Hold On: October 2020

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October had no races, virtual or otherwise. In fact, it was probably the least amount of running I did in 2020 with a 2 week running break, and now trying to squeeze in running around hopefully coaxing Lola back to health.

October also saw tempers fraying, the election getting on everyone’s nerves, and COVID once again surging in many places. Sean Mendes’ song “Hold On” may not be about being strong (although if you look up the speculation about its meaning, it definitely is), but it seems to fit the times.

So you just gotta hold on
All we can do is hold on, yeah
Yeah, you just gotta hold on
Just hold on for me

On the personal front, we had some very lovely Fall weather in October (no snow! yay!) and I made a real effort to get out there and soak up as much of it as I could. We also celebrated our 35th anniversary.

Getting in scheduled runs
There were no virtual races on the calendar for me in October. That’s part of why I decided to take a running break; you can see another reason I did in this post here. There was the Run for Ruth, and I did about 60% of that just with walking. Then I began to ease back into running and prepping for a virtual 5k in November — not a turkey trot, by the way! Although maybe I’ll add in a virtual Turkey Trot, who knows.

Grade Earned:  A

Recording my runs
I record them here. Someday I’ll get back to journaling!

Grade Earned: Incomplete (due to pandemic)

Dynamic Warmup
Since I did some of the Peloton Road to 5k course, I did some of my “training” for the upcoming 5k on the treadmill. Somehow in my mind, since I don’t have to get out the door for those runs, it seems easier to warm up. I don’t warm up for my walks though. I probably should!

Grade Earned: A+

Foam Rolling
There was far less foam rolling in October. Just because I’m not running doesn’t mean my legs wouldn’t appreciate some extra loving!

Grade Earned: A-

There were definitely indulgences in October but maybe the fact there was no birthday cake to finish off helped

Nutrition
September was a little hard with Mr. Judy’s birthday month of fun. It was a bit too much fun when it came to food. I got back on track in October, though, and things (such as clothes) are beginning to slowly feel a bit more normal for me.

Grade Earned: A-

Support

  • Massage? Nope. We all know why.
  • Chiropractor Appointment? See massage.
  • Do I need a hair appointment? I need to schedule that appointment. We are in a very good situation with COVID right now, but I could see that changing with more time spent indoors and school restarting.

Grade Earned: I

So much Fall beauty

Cross Training
Plenty of Yoga, plenty of walking, some easy hikes. A little bit of strength training. Not enough ST but the month has been a real roller coaster.

Grade Earned: A-

October 2020  gets  . . . 
. . . an A. Normally I might have given myself an A-, but I’m giving myself an A because I recognized I needed that running break and took it.

October Goals:

  • A short running break. Y. Glad I did it. I wasn’t a slug, I just didn’t run!
  • Ease back in with easy runs. Y.  Sort of, Some of the first Peloton runs weren’t exactly easy, but I also didn’t pick up right where I left off.
  • Find a flatter course for virtual races. Y. Maybe? 
  • Explore new places when I visit my mom. Y. It’s always a long day, but spending some time out in nature makes it feel a little easier.
  • Decide on my next virtual race. Y. It’s the “Champion for the Chesapeake”. The purpose is to get the Chesapeake Bay named as the next new national park. I love national parks — wish we had one here in NY! You can still sign up here if you’re interested. The shirts are nice (I already have mine).
  • Continue to try to eat intuitively — unless the weight starts to creep up. Y.  Like most people this year, weight has been a bit of a battle. It’s staying fairly even, although lately my clothes have been feeling more comfy. NSV (non scale victory).

Which leads me to November Goals:

  • Continue working through the Peloton 5k Course. I’m back to only running 3 x week right now, so that makes it a little bit of a challenge because I don’t want to spend all my time on the treadmill. Plus it’s a 4 x week program. But I’ll adapt it to my needs.
  • Choose a course for my virtual 5k. I have been visiting a different bike path to run at, and trying to get to know it to figure out what might be the best course for a “race”.
  • More strength training! My AM Yoga is great bodyweight training. I feel strongly about lifting weights as we age. The trouble is how to get that on the schedule.
  • Continue to try to eat intuitively — unless the weight starts to creep up. I’ve been bouncing back and forth for months. Just hanging in there.
  • Continue to explore Kundalini Kriyas. I started a new Kriya (class) after my 40 day effort (read about that here and here). I really like this one: with the warmup and some meditation it took me about 30 minutes and it worked muscles runners need to work! I don’t plan to do another 40 Day Kriya soon, but I’m still shooting to try to keep an AM Yoga streak and explore different Kriyas. I’m actually already onto the second Kriya, and I like this one too. 

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Linking up with Zenaida Arroyo and Kim @ Kookyrunner

This week I am also joining up with the new Runners’ Roundup linkup.

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Best & Worst of Times: 10/19 – 25 WRD

This week didn’t start off as I planned, but it was pretty good — until the weekend. Then things went rapidly downhill.

I had targeted a park that was a little further away than we usually go for our anniversary roadtrip. I’d been there, once, and I thought Mr. Judy might enjoy it, too. We didn’t go on our actual anniversary, as the weather wasn’t great, although it wasn’t a lot better on the day we did go.

The weather wasn’t pretty but we still enjoyed our day

Unfortunately that night Lola fell ill. She could barely walk and sometimes couldn’t even stand. She stopped eating and drinking — and she’s always been a really big drinker. We’re still not 100% sure what is causing it (still); any and all good vibes and prayers are much appreciated.

Right before she started acting strange

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Joining Kim @ Kimrunsonthefly and Deborah @ Confessionsofamotherrunner, and reporting on easing back into running.

Workouts update

  • Monday: Yoga (30 min),  Dogwalk/RGB Walk 2.9, Yoga (20 min)
  • Tuesday: Yoga (50 min), TM Intervals 2.53, Dogwalk/RGB Walk .92, Yoga (20 min)
  • Wednesday: Yoga (30 min), Dogwalk./RBG Walk 5 (and just like that, RBG is a wrap)
  • Thursday: Yoga (30 min),RBG Walk/Dogwalk/Hike 2.50, Yoga (20 min)
  • Friday: Yoga (30 min), Much pacing at Animal ER, TM Run 2 + Core
  • Saturday:  Yoga (30 min), Dogwalk, Yoga (20 min)
  • Sunday: Yoga (30 min), Easy 4 miles, Yoga (20 min)

Running Mileage: 8.43 (-.49)
Walking: Finished RBG; don’t think I’ll be tracking walking on the regular now but still trying to add in some extra miles

JY = Jasyoga
PB = Killer B
TM = Treadmill
YFR = Yoga for Runners*
WU = warmup
CD = cooldown
SB = Stationary Bike
YFPR = Yoga for Pain Relief
YTU = Yoga Tune Up Lower Body*

*Disclaimer: Amazon affiliate links; I will make a small amount of money if you buy through these links

Running Update

Monday intention: oops, I didn’t really think about one
Probably because I am using the Peloton Road to 5k (partially) for my virtual 5k in about a month. It was speedwork today. May have actually run it a bit slowly, but always better to save it for the “race”/

Friday intention: destress
If you follow me on FB here, you know that we had a belated road trip for our anniversary on Thursday (our actual anniversary was Monday). Everything seemed fine, until that night, when Lola started to act odd. There was sleep deprivation. The next morning she was even worse, and we ended up at the animal ER. 

After pacing around waiting for many hours while they tried to diagnose and treat her (no real diagnosis, possible UTI and other things that could be much worse but we elected not to spend $$$ on testing for things that probably aren’t really treatable at her age), I finally brought her home and for the first time in a really long time I felt the need to pound out some stress. Of course there’s been lots of stress all year long, but most of the time, I haven’t felt the need to run hard. Today I did.

This particular Peloton workout as part of the Road to 5k obliged with some speed work.

Sunday intention: run out the sadness
Lola is hanging in there after a second trip to the ER (ka-ching, ka-ching) and still no definitive diagnosis. Mr. Judy was very pleased that she ate & drank a bit on her own after he picked her up while I was running. As I’m typing this, she doesn’t seem too interested in treats again, but we’re grilling a steak so fingers crossed. She’s sighing a lot. I’m not terribly surprised, I warned Mr. Judy not to get too excited. She did enjoy some steak.

My heart was just heavy as I ran, but I’m still hopeful. She already has an appointment at the holistic vet, but getting in to any vet, and especially specialists, which was suggested, is super hard right now. It can take months to get an appointment.

I had originally planned a slightly longer run, but by the time I got out the afternoon was almost moving into evening so 4 it was. Probably just as well, there was sleep deprivation again last night.

There’s a deer hiding out on the left

Favorites of the week
On a better note, I met one friend I haven’t seen this year in the flesh for a walk this week.

Back at the pond

Then later in the week I met another friend for a walk near the pond and on the fitness path.

Finding Fall at the ER vet

Are you using running to help you destress lately?

What other things do you do to destress? 

What is one thing you’re proud you did this week? 

Releasing Yin Yoga

ICYMI: This week I have a longer Yin Yoga practice to help you release — whatever you have to release! It will also help you open up your hips, your low back, and your chest. You can find it here.

Coming up on Tuesday: Yup, it’s time to wrap up October! On Friday I’ll be visiting the Runfessional here to cleanse my running soul.

Just Respect & Compassion

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Have you seen the memes? The ones about not living your life in fear because of Coronavirus?

This is a highly personal post, and one I put a great deal of thought into. It would be much easier to not to write this post, but in the end, I felt it was important for me to share my feelings.

Fairytales and Fitness

I am not saying you should live your life in fear; of course you should not.

Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.– Marie Curie

How ironic is the above quote from Marie Curie, who died from her work and her quest to understand more. In fact, her body is actually still considered to be radioactive — but I digress.

Being cautious is not the same as being afraid
Some people equate changing your life because of a virus as living in fear. Everyone has different circumstances, and everyone has different comfort levels. Don’t ever assume you know what is going on in someone else’s life unless they tell you or you ask.

Do you have loved ones with high blood pressure? Diabetes? Cancer? Maybe a combination of several of these illnesses? Ones that are also very elderly? I do. Am I afraid of infecting them? Damn right I am. It is my sincere wish that when my mom passes, it’s not after months of being in and out of the hospital/rehab like my dad, or alone because of a virus.

I am not telling you to stop living your life, but please don’t judge me because I changed my life to protect the people I love. It isn’t easy. I’d like life to be normal, too. I’d like to go on vacation, too. I would love to eat inside a restaurant and be served. I’d like to be running with a group. I’d love to go to the movies.

I’ll tell you what else I’d lovee: to see my mom enjoy the years she has left. To see my other loved ones at higher risk be healthy and have many more years ahead of them. We won’t have to live like this forever. We will, as Marie Curie said, learn more. We already have. There are already better treatments.

Like so many diseases before this, such as pneumonia, polio, and AIDs, there will eventually be vaccines or even better treatments that allow us to get back to more normal living. Until that time, though, I remain cautiously optimistic and just plain cautious.

Final Thoughts
I am not telling you how to live your life, and I appreciate you not telling me how to live mine. All I ask is that you respect my feelings, and show me (and those like me) compassion. Reach out to your friends that don’t feel comfortable getting together in groups, whatever their reasons are. It isn’t easy and it can get lonely, too.

Please, please, please show respect and compassion to those have lost loved ones to this virus. Don’t know anyone who has? I do. I know others that do, as well. I am happy that so far, knock on wood, my loved ones are safe, but there are many people who can’t say the same.

No questions today. It’s all food for thought.

I Finished It: 40 Day Kriya

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Remember that 40 Day Kriya? You can read about it in this post here if you missed it. I finished it! What did I learn? It was a lot like running! In some ways.

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Get it done first thing
It is suggested that you do it before 6 am; the effects are supposed to be more powerful then. I happen to be an early riser, so most days that happened. There may have been a day or two I didn’t wake up til 6, but I still just got up and got it done.

You can do it at any time of day, but being a morning person already I found doing it first thing n the morning worked well for me. You feel so good when you’ve moved your body first thing in the morning.

Although the truth is I don’t run first thing in the morning. Because I’m doing Yoga. Even when I’m not doing Yoga, as it gets colder my runs get later in the day. I’m lucky that I have that opportunity.

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I didn’t want to do it
Almost every morning I would get up and I really just wanted to sit down with a warm beverage and read. Kundalini isn’t easy. I knew, just as I know with running, that I would feel better after I did my Kriya. I always did. There are times with running that I don’t feel better afterwards.

I used to be a get up and go runner in the Summers, but over time, I’ve just found that that makes my mornings rushed. It’s easier to get up and do Yoga: no changing clothes, no eating. This Summer I often did get out there early, but I found that over time, that was beginning to wear on me. After 40+ days of AM Yoga, I am always energized afterwards. That’s the purpose of my practice, after all — which leads me to . . .

I had more energy
I decided to tackle the 40 day Kriya specifically to work on energy. While the last few weeks have been challenging, I definitely felt ready to get going most mornings after my practice.

I had to ease into it
Every pose has a suggested time. You are almost always moving or doing specific pranayama (breathing techniques) so it’s not just hanging out in the pose like Yin Yoga.

Sometimes I had to take very short breaks. I had to start out with less time than suggested. In fact, for most of the poses, I still haven’t worked up to the minimum hold times — although I’m getting closer.

Running is the same. When we start, or restart after a rest or an injury, we need to ease into it.

Final Thoughts
I know that moving first thing in the morning is a good thing, but the truth is I have struggled for a long time to find the right movement for me. I have tried early morning cardio, but I always seem to burn out on that at some point — or feel run down eventually.

That wasn’t always the case, though. When I was younger I often did early morning cardio. I worked outside the home, and I knew when I came home I might not do it. It worked for me then, but things change.

I have committed to AM Yoga before, and done pretty well with it, but I always seem to get away with it at some point.

That may still be the case; it’s only been 40 days, after all. Despite the difficulty, though, I plan to keep going. Not with another 40 day Kriya right now; that would mean doing the same poses for another 40 days. I want to explore different Kriyas (classes).

There’s always a sense of accomplishment when you finish something you set out to do — especially if it isn’t easy. Even better when you learn and grow from it. — Chocolaterunsjudy

How do you challenge yourself these days?

What have you learned from your challenges? 

What have you been avoiding because it’s hard? 

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Linking up with Zenaida Arroyo and Kim @ Kookyrunner

This week I am also joining up with the new Runners’ Roundup linkup.

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Mr. Judy to the Rescue: 10/12 – 18 WRD

Yes, there is some running to report this week! Nothing wild, just a few short runs. Still lots of Yoga and walking. Less walking, though, because . . . running. My running miles basically replaced my extra walking miles from the previous week.
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Joining Kim @ Kimrunsonthefly and Deborah @ Confessionsofamotherrunner, and reporting on easing back into running.

Workouts update

  • Monday: Yoga (50 min), Dogwalk/RGB Walk 3.00, Yoga (20 min)
  • Tuesday: Yoga (50 min), TM Intervals 2.71, Dogwalk/RGB Walk .38, Yoga (20 min)
  • Wednesday: Yoga (50 min), Dogwalk./RBG Walk 4.59
  • Thursday: Yoga (60 min),RBG Walk/Dogwalk/Hike 2.50, Yoga (20 min)
  • Friday: Yoga (40 min), TM Run 2.21 + Legs, RBG Walk .42
  • Saturday:  Yoga (50 min), RBG Walk/Dogwalk 2.76, Yoga (20 min)
  • Sunday: Yoga (40 min), RBG Walk/Hike 2.22, Easy 4 miles, Yoga (20 min)

Running Mileage: 8.92 (=8.92)
Walking: 15.87 miles (-9.45)

JY = Jasyoga
PB = Killer B
TM = Treadmill
YFR = Yoga for Runners*
WU = warmup
CD = cooldown
SB = Stationary Bike
YFPR = Yoga for Pain Relief
YTU = Yoga Tune Up Lower Body*

*Disclaimer: Amazon affiliate links; I will make a small amount of money if you buy through these links

Running Update

Tuesday intention: Restart Running safely
Circumstances had me running on the two rainy days this week, which meant treadmill runs for me. I also started a loose version of the Peloton Road to 5k Program. Today’s run was intervals. I may have run a bit harder than I’d really intended but all was well and there was never any DOMs.

Friday intention: Running but finally some weights!
More rain. More treadmill miles. This time it was a 10 min WU, 20 min run with 10 min of legwork. Somehow following a Peloton class makes it much easier on the treadmill (for me).

I started with a warmup walk through the woods

Sunday intention: Go the distance . . .
. . . but not really. Just a slightly longer run than the first couple of runs — but easy! Although somehow negative splits. The mostly downhill second half might have had something to do with that. I started out with a walk through the woods (pictured above) to warm up.

Then onto my run

It was a bit hillier than I’d intended, but I had all the colored leaves to keep me entertained.

And this is where things went sideways

I chose a different way back because it was supposed to bring me back to where I’d parked. Then I got to the “path end” sign and had no idea how to go. I ended up calling Mr. Judy because I hate the maps app on my iphone 6, and he was able to point me in the right direction. I knew I was so close, but after walking back and forth for about a mile, I was getting darn hungry and anxious, too.

We’re at peak in the neighborhood

Favorites of the week
Despite a couple of days of rain, we’re really at peak up here in upstate NY and we’ve been blessed with some great Fall weather, too.

Fueled up for our walk

I didn’t need ice cream for most of my short walks/hikes this week, but since we got a warmer day — and I don’t like ice cream when it’s cold — this could be the last of the season.

Loved our walk around this pond so much I returned to this area to run (not the trails we walked on)
Short walk at another nature preserve with the dogs

This particular preserve had warnings about the duck hunting going on. A lot of people were still walking. I decided to chance it. I could hear shots, but never very close.

I needed this hot chocolate today!

You guys, this hot chocolate is da bomb. Seriously. I made it with chocolate cashew milk I made. I add collagen, turmeric paste, and some mini chocolate chips to it so it’s nice and creamy and chocolatey. Today I actually added some whipped cream and cinnamon (unpictured) because I ended up going a lot farther than I’d planned to! Yes, at some point I’ll be posting about my nut milk making adventures.

Oh, and that’s the Echo Show 8 we bought for my mom in the background. I’m working on setting it up for  her. We got a good deal on Prime Day; it’s not as good a deal now, of course, but it is slightly discounted here (Amazon Affiliate link). The sound is great! I’ve been having fun with it, when I’m not tearing my hair out how to get stuff working, of course. It’s been that kind of week. Sorry for the long post!

Do you ease back into running after a break or just pick up where you left off?

Do you embrace walking in addition to running or do you always feel the need for speed? 

What is one thing you’re proud you did this week? 

gwy self healing meditation

ICYMI: Sometimes video and audio fights me, and that was the case this week. I finally did get my Self Healing meditation put together after much hair pulling (ironic, no?) and you can find it here. Or maybe not. The first try at uploading it hung up. I’ve never had that happen before. I’m trying again but it’s unlikely to be live by the time I post.

Coming up on Tuesday: I finished my 40 Day Kriya and I’m sharing my thoughts on that. On Friday it’s a very personal post. Please view it with compassion and know that it’s not aimed at any person/s in particular.

1 Reason I Took a Running Break

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When should you take a break from running? I do think it does a body good once in a while. Any repetitive activity leaves you open to injury. Switching it up and giving your body a break is one way to stay injury free.

Fairytales and Fitness

Pay attention to your RHR (resting heart rate)
The line between pushing yourself and injuring yourself or burning out is so thin it’s almost invisible. This decision was easy for me, because I made it a while ago. Better to be proactive than reactive — I always tell Mr. Judy that about walking the dogs!

When it came time to actually take that break, I had already noticed an upward tick in my RHR. As far as I can deduce, Garmin averages your RHR throughout the day. So sometimes it will autocorrect the lower value a day or two later for me, when I’ve synced that day. That just means that much like a false positive test, sometimes a high RHR turns out to be a bit lower.

In my case, even allowing for time, there was a steady uptick. I actually started my running break a few days earlier than I’d planned to. I felt okay, but my body seemed to be indicating that I wasn’t recovering well. I am not a slave to data — but it’s one hint when something is coming off the rails.

In normal times, if I’d been training for a race or racing a lot as I often do in the Fall, I might have just pushed through it. Sometimes not having running goals can actually be a good thing!

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What I gained
I gained time. Running is time consuming. Making sure I fuel right, have my outfit laid out, making sure I have hydration, foam rolling, pre- and post-stretching: it all adds up. I used that time to walk more. Fall is the perfect time in the Northeast to explore and get out in nature.

Walking more allowed me to slow down. Slowing down allowed me to be more observant to everything around me. We see more on the run than we do driving in a car, right? You also see a lot more walking than you do running.

My RHR came back down into its normal range.

Final Thoughts
You may be able to run hard and many miles without taking breaks. As I wrote in You are an experiment of 1 here, every body is different. As I’ve so often mentioned, even elites take breaks from running. Sometimes long breaks. Yes, running is their job — but they are still wise enough to know that recovery is also their job.

Recovery may not be our job, but being kind to our body is.

Still struggling with whether or not it’s time for a break? Check out Embrace the Taper here for a list of my many posts on rest and recovery.

Are you afraid of losing running fitness if you stop running?

When was the last time you voluntarily took a break from running?

When was the last time you were forced to take a break from running due to illness or injury?

Another Reason to Try Nasal Breathing?

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One of the commenters on the first part of why I tried nasal breathing (read it here) said she did it to make sure she ran her easy runs easy. This is even sort of ties into the actual topic this week — my thoughts on rest days — I write about that a lot! Yes, I’m a big fan of rest days. They’re important to let all your hard work be assimilated by your body.

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Run your easy runs easy
Okay, that was a bit of a reach. This post is not so much about rest days, but it is about whether or not you’re running too hard on your easy runs. You probably are. Most runners do. Because if the secret to running faster is to, well, run faster — the more the better, right?

Nooooo! You will quickly find that breathing in and out only through your nose will quickly let you know when you’re running too hard. You’ll probably want to start breathing through your mouth — a sure sign that you’re pushing too hard.

This article here explains how to slowly master nasal breathing and some of the benefits

By dramatically increasing the amount and intensity of work you’re able to do while nose breathing, you will reconfigure both your body and your brain to change what they think your endurance, power, and speed thresholds are. You won’t be tiring out secondary respiratory muscles (lats, intercostals and obliques) that fatigue quickly and start to signal the brain that you’re almost out of puff! You’ll be able to keep going faster for longer without tiring, and will avoid utter crashes and collapses that we see when people allow their breathing patterns to go haywire during a race or intense workout.

Matt Frazier, of No Meat Athlete, has another great post on nasal breathing here. The book he mentions is one that I have read. My experience with nasal breathing was just different from his — my heart rate could still get up relatively high, by which I presume that I was still just running too fast while trying to unlearn mouth breathing.

Even if fewer breaths, lower heart rate, and less perceived exertion didn’t translate into performance gains — and as far as I’m concerned, the jury is still out — it’s a worthwhile experiment for anyone interested in meditation, relaxation, and spending more time in the mysterious, elusive Zone.

It all comes back to can you tell if you’re running easy rather “easily” by tuning into your breath — whether you’re nose breathing or mouth breathing. It’s not the only way to tell if you’re truly running easy, but it’s a good tool to have. You always have it with you.

Final Thoughts
Reading these articles makes me feel that maybe I didn’t really ease into nasal breathing as much as I should have. Or maybe I threw in the towel too early, and really just needed to go back to basics. I’m still not sure I want to revisit it, but I want what Matt has! That feeling of ease, while breathing through your nose, even while running hard, but most especially while running easy.

Whether nasal breathing has intrigued you or not, the advice to run your easy runs easy is always important. Your body works hard for you and it deserves to be taken care of. — Chocolaterunsjudy

Do you care if you’re running easy or hard for easy runs?

Has running easy runs too hard ever led to problems for you? 

What are some signs that you need a rest day? 

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Linking up with Zenaida Arroyo and Kim @ Kookyrunner

This week I am also joining up with the new Runners’ Roundup linkup.

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Generator/Instant Pot to the rescue!: 10/5 – 11 WRD

Not running actually frees up some of my time. Yes, I’m walking more, but that doesn’t take as much pre- and post-routines (for me). Of course I could explore by running in the places I’m walking, but one problem I have is that I get so sweaty running that I can be uncomfortable post run if I have to drive a longer way home.
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Joining Kim @ Kimrunsonthefly and Deborah @ Confessionsofamotherrunner, and just the walks, ma’am.

Workouts update

  • Monday: Yoga (50 min), Dogwalk/RGB Walk 3.67, Yoga (20 min)
  • Tuesday: Yoga (50 min), Dogwalk/RGB Walk 5.39, Yoga (20 min)
  • Wednesday: Yoga (50 min), Dogwalk./RBG Walk 2.50, Yoga (15 min)
  • Thursday: Yoga (50 min),RBG Walk/Dogwalk 2.80, Yoga (20 min)
  • Friday: Yoga (50 min), RBG Walk/Hike 6.20
  • Saturday:  Yoga (50 min), RBG Walk/Dogwalk 3.1, Yoga (20 min)
  • Sunday: Yoga (30 min), RBG Walk/Hike 1.66, Yoga (20 min)

Running Mileage: 0 (NC)
Walking: 25.32 miles (+3.30)

JY = Jasyoga
PB = Killer B
TM = Treadmill
YFR = Yoga for Runners*
WU = warmup
CD = cooldown
SB = Stationary Bike
YFPR = Yoga for Pain Relief
YTU = Yoga Tune Up Lower Body*

*Disclaimer: Amazon affiliate links; I will make a small amount of money if you buy through these links

Running Update

TX was bluebonnets, NY is leaves

Week intention: Recovery
That was the intention, but the Mother Nature had something else in mind. Wednesday afternoon we had a really short, really severe storm pass through. We weren’t hit hard, but there were trees down all over the neighborhood. 

We lost power for almost 3 days. Luckily we have a generator, but it doesn’t power everything, and it’s really loud — which made sleep difficult. Still I am very grateful for that generator — sleep would have been just as difficult without heat! Plus it powers our freezer & fridge. Most of my cooking was in the InstantPot or  Toaster Oven.

I hadn’t intended my running break to be quite this long, but the purpose was recovery, and I knew returning to running while really tired from sleep deprivation wasn’t in my best interest. There was lots of walking (and photos), though!

Started to take Lola on short walks; she was never happy being left behind!

Favorites of the week
The week started with a trip to mom with a stop at Olana first. I got to explore more trails. I definitely want to go sometime when I have even more time to explore!

We used this carrier above to carry Lola up the steps at Olana & to try to keep her calm while I visited with mom
It helped to keep her a *little* calmer

A short walk at a nearby nature trail

I took a solo walk at a nearby park & a little hike

10k walk/hike at Saratoga Spa State Park

Short walk with the dogs at one of my favorite (short) running trails

Today we visited a new place. May be the best place we’ve visited so far!

Lots of walking and Yoga, not much else. I wish I’d preloaded a few Peloton classes, but I didn’t. Plus . . . sleep deprivation most of the week, mom visit, vet visit for Lola . . . it was a busy work even without Wifi. I got in some amazing walks & lots of fall foliage, though!

How’re the leaves looking near you (if they turn)?

How do you cook without power? 

What is one thing you’re proud you did this week? 

ICYMI: I had several things almost ready to film, but there was the generator noise — and no way to upload. Uploading video take s a long time. I plan to get a new meditation up soon. Stay tuned.

Coming up on Tuesday: Not sure yet. On Friday I share part of why I took my running break. I actually wrote that for last Friday, but it wasn’t finished, and I don’t have unlimited data, so this Friday it will be. I’m obviously very far behind on commenting on blogs and returning comments! Thanks for your patience.

Why Should You Try Nasal Breathing?

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I am always striving to learn, to experiment, to try new things. Sometimes they work, and sometimes they don’t, but you always learn something.

Last Spring I decided to try nasal breathing in my running (breathing in and out through my nose). As a Yoga teacher, I know the power of breath. Ancient Yogis thought that we only have so many breaths in our lifetime — slowing down our breath so that we took fewer breaths per minute was partially an attempt to live longer.

Paying attention to our breath gives us clues to how we’re feeling. How often do you hold your breath as you go about your daily lives? You might be surprised. If you’re scared or excited, your breath will speed up — it helps to invoke the sympathetic nervous system (SNS), our fight or flight response.

That worked great when we were living in caves and suddenly encountered a saber tooth tiger. Once we got away from the tiger, though, we would calm down and eventually shift back into our parasympathetic nervous system (PNS), our rest and digest system.

We’re not as evolved as we like to think we are. The problem today is that we are often being pushed into our SNS by modern day stressors — almost constatnly — but we’re not facing a real tiger and we’re going from one stress to the next and not spending enough time in our PNS.

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Why breath through your nose?
One of the main reasons I decided to give nasal breathing such a long trial (almost 6 months!) was the fact that it is supposed to help you engage your PNS, and thus supposedly get into the flow state immediately.

Nasal breathing can (supposedly) help you increase the amount of oxygen to get to you hard working muscles, and perhaps boost athletic performance. This post from the Washington post (read it here) says:

It can allow for more oxygen to get to active tissues. That is because breathing through the nose releases nitric oxide, which is necessary to increase carbon dioxide (CO2) in the blood, which, in turn, is what releases oxygen. Mouth breathing does not effectively release nitric oxide, which means the cells are not getting as much oxygen as through nasal breathing, which could lead to fatigue and stress.

Who doesn’t want to boost their performance? And hey, it’s free! Nasal breathing may actually help boost your immune system, too — who doesn’t want that right now? Check out this post here for more information.

Our nasal passages are able to filter bacteria and viruses in the air. We have little hair follicles in our nose (in fact, we have as many hair follicles inside our nose as we do on our head, according to Mackenzie) that are able to filter the air as you inhale, which can block dust and bacteria from reaching your lungs. Our mouths, on the other hand, don’t have the same knack for filtering out particles.

It all sounds good, doesn’t it?

So what went wrong?
I knew going into this experiment that it could take time. Up to three months, in fact, to switch over. I knew that it would mean slower running, but with no races in sight, no big deal.

At first I couldn’t seem to maintain nasal breathing. Which mostly meant I was running too fast. You really do have to slow way down. Then I decided to go back to run/walk intervals, and that helped a lot. I was beginning to see a little progress . . . then Summer came along.

I found it extremely difficult to breathe through my nose in the heat and humidity of Summer. I wasn’t feeling in the flow, either. My runs didn’t leave me feeling good. So I finally stopped nasal breathing while running.

Final Thoughts
I still believe that mastering nasal breathing could be helpful. Even though it’s cooler now, and should be easier, I’m not sure I want to go back and try. On the other hand, it still might be good to work on it just in daily life — I believe with everything going on right now, it may be helpful.

Trying new things is never a bad thing. That’s how we grow and learn. It’s a form of self study. But sometimes you need to know when to fold up. — Chocolaterunsjudy

What do you do to keep your immune system strong?

Have you ever even heard of nasal breathing before? 

What things have you tried and had to let go? 

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Linking up with Zenaida Arroyo and Kim @ Kookyrunner

This week I am also joining up with the new Runners’ Roundup linkup.

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Walking for RBG: 9/27 – 10/4 WRD

Nothing very exciting going on this week. No running to report (planned for break). Although I actually did get in more miles walking than I normally would with running, due to the Run for Ruth distance challenge.
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Joining Kim @ Kimrunsonthefly and Deborah @ Confessionsofamotherrunner, and running/walking my virtual Dempsey Challenge races.

Workouts update

  • Monday: Yoga (50 min), Dogwalk, Yoga (20 min)
  • Tuesday: Yoga (50 min), Dogwalk, RGB Walk 3.13, Yoga (20 min)
  • Wednesday: Yoga (50 min), Dogwalk./RBG Walk 3.58, Yoga (15 min)
  • Thursday: Yoga (50 min),RBG Walk/Dogwalk 4.63, Yoga (20 min)
  • Friday: Yoga (50 min), RBG Walk/Dogwalk 3.20, PB Walk + Toning (25 min)
  • Saturday:  Yoga (50 min), RBG Walk/Dogwalk 2.5, Filmed Yoga Videos (40 min)
  • Sunday: Yoga (40 min), RBG Walk with a friend 5.62, Yoga (20 min)

Mileage: 0 (-10)
Walking: 22.62 miles

JY = Jasyoga
PB = Killer B
TM = Treadmill
YFR = Yoga for Runners*
WU = warmup
CD = cooldown
SB = Stationary Bike
YFPR = Yoga for Pain Relief
YTU = Yoga Tune Up Lower Body*

*Disclaimer: Amazon affiliate links; I will make a small amount of money if you buy through these links

Running Update

Week intention: taking it easy
Which meant no running for me this week. Despite decent weather, I didn’t really miss it, either. I did lots of walking. I *think* Bandit seems to be enjoying his extra, solo walks.

Bandit is not amused to lose his freedom a little, too

Favorites of the week
Lola continues to improve, but we’re not back to walks yet. The vet suggested only on grass. Well, she’s running around the backyard & where the heck are we going to be able to go for a short walk on grass? Actually I do have a few ideas.

Foggy start but the runway lights were cool!

But first a walk with a friend this morning. Miles always go by more quickly with a friend.

It doesn’t cost anything after Labor Day (except on the weekends)

Earlier in the week I visited Saratoga Spa State Park. I have run and raced a handful of times in this park, in fact normally I’d be doing a 10k there in a couple of weeks, but I don’t really know my way around it well and quite frankly I don’t think the road and trail signs are great.

Still I had a very nice walk that morning, enjoying the changing leaves and a waterfall or two.

The main reason I joined the walk for Ruth was the tshirt. Well, of course to honor her memory, too. Have you done a virtual just because you liked the swag?

Do you think the trails in your area are well marked? 

What is one thing you’re proud you did this week? 

GWY Easy AM Yoga1

ICYMI: An easy AM Yoga flow to banish any stiffness after sleeping here. Please excuse the resting b#*ch face. Sometimes it’s hard to get a great still!

Coming up on Tuesday: I’m finally giving you the lowdown on nasal breathing. On Friday I’ll suggest a few ways you can make virtual races more funI’m explaining why I decided to take a running break.