7.30.2014

The Midweek Long Run

Oh me, oh my! This is the one element of training I can't say I have done very well at. In fact, when I made my training plans the midweek long runs were pretty much non-existent. You see, I knew they are beneficial but I was being easy on myself knowing that I start my workday at 6:00 am. Doing a longish run before work made me cringe.

And then it happened. They ended up on my training plan. Not by my own accord but by my coach's. It made me cringe a nanosecond but I was determined to follow the advice I asked for. What good is it to ask for guidance and then just throw it out the window? Okay, I kinda feel like I did that during my vacation but let's not dwell on the past.

Once returning from vacation I was determined to get back on track but those 3:00 am wake-up calls were dreadful. I procrastinated, I hit snooze, I rationalized, and I ended up doing my midweek long runs on Thursdays or Fridays versus Wednesdays. Not necessarily bad but still, not perfect. But hey, no one is perfect, right? Right!

Today the alarm went off. I hit snooze. It went off again. I hit snooze and thought, I can run long tomorrow. But then it sunk in that I really didn't want to do that. I wanted to get up since I was already awake. And I did mainly because I was motivated by Toby and wanted to tell him I got up on time to do my run today thanks to him. Mission accomplished. You see, I run for Toby and he helps me get moving!

Thank goodness my alarm is set ahead of time so those two snoozes didn't take me off track too much...just a few minutes. I was out in my car by 3:30ish and on my way. I can't say I skipped joyfully to the treadmill. I slowly made my way there. I slowly got ready to run. I started running slowly and it was not fun. I am being completely honest. I felt stiff, awkward, and not happy.

Good thing I don't let those initial feelings get to the better of me since it really does take at least a mile for me to warm up. And not only was today a midweek long run, I had intervals to do. YAY! Seriously, YAY! You see, those intervals break up the monotony of running 9 miles in place. I break into them after my easy one mile warm up and then those extra miles at the end are just extra miles at the end. By the time I get to them I am far enough into my run that I won't give up.

What training run do you know will benefit you but you still dread it?

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful I got out of bed and ran!
Daily Affirmation: I have lovely bouncy, curly hair.

7.29.2014

Running Naked - Time to unplug

I made a decision about a week ago and blogging about it has been on my mind. You see, I have
stopped monitoring my heart rate a couple of weeks ago and this weekend, I took off the Polar Loop. I am done. No more monitoring. At least for now.

Why? 

Yes, I was getting good data from both the heart rate monitor and Polar Loop but I never really found the time to dig deep and truly analyze the numbers. I felt happy when my Polar Loop showed I reached my goal for the day but got frustrated when last Sunday it said I had to keep on moving. Hmmm.....dear Loop, I ran 20 miles. I moved enough. I think your batteries must be messed up even though I am certain I charged you the day before.

But this isn't the reason I am pulling the plug. It is because I need less to "worry" about. I have a marathon in September and again in December. Training is picking up and I am having my own worries, doubts, jitters, etc. related to that. I do not need more on my plate. I need less. I have enough numbers to strive for - miles, intervals, splits, goal pace - and I do not need to think about heart rate, activity level, calories, etc.

If my Polar Loop was linked to my phone I may have a different opinion because a chime to remind me to get up and stretch at work would indeed be beneficial. Learning I needed to days later when I sync to my phone is not ideal for me. Yes, I have a desk job. Yes, I sit too long at times. No, I do not need to know that days from now. I know it. I try to get up and move frequently enough but emails, etc. can keep me glued to my ball working. Yes, I sit on a ball.

Will I ever plug back in? Sure! These items cost me some money so it is foolish to let them collect dust. I see times in my life where it may be a thing to focus on - just not during peak training right now. Will I compare new data to what I collected already? Yes! That would be the ideal situation.

But for now I will don the lovely Pandora bracelet dear hubby got me years ago and enjoy my days clinking away at work when I am not running, doing yoga, being a mommy, or doing all the things I do each and every day!

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful to be alive!
Daily Affirmation: I have a lot to offer the world.

7.28.2014

#irun4 TOBY!

On March 29, 2014 I made a decision that is certain to change my life forever for the better. I signed up to get a running buddy through I Run for Michael. In a nutshell, this amazing group matches special needs kids or adults with runners who will run for them. The buddy/coach receives emotional support and the runner gets a new purpose to their runs.

I signed up for the facebook group and watched things for a couple of weeks before I officially took the plunge. What was holding me back? Two things - first, I was questioning how me running for someone in spirit could really make a difference and two, I have too much empathy for my own good. Was I ready to carry someone else through times of trouble or sorrow? Was I willing to offer prayers?

For the prayers, ABSOLUTELY! And after watching the posts on facebook and talking to a friend I realized, yes, me running for someone makes a huge difference. In does matter. It will make a difference. Okay, I'M IN! Can I carry and lift someone up? YES! It is my goal in life to motivate others and to be a source of happiness, this is my place!

The wait seemed so long. I kept track of my placement on the list each time it was posted. When I broke 2,000 I cheered. When I broke 1,000 I cheered. At 165 it was getting very real and very exciting. When I was number 10 I squealed! Darling daughter looked at me and I had tears in my eyes and she asked what was up with me. I told her I was #10! Since she has heard me ramble on about this since March she knew what I meant and cheered. Any day now, any day now I would meet my buddy!!!!!!!

From that point on I was glued to my phone in a way completely not like me. I was "stalking" the next posting of matches waiting as patiently as I could. At a pool party yesterday I even stole away to a shady corner to peak. I know...awful! But I had been waiting so long and there it was! The announcement. I HAD A BUDDY!!!!! More tears swelled in my eyes, I called darling daughter over to the side of the pool and said "Toby!", she looked at me oddly for a moment and then it sunk in, I HAD MY BUDDY, and she gave me a high five.

In less than 24 hours Toby has found a place in my heart and in my family. I love that darling daughter is as excited and has announced she too will run for Toby. Today when I did my one rest day mile she tossed in a yoga session. We crafted for Toby and she was my trusty photographer.

At the party people asked what was up. We explained it and most got it and were excited and expressed things like, "Wow! That is cool!". But in all good there is always one doubter. The one who said, "Oh, you are just virtual friends." and I let it slide and forgot it a nanosecond later. Not everyone will see things the same.

Today that comment came back and irked me another nanosecond until I thought about pen pals. In the past were pen pals referred to as "just pen pals"? Humanity has so much to offer one another and I love that I, like many, choose to go beyond what is right in front of us and to extend our love and caring further. I am honored and blessed to run for Toby. His family has given me a gift of sharing their son and life with me. I will give them my 110% each and every day because I truly feel that is what I am supposed to do. Our families have been perfectly matched by higher forces and I can't wait to see what the future holds for us!

Who do you run for?

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful I got my buddy yesterday!
Daily Affirmation: I do not let fake barriers hold me back.

7.23.2014

Goodbye FEAR, Hello FAITH

It dawned on me this morning that FEAR was taking a hold on me and I realized, I needed to shake it off.

First, let's rewind. I have been questioning if breaking a 4 hour marathon has value, if I can do it, if I should, if it really matters. In all reality, I have been battling FEAR. I just wasn't able to pinpoint what was going on until today.

FEAR.

It is a nasty thing. If you were to look at its definition, and I did, you would discover that fear is literally an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that something/someone is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat.

As I sit here staring at that definition I realize why my goal of breaking a 4 hour marathon is generating fear. Yes, running a marathon is likely to cause pain. Been there, done that. And yes, that pain will go away and varies in intensity. That is not my issue.

So what is?

No, my goal isn't dangerous per se and it is not a threat to me. I have accepted that there will be pain making that issue null and void but the butterflies still stir.

Why?

Because I am putting myself out there. I have told the world what my new big dream/goal is and this leaves me exposed and vulnerable. I am open about my training, I will tell you when I fall off schedule and why (vacation, family, work, etc.), I will share my triumphs, and I will share my struggles.

No one is perfect in this world and my blog is about reality. I will tell you when I have fallen down and recently I have. I have lost sight of my power word for 2014 and it is time for me to bring it back to the center of my life.

FAITH.

Now this is a good thing. Faith defined is the complete trust and confidence in something/someone.

I can not sit here and type with 100% certainty that I will break a 4 hour marathon but I can tell you, I won't give up on my dreams. It took me 3 years to achieve my goal of breaking a 4:20 marathon so I am not giving up on my new goal in a short 7 months. That is just wrong.

What matters most is not if I achieve my goal but rather, if I keep striving to be the best me. I will not give up when things are tough. I have been training hard and the long mid-week runs are tough mainly from the standpoint of working them into my work week before starting work at 6:00 am each day. This determination will pay off. Yes, I have juggled my training here and there but I am still in solid standing and ahead of the game from where I was last year.

Last summer my training slipped too and I didn't do one set of intervals while on vacation. This time, I did my intervals....each week. I lost my long runs both years but I had some good weeks with lovely mileage this year. I got lots of time on the roads in Texas heat. That will count for something. I will not lose FAITH in myself because I FEAR failure. Failure is not something to be feared but embraced. In all reality, for a person to stand up and say I have never failed they are really saying I have never fully pushed myself to my limits. Sorry, but I do believe that is true.

I have fallen down. I got back up. I will fall back down. I will get back up. Falling down just shows I don't give up, that I continue to try new things, and that I set challenges for myself. I will continue to do so.

How about you?

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for yoga opening my mind to what was really holding me back.
Daily Affirmation: I have FAITH in myself.

7.22.2014

A Virtual Coffee Date

Have you seen these posts before? Ones were the blogger invites you to their virtual coffee date and just chats? I find them fun to read but I never felt I would sit down and write one. That is, until today.

What changed? Perhaps everything, perhaps nothing, but in all reality, today would be a perfect day to call up a few friends and say, let's hang out and chat.

So today you are officially invited as I feel I really do just need to chat in a way that isn't focused like my traditional blog posts (if you want to consider all of them focused). I don't have an overriding theme or issue I want to discuss. I just have a lot going on and you know girls love to chat away their worries!

I would tell you about my running and how in some ways it is going so good but in other ways I feel deflated. I find myself questioning why I have set the goals I do and if it is really worth it? In all reality, who would care if I broke a 4 hour marathon or if I didn't? Okay, I would care that I gave up on a goal so I keep going. I would ask how your running is going.

I would tell you I am loving yoga but there are days, like today, where I feel I am making no forward progress. I could hardly touch my toes I am so tight. I would ask if you have any suggestions for opening up your hamstrings.

I would tell you my shoulders have been hurting for days! I have these knots that just won't fully release and I have had moments of paranoia that they are indicators of something bigger. But I find comfort in the twitching muscle spasms to remind me it is just a muscle thing. I would ask if you knew any yoga poses to help relieve muscle tension in your shoulders.

I would tell you I am so worried for my friend's Ma who has had a really tough year. She is on a plane flying to Maui today and hopefully once she is nearby all of our worries will subside. I would ask how your family is doing.

I would tell you work is beyond crazy for this time of the year and I wonder how I am going to get everything done that I need to do. I would ask you how your job is going.

I would tell you blogging is still a joy but I wish I had more time to read blog posts from others. I would ask you about great blog posts you read recently.

I would tell you I find comfort in my bible study and loved how much I could do while on vacation. Perhaps it is just reading for me that is fun but then, I love involving darling daughter in the stories and sharing what we are learning together. I would ask you what you like to read.

I would tell you I am blessed with good friends, real and virtual, and that I don't like the term virtual friend. It seems to make you sound less valuable in my life and that isn't the case. Some of my virtual friends are more present when I need them than some real life friends. I think it is because with virtual friends the power of technology is embraced. I would ask if you agreed.

I would tell you I have the best running coach ever and love that he never gets down on me when I flop...and I have flopped....but I will return to my focused self. I would ask you who is making a positive impact in your life.

And then I would realize time has flown by and even though I had so much more to share and hear, I need to rush out. I would thank you for taking the time to hang out and listen to me carry on.

Hope to talk again soon.

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for rain.
Daily Affirmation: It is okay to get in a funk, I will get back out!

7.17.2014

Blog of the Month!

It is that time of the month again! Time to spread some love and share some information on another wonderful blog out there. Perhaps you know it, perhaps you don't, but why not read a bit about this month's blog and tell me what you think?!

Introducing Heather from Divas Run for Bling! Heather is a runner, blogger, and scrapbooker living in Chattanooga, TN with her husband and three fur children. She blogs about her journey as a runner - the races, training, lessons learned, healthy living, tips and advice and, of course, the bling. Heather's blog isn't completely new to me as I have been following her on facebook and twitter but I am sure you know what that means....I miss a lot. Both social media forums can have a lot flying by and if you are not watching all day, and I am not and never will be, lots can fly by. Thankfully I just added her to my bloglovin' list as well....assuming I find the time to sit down and read all the blogs I want to read. Oh my! So little time!

It seems I have stumbled upon her Recipe Thursday today and come on, that is a reason to set off alarms to see what Heather has to say! I love reading about recipes in hopes of finding a new gem for my kitchen. Today Heather is sharing her Mocha Coconut Protein Smoothie. In all reality, with the dairy in this recipe it will not find its way into my tummy but it did remind me how much I love making smoothies. I just try not to get the blender going before 4:00 am at my house but am now contemplating adding a blender to our "office kitchen" at work. It may be nice to fancy up my daily smoothie with some added yummy ingredients. Currently it is my VegaSport protein powder and water. Yep, I am #vegafueled!

If you have a spare moment though please stop over and say HELLO to Heather and let her know Erica G sent you. It is always good to spread some love!

If you would like your blog to be featured, please fill out this form.

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for dairy-free, gluten-free, and soy-free protein powder mixes!
Daily Affirmation: I spread happiness every day in one way or another.


7.16.2014

Yoga Streak day 200!

Yay! Today is day 200 of my yoga streak and I celebrated by doing the Advanced Combination class with my Yoga Studio app after a 4 mile run at home. Hip hip hooray!

After my class I asked darling daughter to take a picture of me trying to do the crane pose again. Her response was priceless. "Mom, you aren't old enough to do this! I can't take a picture! You can't hold it long enough!"

My first thought, ummm....I feel too old to do this pose but yet, I wanted to give it a try. I didn't practice this pose nearly as much as I would have hoped to during my three week vacation. So I got into position and gave it a try and was surprised on how "easy" it felt to get myself up and yes, I held it. The longest ever. Darling got headless photos and blurry photos so we gave it another try. She said she was shivering since she was cold. Hmmm....


The second attempt worked like a charm again with me getting into position and her taking photos that had me with my head and not a blurry mess. Yay!

To further celebrate today's milestone it was nice to go back and reflect on what I learned after 100+ days of yoga. All those lessons still hold true to me but what gets me the most today is how yoga can still be so challenging and rewarding each and every day. It is definitely a great part of my life and dear hubby agrees! He doesn't always agree running daily is as beneficial to me but I know it is. 

On a final note, I want to take a moment to list the poses I highlighted in pre-scheduled posts during my vacation. This yoga series talked about the benefits of a few poses and I provided some of my own personal insights. One driving factor for me sharing this series was I wanted to show yoga from a real perspective - a running mom giving it a try versus a super flexible yoga expert. I would love to hear from y'all on what you think in terms of is this something worth carrying on with? The sharing of yoga poses and information, not the yoga. The yoga is on for 200 more days and beyond!

Yoga Poses:
Bow
Camel
Cobra
Crane
Ear Presssure Pose
Heron

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for my daughter.
Daily Affirmation: I have a wonderful sense of humor.

7.15.2014

Back to Reality!

Aloha All!

I am back home after a three week vacation. It was amazing! I did plan to hop on my blog to check on the pre-scheduled posts, share, and comment but nope...I played with my family.

Rest assured, I kept my running and yoga streaks alive. If you follow me on facebook, twitter, or instagram, you got to see pictures that I shared here and there with run stats, etc. As much as I enjoyed my time off I am happy to be back home and get back on track with my training. I ran as much and as well as I could but finding time was difficult. Go figure, I am on vacation and still have time issues!

I am trying not to get down on myself or my training and more importantly, trying not to get too anxious for the 19 mile run on my plate for this coming Sunday. Oh geeze! In all reality, I know I can do it but question how well I will nail the paces I want.

Well, I must cruise now and get to work but I wanted to say HELLO and I can't wait to share more stories with you.

Have a beautiful week.

Love and hugs,
Erica

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful to be home.
Daily Affirmation: I will nail my run on Sunday.

7.11.2014

Our Favorite Races: 26.2 with Donna

Recently I posted about My Favorite Races. Today it is time to read about some races I have never done but others recommended!

This race was recommended by Shannon Chenoweth. You can find her on twitter and facebook too!

Race: 26.2 with Donna
Distance: Half Marathon, Marathon
Where: Jacksonville, FL
When: February

Reasons given for the recommendation:
100% of the registration and anything raised goes to charity to help finish breast cancer. This race is unlike any other. VERY walker friendly and the community comes out in numbers! I have done the half marathon and the full marathon and will be returning back in 2015.

You can read Shannon's half marathon recap HERE.

Personally, I got to say this is one of the recommended races that I have actually heard about and fell in love with when I read Donna's book. This race is on my personal bucket list! Thanks Shannon for sharing!
Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for all of you.
Daily Affirmation: I will make my dreams come true!

7.10.2014

Our Favorite Races: Idaho Wine Run

Recently I posted about My Favorite Races. Today it is time to read about some races I have never done but others recommended!

This race was recommended by Tanya Savage. You can also follow Tanya on twitter.

Race: Idaho Wine Run
Distance: 5K, 10K, Half Marathon, Marathon, Kids' Mile
Where: Ste. Chapelle winery, Caldwell, ID
When: September

Reasons given for the recommendation:
I recommend this race because it seems that I use this race as a life turning point. The first time I ran it, it was the half marathon. I decided I would sign up for an ultra! The second time was last year and I did the marathon. I ended a six-year relationship and moved onto my own two days after the race. Not much a race recovery but it was healing. But besides the personal emotional aspects of this race, there is wine on the course. It is at the 5K turnaround, where all the distances minus the kids run past. There is more wine tasting, music, and food tasting afterwards too. I planned on doing the full marathon as a redemption race but with so much going on for me this year, I will most likely be doing the 5K. If you want to register using my name (TANYA) will get you a discount on any race distance.

You can read more about Tanya's race experience HERE!
Daily Gratitude: I am thankful flowers.
Daily Affirmation: My cooking skills are improving.

7.09.2014

Yoga Pose of the Day: Ear Pressure Pose

I started a yoga streak on December 29, 2013. This was added on top of my running streak that I started on December 30, 2011 but that is another story. Through daily yoga I can feel my body growing stronger and I am gaining the much desired benefits of increased flexibility. I tend to focus on that and hip openers as those are what I feel my body craves the most. I am not a yoga expert so you won't see me in pretzel form but you can read what I learned from 100 days of yoga. In addition, I am here to share some information and personal insights on some yoga poses by tackling a pose here and there.

Today's Pose: Ear Pressure Pose

What are my thoughts? This can be a unnerving pose with my legs going back and being so high on my shoulders. It is not often that my toes touch but sometimes I think it is because I am resisting the pose. I really need to find my inner peace with this pose, let my toes go down, and allow my knees to lower.

What are the benefits? It deeply stretches your hips, neck, shoulders (Indeed! - This is where I feel the "burn".), chest, and spine.

How do I do it? I start in corpse and press my hands into the mat while I bring my legs up and over my head (plow pose). I lower my knees down by my ears and focus on calm breaths while NOT moving my head. To come out, I release my hands, engage my core, and slowly roll back down into corpse pose.

Please note: I am not a trained yoga instructor and am only sharing my personal experiences. As always, I advice checking in with your physician before starting any new exercise programs or routines. 

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for dear hubby and today is his birthday!
Daily Affirmation: I am a great wife!

7.08.2014

Our Favorite Races: The Covered Bridges Half Marathon

Recently I posted about My Favorite Races. Today it is time to read about some races I have never done but others recommended!

This race was recommended by Carly Pizzani. You can also find her on twitter and facebook.

Race: The Covered Bridges Half Marathon
Distance: Half Marathon
Where: from South Pomfret through Woodstock to Quechee, Vermont
When: first Sunday in June

Reasons given for the recommendation:
This is by far my favorite race of the year. It is held the first week of June when it's often warming up to uncomfortable racing temperatures in more southern states but Vermont usually still has some crispness to the air. It's a small race capped at 2,300 runners and the course is incredibly picturesque with covered bridges, farms, ski fields, the beautiful Quechee river, and folling fields. Best of all, it's relatively flat, which must have included some serious course plotting in Vermont! Of course, the huge spread of food, free local beer, and free massages at the end of the race don't hurt its appeal either!
Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for good friends.
Daily Affirmation: My spirituality makes me a better person.

7.07.2014

Yoga Pose of the Day: Crane

I started a yoga streak on December 29, 2013. This was added on top of my running streak that I started on December 30, 2011 but that is another story. Through daily yoga I can feel my body growing stronger and I am gaining the much desired benefits of increased flexibility. I tend to focus on that and hip openers as those are what I feel my body craves the most. I am not a yoga expert so you won't see me in pretzel form but you can read what I learned from 100 days of yoga. In addition, I am here to share some information and personal insights on some yoga poses by tackling a pose here and there.

Today's Pose: Crane

What are my thoughts? I was so excited the first time I got my toes up and had to do it again so darling daughter could capture it. That is this picture. In all reality, I was up only a second or two but I am practicing and getting better....slowly but surely. Some days it is tough to get the toes up again, other days I hold it a bit longer. I will keep at it.

What are the benefits? It strengthens teh core (my main reason for wanting to do it more), upper back, groin, upper arms, forearms, and wrists. It also improves balance and body awareness.

How do I do it? I take a deep breath and tell myself I can. Honestly, I do give myself a pep talk first. I do this as I am in kneeling position. I then move onto my feet with them just further apart then hip width with my arms between (Wide Squat). I focus another moment before moving forward and placing my hands firmly on the ground shoulder width apart. I draw my knees close into my armpits and aim to raise my sit bones as high as possible before lifting my toes up. When I try to lift my toes I envision my core helping with the lift, my back rounding, and need to focus on a "spot" on the ground. I would love to say I delicately come out of the pose but right now as I am still learning I tend to fall out of it.

Please note: I am not a trained yoga instructor and am only sharing my personal experiences. As always, I advice checking in with your physician before starting any new exercise programs or routines. 

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for birds.
Daily Affirmation: Through determination I will master the crane pose!

7.04.2014

Our Favorite Races: Baltimore Women's Classic

Recently I posted about My Favorite Races. Today it is time to read about some races I have never done but others recommended!

This race was recommended by Lauren. You can also find Lauren on twitter and facebook.

Run: Baltimore Women's Classic
Distance: 5K
Where: Baltimore, MD
When: June

Reasons given for the recommendation:
I love this race becuase it's the Mid-Atlantic's largest all-woman 5K and I love the girl power! It is a run for charity that raises money for female cancer patients in Maryland, which makes it special. The runners range from super speedy to women who are running their first 5K ever! I love that when you finish you are given a single rose and a sparkly medal along with a cold towel - so refreshing! The post-race area is spread out and includes all kinds of fruit including watermelon! It is a great Baltimore race for the ladies!

You can read Lauren's race re-cap HERE!
Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for volunteers.
Daily Affirmation: I schedule my time well.

7.03.2014

Our Favorite Races: Berry College Half Marathon

Recently I posted about My Favorite Races. Today it is time to read about some races I have never done but others recommended!

This race was recommended by Heather. You can also find her on twitter and facebook.

Race: Berry College Half Marathon
Distance: 5K, 10K, Half Marathon
Where: Berry College - Rome, GA
When: last Saturday in March

Reasons given for the recommendation:
This race is small so it is great for PR's. It is held on the campus of Berry College, a small private arts college in the north Georgia mountains. The college actually has the largest campus in the United States and some of the prettiest scenery, which you get to experience when you run. It has a four hour time limit so it is walker friendly too.

You can read Heather's race recap HERE.
Daily Gratitude: I am thankful unsweetened green tea.
Daily Affirmation: I am growing stronger with focused training.

7.02.2014

Yoga Pose of the Day: Heron

I started a yoga streak on December 29, 2013. This was added on top of my running streak that I started on December 30, 2011 but that is another story. Through daily yoga I can feel my body growing stronger and I am gaining the much desired benefits of increased flexibility. I tend to focus on that and hip openers as those are what I feel my body craves the most. I am not a yoga expert so you won't see me in pretzel form but you can read what I learned from 100 days of yoga. In addition, I am here to share some information and personal insights on some yoga poses by tackling a pose here and there.

Today's Pose: Heron

What are my thoughts? This pose is one of my nemeses but I am determined to not let it get the better of me. In all reality, my hands should be around my foot and my leg much higher but I am making improvements. Initially, I couldn't get my lifted leg above my bent leg and this is one reason I wanted to do this yoga series. Search for Yoga Pose of the Day for other poses. I wanted to show yoga poses from a beginner standpoint versus always seeing poses by the masters of perfection. And yes, I do want to get to that level too one day.

What are the benefits? It stretches your hamstrings (my problem child), thighs, knees, calves, and ankles (when I get my hands around them). Feel free to grab a yoga strap as I see the benefit in having one but mine is never handy.

How do I do it? I start in staff pose, sitting with my legs outstretched in front of me. I bend one knee and place my foot next to my hip. In this picture, that is the left leg. I bend my other knee and grab onto my leg as close to my ankle/foot as possible. In this picture, my right leg. Keeping my sit bones on the floor, I lift my leg with my hands as much as possible while keeping my shoulders down and spine straight. It takes concentration - a lot on my part. You can probably tell from the picture. I exhale when I lower my leg to come out, return to staff, and then do the same on other side.

Please note: I am not a trained yoga instructor and am only sharing my personal experiences. As always, I advice checking in with your physician before starting any new exercise programs or routines. 

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for swimming pools.
Daily Affirmation: I have a happy heart!

7.01.2014

Our Favorite Races: Frederick Running Festival

Recently I posted about My Favorite Races. Today it is time to read about some races I have never done but others recommended!

This race was recommended by Erika. You can also find Erika on twitter and facebook.

Race: Frederick Running Festival
Distance: 5K, Half Marathon
Where: Frederick, MD
When: 1st weekend in May

Reasons given for the recommendation:
This is a great race near DC but with a small town feel. The course has mildly rolling hills and showcases the best of Frederick! The size is just perfect. Big enough that you are never alone but no jockeying for apce to run after the first quarter mile or so. The race organization is top notch!

Read more about the race here!

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for stability balls.
Daily Affirmation: I have lovely blue eyes.