Marathon Training, Yoga Challenges, and Grandsons: Just a little recap

Busy weekend = mostly pictures. That and the Westminster Dog Show is distracting me. So, a little recap with a lot of pictures.

Marathon Training

What should be the biggest part of my recap is, well, not so much. I’m having schedule clashes, with clients who want to work out at 7:00 in the morning, and while I’m willing to get out there early, I’m hesitant to get out there too much in advance of the sunrise. That’s a long excuse for only two runs this week.

Running 2I did get out early on Wednesday, finishing my four miles by 6:00.

RunningAnd I did a 14 mile long run on Sunday (Saturday we had family stuff). I ran the first 5 miles with Alan and our neighbor, then took off on my own for the rest. The fire station is my perfect water stop. They have an ice machine, plus, well, firemen (though there weren’t any about on Sunday).

Total mileage only 18 miles! That should improve in the coming week. My work schedule is a little better and I have a cut back on the long run next weekend.

Yoga Challenge

Ironically, I’ve done much better with the Take the Leap 30 Days of Yoga Challenge with prAna and Sweat Pink that I did with running. I’ve managed at least a short practice every day since the beginning, and since I’m doing the Bringing Yoga Back challenge too (which fortunately work really well together), I’m really happy with my yoga efforts. I didn’t make it to a “real” class this week, but I practiced at home, both in and outdoors. Take a peek:

Week 2A little doggy-assisted yoga, my favorite kind.

Week 2_2While Alan worked the PS Half Marathon, I took a little run, the did a little posing.

Week 2_3Not only do I get help from my dogs, I get a lot of interest from the cats in the neighborhood.

Week 2_4I spread out my mat on the driveway to stretch after my Wednesday run.

Week 2_5I think I did a pretty good lizard pose variation, don’t you?

Week 2_6Back in the house, a 20 minute balance flow, and amazingly the dogs stayed clear (they were probably afraid I’d fall on them, my balance was that bad).

Week 2_8We traveled to Huntington Beach on Saturday for our twin grandsons’ 10th birthday party. While they played basketball, I posed.

Week 2_7I dragged Alan out for this one. Up in the trails behind our house, he took so many great pictures of my downward facing dog that I couldn’t choose just one.

Phew, week two in the books. I’m am so ready for week three!

Grandsons

As I mentioned, our grandsons turned 10 on Saturday (yes, they’re Valentine’s Day boys). It was a basketball themed party, so Alan and I had a chance to throw the ball around a little bit too. It had been 20 years a long time since I played basketball, and I was playing in flip flops, but I still managed a couple free throws (it seems much farther away than it did when I was younger!), and more than a few lay ups. From my Instagram:

Yes, we did. #basketball

A video posted by Debbe Woodruff (@coachdebbieruns) on

And this:

BirthdayThey asked to do this. #10yearoldboys

Valentine’s Day

We’re not big Valentine’s celebrators. We try to show our love daily, so it’s just not a big deal. We did, however, take the opportunity to stop for dinner at Native Foods on our way home from Huntington Beach on Saturday. It’s not exactly romantic, but it is our favorite restaurant. As I told one of our smartypants Facebook friends, it feels more romantic to us than candlelight and steaks!

Native Foods 3Native Foods 2Alan ordered three(!) cupcakes, so we had ALL the chocolate! I was really well fueled for my long run on Sunday. And fortunately not too sore from the basketball.

So, that was my week in training and life. What’s happening in yours? Any races, events, family fun?

Yoga Challenge! Take the Leap with prAna, Week 1

It’s not officially one week old yet, but we are into day six of the Take the Leap 30 Days of Yoga Challenge with prAna and Sweat Pink! How’s your yoga going?

Take the LeapTake the Leap Yoga Challenge

I’ve been pretty pleased with my own yoga this week. I really needed this challenge to give me the kick in the butt that I needed to get (and stay) on my mat.

We started the challenge on Monday, and I followed my own advice by warming up for my run with about 15 minutes of Sun Salutations. I had help.

Day 1I also cooled down from the run with some yoga stretches and practiced my crow pose. If you think Bakasana is a challenging pose try it while your dog is giving you kisses.

Doggy Assisted BakasanaOn day two I decided to try something different. Yoga Central, my yoga studio, has a Yin Yoga class every Tuesday and Thursday at 6:00 am. I’d never been, and really didn’t know what Yin was. The description said that the entire class consists of passive poses held for 2-5 minutes. I knew that I was in for a challenge when the first post was a forearm plank held for two minutes! Thank goodness the class was only 45 minutes long!

YinThese two poses killed me! I’m recreating them here, but we held the squat on the left for three minutes in the Tuesday class (I think. It felt like five.), and the low squat on the right for the same amount of time in the Thursday class. Needless to say, my legs were a little sore for my Wednesday run.

On Wednesday, I did a 20 minute YogaDownload.com audio before my run (affiliate link). Then I practiced my headstand. In case you can’t tell, that’s me on the left.

Day 3

Thursday was my second Yin class, which in addition to the Garland pose (low squat) above, also included three minutes (each side) of Pigeon pose. I am one of those rare runners with loose hips, so I love this pose. I even re-did it for the camera after class.

Day 4On Friday I had my first client at 7:00, so I did a quick 10 minutes of sun salutations. I had more fun later in the day with my selfie photo shoot. I had much better light so you can see the pretty colors of my prAna outfit.

Day 5I have a 12 mile run planned for Saturday, so my plan is some gentle yoga stretching afterwards, and maybe some restorative yoga later on in the afternoon.

PranaIf you are admiring the beautiful prAna outfit from their new spring collection that I received for participating in the campaign, the top is the Meadow top in Viola Magnolia and the pants are the Tori capri in Neon orange. You can save 15% when your order on PrAna.com with the code psps15LFL. Note: While I did receive this outfit, all yoga is my own. I’m also a prAna Influencer because I <3 them.

You can still join! There are prizes! Read this post for details. Remember to follow me on Instagram and Twitter for daily updates.

So really. How’s your yoga going?

A Little Recap, A Little Marathon Planning, A Little Yoga

A Little Recap

This past week I was scheduled to run 35 miles, with my long run at 15.

That didn’t happen. After being sick for almost two weeks, worried that a day of sneezing and runny nose meant I was getting sick again, I managed a nine mile long run within a 20 mile week.

And I was pretty happy about it.

Run

While I started feeling better by Monday, I still had a cough, so I started the week slowly, with just an easy three mile run. That went well, so on Wednesday I upped the effort level a little, running five miles with seven fartlek bursts. I didn’t time or measure the bursts, but I’d guess they were somewhere around a quarter mile each. That felt good too, but then on Friday morning, which was a rainy day here in the desert, I woke up sneezing (and that awful feeling that you need to sneeze but just can’t get it out). I also had a runny nose, but other than that I felt fine. I don’t have allergies, but I was actually hopeful that I had developed some just so I wouldn’t worry about getting sick again.

Run 2

By Saturday, though, I felt fine, so I ran nine miles. The first five were with Alan and our neighbor, then I took off on my own to add an extra four. I did have a little bit of asthma about mile six, but I had my inhaler and used it. I had cut off options if I needed them, but after that one incident everything seemed to settle down. I finished the final miles with no problem.

A Little Marathon Planning

So here is my revised, revised training plan (Training plan 3.0) for the SLO Marathon. I’m hoping that I’ll stay healthy, and that the weird little twinge I have in my left foot is nothing. Now that is a strange one. I was getting into the shower, rotated my ankle as I turned, and I felt a little pulling, pinching sensation in my ankle/foot. It doesn’t really hurt, but there is something there that I want to pay attention to.

SLO Marathon

Date
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Saturday
Sunday
Total Mileage
1/27-2/1/15
3 miles Marathon Pace (MP)
Rest
5 miles Fartlek bursts
Rest
Rest
9 miles
3.5 miles
20.5
2/2-2/8/15
3 miles
Rest
5 miles                 ½ mile intervals
Rest
Rest
12 miles
5 miles
25
2/9-2/15/15
5 miles ½ mile intervals
Rest
5 miles Hills
5 Rest
Rest
15 miles
5 miles
30
2/16-2/22/15
5 miles                    1 mile intervals
Rest
6 miles                  4 @ HM Pace
3 miles or Rest
Rest
10 miles w/5 miles @ MP
6 miles
30
2/23-3/1/15
6 miles MP
Rest
5 miles Hills
3 miles or Rest
Rest
16 miles
6 miles
36
3/2-3/8/15
6 miles                   1 mile intervals
Rest
7 miles                   5 @ HM Pace
3 miles or Rest
Rest
6 miles
Redlands Half
35.1
3/9-3/15/15
4 miles Recovery
Rest
6 miles                  4 @ LT Pace
3 miles or Rest
Rest
18 miles
5 miles
36
3/16-3/22/15
6 miles MP
Rest
6 miles Hills
3 miles or Rest
Rest
20 miles
5 miles
40
3/23-3/29/15
5 miles                    1 mile intervals
Rest
7 miles                   5 @ HM Pace
3 miles or Rest
Rest
16 miles       Neg Split Run
6 miles
37
3/30-4/5/15
6 miles 1 mile LT intervals w/2 minute rest
Rest
6 miles                  4 @ LT pace
3 miles or Rest
Rest
22 miles
6 miles
43
4/6-4/12/15
6 miles MP
Rest
6 miles Hills
3 miles or Rest
Rest
15 miles        Neg Split Run
5 miles
35
4/13-4/19/25
5 miles                 ½ mile intervals
Rest
5 miles                   4 @ HM Pace
Rest
Rest
10 miles
4 miles
24
4/20-4/26/15
5 miles
Rest
4 miles MP
3 miles
Rest
2 miles
SLO Marathon
14 + 26.2

There is still time to save $10 on registration and join me in San Luis Obispo for the SLO Marathon on April 26!  Just use the code WOODAMB at checkout and I’ll see you there!

A Little Yoga

Well, I’ve made it through two days of the Take the Leap 30 Days of Yoga Challenge with Prana and Sweat Pink! On Monday I followed my own advice and did about 10 minutes of Sun Salutations to warm up before my run. As always, I had a little help.

Day 1

On Tuesday I decided to hit up the 6:00 am Yin Yoga class at Yoga Central. It was my first time to this class and I had no idea what to expect. The description said that the entire 45 minute class consists of passive poses held for two to five minutes. I knew when we started off with a two minute forearm plank that I was in for an experience. My biggest challenge was the wide leg squat which was held for three minutes (I think. It felt like five). My legs were shaking, but I’m pretty stubborn, so I held out. I really loved this class, which kind of surprised me because I love the flowing Vinyasa classes that I usually attend. A good lesson to try out something new!

Yoga CentralYes, it was early.

Finally, to leave you with a smile, here is my attempt at Crow pose, one of my favorites because I can (sometimes) achieve it. With a little help from a friend.

Doggy Assisted BakasanaHow was your training week? Are you doing the Take the Leap challenge? Why not?

One Step Forward, Three Steps Back: Training Update

It’s been a tough two weeks around here. After avoiding the first go-round of illness that invaded my work place, it finally caught up with me. That’s what I get for being cocky I guess. In spite of a flu shot (which I have heard only protected about 20% of people because of a mutation in the virus), I got it badly. Actually, I’m not sure if it was the flu or just a bad cold, but I had a cough, congestion, headache, body ache, and generally just felt, well, shitty.

As far as training went, I feel like I had taken one step forward, then three steps back. I didn’t run for 10 days! That is really rare for me because when I get a cold I can usually muddle through, maybe missing one workout. I think that many times a short, easy run makes me feel better. Nope, not this time.

Keep Your Eyes on the GoalI finally got out for a short run on Saturday. Alan and I, along with a neighbor, ran four miles on the trails. I felt good, had no breathing problems. My legs felt fresh! Even though I woke up with a headache, I pushed through. The headache went away while I was running, only to come back with a vengeance when we finished. While it wasn’t a migraine, it was enough to send me back to bed, where I spent most of the rest of the day.

One Step ForwardWhen I woke up on Sunday I really felt like I’d turned a corner. While I still had a cough, my headache was gone, and I just felt good. I did keep it light, just a three mile run with the dogs, but it went well and didn’t knock me down for the day. Same thing on Monday. An easy three mile run and all felt well.

However, all this sickness and missed workouts puts me behind on my training plan for the SLO Marathon in April. I’m not worried about the speed, there’s plenty of time to get the benefit of that, but I’m a little concerned about both my long runs and my total weekly distance. I have to sit down and make a training update, and figure out how to get all the long runs I want, without trying to make too big a leap to get there.

On top of that, if I can just whine a little bit more, my schedule is filling up at work, which is a good thing, but it also makes it harder to get in the workouts that I’d planned. So, I will have to re-work my mid-week running plans too. Plus I picked up a class on Saturday, so that will bump my long run to Sunday. Yikes, I guess I just need to create a whole new plan. Good thing I have 13 weeks until the race!

So, as it stands, here are my goals for the upcoming week:

Monday: Easy three miles (got that one!)
Tuesday: Cross Training: Pilates Reformer
Wednesday: Five miles with a few fartlek bursts, just to see how everything is feeling.
Thursday: Cross Training: Pilates Reformer
Friday: Rest
Saturday: Five miles before work, Yoga class after.
Sunday: 10 miles (I feel like I need this to get back on track, but I’ll see how I feel and cut it back if I really need to.)

I won’t let these obstacles sidetrack me though. I plan to run strong on April 23, and I know I just need to keep my focus on that goal. All of these “problems” are just distractions tempting me to take my eyes off that final goal. I’m not going to let that happen.

What obstacles have you faced when trying to achieve a big goal? How did you overcome them?

Honolulu Marathon, Blog School, and More!

I have a few (kind of random) things that I want to share with you. From the educational (Blog School), to the (for me) exciting (Honolulu Marathon), to the mundane (health insurance), I decided to just jam it all in one post.

Going Back to Blog School

Blog Genie’s Blog School is back and if you’re a blogger, you really should think about signing up. Rita Berry kicks off school season on February 2 with a free, three part “Road Map” to blogging.

Blog-School-Screenshot

The Blog School Traffic Roadmap, 3 part training is totally free and will give you the tools and strategy you need to start building your traffic, whether you’re just starting out or have been blogging for years.

  • The 2 critical components you must get right before you build your traffic
  • Why promotion is the last thing you do to build your traffic and why most people try it first (and why they get frustrated)
  • The most valuable blogging exercise you’ll ever do, it’s what I still do every time I start a new blog or product
  • How to blog less for more traffic
  • Why the way we think about blog traffic is backwards and how correcting our mindset makes traffic so much easier to generate
  • The difference between high and low quality traffic and why you can create a better and more successful blog with less pageviews than you might think

I was a student in the first session of Blog School, so while this is affiliate link, I speak from experience that it is totally worth the investment.

Honolulu Marathon

In case you missed my Instagram post:

(I thought it was kind of cool that @HonoluluMarathon reposted this!)

Yes indeed, I signed Alan and myself up for the Honolulu Marathon! It seems like spur of the moment, but it really wasn’t. We’d hoped to go last year, but the stars did not align, so when a friend tagged me on a link to the early registration (only $55!), I took the plunge.

In case you didn’t know (or didn’t read the Instagram comment above), Honolulu was my first marathon. I wrote about it here. I’ve done the race six times, but I haven’t been back since 2003. Eleven years, but our plans will be the same. Fly over to Oahu on Friday before the race. After the race on Sunday, catch an island hopper over to Kauai, our favorite island, and spend four or five days in Hanalei. It’s a great place to relax after a marathon. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I actually want 2015 to fly by because the 2015 Honolulu Marathon is on December 13.

Medical Insurance

It sounds kind of silly to get so excited about something I took for granted while I was employed at my former job, but my new medical insurance starts on February 1! Yes, I have been uninsured since I was fired last summer. All that time, in spite of being really healthy, I’ve been worried about getting sick. Fortunately, it hasn’t happened (or won’t happen in the next 10 days, knock on wood). Thank you ObamaCare. Before my last job, I was denied affordable health insurance because I had a pre-existing condition: exercise induced asthma (I mean, come on, how ridiculous is that?). I will sleep much better now.

Fascial Stretch Therapy

I don’t talk about it very often, but I have been dealing with chronic lower back pain for several years now. I’ve tried a few things, including a chiropractor, stretching, and medication, but it has continued to be an issue for me. I’m sure some if has to do with what I’m doing right now, sitting here typing for a couple hours at a time. I think that finally I have found something that will make a difference.

Although Stretch to Win and Fascial Stretch Therapy (FST) have been around over 20 years, most people haven’t heard of this undulating stretching technique that focuses on fascial continuities, rather than isolated muscles. Fascia is the connective tissue that that form sheets or bands beneath the skin to attach, stabilize, enclose, and separate muscles and other internal organs. FST is a special and specific technique that addresses the nervous system and joint capsules to help our muscles, which are surrounded by fascia, to function better, relieve pain, and correct minor structural issues of the body.

It is very popular at my fitness center right now, and I hope in the future to get certified myself, but last Saturday I became a true believer. We had a fitness event and I, sick as I was, manned the personal trainer booth, doing fitness and body composition assessments. We also had some lectures, vitamin B-12 shots, free chair massage, and other informational booths.

We also did free 10 minute FST sessions, which were the most popular item on the agenda. I finally had a chance to take a turn at the end of the event, and I got a little extra time (about 30 minutes). The therapist worked on my lower body, since that was my main issue. Afterwards I felt fine, but nothing super special. Of course at that point I just needed to go home and go to bed.

The next morning I woke up, and for the first time in months, maybe years, my back didn’t hurt. That was Sunday. Today is Wednesday and I am still pain free. As I said, I am a believer. FST is becoming popular among professional athletes as a way to correct imbalances in the body and improve athletic performance. I really suggest that if you have chronic pain that you look into FST. You can find certified therapists in your area here.

Have you ever tried (or heard of) Fascial Stretch Therapy? Want to join me in Honolulu on December 13?

 

Starting with a Bang…

Starting with a Bang…

Well, you know what comes after that phrase.

As I began MY Season last week, I built great momentum.  As planned I started my base training runs in preparation for the SLO Marathon in April.

That part was fine, but I also plunged right into yoga, going to three classes in four days.  The classes were great, challenging but not too hard, and I held myself back knowing that I really can’t start back in where I left off about a year ago. I was a little sore, but not too bad.

I even had a short Pilates workout, which was really a refresher before training a client on the reformer.

So, all was good. I’d embarked on MY Season, ready to take advantage of the extra time after cross country.  Here’s my training log for the week:

Monday:  Yoga. 90 minute Vinyasa Class
Tuesday: Off
Wednesday: Running. 5 miles Yoga. 90 mnute Vinyasa Class
Thursday: Pilates. 30 minutes
Friday: Running. 3 miles

Ending with a Whimper

Then, Friday afternoon happened.

I noticed in the early afternoon that my legs just felt really tired and sore. Not a definable sore, just an all-over achy feeling. I also was tired. I felt like I’d been put through a wringer. I couldn’t even stop and rest. With working all morning, chores and errands in the afternoon, then my cross country banquet in the evening, I needed to channel the Energizer bunny just to keep going.

I made it through the evening. It was fun, our awards banquet, which we do potluck-style every year at one of our athlete’s homes. Of course, my food choices were limited, which I expected. A salad (lettuce), a veggie platter, fresh salsa, and the salad dressing that I brought with me. So I had fun, but I was hungry. The boys entertained us:

 

I had a hard time sleeping on Friday night because of my tired, jumpy legs. Then I woke up Saturday morning and I literally hurt all over. My back, hips, left arm, and a general achy feeling in every other part of my body. I’m not sure exactly why, but my gung-ho return to yoga and Pilates may have had something to do with it.

I decided to take the day off. Instead I embarked on my annual “oh my God, it’s the holidays, people might visit!” cleaning project. I don’t think that was helpful for my back either, so when I woke up on Sunday still hurting, I wasn’t surprised. I did a little running/walking with my dogs, took another day off yoga, and resumed my cleaning project.

Today, with a clean house, reduced pain in my back and hips, I think I can start the day with  short run without problems. I have a client now on Monday mornings, so I’ll get back on my mat with a YogaDownload.com workout, taking it easy, but at least keeping up with my commitment to my yoga practice.

Other fun things this week. I was able to purchase almost $300 in fitness fashion, without spending a dollar of my own. I wrote about my Lorna Jane shopping spree, but I also had a $100 Lululemon gift card that I won from a Fitfluential giveaway. I am so ready to look good for fall and winter workouts now! Though I confess that I bought a new pair of black tights. So boring, but so awesome!

Pictures from the week (originally posted on Instagram (are you following?)).

YogaAfter my third yoga class. Tired but triumphant. It feel so good to be back on my mat.

Tribesports5It’s getting a little chilly for my morning runs. It was 39 degrees on Wednesday! That’s pretty cold for anywhere, but exceptionally cold for the desert (in November!). I was happy to wear my Tribesports Half Zip, which kept me warm and dry.

LilyLily also discovered my briefcase. I think she wants to go to IHRSA 2015 with me too!

Banquet

I am assuming that my body aches were from doing a little much too soon, so I expect I’ll feel better next week. So while my week one training ended with a whimper,  I will continue to add my base mileage, fit in my yoga practice, and Pilates training. I already feel better tonight as I write this, so I’m sure I’ll feel even better tomorrow. I guess I just sometimes forget that I’m not 50, 40, 30, 20 any more. I need to remember that and honor what my body really needs.

I feel bad taking extra days off, but I keep telling myself that it is the better choice to stay strong, reduce chance of injury, and enjoy my training.

Things to remember:

SLO Marathon

Join me in San Luis Obispo on April 26, 2015, for the SLO Marathon. Save $10 on registration for either the full or half marathon with the code: WOODAMB. Register soon for the best savings and I’ll see you in April!

Yoga Central

My favorite yoga studio, Yoga Central is going global! You can sign up here, and read this post for details on signing up for online classes at Yoga Central.

How was your week/weekend? Did you reach your training goals, run a race, are participate in another fitness activity. Spend extra time with family? Lick your workout wounds like me? I’d love to hear it all!