Thursday, April 25, 2013

My Yoga Days

I love running, and I am loving kettlebell, but I couldn't continue in either without my yoga practice.  In a perfect, didn't have any other life, schedule, I would practice yoga every morning and then either run or do kettlebell in the afternoon.  Running is great for the endorphins, a lifting heavy things gives you a different kind of rush, but there is a genuine calm that comes during your yoga practice.

In the past I've used videos as well as streamed classes from online.  My favorite DVD is Shiva Rea's Yoga Shaki

Shiva Rea: Yoga Shakti (2 Discs)

I also have a variety of other videos, but this one got the most use.  I also have used Yoga Today online . This is an excellent online yoga source.  Honestly, those women taught me yoga.  They are excellent teachers, giving perfect cues and speaking to you like they are in the room with you.

I also have a couple of yoga books. I have a book on the Primary series, by Beryl Birch; and I have another Power Yoga book, by Baptiste. I also have a helpful book and guide from Sage Rountree .  I have a real love for the Primary series, but mostly I combine what I have learned for my own home practice.


I start of with 3 to 5 Sun Salute A's, then 3 B's.  I then do the Primary Standing Series.  When I finish the standing series, I do the back bending series from Baptiste's book. After the back bending, I use Baptiste's hip opening series combined with some things from both Rountree's book and what I've learned on Yoga Today.  After the hip opening (and forward bends), I either go into the Primary Series Closing or do a series of spinal twists.

This routine is perfect for me.  It balances with the hard work I do running and lifting.  I stretch my back, hamstrings, and hips.  When I'm done I always spend time in Shavasana.

Yoga is very important to me.  Someday I would like to pursue it more fully, maybe doing a retreat.  But right now it's the Yin to my Yang of harder work.  (Love Yin Yoga too!)

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Dealing with Injury

The human body does not like change.  When I first started running, back in 2007, I got hurt, almost right away.  Bad shoes and weak tendons led to a 3 month  injury which even made it difficult to walk.  It took me till the next year to start running again, and again I got injured, this time it was with shin splints (went from the treadmill to outdoors.  Didn't know you had to be careful!).  I've been running consistently for 5 years now, and I know how to listen to my body and cut back to avoid injury.  But my body has also adjusted to running.  While I know I can still get injured, it's less likely to occur if I'm not aggressive and remember to cut back once in awhile.

Now I've started something new, kettlebells.  I want strength.  The problem is that I have never been a physically strong person.  And my body's response to trying to get strong at 43 is to complain, loudly.  When I first started Lauen's book, Kettlebells for Women, I added daily push-ups and (negative) chin-ups.  I was very aggressive about it.  I was determined to be able to do real push-ups and chin-ups, but all I managed to do was aggravate my shoulder.  I stopped doing the daily push-ups and chin-ups when I switched to Lauren's new program, Be SLAM.  I also learned better technique from a kettlebell trainer.  The combined has helped, for the most part, take care of my shoulder issue.  At least I thought so.  My left shoulder issue is completely better, but the top of my right shoulder is hurting, a lot.   It seems that the TGU's aggravated it, as the one arm swings with the heavier bell.

I know I need to give my shoulder a break.  I'm supposed to do a conditioning workout tomorrow, but instead I 'm going to run.  The 2 days after that are rest before the next strength workout, and I'm hoping that the 3 day rest will help resolve my issue.  I doubt it, but I'm hopeful.  I know I need to be careful.  When you're over 40 your body can not handle the same amount of stress that it could when it was 20.  Hopefully, I can nurse this along by small breaks and dropping to a lighter weight for some things.  I'm trying to very extra careful with push-ups.

It does stink getting old.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

New Shoes!!

I always love getting a new pair of running shoes.  Even though I get the same brand and type every time, I get that kid on Christmas morning feeling when my shoes arrive through the mail (I live an hour from a running store.  I always order online).

I usually switch out my shoes at about 425 miles.  This way my old sneakers are still good for walking and everyday use.  My old running shoes had 400 miles on them, so I still plan on running in them a bit more.  But this morning, when I went for my run, I had to use my new shoes. :)

Purple and pink sneakers!  and a new pair of running socks.

I ordered them earlier than needed because Running Warehouse had a sale.  I always try to grab my shoes while they are on sale.  I never have trouble getting my size.  I usually always go for the blue pair, but this time the "blue" color sneaker was black and blue. Not what I would want.  Blue is my favorite color, but after that, it's purple.  So I was excited to go very different this time and get the colorful shoes.  I also ordered a new pair of running socks.  There are 2 kinds that I like, Smartwool and Belega.  For some reason I put a hole in the toes of my Smartwools faster, so Belega has been winning lately.  I've always pushed my toe up.  In fact, I put Duck tape inside the toe area of the sneakers to protect them.  I still need to do that.  This morning's short 4 mile run was not going to hurt them.  

Kettlebell has been going well.  I ordered another 12kg bell so that I would have 2 for renegade rows, jump squats, or anything else I may need or want to try with doubles.  I told myself I could get another 12kg when I could press my 12kg.  It was my little reward. :)  Tomorrow's workout calls for lots of Turkish Get up's.  I will have to start out with my 15 lb bell, but I should be able to do a few with the 26 lb bell.  Can't wait.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Getting Outside

Well, I had a post and Blogger deleted it.  That's frustrating.

It was a beautiful 60 degrees outside today, so I grabbed my kids and headed to the park.  We have a small state park in our little town.  It's really quite nice.

Blue skies!

The 1 mile loop by the lake

My plan was to go at least 4 miles.  I wasn't sure if I could do it.  I have not been running much since I've been working on strength with kettlebells.  At mile 2 I ran into a friend and we ran the rest together.

My distance and pace.  Most people post their fast pace and long distance. I'm posting my modest pace and distance.

It was a nice run. It felt good to get outside.  I'm looking forward to more outside runs.  I hope this weather stays nice.

Me, happy after a nice run

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Testing my Limits

This new kettlebell program I am following is divided up into Strength and Conditioning days.  I decided I could run on the Conditioning days since the workouts were meant to be dynamic (cardio) and I could do as little as 3 rounds.  This way I could continue working on kettlebell but still run.  Today I did the second conditioning workout along with a run.  I ran first, just 30 minutes easy.  I then did 5 rounds of the conditioning workout, which was high-pulls and push-presses.  I felt good while I did the workout, brain was toast.  I ate a banana between the run and kettlebell, but clearly, it was not enough.  I made great breakfast of 3 eggs (1 whole, 2 eggs whites), spinach, and goat cheese, along with an orange and cup of coffee.  I was still in a fog an hour later.  And even now, after I've had lunch, I feel tired.

I may have to separate the running and kettlebell.  I could do one in the morning, and the other in the afternoon.  I don't want to lose my running ability.  I have never had the best cardiovascular system, and if I drop off in the running, it will suffer.  I may get to the point where I just try to run a mile a day, just to keep it up.  I could walk for 5 minutes, run for a mile, then walk another 5, for a nice 20 minutes.  It would be easy and help me feel like I'm not giving up something I love.

Tomorrow I will do a little yoga in the morning and then when the weather turns a bit nicer go for a short run at the park.  It will be nice to get outside, of course, my allergies may not agree.