Tag Archives: Yoga

Weekly Recap: Aug 4 – 11

I was humbled this past week by some really tough times during workouts that shouldn’t have felt that hard.

During my last swim lesson I couldn’t finish two laps without imploding. I came up gasping for air yelling, “I just ran a marathon six weeks ago, why can’t I finish this lap!”

Then I ran 12 miles yesterday. It started off great but the last few miles were pretty ugly.

Last week I also missed some miles and workouts and I’m fearful of it becoming a habit. I need to start holding myself accountable again so I’m going to do so by resuming these weekly workout recap posts.

Here’s last week’s recap.

Sun, 8/4:

Giants Race – 10K

Probably the least unfortunate race photo taken of me yet

Probably the least unfortunate race photo taken of me yet

Mon, 8/5:

Rest

Except I had my 30-min swim lesson which was no joke, physically or mentally. It took lots of concentration and effort to learn new things.

Tues, 8/6:

PM: 7-mile run 3-mile run

Except I had to go into the office and my new office is now at least a 25-min commute going 80 mph on the freeway (if I’m lucky). I cannot stand to be in traffic so on days that I do have to go into the office I try to leave the house by 6 am. This means I have to run after work and I am not an afternoon runner. I could only muster up 3-miles because I knew I still had a tough swim lesson later that evening and felt like I had to conserve every bit of energy I had left in me.

PM: 30-min swim lesson

Wed, 8/7:

AM: 45-min swim on my own to practice stuff learned during lessons.

Lunch: 1-hour strength training with Dave which these days consists of lots of time of the rowing machine and TRX circuits.

PM: 30-min swim lesson – the one where I faced my fear and learned how to do somersaults (then flip turns !!!) in the pool.

Thurs, 8/8:

AM: I had a track workout that didn’t happen because I was so sore from Wednesday’s workouts and my stomach was being upset again.

PM: 30-min swim lesson – the last one in which my instructor had me do sprint sets that I could barely finish.

Fri, 8/9:

Complete Rest Day

Sat, 8/10:

A 12-mile run in the City along the Embarcadero to the Marina Green and back. It started off well and then went downhill real fast during the last few miles. I don’t think I fueled properly which is disturbing since I should have known better after SFM.

As soon as I finished running my legs were overcome with a pain that I’ve felt only after running 26.2. I laid down immediately, which was probably the worst thing I could have done but it needed to happen. My quads hurt the most which is also disturbing since the route I had just ran was mostly flat.

Sun, 8/11:

AM: Brick – 30-min on the Spin bike, 30-min on the treadmill

AM: 75-min Restorative / Yin Yoga class

I came thisclose to bailing on each of these workouts but I finished them and afterwards was glad that I did. Its a shame though as it took me a full 25 minutes to feel comfortable on the treadmill.

Workout Highlights of the Week:

+ Learning how to somersaults in the pool

+ Finishing 30-min on the dreadmill

+ And seeing this:

a peek at the GGB

a peek at the GGB

Although my 12-mile run was garbage, I still got butterflies in my belly (as I always do) at my first glimpse of the day of the Golden Gate Bridge. It doesn’t matter how many times I run by or across it, I am always in awe of it’s majestic beauty.

This past week marked 15 years of Bay Area living for me.

After all this time I still have to pinch myself because I still can’t believe how lucky I am to live here. #ilovesfforever

“Core and Compliments” – A Yoga Workshop

My friends often make fun of when I “check-in” to a place on Four Square. But it’s paid off for me in the past when it told me that a Twitter friend was in the near vicinity. I got to meet this out of town person who was visiting to run SFM a few years ago.

I always get a rush whenever I become the “Mayor” of a location (working on getting my mayorship back at my favorite sushi restaurant!). And being a Four Square mayor has finally reaped some rewards. My monthly membership pass at my yoga studio was up for renewal yesterday and since I am the “mayor” I got a 20% discount!

The 4sq Mayor payoff!

The 4sq Mayor payoff!

This time I purchased a 3-month pass. I have really come to love practicing at this studio. The classes are small (the largest class has been only 9-10 people) and the class schedule is conducive to mine.

I’ve especially enjoyed the Gentle Hatha Yoga classes, which have been the perfect compliment to marathon training, particularly in the peak weeks. These classes aren’t very strenuous but provide enough of a stretch for me to work out some tight areas. And since the classes are so small the knowledgeable instructors can tailor the classes to our individual needs.

This past Sunday there was a special workshop called “Core and Compliments.” Knowing how important it is to have a strong core (and not just for running) I decided to attend.

The workshop was described as:

A workshop in the many levels of what core is…
Experience an enlightened core workout, a flowing style workout of the muscles that support the internal system and muscular poise of the skeletal system.

In this workshop we will explore the dynamics of core conditioning that:

~ Develop aspects of physical strength, flexibility, coordination, speed, agility and endurance
~ Heighten and enhance body awareness and control
~ Teaches correct muscle activation, posture and alignment
~ Improves balance and proprioception
~ Focuses on breathing awareness
~ Link core values and personal intention to movement, physical, mental, emotional, and (spiritual)
~ Helps keep bone structure and musculature in optimal shape
~ Provides a path to inner harmony and release of tension
~ Working with intuitive and creative energies is beneficial for everyone!

As well in this workshop we will take some time to compliment our workout with personal reflections on the power of intention and or that, which moves us on a deeper level. We will do this by exploring in writing or drawing our core values and possibly sharing, creating statements of affirmation and healing insight if needed and letting this guide our practice emotionally and spiritually.

We will end the class with restorative yoga that supports a release of mental tension, soothing sounds and a guided healing light meditation that will allow the concepts and natural benefits of the practice to nurture body, mind and spirit.

I had taken both yoga and Pilates classes from the instructor leading the workshop before and they were tough. So the idea of two straight hours of core work scared the hell out of me. I emailed the studio about this and was assured that it would not be as strenuous as it sounded.

When I got there I was pleased to see that there were only seven of us in attendance. The format was laid out that we would do three 30-min sequences of movement, each followed by 10-minutes of journaling. They even provided us with mini journals (but I had brought my own — you know, since I have so many!).

As it turned out, the premise of the class was not just on core conditioning, but also on the mind-body connection.

Having read several books on this topic, I was really able to relate to discussion topics:

+ Movement with intention (and asking yourself what your intentions are)
+ Using fear to propel you toward your dreams
+ Goal-setting
+ Trusting enough to let go and push yourself towards your goals
+ Being mindful vs. mindless
+ The importance of the breath (I’ve really been getting into this topic recently.)
+ Being in tune with, and bringing together our physical, emotional and mental well-being

I enjoyed the experience so much more than I anticipated. The combination of flow yoga, Pilates (holy core work!), and journaling worked out very, very well. There have been many yoga classes that I have gone to over the years where I wished I’d had a notebook to write down what words the instructors spoke. The opportunity to do in this class really made it more meaningful.

At the end of each sequence we had the opportunity to settle in to a restorative pose. Restorative yoga is my personal favorite type of yoga to practice so I was all over this.

I learned a new pose called “The Bind” where we tied a yoga strap around our feet and waist, then reclined back on to a bolster. It is a fantastic pose for opening up the hips and hip flexors.

I also learned that “Legs at the Wall” is actually called “Waterfall” pose. And I had probably the most relaxing experience I’ve ever had in this pose during this workshop.

I left the class feeling so calm, rejuvenated and refreshed, both in mind and body. This is what yoga should be; I really feel like I’ve found my yoga home.

Weeks 15-18: April 8 – May 5

I guess it’s almost been a month since posting my workout recaps. See how lazy I can be? Here’s a quick rundown:

Week 15: April 8-14

+ 30.70 miles + 2.5 hour Chi Running Class in which I was the only person in attendance and ran up and down hills for two hours.
+ 1 60-min Spin Class + 10-min extra
+ 1 45-min Strength Training Workout
* Long Run

Week 16: April 15-22

+ 30.59 miles
+ 1 60-min Spin Class
+ 1 45-min Strength Training Workout
+ 1 60-min Yoga Class
* Long Run

Week 17: April 23-28

+ 31.79-miles
+ 1 60-min Spin Class
+ 2 40-min Strength Training Workouts
+ 2 75-min Yoga Classes
* Long Run

Which bring us to this past week, Week 18: April 29-May 5:

Mon, 4/29:

+ 1-hour Yoga Class

Tues, 4/30:

+ 45-min Easy Run

Wed, 5/1:

+ 6.67-mile Run at the Track
+ 45-min Strength Training Workout
+ 75-min Yoga Class

Thurs, 5/2:

+ 45-min Easy Run

Fri, 5/3:

+ 1-hour Spin Class

Sat, 5/4:

+ 10-mile Run

Obligatory GGB Photo

Obligatory GGB Photo

Like the previous two weekends, I ran around Crissy Field and across the Golden Gate Bridge again.

We had a heat wave in the Bay Area over the past week and it was miserable. So when I got to Crissy Field on Saturday morning and saw the layer of fog over the bridge, I was so, so happy. As I ran across it, through the thick layer of fog, the fog horns were sounding. It was my bliss!

After running across the span of the bridge I considered running down Lincoln Blvd to simulate the first half of SFM. But that meant I would have to run back up Lincoln to finish and I just didn’t have it in me. So after coming off the bridge, I ran through Crissy Field again and then finished the last few miles with an out and back along the Marina Green.

Overall it was a pretty good run. I was really happy with and felt like I pushed myself, especially on the up and down hills.

Sun, 5/5:

+ 10K Run

This morning’s run was the anti-thesis of yesterday’s run — terrible. I’ve been running at Sawyer Camp on Sundays. It’s mostly shaded which allows me to sleep in a little and still run in semi cool temps. These Sunday runs have been very mellow; i.e., Garmin-free. But today’s workout had some pickups at specific paces mixed in so I wore my Garmin and hated it. I felt robbed of my low-key Sunday runs that I have come to love. I also strained a calf during one of the pickups.

///

As bad as today’s run was, it was really the only bad one I’ve had in the past three weeks. Physically I’ve dealt with a niggle or two here and there, but for the most part, things have felt pretty well. Mentally, the past three weeks have been some of the best I’ve had in I’d say almost two years. I feel like I’ve gotten “comfortable with being uncomfortable again.” Does that make any sense?

I know that every run isn’t going to be good, but I just hope today’s bad one doesn’t erase all the progress I’ve felt over the past three weeks and set me back to where I was before.