I live in Upstate NY where they say we have two seasons; Winter and the 4th of July. So in honor of the winter months, I'd like to stoke myself up for my favorite winter fitness activities. If you're looking for something different to try this winter, check out one of the ideas below!
1. Ice Skating
I LOVE ice skating. My boyfriend and I try to go twice a month when the rinks are open. If you're good at skating it can be a decent aerobic workout. If you're new and just learning it can be great for strengthening your legs and improving overall balance. Either way- it's a plain, cheap fun outing regardless of age or ability. Find a local rink here.
2. Snowboarding (or snow skiing)
I'm new[er] to snowboarding but find it ultra invigorating! There is something about being out there in nature at night with the elements all around you and immersing yourself in the snow, the hill, all of it. For me, snowboarding is a total body workout. When you're starting out you'll light up your quads in a big way. You engage your core keeping yourself upright and twisting your hips. Plus, the gear is ultra rad.
Find a ski hill near you here. Don't want to pay for a pricey lift ticket at a haughty resort? Grab some older gear from a garage sale or play it again sports and hit your back yard. It's still guaranteed fun!
3. Take yo pasty self indoors!
I spend a lot of time indoors in the winter doing lifting at the gym, spinning classes, and yoga classes. But, sometimes I like to mix it up. If you're looking for a new challenge and something a little different, go climb a wall. Rock climbing is great. I used to think it was more of an upperbody exercise but I think it's all in how you climb. The nice peeps at my indoor center explained that if you're doing it right you're using stabilizer muscles but mainly your legs because they should be supporting you and propelling you upward. My take, you'll feel it everywhere. Like most activities, you will get out of it what you put into it.
A lot of you I'm sure still run through the snow. I don't, really. The winter is more of a recreational running season for me; if I feel like hitting the pavement I will and if not, then baby I'm staying indoors. But running aside, we spend a lot of time walking our dogs at the canal trail in the winter. Perks: way less people then would be out in the summer, new and different views of your surrounding, brisk, cool air. It's awesome to take a big, deep breath of cold winter air.
Or, if all else fails, hop on a plane and go sit pool side, gulf side, in sunny Florida... Just saying.
Look at how pale I am, can you tell I just arrived from NY?!
I have been super busy these past couple of days running myself ragged from sun up to sun down and I'm not even a real mother or wife. I have a fake husband and two very demanding dogs, however. I've managed to do the laundry, the dishes, the vacuuming, take care of the dogs, cook for my 'husband', find quality time together, go to grad school for 6 hours at night, work a part time job, do all of my coursework, volunteer, and try to find time for my yoga. And let me tell you, I have been feeling it!
...So, this post is not for horn-tooting but rather for recognizing the mothers out there. Mothers do all of those things I listed above x10 every single day! I so appreciate my Mom and how amazing she was growing up [and still is] Plus...she made it all look easy, like she wasn't even trying.
To you running mothers out there who have it all together, my hats go off to you. I hope one day to grow up and be just like you.
It sort of looks like there is a party in his pants. Just sayin...
I went to PT a few days ago. Confirmed [duh] ITBand. I've been doing this three times a day:
Having the Goose deep tissue massage the crap out of the area (only once a day) Foam roll (the other two times) Stretch (all three) Do some band work (all three) and Ice, Ice Baby (all the damn time!)
Oh, and I'm sleeping with the heating pad wrapped around my knee.
I want to get all the way, one hundred percent, not just symptom free, completely better so I'm not running at all.
In other news, I had to boast a bit....
I've been in a funk all week. Probably because of not being able to run, having my planned PhD school tell me "well, we've decided it would be of a greater financial benefit if we gave preference to first year applicants" Read: Well, if you show up with your masters, you only have to stay here 2-3 years. If we can recruit some first year students (which they have plenty of given only 4 get into the program each year!) then they have to pay us for at least five to six years. I told Goose I was going through a quater-life crisis.
He was AMAZING all week. Took me to school and work. Made me breakfast in bed. Let me sleep in. Gave me massages and made me nice tea, talked about all of my problems. And then this evening when we woke up from our nap I recounted my dream leaving me with a serious desire for some nachos. He got up, started the car and took me out to this great Mexican restaurant and then out for desert at this bistro after. Yep, he's a keeper.
Needless to say, how long can you hate life when that is your life? The answer: 5 days, tops.
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved." Ephesians 1:3-6 Read: I am blessed and need to quit my whining. I'm soo lucky to have my Goose to remind me about my even more glorious God and that life is so wonderful, even when I am so selfish because I am blessed and have a place with Him.
During the last twoish miles of my 10.5 run on Saturday the outside of my left knee started to hurt. It was a dull, constant pain that I was able to run through, but I was aware of it.
After icing, etc. it still hurt. I was sort of gimpy but that's not super unusual; I thought I could have just been sore from running that distance. I iced, heated, stretched, took Monday off.
I could bend, move, flex all around and I didn't feel a thing.
Today I hit the track for my speedwork. I was feeling good, loving it. After my second set of 800s during my recovery jog, there it came... I called it quits instantly and hiked over to the gym to spend some time in the Arc Trainer.
I'm thinking IT band because it is on the outside of my knee?
Here's my plan: No running until Saturday (at least) Ice, stretch, foam roll, do bw exercises Take it easy at spin class Friday
The thing is, it doesn't hurt at all (unless I bend it to a certain point than I just feel it) until running.
That I took my first serious digger wakeskating. I hit my calf on the skate on my way down and got a gnarly bunch of bruises and some [so not]totally serious cuts from the grip tape.
It hurt. Well, it stung. I felt so bad ass though. And I felt like I belonged, like I had taken my initiation or hazing or something and was now a serious wakeskater. [Note: I am so not serious]
This past Saturday after my run I had a wicked blister. Why? Because I didn't wear the right socks. Blah blah, damn laundry every day! It was my fault. But it was a nice, juicy blister on my big toe.
Anyway, the point is, I felt like a real runner. My first double digit run, my first blister. I know, it's lame. But sometimes getting injuries that aren't super serious make you feel like part of the crowd.
Lord, allow me to clarify. I am not asking for any injuries and I hope you don't think I'm making light of them. I pray that I continue to train smart and do not acquire any serious injuries. Thank you, Amen.
I'm probably [certainly] never going to finish first in a race, 5K, ultra or otherwise. So why do I run?
I discovered today during my long run a little more about what running is to/for me. Isn't it great when you're constantly learning? Such a blessing.
Today was supposed to be 9miles. I started out and forgot my house key (Goose had just dropped me off, had him pull a U), had too much crammed in my spibelt and had to stop several times to adjust, and got a rock stuck inside my shoe and had to pull the darn thing off to fetch it. My first mile was brutal. It was more like intervals; all stop/go. I was irritated and I didn't want to go 8 more miles.
A few more miles in I realized, this run today, this distance; it will be a first for you. It's not something that's easy for you but you're still doing it. [Yep, I said you, because I was talking to myself, silly.]
That sooo goes against everything that I am. All things come easy to me, duh. So really pushing myself past the point of comfortable complacency is new. It's kind of exciting, too.
Today I stopped comparing myself to other runners. I'm a middle of the pack runner. I'm not an elite athlete who is going to break any records. But I love running. I love this new feeling of rising to the challenge and enjoying the ride up. I love the way the breeze feels on my face. I love how my body gets to a point of floating where I don't feel a thing and each step feels light as a feather. I love spending time with God and marveling at His presence all around me. I love digging deep, kicking it up a notch, and feeling a high. I love that it's mine. It doesn't have anything to do with school, my boyfriend, my family, or anything or anyone else. It's me and the road and it's my run. I can choose what to do with it and what I want to get out of it. I love that.
Anyway. I really love running and where I'm at with the sport. I'm enjoying trying out new distances and starting a run thinking "Can I finish this?" Embracing the uncertain now has a warm, calming sensation that it never before held.
So, I arrived at the house and was disapointed with all the stopping/starting I had to do in my first mile. I ditched my jacket and kept running. I got in an extra 1.5M bringing my grand total for today up to 10.5M. Yep, that's a record for me and I'm not going to lie, I'm pretty amped on it.
Gotta find joy in all things, big&small.
When I got back I bundled up and walked out into the water, Gatorade (and choco-no bake protein bar) in hand. It's hard to tell from the picture but it was super windy and wavy out. I appreciate that I can walk into my back yard for my ice bath. And let me tell you, it's mid/late October in upstate NY. That lake is cold!
Now it's time for my afternoon nap in the sun. Spoiled, much?
Confession: In this big, bad [new to me] blog world I feel like a teeny, tiny fish in a great, big body of water. I feel woefully inadequate in terms of [knowledge, experience, mileage, writing ability, blogger etiquette... shall I go on?] This blog circle, specifically the running community, seems like jolly old chaps with an impressive rap sheet. It can be kind of intimidating at times.
All of that being said, the wonderful, super organized with colorful charts and excel spreadsheets, humorous, kind, and super driven Andrew over at Running Man Wannabe has tagged me with "The Versatile Blogger Award". If you don't read all of Andrew's hilarious stories, heartfelt musings, or motivational pieces about his first 5K, YOU SHOULD.
That being said, with this honorable award I am to
Thanks and link back to the person who gave you the award.
Share 7 things about yourself.
Pass the award to other bloggers.
Well, first. Thank-you Andrew. I am flattered that you ever glance in the direction of my blog. It is much appreciated and I thoroughly enjoy your thoughtful comments. His blog is linked above.
Uno: One of my favorite accounts from the Bible is in Luke 8:40-50 where Jesus is walking through a crowd of people and one, old, sick beggar woman reaches out to touch the edge of his garment and is instantly healed. She trembles in fear as Jesus asks who touched him, but He then proclaims "Daughter, be of good comfort: thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace." I appreciate this verse because she reached out to touch Him even though she was afraid. I think that He is always reaching out and extending His grace, but are we always taking a chance and reaching toward Him?
Dos: Two years ago Memorial Day, we had to put our family dog to sleep. Brittney was 18 and a half. I was 20 at the time. She was my dog my entire life and that was one of the most difficult, most trying times of my entire life. Never, ever underestimate the type of comfort a family pet can bring to your entire existence and being. If you've never had a pet- get one.
Tres: I took Spanish in high school and college but wouldn't consider myself fluent by any stretch. I [already] resolved for 2011 I am going to become proficient in the language [writing, reading, speaking] so that I can further myself in my career. ESL students are on the rise and having a psychologist who can empathize with the diversity is a pro.
Cuatro: I have a silly sense of humor and LOVE those little cat pictures with the little fuzz balls doing something cute and a clever caption on it.
Cinco: Distance running is the FIRST [yes, the very first ever] thing in my life that I have stuck with that was a challenge. So much comes easy to me that when something is at all difficult I throw in the towel too quickly. It's a breath of fresh air and it is teaching me to apply patience, perseverance, and struggle to other areas of my life. It has also taught me that the reward is far sweeter. Some days, I have to run a distance that I've never run before. During my run, I'm scared, I'm hurting, and I want to quit. I'm fearful that I won't be able to finish [no matter how many times I tell myself I CAN] and when I inevitably do finish, it is so much more fulfilling knowing I had to bust my ass to get there.
Seis: Goose and I got rid of our television [Oh yeah, we both call each other Goose, my real name is Sarah by the way] three years ago this coming February. We have A) Saved a butt load of greenery and B) not missed it for one second! We read all of our news online and even my trashy t.v. shows like Desperate Housewives are avaiable for viewing on the net. Plus, we donated our television so we have more space for all of Goose's musical gear.
Siete: This coming winter my Grandparents have been married for 54 years. How amazing is that?! I admire and look up to them more than I will ever be able to express. I spend as much time with them as I can and love talking to them and soaking up all that they know. And after 54 years, they still look at each other with that knowing twinkle in the eye, they still hold hands while walking and driving, he still holds the door for her and pulls out her chair, and she still rubs his neck while they watch a movie. I want to have that, forever. Relationships are such a vital part of our lives. And lastly, to tag a couple of bloggers who I find to be more than versatile;
[Warning: This is just a stupid nit-picky kind of rant. You're welcome to skip it.]
I love the phrase "This Too Shall Pass". Really, I do. Once, when I worked at a bank this wonderful, elderly women came in to take care of some business regarding her husband's death; they had been together for 62 years. I wanted so badly to offer some comfort and when I said to her that "this too shall pass" she thanked me.
I think the phrase provides much encouragement and perspective.
It is NOT intended only as a "don't worry, buck up, you'll get through the tough stuff" kind of a saying. It applies to everything. If you haven't before, familiarize yourself with the story. [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/This_too_shall_pass or http://pravstalk.com/this-too-shall-pass/] All things shall pass.
Nothing is our own. Our riches and wealth, they will pass. Our troubles and tribulations, they will pass. Everything that we have here on this earth will eventually pass, it is not ours to keep. Now, instead of finding conflict with this, rejoice. It is so comforting and so wonderful to remember that in the end, it is all His.
"Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." Matthew 6:19-21, KJV
It is a powerful reminder that all that we have and all that we do is because of Him and in honor of Him. I would be and could do nothing without Christ and I am eternally grateful for that fact. So, all things shall pass.
And that helps me keep things in perspective. That insanely awesome new gadget, that will pass to. So remember the "THIS" in 'this too shall pass' means everything, not just what you want it to.
Last night at Borders I scored a new daily devotional and also a workout/diet log. It is kind of cheesy, but I like, no, love and need to plan things out, keep track, and organize things. I do most of this online [mostly mapmyrun] but I wanted something in my hand that I could pre-plan some more meals/recipes. I'll let you know how it goes.
I wanted to start out by saying I think my yoga mat (next to my toothbrush) has carried the most bang for its buck. I scored my beautiful little pink girl a couple of years back for like $10. I use it ALL the time.
I stretch, do yoga, relax, you name it. Inside, outside in the grass, on the dock, at the gym/studios. It has traveled with me to the Adirondacks, Florida, California, and states in between. I love my little yoga mat and all that it has done for me.
It feels good to have something tried and true.
Next: Check out Beth's giveaway on her blog. You can score some sweet gear; ie. lululemon, need I say more?! Not only because she has a fabulous giveaway going on, but simply because she's a phenomenal blogger; entertaining and extremely educated. Worth the read.
I had a busy day today. Mostly full of fun things like shopping, napping, going to an expo at the House of Guitars, and a bit of schoolwork. Nevertheless, there is only so many hours of sunshine anymore, so I sucked it up and went for my run in the dark tonight. It was 49 degrees and a bit breezy. I hate running at night. I've only done it before when I had to get in an oober quick jaunt, tonight was 6miles.
All I will say is Geesh, if you want to simulate some potential race day anxieties, send your ass out at night,in the dark,by yourselfon a rural road, you'll get a sense of anxiety alright. More like, straight fear!
Alas, I made it safe and sound and am able to check my run off my list.
Off to catch up on some Americas Next Top Model ReRuns... yep, I'm lame.
My goal is to write once a week at least because my energy has been so focused in other locations but I don't want to lose site of my blog entirely.
This past week I was on. I completed all of my runs [8MLR, 3MRR, 3MSW, 4.75MTR]. I made it through, I pushed myself, I paid attention to hydration and stretching a lot. I did one day of strength training, two days of yoga, and my spin class. And, I'm PMSing. What now!? I felt accomplished, motivated, and challenged. All things that I love.
My eating however was out of this world. I craved sweets [and general crap] in a big way. I wasn't happy with this area. I would like to do better with this next week. [GOAL]
I have a break from school and plan on focusing on my health/wellness and pounding out some assignments ahead of time.
Oh yeah, school. I'm thinking I'll finish my two years of my M.S. and transfer right into my Psy.D. program. I plan ahead, obsessively.
This is a 'recovery' week so my 'long' run tomorrow is only 6 miles. I'm okay with that.
I'm going to head to my lovely and local Fleet Feet on Sunday to score a spibelt. I hate, hate carrying things on my person while running. I follow the hide the water in the bushes plan for hydration and drop sunglasses/headbands/etc. off under guardrails until I'm ready to retrieve them. I just don't enjoy carrying things- even belts. But, I really would like to attempt to snap some shots of my actual race (we get to run the bases of Tropicana Field!) and bring my phone on my longer runs, just in case.
I also want to score some shotblocks to try out. As of yet, I've only hydrated with water and have never used any alternative fuel source. Think it'll help for the half? Well, we're going to try it out ahead of time.
Goose went to the ATL for a couple of days so I was extra busy with house and dog chores. I also started a new program as (supervised) counselor for a group of students transitioning from HS to...Lord knows where, I guess that's the point of the group. That has filled up my mornings more than I am used to and I just have NOT been spending time on my computer like before.
I hope everything is fabulous in your world today.
I have been too lax on my weekday runs. I did my 8M run yesterday. I finished. My legs felt heavy but I attribute that to no running the previous week, just a righteous spin class the morning before.
Must. Stay. Focused. Must. Stay. On. Plan.
I pray I will get more time for my blogging world, checking up on mis amigas more often and finding inspiration in all that you guys are.
Hopeful schedule for this week: Sunday: 3M recovery run, yoga at night Monday: off Tuesday: Speedwork Wednesday: Hydrofit, weights Thursday: Tempo Run, maybe weights Friday: Spin Saturday: 6M
When making your choice in life, do not neglect to live.