Sunday, February 14, 2016

Big Sur Marathon Training--Week 2

Ok--it's February and it's supposed to be warming up, not the other way around! This week's Big Sur Marathon training was remarkable for the frigid temps that hit as the week wound down. It's really Murphy's Law--I had my longest training run to date planned for Sunday--and the polar vortex returned. But you know I don't let the weather stop me...

Big Sur Marathon Training Week 2

Monday I went to yoga. I have no pictures but trust me when I tell you that it was another amazing class. Monday's instructor has such a calm, quiet way about her, and I felt really good when I left.

Tuesday was a very early wake up call. I had a class at work, and had to be there by 7:45. There were 6 miles on the plan and I was out the door by 5. I haven't run in the dark for a very long time. To top it off, it was snowing. This was a slippery, slow run, but I felt great. 6.24m/9:14m/m

Snowy tree pose
It was 5 am. It was snowing. What else was there to do?
Wednesday I had hill repeats on the plan. I planned to go to Payton's Hill to do these but Mother Nature had other ideas--even though it was sunny, there was a -10F windchill. Since this was really a focused workout, I didn't think I'd get much out of battling the wind, so I took my repeats to the treadmill. I did 1/4 mile hill sprints x 10 at some unknown incline (my old 'mill doesn't tell me that information) and for recovery, I walked backwards for about 1 1/2-2 minutes. Becky talked with me about this last week, and she wanted me to do these backwards intervals slow as I drive forward, engaging my quads. As it turns out, there are all kinds of benefits to walking backwards on the treadmill that have nothing to do with fitness. Like improving your balance. I almost fell off when I first started. But after a couple of intervals, I was snapping along with the music. In a couple of weeks, I'll be ready to dance on the 'mill like this guy:

After I finished, I went to yoga. We had a sub, and her class was a little different from what we were used to. But it was a good class, and she had a theme for us, which was connection. She referred back to that theme throughout the class. On the way home, I couldn't help myself. I had to stop and make a connection to the brilliant sunshine. Too bad it was so brutally cold!

Cold king dancer
A cold king dancer
Thursday started with a ride on the bike trainer. I had some issues with my Apple TV, YouTube, and the Wahoo Fitness app. I started to get frustrated because I couldn't get anything to work and I just wanted to ride. So that's what I did while I troubleshot everything. I finally got things working, and did an interval workout. I'm not sure where I rode, but the video I used was a good one. I'm pretty consistent, apparently because once again I rode for 1 hour total, 13.03 miles. 

Bike intervals
Intervals complete
After my ride, I worked out with Becky. She continues to up my weights, and I did front squats and deadlifts. I'm not sure how heavy the deadlifts were this week, but they were heavy. I'm not yet maxed out but I have to be close. After I lifted, I did a circuit of evil wheel aka ab rollouts (my abs still hurt) and split squats with my back foot on a box and a barbell. That required a lot of hip stability, and it is something I need some work on. Sometimes these "easy" exercises she has me do are way tougher than the weight lifting. 

Big Sur Marathon Training Week 2
Friday was a rest day. 

Saturday was another bitterly cold day. The night before when I looked at the forecast, I made plans to run inside. When I got up the sun was bright and I couldn't pass it up. How bad could it be? I put on my layers and my ninja face mask, and headed out into the cold. You know what? It wasn't as bad as it seemed. I'm so attuned to what I need to wear for different conditions and I was completely prepared. I started off a little stiff--I was still sore from Thursday, but this was my fastest run in weeks! Who knew? 5 miles/8:34m/m

Ninja runner
Like a winter ninja. No snow.
Sunday I had 12 on the plan. The weather forecast was not at all favorable for a long run (16F and snow) but the alternative, the treadmill, was even less attractive. Since there was no snow when I started, I headed to the bike path. This run was mentally tough--the cold and the wind really tested my resolve. I also had shin splints and foot pain when I started out. But once I loosened up, I felt much better. I couldn't feel my face when I got home (and now that song is going through my head) but after a hot shower and lunch, I felt much better. This was a solid run, and really gave me the confidence I needed to move forward! 12 miles/9:02m/m

Big Sur Marathon Training Week 2
I can't feel my face....
Overall, another great week of training. For the most part, my foot is feeling better. It still hurts, but between the night splint and those heel raises, I've got it down to a dull roar. Some days it doesn't even bother me. I'm relaxing into my training and feeling very confident. One month to go until I leave for Florida and run the Sarasota Half Marathon. It's happening!

Happy Valentine's Day
Thanks to HoHoRuns for this fun image!

Have a great week!

How was your week? Any fun training stories to share?

I'm linking up with Holly and Tricia for their Weekly Wrap! 

Friday, February 12, 2016

Food for the Runner's Sole

February is a tough month for most of us. Let's face it, unless you live in California or Florida, by February, we've all had enough of winter. Of course, if you are running the LA Marathon this weekend, you might not be happy about the predicted 90 degree temps. So there's that. But for most of us, getting out for a run this time of year is challenging. I'm ready to ditch the layers. Sadly, here in the Midwest, we're hitting the coldest temperatures of the winter this week. How fair is that?

No one ever said life is fair. Mother Nature doesn't always play nice, does she?

I needed a little pick me up this week, and for today's post, I decided to focus on the things that are making me happy. A little sole food, if you will... (see what I did there...)

Food for the Runner's Sole

One thing I've noticed this week is that the days are noticeably longer. I woke up at 6 this morning and the sky was already light. That makes me happy. And what really makes me happy is a sunny day. We've had a lot of sunny days this winter, and that makes me happy, even though it is bitterly cold outside. Somehow, with the sun shining, it doesn't feel quite so cold. In fact, I was brave crazy enough to quickly do a yoga pose on my way home from class. Because, the sun.

king dancer pose
It was 16 degrees. But the sun is shining!
Shopping for running clothes always makes me happy, and especially when they are on sale. Two of my favorite stores, Athleta and Title Nine have had sales lately. Yesterday morning I woke up to an email from Title Nine that everything in the sale section is an additional 30% off. And this morning, Athleta posts a 20% code (EXTRA20) for all their sale items. No running clothes for me, but a skirt I had been eyeballing for quite some time was at a decent price point. Nothing says lovin' like clicking on the "buy now" button.

Friends are awesome. Running friends are better. But running blogging friends are the best. I had lunch with Marcia today, and somehow we managed to kill two hours talking about what? I couldn't even tell you. Marcia thinks we should do a podcast. Can you even imagine? I love this lady, and what's great is she gets me. Still laughing...Did I tell you all we met through her blog? Isn't that just the best?
Running friends are the best friends. Running friends who blog are even better.
Matching thermoballs. #solesisters
I love to read. You all know I host a monthly book club on the blog (or maybe you didn't but you know now), and nothing makes me happier than reading books about running. Interestingly, the next two books I've chosen aren't about running! But both of them are very inspiring. Next Friday is the monthly link up--I hope you've read the book of the month, It Was Me All Along by Andie Mitchell. If you haven't, it isn't too late! This is a book about a young woman's struggle with her weight and body image. I'm working on my review, and I found it to be a very good read. Next month is Diana Nyad's autobiography, which I can't wait to read. Meanwhile, I'm reading The Lake House, and the main character runs! Gotta love that.

Taking the Long Way Home book club

I do love winter comfort food. But after gorging on Super Bowl food, this week I was dying for something a little on the light side. Whole Foods had Atlantic cod on sale, and I found a fabulous recipe for Panko Crusted Cod with lemon dill sauce. And since it was broiled, it was healthy. Don't you think anything with panko is good? I love the crunch. I didn't take pictures, and I'm sorry about that. But it was sole food. And my runner's soul was happy.

Oh, I guess I have 6 things to be happy about! I was selected to be a Venus de Miles Ambassador this year! Do you know about this amazing organization? There's a bike ride--25 miles or 62 miles--or a 5k run/walk. The ride--it's not a race--is to support the Greenhouse Scholars. I did this event last year and it was an amazing experience. You can read all about it here.  I'll be sharing more about this wonderful event in weeks to come. I'm honored to support this organization. Today through February 15 take $14 off the registration fee using the code LONGWAY. I hope to ride with a lot of you!

What's making your runner's sole happy? What do you do to keep yourself motivated in the winter?

I'm linking up with the DC Trifecta--Courtney, Mar, and Cynthia-- for the Friday Five! This week's theme is food.

I'm also linking up with Angela at Happy Fit Mama for High Five Friday! So much positivity going on!

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

The Finish Line

As runners, we measure victory in finish lines and finish times. After all the preparation, all the blood, sweat, and tears, there is just no better feeling than crossing the finish line after a grueling training cycle. The race might be hard, but the finish line is the reward after all that hard work.

The marathon is often used as a metaphor for a difficult journey. Some people use the word marathon loosely to describe any kind of lengthy experience. Like a Netflix marathon. I don't know about you, but there's not a lot of challenge in sitting in front of the TV for hours on end. Unless you are watching Guy Fieri (my husband loves him). Or American Idol.

That's not what I'm talking about here.

What I'm talking about is crossing a finish line where you've overcome some kind of challenge. Maybe it was a difficult race. Or sending your youngest child off to college. Or a positive pregnancy test after a long battle with infertility. Graduating from school. There are all kinds of finish lines in life. Most of these finish lines have no winners. The prize is in the finish and a job well done. Triumphant, because you've overcome the training, the journey, the adversity--whatever it was--to get yourself to the finish. The most meaningful finish lines, as in the marathon, are the ones crossed after the most challenging journeys.

As a nurse practitioner, I am privileged to share in many of my patients' journeys. Because this is a running blog, I don't talk about that much here. But today, I want to share a story about a very special finish line.

Almost a year and a half ago, in the middle of a busy afternoon clinic schedule, I walked into an exam room to evaluate a 6 year old girl with abdominal pain. Abdominal pain is one of my least favorite complaints because more often that not, it is usually due to constipation. I usually see at least 2 kids per day with this problem. I know what you're thinking. Living the dream, right? What's better than talking about poop all day long?

But this visit was different. As I entered the room, I introduced myself to Jolie and her mom. I noticed that Jolie's abdomen was really distended. My instincts told me this was not good. Her mom told me Jolie had an ongoing problem with constipation. For once, I hoped that this was constipation. But I knew better. As I palpated her abdomen, I expected to feel an enlarged liver or spleen. Instead, I felt a large, hard mass across her lower abdomen. My heart sunk. I knew this was bad. While I didn't let her mom know how worried I was, I sent Jolie to the ER where she could have a CT scan.

Later, I learned that Jolie was diagnosed with a rare tumor called rhabdomyosarcoma. The prognosis was not good, and the treatment regimen harsh.

Zuly, Jolie, and me Halloween 2014
Pre-chemo: Zuly (my medical assistant), Jolie, and me
In spite of the ups and downs that go with cancer treatment, Jolie's parents projected so much positivity that you couldn't help but be caught up in it. She was diagnosed right before Halloween, and my medical assistant and I visited her in costume, only to find her parents dressed up as well. Jolie was dressed as a princess. Later, when Jolie's hair fell out, her dad let her shave his head in solidarity.

We wore Team Jolie bracelets. Jolie's mom started a Team Jolie facebook page and posted frequent updates and pictures.

Last week, Jolie crossed the finish line of her very grueling marathon. In fact, I'd compare it to an ultramarathon. After 16 months of chemo, radiation, and surgery, Jolie was declared cancer free.

courtesy of Brandy Kneip
I attended Jolie's end of chemo party. We were invited to celebrate this beautiful little girl, but more than that, her parents wanted to celebrate all the people who were part of this journey. It was so fitting for these wonderful parents who found joy all along this very difficult journey.

It was a triumphant day for Jolie and her family. Realistically, they know there is still a long road ahead of them. But for today, they celebrated Jolie's finish line.

Jolie and me
So happy to be on the other side of this marathon!
When I asked Jolie's mom if I could share her story on my blog, I told her that my blog prompt this week was the word triumphant. I said I couldn't think of a more fitting story. Her response? "Do it!"

This one's for you, Jolie. Fighting the good fight. Inspiring all of us to stay the course. A marathon? Piece of cake.

If you want to follow Jolie's journey, you can join her Team Jolie Facebook Group. If you want to do something, Jolie's favorite charity is Bear Necessities Pediatric Cancer Foundation. You can also donate to Advocate Children's Hospital Cancer Care Program.

Have you overcome a life challenge only to emerge triumphant? 

I'm linking up with DebRuns' weekly Wednesday Word blog prompt. Today's word is triumphant.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Big Sur Marathon Training-- Week 1

Week one of Big Sur Marathon Training is in the books! How did it go?

Big Sur Marathon Training Week 1

Monday: running rest day. On my way to work, I did manage to catch the sunrise at the retention pond where I train. It was spectacular. The pose of the day for the #flexandflow yoga challenge was Wild Thing. Perfect timing, I think! I won Monday's challenge and got to pick out something from prAna's spring collection!
Wild thing
Wild Thing. you make my heart sing. So does this sunrise. Right place, right time.
Tuesday: I ran 4 miles around the 'hood. My legs felt surprisingly great! It was a cold, gloomy morning, and I scoped out my route for a place to take my daily yoga picture. The prompt was to do a pose that challenges you. I always struggle with balance poses and straight leg poses, so I did standing big toe pose, using my SpiBelt as a prop. Hey, whatever works, right?

Standing big toe pose
This pose is so ugly, I had to find an ugly background. 
Wednesday: Speedwork aka mile repeats x4 on the treadmill. I took my Apple Watch out on my long run Sunday to recalibrate it in anticipation of using it on the treadmill. What I didn't realize is that the Apple fitness tracker does not give you mile splits. Since I wasn't paying attention to the numbers on the treadmill, I have no idea how fast my splits were. Crap! I know they were consistent, but that's about it. I'm done with the treadmill and I'm done with my Apple Watch as a running watch. Done. Garmin, you are stuck with me. And I'm doing my speedwork outside. The hell with it.

After my speedwork, I went to yoga. We did a lot of poses against the wall, which really allows you to properly position yourself in the poses. It was another amazing class, and I took my final studio photo for the yoga challenge. The theme was balance, and I chose warrior 3, which is a pose I really struggle with. It took me about 10 takes to get this picture and I still couldn't get the bottom leg straight. Ugh. Though the outtakes were hilarious...
Warrior 3 oops!
Whoa, whoa, whoa!
The camera doesn't lie. I'm balance challenged.
Warrior 3
Warrior 3.
A work in progress.
Thursday: EPIC workout day. I woke up to a beautiful blue sky, and after dropping my youngest off at school, I stopped at Payton's hill where I plan to do my hill repeats. I ran to the top and did the pose of the day, crescent lunge. It is one of my favorites. The wind was brutal at the top and I scurried back to my car. Then I rode my bike for an hour. This time I rode in Germany, which strangely looked like Wisconsin. 14 miles/1:00:43

Crescent lunge
The top of the hill.
After my bike ride, I headed over to work with Becky. She had me do cleans into front squats with 55# on the bar. This was the most I have done so far. She didn't expect me to get to this weight, and was thrilled with this. I was too! After the front squats were deadlifts 155#. She says this isn't my max yet. Ooof. It was heavy. But no complaining, right? Otherwise burpees... To finish, she had me push the prowler 3 laps across the floor. But on the trip back, I pushed the lower bar and OMG was that hard!

After my workout, we talked about hill training. This seasoned runner has never formally trained for hills before. Becky reassured me that I would have no trouble tackling the hills of Big Sur, both the uphills and downhills, with the work she has me doing. But she understood the psychological advantage of actually doing hill work, and we reviewed what I should be doing on my hill repeats. Short sprints up, and easy downhills. Stay tuned.

Clean into a front squat
Clean into a front squat. A new skill this strength cycle!
Friday: rest day. The last day of the yoga challenge, we did child's pose. And all was right with the world.

Child's pose

Saturday: I had 6 miles on the plan. Except that I didn't look at the plan, and thought I only had to do 4. Oh well. It was a gorgeous morning, and I stopped to take in the sunrise. 4.55 miles/8:39m/m

4 miles sunrise

Sunday: Since there is no snow on the ground--so odd for this time of year--I decided to take my 10 mile run to the very pretty preserve with the limestone path. I rarely get to run there in the winter, and I thought this would be a treat! The path was kind of mushy in places and there were frozen footsteps in other spots. There were also some patches of snow and ice. But the sun was peeking through the clouds and it was so pretty to be in this peaceful oasis.

Buffalo Creek 10 miles
Look at that sky!
The one thing I didn't count on was the wind. The temps were in the 40s when I headed out but the wind started to pick up. I had the wind at my back on the way out and didn't realize how strong it was until I turned around to head home. The best word I can use to describe it was brutal. While 40 degrees in February sounds almost balmy for Chicago, the wind is a deal breaker. This route is fairly hilly (for here) and at mile 7, I hit Payton's Hill into the wind. I stopped at the top to catch my breath. The downhill didn't feel much better since I was running into that cold wind. Not quitting on this run was a win. I kept thinking to myself: "what if it is windy like this at Big Sur?" And "what doesn't kill me will make me stronger". Running outside in February is always an exercise in mental toughness. Anyways, I got it done, 10.38 miles/9:03m/m

Coming up this week--more miles! And no more yoga challenge. I'll still be doing yoga but I won't be posting daily poses. Thanks to all of you for indulging me. I've really enjoyed having fun with the poses and the pictures.

How was your week of training? Any fun adventures to share?

I'm linking this post up with Holly and Tricia for their Weekly Wrap! Head on over to their blogs to see what they and everyone else did this week!

Friday, February 5, 2016

5 new things to love on the run!

It's the month of love, right? I've been trying out some new fitness related items! Besides the SLS3 Dual Pocket Run Belt that I'm reviewing and giving away below, what else am I loving on the run? Or the bike....or the mat?

For inspiration: 
For Christmas, my sister gave me a Momentum wrist wrap with the mantra "just breathe" written on it. I'm sure she had no idea that so far this year I would need frequent reminders to do just that. I wear that bracelet every day and am grateful for the prompting. I just love it. My friend Zenaida hosted a giveaway on her blog, and I won a Momentum wrap from her! That one reads "stronger than yesterday". Sometimes I wear both. I need all the reminders I can get to stay tough! Since you can customize the mantras, you can make the wrap all your own. I had one made for my coach Becky with her favorite mantra "good vibes only". I can't believe she didn't already have one. I also ordered a wrap for one of my little patients who just finished a year and a half of chemo and radiation. Hers says "you are your own superhero". She is my superhero.
photo courtesy of Momentum designs
For fun!
One of my readers, Barbara Valentin, reached out to me about the book club. She's an author of contemporary romance novels and wanted to know if I would be interested in reading her book, False Start (affiliate link). The story is about a newspaper reporter who gets assigned to train for and run the Chicago Marathon. The catch is that she has to work with a coach, who just happens to be her ex fiance's brother. While this isn't the book genre we read for the book club, the book sounded like it would be a fun read. Valentin offered to send me a copy for my kindle, free of charge. Valentin is a great storyteller, and this light entertaining read would be enjoyable for anyone looking for something fun to read. Plus it's about running, and that's a win!

affiliate link
For the bike:
So it's no secret that I've been spending time on the bike trainer. I really enjoy this form of cross training. But how to track my speed, my cadence, and my miles when I'm not moving forward? I did my homework, and instead of buying a bike computer, I bought the Wahoo Blue SC Speed and Cadence sensor. (affiliate link) This device works via bluetooth with my iPhone. It's compatible with Android as well. I downloaded the Wahoo fitness app, but you can use it with a variety of fitness apps. Being a numbers person, it's been fun tracking my rides. I'm looking forward to the warm weather rides and road testing it.

affiliate link

But do I use my iPhone on the bike? Have no fear, there are plenty of handlebar mounts out there. Again, I did my homework and chose the Koomus Bike2Go Universal Smartphone Bike Mount Holder Cradle (affiliate link) (KB2GUSBMHC for short). I had my son install it for me, which he did in no time flat. I love it. The cradle is adjustable and holds a variety of phones. You can also adjust the tilt. There's a tether that inserts into your headphone jack in case the phone slips out of the mount. I've only used the KB2GUSBMHC on the trainer, so I'll fill you in on it's performance once I'm back on the road.

affiliate link

For the run:
Ok, now to that SLS3 Dual Pocket Run Belt. I knew that when SLS3 asked me to review it that I was already going to like it. Double Pockets? Yes, please. Waterproof? Yes, please. You know I love my SpiBelt. But even though it stretches, it doesn't hold everything I need. Plus I hate having everything all in one pocket. I'm always afraid I'm going to drop something and lose it.  The SLS3 Dual Pocket Run Belt solves that problem for me. Now I have a pocket for my phone and one for everything else. The pockets are large enough to hold my iPhone6. The waterproof material is a plus since I run outside no matter what the weather. It comes in a variety of colors. The belt is wide, adjustable, and comfortable. The only problem I had was since I like to wear the belt low around my hips, it would tend to slide up and I had to keep adjusting it. Other than that, I really can't recommend this belt enough. I'll be taking it out for a long run this weekend, so we'll see how it really performs!
you know that's not me!
photos courtesy of SLS3 and

What running/fitness gadgets are you loving lately? Any running related books you want to recommend?

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!