Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Weekly Training Recap

Monday I started the day with a BarreAmped class with a new-to-me instructor. 

Tuesday I worked late due to an event, so I got to attend one of my favorite instructor's power vinyasa class in the morning. 

Wednesday I took a rest day and Thursday I went to a yoga sculpt class with my favorite sculpt class. I was lucky that my co-worker Emily wanted to give sculpt a try so I had a buddy! Yay buddies! 

Friday it was straight from work to yoga teacher training which started with my first experience with Astanga yoga. We practiced for 90 minutes with the room set up like a traditional astanga studio with two lanes facing inward with an empty lane in between us. We got to listen to the sanskrit counting and poses that we had been instructed to memorize for this weekend. Eeps.

Saturday morning we kicked off the teacher training by doing a 1 hour inversion class. I'm not very confident in my inversion practice so it was great to learn some proper technique and alignment as well as some exercises to get me flipping upside down! I also got to practice with one of my favorite pug owners Mary! She's an awesome yogi, so hopefully we get to play around more frequently! Pug yogi in the dog park has been thrown out... .somewhat seriously. :)

Sunday morning we started our session with a 30 minute yoga session where we focused on deep stretching. It may have been an "easy" flow but my arms were so dead that downward facing dog made me feel like my arms were going to fall off. :/ Throughout the day we practiced tons of Sun A and B salutations, so I feel like I have a few hours of yoga in on Sunday. 

Monday, March 30, 2015

Sioux Falls Half Marathon and Marathon

Late in 2014, the organizers of the Sioux Falls Half and full Marathon announced that there would be major chances to the race for 2015. I not so silently cheered. If you've followed my blog for any time, this is the first half I trained for and raced in 2005 and have run it every year since then. I've made it very clear that I hate the route evolution and wished that it would go back to the route it was previously.

Last week, the organizers announced that the half marathon race would be a loop race course experience that would start and finish at Howard Wood field, hopefully providing a bigger finish experience for runners. From what I can tell based on the race route map in comparison to my garmin maps from previous races, the first seven miles will revert back to my favorite race course route (yay!) and then at mile 7 will deviate into something completely new. This does mean there will be a new set of challenges in the form of an uphill around mile ten, but anything is better than the thrasher of a concrete aggressive downhill that we used to have to suffer through at mile 9, causing major leg seizing for the last few miles. Barf.

As for the marathon, I had previously vowed to never do the full marathon. It was on a part of the bike trail that I generally avoid for long runs because there is little to no tree cover, meaning there's no protection from sun or wind. There is never a day that goes by that we don't experience excessive amounts of one or the other! I also had some strong opinions about the bike trail that this race sent runners on. From experience, there were parts of the trail that had significant grade issues. I have enough hip and knee problems without running on significantly uneven concrete, thanks.

Based on the race map, they made significant changes to that as well. The marathoners will take the same route as the half marathoners for the first seven miles, and then they'll break off and venture on their own way. Around mile 15 they'll meet back up to the bike trail which will be a nice flat final 11 miles for them. Hopefully some spectators will be out cheering them on because the bike trail can get kind of lonely otherwise.

Additionally, the race route times have adjusted slightly, the marathon from 6:45am to 7:00am (pray for a cool day!) and the half marathon has shifted from 7:30 to 7:10am (yayzies!). The price has also increased, but you won't hear me complain about that, as I always bragged to anyone and everyone what a great race value you got for a $35 early entry fee! A $10 increase per registration cut off is nbd, especially for how well this race is put on (again my only beef prior to this year was a less than desirable race route in parts).

My buddy Matt wrote this great article prior to the race route announcement. Check it out, as it features some great local runners opinions! Running is alive and well in Sioux Falls!

For anyone looking for race reports from the race before the route changes I have them here: 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 (ran but didn't recap, oops!), 2014

Lolz, this was from the race in 2006 or 2007, and is my favorite running photo EVER. 

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Weekly Reads (Listens): The Rosie Effect


I adored The Rosie Project so when I saw the sequel, The Rosie Effect listed as an advanced reader copy, I immediately had to request it. But then I remembered how much I adored the narration of it on audiobook, and put in a purchase request at my library for the audiobook of it. And I wasn't disappointed. The narration was wonderful again, and while I didn't love the sequel as much as I loved the first book, I still enjoyed it. Don is just as quirky and "odd" as he was in the first book, but his issues aren't as happy rom-com as they were in the preceding book.

My advice: start with Rosie Project, and then pick up Rosie Effect immediately after. Don't be mad when the sequel isn't as great, it rarely is when the first is as amazing as Rosie Project is.

My rating: 3.5 stars.

Summary from goodreads:


GREETINGS. My name is Don Tillman. I am forty-one years old. I have been married to Rosie Jarman, world's most perfect woman, for ten months and ten days.

Marriage added significant complexity to my life. When we relocated to New York City, Rosie brought three maximum-size suitcases. We abandoned the Standardised Meal System and agreed that sex should not be scheduled in advance.

Then Rosie told me we had 'something to celebrate', and I was faced with a challenge even greater than finding a partner.

I have attempted to follow traditional protocols and have sourced advice from all six of my friends, plus a therapist and the internet.

The result has been a web of deceit. I am now in danger of prosecution, deportation and professional disgrace. 

And of losing Rosie forever.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Weekly Training Recap

I took a few days off last week because during teacher training I thought I had strained a muscle in my chest. Chaturwrongway apparently. I rested and stretched.

Thursday I woke up and it was completely gone. I attempted a couple of push ups and had no pain. Which seemed random to me. I went to yoga sculpt taught by a new to me teacher and it was hard. More dancy/choreographed than I'm used to. It was fun though, and no chest pain. Whoop.

Friday while getting ready for bed I hurt my chest afain and realized that I had a rib going in and out of place. Grr. I think a chiro visit is in my near future.

Saturday I worked and then fell asleep at 6pm. 

Sunday I worked and then went to a BarreAmped+ class. A harder version of the typical barre classes I attend. Hard but good! 

Monday, March 23, 2015

Yoga Teacher Training Weekend One

On March 13th, I began my first night of yoga teacher training. A group of 20+ women met at my favorite yoga studio at 5:30pm for a great end of the week power vinyasa class. The instructor is the owner of Lotus House of Yoga studio of Lincoln and Omaha, and she's amazing. It was the first class I've taken from MC Sweet, and it won't be the last (spoiler alert: two more throughout the weekend!).

After we got our sweat on, we sat in a giant yogi circle and shared information about ourselves and delved into some historical information about yoga's origins. While being a self-proclaimed nerd, I must confess: I hate history. But MC is such a great teacher and storyteller that I was super engaged and enamored.

When training was over at 9pm, I hurried off to pick up some dinner as I rushed straight from an 8:30-5pm work shift, straight to teacher training and was s-t-a-r-v-i-n-g.  Mental note: pack snacks! A beer was the perfect assistant to winding down for the night before we started again the next morning!

Saturday morning started with a power vinyasa flow class open to any yogis in town, and we packed the studio FULL. It was one of the hardest classes I've taken, but it was awesome. The class was focused on the sun, and it was great to enjoy it (=suffer through it? jk) while the sun was streaming through the windows on us. 

After class we broke down a couple of basic poses--plank, downward facing down, and half lift, and we all realized that we're doing everything wrong. WELCOME TO YOGA TEACHER TRAINING, GUYS! It just goes to show that that's why it's called a practice--always room for improvement!

Saturday afternoon was more background information as well as some introduction to sanskrit. Eeps!

Sunday we started with a one hour power vinyasa flow class, and my co-worker Emily got to attend along side of me. The class was milder than Saturday's but we focused on moving very slowly during different poses and also did some intense core work right off of the bat so my abs were screaming for daaaaays.

Once we got back in the studio for training, MC asked us to grab spirit animal cards and share them with the group. I drew the stag card and was stoked because...'arry Pottah.... duh. 

I joked that I hoped there was a pug card, and that surely if there were one, I would've drawn it. And then I jokingly searching pug spirit animal information online after class and came up with this information

If Pug is your Animal Totem;

You are attentive to your close family members, have a great deal of charm and are very playful by nature. You enjoy quiet solitude but are also very sociable. You are very clever with problem solving, embrace change quickly and wholeheartedly, and accept things easily for what they are. You have a keen and happy go lucky attitude toward life in general and are an animated story teller. Often you will have friends on the edge of their seat with your tales.
Uh..... spot on? Holy heck.

One of the most profound moments of the weekend was when MC spoke to us about anxiety and depression. She stated that if you have issues with anxiety (hello, hi, I'm Jeri, I worry about how much I worry....) you are likely spending too much time focusing on the future, and if you have issues with depression, you are devoting too much energy focusing on the past. And one of the ways to ease either or both of these sensations is to focus on the present. 

This seems like the most simple explanation I've ever heard, but it was so profound my brain practically splattered on the walls of the yoga studio right then and there.

When I had done my introduction on Friday night, I stated that one of my goals as a person was to be more in the moment, and present, so once MC shared this information, I knew I had to pick up a new mantra band.... be present.

The weekend was amazing, and eye opening, and potentially life changing as silly as that may sound based on the minimal recap. But I'm so thankful I decided to make the leap to do this!


Thursday, March 19, 2015

Weekly Training Recap

The weather last week was freaking gorgeous. My co-worker wanted me to meet her for Barre class on Tuesday, and I wanted to take advantage of the nice weather and run. So why not run to barre? Derp. Nice hilly run to and from class.

Thursday night I went to yoga sculpt to get my sweat on. It was hard, as always.

Friday was day one of yoga teacher training, and we spent the first hour doing a power vinyasa flow class.

Saturday was day two of yoga teacher training, and we started with a huge class of awesomeness. It was one of the most challenging classes of yoga I've ever taken. It was an awesome way to start the day.

Sunday morning was an 8 limbs flow series led by the amazing MC Sweet. If I could attend a class of hers everyday for the rest of my life, I would be thrilled.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Weekly Reads (Listens): The Girl on the Train

The Girl on the Train is easily the hottest book in my library right now. Last I checked there were well over 220 holds for the book. And seemingly everyone in my goodreads feed is reading it or has recently finished it. I listened to this one on audio, and really enjoyed it.

If you end up purchasing this book because you can't stand to wait for the hold list at your library, consider purchasing through the affiliate links above!

My rating: 4 stars. 

Summary from goodreads:

A debut psychological thriller that will forever change the way you look at other people's lives.

Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. “Jess and Jason,” she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost.

And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel offers what she knows to the police, and becomes inextricably entwined in what happens next, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?

A compulsively readable, emotionally immersive, Hitchcockian thriller that draws comparisons to Gone Girl, The Silent Wife, or Before I Go to Sleep, this is an electrifying debut embraced by readers across markets and categories.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Spring "Goal" Race

As I mentioned previously this week, I found a race to train for! With yoga teacher training every other weekend, and working Saturdays of my "off" yoga weekends, it has been impossible to find a race to train for, sooner than mid-June. Well I've learned something about myself, and that's if I don't have a race to train for, I end up not running.

I was putzing around on some race calendars a couple of weeks ago, and happened to find a 6:30am race on a Friday morning that I happened to have off from work. Wahoo! Goal race! It's only a 5k, but it'll be nice to have a shorter race to focus on as I build up my running again. And it's hard to tell myself I don't have time to go for 2-5 mile runs, since the last training program I followed included 20 milers.

So I have seven weeks to see what kind of 5k shape I'm in! I'm hoping to get in 3 runs a week: speed, long, and easy. Let's see how this goes. :)

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Weekly Reads: Lock In

There was a ton of buzz surrounding Lock In before it's late summer/early fall release. I just finally had a moment to sneak it in to my to be read pile. I'm not the biggest scifi reader, but I do like to throw it in every once in awhile. For me, this one started off slow, and I was a little lost with connecting the many characters to their names and attributes, but part of that was limited lunch break reading time. (I usually have to read a good 30-45 minutes straight to really *get into* a book). At times I thought about just quitting it altogether, but I persurvered. And I'm glad I did. It ended up getting good and being really hard to put down.

If you're looking for a scifi read based in the "not so distant future" (book cover's words), check this one out.

Summary from goodreads:

Fifteen years from now, a new virus sweeps the globe. 95% of those afflicted experience nothing worse than fever and headaches. Four percent suffer acute meningitis, creating the largest medical crisis in history. And one percent find themselves “locked in”—fully awake and aware, but unable to move or respond to stimulus.

One per cent doesn't seem like a lot. But in the United States, that's 1.7 million people “locked in”...including the President's wife and daughter.

Spurred by grief and the sheer magnitude of the suffering, America undertakes a massive scientific initiative. Nothing can restore the ability to control their own bodies to the locked in. But then two new technologies emerge. One is a virtual-reality environment, “The Agora,” in which the locked-in can interact with other humans, both locked-in and not. The other is the discovery that a few rare individuals have brains that are receptive to being controlled by others, meaning that from time to time, those who are locked in can “ride” these people and use their bodies as if they were their own.

This skill is quickly regulated, licensed, bonded, and controlled. Nothing can go wrong. Certainly nobody would be tempted to misuse it, for murder, for political power, or worse....

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Weekly Training Recap

Monday started out with a bang. I went to a gentle vinyasa class and then returned home to hit the treadmill for three miles. (I may have found a spring race to train for, aka I'm actually driven to run again! WAHOO!)

The rest of the week was a blur of feeling run down and celebrations!

Sunday I kind of made up for things by attending a power vinyasa class followed by a group run at the running store. Luckily for me, the group was doing an "easy recovery run" the day after their long runs, so I was almost able to stick with the group keeping up a tempo pace. :P And it was shorts and t-shirt weather which is even better!

Monday, March 9, 2015

Yoga Teacher Training

As you may have noticed from my spring race plan, my spring is very light on races. This is partly because of my plan to rebuild my mileage slowly while maintaining my yoga classes to keep my strength and flexibility in check (aka I'm sick of being hurt, let's finally figure this crap out, mmk).

But another huge reason that racing is taking a back seat is because I'm starting yoga teacher training this weekend! For seven weeks this spring, I'll be spending my Friday nights, Saturdays and Sundays in the studio being a total yogi sponge. And I'm so freaking excited. (Wait, can Ollie come?!?! I'm going to freakin' miss her!)

I've been doing yoga on and off since 2002, and have been doing it almost daily since the Bemidji Marathon, and I'm just head over heels in love. Yoga puts me in such a happy place, and I'm excited to immerse myself in it more fully. I'm hoping that teacher training furthers my personal practice as well as allowing me to spread my love for yoga to anyone and everyone that's interested. I'd love to do some random free yoga classes in the park this summer, or help my running store offer more free classes for runners.

So that's my exciting spring!!

Sidenote: while trying to make the decision about signing up I kept coming across messages on IG that "spoke" to me. This was one of them.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Lets Get Flexy in 2015

In February I participated in my first monthly yoga challenge: Flexy in February! Below are all of my photos from the challenge and you can follow me here. I created an extra instagram account so you don't have to see these pics daily if you don't want to! :P I am excited to see photo documentation of my various poses improving over time! YAY!