I’m a little behind on my blog updates, but I didn’t want to forget to tell you about the fun day I had at the Brooklyn Wanderlust Festival two weekends ago. The event was branded as a “Mindfulness Triathlon” because it included three separate activities: a 5k run, a meditation session, and yoga.
There were so many things about Wanderlust that I was excited about. First, as a former triathlete I loved the idea of participating in a tri again, even if it was the unconventional kind. Also, I was chomping at the bit to check out Prospect Park, a green oasis in the heart of Brooklyn that’s perfect for running, biking, and other outdoor activities. And finally, I got to meet up with Evann and new blogger buddy Sam for a whole day of playing outside. Fitness, exploring, and friends: sounds like a great day to me!
After checking in and grabbing my bib number, I stood in a long line of energetic runners waiting for the start of the 5k. The weather was calling for rain and seemed stuck in that funky no-mans-land between humid and cold. This made dressing for the day particularly challenging, especially when the first event was the sweatiest. But despite the threatening skies and strange temps, everyone was in good spirits and ready to kick off the festival.
Since this was going to be my main workout of the day, I decided to push myself on the run course a bit. I haven’t been running much thanks to regular flare-ups in my torn left meniscus, but it felt well enough on this particular morning to gussy up a little gumption and give it a go. The course through Prospect Park was beautiful. The trees, the lake, the crowds of families and friends out for their morning activities. Despite one sneaky hill toward the end of the 3.1ish (heavy on the ish) miles, it was flat as a pancake.
I was happy with my time and pleasantly surprised that I was able to eek under 8 minutes each mile. A huge personal accomplishment considering my bum knee – every mile, fast or slow, is a gift. I rode across the finish line on a wave of endorphins and coasted all the way to the water table with a huge smile on my face. And instead of stretching after (like a good runner) I decided to dance out the lactic acid in the finishing chute to the thump and sass of the High and Mighty Brass Band. It counts, right?
I spent the next hour or so wandering around the festival grounds, which included various wellness-minded vendors and activities. There were food stalls, artists, and even a haiku-writing station. I was tempted to have a poem written just for me but decided my time would be better spent waiting in line for free food samples. Hey, a girl’s gotta refuel between events in the mindfulness triathlon if she wants to keep up.
Manduka generously gifted members of the press a yoga mat and Yogitoes towel to use for the meditation and yoga portions of the festival. Aren’t the colors awesome? I have a Manduka mat at home that I purchased at Down Dog Yoga years ago and absolutely love it. The perfect blend of durability and squishibility. They have a lifetime guarantee so I wasn’t in need of a new one, but I’m happy to now have options. I think this one will live at the office so I can take a stretch break every now and again.
One thing that perplexed me about the Wanderlust Festival was the scheduling: they put meditation directly after the run. Which means that we had to wait hours and hours to get the post-run stretch we were all itching for. While I certainly love a good meditation session and was thankful to participate, when I got up from my mat, my legs were tingling and stiff as boards. I waddled around the grass for a few minutes doing awkward lunges and bends trying to recuperate a normal range of motion. Ouch!
And then, finally, the day ended with the yoga class! Truth be told, I actually skipped out of most of the yoga class because it was getting really late in the day and the skies were getting darker and darker. The last thing I wanted was for the rain to start and be stuck in a stampede of people trying to get back to the subway. So I rolled up my mat, said my namastes, and quietly made my way home.
And wouldn’t you know it, it started pouring as soon as I left. Intuition. Gotta love it.
Did you go to the Brooklyn Wanderlust Festival too? What did you think?