Sunday, May 27, 2012

Week off

Other than going to 2 yoga classes, I've taken this week off from working out and running.  My leg cramps were such an issue last week that I knew I needed to take a few days off from running, but I've actually felt so tired I've just given myself a rest from everything.

I've been struggling a little feeling guilty, panicking I'm going to get fat, or that I'll lose all my endurance, but I'm trying to put those feelings aside and embrace the rest.  I've gotten to catch up on sleep this weekend, get some things done inside the house and outside, and it really has felt good.  The previous couple of weeks I was going pretty hard with 3 yoga classes a week, running a lot immediately after yoga class, plus making it to work and other obligations.  I've gotten to sleep in 3 days this week and it's felt AMAZING!

I was supposed to run a 5K on Saturday morning, but we actually ended up being in Mooresville until midnight on Friday because my husband's grandma wasn't doing well.  Even though I could have still had 7 hours of sleep before the race, I just wanted to sleep.  Pete got up and made it to the race and came in at 27:53.  Yesterday afternoon my husband's grandma passed away so this week we'll have the visitation and funeral.  She was 91 and not doing very well so we're all happy that she's not in pain anymore.

Because of family events next week, I'm probably not going to make it to all 15 yoga classes for the month of commitment.  I've been to 11, but the studio is closed on Monday (which aggravates me that they would have this challenge during a month when they're closing for a day, but oh well), so unless I go to 2 classes in 1 day a couple of times I probably won't make it.  I'm still really proud of myself for going to as many as I have, but I do hate leaving the challenge unfinished when I've come so close.  More guilty feelings.

Workout guilt is such a difficult thing.  It reminds me of being in law school when I had some kind of homework to do but I was doing something fun rather than working on it - sometimes I couldn't stop thinking about the work I should be doing and couldn't enjoy myself because I was so preoccupied.  I had to just accept that I wasn't going to my homework at that moment and put it out of my mind so that if I was going to procrastinate, at least I could have fun!  I think rest days (and especially rest weeks) are the same.  So I've been telling myself that it's okay for me to rest and it will actually be good for me because I'll be ready to work out hard next week, and to enjoy the rest time while I can!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Wonderful Saturday

I started off the day by attending my 9th yoga class of the month!  I got up bright and early to head to the studio for the 8am Hot Vinyasa class.  My last hot class was actually the last yoga class I went to before finding out I was pregnant and I've definitely been wary to go back.  I had forgotten how wonderful I feel after hot clean and warm and open!  The teacher started class by telling us about her sons and their fascination with superheroes and super powers, and how her family often had discussions about what their own super powers would be.  She told us to think of the possibilities if our super power was the ability to unconditionally, unequivocally love.  What things could we accomplish in the world if we had the power of that kind of love?

Following the superhero theme, the class involved lots of balancing in "flying" postures like airplane, stork, and standing splits.  It was challenging and I could see the sweat dripping off my arms but it felt amazing!  After class I stopped by Starbucks for an iced green tea, but the barista placed my order incorrectly and made me an iced passion tea.  He realized his mistake immediately and was going to make me the green tea, but I told him I'd try the passion tea.  It was tasty, but I think green tea is still my favorite!  I'm going to have to try an iced chai latte soon because chai is the best ever, but it's getting too warm outside to keep getting hot drinks!

When I got home I went for a quick run with the hubs.  My leg cramps/shin splints/whatever they are have really been bothering me this week and today was no exception.  I wonder if it's connected to all the yoga I've been doing, but I would think that yoga would be good for me because it builds strength and stretches me out.  I hope I can shake them because tomorrow I'm hoping to go for a 10-miler in the morning!

We made plans to have dinner with my parents so I decided to whip up a few things.  First were the Strawberry Nutella Muffins I read about on Peanut Butter Runner!  They were surprisingly simple to make and I had all the ingredients except fresh strawberries and buttermilk on hand.  The verdict: delicious and very light!!

We went to the produce market around the corner to get the strawberries and picked up a few other things to make a salad as well.  I wanted something different for the salad, so I got some potatoes, okra, tomatoes, and corn.  I sort of pulled things from various recipes I've pinned on Pinterest and created my own little concoction.  I cut red potatoes into bite-sized pieces and tossed them in olive oil and one ranch dressing seasoning packet along with about a pound of okra and a small package of grape tomatoes.  I roasted the potatoes for about half an hour before adding the okra and tomatoes, and then roasted for an additional half hour.  I put spinach in a salad bowl and then topped it with the roasted mixture and some grated parmesan cheese!  I was nervous since it was kind of an experiment but it turned out delicious!  We had a great night of food, wine, beer, and Wii Tennis.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Girls on the Run 5K

On Saturday my husband, brother-in-law, and I ran the Girls on the Run 5K in Mooresville.  I picked out this 5K a long time ago because I love the Girls on the Run organization and wanted to support them.  For those that don't know, Girls on the Run is an after-school program for pre-teen girls to help teach them about fitness and promote self esteem.  Volunteer coaches guide the girls through a 12-week training program leading up to their big 5K.  Almost every girl has a running buddy, either a friend or family member or another volunteer, who runs with them and motivates them through the 5K.

I expected there would be a lot of young girls running the race with their running buddies, but I also thought there would be many people like us - non-affiliated people running the race just for another 5K and to support the organization.  Well, I was wrong.  I think we were the ONLY people there who were not running buddies, coaches, or connected to at least one of the girls in some way.  I didn't let it make me feel awkward, but I think Pete and Kevin felt very out of place amongst all the 10-year-old girls!

The race was two laps around a 1.5-mile loop at Lowe's Corporate Headquarters.  I was surprised at how hilly it was!  I did a lot of speed work earlier in the week and I was feeling like this could be the 5K where I finally broke 30 minutes.  Unfortunately, right before the race started as we were standing at the start line I started to get a little hot flash.  I'm slightly claustrophobic and sometimes when I'm in big crowds or small spaces I'll get very hot and a little bit dizzy.  It was pretty minor but I wasn't able to shake it before I started running, so it affected my run a little bit.  I did the first mile in 10 minutes and finished the first lap before I had to stop and walk for a little bit.  I actually started getting really awful stomach cramps and had to take another couple of walk breaks, but when I was running it was at a 9:40 pace.

I finished at 32:53 which was disappointing sine I know I can go faster, but it's still much faster than I used to be able to go even without walk breaks, so I didn't give myself too much of a hard time.  Hubby finished at 27:09 and Kevin at 26:43, so they were pretty close!

The best part of the race was actually listening to dads who were running with their daughters try to motivate them.  "We can get water when we're done!"  "You're a swimmer, you can go faster than that!"  "Power up this hill, we'll walk at the finish line!"  It was a really great experience to be around all these young girls achieving their goals, but I'm not sure if we'll do this race again.  I think I might volunteer as a running buddy next year and participate in that way!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Fast run, slow yoga

I recently wrote about how I suddenly noticed a big boost in my speed.  The speed I've noticed improve, though, is my comfortable pace.  I'm a fan of distance running because I love the comfortable pace...just running along, feeling good but not pushing too hard.  While that's all fine and dandy for long distance races, it's not helping me any for 5Ks.  This summer is going to be full of 5Ks so I've decided it's time to get my butt in gear and learn how to run fast.

For today's run I wanted to do three 1-mile repeats, with a .25 mile warm up and a .25 mile recovery walk/jog between each repeat.  When I do repeats like this, I generally do laps around my cul de sac because it's relatively flat compared to the rest of my neighborhood.  I did my nice little warm up at an 11:00 pace, and then I beasted out a whole mile in 8:40.  Lesson learned: I CAN RUN FAST.

However, at the end of that mile I wanted to fall over.  I did my .25 mile recovery walk...and then walked some more.  I knew doing that two more times would kill me, so I opted to just do an easy 1.5 mile run to get to an even 3 miles for the day.  The nice part was that my mind and body obviously had gotten into a rhythm with the fast running and I maintained very close to a 10:00 pace for the rest of the run.  I was hurting, though...legs were aching, had minor side stitches.  But overall I really enjoyed it and I'm actually blown away by the fact that I can run an 8:40 mile!  Now if I could only maintain that pace for a whole 5K...something to work towards!

After my run I headed to yoga for a Long Slow Deep class.  This was class 5 out of 15 this month.  I'm doing great with my month of commitment!  This week's focus was hip openers, which I love, but my hips are really feeling it!  It was a great practice and I'm making a lot of progress towards letting go of my fears.  I've tried to focus on living life this month and enjoying myself, drinking wine when I want and doing tons of yoga.  My body feels so good!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012


Yesterday North Carolina voted to amend the state constitution to state that marriage is between one man and one woman.  I cried when I heard the results.

Generally, I try to avoid political discussions with friends and family, I tune out political commercials and news clips, and I keep the majority of my beliefs to myself.  I think of politics as a necessary evil, but it only stresses me out and upsets me to hear about it so I avoid it.  There is one political issue, however, that I feel very strongly about - the right of every person to marry who they want, and have their marriage be legally recognized.

Amendment One is an embodiment of hate, discrimination, and bigotry, and I'm appalled that it's going to be part of North Carolina's constitution.  At church last Sunday my pastor said something in his sermon that resonated with me and will stay with me forever:

If anyone tries to get you to use your faith to promote hatred or bigotry,
you need to run in the opposite direction.

I will pray for the people who supported Amendment One.  I will pray that God releases the hate within their hearts.  I'm sorry for these people because somewhere along the way they have been misguided, they have allowed their faith to become a tool of oppression and discrimination.  I will pray for them to be forgiven.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Month of commitment

Today was the first day of the month of commitment in which I'm participating at my yoga studio.  51 yogis have signed up to commit to attending 15 classes during the month of May.  That's definitely a lot of yoga for me, but I'm really excited about the challenge.

I took the Slow Flow class tonight, which is labeled as Gentle Yoga on the class schedule, but Tammy made us work.  It was slow paced and more relaxed but we did some serious engaging of our bellies and legs.  My lower back was aching all day and this was just what I needed.  I actually ended up getting off work at a random time and considered just heading home since it was an hour to go until class started, but I decided to wait it out at Starbucks and sipped a green tea while catching up on emails.  I'm so glad I did...I felt rejuvenated after class and excited about my commitment.

At the beginning of class Tammy invited us to explore what we were committing to through the 15 classes - was it a commitment to be more fit?  A commitment to be more relaxed?  A commitment to making our practice a priority?  It could be anything we wanted.  I knew that I was committing to overcoming fear and getting back to my pre-miscarriage self.  I want to overcome the fear that yoga somehow contributed to my ectopic pregnancy (a fear for which I have no support or evidence) and return to loving yoga and wanting to practice 2 or more times a week.  I want to let go of being a person desperately consumed by trying to get pregnant and get back to enjoying each day.  I think 15 yoga classes in May will help push me towards that place.