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? 

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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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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.

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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? 

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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 tried it: Peloton App

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I got in on the very last day for a 90 day free Peloton app trial. I have recently finished that trial, and I’m staying on. I actually took some form of class every day in July except for one.

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Everything a runner & cyclist needs in one app

What I liked about it:

  • The variety: there are classes in: Strength, Yoga, Cardio, Meditation, Running, Outdoor (audio classes), Cycling, Stretching, Bootcamp, Walking. There are different kind of classes within each category, too (warm up, low impact, etc.).
  • The instructors. There’s someone for everyone, and they’re all very encouraging and upbeat. You may not jive with everyone, of course, but there’s enough instructors that you’ll find someone you like.
  • Music. I think that’s one of the key draws for Peloton — there’s music with all the classes, and you can choose what sort of music you want.
  • You can preload classes. I did that so I could take a warmup when I drove somewhere to run and it worked fine for me. And I have an older iphone that can be balky about connecting.
  • You can bookmark favorite classes.
  • You can filter each type of class: bookmarked, taken by you, length, class type, instructor, music, and difficulty.
  • When you filter classes, you can also sort them by: new, trending, popular, top rated, easiest, and hardest.
  • If you’re motivated by challenges, there are quite a few to choose from. I have not joined a challenge yet (lone wolf that I am!).
  • There are a variety of classes linked together into what Peloton calls “programs” — these are usually multi week programs with a variety of instructors on a common theme: strength, training for a 5k or marathon (hello, what about the other distances?), meditation, core, and a whole lot more.
  • Then there are collections. Don’t ask me what the difference between a collection and a program is, they seem rather similar to me.
  • Finally there’s a schedule of upcoming live classes to choose from. I haven’t tried a live class yet.
  • The community. Actually I haven’t really done much at all with the community aspect of the app, but it’s there. If you want to connect with others to motivate you, it’s possible.

What I didn’t like about it:

  • This is my biggest complaint: there is no way to search! Seriously? I can’t tell you how many times I’ve wanted to search for something, like when it was mentioned that there are some foam rolling classes on the app. Darned if I’ve been able to unearth them.
  • Sometimes things just weren’t where I expected them to be, and of course I couldn’t search on them, since there’s no way to search (unless I’ve somehow missed the search function?). For instance, I expected a run warmup to be under “running”. I suppose it makes sense for it to be under “stretching”, but that wasn’t intuitive to me.
  • Not to beat a dead horse, but there’s so much available it can be hard to remember where you found it — or find it in the first place. Because there’s no way to search.
  • I guess I’m old enough that a lot of the music doesn’t really appeal to me. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve found plenty of classes whose music I enjoy. I’ve also looked at a lot of classes that look interesting, only to not be excited by the music choices. Sometimes I take them anyway, but more often I keep searching until I find something with music that I’ve at least heard of.
  • The instructors have a tendency to talk too much for my taste. Hey, I came for the music, let me actually listen to it! OTOH, they usually have inspiring, upbeat messages.
  • I’m not a big fan of the strength classes. It’s not that they’re not good (most), but I find most of the instructors are rushing through it too quickly — and sometimes, quite frankly, using bad form. They will admonish you to take your time and then they’re actually kind of throwing the weights around — it’s a recipe for injury for those who don’t know better.
  • Why no Pilates? You know I love me some Pilates. There’s a Crush Your Core Program, and that is somewhat-Pilates based. There’s also a lot of crunches in that program. Crunches work mostly the superficial muscles in the abs — the showy 6 pack abs, not so much the deep abs that really give you core stability. Otherwise there’s no Pilates. Yet, anyway.
  • Sometimes I wanted longer classes. Why are there no post run stretches longer than 10 minutes, for instance? I totally get a short pre run stretch, in the summer I rarely do more than 5 minutes — but after sometimes I do want a longer stretch. There are also no strength classes longer than 30 minutes — which is fine by me, and  you can stack classes together; still, sometimes it left me scratching my head.
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Lots of variety

Final Thoughts
You can see that I liked more things than I didn’t like. I didn’t mention that you get badges as you complete a certain number of classes, or particular series — it’s cute, and I know some people are really motivated by it.

There are a lot of things I haven’t even tried: walking, running (yes, since I had been trying to do my runs outside), cardio, outside.

I think the two things I love most about Peloton:

  1. The music: before the app I was rarely on my stationary bike longer than 20 minutes and I wasn’t getting that productive a workout — I’ve definitely felt some of those cycling workouts! Music definitely motivates me, but on my own I rarely use it for my workouts. That has its advantages too; music can keep you too disconnected from your body — but it definitely has advantages.
  2. The instructors: you have to find the instructors that resonate with you, but they all have such upbeat, inclusive messages. There’s no shouting or no pain, no gain attitude.

It always come down to: would I pay for it? Obviously my answer is yes.

One last thought: yes, I think I would love a Peloton treadmill. Mine is ancient. Of course $$$. They stopped selling them for a while because they come with in-home setup (nice!), but they are being sold now. I haven’t really researched them to see what people really think about them, but I know many bloggers who love their bikes, so I have to imagine the treadmills are good too.

What’s your favorite fitness app? 

Are you intrigued by Peloton now?

If you’re on the Peloton app — or lucky you, own a bike or treadmill — what’s your favorite thing about Peloton? 

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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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Fighter: July 2020

 

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July was actually rather busy. A 30 hour meditation course. 2 trips to mom. A fun daytrip.  Family Zoom call. Routine vet visit for Lola (Bandit needs one, too). Filming videos (which lately seems to always be a struggle).

Myself and my loved ones are healthy. My mom tires a lot easier — as does Lola — to be expected at both their ages, but not always easy to witness.

July’s song is Fighter by Christina Aguilera. I don’t really know many Christina Aguilera songs, although I do know she has a powerful voice. Has anyone else noticed how much this lyric resembles Kelly Clarkson’s “What doesn’t kill you”?

Makes me that much stronger
Makes me work a little bit harder
It makes me that much wiser
So thanks for making me a Fighter

2020 has not been kind to us, and yet — it’s the hard times we go through that make us grow. As much as we might wish we didn’t have to go through hard, painful, times, they shape the people we become.

A little irony with the “happy” in the paragraph below — my face matches my top!!!

Getting in scheduled runs
I’m still happy with 3 x week for the forseeable future. It gives me more time for my stationary bike, strength training, and Yoga. I kept thinking I would go a little longer for my long run, but then someone turned the thermostat to hot and humid.

Except I started to feel run down last week, so this last week of July I’m going to skip a run. Or two. We’ll see. Trying to get ahead of whatever is going on.

Grade Earned:  A

Recording my runs
Yeah, still not happening..

Grade Earned: F

Dynamic Warmup
I was doing great with this — I’d even say I was on a streak. Until a couple of very hot and humid days when I totally skipped the warm up. Bugs may have been the reason.

Grade Earned: A-

Foam Rolling
Still only rolling before a run — at least that it something that I have not skipped (so far).

Grade Earned: B

Nutrition
Nutrition has been pretty good, but as always, room for improvement. The older I get the less I can eat. It is what it is.

Grade Earned: B

Support

  • Massage? Nope. We all know why.
  • Chiropractor Appointment? See massage.
  • Do I need a hair appointment? This could end up being the longest I go without a haircut — which is saying something, I’ve actually gone 5 months before.

Grade Earned: F

Just chillin’ with Bandit & Yoga

Cross Training
Cross training is my super power, apparently. Yoga, strength training, Pilates, stationary cycling.

Grade Earned: A+

June 2020  gets  . . . 
. . . an A. A couple of Fs again, but mostly July was a busy month and I did the best I could with the time I had.

July Goals:

  • Continue exploring Peloton App. Y. I’ve tried one class (at least) from a lot of the different categories, although there are probably some categories I won’t try. There’s definitely still more to explore.
  • Continue running 3 x week. Y. I have continued my outside running streak. Definitely not always easy with this hot summer! I’m giving myself a pass on skipping a run/s this week. It was needed.
  • Set an intention for each run. Y.  I won’t lie: sometimes I struggle with coming up with an intention. Sometimes I struggle with remembering what the intention was! (read more about intentions here).
  • Continue almost daily foam rolling. N. I foam rolled before my runs. That’s all.
  • Continue to try to eat intuitively — unless the weight starts to creep up. Y. Weight is basically in maintenance mode, and that’s okay.
  • Learn more about meditation.Y. I took a 30 hour Beginning Meditation Coach course, which I really enjoyed.
  • Extend either a weekday or long run. Y. I signed up for virtual trail runs this month (with the swag being pottery), and we’re assigned a different distance each week. 
  • Complete virtual July 4th race.Y. I even managed to do it on the fourth. 

Which leads me to August Goals:

  • Run 4 x week. I plan to take some of the Peloton bootcamps, and that will involve treadmill running. So it won’t be a lot extra, and it’ll be mill miles, but miles are miles. Doesn’t have to happen every week but that’s what I’ll shoot for. Gonna be flexible with it – depends how I feel.
  • Set an intention for each run. I enjoy this goal!
  • Finish the irest course I started. I’ve been into something called Yoga Nidra for a while. It’s part relaxation, part meditation. irest is a particular form based on Yoga Nidra — and I signed up for the Great Courses for free so I could take this course. But I only have a month! I’m halfway through so I’m sure I’ll finish it before my free trial is up.
  • Continue to try to eat intuitively — unless the weight starts to creep up. A permanent goal.
  • Add in more Pilates when I can. I really enjoy Pilates. There’s a lot of benefits to runners from practicing it. Even just 10 minutes. It’s just hard to squeeze in. Strength training was a bit lacking at the end of last July, and with less going on in August, I’d definitely like to be more regular about it. 

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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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Five Hundred Twenty Five Thousand Six Hundred Minutes

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Ever seen the show or movie “Rent”? Then you might recognize my title. That’s how many minutes there are in one year. How will you spend them? Will you spend them in fear? Or flying past the fear?

It’s easy to be fearful
I know that some of the people in my life think I’m too fearful. That I should be joining groups, or not worrying so much about what’s going on in the world.

I don’t make my choices from a place of fear — although I will readily admit that fear has at times kept me from doing things. I think we’ve probably all fallen prey to that.

The choices I make now actually come from a place of love. Of trying to do the right thing for the people in my life that I love.

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What if fear is holding you back from living your life?
We all know when we’ve given in to a fear that is holding us back. The challenges we are too fearful to conquer. The missed opportunities. The fear that there won’t be enough for everyone.

When it’s a matter of the “what if” fear, not the “yes, this is actually going on” fear, then it’s time to put the fear aside. You don’t know until you try. You may fail; in that case, you will learn and get stronger.

You may succeed — imagine how good that would feel!

There is freedom waiting for you,
On the breezes of the sky,
And you ask “What if I fall?”
Oh but my darling,
What if you fly?
— Erin Hanson

The most important thing is to take that first step
We runners know that the best and worst runs begin by simply taking that first step. We set a goal, and we feel the fear, and we do it anyway. Not taking that first step? Not an option. We can always stop. Stopping is an option. Not starting? Not happening.

Fear is a good tool when it prevents us from hurting ourselves. Fear is a bad tool when it’s used as an excuse to not live to our fullest potential. — Chocolaterunsjudy

What do you fear? 

Does fear hold you back in life?

What has happened in your life when  you felt the fear & did it anyway? 

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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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It all adds up

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You don’t have to spend an hour — or more — at a time to get fit. In fact, I would argue that if you work out for an hour, then sit on your butt the rest of the day, you’re probably losing more fitness than you’re gaining.

It’s much easier to fit in 10 minutes than a full hour. It can be a lot harder than you think, too!

Fitness here . . . fitness there . . .
I’m know Mr. Judy isn’t fond of when I pace around the house (although the dogs have pretty much gotten used to that). I try to pay attention to when my Garmin tells me it’s time to move.

Sure, there are times (plenty of them!) that I ignore it, but for the most part, I’ll get up and walk around until my move bar is cleared.

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A little bit goes a long way
I’m really fond of sprinkling fitness throughout the day, rather than one big chunk at a time. Yoga in the morning. Or a run. Maybe some stationary bike action before lunch. Strength training or core work or Pilates in the afternoon.

With the exception of running, a lot of these things may take only 10-20 minutes. Almost everyone has a 10 minute break here and there throughout their day. You’ll feel more energized if you move through it.

All those little 10 minute bouts of fitness? They add up. They also keep your metabolism humming along much better than going hard for an hour and then sitting the rest of the day.

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It feels great to stretch out before you even get up!

It starts when you wake up
On the rare occasions Mr. Judy is up before I am, I take advantage of it to stretch out before I even leave my bed. As I wait for my tea to steep first thing in the morning, I’m doing pushups against my counter and squats. Gotta break up that fascia when you get up! For more on fascia, see this post here.

Even 5 minutes is better than nothing
You may think that you can’t break a sweat in just 5 minutes. There are lots of 5 minute workouts out there that can change your mind! No gym? No problem.

YouTube is overflowing with free fitness videos. Check out Marcia’s YouTube Channel here. Check out Pahla B’s YouTube Channel here . And search for her Hot 100 series from a couple of years ago — they’re short, but they’re not easy! The Peloton App here is chock full of short (and long) workouts! It’s not free, but it can be free for 30 days. Of course there is my own channel which you’ll find here.

Do you try to sprinkle fitness throughout your day? 

Do you think short workouts can still be hard?

What’s your best tip for getting fitness into your day? 

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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On the street where I live

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Quite a few years ago I wrote a post about the runners I seemed to see often on the paths, and what I named them. There was Forrest Gump, of course (runner dude with a long beard) — I don’t remember the others.

My husband and I also have nicknames for some of the houses in our neighborhood.

Don’t ask me why I dubbed this Hobbit House, but it’s stuck

Hobbit House
I think this was the first house I named. It’s definitely stuck. When I’ve run, or we don’t have as much time, or Mr. Judy is walking the dogs, we’ll go to the Hobbit House. I don’t know why, but I imagine that’s what a Hobbit house would look like.

Little Dog House
The house on the corner of our block with a chain link fence used to be home to three little dogs. Getting Lola and Bandit past the running and barking dogs was always “fun”. They moved this year and the new people don’t have dogs.

Running Dog House
Running Dog house is opposite little dog house. There’s a fairly young golden? Irish setter? that lives there. The minute he sees us coming, he’s usually running his fence line. Another house where it can be fun getting Lola & Bandit past without waking up the neighborhood — especially when the little dogs were out, too.

Cat Lady’s House
That’s where second Bandit lived. Yup, she had a fearless cat named Bandit. We almost died laughing when we finally found out his name. She had all sorts of cat stuff on her front door patio, which is why I called it Cat Lady’s house. Turns out she inherited Bandit from someone else in the neighborhood, and she’s since moved & found Bandit a new home in the neighborhood. So she really wasn’t a cat lady after all but we still call it Cat Lady’s House. Never judge a book by its cover!

Rabbit House
I recently dubbed a house on our “route” rabbit house after there were three bunnies there one day, a couple the next. Apparently the rabbits like to move around, as I don’t see them there anymore. Our neighbor’s house became Second Rabbit House when I saw rabbits there several days in a row — culminating in 5 bunnies one day! That’s the most I’ve ever seen on one lawn at a time. Apparently they’ve moved off to greener pastures, too.

Do you think they’d mind if I helped myself to some?

Tomato House
These people have their garden all along their driveway. Lots of tomato plants, hence the name.

As you can see, many of the house names revolve around animals. It’s kind of a short hand between us: I can tell Mr. Judy to walk the dogs to the Hobbit House, or even just go to little dogs house (even though there are no longer little dogs there).

Do you have “pet” names for the houses in your neighborhood? 

Do you have some sort of verbal shorthand with your SO?

Are you going to start thinking about naming houses in your neighborhood now? 

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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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Let’s Lift Each Other Up: June 2020

blift

The weather in June was all over the place. Mostly lovely, so I can’t complain. A couple of weekends were so chilly that one day I had to take my Yoga inside. Then it heated up quickly! Luckily I picked the right spot for my Yoga platform. It’s nice and shady and even on days in the low 90s I am comfortable back there.

Now the ants are a different story . . .

I am taking a break from stronger lyrics (strong is my word for 2020), but “Hey Girl” from Lady Gaga & Florence Welch (a song not familiar to me) caught my eye — I thought it was a good message for the times.

Hey girl, hey girl
We can make it easy if we lift each other
Hey girl, hey girl
We don’t need to keep on one-in’ up another

Although aimed at women, it’s a good message for everyone. Stop tearing people down to make yourself feel better. We all rise together.

Chasing rainbows & trying to stay cool (literally)

Getting in scheduled runs
I’m still happy with 3 x week for the forseeable future. It gives me more time for my stationary bike, strength training, and Yoga. I kept thinking I would go a little longer for my long run, but then someone turned the thermostat to hot and humid.

Grade Earned:  A

Recording my runs
Maybe this sections just needs to go away . . . like many of us think about 2020.

Grade Earned: F

Dynamic Warmup
I’ve been doing good with a pre-, and usually a post-run stretch, thanks to Peloton.

Grade Earned: A+

Foam Rolling
I’ve been exploring a lot of new things, so I’m back to foam rolling only before I run. I know my body would be very happy if I tried for more again. It still needs to be a goal!

Grade Earned: B

Nutrition
Mostly good. The extreme heat towards the end of the month had me not so hungry. Definitely room for improvement though. Isn’t there always?

Grade Earned: B

Support

  • Massage? Nope. We all know why.
  • Chiropractor Appointment? See massage.
  • Do I need a hair appointment? While we can get haircuts again, my hairdresser is actually opening a new salon. Which hasn’t happened yet. It’s braid season; I can wait.

Grade Earned: F

Yoga inside, outside, plus stationary cycling & more!

Cross Training
Running less means I have more time for other fitness activities, which I enjoy. Yet it still seems as though there’s not enough hours in a day to get everything done!

Grade Earned: A+

June 2020  gets  . . . 
. . . an A. A couple of Fs again, but mostly June was a decent month.

June Goals:

  • Continue exploring Peloton App. Y. There’s a lot to love, but there are some things I’m not as fond of. Nothing’s perfect, right?
  • Continue running 3 x week. Y. I also made an effort to keep those runs outside — it wasn’t easy when the second half of the month was stacked with heat waves but I persevered.
  • Set an intention for each run. Y.  I like to work towards goals, and since I don’t actually have a running goal right now, having an intention for every run gives me a “goal” (read more about intentions here).
  • Continue almost daily foam rolling. N. I foam rolled before my runs. That’s all.
  • Continue to try to eat intuitively — unless the weight starts to creep up. Y. Weight is basically in maintenance mode, and that’s okay.
  • Explore a Backbend Course Y/N. As I wrote last month, I couldn’t find a specific build to Wheel course. I should have just modified this goal to work on strengthening my arms and core — which I did. I have a feeling that it will take a lot longer than a month, and may not be a pose that works for me. We’ll talk again at the end of the year.
  • Take the tests for the online Reiki course I’m taking. N. I am taking a meditation course in July. I’m still practicing Reiki on myself, and when I have time/remember, the dogs. Even occasionally Mr. Judy.

Which leads me to July Goals:

  • Continue exploring Peloton App. I haven’t tried a meditation yet. I’ve only done one Yoga class. Then there’s the Artist series that Kim @ Kookyrunner turned me on to.
  • Continue running 3 x week. If it ain’t broke . . .
  • Set an intention for each run. I enjoy this goal!
  • Learn more about meditation. I’ve been meditating for several years. I enjoy creating meditations for my YouTube channel (here). I’d been looking into meditation teacher trainings — but when someone I’d been following offered a shorter (30 hour) , discounted course, I signed up. Hopefully I’ll be adding more meditations with what I learn.
  • Extend either a weekday or long run. I will admit, summer running is not my jam. I have extended some weekday runs. I’d like to run a little longer for my long runs, but I just haven’t been feeling it with the weather.
  • Continue to try to eat intuitively — unless the weight starts to creep up. I think this is another permanent goal.
  • Complete virtual July 4th race. This may not happen in July — it might have even already happened! 

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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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Smoothies I’m Loving Lately

bRunner's Smoothies

When I got done with my longish run last weekend, food held absolutely no appeal to me. Even though it wasn’t very long at 6 miles, add in at least 2 miles walking up steep hills in addition to those 6 miles in the heat — yup, I knew I needed to refuel.

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Why pay $6 for something that’s so easy to make?

Green (or Chocolate) Peppermint Matcha
This actually works as a pre or post run smoothie!

  • 1 Frozen Banana
  • 1 cup milk of your choice (I used Almond Milk)
  • 1 tsp of Matcha
  • At least .5C frozen spinach, bonus points for more (you won’t taste the spinach, but if you’re more adventurous, try other greens — I do use kale something, too).
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • .25 tsp peppermint extract or 1 drop peppermint essential oil
  • Dash of cinnamon
  • Optional: 1 scoop protein powder (I used chocolate — of course!)
  • Optional: whipped cream to top it with (why yes, I did!)
  • Optional: cacao nibs or chocolate chips either on top of the whipped cream, or blended with the rest of the ingredients

Put everything in a blender (except the whipped cream, (although it wouldn’t hurt anything!) and enjoy!

bsmoothiebowl
You can’t see the blueberry base, but there’s plenty of it!

Red, White, and Blue Smoothie Bowl
Great for the Fourth of July (or any other hot day)! Want to get your veggies in at breakfast? A smoothie bowl makes it easy! My biggest problem has always been that the smoothie is melting by the time I’ve cleaned the blender.

I suppose I should put it in the freezer while I’m cleaning the blender. Which I tried yesterday. It still starts to melt pretty quickly, but it’s still yummy.

  • .5 C frozen blueberries
  • .5C cauliflower
  • At least .5C frozen spinach, bonus points for more
  • .5-.75 milk of choice (I used Almond Milk)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tbsp (or more, if you like) Almond Butter — or half an avocado, your choice (I used Almond Butter this time)
  • 1 Tbsp ground flaxseed
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • Optional: 1 drop lavender essential oil
  • Optional: scoop of protein powder
  • Optional spices: cardamom, cinnamon, ginger
  • .5 C sliced strawberries for topping
  • Optional toppings: besides the strawberries, whipped cream, cacao nibs or chocolate chips, chia seeds, coconut flakes, granola

Blend everything up until the sliced strawberries (they’re for topping your smoothie bowl), although if you’re including the optional protein powder, blend that in too. Drizzle a little honey over the strawberries if you like (I do!), top with your favorite toppings, and enjoy.

You’ve just had two servings of fruits and two servings of veggies by the time you’ve finished breakfast.

Banana Chocolate Cherry
Do we see a theme here? Chocolate in everything, yes, please! You don’t have to use chocolate. Vanilla will work just fine, or skip the protein powder altogether.

  • 1 frozen banana
  • .5 C frozen cherries
  • .5-.75 C milk of choice
  • Chocolate protein powder
  • Optional: cacao powder (add a little sweetener if you do add cacao), cacao nibs/chocolate, almond butter

Blend everything together and enjoy!

Nice Cream Sundae
Even Mr. Judy enjoyed this. Although he’s had the occasional smoothie bowl and enjoyed it, too. First make the magic shell:

  • .25 C cacao
  • .25 C coconut oil
  • .25 C honey

Melt the coconut oil. Mix in the cacao & honey — I taste it, you may need more or less honey. Honey loses its health benefits when you heat it, so you shouldn’t bake with it. I would also say this is about 3 – 4 servings.

Now make the Nice Cream:

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 scoop protein powder (of course I like chocolate) or 1 Tbsp cacao — if you use cacao, you’ll need to add some sweetener to taste
  • Roughly .25 – .5 C milk of choice (yeah, by now you know, I usually use Almond Milk)

Blend everything together. It will mostly likely be like soft serve, so you might want to stick it in the freezer briefly to firm it up. Pour the magic shell over and watch it harden! That’s the magic! Then topped with whatever you like, which in my case was granola, whipped cream, and cacao nibs.

It tastes like a sundae — but it actually makes a great recovery smoothie bowl! I’m sorry I didn’t take a photo when I made these a couple of weeks ago.

I don’t really measure things out; I just kind of eyeball it. If I’m using a smoothie on a day I run, I will usually include a pinch of sea salt, too. I’m a salty runner, so I need to get that salt back in after my run.

You can get as creative as you feel like with smoothies, and they’re the perfect way to start yourself off to recovery after a hot summer run. I use Doterra essential oils.

What’s your favorite smoothie flavor? 

Do you enjoy making your own smoothies or do you buy them?

Which one of these smoothies sounds good to you? 

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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