Travels

Yes my friends, I did just in fact arrive in El Paso, Texas a mere week and a half ago. I haven’t even had time to unpack my suitcase. Well that ended up saving me some time this morning, let me tell you.

Even though I just got here, I’m already saying a temporary goodbye to my new home here in Texas for a few weeks.

Goodbye El Paso Mountains, I’ve just started to love looking at you!

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And HELLO Idaho mountains! We meet again old friend, oh yes we meet again.

There is nothing like a good trip back home to pass the time while you are counting down the days until your new house will close!

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Actually, I’m not going home just to pass the time, I’m really going to see my older brother J-Bomb tie the knot! I’m super pumped to get another sis-in-law.

Aren’t they cute?

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Y’all know how much I love weddings! 🙂

Yesterday I did a guest post over at Aneta’s blog where I talked about why I love weddings. Feel free to take a look!

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Next time I blog will be from the land-o-potatoes! Yipppee! See y’all on the flip side.

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I’m over there!

Dear my Awesome Blog readers!

I’m hard at work this week at another big conference for work! I’m in Moscow, Idaho of all places…(boo to all you Vandals fans!) 🙂 .

Anyways..instead of my same old running rambles over here, I’m asking that you all head on over to J’s blog where I will be guest blogging for her today while she is on her honeymoon!

It’s not quite wedding Wednesday, but you can read about how I balanced training for a marathon, planning a wedding, and being a bridesmaid all at the same time!

So don’t be shy, come on over and give  my guest post some bloggy love!!

Happy Running!!

The Linz

Vinyasa at the Vineyard

When a Yoga and Wine Adventure from Living Social popped up in my email a few weeks ago, I knew there was no doubt I was going to partake!

And I had a few friends who all the same idea. Yoga on a vineyard? Don’t mind if we do!

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So we arrived at Wood River Cellars Winery yesterday morning excited for the events to unfold. 007

We picked our spot in the nice shade, ready to get our yoga on!

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We enjoyed the beautiful scenery as we were waiting for the start of our Yoga & Wine adventure. 008

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Then it was time to get serious!

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The yoga was a lot more stretching than anything else. The stretching felt great, but wasn’t as great of a yoga workout as I was hoping for.

I loved the idea of doing yoga outside, but I always struggle with the unevenness of the ground. It was a little tougher to get the moves just right.

But us ladies had fun anyways!

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Then it was wine time! Oh yeah!

We walked into the wine tasting area to find each of had a wine placement explaining the different wines we would try, a lovely wine opener, and a Wood River Cellars wine glass (filled with our first tasting) for us to take home.  020

After our hot yoga session, they encouraged us to take advantage of some appetizers. MMMmmm!

A perfect plate of eats with a refreshing glass of Sweet Pink. 022

I’m actually a big fan of sweet wines, but this one just wasn’t doing it for me yesterday.

Then it was on the to the Chardonnay. I liked this one better than the Sweet Pink, but still it wasn’t my favorite.

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And then it was Merlot time. I’m not usually a Merlot fan, and I was pleasantly surprised that I was digging this one.

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Before each wine was served, the Winemaker would give a little explanation of the grapes and how it was made. It was fun to learn about the wines as we tried them.

Then it was time to tour the winery and learn more about the wine making process!

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Oh, and they were serving wine straight from the barrel. This one had a kick of black pepper. It was so interesting.

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We obviously took advantage of all the tasting opportunities.

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After our tour of the winery, we were greeted with on last and final tasting. The Wood River Cellars Port.

I think Victoria liked it! I know a Port (which is super super sweet) is one of my favs, but definitely has a time and a place.

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I would probably only drink this one with dessert and on special occasions.

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We finished our lovely day off, by stepping inside to the actual tasting room. The ladies bought a few souvenirs from the day. 038

Me on the other hand, have quite the wine collection going on after all the wedding festivities. So I did not purchase any this time, but I frequent this winery quite often. I know I will be back!

All and all it was a super fun day! I truly loved the combination of a Yoga and Wine adventure. And am now on the lookout for any other Living Social Adventures!

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Guest Blogging… Today I’m guest blogging over at Sweet Caroline. Go check it out and give Caroline’s blog some bloggy love. My post is titled…So, You Wanna Run a Marathon? My 6 steps to running a marathon! 🙂

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Happy Monday Friends!! Back tomorrow with my last segment of Honeymooning in Playa del Carmen!

Balancing Life & Wedding Planning

Hi everybody!  My name is Richelle and my blog is called Running Toward a Higher Calling.  Please feel free to follow me over at http://rtahc.blogspot.com.

Like Linzi, I am getting married this year, although my wedding is in September.  My fiance, Mark, runs and although we run at different paces, we like doing a lot of the same races and we really support and encourage each other to become better runners.  I’m glad we both share this insane passion. 🙂

Working full-time, along with wedding planning, blogging and racing keep me very busy.  Also added to that mix is the fact that Mark and I will be property owners shortly.  We found out recently that we got the condo we put an offer on, so we will be moving before the wedding.  Moving is tough work, too!

How do I do this without going crazy?  It’s not easy, but the following guidelines have helped me out immensely:

  • Get help!  I have a great support system of family and friends that are willing to help me out when needed.  My mom, particularly, has helped out more than I can ever repay her for my wedding.
  • Keep lists.  Having a guide explaining when everything needs to be completed for the wedding is extremely helpful and will keep you on track for your wedding day.
  • Train smart.  I have three goal races this year (a half-marathon that I already ran on July 4, Ragnar Relay August 19-20, and the RNR Savannah Half on November 5) and am focusing my training on those events.  I am glad I’m not training for a full marathon because I just don’t have the time to do it.
  • Take time to relax.  I plan evenings where I read (usually magazines, blogs or the local paper), watch movies or get a massage.  Sometimes, you just need a break!

Even with these guidelines, I still have periods where I feel stressed out, but I think I think I’ve been handling everything well so far.  You will too, when it’s your time.  More than anything, I am excited to be getting married to my best friend, and I can’t wait until we are married so we can fully share our lives together.

Thank you for reading.  Best of luck to Linzi and J. Alabama, and have a great summer everyone!

Dealing with Deployment as a Newlywed

Hello Beyond Destination 26.2 readers!  My name is Katie and I write the blog Legally Fit.  It’s an honor to be guest blogging for Linzi- she is such a sweet, caring person and provides so much motivation!  I can’t wait until we can meet in real life and bond over running, life as a military wife and most importantly, wine!

First thing’s first- CONGRATULATIONS to Linzi and J. Alabama on their wedding!  You guys are such a beautiful couple and I know that you will share many happy years together as husband and wife.  I am so happy for you!

As the title suggests, today I’m going to talk about dealing with deployment as a newlywed- a topic that, when I got engaged, I didn’t see myself become well-versed in.  Sure, my husband (then-fiancé) was in the military, but a deployment seemed far off.  He had just gotten started in the JAG Corps!  However, a month before our wedding, we got the news that he would be deploying to Afghanistan.  For a year.  Two months after our wedding.  To say I was freaked out is an understatement.  The news sunk in after a few days-this was our new reality and I was determined to make the best of it!

We had a beautiful wedding,

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enjoyed a fantastic honeymoon in Kauai,

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and then came home to face the deployment.  My husband had to attend boot camp for a month prior to leaving.  Eventually it was time for him to go.  Saying goodbye to him was one of the hardest, if not the hardest, things I have ever done.  Being separated for your first year of marriage is never ideal.  I held tight to the fact that we would come out of this as stronger individuals and as a stronger couple.

Sometimes, the deployment hit me hard.  Most of the time, I kept myself happy and sane by keeping myself busy.  Here’s what got me through the year.

Coping with Deployment Tips

  • Create mini-milestones to look forward to.  Although my husband was gone for nearly a year, we had R&R to look forward to- if you are deployed for a certain period of time, you get to come home for a week or two.  Instead of looking at the deployment as a year, I broke it down into two parts- the countdown until we could see each other on R&R and, after that, the countdown until he came home for good.  When he came home on R&R, we had awonderful reunion and spent some quality time together (ahem, obviously- we are now expecting our first child in October  ).  Saying goodbye again was once more heart-wrenching but, seeing as how we now faced three months apart instead of eleven, it didn’t seem as insurmountable.  We could do it
  • Lean on your family and friends.  My family and friends were awesome while my husband was deployed.  I spent numerous weekends on Long Island with one of my besties (and even had a college roommate reunion!), had a wine tasting weekend with my sister and mother-in-law, attended numerous family weddings, and overall had a lot of fun.  Lots of time was spent with my stepmom in hot yoga classes, and I even got my dad to start running with me- it was so fun to cross the finish line of his first race with him.
  • Take advantage of technology.   Communicating with your deployed loved one isn’t like it used to be.  I was talking to a colleague who was deployed forty or fifty years ago.  He said his wife had to often wait a month (or more) just to get a letter from him.  Through the wonders of technology, my husband and I were able to communicate almost every day.  While Skype is cool for video, we found the connection to be iffy and eventually just relied on Google chat (and email) to communicate, along with the occasional phone call from him.  We quickly established a routine (which was difficult at first, since he was often waking up and getting ready for the day when I was heading to bed) and I greatly looked forward to our daily talks.
  • Don’t forget old standbys.  Although we communicated nearly every day, I was happily surprised when the first letter from my husband arrived.  I have over forty letters from him (he has some from me too of course) that I will cherish forever.  It was a nice treat to open the mailbox and see a letter waiting from Afghanistan.
  • Send packages!  Sending packages to deployed loved ones is easier than ever.  You pay a flat rate (which is incredibly reasonable) and it gets to them within a week!  I had a lot of fun assembling packages for Brian- making cookies to send (they can keep if you wrap each one individually in plastic), picking up fun snacks from Trader Joe’s,  picking up toiletries, essentials and fun gifts (though make sure you don’t send anything that is too heavy- they have to carry all of that stuff home with them!)  I think it can be incredibly lonely for the soldiers over there and while a package isn’t much, it’s  nice to let your loved one know that you are thinking about them.
  • Engage in a hobby you love.  For me, this was running and hot yoga.    With my husband overseas, I threw myself into training for races.  Training plans gave me a structured schedule to follow, and I loved the feeling of accomplishment I got completing a training run.  I participated in some reallyfun and incredible races, including a mud run, the Boilermaker (my most favorite race to date), a trail race and my first half-marathon.  Running not only kept me busy- I also got the bonus side effects of lots of endorphins (how could I NOT feel good after running ten miles?) and getting into fantastic shape. Runners are an interesting group.  There is such a sense of kinship and camaraderie, and I met so many new friends and local bloggers through running.  Perhaps most important of all, running was incredibly cathartic for me.  If I was feeling sad or stressed, I knew that a run, while it wouldn’t bring my husband home, could help lift my spirits and get me through it.

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Heading towards the finish line of my first half-marathon.

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Jen, me, Melissa, Cynthia, Heather and Erica pre-race on New Year’s day 2011- all friends that I met through blogging and running!

  • Find your inner yogini. Right around the time my husband went to Afghanistan, I found a hot yoga studio.  I decided to give it a whirl and quickly became addicted.  Hot yoga was like nothing I had ever experienced- it’s an incredible, cleansing, stress-relieving workout.  The classes can get pricey but to me they are worth their weight in gold.  If you’re curious about hot yoga, here’s what you can expect.  Try it!  If hot yoga isn’t your thing, try some regular yoga classes.  Yoga forces you to look within and concentrate on the moment.  It might sound hokey, but my heart really felt lighter after each class.
  • Get a dog.  Okay, I’m an animal lover and already had my cute little pup when Brian left, but seriously, get a dog.  It is a lot of responsibility but it is so fun to come home to a pup that is so excited to see you.  Dogs also force you to go out and be social and talk to neighbors- they need to be walked.  Besides, how could you not be cheered up by this cute face?

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Bailey boy!

  • Blog!  The blogging community is fantastic.  I’ve met (in person and virtually, haha) so many great friends through the blogworld.  Be it getting together for a run,  meeting over coffee, taking a day trip to Whole Foods (do normal people do that?) or getting together for a night of bowling, I always have so much fun with my blog friends.  (Psst- if you are looking for like-minded bloggers in your area, check out Healthy Living Blogs!  It’s an extensive database that lists bloggers by location).  Sometimes you just need to get your feelings out.  When I got the news of Brian’s deployment and at one point when I was feeling particularly sad, my first instinct was to get it out on paper on the computer.  Just writing something can oftentimes be cathartic.
  • Have faith in your relationship.  Deployment isn’t easy.  It can stress even the most laid-back of individuals.  It’s important to have faith in your relationship.  When facing a deployment, the time apart may seem endless (and trust me, at some points it seemed that way).  Now that Brian’s deployment is over, I can say that while it was tough, it was also doable.  No, it wasn’t an ideal way to spend our first year of marriage.  However, we learned a lot about ourselves and each other and came out of the deployment even stronger than before.  If we can handle one of the most stressful situations out there, we can handle anything.  And that is a wonderful thing.

How To Do It All

Hello everyone! I am Joanna from Morning Runner! While Linzi is on her honeymoon she asked me to guest post!

Summer is a busy time – every year when March rolls around, the calendar for June, July and August is pretty barren. But before you know it every weekend between Memorial Day and Labor Day has been booked solid.

Of course you want to go on every vacation, attend every BBQ and every wedding you are invited to. But when summer comes, often running takes a back seat to everything else. Between your social life and your running life, it is hard to fit everything in. But
guess what – with a little planning you can have it all.

1. Schedule. Taking your calendar and scheduling a time for your run every day at the beginning of each week is a guaranteed way to make sure you get your workouts in.

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2. Morning runs. Morning is the best time in the summer to run because a) it is cooler outside in the morning and b) it is actually light outside! Before you know it, the mornings will be dark and the roads will be covered in snow so get out and there and enjoy those humid and sunny mornings. Plus when you have a day packed with
activities, morning sometimes is the only time to fit in a run!

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3. Multi-task. Being not only a bride but also a maid of honor to my best friend this summer, multi-tasking is a must in order to get everything I need accomplished each day. Wearing around my high heels with my recovery socks -Yes! That is how I break in my new shoes and also recover from my tough runs!

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4. Enjoy the alone time. Sometimes the time spent running is the only time during the day that I don’t spend around people. It’s a great time to relax and refresh before heading to work or heading off for a busy day of wedding activities!

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And that is how you fit in everything you want to during the summer! Hope the rest of your summer is filled with fun, food and lots of running!

Training while planning a Wedding

*I am off on fun honeymoon adventures with my husband (it’s still so weird to say that!) and am excited to share a few guest posts with you all while I’m gone. Each guest blogger is either a newlywed or bride-to-be and will be sharing their stories with you all. A huge thanks to all my guest bloggers for their heartfelt posts!*

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Thank you Linzi for asking me to write this guest post while you are soaking up the sunshine on your wonderful honeymoon!

For those that don’t know, I blog over at www.cynthiasadventures.com and I mostly talk about training for different races and my daily life’s adventures.

Since I recently got married myself, it made perfect sense to stay with this theme!

A lot of people asked me how I trained while planning a wedding! You see, we got engaged in March 2010, a month where you are putting winter away and finally start thinking about the summer. You could say that I was not in the best shape of my life! I was working out and running here and there but nothing too serious.

After the engagement and the planning process began, we knew we wanted a destination wedding! Oh yes, the beach, turquoise water, sunshine and wind in our hair and of course amazing scenery for our wedding pictures

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Do you know what the first thought was after saying yes to the man of my dreams? Oh shit, not only will we be getting married but also, we will be spending 2 weeks on the beach! I need to get this body beach ready asap!

I joined a kickboxing class at work, upped my days at the gym and continued running. Once the summer hit, I wasn’t getting the results I wanted so I decided to do a crazy thing: sign up for my biggest race yet! A 30K race in March 2011, a few weeks before the wedding!

People thought I was crazy, that I was going to hurt myself and not be able to walk down the aisle! (or the beach in my case!) I knew it was a risk but with proper training, I would do it! To make sure I stayed accountable, I even did races throughout that year! 11 races to be exact!

Through rain or shine, snowstorms and beautiful snowy days, I trained my little heart out! This helped me deal with the stress of wedding planning to a point where I was actually able to be around people! I went to work, I ran and I worked on wedding details! That was my life for 13 months!

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I even ran the weekend of my Bachelorette party! I was supposed to run 20K that weekend and I had told my friends about it. They planned out an itinerary including time for my run! They were totally supporting me in my adventure to this big race and knew that I was going to be able to party like the best of them after I did my run.

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I did my race and it went beyond any expectations I had for it! I was blessed with a beautiful winter day and determination that came out of every pore! I was ready for this; this race was mine! My husband came with me and was there throughout the race! That is why I married that man J He knows how much running means to me and supports me at every race! My friends even surprised me with a big sign saying “2 weeks til the beach!” I finished it and with so much pride that I was ready to tackle anything that came my way throughout our wedding and after.

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I continued running until the day before we left for our wedding!  I went out for one last run as I was feeling really stressed and I knew I was about to embark in the biggest journey of my life.

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Running helps give me a better perspective on life and what I want out of it. It gives me courage to have those difficult conversations. It gives me energy to go through long workdays. It helps me be a better person and a better wife! I am pretty sure my husband would say it gives me a better body as well, but that’s a whole other post!

Cheers to Linzi and J. Alabama on their new journey as husband and wife.

May running bring you joy and happiness for the rest of your lives!

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Be sure to check out Cynthia’s blog over at  www.cynthiasadventures.com