Friday, November 21, 2014

Fitness Friday...Yoga for Runners

I shared with you yesterday my first week with GaiamTV challenging myself to incorporate yoga into my fitness regime.  I know I'm lacking in the flexibility department, but I'm looking forward to seeing growth along the way!  The whole thing has gotten me researching ways that runners can benefit from incorporating yoga into their weekly training.

I know that many fellow bloggers rock their runs AND their yoga poses.  Christine from Live Love Surf rocks the running scene as well as posts the most amazing photos on her Instagram page as she bends her body into the most unique ways!
Fellow ZOOMA ambassador Angela hits paces I hope to see on my Garmin one day and still finds time to bend and balance in her yoga poses.
Fellow mother runner Laura at Mommy Run Fast has posted many times on the benefits of pairing together yoga and running including....wait for it... increased FLEXIBILITY!
http://www.mommyrunfast.com/5-benefits-of-yoga-for-runners/

Seeing so many runners using yoga along with their running got me looking even further (clearly I need a lot of convincing that bending and stretching were good for running).  Runner's World boasts about how yoga can help to improve your flexibility, ease pain, and reduce stress.  Reading further I found out that the fabulous Lauren Fleshman began practicing yoga after she broke her foot.  The strength she gains from holding poses can be equated for her to a long run or tempo run.  Runner's World went on to say that the strength and flexibility you gain from holding poses not only strengthens your lower half but can help you to run more efficiently leading to better times!  Yatzee!!  Tell me that I can get faster AND reduce my stress and I'm in!!  Now I know this isn't automatic but it is enough for me to continue to work it into my weekly fitness plans in order to balance off my running!

GaiamTV is a great source of various yoga videos that you can try out in your very own home...or bring with you wherever you go!  I found some really great ones that address yoga for runners.  One even is focused on recovery after a run...maybe one I can get the girls to do with me!!



Thursday, November 20, 2014

Balance and Flexibility

flex·i·bil·i·ty
 ˌfleksəˈbilədē/
noun
 the quality of bending easily without breaking.
 

Let's talk about things that I am certainly not!  There was a time in my life...probably when I was far younger, that I considered myself very flexible.  However, after a week of daily yoga with GaiamTV through a campaign with Fitfluential, I am realizing that flexibility is something I really need to work on in all areas of who I am!

 

After taking the quiz to start the program, I was named a Cultivator...


From there GaiamTV has sent me a video a day that includes what yoga workout (is it called a workout) for the day.  They have ranged in difficulty as well as length.  I was most excited to see the one named "Yoga for Athletes"...that girl is in amazing shape...but I found a little lost a lot of the time.  Mid-week I found myself getting to a point where I was a little frustrated with how lost I was during the videos but then the idea of flexibility came back to me.  I have found that I not only need to be more flexible in he physical sense but also in the mental one as well.  It shakes my bones when I have to do something that I am not confident in doing (Thankfully with GaiamTV I can do it in the shelter of my own home) and this has been like that as well.  This is where the flexibility comes in...I need to embrace that feeling and know that a balance of go go go and the calming of yoga is really the challenge for me.


The videos from this week have been a combination of calming and hard work, but if I'm being honest I haven't been able to complete them all the way to finish since some of them are almost an hour.  The shorter ones, like on day 4, I finished all the way through.  What I have enjoyed is the challenge of them and the variety since I am new to yoga and really don't have an idea of what type I like best.  

 

I am looking forward as the days continue to getting more and more comfortable and flexible!  I know I need it more in my life and this is obviously a challenge I need!

 

Have you taken the quiz and started a GaiamTV program?

Have you done yoga before?  What was challenging for you at first? 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Tiny House with Tweens

We live in a time where we are always connected...phones, computers, tablets, etc. yet sometimes it feels like we are always disconnected.  Perhaps it is just me getting older or seeing my children and nieces get older and more grown up by the day, but yesterday I found myself searching for a fun way to vacation for this summer(It started off as a search for a winter vacation but my sister hates snow).  Our nieces will be 11 (which blows my mind) and our girls will be 6 and almost 3...which means the chances for my sister and I to do crazy things and drag our children along for the ride are starting to dwindle....even though I really hope not!  This led me to my most exciting find of the day and I honestly have not been able to stop thinking about it since....a tiny house!! 
Not the actual house I found
A log cabin nestled in the woods of Stowe, VT that is not only completely off the grid (no electricity, no running water, etc), but is awesome!  The house is small but it sits on 2 acres of land including a pond, huge fire pit, and trails for walking.  Plus there is the most quaint porch on the front that overlooks the pond and trees that just screams come and sit and read here!!! 

Let me explain that I have been mildly obsessed with the show Tiny House Nation and have been unable to convince the hubs that we should live in one! 
I mean come on!  Two kids...and us...in less than 700 square feet...beds that fold up and well a house on wheels....what's not to love?!  I jest clearly but the whole idea of not having so much stuff...clutter...things taking up so much space is a calming concept to me!  Probably means I need to clean the house but it also means that when I got home yesterday and told the hubs about the fabulous tiny house I found, he said that it would be a great idea for me to do with my sister! 

The plans are still in the works but the idea to me is so exciting....Family is so important to us and giving our daughters that time to bond with their cousins...bond with nature...and have time to just be and do whatever...it just sounds pretty much perfect!  My head is not firmly in the clouds and I know that the challenge of vacationing 4 hours away from home with no electricity, fans, internet, TV, and bugs will pose a number of challenges but I think the benefits will far outweigh them! 
Cousins
How about you....Would you ever live/vacation in a tiny house?

Monday, November 17, 2014

Monday Motivation

Today's #HolidaySweat Instagram Challenge posted the question...What motivates you to get moving on Monday.  My answer is simple...
YOU
All of you out there pushing yourselves and doing amazing things motivates me to test limits and continue to challenge myself!!  Your stories motivate me...you kind words motivate me...the fact that I motivate YOU motivates me to keep pushing...to never take a day for granted!
What motivates you to get moving on a Monday?

Friday, November 14, 2014

Fitness Friday...The Balanced You

I'm so excited this month to be joining GaiamTV in a campaign with Fitfluential to find a more balanced me!
http://bit.ly/1suDbPJ
My yoga on GaiamTV is the ultimate resource for you to find your own personal balance with a vast library of yoga classes, articles, guides and more!  In a month that tends to be filled with a lot of activity and stress, I am looking forward to finding a little balance and incorporating more time into my schedule to become more balanced...and so can you!

Your first step is to head to GaiamTV and take the quiz to find out what your element is.
http://bit.ly/1suDbPJ
From there you can find what your own balance can look like including a 21 day plan filled with handpicked videos and inspirational films.   The first 10 days of the trial is free!

I headed on over and took the quick quiz to discover that my element is Earth...I'm a Cultivator.
One word: grounded.  Relaxed, organized and connected to the earth, you love to sit back and marinate in the present moment.  Whether your lying in the grass or curled up on the couch, you establish roots and allow time to pass with ease.  Life throwing a curve ball or two?  You remain steady on your feet and take things as they come.

I can see myself in this description...all except the relaxed and allowing time to pass parts of it!  This month I will see what balance looks like for me.  Join in...take the quiz and tell me your results!  Any more Cultivators here?

I was given a free subcription to GaiamTV and paid as a part of my involvement with this campaign but all opinions are my own.

One word: grounded. Relaxed, organized and connected to the earth, you love to sit back and marinate in the present moment. Whether you’re lying in the grass or curled up on the couch, you establish roots and allow time to pass with ease. Life throwing a curveball or two? You remain steady on your feet and take things as - See more at: http://www.thebalancedyou.com/tby/results.cultivator#sthash.45othnTn.dpuf
One word: grounded. Relaxed, organized and connected to the earth, you love to sit back and marinate in the present moment. Whether you’re lying in the grass or curled up on the couch, you establish roots and allow time to pass with ease. Life throwing a curveball or two? You remain steady on your feet and take things as - See more at: http://www.thebalancedyou.com/tby/results.cultivator#sthash.45othnTn.dpuf
One word: grounded. Relaxed, organized and connected to the earth, you love to sit back and marinate in the present moment. Whether you’re lying in the grass or curled up on the couch, you establish roots and allow time to pass with ease. Life throwing a curveball or two? You remain steady on your feet and take things as - See more at: http://www.thebalancedyou.com/tby/results.cultivator#sthash.45othnTn.dpuf

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Mama Needs a Run

There are days when I wake up and can feel it in my bones that Mama needs a run.  Today is one of those days!  Hubby is recovering from ACL surgery(translation...no gym trips for Mama for now) and my Dad is on his 4th stay in the hospital in about 2 months(a post all its own)...grad students' work is piling up to be graded...and my way to deal with the wave of stress is to run it out!

The morning started out great.  I woke up at my usual 4am and scrolled through some emails before getting dressed and heading down to the basement for a run.  Sitting in my living room, a lingering smell reminded me that I needed to bag up the trash and put it outside....By the time I came back in the house after putting it out, my oldest was staring at me....at 4:40am....Mama needs a run!

I informed her that there was no way in the history of ever I was going to let her get out of bed even though she insisted that she was not even a little bit tired, and gathered every coloring book on my way from our kitchen to her bedroom and shut the door giving her the only direction of the morning...DO NOT wake up your sister because Mama needs a run!

I went directly into my bathroom, got dressed, grabbed my Yurbuds, the monitor, and my phone, and tiptoed at a rapid pace down to the basement to get on the treadmill.  Before I even get started I hear a sweet voice calling me from the top of the stairs (why she didn't come down I don't know) asking if she can go to the bathroom!  In my most patient voice (which was probably not very patient by this time) I tell her yes but then she is to go back to bed and please DO NOT wake up your sister because Mama needs a run!

I get back down and settled on the treadmill...exhale and press start only to hear a tweeting over my shoulder...our youngest is up and letting the world know!  I decide that I am going to start my run hoping that she will just go back to sleep...until she starts calling out "Mama?  Mama?"  I know what's following...if left in her crib too long she will take her clothes off...including her diaper creating more of a mess than I am ready for!  Determined to get a bead of sweat on my brow I jack up the speed and decide for the next 10 minutes I am sprinting....all out sprinting because Mama needs a run!

The rest of the morning included sisters bickering...a feisty  2 year-old throwing a cup of strawberry milk in the kitchen (I know I'm going to be finding remnants of that for weeks!!)...Mama on her hands and knees cleaning it up...and your usual circus-like moments coupled with an early morning observation at work! 

On days like this Mama needs a run...a sweaty, cleansing, lung-burning run...at least long enough for me not to want to run away!!  A run where I step into my Sauconys and feel the world fade away!  Tonight I have a date with my basement treadmill because Mama needs a run!!!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Almost Wordless Wednesday

9 years ago today we stood in front of our friends and family and promised forever no matter what....and I have never regretted the best decision of my life!!