The Week in Training: SLO Marathon and Yoga Challenges

SLO Marathon Training Recap, Week 8

For what may be the first time during this current training cycle, I am actually happy with my training. I know! I’ve been pretty negative about it all, with illness and work hours interfering with my plans. This week, they (illness & work) tried to interfere, but I overcame them! Win!

On Wednesday, which is supposed to be my second speed work day of the week I woke up with a migraine. It was bad enough that I couldn’t run, but I also had to cancel five clients! I hate doing that, but it couldn’t be helped. I stayed in bed all morning, then finally fell into a good, solid sleep and woke up around 1:30 with the headache gone. One of my shorter ones, thank goodness.

I decided to get out on Thursday morning with Alan and our neighbor Christina, to see if I could get in some type of tempo run. It would have to be short because I have to be at work by 7:30, but that always encourages me to run faster. Christina decided to run along with me, and we ran three pretty fast miles. No real warm up, though the first mile was the slowest. I was just happy to get it done.

Christina and I also ran together on Friday, four easy miles, and Saturday, for part of my long run. It’s nice to have a new training partner. She’s a very nice girl, a new runner, and about 25 years younger than me so I’m getting my ass kicked on a regular basis a good push.

Alan announced the Desert Triathlon this weekend. It is held on both days, with the sprint and duathlon on Saturday and the international on Sunday. They had quite a treat this year. Saturday brought wind, with gusts up to about 50 mph, and on Sunday it rained all day. At least the wind died.

When I headed out for my long run with Christina on Saturday, the winds weren’t too bad yet. She ran with me for the first five miles, then I was on my own. I was scheduled for 16 miles, and it just seemed so long to run my regular out and back route, all by myself, especially when the winds started to rise up. After much deliberation (and a lot of running route math going on in my head), I decided to add on mileage as I headed away from home, then finish up at Lake Cahuilla, which is where the triathlon (and Alan) was (were?).

Running math is kind of funny, especially when you start to get tired (which I was from mile 10 on). I know the distances, I’d figure out where I needed to turn because I had to add on six miles, but my brain had a hard time holding onto it. I’d figure it out once at one total mileage, then it would be different the next time. Well, at least it gave my brain something to think about as I plodded along. It all worked out perfectly in the end. I finished up about 25 feet from where Alan was at the finish line.

Long Run

I was glad I was just running 16 miles (if you can believe that). The triathletes had to deal with a horrendous headwind as they headed back toward the park, not to mention the buoys in the water were blown way off course, so many swimmers got a little extra distance in. We all had sand in our hair and gritty teeth at the end though.

After I finished, I snagged some of Alan’s Gatorade, stretched, bundled up in one of his sweatshirts, and hung out until he was done. I even managed a couple yoga poses (see below)! One of the vendors brought me a smoothie, so I even got some refuel. Oh! And celebrities!

Two Hollywood stars competed in the sprint triathlon. Sadly, I am so out of touch that I have no idea who they were. There were good looking though. Even sadder, I was tired, stinky, and looked like I had just run 16 miles.

Chace Crawford

This is Chace Crawford. He played Nate Arhibald on the Gossip Girls.

Chris Pratt

This is Chris Pratt. He played Andy Dwyer on Parks and Recreation and Bright Abbott in Everwood.

Sunday is usually an easy, run with the dogs day, but since I ran Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, and plan to run Monday, I took a well deserved day off of running.

This is week eight of my SLO Marathon training. I’m still a little short of my total weekly distance goals, but I feel happy with my training this week. I’m running the Run Through Redlands half marathon next Sunday (and have to work at 6:45 on Saturday), so this coming week will be a bit of a cutback week. I do plan to run the race at my goal marathon pace, so that will be interesting.

Remember, you can save $10 on registration for the SLO Marathon with the code WOODAMB.

Here’s the recap:

Monday: Intervals: 8 x .25 miles intervals at about 5k pace. Yoga warm up
Tuesday: Pilates Reformer workout, 20 minutes Balancing Flow from Yoga Download
Wednesday: Migraine. I did manage a little restorative yoga in the early evening.
Thursday: Tempo run. Three miles at lactate threshold pace. 30 minutes Pilates Reformer workout, 10 minutes Sun Salutations.
Friday: Four miles easy. A little yoga stretching after the run.
Saturday: Long run. 16 miles. Not much yoga, but I did manage to put my legs up the wall, er, up the tree.
Sunday: 90 minute Vinyasa class.

Take the Leap 30 Days of Yoga Challenge

We are approaching the last few days of the Take the Leap 30 days of yoga challenge with prAna and Fit Approach. I have loved this so much! I’m sorry that it is almost over, but I plan to keep up my yoga practice. Here is the last week of posing.

Week 4

Day 22 – Warrior 2 after my run.

Week 4 2

Day 23. Having some fun with Reverse Warrior. #NeverGiveUp

Week 4 3

Warrior 3 and a kitty photobomb on day 24.

Week 4 4

Day 25. High Plank on the Pilates reformer.

Week 4 5

Day 26. Triangle pose.

Week 4 7

Legs up the wall, er, tree on day 27, after my 16 mile run.

Week 4 6

Day 28. I finally made it to the yoga studio. A 90 minute Vinyasa class topped off with about 20 minutes of Yin. Recreating the poses that I held for 3 minutes each in class: Lizard, Pigeon, Seated Forward Fold. My favorite was Joyful Camel. Because I loved the name.

Just a few days left!

Vegan Eats

I made some of my favorite recipes this week, including Pot Pie (though I used Beyond Meat chicken instead of tofu) and Pizza. Both were delicious.

Pot PiePizza

I also made a great smoothie on Sunday. I called it a “Kitchen Sink” smoothie. It was also delicious. Here’s the Instagram post:

How was your training week? Any events, races, or simply fun times?

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

lizard

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!

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?

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.

Yoga

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.

taketheleap2

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?