Tag Archives: stretching

Could I Become a Yogi?

Happy weekend! I cannot tell you how happy I am that the weekend is finally here. I had a very stressful week and found myself basically passing out at 9:30 p.m. both Wednesday and Thursday nights. I was completely drained and needed to rest.

And after all my big talk about sticking to my marathon training plan “to the T” this time around, I failed big time as the week progressed. I didn’t run five miles on Thursday night or Friday morning. I had to take Mr. Murph to the vet Thursday night (he’s okay), and then was way t0o tired to get my lazy butt out of bed on Friday morning.

So now it’s Saturday, and I just finished my long run (saw Ali in the park running too), and typically Sunday would be a lovely rest day. Not for me – I have to squeeze in four miles at some point tomorrow. Darn it! Oh well, I’ll just suck it up.

This week was actually a cut-back week in training. So I only had an 8-mile run on the schedule for a long run. I headed out to Central Park around 11:00 a.m. with some light snow falling for a full loop. I went out with a few co-workers for drinks on Friday night, and after about four beers, I wasn’t feeling all that fast and furious this morning. But I knew that I would probably feel decent by the end.

I ran my loop and was actually kind of surprised by my splits:

I ran 8.8 miles in 1:16:20 and was averaging a pretty decent pace. I definitely think the 7:02 pace is totally wrong, but the 8:11 might be right, and that’s pretty good for mile 6 into a long run. Dare I say that I MIGHT be getting back in shape finally?!!

I stopped on my way home at the post office to pick up a pretty exciting little package:

Yes, I am officially addicted to nuun. I will finally admit it. I tried it for the first time before the 2011 Mohawk Hudson River Marathon, and while I can’t say that it was the only reason I was able to finish, I do think it played a part. So as I creep along into week four of my spring training, I was getting nervous to see my nuun tubes disappearing. Drastic action needed to be taken. And now that it is here again, I feel much better.

Ok – so what is it right? I’m sure a lot of other runners out there know about nuun and this is nothing new, but for others here’s the gist:

“Nuun’s special formulation of electrolytes helps increase the amount of water that’s absorbed into the blood stream. That means more of the water you drink is actually used to hydrate you instead of being eliminated because the electrolyte balance wasn’t right. Nuun is not energy. We designed Nuun just for hydration. “

That is the very basic idea from the nuun website – which you should check out if you want more info.

And no, nuun hasn’t asked me to blog about their product or anything like that. I simply really like these little tablets.

Giving Yoga a Shot
I recently got a LivingSocial deal for New York Yoga, which has a location right near our apartment, so I decided today was as good a day as any to go check out their Vinyasa Basics class.

And away I went…

I hate being the newbie to a gym or class and having no clue where to go or what to do. But everyone was very nice and pointed me in the right direction. I found the locker room, put my stuff away, found the room and unrolled my mat. Then a lady next to me said that I should pick up two blocks, a blanket, and a rope thing. Thanks random lady for being so nice to the clearly clueless new chic. Check, check, and check – I was ready to get my yoga on.

The instructor was really great. He was very calming and took things really slow for us. There were only a few poses here and there where my legs or arms would start to shake a bit. But otherwise, I felt like I was pretty in control for it being really only my second classes ever – and the first was YEARS ago. There were a lot of people, but we managed to all find a place.

I REALLY enjoyed the class. Especially after my run in the morning, I could feel my legs and muscles just completely stretching out and breathing. I think it will be good for me to add one or two yoga classes a week to my training to keep my muscles loose.

So, it looks like maybe, just maybe, I could be converted into a Yogi (is that even a term, the right term?).

What about you – do you take yoga? What kinds? Who does the hot yoga?

As part of my deal, I have access to the yoga place on 86th and Lex that has hot yoga – but that is totally intimidating me. Should I give it a shot?

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Yucky Yogurt and IT Band Issues

Good morning. Happy Hump Day. My week seems to be moving by slowly. I am very much looking forward to the weekend and possibly even sleeping in on Sunday!

But first, my Tuesday recap. For breakfast I had some delicious oatmeal with banana in an almost-bare peanut butter jar. Yay for oats in a jar!!

Early morning snack was a granola bar and then lunch could not come soon enough. I was so hungry. I had sliced chicken breast with two slices of american cheese and mustard on an Arnold Sandwich Thin. And three pickles on the side. These were the leftover pickles from last week’s jar-breaking in the fridge catastrophe, so I figured it was time to eat them.

For my first afternoon snack I tried Yoplait’s new Greek yogurt. Apparently, there was a raid on Price Chopper in Whitesboro this weekend and all the thieves stole was Chobani yogurt. Seriously, the shelves were absolutely bare! So, I tried to make do with a few other kinds of Greek yogurt, Yoplait being one of them. I added some Kashi Go Lean cereal to this yogurt and gave it a whirl:

Decision: This yogurt was less than stellar. It is not nearly as thick and creamy as Chobani and it had kind of a weird taste. Not only that, but this yogurt is not all natural. The ingredients include: CULTURED PASTEURIZED GRADE A NONFAT MILK, MILK PROTEIN CONCENTRATE, SUGAR, STRAWBERRY PUREE, KOSHER GELATIN, LEMON JUICE CONCENTRATE, COLORED WITH BEET JUICE CONCENTRATE, CALCIUM CHLORIDE, , VITAMIN A ACETATE, VITAMIN D3.

So all the ingredients highlighted in red made me suspicious. For the first one: milk protein concentrate, I found this info almost immediately:

“Milk Protein Concentrate (MPC) sounds OK, but how would it look if we saw the word “glue” on our food and beverage labels? MPC is legal for glue and for industrial uses, but it has never been approved for human consumption. Why then does the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) permit MPC use in any food or beverage without first having this unapproved ingredient tested for safety and nutrition as required by law under federal “Generally Regarded As Safe”(GRAS) status?” from www.farmdefenders.org.

Yuck – did I really eat that?! I dug a little deeper and found that  New York Senator Chuck Schumer introduced a bill back in 2009 that would levy higher tariffs on imports of  MPCs. The dried dairy product is used in many processed foods in the United States because it’s cheaper than domestically-produced dried milk powder.

Bleck!!

Next on the list: Kosher Gelatin – sounds yummy doesn’t it? Well, Kosher gelatin can be made from fish bones, beef, Japanese insinglass, agar agar, carrageenan, and Irish moss, according to The Vegetarian Resource Group. Double ewww and gag!!

I’m a little rusty in the periodic tables, so I googled Calcium Chloride next and Wikipedia told me this:

Calcium chloride, CaCl2, is a salt and the compound of calcium and chlorine. It behaves as a typical ionic halide, and is solid at room temperature. It has several common applications such as brine for refrigeration plants, ice and dust control on roads, and in concrete. The anhydrous salt is also widely used as a desiccant, where it will absorb so much water that it will eventually dissolve in its own crystal lattice water. It can be produced directly from limestone, but large amounts are also produced as a by-product of the Solvay process.”

Oh yum – this yogurt is really sounding tasty now, right? Widely used as a desiccant – delish!

So next is Vitamin A Acetate. I had a hard time finding info on this vitamin additive. My searches kept bringing up facial beauty products and information about retinol. I’m going to continue searching, but in the meantime, maybe I should be rubbing the yogurt on my face instead of eating it?

Anyway – I bought one more container of this yogurt and part of me doesn’t even want to eat it, but I also don’t want to waste food either. Tough call.

After work I set out for my 8 mile run, fueled by all the really great and inspiring comments posted yesterday (thanks all – you’re the best!). Everything was going really well until about 3 miles in when my left side thigh area really started hurting. I trudged on and finished my 8 miles, but the pain in my leg was searing from my butt all through my upper thigh afterwards. Here are my stats from the run:

Mile 1 – 9:14
Mile 2 – 7:58
Mile 3 – 8:30
Mile 4 – 8:26
Mile 5 – 8:02
Mile 6 – 7:55
Mile 7 – 7:52
Mile 8 – 8:50

Total mileage 8.01 miles in 1:06:43. Average pace – 8:19 minute mile.

I was definitely pushing myself a little bit harder than I probably should have, especially after my 20-mile run on Saturday. But I so wanted to prove to myself that I could run harder without any issues.

I guess that was not true last night. When I got home, I tried to stretch every way possible to help with the pain and then finally it dawned on me that perhaps this was IT band related. I’ve heard so, so many runners mentioning IT band pain, I needed to check it out.

And all my searching told me that it likely was related to my IT band. I wasn’t experiencing any knee pain, but the pain from my butt throughout my upper thigh sounded like one of the symptoms of an IT band issue. I then searched for many different stretches and happened upon Megan’s post about her IT band stretches (including awesome how-to photos). So I spent a solid 20-3o minutes throughout the night doing her stretches. Hubby even turned to me later in the evening and told me all I’d been doing since I got home was stretching. Darn right!!

But it must have been IT band related and the stretching worked because my leg feels about 80% better today. I got out of bed very cautiously, waiting for the pain to hit, but it was gone! Hurray. At least now I know the cause and how to stretch it. Plus, I’ve decided to take tonight’s and tomorrow’s runs REALLY slow. Seriously, I am going to force myself.

Have you ever dealt with IT Band issues? Did they ever go away completely or do you just work to keep them under control and at bay as much as possible?

After my run I made us a yummy dinner of chicken, rice, lettuce, a little cheese and salsa in a bowl. I call this dinner a mini “burrito bowl” and it was totally satisfying.

I swear there is some chicken and rice in there….

After dinner I stretched away, vacuumed up gobs of Murphy hair and watched The Biggest Loser. Does anyone else feel like it’s time for Sam to go home? I like the guy and all, but I don’t think he needs to be there anymore. He is totally motivated and has got this – he can do it at home.

So that was my night. Hope you had a nice day yesterday and that Hump Day flies by for you!!