Weekly Rundown

Another has flown by! And a nice warm week it was. Although, not as warm as this week promises to be. Yay, spring is finally here!

Monday: a day off with a bit of stretching. I find Monday is a good day off as I tend to overdo on the weekends and need a break before starting my week afresh. I know a lot of people hate to take Mondays off, they want to start their week fresh and strong.

Tuesday: a quick mile run on the treadmill, and then I was off to walk the hospital halls with my friend Kate. It was a rather slow mile, I am trying to work my leg back up to running, patiently. So I did 5.2 MPH for 11.43 minutes instead of the 6.0 MPH I’d prefer. Kate and I walked for 30 minutes up and down the halls til we had just enough time for a cup of coffee before I clocked in.

Wednesday: I hopped on the treadmill for a fast walk at 3.8 MPH for 30 minutes. After a short cooldown at 3.0, I decided to do some weight training. I did however, learn from my disastrous attempt at lunges last week. I pulled out my Fitness magazine and did 2 of the moves  which I thought my leg could handle, followed by my more normal moves of triceps, biceps, leg lifts and core. Took about 25 minutes, and then I was ready to start my day.

Thursday: another mile run (seeing a pattern? I am running every other day!). I did a slightly slower run, peaking at 5.1 MPH. I have to say, it felt incredibly awesome. I did roughly 21 minutes of stretch yoga afterwards, which felt great on my quads 🙂

Friday: weight training again. I did some straight lifting, leaving my Fitness magazine on the table. I only did 26 minutes, but felt pretty good afterwards.

Saturday: Started off the day with my run. One mile in 12:27 minutes. Then I did some errands in town, before coming home to get the horse’s feet done. I did some work around the barn and the fencing while I was waiting for my farrier. Then I took Daisy for a walk (2.10 miles in 39.17 minutes), and realized I might be having surprise company. So onto cleaning the house–deep cleaning, since I was doing it anyway.  And I had to get ready for the logging on Sunday, so I  moved some debris that was going to be in our way.  14,924 steps that day and I slept very well that night!

Sunday: Not quite as busy as Saturday, only 9,784 steps. But I did quite of bit of brush lugging first thing in the morning, and my version of caber tossing: 8+ foot trees, a couple of inches in diameter, tossed on the pile as well. Very good for my core! The bigger ones I left to my husband. In the afternoon I rearranged my tack room–the hi-fi I feed the horses has coated my bridles and saddles with a fine green dust, even after I cleaned them a week or so ago. So I moved the food away from the tack, into the other corner. Then I replaced the lunge pen fence; they had taken it down over the winter. I think they had an ulterior motive 😉 Especially as I made them do a bit of work in it after I was done!

Hard Lesson Learned

A couple of weeks ago we got about 8 inches of heavy wet snow. We had to clean the vehicles off, and plow the driveway so we could leave for work.
One of the better things that came out of my accident was my new car.

Now, its only new to me, not actually new. But it is a Subaru Tribeca and it KICKS ASS  in the snow. I have gone to work almost every snowstorm this winter and I had not even a slip in all my travels. It was the same on this particular morning, we plowed around it and it just dug itself the rest of the way out. Love it.

However, I learned the hard way that just ’cause you can do something, that doesn’t mean you should do something.

When I got to work, the employee parking lot was full as always. We have a huge lot out back. I never mind walking, but some days……

Except, wait, there was a space, only  four  spots deep in the very first section!

The spot was clearly left by the night crew, as the snow was flat and even and had no tire marks as yet. Remembering how easily my Tribeca dug itself out that morning, I said, “hey, I can do that!,”  while mocking all the wussies whose car wouldn’t drive in the heavy snow and had bypassed the prime parking space.

Now, it did take me three tries, mostly I was worried about going too fast and nailing the car in the front parking space.  I locked it up smugly and went into work.

On the way home I stopped for gas, went around the front end, and, damn! I had popped the (admittedly) plastic pins that held my front fender on the passenger side, and it was all out of whack. There seems to be a tray under my engine, about 6″ x 10″ on either side, and that was also hanging on the passenger side, bent back from being dragged on the road. It was quite heavy snow I had plowed through.

So I fit into the snow spot just fine–but some damage was done to my car.  My husband was able to repair it (although I still need some pins for the fender) when I got home, but it was a hard lesson learned.

I had a similar experience with my leg. I recently got this new treadmill that goes up to 10 MPH! The one I had previously was my mother’s, and primarily made for walking, so only went up to 6 MPH. I hadn’t really run faster than that, but I was anxious to start.

So I decided I was going to run a mile  a couple of times one week, and of course I wanted to see how fast I could go.  I made it up to 6.7, producing my first sub 10 minute mile since before the accident. I felt great.

So I did it again later in the week.

And by the end of the week I was sitting in my chair with ice on my knee for the first time in months.

Again, just because you can do something, doesn’t mean you should do something!

I have a new running plan, and it includes patience. Although, I still want to push it to just see how far I can go. But I don’t, because I want to run again and again, not fast one day and limp the next.

It helps if I keep telling myself that.

 

Weekly Rundown

I had a marvelous week–even with the snowstorm. Bleh. Wonder if spring will ever really arrive? We have a “wintry mix” forecast for tomorrow as well.  And the mud is already deep, I think I am going to have to drive somewhere to walk Daisy for the next month.

But its WARM! All complaints melt away in warmth. Hopefully the snow will melt away as well. I am sure the horses would like to get out into the back pasture–they are a bit frisky right now.

Monday: I ran. Such a simple thing, but so joyous. I increased on the mile I had been running and did a 1.5 at a slow 5 MPH. Took 18.30 minutes and I followed up with a .5 mile cooldown and some stretching.

Tuesday: a walk on the treadmill. I did 30 minutes, the first 20 at only 2.8 MPH until I realized how slow I was going, then I bumped it up to 3.0MPH for the last 10 minutes. Yup, that was faster! I did have the treadmill on an incline, although after the hills around here the incline does seem easy.

Wednesday: I had a plan for Wednesday, but I was trying to run every two days so my leg had time to recover. So I took the day off so I could run Thursday.

Thursday: I ran as planned.  It was odd, I was going the same speed as last time but whenever I took my hands off the rails, I went backward  ??  Eventually I shrugged and just held on as I ran. Some days are worse than others, right?  I was just about done a mile when it occurred to me that I had been walking at an incline on Tuesday. Oops. So I finished my 1.5 mile run at the incline. Go me!

Friday: a nice walk on the treadmill to stretch out my legs after my running.  I did 35 minutes at 3.0 MPH with a bit of stretching afterwards.

Saturday: good grief, it snowed again. Although, the afternoon snow more was like white rain rather than actual snow. Of course, by then we already had 6 slushy inches.  So no outdoors fun for me. I hopped on the treadmill for 30 minutes at 3.2 MPH, then I did weight training with Fitness magazine moves that used my own body weight as resistance (I’d post them, but they have taken them off the Fitness website, it’s been a couple of years–I still use my original copy of the magazine), plus my leg lifts, triceps, etc that I usually do with my lite weights. I did learn something: I might be able to run, and I might be able to climb/descend stairs easily, and I might be able sit in Butterfly with the soles of my feet touching, but I am NOT ready for lunges. Just about wrecked my knee before deciding I probably should stop trying. I finished up with 17 minutes of yoga to stretch it all back out.

Sunday: I did another run. I was worried it would difficult after the lunges, but it went remarkably well. My legs are definitely getting stronger. I also got some turmeric pills a couple of weeks ago. Tumeric is supposed be good for inflammation, and I figured it couldn’t hurt. Not sure if they are helping as much as I think, but my leg does seem to be able to bounce back better. Think I will keep taking them. I did do 16 minutes of a yoga dvd as well. I did the beginning of floor moves and stretches, but turned it off before they got into the slew of Warrior poses. Didn’t think my knee was up to that.

In the later morning we wandered down to our local flower show. It was beautiful and I love the smell of warm earth and flowers from a greenhouse 🙂 I could have spent hours in there….oh wait, I did!

Image may contain: one or more people, people standing, plant and outdoor

Image may contain: plant, tree, outdoor and nature

Image may contain: one or more people, people standing, flower, plant and outdoor

 

Weekly Rundown

I started off the week with a plan. You know what they say about plans, right? Tuesday morning I ran through all my morning jobs; I even washed the dishes and left early before work to get horse food. My plan was to walk Daisy a mile each night, to get her in shape for longer weekend walks.  Tuesday night it snowed on me, however, and it didn’t get any better for the rest of the week. Mother Nature has an awful sense of humor.

Monday: started off my day with a mile run on the treadmill. I kept it slow, and kept the speed between 4.5MPH and 5.0MPH. I tried to do my Gaim yoga dvd, but ran out of time after 26 minutes. I definitely need to plan better. I did take Daisy for a 1.42 mile walk when I got home, she was so very happy 🙂

Tuesday: a relaxing day, I started with a 17 minute walk while checking out Twitter. I have been on Twitter more in the last two weeks on my treadmill than in the last two months. I followed up with 30 minutes of my weight exercises, including 5 more Burpees. They felt much easier this week. Daisy didn’t get her walk due to snow. Blah. It can stop anytime now!

Wednesday: 30 minutes of free yoga. I learned the uncomfortable way that my brace really does help. My Warrior poses were not as easy as they could have been, holding the bent knee position was definitely uncomfortable. No snow, but a violent wind kept me from walking Daisy. I was a bit afraid I would have 14lb kite at the end of my leash.

Thursday: my goal for the day-off. Well, that was an easy goal to accomplish!

Friday: another slow mile run, followed by brisk walk cool down. My planned walk with Daisy in the evening was again beaten by Mother Nature-it was cold, wet and windy.

Saturday: Daisy finally got out! We did a 2 mile in 40 minutes followed by 16 minutes of stretch-y yoga.

Sunday: another walk with Daisy, this time the other way. I had planned on walking up the hill at the end of our road, but the wind picked up so we went down the hill. Which of course meant we had to come back up the hill, but at least the trees protected us from the wind. We did the slightly harder 2 miles in 40 minutes as well, which means she is getting in shape. When we got back I did my weights and Burpees again. Daisy laid on the couch watching me. Lucky dog!

 

 

Weekly Rundown

Spring! It’s really here! To celebrate, Mother Nature generously gave us 50+ degrees today,  with bright blue skies and a brilliant sun. If only we could keep it! We had, I hope, our last snow storm earlier last week, and most of it melted today.

Monday: off. I did walk for my 15 minute break. I have a path around the hospital, including all the floors and stairs. I can finally jog up one flight of stairs 🙂

Tuesday: I hopped on the treadmill and did 30 minutes at 3.5PH while perusing my Twitter feed. Quite a fun exercise day!

Wednesday: I had planned on a 15 minute walk, followed by my weights. But it had snowed yesterday, a nice wet heavy snow. So I spent my 15 minutes helping to clear off and around the vehicles, and shoveling an area for that short-leg beastie I call Daisy. Then I did come back in and do my weights. I hadn’t done them ina couple weeks, and my core strongly protested the next few days. I added on my first Burpees–5, with push ups. Who knew I’d be so excited to do Burpees? My knee did ache a bit on the last two, but I felt fine for the rest of day.

Thursday: another “fast” walk on the treadmill. Apparently I now have made 3.5MPH my default instead of 3.0MPH. But 30 minutes felt good, and at least my defaults are getting higher 🙂

Friday: 30 more minutes starting at 3.0MPH and working up to 3.8MPH. I also changed the incline on the treadmill to make it a bit harder. With all the hills around here, I didn’t notice the change all that much. I also have these Danskin balls, I think they probably weigh 2lbs. So I use those when I walk.

Saturday: a run, a real run! I did 1 slow mile–at 4.9MPH–with a 16 minute cooldown, plus 20 minutes of yoga stretching. I figure it is time to start actually running again, so I have a plan. Plans are always good, right? Another plan is to get Daisy back in shape, so we did our first mile in the afternoon. She did love getting out there.

Sunday: back to the weights. I did the 15 minute warmup, then 30 minutes of weights. I also did 5 more Burpees- I can see how much stronger my core is getting with the ease of holding my position in the push up. My knee didn’t bother me as much this time, which is marvelous. Later in the afternoon I took Daisy for another mile walk. Then I decided to hop on Christopher Robin. I brought him in, brushed him and put his bridle on. Then I got a bucket to get on. Apparently I have a lot more umph now, I almost went flying over him. Thank goodness for that heavy pony mane. He was a doll, even as I got settled on him, and seemed to enjoy the love.

 

Weekly Rundown

As some of you might have noticed, I focused on yoga last week. I truly think that yoga is one of the best cross training sports there is. It stretches out your muscles at the same time you build your core. It could work in between any other sport, and there  are so many teachers and variations out there it isn’t that hard to find one you like.

Monday: off. The previous week was hard on the knee again, so I thought I would let it recover a bit.

Tuesday: I started with a 25 minute walk on the treadmill at 3.2MPH.I have been using 3.0MPH as a default, so I figure I need to start pushing up a bit. My yoga of choice was Candlite yoga with Sara Ivanhoe. I found this one in the good old days when Netflix had exercise videos. For some reason they wiped them all off the playlists a number of years ago. So now I have to use YouTube, although I could buy it at some point! Candlelite yoga, as promised, is very relaxing and wipes away stress.

Wednesday: I slept in a little, so I bypassed the treadmill and went straight to yoga. I wanted to do my other Sara Ivanhoe yoga, a Crunch dvd. Got about five minutes in when it just stopped. After fiddling with it for a few moments, I decided to carry on from memory. Took about 29 minutes, which means I did hold the poses long enough 🙂

Thursday: Started again with a 20 minute walk at 3.2MPH. I find it is a great time to actually look at Twitter and read some of the articles. My Twitter feed is 40% newspapers, 40% angry Democrats and 20% funny comedians. I very rarely get to read the news articles posted, so it was nice to move beyond the headlines.  Then I put a Gaim dvd  in and started my yoga. And five minutes later, it stopped too. Guess I know it’s not my Crunch dvd. Time to get a new dvd player. I finished the Gaim from memory too, although I might have missed a move or too, it has been a long time since I did that one.

Friday: not as much time as I hoped, so this time I chose the walk over yoga.  I did 30 minutes on the treadmill and I worked up to 3.5 MPH for the last 10 minutes.

Saturday: I did 20 minutes at 3.8MPH while watching my new addiction, Beast Master. Basically an international American Ninja Warrior on steroids-created by Sly Stallone. Then I did Candlelite Yoga once more. After getting hay for the horses, I spent a wonderful day wandering stores with one of my bestest friends.

Sunday: After walking through all the stores on Saturday, my knee was feeling a little sad. I compounded the issue by moving all the furniture around in my library until I was satisfied.  I did do a slow walk for 15 minutes at 2.5MPH, and 10 minutes of yoga to stretch.

And another week ending icing my leg. But it was a great week!

 

 

 

Yoga for Other Athletes

I am re-publishing this from Fitness magazine.  They titled it Yoga for Runners, but I think there are a lot of disciplines that could use some cross training with yoga.  After the accident last year, yoga was  what I could do in a relatively short amount of time. I got more flexible than I ever have been, honestly.

But the moment I started adding other sports–walking, weights–my muscles contracted and I lost quite a bit of bendiness. If one bikes, runs, enjoys HiTT sessions, lifts weights, whatever, they probably have tight muscles. Even if one stretches before and after a session, it is not quite the same as doing yoga to lengthen the muscles.

These ten moves, done once or twice a week, can help your muscles keep an even tension. Just keep in mind, as Sara Ivanhoe (my fav yoga teacher) says, yoga is not a competition. And you are not necessarily good at yoga if you can complete the pose, it is the breathing during the pose that makes you good at yoga.

Holding the pose for three deep breaths, unless it is uncomfortable, is usually a good starting point. If anything hurts, stop!

For a video showing each pose with trainer Traci Copeland, go HERE

 I used to hate this one, but it’s my friend now 🙂

Downward-Facing Dog

Instructions: Start on hands and knees. Place your palms a handprint’s distance in front of your shoulders. Tuck your toes under and lift knees off floor. Pull your hips up and back away from your hands. Keep knees bent and focus on lengthening your torso — press down into your hands, pull up on your arms — then shift your weight onto your legs. Without losing that sense of direction or length in your torso, begin to lift thighs up as you reach your heels back and down, which will straighten your knees. Engage your quads by pulling your kneecaps up. Hold for five to 10 breaths. Lightly lower both knees back to floor.

Benefits: Down Dog stretches the hamstrings and calves, and creates length in the spine.

 feels great,  opening my shoulders and chest

Upward-Facing Dog

Instructions: Lie on your abdomen, facing floor. Bend your elbows and place your hands on mat in line with your lower ribs, wrists aligned under your elbows. Reach legs back and press tops of your feet down into the floor. Press down into your hands and straighten arms, pulling your chest up toward ceiling and lifting fronts of your thighs and hips away from floor. Take a few breaths, and roll back down.

Modify this pose by keeping your toes tucked instead of pointed, which will help activate and lift your thighs. If your lower back feels tight, rest your knees on the mat, which will help lengthen your tailbone.

Benefits: Up Dog opens the hip flexors and stretches the whole front of the body. It’s also a chest and shoulder opener, which can help expand breathing

 arms are so much more difficult than the legs!

Triangle Pose

Instructions: Stand with feet wide apart. Turn left toes in slightly and roll right thigh open to turn your right foot out 90 degrees. Align your feet on mat so that heel of your right front foot is in line with arch of your left foot. Press down into feet and pull up on your thighs. Inhale and stretch arms out to your sides at shoulder height. As you exhale, shift hips toward your left heel and simultaneously stretch torso forward toward your right foot. Place your right hand on your shin, ankle, or a stable support (like a yoga block or the seat of a chair). Take five breaths. Then press down into your feet and lift up with your thighs to come to standing. Turn your feet in to parallel. Repeat on left side.

Benefits: Triangle Pose stretches the hamstrings and inner thighs. It allows you to open and expand laterally (to the side), which is a great release for runners who move solely in the sagittal (vertical) plane.

 huh, have to give this one a try

Sugarcane in the Half Moonlight

Instructions: Start standing with feet together near a table or chair placed to your right. Bend your left knee and hold onto your foot with your left hand, or a belt. Lift muscles of your standing leg and contract muscles of your standing hip to support yourself. Fold forward from your hips, resting your right forearm on table or chair. Look toward right kneecap, which should be facing forward, aligned with your standing foot. Maintaining that alignment, open your left hip, lifting your left knee out to left side. For balance, you may lower your right hand to chair seat, yoga block, or floor depending on your flexibility. Hold for five breaths. Carefully release your left foot and lower it to floor, then place your hands on your hips and come up to standing. Repeat on other side.

Benefits: This pose packs a one-two punch — it opens up the standing hamstring and the opposite leg’s hip flexors and quadriceps. Take as much support as you need so that you can breathe normally without any strain.

 make sure to keep your “sit” bones evenly on the floor

Bound Angle Pose

Instructions: Sitting on floor, bend your knees and touch soles of your feet together. Start by placing your hands behind you for support, lengthening your spine up toward ceiling. If your knees are high off floor, or if you feel like your tailbone is being pulled underneath you, try sitting on a folded blanket. Think about spreading your inner thighs open toward inner knees, and imagine drawing outer knees toward outer hips. Place your hands on your ankles and hinge forward over your feet. Hold for five to 10 breaths. Come back up to sitting and use your hands to close your knees together.

Benefits: Bound Angle is great for opening the inner thigh

 never tried this one, but I have done Standing Eagle

Hero Pose with Eagle Arms

Instructions: Start with knees together, feet just outside of your hips. Sit down between your feet with soles of your feet facing the ceiling. (You may need to sit on a block or a folded blanket.) Press feet down and release 10 times. Add Eagle Arms by wrapping your arms around each other (double wrap if you can). Lift elbows toward ceiling and move wrists away from nose, squeeze and release your arms.

Benefits: Hero Pose will stretch the tops of your shins and feet, which can get tight from running, and get your blood flowing in your legs. Eagle Arms will give you a good arm stretch and relieve tension in your neck and shoulders.

 this one is a wonderful release

Reclined Pyramid Pose

Instructions: Lie on your back and your put right foot in a yoga strap (use the tie to a robe or a towel if you don’t have one). Keep your left leg on the floor and raise the right leg with foot in strap. Walk your arms up strap until arms are straight, then pull arms back into their sockets to gently stretch (not yank!) your right leg. Repeat with left leg in strap.

Benefits: This will open your hamstrings and calves without straining your lower back.

 another for me to try

Reclining Cobbler’s Pose

Instructions: Sitting, bring your feet together and spread knees wide. Sit your hips as close to your heels as possible. Prop up your knees with blocks or folded blankets, then lie down on your back.

Benefits: This pose opens the hips and releases tight adductors while also releasing tension. Be sure to prop knees up, so your adductors can release rather than overstretch.

 nope, never tried this one either!

Reclined Wide Angle Pose

Instructions: Lie down with your back and hips on floor and legs propped up on wall. Bring your hips as close to wall as possible. Spread your legs as wide as is comfortable against the wall and lift your arms over your head to rest on floor, holding opposite elbows.

Benefits: This pose is a more intense adductor and hamstring stretch that relieves tension without taxing your lower back.

  have done it without the chair, will have to try with

Head-to-Knee Pose

Instructions: Place a chair at the top of your mat. Sit on mat with both legs straight out in front of you. Fold left leg, bringing foot as close to your body as you can while opening your knee out. Fold your body forward over your straight right leg. Rest your forehead on chair, resting your arms over the chair.

Benefits: This pose releases the entire back of your leg and also relaxes the entire body. Take a few deep breaths to calm your nervous system.

 

 

Joy of Yoga…..Dvds!

I have dug out all my yoga dvds again, finally.  I have been doing yoga from memory for the last year, as there are moves on all the sessions that my knee couldn’t do. Sometimes I did the session as the dvd did, but more often I strung moves together depending on how I felt that particular day.

Having been doing yoga for over 15 years now, I have a strong understanding of the difference and reason for doing strength  versus stretch-y moves.  So I felt that I was able to tailor my poses to what my body needed.

Some days I had a plan-Forward Bend to Wide Leg Down Dog to Warrior I Pose to Tree, etc. Other days I’d come  out of Warrior and think, hey, let’s do Plank here, with, maybe, Scale after?

Now I bet that you are all thinking, so why did you need the dvds again?

The joy of my dvd sessions is that there is a voice reminding me of all the little techniques that I sometimes forget. When we do Sun Salutation and I reach my arms up with my palms meeting, I am terrible at pressing them together. I mean, they’re touching, isn’t that enough? I need that little voice to remind  me. And sometimes I don’t hold the poses long enough. With a dvd,  that is no longer a problem.

I also modified quite of few of my poses to compensate for my knee. So I am not doing them all “technically” correct. When I started yoga last spring again, my knee didn’t bend at all. I think it was mid-summer before I could do any Warrior pose. It was fall before any of the Warriors were fun. My Tree started with my foot at my ankle-it has now progressed up to just under my knee. It helps to have the instructor pointing out ways to make the poses better to regain my proficiency.

Lastly, it is fun to not have to worry about my next move. The instructor tells us when to do each pose, how long to hold it and what to do next. That lets us fall into the mindlessness of yoga. To simply enjoy the muscles, the twist, the breath. I love yoga with my eyes closed.