Weekly Recap: SLO Marathon Training & Yoga

This whole work thing is taking its toll on my marathon training.

SLO Marathon Training, Week 7

While I’m happy overall with how my training is going, I still keep having to cut some of my weekday morning runs short because, well, money. If I have a client that wants to see me at 7:00 in the morning (or even 6:00, but that hasn’t happened yet), I really need to take them. Because in about three months they’ll be gone for the summer. It’s called making hay while the sun shines.

So, while I’m getting in the runs, they are shorter than I have on my schedule. In the coming week I’m going to work on getting out a little earlier, but I don’t like to go too early because I’m running by myself and, well, I’m scared of the dark. Here’s why…

This was a cutback week though, with my long run scheduled for 10 miles with five at marathon pace. That went well, though I did four at MP pace instead of five. I was running with my neighbor Christina, who is a new runner, but tough as nails. She did the whole run with me and kept me going during the faster parts. She even challenged me as we approached the end to pick it up to the corner. Bitch! I keep reminding myself she’s young enough to be my daughter. That helps.

run 3The picture above is from a couple weeks ago. Same crew though. Alan was with us but he had a steady pace 10 mile run on his schedule.

Here’s my post-run selfie. Mostly because I like taking pictures of our wind-kitties.


So I ran four times, 19 miles total. I’m still not happy with my total weekly mileage, but I’ll be working on that this week. I started off this week with a three mile run, and I managed eight 1/4 mile intervals, so I’m pretty happy with that.

The countdown to the SLO Marathon is on! Two months from today! Yikes, better get going. I have a 16 miles run on the schedule for the weekend, which is good, but I think the key is to get in my mid-week mileage.

By the way, the price will be going up on February 28, so if you’re planning to join me in San Luis Obispo on April 23 now is the time to register! You can save an extra $10 with my code WOODAMB. Do it!


Take the Leap Challenge

At least my yoga is going well. I have managed to practice a little yoga every day since February 2. I haven’t made it to as many classes as I’d like, but I’ll do a few sun salutations to warm up, some hip opening and hamstring stretching poses to cool down, and take the time daily for a pose-of-the-day.

We working on a warrior series this week. Here are my first three days:

Week 3Warrior I

Humble WarriorHumble Warrior

Warrior 2

Warrior II

I’m so happy with this Take the Leap Challenge with prAna and Sweat Pink. The support of the other participants is amazing, and I love working with prAna. Not only do they make amazing clothing, but they care about creating a lifestyle of sustainability, kindness, and focus. My goal, once the challenge is over, is to continue on with my practice, maybe not daily, but several times a week. Yoga is good for my soul.

Random Stuff: Movies & #Vegan Food

Alan and I went to see McFarland, USA on Saturday. In a nutshell, we loved it! As a cross country coach I appreciated everything about the story of how running (and a good coach) helped to change the lives of the children of migrant workers in Central California in 1987. It was based on a true story, so even though it seemed a little formulaic, I didn’t care. I believe in the power of running and high school sports to help develop successful and confident adults.

We headed to lunch at Whole Foods on Sunday. We had their vegan Artisanal Cheese platter again. It was so good! And we shared the Taro Burger. Sadly, they no longer have the Jackfruit Crab Cakes on the menu {sad face}, but we did enjoy our meal.

lunchI also cooked up a great Tofu Scramble this week. In fact I’m still enjoying the leftovers!

Tofu ScrambleHave you seen McFarland, USA? What did you think? How was your training week? Any events, races, or great meals? Share!

Saturday Shares

Just a few things to share for Saturday!

The SLO Marathon: The price goes up on February 28!

SLO Marathon

Now is the time to register for the SLO Marathon before the price goes up on February 28! Also, if you want your name on your bib, the deadline is March 2. Come run with me on April 23! Remember you can still use the code WOODAMB to save $10 on registration!


Take the Leap/Bringing Yoga Back Challenges

The 12 days of #BringingYogaBack with prAna is over (though the 30 day #TaketheLeap challenge continues through March 8). It was a lot of fun to try some challenging (to me) poses over the 12 days. Here are a few of my favorites:

TadasanaThis may be my favorite selfie of all time. Photo bombed by a cat!

Down Dog

Low Lunge


One Legged Dog

Wild Thing

CrowOkay, crow pose was not one of the #BringingYogaBack poses. I just get pretty proud of myself when I can hold it long enough to get a picture.

Save Money on YogaDownload.com

Do you want to practice yoga at home but need some guidance? I know from experience that YogaDownload.com has excellent instruction, choices of videos or audios, and a huge variety of yoga classes. I’ve been a member for several years and now I’m also an affiliate.

I talk about YogaDownload.com​ a lot because it is my favorite online yoga service.  Here is a Groupon​ to save $60 on an annual membership. It’s usually $90 and you can get it for $29! There is also a shorter term option. I bought one myself because my membership is up for renewal next week (perfect timing). Disclosure: This is not my regular affiliate link but I can earn an extra $12 back from Groupon if you use this link to purchase.

Saturday Shares. Favorites from the week:

Why I Run. No, this isn’t my post from a few days ago. Angela and I actually wrote a post and published on the same day. Similar, but different. Check it out.

11 Ways to Manage Stress and Feeling Overwhelmed. While my stress level is much lower than it was a few months ago, I was interested to see Christine’s suggestions for reducing stress.

Cross Training for Runners. If you’re a runner, you know you should cross train. Here are some great tips from Amanda.

15 Common Running Mistakes to Avoid. We’ve all made some (or all) of these, but it is still interesting (and informative) to know what we shouldn’t be doing.

Crawling to the Finish Line: Heroic or Stupid? I actually had a client tell me this story (so uninformed!). Amanda asks an interesting question.

Positioning Your Blog to Charge Higher Prices. Blog school just started last Monday, but even if you didn’t sign up Rita’s blog has so much great information.

Do the Things that make your Heart Race. Just the title of Lisa’s post makes me smile (and curious).

Vegetarian Pad Thai. Tina (along with Deborah) has been doing a Meatless Monday linkup for a few months. I haven’t posted many recipes lately, but I love checking in (especially when the recipe is vegan, as is this one).

Any fun plans for the weekend? Have you read (or written) any great posts this week to share?

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!


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?

5 Ways to Make Yoga a Part of Your Busy Life

I can hear my regular readers snickering at this title. I am well known for my on again/off again relationship with yoga. And the reasons I go “off again?” My busy life.


That being said, I am an expert on how to incorporate fitness into your life. As a personal trainer and coach, I frequently help my clients figure out how to stick to their plan, as a marathon runner I know what I need to do to train properly.

It’s time that I took my own advice, and it’s going to happen right now, today. I am participating in the Take the Leap 30 days of yoga challenge with prAna and Sweat Pink, and this time it’s going to stick.


Want to join me? Click the picture to learn more. It starts today (February 2) and you have the chance to win $500 in prAna gear!

We’re all busy. There are only so many hours in the day, and between work, school, children, spouses, housework, preparing meals, and, you know, sleep, it can be difficult to find time for fitness. The key is to make it a priority in your life, so that fitness becomes as important as all the other stuff. Then you will find the time. Running has always been my priority. Now I’m adding yoga to the top of the “must do” list. Here are some ideas to help you do the same.

5 Ways to Make Yoga a Part of Your Busy Life

1. Start your day with meditation.

Take a few minutes when you first get up to clear your mind, breathe, and prepare for the day. Meditation is not the same as daydreaming or quietly planning your daily agenda, it is a technique for resting the mind and achieving a different stage of consciousness. Here are tips to help you learn to meditate. Yes, meditation is yoga. And yoga is meditation.

2. Warm up for your run or workout with Sun Salutations.

Surya Namaskar, or Sun Salutation is a great way to warm your body and prepare for your workout. The sun salutation is a series of poses or asanas that are done in the direction of the sun. The video below has step by step instruction for beginners.

3. Replace your post-workout stretching routine with yoga poses.

If you’re a runner, you probably finish your run with several stretches to stretch your quads, calves, and hamstrings. Replace that boring routine with yoga poses. Particularly effective poses for runners include Pigeon, Downward Facing Dog, Low Lunge, Double Pigeon, and Forward Fold. Click here for several posts by Christine of Love Life Surf, with instruction for these poses and others that are great for runners.

4. End your day with restorative yoga.

Instead of picking up a book or watching television to settle down for the night, try 30 minutes of resorative yoga to calm and relax you before bed. Restorative yoga uses props like blankets, pillows, straps, and blocks that help support your body so that you can be comfortable and relaxed while you hold a pose for up to five or 10 minutes.

5. The Buddy System.

As with any type of fitness endeavor, having a yoga buddy helps hold you accountable, gives you a built in cheerleader, and increases the chances for long term success. When someone is waiting for you, you’re much more likely to get to the studio.

Yoga Resources

While heading to the yoga studio is a wonderful way to practice yoga, it is not always an option. Their schedule may not match yours, it may be financially out of reach, or you may not have a studio close to home. Here are a few alternatives to practicing yoga in a studio.

1. Gym or Fitness Center: Yoga classes are usually included in the membership fee at your gym. The downside is that these classes are usually very large and the instructors frequently aren’t as experienced or hands-on as in a yoga studio.

2. Yoga at home: There are many ways to get your yoga on in the comfort and privacy of your own home. For a small fee, or even free of charge, you can have a variety of yoga classes for all levels streamed, downloaded, or available on DVD. My favorites:

  1. Any video by Rodney Yee: I have a collection of his DVDs, and now you can even stream his classes through GaiamTV.
  2. YogaDownload.com: For a fee you can stream or download either video or audio classes directly to your computer or mobile device. I’ve been using the audios for years, and I love being able to focus on my practice without looking at a screen. I truly can take yoga anywhere. The instruction is excellent, and there are so many choices of types of yoga and length of classes that there really is something for everyone. They also have some free classes available. Note: This is an affiliate link, but I was a member (and I still am) before I was an affiliate.
  3. Yoga30: Honestly, what I really love about Yoga30 is that I can access videos by April, my friend and favorite instructor at Yoga Central. I haven’t tried any other instructors, but I love April’s classes.
  4. Grokker Yoga: I found Grokker Yoga through a contest on the Fitfluential blog (which I won by the way, so I really love them). They have both free and paid options, and offer a variety of full length yoga classes.
  5. YouTube: A general search for Yoga on YouTube brings up almost six million links, so you can certainly find something that will work for you, from a 10 minute sun salutation, to a 30 minute beginner class, to a 60 minute power vinyasa video. Note: I didn’t screen any of the linked classes. I just found them via a search.

The downside to yoga at home is interruptions. It may be hard to find a quiet space where your children or your dogs aren’t sharing your yoga mat with you. There is also no one to correct your form or give you precise instruction, so beginners might have a harder time getting into a pose. Beginners should take extra time to watch a class so that they can really understand each position. Taking a class or two at a studio is a good idea too.

Yoga Outlet 2

Remember that yoga doesn’t have to be a structured 60-90 minute class in a studio (unless you want it to be). A quick series of sun salutations, 10 minutes practicing your favorite pose, or a 30 minute relaxing restorative session are all great ways to incorporate more yoga into your busy life.

Come on. Take the leap with me and join the Take the Leap 30 days of yoga challenge. You know you want to.

How do you incorporate yoga into your life?

Will You #TaketheLeap with Me? 30 Day Yoga Challenge

When I made my 2015 goals, yoga was number 1-4 on my fitness priority list (as it always is, to be honest). I had already started back to my studio, had a schedule that I could keep up with, and was confident that “I was back” with yoga.

Then, Life (yes, with a capital L) interfered. I got sick. I got busy at work. I wish I had more and better excuses, but that is really all it took and suddenly I haven’t been back to class for three weeks.

Take the Leap

That is why I am so excited to join the Take the Leap 30 Days of Yoga Challenge with prAna and Sweat Pink. Starting February 2 I plan to practice yoga every day for 30 days. I need encouragement and applause, so I will be sharing (a lot) on Instagram (<– Follow me!). Why don’t you join me too! Many of the commenters in my 2015 Fitness Goals post stated that they wanted to get back on the mat too, so here is the perfect time. It’s really easy to join, you don’t have to go to a studio or gym (unless you want to), and there will be Yoga Leaders to help and cheer you along! Here’s what you should do:

  1. Join the Take the Leap with PrAna and Sweat Pink Facebook Page and the event page.
  2. Join the challenge on Instagram, Twitter and your blog (if you have one) and use the hashtags #TaketheLeap #prAna #SweatPink
  3. Don’t forget to tag @prana, @fitapproach and, if you joined after learning about it here, me: @coachdebbieruns.

Here’s another reason to join the challenge! Prizes! You have a chance to win $500 worth of prAna gear from their latest collection and/or another $500 of prAna gear to gift the person of your choice!


The final thing to do (not a requirement, but lots of fun), is to fill out the mad-lib below (I filled in my answers in red, you just copy and replace with your own words) and post it on your blog or Facebook page. Don’t forget all the tags!

When I think about yoga, the first thought that comes to mind is breathing. Yoga calms me and makes me feel centered.

That’s why I am SO excited to participate in prAna’s Take The Leap 30 days of Yoga Challenge with Sweat Pink. I plan to Svavasana my way to a more stress-free and healthy 2015!

For me, the biggest challenge when it comes to yoga is time. Taking the Leap with prAna and Sweat Pink is a great way for me to find peace.

My favorite place to yoga is at my friend April’s studio because she is so inspiring.

Here’s a photo of me in my very best child’s pose.

yoga challengeI tag:

I want these fabulous bloggers to share their very best yoga pose photos, this fun madlib and of course, I challenge them to join me on this fun 30 day yoga journey.

Come on y’all, Take the Leap with me!

Join prAna’s & Sweat Pink’s Take the Leap 30 Days of Yoga Challenge and be eligible to win $500 worth of prAna gear and / or be the lucky winner who gets to gift $500 worth of prAna gear to one lucky winner. They just launched their new spring collection so you best get on it!

If I win I would gift the $500 to Christine, Love Life Surf,  because she inspires me with her bravery.

Join the Take the Leap with prAna and Sweat Pink Facebook group / event which we’ll use for updates, sharing,and inspiration: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1525412337742204/

Stay tuned. I’ll keep you up to date on the challenge, including how I will find the time to keep up, and the options that I’ll use to stay on track. Remember to follow me on Instagram and Twitter for daily updates.

So, are we on?