Wanderlust 108 San Diego: A Mindful Triathalon


I'm not going to lie: I've loved telling people that I did a triathalon this weekend. This "joke" is extremely troubling to me because it means that I have inherited my dad's sense of humor and that is just terrible (sorry, Dad).

If you know me, you know this is my idea of funny because I only started learning how to swim last year and the last time I tried to ride a bike I crashed it into a telephone pole. True story. So, no it wasn't a triathalon in the standard sense. This was what they call "a mindful triathalon": a 5K, 90 minutes of yoga and a 15 minute meditation. These are things I can do without injuring myself or dying.

Last Friday night, just after I hit the two beer mark following a week of diet-induced sobriety (read: cheap date), I got a text from my friend Amelia saying that she'd ended up with an extra ticket and asking if I'd be interested in doing the Wanderlust 108 with her and her bestie Megan the following morning.

It is a well documented fact that I'm extremely susceptible to spontaneously signing up for fitness activities when drunk. Also, any time catching up with Amelia is time well spent. So, after cancelling an appointment and closing my bar tab, I said yes.

The next morning, I immediately regretted that decision. Thankfully, it wasn't on account of any hangover (my tolerance was much more intact than I'd thought!), but rather because of just how utterly gross it was outside. It had poured the night before and was still wet out, not to mention freezing/60° outside. But I sucked it up, reminded myself that I used to run in Connecticut where this was the situation literally every day, and put on my new sneakers.

Upon arriving at the race location down in Seaport Village, we were met with a check-in line that was around a mile long. I assumed this was because (unlike a regular 5K where maybe 10-20% of the runners check their bags) every single participant at this race had to check something: their yoga mat. Unfortunately, this was just check-in, not bag check, which was an entirely different mile-long line... looks like Wanderlust could take a cue from the running world on this one.

Amelia, knowing as many people in the yoga community as she does (did I mention she'll be teaching at this year's Yoga Journal LIVE?!), found us an event tent where we could stash our bags instead of waiting in yet another line and seconds later we were on the pavement, running under the starting arch.

To be honest, I was mostly excited about the race component. As part of the Running Buddies Blogger Team, I'd just received new running shoes from Road Runner Sports and I was excited to break them in on this course. I ended up going with a pair of Brooks Cascadia 10s and as I jogged out and around the marina, I was oh so happy with my decision.

In fact, while we were running, Amelia mentioned having some joint pain and with one look at her sneakers, I could see why: she was in cross-trainers. A lot of people who are turned off by running have no idea that they are turned off for the same reason: they're wearing the wrong shoes. Not having the right support in a shoe can completely suck the joy out of running. What should be time spent enjoying a runner's high turns into time spent icing your ankles, knees and hips. Es no bueno and it bums me out because I could use more friends to run with!

To conclude my short (sponsored, but still important!) PSA, please take the time to avoid injury by making sure you have the right shoes before you head out for a distance run. And if you need new kicks, just show this post at the register at Road Runner Sports for 10% off your next pair!

The post-race bag check nightmare that we avoided

Megan, feeling the running vibes, kicked this course's ass in under 24 minutes. Meanwhile, I, the steadiest of running Eddies, ran it in my usual 31-33 minute range. Of course, there was no official time (I'm not even sure it was an official 5K course length), but between Megan's watch and my pacer skills, that time is as official as it gets. Amelia and I finished the race, I looked around for the nonexistent water stand (sad face), and then it was time to put on body paint and shop (shop!) at the Kula Market before yoga. 

AKA... this is the best kind of triathalon!

Above, please find a great example of why everyone needs an Amelia in their life (especially me): when it was time to get our spots for yoga, Amelia marched up to the very first row in front of the stage to put down her mat. Reality check: I am a back row yoga student. Going to the front row at a concert? Sure, I've even been known to climb onstage from time to time.

But going to the front of a thousand-person yoga class where there was going to be cameras and someone filming me as I fall out of basic postures? Not something I would do in a million years. Yet this woman's confidence is uber-contagious. It's basically that way anytime I do anything with her. Bottom line? She's a natural born leader. And sometimes, when it's not an area I'm confident in, I need that. We all do. (That's why you should consider getting SUP Yoga certified or going on a yoga retreat with her.)

Not more than 10 minutes later the lawn was packed with mats. We were ready to begin the yoga section of our triathlon.

Planking to MC YOGI // pc: Wanderlust Festival 

Meditation // pc: Wanderlust Festival

The yoga lasted 90 minutes and featured two teachers: MC YOGI, who led a sweaty vinyasa flow with an amazing live soundtrack from DJ Drez, and Amy Opielowski, who slowed it down with a lovely session finishing in savasana. That savasana seamlessly transitioned into the third part of the triathalon, a 15-minute meditation led by former NFL Player, Keith Mitchell.

The morning ended in another dance party led by MC YOGI and then everyone was encouraged to stay and try hooping or acroyoga with fellow attendees who were interested. I took off because I had a paper to write, but I left feeling refreshed and stoked to have had participated.

I'm grateful as always to dear Amelia for having me along... it was so fun to experience the Wanderlust community. And honestly, San Diego could use more combo events like this: I'll definitely be registering for the next one. Hint, hint... where you at, Roxy #RUNSUPYOGA? ;)