5 More Takeaways about Mobility

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

perception or awareness of the position and movement of the body

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

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

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

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

Did you learn something new about foam rolling?

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

What do you do to work on your mobility?

My #1 Takeaway from Mobility Courses

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

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

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

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

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

cheerful female touching hair and looking away in daylight
Myofascial release is more about the neuromuscular connection | Photo by Harry Cooke on Pexels.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Walk around again.

Which foot feels better? 

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

Have you gotten results with foam rolling? 

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Linking up with Zenaida Arroyo and Kim @ Kookyrunner

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

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Clear Goals: March 2021

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

All good performance starts with clear goals.
— Ken Blanchard

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

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

Grade Earned: 

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

Grade Earned: B

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

Grade Earned: A

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

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

Grade Earned: A++

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

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

Grade Earned: B

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

Grade Earned: A+

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

February Goals:

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

Which leads me to April Goals:

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

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Linking up with Zenaida Arroyo and Kim @ Kookyrunner

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

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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.

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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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.

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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Fighting Stronger: December 2020

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No races for me in December, virtual or otherwise. I did have a pretty well rounded fitness routine for most of December, including shoveling!

This month’s song selection: who doesn’t love Rachel Patton? I probably already used her, but I think it’s totally appropriate for going into 2021, because the COVID vaccines allow us to take back our power and fight back — along with giving us hope for a better new normal. We’re all weary of fighting, but we just have to stay the course and believe:

This is my fight song
Take back my life song
Prove I’m alright song
My power’s turned on
Starting right now I’ll be strong
I’ll play my fight song
And I don’t really care if nobody else believes
‘Cause I’ve still got a lot of fight left in me

Running inside, outside, seeing new “friends”

Getting in scheduled runs
We finally got the really big storm we almost always get in December. That makes running more difficult — there are few places to get in more than a few miles, and often the streets are slippery due to snowmelt that refreezes. Not to mention shoveling all that snow is tiring & a multiday affair! Then there’s juggling my trips to my mom, which I do twice a month (if it’s open). I may not be running #allthemiles but I’m still running, outside & in.

Grade Earned:  A+

I started using my planner again. But not for runs.

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

Grade Earned: Incomplete (due to pandemic)

Dynamic Warmup
Still going strong with warmups. Generally I do the dynamic warmup inside, unless I go somewhere, and then walk a bit before I start my run. Mainly because we live on a dead end and it’s usually not cleared great and still pretty slushy/icy for a while.

Grade Earned: A+

Foam Rolling
I continue to make foam rolling (or some form of myofascial release) an almost daily occurrence.

Grade Earned: A+

Nutrition
Nutrition has been okay. Not great, not terrible. I definitely suffer from SAD (seasonal affective order) — or maybe it’s my low vitamin D levels — but too often I just don’t want to cook. Or maybe the reality is I just don’t want to clean up! Still maintaining, though, so not terrible.

Grade Earned: B+

Support

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

Grade Earned: I

Cross Training
I’m doing pretty good with cross training. Still walking — not as much as I was, but still out there most days (in addition to pacing in my house when my Garmin says I need to move). Some indoor cycling. Strength training. Still on my AM Yoga streak. I think it’s over 2 months now.

Grade Earned: A+

December 2020  gets  . . . 
. . . an A. Except for a few extra pounds and chafing at a restricted life due to COVID and Winter, in general things are good.

December Goals:

  • Continue to run 3 x week + 1 cycle class. Y. I do struggle with getting in that cycling. Mainly because I feel like it should be a recovery workout, and somehow I am still struggling with how that fits in my week.
  • Choose a word for 2021. Y/N.  I have not yet chosen my word, but it’s definitely something I’ve been thinking about. Stay tuned!
  • More strength training! Y. This has been a goal for a while. I feel as though I should be doing more, but I am proud to say I’ve been doing two Pahla B strength workouts a week; they’re usually about 30 minutes. 
  • Continue to try to eat intuitively — unless the weight starts to creep up.. Y. I’m maintaining. A little higher than I’d like to, but it’s not terrible. Doing my best to make peace with that. Having a partner who truly doesn’t care about his own nutrition/fitness — it makes it more difficult. I know some of you feel me on that. Ultimately we’re in charge of what we put into our bodies.

Which leads me to January Goals:

  • Continue to run 3 x week + 1 cycle class. I’m ok with running 3 x week, but I do feel my body could benefit from something other than walking & hiking, and both walking and hiking are harder to get in during Winter.
  • Focus on endurance. This began in December. With no races anywhere in sight for me in the beginning of the year, it’s time to feel strong. In my body and my runs. Let’s hope Winter doesn’t make me endure the wrong things! Doesn’t mean there can’t be a little speed here and there.
  • Continue to strength train 2 x week. It’s important for women of a certain age (ok, all women!) to fight against muscle loss.
  • Continue to try to eat intuitively — unless the weight starts to creep up. There was some holiday creep. Not initially, a few days afterward. Weird. Anyway, gotta keep those clothes fitting.. 

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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You’re Gonna Be Ok: November 2020

There was one virtual race in November

November had one virtual 5k and I really like the tee from that “race”. There were walks with friends and a little hiking. Of course I am still working my way through the sadness of losing Lola, which happened on Halloween.

This month’s song selection, from Brian & Jenn Johnson, is all about holding on because you can get through anything if you just hold on. Maybe that means the election to you. Maybe that means getting through COVID, or a loved one’s illness. Maybe it means getting through a loss.

Just take one step closer
Put one foot in front of the other
You’ll get through this
Just follow the light in the darkness
You’re gonna be ok

Getting in scheduled runs
There’s really no schedule, but I run 3 x week. I was able to keep to that “schedule” in November.

Grade Earned:  A

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

Grade Earned: Incomplete (due to pandemic)

Dynamic Warmup
I actually did extremely well with warm ups in November. I even often did a warm up walk in addition to my cool down walk. I was also good with some short stretching post run (most of the time).

Grade Earned: A+

Foam Rolling
I got back on the foam roller, too. My calves have been tight so I’ve rolled them pretty much every day, sometimes hammies too. And foam roll before the run — of course!

Grade Earned: A+

The air fryer helps with healthier food

Nutrition
Unfortunately with Lola’s decline and passing at the end of October, as usual, I lost my appetite and dropped several pounds. I didn’t stay there, of course, but it actually did help for a little reset. Despite a humongous cupcake at Thanksgiving — which was so worth it — nutrition has been better.

Grade Earned: A

Support

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

Grade Earned: I

The beautiful colors may be gone, but there’s beauty in every season

Cross Training
The Fall colors are long gone, but I’m still hiking a little bit here and there. Plenty of Yoga. Not enough strength training — but some, plus a fair amount of bodyweight exercises.

Grade Earned: A

November 2020  gets  . . . 
. . . an A. It was a relatively good month and I improved on the things that needed improvement.

November Goals:

  • Continue working through the Peloton 5k Course. Y. I didn’t follow it exactly, but I did do about 2 runs x week using it and adjusting it for my needs.
  • Choose a course for my virtual 5k. Y.  I went back and forth on where to run. I ended up running it as part of my long run at a bike path fairly close to home. Just saved time.
  • More strength training! N. That was the plan, but my body had other ideas (like more rest).
  • Continue to try to eat intuitively — unless the weight starts to creep up.. Y. I lost a few pounds while caring for Lola that last week of October and in the first few weeks afterwards. While caring for her, I often didn’t have enough time to cook — after, I didn’t have much appetite. Don’t worry, the appetite is back; I’m not a stress eater.
  • Continue to explore Kundalini Kriyas. Y. One of the reasons to do a 40 day Kriya is that supposedly it takes 40 days to create a habit. Well, it worked for me. I did 40 days of the same Kriya, then a month of a different Kriya each week . . . I’m still doing Yoga almost first thing when  I get up. I feel so much better after!

Which leads me to December Goals:

  • Continue to run 3 x week + 1 cycle class. I’m ok with running 3 x week, but I do feel my body could benefit from something other than walking & hiking.
  • Choose a word for 2021. It hasn’t come to me yet. Hopefully it will pop in this month.
  • More strength training! My AM Yoga is great bodyweight training. I feel strongly about lifting weights as we age, though. The trouble is how to get that on the schedule.
  • Continue to try to eat intuitively — unless the weight starts to creep up. There was some holiday creep. Not initially, a few days afterward. Weird. Anyway, gotta keep those clothes fitting.

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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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Hold On: October 2020

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

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

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

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

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

Grade Earned:  A

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

Grade Earned: Incomplete (due to pandemic)

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

Grade Earned: A+

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

Grade Earned: A-

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

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

Grade Earned: A-

Support

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

Grade Earned: I

So much Fall beauty

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

Grade Earned: A-

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

October Goals:

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

Which leads me to November Goals:

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

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Linking up with Zenaida Arroyo and Kim @ Kookyrunner

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

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The People Have the Power: September 2020

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September was even busier than the last few months! 2 trips to mom, both with side trips. One day trip as a “family” — I’d hoped for more, but it wasn’t meant to be. Cat sitting for a friend. Planning & executing birthday shenanigans for Mr. Judy.  A virtual 10k + virtual 5k walk.

September’s song is Patti Smith’s “The People Have the Power”. While it doesn’t have Strong (my word for 2020) in the title or the lyrics, it’s perfect for these times and it spoke to me.

The power to dream, to rule
To wrestle the world from fools
It’s decreed: the people rule
It’s decreed: the people rule
Listen. I believe everything we dream
Can come to pass through our union
We can turn the world around
We can turn the earth’s revolution

I very very rarely allow politics to creep in here. Get out and vote. Or mail in your vote, as we plan to. You can’t sit on the sidelines.

Getting in scheduled runs
It was really a mixed bag this month. There was a lot of stuff going on in the personal front, and sometimes that prevent me from getting it done. I did the best I could, and the truth is, just staying active is a win right now — and I did.

Grade Earned:  A

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

Grade Earned: F

Dynamic Warmup
The cooler weather meant I was able to leisurely get ready for runs for much of September. So there was Yoga, there was foam rolling, and there was always a short dynamic warmup before the run. I enjoy not having to rush out the door!

Grade Earned: A+

Foam Rolling
I foam rolled more often in September. It feel off a bit towards the end of the month, again due to personal stuff, but I always foam roll before my runs and sometimes I did it on non-running days and also sometimes after my runs.

Grade Earned: A

60 deserves cake, right? Multiple times!

Nutrition
Nutrition continues to be not terrible, not great, and the scale continues to reflect that. There was birthday cake (for days, even with the smallest one), there was BBQ — but there were lots of veggies and nutritious meals, too.

Grade Earned: A-

Support

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

Grade Earned: F

Cross Training
Still not cycling, but plenty of Yoga, and started out strong with strength training although again that fell off a bit towards the end of the month. I was balancing a lot of spinning plates this month!

Grade Earned: A

Hudson Crossing Park & Lake Taghkanic State Park

September 2020  gets  . . . 
. . . an A. A couple of Fs again, but mostly September was a busy month — seems like every month lately is a busy month!) — and I did the best I could with the time I had and by listening to my body.

September Goals:

  • Run 4 x week. Y/N. Sometimes. Some weeks I just wasn’t feeling it, so I didn’t. Other weeks, I did.
  • Set an intention for each run. Y.  I like this so it’s easy to continue with the things you enjoy.
  • Meditate when I get up. Y. This actually morphed into Yoga + meditate when I get up. I’m halfway through with my 40 day Kriya (see my post about that here).
  • Continue to try to eat intuitively — unless the weight starts to creep up. Y. I’m trying, but it’s crept up just a bit beyond where I’m comfortable. It seems the Winter creep has started early. So Y to eating intuitively; unfortunately Y to creep, too. I mostly know what I need to do — but I need to do it. #youfeelme?
  • Explore new places when I visit my mom. Y. It’s not always easy, because it can mean hours without access to a bathroom sometimes, but otherwise it’s a somewhat stressful day and this injects a little more fun into the visit for me.
  • Look around for the next virtual to motivate me. Y.  Well, I have looked around. I have a couple I’m considering. I haven’t made up my mind yet. Virtual isn’t the real deal, but it adds variety to my running, and I like that. And sometimes there’s cool swag.

Which leads me to October Goals:

  • A short running break. I had actually always planned on a running break after my Dempsey Challenge. My body made it clear I needed it, even though I haven’t been running hard. Not sure how long it will be, probably not too long, a week maybe two tops.
  • Ease back in with easy runs. No need to push hard — and better to rest now and be ready to push when there’s hope of real races.
  • Find a flatter course for virtual races. One of the virtual races I’m considering might be a 15k. My body has made it clear for now that it’s had it with the steep downhills. You know how much I love running downhill, but if I can’t run, well, that’s worse.
  • Explore new places when I visit my mom. It’s getting cooler, but I should still be able to explore in October. Thankfully they are working on some sort of plan to allow inside visitation.
  • Continue to try to eat intuitively — unless the weight starts to creep up. In the last few months my choices haven’t always been the best. I can feel that in some of my clothes — and I don’t like that feeling!
  • Decide on my next virtual race. I have a couple that I’m considering. One allows you to do it at any time before May. I’m not sure when the other one is (or if it allows you to pick your own time). I may end up doing both).

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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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I Come Back Even Stronger: August 2020

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August was relatively busy in a good way. 2 trips to mom, one with a side trip. More day trips.  Slight increase in running. Slight increase in walking, too. Made an effort to get in more steps. I collected my mug from June’s virtual xc runs (with a side trip on that trip too).

August’s song is throwin’ it way back, but man I remember belting this song out when I was young. It’s a classic — Helen Reddy’s “I Am Woman”.

You can bend but never break me
‘Cause it only serves to make me
More determined to achieve my final goal
And I come back even stronger
Not a novice any longer

These lyrics really speak to me! Do you still have goals? Has 2020 broken you or made you stronger? Do you feel that you’ve grown because of every thing you’ve gone through in 2020?

I did it. I didn’t always like it.

Getting in scheduled runs
I’ve slowly begun to try for 4 runs a week — some weeks, anyway. When I feel like it. So upping the ante just a bit. A virtual race (in September) isn’t the same as a real race, but I can still challenge myself a bit.

Grade Earned:  A

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

Grade Earned: F

Dynamic Warmup
Dynamic warmups were often really short — 5 minutes — but every little bit helps. As we merge into Fall and the mornings are cooler, it should be easier to do longer warmups. And necessary with cooler temps!

I’ve even done a little Yin Yoga some mornings before a run. In fact, I’ve also filmed three short Yin Yoga Pre Run Warmup videos! I was inspired. Not quite sure yet when I’ll be sharing those.

Grade Earned: A

Foam Rolling
Mostly just foam rolling before runs — once or twice after a run too.

Grade Earned: B+

Nutrition
Nutrition has been meh. Not terrible, not great, and the scale reflects that. I already feel the pull of wanting to eat more as the weather heads towards Winter. It’s natural . . . but some clothes are feeling a wee bit snug, sometimes (because I go back & forth around a few pounds).

Grade Earned: B-

Support

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

Grade Earned: F

Getting stronger with a little hiking & extra walking

Cross Training
Stationary cycling fell off the grid this month, but the rest is still going pretty strong. There’s only so many hours in a day & I find I need to be careful not to overdo things.

Grade Earned: A

August 2020  gets  . . . 
. . . an A. A couple of Fs again, but mostly August was a busy month and I did the best I could with the time I had and by listening to my body.

August Goals:

  • Run 4 x week. Y/N. Sometimes. Some weeks I just wasn’t feeling it, so I didn’t. Other weeks, I did.
  • Set an intention for each run. Y.  Sometimes it’s after the fact, though. Not as effective that way. I need to work on that!
  • Finish the irest course I started. Y. I did, then discovered that there was an audio book version on Audible. So I bought that (I’ve got a lot of credits), because I enjoy the practices (which are included with the audio book).
  • Continue to try to eat intuitively — unless the weight starts to creep up. Y. I’m trying, but it’s crept up just a bit beyond where I’m comfortable. It seems the Winter creep has started early. So Y to eating intuitively; unfortunately Y to creep, too. I mostly know what I need to do — but I need to do it. #youfeelme?
  • Add in more Pilates when I can.Y.I feel that Pilates does helps to shape my body. Yoga can be really tough, but most Pilates (done correctly) is tough in a different way. They are similar, but not the same, and I enjoy both. The problem is always time!

Which leads me to September Goals:

  • Run 4 x week. It all depends on how I feel. I’m enjoying the Peloton Bootcamps and runs — still have to try one of the walk/runs — so it adds a little variety to my life. Plus the weather should make outdoor running more fun again.
  • Set an intention for each run — before the run! It’s not really an intention if you set it afterwards, now is it?
  • Meditate when I get up. Meditating first thing in the morning is centering and sets me up for a calmer morning.
  • Explore new places when I visit my mom. There are quite a few places that are pretty much on the way. Easier to explore on my own, and then size up if it’s somewhere we want to go back to.
  • Continue to try to eat intuitively — unless the weight starts to creep up. In the last few months my choices haven’t always been the best. I can feel that in some of my clothes — and I don’t like that feeling!
  • Look around for the next virtual to motivate me. I don’t need to do #allthevirtuals, but it’s not bad to have something to work towards sometimes. Makes life feel a bit more normal. The cool Fall weather is my fun season to run (if it’s not raining).

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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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