Showing posts with label Wild Workout Wednesday. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Wild Workout Wednesday. Show all posts

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Music to Get Lost by

Anyone who reads my blog knows that I love to run to music. Actually, music makes everything better.  I have a heinous commute to my job and music makes the drive tolerable. Recently, my oldest son updated my car stereo to a Bluetooth (no more tickets for talking on the phone while driving!). I've always listened to music in the car, but now with my new system listening to my favorite tunes is a special kind of pleasure. Road tripping takes on a whole new meaning when you have the right songs to pass the time.

The same thing goes for the run. With the right song playing through my earbuds, I feel as if I can fly. I have playlists for normal runs and for speedwork. For a big race, I make special playlists full of my current favorites. There are certain songs that just make me want to set the pace on cruise control. Those are my LSD* songs. Running slow is a challenge for me. The right music helps me pace myself on those long runs.

My only prerequisite for my long run songs is that they have to be familiar to me. I like to sing along sometimes. I also like to mix it up with new music--so if it has a good beat and I can run to it? Sure, why not?  Eclectic much?

Yep, I'm that runner.

Caveat: It's important to stay alert, especially if you are running alone. But there is nothing better than the right song to move you down the road or trail. If you're hurting, there's nothing better than singing to help the pain go away.

Plus you can ponder the lyrics.

Scaramouche, scaramouche, can you do the fandango?

I didn't name this blog Taking the Long Way Home for the fun of it. I like to get lost on the run.

What are your favorite songs to get lost to? Do you like to sing along to songs on the run? What do you think scaramouche means? What was Queen thinking?

By the way, I had the 45 RPM of this song when I was in 4th grade. Let that soak in...

If you want to check out this playlist, follow me on Spotify!

*LSD=long slow distance. What did you think I was talking about?

I'm linking this post up with Deb Runs, who hosts Wednesday Word! Today's word is lost. See what everyone else says..

I'm also linking up with the ladies at Wild Workout Wednesday! Annmarie, Nicole, Jen, and Michelle host this fun gathering of bloggers!

And Coaches' Corner! Do you think the coaches let their trainees run with tunes? Ask Debbie, Susie, Lora, and Rachel!

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Sarasota Half Marathon Race Recap

This was the race that I didn't think I'd get to do. Last year I had to defer due to family issues. Then last week, my PF flared badly. I received treatment for that, and following my doctor's advice, took the rest of the week off running. As an alternative, I went for a bike ride and crashed when I hit a muddy puddle. Sore and bruised, I wasn't sure if I would be able to run 13.1. But some relaxation and aqua therapy in Florida allowed me to heal and line up Sunday morning, ready to run.

Sarasota Half Marathon

This race was supposed to be a training run, but you know me. Even with the best intentions, my inner competitor comes out. I headed to Sarasota early Sunday morning to run this half with no goal in mind but to finish and go with what the day decided to bring. With all that had happened prior to the race, I was determined to run this thing. And if you've been reading my blog for any length of time, you know I don't give up easily.

My parents got me to the Van Wezel center about 6:30, and with a start time of 6:45, I jumped out of the car and headed to the portapotties. I received a text from Mary Beth from Tutus and Tennies, who I had planned to meet at the race. I came out of the portapotties, and there she was! We exchanged a quick hug and dashed to the race corrals. I was in corral A--what the heck?--but I was glad to be up front. I put my music on, got the signal on my Garmin, the national anthem was sung, and we were off! No time for nerves.

Sarasota Half Marathon
MaryBeth and me!
We headed immediately south on Tamiami Trail towards the Ringling Bridge to Lido Key. I was excited to run this portion of the race but it was pitch black and you couldn't see anything on the water. What I didn't anticipate was the bridge incline! I've driven over it a few times, but it's a different story on foot. By the time I got to the top, I was winded. I breezed back down, and before I knew it, we were running around St Armands Circle and back up the bridge again. This was already mile 4, but I had to walk. The famed Florida humidity was already taking a toll on me. The sun was starting to rise along with the temperature.

When we got to the top of the bridge, I started running again and flew down, trying to make up for some lost time. For the rest of the race, I used my walk-run strategy that worked well for me at Chicago. Most miles, I walked 1/10th of a mile and ran the rest. I did ok with that. I didn't always have to walk, but I was glad to have that safety net. The other thing I was really glad to have was my handheld bottle with my Tailwind. I ended up drinking about 2 1/2 bottles for this race.

We ran through a really beautiful residential area of Sarasota along the bay. The homes were gorgeous, and there was a lot of natural shade from those mossy oak trees that lined the streets. I felt like it was a little easier to breathe and settled into a 9:30 pace. It was all I could do, considering the conditions. So humbling! I ended up running with the same group of people through the rest of the race. Have you ever had that happen to you? There was a girl wearing black capris and a long sleeved black top. I spent the majority of the race pondering her wardrobe choice. Just looking at it made me hot. She was moving along, though, so I guess it worked for her.

There were a couple of medical aid stations and I saw a guy with the crotch of his shorts completely shredded. He was applying vaseline to his nether regions. I can't even imagine what his shower felt like after the race.

We finally hit mile 12, and the song Fine Again by Seether came on my playlist. Don't ask me what came over me--maybe it was because I could see the finish line ahead, but I started to sing. Out loud. I'm sure everyone around me thought I was a lunatic. I picked up the pace. Singing.
"And I am aware now of how everything's gonna be fine one day, Too late, I am in hell now, I am prepared now, seems everyone's gonna be fine..."
Whatever it takes, right? My music pushes me through those tough runs.

Sarasota Half Marathon
My face says it all. This was a tough one for me.
I approached the finish line. I saw the clock and shook my head. While I was glad to be done, I was disappointed in my ability to overcome the conditions. Damn it!

Sarasota Half Marathon

Someday I'll be a hot weather runner...

Sarasota Half Marathon
Happy to be done!
Official Finish time 2:08:38
I reconnected with my parents, and we waited for Mary Beth to finish.  Meanwhile, I enjoyed the amazing post-finish line spread--this has to be the best post-race party I've seen in a long time. There were two long tables of food and drinks.

Would I do this race again? For sure. The course was beautiful, the race was well organized, and the medal was amazing. Did I mention the free race photos? If I was to make the Sarasota Half Marathon a goal race, I'd incorporate heat training into my training regimen.

But it was, after all, a training run...

How do you do running in extreme heat and humidity? Have you ever trained for a warm weather race? Spill your secrets!

I'm linking up with DebRuns for Wednesday Word. This week's word is shenanigans. I don't know about you but any long distance race has some shenanigans, doesn't it?

I'm also linking up with the Wild Workout Wednesday ladies! Check out all their blogs: Angelena Marie, Annmarie, Nicole and Michelle host this fun linkup!

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Open your Heart: Benefits of Backbends

Life weighs us down.

We spend so much time sitting, hunched over our computers.

Stress takes a toll, causing us to hunch our shoulders and tighten up our back muscles.

We become closed into ourselves.

We can't breathe.

But there is a solution. It's as simple as bending backwards.

The Benefits of Backbends: On and Off the Mat
Yes, this mountain pose is a backbend too!
Have you ever noticed those ladies at the grocery store who are hunched over their carts like they're carrying the weight of the world on their shoulders?

Maybe they are. Really, who likes grocery shopping? Not me. I know, first world problem. I want to go up behind them and pull their shoulders back and up off the cart. Can you imagine the reaction? They'd be dialing 911. Crazy yoga lady in aisle 7...

But think about how much better they'd feel about the task at hand if they stood up straight with their chest forward and shoulders back.

I love backbending in yoga, because it opens my chest, shoulders, and heart. After spending a few minutes in a backbend, it's almost as if a big weight has been lifted off my chest. Truly, I feel happier after backbending. Have you ever noticed how much better you feel when your shoulders are pulled back? Try it! It's hard to be sad when you're moving forward with your chest puffed out.

This is because backbends open your heart. Christine from Love, Life, Surf wrote a great post on backbends. She says that this heart opening makes you more open to emotions, experiences, relationships, and love. To me, the simple act of opening your shoulders and lifting your head makes you look confident, approachable, and ready to interact with other people. After practicing backbends on a regular basis, you will automatically walk taller.

Pulling your shoulders back and opening your chest gives you more room to breathe. I don't know about you, but breathing is #1 in my book of things to do. And when I'm stressed, being able to take deep breathes really helps me literally blow off steam. If I'm having a bad day, just bending backwards helps open me up to really make those breaths deep.

And I won't lie. I do love it when people compliment me on my good posture.

Runners get a huge benefit from backbends and shoulder openers. Good posture is a key component of proper running form. According to Danny Dreyer, author of Chi Running, the more you slump, the more your muscles have to work to keep you upright. That's energy you could use on the road!

So what are my favorite backbends? There are so many to choose from!

Some are fairly simple:

Cobra pose
Cobra pose. It's not about how high you go. In fact, you should try this one lifting your hands off the mat and letting your back do all the work. Then you know you're doing it correctly.
Some make you feel free:
Wild thing, you make my heart sing!
Wild thing, you make my heart sing! Start in downward dog, and flip your leg over to your side. Take the same arm over your head and let your head fall back.
Some are harder than they look:
Camel pose
Camel pose is a tough one. You can reach back, one side at a time. You can turn your toes under or use blocks under your hands. Or you can rest your hands on your lower back while leaning back into the pose.

The full monty:
Upward Facing Bow or Wheel Pose
The first time I got up into full wheel pose, I couldn't catch my breath. I came out of the pose and almost felt a little anxious. Opening up that much can make you feel vulnerable, even when you don't expect it. It's a little disconcerting at first. I recommend you start with bridge pose and work up to this one.
A couple of tips before you start backbending:
-make sure you warm up before you do a backbend. Don't just pull yourself up into wheel. You risk injury doing that! Start with a few downward dogs, cat cows, and forward bends. 
-make sure to protect your knees. If you're going up into wheel, turn your toes inward.
-don't push yourself too far. You will reap the benefits even with modifications. Less is more.
-Smile. Poses are always easier when you are smiling.

Keep your head up and your heart open
Even triangle pose can be a backbend. Pull your top arm back, lean back, and open your heart to the sky!
If you are interested in participating in some heart opener yoga challenges, I have 2 IG challenges for you! kellypenderyoga is hosting a 2 week heart opener/ backbend #InLoveWithYoga2106 challenge. It started Feb 1, but it's not too late to jump in! And ALO Yoga has a month long backbend challenge for February. It's called #dropbacklove and also starts Feb1. There are prizes if you post every day! Who's in? I'm going to try my hardest to participate! Will you join me?

Do you backbend? What is your favorite backbend?

I'm linking this post up with DebRuns and WednesdayWord. Today's word is heart. Let's all live with open hearts. More backbends!

I'm also linking up with the ladies at WildWorkoutWednesday! The Fit Foodie Mama, Fitful Focus, Fruition Fitness, and Angelena Marie host this fun link up! Check it out!

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

The whiner's guide to staying accountable in the winter

What do you mean you don't want to go for a run?

"It's too coooollllld!"

"It's dark oooouuuut!"

"It's haaaaaaaaard!"

"Running suuuuuuuucks..."

Waa, waa, waa. I too speak whinese.

You call yourself a runner?

Whining never got anything done. Trust me. Sure, sometimes it feels good to whine. "I don't waaaaaant toooooo!" They don't call me Wendy Whiner for nothing. Oh wait, that wasn't me. That was an SNL character back in the day.

I won't deny it. I have done my share of whining. I have the whining gene in my DNA.

So how does a whiner shake off the funk and get out there in the cold?

Experience is the best teacher. And I've got a pep talk for you.

1. The first step to resolution is to acknowledge the problem. You're right, it's cold out. Yes, it's dark. The bed never felt so good. But remember this: you're awake now, so you may as well get up and go. You are a runner and that's what we do. We run. So suck it up.

2. Visualize yourself running. Wimps don't run in the cold and dark. Everyone else who's still in bed? Sloths. You are not a sloth. You are a beast. You are superhuman. You are a runner. And you're going to get it done before the sun. As my dad used to tell my sisters and me when we didn't want to do something, "it will put hair on your chest." Think about that as you're running around your neighborhood.

3. Think about the bragging rights you get for running outside in the winter. You can casually drop this little nugget at the water cooler:
"Yep, yep, heh, heh,  I got in 5 miles before I came into work today."
"The cold? What cold? I've got hair on my chest."
Your selfies will already have 100 likes on IG before anyone else even posts their run. Maybe you'll be called a badass mother runner. Maybe you'll be reposted. Maybe you'll be called crazy, which is a compliment in any runner's book.

Last winter. Me.
4. Then there's that whole zen thing to running outside in the winter. You get to be one with nature. The peace. The beauty. There's a pretty good chance that you will see the sun come up. A sunrise never gets old. You get to greet a new day. And you get to brag about it. See #3 above. Of course, you might see skunks or other wild animals, which will, besides giving you some good stories, will put an extra pep in your step.

5. Running first thing in the morning fires up your calorie burning furnace, no matter what time of year it is. You get to eat all the food. While your co-worker or friend is nibbling on an apple and a carton of yogurt, you get to gorge yourself on all the food. Pass the chocolate cake. Smiling like a runner.

6. If none of the above gets you going, remind yourself how bad you'll feel if you skip this run. Oh, trust me on this one. That extra sleep might seem so appealing, the warm bed so tempting, but as the day wears on, you'll kick yourself for skipping the run.And just try running after work. Sure, you can do it. Can you?

7. Remind yourself that this too will pass. Heck, it's already mid-January! Winter goes and spring races come. And guess who will be ready? You. Yep, winter running sucks. Spring is our reward. You have to earn it.

8. Of course, sometimes the weather is just too dicey for even the most die-hard runner. Icy conditions are dangerous, and no one wants to risk that. While there's no glory in running on the treadmill, sometimes a runner just has to. Badass in its own way, for a "real" runner, running on the treadmill is a special kind of torture. Although most non-runners don't quite see it that way, it's ok. You can whine all you want if you take it to the 'mill. A whiner's gotta do what a whiner's gotta do. Just do it.

Any more excuses?

I didn't think so.

Layer up, put on your YakTrax (affiliate link), and let's go! Remember, if running in the winter was easy, it would be called your mom...

The one sign I saw a million times at the marathon. Finally, I get it.
Do you run outside in the winter? (Florida and California residents need not apply.) What tips do you want to share? What pushes you out the door? How do you stay accountable?

I'm linking up with DebRuns and Wednesday Word. Today's word is accountable!

I'm also linking up with the FitFoodieMama, AngelenaMarie, FitfulFocus, and FruitionFitness for Wild Workout Wednesday! Have a wild workout!