Vacation Recap.

Well.  I’ll tell ya.

Vacation certainly felt like a whirlwind.

Speaking of which.

Is it just me, or has summer been feeling like a whirlwind lately too?  I was making a list the other day, of all the summery things I need (absolutely MUST!) accomplish before autumn rolls around.  And there is so much still left to do.  Things like blueberry picking and swimming in a lake and making s’mores by the campfire.  I’ll share my complete summery list with you all as soon as it’s complete, and I’d love to hear what’s on your summery agenda too!

One of my “must-do’s” was to head to the White Mountains.  There is no other place on earth that makes me feel quite as happy as NH.  On top of a mountain, I instantly forget about all the worries and stresses of life.  It’s that feeling of absolute peace.

Here is the official photo recap!

HIKING

My goal is to hike all 48 of the 4000 foot mountains in NH.  I got 3 down on this one vacation trip.

First up was Mt. Osceola, which was a relatively steady climb with lots of switchbacks.  It’s one of the “easier” hikes, as far as 4000 footers go. 😉

My Dad taught me a lot about the mountains.  What to bring.  How to prepare.  And most of all, how to respect nature.  He’s hiked with me through all the mountains that I’ve climbed so far, until that day.

I shot off and did East Osceola on my own, which was a pretty exhilarating experience.  This part of the trail was called the “chimney” for good reason.  It was so steep and was WAY easier to climb up versus down.

The one other hike that was done was Mt. Eisenhower, which is one of my absolute favorites!  The view was spectacular.

FOOD

Icecream.  Every day.  What can I say?  I hold nothing back on vacation.  I will say, however, that it feels amazing to be back on track now that vacation has come to a close!

(My sistah is a fellow ice cream lover like myself!  So her little baby is almost guaranteed to love ice cream too…I foresee future icecream dates with my future nephew…yippee!) 

I do, however, still balance things out with healthier things.  Lots of fresh salads and fruits and lean meats.  One of my favorite salad toppings?

Grilled Cajun Chicken + Peach + Walnuts + EVOO & Balsamic Vinegar.  Yum!

JUST FUN

North Conway is one of my family’s favorite places to visit.  There’s all kinds of sightseeing, shopping, and people watching opportunities.

It’s a fun (slightly quirky!) little NH town.

We also went to visit some of the waterfall spots.

This is Sabaday Falls, one of my favorites…

And my sis and I (right) at the basin…

There was also this really cool trail that led through an array of birch trees.

Gorgeous.

And pretty rivers to wade through….

My mom’s favorite activity?

Miniature golf.

My dad always wins.  I almost always lose.  But I laugh the whole way through, so it’s totally more than okay. 😉

Me (left) and my sis!

My beautiful sis (and bestie!)

I need one of these chairs for my backyard.

Just sayin’. 😉

Yep.

Vacation went by way too fast.

But I already have plans to head back to NH later this month for another hike (woohoo!)

Off to relax before the work week begins tomorrow!

QUESTION: Do you take a summer vacation?  If so, what do you like to do?  

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Fitness Friday

Lots of fun, lots of variety this week!!!

I’ve been trying to increase my weekly long runs this past month of April.  Every week, I bump up my total mileage by 10%.  Every third week, I bring it back down to let my muscles repair.  This has been working well so far, and my legs are feeling good and strong (no knee pain!)

My favorite workouts this week, however, included a quickie 4-mile bike ride (testing out the tires on my new bike!) and a hike up Mt. Wachusett.

I was craving sunshine on Sunday, so my dad and I headed out for some outdoor time.

After running all winter, I’m still loving the same ol’ running route (this girl apparently doesn’t get bored with exercise routines…ha!!)  But I’m not going to lie.  Every summer, it feels ridiculously refreshing to do something different.  Hiking.  Kayaking.  Biking.  LOVE it!  All of these activities (along with yoga) are re-inspiring my fitness routine. 😀

(There was still ice all along the trail!)

At the top, my dad decided to climb this crazy high tower…all the other hikers were joining in too, but I liked my feet right where they were, thank you very much.  😉

There were three layers of ladders to reach the top.

(FYI: I’m not a fan of heights…especially when there’s wind and ladders involved. 😉 )

I can’t wait to start hiking on a more regular basis this srping ‘n’ summer.  The warm weather is finally arriving here in New England! 😀

Saturday: 5-mile run

Sunday: Hike up Mt. Wachusett

Monday: 3-mile run + Yoga

Tuesday: 4-mile walk after dinner

Wednesday: 2-mile run + 2-mile walk after dinner

Thursday: 2-mile run + 4-mile bike ride

Friday (today:) 3-mile run + Yoga

QUESTION: What are your favorite forms of activity lately??

In Love With Movement.

My sister, Nicole, recently wrote a post on “getting started.”  Getting started with exercise.

Nicole’s Post: Fitness Friday

And she then asked people what their own personal exercise goals were.

This got me thinking.

A year ago, I would have said “to run a marathon.”  Or to run a faster 5k.  Or to bump up my weekly mileage.

But now?

Right now?

My goal is simply this: To enjoy movement.

Intuitive eating is, for the most part, second nature to me.  I was never raised to “clean your plate!” or “eat everything and then you can get dessert!”  I know when I’m hungry and I know when I’m full.  I’ve learned to respect and honor that.

Intuitive exercising, however, does not come so easy.

With exercise, I have historically thought in black and white.  Unless I was going to do something intense and lengthy, that something was not worth doing.  Enjoyment didn’t matter.  Contentment with my body and movement..such a silly notion.

This was a lesson I needed to learn.  Over and over again.  And this lesson most certainly didn’t happen overnight.  It’s a process.  I’m still learning.  I’m still teaching my body to respect itself and that it’s okay not to feel the need for an all or nothing exercise routine.

It took me a while to realize that movement could be enjoyable.

I grew up hiking 4,000 ft. mountains in New Hampshire.  My family was incredibly active.  We biked around the block every Sunday during the summer months.  We played tennis, we went snowshoeing, we skied.

And.

I hated it.  My body was small, week, and not at all in shape.  I hated that my little legs could only carry me so far.  Movement felt like the enemy, trapping me of breath and dignity.

When everyone grew up, as the years went by, we slowly stopped hiking as a family.  My sister got married, my brother moved away, and I was a freshman in college.  It took all of this time between being a kid and becoming an adult, all of these years of simply (finally!!) not moving to decide that…you know what?…I kind of wanted to move again.  This time around, however, I wanted it to be my choice and I wanted to enjoy it.  I didn’t want to feel rushed or pushed or prodded.  I simply wanted to revisit my childhood with a new frame of mind.  I wanted to enjoy my body, and to enjoy my strength, at whatever level it might be.  No comparisons, no self loathing.  Just enjoying the movement.

So dad took me hiking.

We climbed, we talked, we ate cheese and gorp and bagels.  I breathed the fresh air that I once hated and now loved.  I walked through my childhood with a new pair of eyes, a new pair of legs that could now carry me over the large stones and fallen trees.

I loved it.  I loved the movement.  I loved the peace.  I loved that I could stop and eat or catch my breath whenever I wanted.  I loved that there was no other being around but the two of us, that we could talk about whatever we pleased because we had all the time in the world.

Ever since that point in time, exercise has taken on a new light.  There are times when I feel like a morning 2-mile run is not enough.  But then I remind myself that I’m enjoying it.  This isn’t forced movement.  This isn’t “because the doctor said” or “remember what you ate last night???” or “you need to feel a burn to make it worth it.”  This is being happy with who I am and enjoying the crunch of snow beneath my feet and treating my body with respect and dignity.  This is wanting to be healthy because I’m worth it.  This is clearing my head before I go to work, taking in the gorgeous sunrise.

And tomorrow?

If I don’t feel like running?

That’s okay.  Because I love yoga too.  I love walking and dancing and biking.

This took me years to realize, but…you know what?  I really just love to move.

My brother Matt, me, and my Dad on a hike up Mt. Canon in the White Mountains, New Hampshire on my birthday of 2011.

QUESTION: Do you love moving?  What is your favorite activity?  Have you always loved being active or was it a learnt process?