TWIR #116: Home Sweet Home

I have to say, it felt pretty great to get back home and settle into the usual routines this week.  Don’t get me wrong, I like travel, but travelling for work is a completely different beast and moving between four different places in five days was a bit much.  Alas, we are back and it has been a decent week of workouts so let’s see what I got up to.

Saturday
Activity: body-resistance strength training
Relevant Stats: 35 min.
Observations: Well, I forgot the cardinal rule for visiting Vancouver: take a rain jacket. It was raining in the morning, and I had to wear a very non-warm, non-waterproof tank top for my park workout. On the plus side, the local park made for a great workout destination. There were platforms to use as steps, benches for tricep dips, and that awesome rubber surface they use on the ground to make planks other on-the-ground exercises feel more comfortable than on concrete. Also because it was raining there were no kids around to stare at me while I did my workout.  I even threw in some running intervals for good measure.  Though it was short, it was decent.

Sunday
Activity: planned rest day
Relevant Stats: all the driving
Observations: We hit the road for the drive home, and so I basically sat all day, and ate. And then sat some more. And then ate. And after a week of being out of town and eating out every day, I have to say I felt like a balloon about to pop.

Monday
Activity: stairs
Relevant Stats: 37 min.
Observations:  Oh stairs, you are my nemesis. I picked this day for stairs because it was supposed to be cloudy and cool, which is a necessity since the stairs I use are in full-on sunshine if it’s a clear day. Of course, the second I arrived at the stairs, the clouds parted and it was the only solid block of sunshine in an otherwise cloudy day. I’m not joking. When I left the stairs it clouded over again and stayed cloudy for the rest of the day. Ugh.  Still, I rocked an extra minute beyond last time, and I continue to be stronger and have more stair endurance so yay me.

Tuesday
Activity: spin
Relevant Stats: 50 min.
Observations:  I don’t know why I continue to think that spin the day after stairs is a good thing. It was so, so, so rough on my poor legs. The only thing that got me through was an old-school Robbie Williams play list. I had Taylor Swift’s instagram feed to thank for that, as I saw that she had Robbie Williams come on stage at Wembley stadium to sing ‘Angels’ with her and it reminded me of how much I used to love Robbie Williams. First of all, don’t mock my diverse musical tastes. Pop music has its place in my heart just as much as any other genre. Secondly, sometimes a fresh playlist is the only thing that will get me through a spin workout. This was absolutely true for this one. I even made it to 50 minutes, so thanks Robbie!

Wednesday
Activity: personal training
Relevant Stats: 60 min.
Observations: My trainer has never, and I repeat never, made me set foot on a bike during one of our sessions. Of course, the day after a solid spin workout and two days after a solid stairs workout, she decided to integrate spin intervals into our training session.  Three words: too much spin. My legs wanted nothing to do with the bike, nor the sled pulls, nor the single-leg deadlifts. Basically, I just whined (inside my head, though) the entire training session.

Thursday
Activity: strength training
Relevant Stats: 45-50 minutes
Observations: I was so focused on getting started that I forgot to note what time I started. Based on when I left the house, I assume my workout was 45-50 minutes, but it could’ve been even longer. After last week’s session with my Vancouver trainer, I’ve been determined to focus more on building shoulder strength, so I really gave it to my shoulders during this workout. But then I didn’t want my legs to feel left out so I also hammered my glutes and legs. By the time I got home, everything was sore, so I think this was one of my best gym workouts in a while.

Friday
Activity: mini hike + golf
Relevant Stats: 7 km hike + 9 hole round
Observations: I picked a total crap trail for the day. It was a loop we hadn’t done before and now I can say that it’s for good reason. There was barely any elevation gain, which sometimes I’m cool with but not on days when I want my hike to be my workout. I was not impressed. And then we hit the golf course and I did so well on my first three holes before my game completely fell apart. I was similarly unimpressed with golf.  It was just one of those days.

But now the long weekend is upon us, and I have a chilled lime margarita gose in my hand to kick off the long weekend celebrations. May you find all sorts of fun weekend adventures and avoid the long weekend rain that seems determined to put a damper (pun intentional) on things in this neck of the woods. Happy weekend, y’all!

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Mid-Week Tangent: the bar snack you (maybe) didn’t know you need in your life

If you are a health junky, opposed to the occasional deep fried goodness, this post is not for you. Today, I am sharing a love letter to one of my all-time favourite bar snacks: the deep fried pickle.

If you haven’t tried deep fried pickles, you are missing out on one of life’s great pleasures, and you know this claim is legit because, truth be told, I don’t even really like pickles. I never eat pickles on their own. In fact, relish on a hot dog is about as close as I get to pickles other than in deep fried form.

Here’s the catch: all deep fried pickles are not created equal.  I’ve done some extensive deep fried pickle comparisons in my day, and I can safely say that Tap & Barrel has the best deep fried pickles by a long shot. My love for them knows no bounds. I have ordered them every time I’ve gone there, which is a lot, never get sick of them, and only the fear of my own deep shame suppresses my urge to get my own, personal order instead of sharing. One day I will get my own order, though, and I am convinced that day will be my greatest day.

Behold. Greatness.

What makes them so great? The pickle is everything. I have been in establishments that have the audacity to use pickle rounds (ugh), which as far as I’m concerned are an abomination of deep fried pickles. More often, they are pickle wedges, but pickle wedges that lack a satisfying crispness. There is nothing worse than biting into a deep fried pickle to find a soggy, slimy, almost oozing pickle centre. That is not what a deep fried pickle is meant to be. Tap & Barrel’s deep fried pickles always have a satisfying snap to them. They don’t need to rely solely on the coating for crunch; the pickle itself retains its firmness and crispness. Pickle perfection.

The coating is also key. Some places use a batter-type coating, almost like a fish and chip coating. Why would you use a batter so prone to quick soggy-ness? It’s completely illogical and clearly reflects a cook with no love for his or her deep fried pickles. You don’t want that pickle. No, you must use some form of breading, and yet you can’t even rely on any old breading to save the day.  So many places use breading, but go with a fine breading that struggles to fry to a can-cut-the-tender-flesh-on-the-roof-of-your-mouth crunchiness (and yes, that’s a good thing–if you bite with caution). Tap & Barrel goes with a breading that’s almost on the verge of being panko, though I don’t believe it is. Whatever they use, it is the crunchiest and most satisfying coating I’ve ever had on a deep fried pickle. The combination of crisp pickles and ultra crunchy coating is beyond winning.

Then we have the dip. Look, I get wanting to put your own creative stamp on a dip. I’ve seen everything from chipotle to wasabi to cheese. While none are inedible, they don’t really add to the deep fried pickle experience. Most often, they are just a distraction.  Tap & Barrel keeps it simple with a thick, cool and creamy dill dip. Dill on dill may sound repetitive, but its perfectly simple and complimentary.

In other words, this is the deep fried pickle of your dreams and you need to drop everything to try them. Of course, if you don’t live in Vancouver, that’s probably not going to happen. I feel sad for you if that’s the case, but also encourage you to seek out deep fried pickle perfection in your own ‘hood (and then tell me about them so I can try them if I happen to visit your ‘hood).  For now, I will just dream of the next occasion for which I might be in Vancouver and be able to reunite myself with these deep fried beauties. Sigh.

 

*This is not a sponsored post. I have no affiliation with Tap & Barrel whatsoever. However,  Tap & Barrel, if you do happen to stumble onto this post, I would gladly accept a lifetime of free deep fried pickles in exchange for promoting them here. 

Training Tuesdays: picking a personal trainer

I like to think I’ve hit the personal trainer jackpot, in that somehow I’ve had two stellar trainers out of two attempts. The best part is both are totally different in style and personality, and yet both have worked for me.  When I reflected on what has made my training relationships work, I came up with a few tips for picking trainers that will hopefully make the process a little bit easier for you if you’re on the hunt for a trainer too.

Sidenote: trainers are awesome, particularly if you are trying to train, recover from injuries, or add more variety into your workouts. It’s a biased opinion, clearly, but I do believe trainers can make a big difference to your overall fitness (if you pick a good one, that is, so read below!).

1. Use trusted recommendations, not Google: Look, Google is going to give you a million people to choose from, and that’s great if you like to talk to tons of prospective trainers and visit tons of studios. If you don’t have the time or energy for that, a trusted recommendation is a huge time saver. And it’s not just time you’ll save: people who know you well are likely to make a recommendation for someone who’s a good fit for you. This is why I specify “trusted” recommendation. In other words, don’t listen to the guy at work that you see once or twice a week only in passing.  Ask a friend, health-care practitioner (particularly if you’re recovering from an injury), or even coworkers who know you super well beyond a work context. Both my trainers were found through trusted recommendations, and now I wouldn’t have it any other way.  It’s also worth noting that neither of my trainers come up in the first few options for trainers in my area if I were to Google; a lot of small studios or fantastic independent trainers aren’t going to show up on the first page of Google results.

2. Make sure you’re philosophically aligned: There are so, so many types of trainers out there with so, so many different ideas about how to train.  I tend to view training philosophies like I view company cultures: none are inherently good or bad; they are just a good or bad fit for individual preferences. Figure out your fitness goals, and how you like to train, and look for someone with that approach. If you’re not clear on your own training philosophies, you may have to try out a couple of trainers before you land on one, but it’s worth it if it means finding the right long-term fit.

3. Find someone who challenges you, but also respects your boundaries: One of the main reasons I keep going to a trainer is to push me out of my comfort zone. I’m fundamentally a lazy person and will whine and complain throughout a workout. I need a trainer who will push me, but also know the difference between my complaining and my genuine concern about re-injury.  Trainers come with different qualifications and backgrounds and, while some may talk a good game, they aren’t experts in your body, your limitations, or (most likely, at least) your injuries. Pushing and challenging is great, but you also need a trainer who will listen when you say you can’t do something, or that you’re concerned about pain. No pain, no gain is only true if you’re not actually causing yourself harm.

4. Make sure your personalities are a match: You’re going to be spending one on one time with this person, so you better at least sort of like them.  I hate small talk, and love sarcasm. My first trainer was not at all sarcastic, but was also totally cool to not talk throughout our sessions. Win for me. My second trainer is more of a talker, but also totally sarcastic. I can appreciate her sense of humour even though it means more talking for me. Also a win for me. I view picking training personalities like picking a hair stylist: find someone that doesn’t make you dread your appointment and never let them go.

5. Get past the first couple of sessions before you decide: New trainers, or good ones at least, are going to spend the first few sessions trying to get a feel for where you’re at physically, for any form or alignment issues, for injury-related issues, etc, etc. You may not love your trainer after a first session or two, but try to reflect on what it is that’s not working for you. Obviously if it’s something of grave concern, like safety or just a total personality clash, this rule doesn’t apply. However, if you are worried that you aren’t getting a super stellar workout, or that your trainer isn’t pushing you hard enough, it might just be that he or she is still figuring you out. Give them time. I’ve found that the first couple of sessions are never as hard or rewarding as the ones once your trainer gets to know you.

So there you have it, my tips for finding the perfect personal trainer. You’ll note that credentials, cost, location, and other commonly used factors aren’t even mentioned here. It’s not because I don’t think they’re good things to consider. However, I personally don’t think they’re the criteria with the greatest likelihood of creating a successful partnership. Naturally, you may want to factor those things in, and yet I’d encourage you to also consider the above tips to round out your research.

Happy trainer seeking!

TWIR #115: travelling workouts

Well, friends, it’s been a week on the road, and five nights in four different places. There’s nothing better than living out of a suitcase, am I right? That said, it has been a good week of mostly work but I did manage to get some of my favourite deep fried pickles and that was a major win. I also managed to stick to a decent workout schedule, albeit with a couple shorter workouts than anticipated. You can’t win them all. Let’s see what happened.

Saturday
Activity: planned rest day
Relevant Stats: 9 (terrible) holes of golf + patio time
Observations:  It was a gloriously sunny day and yet not insufferably hot so we hit the links for a 9-hole round where I kicked off my day with an 11 on a par 3. That is when you know the round is not going to go well. And it didn’t. I mean, I didn’t get another 11 but I also wasn’t getting any birdies or pars. Golf fail. However, we had a patio win with lots of chilled beverages and low intensity sunshine, so overall it was a great day.

Sunday
Activity: hike
Relevant Stats: 7.5 km
Observations: The lesson from Sunday was not to wait until 1 pm to go for a hike when it’s hot as balls, particularly when the longest uphill portion of the trail was in the full-on sun. Thankfully a large chunk of the trail was shaded on the way down so I cooled down before stepping into a 90000 degree car that had been parked in the blazing sunshine for two hours straight. I also noted that I should not wear shorts when I might have to sit on leather seats that have baked in the sun for two hours. Let me just say ouch.  After an otherwise active afternoon, I then proceeded to spend hours on end watching US open golf like a complete and total slug. Balance.

Monday
Activity: spin
Relevant Stats: 45 min.
Observations: I have no idea why but my legs were absolutely dead.  There were no sprints happening in this spin session. I notice that when my legs are tired, they will still climb hills like nobody’s business, but they refuse to sprint. Still, I made it a full 45 minutes and was pleased with that because, let’s be honest, I almost called it quits around 25 minutes in. And, also,  45 minutes of hill climbs is pretty badass.

Tuesday
Activity: strength training
Relevant Stats: 45 min.
Observations: I decided that I’d had enough cardio for the week and promptly switched over to strength training. I’d been feeling like my strength training had suffered lately and I didn’t want to let go of all the strength I’ve (very, very slowly) built up.  And so I tried to work my legs hard, but they certainly resisted. It was an okay workout, but not great, which was unfortunate because I knew that my workouts might not be as strong as I wanted while on the road.  And speaking of the road, we left town after work and had a simply gorgeous sunshiney drive through the mountains and valleys en route to Vancouver, and I even scored a McFlurry, which is a pretty great evening in my mind.

Wednesday
Activity: strength training
Relevant Stats: 40 min.
Observations: I made it to the gym the second I stepped off my commuter train into the city! Hallelujah! I can’t say my body was too pleased with a morning workout, but I persevered and managed to give the legs and glutes a solid workout yet again. It was a bit of a shorter workout, but in my defence, I’d been up for 2.5 hours without eating a damn thing and I was hungry. I also walked 10.5 km between getting to my office, walking to a couple of meetings, and getting back to the hotel. My feet have the scars to prove it. It turns out if you don’t wear dress shoes for months because you work at home, and even if they’re dress shoes you used to wear all the time, your feet will lose all their toughness and blister like nobody’s business.

Thursday
Activity: personal training session
Relevant Stats: 60 min.
Observations: Once again, I returned to my old trainer’s for some unpleasantness.  She takes no pity on me even though I was dead tired from barely sleeping and even though I hadn’t ingested a single ounce of coffee before the workout. Seriously, if there’s no coffee before my workouts, there is no energy either. At any rate, I survived, but barely, particularly when she introduced what I am not-at-all-affectionately calling ‘plank walks’ because I legitimately thought they would kill me. What is this plank walk, you ask? Well, imagine taking the plank position with both your feet on sliders and then walking yourself backwards with your arms for not one but TWO lengths of the studio. No. Never again.  Thankfully this was also deep fried pickle day so I felt slightly vindicated for my efforts.

Friday
Activity: strength training
Relevant Stats: 30 min.
Observations: Well, I most definitely almost overslept completely. I thought I was being smart when I decided to re-set my alarm for twenty minutes instead of hitting snooze twice. It turns out that only works if you actually turn that alarm on. Instead, I overslept by 25 minutes and was only able to tackle a 30 minute workout before heading to the office. On top of that, my right knee was causing me all sorts of grief and rendering any squat or lunge activities impossible.  Let’s just hope that was a temporary setback.

With that, it’s Friday and we’re gearing up for some family time this weekend celebrating birthdays, which inevitably means cake, which in turn makes me extremely happy. May your weekend also be grand and involve either cake or something you like as much as I love cake. Happy weekend y’all.

 

Mid-Week Tangent: Wine Wednesdays Returns!

It’s been a while since a good, old-fashioned wine Wednesday hasn’t it? I’m really going back in the memory bank here, because it’s been a while since we actually visited any wineries, but nonetheless here we go.

p.s. If you missed previous Wine Wednesday posts, you can find them here, here, here, and here.

Region: Kelowna

Winery: Rollingdale 

Varietal: Cabernet Franc

Price Point: $39 (very pricey, I know)

Brief and non-technical Tasting Notes: To me, cab franc is one of those wines that can be either absolutely brilliant or completely abysmal. Thankfully this cab franc falls is the former. It’s smooth, rich and smells divine.  The only challenge with this one is its price tag. I’ve talked about this before, and I know our local wineries are often small producers that have to invest a ton just to create a few hundred cases,  yet 40 bucks still seems really steep to me. I mean, I bought a bottle because it was delicious, but still…

Although not the highlighted wine today, it’s also worth trying their Paint the Town Red, an everyday red blend, which is light, fruity and super drinkable. Their blanc de merlot is super unique and ultra refreshing for summer. It’s a merlot but pressed without the skins so just has the faintest pink hue.

Winery Vibes:  Winery vibes are super important yet underrated. This is the feeling that you get when you walk into a space, and is influenced by things such as: aesthetics, decor, set up, staff friendliness and knowledge, sampling protocol (free vs. fees, sampling variety, etc.), snobbiness vs. accessibility, etc.

I’m not going to lie to you: from the outside, the Rollingdale wine tasting room looks like a Dexter kill room, the kind of space where you might enter and never exit again alive.  It’s a metal shed, windowless and completely terrifying. I promise you that once you enter you’ll know that everything is going to be ok.

The interior boasts barrels of wine, palates of wine for shipment, and a very, very casual and un-pretentious set up. I used to work in the tech sector and it reminds me of those stories of tech startups operating out of someone’s garage. It looks like they’ve set up a temporary space to make, store and sell wine until they make it big.

I’m really not selling this experience, am I?

Let me assure you, you can have a good tasting experience. It just won’t be accompanied by all the aesthetic bells and whistles that you get at some of the larger wineries.  What you will get is casual, straightforward service. One of the tasting room staff is a bit of a gruff, older gentleman, but he is friendly enough especially once you get into the tasting. We’ve also been hosted by his wife, who was infinitely more gregarious and very into the wine tasting experience. In other words, no matter who you get you’re in good hands.

We tasted at least eight wines, and could have had more if we’d been interested in sampling whites. They do make a marechal foch, which is rarer in our neck of the woods, but I found it to be a bit too young and sharp on the palate right now. In a couple years, it may be great. The same goes for their merlot, which smelled heavenly but just didn’t have the flavour to back it up yet. What I appreciated was their willingness to tell you when some of the wines are young and can benefit from laying down for a while. Many wineries act as though that’s not the case when it clearly is.

All in all, Rollingdale is a fun stop on day of wine touring. I wouldn’t suggest it as the crowning winery of a tour, but you’ll get lots of generous pours, friendly service, fewer crowds, and a couple of varietals that are definitely worth taking home.

*It probably goes without saying, but I have received no compensation for writing this. Rollingdale has no idea who I am, nor do I have a followership on this blog that would inspire anyway to pay me for writing nice things about them.

Training Tuesdays: working out in the heat

Welp. The summer has descended on my little town and it is hella hot. On Sunday, when highs were a mere 29 degrees, I mistakenly thought maybe, just maybe a 1pm hike wouldn’t almost kill me. I was wrong. Within seconds of hitting the trail, my throat was parched. And I mean parched. Like bone dry as though I had been wandering through the desert for hours. Lesson learned: summer heat is no joke and neither is working out in it. As we step boldly into summer, let me present you with the obvious yet oft-forgotten tips for making the most of summer workouts without dying.

1. Hydrate like a fiend: It’s not just during your workout, it’s before your workout and after your workout. Try not to needlessly dehydrate yourself the day before your workout by, ohhhh I don’t know, sharing two beers, a giant cider and a half bottle of wine with nary a sip of water to break up the constant flow of alcoholic beverages into your system.  That would be foolish and I know nothing of such behaviours. And yet, because it’s patio season, it sometimes happens. When it does, add extra water into the mix. And I mean a lot of extra water. It’s not just your workout that’s going to increase the likelihood of dehydration. The warm temperatures will do that all on their own. So just drink a ton of water. It’s obvious.

2. Dawn and dusk are your friends (for outdoor workouts): Listen, from my patio I see people running at 4 pm in the afternoon all. the. time.  Perhaps they are superhuman specimens immune to the effects of heat.  Or they are fools. Experts will tell you that heat has a definite impact on performance. In fact, Runner’s World tells me that “The “slow down factor” varies from runner to runner, but in general, slowing down 30 to 90 seconds per mile is common in hot/humid weather. ” Naturally, it’s not just running that heat impacts. Any activity will suffer in the heat.  So unless you have to, don’t take your workout outdoors in the heat of the day. I know, once again, this is pretty obvious.

3. Switch up your workouts: super hot days are the perfect time to hit a nicely air-conditioned gym for some strength training, or maybe an indoor or outdoor body of water for a swimming day.  Sure, maybe you really, really wanted to run outside today, but if the forecast is showing crazy highs I promise you your body will not notice if you bump that run back a day or two until things cool down. If you live in a place that’s always hot, you might just have to make friends with early morning runs, late nights runs or the dreaded treadmill run. Yes, this one’s obvious too.

4. Lay off the black clothing: 90% of my workout clothing is black. I don’t have a dark soul (or perhaps I do…), I just think it hides sweat better and I sweat a lot. Trust me when I say I’ve been on many a run or hike when I’ve regretted the all-black ensemble.  Summer heat is the time for loose, flowing, light-coloured clothing.

5. Shady activities are great (literal shady, not sketchy shady):   Fun fact: did you know that the temperature in the shade is actually the same as in the sun? But, because you’re avoiding the solar radiation, it feels 10-15 degrees cooler. That’s a big difference.  Trees make glorious shade, so seek out the most tree-ful locations you can find and you’ll be made in the shade (oh yeah, I really did just say that). If you can, hike or run in parks with an abundance of trees.  A shady park can even serve as a great body-weight or HIIT workout location. Who needs the gym? Also, did you know that studies have shown being around trees (and nature) actually improves our psychological health? It’s true, and it’s a win-win.

Summer heat can be a serious workout energy sucker, but don’t let the heat be an excuse. It can be really easy to put off a workout because it’s too hot, but you can make peace with summer heat by being summer workout smart.

TWIR #114: aches and pains

Well, it’s safe to say that my muscles got a good hit this week. Three of this week’s workouts have left me with stiffness and soreness that has varied from mildly uncomfortable to ultra annoying. I suppose it’s a good thing, but in the moment it’s a bit less pleasant. Nonetheless, it’s been a decent workout week so let’s see what happened.

Saturday
Activity: planned rest day
Relevant Stats: rainy day adventures
Observations: Sometimes you just have to seize a rainy day as a lazy day. And I did. We ran a ton of errands, which I personally find fun, ate a totally mediocre “sticky bun”,  lounged around watching golf, and even fit in a viewing of Father of the Bride. All in all, it was a pretty damn good lazy rain day.

Sunday
Activity: mini hike
Relevant Stats: 5.8 km + 170 m elevation gain
Observations: You know those days when you can’t figure out what to do for your workout and nothing sounds good until you throw out the idea of a short hike? No? Well, I do and Sunday was that day. We checked out a short and easy hike that was perfect for a cloudy and cool day (i.e. there was no tree cover at all, so it would be insufferably hot on a sunny day).  And then after doing all that good for our bodies, we went to our favourite gelato place because, well, balance.

Monday
Activity: stairs
Relevant Stats: 36 min.
Observations: As always, I’m proudly declaring that extra minute above 35 minutes. This was a rough day of stairs. They were still feeling easier than past weeks, but certainly not easy. What really fired up this workout was that there was a dude there running stairs too and I was determined not to throw in the towel before he did. I was super proud of myself for outlasting him even though he ran those stairs way faster than I did. My competitive spark makes no sense even to me, but it came in handy to keep me from quitting about 15 minutes into this workout so I’ll keep it.

Tuesday
Activity: cardio warm up + strength
Relevant Stats: 5 min. spin + 35 min. strength
Observations: Okay, this wasn’t a great workout. I got to the gym and tried spinning and had nothing in my legs and then tried strength training and had nothing in any of my other muscles either.  It was one of those days when I wondered why I went to the gym at all. But I tried and I didn’t give up 20 minutes in like I wanted to, so I considered it a small victory.

Wednesday
Activity: personal training session
Relevant Stats: 60 min.
Observations: This was a dig deep and persevere workout. My body and mind were both feeling exhausted when I arrived at my training session. I don’t even think my trainer was working me all that hard, but at one point the workout actually felt vomit inducing.  I’ve never actually understood the whole thing about working out so hard you think you might puke, probably because I never push myself that hard, but it finally happened to me and I hated it. I want to really emphasize that I don’t actually think I was over-exerting myself. I think I was just tired and my body was finally rebelling against me for filling it with so much crap over the last month.. Ugh. Why does it have to be true that you really do feel better when you eat better? I mean, I actually love vegetables and eat a ton daily by choice…but I also love wine and M&Ms

Thursday
Activity: cardio + strength
Relevant Stats: 25 min. spin + 25 min. strength
Observations:  I bounced back! I have to admit, after two tough workouts, I was expecting this one to suck, and I bitched and moaned and delayed my gym time until I couldn’t any longer. And then, after all that complaining, I had a great workout. I worked my legs and glutes hard, which they definitely didn’t need after the stairs and my training session, but it felt good to load up on single leg dead lifts, box jumps to squat holds, single leg weighted squats and more.  We topped off our day with a lovely evening stroll to the hilltop with some friends visiting from out of town.  And then some apple pie for good measure. Once again, balance my friends.

Friday
Activity: mini hike
Relevant Stats: 5.5 km
Observations: After successfully feeding ourselves and the baby (as in our friend’s baby, not ours) and then after a successful baby nap, we ventured out for a short hike. We hadn’t rushed because it was supposed to be cool and overcast but then we got to the trail and the sun came out and it was hella warm. Lesson learned: always hike early in the Okanagan.  Still, it was lovely and scenic and baby slept so it was a success all around  .  We celebrated with post-hike beers and enchiladas because, you guessed it, balance (yet again).

So there you have it, a solid week of workouts carrying me into the weekend. We have oodles of guests (2 sets!) rolling through town, it’s the US Open, and the sun and hot temperatures are set to return.  In other words, the weekend is looking pretty fine. Happy weekend y’all!