What’s Up Teach!?

Thurs, March 29
Yoga at 6am!

So today I went to early yoga because I had another crazy day at work and didn’t want to feel rushed. It was interesting because I had a new teacher – as in she was new! I think she recently became certified. She did a great job and I enjoyed the practice – especially the stretching. But I couldn’t help thinking about the teaching aspect of it. Throughout the class I was a little distracted thinking things like, “How would I say this?” or “She forgot to say this”. I recently have been thinking seriously about taking the teacher training course at the Yoga Lounge this summer. They recently announced the schedule and have an info session soon. I am so intrigued and interested in learning more, and practicing more. At this point I’m not really sure if I would want to teach. I would not rule it out, but that is not the main reason why I would like to do the training. I just want to learn more about the practice and learn more about myself. If I can help others find a way to do yoga then that would be phenomenal. It is just such a great overarching activity. It is funny because I don’t even know what to call it. All the typical words don’t do it justice: exercise, a workout, stretching, meditation, stress reliever. It is so many things combined and is just so awesome. I would love to be able to help others access the wonder and beauty that is yoga someday. We shall see what happens. You’ll be one of the first to know!

Solo Run

Wed, March 21
Ran at 5pm
Time: 54:38; Distance: 4.81

So this Wednesday’s run was a million times better than last week in the heat! Whew! It was a nice breezy 58 degrees and sunny so the weather was fantastic. I had a lunch meeting and then another meeting so since I was staying for an evening speaker I decided to just run at 5pm – so that meant by myself. And you know what? I think I really needed it. I do enjoy running with others – especially if it is during a race – it is helpful to have that motivation to keep going. But sometimes when I run with others I’ve noticed a few negative things crop up for me. Sometimes I let my competitive spirit take over and I start to feel badly about not being able to keep up with the entire group. And if I am in the lead I feel too much pressure to have to run at a certain pace and that I’m holding the others up. Also, in a way I feel like I still have to “be on” running with others. It is not that I’m not myself, but it is just different. Running by myself is totally that. “Your race, your pace” takes on a different meaning running solo. I feel less pressure and I feel like I can let my guard down more. I even feel like I can sweat more freely (does that even make sense?!)

Now, with all of this being said my run was pretty sucky yesterday. I started out with my legs just aching for the first mile. I did walk a bit between the first and second mile and was angry about that. However, I stretched, shook it off and reminded myself that I’ve “seen this movie before”. Usually what happens is that if I can get to 3, it starts getting better. Sure enough that is exactly what happened. After 3 miles my legs started feeling better (either that or that is just when the endorphins kicked in!) and I pushed on and did not need to walk again and actually enjoyed the last part of the run. Yes, enjoyed it! I was supposed to do 50 minutes, but I was just guessing at my time so I ended up doing a bit more. I popped some Motrin after my shower and continued with my evening. It is interesting that I keep learning more about myself as a runner. As much as I am a social person (big time) I really do prefer my solo runs most of the time. And that is okay! I guess running is not through with me yet. By the way, I have finally re-committed to the Pittsburgh half in May as I have made lodging arrangements now. Mike and I are making a night of it without kids and are spending it with another couple who are also running the race. It should be fun! Now, if only I can loosen up a bit on my expectations and truly enjoy it!

Scheduled Sanity

Tues, March 27
Yoga at lunch

So today was the perfect example of why I need regular exercise. Further, it is the perfect example of why I need to schedule that time in my calendar. My calendar was insanely packed yesterday from 8am until 6:30pm. Now, when I say packed I don’t just mean normal busy stuff. I mean literally every hour was accounted for and scheduled with a meeting. Except for my yoga hour….ahh. I really counted on that 60 minutes of time yesterday when I could just come to my mat, get centered and breathe. While yesterday was a good and productive day, it was taxing in that I felt like everyone needed a piece of me. I have found that after awhile if I don’t carve out some time to stop to recharge, settle and become whole again, I don’t have any pieces left to give. Do you ever feel that way? Unfortunately I think many of us make the choice to give up our “me time”, in whatever form that takes, when life gets too busy and we use every excuse to drop our commitment to ourselves. But the irony is that that is the time when we need it the most! Be honest, do you find yourself only doing activities you enjoy when you have the time? Do you never seem to use up all your vacation days because you are just too busy? Recommit to yourself and schedule some sanity just for you. Believe me, the people in your life will thank you for it!

My Body is a Traitor!!

Mon, March 26
Ran almost 33 minutes; Distance: 3 miles
Supposed to run 40 minutes, but whatever, I did something today!

So, yeah at this point I’m just mad. My legs freaking ache. I mean they not only just hurt when I was running my “so fast” run today (not), but I just sit here and they ache. Well, right now they don’t because I finally took some Motrin. It used to be that they just hurt when I go down stairs, but now they just ache when I’m sitting. Ridiculous. But, this just doesn’t make sense at all. I was following my training plan very well when my calves started this crap again. I mean, is there something about the half that is jinxing me? Let’s revisit the last training two training regimens, shall we? During my training for my first half last May I started getting really sore calves, but there was a reason. I discovered that I was training too hard as my cross training was boot camp (duh). Once I eliminated that and started yoga I was good to go! Then during the full marathon training I was seriously injury free!! I used yoga as my cross training and I was golden! So, now I’m training for another half with yoga as my cross training and my legs are so sore!! What is the deal with that??!! It is frustrating because I am already struggling with motivation and this leg thing is only making it worse. I’m determined to conquer this. I will not give up. Maybe I just need to channel some of this energy into my runs. Well, that and keep taking Motrin…

Still thinking…might as well go to yoga…

Sun, March 25
Yoga before church

You guessed it I didn’t run my 9 miles this morning. I had my alarm set for 5:30am in order to grab some breakfast and head out and get the run in before church. I had even decided that I would go to the towpath and run on a flat area. Well, I kept pressing snooze and eventually just decided that I wasn’t going to run my long run this weekend after all. This marks the first long run I have ever skipped during training. I have flaked out on runs during the week before, but always got the long runs done. So, I decided to go to yoga this morning instead – such a shocker!! However, I’m NOT GIVING UP! I’m going to run my normal training this week and just try to get right back on the schedule. I think I’ve decided that I want to do Pittsburgh after all. I’m going to talk to my friend who is also running it and find our how her training has been going. She was injured and benched for about 6 weeks so she isn’t sure how the race will be for her. It is just so funny how much I’ve thought and talked about this! It is like I am such a black and white thinker – either I’m all in or perhaps I even modify and run to enjoy the race (gasp!) with not a worry for time. This sounds freeing, but I just don’t how true that would be for me. I already am beating myself up enough for not running a long run- let alone quitting the whole thing. It is gonna happen and though, I promise. I promise to try to just run it for fun. Yikes, why does even writing that make me cringe – like “what is the use” or “what a waste”.

Oh, by the way – Amy’s class today was awesome!! More to come soon about yoga soon, I hope!

Will I or won’t I: That is the Question!

Sat, March 24
90 minutes of sweaty bliss

So Amy is not helping my cause. I have been really conflicted about running this half in May in Pittsburgh. My calves are so sore that I walk like a zombie going downstairs. I have been waffling about whether or not I still want to do it. I mean I really don’t want to do it, but will I do it – that is the question. I was leaning towards doing it again this morning before yoga, but then Amy (yoga instructor extraordinaire) started talking about how we feel when we leave yoga. She basically said that we should feel like we have more energy when we leave the yoga room. She said, “do you feel like you are a wet noodle for the rest of the day like I used to feel after a long run (she is a former marathon runner)? Then you should not be trying so hard”. AHHHHH! It was as if she was talking directly to me! Was she saying that I should not do this if I really don’t want to? I’m so conflicted about this. Here is the pro/con list for this decision since I always seem to have to pro/con these things out and analyze them to death:

Pro Running Pittsburgh
1. I have already paid for it
2. I would be feeling like I’m quitting if I don’t do it
3. I would feel like I’d be letting my friends down if I pull out now
4. I wouldn’t get the medal or shirt if I don’t do it
5. I could get a better time than my first half
6. I would have honored my commitment

Con Running Pittsburgh
1. My heart is just not in this training
2. Been there, done that. I have already ran both a 1/2 and a full – check
2. My calves hurt and it is annoying
3. I don’t want to run long runs (beyond like 6)
4. I can save money on gas and lodging in Pittsburgh if I don’t go

Well, that really didn’t help me. But then I keep thinking is this just about me needing a better attitude or is it okay not to do something after you have committed to it? I don’t know which is worse for me – just going and running it for fun and not giving a hoot about the time or not going at all!! I guess this whole thing has become about more than just this race too (of course I have to extrapolate the stress into multiple “issues”). But I feel like this conflict calls into question the kind of runner I want to be. I always thought after the huge high of the marathon that I would continue to sign up for races (1/2’s and maybe full’s) and challenge myself for as long as I can. But, is that what I want to do? What if I want to just run for fun, recreation and fitness? Is that enough for me? And if not, why? Wow, maybe I need therapy. Or better yet, just someone to say – knock it off! You are making too much of this. Finish what you start – run Pittsburgh for what it is and have fun and then just think long and hard before signing up for another longer race. I might have to run for charity or something next time just so it feels worth it – something worth running for.

Lots to think about…

Thursday or Friday??

Thurs, March 22
Yoga at lunch

So just a normal day going to yoga at lunch on a Thursday. I was in a great mood all day because I had taken the day off on Friday so this was effectively my Friday – yahoo!! So I head into the room and the Amy was there! She was subbing for our regular T/TH teacher, Lisa, who is also awesome. She is the woman who teaches on Friday and I was bummed that I was going to miss her class this week because I would be out of the office. So I was totally stoked and really excited to bust a move in class. She didn’t disappoint and I was super sweaty when I left! Bring on the baby wipes! So after yoga it legitimately felt like a Friday and it actually was for me and there is nothing wrong with that! Excited for a fun outing with my mom, sister, son and nephews tomorrow!!! And it is a rest day on my training schedule tomorrow. No seriously it is!!!

My worst critic is me

Wed, March 21
Ran (mostly) 4.65 miles today at lunch
Time: 54:59

Okay, today’s run pretty much sucked – again. First it was way hot – yes on March 21 it was about 80 degrees at noon and I felt every bit of that 80! I started out okay, but I had to walk about 1 1/3 miles into it. I just could not keep up with the girls and they weren’t even going that fast! I didn’t want them to slow down for me or wait for me…I can’t stand that pressure. So I told them to go on. They did and I started running again after about a minute. Mary Ann waited for me at this one corner which was really nice. She had been feeling sick and was ready to go slower. So we ran the rest together and let the other three go on. When we got to 4 miles we decided to walk the rest of the way. I did not need a lot of convincing. I’m not sure why I was so tired today. I got up early this morning and I still have a little bit of a sinus thing or something going on and my legs are a little sore – hoping not shin splints! I swear I am so hard on myself when I decide to walk during a run. I detest walking during a run – it just takes forever to get anywhere. I immediately feel like a failure and start feeling bad about my performance which just makes me feel worse. I saw the other girls running on ahead of me today and I just couldn’t help but feel badly about it and frustrated that I couldn’t keep up with them. Today brought back old feelings of being back in gym class when I was in high school, not being able to keep up with the other kids. Back then I hated running and felt awful about myself the entire time I did it. That voice of doubt was in the background today too – “you can’t do this” and “it is just too hot” and “my legs hurt”. No matter what running goals I have accomplished as an adult that little voice is ready to pounce when I have a week moment. Wait a minute, that voice is me. Hmmmm. I mean, since when is listening to your body a bad idea, right? I know this in my head and would tell the same thing to a friend if they had a bad run, so why am I so hard on myself?? I guess it could be that competitive, perfectionistic, type A personality that I have had for oh, the last 42 years. Yeah, that is probably pretty much it. You see – this is why I need yoga!!!!!!!

Sweaty Bulges

Tues, March 20
6am yoga at Yoga Lounge

Today there were slim pickins at class – only 7 of us. But we had Amy and she is awesome!!! She is so amazing. For the beginning of the class – probably at least 15 minutes she practiced with us. That is the first time I have seen her do that. But not only did she practice, but she taught the way she normally does, giving directions the entire time even as she was getting into poses, etc. She is too legit! It started out a bit mellow, but then she cranked it up as we did push-ups and a quick flow. She assisted everyone a bunch since we were such a small class. She even helped me start to do headstand! Yeah, me! I didn’t do it completely, but just got in starting position and she helped get my knees up. She complemented me and said that I was ready! Today I felt conflicted about all the attention and assisting. I loved it because it always helps to get deeper into the poses, but I felt a bit uncomfortable for a couple of “Lisa” reasons. First, as I’ve mentioned I’m a sweaty girl, so I felt embarrassed when she came over and was adjusting and touching me and I’m like totally a slippery chick! At one point I almost said something to her like, “I’m really sorry I’m so sweaty”, but I didn’t want to draw more attention to it – like she hadn’t noticed that I was sweating my butt off!!! Also, I felt a little awkward because in some positions you can’t help but have some rolls or bulges that show up and that feels awkward when someone is right up close to you or next to you and your bulges are showing!! Again, it is not as if she is blind, and doesn’t already know that bulges are present, but it someone is more weird when she is in your space somehow. I think what it really is is that I just need to feel comfortable in my own body. I think that is one of the “goals” of yoga – is to get more into your body and more connected. Getting all nervous about sweat and bulges is just the opposite – it is like the rejection of the body. Here are the facts: No, my body is not perfect. I sweat with the best of them. My body is a gift. I need to embrace it for all its unique qualities – connect with it, and celebrate it. I think then and only then can I truly start to work with it to challenge it to stretch and grow beyond what is present today. Practice does not make perfect. Practice makes presence. Namaste.

Why am I doing this again?

Sun, March 18
Ran 8 miles this am outside!
Time: 1:30:19

That was the thought that kept crossing my mind on my run today. Can we say “unmotivated?” This morning I was just in the mood to run like 4 or 5 miles – to enjoy the morning and get my heart going. But, my long-run was 8 miles so that was what I had to do. I tried to tell myself during the first 2 miles that it is not that I have to do it, but that I get to do it, but that only worked for about 10 minutes. I just really felt the pressure of having to run the miles on my training schedule and I just plain old didn’t want to! It is just not as enjoyable when I feel like I have to do it. A fellow runner friend of mine mentioned that the second 1/2 you run is harder to get motivated for and let me tell ya – he aint’ kiddin’!! Its like I have already done it, and more, so I already know I can do it. I was pretty slow today too, with an average pace over 11 minutes. I was probably slow mostly because I just wasn’t motivated – it is all in the head, I know!

There were two victories from today’s run, however. First, I actually pushed through and did it, with no walking I might add. And second, I pushed through when I wanted to run about 4 miles. At mile 3 I contemplated only running 4 miles and that would mean I would not really be able to run the 1/2 because I would have been missing a long run. I strongly considered this option, but then I talked myself out of it and came to an understanding with myself. If I wanted to consider not doing the 1/2 in May I would not make that decision in the middle of a run by just not completing a long run and sabotaging my efforts. I gave myself permission to entertain that thought when I was more rationale (and not sweaty, beat and thirsty – yeah, I forgot water today too – rookie mistake!)

So, we shall see. Of course now I’m glad I did the full 8 and feel great that I did it. I don’t want to let down my friends who are also doing Pittsburgh. And besides it is all about commitment, right? I want to finish what I start. Okay, I guess I’m back on board – at least with one foot!!