Sunday, September 4, 2016

Balanced and Back on Track

This is my favorite time of year. It's still warm enough to feel like summer, yet there is a change in the way it feels. Maybe it's the lower angle of the sun or those crisp, cool mornings, but it just feels different. Kind of the last hurrah of summer, in a sense.

Don't get me wrong, there will still be warm days into October. Trust me on that! All 3 Chicago Marathons I've run were warm ones. I like those warm fall days but not for running 26.2! But for shorter distances and bike rides, the cooler mornings and moderating warmth are a welcome change.

This past week, the heat broke and we had some spectacular conditions. I had some good runs and I walked the dog multiple times. She's enjoying these walks as much as me, although we've had to alter our schedule to accommodate the fading daylight. I'm looking forward to greeting the sun once again on my morning runs!

Balanced and Back on Track


I had 3 really good runs this week. Pacing was good and I finally pushed my distance, running 8 miles on Saturday. All 3 of my runs were sub-9 min/mile paces and the foot? Quiet. I am cautiously optimistic and beginning to consider some local fall halfs for late October/early November. This week's mileage totalled 20+.

Balanced and Back on Track

I got in 2 classes at the yoga studio this week, both with substitute teachers. I like the sub we had on Monday, but her music is not my style. The first song was a ukelele version of Bohemian Rhapsody. Seriously. How can you be mindful and focused with that playing? Scaramouche, Scaramouche, can you do the fandango? It was sticky and humid in the studio and the farting yoga mat was in all its glory. How did I ever land the apex pose, bird of paradise? Maybe my amusement made me relaxed. I was pretty excited about this. It's been a long time since I got my leg up this high.

Balanced and Back on Track

When I saw the sub we had for Wednesday's class, I almost rolled up my mat and left. I needed to stretch out and her class is adequate for that. This instructor has no personality and calls out the poses in a monotone. I'm sure there are people who love her, but for me, not so much. We worked on standing big toe pose, and while I can't get my leg straight, I was able to hold this one as well. Balance is back.

Balanced and Back on Track

Becky had me swing on the rings again, kicking my feet up to the rings. It's fun but it's not as easy as it seems! There's that whole tighten the glutes and holding the core thing...so much to think about! But it's really exhilarating. I love when she throws in the fun stuff. She had me alternate those ring swings with kettlebell carries across the parking lot. I also did shoulder presses with kettlebells dangling from the bar alternating with eccentric body rows and cleans alternating with good mornings. As I write this, I'm still sore. Maybe some DOMS?

Balanced and Back on Track

There's a plank challenge going on! Again...this one is hosted by Kim at Running On the Fly. As if we need any excuses to plank. Even though Friday was a rest day, I was able to sneak out of the office at lunch to enjoy the beautiful day and get in my plank. A little fresh air does the brain a lot of good...

Balanced and Back on Track

Today I got in a much-needed bike ride. Actually, what I really needed was a good hard run, but after running 8 miles yesterday, I didn't want to risk angering my PF. Mama drama strikes again. All I'm going to say about it is that my oldest son needs to get his act together. I'm pretty sure you all are tired of hearing about it as much as my husband and I are tired of dealing with it. As I rode out to my favorite path, I reflected on how lucky I am to have physical activity to help me work through the stress of parenting teenagers. And how ironic is it that in the week I rediscover my mojo and balance, once again the rug gets pulled out from under me? I stopped at the local community college for some solitude at this fountain, aptly titled "Oasis". The sound of water drowned out the traffic noises and I found my center.

Life really is all about balance, isn't it?

Balanced and Back on Track

How was your week? Do you find balance between different areas of your life? Up and down?

I'm linking up with Holly and Tricia for their Weekly Wrap, as well as Angela and Ilka for the Sunday Fitness and Food link up!


77 comments :

  1. Ooh those rings look fun-I've never tried those. I love how you mix up your workouts so much. After a year and a half of no foot pain, I started feeling some PF twinges this last week. Taking a week off of running. Trying not freak :)

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    1. Noooooo! I hope that the PF is just a twinge and that you will be fine....

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  2. Your Yoga poses look graceful and beautiful! Yoga is much more difficult than it looks and I need to do more of it. I'm right there with you in the 'Mama drama' pit. I too have a son, oldest, that really needs to get his act together! And yes, I do find it eases that frustration to get in a good run or bike ride! Hang in there.... I keep praying and hanging on to the saying, 'this too shall pass'!

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    1. I look at parents of toddlers and think to myself, you ain't seen nothin' yet!

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  3. I too have had yoga instructors that have made me wanna roll up my mat and leave. I just don't get how some stand out...in a bad way. Sigh. Sorry about the mama drama. It's definitely wonderful to have workouts as a physical and emotional outlet.

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    1. I'm surprised that my studio employs this particular instructor--everyone is so vibrant and joyful there!

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  4. Again, kudos for such awesome pics. Again, hugs for the mama drama. Finding balance is tough...the past three days definitely were not in balance for me as far as blogging/work/family/travel stuff were concerned. The family and travel trumped everything else LOL (and I shall spend tomorrow attempting to play blogger-catch-up).

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    1. I hope you get everything settled before you leave PA!

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  5. Nice to hear you had 3 great runs and your foot is quiet!! Sorry to hear about the drama. Hope things work out! Cool pics as usual!

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    1. I'm so glad my foot is quiet! I hope it continues. I promise to behave if it does!

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  6. I have found balance by learning not to over schedule and over promise. My life has become a tad bit boring at times, but I am OK with that right now. More time at home with the family, more me time, but no more crazy commitments which would throw my week off balance, no matter how hard I planned.

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    1. I'm the queen of overscheduling. When will I learn?

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  7. Yay for a great week on the fitness front. Finding balance, especially as a mommy, is super difficult. If you figure out the best way to do it, please let me know!

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    1. I haven't figured it out yet! I feel like a juggler, and just when I get all my balls in the air, I drop one...

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  8. Sorry to hear that your oldest is causing you worry again. Just when we think our kids are good something crops up to make us wonder. ~sigh~ Glad your foot is behaving and that you are doing a pretty good job of not pushing your luck with it!

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    1. I was just starting to breathe, too. Sigh. We're both sighing!

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  9. There is an instructor at the yoga studio that I used to basically live at who I just couldn't jive with (there were a few, but this was the one that I took from the most). Unfortunately, hers was the class that worked with my schedule the best! But oh, it was always nice to not have to take from her..

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    1. I'm glad this one is just a sub--but she's so not my type! I have a DVD that I love to hate and that is how I feel about her class. Effective but no fun at all.

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  10. I kind of want to try some rings now, you look like you are having a good time on those! I am so happy for you that your foot is feeling better and you are running strong. Great job with bird of paradise, my leg cant get that high either, but seems to be improving, so so slowly.

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    1. I'm still shocked about that Bird of Paradise. We did do a lot of prep work in class, and there really is something to be said for that!

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  11. Good to hear you had an awesome training week. It has been really hard for me to balance my training this week - but this is what happens sometimes. I love your pic on the rings - Becky seems to be an awesome motivating trainer - it's great to have a trainer that inspires you to always leave your comfort zone and push yourself.
    Enjoy this beautiful outdoor weather Wendy - I'm still sweating it out here in Florida during my runs:)

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    1. We are back in the heat too...but I know it is only temporary! Just keep thinking ahead to winter when we will all be freezing and you'll be basking...

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  12. This is the first morning in probably three months (at least) that I've been able to turn off the air conditioning and open the doors and windows. I too, know that it will get hot again, but hoping for continuing cool mornings. They did a plank challenge at the race I was at on Saturday. The longest plank won a pair of Saucony running shoes. I did not indulge, fortunately as it turned out. The winning woman held her plank for about 8 minutes! The guys "only" lasted about 6.

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    1. Wow! 8 minutes! I probably couldn't hold mine for more than 2-3 mins, but instead of going for time, I'm again picking a variety of planks. It's more fun for me that way.

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  13. My oldest is 29 (can you believe that!?)and still brings drama. We are in self-presrrvation mode these days. Yes, always a parent, but you can't change/save/influence people. Thankfully we can counter some of that stress with physical activity. So helpful. Hang in there.

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    1. I know you've had your share...my parents are still dealing with my sister...so I know it sometimes doesn't end. Sigh.

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  14. It's hard to balance everything but you did a great job of it! Being injured just makes my half marathon training pretty much go out the door BUT I'm trying to remain active and balance life.

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    1. Yep, gotta do those other activities to help you maintain fitness while you recover. I know all about that!

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  15. I'm glad to hear your foot's feeling better. Sorry about the "mama drama" thankfully my kids haven't reached that age yet. Yes being able to work out your frustrations by exercise is great!

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    1. So glad I have an outlet for all my stress! But that's why I started running in the first place. :)

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  16. Balance is so important, sometimes so elusive. Back at my parents, but at least today there is no dr chasing, waiting on hold forever, etc. the fun begins again tomorrow, but there is also an aid coming & I really hope that helps. At least allowing me to get my runs in.

    Sorry about the eldest son, someday this too shall pass . . .

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    1. Just when you think you've got everything under control, right?

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  17. Balance is always a challenge--as you said. Just when I think I've got things under control, something (or someone throws a wrench into it. Great job on the rings! That looks fun.

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    1. Oh my gosh, I just said that! LOL! Great minds think alike...

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  18. I totally get it with the instructor thing. I'm very picky!

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    1. I'm actually not that picky...but this one is such a contrast to the others...

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  19. Glad to hear your foot is behaving.

    Balance? What's that. Now that I'll be working again...it'll be tough to fit it all - running, tennis, family, friends!!!

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  20. 20+miles is a lot of miles.... so glad that you are running again... Love your cross fit workouts.

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    1. I'm so happy that I'm getting my miles back in!

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  21. I try so hard to find balance in my workouts (love being a tri-athlete) and life. My motto is to stay committed to my goal but be flexible in my approach. A few things that really help me: waking up early for "me time" (easy for me to do since I am naturally a morning person), not scheduling very much during the week, trying to have Friday night at home (I am spent by week's end) and if I can't, then I make sure to have Saturday at home, and finally asking for help when I feel overwhelmed. That can be hard since I want to do it all, but Rick is always there to help so I have learned to just ask for it. I love that you have such a strong yoga practice. I was very into yoga but then got very into weights and I just don't have the time to do it all so I dropped yoga.

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    1. It sounds like you and I have similar routines--I'm up early right now for my "me time"! Which usually means coffee, the news, and getting through my email.

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    2. For me, at least, that means a SUPER early bedtime (#grandmastatus)

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  22. I'm so glad to hear that things are back on track for you, with your running and fitness! Crazy how different yoga instructors can work for some people and not for others. It's always interesting to see how the classes change based on who's leading.

    I am sorry you are having some issues with your son. Parenting is so hard, and I can only imagine what it's going to be like when we get to the teen years. I'm glad you have a way to work out your stress. Hang in there. <3

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    1. I'm always amazed at the different styles of yoga instructors. The poses are always the same, but the presentation is so varied!

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  23. Sounds like a great week! Yay for your foot feeling better and getting in 3 good runs! Sorry to hear about the mom drama, hope things work out. Exercise is therapy.

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    1. You aren't kidding about exercise being therapy! What would we do without it?

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  24. A quiet foot is awesome :)
    Running out the stress is the way to go, but i often have to make those choices too and restrain myself.
    I love seeing all your cross training! I need to get back on track with mine and get on my bike.
    Balance?? not at all, I just tread to keep my head above.

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    1. You've been really good about the cross training too!

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  25. Life is most definitely about balance! I so glad to hear you got in all those miles with no problems :) Can't wait to see you in December- running! My yoga teacher was out out all summer- and I was so glad to see her back this past week. Subs are funny tho- and it is better than not going I tell myself! Have a great week- hope the drama simmers down a bit :)

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  26. Ah the elusive balance! I never seem to find it but, I also don't look that hard :-) I love hearing about your yoga and strength training sessions since I need to do both of those things usually don't! I keep thinking "after this last triathlon I will get back to yoga." Time will tell!!

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    1. Maybe not looking for balance is the secret? I just like to roll with things but I'd like a little bit of balance...

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  27. It looks like you had an amazing week! I also love the feeling of fall in the air. The heat broke here at the end of last week which made me super happy, but now it's back to 90. I know I'll regret complaining about this in a few months ;)

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  28. Look at you being strong and fierce!!! I hope everything stays calmed down with your feet. Fingers crossed.

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  29. Love that last photo, great shot! It's so funny how much a yoga instructor's personality plays a role in how you enjoy the class. Happy to hear your foot is being quiet and that you're having fun with all that upper body work!

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    1. It's been a lot of fun mixing things up this year!

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  30. I love Fall, especially here in NC. It's my favorite time for outdoor activities like hiking and biking. We had a couple of days of cooler mornings here over the weekend and it was so nice! It's so much easier to workout when it's not so hot out there!

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    1. No kidding! This morning we were back in the blast furnace again and oh was it tough!

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  31. When I was going to a yoga studio regularly I definitely had my preferred instructors and then a couple that I avoided. I'm so glad your foot has been cooperating. After a small setback last week I think I am back on track now. It's tough to distinguish between normal twinges from returning to running and pain that is a sign that the problem is coming back.

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    1. Glad your foot is cooperating too! And yes, there were a few twinges today...

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  32. Life is about balance, and I too would have a hard time concentrating with bohemian rhapsody in the background. Great post!

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  33. I am going to try yoga one day... everyone makes it looks so easy... I remember once trying it, long ago, when I still lived in Portland, OR... and the instructor told us to breathe in through one nostril and out the other. I think I may have even left that class early. Balance. Yes, I'm still looking for it. I will have that too one day.

    on a side note, I grew up more than half my US life in Chicago and the suburbs and I LOVED the early fall. My favorite time of year :)

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    1. It's really not easy but yoga is so rewarding! I like the alternate nostril breathing exercise, btw...

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  34. Parenting teenagers makes me so nervous.. we have 7 years to go but I know it will fly by. Thank goodness for running and biking to deal with stress!

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    1. I had it so easy with my boys when they were little so clearly I'm paying for it now!

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  35. I'm thrilled to hear your running is going well. But I'm still jealous of your crisp mornings. I don't know what my pace even is after this summer. Forward, I guess. Teens. Yeah. Right back atcha. Thanks for linking Wendy!

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    1. Not crisp this morning, in fact it was so soggy!

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  36. I love September weather but you're right in that there are still moments of warm spells. I'm running a marathon this weekend and a couple years ago it got up to mid-80s during the race. GAH.

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    1. It was in the mid-80s when I ran one of my Chicago Marathons. People were dropping like flies...

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  37. Look at you on those rings! How neat! I can appreciate this because I can't hardly hold my weight anymore on bars because of my shoulder. Loving all the pictures and I been playing with snapseed too!
    Getting my act back together if not this week next for sure. Got to get back on the focus train. I've got races coming up! Thanks for linking up Wendy!

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    1. I didn't know you had shoulder issues! I'm starting to have elbow issues...I can't win...

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  38. Oh...It's my favorite time of year too! I love running from now until the first Ice Storm here in Maine!! I always admire your photos, but holy smokes! The one of you at Cross Fit...It makes me want to start Cross Fit tomorrow ;-)

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    1. I'm having a lot of fun with this training!

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