March 22, 2012

Where Has the 5am Love Gone?

I've never been a morning person. In fact I used to sleep in the backseat of the car during little league softball practice much to my mom's dismay. But I somehow adapted to early morning training and felt satisfied knowing I made time for me before the day was for someone else. But lately I despise getting up in the morning. I'm not sure if I've become too accustomed to the 7-8 hours of sleep I was getting in the offseason, or if I'm just lazier than ever, but it's a struggle.

The alarm went off at 5am yesterday and instead of getting up, I hit snooze and slept another 9 minutes. On the second alarm I put one leg out of the blankets thinking if I got cold I'd be forced to wake up. It took the third alarm to drag myself out of bed and another 30 minutes - involving a nice almond milk cappuccino that I took the time to froth - before heading out for my run.

Regardless, it was the first step in getting back on track after the setback. I'm still not used to daylight savings, it's dark straight through a morning workout. But I love the extra light at night and the warm weather is icing on the cake. Hopefully by next week I'll be back into a rhythm and cursing the 5am wake-up a lot less.

March 20, 2012

Ups and Downs

This has been a challenging year. My schedule was rough and stress was high, but it was wiped by a much-needed vacation. Italy was beyond amazing. I literally felt like a different person when I came back, plus learning to ski reminded me that I can still try and conquer new things. But I arrived home to a situation more difficult than I could ever have imagined and the resulting setback was overwhelming. I went from being about as happy as I could have imagined to feeling utterly devastated. Add jet lag and an emergency vet situation with Otis into the mix and I pretty much hit rock bottom.

The most surprising thing was that for the first time during distress, I couldn't turn to training as an escape. I tried. But each time I tried I had so little energy that I could barely push through. I was achy, tired, slow. Most days I lacked the energy to get off the couch. So I had to let it go and focus on helping Otis recover (he's doing much better), work, sleep and dealing with police and insurance issues.

But after a week I am feeling much better and am ready to ease back in. I can't imagine what I've lost fitness-wise, but I honestly don't care. Life is full of ups and downs and you can't always be up. Hopefully I'm on my way back and won't be down again for awhile.

March 5, 2012

Perfect Day

Almost any vacation day is wonderful, but some are simply better than others. I'm in Italy again and have never felt more charmed to spend so much time in this incredible country. I'm way up north this time, in the Italian Alps in the region called Lombardia. When in the Alps, one must ski, so today I put on my first pair of skis ever and braved the slopes as a slightly uncoordinated 36-year old. It was hard, it was exciting, and then it got easier. But most of all it was fun. Silly, child-like, beautiful fun. I need more of this in life.

Then the day advanced to another level of perfection with a full afternoon at Bagni Vecchi, the ancient Roman baths and thermal springs spa nestled in the mountains. We floated in Roman baths dating from 1BC, enjoyed a panoramic view from a naturally warm outdoor pool with snowflakes drifting around us, enjoyed various thermal pools and waterfalls, aromatherapy saunas and relaxation rooms, icy cold plunge pools, a Turkish mud soak and a swim through a natural cave.

The Italians have perfected the art of fine living and I'm enjoying every moment of it. La Vita e

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