Are You Confident Enough to #GoCommando?

 

GoCommando 5

Quick confession: I’ve been going commando for running, fitness, and yoga for years. And, since I work as a personal trainer, and wear spandex daily, I #GoCommando in my work clothes too. So there. Of course, I’m a longtime Cottonelle fan, so I’ve had clean confidence for a while.

Cottonelle 5

Of course, Cottonelle is not the only thing that gives me confidence. I work really hard to stay fit and strong. I start most days with a run, sometimes long, sometimes short, occasionally fast(ish), frequently slow. I work my muscles with some type of strength workout several days a week. Some days it’s yoga, others it Pilates. I also love weights, using the TRX, and once in a while an outdoor, body weight only workout.

Continue Reading

Taking the Leap and Running Through Redlands

Stupid exercise induced asthma.

SLO Marathon Training Recap Week 9

With the exception of total mileage, my training week was right on target this week. I got my main workouts done, and finished it off with a half marathon, which was on the schedule, though it was a last minute decision to actually sign up and run the race (more on that below).

On Monday, I ran four half mile intervals (my goal is six, but time is always a factor). After a half mile warm up, I did my intervals on the street near my house. I even had my own coach (Alan) out there! That was nice because he gives me an extra push. Each half mile was around 4:03 to 4:04, which is probably a little too fast for me right now, but it felt good (in a really hard kind of way).

On Wednesday I ran up into the hills behind our house for a hill workout on the trails. It started off great! I found a $20 bill on the road! Everything else was, well, hard. I did 15 repeats on this hill:

Hill Workout 2It’s not super long but it’s pretty steep, so it was challenging. So challenging that I didn’t trust my exercsie addled brain to remember what number I was on, so I used the “count rocks” system.

Hill WorkoutI’d add a rock to the pile after each repeat. I was glad I did because not only could I not remember which one I was on, I had to keep recounting the rocks because I wasn’t sure I was counting them correctly!

I had to work on Saturday, just for a couple hours basically to transport a couple of our massage therapists to a golf event where they’d be doing chair massage. I asked for, and got, permission to take a run in between the time I dropped them off and picked them up. Running around the country club where I work is really like another hill workout. Lots of beautiful views though.

Running Through Redlands

On Sunday, Alan announced the Run Through Redlands half marathon, 10, and 5k. This is his fifth year announcing, but this year they moved the event to March 8 (from late April). The race was on my schedule, but I wasn’t sure if I wanted to run it. If I had not worked the day before, I probably would have run 18 miles then taken Sunday off. Well, that didn’t happen. But I feel like I’m a little behind in my long run effort, so I was hesitant to skip that long run.

We had to be at the event by 5:30, so with an hour plus drive that meant a 3:00 am wake up. And remember that little ol’ time change? Yes, we were basically getting up at 2:00 am. Just as the bars were closing.

We arrived and Alan took off to do his announcing thing. I still wasn’t sure what I was going to do. Run the race? Do a long run on my own around Redlands? Go back to sleep (which really sounded like the most attractive option)? I tweeted:

So I made the decision at 6:30 to run the race that was starting in 50 minutes. Because of my lack of commitment, my planning was terrible. Though I had brought along a banana and a Clif Bar, I didn’t bring any gels or electrolytes (and they didn’t have them on the course either!). Instead I tucked another Clif Bar in my Flipbelt, hoping I could get it down if I needed it.

My goal was to have fun, to see if I could get in some marathon pace miles in, and just to stay occupied while Alan was working. Even though I ran the race last year, I’d forgotten how much uphill there is during the first half. In fact, basically the whole first half is uphill, which should be good training for the hills of the SLO Marathon. So my 9:30 miles slowed down to 10:30 miles after mile two, then picked up at bit after about mile seven as we headed back toward the finish line.

I was almost to mile 12, and looking at about a 2:12-ish finish, not great, but not bad, then WHAM! I started to feel like my vision was darkening around the perimeter and that I might just have a big bear sitting on my chest. I know immediately when my exercise induced asthma is rearing its ugly head, but I kept trying to run for a bit, but finally had to slow to a walk, take a couple puffs on my inhaler (fortunately I had remembered to bring that!), and wait for the medicine to kick in. And wait. And wait. It seemed to take much longer than usual for my breathing to return to normal, but finally I could start running again. Slowly. And keep on going to the finish (where my lovely husband greeted me with his usual “here is my favorite person in the whole world!”).

Mile 12 took me almost 13 minutes, giving me a finish time of 2:16:17, which was a little slower than my race last year. But, the good news is this:

RedlandsSecond place in my division! I was actually lying on a massage table getting my free post-race 10 minute massage (which was wonderful by the way), when I heard them announce my name. I sometimes judge myself a little too harshly, forgetting that I’m not 30 anymore. When you compete against your peers, you come out…second! (Of course I checked out the first place woman’s time..just under 2:13. Stupid exercise induced asthma!

RecoveryI’m spending a day or so in recovery mode. I was really exhausted after the race, which I think was more an aftereffect of the asthma than the race itself (that and waking up at 2:00 in the morning!). Alan drove home and I put my feet up and took a little nap. Then I took Monday off of running, but I did go to a yoga class (I had two clients cancel, which sucks, but it did give me time to go to the yoga class we offer at my fitness center).

Yoga

pro compression

This post has gone on for a long time, hasn’t it? So let’s wrap the Take the Leap Yoga Challenge in pictures! Well mostly. I am a wordy gal. Let me just say that it was a great experience and I would do it again in a heartbeat. Thanks so much to prAna and Fit Approach for hosting!

Click here to read more about prAna, their beautiful fitness and lifestyle clothing, and their approach to sustainability (plus a 15% discount!).

 Take the Leap Challenge, the Final Week

Week 5This is supposed to be a simple child’s pose. Not so much in my house.

Week 5 1I thought this was the last day of the challenge, so I celebrated with some headstands, a crow, and by wearing a pretty prAna top that I hadn’t worn for a while. But, I found out that 30 Days of Yoga was actually 35!

Week 5 2Revolved Chair pose. I love yoga in my front yard.

Week 5 3Half moon pose with a little help from the pups. This is me, seconds before toppling over.

Week 5 4Flashback Friday. Tree pose in front of the Self Realization Fellowship in Encinitas (from about three years ago).

Week 5 6During my run at work on Saturday. Beautiful views, lots of hills for the run.

Week 5 5And finally…savasana. The perfect post for the last day of the Take the Leap challenge and for post-race recovery.

How was your week in training? Any races, events or other competitions? Have you signed up for the SLO Marathon yet? Remember, you can save $10 with my code: WOODAMB.

Living, Playing, Breathing with prAna

prana 7Taking the Leap with prAna

I have had the great pleasure of working with prAna and Fit Approach for the last month to participate in and promote the Take the Leap 30 Days of Yoga Challenge.

Day 5

I guess you’d call that a disclosure, but it is also a statement of fact. The Take the Leap challenge was such an amazing experience, both on a personal and fitness level, because it brought me back to yoga, but also on a social level, because I had the opportunity to connect with the many other participants in the challenge.

Because of the challenge, I not only practiced yoga more frequently, I discovered that “practicing yoga” did not have to be a 90 minute power yoga class, or even any kind of a structured class (even though those are awesome!). I could spend 10 minutes warming up for a run, stretching afterward, or spend some time relaxing before bedtime, and it was yoga. You do have to have intention when you practice like this, but done correctly, yes, it is yoga.

Click here for tips for fitting in yoga on a busy schedule.

I also learned that my form is not as good as I thought. Seriously, as a personal trainer, I feel that I have pretty good body awareness and proprioception. My yoga studio does not have any mirrors, so I assumed that I looked like I felt, whether it was a fierce warrior or a joyful camel (my new favorite pose).

I found out, with my daily yoga selfies, that this was not necessarily the case. Yes, my form was pretty good, but I never looked as deep, fierce, or intent as I felt in a pose. Fortunately, I probably won’t be photographing all my yoga practices in the future!

prana 1

PrAna sent me the outfit you see above. There is something about beautiful fitness clothing that inspires me. It makes me want to move, to breath, to enjoy the process of exercise. And this outfit is particularly inspiring. The top is the Meadow Top, in Viola Magnolia. I even love the name of the color! It has a built in shelf bra and a soft, drapy fit that allow freedom of movement in comfort, with a stretchy band at the bottom which keeps it in place during yoga practice.

prana 2The pants are the Tori Capri in neon orange. They are made of a soft performance knit and are comfortable and stay in place.  I love the detail in the hem.

prana 4Sustainability

To me, yoga is about more than getting a great workout. It is a lifestyle of sustainability, kindness, and focus. PrAna is a Sanskrit word that means breath, life, and vitality of the spirit, and prAna has taken this meaning to heart because it helps guide their actions towards becoming an evermore socially mindful and environmentally sustainable organization.

PrAna’s approach to sustainability is three pronged and focuses on: 1) The materials to make their products, 2) Materials and energy to service the business, and 3) People and working conditions. You can read more about prAna’s commitment to sustainability here.

prana 5bluesign

Headquartered in Switzerland, bluesign is a worldwide standard that is applied to production chains to measure the safety and sustainability of raw materials used by chemical and manufacturing companies. PrAna is a bluesign partner and works to implement bluesign standards in their supply chain.

prana 6

Save 15% at prAna!

Be sure to check out the new Early Spring Collection where will you will find both active and lifestyle clothing for men and women that will fit not only into your yoga practice, but into your life. You can save 15% on your purchase by using this code at checkout: psps15LFL.

Prana

Most of the photos above were taken my my husband in the trail system area about one mile from my home. Aren’t I lucky (both for the beautiful neighborhood and the husband who actually enjoyed the photo shoot)?

Alan

Alan, my photographer, showing me the shot that he wanted.

Did you participate in the Take the Leap challenge? Do you practice yoga regularly or try to fit it into your workout schedule? Where is your favorite place to work out?

The Week in Training: SLO Marathon and Yoga Challenges

SLO Marathon Training Recap, Week 8

For what may be the first time during this current training cycle, I am actually happy with my training. I know! I’ve been pretty negative about it all, with illness and work hours interfering with my plans. This week, they (illness & work) tried to interfere, but I overcame them! Win!

On Wednesday, which is supposed to be my second speed work day of the week I woke up with a migraine. It was bad enough that I couldn’t run, but I also had to cancel five clients! I hate doing that, but it couldn’t be helped. I stayed in bed all morning, then finally fell into a good, solid sleep and woke up around 1:30 with the headache gone. One of my shorter ones, thank goodness.

I decided to get out on Thursday morning with Alan and our neighbor Christina, to see if I could get in some type of tempo run. It would have to be short because I have to be at work by 7:30, but that always encourages me to run faster. Christina decided to run along with me, and we ran three pretty fast miles. No real warm up, though the first mile was the slowest. I was just happy to get it done.

Christina and I also ran together on Friday, four easy miles, and Saturday, for part of my long run. It’s nice to have a new training partner. She’s a very nice girl, a new runner, and about 25 years younger than me so I’m getting my ass kicked on a regular basis a good push.

Alan announced the Desert Triathlon this weekend. It is held on both days, with the sprint and duathlon on Saturday and the international on Sunday. They had quite a treat this year. Saturday brought wind, with gusts up to about 50 mph, and on Sunday it rained all day. At least the wind died.

When I headed out for my long run with Christina on Saturday, the winds weren’t too bad yet. She ran with me for the first five miles, then I was on my own. I was scheduled for 16 miles, and it just seemed so long to run my regular out and back route, all by myself, especially when the winds started to rise up. After much deliberation (and a lot of running route math going on in my head), I decided to add on mileage as I headed away from home, then finish up at Lake Cahuilla, which is where the triathlon (and Alan) was (were?).

Running math is kind of funny, especially when you start to get tired (which I was from mile 10 on). I know the distances, I’d figure out where I needed to turn because I had to add on six miles, but my brain had a hard time holding onto it. I’d figure it out once at one total mileage, then it would be different the next time. Well, at least it gave my brain something to think about as I plodded along. It all worked out perfectly in the end. I finished up about 25 feet from where Alan was at the finish line.

Long RunI was glad I was just running 16 miles (if you can believe that). The triathletes had to deal with a horrendous headwind as they headed back toward the park, not to mention the buoys in the water were blown way off course, so many swimmers got a little extra distance in. We all had sand in our hair and gritty teeth at the end though.

After I finished, I snagged some of Alan’s Gatorade, stretched, bundled up in one of his sweatshirts, and hung out until he was done. I even managed a couple yoga poses (see below)! One of the vendors brought me a smoothie, so I even got some refuel. Oh! And celebrities!

Two Hollywood stars competed in the sprint triathlon. Sadly, I am so out of touch that I have no idea who they were. There were good looking though. Even sadder, I was tired, stinky, and looked like I had just run 16 miles.

Chris Pratt

This is Chris Pratt. He played Andy Dwyer on Parks and Recreation and Bright Abbott in Everwood.

Chace Crawford

This is Chace Crawford. He played Nate Arhibald on the Gossip Girls.

 

Sunday is usually an easy, run with the dogs day, but since I ran Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, and plan to run Monday, I took a well deserved day off of running.

This is week eight of my SLO Marathon training. I’m still a little short of my total weekly distance goals, but I feel happy with my training this week. I’m running the Run Through Redlands half marathon next Sunday (and have to work at 6:45 on Saturday), so this coming week will be a bit of a cutback week. I do plan to run the race at my goal marathon pace, so that will be interesting.

Remember, you can save $10 on registration for the SLO Marathon with the code WOODAMB.

Here’s the recap:

Monday: Intervals: 8 x .25 miles intervals at about 5k pace. Yoga warm up
Tuesday: Pilates Reformer workout, 20 minutes Balancing Flow from Yoga Download
Wednesday: Migraine. I did manage a little restorative yoga in the early evening.
Thursday: Tempo run. Three miles at lactate threshold pace. 30 minutes Pilates Reformer workout, 10 minutes Sun Salutations.
Friday: Four miles easy. A little yoga stretching after the run.
Saturday: Long run. 16 miles. Not much yoga, but I did manage to put my legs up the wall, er, up the tree.
Sunday: 90 minute Vinyasa class.

Take the Leap 30 Days of Yoga Challenge

We are approaching the last few days of the Take the Leap 30 days of yoga challenge with prAna and Fit Approach. I have loved this so much! I’m sorry that it is almost over, but I plan to keep up my yoga practice. Here is the last week of posing.

Week 4Week 4 2

Week 4 3Week 4 4

Week 4 5Week 4 7

Week 4 6

Just a few days left!

Vegan Eats

I made some of my favorite recipes this week, including Pot Pie (though I used Beyond Meat chicken instead of tofu) and Pizza. Both were delicious.

Pot PiePizza

I also made a great smoothie on Sunday. I called it a “Kitchen Sink” smoothie. It was also delicious. Here’s the Instagram post:

How was your training week? Any events, races, or simply fun times?

Weekly Recap: SLO Marathon Training & Yoga

This whole work thing is taking its toll on my marathon training.

SLO Marathon Training, Week 7

While I’m happy overall with how my training is going, I still keep having to cut some of my weekday morning runs short because, well, money. If I have a client that wants to see me at 7:00 in the morning (or even 6:00, but that hasn’t happened yet), I really need to take them. Because in about three months they’ll be gone for the summer. It’s called making hay while the sun shines.

So, while I’m getting in the runs, they are shorter than I have on my schedule. In the coming week I’m going to work on getting out a little earlier, but I don’t like to go too early because I’m running by myself and, well, I’m scared of the dark. Here’s why…

This was a cutback week though, with my long run scheduled for 10 miles with five at marathon pace. That went well, though I did four at MP pace instead of five. I was running with my neighbor Christina, who is a new runner, but tough as nails. She did the whole run with me and kept me going during the faster parts. She even challenged me as we approached the end to pick it up to the corner. Bitch! I keep reminding myself she’s young enough to be my daughter. That helps.

run 3The picture above is from a couple weeks ago. Same crew though. Alan was with us but he had a steady pace 10 mile run on his schedule.

Here’s my post-run selfie. Mostly because I like taking pictures of our wind-kitties.

Run2

So I ran four times, 19 miles total. I’m still not happy with my total weekly mileage, but I’ll be working on that this week. I started off this week with a three mile run, and I managed eight 1/4 mile intervals, so I’m pretty happy with that.

The countdown to the SLO Marathon is on! Two months from today! Yikes, better get going. I have a 16 miles run on the schedule for the weekend, which is good, but I think the key is to get in my mid-week mileage.

By the way, the price will be going up on February 28, so if you’re planning to join me in San Luis Obispo on April 23 now is the time to register! You can save an extra $10 with my code WOODAMB. Do it!

slo

Take the Leap Challenge

At least my yoga is going well. I have managed to practice a little yoga every day since February 2. I haven’t made it to as many classes as I’d like, but I’ll do a few sun salutations to warm up, some hip opening and hamstring stretching poses to cool down, and take the time daily for a pose-of-the-day.

We working on a warrior series this week. Here are my first three days:

Week 3Warrior I

Humble WarriorHumble Warrior

Warrior 2

Warrior II

I’m so happy with this Take the Leap Challenge with prAna and Sweat Pink. The support of the other participants is amazing, and I love working with prAna. Not only do they make amazing clothing, but they care about creating a lifestyle of sustainability, kindness, and focus. My goal, once the challenge is over, is to continue on with my practice, maybe not daily, but several times a week. Yoga is good for my soul.

Random Stuff: Movies & #Vegan Food

Alan and I went to see McFarland, USA on Saturday. In a nutshell, we loved it! As a cross country coach I appreciated everything about the story of how running (and a good coach) helped to change the lives of the children of migrant workers in Central California in 1987. It was based on a true story, so even though it seemed a little formulaic, I didn’t care. I believe in the power of running and high school sports to help develop successful and confident adults.

We headed to lunch at Whole Foods on Sunday. We had their vegan Artisanal Cheese platter again. It was so good! And we shared the Taro Burger. Sadly, they no longer have the Jackfruit Crab Cakes on the menu {sad face}, but we did enjoy our meal.

lunchI also cooked up a great Tofu Scramble this week. In fact I’m still enjoying the leftovers!

Tofu ScrambleHave you seen McFarland, USA? What did you think? How was your training week? Any events, races, or great meals? Share!

Saturday Shares

Just a few things to share for Saturday!

The SLO Marathon: The price goes up on February 28!

SLO Marathon

Now is the time to register for the SLO Marathon before the price goes up on February 28! Also, if you want your name on your bib, the deadline is March 2. Come run with me on April 23! Remember you can still use the code WOODAMB to save $10 on registration!

 

Take the Leap/Bringing Yoga Back Challenges

The 12 days of #BringingYogaBack with prAna is over (though the 30 day #TaketheLeap challenge continues through March 8). It was a lot of fun to try some challenging (to me) poses over the 12 days. Here are a few of my favorites:

TadasanaThis may be my favorite selfie of all time. Photo bombed by a cat!

Down Dog

Low Lunge

lizard

One Legged Dog

Wild Thing

CrowOkay, crow pose was not one of the #BringingYogaBack poses. I just get pretty proud of myself when I can hold it long enough to get a picture.

Save Money on YogaDownload.com

Do you want to practice yoga at home but need some guidance? I know from experience that YogaDownload.com has excellent instruction, choices of videos or audios, and a huge variety of yoga classes. I’ve been a member for several years and now I’m also an affiliate.

I talk about YogaDownload.com​ a lot because it is my favorite online yoga service.  Here is a Groupon​ to save $60 on an annual membership. It’s usually $90 and you can get it for $29! There is also a shorter term option. I bought one myself because my membership is up for renewal next week (perfect timing). Disclosure: This is not my regular affiliate link but I can earn an extra $12 back from Groupon if you use this link to purchase.

Saturday Shares. Favorites from the week:

Why I Run. No, this isn’t my post from a few days ago. Angela and I actually wrote a post and published on the same day. Similar, but different. Check it out.

11 Ways to Manage Stress and Feeling Overwhelmed. While my stress level is much lower than it was a few months ago, I was interested to see Christine’s suggestions for reducing stress.

Cross Training for Runners. If you’re a runner, you know you should cross train. Here are some great tips from Amanda.

15 Common Running Mistakes to Avoid. We’ve all made some (or all) of these, but it is still interesting (and informative) to know what we shouldn’t be doing.

Crawling to the Finish Line: Heroic or Stupid? I actually had a client tell me this story (so uninformed!). Amanda asks an interesting question.

Positioning Your Blog to Charge Higher Prices. Blog school just started last Monday, but even if you didn’t sign up Rita’s blog has so much great information.

Do the Things that make your Heart Race. Just the title of Lisa’s post makes me smile (and curious).

Vegetarian Pad Thai. Tina (along with Deborah) has been doing a Meatless Monday linkup for a few months. I haven’t posted many recipes lately, but I love checking in (especially when the recipe is vegan, as is this one).

Any fun plans for the weekend? Have you read (or written) any great posts this week to share?