Disclaimer: This is long. It rivals any race report I’ve ever written. I’m a story teller. I like to put all the memories down on “paper”, so to speak. For those of you who are new here (hi! *waving), you have been warned.
Okay, so here’s the post that you’ve all been waiting for. I need to give another shout-out to the awesomsauce (thanks, thea, for that word) that is The Sisterhood. Because they not only helped finance my trip, via the giveaway they had last fall, but they opened their arms to me back in their beginning. They also went along with my lovely idea of doing Team In Training. Through that experience I had made friends that are some of my best. And I got to spend 2-1/2 days with most of them.
I flew out Thursday taking an early afternoon flight which arrived at BWI at 10:40 pm. The amazing Jen picked me up at the airport…a little later than planned due to some crazy weather and getting lost at the last minute. We found out way down to the Inner Harbor and our hotel, which was beautiful (and somehow didn’t get a picture of it). My girls were all in the lounge waiting for Jen and I and I may have actually “squeeeed” when I saw all these amazing women in one spot. Thanks, Bari, for waiting up for me!
We hit the hay at about 130 (I didn’t fall asleep until closer to 2 – keep in mind 2 is only 11 pm for me). But we were getting up at 6 for the 7 am Fitbloggin’ 5k.
Ooh! Wait! I forgot all about the tutu making! ChristieO is a tutu girl. I’m not sure how it happened but all of a sudden it seemed like everyone was making tutus. Even Thea. My partner in non-girliness. I think I may have tweeted something along the lines of “WTF?!? Who *are* you?”. It turns out she made a deal with Christy; Christy was going to wear her daughter’s tutu and Thea would make her own. Turns out Christy forgot the tutu. The look on Thea’s face was priceless. An arrangement was met. Can you tell what christy did to make a make-shift tutu?
So back to Friday and the 5k. No one had really talked about who was running with who. We just sorta all took off. I ended up running most of the way with ChristieO and Christy. I hadn’t run since my speed work on Monday and it felt so good to really use those muscles. I used runkeeper but I’m not sure how accurate it was. But at one point ChristieO’s garmin said we were all running 8:30 mm! Sweet! It was a beautiful morning aside from the lingering humidity from the previous day’s rain.
After eating a fabulous breakfast of Uncle Sam cereal and Eggland’s Best hard-boiled eggs and grabbing some coffee, I headed back up to the room to shower. In hindsight that was kind of dumb. I participated in the kettleball demo and walked away with a free DVD from a drawing they had. I had never tried a kettleball before and could totally feel my muscles. After that I headed over to MizFit’s Ugi demo. She had enough resistance bands for everyone to take home and showed us a short strength routine using the bands. Then she talked about the Ugi. To me it looked like a great big hackysack! Essentially it’s a leather weighted large ball that you can use for a variety of strength exercises. I did dips and pushups on it and that was *hard*.
After that session I left fitbloggin and headed around the corner to the HQ of Connections Academy, the school the girls go to, which I’m on my state’s board. I truly love these people. They are awesome. I enjoy working with them and they enjoy a little banter, which is also fun. I also scored an awesome canvas zippered bag from them which I needed because of all the awesome swag we got from fitbloggin and the sponsors who were there. I will definitely talk about the awesome swag as I try out stuff I’ve never used before and report back to everyone.
After lunch we tried to make some dinner reservations for the 15-20 or so that were in our group. Yeah. Trying doing that on the weekend of graduations and The Preakness. Big ol fat fail. We ended walking to Whole Foods buying dinner and drinks and taking it all back to the lobby/lounge of the hotel. We settled in.
Oh. Minor detail. We weren’t the only conference going on at the hotel. There were firemen. Lots of firemen.
After eating and drinking, we were invaded by firemen. And Andrea Metcalf. She’s pretty rockin’ if I do say so myself. Some how, and really don’t ask me how, but there was some trash talk going on. Christy and I ended up dropping and doing pushups. No fireman was willing. And then the concept of one-arm pushups came up. Andrea assured me that even though I had never done them before, that I could do it. Guess what?!? I didn’t get down really low but I did effin’ ONE-ARM PUSHUPS!! (and yes, I’m going to post this picture AGAIN!)
And then it was time for bed…or rather way past bedtime.
Saturday was filled with more awesome. But honestly it’s kind of a blur. In full disclosure mode, I’m not a crowd person. I like being in situations like conferences, but I get overwhelmed with the noise and the people and OMG! I need a break! So Saturday during the sessions I was pretty mellow. I was watching everyone tweeting the sessions, but I just didn’t have it in me to do much more than focus on the panelists – who were amazing.
The one session that I went to that really stood out for me was on intuitive eating. The first time I heard this phrase was from Karena. For me it happened all on it’s own. I had nothing to do with “choosing” it. It chose me. But I wanted to hear what panelists had to say. I have a hard time defining how I reached this point. I didn’t hear anything new to me, but I felt I had to contribute since I’m in that place. So I shared. I told I how I reached my happy place with intuitive eating. In doing so, I hope I helped someone in that room feel more comfortable with the idea. And I had the best laugh there regarding “two fingers” and Kit-Kats. And #endscene.
The only problem with having so many amazing people around you is that you want to spend quality time with all of them. And it’s near impossible to do that. When it came time for dinner, there was some indecision about where to go…and we had about 20 in our group. Thank God for JulieJulie. She headed us down to Fell’s Point and we ended up at Bertha Eats Mussels, where I had the most amazing crab cake and crab/macarnoi salad. It was to die for. On the way there, Bari and I saw a gelato place and decided we needed to save room for dessert. Thanks to Mary’s recommendation, we ended up at The Cat’s Eye Pub/Bar? There was live music and almost free booze. Not sure how it all happened, but almost free booze is good. 🙂 Not everyone went out after dinner, but decent group of us had a good time. There was dancing, there was booze. Let’s call that good. Alrighty then, moving on.
A quick aside: remember that anti-social overwhelmed feeling I had? I almost convinced Bari to join me for a quiet dinner across the street at a tapas place. The thought, at that moment in time, of sitting down with *all* these other people (that I know and love) made me want to run and hide. Dinner was good though. I’m glad I joined the crowd despite my initial reservations.
Sunday morning came way too fast. Bari and I were catching the shuttle back to the airport together at the early time of 7 a.m. My alarm went off after too few hours of sleep and I began trying to shove the remaining swag into my too-small-bags. I had to leave a few things behind. I hope Thea or April – who drove – took the stuff home and it didn’t go to waste. Before getting on the shuttle I headed over to Starbucks for much needed coffee and yogurt parfait. Yum. It was exactly what my stomach needed. And off for the airport we went. The only thing that sucks about flying Southwest is they usually have their own wing of a terminal and so I was dropped off first and had to leave Bari behind. Boo! But aren’t we cute after a night of not enough sleep, too much booze, and sadness of having to go our separate ways?
My flight home was long and uneventful. I had two stops but no plane changes. I slept on the second leg of the trip and felt much better.
It’s been good to be back home, but I miss – like heart-achingly miss – my friends, new and old, that I got to spend time with in Baltimore. Fitbloggin’ was an amazing experience. It’s one that I know I can’t convey into words. But if you have the chance to go to Fitbloggin’12, without a doubt, go. It is worth the money. You will not regret the bonds that can be created through this mighty, amazing, wonderful world of blogging and twitter. So thank you, Roni. Thank you for brainstorming and creating FitBloggin’. It was, well, AMAZING.
Picture courtesy of Fitbloggin photographer extraordinaire Carrie D.