Showing posts with label yoga. Show all posts
Showing posts with label yoga. Show all posts

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Taking Charge and Finding My Strong

This week, I decided that I was done fighting with my body. While running isn't my friend these days, there are lots of other things that I'm doing well and I decided to focus on that. I did run a bit, slowly, and my body seemed grateful that the pressure was off. Who knew that it was listening to me?

A few years ago, one of the fitness companies had a campaign that said: "Find Your Strong". That was my mantra for the week. By shifting my focus from the road, I found my strong in other places.


Sunday, July 8, 2018

The Struggle is Very Real

I received a SPIbelt in exchange for my honest review.

What a weird week! Did you find it odd having a holiday smack dab in the middle of the week? The weather this week started off brutally hot and humid but ended with very pleasant, low humidity conditions. I feel like I write about the weather a lot, but when you're a runner, the weather is an obsession.

After the 4th, I had the rest of the week off work. With the cancellation of my high school friends' annual kayak crawl, I had no other plans to speak of. I enjoyed some running, some yoga, and lots of rest. It's pretty rare that I'm off work without something on the calendar. If nothing else, the time at home gave me a chance to recharge my batteries. Who doesn't need that?

In spite of all the rest, running continues to be a huge struggle for me. What's going on?


Running
I ran 3 times this week. On Wednesday, the 4th, my sometimes running partner Steph convinced me to skip the 4 mile race we planned to do and go for a 4 mile run with her in the preserve. Steph promised me a "slow" run but asked if I'd be up for more miles. It was really warm and humid when we headed out at 6:30. Right away I knew I was in trouble. When I looked down at my watch and saw we were running sub-9 m/m. I called out our pace and she did slow down briefly. I did my best to keep up with her, but when we came upon a steep hill at one mile, I told her I needed to stop and walk it. She ran up the hill, no problem and stopped at the top to wait for me. That pretty much set the tone for the rest of our run. She ran ahead and I run/walked. Because I used so much energy on the first mile, I struggled for the rest of our 5 mile run. After we finished, I begged off breakfast, frustrated and upset. I felt like it was a complete waste of a run.

This is why I like to run alone. My pace, my run.

When I woke up Friday morning to sunny skies and lower humidity, I was excited for a solo run and possible redemption. Sadly, I still felt sluggish. I ran 10k but had nothing left in the tank when I finished.

Don't let the flowy skirt and beautiful sunrays fool you. This run was tough. 
For Saturday's long run, I went to a new-to-me forest preserve. My son had a rugby tournament and near the rugby club is a preserve that is very popular with local runners. The 10 mile looped path is limestone and mostly shaded. Perfect, right? The weather was also perfect, with temperatures in the low 70s and low humidity. Excited to run somewhere new, I started out with great optimism. When I hit the first uphill, I had a reality check. I hadn't counted on it being so hilly! I took it slow but I just couldn't get in a groove.

With the initial large decline, I didn't realize that the rest of the route would be uphill.
 I think I would have been better off going the other way.
 Which is what most of the runners that I saw were doing. Doh!
Since the trail was a loop, I couldn't bail on the run, which was a good thing. There was a lot of walking. I did enjoy the beautiful surroundings, but I sure was glad to be done.

The beautiful waterfall for which the preserve was named. Wet shoes never felt so good!
Cycling
Even after a good night's sleep, I woke up completely exhausted Sunday morning. How does that even happen? I drove to Whole Foods and decided that when I was done shopping, I was going for a bike ride. After I accidentally broke open a case of sparkling water and the cans bounced all over the store, I reconsidered that bike ride, but the beautiful weather was too good to pass up. I promised myself I'd be completely mindful and set off for the local forest preserve. Since this was truly a recovery ride, I didn't push myself hard and simply enjoyed the 17 mile round trip. It felt good to feel good doing something physical after the 3 tough runs I had this week. No mishaps made this ride a win!

Cycling selfies are hard. 
CrossFit
This week, Coach Sammy Jo had me do deadlifts for my one rep PR attempt. My deadlift PR is 185#. I made it to 175# and it was really hard. I dropped the bar to the floor on my first attempt but got it together and pulled it all the way up. She wanted to add more weight but I didn't think I could lift anything heavier!


After that, she had me do some box swing-throughs (knees to chest), then a circuit of bench hop-overs, tire flips, and my nemesis, atomic situps. I did that for 2 rounds. I would have headed to the pond for speedwork after but it was so ridiculously hot and humid that I stayed at the box and did 500m x 8 on the rower.

Yoga
I did 2 Five Parks Yoga Classes this week. On Monday, I did the 60 Minute Well-Rounded Vinyasa Flow Class. This class covered all the bases and I felt really good when I finished--good enough to practice handstand when I was done.


After my run on Friday, I did the Yin Inspired Deep Stretch class. I was feeling really tight and hoped this class would open things up. I will say that the poses were really challenging. Yin is always tough but rewarding. Erin put a twist on the practice using poses that I wouldn't normally associate with a Yin practice. I felt really good when I was done.

Proud warrior on Independence Day
So while I'm doing well with cycling, yoga, and CrossFit, running is really really hard for me right now. I don't know what's happening with me. I have 2 weeks until the RnR Chicago Half Marathon and I have to make a decision. Should I push through the half or drop down to the 10k. I know I could push through the half but judging by how awful I've felt after my 10 mile runs, do I want to? The weather will be a huge factor too. If it's hot and humid, I don't think the half will be doable for me. I can't believe I'm thinking about this. What an odd place for me to be.


SPIBelt
Who doesn't love the SPIbelt? I first tried it in 2011 at the WDW half marathon. I forgot to pack whatever I was using to carry my iPod and my gels at the time. At the expo, some very fit ladies were modeling the SPIbelt and they sucked me in. I bought one and I haven't looked back. Recently, I received a SPIbelt to use and review. It's not hard for me to share my love for this product. I've used my SPIbelt in every race I've run since I first purchased it. For marathons, I've used 2 SPIbelts to carry my fuel. On my training runs, I use the SPIbelt to carry my iPhone. Even though the iPhone has gotten larger over the years, the expandable pouch can accommodate my iPhone as well as a package of fuel.

The SPIbelt is low profile and under a shirt, you can't tell that I'm wearing it. In the winter, I tuck the SPIbelt inside my tights to prevent my phone from freezing. One thing I really like about the SPIbelt is that it doesn't bounce. I wear mine low around my hips. Most of the time I don't even feel it!  SPIbelt comes in a variety of colors and patterns. There are a variety of SPIbelts to meet everyone's needs. There's even a medical SPIbelt to carry medications.



How was your week? Were you able to get in any quality runs? Still boiling hot by you? What would you do about the half marathon if you were me? Would you drop down to the 10k? Or would you try to push through?



Welcome to the Weekly Wrap, hosted by Holly and me. This is a great place for fitness bloggers to share their recaps and connect with other bloggers. If you're new to the linkup, you'll want to check out the rules in the tab above. Be sure to link back to us! Even better, comment on some of the posts that are linked below.


Tuesday, July 3, 2018

How Yoga Helps Me Run: My Yoga Journey

This is an update of a post I prepared several years ago. You may also have seen this as a guest post on Jill Conyers' blog. I have since revised and updated the content. 

On my blog, I write mostly about running. I've been a runner for over 25 years. But I've also practiced yoga for over 20 years. I truly believe that runners can't live on miles alone. Be it yoga, pilates, or strength training, a well-rounded runner is a healthy runner!

I share a lot of yoga on my social media channels. If you think about it, what goes together better than running and yoga? Peanut butter and jelly? Bacon and eggs? Milk and cookies? Hugs and kisses? Fred and Ginger? Yin and yang? Stop me, I'm on a roll...



Sunday, July 1, 2018

Smokin' Hot

I'm smoking and it's not because I'm running fast. Not at all. I'm not puffing on the peace pipe either. Tempting as it is, it's not my thing. I'm smoking because it is so freaking hot out that I can't even walk on my deck without shoes. Running? Ugh. What a summer we are having! How in the hell (because that is where we are living now) am I supposed to train for the Rock 'N' Roll Half Marathon I am running in 3 weeks?

I'm smoking mad. Sort of. I guess it's more frustration than mad. I know I have no control over the weather. What I theoretically do have control over is my ability to train in these conditions. That's been a real challenge this summer. We did have a break in the heat and the rain earlier this week and I was able to get in some quality runs. I also dug deep and finally got a long run in--not outside, though.

I know it's still in me.

Praying for a cooler race day...



Sunday, June 24, 2018

I May Need to Take Up Swimming

This post contains affiliate links.

Last week, I complained about the heat. This week, it's all about rain. We've gotten so much rain: How much rain did you get? We got so much rain that everything flooded around here. A bunch of new ponds and lakes popped up too. So far this month, we've had 6+ inches of rain.

We've gotten so much rain that I may have to take up swimming. I'm not a fan of swimming. I don't mind the water--I'll jump off the boat to waterski or paddle around in a kayak or SUP. Just don't make me do laps. Running has certainly been a challenge, though. 

I did get my workouts in this week. I just had to be a little creative on those rainy days. 



Sunday, June 17, 2018

I Sure Wish it Was Hotter and More Humid!

Could it be any more hot and humid? Wait, Mother Nature wants me to hold her beer...

The weather this year has been really wacky. We had that really prolonged cold winter into spring. Then suddenly, someone turned up the furnace. It was so hot in May that we broke records. While we've had some moderate days, the heat has mostly been turned up to 11. Accompanied by 1000% humidity. I know there are some of you who call this weather "heavenly", but most will agree with me that running in the heat and humidity is not fun. The air is so saturated that running feels like I've got waterlogged shoes on my feet. Maybe I do. While the heat slows me down, science tells us that it really is the humidity that affects our effort.


Since we can't control the weather, let's have a little fun with it. I say: "It's been so hot". And you say: "How hot is it?"

It's been so hot that the birds have been eating worm jerky.

It's been so hot that the trees are whistling for the dogs.

It's been so hot that after my runs this week, I sweated so much the mosquitoes couldn't find any blood.

In fact, it's been so hot, I sweated so much that I didn't even need to work out.

It's been so hot, that I wish for hot flashes so I can cool off.

It's been so hot that it's been hotter than Dean Karnazes' balls after running across the Sahara.

Kind of cringing after that last one. I guess I've made my point. At least I haven't lost my sense of humor.



Sunday, June 10, 2018

My Arches Have Fallen and They Can't Get Up

Welcome to the Weekly Wrap, where all the cool kids share their fitness and racing recaps. Just a quick reminder if you're linking up with us: please link back to us from your post. We've been having a few people drop links and not commenting on either of the hosts' blogs nor any of the other links. Please keep in mind this is a supportive community and the goal of the linkup is to share, empower, and help each other grow. Remember, this linkup is for fitness blogs only.

Ok, now that I've gotten that out of the way, on with the recap! I don't have anything exciting to share, which is probably a good thing. Uneventful is good in my world.



Sunday, June 3, 2018

Road Tripping

How was your week? Mine was spent recovering from a very busy weekend. But here we are again, recovering from yet another busy weekend! This is summer, after all. Where the seasons are short, the days are long, and we try to squeeze something in every single minute we can...

By the time you read this, my co-host Holly and blogger Teresa should be finishing up their marathon at Revel Rockies! It was all downhill. True story!! Be sure to congratulate them on their amazing finish!! I'm looking forward to hearing all about it. But first...let's wrap up the week.



Sunday, May 6, 2018

Back to Work

You can't keep a good runner down for long! After last week's RA flare, I went into full-on defense mode and started steroids. As the week progressed, I really started to turn the corner. While I've still been feeling the effects of the flare, my running gradually improved over the week.

I'm back, baby! For the most part, anyway. Here's how the week went down:



Sunday, April 15, 2018

Ready for Anything

Well, wow. I feel like after last week I can handle just about anything that comes my way. Fortunately, life was uneventful this week. The weather, however, was not. Are you tired of talking about the weather? I am. I wish it would just settle the hell down but nope, we have been on a wild ride this week, going from snow on Monday to spring and 70 degrees on Thursday, and then back to cold, gloomy weather on the weekend. In all my years, I don't ever remember a spring quite like this one. I keep thinking that the climate has got to right itself, but nope, not yet. I looked ahead for the next month (I checked multiple weather sites) and it doesn't look like anything remotely warm is coming our way.

I hope that's wrong. In the meantime, I'll just resign myself to the fact that I'll be running in the cold. On a more superficial note, I won't be able to model my new InkNBurn tanks and shorts anytime soon. At least outside I won't.

Ok, enough whining about the weather. In spite of it all, I had an excellent week of training! And that's what this weekly wrap is all about. While Holly is away this weekend, I've got a guest host with me, the lovely Teresa from Finding Fabulous at Fifty! Be sure to show her all the love you normally bestow on Holly and me, including linking back to her blog. 



Sunday, April 8, 2018

All Aboard the Hot Mess Express

Hey there!

If you read my Coffee Talk post, you know that my week was pretty much a hot mess. When things first started to unravel, it was distressing, but after a while, it was almost comical! I kept thinking, what next? I was starting to wonder if there was something wrong with me, like early-onset dementia. What made me realize I was ok was my running. Life is all about balance, right? So even though everything was seemingly falling apart around me, I had my good runs and that made all the bad stuff a little less painful.


Title photo

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Running Out of March Like...

Happy Easter to those of you who celebrate! Anyone have any April Fools pranks played on them today? Isn't it weird having both of those days together? I'm not a big fan of practical jokes. When I was a kid, my sisters and I tried pulling an April Fools joke on my dad by mixing all his socks up. The joke was on us as we waited patiently for him to say something, but it was until about a week later that he asked my mom why his socks were all mixed up.

Anyhoo, in spite of the terrible weather we've had this month, I'm wrapping up what was a fabulous month of running for me. Feeling good never felt so good, and I guess it takes feeling bad to make you appreciate the good times. Running-wise, for March, I totalled 89.5 miles, ran a half marathon, and a speedy 8k! I'm hoping to ride this wave for a while and am looking forward to my favorite 10 mile race in a couple of weeks.

In the meantime, here's how my week went down.



Sunday, March 18, 2018

Life's a Beach

This post contains affiliate links. 

I started my week with winter giving what I hope was its last snowy gasp and I ended my week in sunny Florida! This was a short getaway, but very much appreciated. Sometimes you just need a break from the everyday routine, right?

I also impulsively signed up at the last minute for the Sarasota Half Marathon, which took place earlier today. I had some unfinished business with this race and wanted to revisit it. I didn't tell very many people that I was running it, but the few that I did (except for Holly) told me that I was nuts for signing up the week of the race. It's not the first time I've jumped into a half marathon at the last minute, but those races were local and I didn't have a flight to catch home the same day as the race. 

I prepared this post prior to the race, so if you want to see how it went, you can check my Instagram or my Facebook. I'll share a recap later in the week. Meanwhile, here's how my week went down:



Sunday, March 11, 2018

Sunshine, Lollipops, and Rainbows

Sometimes I struggle to start these Weekly Wrap posts--when my week is mostly smooth sailing, I don't have a whole lot to say. When you live with 2 grown boys, uneventful is always a good thing in my book. I wouldn't go as far as to say the week was all Sunshine, Lollipops, and Rainbows (Lesley Gore's classic tune is a peppy song and might actually work well on some folks' running playlists if you like happy music). Uneventful is about as Sunshine, Lollipops, and Rainbows as it gets around here!

To tell the truth, I'm not really a Sunshine, Lollipops, and Rainbows kind of gal. I'm more of a It's My Party and I'll Cry if I Want To...But I'll take an uneventful week and run with it. 

Let's do this.



Friday, March 9, 2018

5 Positive Ways that Rheumatoid Arthritis Turned My Life Upside Down

This post contains an affiliate link.

I know you're looking at the title to this post and thinking what could be good about having rheumatoid arthritis? Or maybe you're thinking: "she's done so much whining about having RA and now she's saying it's good?"

Well, after a year of living with this diagnosis, I've learned a lot about the disease. I've also adapted to the disease and for the most part, am living the life I lived before the diagnosis. Maybe even a better life, if that is possible.

I'm not sugarcoating life with RA. Yes, the diagnosis turned my life upside down. I take toxic medications to keep the disease activity low. I have daily symptoms of achy and swollen joints. I've had a few health scares, most recently liver toxicity from methotrexate, one of the medications I was taking to control my disease. If I had to choose, I'd rather not have RA.

But in spite of having a life-changing medical condition, so much good has happened over the past year. Sometimes it takes a slap in the face in the form of a devastating health problem to make you see all the good things in life. While the bad days are few, I've learned to appreciate all the good in my life more than ever.



Sunday, March 4, 2018

The Week that Came in Like a Wrecking Ball

Well, at least for me it was.

On Thursday, March came roaring in like a lion--although if you ask me, it was more like a wrecking ball, actually. While we in the Chicago area had our share of rain and wind, I know we dodged the worst of it. A lot of you out east are digging out from under a fresh blanket of snow and maybe waiting for your power to come back on, too. It was a rough week, weather-wise for many people.

For some us, ahem, bad weather or not, it was a rough week in general. There was a full moon too--don't tell me that didn't affect things. I finished the week completely wrecked (see what I did there?) both physically and emotionally, but with my sense of humor intact. Sometimes, a good sense of humor is the only thing that gets us through life. That, and a few carefully placed f-bombs.

Disclaimer: This post is profanity-free.



Sunday, February 25, 2018

Calming the Beast In Me

Another week, another wrap...it's Sunday and it's time to recap the week of training! Welcome to the Weekly Wrap, hosted by Holly and me, where all the cool fitness bloggers share their training and race recaps! Is it your first time linking with us? Check out the rules in the tab above.

How was the week?



Sunday, February 18, 2018

Running Love

This post contains an affiliate link.

Sunday night I returned home from my weekend whirlwind to Birmingham and the Mercedes Half Marathon. It was back to the cold and back to reality.

Fortunately, it wasn't cold for long. The temperatures warmed up and melted quite a bit of our snow cover. The onslaught of sick children with the flu continued at my clinic. When will it end? Fortunately, I was still feeling the love from my weekend away.

Let's recap the week!



Sunday, February 11, 2018

Running in A Snow Globe

If you read Friday's post, you know that Chicago got hit with a whopper of a storm and I was agonizing over the possibility of not traveling to Birmingham. I prepared this post in advance hoping that today, I would be in Birmingham with Holly and I was able to run the Mercedes Half Marathon! I'll have a full recap on the race for you later in the week.

Meanwhile, let's wrap up the week in the snow globe!



Sunday, February 4, 2018

The Running Kind

Just when I thought it was safe to remove some layers and run without my ninja face mask, the weather gods did a 180 and sent us plunging back into the deep freeze. In all my years, I don't remember a winter as cold as this one. I was so glad to see January come to an end. Even though I know that February can be cruel too, it's only 28 days.

Yet I'm still not desperate enough to run on the treadmill. I'm trying to integrate those Mindful Running principles into my runs, but when conditions are harsh, it's tough to stay focused and keep the negative voices quiet. I loaded up my playlist with some new songs, tunes guaranteed to keep my mind occupied and my legs moving. You know it's a good run when I'm singing along with the songs. 

Can't stop, won't stop! That's me. The running kind.