Training: Retreating

Kingston Women’s reTREAT 2013

All of my posts are out of order this week. I was so tired on Sunday night that I couldn’t post my weekend’s adventures.

Last weekend, I attended my annual summer women’s fitness reTREAT, hosted by Kingston Adventures. You might remember me writing about it last year. (And if not, here’s a refresher.) This event is one of the great mysteries in my life. To quote a friend, “You’re flying to Seattle to hang out with a group of complete strangers — a group of WOMEN, no less — and you actually look forward to this?” Um, actually, yes.

Except that this year, I was really nervous about it. You see, it’s all activity, all the time. This was the schedule for Saturday.


I knew that this was going to be a serious workout. While I’ve been riding my bike a lot this summer, I’m not nearly in the same shape that I was in last summer with Team in Training. And so, I panicked a little and decided that I needed to do the running equivalent of cramming for a test. Two weeks ago, I went out for a very slow run with the Team, 8 miles that I wasn’t exactly prepared for. Know what happens when you go from zero to 8 miles? You jack up your IT band, that’s what. Needless to say, I didn’t go out with the fast girls when we got to the trails. And more importantly, I don’t really know what I was so worried about in the first place. Did I think that I’d be the slowest one out there? Ok, so what if I am? Who am I trying to impress, anyway?

Out on the trail. I’m the one in the dress.

On Friday night, we did our goal-setting ceremony. This is where you voice your fitness-related dream that you haven’t dared say aloud before, and share it with the supportive group. You light a candle, float it in the bowl of water, and as the night goes on, our waxy candle dreams fuse together as a symbol of our connectedness and willingness to support each other. This is where women reveal their dream of running their first marathon, or tackling an Ironman. I didn’t have a goal like that. My goal, lame as it sounds, is to implement lifestyle habits that ensure that I’m a healthy, active little old lady. (Well, maybe not little….) I want to be the woman who still rides her bike to the market at 70. I want to be able to run a 5k when and where I want. And none of that will happen if I don’t start now.

Goal candles on a card table.

So I had a very active weekend. I went out on the stand-up paddleboard four times, which was more than I’d ever been paddling before in my entire life, combined. And no, I didn’t fall off. We saw dolphins (or porpoises) in the canal, a friendly seal and a distant eagle soaring over the trees. I did yoga on a grassy lawn overlooking the water. The whole weekend was wonderful.

We also ate well. Very well. Amy, who does all of the awesome cooking for the weekend, has opened a new restaurant, the Axe Handle Cafe in Kingston. She couldn’t be with us at the house, but she sent amazing vegetarian lasagna, lentil soup that’s always shockingly delicious, and hosted us at the restaurant where I had amazing eggplant roll-ups for dinner. If you ever find yourself in Kingston, you have to go. The Husband would recommend the jerk chicken, and the Tiny Kitchen Assistant ate an entire adult-sized meal of the pesto chicken kebabs.

We learned a lot.

  • Beth, our hostess, will be crushing the Ultraman World Championships in Hawaii this Thanksgiving weekend. This is the kind of race that makes an Ironman look like a cake walk. We talked a lot about training, scheduling, balance, nutrition and taking on seemingly impossible tasks. Want to see her training? Check it out here.
  • Kris Parfitt came to talk about nutrition and how the microbiome within your body is affected by the food you eat, which is particularly important for athletes. (Side note: I came home and told the Assistant about this, and he was all, “Yeah, I know, I learned about it from a TED Ed video.” He’s 6.)
  • Suzanne Hermanson walked us through a yoga class that didn’t leave me feeling incompetent, uncoordinated and agitated like most yoga classes do.
  • And super-fast Kate Grace came to talk about her world-class training regimen and what it’s like to run a half mile faster than I could bike it.

I also got cool swag. Check out this awesome bunch of stuff from reTREAT sponsors RecoFit and Oiselle. I almost couldn’t fit it all in my suitcase; I had to layer and wear my Kingston Adventures hoodie home on the plane.


And this is my favorite Oiselle shirt that hasn’t even hit the website yet. Score!


I can’t wait to go back next year. Next time I’ll have the good sense not to cram for the run!

What are your goals for the year?

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2 Responses


  2. Lori says:

    I like your goal. I hope to be a fit old lady, like some of the women in my yoga class back in Maryland. They were some seriously strong grandmas. If I can still do sun salutations in my 70s, I should be doing pretty well.

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