There have been a lot of hills this past week, both literally and figuratively. Before I was out running hills in Napa, CA I had some uphill battles to work out at home. Just little things really but, you know what happens to my molehills when I don’t address them properly.

Let’s see if any hills got out of control this past week before I can even wrap my head around the current week. A word of caution – – I have had a lot of wine, little sleep and travel stress. Be gentle.

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The hills were gorgeous and covered in grapes for harvest season in Napa, CA. This was at the hotel Meritage.

WEEK OF OCTOBER 10, 2016

RUNNING

I’m back to running more than cycling and swimming and, I have to say that I’m truly enjoying it. Since I was traveling for most of the week I was looking forward to seeing some of Napa on foot and not having to overthink packing!

I of course had hills repeats on the schedule for one of the days I was in Napa since hills are kind of the only way to run there. I found a perfect one with a gorgeous statue at the top. I was sucking so much wind but, each time I thought about how lucky I was to be there, running through a mountain of grapes ready to be made into wine! Amazing. But still very, very difficult.

Tuesday: 4 miles easy after strength training | 8:24 pace

Wednesday: 7.56 miles with intervals | 7:32 pace

Saturday: hill repeats in Napa | 8.26 miles total | 7:56 pace

Sunday: 5 easy miles with some strength training/core intervals | 7:36 pace

Total – 24.82

I ran all the way up there. Five times!

I ran all the way up there. Five times!

CYCLING

I was only on the bike once this past week and it was inside on the trainer. I definitely wanted to take advantage of cycling in Napa but since my husband would rather do almost anything else there, and it was his birthday weekend, I resigned myself to the one day of biking at home.

It was also raining in Napa pretty much the entire time we were there so I didn’t feel like I was missing out.

Thursday: 1 hour | intervals and drills

I like to get my sweat on before I'm stuck on a plane all day.

I like to get my sweat on before I’m stuck on a plane all day.

SWIMMING

Sadly, I only had one day of swimming, and it was a quick one. I was given the freedom of basically doing whatever I wanted for a 45 minute swim. I took it mostly easy but stuck in 8 x 100 for speed! It felt good to just play in the water and not have a time goal.

Little did I know I would feel as though I was swimming for my long weekend in Napa. It rained almost the entire time I was there and everyone wanted to make sure I knew that was the only rain they had in months. Thanks. That makes me feel so much better.

Just hanging out in the rain with my husband at Inglenook winery.

Just hanging out in the rain with my husband at Inglenook winery. #littlewomanbigshoes

STRENGTH TRAINING

The beatings have continued at Boundless Performance in Hartford. I had another great session with Hannah that included burpees, Russian twists, good mornings, lunges, planks and whole bunch of other things I’m probably forgetting…on purpose.

One thing that has remained fresh in my mind is this…

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I pulled a very heavy, very long chain with a kettle bell on the end of it to finish my workout. Yes, finish. It took me 38 seconds and my arms almost fell off.

I loved it.

FUEL

I probably should have an entirely separate post for the food I inhaled while in Napa but, I’m not a food blogger so this quick recap will have to do.

The very best food we had while in town was at Brasswood Bar and Kitchen in St. Helena. The second best was The Girl and the Fig in Sonoma. Everything was incredibly fresh and prepared in such unique and fantastic ways, it was if I were eating it for the first time. And, no I’m not exaggerating even a little bit.

This was dessert at The Girl and the Fig because, you really should start with dessert first. I haven’t a clue what it was called but it was toasted marshmallow and chocolate amazingness in a glass…

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Our feast at Brasswood consisted mainly of tapas and wine (of course) with burrata so creamy it melted, roasted Brussels sprouts, meatballs, tomato drenched in vinaigrette, prosciutto, more cheese and more wine. Incredible.

The company was incredible too. My college roommate and her husband live near Napa and played tour guide to our palettes when we were off resort. You really cannot beat great friends and food!

Cheers to great food and friends!

Cheers to great food and friends!

THINGS I LOVE

My college roommate. She and I spent only one year together at Boston University but, in that time managed to create a bond so strong, it has lasted for nearly 25 years! We celebrated turning 21 together, went skiing every chance we could, traveled all over the country and have gone though so many milestones together, I stopped counting. Ok, fine, some of them I don’t remember because, college. Regardless, she is a true friend who just wraps you up in her bubble of awesomeness and never lets go. Either that or, smacks you out of it which such ferocity it makes your head spin. I love her for being both!

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We need a refill!

THINGS I DON’T LOVE AS MUCH

Having to celebrate my husband’s birthday flying all day and night to get home. It probably would not have been so bad except that our plane hit massive turbulence (complete with people screaming!) that I had a total panic attack and was like a mental patient for the duration of the flight. And then I had to get one another one. Not my best day and certainly not what my husband wanted for his 44th birthday.

Luckily we celebrated for three days prior to that nightmare, but something tells me I have more making up to do!

There was a lot of laughing on the wine tours!

There was a lot of laughing on the wine tours!

MUSIC

I haven’t included a music category here in a while but, the DJ at one of the work events my husband had, I have been waiting to hear! His name is DJ Michael Toast and his reputation and mohawk precede him.  On this particular night he brought an accompanying violinist to rock out to his mixes. It was so fantastically unique and entertaining because seriously, how can a room of over 40 adults who are not on ecstasy enjoy a DJ? He made it happen!

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READING

I absolutely love everything about this post from Salty Running. It captures a lot of my feelings and thoughts about women’s only races while providing a little history as well as the races that do it well. Regardless of whether or not you would wear a tutu in a race, I think we can do better ladies!

Women-Only Races: Awesome or Awful?

“The Nike Women’s Marathon’s gimmick centers around male firefighters in tuxedos handing out necklaces to finishers. At the Women Rock races, shirtless men hand out post-race gifts to the female finishers. To me, that screams sexism and objectification. Could you imagine a race where women in slinky cocktail dresses handed out watches to men at the finish? Is this actually equality in the sport of running?”

I think not.

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The inaugural Crazylegs Mini Marathon, the first women’s-only competitive road race. Source: SaltyRunning.com

I also feel really strongly about the piece I wrote for Training Peaks on running cadence and how important it is. I explain exactly what cadence means, how your stride length effects it and how you can improve yours for better performance and to reduce your risk of injury. I feel it’s one of the easier things to improve your overall running game. Check it out…

Finding Your Perfect Run Cadence

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RANDOM SIGN OF THE WEEK

Because this is laugh out loud funny and probably the best marathon sign ever made:

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Don’t forget you can still enter to win some very cool gear and discounts from Rise.Run.Retreat until 10/18/16 right HERE!

[Tweet “The Rundown in battling #hills, recovering from #Napa and reading up on #cadence! “]

How was your week?

Are you running any hills?