May 14, 2013 § 20 Comments
I’ve just returned home from a four mile run with two fantastic friends, who might be responsible for reigniting my running mojo.
Despite the fact that their comfortable run pace was closer to a minute per mile faster than mine, I was happy panting a good few feet behind.
I waved them ahead when I needed to slow, and sweet as they are, they always circled back to get me.
I know I’m predictable, but everything always comes around to what everyone wore.
Both girls chose capri tights and cute tanks, while I, the sun hater, covered up in a long sleeve shirt, my Luluemon pace shorts, and a good dose of sunscreen on all other exposed skin.
I’m completely over my entire running wardrobe right now (maybe because I’m heavier than when I was marathon training or because my legs no longer look 20 … my shorts seem really short), so for weeks I’ve been surfing the latest, newest, greatest.
Inspired running has inspired running clothes shopping.
And we all know how I love good gear.
P.S. Notice how there’s no Lululemon in the bunch. Another post, another day.
April 16, 2013 § 8 Comments
All I’d like to do is sit and write a post about the many things I learned this weekend in what turned out to be a love-filled three days of quality time spent with family.
But as I imagined might happen, life sucked me back into its flow and the must do now list has left blog posts for last.
With the ten minutes I have to myself, I’m watching the clock for pre-school release, waiting in my air-conditioned car, for the first time writing to you via mobile means.
When I have more time (and a much smaller list of necessary to do’s), I’ll post in a more familiar manner.
For now I leave you with the thought that’s confronted me yet again; this time coming from the most unexpected place.
Often, the greatness in things is overpowered by the hatred/jealousy/sickness in others.
Living in light is the test, then, to ensure you don’t let it/them/fear win.
I think I did okay.
January 9, 2013 § 14 Comments
Did you know that it is entirely possible to run a marathon in March, but by January be unable to sustain two miles at a non-embarassing pace?
Did you know that you can eat upwards of 6,000 calories in a day and pretend that you don’t feel full or sick?
Are you aware that you can tell yourself lie after lie, like saying that you aren’t weighing yourself because it messes with your head, when the truth is that you don’t want to be held accountable for your actions?
AA says that alcoholics need to accept their issues in order to begin to fix a drinking problem, but what about when you are a food user? What about those of us who get relief from food, as opposed to those who eat solely for survival?
Tack on a lack of motivation to exercise; in my case very little running and a weekly trip to yoga, contributes to a body on the verge of total devastation.
Example of destructive behavior: Waking up early for Saturday morning yoga classes, but post savasana, rewarding oneself for a bendy job well done with visits to the hot bar at Whole Foods (their bacon is like fire works in the mouth in case you hadn’t heard).
Once a week hot bar visits is sadly not the extent of my embarrassing behavior. For months I have treated my body like a New York City trash can (full of gunk, but let’s squeeze in a little more, so that its top runneth over).
I’ve secretly hoarded sugar-laced cakes and cookies that I knew would give me a buzz. I’ve made special trips to the store for foods that are known triggers (Ghiradhelli chocolate chips, Kind Healthy Grains granola, sweetened Greek yogurt ) and feigned surprise when bags were empty, before I’d even driven back to into my driveway. Stress relief of the sweetest kind, is the pleasure a food junkie gets from jumping taste buds and a belly packed full.
I’d like to say that my awakening a few days ago happened because I truly care about my health, but I’d be telling you (and myself) another lie.
I care that I can’t fit into a single pair of pants I own. I’m scared by the sight of my backside in stretchy pants. My boobs, much like the Grinch’s heart, have grown three sizes (obviously boob growth took longer than the Grinch’s Christmas day heart swell, it’s just an analogy).
I don’t feel like myself. I don’t know who I feel like at all?
I can’t say for certain that publishing this will change what I decide to do or eat and at what time I shall do it or eat it. I hope I can keep my eye on the fruit bowl (out of the pantry) and watch the numbers on the scale decrease. I want to fit into my clothes again and maybe by summer wear the red Malia Mills that is a tiny size 10 .
This is not about being fat. Or maybe it is.
It’s about not being controlled by behaviors that hurt me. Or maybe it is.
Denial is not a river in Egypt.
Nor is it an option.
Where are you in regard to health, diet and fitness? Are you in denial or right on track?
November 15, 2012 § 10 Comments
After months of waiting to wear my RunningSkirts(dot)com Sub-Zero skirt, the weather finally turned cold enough to pull it from its packaging.
I have raved about Running Skirts compression socks (here) since testing them out a year ago, but unsure about proper sizing in the company’s skirts made me hesitant about ordering one (see sizing below). After receiving an email alert from Schwaggle with a link to the RS website giving an additional percentage off of a special list of merchandise, I took the plunge ordering the heartstooth patterned skirt attached to the full length brushed and wicking pant.
As I usually do before making online purchases, I read the reviews and pondered the size chart. Pant sizing is funny for me (skinny legs and not so skinny hips). According to the measurements listed, I would wear a size 3 (10-12), but since I am so rarely a 12, I wasn’t sure this was the best choice.
It turned out that the size 3 is perfect. I would recommend, actually, that if you are a larger size 12, going up to a size 4 might be better. Size eights would definitely want to buy the size 2.
Confused? I was, though it’s not their fault rather the nature of online shopping.
With a flat waistband and continuous drawcord (like Lululemon’s), there was no rubbing at the belly. Also interesting, and possibly a fit characteristic for my body type (apple-ish), the front waist fit a tad higher than the back. I loved this; always prefer a pant this sits a bit higher at the waist (it’s a different story for me when it comes to shorts).
The Sub-Zero is sold as a cold weather running skirt and performs as such. My legs didn’t feel a moment of wind or freeze after five miles in 37 degree temperatures. During my second run in much warmer weather (about 50 degrees), they still felt great; no overheating. When I run long, even in the coldest temperatures, I always (always) burn hot at my wrists and ankles. During my second run, I folded up the bottom portion of the leg and continued on, grateful that they weren’t super tight at the hem; they folded up easily.
Unhappy with the current quality on the newest LLL running tights (I swear the luxtreme is thinner) and more and more feeling the need to cover my rear (I am a 41-year-old grown woman after all), I am interested in trying some of the other skirts in the line.
Next on my list is the Capri Skirt. If it performs even close to the Sub-Zero, it could (quite possibly) be the perfect running bottom made.
Do you run in skirts? How about RunningSkirts.com skirts? Do you shop there?
November 6, 2012 § 4 Comments
Searching for inspiration is tough when ho-humnity is the name of your game, and your job is to write things that people want to read.
It’s better, then, to turn off the part of the brain that refuses to cooperate and focus on the activities that generate tidings of comfort and joy.
Here is the plan:
1. The kids and I browsed Pinterest this morning and found a graphic designer named Sarah Walsh whose aesthetic interests (pins) spoke to my brain on the side that doesn’t use words. The kids became so inspired by Sarah’s Illustration Station board that they are currently, quietly content at their own art table creating what I know will be framable works of art.
Somewhere in this messy house of mine is a beautiful set of art pens (hidden so the kids wouldn’t use them, but where could they be?) that I must (MUST) find today. Expression through art is necessary in this time of angst (divorce, divorce, divorce).
2. Outside my windows is a dark grey sky; the kind that makes me wonder if the sun is ever going to rise. No matter, I will be bundling my bod (from top of head to tip of toes) as I exit for an early morning run.
It will probably be brutally cold, hurt on a cellular level, but the results will be warmed blood, a regenerated system, and hopefully some adrenaline to push me through my day.
3. Later today, I’m taking my kids to vote. The lessons that I hope they’ll learn will outweigh the irritation that might occur from bored kids pulling on my clothes or the uncomfortable squeeze and tight proximity of three inside a voting booth.
“Women have rights, girls. They have the right to choose who they think should be the boss of America.Once upon a time women weren’t allowed to vote. People with different colored skin weren’t allowed to vote. Ridiculous, right? I don’t know who is going to win today, girls, but I pray he is able to do a good job. We are lucky to live in the United States of America. We are lucky and blessed to have freedom.”
Freedom. The ultimate inspired thought.
What do you do when you are struggling for inspiration? Do you change your focus or just plow though?
November 3, 2012 § 6 Comments
With my yogic river guide out of town (no Saturday yoga for me), I took the opportunity to hit the open road after a month of being sidelined by too much stress and a nagging quadracept injury. Luckily for me, the formula for a happy run was in place.
Here are the components, for which (even hours later) I find myself grateful:
1. Running in the cold (this morning’s thermometer hovered around 37 degrees) allows the lungs to fill with crisp fresh air. To say I felt more alive than I have since March isn’t dramatics. It’s the truth.
2. The right gear is essential for cold-weather running, because freezing is never any fun. I left the house wearing my thick, lined running pants, a long-sleeve shirt and jacket, and a headband to cover and protect my ears from the wind.
3. Going slowly, though not walking, there is no hurry and no pressure. As I amp up the winter running, I’m sure I’ll hop back over to the Galloway method, but my favorite way to run is at an easy pace, for as long as I like. Today’s four miles felt right; authentic, focused, strong.
3. Wearing ear pods is controversial. Galloway doesn’t allow it. People say it is dangerous. But the beauty of having music in your ears is that you not only hear, but feel. Choosing the iPod shuffle-option is like an extra step toward total surrender. The last song as I rounded home was James Blunt’s, Best Laid Plans. The man is a poet, and his words made my heart grow wider.
4. A familiar loop doesn’t hurt when you’re busy following your nose. There’s no chance in getting lost and you’re close enough to home if you need to call it quits (earlier than anticipated).
5. A good run always prompts thoughts of the next race. Maybe it’s the endorphins at work, but I’m thinking that the timing is right to train for March’s Tobacco Road Marathon (or at least the half).
A happy run is the foundation for my happy life.
What’s your formula for a happy run?
P.S. I questioned whether to publish this ‘happy post” as it’s a disappointing time for many running friends unable to race New York; monumentally more difficult for the people trying to recover from Sandy’s destruction. New York and it’s people have lived in my heart since I left almost twelve years ago. I wish I was closer to physically help …
October 8, 2012 § 10 Comments
I wrote this a week ago and sent it out for submission. Having not heard back I’m chalking it up to Written Rejection and am moving on, choosing to post it here instead.
I should be heading out for six miles tomorrow morning according to my marathon training plan. But since writing this piece, I’ve pinched a nerve in my left scapula, which kept me from Saturday yoga, woke this morning with a pulled muscle in my neck and have a faint, but still there, soreness in my quad.
I am, in physical terms, a big old mess!
Maybe it’s time to hang up the hopes for a January marathon. Maybe running to meet a time and distance goals should not be my focus right now. Maybe at this phase of my life I should run for pleasure and freedom and stress relief.
No decisions must be made today.
Acknowledging the thoughts……
Stress and Injury
Being plagued by a tremendous amount of stress recently I woke up ready to go for a run, but had momentarily forgotten about the right quadracept injury that had forced me to put my marathon training on hold. If that wasn’t irritating enough, as I stepped down from my bed I felt a muscular pull up the backside of my right calf; curious as I haven’t done any running or worn new and different shoes since I’d allowed myself this little break to heal from the nagging pain in my thigh.
As I hobbled down the stairs I wondered if the mental stress I’ve been under lately is causing my body to react in a way that is purely physical; both slowing me down and creating pains in places where there shouldn’t be any. It isn’t just common sense that stress can cause illness and injury, in April 2012 a Scientific study at Carnegie Mellon University found proof that mental stress can cause harm on a cellular level; real and actual inflammation can (and does) form in the face of stress.
Two weeks ago I was on a running/yogic/healthy lifestyle roll. Marathon training was in its first week, my consistency in yoga attendance was helping me gain strength and focus, and my food struggles seemed a thing of the past (quitting sugar helped). I was pushing my limits much as I had a year ago at this time, but my circumstances are currently quite different.
Forget that my divorce mediation is nearing closer by the day, the fact that my mother is a week out from surgery from a skin cancer or that my daughters have been acting out to the point that I’ve called a child psychologist for help. Forget that I’m still living with my soon to be ex, that as a stay at home mom I am at the mercy of my husband’s financial choices or that I haven’t worked in six years, since before my twins were born. I have no idea how I’ll support myself after the divorce.
On Tuesday, when a life threatening illness of a loved one rang in my phone, it dawned on me the enormous amounts of life stressers that have plagued what I am coming closer to christening, “Terrible 2012.”
I have a list of things I want to do. I want to run my second marathon in Miami (in January). I want to find meaningful work that will monetarily add to the lives of myself and my children. I want to eat right and attend yoga and fit in my closet full of clothes all presently too tight. I want to feel happy about the chores that keep my house running. I want my family to be healthy. I want to spend time with friends and hear about the wonderful things happening in their lives. I want. I want. I want.
But now may not be the time for the things that I want.
Now might be the time to step back and allow the universe to deliver to me what it thinks I need.
Am I ready to hang up the dream of Miami? Not yet.
Am I going to beat myself up for eating more than my share of the pumpkin pie? Nope.
Will I attend yoga tomorrow morning as I have been for the past few weeks? Yes, because I know it is good for me (my intention, however, will be to remain mindful and without pressure to perform).
What I am not going to do is allow the stress to creep up and cause me pain and frustration and worry.
Sometimes a person needs to be able to choose between what they need and what they want on a minute by minute basis. Knowing when not to do the thing(s) that they want becomes the only decision; the grown up decision to say, “I can’t right now,” knowing that they’ve saved themselves from a stressed out illness or unfortunate injury.
Have you ever pushed through stress and injury for a race? How did you do?
September 15, 2012 § 4 Comments
I went to yoga this morning.
Sweaty, tough, beautiful vinyasa.
The sun salutations were plenty. One legged chaturangas, too. So many utkatasanas (chair pose), core cultivation, crescent lunging, crow (side crow is beyond me; watch superstar Kathryn Budig’s unbelievable video below) and twists.
My arms, back and sides were awaken. They are sleeping again now, but will probably scream at me tomorrow morning after a long night’s rest.
I walked out knowing that the addition of weekly guided vinyasa is going to help me build strength in areas that running alone can’t provide.
Will I have the stamina for both? This remains to be seen.
On the schedule tomorrow is any easy 6-8 miles. Compared to this morning’s yoga class it will be like a good old walk in the park!
Tell me running friends…. Do you incorporate yoga and/or strength training to improve performance?