Unity in the Yoga Room

Fri, Dec 30
Yoga at yoga lounge

Just when I thought Wednesday’s class was the toughest I had ever taken – enter today!! Bloody Hell! It was great! We knew we were in trouble when Melissa announced at the beginning of the class that this was her last class at the studio. As soon as she spoke she totally reminded me of Demi Moore – she had that same raspy voice and she looked exactly like her with dark hair and eyes. She told us that since this was her last day we were going to have some fun! Uh, oh – that could be bad. Well, it was intense alright. We did tons of knee to nose stuff (core stuff) to spice up the flow, but she added some challenging poses too! I rocked crow pose and kept up pretty much with the class except for one time. We had a really full class today and so we were able to do this really cool thing with balancing poses. We lifted our knee up and reached for the person’s hand next to us and then went into airplane pose. It was so much easier to do it with the support from our “neighbors” and it just felt pretty cool. No one cared that we were all sweaty messes. That is the first time I had ever done that and I really enjoyed it! I also found out that yoga lounge is doing teacher training right now – they are at the end of a cycle right now, but I’m going to find out when they will do their next one. I would love to go through teacher training – not necessarily to teach, but just because I’d like to learn more about it. It is quite expensive, however. Someday, maybe…

Warped Logic

So today in the locker room, I overheard this woman talking about losing weight and the struggle it has been for her. She was quite overweight was sharing with her friend that she did something last night that was counter-intuitive. She said they had a batch of fudge in the house and she just ate it all. “That way it would be gone and I wouldn’t have to worry about it anymore!” she said. Now, yes, I too have thought these same thoughts in the not so distant past, but hearing someone say it outloud and be okay with it, highlighted just how absurd that statement really is. I mean, I certainly understand wanting to “get rid” of it in order for it not to be tempting, but there are other strategies to use for this. Like give it away to a friend or a neighbor. Or even (gasp) throw it away!!! Just shoving it down your gullet in some ways is really an act of violence against your body, I think. I mean, in what world does this even work? Let me mindlessly shove this all in my stomach so I won’t be tempted by it later. She deserves better! We all do. I wanted to take her aside and tell her this, but it was not the time or place. Plus I remembered that I had some fudge at home as well…LOL!!!

So close, but no cigar today!

Thurs, Dec 29
3 miles on the treadmill at Life Center
Time: 30:03 – so close!!!

So the workout today (last interval one for this this training cycle) called for me to run 3 miles and in the middle do 6 X 20 seconds at race pace. So I ran a 10min/mile (6.0) and interspersed it with fartleks of 20 seconds at 6.5 or 9:14/mile. My goal then was to get the three done in less than 30 minutes. It didn’t happen!!! The biggest reason was that when I started I was walking slowly as I was trying to set my watch. The watch did not find the sensor so I was convinced that it was a lemon or something because it also did not have any history of my last run listed. Ugh. So I ran and decided to play with the watch afterwards. I walked around the track with it and it still didn’t sense the sensor! At this point I was steaming. Nike seriously hates me!! My husband to the rescue, yet again. He looks at it – presses the option button (which I swear did not work at the gym!) and hits “new sensor”. Sure enough it connected, tracked my workout (shoe hitting the counter) and also put it in the history. Crisis averted!! No matter how much I run, or how much yoga I take, I just can’t seem to temper my “first responder impatience” that is so prevalent in my life. Guess I just need to keep running and taking yoga. What would I be like without it?! Okay – its a deal!

Time Flies When You’re Having Fun!

Wed, Dec 28
Yoga at yoga lounge

Okay today’s class was absolutely killer!!! And so great! Kristin taught it. Her style is tough because while we still flow pretty good, she also has us hold poses for quite awhile. We do the same poses as in other classes, but she just kicks them up a notch sometimes. For example rather than just plain old bridge pose, she had us lift one leg up and hold it for like a minute!!!! So hard!! We do that for a few different poses and it is such a good core workout. She also challenges us by throwing in some wild poses in the mix, like the 8 limbed pose that I’ve tried before and I actually kind of get the first part. My one triumph for today’s class was holding crow for a 10-count. That is new for me! Usually it is just like 3 seconds. Towards the end of the class I could have sworn that we had been there for like two hours when Kristin looked at the clock and realized that we were over time. The class was supposed to be from 9:30am – 10:45am and it was like 11am! We still hadn’t done shevasana!! She apologized a bunch, but it did not bother me in the least! It was extra hard and extra long. With all that said, Kristin also kept us focused on the breath. Probably the best all around class I have ever had. I will have to seek out her classes again. The really funny thing is that Amy Cook was listed as the teacher this morning and I was at first disappointed that she was gone. My intention was acceptance and I accepted having another instructor and boy was I pleased!!!

Watch This!

Tues, Dec 27
Ran 4 miles at Life Center (3 on the treadmill and one on the *ugh* track)
Time: 40:49; Pace (5.8 on the treadmill; 10:20/mile)

So I had to skip my run yesterday. I was completely busy from like 7am until like 10pm!! But in a very fun way! My sister and her family came to celebrate Christmas so I made homemade chicken noodle soup and beef au jus sandwiches on weck rolls (especially for my dad!). The meal turned out great and we had a great time just talking and laughing together. The boys had fun together and Zach even had a chance to play his cello for everyone. It was a short visit, but really fun and nice.

So, today I was able to try out my new WATCH at Life Center!!!! Mike gave me the Nike Plus Runner’s Watch for Christmas…Yahoo!!!! It worked great! I was a bit disappointed that it tracked in a similar way to my iPod, however. For example, when the treadmill said I had run 3 miles, the watch said I had run like 3.16 or so. The pace reads faster on the watch, just like my iPod. I was curious how it would do on a track so I tried it for one mile on the track, but it was the same – at least I think so! It is very cool however, and tracks other cool stuff that I haven’t completely figured out yet. I’m sure it will work differently when I’m running outside too. The really nice thing about it is that it is really simple to use and it syncs to Nikeplus.com, the same program I have been using with my iPod.

All I Want For Christmas is a yoga class…

Sat, Dec 24
Yoga at yoga lounge

So, yeah, I was supposed to run today, but I decided to go to yoga instead because I saw there was an hour and a half Amy Cook class and she is just fabulous!! It was a really full class, and terrific as always and I loved that she talked about bringing our intention for our practice into our holiday weekend. My intention was patience and hopefully I can hold firm to it throughout the busy weekend ahead.

Next up: Run on Monday morning, but first Christmas Eve dinner and service and then Christmas brunch and presents!

Running at the Social Club

Fri, Dec 23
Ran 4 miles at Life Center
Time: 41:21; Pace: 10:20/mile

So I realized today why I like to run in the early morning or on my lunch. Those are the times that the other serious workout people are there. Now, I’m not saying that I don’t like to have fun running, but I don’t want to waste time by talking if it compromises my workout. Working out is not social time for me and I really cannot take people who, but are mostly talking and hardly moving on the equipment. I mean, why get a sports bra dirty for that. Yes, this should have no affect on me, I understand, but it just bugs me. These skinny women in the cardio room who were “working out” on the wave machines were mostly talking and rather loudly. So, I, of course started singing, rather loudly!! Oh well. My annoyance helped to propel me to finish my workout so I guess no harm done.

Tomorrow – 3 mile run after my WW meeting – then it is Christmas, Christmas!!

Zach + Yoga=NOga!!

Thurs, Dec 22
Yoga at lunch

Well, I tried. I brought Zach to yoga with me today since he came to work with me. He got through a few cat/cow poses, but when we went into out first down dog, he struggled with his wrist. I tried to whisper instructions to him, but he just said, “I can’t do it”. So he sat quietly on his mat for the rest of the class. Ironically, it was a super good class and workout today and he did a good job of not being distracting to anyone. He told me afterwards that he was sure the class was 4 hours long and that it was so boring! I told him that he should probably start with a kids yoga class, but at that point I had totally lost him. Oh well. Perhaps if the yoga lounge ever has a kid demo he might try that. We’ll see.

Running in a Sauna!!

Wed, Dec 21
Ran 4 miles at lunch
Time: 39:32 – PR’d by 2 seconds!!!

So today’s run was pretty awesome. I was supposed to run 4 miles with a fartlek in the middle – so 6 times 1min at an 8:45 pace with 2 min rest. I ended up doing the first 3 fartlek’s at a 6.8 pace (8:49 pace) and then I bumped it up to 6.9 (8:41 pace) for the last 3. My “resting” time was 6.0 (10min/mile) until the last quarter mile when I bumped it up to 6.1 (9:49/mile) just so I could be sure to make my goal of under 40 minutes. I did and come to find out I beat my best time (the Firecracker run in Stow) by 2 seconds!!! Sweet!

It was really hot in there today – like really hot. It probably doesn’t hurt that it is like 50 degrees today, but I didn’t even use my hair dryer because I was sweating so bad after my shower. But no one is around today at work, so no worries about my ragamuffin hair. That felt good. I feel like I will be in great shape for the New Year’s Run. Bring it on!!!

Next up: Yoga tomorrow with Zach!!

Christmas Joy

So I have been meaning to blog about my Christmas Carroll Eve experience this year for over a week, but when I received this picture as a gift from Angie, my grad assistant, I finally got the nudge to tell the story.

First a little background info – Christmas Carroll Eve is a neat traditional event at John Carroll that I have had the pleasure of coordinating for the past few years. It has been around for tons of years and involves choral music, caroling, a tree lighting, a mass and a late night feast. It is a really special event that students, staff and community members look forward to each year. Last year was the first year that I let Zach come with me to enjoy the evening. It is a very late night with the feast starting at midnight. He enjoyed it last year and wanted to come with me again this year.

Cut to the evening of Sat, Dec 10. The evening began with the concerts – first the choir and then the jazz band, with an intermission in between. Zach eyed the cello on stage when we got there so that meant that we HAD to sit in the second row so we could see it well. He re-met a student he remembered from last year who has a beautiful voice (EBJ) and was given the important task of taping her solo on her phone. He did a great job taping and was completely focused on the stage for the entire choir part. Not once did he tell me he was bored or ask me when it would be done (very unlike this kid). After intermission, chatting with some students and eating way too many cookies, we went back in for the jazz band. We we in for a treat! We were excited to see another student (O’Dell) that Zach knew from the summer playing the saxophone. Not even 2 minutes into the first piece, he leans over to me and informs me that he wants to play saxophone next year! He had to go backstage and talk to O’Dell which resulted in a picture, of course!

We continued our evening at the student center where the women’s accapella group was leading a Christmas carol sing-along. Since his new buddy EBJ was the leader of the group, Zach managed to insert himself in with all the students and sang with them to lead the singing. See pic – it is a little dark, but just look for the Santa hat in the center.

Too funny.

At the end of this event was the tree lighting. We drew names of students who entered a contest to light the tree this year. Zach drew the names of about 6 names of students, but none were still at the event. Eventually after a very unsuccessful drawing, one of the priests asked the crowd, “Who thinks we should let Zachary light the tree this year?!” At this point I think most of the room knew that Zachary was the kid with the Santa hat on so there was a thunderous applause of approval for Zach to light the tree. He runs up to me and tells me that he is going to say something before he plugs in the tree. Oh, this could be interesting, I thought. I told him that was probably not a good idea, all the while knowing that he most definitely was going to do it anyway. After the priest gave a short blessing, it was Zach’s big moment. I look over to where the outlet is and all I hear in Zach’s 9-year-old voice is , “fire in the hole!!!” before the tree lights up. Everyone in earshot cracks up including me!! This kid is not shy at all! I looked around, thankful that the university president was not in the room.

At the 11pm Mass my little comedian decides to take a snooze. I’m thinking he is totally out for the night and wondering how and if he will make it through the breakfast. During the last song, Joy to the World, however, he perks up and asks if it is time for food! This kid is the energizer bunny!

We went over to the feast and what to our wondering eyes did appear? A chocolate fountain with all the accoutrements – oh dear! We waited in a long line, but it was so worth it!! Zach enjoyed some chocolate covered pretzels, marshmallows and rice krispee treats! Of course this was after a plate of pancakes! We sat with Angie and some of her friends and enjoyed the food. All of a sudden Zach is smiling and tapping the chair next to him. “Sit here with us!” he tells EBJ who was walking by with a plate of chocolate covered wonderfulness. She sits down with us and we chat for awhile longer. Now, I don’t know if it was the chocolate, the late hour, or just Christmas fun, but Zach started regaling the group with stories about our dog, Henry and it was hilarious. We were all punchy and laughing so hard that we couldn’t catch our breath! He was also telling EBJ all about my website…”it is easy, just go to itsjustlisa.com and you can read all about stories of Henry!”. What is he, my PR man now, or what?!

The coup de gras for the night was when Zach exclaimed that he wasn’t going to play the saxophone next year – he was going to play the Zaxophone!! I died laughing right there – there were tears!! When there was a lull in the conversation, I overheard this coming from the next table over…”fire in the hole!”. OMG – the priest from the tree lighting was retelling the story to other people at his table…including the President!! We looked over, waived, and smiled and I took that as my cue to exit – stage right. Well, that, and it was 1:10am!!

In the car on the way home, with Zach fast asleep and me feeling like a terrible mom for keeping him out that late, I reflected on the evening with a smile on my face. What a wonderful time with my son. If I could bottle up the feeling I had watching him enjoy the music, singing with the students, lighting that tree and laughing his fool head off, I would. All I could think of to describe that night was JOY. I will never forget that special night of Christmas joy with my little dude.

Merry Christmas and may you experience some of your very own Christmas joy!!