What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger: Runfessions May 2020

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I know people hate to say what we have is the new normal, but I think that’s the truth until a vaccine or treatment is found. You wouldn’t think I’d have much to runfess considering I am not racing, and not running a lot either. Coming clean always feels good, though, doesn’t it? Even if one of my runfessions is about my complete and utter lack of the cleaning gene.

I runfess . . .
I am still cleaning more than I used to — not hard to do! — but less than I was in April. We seem to have survived. Knock on wood.

Thumbs up for the Yoga platform & nice weather

I runfess . . .
Part of the reason I have been cleaning less is because we finally got nice weather, and between the tablet, the laptop, and the Yoga platform, I’m spending a lot of time outdoors. Who wants to be stuck inside — doing anything? — much less cleaning.

I runfess . . .
I didn’t really know how prophetic my word for 2020 would be (strong, which you can read about here). I thought it was because of my parents . . . well, we all know why we need to be strong now! In addition to all that, though, I’m taking advantage of no races to run less and try to do more strength training. Literally getting strong — or so I hope.

I runfess . . .
Ok, it’s not a runfession, but yes, my thoughts have already turned to Thanksgiving. I was going to host it again this year, with my father gone. I joked to Lloyd at one point, when we were considering eating the turkey en croute from TJs in our freezer, that that might be our Thanksgiving dinner.

I don’t think that’s a joke anymore. I can’t see my family, and especially my mother, coming here for Thanksgiving. At the moment if my mom leaves for anything other than a doctor’s appointment, she would have to self quarantine for 2 weeks. My sister is also planning to go back to work at Old Navy, so lots of exposure.

I’m trying to hunt down where bathrooms might be so we can make a trip out to see her soon. Yes, there are apps for that — except I haven’t found any that are really terribly useful.

I knew I bought it, and have the photo to prove it. What I don’t know is where it’s hiding!

I runfess . . .
In the perennial problem of I know I have it, it’s big, but where the heck is it, I have had a pair of capris go missing. I know I wore them last year, I have the photos. I’m mostly done with moving the Fall/Winter clothes out and the Spring/Summer clothes in, and yet — it’s hiding. I guess it’s a good thing that we’re now past capri season.

GWY Immunity Yin Yoga

ICYMI: I’ve got a new Yin Yoga practice to help keep your immune system strong — or help you stretch out before or after a run — maybe both! Check it out here.

Did you pick a word? Do you remember what it was? 

Do you find yourself wanting to stay outside all the time, even though you have things to do inside?

What was the last thing you couldn’t find that drove you nuts?

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

Runfessions

I am also linking up with:

Running Hacks Make Running a Little Smoother

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We all have them: those little hacks that makes running just a little easier. I shared one — one that I didn’t come up with, but a former fellow blogger did — last week here in my post on the benefits of running in your own neighborhood. I’ve got a few more to share!

Warm up inside when it’s cold outside
I suppose it’s the wrong time of year to share this one in the Northern Hemisphere, but it took me years before I had the aha! moment that I could simply warm up inside when it’s cold outside (another benefit to running in your own neighborhood — obviously doesn’t work so well when you’re meeting people elsewhere).

This shoelace hack never fails me!

Keep those laces tied!
I have shared this before, but no one ever seems to pick it up. Take your tied laces and push them under one of the places your laces cross on your running shoes. No more worries about laces coming undone during a race/run. I think it’s happened to me once in eleven years of running.

Freeze your water
It is the right time of year for this one, in fact, I wish I’d done this last Saturday! The night before a run/race, fill your water bottles about half full. Place in freezer. Right before your run, fill the bottle the rest of the way. Voila! Cold water for a much longer time.

Foam roll before you run
Want to make foam rolling a habit? Do it as part of your warm up. Because that is actually one of its purposes: to get the blood flowing to your muscles and get you warmed up. Bonus: it ensures you’ll do it. Wait til post run, and you’re much more likely to skip it.

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Hack Your Smoothies

Love your post run smoothies?
You can make them up ahead of time, too. You have two choices: freeze the ingredients (except the liquid) — then just throw the ingredients and your liquid in the blender and instant smoothie.

You can also simply make up the smoothie ahead of time. Your choice whether to have it just waiting for you in the fridge, or freezing the entire smoothie. If you make up the smoothie a few days ahead of time, just realize it’s going to oxidize.

There are two downsides to freezing the entire smoothie ahead of time:

  1. It will change the texture of the smoothie (it will get a bit more watery as the ingredients defrost)
  2. It will be harder to blend

Basically anything you know you won’t want to do post run, make sure to do it pre-run!

What are some of your favorite running hacks? 

Do you enjoy a post run smoothie?  What’s your favorite mixture?

What makes running more streamlined for you? 

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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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My Week of 5ks: 5/18 – 24 WRD

We had a string of beautiful days this week, and trust me, we all needed that for our sanity up here! I love the freedom of living in Skirt all Summer long (with temps going up to 90 next week, yup, looks like unofficial Summer has arrived).

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Joining Kim @ Kimrunsonthefly and Deborah @ Confessionsofamotherrunner, and sharing my string of 5ks in prep for a virtual 5k — this week, or maybe on Memorial Day.

Workouts update

  • Monday:  Dogwalk, Yoga (30 min)
  • Tuesday: Dogwalk, 3.1 miles easy, Bodyweight + Kettlebells (30 min)
  • Wednesday: Dogwalk, Yoga (20 min)
  • Thursday: 3.1 miles easy with 7 x 20ish strides, Core (15 mn)
  • Friday: Dogwalk, Yoga (35 min)
  • Saturday:  6 miles (maybe not so easy), Yoga (60 min)
  • Sunday: Dogwalk, hopefully Platform Yoga and ST

Mileage: 12.2 (+3.2)

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

Another neighborhood rainbow

Tuesday
I kept thinking I needed to do my virtual Freihofers this week, but luckily realized I don’t need to do it until next week. I ran 3.1 anyway, just to have something to report if things don’t go my way next week. Another nice day to run, but I really need to start getting out there earlier.

Today I had to walk the dogs before I ran, as Mr. Judy was waiting for a delivery. Lola, who is 14, just can’t take temps much over 60F, so she needs to be walked earlier now.

Now violet is everywhere it seems!

Thursday
Another great day to run! Of course I stopped to take a photo and while I thought I’d paused my Garmin, I hadn’t. No matter what, nice negative splits. Still slow but those strides always help; I cheat and run down a slight incline in front of my home, pause the Garmin while I walk back to my starting point, and repeat. Maybe not so kosher but that’s how I roll.

A washed out rainbow

Saturday
I decided to try to tackle a 5k as part of my long run. I warmed up with .9 (because 3.1 + .9 = 4 miles). Then I ran down the road on one side of my neighborhood for 3.1 miles. I did stop a couple of times to take photos (and paused my Garmin) so this probably won’t be my official 5k. The pace was decent because it was almost entirely downhill, which the race isn’t. I’m sure the stops helped the pace, too.

Although in typical fashion of this particular race, it was suddenly hot! I got out a bit later than I wanted (but earlier than the race starts). By the time I finished it was in the mid 70s. I haven’t run in those temps in many months. I’ve been lucky if it’s in the 50s!

One of the weirdest things I’ve seen on the run (but not the weirdest)

Of course what goes down must come up. I walked up the very long, very steep hill after I’d finished those first 4 miles. I had zero desire to run up a hill that steep, intervals or not. I ran some more on the flatter parts. Then walked up the final hill, too. I did run it in.

I’d thought I might add a mile to my long run this week, but with the sudden increase in temps, I really just had no desire to. I must’ve gotten in a good couple of miles walking uphill in addition to my 6 miles running.

Lola joined me for a little Yoga

Favorites of the week
I’ve been teasing what Mr. Judy was building for me for a while. Lola and Bandit helped me to christen it after my run.

It’s a Yoga platform in my backyard!

Bandit continues to be my Yoga partner

As much as I love my deck Yoga, platform Yoga is even better! It’s shaded by our pine trees (although those pine needles get everywhere) and there’s a nice breeze back there.

Apparently he’s also my construction partner (he just needs thumbs)

I helped just a smidge: carrying over most of the top boards and tightening up most of the bolts on the corners.

This is where I plan to be teaching my Yoga student — I’m not sure if she’ll be on the ground or maybe with me on the platform. I think there’s enough social distance between us if our mats are turned the other way.

My friends are getting ready to social distance run and brunch (also outside). I wasn’t quite ready, and they decided to run today anyway — I’d already run Saturday. I want to join in, but I’m not quite sure it’s the right thing to do now. I have several people in my life that are at higher risk.

One is my mom, and of course it’s been months since I’ve been in contact with her — but I’m hoping to see her soon. Others are ones I’m in contact with more often. I shared a post on my FB page here this morning on the risks of various gatherings, written by a runner who is also a virologist.

Of course it’s also not great to be isolated. As I said on FB, difficult times and difficult decisions.

Wouldn’t you love to join me on my platform? I can definitely envision filming some videos out there! Too bad the wifi isn’t strong enough for Zooming.

Are you handy?  Me, nope. Good thing Mr. Judy is.

How much of your exercise do you take outdoors? I thought about strength training out there, but lugging the weights out — and back! — didn’t seem enticing. Of course it’s more exercise, but I use different weights.  Although I’m sure ultimately it would feel great!

Coming up on Tuesday: I’m sharing some of my running hacks that make running go smoother. Of course Friday it’s time for runfessions; we all love getting those out there, don’t we? Don’t forget that Skirt Sports is selling off its inventory, so check out the sale here.

The Pros of Running at Home

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Always looking for a silver lining (or trying to convince myself of something), so I decided to come up with reasons why it’s good to run in my own neighborhood. Can I come up with five?

Fairytales and Fitness

Less pollution
The photos of the change in places like Los Angeles and Delhi are just mind-blowing. Who knew just 2 months could make such a difference? I wish those changes could stick around. How do we come back together and somehow drive less?

No driving saves time
Even the closest place I drive to run is 10 minutes away, some are 20 minutes. That’s 20 or 40 minutes round trip. Of course this also reinforces Pro #1. Not to mention you don’t have to find someplace for your keys.

More likely to Warm Up
It’s easier to skip the warm up when you’re chatting with friends — or it’s cold out. Easier to do it on your own, and if it’s cold, you can just warm up in your own warm home.

Easy to make pitstops . . .
. . . in a real bathroom. I admit I’ve never had to do this, but knowing that it’s available — there’s peace of mind.

Mailboxes. They’re not just for mail.

Easy to shed layers
Many times when I’ve run in my neighborhood, I step outside and realize I don’t need a jacket or gloves. Sometimes I just leave them on our patio, but there’s also the option to stuff them in the mailbox temporarily, or just leave them inside.

You’re mostly stuck if you want to shed a layer once you’ve driven somewhere, unless you want to go back to your car — but you might want to shed that layer before you can get to your car.

I sometimes put my water bottle in the mailbox when I’m doing strides. You can do that so you could loop around & pick up more water/fuel/whatever it is you’re going to need and don’t want to carry. Because we all know that we don’t want to take more steps than necessary when we’re out there running for our health, LOL!

Do you feel that there are any benefits to running in your own neighborhood?

Do you make use of your own bathroom when you do run in your neighborhood?

What do you stash in your mailbox?

GWY Dare to Be Yourself

ICYMI: I let my hair down (almost literally!) and talk just a little bit about being yourself and daring to do the things that scare you. How will you ever know if you like them — or not — if you don’t try?! Catch this short vlog here.

My #1 Reason to Race

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Last week I shared my #1 Race Pet Peeve here, but since I don’t like to be a Debbie Downer too often, this week I’m sharing what I’m most looking forward to when I can race again.

Have any guesses?

The Benefits of Racing
There are so many great things about racing:

  • Exploring a new location
  • Challenging yourself
  • That feeling of accomplishment at the end of the race

You can read more about reasons to race here.

The thing I’m most looking forward to?

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Of course racing with friends makes the atmosphere even more fun!

The Atmosphere!
The atmosphere at the start of a race — during the race, and the finish line — if you’ve never been, the energy is just amazing.

The energy of race day is why I’m not personally a fan of virtual races — there’s just no way to feel that excitement, that encouragement, that feeling that we’re all connected — in a virtual race.

The energy of race day is what got me hooked on racing in the first place. Maybe not the first time I raced, and probably not the second time either, but boy it hooked me from that first half marathon!

What are you most looking forward to about racing again? 

Do you think your first real race will be local or a destination race? 

Already have a race picked out? 

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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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Zooming around: 5/11 – 17 WRD

Finally Spring has arrived! Although in typical Northeast fashion, it looks like we’re going to skip right over Spring and go into Summer. I am not complaining about that at all!

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Joining Kim @ Kimrunsonthefly and Deborah @ Confessionsofamotherrunner, and sharing what little movement there was this week.

Workouts update

  • Monday:  Dogwalk
  • Tuesday: Dogwalk, Yoga (30 min)
  • Wednesday: Dogwalk, Yoga (20 min)
  • Thursday: 3 miles easy
  • Friday: Dogwalk, SB (15 min), Bodyweight + Kettlebells (20 min), Yoga (20 min)
  • Saturday:  Dogwalk, Yoga (60 min)
  • Sunday: Dogwalk, 6 miles easy, Yoga later maybe, maybe some ST, maybe both . . .

Mileage: 9 (-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

Kind of a rainbow . . . 

Thursday
Body wanted lots of extra rest again this week. The good news is that after all that rest, my runs felt better than any of  last week’s runs. Maybe that was also because I decided to bring back structured run/walk intervals as I continue to struggle|work on nasal breathing. The weather was again perfection, so worth the wait!

Even a pandemic can’t stop Memorial Day prep

Sunday
Running in  skirt. Living in a skirt. I’ve missed that! Cloudy, but great running weather. This run felt hard at times, but that may have been due to the incessant hills. I did both roads that lay on either side of my neighborhood, and they’re both hilly. I think run/walk is the way to go for now.

Not sure why he looked so sad, he loves his walks!

Favorites of the week
I don’t Zoom as much as a lot of people — it’s totally a verb now, right? There was more zooming for me this week than usual. My brother’s 60th birthday call (we did get my Mom on it), blogger Zoom, the Yoga Zoom with friends last weekend. I did miss the Zoom with my local running friends, but what can I say? Evening doesn’t work well for me and I was just especially tired this week.

I made an ecard for my brother’s 60th with a collage of family, too (it was my third in about a week!) but it was fun.

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Auto balancing my chakras below me as I practice Yoga on the deck

There’s been quite a bit of deck Yoga, which has been lovely, especially with the rainbow chimes chiming below me.

Other than that, not a whole lot going on. Although I may be teaching my private Yoga student again in the near future — outside in my backyard. Let’s hope I can find all the dog poop. 🙂

Is it Spring or Summer where you live (or worse, not even Spring yet)?

Any Memorial Day plans?  Not here. Unless we can work out the bathroom situation going to my Moms.

Do you think your furkids will be upset when things get back to normal? Although we’ve both gone out, not at the same time and not as often. I had already said to Mr. Judy that we’ll have to recondition them to us being gone longer eventually.

Coming up on Tuesday: What I can’t wait to experience at a real race (which probably isn’t going to happen for me this year). Friday I’ll talk about the pros of running near to home. Gotta try to stay positive here! Don’t forget that Skirt Sports is selling off its inventory, so check out the sale here.

Hydration is good for ________

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Fascia!

Your fascia is just reason #999 to stay well hydrated.

Fairytales and Fitness

What is Fascia?
Fascia is all the rage/buzzworthy right now, but what exactly is your fascia? Short disclaimer: I’m not a medical professional, fitness expert, or fascia expert. Fascia gives you shape. I know you think it’s your bones, but your fascia surrounds all your bones, your organs, your muscles. It’s actually what keeps you upright.

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It’s made up of ground substance, and that ground substance has collegen fibers and blood vessels — and a whole lot more. Click herefor a really deep dive into fascia (it’s fascinating!). I also highly suggest watching the Fuzz lecture here.

Your fascia actually gives your body feedback on your the state of your muscles, and is important in proprieception (figuring out where you are in time and space).

Makes sense that taking care of our fascia is important, right?

Ground Substance is thirsty
Ground substance is 70% water. Many liken it to a sponge, as you can see in this post here:

When a sponge dries out it becomes brittle and hard. It can easily be broken with only a little force because of how crispy it has become. However, when a sponge is wet and well hydrated it gets springy and resilient. You can crush it into a little ball and it bounces back. You can wring it and twist it, but it is difficult to break.

Hydration is important to your fascia, and once you’re dehydrated, it begins to stiffen and stick to itself — and you feel knots and stiffness, too. You can’t completely hydrate your fascia by drinking more, but good hydration is a good first step to keep your fascia happy.

Fascia is also hydrated by movement (this is where foam rolling can come in), although not by repetitive movement — like running — which is why cross training is so important. Running can be good for your fascia — but only running, not so much.

Rest is important too (you know I’m always harping on that!). Tom Myers, an expert on fascia and author of Anatomy Trains (Amazon Affiliate link here),  writes:

The fascia gets temporarily weaker and then comes back stronger after a heavy workout. Always alternate work-outs with periodic rest to allow for maximum integration and strengthening of the fascial network.

You can also check out his YouTube channel here.

Coach Debbie @ Coachdebbieruns is a Fasical Stretch Therapist. Read her post hereabout how FST can make you a better runner (someday we’ll be able to do this again!).

Did you know what fascia is?

Are you more motivated to help your fascia stay happy?

What do you do when you feel stiff in the morning?

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ICYMI: Feeling in need of a longer stretch after a run? When I shot my postrun stretch  video for the 21 Day Yoga Challenge (sign up here), I went a little long on my first try. Like double the amount of time that short video should have been. When you have time to take more time stretching it out, try out my new Post Run Stretch Video here.