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? 

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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? 

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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

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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

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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!

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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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What I know for sure about training

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There are as many ways to train as there are runners, even though most training plans follow the same pattern:

  • Build a base. Building your base is basically making sure that you will have the endurance you need to start training for whatever distance you chose.
  • Strength. Not so much about strength training, but more about beginning to work harder, with speed work and hill repeats.
  • Peak. After you’ve laid your base and worked on getting faster/stronger, it’s time to go longer — and harder.
  • Taper. You’ve done the hard work (and probably beaten your body up a little — or a lot!). It’s time to dial it back, and let your body recover just enough so that you have a great race (but not so much that you lose all your hard work).

There are all sorts of variations: run 3 x week; no, run every day!; back to back long runs (those crazy ultra racers); even spreading our your training over a longer cycle than a week.

Remember, I’m not a running coach. The point is simply that while most (but not all) people agree on the phases of training, there are a lot of different ways to train.

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This PR was years in the making

The most important thing I know about training
Training is never wasted. You may not reach your running goal in one training cycle, but if you don’t give up and you continue to train smart, you will improve.

Training is cumulative

I personally feel that now is a great time to cut back — not stop, mind you, just cut back. Unless you truly think that training is the only thing keeping you sane. If that’s you, just make sure you sometimes ask yourself how it’s working for you. Be honest with yourself.

Always training hard is a invitation for injury. Even our ancestors would rest after they outran that saber tooth tiger.

Smart training will keep you injury free
Yup, you can overtrain and injure yourself, which is why I ask you to check yourself before you wreck yourself with how you’re training presently.

I know some runners feel it’s possible to jump into almost any distance with minimal training. My number one goal for any race is to finish it pain free. Of course I’ve had times I haven’t met that goal, but for the most part, I have. I’d rather live to run another day.

Begin as you mean to go on
IOW, train for the conditions you expect. Hilly course? Don’t train on flat roads; if that’s all you have, try using a treadmill for hills. Working on speed? You gotta run fast. Sometimes. Going long? It’s more important to have time on your feet than speed work. You get the idea.

Do you train or just run? 

Are you training even if you’re not racing?

What’s your best training 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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A Virtual 4th Race?

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I have started off my 4th of July celebrations for many years with a race. I went on my own the first year. Then I joined a running group, and met up with them a few times — which is oddly enough how I met my neighbor who runs. We went together a few times, but her life has been very difficult for a long time and she’s no longer running.

The race is a ton of fun. The community really comes out. It’s almost always really hot and the race starts too late, but there are people on the course with hoses and sprinklers, bands on the course, and much more.

Last year I was just about over this race, but a friend wanted to run it, so we did. We had a great time, as always. Only this friend is also no longer running and most of my running friends are no longer interested in the race — before the pandemic hit.

Of course the race is now virtual. I am still debating what I want to do!

Pros of Running Firecracker 4 virtually
Here are some of the pros of running a race virtually:

  1. No worries about parking. Parking was always a problem!
  2. No travel time. The race is a good 30 minutes away.
  3. I can start earlier; when it’s cooler.
  4. I can cherry pick the day I run the race, when hopefully there’s good weather.
  5. This year there’s a medal. Normally I don’t really want a medal for any race less than a half. So I’m not sure if this is a pro or a con — do I really want a reminder?

 

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It is a cool looking medal

Cons of Running Firecracker 4 virtually
And here are the cons:

  1. I’ve said that I don’t really need new race tees, but I find it’s nice to have some new ones. This falls in the cons because it looks like they’ve reverted back to their old race tees, which I’ve never liked (last year’s was actually nice!).
  2. My routes near home are so hilly! The race is hilly, too, but trust me, still not as bad as my routes. Although I can run downhill, while the race is up & downhill & ends on a long uphill.
  3. It’s a 4 mile race. I haven’t been “training”, haven’t been running that much. With my warmup, all of the sudden it’s almost my long run! Of course it’s virtual, so it doesn’t really matter, does it?

Will I or won’t I?
I’m leaning to signing up, just to support the race. Even if I never run it again. As I looked through the Website, at one point it said online registration closed a couple of days. Somewhere else stated you could register til the 28th. Not sure if I’ll get the medal and shirt or not, as it said you’re guaranteed if you register by the 5th. My guess is I still will, but obviously, not a big deal to me.

Are you still planning to “race” on the 4th? 

What motivates you to run virtual races?

Do you think you’ll do anything “special” on the 4th? 

If you don’t celebrate the 4th, what is your favorite Summer holiday?  Why?

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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Getting Strong Now: May 2020

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Mother Nature sure seemed confused in May

May blew in with very unwanted snow, but it went out with some lovely Summer weather.

Practicing Yoga on the Yoga platform in a skirt & with dogs

From strong to stronger and the iconic Rocky song “Gonna Fly Now”:

Getting strong now
Won’t be long now
Getting strong now

Gonna fly now
Flying high now
Gonna fly, fly, fly

Running takes a back burner for now, and hopefully I can focus on getting stronger. Now is the time to do those things you always say you’d do if only you had more time.

Getting in scheduled runs
I’m settling into 3 x week for the forseeable future. Unless maybe I decide to try a Peloton Bootcmp. 3 x week gives me lots of flexibility to move runs around!

Grade Earned:  A

Recording my runs
Still not journaling. Maybe I don’t want to remember this year next year! Seriously, though, the tough times are what help us to grow.

Grade Earned: F

Dynamic Warmup
I signed up for the Peloton App back when it was free for 90 days. I’ve been checking out their dynamic warmups. At some point I’ll write a review of the app, although seriously, I feel like I’m the last person to try it. 🙂

Grade Earned: A+

Foam Rolling
I slacked off a bit in the foam rolling department. I’m still rolling, but not quite as often. Probably because I’ve had to start filming stuff for my YouTube channel again!

Grade Earned: A-

Nutrition
Nutrition has been ok. I’m maintaining; no really, I’m plateauing, bouncing back and forth between small gains and losses. Which is fine. Except I would like to lose just a few pounds. I guess I don’t want to badly enough yet.

Grade Earned: B

Support

  • Massage? Nope. We all know why.
  • Chiropractor Appointment? See massage.
  • Do I need a hair appointment? Again, see above. I suppose I should take this section out, it ain’t happening in the near future (although the chiropractor is open). And the salon should open soon. I don’t think I can go a whole year without a haircut!

Grade Earned: F

Yoga everywhere

Cross Training
I’ve continued to mix things up with plenty of Yoga, short Peloton rides (except not on a Peloton bike of course — I wish!!!), and strength training.

Grade Earned: A

I was able to cherry pick a day with great weather for my virtual race

May 2020  gets  . . . 
. . . an A. Despite 2 Fs, and not meeting a couple of goals, all in all May was a pretty good month, including one virtual race (my first).

May Goals:

  • Add in Lean & Lovely once a week. Y. It’s a Kettlebell program I’ve used before with good results.
  • Continue running 3 x week, adding in more mileage. Y/N. I ran 3 x week (except one week when I didn’t feel good), but haven’t really upped the mileage. By the time I wanted to, Summer had arrived!
  • Strength train 2-3 x week. Y. A no brainer since I started a Kettlebell program.
  • Continue almost daily foam rolling. Y/N. Not as much as in April, although more than just running days.
  • 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 N. Backbends are actually really good for my Dosha (Kapha), but I didn’t get around to it in May. I worked on some other courses, one of which actually had to do with less intense backbends. So kind of a Y, except I didn’t do that with this goal in mind. Glad I made the goal. I’ll get to it!
  • Take the tests for the online Reiki course I’m taking. N. I began to study more, but never quite got around to the tests. Yet.

Which leads me to June Goals:

  • Continue exploring Peloton App. I have a feeling I’ll keep the Peloton App. There’s a lot I like about it (but some things not so much). While it’s free, though, I’m definitely going to take advantage of it.
  • Continue running 3 x week. Still just maintaining a running base.
  • Set an intention for each run. Everything in life should be done with intention (it’s called mindfulness!).
  • Explore a backbend course in one of the Yoga memberships I have. I looked last weekend and couldn’t find a specific course, but I did download a lot of classes on backbends from a couple of Yoga apps I use. Backbends are definitely good for me, so I’m going to work a bit more on them! I also need to focus on arms and core, because one of my goals is to do Wheel — I think it’s a combination of not enough strength (there’s that strong thing again) and fear — of failure? Of hitting my head? — that has been holding me back from doing wheel.
  • Continue almost daily foam rolling. It’s amazing how much of a difference this makes for me.
  • Continue to try to eat intuitively — unless the weight starts to creep up. It’s hard to believe, but it’s actually been a year since I stopped tracking what I eat. I never thought I’d get to that point in my life!
  • Take the tests for the online Reiki course I’m doing. Okay, I admit Reiki is a bit woo-woo even for me. I do believe that there’s a lot more to life than just our physical bodies, though, and I have actually found the course really fascinating. I’m not so sure I’ll get to it in June, either, but it’s a good goal and we’ll see.

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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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