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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I Finished It: 40 Day Kriya

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Remember that 40 Day Kriya? You can read about it in this post here if you missed it. I finished it! What did I learn? It was a lot like running! In some ways.

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Get it done first thing
It is suggested that you do it before 6 am; the effects are supposed to be more powerful then. I happen to be an early riser, so most days that happened. There may have been a day or two I didn’t wake up til 6, but I still just got up and got it done.

You can do it at any time of day, but being a morning person already I found doing it first thing n the morning worked well for me. You feel so good when you’ve moved your body first thing in the morning.

Although the truth is I don’t run first thing in the morning. Because I’m doing Yoga. Even when I’m not doing Yoga, as it gets colder my runs get later in the day. I’m lucky that I have that opportunity.

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I didn’t want to do it
Almost every morning I would get up and I really just wanted to sit down with a warm beverage and read. Kundalini isn’t easy. I knew, just as I know with running, that I would feel better after I did my Kriya. I always did. There are times with running that I don’t feel better afterwards.

I used to be a get up and go runner in the Summers, but over time, I’ve just found that that makes my mornings rushed. It’s easier to get up and do Yoga: no changing clothes, no eating. This Summer I often did get out there early, but I found that over time, that was beginning to wear on me. After 40+ days of AM Yoga, I am always energized afterwards. That’s the purpose of my practice, after all — which leads me to . . .

I had more energy
I decided to tackle the 40 day Kriya specifically to work on energy. While the last few weeks have been challenging, I definitely felt ready to get going most mornings after my practice.

I had to ease into it
Every pose has a suggested time. You are almost always moving or doing specific pranayama (breathing techniques) so it’s not just hanging out in the pose like Yin Yoga.

Sometimes I had to take very short breaks. I had to start out with less time than suggested. In fact, for most of the poses, I still haven’t worked up to the minimum hold times — although I’m getting closer.

Running is the same. When we start, or restart after a rest or an injury, we need to ease into it.

Final Thoughts
I know that moving first thing in the morning is a good thing, but the truth is I have struggled for a long time to find the right movement for me. I have tried early morning cardio, but I always seem to burn out on that at some point — or feel run down eventually.

That wasn’t always the case, though. When I was younger I often did early morning cardio. I worked outside the home, and I knew when I came home I might not do it. It worked for me then, but things change.

I have committed to AM Yoga before, and done pretty well with it, but I always seem to get away with it at some point.

That may still be the case; it’s only been 40 days, after all. Despite the difficulty, though, I plan to keep going. Not with another 40 day Kriya right now; that would mean doing the same poses for another 40 days. I want to explore different Kriyas (classes).

There’s always a sense of accomplishment when you finish something you set out to do — especially if it isn’t easy. Even better when you learn and grow from it. — Chocolaterunsjudy

How do you challenge yourself these days?

What have you learned from your challenges? 

What have you been avoiding because it’s hard? 

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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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Another Reason to Try Nasal Breathing?

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One of the commenters on the first part of why I tried nasal breathing (read it here) said she did it to make sure she ran her easy runs easy. This is even sort of ties into the actual topic this week — my thoughts on rest days — I write about that a lot! Yes, I’m a big fan of rest days. They’re important to let all your hard work be assimilated by your body.

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Run your easy runs easy
Okay, that was a bit of a reach. This post is not so much about rest days, but it is about whether or not you’re running too hard on your easy runs. You probably are. Most runners do. Because if the secret to running faster is to, well, run faster — the more the better, right?

Nooooo! You will quickly find that breathing in and out only through your nose will quickly let you know when you’re running too hard. You’ll probably want to start breathing through your mouth — a sure sign that you’re pushing too hard.

This article here explains how to slowly master nasal breathing and some of the benefits

By dramatically increasing the amount and intensity of work you’re able to do while nose breathing, you will reconfigure both your body and your brain to change what they think your endurance, power, and speed thresholds are. You won’t be tiring out secondary respiratory muscles (lats, intercostals and obliques) that fatigue quickly and start to signal the brain that you’re almost out of puff! You’ll be able to keep going faster for longer without tiring, and will avoid utter crashes and collapses that we see when people allow their breathing patterns to go haywire during a race or intense workout.

Matt Frazier, of No Meat Athlete, has another great post on nasal breathing here. The book he mentions is one that I have read. My experience with nasal breathing was just different from his — my heart rate could still get up relatively high, by which I presume that I was still just running too fast while trying to unlearn mouth breathing.

Even if fewer breaths, lower heart rate, and less perceived exertion didn’t translate into performance gains — and as far as I’m concerned, the jury is still out — it’s a worthwhile experiment for anyone interested in meditation, relaxation, and spending more time in the mysterious, elusive Zone.

It all comes back to can you tell if you’re running easy rather “easily” by tuning into your breath — whether you’re nose breathing or mouth breathing. It’s not the only way to tell if you’re truly running easy, but it’s a good tool to have. You always have it with you.

Final Thoughts
Reading these articles makes me feel that maybe I didn’t really ease into nasal breathing as much as I should have. Or maybe I threw in the towel too early, and really just needed to go back to basics. I’m still not sure I want to revisit it, but I want what Matt has! That feeling of ease, while breathing through your nose, even while running hard, but most especially while running easy.

Whether nasal breathing has intrigued you or not, the advice to run your easy runs easy is always important. Your body works hard for you and it deserves to be taken care of. — Chocolaterunsjudy

Do you care if you’re running easy or hard for easy runs?

Has running easy runs too hard ever led to problems for you? 

What are some signs that you need a rest 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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Why Should You Try Nasal Breathing?

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I am always striving to learn, to experiment, to try new things. Sometimes they work, and sometimes they don’t, but you always learn something.

Last Spring I decided to try nasal breathing in my running (breathing in and out through my nose). As a Yoga teacher, I know the power of breath. Ancient Yogis thought that we only have so many breaths in our lifetime — slowing down our breath so that we took fewer breaths per minute was partially an attempt to live longer.

Paying attention to our breath gives us clues to how we’re feeling. How often do you hold your breath as you go about your daily lives? You might be surprised. If you’re scared or excited, your breath will speed up — it helps to invoke the sympathetic nervous system (SNS), our fight or flight response.

That worked great when we were living in caves and suddenly encountered a saber tooth tiger. Once we got away from the tiger, though, we would calm down and eventually shift back into our parasympathetic nervous system (PNS), our rest and digest system.

We’re not as evolved as we like to think we are. The problem today is that we are often being pushed into our SNS by modern day stressors — almost constatnly — but we’re not facing a real tiger and we’re going from one stress to the next and not spending enough time in our PNS.

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Why breath through your nose?
One of the main reasons I decided to give nasal breathing such a long trial (almost 6 months!) was the fact that it is supposed to help you engage your PNS, and thus supposedly get into the flow state immediately.

Nasal breathing can (supposedly) help you increase the amount of oxygen to get to you hard working muscles, and perhaps boost athletic performance. This post from the Washington post (read it here) says:

It can allow for more oxygen to get to active tissues. That is because breathing through the nose releases nitric oxide, which is necessary to increase carbon dioxide (CO2) in the blood, which, in turn, is what releases oxygen. Mouth breathing does not effectively release nitric oxide, which means the cells are not getting as much oxygen as through nasal breathing, which could lead to fatigue and stress.

Who doesn’t want to boost their performance? And hey, it’s free! Nasal breathing may actually help boost your immune system, too — who doesn’t want that right now? Check out this post here for more information.

Our nasal passages are able to filter bacteria and viruses in the air. We have little hair follicles in our nose (in fact, we have as many hair follicles inside our nose as we do on our head, according to Mackenzie) that are able to filter the air as you inhale, which can block dust and bacteria from reaching your lungs. Our mouths, on the other hand, don’t have the same knack for filtering out particles.

It all sounds good, doesn’t it?

So what went wrong?
I knew going into this experiment that it could take time. Up to three months, in fact, to switch over. I knew that it would mean slower running, but with no races in sight, no big deal.

At first I couldn’t seem to maintain nasal breathing. Which mostly meant I was running too fast. You really do have to slow way down. Then I decided to go back to run/walk intervals, and that helped a lot. I was beginning to see a little progress . . . then Summer came along.

I found it extremely difficult to breathe through my nose in the heat and humidity of Summer. I wasn’t feeling in the flow, either. My runs didn’t leave me feeling good. So I finally stopped nasal breathing while running.

Final Thoughts
I still believe that mastering nasal breathing could be helpful. Even though it’s cooler now, and should be easier, I’m not sure I want to go back and try. On the other hand, it still might be good to work on it just in daily life — I believe with everything going on right now, it may be helpful.

Trying new things is never a bad thing. That’s how we grow and learn. It’s a form of self study. But sometimes you need to know when to fold up. — Chocolaterunsjudy

What do you do to keep your immune system strong?

Have you ever even heard of nasal breathing before? 

What things have you tried and had to let go? 

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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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You are an Experiment of 1

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It’s oh-so-tempting to get caught up in someone else’s running journey. I blame Social Media for a lot of that — but sometimes there’s peer pressure in a group of running friends, too.

That peer pressure can get you out of a rut and out of your comfort zone — in a good way sometimes, and sometimes in a really bad way.

You do You
Do you look around and see someone running a ton of virtual races and think maybe I should do that?

Maybe your running friends try to convince you that yes, of course you can run that race, even though you have an injury.

Do you sign up for a trail race because all your friends are doing it — even though you hate trail running?

What about hiring a coach? Do you have a reason, or is it just someone else did it and they got stronger or faster so you think that’s the magic bullet for that?

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Replace FOMO with Self Knowledge
Your mom was right, you know — if everyone was jumping off a bridge, would you jump off it too?

The next time you’re faced with something “everyone is doing” or find yourself envious of a friend, try coming back to the five whys. Ask yourself why. Once you’ve come up with an answer, ask yourself why about that answer. Keep going five times. Maybe you’ll decide it’s just not right for you, because you’re an experiment of 1 — or maybe you’ll decide that it’s worth trying at least once.

An experiment of one just means that you are unique. You have to try things and decide for yourself whether or not it’s right for you.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying don’t do things with your friends. I’m just saying do it for the right reasons, not because everyone is doing it or FOMO.

Which brings me to . . .

How to support your friends
Let’s say you’ve dug deep and you’ve decided you really don’t want to do what all your friends (or those runners you follow on the Internet) are doing.

Become a cheerleader! Cheer them on for every success. Maybe offer to literally go and cheer them on. Ask them to tell you about their exploits, because you know how runners love to tell you about their runs/races. Offer to help them train — which doesn’t mean you necessarily have to run as much/as far as they are, but maybe you run with them for some portion of their training.

Final Thoughts
Never was there ever another you. We are all so unique, and that makes the world and life interesting! So get to know your one precious self. Don’t be afraid to try things — but realize when it’s not for you and do your right thing.

Trying new things is never a bad thing. That’s how we grow and learn. It’s only bad when you do things just because others are doing it — and not because you really feel called to do it. — Chocolaterunsjudy

What have you tried because it looked like so much fun on someone’s IG/FB/Twitter feed?

Are you easily swayed by FOMO? 

Do you sometimes prefer to just cheer someone else on? 

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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 Feel the Need for Speed . . .

 

New runners often have two concerns:

  • How do I get faster?
  • When will I feel like I’m not dying?

The not dying question is usually answered simply: slow down! Getting faster? That’s more complicated.

Here are a few things you can try. Disclaimer: I am not a running coach, and I am not going into detail here, just letting you know there are options for you, even as a beginner runner.

Strides
Strides are pretty simple: somewhere during your run, you take roughly 20-30 seconds and you run almost at a sprint pace. Then you take it easy to recover, and repeat several times. I like to do this after I’ve completed my run, but it can be used as a warmup or even in the middle of the run to pick up the pace a bit, which is why Strides can also be called Pickups.

Run/Walk Intervals
Right now you’re probably spluttering: I want to run — I don’t want to walk! The genius behind using run/walk intervals is that it helps to hold off fatigue. Sure, you’re probably going to get tired at some point, but not as soon as you will if running your entire run.

Run/Walk is great for beginners because it also allows your body to become accustomed to running — you may feel ruining fast is great, but your body needs time to adjust to that pounding.

Check out:

Yes, if you run, you’re a runner. Even if you run/walk. I have run/walk for most of my running.

Fartleks
Fartlek roughly translate as “speed play”. Pick an object and run fast towards it. Then walk or run slower to the next object to recover. Repeat. You can also just run fast for time rather than picking objects to run between. I love to pick a row of trees and run fast to the next tree, walk or run slowly to the next, and so on. Mailboxes and lightposts work well, too.

The difference between Fartleks and Strides is that there is no consistent time you’re running fast in a fartlek– it’s really by feel and totally up to you.

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Hill Repeats
I don’t really recommend hill repeats for a brand new runner. Hill repeats can be used in place of speed work, though. I actually enjoy hill repeats; there’s something about “conquering” a hill.

You simply run up a hill at a slightly faster pace, then walk or run slowly back down the hill to recover. Repeat several times. Start with just a few, and build up the repeats over time.

Final Thoughts
New runners really shouldn’t worry about pace. While running may be simple, it’s not easy for many people in the beginning. Even if it feels easy, it takes your body time to adapt to running.

I highly suggest joining a running group to get off on the right foot (although I didn’t when I began running). Better yet consider hiring a running coach! Yes, even new runners can benefit from a coach. Especially new runners!

I stand by saying “new runners shouldn’t worry about pace”, but inevitably, they do. They worry about having no one to run with. They worry about coming in last in a race. Start running worrying more about form and taking care of your body, though, and you just might become a runner for life. — Chocolaterunsjudy

I love to train and keep trying to improve via training, but in the end, pace isn’t what keeps me running. Getting out in nature, getting in touch with my body, jump starting my creativity, and those feel-good endorphins are the things that keep me running.

What would you tell a new runner about speed?

Did you just start to run on your own, or did you use a group or an app? 

What other advice to you have for new runners about getting faster? 

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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 ABCs of Motivation

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Motivation comes and motivation goes. Sometimes we’re super focused and dedicated, and other times we just want to pull the covers over our heads. That’s normal!

If you find your motivation slipping, though, and you really want to get it back, just turn to the alphabet.

Always have a Goal
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with running for fun, but if you do find yourself in a rut, a goal can help you find your running mojo again. Especially if it’s a goal for someone else. I’m not sure why we tend to work harder for someone else, and more easily blow things off when it’s just us, but we do!

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Be Kind to Yourself | Photo by Helena Lopes on Pexels.com

Be Kind to Yourself
Kindness can take many forms:

  • Cutting a bad run short
  • Taking that rest day
  • Not worrying about pace
  • Skipping a long run when you’re burnt out
  • Running with friends

There’s nothing wrong with cutting yourself a little slack when you’re just not feeling it. Cutting back might just be the answer to finding your mojo again.

Compare Yourself only to Yourself
The comparison game never ends well. Running may come easily to some people, but you can bet there’s another area of their life they’re struggling with. You can’t change your age, or your body type — even your energy level on any given day!

When all else fails . . .

. . . Reward Yourself!

People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing — that’s why we recommend it daily. — Zig Ziglar

Final thoughts
I almost said Consistency for “C”. If you are consistent, then fitness becomes a habit. It’s like driving home. You turn the same way you always do — even sometimes when you meant to take a different route!

You may lose your motivation from time to time, but an ingrained habit can be hard to break.

Can you think of other ABCs for motivation?

What keeps you motivated? 

What’s your number one, never fails motivation tip? 

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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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3 Ways to change up running as we age

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In less than a couple of years I’ll be turning 60. No matter how well you age, or how fit you stay as you age, things change. That’s life. You can deny it, do the same things you always did, and chances are you’ll end up sick or injured.

You can run and race your whole life — as long as you start to mix things up.

gwy 21 days back stretch pdf
Stay flexible with Yoga

Staying flexible
I actually mean that literally. We naturally stiffen up and lose flexibility (range of motion) and mobility (ease of motion) as we age — if we don’t do anything about it. This can lead to a shorter stride, and that can lead to a slower pace.

This is where Yoga comes in, naturally. Particularly Yin Yoga (my passion!). The longer holds in Yin Yoga may help us maintain — even improve — our flexibility and mobility over time. As long as you don’t go past your edge — then all you’ll do is potentially strain your muscles and/or joints.

My Yin Yoga playlist is here

Foam rolling becomes even more important as we age, too, for the same reason. Even if you’ve never foam rolled in your life, you may want to start doing it as you get older.

Not enough Oxygen
Our VO2max (our ability to process oxygen, which fuels our muscles) also tends to decrease with age. That’s part of what makes those shorter races so challenging as we age.

The good news is our declining VO2max doesn’t impact us as much in the longer distances. If you’ve been a 5k junkie your whole running career, your “golden years” might be the time to give distance running a try.

breschedule
Maybe rethink your running schedule

Recovery
If you read my blog for a while, you know that I’m always harping on recovery. See my post here to read many of my recovery posts. It gets more important as we age, because it simply takes us longer to recover from hard workouts.

It’s no longer a great idea to run every day — that’s an invitation for burn out, injury, or illness — maybe even all three!

Younger runners can do back to back runs — of course older runners can, too, but older runners will really benefit from a rest day in between runs. That doesn’t mean you have to be a couch potato when you’re not running. Cross training will really help you, but take it easy.

If you are running back to back days, it’s even more important to make sure that you’re not running hard two days in a row.

Instead of a 7 day training cycle, consider a 10 day training cycle. That gives you enough time to run and then take a rest day the next day (rest from running). That may mean that you run three times one week, then four times the next week.

Of course YMMV (your mileage may vary). If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. If you find yourself struggling with burnout, illnesses, or injuries — consider working out smarter, not harder. — Chocolaterunsjudy

Final thoughts
I started running later in life. Sometimes I feel that I missed out on what I could have achieved with running had I started younger, and other days I’m grateful because my body isn’t beat up by years of hard running.

I do want to keep running — and racing — the rest of my life. That means training smart and listening to my body.

Has your running changes as you’ve aged?

Do you feel as though you need more rest between runs as you’ve gotten older? 

Have you turned to new distances — or tried triathlons or trail running as you’ve gotten older? 

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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