Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Dear John August,

I am sorry to have to tell you this in a letter blog post, and I know its been a very short lived relationship, but its time for you to move on. 

Its not me, its you.

I cannot take another day with you to be completely honest.  You have made me feel broken, battered and bruised.  And have caused me such anguish on many a weekend.  The days of you using and abusing me are over I say!

Not only that but you have caused my running clothes and shoes to reach the point that some of them, even after washing extensively, still have to be left outside due to the stench.  Well not the clothes so much, but definitely the shoes.  Its no wonder they haven't rented my place out yet.

You have ruined it with your lingering presence.  Ruined.  It.

I am thankful that others in my life (the weathermen) have solidified this break up with the news that indeed your days of 100+degree torture and sick love games are indeed over after today.  How fitting is that?

End of August.
End of the 100's.

I know that they say that parting is such sweet sorrow, and I am quite sure that I (nor will a lot of others) ever forget this time we had together, but it will be painful memories and there is no sorrow being felt here.  

My heart lies with another, and I am anxiously awaiting his arrival.  His name is October, with November coming in at a close 2nd, but for now I will make do with September.

September ain't such a bad dude.

So August.  Go.  Be on your way.  There is nothing more here for you.  Or for me.

I bid you adieu.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Mental OverDrive

Isn't that just a beautiful site to behold?!?!?!

However, the rain chances could go up, they could go down so who knows.  All I know is that I want cloud cover, lower temps and yes rain.
But there's one catch to that.  It would be so awesomely great if the rain either held off completely or just a pitter patter of rain during my 20 miler on Saturday morning!

I do not mind running in the rain, however if its pouring and/or lightning&thunder thats a different story.  Its really hard to actually start a run when its pouring but for some reason if it starts pouring after you have started it doesn't seem so bad.  Weird.  And lets be honest, I would rather NOT run in the rain but I don't necessarily mind it.

Anyway, I will be stalking the weather and the prediction for when the showers/storms would be existent but I know that it won't make a difference as to what actually happens when I get up to head out.

So in my head I am plotting out all the plan B's, C's, D's and E's I can think of.  At first I thought of just pushing it to next weekend, but that won't work because my 22 miler is the next weekend.  NO way I am doing a 20 and a 22 two weekends in a row.  And I don't want a 4 week taper, which is what would be the case if I ran 20-22 next weekend and called training in the bag for Chicago.

Thankfully this is a 3 day weekend and worse case scenario I would push my long run to Monday morning if absolutely necessary.  I would just run a mid distance on Saturday when the opportunity presented itself and go from there.

But I don't want to have to do it on Monday!  Monday is free yoga day all over the city (check your local studios for times and class regime) and I wanted to take a few yoga classes (yes more than one!) on Monday at some different studios!!!  A lot of the studios are only taking reservations so be sure and check it out soon if you are interested!
Also I know that big cities like Austin, Dallas etc., are all doing this so check your area(s) to see if you can get in on a great deal!!!
If you've never tried yoga in any form and part of it is due to price, this is an excellent way to try it out for free!!!

Plus I just don't want to have to do a route thats boring and I don't want to have to do my own fluids!!  Wah!!!

Have you ever had a reeeally long run twarted due to weather; injury?  What did you do?  At this crucial stage of my training, what would you suggest?  Are they having free day of yoga where you live?  Are you going to be doing any classes?  What kind?


And have you done this lately????  The contest is almost over so I appreciate it if you would vote every day!

New Marathon Playlist Music

Here are 5 new songs that I am love, love, loving these days to run to (every day I'm shufflin' shufflin';  hee hee, just love that Party Rock song)!!!

Super Bass - Nicki Minaj

Otis - JayZ featuring Kanye West

Rain Over Me - Pitbull featuring Marc Anthony
(secretly in love love with PitBull)

Moves Like Jagger - Maroon 5 featuring Christina Aguilera
(music only, video not available on YouTube)
Gonna marry Adam Levine :O)

Party Rock Anthem - LMFAO
This song is just downright fun; I don't know how anyone can not bob your head to it at least!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Product Review (Sorta) - Brooks Ravenna vs Asics DS Trainer

For months now I have been running in the Brooks Ravenna which is for those that slightly overpronate, but yet also want a lightweight trainer.

I truly love love love this shoe.  I am on my 3rd pair now, the most recent pair bought yet again at Running Warehouse online for a cut rate cost of $49.00 because the color was being discontinued (purple not the orange).  This shoe weighs in at 9oz and again, I am just in love with this shoe.  I think its lightweight enough to not feel like you are wearing bricks on your feet, but not so light to where you feel like you are having aches, pains and possibly injury if you like a bit more of the 'safety' of a shoe outside of a flat with no cushion, no stability, etc. to carry you long(er) distances.

Since I just bought another pair, which are to be my pair that I run Chicago Marathon in (in 6 weeks!!!), I will still more than likely still run in those shoes come race day.  I've worn them now on 2 maybe 3 runs, but nothing over 11 miles.  I honestly dont want more than 50-60 miles on them come race day.

This weekend I ran across the new DS Trainer by Asics.  Now I have always wondered about this shoe, but honestly the higher price tag has always swayed me back to reality and the fact there wasnt anything wrong with my Nike Triax (previous lov-ah) and now the Ravenna.

But then I just kinda feel in love with the fact that their newest model is purty. 

Behold the pink!
Now I am not a 'pink' person at all, but quite frankly I am sick of white or gray and then some other splash of color. 
And its not like I hate pink.

And they are 8.5 oz.  Even lighter than the Ravenna!!!

I got a pair from the back, slid off the Nike Free's I had on, and put on a very cushiony shoe.  Honestly in the toe box area it felt like a squishy sponge.  Obviously this doesn't matter to me really because I wear SuperFeet inserts unless I am running on the treadmill and then I generally just use the inserts that come with the shoe.  Yes I just change them in and out as I see fit :O)

I walked around the store in them for a bit, ran the track in the store (cannot be conclusive I know), and decided I wanted to give them a try. 

A little bit of pleeeease and a little bit of smile and I had a pair of the new Asics DS Trainers in my hands to try out and product review.  :O) 


I havent run in them obviously as of yet, but I am sure itchin' to!   Will let you either thumbs up or thumbs down once I put a few miles on them.

Anyone out there run in DS Trainers?  Thoughts?  What kind of runner are you?  Neutral, over/underpronator?  What is you favorite color when it comes to running gear?

Where I Went and Where I'm Going

Where I Went (last weeks training)

Monday -  1 hour treadmill run  Check! 
Tuesday -  Bikram - 90 minutes   Check!
Wednesday -  8 miles (treadmill); incorporated some speed, hills and even a Tabata thrown in for good measure (at 8:30pace).  Followed up with about 20 minutes of weights   Check!
Thursday - 4 miles  Check!
Friday -  Rest Day    Check!
Saturday -   ELEVEN. GLORIOUS. MILES.  Thank the baby Jesus for a cut back week!!    Check!
Sunday -   Nada.  Check!
Where I'm Going (this weeks training)

Monday -  6 miles
Tuesday -  Bikram - 90 minutes
Wednesday -  8 miles (not sure of what the speed workout is yet as I havent looked):  Another treadmill day fo sho.
Thursday -  Bikram - 90 minutes
Friday -  Rest Day
Saturday -   Long run - 20 miles
Sunday -   Recover


I've never been so happy to see 90 in my whole life.
And I hope it pours down rain and ruins every persons Labor Day Weekend too.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Kenyan Way Long Run - Cut Back Week (11 Miles)

This was shortly before 6pm yesterday but the actual high hit 109.  As you can see by the Heat Index of 108 that tells you that the humidity was actually quite low.  At 5:48pm
This is not normal for Houston.  Not at all.  Yes it gets hot and extremely humid here but we dont have this kind of weather here.  And more of the same today and through the next several days.  Thanks Irene.

This was not the case in the morning during long run time.
We were supposed to have lower temps (mid 70's) and lower humidity in the morning as well, but that did not happen.
What it was at 5am was:  82deg, 85% humidity and a feels like of 89.
Now I know that this is basically the same as it has been every other Saturday, but for me, and for a lot of other people (gathered information by small talk), today felt worse than ever.  When I can feel the sweat pouring into my shoes, its just bad and I hate it.  Even on a short 11 mile jaunt I could have used a change of shoes and socks.

I started with 3 miles before the group start and it was unreal.  I took off a few moments before the group start (I want as much darkness as I can eek out on these hot ass runs) and just kept it nice and easy.  I was alone because yet again my peeps didnt show.  Ugh.  But I am use to it.  Refer back to the picture put here on Friday about commitment vs interest.  I will not ever understand why some people pay for either training or a race and then dont put in the work.  I just wont.

Anyway thankfully PS found me around mile 4 of the route and we finished the route together and I was thankful to have her next to me even if we only conversed during walk breaks and water stops. 
Overall a successful run I suppose.  The only thing that I am super careful about and is so hard to do is not to overhydrate at the water stops and to take in the fluids slowly. 

Anyway its done and over and now we look forward to a 20 miler this coming Saturday.  Conditions dont look to be any different other than by looking at the forecast this morning, we might get lucky with cloud cover.  I have also decided that I will start at 4am and as much as I dont want to do that alone, not sure I have much other choice.  If I see that there will be substantial cloud cover for Saturday morning, I might start at 4:30 or so, but we'll just have to wait and see.  I would really rather start at 4 though.  A few of my friends had 22 milers yesterday and while they are faster, it didnt seem to matter.  Once the sun rises and hits you, its just that much more brutal.  I see runner friends of mine who love running as much as I do, ready to just pack it in due to our extreme weather this year.  Sad.

How was your long run this weekend?  Do any of you live in the path of Irene?  Do you know people that pay for training or for a marathon/half marathon and then don't do the training?

Friday, August 26, 2011

Go out and make it a great one!  And remember "a body in motion, stays in motion!"

Weekend Motivation

This one really hit home with me for more than just the obvious reason.

The other reason is because, and here is a confession, there are some people out there that are my motivation, but not because I admire or respect them for their atletism, but because I lack both of those things in them as human beings.  Honestly because the fact that their faults and lack of commitment encourages me because I use to think they were 'better' than I was as an 'athlete', and also that I thought they had substance, until it was proved otherwise.

But because of the personal connection, I began to see in some what the statement says above:
Some people just do things because its convenient, without every commiting.  They provide excuses, and never any results.  Its like one of my favorite sayings:  Actions speak louder than words.

Oh and this one:  Put up or shut up.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

A Chill In The Air


Not really!  But it was the first day in I think over 35 days that our temps here were below 100.  We've been having temps of 100-103 with feels like of 110 due to the high humidity, but today because we had clouds and a teensy bit of rain today, the temps stayed around 85 until the sun came out around 3pm.  Of course it couldn't stay cloudy and 'cool' till I got home and had the chance to run!

But when I did go out and run around 6:30pm it was 91deg w a feels like of 92 (low low humidity), to me it felt like Fall.  Ha!  Not really.  But sooooo much better than the rest of this Summer for sure!  I was curious if it would really make that much of a difference and either it did enormously or I was just having a really good day.

I like to think it was due to the temps because if thats the case, look out when the temps hit 70 and below!  But when o when will that happen?  This weekend is to be brutally hot due to Irene sucking all the life out of us and making for yes, very dry air (low humidity), but the temps are to be 106 tomorrow, Saturday and Sunday.  The real temp, not the feels like.  And through next Friday, temps of 100 or more so its right back to it so I am thankful for the brief reprieve today to give me a bit of confidence back.  Sure it was a short run but even the short ones have been tough in the conditions so this is a good sign.

I think also the fact that since Sunday I have gotten my eating under control that has helped as well.  I am feeling lighter and things are just starting to feel good again on my inside.

In other news I recently found out that Lesley over at Racing It Off has the same goal that I do for Dallas White Rock, so hopefully the two of us, both just coming off of marathons in October (me in Chicago and her at Marine Corps) will be able to somehow get each other to our goal or at least very very close!  Lets rock White Rock Lesley!!!

OK, time for some PR.  I haven't been blogging individual training runs other than the long runs, but I had to write about todays small victory.  Get em when you can!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Keeping Your Wits About Ya

I know this blog, for the most part, deals with health as it pertains to fitness and clean eating (or mostly clean ;)), however I have been thinking a lot lately about how important it is to maintain mental health. 

Especially as we start to age. 

Circumstances beyond our control can sometimes create a lack of stability in the old noggin department (which I will go into later), but also just aging alone can start to affect the way we think about things, or not think about things....

As we grow older, we experience an increasing number of major life changes, including retirement, the loss of loved ones, and the physical changes of aging. How we  handle these changes, as well as regular day-to-day stresses, is the key to aging well.

Healthy aging is about much more than staying physically healthy—it’s about maintaining your sense of purpose and your zest for life. While the specific ingredients of healthy aging are different for everyone, the common factors are good mental health and the ability to manage stress. Knowing the basic formula for healthy aging will help you live with meaning and joy throughout your senior years.
Brain weight and volume decrease. On average, the brain loses 5-10 percent of its weight between the ages of 20 and 90.

When you're in your 20s, you begin to lose brain cells a few at a time. Your body also starts to make less of the chemicals your brain cells need to work. The older you are, the more these changes can affect your memory.

Aging may affect memory by changing the way the brain stores information and by making it harder to recall stored information.

Your short-term and remote memories aren't usually affected by aging. But your recent memory may be affected. For example, you may forget names of people you've met today or where you set your keys. These are normal changes.

While memory is definitely one thing that can be a side effect of aging and the brain, as I mentioned before, the way you simply think about things or situations can change as well.  I wonder (and I havent done the research here) if past experiences or even unexpected current recent situations can affect the way we think, respond and deal mentally.  I am going to go out on a limb here and say 'yes'.  I say this because I know for a fact that this has and is occuring to me.

Most recently the fact that I lost my mother (and my father is also passed away), has weighed greatly on my overall ability to think clearly at times and how I may or may not handle situations.
Grief is a multi-faceted response to loss, particularly to the loss of someone or something to which a bond was formed. And what greater bond is there besides that of a child (whether adult or not) and their parents.  Although conventionally focused on the emotional response to loss, it also has physical, cognitive, behavioral, social, and philosophical dimensions. While the terms are often used interchangeably, bereavement often refers to the state of loss, and grief to the reaction to loss.

They say there are four trajectories of grief:  Resilience, recovery, chronic dysfunction and delayed grief or trauma.  I am somewhere in between recovery and chronic dysfunction. 
Bereavement, while a normal part of life, carries a degree of risk when severe.  Severe reactions affect approximately 10-15% of people, and severe reactions mainly occur in people with depression present before the loss. 

Severe grief reactions may carry over into family relations.  Um.  Yeah.  Tell me about it.  My family seems to have fallen apart.  Or rather the part where I seem to be a part of it has fallen apart.  I think that my sister is still very much depressed from our mom passing, but I also think there is something more going on, but I can't be sure and I won't speculate here.  I have tried repeatedly to voice my concerns, my sadness and my overall feeling of abandonment, but its like its going in one ear and out the other.  And because of this my own personal mental health, which in turn affects me physically, is suffering.

An adult may be expected to cope with the death of a parent in a less emotional way; however, it can still invoke extremely powerful emotions.  This is especially true when the death occurs at an important or difficult period of life, such as when becoming a parent, graduation or other times of emotional stress.  It is important to recognize the effects that the loss of a parent can cause and address these. 

As an adult, the willingness to be open to grief is often diminished.  A failure to accept and deal with loss will only result in further pain and suffering.

Bereaved daughters talk about the void a friend of mine calls "mother hunger"—the wish that a wise older friend would adopt you, the pang of envy at the sight of a mother and daughter laughing together over lunch.  I have, on numerous occasions, requested to be 'adopted' by one or more friends.  Its very hard on my mental state to deal with the fact that I have no parents. 

Additionally, I have found that with all of this comes collateral damage, or casualties of the war (going on in your head).  Existing relationships may become strained or even break in two.  Its difficult to form new relationships.  The underlying thought being that they'll 'leave' too.  And even if its not that, just the fact that anyone new can't possibly understand what you are going through and sometimes just aren't equipped to provide any kind of support.

While these are just two instances of a situations that can affect your long term mental health, there are things you can do to ward off or at least drastically slow down the aging of the brain and its side effects and also how to deal with grief.
Lifestyle factors can not only drastically reduce the effects of not only aging of the brain, but your overall health are:
Education: Those who 'use it, don't lose it' as quickly.
  • I try and continue to read, and really should try and do more crosswords, puzzles or games of that nature.  I saw firsthand how my mothers mind deterioated.  We tried and tried to get her to do puzzles, even buying those ones with the big pieces that are for small children, but the attempts were made too late.  I would also like to say that I think too much television is just asking for trouble.  You really need to stimulate your mind in some way. 
Exercise: Those who walk rapidly for as little as 45 minutes three times a week significantly improve age-related declines in cognitive abilities. 
  • I know that even if and when there comes a time when I am not able to run, that walking will be something I will do for as long as I can.  One of the main reasons why I started yoga is also because of the fact that balance is one of the first things to go as you age and yoga obviously helps with that.  Plus just the overall benefits of quieting the mind, stress release and the time with yourself while being active greatly reduces stress.  Like with the above point, education, I also saw what lack of movement can do to someone who is aging or has passed the late 60's/70's.  After my dad's death, we saw my mother become less and less mobile, less attached, and when she went in for surgery back in 2007, she just never could recover from that due to all the muscle loss.  Stay active!  Even if its in small ways!
I believe firmly in these first 2 items, because as I have said, I saw what the lack of stimulation whether physically or mentally can do to a person.  My mom was unable to function properly, and it was a slow process, but I feel certain it contributed to her stroke, and ultimately to her death at 82.  In reality she had been 'sick' for 12 years leading up to that.
Rest: There is new evidence that suggests a regular pattern of eight hours of sleep per night helps protect against age-related chronic illnesses including memory loss.
  • Now due to other factors (in my case) I am not able to sleep 8 hours a night.  Coupled with the meds for my hypothyroidism and the onset of PMP, I am lucky to get through 6 hours of uninterrupted sleep.  However, I generally can go back to sleep, its just that its rarely uninterrupted.  I don't know what it would feel like to sleep for 8 hours at a time, but I sure wish I could!  However rest is rest, it doesn't have to be sleeping, and I do make sure that I give myself plenty of rest and down-time.  Its part of my routine and I never ever overbook myself.
Stress: When under stress, the human body produces a hormone called cortisol. In small amounts, it can improve memory-which is what helps emotional events stay vividly in our minds. In larger amounts, however, it wears away at the neurons.
  • I don't have a lot of stress, I try to avoid it at all costs, but obviously its not easy.  The stress I do encounter seems to be minor things (other than the losing my mother thing this year), so I can generally de-stress by running, going to the gym or yoga.  And sometimes just turning off all things electronic and disconnecting from the world for a day helps tremendously too.

I am not going to lie, I am having a very difficult time these past couple of months, and I have more good days than bad, but there is always the underlying issue of a few things that wears on me day in and day out.  Some days I can keep it together just fine, others I cannot.  I fail miserably.  I am trying to come to terms with certain things, and trying to do things differently in other areas, but sometimes its just too much for me and I feel like at any moment I might just crumble into a million pieces.  And then whats worse than that, is that if I did, would anyone even care?

But I march the good soldier...and I try and remember...

That at the end of the day, staying connected, finding joy, experiencing new things, boosting vitality, coping with change in a healthy manner, and finding your own formula for exceling is the key to handling whatever gets thrown at you! 

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The contest for Houston's Most Valuable (fitness) Blogger is still in progress.
I would appreciate it if you took the time to click here and vote for muah!
No registration required!
Thanks again!!!


More funny search/google keywords that lead folks to my blog:
  1. Boy: Boys r stronger than GIRLS!?!  Girl: Oh Please, can u carry a 7 pound baby in ur stomach for 9 mo
  2. love handles won't budge
  3. carpe the f**k of this diem (Note: they didn't use astericks though)
  4. Where is the closest insane asylum to me?  (Note:  I could not stop laughing at this one!)
  5. Is it good to have popcorn the night before a 5K
So funny.

What are some of the crazy words used to find your blog?  Do you ever check?

Monday, August 22, 2011

Let's Just Beat The Dead Horse Why Don't We?

I know that this has been a topic here on my blog a few times (all located under the Marathon Woes tab), but when I saw SUAR's blog post last night about it, and the fact that I am going through that 'shit, I cant stop eating, and I look horrible' stage of marathon training, and that yesterday I started back on the 'nothing foreign or icky is passing through these lips' and 'thou shalt not eat 16 hours a day' stage of marathon training, I found it ... well ... timely.

Gaining Weight While Marathon Training?  WTF?

and also this:

Disordered Eating and the Female Runner  (also something that I am very aware I have issues with, and seems to be harder to fight as I get a bit older)

As a long time Biggest Loser fanatic, I remember when Jillian went all cray-cray on Darius, but even before she did, I sat there saying (out loud I might add):  "he is going to gain weight".  And sho nuff.  Poor Darius.

As a side note, I was thrilled but yet still shocked that they did away with the Biggest Loser marathon this past season.  They really were pissing off a lot of runners with their approach and delivery of it through their producers.  And the cheating part to get that money shot that one year?  Tragic.

So while I have not been on a scale, there is no need for me to do that.  I can feel it.  I know that I need to drop a few lbs and that is exactly what is going to happen.  I do not need to eat every time I am hungry because lets face it, I am hungry all the damn time.  And yes, I get enough of this, that and the other.  However, there have been way too many 'treats' lately and that stopped immediately.  It was really difficult at the store yesterday where cookies, candy, bagels and every other known bad carb is within your reach no matter what part of the store you are in.  Damn runners and their food everywhere!  :O)  I was glad that we were so damn busy thanks to tax free weekend, that no one wanted (or had time for) pizza as they asked if we wanted food brought in.

I ate before I headed in to the store, and it did the trick, so when asked about pizza, I said no.  I stayed on track through the evening even though I wanted to so badly go have froyo or get ice cream from the store across the street.  Instead I ate canteloupe (that was indeed yummy but still...)

I had my cereal at home this morning (not the best option but it was quick and I needed to get to the tire place) and then had some protein there in the form of boiled egg while I waited.  I am determined to stick to this regimen, allowing for a cheat now and then, but not every damn day!  :O)  I have got to get my body fueled properly like I was doing so well on up until about a month ago if I had to guess the time frame.

I know that there shouldn't be any 'fat talk' or comparisons to others, but I come from a long history of body image issues, and it just doesn't go away as simple as that.  Its definitely better, but the last couple of days its been a bit more in the forefront that I would like to admit.

Funny enough that yesterday at the store, after I had made my own resolutions, a person came into the store that almost 2 years ago now, really sent me into a tailspin.  By that I mean that her presence and the 'part' she played in my life at the time, made me feel the most defeated...the most horrible...and that I could and never would be able to live up to 'her'.  It took me a while to realize that it wasn't just her, or mostly her even, that that had made me feel that badly about myself.  She was only a small piece whereas the reality of it was that I had been made to feel that way over and over again leading up to that.

So when I saw her yesterday, with her seemingly perfect man, in her seemingly perfect body, in her seemingly perfect unmade up face, looking stunning, I felt a bit of "God I am pathetic.  I'm ugly.  I'm fat".  When I confided in my friend there at work, she looked at me like I was crazy, and said to me "JunieB, you know its not her right?  It was [insert 3rd person].  You are just as awesome as she is."  I still stood there and tried to find some flaw...some apparent visible flaw...and it kind of made me ashamed of that.

Yeah, thats all fine and dandy, but it wasn't just that one person, I have found myself comparing me to quite a few others.  Others, who in my mind, have better discipline, work out more, run faster, run name it.

So the first thing that comes to my mind, and shouldn't is for me to work on the discipline part.  Not to the unhealthy stage of that, but nonetheless, it is time to reel it in a bit.  As I sit here typing this, I just had my lunch (early) and I am still hungry as all get out.  Even though if you saw the volume of said lunch, you wouldn't be able to comprehend why I am still starving.

I am caught somewhere in this middle ground ... somewhere between my body screaming for more and my mind yanking back on the reins forbiding it until the scheduled next time. 

And to be honest, its not that I want more food.  I want different food.  Fatty food.  Salty food.  Food with cheese.

Someone help me out here!  I need to know that I am not alone!  Do you gain weight while training?  Do you want to eat non-stop?  How do you curb those cravings or desires?  Do you watch Biggest Loser?  Have you ever found yourself not liking yourself or putting too much pressure on yourself because of someone else and the way they may look or the way possibly your significant other has looked at someone else?

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Safety Dance Run

I have had several people express worry over my running alone in the wee hours of the morning and honestly I totally get that.  However, I think if one is smart and most importantly, aware at all times, it is safe.  Just as safe as if I was running alone in the broad daylight.  Both times I have had situations, it was in the middle of the day in a highly traveled area so I don't do anything differently for day or night running to be honest.  Danger is everywhere and you can minimize the opportunity if you just play it smart.

  • I think the number one rule, if at all possible, is to let someone know when and where you are going.  I do this more often than not, however I am guilty of just taking off without so much as a word.  I feel pretty confident on the routes that I run alone and at certain times, but still I need to be more vigilant about this.
  • Second would be to carry or wear identification.  I am very serious about this and always always wear my RoadID, SmartID or on Saturdays I have my Kenyan Way bracelet on.  Its funny that just this past Saturday morning I was thinking that if something did happen to me and I was found, at least they would know to contact Kenyan Way who has my emergency information on file.  It wasnt that I felt unnecessarily scared this morning, it was just a thought that entered my mind at some point.
  • Run against traffic.   This is very important and something I 99.9% of the time do.  Thinking is that a car cannot creep up behind you etc.  Its true that even if someone is approaching you from the front, they can still stop, pull out a gun and tell you to get in the car.  I encourage you to run.  And weave.  Sure you might get shot at, maybe even shot, but chances are that won't happen, and I am 100% sure that if you get in the car because someone flashes a gun, something bad is and will happen.  A few months ago, while running midday on the opposite side of the road, someone did come up behind me and then turned right in front of me as I approached a side street which I needed to cross.  He stopped and I thought he was going to keep going or needed directions so I as I was about to ask him what he wanted, I saw the devil in his eyes and he was just glaring at me like he was furious.  My instincts kicked in and I turned around as fast as I could and ran as fast as I could to the corner where I knew there was a corner store and ran inside.  Thats also important.  Always be aware of a place where you can run to safety.  He had turned around and headed my direction, but then ran the light.  All I knew was the color and type of vehicle he was in, but I felt much better that I was aware and that if I needed to, I could describe him and what he was driving.
  • Be visible.  Don't wear black.  Wear something that has some reflective on it, not just your shoes.  Wear a blinky light.  Wear a headlamp.  Something.  Its true that more often than not, my shorts will be a darker color, but has reflective on it, but I am ALWAYS wearing my blinky light on the back of those shorts!  I havent worn my headlamp in quite some time, but use to religiously.  My routes that I run before dawn are well lit enough to where I dont need it.  If you do wear a headlamp adjust the setting on it especially when running against traffic.  The high setting on those things are blinding, and just like a drunk driver will gravitate towards lets say a cop car with flashing lights or flashing safety poles on the side of the road, drunk drivers will gravitate towards that headlamp.  And you!!  I dont know why this is, but there have been studies and with the amount of cops I know, they all say the same thing.
  • Vary your routes.  I have 4 different routes that I run from my current residence.  Only 2 of those are ones that I run before dawn.  And I never ever run the same one twice in a row, and typically my morning runs before work vary from days of the week and from week to week.  This is important because if a random person drives the same route about the same time you are running and they see you day in and day out or figure out a pattern, well you know what that means.  So mix it up.  The only route that I run that is clockwork right now is the one I run on Saturday mornings when I have to run extra early which isnt every Saturday.  There is only one other way to get to the park and I pick the lesser of two evils.  At least the one I run is divided with a fence and a median to where someone cant come up behind me and turning around would be impossible almost.  Plus the one I run I see at least one cop car every time.  Its 2 miles to where I feel safe(r) so thats the one I run.  Even when I run after work when its still light out, I still dont run the same route every time.  If  you cant vary your route, then vary the times.
  • Follow your instincts.  See above.  I knew instinctively that that one guy was no bueno and I ran.  The other way!  Granted I only had to run a block to the store on the corner but still.  Even this past Saturday as I was leaving the park, I ran a different way than to Memorial and this car was going slow behind me so I stopped.  It was a girl and she was only going to let me pass the turn in, but I signaled to her that she was way ahead of the turn in and to go on.  It scared me just a bit.  But in my mind I already knew which way I was going to run.  If something seems off then cross the road, or turn around and go the other way. 
  • Ditch the music, or at least half of the music. I still wear my music but I only wear one bud in and I have it on lower than I do when I run with others.  When I run with others, its blaring.  Sometimes I take one out on the group runs if its a well traveled road so I can hear others if a car is coming or something.
  • Choose a well lit route.  I think this goes without saying.  There are one or two parts of my routes early morning that are dark because of the placement of street lights or trees blocking them.  I run down the middle of the street though or the middle of the lane; going in the opposite direction of course so as to see if a car is coming! :), never going on the sidewalks.  I think its creepy to run on the sidewalks and where I live they arent in the best shape and I dont want to trip and break my face, and that there could be something in the bushes!  The only time I get on the sidewalk when its dark out is when a car is headed my way, and honestly my routes that early, there are no cars.  If I see 4-5 cars its a miracle.  And that is typically only when I cross a major intersection.
Some other things are carrying a cell phone, even though I will never do this.  I am not going to haul that thing around.  It doesnt have my music on it, so I see no need.  I have heard, but not confirmed also that GPS watches can be registered or something like that, and if its on, and someone is looking for you, it can be tracked by calling an 800 number or something similar.  Anyone vouch to that?

Anyone have anything else to add?  Have you ever encountered someone scary or had a close call?  Do you run in the dark?  Do you know the song the blog title references?  Which ones of these do you consistently do?

Where I Went and Where I'm Going

Where I Went (last weeks training):

Monday -  6 mile easy run before work (going to the Houston Texans pre-season game tonight!)  Check!!
Tuesday -  Bikram - 90 minutes   Check!!
Wednesday -  8 miles (treadmill)
Thursday -  3 miles am   Check!!   Bikram pm (90 minutes)  No Check.  I just didn't feel like going!
Friday -  Rest Day   Check!!
Saturday -  Long Run - 19 miles.  Check!
Sunday -   Recover - Check!

Where I'm Going (this weeks training):

Monday -  6 mile easy run
Tuesday -  Bikram - 90 minutes  
Wednesday -  8 miles (treadmill again).  Um.  Apparently THIS week was recovery week from speed not LAST week.  Oh well 2 weeks of no speed then.  :O)  Will probably throw some sort of speed workout on the treadmill then just so I dont go nutso on it.
Thursday -  4 miles 
Friday -  Rest Day  
Saturday -   Long run - 11 miles  - Cut back week!!!!  Yay!  Planning for just as good of a cut back week run as I had 2 Saturdays ago!
Sunday -   3 miles easy


So I went back and looked at my 19 mile run from last year and the total time was 4 hours and 5 min which included the changing of shoes and socks, 9 water stops and 1 potty break (thanks Facebook for the 'this post last year on this date' little thing you've added).  This year the total time was 4 hours 15 minutes which included the changing of shoes and socks, 1 potty break, and 10 water stops.  I guess overall thats about the same, only by reading last years Facebook post it was obvious my mood at the end of last years 19 mile run was a lot better than this year.   While watching the news this morning, they also showed the average temp for August last year was 5 degrees cooler than this August, and believe me it does make a difference!  I am again hoping that when I do my next long run on Labor Day weekend that at least we catch a break in the early morning hours!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Kenyan Way Long Run - 19 Miles

Temp: 83deg
Humidity: 91%
Feels like: 92deg

Well there ya go.  Yet another week of running in the equivalent of a furnace.  I have to be honest here.  If I was not already completely neck deep in this training for Chicago I would back out.  I dont need the news or the weathermen to tell me day in and day out that this is the hottest summer on record for as long as they have been keeping records.  Today was day 19 of over 100deg temps (basically running 102-103 each day with feels like of 109-110).  And its been 208 days since we have had rain that measured over an inch.

My body is taking a beating each and every long run and mentally its even worse.  There were a few times this morning that I seriously thought of packing it in again, but instead of doing that I just allowed myself to walk a bit more than the watch told me to and figured just finish and next week you only have to do 11.  And maybe, just maybe in 2 weeks when you have to do 20 it might be a bit cooler.

I started out the lone runner this morning, not a car to be seen when I got to base (seems most of the other Fall marathoners had a cut back week), so off I went, just me and my 20oz of G2.  When I got where Coach had set up the early morning water stop, I dropped my bottle off before heading into the park.  When I came back around I picked it up and then thought 'I dont really want to carry this thing for 2 miles right now' (best decision I ever made), so I left it there on the table.  I got back to base, changed my shoes and socks, ate a couple of shot blocks and headed off on the route.  I was pretty far ahead of everyone as it took quite some time before the big boys passed me, probably somewhere in between mile 3 and 4.  Thankfully there were some others out and about though, and Houston Fit was going the opposite direction as us and they were out in full force as well.

As usual everything went fine up until the light hit and a couple of times I was having some tightness in the calves and had to stop and stretch a few times.  Once I had 4 miles of the route left things went a bit better for some reason, and then when I hit that last water stop I was so so so happy to see my bottle was still there.  I emptied it out and filled it back up with some ice/gatorade from the cooler and set off back on my way.  I was very thankful to have fluids whenever I wanted during that last stretch.

I had done 7/1's throughout most of the route until I switched to 5/1's around mile 14 or so.  Looking at my Garmin, my pace during the run portions was good though so I am happy about that.  What is just so taxing is the damn heat and the amount of fluids you lose in that kind of environment.  You are so thirsty but yet you cant drink a lot.  Or too fast.  So most of the time I took one cup, drank it, then took another, and walked and sipped to let it slowly enter into my body instead of it ending up all in my stomach.  This helped tremendously and something I highly recommend.

Once I got back to base I still needed a few miles so I took my last gel (took 3 overall), and being back at base is where I struggle to finish when my car is right there.  So to get it done, I ran for as long as I could and then walk a bit.  Repeat.

I pretty much was out there for about 4 hours today and thats a lot compared to my times last year.  I dont know what the difference besides the weather is and I dont know why it would make that big of a difference.  I know my diet was a lot better last year, I was still a vegetarian ... The next 2 weeks my plan is to eat as clean as possible and drop a few lbs.  I have got to figure out how to not give in to the hunger that I feel on a constant basis right now.

After stopping off at the gas station, filling up on a 36oz fountain Diet Coke (is there anything better than that first sip? I think not), and purchasing 15lbs of ice, I made it home and into the ice bath.   I had run the water beforehand as usual so it was already cold and honestly it was awesome today.  I was that hot that I didnt even care how cold it was.  A successful day I would say.

My goal, regardless of the weather conditions in 2 weeks is to take about 10 minutes off my overall time even though its a mile more that I have to do.  I know the extra walking was the reason for that today, but still.  It pisses me off.  :O)

Bottom line is that while I may think I want to quit, I am not a quitter.  There was nothing wrong with me except the fact that I was tired of being hot and tired of being so sweaty I couldnt keep the sweat and salt from my eyes fast enough.  I covered 19 miles today and no one can take that away from me. 

I know that this weather will eventually have to break, but in the meantime I will not let it break me.

How was your long run today?  Any ice bathers out there with me this weekend?  Have you ever just wanted to throw in the towel for real and just say to heck with this, I am not doing this damn marathon?  I need to know I am not alone here!  How do you get through those moments?

Friday, August 19, 2011

Weekend Motivation!

Go out and make it a grrrrrrrrrrreat weekend!


And if you find the time.....

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Hypothyroidism and the Athlete - A Personal Story - Part One

I am going to break this into 2 parts simply because its a long story to tell and no one likes to read a novel on a blog.  :)

What is hypothyroidism?
Hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormone to meet the body’s needs. Without enough thyroid hormone, many of the body’s functions slow down. About 5 percent of the U.S. population has hypothyroidism.   
Women are much more likely than men to develop hypothyroidism. The disease is also more common among people older than age 60. The American Thyroid Association recommends that adults, particularly women, have a blood test to detect thyroid problems every 5 years starting at age 35.

Hypothyroidism in women is most likely to occur in females who are in their late 40s or early 50s. This is usually the time when women experience menopause. Hypothyroidism does have symptoms that mimic those of menopause, and as a result, these symptoms are confused with those of regular menopause, thus leading to a lot of confusion. This is mainly because women suffering from hypothyroidism also experience mood swings, anxiety, sluggishness, and others symptoms that are common in menopause.

Up until 2004 I never experienced any sort of weight gain (or other symptoms) other than what was brought on by myself.  A couple of years after high school I gained a lot of weight (was up to 140 on my 5'1 frame) and was in size 10.  I lost the weight by doing Atkins and joining aerobics.  You know the old fashioned kind.  I even taught for a brief time, and for years and years I didn't gain the weight back.  Mostly because of my lifestyle, but as I have mentioned I was always 'healthy' even when I wasn't.  I was a gym rat and I could lose 5 lbs by just not eating much for a couple of days.  When I moved to Vegas of course I was always at my high school skinny of 100-113 lbs and was a size 0 or a 1.  Not exactly healthy to be clear.

Certain factors can increase a person's chances of developing thyroid disorders, although nothing in my past suggested this was my issue other than when thinking back and reflecting, it clearly ran in the family of women on my dad's side which is the side of the family I took after.  Thyroid hormones regulate metabolism, which is the way the body uses energy, and affect nearly every organ in the body.  I was shocked at all the symptoms that hit me other than the weight gain which shot me up from a size 4 to a size 10 in a matter of a couple of months.
What are the symptoms of hypothyroidism?
Hypothyroidism has many symptoms that can vary from person to person. Some common symptoms of hypothyroidism are
·         fatigue  - yep
·         weight gain  - yep
·         puffy face  - yep
·         cold intolerance  - yep (still have this to some degree)
·         joint and muscle pain
·         constipation
·         dry, thinning hair  - yep
·         decreased sweating
·         heavy or irregular menstrual periods and impaired fertility
·         depression  - yep
·         slowed heart rate  - yep
Athletes with this condition can easily experience reduced exercise tolerance, or suffer with impaired cardiac function and problems with blood flow. Hypothyroidism studies demonstrate up to 50 per cent less free fatty acid plasma concentration, resulting in a diminished use of fat for muscle energy during aerobic exercise. This causes more reliance on muscle glycogen for fuel, which increases lactate formation and consequently, less endurance and stamina.  

Now while I was not what I would call an athlete back in 2004 (I was not working out at this time, I was still thin leading up to it).  My exercise was pretty much not eating a lot, drinking a lot, smoking a lot, on the road a lot covering the State promoting music and bands.  I had lost my job back in September 2003, took several months off because I had the money from the sale of the house and then could not find a job back at Stewart in the home office which was where I was wanting to be (I had been working at a subsidiary since 2000).  I began bartending to bring in extra money, and my lifestyle continued although because money was running out, I started to fall into a depression and was covering that up by increasing the drug use.  It was sometime during this time that I quit cold turkey on the drugs.  The first 'symptom' outside of the weight gain was my low tolerance for alcohol all of a sudden.  I literally would have 1-2 drinks, and then would 'black out'.  Not remembering anything from that point on, getting extremely sick because of it.  Later I would find out that due to the hypothyroidism, my body was not able to metabolize anything, and that included alcohol.  The only other symptom that I had that was blatantly obvious was my need for sleep.  I slept a lot.  About 13-15 hours out of 24 to be honest with you.  And when I wasn't sleeping I wanted to be sleeping.

I had a friend that was a runner, and I had gotten her into the gym during the previous year and always made fun of her for running.  I thought it was ridiculous and that cardio was not even important.  So when I began the weight gain I was desperate and she suggested cardio might help.  Well I tried the elliptical and could barely last 5 minutes on it and it was boring.  There was also a treadmill in the gym where I lived.  So one day I hopped up on it, and tried to run.  I think I ran 3 minutes before I had to walk.  So began my affair with run/walk.  I can remember that making it to 30 minutes of that and I was ecstatic.  I was running something like 12:30's or something.  I dont remember how long this went on for but it was helping to keep things at bay.  Because I wasnt working I didnt have insurance so I self diagnosed myself on the internet and tried all the ways they suggest, but nothing was working.  I went back to work at Stewart in August 2004 and I had insurance and thats when I began searching professionally for answers.  It took 3 doctors before I found my way to specialist and I was diagnosed with severe hypothyroidism.  And began the rounds of medications to figure out my levels and what would work and what wouldn't.

During this time, I continued my run/walking and at some point, transferred from the treadmill to the street most of the time and had worked myself up to 5 miles.  I used to figure out how far I was going on different routes around where I lived.  I felt like a badass.  :)

And it was at this time that I considered myself a runner and that I was officially addicted to it.  As someone with an addictive personality already, this was definitely a step in the right direction.

To be continued... 

YurBuds Giveway - We Have a Winner Winner Chicken Dinner!

Lisa (she gets an extra entry for linking on her blog!)
Lesley (extra entry for Twitter)


Its a drum roll people...  :O)


True Random Number Generator
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I love a mix of music/no music during my runs. Usually, the music gets me out the door and helps me speed up my runs when I need it. I'd love to win these considering my pair was just stolen out of my car during a break-in :( But, whoever gets them will absolutely love them!

Please send me an email with your mailing address so I can get these out in the mail to you! 

p.s. Kellie, for some reason it wont allow me to comment on your blog (have had this issue on others where I am logged in, but it just keeps asking me to do it again and again!), but I wanted to tell you that when doing that ice bath, make sure the water/ice covers the entire leg (meaning the quads too!). And the fact that the thief stole your Lululemon bag too????  Ugh.  I would have been heartbroken!

New giveaway in about a week!!!!  Stay tuned!!!!

Stick a Fork in Me (or a Bagillion Sharp Knives) a/k/a Treadmill "Running" Truly Sucks Ass

I get SO bored on the treadmill, and you won't ever see me on that thing for over an hour I don't care how hot it is outside (except yesterday of course; I do believe thats the farthest I have ever run on a treadmill), but I get so bored in there that I typically do stupid things from time to time to break up the monotony.
Last night I decided to take pictures.

2 versions of me in the mirrors.  One directly to the side and then from the back.  Running away from each other I suppose you could say!

Man!  I am so fast I'm blurry!  LOL!

I don't understand how people do this day in and day out!  I thought I was going to just go nutso on that thing for the time I was on it. 

And how someone does 18 miles on one is beyond me.  Everyone knows how I feel about the majority of your marathon training being done on a treadmill so I wont beat that dead horse again.   But Cely should get a medal for being able to run all that time on the treadmill and not pull out her eyelashes one by one.  I don't know which one would be more painful.

What is the farthest you have ever run on a treadmill? 

YurBuds Giveaway Winner Will Be Announced Today!

If you haven't already entered the Yurbuds giveaway, you still have time!

So far, the order of the participants is as follows:
Lisa (she gets an extra entry for linking on her blog!)

I will be using at 3pm CST to announce the winner!

Also, guess what?  Yep!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

1 hour and 20 minutes done.  Thank goodness for Basketball Wives on the television and Lady GaGa on my iPod.
Normally I have speed and 8 miles total to do on Wednesdays, and normally I split the run up, running outside before work and finishing up on the treadmill after work.  Well this week I had a recovery week from speed, but still 8 miles to do.  Well since the bed won out this morning and I didnt run any before work I had to suffer it out on the treadmill.  It was either that or 8 miles in feels like temps of 108deg.
Um.  Yeah.  Treadmill won.
You know what is worse though than running on the treadmill?  The idiots in the gym that just make me crazy.  I do not like to socialize and therefore I basically am a nasty snob.  Oh well.

Incorporating Yoga (in any form) Into Your Exercise/Training Schedule

"There are two things you must do every day in order to live a happy life: sweat and laugh," offers Gurmukh Kaur Khalsa, founder and owner of Golden Gate Yoga in Los Angeles. 

A friend of mine posted this on their Facebook wall not too long ago, and I just loved that quote.  Two of my favorite things to do!

If you practice hot yoga, you're guaranteed to check at least one of these off your list just by walking in the door.   Now while I do not practice hot yoga or Bikram every day, the lingering effects of a practice can last up to 3 days for me depending on outside circumstances.  Having said that though, most days I do some form of yoga even if its just for 10 minutes or so in my living room while listening to the news or whatever else happens to be playing on the television.  I love the way it makes my back feel, my shoulders, and just the stretch in the back of my legs.

Running and yoga have become fast friends. I read that of the 7,255,000 runners in the United Sates, 36 percent also practice yoga—one of the highest rates of crossover activity, according to the Sporting Goods Manufacturers' Association's most recent participation study.

The same study shows that from 2008 to 2009, yoga grew 13.2 percent, and currently boasts 20 million participants, 76 percent of them women. In particular, hot yoga is hot. Try turning up the temp on your yoga practice to boost self-confidence, increase flexibility and prepare your body in mid-summer heat (next year).  Or now since its still hot as hell ... :O)

I didn't start hot yoga until after the Chicago Marathon last year, but it was due to one person in my Saturday group that I finally asked how she was managing the heat so well that she told me she was Bikram girl.  I call her a Bikram snob, because she scoffs at anything but Bikram, but she convinced me and suggested that I wait until after I was done with Chicago as it could upset my body and possibly mess me up.  :O)

I waited just a couple of weeks, did some research, talked with others that I knew that practiced and thats how I ended up at Your Body Center first.

Hot yoga is an evolution of Bikram yoga, a series of 26 postures called asanas practiced in a 105-degree/40% humidity (or hotter depending on the studio/instructor) room. While Bikram kicked off the hot yoga trend, its popularity has spawned many different options, including other styles of yoga performed in rooms heated to a slightly lower temperature.  While I have gone to Bikram studios, I prefer the 90 min class I take at YBC.  They do the majority of the 26 poses, but also throw in some pilates/extra core towards the end.  Depending on the instructor, you may get more or less of the 26 poses and more/less of pilates/extra core.  I also prefer YBC over Bikram because of cost (Bikram studios are much more expensive) and Bikram can be quite militant in its approach (locking doors, not allowing you to drink water when you need to, etc.)

I also found in my research that proponents claim the heat helps in a myriad of ways. Lisa Sullivan, national leader for Core Power's hot yoga teacher training program says, "Your body warms up so you can be more flexible without injury." Sullivan explains that the high temps help to release toxins through heavy sweating.

The heat also makes simple movements more challenging. "It took me three classes to not feel completely exhausted," says Sullivan, "but after the fourth, I felt an amazing yoga high."

Many believe that the heat forces you to focus intently in order to maintain regular breathing and balance. And, if you practice Bikram, the precision of completing the same exact postures in the same exact sequence cultivates mental discipline.  I completely agree with this.  I like going to the same instructor because I know the sequence, she does the majority of the 26 poses and in the proper order, where you warm up, you start to raise the difficulty until the time you are doing the most difficult and heart rate raising poses, so forth and so on.  The bad thing about this is that I know the ones that prove to be the most difficult for me, and I know when they are coming.  But on the flip side I also know that I just need to 'make it through this' and I am home free.  :O)

"The mind will give out before the body," says Sullivan. Much of the mind over matter mastery hot yoga develops is essential for runners. When your breathing is short and your heart is racing, it's easier to give up. Learning to stick with your movements in the yoga studio will give you the confidence to keep going when you're struggling through a tough training run or race.  This could not be more true.  I cannot tell you how many times I have been out there running in this heat (even though it is way worse than even that 110deg room) and thought, eh, this is nothing.  It really was true when the warmer temps first started rearing its ugly head.  My mistake I think was taking those 3 months off from hot yoga, therefore I lost some of the acclimation I had built up to the insufferable heat.

And as someone with clearly an addictive personality, the addictive quality many hot yogis feel toward their practice mirrors that of runners, because of how it makes them feel: strong and empowered. Personally I didn't start with the confidence that I'd make it through the class, but the more I showed up, practiced, accepted the self I saw in the mirror, the more confident I became.

The physical benefits of hot yoga echo those of other yoga traditions—strength, flexibility, alignment, improved posture and injury prevention.

As I stated and as I have found in online research and in just talking to other runners who practice hot yoga, it definitely physically prepare your body to run in warm weather. When seasons change, runners often notice a decline in performance. 

Whether you're gearing up for a seasonal change or training for a race in a warm climate, hot yoga can help you prepare. "Bikram yoga teaches your body and mind how to deal with the heat," says Hadfield, who notes that it will take four to eight weeks of regular practice to properly acclimate.

Training in high temps may even increase your speed if you're currently running in chillier conditions. Scientists at the University of Oregon's Human Physiology Department discovered that cyclists who trained in a 104-degree room performed anywhere from 4 to 8 percent better when tested in a cool room, while the control group did not improve at all.

Additionally, the heat flushes more blood through the body's system, encouraging detoxing through heavy sweating combined with postures that stimulate internal organs. This is one reason new participants feel less than well after their initial classes. It's also why hydration is key before, during and after class.  I generally will drink as much water as I can the day I know I am going to practice, and just like in it being extremely important to hydrate a lot after a massage, the same theory applies here.  I remember the first couple of classes that I took, I did indeed feel sick for a few days afterwards, and just recently a blogger/tweeter that I follow went to her first class and she was 'sick' for three days.  Flu like symptoms...and she admitted hydration was her downfall.

Because hot yoga can be highly taxing, it's crucial to stay in tune with your body.   During class, take breaks if you feel lightheaded.   After class, drink plenty of water, and abstain from tough workouts until you feel recovered.

The only other type of 'hot yoga' I have found that I like a lot is Power Vinyasa.  Some of the other types I have tried are just too 'flowy' for me.  Maybe it was the instructor but when every class is different sequences of poses, it throws me for a loopy loop, I get frustrated, and end up hating the class.  Thats why I like Bikram or a Bikram styled practice.  Same thing.  Different day.  What can I say, I love routine.

Hot yoga (in any form) isn't for everyone. If you have a health condition, you should consult your doctor first.

If you giggle rather than cringe when you lose your balance, you're in the right place.  So many times on certain poses, or just on certain days where I am a bit off balance for some reason, I totally laugh at myself.  Sometimes I will even fall to the ground (toe stand is a good example of when this happens!)

No matter how you do it, you can't go wrong laughing and sweating every day.

Do you do yoga in any form?  What cross training do you do?  Do you think its important or are you just like I use to be?  Running on the brain, no time to do anything else!  Ever try hot yoga or Bikram? 


Its a new day! 

Besides everyone knows out of those 6 fitness blogs, mine is definitely the better choice!

And while you are at it add CBS Local to your list of sites to read each day!  Great source of news!  I would think that every major city has a site within their site!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Top 6 Baby! One of Houston's Best Bloggers Contest!

Thanks to everyone that nominated me as one of the Best Blogs in Houston as it pertains to Health/Fitness!!!

Now I just need you to vote!!!!  The rules are that you can vote once a day in each category, so look for me to be reminding you to please vote for me!!!  I am super excited just to have made it to the top 6, but I know I have a lot of new readers in Houston, so that helps, plus everyone else from well.. from everywhere else!!

Thank you!

They didnt put All That Glitters, but rather Boston Dream Pie, so just know that that one is mine!

Go!  Go!  Go!  Vote Please!!