In September I ran my first half marathon. What an experience! Along with 22,000 other runners we took to the streets of Copenhagen and were cheered on by friends, family, and spectators at nearly every corner.
A little over half way through I began to feel my thighs - really feel them - so at each opportunity to take a sip of water or saft I would walk briefly. This helped me reset and I felt even more powerful when I began to run again.
Also, an obvious reminder to anyone running a half to make sure to properly and adequately hydrate after the event. I thought I had but in the middle of the night I woke up feeling a strong headache and as if my legs were very very sore. I thought I might need to venture to the 7/11 (the only place open in the middle of the night) but I remembered this awesome product I was introduced to by my brother. Nuun is an “electrolyte enhanced drink tab is gluten free, dairy + soy free, safe for clean sport, and made from plant based ingredients.” A total win for my sugar conscious, plant-based pals!
All in all, I felt proud of myself for trying something new and ultimately, finishing in under two and a half hours. My goal is always to finish the race so I met my goal and was happily surprised with a relatively good time.
If you are wanting to train for a half I recommend starting exactly where you are and slowly but surely increasing your mileage as well as amount of time you run. There are some great training guides that can help you along. Check out the guide from Nike, PopSuguar or this one from Free People. Choose the one that is most appealing to you and be honest with your fitness level. There is no shame in where you start, the key is that you start!
If you are interested in running a half marathon in the U.S., check out this link that contains all of the coolest halfs around the country. You never know what it will do for you so why not give it a shot?
You won’t regret it!
If you have done a half before, did you enjoy it? Did it inspire you to go for the whole or were you satisfied with the half!?
“Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.”
I took the train from Nørreport and remember seeing many participants with their speedy, sleek racing bikes. For a milli-second I felt out of place with my beautiful but heavy, wide-basketed Raleigh city bike. With self-awareness and a non-judgmental approach, I decided to embody the above quote when I showed up to my first sprint triathlon.
Starting where I am, using what I have, and doing what I can.
I have two girl friends that I met in college that I know are “into” triathlons. They have the gear, are strong, and are fiercely active. I also have a colleague at work who is very much into long endurance runs and tris and I remember that my brother participated in a tri the year before. One of my above mentioned friends is the biggest inspiration to me. She trains daily, stays motivated, and has even done multiple Ironmans - both half and full. While that may or may not be the end goal for any one person, I admire the drive to do something daily to move and to challenge yourself.
Over the course of the past few months I have come to believe that:
ENDORPHINS + SWEAT = FEELING HAPPY, STRONG, AND CALM in the time between
Curious about the tri experience and with the encouragement of my brother who had done one himself, I signed up in the dead of winter for a women’s spring tri in May. I felt a little nervous once I signed up but I believed that I could do it. Taking notes from my friends, colleague, and brother, and staying semi-active I trained off and on during the spring. Of course, I could have always trained more.
Returning Wednesday before the Sunday race from a transatlantic two week journey with jet lag and an epic tiredness, I felt even more nervous. Being a no show was not an option so I prepared my gear, my self, and I showed up. I was in good time (as you can see in the picture below!) and coincidentally met the nicest two ladies who I ended up spending a few hours with as we waited for our time to start. I knew I was in good company when one of the ladies said to me “This is such a hyggeligt tri.” and “I have not gotten into a pool in months.” It was then that I remembered why I had signed up - to try something new/challenge myself, to move my body, and TO HAVE FUN.
All in all, it was a great introduction to and first experience with the triathlon sport. I had fun, laughed a lot at myself, and felt accomplished. I also really enjoy recounting my experience with family, friends, and colleagues - one in particular, C! We really cracked up when I shared and showed pictures from my first tri experience ;)
Have you any experience with triathlons? If so, would love to hear in the comments below!
Having been exposed to a bit of our beautiful planet by plane, train, ship, canoe, kayak, car, bike, or solely my legs, both personally and professionally, I have learned a few tidbits that might make your journey a bit more comfortable and even save you from having to spend unnecessarily.
While I do not claim to be an expert or know everything when it comes to healthfully transporting myself and my belongings, I was recently bestowed the title “professional traveler” by a dear friend of mine. So this one is for you, B, as well as anyone who is curious about ways to ease travel professionally and personally and infuse their next journey with a few of my favorite practices.
Carry an empty glass or stainless steel water bottle with you so that you can fill it up once you pass security. In the airports I typically depart from I have a routine where I usually go straight to the water fountain after I pass through security. This saves $$, time, as well as can be said to be more environmentally friendly as you are not purchasing a plastic water bottle but are instead refilling your reusable bottle. Remember, if you ask politely the flight attendants will more often that not fill up your bottle if you get low during a flight.
Wear/pack your most comfortable walking shoes. If you will need to dress up during your trip either for a business function or for an event, make sure to pack comfortable "fancy" shoes that can withstand more than the few steps you anticipate taking. Wearing uncomfortable shoes can most certainly be in the way of staying completely present and enjoying your new surroundings, especially if you will be walking a lot. It might not be the time to try out your “cutest” uncomfortable new shoes. This almost always leads to frustration, blisters, and discomfort. Not to mention it might be annoying to your fellow travel companions as they will hear about it from you!
Invest in compression socks. It might sound a bit cuckoo but they help increase circulation in your legs, reduce the risk of swelling, and in the prevention of a deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and blood clotting especially when you are flying longer than three hours. If anyone takes a second glance at you putting them on, smile and feel good knowing you are helping your circulation.
Be mindful of your tummy. In the past when flying transatlantic, more often than not, I would arrive to my destination with so much joy and excitement while at the same time quite uncomfortable with an unexplainable bloated belly and the need to lie down. It was a bit embarrassing to say the least! Although I experimented numerous times, I never ate the same thing therefore I could never isolate what was hurting my tummy until one time I ate quite light, I semi- fasted, and I arrived feeling great with no bloat and need to be horizontal. What a relief! While recommending to fast during a long journey might be a bit much with your individual circumstances, I do recommend tuning into your body and seeing how best you can support yourself throughout whether with lighter food, more water, less caffeine, etc., etc.
In continuation of number four, always be sure to pack plenty of snacks that you like! You never know whether or not you will be delayed at an airport and if so, for how long plus airports tend to be quite pricey. Also, remember that most airlines give you the option to request a vegetarian meal if that is what you would like. Just remember to file your request prior to 24 hours of your departure time. I have found the following snacks easy to transport and munch on:
Protein bar (no or low sugar!)
Instant miso soup (ask for hot water at any coffee shop for a warming snack)
Move as much as you can. Planning ahead by choosing the aisle seat or having a long layover sets you up for many opportunities to get moving. Whether you walk from terminal to terminal or you get up on the airplane to stretch, make sure to do it. Your entire body will be relieved and will silently be saying “Thank you! It has been a while since I moved around!” When you land at your destination, if at all possible, try to aim for at least a 20 to 30 minute walk outside. This will help you feel a bit calmer and “grounded” so to speak. Also, feel free to pack an exercise mat with you, especially if you will be on the road for a few days. It feels so good to stretch out after a long day of being on the go. Light weight and easy to transport, I recommend this mat for travel.
Make sure you pack a cosy scarf. It is even better if it can be worn with the majority of your outfits. This habit has been cultivated over the years and is one that one of my older brothers always giggles and comments about. He doesn’t laugh about the scarf per se but what can be done with the scarf! Tee-peeing or making a teepee with your scarf to ensure that you are blocking as much light as possible so that you can comfortably fall asleep and rest en route is essential. If you forget your scarf, an airplane blanket can do but it is always recommendable to have a scarf especially when you feel a little cold at a business function and/or event.
The above are but a few ways I continue to move about both professionally and personally while supporting myself in feeling my best! How do you stay well and at ease while traveling?
Helsinki | Finland
Prior to visiting Helsinki late March, early April many friends and family members were baffled at our desire to travel further north for a few days as usually this time of year everyone is craving sunshine and warmth! Although we still crave that (as I type this it is snow/blowing outside!), the days spent in Helsinki proved to be bright, sunny, and totally enjoyable.
Below I have linked a few neat places that we checked out and are highly recommendable if you find yourself in the Finnish capital.
TO SEE / TO DO
> See the White Cathedral. Tuomiokirkko (Cathedral)
> Walk by the Sibelius Monument, a monument erected for the famous Finnish Composer.
> Take the ferry to Suomenlinna
> Visit the Rock Church / Temppeliaukio Church
> Walk through the beautiful, Hietaniemi Cemetery
CAFES / RESTAURANTS
> KUUMA. Cosy cafe where the green smoothie, avocado toast, and coffee are aplenty.
> YES YES YES. A great veggie place with mocktails, naan, and live music. Not certain if they have live music each day but they had a lovely D.J. singing. The decor and environment is colorful and inspiring.
> DATE + KALE. If you are wanting a bowl or a juice, a smoothie or even a beauty bite this place is for you. Co-owned by Anni Kravi who is the queen of making delicious and beautiful plant-based pørridge (she even wrote this awesome book), DATE + KALE is an extension of her creativity and smarts.
> The Cock. A must-try! From the eclectic menu to the difference between the ground and basement floors, we thoroughly enjoyed our experience at The Cock.
> GIWA. The finest South Korean food in Helsinki. You can try the traditional Bibimbap dish in a dolsot (stone pot) which keeps the dish warm the entire time you are eating. It was delish!
> Roots. If you venture towards the Kallio neighborhood this is a great cafe to check out. It was recommended to us by my friend, I, who lives down the street from it and even met us there for a cup of coffee.
> Cafe Regatta. The cosiest cafe right on the water. The day we were there, we walked right up - from the water! Yeah, it was frozen over so we took the scenic, scenic route. It was fun!
If you are visiting Helsinki maybe these suggestions will point you in the right direction, however, I hope you will find a few neat places of your own!
Hasta pronto :)
To quote Gretchen Rubin who wrote "The Happiness Project:"
What you do every day matters more than what you do once in a while.
This is one of Gretchen's Secrets of Adulthood and it has stuck with me since I read the book "The Happiness Project" two months ago. It usually comes to my mind when I think of my wellness - particularly food and exercise - habits.
If you want to feel stronger, move your body more on a daily basis -
remember any minutes are better than no minutes!
If you want to feel healthy/healthier, choose foods in their natural state -
go for color, greens, deep reds, blues!
If you want to save (more) moolah, put away more than you normally would-
see how you can live with less!
If you want to own less, organize yourself-
part with what no longer serves you.
And remember -
What you do every day matters more than what you do once in a while.