I Started It: a 40 Day Kriya

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Kriya is a Sanskrit term. Essentially it’s a set of exercises to help move energy throughout the body. Although there is some resemblance to “normal” Yoga asana, it’s quite different too.

Fairytales and Fitness

I am definitely no expert in either Kriyas or Kundalini Yoga, which is the type of Yoga Kriyas are often associated with. I have dabbled a bit, though, taken a course here and there and read a few books. So I am not doing a deep dive here — if your interest is piqued, I will point you to my teacher, Brett Larkin. She has a YouTube channel here (just search Kundalini), and also an app which is amazing, but not free.

Often when you start a Kriya, you do the same set of exercises for 40 days. The exact same exercises in the the exact same order. I did one last December I think. I haven’t done another one since then . . . until the other day when on a whim I picked up one of my books and just did one. I did it the next day, and the next . . .

According to the “rules”, if you skip a day, you have to go back and start from day one until you complete forty days straight. Many Kundalini practitioners practice in the morning — for the same reason many runners run in the morning. Get it done before the day gets away from you!

So it’s sort of like a run streak, except that there are consequences if you skip a day — unlike a run streak, which you can break at any time. Of course you could just stop doing your Kriya; I don’t think you’d be struck down by lightning or anything.

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That’s all my AM Yoga that you see on my weekly run downs!

Kundalini is different
There are many different types of Yoga. Kundalini was shrouded in mystery for centuries. There were few books, and of course way back when no Internet. Generally it was passed down from Guru (teacher) to student. In fact, for thousands of years that’s how all Yoga was taught.

Now we do have Internet, and the veils have been pulled aside. In Kundalini Yoga asana, pranayama, and meditation are all bundled up together. “Regular” Yoga, for instance, has you practice asana, then pranayama, then meditation. Kundalini may have you do asana, pranayama, and meditation all in one pose.

Many poses have movement in them, or involve holding your legs or arms up for fairly long periods of time. It can be very challenging physically, and sometimes triggering mentally. It can also help tone your body all over — especially in areas we don’t get to as much as we should, like our core, lower back, and hamstrings.

Why am I doing a 40 day Kriya?
I didn’t really have that intention when I picked up my book. I guess my intuition guided me to try something different. You can practice Kundalini Yoga without doing a 40 Day Kriya.

I settled on a Kriya for energy. Because I feel as though I’m always lacking energy. You know what? I definitely felt better after I practiced that particular Kriya! That’s why I decided to just keep going with it.

My teacher advises not judging a Kundalini pose/Kriya on how you feel during, but how you feel after (sound familiar, runners?).

Final Thoughts
I don’t really recommend that you just search YouTube for Kundalini videos. You can trust Brett’s videos.

Committing to something — much like running a long distance race — can give you such a sense of accomplishment when you finish. Some days you’ll be excited and some days you really won’t want to do it, but in the end, you just know that you’re going to come away a changed person — in a good way.

Does this just sound really bizarre to you or interesting?

When have you committed to doing something for some amount of time (not running!)?

What did you gain from that commitment?

Playing Cards for Running

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Did you know that there are card decks for all sorts of topics? Yes, I have a few different card decks for Yoga. I have a couple for positive affirmations. Imagine my surprise, though, when I went looking for running card decks and came up empty.

Fairytales and Fitness

So I decided to just make a few running cards. Not a whole deck (maybe someday?), but just a few. Feel free to right click (PC) and save them if you want.

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If you run, you’re a runner
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Celebrate every finish line!
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Find the good in every run/race
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Smile! Your run will feel easier!
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Will run for chocolate!

Enjoy!

Running isn’t always serious!
It’s always good to put a little fun into our running — and into our days! If you had a whole deck, you could pick a card at random every day. Maybe we need a famous runner deck with short bios? That would actually be a fun project.

Do you have any fun decks of cards you use?

What quote would you like on a running card?

How do you put the fun in your running?

Best Swag of 2020!: Tea/coffee Date September 2020

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Pull up a chair and mug with Coco and Deborah and me and a bunch of bloggers for the ultimate coffee tea date: My mug was way overdue for an update!

Best swag of 2020 so far

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I would share with you again the cool mug I earned by four hot, sweaty, buggy trail runs in July. Well, three, I caved on the last one because they were mostly so miserable and just folded it into a long run. I do love this mug though, so it’s my new Ultimate “Coffee” mascot.

Do they stay or do they go?

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d tell you that this house was supposed to a be temporary home. It was a temporary appointment for Mr. Judy. That was 12 years ago (he still has 5 years to go to match our temporary move to TX). Landscaping wasn’t a big priority at first, but with all the time at home in 2020 we are trying a little harder. We’ll see what survives Winter.

I’m usually good at looking up which plants are toxic to dogs before we buy, but I didn’t do that with the Black Eye’d Susans. I’m seeing conflicting info. What to do? However, as I was researching that, I did find out that the Aloe plant I bought a few months ago is most definitely highly toxic to dogs. Which is weird, because aloe gel can be very soothing for them. It’s been moved.

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d tell you we’re moving into Fall, which means Winter is coming (we watched Game of Thrones this Summer), which means getting in movement is harder and harder.

I’ve finally been motivated to get in some more movement to my days — some days. More solo walks. More walking on my side trips to my mom. I balance that out with some rest days, too, because I know I need that. I don’t have much longer to easily get in that extra movement — not sure why I waited so long.

Oh yeah, hot, humid, buggy Summer!

We have a sunflower “field” in our own neighborhood!

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d tell we’ve been watching these flowers grow all Summer. They tilled 3 rows outside their fenced in yard, which seemed weird. It kind of looks like flowers with herbs planted between rows of flowers. Did they just not want their dogs to eat the flowers? Inquiring minds want to know!

Flowers & herbs?

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d tell you that you already know that I’m constantly losing things. Constantly. Little things. Big things. This one might be the biggest one yet: an entire sheet set.

I’ve been chipping away at the house all year, decluttering, reorganizing . . . and every time I reorganize it seems I can’t remember where I reorganized things. The sheet set was in a different laundry bag. Thanks to running, I have a ton of “laundry bags”.

Have you been ramping it up in Summer, or waiting for cooler days?

Ever had a temporary home that lasted for years? 

Do you use those bags we get as swag as laundry bags? What do you use them for?

I am also linking up with:

I am also linking up with the  Fridays with Fairytales and Fitness from Fairytales & Fitness.

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Running in a Face Shield: Runfessions August 2020

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Ok, no, I’m not running in a face shield. It’s just one of the weird thoughts I had on the run — you’ll have to read on to see what that’s all about. Oh, and have you seen the clear face masks? You can buy them here, btw.  They seem weird and it also seems as if droplets would get out the sides. The things we’ve had to learn this year!

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Bring on Fall . . . Running?

I runfess . . .
I am not sorry to see Summer go. Or I won’t be when it’s finally gone for good. It was a hot, humid, buggy, sweaty mess for much of the summer. Fall is usually my time for #alltheshortlocalraces though. Will I miss them? Or will I just get to enjoy running again?

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Winter — you can stay away! I know that’s not happening, but a girl can dream. Not long after I wrote the above, we began to have mostly Fall-like weather. I do runfess I’m a bit sad that I know that skirt season is coming to a close. Except — the skirt will go on. Did you hear the news? See the graphic above!

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I runfess . . .
I sometimes have the weirdest thoughts on runs. Like thinking I really needed to run in a face shield. No, not because of COVID, because of the damn bugs!

When that clump of leaves is further away . . . it could be a rabbit!

I runfess . . .
My eyesight can’t be corrected to 20-20 even with contacts/glasses. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen a clump of leaves ahead of me and thought it was an animal.

I runfess . . .
It’s amazing how many clothes changes I go through some days in the Summer. One outfit to walk the dogs. One outfit to run. Another just kickin’ around at home. Another to film a video. Maybe even changing my top if I end up filming more than one video. Sometimes all on the same day!

I runfess . . .
I am lucky I can often move runs around to go with the better weather. Every time I do my long run on Friday (or Thursday like last week!), I feel as though the weekend started the next day — even when it obviously doesn’t. It totally messes up my sense of days. I further runfess that the linkups actually help me to remember what day it is.

Would you wear a clear mask? 

Does doing your long run on a different day mess you up in some way?

What are you looking forward to in September?

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

Runfessions

I am also linking up with:

Finding Good Even in Pandemics

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We can all agree that 2020 has been “interesting”, right? And by interesting I mean the gift that keeps on giving — not in a good way. Or is it?

Of course there is just so much about 2020 to hatedislike, to want to move past, to want to forget. I often spend time thinking about how I can make people feel better with a blog post — if only for a little while. Here’s my rundown of some good things to come out of 2020.

Fairytales and Fitness

Less time on the road
Since I wasn’t working outside the house, I already drove much less than most people. Which is why my car is 20+ years old. For many months I didn’t take Lola to the vet, but now we’re back to regular visits.

I go grocery shopping about once a month (the rest is delivery). Dinner “out” is usually delivery. I spent months not visiting my mom, and I’m back at it twice a month, but unless they start letting us inside, that will come to a halt as it gets cold.

I rarely drive to run these days. Well, you get the picture. It saves wear and tear on the car, saves money on gas, and it helps lower pollution. If you’ve seen those photos of heavily polluted cities — the difference is astounding.

Getting stronger
I wrote my thoughts about why strength training is important here. Ironically I also chose Strong as my word for the year (se why here). It’s still totally appropriate for 2020, for many of the same reasons — although at the same time things changed, too.

I have made the personal choice to run less — some choose to run more, to each their own. With less running I have more time to cross train and strength train, and there is less stress in an already stressful year.

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More time on the phone, more Zooming — who would have ever guessed my mom would Zoom (with a lot of help)

More time with family
Well, more time with Mr. Judy. Not so much with my family. I know some families have had much more time together though. The reason sucks, but spending time connecting is a very good thing in our unconnected world.

Getting creative about get togethers — and other stuff!
I will admit I haven’t been that creative about get togethers, but some people really have! Where there’s a will, there’s a way, as they say. It’s also amazing to see how creative some companies are.

Speaking of getting creative, how about those Blogger Zoom calls?
It was fun to put voices with faces of people you haven’t met. I’ve met some bloggers, but I haven’t been able to make any of the big blogger meetups, so that was nice.

How have you gotten creative this Summer?

Do you feel you’ve gotten closer to your family?

What good can you find in 2020?

4 Running Masks . . .

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. . . I Haven’t Run In

I do wear masks:

  • I wear them when I go grocery shopping or take Lola to the vet (even though I don’t actually go in with her).
  • I wear a mask when I visit my mom (even though we’re outside at either end of a bench).
  • I wear a mask when I get together with friends, even outside.
  •  I often have a mask in my pocket on our daytrips (and wear it as needed).

I have yet to wear a mask on the run. When it was colder I wore a neck gaiter, which is how I run when transitioning from Winter to Spring anyway.

In the summer the neck gaiters annoy me. I run in my neighborhood or on the sides of the roads bordering my neighborhood. Sure, there’s a lot more people out there these days, but the roads are wide and most (but not all) people are respectful of your personal space.

Fairytales and Fitness

BOCO is one of my favorites. Cute! Lightweight! Nose piece — which I didn’t even realize for a while

Here are four running masks I own (and one that’s not made for running):

 

  1. Athleta. So far the Athleta masks are my favorites — although it’s neck and neck with the BOCO mask. They don’t come in a huge variety of colors, but it’s a pack of five for $30. Surprisingly affordable, which Athleta is not known for. There’s a bendable nosepiece and little circle thingies on the ear strings so that they’re adjustable. It took a very long time to get these; they might be shipping quicker now and they’ve come out with a slightly different design — but it still has the adjustable ear pieces. Buy them here (the link is sneaky — it’s not just the masks).
  2. BOCO. BOCO is a close runner up. It’s cute, and it actually fits my face well. I have a small face, so I wonder if it might be too small for larger heads. Cute designs, but they sell out quickly. Shipping was quick. They are $11.99. You can also custom design one. Buy them here.
  3. Pro Compression. I was ordering some socks recently and saw that they sell masks. Very plain jane. Kind of heavy for running. You can’t choose what color you want, you get what you get. Shipping was quick. They are $12.50. I had a coupon. Buy them here.
  4. Zensah. I have to admit I haven’t worn this mask at all yet. I’m sure it will come in handy during the colder months. It’s also quite plain and seems even heavier than the Pro Compression mask. I bought the gaiter as well: both the mask and the gaiter have copper woven into them. Copper has anti bacterial properties. The gaiter is huge though! Regular masks are $16. They come in a variety of colors, US flag, and camo. The one I got goes behind your head & neck; they have newer masks with ear loops (same price), but in fewer colors. Buy them here. Ask Cari @ Travelingcari about them, I’m pretty sure she’s run in them.
  5. April Marin. This mask isn’t for running, and it was not cheap at $24. It’s linen, and also a bit heavy. It has a bendable nose piece. They’ve come out with it in some really cute prints, and of course you know me, I’ve been tempted, but no. I can’t use it for running and I don’t want to pay that much for a mask. I’m pretty sure I had some kind of discount initially. I was getting so frustrated at masks that were too large for me that I had to constantly adjust, but this one stays put. I wore it on a hot walk with a friend, and yeah, it got kind of stifling in there. But so did my friend with a regular cloth mask — it was hot! I may wear it more when summer is over. Buy it here.

It’s a toss up between BOCO & Athleta. Athleta is actually a lot cheaper.

Pro Compression verdict: meh. Can’t choose the color. Heavy. Maybe good when it gets colder.
Ultimately the I don’t really like this one so much, but it will go with anything and the truth is as far as spreading any germs, thickness is a good thing.

I am not going to lie: I don’t like wearing masks. I don’t like how they look. I don’t like that it makes it harder to breath — or even tell people’s facial expressions. The main reason I’ve bought so many:

  • I prefer to wash my mask after wearing rather than throw it out (or see masks everywhere out walking or running — seriously, I do! how lazy are people?).
  • The cheaper masks irritate my skin.
  • Yes, a little vanity; just like I like cute running clothes, I like cute masks and somewhat matching my mask to my outfit.
  • I said a while ago that I think mask wearing is going to be with us for a while — I’m sad I was right, but I don’t see mask wearing going away anytime soon.

It’s still important to wear your mask. It’s being kind to human kind. It’s a relatively small sacrifice to make to help bring this pandemic to a close. We all want that, right?

I wrote a post about where to get running masks a month ago. You can read it here. Now it seems everyone is making & selling masks!

Here are more options for you:

  • Headsweats. They sell regular and small size masks, and they’re reversible. They are $13, but if you don’t care about the design and just want to be surprised, you can get one from their “grab bag” for $7. Find “elite” masks here, and grab bag masks here.
  • Rabbit. A company I’d never heard of. They sell both regular and kids sized masks. They’re made from scraps from their clothing line and there are cute designs. They sell for $15. Buy them here.
  • Addidas. A reusable face mask that apparently comes in black or blue. They sell for $20. Buy them here.
  • Under Armour. A reusable face mask, apparently just in black, but in a variety of sizes. Glancing through the reviews, though, I wouldn’t plunk down $30 for it. For that amount of money it ought to be the most comfortable running mask! At the moment they’re on pre-order. Buy them here.
  • Asics. Hey, you thought UA was expensive? How about $40? Yup, that’s what Asics will set you back. No, I don’t plan to be buying Rabbit, Addidas, or UA, (although the Rabbit masks are tempting . . . maybe). It’s an interesting design with adjustable ear pieces but seriously, for that amount of money I could be buying running clothes (well, on sale maybe). I’m just giving you options here. Oh, and it’s another pre-order. Buy it here.

I definitely do look forward to the day masks are a thing of the past. It’s coming. I don’t know when, but there will be a day when we can all breathe easy again.

Do you run in a mask?

Do you have a favorite mask?

If a race required you to run in a mask: would you do it?

Pandemic Dressdown: Tea/coffee Date August 2020

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Pull up a chair and mug with Coco and Deborah and me and a bunch of bloggers for the ultimate coffee tea date: I’m sharing all my any cute shoes are gathering dust. But first . . .

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Fanny packs: Yay or Nay? | Photo by Johnny Edgardo Guzman on Pexels.com

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
Have you noticed fannypacks making a comeback? I’ve noticed quite a few runners/walkers sporting them. I’m happy that my Skirt Sports provides me with #allthepockets and I don’t have to sport that look.

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d tell you we did find someplace local to donate clothes/shoes. There is more decluttering to be done (seems like an endless job) but it was nice to get rid of quite a few bags I’d accumulated to donate.

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You can’t see anything — other than sunscreen it’s all me under that hat!

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d tell you in that I rarely wear any makeup these days with the exception of lip balm (it’s got SPF in it). Seriously, what’s the point? If I’m going out, I’m most likely just putting on a mask at some point anyway. I have to remind myself not to put on the lip balm if I know that I’m going to be wearing a mask!

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d tell you along with the makeup, I rarely wear anything other than running shoes, Oofos, and sneakers I use for walking or very occasionally hiking shoes. So every once in a while when we do go somewhere, I make a little effort and wear some cute sandals (but no makeup).

#itsthelittlethings

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d tell you I rarely wear any earrings, either! I have to remind myself to put in some earrings once in a while so my holes don’t close up. Usually when I go see my mom.

Our glasses and dishes are in these cabinets. It’s so awkward getting in there. Excuse the dirty floor! I blame it on the dogs. Except they’re constantly trying to help me clean the floors.

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
Finally, I’d tell you I have one of  the most awkward kitchens. My dishwasher is almost in the corner by the fridge, with a lazy susan cabinet and some drawers in between — it’s a very tight space.

I’m constantly banging against it when emptying it. I recently knocked my ankle against it good. I had a bruise that hurt for week. Heck, even my foot hurt when I ran for a little while and my gait was slightly altered. Thankfully it did heal up on its own, but I’ve been super careful since then — until the next time, of course.

Do you miss dressing up?

Do you put on makeup even if you’ll be wearing a mask? 

Do you — or have you ever — worn a fannypack? 

I am also linking up with:

I am also linking up with the  Fridays with Fairytales and Fitness from Fairytales & Fitness.

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The things bugging me: Runfessions July 2020

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The main theme of my runfessions for July is the bugs, heat, and humidity. Ants don’t bother me on the run, but they do sometimes bother me on my Yoga mat (outside). Summer puts a lot more meaning into the phrase “what’s bugging you”, right?

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They’re so tiny. Yet so annoying. | Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I runfess . . .
Nasal breathing does not protect you from the bugs. You’re not going to eat any bugs, but bugs will go for any orifice they can squeeze into. Yup, I’ve had bugs trying to fly up my nose! I’m not sure which is worse: having an insect fly into your mouth or your nose.

I runfess . . .
I thought I had had some major chafing underneath one of those pockets on one run. Nope, that’s where my frozen water bottle was and it was just red from the cold, LOL!

I runfess . . .
Even running just 3 x week it seems to be hard to get all my runs in. I guess if I didn’t care about rain, or humidity, or too much sun . . . just call me a picky runner.

I runfess . . .
I wasn’t super worried about Garmin going down. Of course then I read about how it’s also used in the aviation industry. Then I worried about my data being stolen, but heck, that’s just par for the course these days it seems. I do think the error message on the Garminconnect app shouldn’t have say “we’re down for maintenance, check back shortly” after 3 days . . . (or a week later — I’m still getting it sometimes).

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So over early morning runs that leave me looking like my top!

I runfess . . .
I had made a pact with myself to get in my runs outside — pretty much no matter what. Until that last week in July, when I felt run down — not that I ran inside; I just thought why are you torturing yourself with more early, hot, steamy runs when you feel so run down?

So I didn’t. I realized that I did want to break up with running — just briefly (I wrote about not wanting to break up with running here). I still had to get up and out early to walk the dogs, but that is far less involved than getting up and out early to run.

Sometimes you need to break up with something to appreciate it again. No worries, I’ll be back out there again, sweating and slogging with everyone.

How do you enjoy your runs with the gnats buzzing around your head? 

Do you get out early to embrace the heat, or just endure it?

What are you looking forward to in August?

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

Runfessions

I am also linking up with:

What can you do . . .

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. . . to make it more fun?

Last week I wrote about running not always being fun (read that post here). Lately running has actually been fairly strong for me, but the bugs! They’re not even biting bugs and they’re still sucking the life out of my runs. Or making me faster because I want to be done, LOL!

Fairytales and Fitness

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There’s a reason turtles live so long!

What can you do when it’s not fun?
All is not lost on your not-so-fun (let’s face it, miserable) runs. Here are a few tricks you can try to at least make it bearable:

  • Distract yourself with nature. Notice the wildlife, the sunshine, the water, the trees, the beautiful sky, the flowers. You probably will see at least one of those things!
  • Take more walk breaks. I’m specifically talking about Summer here. Summer can suck the life out of you quickly, and even if it doesn’t, most likely you’ll be running slower. I’ve often (but not always) found that more walk breaks don’t even effect my pace all that much. That’s the whole purpose of intervals, by the way — take the break before you’re tired.
  • Run by effort. When it’s hot and humid, running the same pace you normally do can cause you to crash and burn quickly. Forget the pace, and just tune into how you feel. Adjust accordingly. It won’t always be this hot|humid|sunny.
  • Listen to music. I don’t personally run with music, but it can definitely be a great distraction. Or a podcast, or an audiobook.
  • Shorten your run. Sometimes it’s really the smartest thing you can do. Live to run another day.
  • Devote your run to someone in need. This works year-round. Sometimes concentrating on others takes our mind off of ourselves.
  • Count your footsteps. Another thing that can be done year-round. Thankfully I haven’t had to do this in a long, long time, but it can work to get you through a run when you really don’t want to.
  • Concentrate on your breath. It turns your run into a moving meditation. Is it smooth? Choppy? Shallow? Deep? Where do you feel your breath in your body? Really concentrate on your breath, and it will help to take your mind off of your physical body — and really ground and center  you.

The only thing sure about Summer running is that some runs are going to be pretty miserable. You can let yourself wallow in that misery, or you can change your thoughts and try to find the joy in every run. — Chocolaterunsjudy

What do you do when your run is not fun?

Do you stick to your plan or adjust as necessary?

What is getting your through your summer?

 

Newsflash: It’s not always fun

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Wendy @ Takingthelongwayhome recently made the comment of why do it if it’s not fun (or words to that effect) when she decided to drop down from a 50k to a half.

This is not a rebuttal to Wendy’s post — we all have our reasons for training or not training, for skipping runs or not, for dropping distances. Hers were very valid! You can read it here. It did, however, spark the idea for this post.

Fairytales and Fitness

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Some days I’m really glad I’m not training for anything

Some days it’s just not fun
I’ve been getting out there earlier and earlier this Summer. Mostly it’s been hot & humid & it’s just what I had to do to make my runs more funcomfortable.

I made the decision early on during this Pandemic to do my utmost to run outside — unless there was truly dangerous weather or real stay-at-home orders were enacted. So far, so good.

It isn’t always fun, though. I do my best to get out on the most runner-friendly days of the weeks, but most of us have been experiencing an unseasonably hot Summer, and even upstate NY is not immune.

There have been days it’s so buggy I must look like an insane person while swatting constantly. There are days that have been so hot|sunny|humid — or worse yet, all three! — that I feel as though an elderly grandmother using a walker could pass me.

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I keep running because some days I end with a smile on face

So WHY am I out there anyway?
I say it frequently on this blog: your why is the most important thing in anything you choose to do. It’s what will keep you motivated. It’s what keeps the tough going when the going gets tough.

I am out there because I don’t want to break up with running. Oh sure, some days for sure I do want to break up with running. Ultimately, though, I want to keep running the rest of my life — even if I am never able to race again.

Running has taught me so much, has made me so much stronger, has shown me that I am stronger than I think I am. I hope to keep adding states to my tour of the States eventually. It’s all part and parcel of why I keep running, even when it’s not fun.

More about MY why:

Just Keep Running
Some days it won’t be fun. Some runs you’ll think running is really stupid and ask yourself why you’re torturing yourself this way. The answer is simple: because some days running is just what the doctor ordered. Some days you’ll feel like you can conquer the world because you ran.

Keep running through the bad runs so you can run through the great runs. — Chocolaterunsjudy

What is your WHY?

Has your why changed because of the pandemic?

Have you ever considered hanging up your running shoes? Have you ever actually done it?