Bring Your Yoga on Your Run

byogaoffmat

I’m not talking about busting out some yoga moves during your run, but if that’s your jam, go for it! Personally, I’m usually too focused on wanting to finish to stop and bust out some yoga moves.

YTT isn’t just about learning yoga posture and how to string them together and cue them; it’s about how to live a yogic life. Which could fill many blog posts.

Fairytales and Fitness

I found myself thinking about how yoga had naturally crept into my runs during a recent run, and the idea for this post was born. I do get some great ideas for blog posts on the run! Sometimes I even remember them.

It’s always a good reminder!

Just breathe
I even have a Momentum bracelet with that motto. If you’ve ever attended a yoga class, no doubt at some point the teacher told you to breathe. Maybe multiple times during the class.

Breathing is good. It helps us shuttle some oxygen to our hard working muscles, hopefully allowing them to go a little further and faster. Form in running and alignment in Yoga are all about creating more space in our spine, allowing us to take deeper breaths.

When you’re tired you probably slump down. Stand up; let your back slump. Now try to take a deep breath. Not happening, right?

Now pay attention to your breath
Your Yoga teacher probably also tells you to pay attention to your breath. If it get short and choppy or shallow, you’ve gone too deep into your pose; you need to back off.

If you’re running and your breath gets short and choppy, it may definitely may mean that you are pushing the pace. If it’s an easy run, you’ve pushed too hard. If it’s a race, especially if you’re just starting, you may not want to back off (although maybe you should), but at the very least you want to bring attention to your breath and see if you can take deeper, more relaxed breaths.

The M Word
Yup, I’m talking about meditation. Many, many posts could be written about meditation, but there’s a simple way to turn your run into a more meditative experience. It started for me with my dog walks during our course work on meditation. I’ve actually had a regular meditation practice for the last few years (ironically enough that sort of flew out the window with my YTT), but I notice when I have and haven’t meditated.

We learned a very simple meditation: repeating SA on the inhale, and HUM on the exhale. In a nutshell, it reminds you that you are connected to the universe. When you breath in thinking “Sa” you are bringing in energy; when you breathe out thinking “Hum” you are letting go of your ego.

I started to do that on my dog walks. At first it seemed pretty difficult to keep that up the majority of the walk, but I must say for the most part, I noticed being calmer when I did and also enjoyed my dogwalks more.

Lately I’ve even found myself turning off t he radio in the car. I find more peace by breathing deeply. I’m not saying I’m always completely zen while driving, but it does help.

I’ve taken that on the run with me, too — seriously, who couldn’t use some more energy on the run, and probably need to release some ego (you can read my post about ego and running here)?  I don’t do it the whole run, although I bet it would greatly benefit me. Several times throughout a mile I check in with my breathing, and think to myself SA on the inhale through my nose, HUM on the exhale through my mouth.

Practice body scanning
This is something I’ve done for years — it can take your mind off a seemingly-never ending run, and help you see if there’s anywhere in your body that needs some attention (adjusting your form, breathing into a tight spot, and so on).

Lately I’ve been really noticing my feet. As you run, think about how your foot is contacting the earth. Not so much whether you’re heel striking or not, but think about the top of your sole on the pinky side and the big toe side, then think about the middle of your heel.

Are you rolling more to your pinky side, or your big toe side? Can you flatten out a little so that your foot is more grounded? How are you striking front to back? Is your whole foot pointing out to one side? Wouldn’t it be great if you could fix things like over pronation just by thinking about where your feet are connecting to the earth?

You can do a slow scan of your whole body, but pay particular attention to your calves, hamstrings, knees, hips, core, and shoulders (are they coming up to your ears? Relax those shoulders to get rid of some unnecessary muscle tension, elongate your spine, and yes, take a deep breath).

Do you ever scan your body while running?

Do you think observing your breath could help your running?

Do you ever think about yoga when you’re not on the mat?

I’m not a get up and go girl

I admire the runners who get up, maybe drink some coffee and eat some toast, and boom! They’re ready to toe the line at a race.

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Getting ready for a long run or race is a process for me.

It’s amazing how much stuff I need to run a race

It starts the night before
I try to make sure everything is laid out the night before:

  • Race outfit
  • Race fuel
  • Breakfast
  • Teas/Nuun
  • Sunscreen
  • Anti chafe lotion
  • Rocktape (if necessary)

I also charge up my Garmin and my phone. I will load up my hydration vest, if I’m using it, with my sunglasses, pre-race snack (if there’s a long time between breakfast and the race), race fuel and Saltstick chews — but not water, yet, because I want it to be cold (I’ve only done a couple of halfs where it was cold and I didn’t want cold water to drink!).

I attach my bib to my race belt, and usually put sandals, post race snack, maybe a change of clothes in a bag that Mr. Judy can carry when he meets me after the race. I also put water into the refrigerator so it will be cold for race day.

I often eat overnight oats the morning of a long run/race, and if I have a mini crockpot with me, I put my breakfast in it so it will be warm when I get up. If I don’t have the crockpot, I just warm it up in the microwave the next morning.

Most of the time I’ll make a flat me so I can try to check and make sure that I’ve got everything laid out. Doesn’t mean I haven’t forgotten something, but it makes it less likely.

Always Nuun before a long run/race (and after, too!)

First thing in the morning
Usually the very first thing I do in the morning, after getting some warm lemon water to drink, is tape my knees (because you want to do that before applying any lotion). Next I braid my hair (keeps it out of my mouth and eyes — mostly — and apply sunscreen; almost all my long distance races have been warm races in a skirt and a tank top.

Usually some green tea, too

If it’s a later race and I have time, I’ll probably meditate and do some yoga. Otherwise, I’ll eat my breakfast and drink some green tea.

It’s a process
I’ll put on my top first, because then the next thing I do is some foam rolling (helps warm up the muscles).

I foam roll, put on anti chafing lotion, then finish dressing, probably while drinking some Nuun or more tea (depends on how much time I have before the race).

The last thing I usually do is fill my hydration vest’s bladder with the cold water, and, of course, hit the bathroom, which I’ve probably already done multiple times and will do when we get to the race, unless we’re staying close enough that I can walk to the race and only have to use the bathroom in my own room — we’ve done that a few times and it’s heaven.

It’s all about the routine
Having a routine for long run/race day evening/mornings helps take out some of the stress. I know many runners to-do list before a race is a lot shorter than mine. What can I say, it seems to work for me!?

Do you have any sort of pre-race routine?

Are there things you do that I don’t?

Do you get up early just so you can digest your breakfast? I do!

btuesdaytopics

Linking up with Zenaida Arroyo and Kim @ Kookyrunner

This week I am also joining up with Running on Happy, Suzlyfe, Crazy Running Girl, and Coach Debbie Runs each week for the Coaches’ Corner linkup

coachescorner

Burger Battles: 8/12- 18 WRD

Yet more rain (and thunderstorms), a return of heat & humidity, some hiking, a bit less running, and a taste test. That’s what went down this week.

bwrd

Joining Kim @ Kimrunsonthefly and Deborah @ Confessionsofamotherrunner and just sharing Summer activities.

briots

And linking up with Jenn @ Runswithpugs, Brandi @ Funnerrunner, Anna Louise @ Graciouswarriorprincess, Briana @ Matsmilesmedals, Meghan @ Meghanonthemove, and Elizabeth @ Trainwithbainfor RIOTS(running is our therapy)

Workouts update

  • Monday:  Dogwalk, Some light hiking, Yoga (30 min)
  • Tuesday: 3 miles easy, Yoga (15 min), PB Abs (10 min)
  • Wednesday: Dogwalk, Yoga (20 minutes), Fem Fusion Fitness FOGA (yoga+fitness, arms)  (20 min)
  • Thursday: Dogwalk, 3 mile Trail run, Yoga (30 min — another practice of my practicum!), PB Balance + Mobility (30 min)
  • Friday: Dogwalk, Yoga (30 min), Barre (30 min)
  • Saturday: 7 mile LSD, Short Dogwalk cause it was so hot & humid, Pilates (30 min)
  • Sunday: Dogwalk, Yin Yoga (45 min)

Mileage: 13 (-3)

JY = Jasyoga
PB = Killer B
TM = Treadmill
YFR = Yoga for Runners*
WU = warmup
CD = cooldown
SB = Stationary Bike
YFPR = Yoga for Pain Relief
YTU = Yoga Tune Up Lower Body*

*Disclaimer: Amazon affiliate links; I will make a small amount of money if you buy through these links

Running Updates

Cloudy & buggy 9 am run

Tuesday
With more thunderstorms/rain in the forecast, I figured I’d be on the treadmill. Except the morning was dry. I got out late, since I hadn’t prepared at all, and even though it was buggy, warm, and humid, it wasn’t too bad. Probably because I was trying to keep my HR low.

Thursday
Another evening trail run with friends (with a little bit of sprinkling going on). Probably the easiest trail we did this summer, and pretty, too! The trail was only 2.5 miles but a friend agreed to run an extra .5 mile so I could get 3 (and not get lost).

The kind of run where you really wish it would rain

Saturday
Disgustingly hot and humid, but thankfully cloudy. Slower than normal while keeping the HR low, but not too bad. That’s the trade-off: more time on your feet.

We tried it: Impossible Burger

Favorites of the week
I very rarely eat fast food (luckily I have the option to make my own meals most of the time). Mr. Judy had a coupon for a free Impossible Burger when you purchased a Whopper at Burger King, so we tried it out. If you compare the Impossible Burger herewith the Whopper here, it’s kind of a wash, frankly, as far as nutrition goes. Neither one is terribly healthy.

I am also not super into veggie-meat replacement foods anymore, because that ingredient list is long and not always that healthy. On the other hand, it’s really nice for vegetarians to at least have an option, and there’s also the whole issue of cows and greenhouse gases.

Mr. Judy tasted the Impossible Burger, which I finished, and said it was okay. Of course he knew it was a veggie burger so that’s not really a fair comparison. Google Impossible Burger vs Whopper and you’ll find more people’s opinions.

Scenes from Saratoga Spa State Park

I had planned that Impossible Burger to fuel some hiking; in fact, I was trading a run for a hike. Long story short it didn’t really happen, but we did do a series of shorter hikes in a park I’ve been to a few times — always for running — but haven’t gone to just to explore. I still got in about 18 floors, which is quite a bit more than a normal day for me.

Tech fail

I tried to video my practicum practice session this week (the dogs were a lot calmer), but I only managed to video our discussion afterwards.

My parents are finally getting a much-needed aide next week. I can’t begin to tell you how long that process dragged on. Now the real fun begins, because my Dad doesn’t think they need help and he can be downright snarky to people. I don’t expect it to go smoothly at first, but my Mom, who can take care of herself, really needs that help taking care of him. Any good vibes appreciated.

Would you ever choose a veggie burger over a real burger? I am actually not fond of real burgers, never was, but my mom loves them so I don’t know where I get it from.

Techonology: friend or foe — or does it depend on the day?

What’s your favorite activity to do instead of a run?  

Pace is of the ego . . .

bego

In my YTT, our teacher shared the following quote:

Range is of the ego, form is of the soul

My take on that is that especially now, in the age of Instagram and Facebook, we’re all after that perfect looking yoga pose. The perfect headstand, handstand. Arm balances, Inversions. You know: those really cool looking poses. Put more simply: it’s a fancy way to say keeping up with the Jonses.

The problem is that those likes and follows feed your ego, not your soul. Instead of thinking about how far you can bend, twist, or fold, you’d be better served thinking about whether or not you can breath in your pose. Without breathing, you die — so why would you want to do something that makes breathing hard — for the likes?

Fairytales and Fitness

Don’t worry, this isn’t a yoga post. I think that quote can be applied to many things. Running, absolutely. Only substitute “pace” for “range”.

bdrsavannah3
Racing allows me to challenge myself — but you have to be careful not to let your ego take over

We all love a good pace
Myself included. I’m not going to win a race, and most likely I’m not going to place in an age group, either. So pace shows me improvement. Or does it?

Sometimes pace shows that you’re improving — other times it just shows you’re pushing yourself. Pushing is good . . . until it’s not. Pushing the pace at the expense of form is never good, although almost everyone’s form deteriorates as they get tired.

You may push a few weeks, a few months, a few years . . . unless you’re also paying attention to form (how you run), and making sure you’re not running faster at the expense of good running form, someday it’s mostly likely going to come back to bite you in the form of an injury.

Where else does ego show up in your running?
There are lots of other ways ego can show up in your running:

  • Running too many days in a row
  • Ignoring rest days
  • Trying to run through an injury
  • Coming back to running too soon after injury/illness
  • Running at the same pace you were pre-injury when you start running again
  • Racing too often
  • Running in bad weather
  • Not willing to take walk breaks when tired because “real runners don’t walk”
  • Racing a distance you know you’re not prepared for

Think about where ego shows up in your running.

Do you think your ego ever caused an injury?

If you ever ran through an injury — how’d that work for you?

Where else does ego show up for you?

Do the loco-motion with me

Do I have a favorite running shoe? Bwahaha! You’ve read about my struggles with finding my Newton Motions, which yes, is my favorite running shoe. Why did I have to fall in love with a shoe made by a small company? Then why did said small company get even smaller, the shoes even more expensive — and more scarce? Is the universe trying to tell me something?

blocomotion

Newton Motions new go for $175. That is just too ridiculous a price to pay for a running shoe that maybe lasts half a year if you’re lucky.

Problem? What problem?

So here I sit, or run, loco for Newton Motions. Why?

  • They’re light. Even Mr. Judy when he picked them up commented on how light they feel.
  • They have a minimal heel to toe drop. Minimalist shoes work for me — but I also use them for speed work and long runs, running in “normal” running shoes for easy runs (and those normal shoes always feel so heavy & clunky!). I think minimalist shoes are great — but not all the time.

Then there are those weird looking lugs. From the Newton Website:

The secret sauce powering the speed of Newton Running shoes is its proprietary Action/Reaction™ Technology. Generated by the active movement of the lugs, Action/Reaction Technology creates a responsive, trampoline-like cushioning system that provides quicker bounce-back and loses less energy than a traditional foam-core running shoe.

Although the Motions are considered a stability shoe (hence the name), I actually don’t need a stability shoe. They still lean more to the side of a neutral shoe, but they have a “firmer medial side post” (again, from the Website) to provide some stability.

They got me through 18 miles injury free

In the years I’ve been running in Newtons, I have stayed pretty injury free. I can’t completely point to the shoes; there are many factors that go into that. I can tell you that if Newton goes out of business I will be heart broken. I also know I should be trying out some more minimalist shoes from other, bigger companies.

Although they finally turned on me in my last half, where I got a large blood blister & lost my first toenail.

Newtons don’t come in the fun designs (for the most part; sometimes they do special edition designs like Boston or NYC); and the range of colors is pretty limited. I have several orange Newtons. They don’t really match my running clothes, but they match my running form and that is more important to me.

Newtons are not for everyone. No shoe is for everyone! I cringe inside when someone says “cute shoes! what are they?”. You’re better off asking “what type of foot do you have? Do you pronate? Are you a heel striker?

What’s your favorite running shoe?

Have you ever had to break up with a running shoe? Why?

Form or fun colors?

btuesdaytopics

Linking up with Zenaida Arroyo and Kim @ Kookyrunner

This week I am also joining up with Running on Happy, Suzlyfe, Crazy Running Girl, and Coach Debbie Runs each week for the Coaches’ Corner linkup

coachescorner

Summer slow down: 8/5- 11 WRD

Quite a bit of rain this week, although my treadmill runs were just due to circumstances, like going to my parents and knowing it takes me less time to run on the mill — and wouldn’t ruin my hair, either.

bwrd

Joining Kim @ Kimrunsonthefly and Deborah @ Confessionsofamotherrunner and just sharing Summer activities.

briots

And linking up with Jenn @ Runswithpugs, Brandi @ Funnerrunner, Anna Louise @ Graciouswarriorprincess, Briana @ Matsmilesmedals, Meghan @ Meghanonthemove, and Elizabeth @ Trainwithbainfor RIOTS(running is our therapy)

Workouts update

  • Monday:  3 miles easy, PB Strength + Cardio (30 min), Yoga (30 min)
  • Tuesday: Dogwalk, TM Speedwork, Yoga (15 min)
  • Wednesday: Dogwalk, Yoga (20 minutes), PB Cardio + Weights  (30 min)
  • Thursday: TM Speedwork, Yoga (30 min)
  • Friday: Dogwalk, Yoga (30 min)
  • Saturday: 7 mile LSD, Yoga Workshop Hips & Glute Medius (2 hr)
  • Sunday: Dogwalk, Rest day!, some yoga . . .

Mileage: 16 (-.5)

JY = Jasyoga
PB = Killer B
TM = Treadmill
YFR = Yoga for Runners*
WU = warmup
CD = cooldown
SB = Stationary Bike
YFPR = Yoga for Pain Relief
YTU = Yoga Tune Up Lower Body*

*Disclaimer: Amazon affiliate links; I will make a small amount of money if you buy through these links

Running Updates

That heron enjoys the lake

Monday
Actually a cool morning so I didn’t have to rush out early. A nice easy run at the park. Loosely based on heart rate, a bit slower than I’ve been running lately. No doubt due to a couple of nights of bad sleep last week, even though I’d slept ok. This week promises to be relatively busy.

Tuesday
We went to my parents and that meant treadmill speed intervals again — again in a ladder format. Pushed the pace just a little bit faster, felt ok — tempting to keep going with the pace but I think next week it’s time for some easy running.

Thursday
Friends were meeting for trail running, but with thunder rumbling and a long drive out there, it wasn’t my cup of tea, although they were able to do it, no FOMO here. Because of said thunder and not being able to run til later in the day, I kept to the treadmill. Second speedwork of the week, only because I find just running steady on the treadmill monotonous.

Catching up

Saturday
Not running as long as my friends, so I could show up later. Actually, I got there before they’d started, but they didn’t see me and I made a pitstop, so I was behind them a few miles. Really nice running weather. Where was this weather when I was training for 18 miles last summer?

My heart rate was a bit higher than last week (slept badly), so I took it really slowly, although in the end it was just a little faster overall than last week: I’d run a few miles with a friend who is getting back into running last week, and they were really slow — unfortunately she’s now injured herself again.

I may not drink, but I do like grapes!

Favorites of the week
We stopped at a winery on the way to my parents this week — we thought it was close by, but it turned out to be a bit more out of the way than anticipated. It was very peaceful, as most wineries seem to be, although we didn’t spend a lot of time there.

Mr. Judy finally found me a pair of Newton Motions on Ebay! He’s snagged a few Distance models at really good prices, but Motions remained elusive. This wasn’t a really good price, but it was a good price, and it’s my favorite model of running shoe — find out why in Tuesday’s post.

Bandit & I still enjoying the $5 lounge chair.

The look of love (me or the lounge chair?)
The dogs “helping”

Practicing my practicum. I have to video myself teaching a 20 minute yoga class that I design. Let me just say it’s taking a ridiculous amount of hours for me to do this! This was my first time running through it with my friend. I know that with experience it comes easier, but it’s humbling, to say the least.

Yesterday after the long run I rushed home (while everyone else was enjoying breakfast), foam rolled, showered, ate lunch, and then headed out to a 2 hour yoga workshop on the hips and gluteus medius. It was really good (even if I had to circle around about 3 times before I figured out where the damn place was). The first half was active poses, while the second half was restorative/yin.

I wish the teacher had had a handout. I took notes, but some of the flows were pretty complicated and there was just no way to actually try to write it all down. Still learned some new stuff to try at home — especially loved doing a yin pigeon (yin is when you hold poses for a long time to really relax into them) on a bolster.

What was the last thing that humbled you?

What was your last find that didn’t cost much but brought joy into your life?

How’s your summer going?  

Does your body type dictate what you do?

bdosha

I have to admit I’ve never given much thought to my body type and the various careers I’ve had. Part of my YTT (yoga teacher training) is an overview on Ayurveda. I’m very obviously not an expert, but for those who wonder A-yur-what?, it’s an ancient Indian healing science that considers the mind and body, or, in other words, Indian Holistic medicine (treating the whole body and mind).

Those who have a passing acquaintance with Ayurveda know that there are three body types. Everyone has some of each body type, which is called a Dosha, and often times you have one that is predominant. There are many online quizzes to determine your Dosha. Sahara Rose, author of Eat Feel Fresh (I recommend it!) and the Idiot’s Guide to Ayurveda (Amazon Affiliate links) has a free Dosha quiz here.

Fairytales and Fitness

Vata
People who are predominantly Vata have lots of energy and tend to be very creative. They are easily distracted and have a hard time sticking with one idea. They tend to be very thin and sometimes are so busy they forget to eat.

Pitta
People who are predominantly Pitta are natural born leaders. They tend to be very organized, hard working, have a clear vision, and are competitive. They tend to have medium build and can put on muscle easily.

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Even at a healthy weight I have a round face and a curvy body that puts weight on easily. Kapha!

Kapha
People who are predominantly Kapha tend to be very grounded, very patient, and like to work with their hands on very detailed projects. They make good teachers, and healers. They tend to put on weight easily and have round faces.

Why does your Dosha matter?
I was listening to a podcast here (scroll down to No. 42) as part of my YTT, and one of the things I picked up on was that your Dosha could actually effect your purpose in life. I heard this after I wrote my post on finding your purpose (read it here) — I found it fascinating! It may be a little too woo-woo for you, and that’s okay.

In fact, if you go against your predominant Dosha, you could end up feeling very unhappy and dissatisfied with your job.

To be clear, we all have some Vata, Pitta, and Kapha in us. My explanation of the three Doshas are broad generaliztions only. Usually one or two Doshas in an individual is more predominant than the others. We are born with a certain balance of the three Doshas, but that balance can get imbalanced due to our diet, where we live, how we exercise, and our thoughts.

Sometimes you can tell what a person’s predominant Dosha is just by looking at their body. I am curvy, I have a roundish face, have thick, curly hair, and gain weight easily. Yes, I’m predominantly Kapha. Of course, a person can be overweight and still be Vata — they’ve just been effected by their environment.

I have felt drawn to help other women to find their power, to embrace exercise and healthy eating, to share yoga — I suppose you could say I am a healer. Isn’t it fascinating that that is right in line with my predominant Dosha? It is to me, anyway.

Think about body types when it comes to running. Any body type can run, to be sure. Think about what body types look like “natural runners” to you. I know there are people I meet and think yup, she looks like a runner. Most people who don’t know me don’t connect running to me. Are you doing the shorter race? Is this your first? Are you picking up the packet for someone else?

Which Dosha do you think is predominant in  you?

Which Dosha makes you think of a runner?

What sort of work are you drawn to?