Saturday, July 30, 2011

Yoga is for hippies

I really enjoyed this article, I do yoga (dynamic stretching, lol) to keep myself loose and injury free, I really think it has helped me avoid soreness.

Runners Guide to Yoga.

The Runner's Guide To Yoga
Before you set foot inside a yoga class, you should be able to wrap your legs around your head, keeping a beatific smile on your face while choking on incense and simultaneously engaging your bhandas (yes, that's legal).

Just kidding! None of this needs apply-provided you act on our advice. Here's how to avoid common pitfalls and surprises-and how to look like anything but a beginner. Baron Baptiste, a tough-love yoga teacher who specializes in boot camps for the uninitiated, is here to guide you. His need-to-know info:

Yoga is not a cult.
Closer to physiology class than a Trekkie convention, yoga is a bona fide science. Yes, some instructors talk of prana (the life force), display Hindu or Buddhist deities, or lead classes in brief chanting. Don't let this stuff spook you; just consider it something to focus on, rather than, say, the sirens outside or your neighbor's cute toe ring. Concentrate on the techniques you're learning, especially matching your movements to your breathing. "Focusing on the physical aspects of yoga is where you start,'' Baptiste says. "The rest is yours for the taking but entirely optional."

Give your Visa card a breather.
Your "new" yoga clothes are already in your chest of drawers. Forget baggy sweats and tees, though; form-fitting pieces help you get more out of class. "Tight clothes make it easier for teachers to see how your body is set from the feet to the shoulder blades, so they can adjust your pose," Baptiste says. A tank top with a built-in bra and capris or boot-cut leggings with Lycra will do the job. (Don't waste cash on yoga shoes, either.) Do buy a new mat. Germs thrive on studio-owned mats, and yours will probably pack more cushion and stickiness than the studio's tired stock.

Your yoga's only as good as your teacher.
Teachers registered with the Yoga Alliance have had 200 to 500-plus hours of training at an approved studio. In class you should feel a personal connection to your teacher and enjoy his or her style of teaching. An experienced instructor recognizes when a student is struggling and "allows the individuals to adapt each posture to themselves," Baptiste says. Another clue you're in good hands: The teacher asks new faces in the room to describe their experience levels and injuries.

The front row is for geeks.
Okay, not really. But new students should choose another spot. "Start in the second row or the middle of the room so you can see what the rest of the class is doing, and what the teacher is doing," Baptiste says. You might want to take a spot near the wall for support during balancing moves and standing stretches. (And, no, that's not considered cheating.)

You can take timeouts.
Anytime you feel that you can't hang with what the teacher and class are doing, just take a break by going into child's pose: Kneel on the floor, sitting on your heels. Bring your big toes together and your knees about hip-width apart, then lean forward, essentially lying facedown on the mat with your legs bent underneath you. Breathe. "At first, this might feel like admitting defeat, but it's really a sign that you own your own practice," Baptiste says, "and that you're cool with your body's limitations."

Sometimes blocking is a good thing, too.
Grab two of those foam or wooden bricks piled on one side of the studio, and keep them next to your mat. (Phonebooks work at home.) These props compensate if you can't bend over and reach the ground in standing poses, allowing students of all levels to stretch deeper and align better. You can wrap a canvas or cloth strap (even an old sweatshirt) around the foot of an outstretched leg during seated poses to help keep you from straining your back. If you're at all unsure about how to use these props, ask.

Sip it good.
Yoga can be hot, slippery, and thirsty work. Make sure you bring a water bottle-grab a biggie for vigorous Vinyasa or power yoga. Hydrate yourself, knocking back plenty of agua before class, then again both during and after. Have a headache? You haven't drunk enough.

Don't slip up.
To avoid pushing up into Downward Dog, only to have your hands whoosh out from under you, "place a towel over your mat and under your hands and feet," Baptiste says. And don't forget: "If you find yourself getting dizzy, go into Child's pose until you feel clearheaded again."

I need a Garmin...

So I went for my usual run today, down at the park, repeated a .5 mile loop 4.5 times, took me 28 minutes and 10 seconds. Dailymile put that at an 11:16 pace...

How is it yesterday my pace was 13:10?? Either I calculated yesterdays route wrong...or todays, which Im sure I didn't, I made a point of counting it. I said, I need either a Garmin, or I need to switch up my route so I can measure my miles as a back and forth, not a loop.

Meh, I didn't know running had so much math in it.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Slow poke.

So I finally timed how "fast" I run a mile. Drumroll please....

13.10 minutes.

O_O Uhm? Really? This was a major downer for me, I don't feel like I'll ever be a "real" runner...ever. There where a couple 2 minute walk breaks between the three 8 minute run portions, but still.

Thursday, July 28, 2011


I really hate that I can't figure out how far I am running and what pace I'm at, I think that's going to be my project tomorrow, figuring out how far I'm running my counting the laps around the track. Anyway, someday I will use my little mile widgit...someday.

Ooh, do want!

My friend Jodi over at Sew Fearless just posted about another blog called, ON{the laundry}LINE about a nifty sewing project for runners! My running place is down the street, so I walk, but this will be handy when I have to drive someplace later on.

How cool is that??? The tutorial looks easy enough, the last thing I attempted to sew (somewhat successfully) was a couple dish towels. I'm not nearly as talented as Jodi in the sewing department (seriously, go look at her blog, you will envy her sewing powers) but this looks like a super fun project that ties into my running. Neato. :)

Rest day, twiddling my thumbs.

Okay okay, so I started a little late with the blogging about progress thing. Lemme 'lone.

Today is a rest day, is it weird I'm disappointed?

I started the program June 13th, so I've been at it for a little over a month now. I've gotta say, never in a million, zillion years did I think I could do something like this, never ever. I can now run 8 minutes at a time, and I'm not dead or almost dead at the end of it. I really believe if you want to start running, an incremental plan is the way to go. I went throughout this thing just adding a minute or two into each running segment and subtracting the walking portion little by little, and that has been what works. My problem before when I'd take a stab at running was I was going at it too much and too fast. I felt like, "I can't be a runner unless I'm running the whole time, walking is for wusses!" o_o Lame-sauce, I know. I am now in the school of thought that preaches, "slow and steady wins the race." I enjoy running so stinkin' much it blows my mind. I'm still very much a beginner mind you, but I have high hopes of finishing a marathon some years from now. You watch.

Btw, this movie is the best inspirational running movie. Ever. Spirit of the Marathon

Hello, welcome, sit down and have some coffee.

     So, here we go again with the blogging thing. I've always wanted to blog, but never seemed to be very consistent with the darn thing, so I just forgot most of the time. I think having a baby will do that.

     The purpose of this blog is to be a venue for successes, struggles, and general venting and/or celebrating related to my new hobby, running.

     I've always wanted to be a runner, ever since I was a kid. My Dad very successfully was a runner, competing in multiple races and the NYC Marathon. He is now in his 60's and is running once more after a hiatus. He is my main inspiration for trying running again. Again you say? Well, I tried running when I was a teenager, and absolutely hated it! It was an acute torture, and I could not imagine people doing it just for the sake of doing it. How can anyone enjoy the shin splints, sore hamstrings, sucking air, throat aches...Madness I say.
     That was until I came upon a book called Run Your Butt Off from Runners World. No I am not sponsored by Runners World, I just really like this book.

Anywho, this blog is in theory a place to post about my progress. Hopefully I won't abandon this blog. Heh.