Sunday, March 26, 2017

Changes in Latitude, Changes in Attitude

Greetings from Illinois. As I write this, I'm in my running gear, waiting for the rain to stop so I can go outside and run. It's a cold rain--the 45 degree temperatures are a shock to my system. It doesn't take long to get acclimated to the warmth. The cold is a different story.

Why can't we all live at the beach?

After a week in the sunshine and tropical warmth of Florida, it's always tough to come back to real life. I'm so grateful I was able to get away. There's nothing like a dose of Vitamin Sea to heal both body and mind. While I was happy to be away from the daily grind, I have to admit that I missed my family and my pup.

Being a goal oriented gal, I did have one goal for this week and that was to relax. Regular readers know that I've been struggling with my newish diagnosis of RA. Along with the physical symptoms, I've been on an emotional rollercoaster as I adjust to all that accompanies a chronic illness.

If only life could always be as easy as it is at the beach. Indulge me as I recap my week away.


I landed on Sunday in the bright Florida sunshine, got my car from the rental lot, and headed south across the Sunshine Skyway to my destination, Anna Maria Island. Traffic came to a standstill a few miles off the island. As my friend Mary Beth says, welcome to Florida in March! I got to my parents' place and just laid around that first day. It was kind of windy and cool, and it felt good to just take it easy that first day and soak up the warmth of the sun.


There was running.

I've been to Anna Maria many times, and I have running routes for a variety of distances. I don't run on the beach--I've tried that and it's not as enjoyable as you might think. I did some beach walking, though. I truly think that the beach is meant to savor and enjoy. There's so much to take in--the surf, the shells, the birds, and the people. People watching is always entertaining. Mostly, though, I just get lost in my head.


There was a lot of yoga.

There's a really great yoga studio on AMI where I have taken classes in the past. This year I opted for something new--I tried SUP yoga. The boards we used were special SUP boards with a yoga mat on top. When we SUP'd to the bay where we did yoga, we dropped an anchor. This held the board in place and gave it some stability. Our instructor, Rachel led us in a really nice class. She continually paddled around us to make sure we were all doing ok as well as snapping photos of us the entire time. Besides the experience of doing yoga on a SUP, I loved all the nature around us--birds were singing, the sun was shining--it was a yoga class like no other I have ever done. I was deceptively sore the next day--doing yoga on an unstable surface such as a SUP forces you to engage muscles you didn't know you had!
I also did yoga at the house and had the company of Harry, the blue heron. He's pretty tame. He's been hanging out at the house for years. Pretty sure he's looking for snacks.

Probably the best photobomb ever...
On Saturday, the day I left, I attended a beach yoga class. This was another new experience for me. The class was held on a flat area of the beach surrounded by dunes and sea grass. The instructor lead us through a nice hatha sequence. I felt like she hit all the high points. Having the sound of surf and birds as background put me in a state of complete relaxation.


One of the highlights of my week was kayaking with Mary Beth from Tutus and Tennies. Having spent a weekend together last December in Panama City Beach, I couldn't wait to see her again. She found an eco kayaking expedition nearby and we made plans to meet. While the group we paddled with was small, we were by far the youngest paddlers. The kayaking was easy. There were no manatees to be found--the water was pretty cold-- but we had dolphins swimming in front of us. MB and I kept falling behind the group while we talked--at one point, the guide paddled back to find us! It was a really laid back experience and so relaxing to be out on the water.

By the time we finished, it was early afternoon and we went to a nearby restaurant for a grouper sandwich and some cocktails. I miss her already!

Mostly, though, I relaxed. I spent most of my time floating in the pool and walking on the beach. I enjoyed plenty of fresh fish.


And I basked in the attention of my parents.


The timing of this trip was perfect. Next week starts Grandmas' Marathon training! I don't know whether to be excited or scared. Stay tuned.

How was your week? Any getaways on the calendar? Have you ever done SUP yoga? Beach yoga? Running on the beach--yea or nay?

If you plan on going to AMI and want info on the SUP yoga class, the beach yoga class, the kayaking tour, or anything else, contact me at wendy(at)takinglongwayhome.com.

I'm linking up with Tricia and Holly for the Weekly Wrap as well as Amanda and Ilka for the Sunday Fitness and Food Linkup!



**apologies to Jimmy Buffett for using his awesome song title for this post. And yes, if we didn't laugh we would all go insane...

87 comments :

  1. Those beaches are beautiful! Yoga on the beach, SUP yoga and kayaking -dream vacation right there. Good to hear you got to really relax.

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    1. It was nice to have those activities but with plenty of time to rest.

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  2. I didn't know about the SUP anchor. That makes total sense. Except for our crazy record heat on Thursday, I lived vicariously thru you all week so thanks for that! The older I get, the more a warmer climate appeals to me. You know I've got plenty of travel on the horizon!

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    1. I didn't know about the SUP anchor either. It made the board much more stable. I'm thinking we need to try this locally this summer.

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  3. What a fun week you had! Plenty of time to relax and still get your workouts in. The SUP yoga sounds awesome, but very hard! We were in Puerto Vallarta last week with all of our boys and all of their girls and it was uh-mazing! Lots of relaxation but I got a few runs in as well as a great day of zipling. So fun to mix relaxation with some good physical activity! And I am a definite NAY on the beach runs!

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  4. This is a great time to go South for a trip because you know that it wont be much longer and you'll be feeling the rising temps at home too!

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    1. I cannot wait for the weather to improve here.

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  5. Great week for you! Nothing like ocean air. We are headed back to Hawaii on the 4th for a couple weeks. I've never tried SUP, but I love kayaking. Beach running? No can do!

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  6. A wonderful vacation of both keeping active mixed with some relaxation.

    I have never run on the beach but there is a 10k event near where I live, held at Wasaga Beach, Canada (the world's longest freshwater beach). I have not registered yet, want to try some runs there 1st to see if I enjoy it! :)

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    1. I need to check out that beach! Thinking I'd like to move north of the border... :p

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  7. There really is just something about a beach, warm weather, and sand between your toes. It is the same way that I feel whenever I go to the coast! Glad you got some release.

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  8. Wow that SUP Yoga looks pretty challenging. I don't have any trips planned but after seeing these photos of the beach, I need to plan something. My sister lives close to Va beach, maybe I could plan a trip there. Looks like so much fun, thanks for sharing.

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  9. I really loved all of your photos from Florida this week. I could tell that you were really enjoying the weather and having so much fun!

    SUP Yoga looks super challenging! I'm still trying to master Yoga on the flat ground lol

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    1. SUP yoga was so much fun! I can't wait to do it again.

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  10. What a wonderful vacation for you! Sorry you came home to such cold weather...that just doesn't seem right, especially so late in March.

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    1. Well, now it's 65, so there's that. Spring in Chicago--just wait and the weather will change!

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  11. So glad you had a nice, relaxing week away! Our spring break starts on Friday, and my son and I are going to spend the weekend visiting family in Charlotte, and I will end the week running a Half with my BRF!

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    1. Oh, I'm so excited for you! Good luck!

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  12. Sounds like the perfect getaway! When I go to the jersey shore I run on the beach. The sand is really thick and packed so it works out ok. I did take a yoga class on the beach there one year and it was really great!

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    1. The sand is packed on the AMI beach but it's angled towards the water. It's not great for a run.

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  13. I loved following along on your vacation via IG. It certainly seemed like you were have a wonderfully relaxing time!

    We have a blue heron named Frazier living by the creek in our back yard. Yesterday, I saw a buddy for the first time - I'm not sure if she's the soon to be Mrs. Frazier or not...

    I've not tried yoga on a SUP, but they offer classes near our beach house. I think I just might try it this summer while we're down there. You've inspired me! I do run regularly while at the beach and since our house is located 3.5 miles off the road in the 4 x 4 section, I have to either drive into town or run along the beach. Usually I choose the beach and run during low tide. Unfortunately, that means my running time is dictated by the tide and often puts me out there in the heat of the day.

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    1. Oh, that's so funny about the herons. You'll have to let me know if there are little Fraziers running around.

      If you're here in the summer, we could SUP on Lake MIchigan!

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  14. The SUP yoga looks amazing. How fun to paddle around with MB too. There is nothing better than the sand and the sea for your soul. I'm glad you enjoyed your trip. Thanks for linking Wendy!

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    1. I wish it was going to be warmer when we're in Door County. The SUPping is pretty sweet up there!

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  15. I just love supping around our lake up north! Brad and I invested in really nice boards a few years back and they are amazing. They track very well. however, I've yet to do yoga on them yet. Maybe this summer I'll try a head stand? Hmmm.... that could be interesting. :) ha!

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    1. It's not as hard as you think, in fact headstand is much easier than Warrior 2!

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  16. That sounds like an amazing vacation! Just enough activity and lots of down time! Plus, seeing friends is always fun

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    1. If anything, it was too short. But isn't it always?

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  17. I hope that your time away in the warmth and sunshine refreshed you for the season ahead.
    Grandma Marathon training? Be excited, don't be scared. You can revel in your many accomplishments along the way and absorb any setback with your usual aplomb. It'll be grand. (Insert love emoticon here).
    Welcome home.

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  18. Glad you had such a great time... I loved all your IG pics... I did SUP yoga once and loved it! I really need to make the time to do it again!

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  19. Love the photo bomb!! I'm slightly jealous your parents live someplace warm and fun. But then again you probably don't get to see them as often, there are pros and cons. I LOVE running on the beach, I prefer without shoes. Welcome back.

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    1. It's only in the winter--they really only live about 45 minutes from me and I still don't see them very often! But yes, I'm lucky I get to go there.

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  20. I loved all of your SUP yoga! Looks like you had a very relaxing vacation and got lots of rest. Just what you needed!

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    1. It's funny how fast that feeling fades once you get back to the routine!

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  21. Sounds amazing! I leave Sunday for Mexico and am SO ready for sunshine and 80 degrees!!

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  22. Aww, Wendy! I'm so glad you had such a great time! It looks gorgeous there! I can't imagine doing SUP yoga OH MY GOODNESS. I can't even do regular yoga. I think if I ever got up on a SUP I'd drop my bottoms and moon the beach.

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    1. You could do that! Seriously tho, I am in love with SUP yoga. I love being on the water, I love SUP, and I love yoga. Really, it's the total package.

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  23. oh man I need a beach holiday, STAT!! your little vacation looks and sounds AMAZING.

    I have never done any type of yoga to be honest. Running on the beach happens occasionally, but usually gale force winds are a part of the deal hahaha! I live on the landlocked border of the country but we've done plenty of races where beach running was included.

    Getaways on the calendar - yes! Long weekend (Rock'n'Roll Half) Liverpool, Long Weekend Rome (Depeche Mode concert) and long weekend Dublin (another RnR race) all planned (still need to arrange two flights).

    though I seriously need a beach holiday now...

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    1. The beach holiday was most necessary. Now I have to get down to business. I'm jealous of your RnR Europe destinations!

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  24. I so enjoyed just seeing your pictures of sunshine, smiles and fun stuff!!! It is sooooo good to get away like this and fully relax, plus just before marathon training is perfect!! Just take it one day (or even one step) at a time and you will be fantastic! Plus, the good weather is coming...I think...?

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  25. LOVE running on the beach (packed sand) & almost never get to do it. Probably because we rarely take a vacation that isn't a racecation . . .

    I so enjoyed soaking up the vitamin d this week (except during the race) & getting back to NY, even though it's "warming up" will definitely be a shock to the system.

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    1. It's cold today and it was such a shock to the system.

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  26. This sounds like the most incredible vaca. I'm so glad you got to relax and unwind. 🙏🏼

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  27. I'm so glad you had a chance to simply relax and enjoy your time away. I already have warm weather, but I am totally jealous of that SUP yoga. I really want to try that someday!

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  28. I've really wanted to try SUP yoga! Did you fall off?
    And so cool you saw Mary Beth!!!
    I am so homesick for Florida right now....!

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    1. I only fell once, when I tried to do a headstand!

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  29. I've done surfing lessons before, and it's the same way. You don't realize all the stability muscles you're using until the next day.

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  30. I agree, running on the beach in the sand isn't as fun as it sounds, it is much better for walking and meandering and relaxing though. SUP yoga looks like a fun challenge. Glad you got to have a great visit with your parents and your friend. Looks so warm!

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  31. Sounds like a lovely week! I can only do the very most basic yoga moves, so I would fall right in the ocean trying to balance on a surf board! LOL! That's talent right there!!!

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    1. It looks like a surf board, but it's actually a stand-up paddleboard. A little different construction and a whole lot of fun!

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  32. Oh my gosh sounds like an ideal week! To me there is nothing like time spent on the beach. SUP yoga sounds challenging and fun. The blue heron photobomb is the best! Glad you enjoyed your time away :)

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    1. I was laughing when I saw the heron hanging around!

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  33. There is a song in Spanish called "En El Mar" it talks about how life by the ocean is much sweeter and happier. That's what your post made me think of!

    Yoga SUP sounds very challenging!! You had the best yoga soundtrack there is !! Real nature! How awesome!

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    1. I wouldn't need to listen to music with that soundtrack!

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  34. I got away to the beach last week too, and the sunshine and sea was so amazing! It's so restorative!

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    1. I can't get enough! Have you done SUP yoga?

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  35. I like running on the beach as long as the sand is hard packed and the landscape not too sloped. I hate it when one leg is on higher ground than the other! Love the warm sand for walking though.

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    1. I tried to love beach running, but nope, I'm all about walking and enjoying my time there.

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  36. SUP yoga! I'mLucky if I can SUP for more than 20 seconds. Lol.
    I love running on the beach dodging the waves when it leaves packed sand.

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    1. Falling in isn't bad if it's warm out!

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  37. This is really wonderful. I am with you on the beach running - theoretically it's great, but then suddenly there's sand in your shoe and nope. All done.

    I am a huge fan of SUP yoga and beach yoga. It's definitely so much more serene than being in a studio, and the challenges are greater, too. I'm so glad you were able to experience both. I can't wait for the weather to warm up and the wind to calm down so I can get back into it up here.

    So glad you had some time for you! And love that you got spoiled by your parents <3

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    1. I'd love to have access to water sports for a longer period of time--the season is so short here.

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  38. So glad to hear that you had a great time away in the Florida sunshine. I'm looking to lots of rest and relaxation in the sun when we head to Florida. We're less than two weeks away!!!

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    1. I'm excited for you! And a little jealous too...

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  39. I am so glad you had such a great week! I know I am missing you! The weather could have not been any nicer and the company? well she is the BOMB!! Until our next adventure my friend- I am SO happy I got to be part of your Florida vacation! XXOO

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    1. I'm so happy you drove to the beach to see me! It was a highlight of my week! <3

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  40. I am totally jealous of your getaway, I'm glad you had a great time! SUP yoga looks amazing but my balance isn't the best and I'd fear making a big splash into the water! I do love yoga on the beach though :)

    I don't have any getaways planned for a while, but I wish I did!

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    1. Once you get your sea legs, SUP yoga isn't hard at all!

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  41. It looks like you had a fabulous trip! I loved following your photos in IG!! That SUP Yoga sounds awesome too :-)

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  42. I loved all the pics of your Florida vacation on Instagram, Wendy - your headstand on the kayak is the best!! i never run on the beach itself either - but I can walk endless miles. The sea is so rejuvenating and I don't think I can ever be without it anymore, even though I loved the Urban Life of NYC. I have never been to Anna Maria - it looks like a beautiful area! I love that you got to meet up with Mary Beth!!

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  43. I've taken a couple SUP yoga classes - they are HARD. I'm not sure my legs have ever been more sore.

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