Workout weekend…day 2, in pictures

5 workouts – done and done.

They included:

  • 50 mins step/10 mins abs (400 calories)
  • Boot camp (40 mins; 250 calories)
  • Spinning (40 mins, 250 calories and BUCKETS of sweat on my part – who’s the cool kid who picked the bike with NO air circulation whatsoever??? Seriously, it was as if I was spinning in a downpour, that’s how soaked I was, and in under 40 mins, no less)
  • Yoga (40 mins; 100 calories)
  • Cardio Core Circuit/Intense Upper Body Blast (60 mins; 330 calories)
  • Total calories burned for day two: 1,330 (and that was after yesterday’s AM spin/PM kickbox/step challenge that burned off 900 calories, wowza!)
  • Endless memories…priceless.

<Just so ya’ll know – I’m posting the calorie burn for FUN more than anything else, I’m not going into hyper-obssessive numbers mode again, don’t you worry!>

Seriously, this weekend has been utterly incredible!! I wish I had time to capture it all here today but this has to be a quickie – gotta get back to my girls and a much-needed celebratory glass of wine before we head back to the gym for dinner and maybe a little Zumba action.

In the meantime, I’ll leave you with a few pictures (more to come) of the fun to be had so far. I’m off to enjoy this glass of wine, while I race Heather to the blogging race finish! I must say – it’s so funny to see eachother actually blogging – and lemme tell you, meeting her this weekend has been a HUGE highlight of this weekend…more to come on that later. Pictures – as promised. 🙂

YAY! Me and Heather – doncha love our matching “I heart Cathe” t-shirts?? (more on this later)

Part of the “I heart Cathe” crew before the kickbox/step challenge last night

Me, Heather and Jo after class was over – a giant, sweaty mess, embrace the sweat!! <—you’ll note this was the mantra this weekend…

More to come tomorrow – LOTS more pics to share, and lots of memories to list!!

And so it begins…workout weekend, day #1

So far, I’m loving life.

Despite a delay in Boston due to weather on the east coast, we managed to get to Philly/NJ by dinner time last night. Just in time to catch up with of our fellow “Sisterhood of the Traveling Cathletes” gals from last year – Angela. SO awesome to see her after a whole year has gone by – and what a year it’s been for her. We commented at dinner just how different things were last year for her, for my sister and for my friend from home, Andi, also on the Road Trip once again with us this year. The difference? This time last year, they were all going through the roughest part of their respective divorce journeys. This past year has been rocky in many ways for each of them but, now? They are all in a much better place – happier, at peace with their new singledom (Ang even has a new man in her life, yay!), and content with who they’ve evolved into: healthy, strong and independent women. It makes me so happy to see – they all deserve it more than words can describe.

So we had a great time at dinner, and back at our room, gabbing over a glass or two of wine which we thoroughly enjoyed, I might add. Slept like a bunch of babies last night and were up ready to go for our first workout of the weekend. Of course – we’re the die-hards that came down to the RT a day early JUST to get an extra “last-last” chance workout in before the “official” RT festivities begin this afternoon. Yes, call us crazy – but then, you all already knew that anyway. 😉 We hit a spin class at 9am this morning which was really good, and very sweaty. Must say – VERY different from the Group Ride I’m used to at home – this was less structured, more freestyle spinning than Group Ride. I enjoyed the class, worked as hard as I could (why not, right?) and felt great after. I looked around the room at all the sweaty, smiling faces, and couldn’t help but be filled with joy – this is going to be an incredible weekend, and it’s been one already, less than 24 hours in.

Now – I sit here blogging, anxiously waiting for Heather to land in Philly and make her way here for our quasi “reunion” – even though we have yet to meet, I feel like we’ve known eachother for years. Crazy, right?

I’ll try to take some pics tonight to post tomorrow of our reunion and tonight’s festivities – which will include a step/kickbox workout, a meet ‘n greet dinner, and a yoga stretch before we head back to our rooms for the night. Workout weekend continues! 🙂

The Cathe Road Trip is finally upon us…

…and not gonna lie, I’m kind of freaking out!

Not in a bad way, but in an emotional overload kind of way. Why?

Well, let’s see…

My sis, Jo, and I have been working SO hard to be in great shape for the RT this year (and in general – hello, Group Kick!) so this sort of feels like a culmination of sorts (the half will be the rest of said “culmination” I think!).

I’m heading to New Jersey to catch up with some of my favorite Cathletes from last year (Ang, Andi, Jen – and new Cathlete Shannon) so it’ll sort of feel like a reunion.

AND – I am finally meeting Heather, who I swear was a sister in a past life. We are so alike and have formed a special bond through our blogging that to finally meet is going to be so, so, so surreal. And awesome and amazing.  Especially awesome as she’s also close with one of my sister’s and we’ve now gotten to know Heather’s sis too…all these connections, all through blogging, incredible stuff if you ask me.  (and just to put this one into perspective, we’ve been emailing all day about how weird some things will be to witness – like seeing how each of us “blogs” live and in person…something I never thought of until she brought it up!)

Of course – the other reason for my emotional state? How damn excited I am (alarmingly so, LOL) to workout ALL weekend long surrounded by fellow Cathletes and Cathe herself, who is amazing in her own right. In fact, I did a “last chance workout” (ala Biggest Loser) this morning just to get extra amped up – had another one of those great running moments like earlier this week, and even enjoyed it when it started to rain halfway through our run. It was great to get out there and take it all in – especially since my sis, Steph and Scott all joined me. It was sort of a training run for us in a way since we’re all doing the Half together. Woo.

What this all reminds me of? Just how incredible and amazingly so that fitness brings people together. In such unique and awesome ways. Love it.

On that note, I promise to keep up my blogging this weekend – though it might not be that regular, depending on how much downtime we’ll have in between things. If you’re really curious, you can check out the live webcam of our workouts online here: http://cathe.com/roadtrip/2010/ Maybe you’ll catch a glimse of us in total geek-out mode, mid-workout. 😉

Strength training and cardio, and/or?

As I’ve mentioned and blogged about before, I get a lot of questions (mostly from my IRL friends but from bloggy friends too) about workout motivation and the types of workouts I tend to gravitate towards. And I’m happy to say that I’ve seen some of you either kick-start your workouts or start fresh with a workout regime and I LOVE to hear that. I’m such a huge proponent of working out as not just something to do to lose weight or stay fit, but as a lifestyle commitment.  So obviously, anytime I hear about a success story – trying a new workout and loving it or even just getting into a workout routine at all – makes me so happy!

One thing I’ve noticed, especially with newbies or “born-again’s” (ha), is that they not only aren’t sure WHERE to start but WHAT to start with. Cardio? Weight training? Conditioning? Obviously there’s a “walk before you run” approach that should be taken when engaging in any sort of new workout regime (as in, not jumping in and doing too much too fast) – but it seems like a common misconception that most newbies think that cardio – and that’s it – will whip them into shape. And – not that it won’t, or that it’s “wrong” to stick to all cardio – but there are sooo many great benefits to strength training and conditioning work that you’d miss out on (I say all this after having quite the “empowering” Group Power class experience this morning – whoa nelly, did it kick my butt today!).

It got me thinking – maybe most beginners just don’t know how to create a workout regime that includes both cardio and strength training, or simply aren’t aware of where or how to start.  So – I figured I’d put together a couple of recommendations on where to start, rules of thumb, etc. from my own personal experience over the years. I’m obviously not a professional by any stretch – so don’t take these as infinite truths but just ideas or guidelines, if you will. 🙂

  • Mix it up – By that I mean, try to find a balance between cardio work and weight training.  For example, if you hit the elliptical at your gym twice that week, add 1-2 weight training circuits to the mix. I’ve found that lots of fitness magazines are great for beginners looking for routines they can rip out and bring to the gym with them. That’s a great way to start.
  • Test-run a group weight training class – Another great way to get into weight training – especially if it intimidates you at first – is to try a group fitness class that focuses on weight training. You know I’m a huge proponent of BTS’ Group Power class. There are other classes that are similar to that, that many gyms carry, like Les Mills’ Body Pump, for example.  Or – other gyms that simply create their own weight training classes designed to be done in a group setting. Your instructor will be super helpful in showing you proper form and technique along the way. Once you get it down, you can either continue to take the class if you like that setting, or take what you’ve learned to the weight room at your gym.
  • Take your weight training to your living room – There are SO many women out there that don’t even bother trying to figure out how to weight train properly because the sheer thought of setting foot in the weight room at their gym is unfathomable (hello meat-heads!). Why not keep your cardio work to the outdoors or the gym where you have lots of options (classes, machines, etc.) and keep your weight training to the privacy of your own home. Again – huge fan of Cathe Friedrich’s at-home workout programs, ESPECIALLY STS which is just an incredible way to weight train over the course of 12 weeks. She does, however, have lots of other weight training DVDs that are older but still just as good. For beginners, Jillian Michaels’ is another great option. What I tend to like about DVDs at home is that they provide structure, you know exactly what you’re getting into and how and usually the music is pretty motivating.

Now – these are just a couple of initial ideas off the top of my head. I could DEFINITELY keep going but your eyes might glaze over. 😉 I’d LOVE your ideas and suggestions on what’s worked for you – or, if you’re newer to all this, what has held you back or why have you not considered weight training before?

7+ (mi.) before 7 (a.m.)

Well – it’s on folks, we’re just passed the two-month mark before the Wicked Half on September 25, and the running bug has bit me, “wicked haaaahd” as we say here in New England!

After last week’s vacation where there was plenty of running but little-to-no weight training, I made up for it over the weekend with some weight work, plus an awesome Group Power class yesterday before work.  So – this morning, I was itching for a really, really good run. As luck would have it -the weather was GORGEOUS this morning, practically screaming at me to get out there and run. Nice and cool at 5:30am when I hit the road with Scott, sun was just up, you could still see the full moon in the distance, seriously — what could be better?

Well – nothing, except for the fact that today was one of those “I could run forever” days. I felt good the entire time up until the last mile and a half of our route. We opted to add an extra loop at the end of our long running route near our house which to me, felt closer to 7.5 or 8 miles but I won’t know for sure until I clock it tonight. Based on the time it took (1:24 according to my HR monitor!) and the calories burned (856 baby!), it had to be closer to 8. That’s just a guessistimate though – and honestly, it doesn’t really matter the distance, the fact that I felt so good, and let my mind go this time, no overthinking here – I even took in the scenery – saw two bunnies along the way – until the very end made me SO HAPPY.

Talk about Runner’s High!

7+ miles before 7am – no better way to start my day. 🙂

**********’

In other news – have I mentioned how excited I am that the Cathe Road Trip is just FOUR DAYS away?? Well three for me since I’m flying in on Thursday night (officially the RT doesn’t start until Friday afternoon). I cannot wait to get there – and especially can’t wait to meet Heather which I know I’ve said a zillion times.  But seriously girl, we were definitely sisters in a past life – if our Facebook “convo” between my sis, your sis and the two of us last night is any indication. 😉

Rockclimbing – feeling a little fierce

Well – this wasn’t on my official “bucket list” but it should’ve been – rockclimbing, albeit indoor, is totally awesome, and left me feeling a little bit fierce, a little bit badass.

I went with my sis and our friend Mel (fellow blogger over at This is Why I Date – check her out if you haven’t!) – it’s actually been on the calendar for quite awhile but it still sorta snuck up on me anyway. Good timing though, just being back from vacation and all – not too shabby of a way to round out the vaca, I must say!

We signed up for a 3-hour introductory classes – basically everything we’d need to know to be able to rockclimb on our own at the gym we visited after the 3-hour class and training. We learned how to belay, we learned how to “tie in”, we learned the proper way to tie a knot and back-up knot (I’m still not too good at the back-up knot, but still), and of course – we learned to climb.

Not gonna lie – the climbing part was a blast, way more fun than the belaying, though it was kind of cool to know you could safely guide someone down the wall using just the belay rope and your own strength – especially when the guy on the wall probably had a good 60 lbs or so on me! I am woman, here me roar! LOL. <—total dork alert!

Here is a pic of each of us giving the climb a shot: (props to Mel who conquered her fear of heights, to boot!)

Jolene…

Mel…

Me!

Pretty cool, huh?

In other fantastic weekend events – because, I had to make this weekend a goody to bid farewell to a fantastic week off from work afterall! – there was…

A pizza throwdown (Me and Scott vs. fellow Kick-er Anthony who has a FANTASTIC pizza oven in his backyard! There will be more on said “throwdown” over at Living a Zinful Life shortly…)

And an afternoon boat ride down the Charles River in Boston with some of my favorite friends in the world – Jeannine and her hubby (some of you know her from Life by the Day…). It was a gorgeous night, such fun to take in the city from the river for a change – and the wine out of plastic cups was a nice touch, too. Not gonna lie. 😉

So yes, weekend and vacation are winding down – but it was amazing, incredible and exactly what I needed. AND – to top it off, this is a short week of work for me…starting Thursday afternoon, I’ll be Cathe ROAD TRIP bound with my sis and a few friends from home and will be meeting up with a few RT-ers from last year AND with Heather, at LAST!! Workout weekend in t-minus 4 days!!

So – I can’t really complain about going back to work, not *really* anyway. 😉

Quick Maine recap, and the “staycation” begins

I’m baaaack.

Well, kinda.

I’m technically still on vacation until Monday so I’ve been still on the disconnected side of things  (hence “staycation”) since returning from Maine (aka what I think Heaven will look like one day!) yesterday.

First off – a HUGE thank you to my sis @TBDetermined, Julia at Germanabendbrot.de (yay on your blog!),  Alicia @ PoiseInParma, and 2blu2btru for some fantastic guest blogs while I was away. AND a huge thank-you to all of you readers for posting some fab comments while I was lolling away at the lake all week. Totally loved reading your responses (since yes, I now have WordPress for Blackberry!).

Honestly, I can’t even put words to what this past week away has meant to me – my sis sums it up very nicely over at her blog, it was just EXACTLY what I needed, in so, so, so many ways I can’t even begin to describe.

So you know what? I’m not even gonna attempt it, I’ll use some pictures to showcase how I’m feeling.

Happy.

Peaceful.

Relaxed.

Oh – and before I forget (I mean, how could I??) – there WAS some working out to be done in Maine. Y’know in between hanging out with fab friends Amy and her husband Eric, drinking many a glass of wine, eating a lot, lounging by the dock, and hanging in our floaties (even though we lost two of them thanks to an overnight storm that swept them into the lake! Here’s a pic of me and Scott after we “rescued” two of them, we were so proud of ourselves for finding them!).

But, back to my point – we fit in some great running down the camp road and to the foot of the lake – there were three of those workouts. And there were not one, but TWO rest days this week. *GASP* Me? The one who HATES to even take ONE rest day? Took two? Yes, I did. And for the most part, I didn’t beat myself up for it too hard – hey, I’m a work in progress, what can I say?

But – the one workout I did want to post? The bootcamp my sis and I did on the dock. It started with…hill repeats. Five rounds – on a steep hill behind the camp. Jo hated me for it, but it was worth it! From there, this broke down into four rounds (Heather – forgive me, I left our list in Maine, but I remember most of the details!) which included:

  • push-ups
  • sit-ups
  • planks
  • roll-backs
  • squat jumps
  • jumping lunges
  • plyo jacks
  • squats
  • low-pulse lunges
  • firewalkers
  • more push-ups (in varying positions – wide, narrow, tricep)
  • bicep curls with the band
  • tricep extensions with the band
  • y’s with the band (for back)

Here’s a super-cute pic of my sis doing the y’s, as a matter of fact – I mean, really, how much better can it get?!

Guest Post: Be Happy, Be Healthy – just be

Well – I am SO pleased to have Alicia over at Poise in Parma guest blogging for me today! As you’ll see, she is SUPER DUPER inspiring given her incredible weight-loss journey and I’m so glad she’s here with us today. I especially love (and may steal, heh) her mantra: Be Happy, Be Healthy – just be. GREAT advice and a great resolution to stick with this year. I hope you enjoy reading about her journey and take her advice to heart, it’s a goodie. Thanks Alicia!! ((hugs))

Be Happy, Be Healthy – just be

Greetings EatDrinkBreatheSweat readers! I’m Alicia – the blogger over at Poise in Parma .  I’m so happy to be guest posting for Jess while she is taking some well deserved vacation! When she asked for her fellow bloggers for their thoughts on healthy living, I was inspired to discuss my weight loss and how I am working hard to maintain it.

You can check out my blog for the FULL story on my weight loss journey, but you’ll appreciate this abbreviated version:

  • Girl goes to college and gains Freshman 15. By January 2002, she weighs 250 pounds.
  • Girl decides to make a change to be healthier overall.
  • Girl sets weight loss goal of 100 pounds. She starts working out and eating right. The weight comes off slowly but surely.
  • Girl hits 100 pound goal in December 2008. Girl is extremely happy and feels fantastic.
  • Girl’s life gets crazy, stressful and unbearable. She finds solace in extreme workout patterns and loses another twenty pounds.
  • Girl weights 127 pounds in October 2009. She is unhealthy and unhappy. She decides again to make a change to be healthier overall.
  • Girl sets new intention in 2010: “Be happy. Be healthy. Just be.” She’s started running and enjoys yoga again. She has eliminated the negative personalities in her life and embraced those who are uplifting themselves along with others.
  • Girl now weights between her lowest point and original goal weight. She had her husband hide the scale and now listens to her body to determine what is right for her.

c/o operationbeautiful.com

I am working hard to listen to my body (and not my mind) when it comes to eating, working out and overall health. I never expected maintaining my weight to be harder than losing it! To help me through, these are rules I live by that are working for me now:

Remember Michael Pollan’s dietary guidance: EAT FOOD. NOT TOO MUCH. MOSTLY PLANTS.

Overtime, I have found myself naturally sticking to this train of thought. If you continue to stick with your healthier food choices, your body (specifically your waistline) will thank you.  It’s also important to get out of the dieting mentality as your new eating pattern must be one that can be maintained for life. Eat a variety of foods in moderation so you never feel deprived.  Yes, I am telling you to eat the ice cream – just not every night!

Live by Lululemon’s advice: SWEAT EVERY SINGLE DAY.

According to Women’s Health Magazine, 420 is “the number of minutes of moderate-intensity exercise needed per week to maintain a healthy body weight w/out making changes to diet.”

Do the math: that comes to 7 – 60 minute sessions a week. Sure that’s a bit advantageous. The lesson here: keep up with the regular exercise and make it a natural part of your everyday life. Schedule time for it in your daily planner if you have to – I even schedule business meetings accordingly to fit in some treadmill time! Also, don’t have an “all or nothing” view point: even just taking a quick walk around the block will help you reach this goal of daily exercise.

If you have a setback, get back on track immediately. Even with careful monitoring and self-awareness, it is bound to happen. Life gets stressful and you put on a few of those pounds you worked so hard to lose. It’s important to quickly respond by getting back on track as soon as possible. I like many of the suggestions in this Prevention article.

Learn to deal with your emotions without relying on food or extreme exercise. You must learn to stop that soundtrack in your head. Put those thoughts on pause! Need some suggestions:

  • If you enjoy yoga, check out Yoga Download that offers free and affordable lessons online.
  • Need something even more peaceful? Look into mediation. Studies show even a few minutes of quiet reflection a day increases you attention span.
  • If you are looking to express yourself in the written form, stat a blog! Get your thoughts out by taking advantage of one of the many websites that offer free hosting: I prefer WordPress .  It’s easy to use for both bloggers and readers.

Embrace the new you. The changes you made to your body may have not gotten to your brain. Trying doing something that you couldn’t or wouldn’t do before: a long, challenging hike, apply for a graduate school program, start dating – whatever makes you happy inside! Doing these new things will help you appreciate the new body you have. Need an additional boost?  Check out these 20 Ways to Love Your Body from Operation Beautiful:

Because ultimately, you can’t embrace my 2010 mantra of “be happy – be healthy – just be” if you aren’t embracing how wonderful you are today. Right now. In this moment.  So as Lululemon instructs us to do: DO IT NOW!

Guest Post: The Insanity Defense

This guest post brought to by fellow blogger and newfound Insanity lover, 2blu2btru. She claims not to be a fitness buff but anyone who can do the Insanity workouts has got to be at least a little bit crazy motivated to give them a shot, right?  After reading her post, it’s confirmed my desire to give Insanity a whirl- maybe this fall, post-Wicked Half? Hmm…

Enjoy – and thanks for reading despite how disconnected I am being away and all. 😉

The Insanity Defense

I am not a fitness blogger. I am a writer. My blog is mostly about relationships or movie reviews.  I am not even what most would consider fit. I struggle with trying to find my fitness passion, my motivation, and my willpower when it comes to working out. Sweat and I don’t get along most days. I have a low tolerance for sore muscles and weight loss plateaus. I am a quintessential couch potato.

Let me be clear about my workout goals. I want my abs back. I had a very nice figure in high school, and I would like it back. I haven’t had kids or anything, but somewhere along the way my figure went right and I went left. I would love to say I want to exercise for my well-being, to be healthy, to do something good for myself, but my primary reason is because I want to be thin again. Being slightly less than five feet tall, it doesn’t take a lot of extra weight for me to look like a little bowling ball. I’d rather look like a coke bottle.

I have tried to begin the couch potato to 5k training program. I have tried to do Capoeira and Carmen Electra Striptease and Kim Kardashian’s workouts in my living room. I’ve been in the gym on the stair stepper, the elliptical, and the ab machines. I’ve played tennis. I’ve walked along the beach for miles. I enjoy engaging the practice of yoga on a regular basis. Yet I still haven’t found a fitness passion. There hasn’t been anything that I’ve felt as anticipatory about as I used to of my swim practice and afternoon runs on the track in high school, or on long bike rides around town. There hasn’t been anything that I rush home to do. Bottom line, I am most passionate about finding excuses not to hit the play button on any exercise.

I didn’t think that Insanity would be any different. I had heard about the concept behind Insanity for a while.  I knew Insanity, like P90X, is built around the concept of muscle confusion. Basically, you keep your body guessing. Your muscles can’t get used to the motions. You don’t hit the plateaus you may in regular exercise. You can burn up to one thousand calories per workout. This exercise isn’t about connecting to your body or renewing your mind/body/spirit connection—it’s about torching fat.

When I first became in possession of this DVD, I had mixed feelings. Can you develop a passion for an exercise routine in which the sole purpose is to burn calories? Could a couch potato like me, someone who rarely works out, keep up with the insanity? Would I be able to find the willpower and motivation to see this through?

Mr. Perfect, my boyfriend, gym rat that he is, forever willing to join me in exercise routines in an effort to help me find my fit passion, got the DVD for me and agreed to do the fit test with me. The results? I’m not very fit; he is. But I was pleasantly surprised. I am not very fit, but I could do it. I couldn’t do as many as the participants in the video, but I could do the moves. I couldn’t breathe and guzzled water, but I could feel it working.

Beyond this feeling of confidence, I also liked that the participants seemed like real people. They were tired, sweaty, breathing hard. They had moments where they were fighting through to the end of the minute intervals. The workout makes you dig down deep to find that little extra to follow through and finish, and when you find it, you feel what I like to call exercise nirvana. All of a sudden, you find the breath, you hit the sweet spot where your body and breath work together to get ‘er done.

Is Insanity my fitness passion? Nope. But it’s returned to me something else that has been missing from my workout regimen—it brought back my competitive nature, reignited my love of a challenge. And it torched quite a few of my fat cells and made me revive my love affair with water.

I’m still searching for the physical activity that I want to get up early in the morning for, that I would miss if I missed a day. But what I do have is a renewed sense of all the other benefits of exercise besides flat abs and sculpted thighs. I have reconnected with my physical body, learned to use my yoga breathing practices to aid my body in physical challenges, and began to treat my body like a temple again. I am officially INSANE!

Guest post: Running your home trail

Well – I’m still on vacation, surprise, surprise. 😉

As a follow-on to my sister’s post on why she runs, I figured why not continue with that running theme (clearly it’s all I can think about these days – hello, wicked half!) with a guest post from my friend and colleague (in Germany, no less!) Julia Richter. You might recognize her name – she also just blogged for me and my hubs over at Living a ZInful Life. Based on this, I am fully lobbying for her to start her own blog ASAP! She is an incredible writer and has lots of great ideas and tips to share. So please urge her to start her own blog so I’m not the only one harassing her about it, please. 😉

Enjoy!

Julia on Running Your Home Trail

Munich is a paradise for runners. The English Garden, our main park, is larger than Central Park in NYC or Hyde Park in London. The River Isar runs through the city with running and cycling trails along the river banks. And there are plenty of other parks and trails throughout the city and plenty more in the suburbs and country side. But sometimes I just want to start right away from the front door – especially in the early morning before work without losing time driving somewhere.

Right in the neighbourhood just around the corner lies the Theresienwiese (Theresia’s meadow). It’s not really a meadow but a large area where kids learn to ride their bikes or blades, dogs stroll around or runners run around in circles. It’s perfect when you need to know the exact time and distance as one round is exactly 2.7kilometers long. I can perfectly remember how proud I was when I finished my first round without breaks. Today it wouldn’t be a problem for me to run 10 rounds but maybe this would be getting a bit boring…

Speaking about boring: It can be dull to run around in circles and it is not my favourite trail in Munich. But since the Theresienwiese is the place where the famous German Beerfest, the so called Oktoberfest, takes place for 2 weeks a year in late September, it starts getting interesting by the end of June. Why? The place starts changing with every day and you can spot something new with every run. First the little power stations, WCs and huts for medical services arrive. Then they start building the Beer Tents – and when I say “tents” I mean two story houses with space for several thousand people. When the tents are built the booths for candies, hot dogs, Knödl and other German specialties arrive and you can watch them growing with every day. Finally the roller coasters, the giant wheel, the carousels are built and what looks like a huge construction area becomes the largest people’s fair in the world: 6 million visitors drinking about 7 million liters of beer each year. And this year – the 200th anniversary – we expect many more to come. Watching the planning and construction phase of the Oktoberfest makes you feel like being told a hidden secret because you get the chance to look behind the scenes, see that there’s nothing scary about the ghost train, realizing that the giant lion promoting the famous Lion’s brew is just made of papier mâché etc.

By the way: I don’t run around the Theresienwiese during THOSE two weeks in September as I don’t like hopping over pitches of vomit, broken beer mugs and drunken tourists. But when it’s over you can watch the Oktoberfest vanishing – piece by piece and step by step.

Until Theresia’s meadow falls back asleep and belongs to kids, strolling dogs and runners again…

What’s your favourite trail for a run?

<My answer? The route we just took our longest run yet – ending at the beach as the halfway point is never a bad thing in my book. ;)>