Thursday, August 29, 2013

When Inspiration Was Easy

When I first joined the Be Happy Link Up back in October(?) of last year, my life was so different from how it is now. Not in big ways, but definitely in all the small subtle ways. Day-to-day now is so different from day-to-day then.

Specifically when it comes to getting inspired and being thankful and present. Last October I had just started my yoga teacher training. I was getting biweekly reminders to be present and mindful, dispassionate and emit love.

Now that I am a teacher myself, not only are my days filled to the brim, but I need to be the reminder - for myself and for others. I need to look back at all the things I've learned, and remember to stop sometimes and appreciate the beauty around me. To remind my students not to compare themselves to anyone around them, not to be attached to the outcome, and to love, always.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

30 x 30; Run 100 Miles

With my half marathon looming a mere 12 days away, I set to off toward the coast on Monday night for a run. Minimum 4 miles, I told myself. I'd just done 4 miles a few days earlier, so it would be no big deal. I just had to get those last 4 to reach my goal of running 100 cumulative miles before I turn 30.

Can I just start off by telling you how much I love running at the beach? Holy smokes.

First, the smell of the ocean is 90 percent amazing - occasionally, you'll catch the smell of sewer or rotting fish, but in general, sand and ocean smell = amazing.

The sea breeze is so perfectly subtle, it keeps you dry and cool.

The air is peaceful and people are out with their dogs and there are no cars to make sure you don't get hit by. I LOVE RUNNING AT THE BEACH! Somehow it creates this wonderful illusion that I can run forever. I only wish I'd committed to getting over there sooner. As it stands, only two of the last 4 runs I went on were at the beach. Only two of the last 40 or 50 runs I've been on ever have been at the beach. This is changing going forwards.

But that's it though. I've run 100 miles. Actually, since I ran 6 miles last night, I've run 102 miles since last October. Since I didn't start out as much of a runner, this is pretty impressive for me. You may remember, I ran my first 10K last year, and then - without much training in between - I ran another 10K in March.

But I didn't get the bulk of my miles in until I started training for my half marathon. I ran 27 miles in one week, and then I kind of stopped worrying about it. In the beginning, I did think the 13.1 miles I'd be running in the half marathon would end up counting towards my 100, but it didn't work out that way. I finished my 100 with just over a week and a half to go.

I'm also feeling much much better about the upcoming "race" (which I put in quotes because I'm not trying to beat anyone except the urge to walk). My half marathon will be at the beach, so my recent switch to running in the right environment has been so uplifting for me - that feeling that I could run forever.

I'm going to continue to *hopefully* go on at least one run per week after I finish my half marathon, and I've decided to keep track on my blog. Follow along to see how far I get before my 30th birthday!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Seven Days of Yoga; Week 34

Sunday I got up to teach Mommy & baby yoga. The word is getting out, y'all. I am so happy. This week I had a mommy & baby pair that I did not personally convince to come to class! They just showed up! I have the coolest job.
That afternoon, hubs and I went golfing. Not an awesome workout or calorie burn, but later that night I did a set of intense kettle bell squats and leg lifts, a 2 minute plank, and 20 pushups, and then I felt better.

Monday I talked it out with the hubs and decided that I need to increase the length of time I spend on the treadmill or elliptical - turn it into as much mental training for the amount of time as it is physical training. So, I hopped on the elliptical for an hour and 35 minutes. I distracted myself by connecting to wifi and watching Rise of the Guardians on HBOGO.

Tuesday was busy. I had planned a long beach run after work, forgetting that I had an appt to get my hair done at 630 and a half hour drive between the two places. Lucky for me, my parents have a place nearby and I was able to take a short 3 mile run on a small road near the beach, and quickly shower off in time to drive out and get my hair done. Phew!

Wednesday I was back on my mat for the first time in two weeks. I took Power Yoga. It was great to feel stable and strong on my right leg again.

Thursday I taught my class and picked up dog food. I kept dinner light to make up for my lack of exercise.

Friday I finally actually got up early for a run! I ran 4 miles and then headed home to get ready for work. Running early in the morning is rough. I had zero energy, but I pushed through. I tried to run on the asphalt as often as possible to give my knees a slightly softer surface.

Saturday hubs and I went back to the gym. I did a mini "triathlon". I ran 3 miles on the treadmill, biked 30 minutes, and then did another 30 minutes on the elliptical. I was WIPED, but I got up enough energy to do some planks before we headed home.

My half marathon is two weeks away and I am a little freaked out. On the one hand, I really want to push myself to make sure I can  run long distances, but on the other, I'm worried if I push too hard I'll hurt myself. Grr.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Healthy Eyes

Before my sister's wedding over 3 years ago, I thought I had a sty. It turned out to be a clogged oil duct and after weeks of hot compresses, ointment, no contacts, no makeup and no change, I gave up.

Begrudgingly wearing my glasses to big sister's bridal shower, May 2010

I put my contacts back in and my mascara back on and I accepted that I would have this weird bump on my lower lid for the duration. And I did nothing for just shy of 3 years - during which time, I got married and you barely barely see the tiny bump on my lower lid in any of my wedding pictures.

If you look closely at my lower left lid, it's right in the middle. 

... Then another one showed up. This one was in the outer corner of my eye.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

A Day of Meals

There's a lot of discussion in the yoga community about diet - vegetarian, vegan, raw vegan, gluten free. Everyone has an opinion and its okay to listen and take them to heart, and its okay to nod and smile. My experience in yoga has, among other things, emphasized to me how different each and every one of us are. We all walk onto the mat from different physical, emotional and mental places.
Even though we strive towards our deepest practice, each day our deepest is different. So it becomes ever so much more important to let go of comparisons and judgement and let yourself be how you are.
I believe that this applies to every aspect of life - including the foods we choose to eat.

I recently read an article on YOGANONYMOUS. It was a breakdown on what this vegetarian all organic eating yogi had to eat on an average day, and while I sometimes find it frustrating that folks feel it necessary to point out that they're eating all-organic non GMO gluten free raw everything all the time, I really liked the end goal. She wrote
My unsolicited advice to you? Don’t waste time or risk your health on fad diets. Practice yoga most days of the week if you crave it. Ride your bike in good weather if it doesn't hurt your ass. If it does, get a squishy seat. Enjoy robust health and sleep enough so you feel like car-singing on your commute.
Eat what you want. Try to be healthy and do what's good for your body. Read labels, etc, but ultimately, do what feels right for you.

In that spirit, I decided to share what feels right for me. What meals give me the energy and satisfaction to carry me through the day without an ounce of self loathing. Maybe this helps you, maybe it doesn't, but it's out there now. This is what I ate on Monday, August 19th. No generalizations. No leaving anything out.

Breakfast @ 8:15am: 
1/2 cup of Daisy 4% milkfat cottage cheese, and a large peach
Homemade hazelnut latte - half cup of 2% milk, 2 oz espresso, and 2 tsp hazelnut syrup

Monday, August 19, 2013

Seven Days of Yoga; Week 33

Sunday we got home from Vegas. Aside from walking around the airport, I didn't do much of anything for exercise.

Monday I taught two classes - Hour of Power in the morning and Vinyasa Flow in the evening. I am loving teaching so much. I wish I could do it all the time.

Tuesday I had the night off and I thought I would get back into running, but I did a mini cleanse that day and by the time I left work, I was drained. I just had zero energy.

Wednesday morning I taught again, and that night I finally got back to running. It was so hard after taking a week and a half off. I only made it 3 miles and then walked the rest of the way home. It was brutal, but at least I'm getting out and running, right?

Thursday I taught my class and then was overcome by laziness. I love my class. Have I said that before? Oh, I think I say that every week. Thursdays are amazing. That is all.

Friday I went over to a yoga friend's house for a clothing swap party. I was at a yoga friend's, so its totally yogic, right? Meh. I ate too many chocolate chip cookies.

Saturday hubs and I went to the gym. Since I've diagnosed myself with runners knee - did I mention that before? - I decided to run on a softer surface. In this case, the treadmill. I did 3 miles before I was enough of a weird combination of bored and tired. Gosh the treadmill is boring, but I did 3 miles, so that's something. I also did a 3 minute plank and 3 sets of stability ball crunches, which are one of my favorite things ever ever.
I'm starting to get a little stressed/worried about my half marathon. It's only 3 weeks away and I don't feel ready.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Las Vegas; Summer 2013

So, that's it. I got in my two romantic weekends away, but you're kidding yourself if you think I've had enough. I don't turn 30 for another year. I'm gonna get in as many weekends away as I can! :)

We had a great time in Vegas this weekend. Here's a little run down for ya... with pictures, duh.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Currently; August 2013

Currently, I'm...

The final book in the Sookie Stackhouse series. I think it's #15 or #16 or something. It's a little weird to be reading the last one - like a chapter in my life is closing. Dun dun dunnnnnnn!

Everything, it feels like. True Blood is almost done for the season. Dexter too. Ray Donovan, I'm still not sold on. The last episode of True Blood felt like filler. Do you watch? Know what I'm saying. Dexter is so good. I love. 
Breaking Bad is back. I know you know. I saw the pictures from your Breaking Bad parties. 

Listening to... 
Lots and lots of potential yoga music. I'm trying hard to keep my ears open for good songs to play in class. Also, The Civil Wars. How have I missed out on them for so long? Yes, I totally play them in yoga class.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Seven Days of Yoga; Week 32

This week has been SO hard. I'm trying to give my knee a rest, so I haven't run since last Saturday! Ohmygooooosh. I have been teaching quite a bit this week though, so that's awesome. :)

Sunday was a day off. I thought about going to boxing, but ultimately decided against it.

Monday I taught Hour of Power in the morning. Then took the evening off. Went a little stir crazy because I like to exercise! I've been doing my planks, but after about 2 minutes, my knee starts to get tired, so I haven't been about to go much longer than that.

Tuesday I did yoga in the park - took the above picture using the Fast Camera app my bro-in-law suggested. So far I really like it. I can't wait to try it for my yoga pose breakdowns.

Wednesday I got a last minute call to teach Power Yoga at 4pm. Did it. Loved it. Some new girls may have made a mistake telling the front desk they wanted a challenging class. Lots of people taking lots of breaks. I even stopped twice to give them a break. It was kind of a great feeling though. :)
I decided to stay and take Power Yoga at 6. I was prepared to take it super easy on my right leg. I thought I might skip one legged balance poses altogether. but when we got to them (which was surprisingly early in the class) I decided to just modify. I barely lifted my left foot off the floor in warrior III, and I held onto the wall for half moon. My teacher TOTALLY noticed since I was going full force on the left leg and barely putting any weight on the right, but she knows I know how to modify and not hurt myself, so she just came over and asked me about it and let me do my thing.

Thursday I thought about trying to get back into some cardio, but I got my knee worked on by my aunt/chiropractor and afterward, it was really tired and a little sore, so I decided to take the night off. I did teach my beginner class though. Lovely, as always. Had another student ask what other classes I teach. Oh the bitter-sweetness of it all! It breaks my heart every time I tell them only this one and mommy & baby. I wish I had another flow class I could refer them too.

Friday was my big sister's GRADUATION FROM NURSING SCHOOL! I thought I might take a yoga class while I was down in LA, but I opted to walk around 3rd street with the fam before picking the hubs up at work and heading to the airport for our weekend getaway.

Saturday, we got up earlyish and had the most giant buffet breakfast ever. We didn't feel hungry the rest of the day, but we did think it would be a good call to hit up the hotel gym after our food digested a little bit. I ran a mile, walked another mile, did a 5 minute plank, chest flies and skull crushers, and a little dancy get-your-heart-rate-going kettle bell fun times. Should have taken pictures of that.

How was your week? Get any good workouts in? Yoga?

Friday, August 9, 2013

Rx; Sunshine

My doctor is retiring. Not really a huge deal to me personally since I hadn't gone to see her since before college, but I was thinking it would probably be a good idea to get a physical - just make sure I am A-OK, ya know? So, I set up an appointment with a NEW doctor - old doc wouldn't see me since I hadn't been in since before 2010.  And, I guess, as is procedure for new patients nowadays, they did a full blood panel.

This week I went in so we could go over everything. I guess that's a thing too now? Every page of the test results, she pretty much spent applauding me for staying so healthy. She even told me that she rarely sees such great cholesterol levels. She drew a little star and happy face on my chart - and like the 5 year old I am, I beamed.

Of course, I spent the whole time waiting for the "But..."

and, of course, there was one.

My vitamin D levels are - in her words - "kinda wimpy". Optimal levels of Vitamin D are between 50 and 70. Mine are at 26.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Kitchen Adventures; Strawberry Mango Popsicles

I'm struggling with the reality that it's August already.

Last weekend, hubs and I bought a watermelon. Goal number one was to juice it and make delicious watermelon cocktails, which we did. Hubs made them though. I merely enjoyed.

What I did do, was get out a mango that was nearing the end of its shelf life and half of a giant box of strawberries and juice them. The thing about juicing a mango though... you don't get much juice out of it - you do, however, get quite a lot of pulp.

I was inspired.

Since strawberry juice is one of my favorite things ever - more so then even strawberries themselves - and I have been dying to make popsicles, I scooped some mango pulp into popsicle molds and then poured my strawberry mango juice over them.

... with fingers crossed, but really, how can you go wrong with strawberries and mango?

Monday, August 5, 2013

Seven Days of Yoga; Week 31

Sunday I was supposed to run 10 miles according to my training program, but I was having some pain on the back of my right knee, so I decided to skip it - give my legs a rest and I could pick back up with training when they were feeling better.
Though I didn't practice yoga, I got to teach the Sunday Sunshine Flow class at the studio, which was really nice.

Monday I taught Power Yoga in the morning. I got some great feedback from one of the more experienced teachers at the studio. It was really helpful. He told me to own my music and add a couple tougher poses when I'm subbing for harder teachers. He also said how really great I did and that he was rooting for me. Yay!
That night - after picking up a cupcake for myself - I ran 7 miles, which is the furthest I've run ever. Hooray for breaking personal records. I was so happy, but I was also SO tired. It helped me to really feel like I'm on track though - like next month running this half marathon will actually be doable. So, I ate half my cupcake (since it was giant) partially in celebration of running 7 miles and partially as a belated bday gift to myself.

Tuesday, in keeping with my training, I ran 4.5 miles. That's what 4 laps around the local apartment complex comes to since it's just barely over 1 mile each lap. I'm having some trouble with my right knee. Not really pain, per say, more like discomfort. Not sure what it means or what I should do about it.

Wednesday night I taught Power Yoga and then stayed for the Candlelit class after. I listened to the constructive criticism from the other teacher on Monday. It was easy to listen to him since he is such a great teacher. I taught a harder class. I kept the volume up on the music. I felt really good about it.

Thursday night I wanted to get home earlier than the previous week - when I was out until past 9:30 running. I had 5 miles to do, so I thought I could split them up. Not ideal for training, but ideal for getting home at a reasonable time. I ran 2.8 miles before class, cleaned myself up a bit, taught my beginners, and then ran 2.4 miles after class. Not bad, eh?

Friday was a rest day, but T and I went to the gym together for a bit. I didn't do much. - some pull ups, dips, and chest press. I did about 2 minutes on the elliptical, but there was a woman getting a massage on the table nearby and she kept moaning - like mooaaaning. It was majorly distracting, so I left.

Saturday I got up earlyish 5 miles. I improved my pace like crazy, but apparently now I am injured. I don't know what happened. I may have overstretched or something post run because I was in zero pain during the run, but later that day my right knee really started to bug me. It kind of feels like I pulled something, but I can't be sure. So, I'm just taking a few days to rest it.

How was your week?

Friday, August 2, 2013

30 x 30; Get CPR Certified

I put getting CPR certified on my 30 x 30 list before I learned that most gyms require you to have it before they'll let you teach fitness classes.

So... wanting to teach yoga at a gym kind of gave me the kick in the butt that I needed to sign up. The way it worked out, I found a class on my birthday. It didn't really bother me that I'd spend my birthday morning watching CPR videos and practicing on a dummy, and anyway, I can save lives now - and I feel like my future children are safer.

The coolest part for me personally, is that I can make the mommies in my mommy & baby yoga classes feel safer. Since I'm also certified in infant CPR, God forbid something happens, I can be there to help effectively.

I feel like more of a contributing member of society now - less a helpless bystander.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Eat Breakfast

Way back, when I joined this crazy group of ladies to link up and be happy, I wrote this post. It's about getting up early and having a leisurely breakfast in the morning.

It made me happier. It really did. I makes me happier, because, yes, I am still getting up early enough to have a calm, relaxing, rejuvenating, wakeful breakfast at my kitchen table. This morning I had a bagel, if you must know.

I pay bills. I read my daily Skimm emails, which I was reading way before Joy the Baker talked about getting her daily scoop alongside waffles, by the by. I can't help if I'm less popular than she is. Not important. In the mornings, I breathe. I wake up and I sip my coffee as the dog sniffs around. Sometimes I glug my coffee, but it's still down right leisurely.

This whole time I'm thinking it's the leisure that makes my mornings happier. I still think that's true, but I talked to a nurse the other day and she told me that 9 times out of 10 when she asks folks if they had breakfast that morning, they say no, and in general, the 10 percent of people who do actually eat breakfast are in significantly better moods when they see her in the morning than folks that skipped breakfast.

Pretty interesting, huh? The simple act of just eating breakfast may have been making me happier.

Though I certainly think the leisure helped too.