Thursday, April 18, 2013

Running and Hiking in the Pines

I want to start this post to say that it pains my heart to hear and see what happened at the Boston Marathon. As a runner, it affected me on so many levels, especially since I'm training for my first marathon. I can't imagine what anyone is going through right the spectators, the family/friend support, the cops, firemen, volunteers, medical staff, organizers, the city of Boston, and the runners (both who finished, just crossing the finish line, or never got that chance after long training). I'm so happy to hear that everyone I know (or read their blogs) running it was safe. SkinnyRunner posted about these awesome shirts in which 100% of the proceeds go to the Red Cross Boston Relief.

And I want to also send my thoughts and virtual hugs to the city of West, Texas, after a devastating explosion that basically pummeled the town. Again, my country is hit with another tragedy in a week. I just don't have the words to express my emotions. I have so much to donate, but yet everyone is taking donations to the North of me. Hopefully, somebody will take donations in the South side.

I know these tragedies won't keep our country, state, or the running community down; we are strong! 

So back to the real reason for this post...

Did you think I was done with my posts about Retreat in the Pines? Well, I wasn't. I decided to combine this in one post and hopefully, it won't be as long as the last post

JL and I before our was obviously cold.
After our first yoga class on Saturday, the group of ladies went for a hike complete with Zoe the dog as our lead guide. Theresa instructed us to talk as much as we could on the first part, because the last half will be about the silence and taking in the moment of our hike. Naturally, I had nothing really to say. JL and I just walked next to eachother in silence with a few casual conversation topics. We mostly listened to the conversations around us and then quietly disected them to eachother. I was listening to the conversation on the left of me, while JL was listening to the ladies behind.

Zoe is our lead guide.

He heard a noise.

I ran ahead to get this picture of the group walking. 

We got to the turnaround point so that we could do some yoga stretches. This would be a first for me and I really liked it. We were in the middle of the country road just doing some yoga and thankfully, no cars. I trusted that Theresa would let us know if cars came, while we had our eyes close. In fact, only one car drove by during our walk back.

Photo by Theresa.

Photo by Theresa.
The hike back was calming experience. Although, the subgroup (i.e., the stragglers) hung back to take pictures and just stare at trees. There were some beautiful shades of green bursting out of the vast expanse of forest.  We made sure to say hello to the older lady in dress robe smoking a ciggerette and waving to everyone. Their dogs came out for petting time. At the end, the group all gathered around to take some pictures with the Retreat in the Pines sign. The rest of the day was for our own adventures.

Namaste Y'all.

My roommates for the weekend.

This tree was seriously eye catching.
JL and I in the tree pose.
We found a great tree to do some yoga poses.

I had to try it, too.

On Sunday morning, I slapped JL on the butt and said, "Start getting ready for our run." Honestly, she didn't have to go, but she did bring her shoes. I promised her we would go slow and not that far. We didn't. I have done some races in the woods, but this was a new experience. This was just running for the hell of it in some beautiful wood surroundings with my friend. If we had a professional photographer, this would be the kind of picture you see in Running World. Well, all we had was me taking photos.

It's too early. It's too bright. It's too much exercise.
And she thought I would just forget to run. HA!

Zoe wanted to make sure we knew the way.
So what if they forgot to take down the Christmas lights, it was still pretty to see on our run.

WHOA! I want a sign like this.

I made JL do the same thing.

This was my favorite picture.

Sweaty and feeling good after our two mile run.
It was about a two mile run in I don't know how long. We did some stopping for pictures and rest. We talked about calming ways to breathe and other things for the future. Even with seeing the Rottweilers going crazy to get to us, because they are chained up what seems like 24 hours a day, we still had a pleasant jog. Unfortunately, we didn't see the older lady with the robe outside like the other mornings. After we got back, showered, ate some breakfast, and went to do our final yoga and meditation. I can't wait to go back!

On May 4, 2013, I will participate again in the Sprint for Life 5K to raise money for Ovarian Cancer Research in honor of MaloRee, BranDee, and MegGan whom lost their mom to this horrible disease. I also run in honor of my Great Aunt, Betty who lost this battle, as well. Please donate here or join us on Team Teapot. My goal is $2,000 this year and I just know we can reach it.


  1. Glad your connections to Boston have all faired well. Such a sad, sad time.
    I'm only a bit of a runner, but enjoyed your descriptions of running in the Pines! Ideal! I will have to check out the retreat as well as the restaurant in the future!

    1. Thanks Beth! It's really a great place to go even for just relaxation.

  2. Indeed what a tragedy, very very sad.
    Running in the woods looks awesome and very rewarding, if only I could run more than a couple meters ... I love hiking but running just doesn't seem to work for me.

    1. I actually used to hate HATE running. I was a basketball player and dreade the first of the year, because we had to run a mile as part of that "make sure they check a box for the team" attitude. I hated it when I started running, but needed a cheap way to lose weight. Once I set a goal, I had something to work for and that made it better. Then, I hit longer distances...distances without stopping...faster distances and things clicked. Now, I love running. Although, I will say it doesn't do for me what skydiving did for me and that is to completely clear my mind.


Thank you for your comments. I will respond shortly.