Sunday, July 30, 2017

Looking for Fun and Feelin' Groovy

"Slow down, you move too fast. You've got to make the morning last. 
Just kickin' down the cobblestones, lookin' for fun and feelin' groovy..." 
~The 59th Street Bridge Song, Paul Simon

Well, what the heck? It's the end of July. How did that happen so fast?

It's been one fun summer, that's for sure. I realize that a lot of you have been sweltering in the heat and humidity, but here in the midwest, overall, it's been a really nice summer. We've had heat and humidity, we've had a lot of rain, but we've also had quite a few nice days. This week was no exception. As always, I try to make the most of the weather and sunshine--it was another busy week.



While I got all 4 runs in this week, I kept my mileage low. I was pretty tired from my trip to Door County and I wanted to give my legs a rest. No sense in pushing hard when I don't have any distance races coming up in the near future. My friend Steph and I are mulling over a few fall half marathons--it looks like we may be running Fox Valley in mid-September. I've run that race before and it is a beautiful course along the Fox River from St Charles down to Batavia and back. On Sunday, I questioned that decision as tried to push my miles a little further, with a goal of 8 miles. My legs would have none of it and I ended up running a slow, painful 6.2 miles.

Just when I think I'm on top of it, boom! RA reminds me to slow down and listen or else. I pouted on the 2 mile walk home and processed my reality check. I've been feeling so good lately and I guess I got a little greedy. Obviously, one bad run doesn't ruin the everything, because for the month of July, I ran a total of 95 miles, and that makes me feel very happy.


My yoga studio moved to a new location and I was anxious to check it out! The studio is much smaller than the old one but is a very pretty space with a beautiful Ganesha mural painted on the wall. Prior to class, there were some awkward moments as people struggled with mat placement. We were spoiled by the large space in the old studio and now everyone is going to have to get used to being closer together. It was interesting to see some of the non-yoga behaviors of a few of the students who didn't want to move their mats to accommodate the late arrivals. Namaste.

Ganesha: remover of obstacles.
I made it to CrossFit twice this week. Tuesdays are intervals with Coach Kate. We did Tabata intervals with a variety of activities in-between. It was hard and it was fun! On Thursday, I saw Coach Sammy Jo. I was on a time crunch and wanted to get my run in as well, so I ran the 2 miles to and from the box. Why have I not done that before? Doing that had me all warmed up for my workout, so there's that too! Sammy Jo had me do some strength training as well as work on the GHD. My hammies and glutes were a little tight on the run home.

Front squats felt great! I've missed strength training.

Box jumps, among other fun activities with Steph!
If you follow me on Instagram, you know that the highlight of my week was kayaking through downtown Chicago. My friend Suzanne, with whom I had lived for 3 years before I got married, was in town from California and we made plans to SUP along the lakefront. Mother Nature had other plans though and threw a strong east wind at us, which meant high waves on Lake Michigan. So we went to plan B and drove to the Chicago River to rent kayaks. In fact, I've always wanted to do this and so I was very excited. We were not disappointed by our experience--we both want to do the 3 hour rental next time (because there will be a next time), which would take us down to the locks at Lake Michigan.

We paddled down the Ogden River to start. Suzanne was surprised by the turtles sunning on the logs! We also saw a lot of birds, including a crane. Any port in a storm, I guess. But you know you're not in the wilderness when you see a Whole Foods along the river!


Once we merged into the Chicago River, we began to see the skyscrapers. To me, kayaking like this was beyond cool. We were like little kids pointing out all the buildings and passing under the bridges. There were quite a few tour boats passing us as well, and we waved to all the passengers onboard.

It was only cloudy as we approached downtown and the lakefront. Those crazy east winds!
I have to mention that the Chicago River is really gross, although I have been told that it is cleaner now than it has been in a long time. There was quite a bit of trash floating in the water. Lots of beer cans, tampons, tennis balls, random stuff like that. Pro tip: don't fall in. While paddling, I accidentally splashed myself a few times and waited for my skin to melt off.

When it was being built, my son Tom worked on the shiny building at the center of this picture!
We reached Wolf Point, which was our turnaround, way too soon. So much of our journey was spent sightseeing but also catching up on life. Do you have friends that you can just pick up where you left off the last time you saw them? I'm fortunate to have a few friends like this, and Suzanne is one of them. She's also really fitness minded, and it makes me sad that she lives so far away! Hopefully next year I'll go to California and spend some time with her--there may be a race in those plans, too!

Wof Point (if you look closely, you can see the wolf on the shore behind me). This is the area where the 3 branches of the Chicago River all meet up. Not sure of the origin of the name, but it has been called Wolf Point since the 1800s. Just a little history for you.
California might have beaches, but I bet LA doesn't have a river running through it where you can kayak. And you know Chicago has beaches. The waves were pretty high and we probably could have surfed that day. Just sayin'.

What a wonderful week. What a wonderful summer. I don't want it to end.

How was your week? Yogis, any issues with personal space? Have you ever done any urban kayaking? What is your favorite water sport? I'm really loving all my water sports! Next up...waterskiing...

I'm linking up with Holly, Tricia, and guest host Deborah for the Weekly Wrap!




79 comments :

  1. It does sound like a wonderful summer, and how great you can catch up with your old roomie! I've been whining about the humidity lately, but you're right--we've had some pretty nice days!

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    1. It hasn't been bad, if you think about it. Kind of a normal summer overall!

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  2. I'm loving that you and your friend kayaked the Chicago river! That is a cool adventure. Weird that the river is so polluted, though - you'd think that kind of stuff wouldn't be prevalent in this day and age.

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    1. I think it's just leftover from the past--the river was used to carry waste west from the city.

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  3. 95 miles for the month is pretty darn impressive!! No I keep reminding myself that a few bad runs don't ruin the good ones. As you know I loved the urban kayaking this week too. I used to have issues w personal yoga space when I went to a different studio all good now

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    1. I think the personal space in the yoga studio is going to be a problem. I'm pretty surprised they moved to such a small space!

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  4. The kayak adventure looked so fun! I'd be worried about capsizing and (EEEWWWWW) getting stuck under water.

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    1. Funny, all the kayaking I've done, I've never worried about capsizing!

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  5. I'd have a hard time with the whole personal space thing. We did this experiment in a psych class I took where we were partnered up with people we didn't know and we had to put our faces super close to each other. I hated it. I love turtles though. I wish I could see turtles sunning on the rocks! Magical!

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    1. I have issues with personal space too, but my yoga mat is like my oasis. I think I'd be ok if we had to put our mats close together. This is going to be interesting.

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  6. I love how active you have been this summer. Everything from running, to walking, to yoga, to crossfit and kayaking. It really makes me realize that I need to get out there and do more stuff besides run! LoL

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    1. I love it too. It's been a really fun summer!

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  7. I've kayaked out of D.C., but in the out-of-town direction so it didn't seem very urban. Sounds like your trip was a blast. I'm often first to yoga and have a hard time figuring out where to put my mat -- and then when I go to a different class than usual I worry about taking someone else's favorite spot. Sigh....

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    1. I may end up going early to yoga so I can grab a spot along the wall. That seems to help with the personal space thing. Don't even get me started on the "favorite spots" thing. That has been a blog post in the works on and off for a while now!

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  8. My yoga studio, which in all honesty I haven't been to in a while, is quite small and sometimes students basically have to lay their mats end to end and side to side. So there really isn't any room for latecomers (which is something that annoys me and I hope teaches them to arrive on time. Non-yogi of me maybe, but you notice it's always the same people).

    PS When I was in high school in acting class this shy girl did a Lip Sync to Feelin' Groovy! ��

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    1. I've been to yoga classes like that. The latecomers always annoy me. It's another "non-yoga" behavior that should be discouraged.

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  9. Besides here in my home state, I've kayaked in Key West, Charleston Bay and Florida ....but no urban kayaking. I must put that on my bucket list! Water skiing next huh??? I bet I know where you're headed soon! :)

    95 freaking miles Wendy!! That's incredible! Give yourself a great big 'pat on the back' for those numbers ...you really do deserve it! Have fun in the Heart of Dixie!

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  10. We did the architectural tour in kayaks the first time we visited Chicago two years ago and loved it! I don't remember seeing any trash floating on the river, though. On another visit, we did the tour on a boat that also went out on Lake Michigan. It was really cool going through the locks and watching the water rise (and drop).

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    1. P.S. And now I've got "Feelin' Groovy" playing in my head! LOL

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  11. Kayaking around Chicago sounds like so much fun! I would love to do that in Boston.

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    1. Wouldn't that be better than the swan boats?

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  12. That kayaking trip looks so fun with all the skyscrapers looming above you. I haven't done that for a few years...maybe it's time again! I have to admit, I get pleasure out of the instructor asking someone to move when they are being stubborn/clueless about space in classes.

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    1. You and me both. I wish everyone would adopt more yoga-like behaviors in class.

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  13. Looks like you guys had a fun time! Chicago is such a cool city.

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    1. You know I love my city. This was a really cool way of seeing it!

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  14. We had to sing that song in chorus in elementary school. Just about every year. I think I have PTSD from it.
    Freaking lamppost. What IS it knowing??

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    1. The lamppost where I set my phone for selfies could tell a lot of stories.

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  15. Oooh. I had no idea urban kayaking was a thing and I think I could try when I go visit my sister in Chicago. I will not fall out :-) :-)

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    1. I think the only chance of falling out is when you are getting in and out of the kayak. Otherwise, it's pretty safe.

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  16. My yoga studio is tight like that at the beginning of the year but frees up as people drop off. The closeness is tough. Yuck on the river being so polluted. In Ireland last year they had a Liffey River SWIM when we were there. I can't even imagine swimming in a river!

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    1. My husband says that maybe the trash was from all the rains and the runoff? I'll have to kayak again and see!

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  17. Kayaking through Chicago sounded so nice . . . until you started to talk trash. Ewww!

    Of course Austin has a "Lake" running through it, as you know. And while the Hudson doesn't run through Albany, it does run alongside it.

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    1. My sister and I kayaked in Austin, which I thought was really cool too!

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  18. I had no idea about Wolf Point. Then again there is so much about Chicago history that I do not know about either. Your comment about your skin melting off made me laugh. Yeah, I've heard about the Chicago River being very dirty. I don't understand how anyone can litter it. Tampons? Seriously?!?!?

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    1. The tennis balls kind of threw me off, but we paddled by the East Bank Club so we assumed they were from there!

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  19. So much great stuff here! Sorry about the rough run-- but 95 miles is amazing!
    Your kayack looks fun too.

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    1. I had no idea about the mileage too! Even though I'm battling a flare today, I can't complain too much with miles like that.

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  20. Your river sounds like our Susquehanna! dirty! A couple of weeks ago there was a Triathlon there, and I don't know how they convinced the athletes to swim in that water, it has been found to have high levels of e-coli!

    Ok, now that I grossed you out... great week! love love the kayaking adventures! and hope to hear about your California running plans soon!

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    1. Oh, you didn't gross me out...all the waters around here are disgusting. Just one more reason not to be a triathlete!

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  21. The kayaking photos are beautiful! And too bad about the non-yoga behavior during the yoga class. I guess a smaller studio space will do that to people.

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    1. I think people who take yoga sometimes forget what yoga is really about.

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  22. My best friend from high school is one of those friends. We can pick up right where we left off, and keep talking for days.

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  23. The LA River exists! About 50 miles, currently in need of revitalization (http://lariver.org/.) Lots of access points, walking/biking paths along the way, and even some kayaking opportunities. The most well known would be near Griffith Park and the Los Angeles Zoo.

    I have to confess, after 4+ years of part time Hawaii living, I still haven't tried SUP!

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    1. I find that impossible! You must do it!

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  24. Sounds like you had a great week! I would love to try kayaking. I usually do yoga at home because I'm a bit embarrassed by my lack of balance and flexibility :)

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    1. I lack both as well, which is why yoga is so important for people like us!

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  25. Kayaking looks like so much fun! I know that they have rides in the Delaware river in Philly, but I'm always nervous I'll be the one who falls out!

    I have a few friends like yours where you can pick up where you left off...aren't they the best?

    Congrats on 95 miles of running in July...I wish!

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    1. I only know of one person who fell out of her kayak and that's because she had a lot of cocktails...

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  26. I love yoga! I do enjoy doing it at studios but I don't love when the room is so full you can smell the person next to you's body odor! And it makes me more conscious of everything I'm doing which kind of ruins the zen!

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    1. The guy in front of me had really disgusting feet, so there's that too.

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  27. I love the art in the new yoga studio. Next time I'm in Chicago, I want to do that kayaking trip!

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  28. I can't believe it is almost August either. Where did the summer go? I used to go to a hot yoga studio very close to my house and they were moving as well but into a bigger facility, but now that I have to drive there I haven't went.

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    1. We were all pretty surprised by the smaller setting. It will be interesting to see how things play out.

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  29. Sounds like a really fun week! Lake Erie and the Cuyahoga River have similar stories re: being dirty and trash-filled... you know, the Burning River and all that... lol ;)

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  30. Looks like you had a wonderful weekend! I still need to try kayaking - I bet it would be so fun to go through a city! You are amazing - that is a lot of miles for 1 month. Yoga is so good for stretching - sometimes I go through 5-10 Chaturanga flows and add a few runner's lunges to loosen everything up! Hope you had a great day!

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    1. I've kayaked in Austin Tx and now Chicago--but I've also kayaked in remote, rural settings too. I can't say which is my favorite--they are both interesting adventures!

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  31. It sounds like you need to go Kayaking in Icy Strait Point like Zenaida did! Looks like you had a really fun time and you look very at ease in the boat (can I call it a boat?)

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    1. Mmmmm...not so sure I want to kayak when the water is cold! I'd have to say I'm a fair weather kayaker.

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  32. The kayak adventure sounds like a blast. Most people associate water sports with more rural areas, so its exciting to hear that you were able to partake in an urban setting. I'll have to look into it on a future trip to Chicago.

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    1. I really enjoyed exploring my city like this! Let me know if you ever need info.

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  33. That is so cool that you can kayak on the river. It's a great way to see a different side of the city!

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    1. I've been on the boat tours, so it was fun to do this!

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  34. I miss kayaking, it's been over 7 years (before kids). I've paddled in similar waters, not fun but it can be done.

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    1. I thought it was fun. I kind of expected the polluted conditions, instead focusing on the beautiful buildings and different perspective of the city!

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  35. Sounds like a great week for you! Love the pic of you doing box jumps! Great shot! How cool to kayak on the Chicago River! Must've been cool to see all the sights!

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  36. Super awesome kayak trip! I've only kayak a few times and never urban like that, it is very cool to see it and not be in traffic.
    It is so great to have friends who share your passions :)
    You are crushing the cross training! and the miles, that is great month. I go back and forth too all the time with how feel, I try to not let the tough days steal my joy, I empathize.

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    1. This was a fantastic month! August isn't off to a great start. Hoping to get back on track once these knees calm down.

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  37. I thought I commented but when I came back to your site, I couldn't find it! Take two :)
    I love your pictures. You do a fantastic job each week with your posts. The kayaking pic with the Chicago city line in the background is beautiful.

    Kayaking is on my list of things to do this summer! As long as the rivers cooperate. They have a rental place downtown but the rivers have been high and fast this summer.

    Great job with your workouts!

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    1. I thought I read your comment too! Hmmm. Thanks for coming back. And thank you for the compliments on my blog!

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  38. I love the story about the unaccommodating yogis. Just when you think everyone is all zen, you realize that yoga is where all the territorial, tightly wound people hang out to try and loosen up. :) That kayaking adventure looks amazing.

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    1. I am always surprised about how un-yoga some people can be. Then I realize how un-yoga that thought is. It's really a work in progress.

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    2. Yogi or not, we're all a work in progress. :)

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  39. I've never done urban kayaking but looks like fun even if the water is gross! I'd like to go back to Chicago, so much to do! Great week!

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