elisariva

Seizing life's joys and challenges physically, mentally, and emotionally.


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Virtually There

My year end goal of improving my fitness is three weeks away. I am focusing on eating clean – most of the time – and keep to my workout routine.  Swimming is one of my favorite sports and I get to the pool to swim four mornings a week. I am also cycling on my trainer, rowing on a row machine and practicing yoga. While I would enjoy riding my bicycle outside for two hours, the weather this time of year is not cooperating and time management makes it challenging to carve that much time out two to three days a week.

I belong to a wonderful fitness club, but returning after work for a second workout just isn’t as appealing as it was when I was training for an Ironman. Now that fitness is my primary focus, I prefer to workout at home after work. Thanks to technology, it is very easy to find challenging workouts!

For cycling, I have a smart trainer, mine is a Wahoo Kickr Snap. There are several apps to use with a smart trainer – TrainerRoad, Sufferfest, and Zwift are a few. TrainerRoad is a great program when training for a long course triathlon. Sufferfest and Zwift combine interactive workouts with virtual videos.

Then there is Peloton. I am sure most reading this are aware of Peloton, has seen a commercial for a Peloton bike, or even may own one. I have been using the Peloton app along with my bike on the trainer. Fortunately, Peloton offers an app based program that the rider can use with their own bike. While the resistance is a bit different since I am not on the actual bike, it is a virtual spin class that offers a great workout. I am able to ride when I want with prerecorded classes, or participate in a live class. The instructor knows who is riding in the studio and online. Even app users who are not on a Peloton bike are listed. The workout stats do not register like when riding a Peloton bike, but the instructor does know when the app user hits certain milestones. Today was my 50th ride and I rode a live class with one of my favorite instructors, Robin Arzon. I always know her class will be a tough workout and she knows how to motivate and push the class. Her favorite saying is “let’s sweat, with swagger.”

My journey through 30 days of yoga is going well. Today is day 9, and Yoga with Adriene is guiding me through it. The classes vary in length from 10 minutes to 35 minutes and she mixes it up so I am not doing the same thing every day. It is still very challenging to sit crossed legged longer than 5 minutes with pain, but I am making progress. Adriene’s style is so refreshing. She talks the yogi through the movements in a very real way. It is like I am casually doing yoga with a friend.

Both Robin and Adriene know how to connect to the viewer virtually through the camera. It is like I am virtually there with them. I follow both on Instagram – and they follow each other too! I get a kick out of Adriene liking Robin’s pictures and Robin liking Adriene’s. I am not surprised they are linked together on Instagram. Robin is in New York and Adriene is in Austin, TX. Another virtual connection of outstanding instructors.

Frequently I hear people say they would exercise if they had time. I am a firm believer that we make time for what we want to do. Yes, getting to a gym can be difficult, but there are options. I have found two outstanding programs that allow me to workout at home in the evenings. My pets get a little more attention now that I am home earlier and I am able to get a few chores done too. All while I also get a good workout in – and I am virtually there with awesome instructors too.


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Year’s End Resolution

New Year’s Resolutions are very common. This blog was born from my resolution to write a blog post every day in 2012, and I did it. This year, a group of my friends and I are doing something a little different – we are setting health and fitness goals to reach by the end of this year. We started November 26th after Thanksgiving and set reasonable goals to reach by year’s end. Having friends to hold each other accountable will hopefully increase our success ratio!

My primary goal is to improve my fitness. For those familiar with Training Peaks, I want to raise my fitness score to over 60 by the end of the year. I started out at 54. The quick definition of the fitness score is a rolling 42 day average of my daily stress score calculated by heart rate or power. Basically, it is how hard I train each day. To put it in perspective, when I was at my peak training for the Ironman, my fitness score was 135. When I was at my lowest over the past 12 months this year it was 35. As of December 2nd, my score was 56. fullsizeoutput_4346

My training activities right now consist of swimming, cycling on the trainer, rowing machine, yoga and hopefully skiing soon. To help improve my daily activity level, I decided to add yoga every day. I figure adding 30 minutes of stretching and strengthening will help me with my other activities.

I found a really good website and YouTube channel called Yoga with Adrienne. Adrienne has over 4 million subscriber and she is considered “the people’s yogi“. I find her style refreshing, it is like working out with a friend. No music, no flashy setup, just authentic yoga taught by someone who doesn’t come off intimidating at all. The inventory of free videos is very sizable too. One program she has is called 30 Days of Yoga. Score! A perfect way for me to add yoga daily to help meet my year’s end resolution.

Yesterday was day one. The practice of yoga is more than just stretching and strengthening. Yoga also helps the yogi focus inward, learn more about myself. On day one, by 2 minutes in, I was well aware of something. My hip flexors are screaming tight! All of the activities I do along with sitting at a desk most of the day contribute to the tightening of those muscles. Adrienne said at the beginning of the video that we will start easy. No rush, we have 30 days. We started sitting crossed legged on the floor. Relax. Breathe in. Easy?? Relax?? I am in agony!! How did this happen? I would sit crossed legged frequently as a child. It was not painful. I was trying to follow the video without having to move, but every minute (or 10 seconds maybe) I would have to shift position. One leg out. Sit with both legs out – okay that is cheating. Sit with soles of feet together. I did this shifting for the entire 10 minutes of sitting on the floor. When she finally said to slowly move into table top position, I was so relived I thing I did it in 2 seconds flat.

I made it through the entire 35 minute class. My experience has me determined to complete the 30 days. I hope by the end I will have a little less discomfort (read: less excruciating pain). I know I won’t be a yogi master, it took me more than 30 days to get in this predicament. One self awareness reflection point hit me as I was trying not to focus on how much pain I was in – I miss blogging. I am self aware enough to know daily posts are not possible, however weekly posts are.

Through this year’s end resolution, I want to share my progress to reach my fitness goal, the 30 days of agony yoga, and the life lessons I learn along the way. I hope you, the reader, will enjoy the journey with me.

Namaste.


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New Beginnings

Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.

Semisonic Closing Time

Semisonic released Closing Time in March of 1998 and on April 29, 1999 the song really hit a chord in my life. My new beginning began that day when I signed up to run my first marathon to raise funds for the Arthritis Foundation and run in Dublin, Ireland. Little did I know that day would change so much in my life. Endurance sports – specifically running and triathlon – became a huge part of my life. Over the past 17 years I have run 7 marathons, over 15 half marathons, countless 5K races and a few 10K races as well. In triathlon I have completed one full iron distance triathlon and came within 5 miles of another. I also completed 7 half iron distance triathlons, one half iron aqua-bike (swim and bike – no run), three olympic distance triathlons and many sprint triathlons.

This past March I shared that I have developed arthritis in my left foot. The disease that first brought me into running long distance is also the disease that took me out of it.  I took four months off of running early this year and slowly started running a mile to two miles up to three times a week. By mid June I signed up to run a charity 5K with friends. I figured I would see if I could finish – I knew I would not set a personal record, but it would be fun. And it was! And I finished!rftp

With a 5K under my belt without significant pain in my foot, I took on a challenge to race three sprint triathlons and one olympic relay where I swam the first leg this summer. I had a blast – I knew I wasn’t going to place in my age group since my run was not strong at all, so I decided to enjoy the process. Also racing with my friends made it so special.

In March I met with a foot and ankle sports orthopedic surgeon. It was my hope that I would be able to have some type of surgery to alleviate the pain in my foot so I could run. Unfortunately it is not possible. She told me that I was classified with moderate arthritis, not mild, and it is a matter of time before I would decide the pain is too great to run. Throughout summer I would occasionally feel pain as I ran or after, but it was tolerable. After the last triathlon I did in August I knew my running days have ended. By 2.5 miles into the run, the pain was terribly sharp and I was only running an 11:30 minute mile pace. I finished the race and my foot ached for a few days. It was time and I had almost six months to prepare myself for the reality.

My running beginning that began in 1999 had come to an end. I am exploring options to find my next new beginning. What had seemed as a terrible ending has now opened up time for me to expand my fitness horizons.

With the extra time I added yoga to my routine and cycled and swam more. Cycling is so fun! Road riding to me is the most thrilling, however it also involves the most risk. More and more motorist are hitting cyclists and the cyclist is always on the losing end. I also have a mountain bike that I need to take on actual mountain bike trails. I did ride it a bit on a towpath through the parks here in Northeast Ohio. So in addition to racing a few triathlons, I also participated in a few long course area cycling events as well as tool around on the mountain bike. Again – much fun and great exercise!

Yoga is something that I have done off and on over the past six years, however this year it became a regular part of my fitness program. I have benefited tremendously from it – stretching, strengthening and calming. Recently there was a public yoga event at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in downtown Cleveland. I went with a few friends – it was a truly fun and inspiring evening.

Over the years I have worked on my swim to the point I have gone from back of the pack to usually finishing in the top 20% out of the water. Since I am swimming more, I also want to challenge myself to participate in US Masters swim meets. My first was where my strength is – a mile open water swim in Lake Erie. It was a choppy day and I still did well and placed second in my age group.

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Almost  a year ago I registered for the inaugural Ironman Ohio 70.3 half iron distance race. Close to 100 members of the Cleveland Triathlon Club also registered. Not being able to race with my friends was difficult to accept, there was no way I could run 13.1 miles. I decided to volunteer at the race in the first transition and also cheer on the course. I have to say, volunteering is so much fun! I was able to be with my friends and cheer them on. Win win.

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This past weekend I capped off my racing season by racing in the Revolution 3 half iron distance aqua-bike. Aqua-bike races came to be when the demand to race came from triathletes who can no longer run – just like me. Rev3 does a fantastic job of organizing basically four races that take place at the same time. Both full iron and half iron distance triathlons and aqua-bikes. I was able to race along side my friends after all! One of my friends did the full distance triathlon and we stayed till he crossed the finish line. So I had the opportunity to race and then come back and cheer. Again – win win.

So here I am – my racing season is over and in the past I would be planning out what running races and triathlons are next. Not this time. My new beginning right now is exploring my options.  I enjoyed racing an aqua-bike race and I am sure I will do more. Swimming is still something I want to improve on and compete in a meet or two in a pool setting. I want to get stronger in cycling, but I do not have a desire to race road cycling. This fall I plan to get out on the mountain bike trails and overcome the fears I have of the sport. When the snow falls I want to ski downhill. I haven’t been on downhill skis since I was 16! Cross country skiing is something I have done in the past and I will get my skis out as well.

It is fitting to end this post with quoting the beginning of Closing Time. As I explore the options ahead of me, I am facing a new frontier – opening doors into the world.

Closing time. Open all the doors and let you out into the world.


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Cracked Pot

Today was my rest day. I must admit, I am getting used to it too. After a busy weekend of training, getting a little extra sleep and taking it easy on my body feels quite nice. I did go to yoga this evening, it is a vinyasa yoga basics class. Good movement but not too intense. At the beginning of the class the instructor suggested finding a purpose for the class, something to focus on. The first thing that came to my mind was “Peace.” Peace in my mind, with relationships, at work, and peace inside with each breath. I left feeling at peace – so I guess it worked.

When I got to my car I received an email from a very dear friend with a link to a blog that when she read it she thought of me and how I look at life. The blog is linked here. It is called The Story of Two Pots. The blog is copy protected so I won’t copy it, but suggest you hit the link and check it out. I did, however, research the story and found that it originated from a Chinese story and found it also on a link at Amazing Women Rock. That I can copy and add below. We are all not perfect, but we all have something to add. Celebrate the good, even faults have a hidden benefit.  Here it is:

The Cracked Pot: A Story For Anyone Who’s Not Quite Perfect

crackedpot origA waterbearer in India had two large pots, one hung on each end of a pole, which she carried across her neck.

One of the pots had a crack in it. While the other pot was perfect, and always delivered a full portion of water at the end of the long walk from the stream to the mistress’s house, the cracked pot arrived only half full.

For a full two years this went on daily, with the bearer delivering only one and a half pots full of water to her master’s house.

The perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments, perfect to the end for which it was made. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it was able to accomplish only half of what it had been made to do.

After two years of what it perceived to be a bitter failure, it spoke to the water bearer one day by the stream: “I am ashamed of myself, and I want to apologize to you.”

Why?” asked the bearer. “What are you ashamed of?”

“I have been able, for these past two years, to deliver only half my load because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your mistress’s house. Because of my flaws, you have to do all of this work, and you don’t get full value from your efforts,” the pot said.

The water bearer felt sorry for the old cracked pot, and in her compassion she said, “As we return to the mistress’s house, I want you to notice the beautiful flowers along the path.”

Indeed, as they went up the hill, the old cracked pot took notice of the sun warming the beautiful wild flowers on the side of the path, and this cheered it some.

But at the end of the trail, it still felt bad because it had leaked out half its load, and so again it apologized to the bearer for its failure.

The bearer said to the pot, “Did you notice that there were flowers only on your side of the path, but not on the other pot’s side?

flower pot2“That’s because I have always known about your flaw, and I took advantage of it. I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back from the stream, you’ve watered them.

“For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate my mistress’s table. Without you being just the way you are, she would not have this beauty to grace her house.”

Moral: Each of us has our own unique flaws. We’re all cracked pots.

But it’s the cracks and flaws we each have that make our lives together so very interesting and rewarding. We’ve just got to take each person for what they are, and look for the good in them.

There’s a lot of good out there.

 

 

 


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Clear as Pea Soup

Today was my rest day. Choosing to focus on the word rest, I slept until 7:00. For a week day, that is very late for me. Of course it did not go without interruption – my cat got a few pokes in, my alarm went off at 5:15 (hit snooze), and a friend texted me early to see if I was going to cycle class. Fortunately I have no problem going back to sleep, so I felt very rested this morning. After work I did try a new yoga class at a very popular yoga studio in town. I have heard good things about it, so it was worth checking out. This class is an hour long and is called Vinyasa Yoga Basics. Well, it was not so basic. I felt I got a good stretch in. The instructor was quite good leading us through the moves. At the beginning the instructor said to find the meaningful word (mantra?) to focus on through the class and possibly into activities in life. Mine was my new mantra – Break Through.

Yoga is helping me slow down once or twice a week and let the tension go. I am also able to clear my mind and focus on what matters. As for some of the more challenging poses, Break Through really helped. With running and cycling, there are areas in my legs, hips, and back that are very tight. Holding a few positions for “five breaths” (these yogis breathe much slower than I…) can take me to the point I want to break down, quit, stop. That is when Break Through came into play. For me the chair pose (Jim in Sanskrit it is called Utkatasana, take note) is very hard to hold. Running and cycling are hard on my quads, holding a chair seated position with no chair creates a feeling a fire. Break Through. And I did. As I mentioned yesterday, balance is an issue for me. I positioned myself where I thought was the back of the class so I was close to the window wall. I was in the front. So when I would come up into chair pose my face was about arm distance from the shear blinds covering the window. The depth perception was way off and made it difficult to focus. After the fourth time I figured where to cast my eyes so it wasn’t an optical illusion. I learned to look closer than farther away.

After class I headed home. The extreme cold has gone for now and we are experiencing a bit of freezing rain and temperatures in the upper 30’s to lower 40’s. With very cold snow on the ground and the sun had set it was a perfect blend for fog. Pea soup thick fog. Driving home, up and down hills through mostly dark country roads, I had to focus up close. The visibility was no more than 50 feet and I am being generous. I know these roads like the back of my hand, yet I had trouble judging when the road would bend because of the thick fog. My perception was off just like in yoga class. As I drove home I thought how today’s experiences are good to remember. I go through life at a quick pace – there is always somewhere to be, something to do, people to meet. Resting, breathing deeply, clearing my mind and focusing on what is right in front of me is something I need to work on. All too often planning details for events far off clouds enjoying the little things that are happening in the present. Sometimes pea soup thick fog is just what I need to Break Through and remember to enjoy, and seize, today.


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Break Down to Break Through

I am getting into a routine on Sundays that I am liking quite a bit. My morning starts with my cycle workout my coach has given me. Today was for an hour but it was geared to mimic hill climbing. Something I need to spend time doing – the Syracuse 70.3 climbs 1,000 feet over the first 11 miles. I pushed myself and hit higher heart rate levels on the bike that I have not seen in a while. After cycling I changed and headed to the pool to swim. This morning I met up with one of my friends who is very fast. He had already started his workout so we did our own workouts, stopped to chat a bit in between, and finished around the same time. I only swam 1,200 meters. Today I really felt the effects of cycling hard and my lungs and legs did not want to push too much. That said, I did swim my fastest 600 meters – I did it in 12:14 – just a hair over 2:02 per 100 meters. My goal is to go long distance averaging under 2:00 minutes. I am getting close. Also – no pull buoy at all today. So with fatigued legs and lungs I still had a strong swim.

After swimming I changed and headed up to the yoga studio. For the second week in a row two other girlfriends met up with me. While yoga is a very individual practice, sharing the experience with friends makes it much more meaningful and fun. Balance is not my strongest ability, I have a 20 degree C curve in my lower spine. Even mild scoliosis can really mess up balance. As a result, my friends and I bump into each other occasionally. Today I almost punched one friend in the nose and the other went tumbling into the mirror on her own ability. (I had nothing to do with it, honest.) Additionally, the instructor of this class makes sure to add a meaningful theme to the practice. Last week she shared the quote from Mother Teresa. Today she started with a comment that penetrates through so much in life, not just yoga. She said that there are moments when something becomes so stressful (a yoga stretch, a swim sprint, climbing a huge hill on a bike, running a pace faster than ever, a work situation, a relationship…) that you reach a point where you have to break down in order to break through.There comes a time when enough is enough – when the stress breaks you down and you push on and break through.  In my training right now it is in my running, as my friend pointed out to me. I didn’t think about it right away, but she is right. I am struggling and I have to break through. Two months ago I was running 15 to 20 miles for my long run and I can not find it in me to get over 10 miles right now.

Adding yoga to my routine was something I wanted to do to improve my flexibility and strength. I had not planned on gaining insight and perspective too – not every instructor is the same. Fortunately I have found a class that is challenging my body and mind. Mantras are a center part of my training. When it gets tough I turn to them. Believe. Just Keep Swimming. I Am Able. Now I have one more to add, and it will help far beyond a workout – Break Through.

 


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Stand

Today was a rest day for me. The intensity of my training has ramped up to the point where I am willing to rest one day. Wanting to do something I went to a yoga class. I am learning that swimming does not strengthen all of my arm and chest muscles – I am sore after two days of yoga class. Standing on my hands in downward facing dog can do wonders for these muscles…

I really do not have much to write today, so I want to share a quote –

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

With today being Martin Luther King, Jr. day, I thought it would be a good thing to reflect on something he said. In sport, relationships, business, and personal life we will all face challenges and controversy. How one stands, or manages those times, speaks volumes to the character of the person. When things are going well, it is easy to shine like a diamond. Taking a stand against injustice is never easy. But it is better to stand than sit or fall.


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Anyway

The weather has been very erratic lately – either typical January snow and cold or balmy 50’s and 60’s. This weekend I experienced both within less than 48 hours. Saturday was mild with temperatures in the upper 40’s to lower 50’s so I decided to get my long run in, rather than today which has been windy and in the low 20’s. My run yesterday was not as wonderful as my run on Friday evening – which I had finished a mere 17 hours earlier. I ran eight miles – I wanted to do 12 – and it took everything in me to get through the eight. By four miles in my legs were burning as if I had run a half marathon hard. And I was starving. I ate properly and hydrated. I think I am lacking enough sodium and calories in my drink. Nuun works well for my week day training, but I am going to go back to Accelerade for my long runs and see if I notice a difference.

Today’s workouts were fabulous. I was at the gym by 7:00 AM and on the spin bike for a long workout. My coach designs workouts that are challenging and change things up at least every five minutes so it doesn’t get boring. Good thing too – I was on the bike for 1:45 – yes nearly two hours. I am noticing that my anaerobic threshold on the bike needs a lot of work. When I push my heart rate over 135 to 140 I have difficulty holding it for more than 5 minutes. Like the speed intervals I do running, I will have to continue with speed intervals on the bike to improve. After my workout I changed and headed to the pool. This is surprising to me now – I absolutely love swimming. A year ago I kept at it to get better because it is the first leg in triathlon. Now I could stay in the pool for hours. This morning I did a 2,500 meter swim that had both long sets pulling 300 meters as well as speed sets of 50 meter repeats. Of the five lanes during the hour, I swam with seven friends at one point or another. We all did our own workouts, but it was fun to see everyone. For such a solitary sport, I have made many friends at the pool.

After swimming (yes it was only 10:45 by the time I headed to the locker room) I changed into my yoga clothes, grabbed my mat, and headed to the yoga room with my friend. We had been looking forward to this yoga class all week. Both of us dealt with stressful issues this week and 75 minutes to stretch, strengthen, and unwind was just what we needed. Yoga is so much more than just a physical activity. I am able to release all of the busy-ness that crowds my mind. Sometimes the issues I have buried the deepest come up. As my friend suggested, treat those thoughts like waves in the ocean. They float in, crash, then retreat back out. (Now Jim is reading this either laughing at the girly-ness or actually contemplating trying a class one day…) The class was a Vinyasa class in a heated room over 85 degrees. We keep moving through most of the class and the warmth helps release muscles. Additionally it increases perspiration – I could smell the chlorine from my swim a bit, always makes me smile at the scent of chlorine.

During a long stretch the instructor (named Christina – Jim she is very Western…) read a quote from Mother Teresa that touched me:

People are often unreasonable and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.
If you are honest, people may cheat you. Be honest anyway.
If you find happiness, people may be jealous. Be happy anyway.
The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough. Give your best anyway.
For you see, in the end, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.

-Mother Teresa

With all of the stresses I have experienced this week along with all that is going on in our country and the world, this quote is a good reminder. Heck, the Lance Armstrong brouhaha this past week covered the first three phrases. Then there is the tragedy with the Algerian hostage crisis this past week which leaves me saddened at what has become of things. Then I hear this quote. For in the end, it is between me and my God. So I will strive to live a life forgiving, being kind, honest, happy, doing good and giving my best. That is all that matters anyway.


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Monday Monday…

As the song goes … can’t trust that day… I woke up this morning and headed to the gym with 60 degrees and wind. Ah, that wind blew in rain and cold temperatures by the afternoon. Dark, rainy days are bad enough. When it happens on a Monday, well it seems even more dreary. Fortunately the sun looks like it will be shining by tomorrow afternoon (after a 40% chance of snow) and it should stick around until Sunday. The sun, not the snow. There, I already found my something good to look forward to.

When I got to spin class my friend asked how my long run went yesterday. I told her it went well and I felt good enough for cycling. That was before I got on the bike. I did not hurt, but my legs felt like bricks as I started pedaling. The fatigue from pushing race pace yesterday was showing. I took it easy in class – I gave myself two choices. A) if I am to keep up with the RPMs that the instructor suggested, I would have to reduce the tension to the point where there was barely any resistance. Or B) add enough resistance to feel I am working out but reduce the RPMs my 5 to 10. I chose B. I worked up a good sweat, got my heart rate in zones two and three, but I still didn’t hit the speed or watts I have in the past. I keep reminding myself that the marathon is the most important thing to focus on right now, this workout does not have to be all out. In fact later today I checked in with my trainer and she agrees – Friday I have a 10 to 12 mile run with up to 7 of the miles at my goal race pace – no spinning on Friday. Just running.

This evening I did my intermediate Pilates DVD. The slightly more intense moves definitely make a difference. The more I do it, the more I like it. Mixing things up and trying different routines has opened up so many opportunities. I have had a light banter going with another blogger over at Fit Recovery about yoga. Specifically if it is just a girly “foo foo” activity or is it for real men too. I will leave it up to him to discover if it is for him or not, but I do miss it. I hope to get back to a few yoga classes after the marathon. My gym even has a class that is a Yoga/Pilates Fusion class. The opportunities seem limitless…

Monday, Monday… sometimes it just works out that way. Today was not a typical Monday, but lately I am not sure what typical is. The day was dark and dreary. I sometimes prefer snow – at least the white flakes brighten things up. But I did enjoy all I did today, even if I didn’t push as hard as I would have liked in cycle class. Some days are strong, other require a bit more active rest. Sometimes it just works out that way.


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Learning to Rest

Something is wrong when I get 10 hours of great sleep, walk two miles on my treadmill and feel guilty that I didn’t work hard enough. Ah, “active rest” days can be stressful to an on the go Type A. Saturdays are my active rest day, due to the cold and blowing snow this morning I chose to walk inside on my treadmill. In the past I have walked outside – and I usually walk 3 miles. Because I slept in today I only had time for two miles, I didn’t want to be late for my manicure and pedicure appointment. Yes, I pamper myself occasionally.

In “Zoned Out” I mentioned the importance of spending quality time training in each of the five fitness heart rate zones. I didn’t do this for over a year and the result of my overtraining caused my fat burning aerobic zones to diminish. I did more harm than good. In order to develop my zones 1 and 2, I have to spend time training in them. My zone 1 is so low, all I can do is walk and practice yoga. I am doing more than training my body to burn fat in these zones, I am teaching my mind to appreciate the benefits of rest. It isn’t easy. Then again, if things were easy we wouldn’t grow. Challenges teach me about myself and how I can benefit from change. (I actually cringed a little when I wrote that last sentence.)

Learning to rest, like learning to swim with a band or do a flip turn, take time and practice. And patience.