“I Love You Man!”

It may not seem like it, but I think about you all daily. Something will happen, and I say to whoever is listening to me, “I SHOULD BLOG ABOUT THAT!”.  Sometimes the listener agrees, and sometimes they say nothing. I’m waiting for the day someone says “Nah. Keep that one to yourself”.

Here is a list of some of the things I think of blogging about:

  • Bucket List Item: Taking a Yoga Teacher Training course to deepen my yoga practice.
  • Hair products that I use as a natural hair African American. Particularly while running in high humidity and practicing hot yoga. Our hair is not easy to manage, and I  learned a lot of tips and tricks from social media. I feel compelled to give back.
  • My Debt Freedom Journey: Working to be debt free but my mortgage by August 2018.

My summer, fitness wise, has consisted of building mileage and lots of yoga. I bought a 3-month unlimited yoga pass to a nearby studio, which is something I do once a year or so. I have been enjoying my yoga practices so much that sometimes I go for a run and then do yoga practice that same day.

To be fair, I have the summer off from my school system and teach an Algebra course for my state’s virtual school. Having this setup aids in my body being able to rest and recover for the next day. It’s still quite busy though.

I’ve been running between 3-4.5 miles 3 times a week and a 6 mile run on Saturdays. I want to build my mileage as much as I can before August, but… you know how I am. For example, my running coach instructed us to run 10 miles. When I woke up and got there, I wasn’t feeling that idea. So six miles it was.

That may sound like a humble brag, but I’m not about that. You see, what “had happened was” I was at Fresh Market yesterday evening and my mind told me to get a coffee while I was shopping around. Clearly, I wasn’t thinking. I couldn’t put together why I did not sleep well. This morning, when I hoped in the car, that empty coffee cup brought me back to reality.

But let me tell you about this gem that I found at Fresh Market:

hummus

(Sweet Baby Mother of All! It was so good! )

How have you all been? Don’t be shy. Comment below.

Exploring My Options….

Now that the school year has began, I am back into a lifestyle with less downtime. I maintained a baseline of fitness through CrossFit workouts. However, I am ready to mix it up a tad bit. The past few weeks, I finally made it my business to check out more of the active community in downtown Columbus, Ga. I live about 10-15 minutes away, depending on traffic.

I did the following:

  • Yoga on Bikes: A free hour of yoga at a bike shop with my favorite yoga instructor!
  • Bike Ride 20 miles with a multi-level/ability group of about 100 cyclist: I used my hybrid bike. I anticipated soreness the day after, but there was none!!!
  • 3 mile run with a new running group: It is very nice to know that through functional fitness training, I can still comfortably run 3-5 miles whenever I feel up to it!

CrossFit has definitely toned me up. It has also made me see diet and exercise from a different perspective. Before, I was a vegetarian half marathoner. My mobility was poor. I was also sore the next day when I completed other fitness activities outside of running.

However, the cooling weather has me wanting to be back outside. I definitely plan maintain functional fitness at least 3 times a week.  I enjoy the toned look that I have worked hard over a year and a half to develop. I am in the process of coming up with a plan. Stay tuned!

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(Not the most flattering, but you get the PICTURE… Get it?)

Mobility; or Lack There of……

As most of you know, basic weight lifting requires proper form. Proper form, in this case, requires mobility. Mobility equates to flexibility. Physical flexibility is something that I have always had to work at compared to other athletic peers.

Years of running has left me with muscle memory that isn’t very corporative in the respect of CrossFit. One resolution is to buy proper footwear. I has no idea that regular tennis/running shoes are wrong for weight lifting/CrossFit (if you are serious about doing it long term). Apparently, one needs “zero drop” type shoes. I need to find cheaper hobbies.

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My second resolution is to resume yoga at a studio that I used to frequent years ago. I would resort to YouTube or exercise DVDs, but I need some degree of “coaching” or, at the very least, mirrors to ensure that proper form is being executed. I was thinking that I would show up one or twice a week for the month of July. I don’t want to do anything too rigorous, like hot yoga. I am thinking more of a restorative class.

I have done some research online, and the consensus is that yoga pairs well with CrossFit. It appears that yoga and swimming laps pairs well with every type of fitness/sport out there. I think in regards to CrossFit, yoga works well because one can view both of them as methods of conditioning that just so happen to go hand in hand.

Diagnosis: Keep Running (with caution)!

My knee is has a special type of inflation, known as Synovitis. So kids, that’s why it is always good to follow up with a medical doctor (in my case a sports doctor, that specializes in knee pain) after you use the internet to diagnose yourself. I thought it was Runner’s Knee. The treatment is to reduce running volume some, continue to do yoga if I like, and take an anti-inflammatory. That’s cool with me, because it is starting to get too cold outside anyway.

Today, I explored the idea of spinning for cross training (to replace the yoga; I feel that the yoga aggravated the knee pain). I think I can commit to spinning once a week, in addition to running 3 times a week.   I’m happy that this is not a chronic condition. The only caveat is that the doctor recommended rehab/physical therapy. This will introduce me to exercises to strengthen and stretch my quads. My quadricepses were so tight that it brought along the knee pain. I plan to go only one time. I don’t have time for all of that.


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(Isn’t it funny how “back in the day” physical therapy/rehab was for serious injuries, and if one said rehab we totally assumed it was a drug or alcohol problem?)


Pain, Pain Go Away!

So I have been doing yoga once or twice a week in addition to running about three times a week. I have developed knee pain that I think has been called by yoga. Naturally, I have ceased performing any type of yoga exercise (that is annoying because I purchased that unlimited yoga pass for two months, at the cost of $120). I still notice minor knee pain that comes and goes during running and sitting too long. I am seeing a sports medicine doctor in the morning. This has been going on for about a week, and I don’t have time for this noise anymore.

Based on web research, I think I either have Runner’s Knee, IT Band Syndrome, or BOTH. I am aware that personally diagonosing one’s self using the internet is not always effective. However, The Bookworm (that’s me) likes to guess the condition before seeing a doctor. Anyway, based on research, you can still run a little bit, but you need to reduce volume and speed. I have noticed when I do this, I feel a lot better. I also think that I am going to start spinning for the cross training benefits.

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(That’s an easy math problem, hopefully my problem won’t be too complicated either.)

You Know I Have Been Thinking…..

The one thing I hate about ending marathon/half-marathon training is beating one’s appetite back down. Now mind you, I am not trying to lose weight or anything like that, but I failed to notice the amount of food that I take in as the mileage was building. I have been eating the same things, but naturally, the portions became larger. When I completed the half marathon, I was interested in stepping back up to full marathon training. The problem came with doing yoga once or twice a week (for about 3 weeks). It is something about it that has been making my knees achy. I never had prior knee issues.

With that said, I have backed off yoga all together, lowered my mileage, and ran with a group that takes plenty of walk breaks. So since I am not exercising to the same volume, I probably need to do the following: reduce portion size, reduce carbohydrate intake (a little bit), or both. Yuck! This isn’t going to be fun.

Another thing: In a blog post, am I supposed to capitalize each word the way you do for the title of a book?

Solider Half Marathon Race Day Recap

Two hours and twenty-one minutes for the Solider Half Marathons (That is an 11 minute average mile pace)! I mention that information first, because when I read most running blogs. The writer will discuss so many details of the race, and then totally fail to tell the reader what their final time was. Anyway, I wanted a 10:30 average mile pace but I will take what I got. I say that, because it is a PR by nine minutes. It is also my one anniversary of racing. I am extra proud of still running, getting faster, and staying injury free.

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Runners that finish the course earn a dog tag instead of a finisher’s medal. 

When I got home, I got the munchies, and for the first time I could not go to sleep after running. So what did I do? I called and Facebooked some runner friends, talked to Bertha’s Angel (11/9/13 blog contributor), and snacked some more. Later, I blogged at a Starbucks, bought a new pair of shoes, and met with said runner friends at a Mexican Restaurant.

At this point, I don’t know how I feel about running any races, in the near future. Usually, I am thinking about signing up for another race hours after racing. Not this time, I do want to explore taking up more time cross training. Yep, you guessed it. It is either going to be Cross-fit or yoga.

So I have a question for you guy and gals? Do you have a weird fatigue that lingers for days after the race? That is another reason I don’t have a race on the agenda. I don’t like lounging around the house, switching between watching TV and Netflix, from where I don’t feel like doing anything else. I didn’t start doing anything (worth discussing) until about 11:00 (a. m. this morning). That’s very unlike me.

Yoga is Like Running: It May Not Be For Everyone.

Each person is supposed to make their yoga experience their practice. So that means that even thought I would love to be the yoga rock star, that I know I can be one day, I have to bear in mind that yoga not competitive .I do get distracted by yogis that can do headstands and such. My mind also wanders, and worse I get sleepy after an hour for some reason. It is a 90 minute class.

I also have a strange defiance. Some of those move are so high level that I literally get scared. I actually think this thought: “uh, I am not fin to do that move and break my neck.” I promptly go into child’s pose as everyone else proceeds to potentially break their neck.

After all, it is about being in the moment physically and mentally.  I go there for the stress reliving benefits.

I also enjoy doing yoga because I am a bit of a pessimist, and yoga encourages me and challenges me to have an open mind (to ease into new moves); but one of my projects is to study more about the practice (in particular, the 8 limbs). The subject of yoga is endless and very interesting to me.

Question: What was your first impression of yoga?

The Feast After A Long Run: FAIL!

I am having a hard time trying to determine what to eat after a long run. The long run (in the running community), is the activity which will consist of the running highest mileage for the week. This week’s long run was only 6 miles. It can range from 6 miles to 26 miles, depending the race that I intend to run. Generally the long run is the only run where I may feel like feasting immediately after. Here is the problem:

·         Most restaurants are not open or are still serving breakfast food. I’m not crazy about most breakfast foods.

·         I prefer to eat at the house, so that I can shower, eat, and go back to sleep (in that order).

·         Sometimes, even though I ran and should be hungry, I don’t have much of an appetite.

·         I almost always have a taste for a soy misto from Starbucks. Starbucks don’t have good food, to me, though.

·         Cooking is not part of my lifestyle.

So after the run, food was on my mind. I had food at the house that I didn’t want. It was still morning, so I couldn’t think of any restaurants to eat at. I did have a small grocery list, so I went to the grocery store, hoping for some sort of inspiration. Nope. Inspiration did not appear. When I arrived home, I knew it was in my best interest to eat. I decided to have some hummus and crackers, followed with a meal of (Green Giant) Brussels sprouts with quinoa. After I woke up, I snacked some more (with a fruit plate) and decided to run some more errands. I packed my laptop, just in case I might have gotten hungry and choose to sit in a restaurant.

Suddenly, out of nowhere, I start craving French fries. You know, the French fries that come on the side with hot wings. I alter this by ordering only the French fries, wing sauce on the side, blue cheese, and maybe ketchup. It has to be those French fries, because I like the season salt and wing sauce on the side. In my mind, I figure this is something most places can’t mess up. Well that’s sort of not true. I decide to go into a hibachi restaurant. Then I went across the street to Starbucks (they have a tasty caffeinated drink that taste like Tang, I always ask for half water though), got my drink and proceeded to eat.

Here is what went wrong. The ketchup tasted funny. Wing sauce was unusual. The texture was a little thinner than regular wing sauce. And they ran out of blue cheese and gave me ranch. It did satisfy my craving overall. But you know how there is runners high, and yoga zen after the activity? I wanted that “oh wee, that was really good” feeling.

I will keep you updated on how I will resolve this issue. Until then, I’m keeping score:

Poor planning for long run feast:

OOH WEE! THAT WAS GOOD (the feeling after you eat something I crave after completing a long run):

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0

Hydration is the Key

My motivation to hydrate today was so that I can attempt to be a rock star in hot yoga tonight. I had been thinking about it all day, with it being such a Monday (you know that Monday tired feeling that makes you think you are being “punked” because it is not Friday).

Now, do bear in mind I speak for MYSELF when I say this. It can be a real struggle to hydrate for successful physical activity, especially when the day is really busy. And let’s be honest, drinking coffee and green tea is way more fun than drinking bland ole water.  But you cannot survive being physically active without regular proper hydration. Well, you can, but why would I choose to be an idiot and risk my health and safety?

My saving grace has been the fact that I do a decent job of getting my produce servings on a daily basis. Things like packing cut up fruit and veggies, and throwing them in my work tote helps (I think), and having smoothies here and there also seem to help. Drinking actual water is tricky for me, because I don’t care for tap water in my city. Sometimes I will feel bad about drinking coffee and tea as frequently as I do, and I will switch to hot water with a squeeze of lemon. If I am feeling fancy, I spruce it up with a small piece of ginger.

Now that I have completed this operation, I kind of feel silly, because the workout did so much more than feed my ego. It “calmed my nerves”! I have this wicked zen right now. It is comparable to runners high. As a matter of fact, I may do some research to see if there is a difference. It may be the same type of endorphin release. The wheels are spinning. Stay tuned!