Reboot: February 2021

I was very clear on trying to listen to my body and slowly ease back into activity after three weeks of pretty much just Yoga and walking. I know I lost cardiovascular fitness in that time — thanks to my Garmin automatically recording my V02 MAX — but still never really felt much DOMs as I transitioned into working out more again. Thank you Yoga!

It’s very refreshing to go away and take a break, to clear your head, and just get into something else.
— Francois Nars

I know for some people an extended break from fitness would have them climbing the walls. Breaks can be a great way to get back to what you love. To become really clear on what’s important to you. You may realize that yes, you absolutely loved what your were doing and are willing to do whatever it takes to get back to it. You may have a new found appreciation for things that you took for granted. You may realize that some of the things you thought were so important maybe aren’t quite that important.

Of course you should ease back in gently, which you can read more about at this blog post here.

Running through cold, snowy February

Getting in scheduled runs
Still no scheduled runs. I runfess I kind of like the lack of pressure to train. That might change as the weather sloooooowly gets more conducive to running.

Grade Earned: 

Recording my runs
I’m doing fairly well with this, although sometimes it may take a few days, by which time of course I’ve forgotten most of what I felt on the run.

Grade Earned: A

Dynamic Warmup
In January I slacked on this because really — it was only a mile! Of course my shoulder injuries (thankfully short lived) showed it sometimes doesn’t take much to hurt yourself. The runs are getting a little longer, so I’ve buckled down and done it. It’s easier when running from home in the Winter, I find, rather than driving somewhere to run (somehow I feel as though I need to make up for the time lost driving and just get going which is silly).

Grade Earned: A

Lots of body work!

Foam Rolling
Still rolling pretty much every morning. As always, before runs, too.

Grade Earned: A+

I got my birthday cupcake; I also shared a *little* with Mr. Judy

My Sourdough: someone had to eat it!

Nutrition
Nutrition was pretty good, but of course a bit of birthday indulgence and with more activity, more hunger.

Grade Earned: A

Walking in a Winter wonderland

Cross Training
Yoga, running, strength training, walking, a little bit of indoor cycling. I think I’m good!

Grade Earned: A+

February 2021  gets  . . . 
. . . an A. I didn’t know how I would feel in February (other than tired, cold — that’s just a given!) and coming back from three weeks off running so I made my goals really conservative. I know that it’s better to ease back into things rather than dive right in — less likelihood of injury or a rebound illness.

January Goals:

  • Continue to run 3 x week. Y. It’s slow, it’s not very far, but it is running!
  • Listen to what my body is telling me. Y.  Y. For the most part. As I felt better, it’s too easy to get back into doing too much. So far so good.
  • Ease back into strength training. Y. I tied this to my morning Yoga. I foam roll, I do Yoga, and then I do a very short ST session. Getting it done first thing in the morning is a great way to make sure it actually gets done.
  • Continue to try to eat intuitively — unless the weight starts to creep up.. Y. I knew I planned to indulge on my birthday, so I tried to eat pretty clean before that. It was actually easier when I wasn’t feeling well and most of the time just not super hungry. Better to feel good, obviously.

Which leads me to March Goals:

  • Continue to lengthen out my long run. I might end February with 4 miles — hey, it is what it is — and quite frankly with the weather, that doesn’t really bother me anyway. I still don’t see much in the way of racing in my future, so it’s all about rebuilding my base.
  • 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.
  • Balance + Core Challenge. I did a morning routine challenge in the Facebook group in February; I *think* March will be a balance + core challenge. Join us here.
  • 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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Typical February Week: 2/15 – 21 WRD

Snow. Ice. Cold. Not nearly as much as forecast, though — in fact, much, much less (except the cold part). I was able to run outside twice. My heart goes out to my friends in Austin, even while I’m actually glad (for once!) that we live here and not there. I’ve been without power. I’ve been without water. Neither is fun. Throw into that burst pipes — yikes!

I am ready for some good news, I truly am!

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I’m joining Kim @ Kimrunsonthefly and Deborah @ Confessionsofamotherrunner, and easing slowly back into running and strength training.

Workouts update

  • Monday: Yoga (40 min), PB Legs (11 min), Dogwalk
  • Tuesday: Yoga (20 min), PB Balance + Core (10 min), 2.5 TM, 4.5 SB, Shoveling, Yoga (20 min)
  • Wednesday: Yoga (30 min), PB ST (10 min), Dogwalk, Yoga (20 min)
  • Thursday: Yoga (30 min), Easy 3 miles, Dogwalk
  • Friday: Yoga (30 min), PB Legs (10 min), A little touch up shoveling, Dogwalk
  • Saturday: Yoga (20 min), PB Arms (10 min), Dogwalk
  • Sunday: Yoga (20 min), 4 miles easy, Yoga (20 min)

Running Mileage: 9.5 (+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

This is how it looked by the afternoon when the temps had risen above freezing and the ice was melting. Made the shoveling easier, but I stuck to the mill in the morning.

Tuesday Intention: just a touch of speed + more time
I chose a 45 minute intervals run today. I’ve been using 45 minute runs, but just running for 30 minutes. I continue to slowly increase time and length of my runs, so this week I wanted to run for 35 minutes. Which I did.

Another cool ice photo. Makes plastic mesh look like chain mail!

I kept my “speed” relatively low, walked the last 10 minutes, and then cooled down with a 10 minute indoor bike ride. I’ve been doing 15 minute cycles, but it was getting really close to lunch and no one wants Mr. Judy hangry.

No killer storms here but lots of days with just a few inches of snow & lots of cold means the snow stays. Until next week when we’re supposed to get more seasonal temps.

Thursday Intention: opt outside + easy miles
No wind for the win again! Which is good because it was just barely above 22F. Definitely took it easy, but a good run overall. Except for when I turned around at the end of one street and almost literally ran into a woman running on the wrong side of the street — I had no idea she was there. Otherwise uneventful except for V02 Max nudging up a little and my last mile being a pretty normal pace.

Typical February scenes

Sunday Intention: add some more distance (again!)
Another cold in the low 20s run, but wind not too bad and bright sunshine! It still felt more difficult than Thursday’s run. No idea why. Back up to 4 miles. Woohoo! Although I did stop after mile 3 to make sure Mr. Judy had been out to walk Bandit — he just won’t walk if I’m at home and Mr. Judy takes him solo, but he usually will walk if I’m not at home. Looking for me, no doubt. I was worried I’d get home and then have to go back out to walk him — which I do a lot — but I just wasn’t feeling that today. He’s such a weird dog.

Rarely seen sunshine outside; but no way to get Vitamin D from that sunshine so gotta get light somehow

Favorites of the week
I want to thank everyone, again, who took time out of their love day to wish me a happy birthday last week; I am grateful to each and every one of you.

Mr. Judy actually put his thinking cap on and got me a great gift: a new light box for the mornings. I’ve had a small one for many years, but the rechargeable battery was slowly dying. The new one is much larger. I still get tired in Winter, but I do think it helps! I also asked for something like a water pick — food is always getting stuck in my teeth — and he got me that, too. It took some getting used to but my teeth feel so good after using it.

He also chipped in with his family, and there are some new Yoga props on their way, too.

Of course birthdays aren’t about what you receive, but it’s always nice to know that people are thinking about you.

Favorite recent birthday gift?

How’s your motivation holding up as Winter grinds on?

Don’t forget to enter my giveaway for a free virtual Yoga class here

GWY Yin Yoga Hamilton

ICYMI: It’s a Hamilton Yin Yoga practice! I had so much fun working on this. You’ll deeply stretch your whole body. I will give you a quote from the play for each Asana (posture). I can’t play music from the soundtrack due to copyright, but maybe you can entertain yourself with it in your mind as we practice together. You’ll find the video here. If you’re looking for some inspirational morning reading I’ve got some suggestions here.

I’m running a fun challenge in my private Facebook Group. I’ll be trying to help you get into the “routine” of practicing something calming each morning. I will be raffling off a free thirty minute private Yin Yoga class via Zoom. You can join here. You can only enter to win if you’re in the Facebook group, and you have until the end of the month to enter. No pressure, it’s supposed to be fun!

Coming up on Tuesday: I’m wrapping up February (just a few days early). Friday it’s time for some runfessions!

Running away from illness

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There’s a fine art to returning to running after an injury or a prolonged illness — and they’re not quite the same. I’ve had a few times when I’ve had to take a few weeks off running due to illness. Here’s how I ease back in — when I’m being smart. Of course I am not a medical professional or coach and I don’t play one on the Internet!

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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

When are you ready to return?
If it’s a simple cold, you might actually be able to run through it, although I don’t personally recommend it — because when you catch a cold it usually it means you’re already very run down. Rest will help you more than running through it.

If your illness involved a fever, *my* rule of thumb is to be at least two days fever free before even thinking about running. Unfortunately I get viruses where I’ll feel fine (after the initial few days of feeling bad) and then suddenly I’ll be running a low grade temperature again, over and over for a couple of weeks.

In that case, I did light exercise every day. Yoga. Walking Bandit. No hard cardio though — no running.

Eventually though I was fever free, and I was ready to return to running.

Start off easy
Easier than you think you need to. Light exercise while you’re sick will keep you in decent shape — but it won’t keep you in running shape. After a few weeks off, you can’t just pick up where  you left off. If you have a running coach they can definitely guide you to the right amount of exercise.

If you don’t, I suggest starting off with 1 mile (yup, that’s what I did). Run/walk is a really good idea, too, although I didn’t actually start out with run/walk intervals. I know it seems like nothing, but by starting off easy, it’s also easier to gauge your fitness and potentially ramp up your running quickly.

Start off too hard or too soon, though, and you’re likely to either relapse — or even potentially injure yourself.

You can expect to feel some DOMs (delayed onset muscle soreness) as your muscles get used to the pounding of running again. Or maybe not — I didn’t!

You absolutely should be doing only easy runs — and at a slower pace than you were running before you got sick. Don’t worry; you won’t be stuck at this pace — muscle memory can kick in quickly — but overdo it at the beginning and you will pay the price.

brestart

Increase gradually
I started out with 1 miles, and then only added a quarter of a mile until I was at 2 miles. Then I jumped up a half mile to 2.5 miles. 

I found my V02 MAX had dropped a few points — in other words, I’d lost a little cardiovascular fitness. I know that with a slow and steady return, I will regain that fitness relatively quickly.

Don’t worry, be happy!
Just play it smart. Appreciate that you can run again — no matter how it feels (hard, probably), or at what pace (slower, hopefully). You won’t stay there forever. It won’t take you as long to get back to where you were before you got sick as it did to work your way up to that point in the first place.

As long as you play nice with yourself and take it easy!

Do you have a “furmula” for returning to running after a few weeks off?

Do you run through colds? I actually almost never get colds.

Have you ever jumped back in at the same level you left off — and regretted that?

Running Pet Peeves in a Pandemic

It’s always bpandemicpetpeevesbetter to be positive, but sometimes we just have to get things off our chests, #amiright? Running through a Pandemic definitely has not been easy! I feel blessed that I’ve never been on a lockdown that meant I couldn’t leave my home — even though I am grateful for my treadmill, I don’t want to have to run on it all the time. Which is pretty funny, like many runners I only ran on the treadmill when I first started running.

Wrong-siders
They are scarce right now. That’s people who run/walk on the wrong side of the road. It’s Winter, and while there are still people walking and running in the neighborhood, they are fewer and further between and it’s not so aggravating. No doubt that will change when Spring comes.

Running through the unmasked hordes
I understand that the chances of transmission are lower outside. I understand that even when I have to run around or even through a group, the amount of time I’m exposed to anything is actually quite small. I also understand that the reality is even a year later, no one is really quite sure how far droplets can travel.

people doing marathon
Where are all the races? Will there be Olympic Games? | Photo by Snapwire on Pexels.com

Races taking a long time deciding to go virtual
This hasn’t effected me too much, I was only signed up for one race in 2020 and I totally expected it would be canceled — they also had a very generous deferral policy, which was one of the reasons I chose that particular race in the first place. I know some runners were kept on the hook for a long time, though. To train or not to train?

People who walk around with a mask in their hand . . .
. . . with absolutely no intention of ever putting said mask on.

What pet peeves haven’t I mentioned? 

What good running things have happened to you recently? 

Looking forward to some real races? 

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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Private Yin Yoga Class Giveaway: 2/8 – 14 WRD

I visited my mom for the first time in almost 6 weeks, which made  her very happy. It was a very busy, tiring week though, but I feel as if I accomplished a lot — including three runs, a tiny bit of indoor cycling, and some short strength training sessions. I’d like to say today will be restful, but I’m running and still working on some stuff — maybe tomorrow???

There is also a lot of snow in the forecast for next week. I’m really trying to run outside at least occasionally, but Mother Nature isn’t making that easy! Perhaps we’ll get lucky and be on the low side of the forecasts. I think a lot of my strength training could be shoveling next week!

bwrd

I’m joining Kim @ Kimrunsonthefly and Deborah @ Confessionsofamotherrunner, and easing slowly back into running and strength training.

Workouts update

  • Monday: Yoga (20 min), Dogwalk, PB ST Arms (10 min)
  • Tuesday: Yoga (30 min), 2.5 TM, 4.5 SB, Shoveling, Yoga (90 min)
  • Wednesday: Yoga (30 min), Short Hike at Olana
  • Thursday: Yoga (30 min), PB ST (13 min), Dogwalk
  • Friday: Yoga (30 min), 2.5 TM miles progressive, CD walk (15 min), CD Cycle (15 min), Dogwalk, Yoga (20 min)
  • Saturday: Yoga (30 min), PB Standing Abs (6 min), Dogwalk
  • Sunday: Yoga (30 min), 3.5 miles easy, Yoga (20 min)

Running Mileage: 8.5 (+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

Tuesday Intention: work on endurance
Back on the treadmill. I was excited when I got up and it wasn’t snowing yet, but it wasn’t long before it started. Endurance run, slight walk to cool down, then hopped on the stationary bike for the rest of the cool down. The endurance run was 45 minutes, but I only ran 30 — I think I like using the stationary bike for a cool down after a shorter run. Good to change things up!

Friday Intention: a little (very little) speed
I could have run outside. Yes, it was very cold, but not very windy and even some sun. I had a lot of balls to juggle though — or maybe I just didn’t want to freeze my butt off! I chose a progression run, keeping it very moderate. This did feel a tiny bit harder than the endurance run on Monday (same amount of time). I again enjoyed a cool down cycle.

This is what 59 looks like. Notice the rabbit tracks behind me.

Sunday Intention: add some more distance
I had many lovely birthday gifts today, but not gonna lie: this was  one of the best. a run that felt pretty darn good. It’s still relatively short and slow, but my longest run in over a month. I realized on this gray day, that the lack of wind is even better than sun in Winter, although of course both would be lovely. Now unfortunately it’s time to batten down the hatches and most likely more treadmill runs if the forecasts for next week are to be believed.

Clearing the air as I drive

Favorites of the week
I took my portable diffuser with me on the road to my mom. I loved using it in the car! I also wanted to show it to my mom to see if she’d have any interest in it.

Flour. Salt. Water. Baking Soda. Pretty amazing!

For months every morning I’d get up and say “this is the day I’m going to start a sourdough starter again”. It’s really not that hard. But I didn’t do it. Until finally I did. It didn’t go moldy this time. I made sourdough pancakes from the discard again. Yesterday I finally baked my first loaf!

Bandit channeling Lola. So many memories of her (and Chester) popped up for me on FB today.

How are you dealing with the snow (if you have it)?

Cake, cupcake, donuts, cookies, brownies? What’s your favorite dessert?

If you bake sourdough bread, what do you do with the discard? 

gwy MR yin

ICYMI: A “short” Yin Yoga practice that will ground you and energize you for your day. This is the last piece of my morning routine practices. Yes, it’s longer, but today is Valentine’s Day so maybe try this for an afternoon energy burst! I don’t suggest doing this practice in the evening because it’s designed to be energizing. You’ll find the video here. You can also read a blog post about morning routines here for a little more information.

I’m running a fun challenge in my private Facebook Group. I’ll be trying to help you get into the “routine” of practicing at least one of these routines each morning. I will be raffling off a free thirty minute private Yin Yoga class via Zoom. You can join here. You can only enter to win if you’re in the Facebook group, and you have until the end of the month to enter. No pressure, it’s supposed to be fun!

Coming up on Tuesday: Five Pandemic Running Pet Peeves. Friday I’ll share how to ease back into running after an illness — which is a little different from coming back from injury..

Running is silly!

Seriously I can’t tell you how many times I’ve thought that since I started to run. Running is time consuming, especially if you train to race longer distances. It requires support from your loved ones, whether that’s just time to run or helping out with chores or being your literal support crew! Running can be hard on the body, too. It seems silly to spend hours out there on the weekend running, doesn’t it?

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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So why do I run?
That’s also something I’ve pondered many times. Just this past January, when I took one of my longest breaks from running because I wasn’t feeling well — it freed up so much time!

My answer might surprise you. I could say that I miss the endorphins, and if there’s ever been a time we need those endorphins, it’s been the past year (and present). I could say that I miss being able to indulge just a little more in my food choices. I could say that I miss the challenge of running — of training for a race and then laying it all out on the road.

All the above is true. Yet they’re not the real reasons why I run.

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I run to keep my heart happy
Did you know that heart disease is the Number One killer of women? According to this post on WebMD here, deaths from heart disease for women “exceeds the next seven causes of death combined”. That is a staggering statistic!

Luckily heart disease does not (sort of) run in my family, although I did have one aunt who had a major heart attack in her mid eighties, no doubt in part brought on by decades of smoking. I also had an uncle who died on my birthday from a heart attack — also a smoker, and obese as well. High blood pressure runs on my mom’s side of the family, too.

When I was sick last month for a few hours I was very nauseous and dizzy. At the time it never entered my mind that I could be having a heart attack — but later I realized that those are some of the classic signs of heart attacks in women. Those symptoms quickly passed, and I slowly got better. It wasn’t until a week later that thoughts of heart attacks & the symptoms women feel entered my mind.

The heart is one of the strongest muscles in the body
Yes, the heart is a muscle. Like all muscles, it needs to be trained — that’s exactly what cardiovascular exercise is. After years of data from my Garmin, I know that the quickest (maybe not the easiest) way to increase my respiration and heart rate (cardio) is running.

I wan to keep my heart happy, and that is one of the things that makes me think maybe running isn’t so silly after all.

What are the reasons you run? 

Did you know heart disease is the #1 killer of women? 

Do you ever think running is silly? 

gwy MR intro

ICYMI: I’ll bet that you’ve heard of morning routines and thought they just weren’t for you or they take too much time. How about just 5 minutes? We all have 5 minutes! Check out the five different, 5 minute videos (start with the introduction here). You can choose between:

  • Stretching
  • Journaling
  • Pranayama
  • Mediation
  • Foam Rolling

The only longer practice is the video on foam rolling — if you’re interested, you’ll find that here. This is close to the routine I do before I run. I actually use a different foam roller, and I do one leg at a time when I’m getting ready to run. I also do some work on my IT band and upper body that I left out in this video — it’s still a good full body foam rolling routine before a run!

You can choose just one of these practices, or stack one or two — or more — together. I released these this weekend since it’s Valentine’s Day. All love starts with self love, and giving yourself a little self care in the morning is a form of self love, whether your solo or in a relationship. I challenge you to give one of these practices a try — maybe even join the Facebook group here — I’m going to be challenging you in there, too!

Chocolaterunsjudy in 5 words

Been reading this blog for years? Do you think you know me? Do you really know me? Can I really describe myself in just five words? I’ll share some takeaways for you, too.

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Persistent
There was a time in my running “career” that I ran quite a few halfs at basically the same finish time. While I’ll never be a fast runner, I had a deep conviction inside that there was a fast-er runner inside of me.

So I ran, and I trained, and I raced. Then one year I had my breakthrough year where I ran 4 halfs , each one faster than the last.

Takeaway:   training always pays off — but on its own timetable

CRJ

Consistent
I am very consistent, unless I’m sick or injured. I run, however many days a week feels right to me. I run in bad weather. I run on the treadmill. I’ve always said consistency is my super power — I show up and do the work.

Takeaway: consistency always pays off, just like persistence!

Introverted
I am shy when I first meet people, although sometimes that also causes me to talk too much from nervousness. I’ve also led groups (weight watchers, yoga, meetups for designers) — I can do it, but being “on” is very draining for me. So it might surprise you that I actually do love running in a group. I turn into a real chatty cathy!

Takeaway: don’t judge a book by its cover. Or someone you’ve just met  (or while you’re running together).

Laser Focused
If it’s something I’m interested in? I go all out. I pour my heart and soul into the things I love. The things that don’t interest me? Let’s just say I know I need to do those things, but sometimes I struggle with motivating myself.

Takeaway: sometimes that laser focus gets in the way of the things that have to get done

Open to New Ideas
I love trying stuff! Food. Clothes. Styles of Yoga. Ways to train for running. I actually think this is another of my super powers when it comes to running. It keeps it fresh, anyway! I think the worst thing a runner can do is run the same distance on the same route day after day. Shake it up! Keep what works and throw out what doesn’t. Always have a beginner’s mind — be willing to try and learn new things.

Takeaway: it’s a super power and a curse — because sometimes trying new things costs $$$

What do you think? Do you feel as though you know me a little better now? What words come to mind when you think of me? What words did you — or would you — use to describe yourself? As a runner? As a person? What are your super powers?

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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February at its best: 2/1 – 7 WRD

There was nothing remarkable about this week — except for the fact that my mom got her first vaccine. Otherwise, pretty much same old, same old. February is doing what February does best: cold, gray, and snowy. Although I’d still say despite that we’re “enjoying” a somewhat mild Winter.’

I have to admit I don’t really quite remember what I did when in the beginning of the week — it was mainly Yoga, walking, and a little shoveling. I ran three times this week, and even squeezed in a short full body ST session yesterday.

bwrd

I’m joining Kim @ Kimrunsonthefly and Deborah @ Confessionsofamotherrunner, and easing slowly back into running.

Workouts update

  • Monday: Yoga (90 min), Dogwalk
  • Tuesday: Yoga (30 min), Dogwalk, Yoga (90 min)
  • Wednesday: Yoga (90 min), 2 TM Miles, Yoga (20 min)
  • Thursday: Yoga (30 min), Shoveling
  • Friday: Yoga (30 min), 2.5 miles easy, Dogwalk, Yoga (20 min)
  • Saturday: Yoga (60 min), Dogwalk, PB ST (10 minutes)
  • Sunday: Yoga (30 min), 2 miles very easy, Yoga (20 min)

Running Mileage: 6.5 (+3.25)

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

Wednesday Intention: work on endurance
Still on the treadmill. I took a “fun” run — seriously, Peloton has to rename these. Every “fun” run I’ve taken is speedwork, and I go in intending to take it easy and then don’t. I did love the 60s soundtrack!

Unfortunately I had to battle wind & of course the sun came out later

Friday Intention: fresh air + a little further
Why yes, I did finally venture outside for a run. It was a lot warmer than it’s going to be next week, although the winds were definitely fierce. Since my Garmin is set to run/walk intervals I just went with that. I was hoping the forecast flurries would fall during my run (and not the Wintry mix, also in the forecast), but there was just wind. No black ice, though, so very happy about that.

Trying to find the beauty in Winter but it’s a Charlie Brown shrub! We need to take a hint from the plants: rest up now to be ready to bloom in Spring.

Sunday Intention: early start (if not snowing) + ease back on distance
Met my intention completely. Much colder than Saturday, but no wind for the win. Running from my house very short distances — so much easier than getting in a long run. It would be hard to run long in my neighborhood in Winter. I was not nearly as tired after this run as I was after Friday’s — that wind makes a big difference.

Because it’s rechargeable, I can literally use it anywhere

Favorites of the week
My new portable essential oil diffuser! I’ve been wanting this forever, but it was always sold out. I freakin’ love this thing, especially the fact that I can move it around from room to room; it’s been used in my Yoga room, the family room, and the living area (which is quite open).

I also love the AirX essential oil I bought at the same time. I’ve had a very slight nagging cough, just enough that I had to take cough medicine in the morning and evening. After the first time I started diffusing AirX I was able to stop the cough meds. I won’t say I don’t cough at all, but it’s much less.

An immunity dessert!

Add Nuun Immunity tablets to the juice and let them dissolve completely to make immunity jello.

Bandit says February is for snuggling

How are you dealing with the snow (if you have it)?

Favorite type of chocolate — dark or milk? As a kid it was milk, now it’s dark — very dark!

Signing up for any real races? Not me, not yet, I think it’ll still be a while for me.

GWY Yin Yoga Saucha

ICYMI: Yin Yoga doesn’t always get into our upper body that much, but this practice will. It targets the Small Intestine — not to mention the hips and hamstrings in addition to the upper body. We’ll be discussing Saucha (decluttering/cleanliness — you can read more about it in this post here). I really encourage you to pay attention to what feels right in your body — always important. You’ll find the video here.

Coming up on Tuesday: Five things you may or may not know about me + takeaways for you. Friday I’ll be talking a little about one of our most important muscles. Can you guess which one it is?

Last year in the 50s: Tea/coffee Date February 2021

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Thanks,  Coco and Deborah, for inviting me and all the other bloggers to get together with the warm beverage of our choice and get caught up in what’s going on in our worlds.

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If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d tell you the last couple of years have changed my relationship with running. I don’t know if it will change back when things are finally more normal. I never lived to race. Do I miss it? Sometimes. Sometimes not. I haven’t even really missed running much — not running opened up a lot of time to work on my passion projects and I got so much done — while still staying fit with other fitness pursuits.

Winter running can be peaceful. It can also test your limits. Some embrace the cold; some “run” from it.

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d tell you part of the reason I probably don’t miss running so much right now is it’s Winter. A relatively mild Winter in these parts (until this month, of course), but that doesn’t mean there hasn’t been some bone-chilling cold days and snow. Usually for me Winter is a time for maintaining my base.

Although I have been known to train through Winter, most of the time when I’ve done it I swear never again! I’m a sucker for a race around my birthday, though, which is next week. That means travel. Because who wants to run a half marathon in Winter in upstate NY even when times are normal? Well, some people do, but not this girl!

Mason jars make me happy. Mason jars with healthy food even happier.

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d tell you these brightly colored mason jars filled with healthy food: parsley — used to make pesto, not pictured but it’s also in a mason jar!, home made chocolate cashew milk,  greens soup, vegetarian chili, cauliflower (which has been transformed into cauliflower leek soup), home made chicken bone broth — they make my heart sing every time I open the refrigerator door.

I’d also tell you somehow I got 2 things of parsley into my grocery order, and because every time you go back to adjust an order with that company, you have to enter your substitutions all over again, I just let it be. Then when it came, there were three things of parsley! One was used for the greens soup, another for the pesto, and I guess I’ll just have to make more of my greens soup!

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d tell you I hurt my shoulder doing Yoga last month; the first time I was able to resolve it pretty quickly with self myofascial release (SMR), even though it was so painful I could barely lift my arm past shoulder height.

The second time also resolved pretty quickly, for the same reason. Although I had one night, after it was almost all better, when oddly I had a terrible time sleeping because I couldn’t get comfortable — despite the fact that during the day it was feeling pretty good. Weird! Luckily it was fine by the time it snowed and shoveling didn’t bother it.

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d tell you I turn 59 next week. Of course I can’t tell you how I’ll feel when I turn 60 in 2022, but right now it doesn’t bother me. I think that’s because I’m the baby of my family — both my immediate and my extended family. Also there’s the fact my sister is 7 years older, so obviously she turned 60 long ago, although sometimes I swear I feel like the older sister!

How do you feel about big birthdays? 

Oldest, youngest, middle child or only child? 

What would you do with #alltheparsley?

Also linking up with:

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The Art of Resting & Relaxing: January 2021

Remember my word for 2021? If you don’t, it’s clear and you can read about it here. The last few years I used song lyrics each month that used my word — or maybe just the feeling I wanted to convey. In 2021 I’m just using quotes. I like to do something like this because then I can actually stay clear on my word!

It’s very important that we re-learn the art of resting and relaxing. Not only does it help prevent the onset of many illnesses that develop through chronic tension and worrying; it allows us to clear our minds, focus, and find creative solutions to problems.
–Thich Nhat Hanh

Obviously I’m a resting and relaxing champion, especially in January! All that rest did allow me to get clear on some goals and launch my Yoga Website here (in case you’re new to this blog).

Ok, I runfess this photo was actually from a December run

Getting in scheduled runs
Good thing there was no scheduled runs. There was pretty much no running in January at all. I will get back to running, but I know my body and I know that just wasn’t what I needed. With the pressure of training off, I felt no guilt at all about not running. I never expected to take this long a break though! I did start the year off running, and I ended January with just a smidgeon of running.

Grade Earned:  A (for listening to my body)/C- (actual running)

Recording my runs
I am actually back to using a planner. A smaller one, less things to fill out (although sometimes I wish there was more room), so yes, what little running I did got recorded.

Grade Earned: A

Dynamic Warmup
I think I may have slacked on this on the few runs I did, but I honestly don’t remember.

Grade Earned: B

Yes I have a ridiculous amount of tools for SMR. I use them all and some of them date back to my first half 10 years ago. Excited about a new one that vibrates that will come with the course I’m taking at the end of the month!

Foam Rolling
There is daily foam rolling going on! I took a course in myofascial release, and I have another one booked for the end of this month. It came in so handy when my shoulder was painful! Thankfully that didn’t last long, thanks to the self myofascial release (SMR). Can’t wait to share some of that with you! Basically I do some SMR and foam rolling pretty much every morning before I do my Yoga.

Grade Earned: A+

Nutrition
Nutrition was actually very good. I’m pretty good about trying to eat very healthy when I don’t feel well because I know that is helpful. It didn’t hurt that when I was sick initially (way back at the beginning of the month), I wasn’t terribly hungry.

Grade Earned: A

Support
Normally this is where I remind myself to go to the chiropractor, the hair dresser, and get a massage. I think I’m just going to delete this section going forward! The only good thing about not doing those things is the $$ we’ve saved.

Cross Training
Well, there’s been a lot of Yoga and even when I still wasn’t feeling 100% I only missed a couple of days of walking Bandit. As I got better there were some days when we only walked him a short amount (due to cold), so sometimes I went on to walk longer solo.

Grade Earned: A+

January 2021  gets  . . . 
. . . an A. For effort. I did the things I knew my body needed. I didn’t meet my goals, but it’s just silly to push for no reason when you’re not feeling well.

January Goals:

  • Continue to run 3 x week + 1 cycle class. N. It wasn’t the right choice for me this month.
  • Focus on endurance. Y/N.  Y, when I actually ran, LOL!
  • Continue to strength train 2 x week N. This may actually have been behind when I tweaked my shoulder — twice in just a few days! — doing Yoga. I kept up with my AM Yoga, which does actually do quite a bit of bodyweight moves, but clearly I wasn’t quite in shoulder weight bearing shape.
  • Continue to try to eat intuitively — unless the weight starts to creep up.. Y. It’s easy to eat healthier when you’re just not hungry (don’t worry, the appetite is definitely back) — although some people go for the unhealthy kind of comfort food when they’re sick. I know that won’t help me feel better. Even with minimal activity, I maintained my weight.

Which leads me to February Goals:

  • Get back to running 3 x week. Not quite sure what that’ll look like right now. Maybe it’ll only be 2 x week in the beginning. Not sure. Just going to try and take it slow and ease back in.
  • Listen to what my body is telling me. I don’t feel like I was pushing too hard at all before I got sick, but something is always out of balance when you get ill. I’m going to ease back in — not just in distance and pace, but maybe even the amount of days I work out. Someday I’ll actually get clear on what balance looks like for me!
  • Ease back into strength training. I think that’s always my problem — I want to do it all: Running. Cycling. Swimming. Yoga. Strength Training. Pilates. Maybe this will be starting out with a couple of ten minute workouts a week — maybe even just one.
  • 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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