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
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
🌹 stop and smell the roses 🌹
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!
“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.”
– Bart Yasso
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!
In the photo’s above I’m wearing:
May The 4th (Mystery Release)
“I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in.”
― John Muir
Hiking & walking in nature, for me, is blissful. And each season brings it’s own bit of wonder and wisdom to the hike. I never really sat down and wondered why I love to hike so much. I mean, yeah I love nature and getting any exercise is a pure endocrine giving burst while getting my body in better shape. But I knew it was more than that, something deeper, almost spiritual in form. I found a sense of peace as my footsteps hit the earth and my mind would wander to, wow, to nowhere, and yet everywhere all at the same time. But not in a rushed getting through the day mode, or not in the chaotic work essence. No, it was within a place of complete release. Complete mental relaxation. And that was when I realized, without knowing it, I was meditating by accident.
Having done meditation in a seated position in my home, and on the beach, I knew exactly what meditation was. But this was different, almost a purer meditation. I realized that my eyes drinking in the trees, the beaches, or the streams was guiding my meditation deeper within.
You don’t even have to believe in meditation for meditation to have effect. Meditation is nothing much more than allowing your mind to be still, and then, once still to allow it to wander to places of peace and zero stress. And nature is a remedy in itself for stress. Why do you think major white collar corporations do retreats to the wilderness camps?
In our hectic world of technology and as we rush from job to second job, or from work to making dinner for the family. Or when we have to study relentlessly into the wee hours of night just to get up to go take the test and a full day of classes. We forget to take time to really turn off. Many people turn to the TV to do that, when in fact it may distract, but it doesn’t help your brain find peace. It’s just living someone else’s fictional life instead of your own.
Meditation is hard on some. They don’t know the first steps, or just can’t do it automatically, can’t shut out the world outside. It takes practice. And patience. I think walking meditation is in some ways an easier starting point at meditating 101 because your body is still being allowed to move, while quieting the racket in your mind. I highly recommend being in nature though, not on a busy street where you have to watch for traffic, lights and hear blaring sirens and car honks. A peaceful little park will do.
Read this article today after my slow and easy 2 miles, “New study delves into the importance of trees in our cities and how they can save our lives“. And all I could think was, really, really? They’re just getting this now?
I think back in the 60’s & 70’s the flower children, hippie culture, folk song writers and progressives of the day were protesting about and heralding the dim future we were facing without nature and trees surrounding us.
Never heard it before? You can follow the links above, or just read the lyrics here:
“Increases in temperature associated with the changing global climate are interfering with plant-pollinator mutualism, an interaction facilitated mainly by floral color and scent,” Alon Can’ani explained in his research.” (quote taken from Science Daily: As temperatures rise, flowers emit less scent)
These things are profoundly sad. The slow but steady destruction of nature seems unimportant to some. But as Joni said “That you don’t know what you’ve got, Til its gone” is prophetic truth in the case of nature and wildlife. Imagining a world where we only know trees, flowers, and wildlife by what we see in a museum is a very bleak thought into our future.
So learn from our past and learn from our mistakes. Listen to our children, the youth of today and tomorrow. It’s their future and their children’s future and so on and so on. Do what you can, what is in your power to help preserve our trees, our wildlife, the streams and oceans, and the very air we breathe.