Reacquainting Myself with Regular Yoga Practice

Can you believe it’s almost Fall? Where did Summer go?!

I start teaching yoga again one week from today, so I’m in preparation/panic mode this week. But, not totally panic mode because (ever the planner) I started preparing myself for teaching yoga again two weeks ago. I started by trying to schedule daily breathing time. Continue reading “Reacquainting Myself with Regular Yoga Practice”

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The Home Stretch

Wait a minute…..MapMyRun, Where is my Q3 Performance Report?!

Just this last week I realized that I had never done a post at the end of September about where I’m at and what I’ve achieved so far. I mean I did the Q1 for 2017 and the Mid Year Performance Report, but I have checked all of my emails and there’s no Q3….

So, with just over 2 months to go in 2017 I thought I would give a quick update and set out the plan for the home stretch of this year.

Mileage totals as of October 25, 2017 – 333.7 (prior to today’s run) Mileage consists of runs, walks, jogs, bikes, and swims

Sun Salutation Progress – Today is the “half-way” point to 108, although I do have to modify some of the poses from time to time to accommodate sore shoulders

Lifting – I have successfully completed 3/4 lifting weeks since starting the habits project. It’s all light weight (and I will be doing a video for it in an upcoming WOW post), but it’s something that I am able to keep relatively consistent at the moment.

Swimming – I have only missed one day of swimming since I started (due to shoulder pain) and am working hard on learning to breathe to both sides.

Going forward:

  1. November will bring back 3 days/week running along with Wednesdays being specialized for speed
  2. Mileage goal by the end of the year is 500 (my most mileage ever!)
  3. Weights will remain a Tuesday thing
  4. Swimming a Thursday thing
  5. Still on track to hit 108 Sun Salutations on Thanksgiving Day

Still need to register for my spring race….although it’s been decided. Come back next week for more WOW Yoga videos. Until then:

Where are you at on your 2017 Fitness Endeavors?

Mid-Year Performance Report 2017

Back in April I gave you all the rundown on my Q1 Performance Report. It was a slow start to the year and right around the time I started training with my friend for the 8K we’ll be running in September. Map My Run (not a sponsored post) sent me my Mid-Year Performance Report recently. Here’s a pictorial review of my first 6 months of 2017 from a tracked perspective and not including all of the other things I’ve done.

Not bad that I’ve averaged 1 workout every 2.5 days so far this year. Not every other day, but close!
I’m not a big fan of counting calories, so this one doesn’t matter to me. Plus, I’m not really eating pizza anymore because of the cheese (which used to be my favorite part), so I could care less about this stat. Additionally, MapMyRun doesn’t know much about me so I don’t feel these are accurate results.
Well, I’ve been to LA once and don’t plan to go back, but never visited San Diego….maybe some day, although I don’t plan to run there at this time. 🙂 What I am super proud of here is that I did over twice as many miles in the second three months of the year than I did in the first three. Yippee!
Kind of disappointing that I only exercised for 24 hours over the last 6 months. Although, maybe that means I’m super fast?
Super proud of my fastest run mile! I’ll be 37 years old and I’m running some of the fastest that I’ve ever done! Hoping to beat my youngest brother’s 8K time this September….can I be under 47 minutes? He’s almost 9 years younger than me.
And this last one is a little disappointing as well. I hoped to be much longer in my runs. I actually thought I had done a 6 miler in April or May, but apparently it didn’t calculate that way? Oh well, longer training ahead!

We are less than 7 weeks to race day and the training program is starting to get varied as we move out of that base endurance phase. I’m curious as to what Q3 will look like after my birthday comes and goes!

Where are you in your 2017 fitness goals?

Finding a Rhythm – Obliging Myself

I’m sitting at the Charlotte airport again. I had a lovely and brief weekend in New Jersey at the Fanwood-Scotch Plains YMCA teaching the NETA PT Workshop. It was one of the best groups I’ve had in awhile, so I’m glad that I got to share that time with them.

The trip was a little precarious in that I got in late on Friday night and had to navigate Newark and the surrounding highways in the dark. Let me just tell you…..I’m not used to New England drivers and being just over a month out from my accident it was an added challenge! I even felt my left arm going numb at times and worried I was having a heart attack. Some good Ujjaii breathing helped me calm down, but it didn’t help that I had chosen the Toyota Yaris from Hertz that had no cruise control. Yikes!

The weekend was a success in that I tried to spend a little time thinking about why I’m away from the blog so much at this time. I thought about my training routine lately (or lack there of) and my general situation in life. I came up with a few things that I’ve been meaning to write about while seeing beautiful deer grazing in someone’s yard this morning. It almost made me consider moving to New Jersey….but don’t jump for joy yet Tina!

So, I’m an OBLIGER. This is something I discovered in my research on Gretchen Rubin’s work and Happiness Projects. What does it mean exactly? It means, something that I’ve kind of known all along, that it’s much easier for me to commit to something if the outcome is for someone else.

In what ways am I an obliger? With my kids, especially. If something is necessary for one of them, it’s going to get done at my own sacrifice. For work I’m pretty good at making sure the work is done (maybe not always in the time frame I’d planned, but always before the deadline).

In which areas of my life do I not oblige? Ugh, I’m probably not the best obliger in my relationships…..

I read this interesting article on NBCNews.com the other day about why it’s so much harder to be married in 2017 than it was before. One thing that I hit on was the whole “getting married later” and “finding it easier to be single”. I was married once before and while I liked being married both then and now, find it harder this time around. I didn’t spend long being “single” (about a year), but the independence that came at that time in my life was refreshing in a way I didn’t know it could be. There are still times in which I wish I could have things only MY way (not a very Yogi Attitude).

In my friendships I’m probably a decent obliger and currently more so with one friend than others. I am training with a friend for an 8k in September. My 2017 birthday present to myself. And that’s probably where I’m the worst obliger….in my own yoga practice and fitness (especially right now).

I can get up at 530am twice a week to go and teach yoga to others. I can make my body do 4 or more classes per day. I can run 6 miles with a friend. I can’t seem to find the rhythm that keeps me going on my own.

You may say, with all that other activity, why would it matter? It does. It matters a lot to a fitness professional. I understand, after many failures in life, how hard it is for people to create behavior change. I understand the struggle to “stay healthy”, to “get in shape”, to “be fit”. I understand the ups and downs of this journey more than a lot of other fitness professionals. I feel like Obligers are not often found in the fitness realm. My colleagues tend to be highly driven toward working out for themselves and, while I’ve had those moments in my life, I’m finding it easier to commit to others and their needs right now than my own.

One thing that used to help me was my schedule. My planner set the rhythm of my life….10 lines for each day dedicated to what I wanted/needed to do. I put in exercise as a priority, play dates with friends, intentions to catch up with people, dates, household obligations, and work commitments. However, I haven’t used my planner since the beginning of May and it shows in many areas of my life. I am surprised by how many ways the accident has impacted my life. So, today, on my flight from Newark I busted out the planner and started writing in it. I made a list for this week of all that I’d like to accomplish, but didn’t put exercise on it. Why? Doesn’t that seem counter productive to my goals and my Happiness Project? Yes, but it’s also more productive for me to find my way back to exercising on my own organically.

I have this big fitness goal that I’d like to achieve this summer….108 Sun Salutations. I was inspired by Tracy at Fit is a Feminist Issue awhile back, but haven’t found the way to commit to it yet. I even tried to wrangle my friend I’m running with into it. But I don’t think she was exactly game. I’m going to keep running with her twice a week and see what happens. I finish teaching for the summer on June 29th and then it will be all on me. Fingers crossed that I pick up again before then!

Have you been over to the quiz yet to find your tendency?

Have you been to New Jersey before?

What is your summer fitness goal?

What keeps you in your rhythm?

Happiness Project Month 2: Strength – My Second Big Truth

For me and my body I first wanted to focus on health because of all that has gone on with my body in the first few months of this year. Now that I have resolved a few things with my health:

  • The cyst is out and my leg is still healing
  • The final lupus tests were negative
  • No cavities at my dental check-up
  • I’m still as blind as I’ve always been per my eye exam
  • I have had enough blood drawn this month to create a new human

…it’s time to move on to the second major part of my happiness project: Strength. Continue reading “Happiness Project Month 2: Strength – My Second Big Truth”

Q1 Performance Report 2017

The other day in my inbox I received this from MapMyRun

It was both saddening and motivating. See, it’s not totally reflective of all the “activity” I’ve done so far this year. I no longer track my yoga teaching or practice, my HIIT workouts, my Pilates, nor anything I do outside of walking and running here. However, it was motivating because it meant that I hadn’t totally quit walking and running this year.

In the past few years I have struggled to hit the mythical 500 miles/year mark. This year may be no exception, but I’m still trying. I use MapMyRun because it’s free and I can mark my own routes pretty easily. There’s an app for the phone, but I don’t use it because I don’t have a lot of data. I am not a brand ambassador nor paid for my reviews of the site and the one thing I wish they’d eliminate is the calorie counter. But, I am a loyal user and I love being able to track my mileage, write how I felt about each session, see my pacing change on routes over time, and also to track the mileage on my shoes.

This year I am running with a friend 2x/week. We are planning on doing an 8k in September as my birthday present to myself this year. I am guaranteed to run at least twice a week with someone and lately it’s been about 4 miles of jog/walk as she builds up her endurance and speed. I enjoy this because it also means that I will be doing the mileage. Today is my lone run day and I am gearing up for a nice, stretch my legs run, at my own pace. I’m curious to see how my 2nd quarter performance will be now that we’ve started running together.

Do you like to run together or alone?

How do you track?

What do you track?

Would 54 miles in the first three months be a disappointment or motivating for you?

Workout Wednesday #8 – The Ball

Happy Wednesday All! I don’t know about you, but I love my physio ball! I’ve posted a few times about my physio ball

And you can see me use it in my HIIT workouts, but today I want to talk a little more about all the ways you can incorporate it.

Here’s the chart for sizing your ball

And, as always….

While I am a fitness professional with multiple degrees and certifications, this workout is unsolicited, un-sponsored, and not intended as advice for you to use to diagnose your own injuries, treat them, nor rehab anything; nor is it an exercise prescription that will meet your personal needs, likes, and abilities. Please check in with your healthcare professional if you’re having health problems and before starting any new exercise routine.

Just curious…

What’s your favorite physio ball exercise?

Workout Wednesday #7 – Breathing for Optimal Performance

Do you know how to breathe? Way back last fall I asked you to take notice of your breath in the first Mini Movie Monday post. If you haven’t watched that video….you may want to. Breathing is essential to our daily life and especially to our performance as athletes and fitness enthusiasts. This Runner’s World article (and many others) highlight one such study regarding runners and it’s pretty much a universal truth when it comes to exercise:

“Exercise improves the conditioning of the diaphragm, the muscle that separates the chest from the abdomen, and the intercostal muscles, which lie between the ribs and enable you to inhale and exhale,” says Everett Murphy, M.D., a runner and pulmonologist at Olathe Medical Center in Olathe, Kansas. “When you take a breath, 80 percent of the work is done by the diaphragm. If you strengthen your diaphragm, you may improve your endurance and be less likely to become fatigued.”

This was backed up by researchers from the Centre for Sports Medicine and Human Performance at Brunel University in England, who recently measured fatigue levels of marathoners’ respiratory muscles and leg muscles. They found a direct link-runners whose breathing was the most strained showed the most leg weakness-and concluded in their study that the harder the respiratory muscles had to work, the more the legs would struggle in a race.

The key to preventing lung-and leg-fatigue is breathing more fully.

Therefore, today we are going to learn a yoga breathing technique known as Dirga Pranayama that will teach us to breathe more fully in our daily lives as well as during our activities.

And, as always….

While I am a fitness professional with multiple degrees and certifications, this workout is unsolicited, un-sponsored, and not intended as advice for you to use to diagnose your own injuries, treat them, nor rehab anything; nor is it an exercise prescription that will meet your personal needs, likes, and abilities. Please check in with your healthcare professional if you’re having health problems and before starting any new exercise routine.

Just curious…

How has breathing impacted your performance? Your life?

Coming Down

It’s been awhile since I’ve written on the blog….a little over a week. On Monday I had every intention of posting about how wonderful it was to have taken my last dose of Prednisone, but the truth is that this week has been a little of ups and downs. In my health journal I have seen my first smile on Tuesday when I went for a run with a friend and didn’t have to take the meds, but also my first frown because Wednesday I was so fatigued and couldn’t get off the couch to go exercise.

I am pretty okay with the neutral face days because that means that I’m still getting life done. I had another smile on Thursday while getting to experience Goddess Yoga as taught by a former student of mine. Things are looking up, but coming down from the Prednisone has meant that I’m more tired, my mind has slowed down, and I’m adjusting to the old eating patterns again.

And today? Today gets another smile! Today I am in Rochester, New York at one of my favorite workshop sites (Rochester Athletic Club for Women) teaching the NETA Pilates Specialty Certification. I love this place because the women are amazing, the facility is super clean, and the host, Nikki, is fabulous! I would work for her if I lived in this area.

I’m also getting the opportunity to eat at one of my favorite restaurants….Root 31. Today I had their Mediterranean Flatbread for lunch and it was so good that I ate it before I could snag a photo for you. For dinner I had to indulge in my go to Beets and Sweets salad. At first I thought it was a little smaller than last year, but it still hit the spot after my 4 mile walk on the treadmill. I wanted to run, but seriously….the treadmill is so close to the ceiling at this hotel that I was afraid of going through the roof!

Now I’m just prepping for another great day of Pilates training, one last meal at Root 31, my trip home, and a better week ahead. Check in with me on Monday for a full recap of my weekend away plus the start of a new Meditation series (think How to Meditate); Wednesday we’ll be breathing together in a different way; and Saturday I’m back doing another race for RTE.

How is your health holding up?

What is on your agenda for the week ahead?

What was the best part of your weekend?

Workout Wednesday #6 – Loving Your Exercises

I’ve been doing my HIIT routine for awhile now and have missed very few weeks. There have even been a few times that I’ve had to double up on HIITing for the week due to lack of options for running or time. However, I’ve come to realize two things:

  1. I don’t truly love each of the exercises that I’ve chosen as much as I thought  I would
  2. Some of the things I set the bar a little low on

So, changes to the HIIT routine this time around include new exercises and variations on others, but still sticking with 8 exercises for 20 seconds on/10 seconds off for 3 rounds. I hope that the next time I’m ready for a change it will be the 4th round!

If you’re interested, I also read this article from ACE the other night

ACE-SPONSORED RESEARCH: HIIT VS. STEADY-STATE TRAINING

it doesn’t seem to matter what type you’re doing, after 8 weeks interest starts to decline….we’ll talk more about motivational strategies, variation, and other principles of training again soon!

And, as always….

While I am a fitness professional with multiple degrees and certifications, this workout is unsolicited, un-sponsored, and not intended as advice for you to use to diagnose your own injuries, treat them, nor rehab anything; nor is it an exercise prescription that will meet your personal needs, likes, and abilities. Please check in with your healthcare professional if you’re having health problems and before starting any new exercise routine.

Want more posts on HIIT?

Want more posts on Principles of Training?

What types of exercises would you like to see in Workout Wednesdays?