Monday, May 6, 2013

Running Retreat

Yesterday, I traveled to Madison, WI for the very first Run Like A Diva Retreat, hosted by Running Diva Mom.  I have always wanted to do something like this (both participate and organize one!). So when Jamie asked me to be the keynote speaker, I happily agreed.

The day had a big variety of events to kept it quick-moving and fun. There were active sessions (zumba, runner's yoga, boot camp and a run), information sessions (foot strike, running form, stretching, speed work) and time for fun too - like a fashion show, mini expo, cupcake party and giveaways. Jamie did such a great job of organizing everything. I was so honored to be a part of the event.
I've been reading Jamie's blog forever, so I kinda feel like I KNOW her...
and yet, this was our first time meeting face-to-face!
A fabulous group of women runners! Run Like A Diva!
Thankfully, my speech was the first thing on the agenda. I shared my story of how I found running and how it saved my life, some tips for busy mothers and how to stay motivated. I was relieved to be done (is anyone really comfortable with public speaking?!?!).  I could now relax and enjoy the rest of the activities...

One of my favorite parts of the day was the Runner's Yoga session. It's no secret that yoga is a great compliment to running, but this session was amazing! The instructor did a wonderful sequence that lasted 30 minutes. There were several new poses in there that I was not familiar with. Afterward, I begged her to make a YouTube video of exactly that series. I would do it every day!

The retreat was sponsored by Catalyst, a local fitness store. The owners were very involved in the retreat, putting on a cool fashion show and many of the informational sessions. They were super nice people, down-to-earth and very helpful without the condescending vibe you get at some running stores. One of the owners is UW track/cross-country coach Jim Stintzi. He gave a great talk on running form, which I always need a reminder...

Madison is one of my favorite cities - ever.  It's a three hour drive from my house and we don't go there nearly enough!!  So... I snuck out of the retreat a little early to take in some of my Madison favorites before heading home. This city is so green and activity-orientated... very biker/runner friendly. There are trails everywhere through the city... but my favorite are those along Lake Mendota and Lake Monona, which are the heart of the city.
These bike-rental stations are everywhere... I love this concept!

I parked at the bottom of Observatory Hill, laced up my sneakers and set out to enjoy the beautiful afternoon. I ran along the lakeshore, up State Street with a loop around the State Capitol (where I worked during my college internship), wound through the University of Wisconsin campus, and then back along the lake trail for an enjoyable 4.6 miles. The coeds were out in mass on a gorgeous spring day. It took me back to my college years and what a fabulous time of life that was.

What a fabulous Sunday in Madison, Wisconsin!


  1. Sound like you had a great time. I think going to a Running Retreat would be so much fun. Love all the pics

  2. how cool I never heard of a running retreat before.

  3. Sounds like a great time!! Glad the retreat went well!

  4. I love Madison also! So glad you shared this retreat, the Running Like a Diva page, and Catalyst! They're all good finds. :)

    Way to take on public speaking & rock it. And yes, it does eventually get comfortable. :)


  5. That looks like such a great way to spend a weekend!

  6. What an awesome experience! I want to get better as a runner!

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