Weekly Update – 1/18/16

Despite the really bad weather, I think I did a pretty decent job at getting to the gym. I know a lot of people struggle to get motivated in the winter, and I don’t feel like that’s been much of a problem for me, which is great.

Monday

I covered Monday in last week’s post.

Tuesday

After a long weekend away, it was hard to get back to the grind.  We went to the gym and I did a 5k on the treadmill.  I struggled with some tightness in my calves. Hopefully that goes away!

Wednesday

Yoga was particularly hard on Wednesday after skipping it for a week.  Jaye was about 20 minutes late to class, which was ok, things happen. But then she tried to extend class 20 minutes, which I wasn’t too fond of.  Since class was much shorter, it felt strange, it felt rushed, and I didn’t have a lot of focus.

Thursday

It was really hard to be motivated to go to the gym with the impending doom of the weekend.  We are facing a massive snow/rain storm. Plus, it was one of those days that life happens and sometimes you just don’t make it to the gym.

Friday

On Friday, work let us go at 2pm since the snow was coming down pretty hard.  I took advantage of being home early, and I got in 3 miles on the treadmill at home.

Saturday

On Saturday we woke up to sleet.  We decided to hit the gym before it got bad and changed back over to snow.  Got a really long good foam roll session in before doing 2 miles on the treadmill.  Michael and his brother went out to lunch and out and about, while I stayed at home and spent some quality time with Netflix while I watched the snow fall.  We only got a few inches, not near the craziness some others got! My brother got about 2 feet just outside of DC!

Sunday

On Sunday, I was supposed to run the FreezerBurn 5k, but they postponed it due to the weather until next Saturday.  Church was also cancelled.  Michael and I slept in and took our time getting up and ready for the day. We drove out to the other side of our city to see some houses by a builder we like that will be building in our area this year.  We ran all of our normal Sunday errands…grocery store and cooking.

Were you part of the wintry mess this weekend? Have you been able to stay motivated this winter?

New Runner in the Family

No…its not what you think.  I’m not pregnant.

My husband is going to start running and doing races with me!!!!!!

He has been a faithful fan and supporter at all my races.  Even when we first started dating, he came to support me.  I will never forget him being at the finish line of my first half marathon.  It meant so much that he stood for HOURS in the cold to wait for me to finish.

Recently, he’s been in the bad habit of going to find a coffee shop…or donut shop and having a treat while I run a race.  He’s not been happy with his weight or his level of activity, so he wanted to do something to change all that.

So this year, he’s decided to start running with me.  His first race will be a 5k in April – and a J&A race at that! We’ve also signed for an 8k in December.  I’m so incredibly proud of him. We’ve been walking/running on the treadmill at the gym…and he’s been doing quite well.  I think he will be MORE than ready by the time the 5k rolls around.

Do you have any words of encouragement to pass on to him? Do you run with your spouse/significant other?

 

Weekly Update – 1/11/16

Monday

Yoga night.  I got to the gym early, and jumped on the treadmill for a quick half mile.  Class was pretty crowded. Something was wrong with the AC and it was extremely warm in the studio.  Jaye joked that it was “hot yoga.” Hot yoga is nice if you are prepared for it and dressed for it!

Class was a bit tough as a result. It got really humid in there and I ended up resting a lot more than normal just to cool down. All you crazy people that do hot yoga….how do you handle it?!

Tuesday

Normal gym night.  I got a 5k in on the treadmill, and a lot of fantastic people watching!

Wednesday

I had to skip yoga on Wednesday 😦  We had a very late holiday celebration for work on Wednesday night.  We went down to VA Beach and ate at Gordon Biersch.  It was a great time with my coworkers, but made for a really late night out.

Thursday

I had so much pent up energy on Thursday from not having worked out on Wednesday.  I did a 5k on the treadmill.  I have this new habit of watching youtube videos while on the treadmill instead of listening to music…and its wonderful!

Friday

We left work a bit early to head to Dover to go to the casino.  It was a long trip up (4 hours), but we made time to stop for Island Creamery in Chincoteague on the way.  We played some blackjack and slots before bed.  Michael stayed up far later than I did!

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Saturday

On Saturday, I got up and went to the gym at the hotel.  It was small and not well ventilated.  I worked up a sweat pretty quick!  I did 2 miles on the treadmill, then planned on doing some strength training.  Unfortunately, when I walked around the corner to the weight area, all the dumbbells were EVERYWHERE.  Apparently, people don’t feel like re-racking their weights.  So I did it, and that was my workout.

After the gym, I hopped in the shower and headed to the spa for my spa day. I got a fantastic sports massage and a mani/pedi. Afterward, Michael and I got some lunch, then I headed back to the room to relax, and Michael played some more blackjack.

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Our friend Gina came, and she was going to show me the ropes with the slot machines.  I brought $100 to play with.  Sat down, won $80.  So I pocketed the $100 and just played on the $80.  I ended up leaving $52 up!

Sunday

On Sunday, we went to visit Michael’s family in northern VA.  We went to a place called Potbelly sandwiches for lunch (yum) and then hung out with his cousin for a bit.  Later in the afternoon, we headed to his Aunt Sally’s house. She made us a wonderful home cooked meal, and we got to spend some good time with her.

Bonus Day: Monday

Since it was a holiday weekend, we stayed over at Sally’s on Sunday night.  We got up on Monday and she made us a wonderful breakfast, then we got on the road.

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We stopped in Richmond to get our rings cleaned. We got home around 1:30 and started on chores.  I did laundry, and Michael did the cooking for the week. At about 7, we just sat on the couch for the rest of the night and watched Shark Tank.  It was a lovely end to a long weekend!

How was your long weekend?

January Stitch Fix Review (Stitch Fix #14)

I say this every time: I know this is outside of my normal fitness/running blogging, but hey – its my blog, and I want to blog about my awesome clothes!  I actually managed to take semi real pictures this time! You should be proud!

Here’s how it works: You set up a style profile and you receive a box with 5 items in it.  You can choose the frequency with which you set up the box …once a month, every other month, etc.  You pay $20 to receive a box.  If you keep anything, that $20 goes toward your purchase.  If you keep all 5 items, you get a discount!  They send you anything from jewelry, to clothes to handbags. If you don’t want to keep an item, they have an envelope to send them back.

What I love about this is that I get a stylist that looks at my style profile and picks out items just for ME.  You can even link to a pinterest board so they can get inspiration and a better look into what you like.

Item Number 1 – Liverpool Rizzo Skinny Pant ($98)

I didn’t think it was possible for a stylist to be able to send me pants that fit.  Pants are so hard to get right, aren’t they? These pants are amazing.  I neglected to take a picture of them, but they are stretch black skinny pants. The length is PERFECT, no hemming needed. I kept them even though my husband might kill me for the cost.

Verdict:  Keep

Item Number 2 – Market & Spruce Wilco Solid Quilted Vest ($68)

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*The color is off in this picture.  This should be an olive green!*

I’ve been searching for a good vest, and this one fit the bill.  It is very comfortable, well made, and looks great on.  The olive green color would not be something I would normally go for, but it looks good with my complexion and my dark hair. I decided to keep!

Verdict: Keep

Item Number 3 – Crescent Arminta Crochet Detail Tunic ($54)

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I hated this shirt right from the get go.  Its just totally not me. The print, the shape, everything. Oh well!

Verdict: Return

Item Number 4 – Pixley Amboy Raglan Sleeve Trapeze Knit Top ($48)

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I wasn’t sure about this top. I tried to keep an open mind when I tried it on, but it just wasn’t flattering at all.  The hem of the shirt was just a strange profile for me.

Verdict: Return

Item Number 5 – Pixley Ivy Split Neck Print Blouse ($58)

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So got this shirt in my 3rd stitch fix – March of last year.  My stylist remembered it and sent it to me in a bigger size! Yay!  I love it and I’m so happy to see it again 🙂

Verdict: Keep

Overall Impression

I would say this box was overall good.  My stylist sent me a blast from the past that I really loved.  She hit it out of the park with some PERFECT pants, and did a great job sending me a vest that I love.  The tunic was the only huge miss, as the raglan sleeve top had potential.

I find there is a tricky balance between cost and quality/fit of the items.  If I ask her to go cheaper, I find I don’t tend to like what she sends me.  If the prices increase, then the possibilities open up, and I get some really great pieces.

Despite the fact that I don’t keep everything (if I did, my husband not be a happy camper!), I really do like my stylist and most everything she sends me! The sizing has gotten much better, and almost everything fits now!

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If you are interested in getting your very own Stitch Fix box, click here.

*Note: This post is not sponsored.  I love Stitch Fix and purchase it with my own money and desire to share my love of it with you all fine people!  If you do chose to use the above link to sign up, I do receive credit toward my next purchase! (So click away!!!) If you sign up for Stitch Fix, you will also get a referral link for you to share with friends and loved ones!*

Weekly Update – 1/4/16

This week was a pretty good week. I felt like I was able to be pretty active.  I was able to make it to 2 yoga classes, and do 3 other workouts.  There is definitely something about the new year that is invigorating….

Monday

I was super excited to get to yoga Monday night.  I knew that the gym would be busier than normal after the new year, so I got there early.  In retrospect, getting there a half hour early was unnecessary….

Class was a little fuller than normal, but nothing crazy. I have still been taking some modifications in class recently, but I’ve attempted to try to not take EVERY modification.  The biggest goal of mine has been to do more flows instead of resting. I still tend to do my planks and chaturangas on my knees, but I feel like I’m developing a lot of strength that way.

Tuesday

I’ve been having some breathing issues recently.  I think with the weather changes and all, I’ve got some chest congestion. I find that I need to deep belly breath in order to feel like I’m breathing well.

That being said, I opted for walking instead of running at the gym.  I did a 5k on the treadmill, plus a cooldown for a total of 3.25 miles.

My husband and I both have fitbits now, and we are obsessed with beating each other and our friends by getting more steps.  Yesterday was a pretty good day for me at over 13,000 steps (I have a VERY sedentary desk job).

Wednesday

Headed to yoga early because the gym has been really crowded.  I was there so early, I decided to jump on a treadmill and get some steps in.  I was able to get about 10 minutes (about a half mile) on the treadmill before yoga…use your time wisely, people!

Yoga was a bit crowded, but it was nice to have such a full class.  My intention for class was to do as many flows as possible, and not resting instead.  I managed to do a lot of flows!  I have trouble with Warrior 1 and some pyramid poses (too much strain on my Achilles and feet). so I did opt for child’s pose there instead.

Thursday

So, on Tuesday, the socks I wore made my feet very unhappy and I got a blister on the ball of my foot.  I popped it on Thursday evening when I got home, covered it with a bandaid, then headed to the gym.  I only walked 2.5 miles due to my foot being very angry at me.

Friday

Rest day.  Michael and I have been hitting it hard the last week, and work has been pretty stressful. We had some takeout and watching COPS.  Cause we are giant nerds.

Saturday

On Saturday, I slept in, then decided that even though I had a million things to do, I wanted to get a very short, quick workout in.  I threw in a load of laundry and jumped on my treadmill at home for a quick 1.5 miles.

I did a bunch of laundry and cleaning, then finally jumped in the shower and got ready for the day.  We went to check out a new neighborhood in our area and see if we were interested in building there.  Then we picked up our friends Shannon and Kristy and went to the Auto Show.  It was nice checking out all the new cars.  I fell in love with a Volvo.  Don’t judge.

Afterward, we went to Bravo, a nice Italian restaurant in VA Beach.  We had gotten a gift card to go there for Christmas.  I got chicken marsala and it was wonderful.  We even splurged and got tiramisu for dessert.

Sunday

We had church responsibilities on Sunday, but afterward, we headed home and started on more chores.  We then went to Walmart and the grocery store.  Michael came home and did food prep, then I finished the laundry.  Afterward, we went to my mom’s house to watch the Redskins game.

How was your week?  Have you ever been to an auto show?

Yoga: Pose Modifications

I’ve been practicing yoga for about two years now, but I don’t talk about it a whole lot. I’ve been following a blogger named Maris Degener.  I first discovered her via a post on CNN about how yoga helped her recover from an eating disorder.  You can check out her blog here.  She writes about many aspects of yoga, but she wrote a great post the other a few months ago about modifying your yoga practice.  Her article is great and covers some wonderful modifications!

I wanted to write one of my own, to talk about some of the modifications I find helpful!  One thing our instructor always reminds us is that it is our yoga practice, and we need to do what feels good in our bodies.  It is also important to remember that every day is different, and what we might have been able to do yesterday may not feel good today.

Lunges

Sometimes I have trouble holding a runner’s lunge or high lunge due to my plantar fasciitis.  I’ve learned to modify this, even when its not cued.  I also have balance issues from time to time.

  • Kneel down with your back leg
  • If you take the kneeling option, you may want to fold your mat to create extra cushion under your knee.
  • Instead of raising your arms above your head,  rest your hands on your knee, or keep them planted on the ground as if you are in runners lunge.

Warrior Poses

My shoulders can sometimes get fatigued if we hold warrior poses for a long time, then my posture suffers.

  • Put your arms in a prayer to give your shoulders a break
  • Hug yourself by putting your hand on your opposite shoulders

Balancing Poses

I don’t know about you, but I have terrible balance.  Some days are better than others, but overall, its pretty bad!

  • Focus on a point high on the wall, above your classmates’ heads. That way if they get wobbly, it won’t distract you
  • Use the wall for balance (our classroom doubles as a barre classroom, so we have bars to hold onto)
  • Instead of raising your arms, keep them in a prayer
  • For poses like Tree pose, don’t bring your foot all the way up, you can rest it gently on the floor and lower part of your leg instead
  • Tighten your core

Flows

Sometimes I’ve had a long day, and I want to rest instead of flow.  But I know the benefits of flowing, so I try to do it as much as possible…but with a few modifications.

  • Flow on your knees.  Instead of down dog, plank, chaturanga, upward dog and back to down dog, try this instead: child’s pose, kneeling plank, kneeling chaturanga, baby cobra, child’s pose.
  • Flow back and forth between just down dog and plank or child’s pose and kneeling plank

Straps

Using straps can be a great tool.  They can help guide movement, create a bridge when you just barely can reach, and help develop strength.

Blocks

I’m quite sure that not all of us are built the same. Some people have long legs, long torsos, or short arms.  I occasionally have trouble reaching all the way to the ground in certain poses, etc. Blocks can help bridge that gap. Blocks can also assist you with getting correct alignment.

Hopefully some of these tips were helpful and can assist you in your yoga practice.

When you practice yoga, what modifications do you make?

 

 

 

Weekly Update – 12/28/15

I was excited for a short week at work and a long weekend.  I really felt like I got to enjoy this holiday season, and it was wonderful.  I’m going to miss all the vacation time!

Monday

It was so nice to get back to yoga after a week off.  Jaye was true to her promise that it would be a restorative class, which is exactly what I needed.  Turns out that I felt pretty strong…guess resting up will do that for you.

Tuesday

I need to get serious about Shamrock, so I’ll be focusing a lot of walking/running/cardio of all kinds.  I did a 5k on the elliptical (baby steps people!).  I need to actually come up with a game plan that mixes yoga, cardio, and strength training.

Wednesday

Went to yoga again.  Class was good and I felt pretty strong.  I opted for a lot of modifications, only because I needed more stretching work than strength work.

Thursday

I went to see STAR WARS on Thursday! It was very good and surpassed my expectations.  After the let downs of Episodes 1-3, I wasn’t hoping for much.  We went to my dad and stepmom’s house for NYE. My stepmom’s brothers were in town from Ohio, and it was great to spend time  with them.

Friday

We slept in, which was wonderful. We took down all the Christmas décor, except for the tree.  We went to MacArthur mall to get some walking in and to get out of the house.  I even found an adult coloring book!!! It was a nice chill day.

Saturday

On Saturday, we got up and went to the gym! Shocker, right?? Saturday workout that isn’t a race?!  I did a little over 3 miles on the treadmill.  We did some shopping and had lunch out.  Afterwards, we went to see “Daddy’s Home.” It was good, but if I had it to do again, I don’t know that I would have necessarily paid money to see it in the movies.

Sunday

We had church responsibilities on Sunday.  Then we grabbed some lunch and a quick nap before running our errands for the day.  I spent the evening coloring and Michael played blackjack.  #adultingfail

How was your New Year’s?  Did you enjoy the nice long weekend?