Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Well & Being and Willow Stream Spa

I started a 90 day membership at the Willow Stream Spa.  They're located in the Fairmont Princess Hotel in North Scottsdale, so close by my home.  Even closer than the Gold's Gym I decided to join earlier this year that I've only been to less than 5 times.  Even closer than the Pilates Studio I join in January that I had to cancel after non-use.  I held on to it so long because of the smoking-hot grand opening membership deal that I would lose if I cancelled.

Well, this one is a 90 day membership and I vowed to use it! I warned the girls at the front desk that they would get tired of seeing me.

Day 1 of  90. Friday, September 13th.
I got a tour of the spa from Stephanie who happened to be one of the TRX instructors.  I plan to link that to my blog on TRX I will be writing later, but for now it's linked to the TRX Training website.

This spa has so many things, but I wanted to keep it simple on the first day.  I really just wanted to relax in the hot tub after a long week of work, but I felt I should at least get a little workout in.  So I headed to the fitness center where there were plenty of machines and weights with not a lot of people.  There was a towel on each machine and most had their own TV screen, but the Livestrong bike caught my eye.  I hopped on the bike, easily walked through the settings on the screen and watched a video of a trainer going through a seated climb program.

I got bored with this after 15 minutes since I didn't have any head phones so I switched it to a location video.  After that I was riding through a Slickrock Divide in Capitol Reef National Park, Utah and then the Grand Tetons National Park in Wyoming.  Not a bad ride for a Friday night.  After that short work out, I think I deserved some time in the hot tub.

The spa was pretty deserted on a Friday night.  I stepped into the women's steam room and quietly closed the door.  As soon as I sat down, I heard the steam shower starting to gurgle loudly before hissing it's heated breathe.  The room quickly filled up and I could barely see 2 feet in front of me.  I thought this might be the perfect scene in a Jackie Collins novel where a Hollywood starlet might be murdered by being locked in a steamroom that wouldn't stop steaming.  Did I see if the door had locks? Will the steam ever stop? Will an attendant hear me screaming?! It is Friday The 13th, I should have known better than to step into a Steamroom by myself. AAAAAAGH!!
Luckily, I'm not a Hollywood starlet and as far as I know I don't think anyone wants me dead.  I took a deep breathe letting the of the eucalyptus infused air fill and warm my lungs.  I'm supposed to relax...
and relax I did.  I followed up the steam room with the hot tub.  A mini waterfall came out of the wall and the water dropped perfectly at my shoulders.  After that I hopped in for just a quick second in the cold immersion tub at 60 degrees.  Warmed myself up in the dry sauna and washed myself off in the Swiss Showers.

Wow! Not a bad start to my new membership. Not bad at all.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

A Vacation from the Work Out Routine

Since I last wrote, I bought a yoga package from my local yoga studio and took about 4 classes. I was able to try out different instructors to get to know their teaching styles. One even broke out his guitar during savasana (a relaxing posture intended to rejuvenate the body, mind and spirit at then end of practice) and he sang us a couple songs.

Speaking of Savasana...for those of you that are yoga newbies like me, hearing these foreign words were somewhat intimidating. She wants me to do what?! Chaturanga? That sounds like a cha-cha-tango-merengue fusion dance. Yeah, I was intimidated, and at one point kinda thought it was a little pretentious and annoying for a teacher to refer to all the poses completely in their sanskrit name. But then I realized, maybe it's because I wasn't in a completely beginner class. Maybe I was being the pretentious one.

I think as you evolve your own yoga practice, you begin to respect the practice and immerse yourself in it. This respect and immersion would involve learning the language of yoga.

So after those 4 classes, things eventually got in the way, as things usually do. These things included VACATION!!! Woohoo! Which, unfortunately included a vacation from my work out routine. In the 10 days I was enjoying myself and stuffing my face, I did squat - No, not squats. Squat. Well, maybe on the third day of vacation I did run 1 1/2 miles down the South Yarmouth Coast of Cape Cod, walked out on a jetty and did some sun salutations, then ran the 1 1/2 miles back to the resort. Also, on the 7th day of vacation, I leisurely kayaked around Purity Spring Lake in New Hampshire to round out my "squat" amount of exercise on vacation. Please notice my emphasis on leisurely.

Now, it's back to business! My husband just introduced me to meetup.com to find some like-minded people in my area. We found a great place for fitness classes nearby. We've taken some of the P90X classes with AZ Body Mechanics and in just two hours I will be taking their Beginner Body Ballet class. Hopefully, I can get more committed to this blog and let you know how it goes!!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Baby Steps

I know! I know! I'm starting off this yoga kick pretty slowly. I have yet to do ONE sun salutation since my decision to follow this path. But, this is not to say that I am not committed. In fact just today, I registered for Yoga Journal's 15th annual Yoga conference in Estes Park, CO.

Yep, September 23rd - September 26th, I'll be up in the Rockies breathing in that fresh mountain air and doing sun salutations to my hearts content. I've got 5 months to get going.

Now, to start picking classes for the conference...

Should I start with "Dancing with Shiva and Shakti" or "Backbends - Melt your heart. Blow your Mind"?

Actually, I will be starting Yoga classes next week. This week, I'm still doing my running since I've got a race on Saturday. The running won't stop because of the yoga, though. I'll just have to find the time to do both. Maybe there's a class on balance I can take, too...

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

There's no place like om ॐ

I've never been serious about Yoga before. Sure, I've taken some classes here and there, but I can't even tell you what an asana is. All I know is an old co-worker was named "Upasana" and if I hear the word asana during class, I think about her and wonder if she's named after a yoga position. If so, which one? Then my mind wanders, which is bad for yoga, right? Aren't we supposed to be focusing on something? Would focusing on my friend Upasana count?

Really, what is the deal with yoga? It just seems so relaxing. What kind of work out is that? I could relax just as well lying on my couch, eating a lil cutie ice cream soy sandwich while watching The Biggest Loser.

Also, how important is flexiblity to your health? I've never been able to touch my toes since high school without pain and at least 2 weeks of warm-up trying. But I still consider myself healthy. I've got an average BMI, low cholesterol and run at least 3 times a week. The only unhealthy thing about me is my penchant for things chocolate and my tendency to try out fad diets for two weeks at a time.

Well, I think it's time I uncover this mystery called yoga. During the next few months, join this budding Yogini on her journey to enlightenment. I'll be blogging about my thoughts and experiences as a beginner and help answer all those questions you were afraid to ask, or didn't know you even wanted to ask.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Something new

Is it possible? Am I about to get bit by the training bug again?


It's getting to that time of year in Arizona when the weather is more cooperative. It may just be the end of those 90 degree dawns and I can finally run in decent weather. I went from running 50 miles in June to just 12 in July. Of course vacation traveling as well as heat may have contributed to that lack of mileage.

Anyway, September and cooler weather is just around the corner. I think it's time to celebrate this with a new challenge.

The 2009 Nathan Tempe Triathlon
Sunday, September 27th

I want to start training for the Sprint Triathlon:
750 meter swim
16 mile bike
3.3 mile run

I've got a lot going against me right now, though. Let's see...

1. Starting a 13 week training program in the middle of week 7
2. I gotta get a gym membership for swimming and indoor training, since it's still hot
3. No road bike. I've got a mountain bike, but I would prefer a road bike.
4. Fear of riding my bike in actual streets. YIKES!!

Aside from that, I'm up for a new challenge.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

San Diego Harbor

I just wanted to post some pics from my San Diego Harbor run on Memorial Day. It was nice to be able to sleep in. I didn't get out on to Harbor Bay Drive until 9 AM. By that time temperatures could be high 70s in Scottsdale. I only ran 30 minutes so we wouldn't miss the Sheraton's Breakfast Buffet.

Today was actually day 12 of my running streak and I'm feeling it in my legs. Instead of running at 6 AM this morning, I waited until after work to give my legs a few more hours to recover. We were over 90 degrees today, so I to hit the dreadmill.

To save money, we actually canceled our gym membership. But there's a public gym at McDowell Mountain that cost only $2/visit. Perfect for those days I need a treadmill or want to work on the machines.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

No shoes, No shorts, No problem

My mini running streak has survived the big travel test this weekend. I wasn't sure if I'd be able to find time to run during our road trip to Southern California.

Sunday, Disneyland day, was the big test. I know it's crazy, but we decided last minute to do Disney that morning when we woke up in our Anaheim hotel room. Sure, it was a holiday weekend and the lines would be long, but I had a plan. We would get there early and hit as many major attractions as we could before 3 pm. Brian wanted to get on the road to San Diego so we could catch the sunset at the beach.
No problem!!

We were able to hit the Matterhorn, Pirates of the Carribean, Haunted Mansion, Splash Mountain, Thunder Mountain Railroad and Star Tours all before 11:30 AM. After lunch, we did Space Mountain, Honey I shrunk the Audience, Buzz Lightyear's Astro Blasters, Mr. Toad's Wild Ride and Autopia. Eleven rides in 6.5 hours on a holiday weekend!

When we got to Pacific Beach in San Diego it was only 4:30. I sat and watched the kids play in the water. Being the thin-blooded desert dweller, I chose to stay warm on the sand. My husband urged me to run a mile. "There's no excuse! You're on a beach. You can run one mile on the beach." He did mention that it would be pretty lame of me to break my running streak like this on day 9.

My tennis shoes and running shorts were in my suitcase back in the car several blocks away. All I had on were flip-flops, a tank top and jean shorts. Fine! He was right, there was no excuse. I took off my flip flops and ran on the shore; 7 minutes one way and 7 minutes back. Since I didn't have my shoes, I didn't have my Nikeplus running monitor to record the run or my distance. But with my average pace at 11:30 lately, I figured 14 minutes of running would be more than enough to keep the streak going.

Sure, I didn't look like the typical runner since I was wearing jean shorts. Also, the shore was hard on the balls of my feet at times (they are hating me now) and dodging seaweed was a task, but all in all, I'm glad I did it. The running streak is intact. I'm on day 11 now!