, but different in others. But I feel like she understands the kind of person I am really well even though we hardly know each other. Jen is from Long Island but goes to school in Maryland, where Laura lives and goes to school as well- they knew each other from school. So Laura and Jen would sometimes go off and do things, and Lindsay and I would do things, so it worked out well. Also Lindsay and I are already planning on staying in touch and she suggested that we send each other t-shirts from our respective schools so that we can remember each other. I know really cheesy/corny but you all should be happy that I found someone to hang out with. She is here until August because she is in a different program than I am, but she is sad that she found people to hang out with as well and we are all leaving on the 9th. She said she likes to write emails so I hope we will stay in touch that way. This Friday Lindsay and I are planning on going to go see “The Merry Wives of Windsor” in the Globe Theatre. We tried to get tickets for “A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream” but its sold out until August… I’ve never heard of Merry Wives but it’s still a play in the Globe, so I am looking forward to it. Before we go to the play we are going to go and visit places that we haven’t gotten a chance to go to visit yet, like the inside of St Pauls, the Tower Bridge Exhibition, go to a couple of Museums and just do “London Things”. I think I should be able to see all the places I want to by the time I leave, I just have to plan the rest of my days (and especially this weekend) out well.

Last week, I didn’t do much except on Thursday… when I went to Holland Park to see a Japanese Style Garden and was told there were peacocks there. But when I was there I didn’t not see any peacocks and the park was ok… there were a lot more trees so it was not nearly as open as some place like Hyde Park, and Holland Park is in Kensington, the ‘rich’ part of London. I wasn’t a huge fan of this park, even though I liked the fact that it was quiet and more private, it wasn’t as nice or pretty as Hyde Park or St James Park, which is near Buckingham Palace.  After that I wandered around Notting Hill Gate (where the movie Notting Hill was filmed) and found “The Travelers Bookstore” which is the store they filmed in the movie, and I went in it to look around and the place is so tiny… its looks a lot bigger in the movie. While I was in there I found a book of the top 1000 things to do while in London, and was happy to see that some of the things in the book matched my list of what I need to do/have done.

I have realized that being in a major city like London, has been kind of overwhelming because there is always so much to do and go and see. Such as movie premieres or there was the Nelson Mandela Birthday party concert this weekend, and just all kinds of big things like that go on here and its kind of surreal to be in a place like this. I have never lived in a place that is always having big events, and I wish I knew when they were more so I could go to them or at least go to a movie premiere or something. Some of the girls I met (actually the girls I hung out with when I spent the afternoon in Greenwich my first weekend here) went to the Mamma Mia movie Premiere and saw Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep, and I was really jealous. This group of girls have gone to do all this cool stuff in London and it makes me feel like I am missing out. It would have been cool to be able to say, I spent 6 weeks in London and was able to attend this really cool event, I am still bummed about the fact that I didn’t get good pictures of the Queen a few weeks ago. This weekend consisted of a trip to Bruges, Belgium and Amsterdam, Holland.

Continue reading “Adventures Abroad: Week 5, Weekend in Amsterdam”

Adventures Abroad: Week 4, Weekend in Scotland

In case you didn’t read my first post about traveling abroad….to celebrate my 7 year anniversary of traveling to Europe I am sharing emails I wrote to friends and family which chronicles my 6 weeks in London and various weekend visits. Week 2 was a weekend in Paris, Week 3 was all around England… we now continue with Week 4

June 20-22,2008 : I went exploring a couple of times over this past week. On Tuesday, it was beautiful out so I went on the London Eye, which is a giant ferris wheel with observation orbs. When I got there I hardly had to wait in line. It only took about 5 mins to get a ticket and then I  got right on, so that was a nice surprise. I got some really cool views of the city, and was also thankful that the glass orbs that we were in were air conditioned because they get really hot with the sun! The ride lasted about a 1/2 hr, and even though I went by myself I still liked it.

After that, since I still had a while before it got dark, I went to Battersea Park  in Southeast of London, just across the river from Chelsea and Kensington,the rich parts of London). When I was walking through that area it was beautiful and I really liked it, and when I got to the Park I really liked it there too because it was really quiet and even though the city was just across the river and you could see all the traffic you couldn’t hear it. I wandered around for about 30 minutes, and would have probably stayed longer except it was about 8pm and I wanted to get home before it got dark. I started walking back to the tube station I took to get there and then changed directions because I thought the Vauxhall Bridge was close. This is a bridge I walked over a couple of weeks ago when I did my first day of exploring on my own, and thought it would be a shortcut to get me home faster. It ended up being over a mile and 1/2 away. Whereas if I were to just walk 10 minutes up the road from the park I would have been able to get on a tube there. So after a much longer walk then I planned, I got on a bus and then took that the rest of the way home because I was tired from walking.

On Thursday I walked along the South Bank of the Thames, which I also really liked. It was a really nice area, very artsy, and there were benches and trees so people could just sit and relax by the river. The Tate Modern and Shakespeare Globe are on the South Bank as well. When I got to the Globe Theatre  I thought even if I couldn’t go in I would be able to walk around it to get pictures. Turns out I couldn’t because of buildings and gates, so I didn’t get many pictures. I I am planning on going to see a show there next week because it is only 5 pounds in the standing area. I am hoping I will be able to take pictures when I go in, if not I will tell you all about it. I haven’t bought tickets yet but hope I will be able to because the shows sell out pretty fast. After the Globe I walked across the Millennium Bridge aka the Wibbly Wobbly Bridge. It got this name because when it first got opened so many people walked across it that it started wobbling because there wasn’t enough support and people almost fell in the Thames. So it had to close it, and more supported was added. Thankfully it didn’t wobble when I went over it! Then I saw St Paul’s Cathedral, I couldn’t go in, because it closed. I am hoping the last weekend I am here I will be able to go in, it will depend on how I plan my day and how much money I have left by that point! Either way it was cool to see and be able to take pictures of, at least the outside of it, and not from a moving bus like I did the first weekend.

Friday brings me to my trip to Scotland. Continue reading “Adventures Abroad: Week 4, Weekend in Scotland”

Adventures Abroad: Week 3, All Around England

In case you didn’t read my first post about traveling abroad….to celebrate my 7 year anniversary of traveling to Europe I am sharing emails I wrote to friends and family which chronicles my 6 weeks in London and various weekend visits. Week 2 was a weekend in Paris

My 3rd weekend, June 13-15, 2008, I kept very busy and did a lot of things around England and in London.

Friday the 13th, CAPA planned a day trip to Stonehenge and Bath, and when people say Stonehenge is just a bunch of rocks in the middle of nowhere, they are dead serious… there is nothing around these rocks…. but sheep.  I did end up getting some really nice pictures because the weather was cooperating, at least in the morning. As a group we were there for about an hour, and that was all we needed since walking around the rocks doesn’t take long, so most of the time was spent in the gift shop… Stonehenge Rocks!

Our next stop was Bath, about an hour away, which I really liked because it was in the country more. It was this cute little town with lots of little shops and small lanes so there was not a lot of traffic, making it very quiet.  Bath is known to be a town that you go to for a “Holiday” and it suits just that because its quiet and nice and very leisurely. I did have someone to hang out with that day though, Danielle. We started off in a big group of about 10 people and we were trying to find some place to eat lunch, but no one knew where they were going. This indecisiveness was bothering me, so I turned to the girl next to me and said, “Hey do you want to go find some place to go eat, because everyone else doesn’t seem to know where they are going and I don’t want to wander around aimlessly” . She said “Yeah I wanted to go to Cafe Retro”, which was a little lunch place that we were recommended to go to. I said interested in going there too. So off we went off to find it. We looked around for where it said it was on the map that we were given but it wasn’t there. So we ate at a little sandwich baguette place instead. During our little lunch we discovered that we both wanted to see places in London and could never find anyone to go with, so I suggested we should start going together.

Just the night before I finally got fed up with just sitting in my room after work and thinking that I should go out and do something, but I’d never end up going because by the time I make dinner it’s too late to go out because most places are closed. So I made a list of all the places I wanted to see before I left and was going to start assigning days I was going to go. I told Danielle that I wanted to go to a bunch of different places tomorrow and asked if she wanted to come along, and she said yes. We figured out a time we were going to met and I was excited that I had found someone to do stuff with, at least for Saturday. After lunch, we had time to kill before we had a walking tour, so we walked around town for a bit, and lo and behold about one block from where we had given up looking was Cafe Retro, but I blamed the map because it said it was on one corner and it wasn’t there!

Then we had the walking tour of Bath, Continue reading “Adventures Abroad: Week 3, All Around England”

Adventures Abroad: Week 2, Weekend in Paris

In case you didn’t read my first post about traveling abroad….to celebrate my 7 year anniversary of traveling to Europe I am sharing emails I wrote to friends and family which chronicles my 6 weeks in London and various weekend visits.

June 6-8,2008:      I had to leave bright and early on Friday, we had to be at the International train station @ 7am, which meant that I had to get up @ 5:30. I tried to slept on the train (the one that goes through the English Channel) but I didn’t really sleep much, and plus Paris is in a different time zone than England (I don’t know why considering they are right in line with each other), Paris is an hr ahead so I lost an hr of sleep my first night there. But on the train I ended up sitting next to this girl named Vanessa, and we actually ended up hanging out for the rest of the weekend, and my roommate (since I didn’t come with anyone I didn’t request a roommate therefore got a random one) whose name was Tanya, is actually from SUNY Oswego but goes to school in Pittsburgh, so I hung out with her too and we talked about Oswego, so that was cool.

Once we got off the train we were given a bit of time to get lunch in the train station and exchange/take out money. Well when I went to take out money I couldn’t get any and was told to contact my bank… now I was really upset because I had called my bank before I left and told them that I was going to be in Paris certain days so not to be alarmed. So I frantically called home (thankfully it wasn’t too crazy of an hr- 6:15am) and asked my parents to call the bank and see what was going on (I could have called them but I didn’t have any of the codes that I needed plus it would have cost me a lot more)… turns out my account had a fraud code on it because I told them I was going to be in London and last weekend a charge went through the CAPA office in Boston, MA (the charges for my trips) and even though I had my mom call the bank when I found out the charge was going through in Boston (knowing this would probably cause problems) and she did call apparently they didn’t make a note or something, and therefore ended up freezing my account. So I was upset because I was in France and had no Euros (money), thankfully I had some British Pounds on me that I could exchange (at a very poor rate I might add because it was at the train station, but I didn’t really have any other choice) And I was just hoping something could be figured out quickly so I could get money more out.

Later that night my mom was able to get a hold of them everything was figured out and my account was unlocked (thankfully my card never got eaten at the ATMs that I tried to use) But I pretty much had to go all day Friday with what little food I had brought with me, which was 2 Cereal bars and some dry cereal. The money that I had exchanged I had to use to buy Metro (subway) tickets to explore the city, so I ended up with 1 euro and some change but that would not buy me anything, I did tell Vanessa and Tanya that I was having bank account issues, but didn’t think to ask them if I could borrow money and pay them back when my account got unlocked. Probably because I didn’t really know them. And for those wondering, no they didn’t offer to get me any food either. so I pretty much went all day without food. Well very little of it, and I felt very poor.

We took a bus tour starting directly outside the Eurostar Train Station and that was around 3 hours long and then we got dropped off at our hotel and was given the rest of the day to do what we wanted. Vanessa, Tanya and I went to the Champs Elysses and the Louvre and the experience felt very surreal to us. France is beautiful, prettier than London (partly because all of London’s old buildings either got burned down in the Great Fire of the 1600s or got destroyed in the WWII bombing)  I wanted to take pictures of everything but didn’t and just kind of decided to take it all in. I actually took fewer pictures in Paris (about 250 for 3 days) then I did last weekend when I went on the Tours of London (where I took almost 400 in only 2 days). But I took less in Paris partly because I was afraid of my batteries dying and having no way to recharge them. So I tried to only take pictures of the good things. After Vanessa, Tanya and I got tired of walking around we went back to the hotel and crashed because we were exhausted. Then Saturday we had a guided walking tour from Bastille (which wasn’t really impressive) to Notre Dame… which was beautiful. After the tour was over Vanessa and I (Tanya had a friend in Paris so she went to go hang out with her for the day) went inside Notre Dame. Since I was able to get money out now, we did some souvenir shopping (items which I almost lost at one point in the day) and then went across the river to get lunch, I attempted to order in French but it didn’t work out too well because I can’t pronounce anything!! What was helpful was the years of Spanish I took because I was at least able to guess at what I was order because Spanish and French are semi-similar, so I was proud of myself for that. Then I had a Sorbet… which was delicious, and I decided I wanted to try to have dessert in every country I visited.  Then we made our way to the Eiffel Tower. Continue reading “Adventures Abroad: Week 2, Weekend in Paris”

Adventures Abroad: London, 7 years later

A few weeks ago, as I was thinking about wanting to plan a vacation, I was reminded that 7 years ago I took my first plane ride to spend 6 weeks in London for a Study Abroad internship program. While I was there I kept a journal, took over 1500 pictures and wrote weekly emails to friends and family summarizing my adventures abroad. To celebrate this ‘anniversary’, I wanted to share these emails here. Some of you may have read this material when I first wrote it 7 years ago, so you may not be interested, but it was a nice trip down memory lane for me. When I was re-reading everything I was grateful I had documented so much, because despite the time that has passed I can still picture myself in that situation.  It was a once in a lifetime trip, and I am glad I did it. I just hope that someday I will be able to go back.

As a bit of background, I had always wanted to travel and considered a study abroad program on and off throughout college. During the Fall of my junior year I decided I was going to follow through and actually take part in this opportunity. So I applied for a 6 week internship program in London, England. I figured it would be easiest to go to a country that spoke English. I counted down for months until I left to explore the world. But the days leading up to it I got really nervous and almost didn’t want to go because I think I was scared of getting on a plane for the first time in my life, along with going to a country with no one I knew.

 

When the day arrived, May 28th, 2008 my parents brought me to the airport and I tearfully waved goodbye. The nice thing was I got upgraded on my short flight to JFK, but I was scared of traveling by myself. My nerves calmed down after I landed and I waited around for 7 hours in the airport for my connecting flight to Heathrow. It was at this time that I realized I had brought nothing with me to entertain myself on the plane, no books, no hand-held games, etc because I didn’t want my carry-on to be overweight. I did have a travel book with me, so I read that twice through while waiting. When my flight for London started to board, I realized I was grateful that I had one flight under my belt before I took a 7+ hr flight across the pond.

Continue reading “Adventures Abroad: London, 7 years later”