5 More Takeaways about Mobility

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Mobility is a huge topic, and this post isn’t even an introductory post. I just wanted to share some of my takeaways from the most recent mobility course I took (you’ll fine my #1 takeaway at this post here). I hope you find something useful here!

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I’m linking up with My First 5K and MoreRunning With Attitude, Runs with PugsZenaida and Run Laugh Eat Pie for Fit Five Friday. Today I am sharing a more about mobility — something every runner can use!

1: Roll fast before running
Rolling fast helps prep the body for movement. This is something I used to do in when I first started to foam roll, then I learned that you needed to roll slow and for a longer period of time — or so I thought.

Before a run, roll fast and for a short amount of time. If you have a vibrating roller/ball, now is the time to have it on medium or high (depending on what you can tolerate).

2: Roll slow for recovery
Rolling slow does have its place: after your run. This will help you kick start the recovery response.

If you have a vibrating roller/ball, now is the time to have it on low.

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Start with the larger balls; slowly move down to the smaller balls

3: The smaller the tool, the deeper it goes
A wider tool (think foam roller) will not give you as much pressure as a narrower tool (a ball). If you’re new to foam rolling, start with a roller, for sure. Even that may be too much if you’re not used to it. 

If you’re feeling a lot of pain, back off. You should feel some sensation, but not pain.

As you get used to myofascial release techniques, you may want to consider moving from a foam roller to a ball — although start with a larger one; maybe even a softer one. Your body will adapt to whatever you use eventually, but if it really feels painful to you, not only are you not helping yourself — you’re unlikely to be consistent.

You may try moving from a larger ball to smaller and smaller balls as you get used to the pressure.

4: Add in some Functional Mobility
Often when we feel pain somewhere, it’s because the opposite muscle is weak. Adding in some functional mobility during foam rolling can really help.

Tight calves? Foam roll the calves, stop at one point, and point and flex your foot. You can also try moving it from side to side. Notice what muscles you feel that movement in.

Rolling the quads? Stop, and bend and extend the leg you’re rolling.

5: Foam Rolling can actually help our proprieception
First, what is proprieception? The dictionary says proprieception is:

perception or awareness of the position and movement of the body

As a runner, I’m sure you can see why this might be important. I can tell you from a Yoga teacher standpoint, we often get into a posture and think our leg is way higher than it actually is, or straighter than it actually is. Try videoing or photographing yourself and you might be really surprised at what you see!

I was definitely surprised to see improved proprieception as one of the benefits of foam rolling!

Final Thoughts
Although I’d like to call myself an expert on mobility, I am not. I have learned quite a bit about it in the last few months, though, and I practice what I preach. I experiment, and if it helps me, I share it.

We are all an experiment of one. So give some of these things a try, if they pique your interest, and I hope that you find it helpful.

Did you learn something new about foam rolling?

Are you willing to try to change up what you’re already doing? 

What do you do to work on your mobility?

My #1 Takeaway from Mobility Courses

Could you be foam rolling all wrong — and for the wrong reasons? Maybe! I’ve taken several mobility and self myofascial release courses over the last year (and am eyeing yet another one!).

Today I’m sharing my biggest takeaway that I heard at pretty much all of these courses.

Disclaimer: I’m not a medical professional or physical therapist. I can’t diagnose what may be wrong with you. Always check with a doctor first.

It’s not about ironing out our fascia
Back in the day when I started foam rolling, I was taught that it basically takes our jumbled fascia (which creates pain and stiffness) and irons it out, so to speak, so that all those jumbled fibers are more organized.

Turns out that’s not really what foam rolling does.

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Myofascial release is more about the neuromuscular connection | Photo by Harry Cooke on Pexels.com

It’s all in your head
Maybe not all, but like most things running, the truth is it’s often not so much a body limitation, but a neuromuscular protection mechanism.

You know how when you’re doing a long run, and you feel tired towards the end? A lot of that is actually coming from your brain — it’s trying to protect you from injuring yourself, and slowing down is a great way to potentially protect from injury.

Your nervous system acts the same way to protect your connective tissue. It can send you pain to basically get you to stop whatever it is you are doing that it perceives as a threat.

Your nervous system basically says stop yourself! (by triggering pain) before you wreck yourself (injure yourself).

Foam rolling basically tells your brain that oh! it’s okay to feel that pressure. You can tolerate that pressure; it’s not a threat.

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Do you really need to roll at all?
I’ve shared my foot compression routine. The problem with rolling is you generally don’t get as deep pressure as you do by simply putting pressure on the foot (or wherever else you usually roll).

It also takes sustained pressure to get into your nervous system — without those longer holds, your nervous system doesn’t have time to calm down and realize that this sort of pressure isn’t a threat after all.

Can rolling hurt you? Well, yes, it can, but only if it’s done improperly (rolling on bones, over new scars, if you have a serious illness). In general you can foam roll to your hearts’ content — but you may not get the results you’re after.

If done properly foam rolling will not hurt you. It just may not actually heal you.

Should I just throw out my foam roller?
Nooooo! Foam rolling is very beneficial at certain times. That’s another thing I learned — when and how to foam roll — but that’s a post for another day.

Let’s end with a little experiment. I want you to roll your left foot. Do it however you normally do it. Walk around. Notice the difference between your left and right feet.

Next try simply draping your foot over the same ball you used with your right foot. In front of the fat pad on your heel on the inside and the outside. Then just below the ball of the foot, on the inside and outside of your foot. Hold for at least 90 seconds in each location.

Walk around again.

Which foot feels better? 

What else do you notice about your feet after doing this? 

Have you gotten results with foam rolling? 

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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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Spring is Starting to Pop!: 4/5 – 11 WRD

This time I started this post yesterday. The week sort of got away from me — it was busy though! I also suffered from laryngitis this week, so I had to cram my most of my fitness into the last few days. I don’t really remember what happened on what day until the last couple of days.

The leaves are coming in, the trees are beginning to bloom, the weather was seasonably appropriate, and Bandit finally got a bath — Spring has sprung!

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I’m joining Kim @ Kimrunsonthefly and Deborah @ Confessionsofamotherrunner, and running easy.

Workouts update

  • Monday: Yoga (20 min), Dogwalk
  • Tuesday: Yoga (20 min), Dogwalk, Yoga (45 min)
  • Wednesday: Yoga (20 min), Dogwalk, 3 miles easy
  • Thursday: Yoga (40 min), Short hike/Dogwalks
  • Friday: Yoga (20 min), short warmup hike, 6 mile LSD, Yoga (45 min)
  • Saturday: Yoga (20 min), Dogwalk, Filmed Yoga video (35 min)
  • Sunday: Yoga (45 min), 3 miles easy, Dogwalk, Yoga later

Running Mileage: 12 (-1)

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

Beautiful day! Beautiful daffodils!

Wednesday Intention: easy run
I almost ran Tuesday because while I couldn’t talk, I felt better, and it was a beautiful day. Felt like it might still be better to rest, so Wednesday it was. An easy run in the neighborhood. The only thing memorable was seeing a dog off leash (we’d seen him off leash a few days before that). The owner was waiting for him to come to him, basically — he didn’t seem terribly concerned.

Chasing a dog never works, but he lives on a busy corner where people often speed around the curve.

A bike trail warmup for my run — this one looks muddy in the beginning, but really wasn’t

Friday Intention: go the distance
It was another beautiful day, but I relaxed in the morning and got out too late and chose the wrong top. This wasn’t an easy run by any means. Maybe it wasn’t such a good idea to do my warm up hike. The first entrance was a lake, but the second one wasn’t muddy — I won’t be running at this path too much longer because it gets so buggy in the Summer. Too bad because I enjoy my warmup hikes, even though there’s nothing really that great about the scenery there.

A few interesting sights on the run. The daffodils basically in the brush at the end of someone’s property along the path was definitely a surprise!

This photo was taken yesterday, when it was sunny. Today’s cloudy. But the forsythia are sunny!

Sunday Intention: enjoy the Spring weather
Ugh, I waited too long to get out there today, and it was really humid. At least I hit the outfit right! The first mile was a nice pace, but it was downhill from there between the ups and downs of the route I chose.

I started to skip some of my walk breaks to work on endurance.

Dionondahowa Falls; photo credit Mr. Judy (except the one of Mr. Judy)

Favorites of the week
We really had a pretty glorious week weather-wise. The Daffodils and Forsythia are blooming, always a sure sign of Spring. No snow. We took advantage of the weather and took a drive up to Schuylerville to do a short hike to a waterfalls, and then over to the Schuyler House to walk around some more. We ate lunch outside at a restaurant. It’s been 5 months! I needed that!

On Monday I woke up with a sore throat. I’d spent a lot of time sitting outside the day before. An allergy? I didn’t feel too bad, although I was really tired that day. I felt better on Tuesday, but could only croak (barely).

I’ve spent a lot of time outside the rest of the week, but by Saturday I could talk again. Weird!

We also grilled outside (which Mr. Judy has been doing for a while now) and ate outside. No need for the patio heater! And obviously I filmed this week’s video on the Yoga platform. I still love that so much!

Vegan zoodle bowl

Plus ordered some food for pickup today. I just haven’t been into cooking lately, although I’m trying to get back at it — but I wanted something healthy.

Finally it occurred to me to look into whether or not Forsythia are dog-friendly. They are! Cat friendly, too. We are constantly trying to get things into the backyard that aren’t toxic for Bandit. Why it took me twelve years to think of this, I don’t know, but now I’m hoping to look forward to Forsythia front and back next year.

What are you looking forward to in Spring? 

Has it been warm enough to enjoy outdoor dining? Have you?

What’s blooming around you?

GWY Throat Chakra Yin

ICYMI: I decided to create a Yin Yoga video devoted to the throat chakra, for obvious reasons. This practice will also help you release tension in your neck, throat, shoulders, and arms. You’ll find the video here.

Coming up on Tuesday: My biggest takeaway from my Mobility course. Friday I’m sharing more takeaways from that mobility course. It’s mobility week!

Boost Your Running with . . .

. . . These 5 Essential Oils

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Have you seen all the hype about Essential Oils (EOs) and wondered if it could boost your running? Maybe. There are many Essential Oils that can soothe sore muscles, reduce anxiety, and help you get a better night’s sleep.

Buy your oils from a reputable source. Sadly there really is no regulation of EOs. As you can see, so far I’ve been buying mine from DoTerra. I signed up for a Wholesale Account, and that gives me a discounts on the oils I buy. The good news is that small bottle goes a long way!

Disclaimer: I am not an aromatherapist or medical professional. Some EOs are not appropriate for everyone (or animals!). Please do your due diligence before using Essential Oils.

Do not put EOs “neat”, or undiluted, on your skin. You need to mix them with a carrier oil because they can irritate your skin if they are not diluted, or sometimes cause sun sensitivty. 

The two easiest ways to use EOs is to diffuse them in your home (add them to water and then the diffuser diffuses the EOs mixed with water into your living space) and as an inhaler. 

You can buy inhalers for EOs on Amazon. They’re inexpensive and small enough to fit in a pocket on the run. It’s a small metal capsule with a thick cotton wick inside, and holes so that you can open it up and take a sniff. Just soak the cotton wick, put it back inside, and inhale as needed.

You don’t have to invest in a lot of EOs to begin with, and they last a long time. My personal suggestion if you want to give EOs a whirl is to start with these four:

  1. Peppermint
  2. Lavender
  3. Lemon (lemon didn’t make this post, but I use it all the time!)
  4. Tea tree (also didn’t make this post, but has so many uses)
bfitfivefriday

I’m linking up with My First 5K and MoreRunning With Attitude, Runs with PugsZenaida and Run Laugh Eat Pie for Fit Five Friday.

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Peppermint for Pep | Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Peppermint
Want some pep in your step? Then peppermint is your friend! Also helps with:

  • Muscle soreness
  • Digestion
  • Tricks the brain into thinking you’re not working so hard
  • Roll some peppermint on your feet to put some pep in your step
  • Nausea relief
  • Bug Repellent
shallow focus photography of lavenders
Lavender to relax & recover | Photo by Palo Cech on Pexels.com

Lavender
I think most of use have heard of using lavender for sleep. Having something in your tool kit before a big race to help you relax is important. I actually use lavender oil before I go to bed every night. I use a roller ball, and I roll it on my temples (if they’re feeling tight), the back of my neck, and the soles of my feet.

Lavender is great for many other things that plague runners:

  • Muscle soreness
  • Reduce Allergies
  • Helps relieve anxiety
  • Helps relieve headaches

I mix lavender and peppermint together with a carrier oil, then apply to my feet in the mornings. Remember, peppermint peps you up, while lavender relaxes you — put together they can help soothe and pep up tired feet (or any other muscle soreness you may be experiencing).

Diffuse equal parts peppermint, lavender, and lemon to help with seasonal allergies.

Eucalyptus
Eucalyptus is well known for its ability to help you breathe easier (Vick’s Vapo rub, anyone?). It’s great pre-race, and in the days leading up to a race because:

  • It’s anti-inflammatory
  • Helps support respiratory health

Unfortunately, Eucalyptus is highly toxic to dogs.

potted lush rosemary plant placed on market stall
Reduce Stress & Mental Fatigue | Photo by Uriel Mont on Pexels.com

Rosemary
Although I have Rosemary EO, it’s not one I reach for often. Researching its many benefits, though, maybe I should! I do use it in an inhaler along with peppermint and lemon — when I start feeling tired on the run I will inhale this during a walk break.

  • Reduces stress levels
  • Reduces mental fatigue
  • Reduces muscle soreness
  • Reduces tissue inflammation
  • Bug Repellent
  • Benefits memory
  • May stimulate hair growth

Vetiver
I once made the mistake of diffusing vetiver (and another EO) on a long drive. Somehow it got stuck in my mind that Vetiver is good for focus. Oops! It’s actually yet another EO that is good for sleep. Yes, I actually did feel sleepier than normal on my drive back!

  • Bug Repellant — especially ticks that carry Lyme Disease (I use this often on hikes)
  • Reduces Anxiety
  • Helps promote restful sleep

Final Thoughts
This is not an in depth study of EOs, obviously. You may find other EOs more helpful to your running (or life). It’s just a quick introduction to how EOs can support your running.

Do you already use Essential Oils?

Which EOs are your favorites (doesn’t have to be running-related)? 

What do you use for muscle soreness? DoTerra’s Deep Blue Rub is another favorite of mine. I use it when I get shots I know will leave my arm sore — it helps a lot!

I’ve missed you, Spring Running!

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I love the in between seasons for running: Spring and Fall. If I had to pick one, I would pick Spring. Spring, with the returning birds, returning sunshine (sometimes), the flower and flowering trees — it’s just so hopeful. It’s entertaining stalking all those signs of Spring!

Shedding layers
There comes a point when you’re just so over running in #allthelayers. You feel like a bundled up kid — it’s heavy, and it restricts movement. Like a caterpillar slowly making its way out of its cocoon, the warming temps of Spring allow us to ditch all the layers.

It’s not all rainbows and unicorns, though, because the mornings in early Spring can be pretty darn Winter-like. It takes a while for those longer days to start warming the roads (especially if there’s still snow on the ground), so as I wrote about in Prepping for Spring here, it’s not quite time to put away all your warm running clothes.

New sights
I don’t know about you, but I really struggle to find something to photograph on Winter runs. Often it’s really gray. There’s little wildlife and no pretty flowers.

As Spring begins to unfurl its leaves. there’s literally beauty everywhere around you. Even though we often seem to skip Spring and go straight into Summer, at some point the trees will have leaves, they’ll flower, and the Spring bulbs will bloom.

I have so much fun hunting down the signs of Spring, too!

Lightening the load
You could take that almost literally, as in the days are getting longer and the sun is putting in an appearance more often — both things that just put a smile on my face.

As we move further into Spring, though, I no longer need leggings with skirt. Then I can move on to capris. And one day it’s time to run in a skirt again! There is such a sense of freedom running in a skirt — not to mention not having to be on the lookout for black ice.

Sunny days. Rain. Lingering snow/ice. It’s all Spring.

Speaking of it’s not all rainbows . . .
The pretty flowers and flowering trees come at a price: for some that’s allergies, and for most of us that’s rain. Spring is often very wet, and when I lived in VT, it was known as mud season — for good reason!

I enjoy a nice run in a warm rain, but cold rain is the worst.

Can we talk about that wind? Spring comes roaring through some days — literally!

Time to race, anyone?
Spring is one of my favorite times to race. Races are sparse in Winter in these parts – but that oh so fickle weather can also get you in Spring races. Not to mention the Pandemic still chugging along.

Take stock of how you trained through the Winter. Are you really race ready, even if all you want to do is have fun? Consider building a base if you haven’t run as much during Winter. Have you kept up with strength training? Now is definitely the time to get back to it!

Consider hiring a coach to help you ease back into racing. We’ve got some great ones in these linkups!

You may also like 5 Spring Running Tips here

What’s your Spring weather like? 

Do you have RL racing opportunities? 

Enjoying (or sneezing through) the Spring flowers? 

btuesdaytopics

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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Waterfall Chasing: 3/29 – 4/4 WRD

One of the benefits of rain/snowmelt is the waterfalls are quite full. There is definitely something about a waterfall that has always entranced me!

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I’m joining Kim @ Kimrunsonthefly and Deborah @ Confessionsofamotherrunner, and running post vaccine.

Workouts update

  • Monday: Yoga (20 min), Dogwalk, PB ST (25 min)
  • Tuesday: Yoga (30 min), 3 easy miles, Yoga (20 min)
  • Wednesday: Yoga (20 min), Dogwalk/Short hikes/walks
  • Thursday: Yoga (20 min), 4ish TM (Endurance + Tread Bootcamp), Yoga (20 min)
  • Friday: Yoga (30 min), Dogwalk, Yoga (50 min)
  • Saturday: Yoga (20 min), 6 miles easy, Dogwalk, Yoga (45 min)
  • Sunday: Yoga (30 min), PB Cardio Toning?, Dogwalk

Running Mileage: 13 (+3)

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

Hello sunshine (in flower form)

Tuesday Intention: easy run
It was a positive splits kinda day. The first mile was brisk — both weather and pace-wise, but after that I began to tire and got slower and slower. It was also pretty windy. I think? I didn’t start this post until Thursday. Oops!

Thursday Intention: endurance, speed, strength
I know that if I want to put in extra miles I have to do it before the Peloton Tread Bootcamp, so I did a short endurance run first. The Bootcamp had sprint intervals. All told an hour of hard work. Normally I’d do a bike cool down, but it was lunch time!

What a great idea!

Saturday Intention: enjoy nature
Ultimately I was glad that Mr. Judy had something today so I got my run done yesterday — it was a beautiful (but cold) sunny day! I did trail miles, and I ended up at a dam I didn’t even know was there, because I hadn’t gone that far on that trail before. The last 2 miles were a bit of a struggle. Definitely notice a slight hit to my endurance with that first vaccine, even a little over a week later.

I might have seen an eagle (so many birders come to these trails), but hard to say. I saw a very large bird flying, and I don’t think it was a hawk or crow. They had this really cool exhibit with pages from a children’s book on trees, so a nature walk where the kiddos could read a book page by page. I thought that was so clever!

Nice having these so close to home!

Favorites of the week
I spent multiple days trying to get close to Cohoes Falls, which is a large waterfall quite close to me. Didn’t happen — yes, I saw it, but from a distance (closer park doesn’t open until May).

Imagine my surprise to find this on my run yesterday!

I did discover the dam I didn’t know existed on my long run, though. Next week looks like we’ll have decent weather so I’m hoping to get Mr. Judy & Bandit on a short waterfall hike again.

They were not happy I invaded their space this time 🤣

In one of our unsuccessful waterfall hunts, we did come across this pleasant little park. Wish I had that right in my neighborhood! More geese, you’ll notice, but no interactions (unless you count Bandit trying to eat their poop, of course).

It did stick around overnight but quickly melted

Not a favorite? The April Fool’s snow! That happens pretty regularly in these parts, though, and was gone as quickly as it came.


I think we need more; don’t you?

Last but certainly not least, the bulbs emerging!

Have you discovered new things in your area recently? 

Has Winter made an unwelcome return? 

If you celebrate Easter, a very happy (and safe) Easter to you!

GWY Immune Boost + Breast Health

ICYMI: If you’re going to be vaccinated or just were vaccinated, you may enjoy this gentle, immune boosting practice, which is also great for breast health. You’ll find the video here.

Coming up on Tuesday: I share why I love Spring running. Friday I’m sharing some great Essential Oils for runners.

All the Seasons of Spring: Tea/coffee Date April 2021

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Thanks,  Coco and Deborah, getting us altogether virtually for a coffee date. It may be Spring, with all that applies — swinging back & forth between Spring & Winter — so I’m still drinking hot chocolate. 🙂

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If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d tell you a couple of weeks ago I was having serious vaccine envy. It seemed as though everyone I know — aside from my sister & BIL — is vaccinated. I whined to everyone about it and I apologize! The next week they opened it up to 50+.

It says “Own Today”

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d tell you the day I learned that I would be eligible to try to make a vaccine appointment the next day — (3/22) — was also the first day I was able to use the Yoga platform in 2021. I got a little goofy trying to take photos of my wrap after I wrapped that practice. It was a good day! My appointment is 5/29, although I’m hoping to move that closer.

ETA: the day after I made the 5/29 appointment (3/24), I made an appointment for 4/26. It was at a site a bit over an hour from me; the 5/29 appointment was much closer. Then I made one for 4/15 (same place, longer drive). This was all the morning of the 24th. Then Darlene told me there was a more local place that had a lot of appointments for that day (the 24th — are you following all this?).

Yup, I made an appointment for that afternoon and prayed I wouldn’t have a reaction so I could go visit my mom the next day as planned, which also happened to be my Dad’s birthday. My mom is pretty stoic, and rarely mentions those sort of anniversary dates. Still I thought it would help brighten her day to have a visit. I knew it would brighten her day to hear I’d had my first vaccine!

On top of all that, my brother is in the middle of getting his vaccinations, and planning a trip out to see my mom in June. He hasn’t seen her in over a year. Plus I also have to fill out a jury questionnaire by the beginning of April; I don’t know when/if I might be called, but the thought of jury duty was definitely freaking me out. As long as it’s not on the date for my second shot . . . 

 

This photo was less than a week before the photo above — Spring is nothing if not changeable!

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d tell you I’ve been doing my best to dragtake Mr. Judy out for hikes. Any day that is even reasonably warm and dry (and by warm I’m including windy, cloudy, and about 50 sometimes). Bandit doesn’t need any prodding.

 

I really needed these brownies

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d tell you I have been jonesing for a cookie. I’ve also been busy and not baking. Then I spied a container in the freezer — lo and behold, it was brownies! I’m usually fairly good at mentally keeping track of what’s in there, but I had no clue they were there — and so happy they were!

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
We started to watch Upload (Amazon Prime). The first episode was silly, but mildly entertaining, and it’s definitely light fare, but it got better after the first episode. Although I’m beginning to think we should consider an HBO subscription. You’d think Netflix and Amazon Prime would be enough, wouldn’t you?

Does your beverage of choice change with the seasons? 

Have you been able to put away Winter running clothes? At least I’ve fairly certain I won’t need the stuff for 20 and below anymore, but I don’t want to jinx it!

What are you watching these days? Always looking for recommendations.

Also linking up with:

bfitfivefriday

Clear Goals: March 2021

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Spring is a natural time to start becoming more active. Activity is really its own reward, but it doesn’t hurt to have some goals.

All good performance starts with clear goals.
— Ken Blanchard

I may not be planning a performance any time soon, but clear goals in my life are important. No clear goals leads to too much time trying to decide what to do — better known as analysis paralysis. Who wants to waste time dithering about what to do?

Getting in scheduled runs
I ran 3 x week, as planned. Even three times a week seems challenging right now! I may not work at a paid job (right now), but that doesn’t mean I don’t keep myself busy, cause I sure do!

Grade Earned: 

Recording my runs
Like March: started out strong, sort of petered out towards the end of the month. Again keeping myself busy with other things.

Grade Earned: B

Dynamic Warmup
I was quite good at my dynamic warmups as my runs began to become a more normal length. Still working on a few residual niggles that have been niggling at me a long time (making progress) so I know that this is important.

Grade Earned: A

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Foam Rolling
This has become an entrenched part of my morning routine (see more about morning routines here). I do it because it makes a difference. Sometimes I do it both before and after a run. And I work on my feet pretty much every day to keep them happy (see my routine here — I redid it, and I swear there was audio! Ugh. I may have to refilm the whole thing).

We’re going to be working on flexibility in the Facebook Group (join here) next month, and it’s going to be a combination of SMR (self myofascial release & Yin Yoga). So not only does it help with flexibility, it can help with some annoying aches & pains, too — win-win! 

Grade Earned: A++

The starter is now in the freezer, and the bread bakery is closed for now.

Nutrition
Not really quite sure what happened here. I was doing great up to my birthday — and I got back on track right after my birthday, too. But the weight has crept up a little. I have some ideas, and I’ve been implementing them. It may just be a seasonal adjustment. I hope!

Grade Earned: B

Cross Training
Yoga, running, a little hiking, walking, a little bit of indoor cycling. I’m doing pretty well, but slacked a bit on strength training. Although the first ST I did recently, I was so sure I was going to have some DOMs — and I didn’t. There’s been a lot more Yoga as I do short practices in the Facebook group — I guess it’s working for me too.

Grade Earned: A+

March 2021  gets  . . . 
. . . an A. Probably should’ve been an A-, there was definitely some room for improvement in a few areas. I did feel really run down for about a week there in the middle — which is why there was so little ST — but gave my body what it needed and bounced back pretty quickly.

February Goals:

  • Continue to lengthen out my long run. Y. I started the month with a long run of 4 miles, and slowly worked my way up to 6 miles. Taking it slow & easy to keep my body happy. I don’t plan to go much over 7 or 8 miles any time soon (and it depends on my body), as I am still not training for anything.
  • Do some longer ST. Y/N.  Y. I did once, LOL! Most of the little ST I did, if you’re not counting Yoga, was short. ST is so important, but listening to your body is more important.
  • Balance + Core Challenge. Y. I had fun coming up with a variety of routines in the Facebook group and on YouTube (here). I know my balance still needs work! Watching my parents age, I know just how important this is. May I also say that it’s important to use a cane/walker if that is necessary, no matter your age. Pride goeth before a fall, indeed! I hope I can stave that off for a long, long time. I just had a conversation with my mom about that. She’s good at using her cane, but is reluctant to use a walker, and I think she’s at the stage that she needs to. So just gentle nudges for her for now and pray there are no falls.
  • Continue to try to eat intuitively — unless the weight starts to creep up.. Y. It’s time for a little Spring cleaning. I’ve started, but it’s not always easy!

Which leads me to April Goals:

  • Continue to lengthen out my long run. I am not going to make any goal for how long I want my long runs to be. My body will tell me. I would definitely be happy to be at 7 miles by the end of April, but a happy body is more important to me.
  • Do some longer ST. I will continue to the short practices in the morning, as it’s really working for me right now. Time to do a longer one at least a one day a week — on the days I don’t run.
  • Flexibility Challenge. I am having fun coming up with some very different — and effective — practices.
  • Continue to try to eat intuitively — unless the weight starts to creep up. Always a goal. Over the years I’ve gotten much better at it, but it’s always a work in progress.

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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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Learning my Garmin: Runfessions March 2021

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I’ve had my Garmin Vivoactive 3 for almost 2 years now? Something like that. I know I was actually able to race with it . . . it’s amazing what I still don’t know about it! But first my car is making its way into my runfessions.

I runfess . . .
My car did not get driven for 6 weeks at the beginning of this year, mainly due to illness. I did go to see my mom in that period, but I take my husband’s younger car for those drives. I did not go to the grocery store at all in that period! I swear I heard it sigh with relief when I finally drove it — not to mention she started right up. I call her Old Faithful for a reason!

I runfess . . .
The first time I did drive my car was to the grocery store. I’d been cooped up so long, that even that seemed like an adventure!

I runfess . . .
Apparently what I really think about on the run (outside) is counting my run intervals (as opposed to what I wrote about here). I often just run when I’m on the treadmill, but am still using run/walk intervals outside. I know that I have approximately 4-5 run intervals per mile — and then I drink a little water.

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I runfess . . .
It took me years, but I finally realized that the vibration my Garmin Vivoactive 3 makes for a run/walk interval is shorter than the vibration it makes for each mile. If I’m paying attention and counting those run/walk intervals, I can usually tell when I’ve hit a mile just by the longer vibration. Which means I don’t have to look at the watch at all.

I runfess . . .
When we went on our hike last week, we crossed a road that crosses a path I used to run at often, although I haven’t run on that portion in a very long time. Winter, Pandemic. I have spent so many miles there.

Since I wasn’t driving, as we crossed the road that bisects the bike path, I looked up for some reason. Obviously I never do when I run, because I was astounded to see the McMansions that are perched on the hill above the path! Who knew?

How long does it take you to figure out your GPS watch? 

Have you been surprised by something on a route you run regularly?

What do you have to runfess from March? Come join us

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I am also linking up with:

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5 Tips to Prep for Spring Running

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There is so much to love about Spring Running: more sunshine, flowers, leaves on the trees, birds chirping away. It’s not all daffodils and lilies, though! Best to be prepared for the curveballs Spring might throw you — or just prepare for Spring in general!

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Don’t run without these! |Photo by Nitin Dhumal on Pexels.com

Protect your eyes!
It’s the rare day I run without sunglasses on, no matter what the season. It happens — sometimes when it’s raining or it’s so cold they’ll just fog up. If you’ve gotten out of the habit of wearing sunglasses — or never started — Spring is the right time to get back in the habit!

Did you know cataracts often start forming at age 40, but generally don’t start impairing vision until after age 60? My eye doctor has already told me a couple of years ago that I have cataracts, but at least then they didn’t require surgery. Pretty sure my vision hasn’t changed much since then, but still, I know that day is coming.

Wearing sunglasses is one of the ways we can hold off those cataracts from forming.

Don’t put away the Winter clothes just yet
This depends on where you live; if you’re in the South you’re probably pretty safe putting them away. We can get snow in April (often as an April Fool’s Day joke — not joking!) — even into May. When it comes to weather and dressing in Spring, you need to be prepared for just about anything.

Take an inventory of your shoes and your Spring running clothes
Is it time for some new running shoes? Do you have any idea how many miles are on your shoes? Do you have any annoying aches and pains? It might be time for a new pair — or two. I like to rotate through a couple of pairs year round, for a variety of reasons. If you get caught in a Spring downpour or run on a muddy trail, that means you’ll always have a fresh, dry pair ready to run in.

Do your Spring running clothes still fit? Or maybe last season you thought you’d find a Spring running jacket in the end of the season sales, but you didn’t. Maybe it’s time for a new bra or socks. Just take stock of what you have and start to fill in any holes!

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Get ahead of the allergies
Thankfully I don’t suffer with allergies, but I know it’s pretty debilitating. Start your allergy medicine (of course also consult with your doctor) before you’re really suffering. Starting sooner rather than later helps to calm your immune system down and keep inflammation down.

Schedule your runs for when pollen is lowest:

  • Later in the day
  • Cooler, wetter days (oh joy!)

One switch I’ve made this year was to crack a window year round. Even on the most bitterly cold days — although not at night, and not all day. Because COVID loves poor air circulation. Unfortunately, letting that fresh air in lets the pollen in too.

Be mindful of having the windows open in your car for the same reason. Not to mention those little pollen carrying quadrapeds, aka our dogs and cats who go outside. Of course they need to be outside at times, but if you let them sleep in bed with you, you may make your seasonal allergies worse. Click here for 10 tips to help you live with allergies and your pets.

Now that the weather is nicer (maybe! hopefully!), what about races?
Spring is one of my favorite times to race. Races are sparse in Winter in these parts – but that oh so fickle weather can also you get you. Not to mention the Pandemic still chugging along.

Take stock of how you trained through the Winter. Are you really race ready, even if all you want to do is have fun? Consider building a base if you haven’t run as much during Winter. Have you kept up with strength training? Now is definitely the time to get back to it!

Consider hiring a coach to help you ease back into racing. We’ve got some great ones in these linkups!

You may also like 5  Spring Running Tips here

What’s your Spring weather like? 

Do you have RL racing opportunities? 

Any tips with for the runners with allergies? 

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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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