Keith and I just talked about these old cemetery’s a month or so ago. They are rich in history and the ethereal morbid beauty that is of the past. As more and more space is needed for buildings and homes, places like this will soon be relegated to table top books, old photos and at best, museums.
But all of these old monuments require care and maintenance. And with in some case decedents long gone or moved elsewhere it’s often times left to the cemetery itself to care for these amazingly beautiful grounds and monuments. Both physically and financially.
“The mission of the Norfolk Society for Cemetery Conservation (NSCC) is to preserve, protect and promote the eight historic municipal cemeteries located in Norfolk, Virginia through conservation, education and advocacy. NSCC partners with The City of Norfolk’s Bureau of Cemeteries to ensure the conservation & preservation of Norfolk’s eight historic municipal cemeteries. These sacred spaces are valuable artistic, educational, cultural and recreational resources for our community.”
They have to come up with creative ways to fund the care and restoration, and this 5K I’m doing this weekend is just one of those creative ways. With Halloween season in the air and peoples love for spooky, mysterious things this time of year, this kind of event is perfect! More about this tomorrowwwww……
I am notoriously not a morning person, or wasn’t. I did have a job where I started at 4am for a couple of years but that was more like a night job since it was still dark and I was off by the time the real commotion of the day started. No, I like sleeping in and all things not morning. But races, most of them are in the morning (boo) and so I needed to work on a morning mantra and start to get moving earlier in the day.
But since we’ve been eating and fueling our bodies with nutritious foods and giving up junk food, not loading down on carbs and focusing on being good to our health. Mornings are coming easier, way easier. I mean seriously, look at that smile on my face!
Now in light of full disclosure, I had planned on being up at 5am and meeting with the Running Turtles for a pre-dawn run, but, you guessed it, I slept in. But I was up at 6am, laced up, downed water with lemon and was out the door with my hubby. Snapped a few photo’s of the morning moon and we were off!
And you know what? It felt amazing! I guess the saying “workout early before your body knows what’s going on” is true. I felt strong and pr’d my time for that distance. Granted I was breathing hard and giving my lungs and heart a serious workout pushing myself out of my comfort zone, but it was everything a workout or run should be!
But beyond that, after the run I was more awake mentally than I ever am at 6:30 in the morning. And my mood was elevated (part endorphins, part wow I just did a super early morning workout). But here its is 2pm and I don’t have any sluggish afternoon drowsy feelings. Hubby and I are planning to a yoga session from the 3 Week Yoga Retreat that we’ve been doing. We’re almost at the end and we plan on restarting again on Monday. Then June 20th I will be doing another round of 21 Day Fix with my hubby and others. The last time I did this program I lost 6.5 pounds and several inches. The 21 Day Fix is a HUGE help with getting not only nutrition in check, but portion control too. I am excited to see what we will be accomplishing by the time summer arrives!!
“I felt like I was breathing like a freight train and everything hurt, [but] somehow it didn’t bother me. The joy of moving and getting started overwhelms the negativity.” – Lauren Fleshman
Saturday the hubby and I had a morning yoga session at the Norfolk Botanical Gardens. The gardens host quite a few different community projects as well as certificate programs in Floral Design. It was a gorgeous cool spring day and a perfect way to spend Saturday morning together! The class was very beginner friendly and the instructor, Charlotte was amazing! She also teaches Yin Yoga at the The Space Above Yoga Center.
After yoga, we received free admission with the cost of the yoga class. What a beautiful way to spend a Saturday morning, yoga to restore surrounded with nature’s beauty. It was a magical day!
It was peaceful and kind of meditative at times. Even though we’ve live in this area nearly 9 years, my hubby’s never been to the Botanical Gardens before. So this made the day extra special.
I’ve been to the Gardens with visiting friends during the height of tourist season and it was beautiful. But it was hot and can get crowded. I’ve always recommended people travel here during off season. No lines, hotels are less expensive, and events are less crowded. So plan two trips to the area. One for relaxing and one to take in all the tourist vibe events!
So now come take a walk with us as we explore the
Norfolk Botanical Gardens
“There is unspeakable beauty and potential to be found in nature. It entices me and is an invitation I just have to accept.” ~Jil Ashton-Leigh
“A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.” ~Albert Einstein
“It is no longer sufficient to describe the world of nature. The point is to defend it.” ~Edward Abbey
“There is a pleasure in the pathless woods, There is a rapture on the lonely shore, There is society, where none intrudes, By the deep sea, and music in its roar: I love not man the less, but Nature more” ~George Gordon Byron
“Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
“‘Is the spring coming?’ he said. ‘What is it like?’ …
‘It is the sun shining on the rain and the rain falling on the sunshine, and things pushing up and working under the earth.'”
~Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden
“Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. … There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature — the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter.”
~Rachel Carson, Silent Spring
“Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.”
~John Muir, Our National Parks
“I felt like lying down by the side of the trail and remembering it all. The woods do that to you, they always look familiar, long lost, like the face of a long-dead relative, like an old dream, like a piece of forgotten song drifting across the water, most of all like golden eternities of past childhood or past manhood and all the living and the dying and the heartbreak that went on a million years ago and the clouds as they pass overhead seem to testify (by their own lonesome familiarity) to this feeling.”
~Jack Kerouac, The Dharma Bums
“An early morning walk is a blessing for the whole day.”
~Henry David Thoreau
“Whoever loves and understands a garden will find contentment within.”
As we walked through the Enchanted Forest, the birds became hyper aware and greeted us as we passed by! It was magical!
“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.”
~ Lao Tzu
But the Butterfly Garden was blooming!
In a field of roses, she is a wildflower.
“One touch of nature makes the whole world kin.” ~William Shakespeare
“The richness I achieve comes from Nature, the source of my inspiration.”
The Rose Garden
“One of the most tragic things I know about human nature is that all of us tend to put off living. We are all dreaming of some magical rose garden over the horizon instead of enjoying the roses that are blooming outside our windows today.”
“Take time to smell the roses.”
Hope you enjoyed the tour of the Norfolk Botanical Gardens. We highly recommend it for a low key, long walk kind of day filled with beauty.
You’re moving along pretty nicely on your training run and about a mile in your leg starts cramping. Not badly, not movement threatening and not to a degree that it’s going to cause damage. But it hurts. And your mind starts making that little hurt into a big hurt, it’s messing with you. The pain gets bigger and suddenly you know you just won’t be able to finish (in your head). *sigh* so you hit pause and come to a grinding halt, squat down to take some pressure off, and then you see them and smile. Beautiful spring flowers in bloom, rising up to meet the day, fighting the odds against their stay. And you think about this for a brief moment and then stand up.
Hmmm, no more pain. Or is there, and for a brief moment my mind was distracted by the spring blooms in their glory under the shining sun?
Yeah, the mind will play that way with you. And maybe you really do need to stop because of a real injury, but maybe, just maybe, it’s bigger in your head. So instead of giving up, just hit pause
With my messy bed head hair I decided to start the day right. Meditation and visualization! I think this card will be repeated often for me, it wasn’t difficult to summon up an event that was/is difficult to accept. I love the way the day started. Some soul searching, warm sunny rays and yummy food! I think every one of my days will start this way. Next stop was an hour of ashtanga yoga!!!
Half of a Rudi’s Plain English Muffin
Half Tbsp. Justin’s Almond Butter
Half a small banana
Glass of water w/lemon
Steampunk Tights (transformed into capris) by: INKnBURN
Visualization cards by: Unknown (given to me as a gift and there are no markings on the cards). If anyone recognizes what these are let me know!
Up off my buns finally. Been in a physical rut/dead stop for quite some time. Struggles are real, depression and loss are real and not always is it easy to bounce back. I tend to shut myself off and hide from the world till I am stronger again. I think it’s because I never want anyone to see or know when I am hit hard and feeling weak and vulnerable. Shutting myself down has always been my go to fix. But it doesn’t work, it only makes things worse.
So I have a new attitude, new goals, and a new fitness schedule. It’s easy and flexible and will allow me to ease myself back into it all while still pushing my limits but giving me room to change things up. In the past I’ve tried to adhere to rigid schedules (that I made for myself) and ultimately I burned out fast. I pushed to hard in some aspects and not hard enough in others. But now I feel my head’s back in the game and hubby and I are working to be a support system instead of being negative enablers. You know how that story goes. I’d say how about stopping for a doughnut and while yeah one doughnut is fine, once in a while, us leaving with four doughnuts and neither trying to talk the other back to just one, or better yet none in NOT fine.
We’ve sadly loved each other so much we’ve allowed each other to be lazy and excuse away and let back in bad eating habits. Now we’ve acknowledged the problem and are facing it head on. We’ve turned the page and now love each other enough to say no, to give that push when needed and to be the reminder that we can do better and strive for more. We’ve moved and LOVE the place and with that have good vibes and positive energy flowing again (photo’s to come)!
So yeah, back to my schedule….
I’m getting back to the basics and starting all over again. This will help me focus and small improvements and specific goals.
Monday – Yoga
Tuesday – Run/Walk/Run
Wednesday – Cross Train/Weights
Thursday – Run/Walk/Run
Friday – Yoga
Saturday – Long Run/Walk/Run
Sunday – Rest/Stretch
When we moved we moved near two amazing things, a park and a yoga/meditation/reiki studio! We also live near a gym and the YMCA (looking into memberships). And I also have a couple at home video’s I love. Bob Harper has a great series of video’s that are complete cardio conditioning, these are my go to when I am at home and need a good strength workout. He also has one of my all time favorite Yoga dvd’s. But I also follow a few yogi’s online and I’m going to check out Beachbody’s new release, 3 Week Yoga Retreat. Seane Corn, Travis Eliot, Shiva Rea and Rodney Yee are some of the online yoga teachers I follow. Another great source for yoga is Gaiam! I am hoping to incorporate some of the RWB‘s Death By Sled workouts @TheVault (it’s gonna hurt!). I’m dying to try kickboxing!
Toss in some hiking, hula hooping, swim training (yikes) and maybe some biking and climbing for a bit of flavor and I think I’ll be doing just fine. Oh and don’t forget RACES!! They are a huge motivator and so much fun!!
I am so thankful for my husband, friends, and family that stick by and remind me that even when life gives you those lemons, oranges and grapes are out there too. I’m thankful for my INKnBURN, RunJunkEes, RWB, and Hogwarts Running Club families out there who even when I’m not participating give me the motivation and inspiration I need to pick myself back up again. You have no idea how inspiring you really are 💙
So if you’re out there and life gave you some set backs and kicked your butt to the ground, just remember that when you fall, you can rise again. So start climbing back out of it and live. Live life loud and embrace ever single moment with your whole heart. It’s your one sweet life. Don’t let anyone’s judgement hold you back, even your own. I believe in you and I believe in me. We can do this 💜
“Running is about acceptance — of yourself and others. When you’re out on the trail sweating, it doesn’t matter if the guy or gal next to you works at a fast-food joint or is CEO of Kellogg’s. It doesn’t matter what color they are, or how old they are, or what religion they practice, if any at all. Running celebrates our commonality.”
All this election and post election chaos and I haven’t let myself slip too far off my training schedule, yayy me! Honestly, I’ve needed the distraction and running and working out helps relieve stress and frustration.
I feel I’m starting to get back in sync with the training and have been finding the joy in it again. Depression and stress can kick you on your butt. And it’s so messed up that the one big thing that can help get you out of depression is getting those endocrines flowing and physically feeling better and stronger. Everything just starts to fall back into line. Like a domino effect. My nutrition has been getting healthy again and full circle, that is helping with both the training and the depression. So, much like the ouroboros dragon, swallowing its tail, like a symbol of wholeness, is the circle of cause and effect with physical activity, feeling better, eating better and feeling better so you want to continue over and over again because of that cause and effect.
The hard part of course is that getting back into it all after you sat the sidelines a while. The good part is that to some degree your body has some muscle memory.
“Muscle memory has been used to describe the observation that various muscle-related tasks seem to be easier to perform after previous practice, even if the task has not been performed for a while. It is as if the muscles “remember”. The term could relate to tasks as disparate as playing the clarinet and weight-lifting, i.e., the observation that strength trained athletes experience a rapid return of muscle mass and strength even after long periods of inactivity.” – Wikipedia
Of course the longer you’re away the less muscle memory, the longer it will take to “bounce back”. I’m no professional but I can tell you that after 3 months away from it all, that first step out the door was hard and the next couple steps were kind of brutal. But then like riding a bike, it was like my body remembered, yeah I like to do this, I like this challenge. Challenge accepted! So don’t despair if you’ve been on the sidelines. Our bodies will follow where our mind leads. And the human body wants to work. It wants to move. Our bodies function better when we make the time to take care of it.
It’s a good mental break from all the stress life can throw at you. Politics, world issues, your job, relationship problems, financial problems, whatever. It’s just good practice to get out of your own head and go for a run, or take a lap or two in the pool.
If you’re a nurturer like me, who tends to take care of everyone and everything else around you first, before yourself, you have to remember you need to remember to take care of yourself. Otherwise you’ll burn out. Find your mountain and climb it. Be your own hero
Yoga is one of the serious loves of my life. I would be lost without it. Yoga helps in everyday life, let alone running. It can be a very spiritual journey for some, it is for me. But it doesn’t have to be, it’s not a requirement and many people avoid yoga because of religious implications. My husband does yoga and in no way is it a spiritual experience for him. For him it’s simply a way to move better and to relax his body. What can yoga do for you the runner? Or just you the human? Read on…
Rest Days – Yin Yoga
Also known as restorative yoga, is fabulous on rest days. You only have to do Downward Dog Pose once, to know good it feels on tired, tight calves. Dynamic stretching helps prevent injury during your runs and aids in shortening recovery time from injuries you do receive. Everything from Butterfly pose, Forward Fold and Dragonfly pose to Savasana (or Corpse pose) are designed to relax & restore
Strength Training – Power Yoga
Also known as vinyasa can build strength, particularly in the core. This in turn gives you better balance. This is important for a runner because essentially we are moving from balance on one foot to the next, albeit for short times. Strong balance will give your run a more constant and controlled feeling. The yoga poses Tree, Extended Side Angle and Eagle all work on balance.
For Flexibility – Hatha Yoga
Mobility is a source of many injuries and even prevents some from running. This is especially true as we age. Your joints and muscles become stiffer more easily from sitting (desk jobs) or being a couch potato and with age this increases and happens quicker. Joints become more rigged with age and from repeated foot strikes to the pavement. Yoga helps release the joints and hip flexors and the tension in them, all while lengthening your muscles. This all allows from better mobility and flexibility. There are many gentle yoga poses designed for better flexibility such as Warrior, Reclining Hero, Bridge and Rock The Baby.
For Better Breath Control
Yoga requires concentration and attention to breathing, which will significantly benefit runners. This will also help you to better concentrate during a race and improve your performance because of it. Breathing, as we all know, is an essential element for running, as your ability to take in directly affects how fast you can actually go and how long you can maintain a pace. Learning breath control and any even small meditative mantras help that mind to body connection making you feel more in tune with your body. Learning proper breathing techniques is heart healthy because it slows your heart rate and keeps it at an even beat.
As humans we assume that our mind and body are always working in sync, but that’s not always true. Any endeavor you do will give you moments of dread. A feeling of “I’m done”. When working on many of the poses in yoga, you’ll find it’s mind over matter. Focusing on flowing from each pose to the next, teaches more of this awareness of body vs space.
SparkPeople has a great resource for runners who want to start adding yoga into their training plan!