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Hi, I'm Whitney! I am a middle of the pack runner who discovered the fun of triathlons in 2009. Join me in my adventures in life and training. I run with the Rush Running team and enjoy the fun that comes with such a supportive group of friends who understand what running means to me. I'm newly discovering road biking and the fun that it entails.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Go the Distance Challenge

Earlier this year I signed up for the Nike Go the Distance Challenge through U.S. Masters Swimming. 
Go The Distance Logo
I had never tracked my swim mileage before and had no clue what to select as my goal.  In the end, I decided that 150 miles for the year would be a good goal.  I had no idea that I would surpass that distance and then some!!!

Today I met my modified goal of 200 miles for the year.  It has been so much fun to work towards this goal and my swimming really improved a ton this year.  The additional time in the water has definitely paid off and I can't wait to continue the challenge in 2013. 

Here's the workout that got me across the finish line today!

Warm up - 350 yards

1 - 4 x 150 yds on the 2:30 (I swam all free and was touch and go on this interval)

2 - 3 x 100 yds on the 1:50 (slow, medium, fast)

3 - 200 yds pull

4 - 200 yds kick (4 x 50 under/overs on the 1:10) Under/overs are swim underwater on one breath for the 25 yds then swim easy over water on the return 25 yards to recover.

5 - 4 x 50 yds on the :50 and 1:00 (I dropped to the 1:00 interval after the first 2)

6 - 4 x 75 yds on the 1:30...I took plenty of rest since my interval should probably have been the 1:20.

7 - 100 yds cool down

Total: 2250 yds. 

My workout buddies ended after the 5th element of the main set.  They helped me gauge the math on how much I had left to reach my goal since I knew that I needed 1.22 miles to hit 200 miles.  I was on my own and needed at least a 350 so I decided on the 4 x 75 plus a 50 cooldown.  In the midst of my set I got nervous about the distance so I added on another 50 for cooldown.  Better to be safe than get home and be a couple of 1/100ths short on my goal!

I've got a few more days of swimming for the year so I will probably end the year around 203-204 miles.  This challenge has been one of my favorite aspects of my USMS membership this year.  It has been so motivating to work towards a goal and see just how much swimming I could fit in.  I had a much stronger back half of the year than first half so I can see plenty of room to improve on my monthly consistency for next year. 

There are approximately 3400 participants in the Go the Distance Challenge and together we have swum 704,000 miles in 2012.  Isn't that amazing!!!!  My club, Arkansas Masters, had 21 swimmers and we have covered 5000 miles!

Wooohooo...here's to accomplishing one of my goals in 2012!!!!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Blog-mas and Happy Christmas too!

Wow...what a great Christmas this year has been.  My weekend has been full of family fun and the only downside has been a nasty cold or sinus infection that I seem to have picked up. 

This year I had two amazing Secret Santas and I want to thank them for the great gifts that they gave to me. 

First up was Shelley with the Christmas Sock Swap sponsored by Courtney.  She picked some cute pink reindeer socks and stuffed them full of goodies.  I loved the new Bondi Band headbands...Live, Laugh, Run and iTri.  Both are perfect for my fitness activities.  There were also some Clif bars, Aquaphor, and an iTunes gift card.  Shelley did great!!!

I also participated in a Secret Santa exchange through Team Tough Chik.  Xanthe was my Secret Santa and she sent me a pair of the Balega socks that I adore.  Literally, this is the only brand of socks that I run in.  It is the perfect blend of cushioning and breathability.  I was so pumped with my new socks and thanked Xanthe on Facebook and she mentioned that I had another surprise headed my way.  The next day I got a box with a case of my favorite Honey Stinger energy chews.  Yeah!!!

I decided to play Santa for myself and picked up an iPad during the post-Thanksgiving day sales.  I have been a very good girl and kept it waiting until today.  So now I need some help...what are your favorite iPad apps?  Are there any good apps for reading the blogs that you follow? 

Merry Christmas!!!

I hope you have enjoyed celebrating with your family and friends this holiday season. 

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Celebrate and Be Jolly!

It's the weekend before Christmas and what better time to break out the festive spirit than this weekend! 

The Bentonville Half Marathon training program started last week and this week was my first week to help with the group.  Mike Rush and his store manager Drew lead the training group and provide weekly training topic discussions before the group training run.  Because there are so many people (200+) in the training group, members of the Rush team like myself join in to help run with the group. 

My sister and her family were in town so I was slightly timed strapped on Saturday.  The group run was scheduled for 2 miles but I needed to get in 9 for my long run.  I decided to split the run up and try to get in some miles early before the group so that I could get done earlier afterwards.  It was cold on Saturday morning with temps only in the low 30's.  I wore some Aesperis Pivot compression shorts under my tights to keep my bum warm! 

I got to the Activity Center just after 6 am and figured I had enough time to get in 4 miles before the training group would start.  I selected a route to follow and headed out and enjoyed the peaceful quiet and holiday lights.  There wasn't much traffic out and it was so quiet running through the downtown neighborhoods.  I loved seeing all the houses with lights... from those with the most simple light displays to the houses with every light and yard art imaginable.  It was great! 


I finished up just before 7 and headed inside...it felt so hot in the activity center.  I found a spot on the floor and listened to Mike's talk on form and why good fitting shoes matter.  He ended up the discussion by detailing out the route to the group and covering safety on the roads.  We headed out and I did my best to hang towards the back to pace some of ladies who are all training for their first half marathons.  It felt like just a blink of the eye and we were at the 1 mile turnaround. 

I ended my 2 miles with the group and then caught up with a friend to run a few more miles.  The sun had risen by then and it was definitely warming up to be a beautiful day.  I wore my santa hat which really warmed me up too.  It felt so great to get the miles in and have a good long run.  Then I was off to celebrate with my family...we had a little one turning 5 and that requires lots of celebrating, playing, and all around fun!!!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

You want me to do what?

100 Burpees. Yep, that's what my sister said. 100 burpees!

My sisters and I went on a quick overnight trip to the Great Wolf Lodge this weekend with two of their kids for a little pre-birthday celebration for my niece who is turning 5.  At some point during our late buffet dinner on Friday, Lindsey brought up that she still needed to do her workout for the day and of course we needed to do it with her.  Just what was this genius workout...100 burpees. 

Lindsey is on day 58 of a 100 day challenge that is put on by Cyclone Fitness and Sara Moneymaker.  It is a YouTube hosted workout series that takes you through a video workout each day.  The workouts seem to last 10-30 minutes and target various body parts each day. 

We finished up our dinner and headed back to our hotel room.  Kristen and I decided that we would each do some burpees with Lindsey in increments of 10 so that we could keep her company.  I got started and on number 3 managed to jam my ankle on the jump back.  Ooops! Not a good start to the workout for me.  (I altered my form to the step back and got through the rest fine but even the next day it was still a little sore.  Stupid mistake but thankfully nothing was seriously damaged.)

Kristen jumped in so I could rest my ankle and then we took turns doing 10 burpees with Lindsey until we got through the full 100.  Lindsey didn't like it when we told jokes or made her laugh.  All 3 of us tested out some new form on doing the burpees from the step back to the jump back to something Lindsey called competition style.  On average we were doing 10 in about 2-2 1/2 minutes but sometimes we needed water breaks or laughter breaks in between sets. 

It was a classically funny moment and something that probably few people do at 9:00 PM when travelling.  I'm so thankful to have active sisters who challenge and support one another to be healthy and fit.  Thankfully...no filming was done during this challenge though someone managed to take pictures of me teaching my niece and nephew how to do bird dog pose and supermans afterwards.  It better not show up in the family calendar!

We had a great time at Great Wolf Lodge...can you count climbing the stairs to the water slides as part of your workout? The slides were so much fun and the kiddos were big enough to do most of the slides there.  My favorite was the Howlin Tornado...super fun and fitting after doing our Cyclone Fitness Day 57 workout of 100 burpees.  It was the perfect little trip for my niece and nephew who both love to swim.  Everyone had fun and we really did climb those stairs to the slides quite a few times! That should count like a stairmaster right?!?!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Some Christmas Wish List Items

We are sooooo close to Christmas and I haven't even shared my Christmas Wish List.  Here are a few things that I am asking Santa for this year.


Swim fins...The fins that I have are a longer style and they are starting to tear near the toe opening from how I flip turn and push off the wall in them.  I need to work on that so that I push off the wall from the bottom of my foot versus the fin blade.  Oops...maybe Santa could replace my fins with some new ones!


Road Runner Sports R-Gear Double Time Tank...this looks like it would be so cute and fun to wear to workout classes.  I would like more workout clothes that aren't as running specific but are things I can wear to classes or yoga. 


Nike Free in Leopard...how cute are these! I would use these for running around town versus working out in them since I'm a Saucony girl for my running shoes but I can't resist the leopard print.

Triswim products!!! I love the Shampoo, Conditioner, and Body Wash from TriSwim.  The scents are amazing and it really helps keep my hair in great shape which is asking a lot since I swim 4-5 days a week.  Please Santa...I need to restock my swim bag!



Recovery food is always great and who doesn't love Bacon! Petit Jean bacon rocks...it's a local Arkansas company and it is sooooo good.  I might be treating someone on my list to one of their great gift boxes.  Make sure you visit my friends at Arkansas Women Bloggers to enter for a Gift Box Giveaway.   http://arkansaswomenbloggers.com/2012/12/petit-jean-meats-gift-box-giveaway/

What's on your wish list?  Share in the comments because I love learning about new products!


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Swimming and Math just don't mix!

I have been doing a good job of consistently swimming at lunch the last few months.  It's really helped me increase my mileage this year and I'm on track to hit 200 miles for the year!

One of my swim buds spent Thanksgiving with his family visiting their daughter at the University of New Mexico.  She is a freshman there and is competing in her first year of collegiate swimming.  During the holiday visit, he got in the pool and swam during the team's workout a few times.  He came back with the idea for a workout that he got from one of their coached sessions.

The workout sounded very simple...in theory! It's a set of 50's done on a decreasing interval time.  You start at the minute, then subtract 5 seconds until you hit 40 seconds and then start over again at the minute.  Two weeks ago on a Friday, we decided to try out the workout.  Fridays are our 50's Friday theme and we always do different workouts that are focused on 50's.

We got the workout started on the top and did okay at first.  Somewhere in the middle of the 3rd set it all fell apart.  We started getting our send off times confused and it was a mess.  We lost track of which interval we were on and how many sets that we had done.  It was mayhem in the pool!

Fast forward one week...we had learned our lesson from the first week and had written out the send off times for the sets.  We stayed on our workout sheet for about 3 sets again before it again fell apart.  At that point, we had a shift change...two of us were finished with our swims and another getting started so we switched out who was swimming the set together.  It worked out great and the final two restarted the intervals and seemed to hold it together for a couple sets. 

I got back to my desk and later that afternoon got an email from my friend asking me to try and figure out the math of where we had gone wrong.  What I came up with was that this:

Order: Stroke on min, Stroke/Free on 55 sec, Free on 50, Free on 45, Free on 40
Set 1 - top, top, 55, 45, 30, 10(stroke)
Set 2 - 10, 5, 55, 40, 20
Set 3 - 20, 15, 5, 50, 30
Set 4 - 30, 25, 15, top, 40
Set 5 - 40, 35, 25, 10, 50

So in the first set you actually do 6 repeats in order to capture starting on the top.  Then as you end each set, with the interval on the 40 you are basically finishing as a touch and go.  When you send off after the touch and go, you are going back to your stroke on the minute interval.  It feels really strange to come off of a sprint and then cruise...this is where we kept getting confused.  We were swimming this interval too fast and either skipping or repeating the minute to try and get back on track. 

The group plans to try out the workout again this Friday to see if the Third Times a Charm!  I'll be out of town on Friday but I can't wait to hear how it goes. 

So far my December swim mileage is at 7.7 miles and my year total is at 188.58 miles leaving me with 11.5 miles left to swim in the 18 days remaining.  I think I'm going to make it!!!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

No Words for Today's Run

This morning I had an awkward and upsetting experience on my long run.  I was running the Bentonville Half Marathon course as were a bunch of other runners.  I was coming up on a group of 3 - a husband/wife and 2nd female.  We were on a two-lane road with several curves, near two very busy churches, without a sidewalk.  The group ahead of me was running three across and I watched them adjust to single file as cars approached.  As we neared a curve though the two women were looking at each other and they didn't seem to be paying attention to the two cars speeding towards them. 

I called out "Cars."  Then when they still didn't do anything, "You guys, Cars!"  I would have done the same thing for anyone else.  We've all had those runs where you get to talking and lose awareness of your surroundings...think cars can see you, etc.  I didn't say anything bad just yelled with urgency since the cars weren't swerving to avoid this group at all.  Well, as I passed the runners a few seconds later, the man in the group turned to me and yelled "Don't you ever do that to us again."  I was shocked because he spoke with so much anger.  I think I just looked back and said "Happy Sunday to you too." 

I kept going maybe 200 feet and just got more and more upset.  So...big mistake...I turned back around and approached the group.  I asked why did I make you so mad, I was simply offering a caution.  I tried to explain what I saw and that it's runner courtesy to look out for one another.  The husband and wife wouldn't listen to me and kept yelling at me and saying "We know what we're doing."  I was tearful and trying to explain myself and tell them how upsetting their reaction was.  Why make me feel like such an ass**** for just offering caution? I was so shocked at how much venom they had in their voices as they yelled at me.  Finally, the girl with them just told me it's okay, just go so I did.  As I ran off, the guy continued to trash talk me saying something about me being full of drama.  

The situation bothered me my entire run...this happened around mile 3 of my 9 miles.  I met up with the other Rush Runners at the square after and told them what had happened.  They were shocked...some knew the couple and were even more surprised.  My coach joked that they must have been mad since I was passing them but I don't know.  Something was definitely wrong for them to react that way. 

Lesson learned...don't ever have any interaction with that couple again.  It's a small running community but I will go out of my way to avoid that kind of negative energy.  I'm not proud of myself for trying to engage in a conversation with them because nothing good came out of it.  I just got hurt feelings and felt miserable being verbally attacked.  Mean people suck but you can't let them ruin your day.  I posted my story on the Holiday Bootie Buster Challenge Facebook page and the ladies were quick to agree that calling out a warning is the friendly thing to do. That helped me feel better as did heading back out to the course to cheer on my friend Lori who was running a self-supported marathon. 

The whole thing made me very sad for this couple...it's great that they have each other to look out for  but the beautiful thing about the running community is that we look out for everyone.  I hope that someday they come to appreciate the beauty in that...we have a simple sport yet so much bad can happen from abductions, assaults, falls, heart attacks, etc.  Our community is strong because we stand together and support each other.  I'm thankful for that and I always appreciate a warning as much as a hello from another athlete! Thankfully this is my first and only time experiencing something so negative with another runner and I really hope it's the last one too!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

The Company You Keep

There's a saying that has been around for a long time that goes something like this "You are known by the company you keep." Well, if that's true than boy oh boy I'm in trouble!
Having fun with Pauline for Photo Booth pictures!

Friday was the annual Rush Running Holiday party for the racing team. Every year the party grows and this year was no exception.  The store has expanded to have two locations and so we had new faces with the staff from the Fayetteville store plus several new team members and their families.  As we were preparing for the party...literally 5 minutes before the start time we discovered that the party space was haunted.  Several of us were standing talking when all of a sudden the 5 gallon cooler of Gatorade collapsed and spilled everywhere.  No one was anywhere near the cooler and we couldn't explain how it happened! Crazy! No worries...nothing that several rolls of paper towels can't take care of, right?!?!

With a bunch of runners you would expect healthy food for a potluck! I think we had more desserts than you could imagine including chocolate cupcakes with bacon frosting.  Very different and interesting and quite the hit with the Rush crowd.  Another favorite was the Lumpia which Pauline brings every year.  Lumpia is a Filipino style egg roll type dish made with pork and it's delicious.  Mike dug in and didn't even bother with a plate!



Once everyone had made it through the food line Mike Rush got started with the awards.  Every year the awards ceremony is the highlight of the year for the Rush Team.  You never know what Mike will create for award categories and the speeches that accompany each award are super entertaining.  There are some serious awards and then there are some that are playful. Here's just one of the awards!

Award winners were:
Most Consistent - Shannon McFarland for 28 months of running at least a marathon race or more.
Honorary Shop Employee - Robert Standridge
Most Smiley - Angie McGrew
Most Likely to Get Lost - Ryan Holler
Best Dressed - Dave Kelley
Most Influential - Caleb Cowan
Most Impressive Performance - Robyn Bourlon and Matt Martin
Dominance - Taylor Surly and Marilyn Caulfield

I think there were two others that I missed but I think they were both Most Improved to Aaron Denson and Rachel. 

After the awards we had our annual gift exchange.  We play that the 3rd person to hold the gift owns the gift so it can be stolen twice.  It seemed like a couple people always got their presents stolen like Drew and Lane.  The giant TV remote made it's annual appearance...this remote has been going since our very first Christmas party at Mike and Ali's house 5 years ago.  

Recently a new store opened just down from Rush Running and it seems like a few people headed there for their shopping.  The store is an adult lingerie store and let's just say a couple people got to take home some new training tools...yikes! I ended up with a trucker hat that says "Call Me, Maybe" on it.  The gift I took got stolen and was a hit...everyone needs a tiger shirt right!

Overall, I'm pretty lucky to keep company with such a fun bunch of runners.  We always have a great time whether we are out running, racing, or socializing. 

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Trying out Full Core to #StopSnacking


I have shared before that eating/snacking is one of my big weaknesses.  I have found that a lot of my challenges around eating happen during the workday.  I eat when I'm stressed and I eat when I'm bored.  This mindless eating has been something that I have been working on since August.  I was at my heaviest weight and just not happy with the way I looked or felt.  I knew that I needed to make a change and so I began to pay more attention to my eating habits. 

I knew that to be successful I had to become a healthier eater especially at the office.  One of first things that I tried out was the meal replacement shake.  I tried products from Advocare and GNC and liked that I could get my chocolate fix through both of these shakes.  The shakes also helped me start my day off with a solid nutritional breakfast while also managing my calories towards my other meals in the day.  I still craved snacks though...and I still struggled with emotionally driven snacking. 

I was interested to learn more about a product that could help me manage my snacking and that's when Full Core entered my life through a partnership with Collective Bias.  The Full Core beverage is promoted as a natural appetite control beverage.  It's also touted as a healthy alternative to soda that provides 10 grams of fiber (up to 40% of your daily fiber needs!) What a score! I spent time shopping on the website and was surprised at how challenging it was to find the full nutritional content information on the Full Core website but I was able to search the FAQs page and confirm that the Full Core beverage was caffeine free.  I choose to keep caffeine out of my drinks as much as possible so this was an important FAQ to me.  Visit my Google + Album here to see my shopping experience recap.


Full Core Commerical #3 from full core on Vimeo.
I placed an order for a 4-pack to try out the Full Core beverage through the online store.  I noticed that the flavor was listed as a lemon-lime flavor and in my head I thought of a Lemon-Lime soda flavor.  I quickly received order confirmation and then shipment information.  The shipment was made via Fed-Ex and the delivery was very quick with the package arriving just a few days later on the day after Thanksgiving. 

On Mondays, I have a double workout with a swim at lunch and a track workout run in the evening after work.  I don't get home until 7:00PM and it's important to me to make sure that I fuel properly throughout the day to support my lunch and evening workouts.  Afternoon snacking can easily turn bad if the lure of the snack shack and candy pull me in.  I was excited to take a Full Core with me to work to try and offset the pull of the snack shack.  In the morning as I was packing my lunch bag, I made sure to include an ice-pack to keep my Full Core beverage nice and cold throughout the day.  I wanted to make sure that the drink would be cold when it was time to drink it later in the day.  I also packed a straw because everything is better with a bendy straw!  Just before 3PM, I opened up my can of Full Core and had my first taste of Full Core.  The flavor was light and citrusy and I enjoyed the alternative to having just a glass of water. 


The Full Core kept me from visiting the snack shack in the office and picking an unhealthy snack for that late-afternoon pick me up.  I still had a small snack of a few almonds just to make sure that I had enough fuel to make it through the run.  I was able to keep the snack small though and that was a big win to me. 

I really liked the taste of the Full Core drink.  I've become a big fan of flavored, sparkling waters lately and this tasted very similar.  The Full Core beverage is about $0.50 more expensive than the meal replacement shakes that I have been using.  I'm not sure that I would use these on a daily basis since the price point makes them seem like a special treat.  I enjoyed having Full Core in the afternoon but also tried it out about 30 minutes before lunch.  It was tasty each time I tried it out and it definitely helped me stop reaching for those unhealthy snacks that are plentiful at the office during the holidays. 

If you are interested in learning more about Full Core...check out the Full Core Twitter party on December 11th at 1:00 PM EST.  There will be lots of discussion on how to #StopSnacking especially during the tough holiday season.  There will be some great prizes including a $100 Visa gift card.  To be eligible for prizes, simply visit the following link to RSVP before the party

Disclosure:  I am a member of the Collective Bias (TM) Social Fabric (R) Community.  This content has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias and Full Core.  #StopSnacking #CBias #SocialFabric.  My shopping experience and tasting opinions are all my own. 
 

Monday, December 3, 2012

Who Peed on My Yoga Mat?

Thankfully, this is a question that I have never had to ask myself but author Lela Davidson found herself asking this question one morning during a yoga session at home.  This story is one of the many great stories that Lela shares in her new book Who Peed on my Yoga Mat?  
I met Lela several years ago before she became an award-winning author.  She had just moved to Northwest Arkansas and was a new transfer into our Junior League.  I was quickly impressed with her quick wit and ability to connect with people.  Shortly after moving here she transitioned from her life as a CPA to writing about business topics.  Her niche, however, was writing humorous essays about life and parenting. 

Lela's first book was a collection of stories called Blacklisted from the PTA.  Tuesday, December 4th is the launch of Lela's second book called Who Peed on My Yoga Mat?  Tuesday and Tuesday only, in honor of the launch of her new book you can download a free Kindle version of  Blacklisted from the PTA.  You'll love her fun stories and writing style and I have a feeling you'll want to pick up the new book while you are visiting Amazon!

I was lucky to get an advance copy of the new book.  I loved the stories...her kids are teenagers now and her family continues to encounter those funny moments of life together. 

One of the essays is titled Stuff I Learned from my 40th Birthday Party.  I remember Lela's birthday party that year.  It was an 80's themed bash at a local bar and Lela put out all the stops for the party.  Her cake was shaped like a giant can of Aquanet hairspray and the 80's references were carried throughout the party from the music to the decorations and the prom dresses.  It was a blast! Here's an excerpt from the essay...

The most important thing I learned at the party—and from turning forty in general—is this: It’s a fine line, but you must learn to wear the tiara as long as you can get away with it, and not a minute longer.

Pretty sound advice, don't you think?!?!

Her essays are quick reads that are grouped by topics like:
The Making of a Mom
They Don't Call me Mommy Anymore
Over 40 in a Botox World
Adventures & Advice
Life on the Cul-de-Sac
Marital Bliss

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kJ0-KrfT0CA&feature=plcp

Here's a short video that Lela put together to celebrate the new book.  Make sure to visit Amazon to download your free copy of Blacklisted from the PTA and pick up Who Peed on My Yoga Mat? while you are there! It's a great Christmas treat for yourself...every mom will love laughing with Lela. 


Sunday, December 2, 2012

Mind Body Expressions

Saturday I ventured out of my comfort zone and revisited the joy of my childhood...dancing.  My local yoga studio was hosting a workshop called Mind Body Expressions. 

Here's the class description:

DANCE PARTY FOR WOMEN- Yoga Story will host a DANCE PARTY Dec. 1st that you don't want to miss. Health/Fitness Professional, Katherine Shoulders, will teach her creation MIND BODY EXPRESSIONS from 5:00 to 6:15. A MIND/BODY EXPRESSION (M.B.E.) class integrates fitness with joy and playfulness, allowing room to dance, move freely and have fun. The movement in M.B.E. is continuous and easy to follow. This exhilarating class will rock your body, soothe your soul and leave you smiling. M.B.E. let's you dance, from the inside out, just the way you do at home when nobody's looking. If you like good music and want to have fun while you're exercising then M.B.E. is for you. Dancing barefoot is a great way to stay connected and shape your legs, developing long lean muscles. All of us are dancers whether you think you are or not. No previous experience is needed to enjoy this DANCE PARTY.

It took a few of the weekly studio emails for me to get the courage to sign up for this class.  I took dance all through out my childhood and into high school.  I loved dance and spent several days per week at my dance studio but it had been years since I had done any formal dancing.  I was worried about the choreography and whether it would be complex.  I was worried about whether it would be too hippy of an experience since the yoga studio was hosting it.  Basically I let my brain get in front of me and I thought too hard about the class. 

Then last week the studio sent out an email with some of the playlist for the dance party and I was sold.  The music sounded like so much fun and not at all like the hippy experience that I was worried it would be.  I signed up!

On Saturday I headed to the studio and it was full of women with various comfort levels displayed on their faces.  I talked with the woman near me and she also admitted to being a little nervous too.  A few minutes later a friend from Junior League walked in and I got a chance to catch up with her. 

The yoga studio is a hot yoga studio and they kept the heat on for the class too.  We got started with a little background on the instructor and the class style.  Katherine Shoulders developed this class several years ago by combining the training she received in some new age classes with more relevant music! She walked through out the room and offered each of us a card.  This card contained a Be phrase and she promised that the phrase we picked was the phrase we needed to pick in our life in that moment in time.  We all got a chuckle when Cindee the studio owner picked the first card and it was blank.  She re-picked and got a phrase that had meaning to her.  I picked the phrase Be Centered and at first I wasn't sure how it fit into my needs but I tucked it away with my water bottle and got ready to have fun dancing. 

Katherine guided the room to form two loose lines to allow each other plenty of room to move about.  Then she guided us through some of the basic steps that we would do.  I would describe a lot of the movement as a basic rock step, some ball changes, and even a few grapevines. 

The class didn't involve very complex choreography but was enough movement to get your heart rate up.  The heated studio also increased my heart rate and sweat factor for sure!  Within a few minutes, everyone had loosened up and was feeling the beat of the music.  The playlist was a lot of fun...very little new age music and mostly fun but impactful songs.  There were so many great songs that it's tough to remember them all.  I definitely loved dancing to Firework by Katy Perry!

I had forgotten how amazing it feels to just flow with the music.  My arms remembered all the years of dance instruction and I felt my fingers and hands return to traditional ballet position.  I don't remember the proper way to describe ballet hands...but if you took dance I'm sure you know what I'm talking about.  During the more powerful songs, I loved feeling strong as we double punched along to the music.  The class just flew by and before I knew it we were slowing things down for a cool down. 

Overall, I would definitely try out this class again in the future.  I wasn't thrilled about the price tag at $25 per class though.  Cindee offered attendees a class of wine following the class and everyone chatted over a drink. 

I was worried that my feet or calves would be sore since it was a barefoot class but today I felt fine as I headed out for my long run.  Around mile 3 this morning I was starting to feel some soreness and it hit me why I had drawn Be Centered.  I have spent so much of the past year focusing on how off-kilter my body has been with my wonky right hip.  This was just the reminder that I needed to focus on running even with the strength of both my legs and not the weakness of one.  I was able to find comfort in my phrase and rocked out an 8 mile run.