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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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!

woman in white sports bra and black leggings doing yoga
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.

blittle bursts

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.

gwy 21D bed
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? 

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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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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? 

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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