Saturday, October 14, 2017

Half Marathon Training: 10 Miles

Yesterday I taught my first class in more than two months and it felt so good to be teaching again! I filled in for the new HIIT class at my YMCA. HIIT is High Intensity Interval Training and we all were dripping sweat by the time we walked out of class.

It was fabulous!

Today I did my 10-mile training run in preparation for the St Jude Half Marathon. Although just a training run, I set a new PR for myself. PR is running lingo for "personal record." My time was great and the ten miles felt good.

Tonight, though, I feel like this:

Sunday, October 8, 2017

I'm A Crappy Mom: Part (I've Lost Track By Now)

Alternative Title -- I Regret Being Such a Bitch To My Mom

Today began like this:

My 16 year old daughter mad at me because I won't let her take MY iPad on her Mexican cruise she is leaving on in an hour. She storms through the house and on her way out, says to her brother, I hope I never come back!

Being the calm rational mom I am I go storming out, fling open the door, and yell "You ungrateful little bitch! I hope you have a good time on your trip." And then I slam the door hard enough that the windows rattle. 

Yep, I went there.

Kid 4 is acting like a perfectly normal, age appropriate 16 year old girl.

And I'm not handling it very well.

Aside from her general ungrateful, bratty, roll-her-eyes at me attitude, she's a good kid. Straight A's in all honors classes, dances 5 nights/week, teaches dance 2 nights/week, not boy crazy, responsible and basically reliable kid. 

Her teachers love her. Other parents love her.

I actually enjoy spending time with her. 

Except when I want to just run after her, grab her long blonde pony tail and yank her onto the ground and pummel some sense in to her. 

I do understand that at 16 years old, she is genetically designed to be a horrible human being.  I do understand that at 48 years old I should have enough maturity, wisdom and parenting skills not to buy into her 16 year old behavior.

But apparently I don't.

It's almost like she turns me into a 16 year old bratty person too. 

I'm mean really. She is leaving for a five-day cruise to Mexico over Fall Break with her friends. I will be home working. Her brothers and sister will be home bored all week because they don't get to go anywhere and I'll be at work.  

Would "gee, thanks Mom" really kill her once in awhile?

She makes me feel like nothing I do, nothing I can give her, is ever good enough. She has brought me to tears more than a couple times. 

I know we will eventually get through this. And one day she will look back and regret acting this way towards me. And one day I'll see this is nothing more than typical strife between teen daughters and their mothers. 

But until that day, all I can do is try and remind myself that she is very much her mother's daughter.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

What It Feels Like To Be A (Half) Marathon Runner

My hips hurt.

My hamstrings are tighter than they have ever been.

My yoga practice is suffering greatly due to lack of time because of training runs multiple times per week.

My yoga practice is suffering greatly because my flexibility has left the country because of all the running.

Reminder: I'm using the word "running" very loosely here.

I've gone through multiple rolls of KT Tape on my broken foot and an old injury on my knee.

I haven't had time to do any strength training in 6 weeks because any fitness time goes to training runs.

Have I mentioned how much my hips hurt?

I took a yoga workshop today and the instructor asked what happened that my hips were so tight? Oh, just training for St Jude I told her.

I'm not sure if it's just here in Memphis or if it's marathon runners everywhere that refer to the St Jude Marathon as just "training for St Jude." This is a BIG race amongst the marathon and half marathon community. Everyone knows it.

There will be real, legit runners there. The kind of runners who are qualifying to run the Boston or New York City Marathon. There will also be the groups wearing funny costumes and leisurely strolling their way along the race route.

I'll be somewhere in the middle. Well, probably closer to the back of the middle!

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Practice More Yoga, More Often, For A Healthier Happier Life

What yogis have long believed to be true, that yoga is a fountain of youth, science has recently begun to prove.

  • Practicing more physical poses related to improved sleep, diet, and a lower BMI.
  • Practicing more breath work and meditation led to increased mindfulness and subjective well-being.
  • A frequent practice of gentle restorative poses was associated with higher fruit and vegetable consumption, higher rates of vegetarianism and lower alcohol consumption.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Best Yoga Class EVER

Today I taught a yoga class to 63 people. 63!

And six baby goats.

Yep, I have officially joined the latest yoga craze and today taught my first goat yoga class.

Best. Yoga. Class. Ever.

Our local parks & rec department hosts the Goat Days Festival every year. I have no idea why my small town celebrates Goat Days, except I guess because there are a lot of goats around here. They usually call me to teach at local events, but this was a different call. And one that I didn't hesitate to say yes to!

I really wasn't sure what to expect though. I figured we would have a decent turn out. Probably my regular yoga people and a few people there for the goats.

I never expected 63!

Before class started I introduced myself, asked who had any yoga experience and asked about any health conditions I needed to be aware of. All the usual questions at the beginning of a yoga class.

It was probably 60% people who had some yoga experience and 40% who were just there to try it out.

But definitely 100% of the people were really there for the goats.

We began the yoga just as the baby goats were led into the pen. And I immediately lost everyones
attention. I told them no worries, I know you are really here for the goats so just have fun.

And we had so much fun!

The goats just wandered around while we practiced. People would stop to pet the goats or take goat selfies.

The farmers that brought the baby goats did a great job making sure the goats made their way throughout the big crowd by placing small  amounts of goat food on peoples yoga mats.

The biggest question I've gotten all day since goat yoga is "did the goat pee or poop on anyone"?

At the very end of class, one goat did pee on a woman's mat. But she had a good sense of humor about it and decided she will just buy herself a new yoga mat.

I saw a couple goats dropping goat pellets as they walked, but fortunately goat poop isn't like cow poop. It's smaller and doesn't stink!

The next question is when am I going to teach goat yoga again?

As soon as possible! The farm owners told me they have two more goats back at the farm who will be giving birth in a couple months so hopefully later this fall I will get to play with some baby goats and teach yoga again.

Teaching yoga at special events always reminds me of how much I love teaching and how much I am meant to teach. A friend took this picture below and said I looked so pretty. No, what you are seeing is happiness. I got to do what I love and teach yoga, to a large group of people who might never get to experience yoga and there were cute baby goats to play with.

My happiness cup is overflowing today.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Yoga For Toned Arms: Not Just Push Ups

As both a yoga teacher and a personal trainer, I spend equal time in the quiet of the yoga studio as well as in the noisy gym environment. Avid gym goers often ask me how best to build strength without looking too bulky. Of course, I recommend yoga.

While strength training in the gym requires the use of heavier weight to overload the muscles, yoga uses pure body weight to provide a more balanced and functional approach to strengthening and toning muscles. Yoga also has the advantage of toning both large and small muscle groups in balance with each other. Traditional weight training isolates one muscle group at a time, potentially leading to imbalance and injury.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Half Marathon Training Update

It is going surprisingly well!

So far.

A few months ago I decided to run the St Jude Half Marathon. I kept it pretty quiet at first, because, well, I wasn't actually sure I could complete a half marathon. But I had a training plan and I planned on at least trying it.

Then word slowly got out and the real runners I know got all excited and started inviting me into their running club events.  Of course I want to be one of the cool kids so I bought myself a fancy running belt and crazy expensive socks. I definitely need new sneakers, but those will have to wait a bit longer until I save up some money.

I am about six weeks into training and I dare say I am actually enjoying it. My longest run so far has only been six miles, so there are still plenty of miles for me to regret this. But I'm getting a lot more confident that I will actually finish like this:

My broken foot isn't giving me too much trouble. I tape it up real good for the longer ones and that definitely helps. 

Since I'm feeling a lot more confident now I am readjusting my goals:

  1. Complete adequate and appropriate training
  2. Stay injury free
  3. Stay motivated - this may end up being my biggest challenge. I just started a new full time job that requires about double the time I've been working, so fitting in training runs as well as cross training will be difficult.
  4. Finish the race in under four hours