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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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.

CRJ1

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?

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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 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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Fighting Stronger: December 2020

bfightingstronger

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.. 

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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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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.

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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Hold On: October 2020

bholdon

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

bpeoplepower

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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My Virtual Gym

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Are you one of those runners that just run? So many runners really only love running. I want to be strong the rest of my life, though, and as you get older, it can be an uphill battle.

Strength training is so important. Sure, it helps your metabolism and it carves sexy muscle, but it’s so much more than skin deep. It can be the different between staying independent as we age — or not. Like anything — strength, balance, mental sharpness — use it or lose it!

Although I have been a gym member and loved that, most of my life has been spent exercising at home. It’s convenient. Today it’s also so easy!

Pahla B Fitness
I’ve mentioned Pahla (click here for her Website) time and time again. Because she’s a runner. Because she’s fun. Because even though she’s younger than me, she is aimed at older women. How we work out as we get older, like so many things in life, needs to change. Pahla explains why.

The Peloton App
Even though I’m not super in love with the strength training via the Peloton App (I tell you why in my review here), I enjoy the bootcamps. There are lots of bloggers in our linkups that do love the strength training in the Peloton App, too!

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Barre Inspired Workouts can lengthen & tone you | Photo by Ea Ehn on Pexels.com

The Movement
The movement is not your typical strength training — and that’s part of why I love it. Erin is super uplifting and encouraging, and the creator of my beloved Soul Strolls. Her strength workouts tend to be more Barre-inspired (think lighter weights, more reps) so it may not be your thing. There is so much more to the Movement than ST and I highly recommend this app too! Find it here (and you can start with a free 1 day trial).

Marcia’s Healthy & Coach Debbie Runs
We have our own secret weapons in the linkup! Marcia’s YouTube workouts (find them here) are mostly short but they ain’t easy. Coach Debbie Runs has lots of workouts for runners on her blog, too. Find them here.

Of course there’s also my YouTube Channel. Not so much strength training — although some Yoga, done right, will absolutely strengthen your muscles. I know that bodyweight exercises can be super effective, but I also feel that there is just so many benefits to adding in some weights. Guess what? I’m working on a Yoga with Weights video. So keep your eye out for that on my YouTube channel here within the next few weeks.

What are your online resources for strength training? 

Have you found something new you love due to the Pandemic?

What’s your favorite fitness activity after running? 

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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Taking Yoga off the Mat

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Most people come to Yoga for the physical benefits — and there’s no denying there can be many physical benefits. Many people stay with Yoga because of the physical benefits. More people stay because of the mental/spiritual benefits. Those benefits can benefit your running and/or everyday life, too.

Not going deeply into the pose right away
It’s really tempting to just muscle into a pose the first time you do it. It’s a really poor idea, though, and can be a recipe for a quick injury — or an overuse injury over time.

Running: Not going out too fast. Most of us have crashed and burned in a race because we gave into the excitement and started out way too fast.

Not warming up for a Peak Pose
Often Yoga teachers will design their class carefully to warm up students for a peak pose. Generally that pose is the “hardest” pose of the class. Sometimes it’s the pose we love to bust out for those IG selfies — but without warming up first. Another recipe for injury.

Running: many runners never warm up for a run because they just want to hit the road and get going, or lack of time, or maybe simply because it’s cold out (guilty!). The whole point of the warm up is to literally warm up your body to run, so that you don’t injure yourself.

Noticing Your Breath
In Yoga your breath is your clue to whether or not you’ve gone over your edge. When it gets short and choppy, you know you’re pushing too hard.

Running: Yup, pretty much the same thing!

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Starting with a good foundation
It’s important to have a good foundation in your Yoga poses — often this is your feet. Are they turning out or in when they should be pointing forward? Are your ankles collapsing in or out? Is your weight evenly distributed across your whole foot?

Running: Substitute base for foundation, although what your feet are doing in running is important too! We build our base, making sure that we slowly and carefully prepare our bodies for longer and harder runs further down the road.

Finding Our Edge
In Yoga we never want a pose to be too easy or too hard; we call this finding our edge, that sweet spot where we’re stressing our body in a good way, but not feeling pain.

Running: In running we’re trying to find the edge for pushing ourselves hard enough so that we grow as a runner — but not pushing so hard that we get injured.

photo of person running on dirt road
It truly is the journey, not the destination | Photo by Visually Us on Pexels.com

It’s the Proverbial Journey
Every day on your Yoga mat is different. Something that felt easy yesterday can feel out of reach today. One day we can balance forever, and the next all we do is wobble and fall all over the place. It’s why Yoga is called a practice, because there is no such thing as a perfect pose — there’s always a way to go deeper or improve.

Running: in running it’s not just about the race, it’s about the training that leads up to the race. You may have your eyes on the prize (a goal race, getting faster, going longer), but it’s the training that will get you there. You have to figure out a way to enjoy the process, the training. Otherwise you’re likely to skip the parts you don’t like — plus you’ll be spending a whole lot of time doing something you don’t enjoy.

Union
Yoga can literally be translated as union: union of body, mind, and spirit.

Running: Yup, pretty much the same thing!

Another “translation” for Yoga is the Science of Joy. At its heart, Yoga is meant to remind us that just as our body, mind, and spirit are connected, so we are connected to every living thing. Yoga — not just asana, but the whole package (asana, breathwork, meditation, etc.) — shows us that when we are present, mindful, and unattached to the outcome, our true nature is joy.

Now that’s a lesson we can take into everything in life, not just our running!

What makes you feel connected to your body? 

What makes you feel connected to others — even in times like these?

Do you think life is hard and then you die, or can you find the joy even in difficult situations? 

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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