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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Off the Train and Back to the Grind

After a week of blissful vacation in Chicago, Milwaukee & Madison visiting some of my favorite people, I can safely report that the train is still my favorite way to travel, beer & cheese are both my friend and my enemy, and the first workday and workout after vacation are still the most painful days of the year. 

My dear friend Mel made the fantastic recommendation of a train mystery novel to accompany me on the rails, and I rushed out the day before departure to grab a copy of Dick Francis' The Edge. The book was full of intrigue, espionage and madcap adventure, just like Mel, and it was simple perfection to sit in the observation car, listening to the train whistle and soaking up a little murder mystery. And if anyone wants to spot me $1000 for my very own California train murder mystery tour, check this out.

Devilish Fried Cheese
The Great Taste of the Midwest Beer Festival the day before we left was a fantastic send-off from a memorable vacation, with over 100 breweries repping more than 300 brews! Our awesome friends had to camp out for 8 hours to get the tickets months ago, and correctly assumed that would be enough to solidify our plans for a visit in August.  We capped that beer-drenched day off with fried cheese curds dipped in a bleu cheese dressing. Yes, you read that right, and yes, it was as ridiculously decadent, over-the-top, unnecessary and delicious as it sounds. Madison is known for it's cheese curds, which you check for freshness by chewing them and listening for a squeaking sound, like a squeegee for your teeth as my man says. There's even a website for cheese curds, with etiquette rules such as "Never eat two cheese curds at once. It confuses them."

Madison Bliss
Considering the sheer volume of beer & cheese consumed, and the inordinate amount of time I spent with my feet up, the return to reality has been a bit of a slog. Yesterday was the first day back on the clock, and this morning I rolled out of bed at 6:40 am to return to my dedicated tribe of Therapy Bootcampers. I can say without exaggeration that there is no way in hell I would have made it up for this workout with these ladies, and I'm grateful to them for that.

Post-Vacation Leg Buster WOD

2 Rounds for time:
15 pushups
 25 situps
broad jump across field (approx. 10 jumps)
15 box jumps
25 tricep dips
lunge across field (approx. 15 lunges)
run 300 m.

We all finished in around 11:30, legs burning, sweat dripping, gasping for air in the 99% humidity. I may have felt like collapsing, but I'm so glad I got out there and got back to my routine. Vacations are the best and I may have returned a little blue about leaving some dear friends & so many fun times, but you can't live on beer and cheese alone, right?


  1. Oh! Your trip sounds like so much fun. I LOVE the idea of dunking cheese curds in blue cheese dressing. Cheese curds are little nuggets of pure YUM. Welcome back to working out world. Good for you! That workout sounds fun and hard and just what it should be.

    I'm really glad you liked The Edge. How adorable was Tor Kelsey and his romance with the travel agent?!

    If you liked Dick Francis, my next recommendation is the titles about retired jockey Sid Halley:
    Odds Against
    Whip Hand
    Come to Grief
    Under Orders

    Can't wait to see you!

  2. You are the absolute bees knees :)