This post could just as easily be titled “How Not to Run” because essentially I am a living example of what not to do should you decide to be a runner. Despite having a half-marathon sneaking up on me in these next two months, my runs have become yet another exercise in pursuing pleasure and I’m pretty darn proud of that to tell the truth.
I once read an article asking why people ran. As far as the author could tell, no runners were ever smiling so it didn’t seem like it was any fun. For some reason that stuck with me and in my endless pursuit of enjoying my life I decided I wouldn’t do it if I couldn’t love it.
So my lackluster training for the SeaWheeze continued this week with two noteable “runs.” I call them “runs” because run one consisted of stopping for a solid 15 minutes to swing on the swings at a playground I was passing. What? It looked like fun! Later on in my journey I found a pretty pond and sat by it for a few. I mean lily pads are just so pretty aren’t they?
Last weekend’s run continued in much the same vein when I got sidetracked by the library. I was so excited that it was open that I stopped there to read a book for oven an hour. Once I continued I found a few dandelions I just had to make wishes on, a few deer I just had to make kissie noises at, and a view I just had to take selfies on (see above). The views where I live are just so spectacular so I spent a few breaths in meditation of the beauty around me, and I walked a good portion of the vista point, my favorite part of this particular run.
When all is said and done, my Strava app looks like I took a 6.4 mile run in 2:57. 27 minute miles?? Ok so I forgot to turn it off at the library. Oops!! My slacker SeaWheeze training has taken a turn for worst this season, and I’m so grateful for the experience of it all. Of allowing myself to pursue the things I enjoy most. This year I came to two important realizations in my life: 1) It turns out I’m a bit of a control freak. 2) I’m letting all the pleasureable parts of life pass me by in favor of what I “should” be doing. Even on self-imposed days off I plan them to a T. I’ll think, today I’m going to go to a yoga class, play the harp, sit by the stars at night, make a home-cooked meal. It sounds like a nice day, but I’m not listening to my body at all when I create these plans. When the day is done and I didn’t make it to yoga or play the harp, I feel guilty. I feel like I let myself down. But that is so silly! They were my very own rules in the first place! I should be allowed to break my own rules!
So this week, in a beautiful coaching session with one of my coaches I decided to allow myself to break my own rules. As a thank you I had an absolutely amazing weekend that ended with another slacker SeaWheeze training day that was so much fun I was laughing the whole way home. Anyone that passed me must have thought runners have so much fun. And we do! So long as we are doing it because it’s fun.
Plans for the next run? There are none. Although I wouldn’t mind finding more of a balance in my training. I’d love to find fun in the run itself, not just the breaks I take along the way. After all, I have excellent motivation! I’m running the Lululemon half-marathon in August (fun) and I’m climbing Mt. Whitney in October (super fun!). Both will require some steady dedication on my part and I’m absolutely willing to devote some training to both experiences. After all, If running helps me pursue the things I love, it’s a journey that is so much more than just worth it.
Don’t forget: The only person who can keep you from a pleasurable life, is you!! How are you going to enjoy your life today?
Last weekend I hit the road for the first time in goodness knows how long. Since last year’s SeaWheeze half-marathon I have run a grand total of one time, two now!! Wooohooo! Progress! I gave up running this past winter for two reasons. First, I hate cold. Even the California kind. Second, running can burden a women’s reproductive cycle and since at the time I was experiencing hormonal chaos I decided to give my body a break. This year though I have some catching up to do and I intend on doing it in a very loving, goddessy, taking care of my adrenals way. What does that mean exactly? I have no clue! But I’m determined to find out how to run in a way that nourishes my hormones and keeps me from grannying my way through SeaWheeze.
Saturday I ran so slow I literally had time to stop and smell the roses. In fact, I ran the exact same route I ran last year the first time I hit the road to train! Thankfully this year was a bit easier on the bod. I think the fact that I now know I can run 13 miles helps take the edge off my tiny three miler. It feels like nothing in comparison. In addition, the hills and rough trails of my home terrain feel like training in a high-altitude environment compared to the smooth hill-less stroll around Vancouver. Ok, its not a stroll. But at least this year I know what I’m capable of, I know what I’m in for.
I’ve been in major yoga mode this year so it felt soooo deliciously amazing to do something a little more high impact for a change. I know, yoga can be powerful, but let’s not pull any delusions here, it’s not the same experience as running. Nor should it be. But there is no amount of power yoga that can prepare you for a jog, not even a tiny one (I should be fair, the same goes for runners who do yoga). Either way, I get bored when I have to pick so I’ve come up with a plan! It’s my special, I’m-going-to-try-to-be-half-as-good-as-my-sister plan. You are going to think that I’m an underachiever there, and maybe I am a bit, but really my sister is just that good. Trust me, I’ve seen her on Strava. (Darn app!)
So essentially the plan is this: Every day I’m going to do whatever I feel like doing so long as it’s outdoors. Some days that might be swimming, gardening, a walk, or yoga. But every weekend I have to go on one jog that is longer than the run I did the previous week. I know, I’m kind of a cheater. I only ran three over the weekend so the bar isn’t too high for next weekend. On top of that I even just told you I’m not starting it until May sooooo maybe it’s the slacker’s guide to SeaWheeze! Doesn’t matter to me! I need to do what honors my body and my health and I’m a little afraid of too much hormonal ruckus right now to go all out. But I could use the push forward. I’ve been a little too mellow, a little too reserved, and this early summer feels like just the time to turn it all around.
So if I can so much as keep an even keel, and feel good while doing it, in a way that doesn’t keep my fam from heading to drinks without me, I will feel sooo great about this year’s event. I want to run slow enough to miss the glutenous breakfast but fast enough to make it to the after party! Perfect! I suppose that translates to something like a 10 minute mile. But who’s counting?
I’m so excited for the event this year. It’s going to be even more amazing than last year!!
Image Credit: NY Marathon – 29
Now that the Marin breeze has started turning toasty, I’ve started to ready my running shoes. I’m signed up for my favorite event of the year: Lululemon’s SeaWheeze half-marathon (wooohoo!) and I’m determined to run with the 10-minute pacers this year! I know the pitfalls though, running IS a major source of physical stress and that means we need to be extra careful with our bodies, especially when we are in training. As a yoga teacher I’ve seen far too many runners turn up to class with shot knees and hurting hips, and those guys are hard to replace! If you haven’t hit pain yet, prevention is key and that means taking a little time re-calibrate in between those epic jogs you’ve been logging! So let’s do some yoga! I’m so excited to be pairing up with Marin Running Company in San Anselmo so that you can take a much-needed off day in your running routine this season. March 12th at 6:30pm I will be teaching a special one-hour yoga class at the store specifically so all you runners can get a nice gooood stretch-out! Sign-up here to join us!
If you can’t make it to the sesh, I’ve also designed this pretty little podcast so you can show yourself some love wherever you are at. I recommend hitting your mat on an off day or right after a run, but avoid it right before, we don’t want to send those loose hips out in the world quite yet!
Back and Side Bends for Abdominal Stretching
With your feet hip-width apart stand with your hands in prayer. Lifting your hands to the sky on an inhale, exhale to the right side stretching that side body. Your abs do quite a lot of work when you run so it’s nice to start with some gentle stretching of the abdominal region. Lift back up on an inhale and then sink to the left side. Give yourself some time on both sides to really dip into the stretch, then inhale back to center lifting your chest and heart toward the sky and then lean back for a lower back stretch (yes, back’s are important when it comes to running!)
Chair Pose for Knee Strength
Inhale back to standing and (with your arms still raised) sink your hips into chair pose. Your feet should still be flat to the ground and your lower back should be slightly arching as your arms run alongside your head with hands outstretched to the sky. Reach your chest forward and then sink a little lower. Stay in this pose as long as possible and let those thighs burn! Chair pose helps reinforce all those lovely little muscles surrounding your precious knees and we need that strength to support those joints as we run! Shape em up!
Downward Dog to warm up those Calves and Stretch out your Back
So now let’s get ourselves into a nice downward facing dog. Amazing how this pose somehow does everything doesn’t it? Just a great standard. Once you are in the pose, bicicle your knees a little bit so your joints get some movement. Come up onto your tippy toes and lift your hips to the sky as if pulled up via a string attached to your lower back. Then sink your heels as low to the earth as you can. Push forward with your hands so your head falls between your shoulders. This pose lenthens your spine, stretches your calves and shoulders, and finds some stretch in your achilles, just an all around beautiful pose to counter balance those runs you’ve been doing!
Frog Pose for a Hip Stretching Intensive
Most importantly of ALL running specific poses is a really amazingly powerful hip stretch. Not only do we store emotions in our hips, but we store tension and physical stress there. After a run, your hips do this little tightening number, that unless stretched out, will accumulate and cause major issues down the line. Hip replacement anyone?? Ok, so we don’t want that so I’m going to let you in on my favorite hip stretcher- Frog pose! This beaute is killer! To start, make sure you have some padding to support your knees and calves. If you are already experiencing knee trouble on this one, you probably want to opt out and go for your hip stretch of choice. With your legs parallel each other wider than hip width, point your toes outward (like a frog). Extend your torso and fold forward coming to rest on your forearms. Then you need to find the magic spot! Try sinking your hips lower or walking your head forward or backward until you find that perfect balance! See if you can find some relaxation in this pose. Relish it!
Reclining Bound Angle Pose for Hip and Back Support
Finally, make your way out of the pose and lay on your back with the palms of your feet touching and your knees relaxing to the mat. Put one hand to your heart and the other to your belly and let your body fall open. This gets a tiny little arch back into your lower back and is also a gently hip opener all in a nice relaxing package. Enjoy your rest, you’ve been doing so much and running on top of that has been adding extra stress to your body. Thank yourself for spending time with your body and with your breathe!
The title of this blog completely sums up our weekend in Vancouver. I just got back since Husband and I transformed our Vancouver weekend away to a full week in paradise (more on that later). We just loved it! We spent the weekend in a SeaWheeze oasis hitting the yoga classes, taking advantage of the massage tables, checking out the SeaWheeze store, and waiting in all kinds of crazy lines with 7500 like-minded, health-driven, vision board creating, neon-wearing people. Even the lead singer of fun. looked over the crowd to say, “Wow. You guys wear the sh** out of neon!” (yes there was a free fun. concert just for us lovely runners!) One thing was very clear, Lululemon didn’t just host a half-marathon, they created a community.
Oh, yeah, and we ran! The race was amazing and I surprised myself by running the entire 13.1 without walking or stopping! I may have staggered across the finish line and collapsed, but that is besides the point. I did it! I ran it in 2:38 which wound up being about mid-pack. I’m totally happy with that. Every step of the race I was surrounded by cheering, excitement, and a beautiful view. People held up funny signs (our favorite was the husband holding the baby and a sign that read “Hurry up! My diaper’s full!”), transvestites cheered us on in stilettos, acrobats launched themselves off the roof of Lululemon headquarters, and we ran through a Lulu “party zone” around mile 8 that got us all re-ramped up for the coming 5 miles to go. Seriously great. Needless to say, that night we hit Gastown for some well-deserved celebrating. Only we couldn’t even walk down the stairs to the bar. The bouncers thought we were drunk at first (my husband had to walk down backwards and the rest of us somehow manged to get down without bending our knees), once he heard about the run he high-fived us and gave us the comfiest seats in the joint (which I would later fall-asleep in).
Apart from the SeaWheeze extravaganza, my sister and I were in absolute Lululemon heaven and sufficently tortured our significant others by dragging them all across Vancouver in a Lululemon pilgramage. We went to the Lululemon headquarters, the first Lulu store, and the infamous Lululemon Lab Store. We finally conceded and let them drag us to a brewery. It’s a hard life.
Even after the race we kept our event bracelets on which gave us instant access to new best friends all over the city. Somehow we were always amazed that we had so much in common. You ran SeaWheeze?? Us too!!! OMG you love yoga too?? NO WAY!! Yeah it was crazy like that. We were absolutely surrounded by amazing, beautiful, and inspiring people everywhere we went. It was incredible (did I say that already?). There are no words to describe all that went down last weekend, hopefully my pictures can speak for themselves. The one up top is me just arriving to the check-in location in the convention center. We were like kids in Disneyland!
Of course we couldn’t pass up doing yoga all over the city…
Headed on our pilgrimage (that’s me on the right with my sis)
Lounging in our new gear
On to a Lulu yoga class (with a beautiful view!)
So excited at the lab store
Race day begins, sporting our chips complete with Chip’s picture, get it? (Chip is the founder of Lulu!)
The whole crew post race (that is bro-in-law, sis, me, and my husband)
How we did this after the race, I have no idea…
Showered and watching the fun. show. We were a pretty dead crowd as you can imagine
The fun is over, but we still wore our wristbands all weekend. Until next year SeaWheeze… We will definitely be back!
Do you want the good news or the bad news?? Ok let’s start with the good: 8 days until I run the Lululemon SeaWheeze Half-Marathon and my training has been going AWESOME. I totally can do this! I have stuck to my revised training schedule and hit my 10-mile run on Saturday. Nailed it! The bad news? I ran maaaaajoooorr slow. And there was pretty much zero elevation gain. To be precise (thanks to my Strava app) I ran 10.1 miles in 1 hour 59 minutes. That is an average of 12 minute miles. I’m going to blame it on the heat wave of course, and also partially on my crazy idea to go for a run smack in the middle of a 90 degree day with no water or shade. So smart.
The first eight miles I ran in this peaceful sort of state where thinking that 13 miles was going to simply be another easy breezy run. No sweat. 13 miles is hardly anything to get worked up about after all. Then, when I was oh-so-close to home, delusion set in. I actually had to stop running because I was dripping so much sweat I worried I might slip. My mouth dried out so completely that I was trying to drink my own saliva (it was gross, sorry for the visual). I felt like I had been wandering through the desert for 40 years holding out all hope for a drinking fountain along the way. SO CLOSE. I only had two miles to go but they were HELLA-HOT. Those last two babies took me 15:34 then 14:19. That is some SLOW running. Or walking. Or whatever I was doing. Now that I think about it, I can hardly remember the torture. Must have blacked it out.
I did it though. Accomplished! Somehow I made it home. My husband came back from a bike ride to a melted heap of wifeness collapsed on our kitchen floor exhaustedly chugging water from a giant pitcher. But hey! If that is the worst that can happen- I’m feeling pretty good! I have faith that my beloved Lulu will provide refreshments for me along the way and that Vancouver won’t feel like the desert that Marin has been. I know that I can run! I know it will be fun! So if ten miles can’t knock me out, 13 should be no swear!
So in the vein of Lulu’s thirteen things blogs. Here are my own…
13.1 things I’m looking forward to at the SeaWheeze Half-Marathon:
- Doing yoga with my sis and our men. All the time every day!
- Shopping the limited release SeaWheeze Lululemon gear!! I haven’t bought anything at all the past two months in prep for this awesomeness.
- Experiencing what has to be the most colorful half-marathon of all time.
- Seeing fun. in concert!!
- Checking out the Vancouver shoreline while running THIRTEENPOINTONE miles.
- Drinking water (yay! hydration!)
- Meeting other way cool Lulu obsessed runners!
- Checking out the Lululemon lab store. (Not part of the marathon but I’m stoked about it nonetheless!)
- Surprises! Who knows what Lulu has planned. All I know is it can only be good.
- Being on Lulu’s home turf. I’m so excited to see B.C. It’s going to be incredible.
- Cheer teams! Lulu is awesome at inspiration. We’ll be needing it!
- Crossing the finish line of my first ever half-marathon!
- Feeling major accomplished!
- After party! We deserved it.
5 Weeks to go and I’ve had to significantly modify my training agenda thanks to the beautiful chaos that my life has become. I love running, but not as much as the other amazing things I’ve been up to, so I’ve decided to give those things priority. This past week I spent 4 days backpacking through the gorgeous Sierra’s and it was WONDERFUL. That is quite enough miles for this week. As for my next few weeks, if I can get one run in per week I will be very happy. Here is the new schedule:
- 7/9 Week: 7-8 Mile Run
- 7/16 Week: 10 Mile Run
- 7/23 Week: 11-12 Mile Run
- 7/30 Week: 13 Mile Run
- 8/6 Week: 7 Mile Run early in the week. Then HALF MARATHON!
I do have quite a lot of traveling coming up so it will be really interesting to see how many runs I can get in through all of that. I’ll let you know how it goes! Wish me luck!Read More