Soul running

Soul running

Today I did something that I’ve never done before, I ran without the music and without a partner. To anyone that knows me they know that this is something very unlike me. I’m the type of person that if I get to the gym and I don’t have music I turn around and go home. Today however, I decided to run without music and without a partner to see what would happen. I felt I needed more from my run today. I was curious about how my body would feel, how I would do, and if I could connect to my body somehow. As I started my run I instantly knew that this is something that I would have to start incorporating into my running schedule. A soul run. A run that has a sole purpose of connecting me to my body, my soul.

I had no expectations for this run. I took my sports watch to track my distance and time, since I had to be done by a certain time to get the kids. As I ran, I listened to my body. I ran as fast as my legs wanted me to go. I slowed as they wanted me to slow. I took in the scenery. Watched birds fly, squirrels and rabbits hop away blissfully. I listened as the breeze blew through the trees and past my ears. I meditated on the rhythm of my footsteps and my breathing. Sometimes my breath was a bit labored, sometimes it came with ease.

I allowed my mind to wander wherever it chose, only calling it back when the competitor began to speak. It would urge me to check my pace, that wouldn’t it be awesome to let go and run faster than I’ve ever run by shear “coincidence”. To push myself up a hill and take it on. I hushed that voice, that was not the purpose of this run. This run was to connect with nature and myself. This was a run for my soul and nothing more.

We all have a different “soul environment”. What I mean by that is that we all have different environments that speak to us, put us at ease, relaxes us. For me, it has always been water. I love a river, lake, the ocean. The waves or the ease of the flow. Since I was young, I have always pictured myself in my prime (retirement?), sitting on a deck sipping my morning coffee and overlooking a large body of water. I am connected to it somehow. We all have a different place that speaks to us. The desert, nature, the city, mountains- our souls all connect to a different environment. Where do you tend to vacation? Where do you feel most at ease, relaxed? This is your place.

It becomes so easy to get fixated on training for a race, or running faster, farther, speed work, tempo. There are so many labels that go along with running. It’s all ok, we need those runs. We need to train and run our long runs, our tempo runs. It all has a place. In that process though, we lose something. We become rigid and lose that mind and body connection. I strongly feel that we need to throw a run to connect our mind and body. I am not talking about a religious thing, although it could be. You can use this to connect to a higher power or to simply connect with yourself. The goal is to just let go.

If you would like to try to Soul Run here are my tips:

  • Run in an environment as close as you can to the one that you feel most at ease.
  • Run without music. Listen to your surrounding, your footsteps and breathing.
  • Run without a partner. You can begin a run together, but don’t run it all together. When you run with a partner one of you is running according to the other person. You lose yourself and the purpose.
  • Run as far or as little as you would like. Seven miles felt great today, but next time maybe only 2, or 10. Run according to your body.
  • Silence the competitor. Tell yourself to just feel the run. Don’t run at a certain pace. Just feel.

I would love to hear from you. Do you already run this way? If you try it, let me know how it goes. I will be tagging my soul runs with the tag #soulrunning Feel free to join in!! Thanks so much for reading!

Full body circuit workout and a breakfast recipe

Full body circuit workout and a breakfast recipe

As I have mentioned before, I am a part time fitness instructor. I decided to change up my class a bit and do some full body circuits. So far the class loves it. So I thought I would share a sample class with you. I try to mix things up a bit. I’m one of those crazy people who, in my down time, scour the internet for new ideas for exercises. In the shower I’ll think “oh, why not add a twist jump cartwheel to a lunge. Ok, maybe not that crazy, but you get the picture.

So the way my class is set up is I have four stations with four focused exercises (one cardio). The students do each exercise for 45 seconds before moving on to the next. They complete all four stations, take a water break and then do it once more. You can always add or subtract time based on time and fitness level. 45 seconds work for my class. There are always modifications, especially on the cardio portion. Jumps could be more steps or pulses. For newbies or those who might be recovering from an injury, I have them march in place with big swinging arms.   If it is stated to do same side, just do the other side the second time through. If you are doing this in class, I suggest telling everyone to start with the right or left side (assign a side). Students always forget which side the did the first time around.

Detailed workout description: 

 
Legs:

  1. Side lunge into Curtsy (weights optional) same leg
  2. Glute bridge ball roll out (feet on ball, hips up, roll feet in and out) to make this more difficult, keeps arms raised, to make easier, place them by your sides.
  3. Low squat pulse
  4. CARDIO: Squat > lunge jumps (squat, jump, left leg lunge, jump, squat, jump, right leg lunge)

Upper

  1. Fly into overhead back extension
  2. Shoulder press into bicep curl
  3. Bent over row, heavy weight, same side
  4. CARDIO: Burepee’s (with or without push-up)

Abs

  1. Star twist: lay on back arms and legs out like a star, lift leg straight and bring hand to opposite foot
  2. hip drops (forearm plank and drop hips side to side)
  3. scissor kicks
  4. CARDIO: Plank Jacks

Combo

  1. Split squat (foot on step or bench) with a bicep curl into single leg dead lift (same leg)
  2. Plank with lateral raise (weighted same side or both, personal preference) modification is knee plank
  3. Seal Walk (feet on towel and walk with your arms while dragging feet behind)
  4. CARDIO: High Knees

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions. You can always Google a move to get great examples. 

Ok, now the recipe. Eggs are a great way to start the day, however I’m not always a big fan. So I threw together a recipe that can be made 2 ways, depending on my time and patience level. I make the pancake form if I have more time. The pancake is a bit more delicate since it is made without flour. It needs to be cooked on a lower temperature for longer time, and can fall apart when flipped. To speed things up, I’ll just make it in scramble form. I added measurements for those of you who need exact, but this is really a personal preference thing. I add a handful of nuts and coconut, a drizzle of extract, and so on. Make it however you like! 

 Flour Free Pancake/Scramble

 Mashed Banana

1 egg

1/8-1/4 cup nuts (I like pecans or walnuts)

1/8 cup shredded coconut (optional)

1/2 tsp vanilla or almond extract (I like almond)

honey if desired

preheat skillet (Med low for pancakes, Med for scramble). once warm add coconut oil or butter to melt. While pan is heating mix all ingredients. Pour into pan. If making the pancake, tenderly flip once the bottom is browned. If making the scramble, just mix a bit after it sets up a bit, turning and mixing to crisp it up a bit. Enjoy!!

Thanks for stopping by!!

Easy ways to fit in fitness

Easy ways to fit in fitness

You’re busy, I get it. I totally feel you. After work (even if you are a stay at home parent), school, kids, friends, errands, what have you, the last thing you have time or energy for is to workout. Not just that, but if you are like most parents, there is a large amount of guilt that goes with taking time away from your kids to workout. So here’s a little list I threw together to maybe spark some ideas and help you out!

  • take the stairs not the elevator or escalator.
  • do squats, lunges, toe raises, standing crunches, while you cook and or do dishes.
  • fit in fitness during kids bath time. Put the kids in the tub and do what you can right there in the bathroom or hallway. You can even work in some cardio (jump squats, jump lunges, just Google HIIT for ideas).
  • Just like above, fit it in at work. Take a few minutes several times a day to bust out some moves.
  • Walk for your lunch.
  • scale the stairs- have a stairwell at work? Throw on some earbuds and walk, run, lunge, side step up and down those bad boys.
  • Take the kids to the playground and get creative with the equipment. You can do tons of TRX type stuff with the swings. Pull-ups on a bar. Run around the playset.
  • Get up early and workout. My kids are up before the sun, so I was never a fan of this, but maybe this plan works better for you.
  • create a plan that you can do at home after the kids go to sleep.
  • Park WAY out in the parking lot when you go shopping.
  • Make it a family affair. Involve the kids. Make an obstacle course in your backyard. Go for a walk or bike ride.
  • Throw the kids in the stroller and walk with a friend, or alone, whatever.
  • Make it a playdate. Grab some friends and get creative in the backyard. I have a friend that comes over in the summer. We give the kids a bunch of outside stuff to do and we make stations to rotate. We use the wagon (with sides removed) for step ups, sprint the yard, push-ups, get creative with it.
  • Get over the guilt. Taking a little time for you a few times a week is important. We need to take care of ourselves in order to take care of others. Plus it’s a great example for our loved ones!

You can do this, Just remember taking the time to get fit and active will also give you more energy to do the things you want to do. Give yourself permission to focus on you a bit.

What do you do to get moving and fit fitness in?

Thanks for reading!

Marathoning and a lower body strength combo

Marathoning and a lower body strength combo

Marathon training is in full swing. I am creeping closer to my 3rd marathon on April 26th. I have high hopes. This is my first training cycle that I am really aiming for some high goals. My hope is to qualify for Boston this year. This training season so far has been tough though. Being a northerner has made running outside pretty tough. So if I can’t qualify at this race, I’ll try again in the fall when training is a bit “easier”.

     This training has consisted of the traditional long runs (once a week), speed work, and some tempo runs. I am making sure I still get in my strength training, which is crazy important to help prevent injury. This season I am including three 20 mile long runs. One down, and 2 to go (the second of which is this weekend). I’ve been really lucky to have some pretty awesome running buddies to train with. Makes these long runs so much better, especially since many (including the the first 20 miler) have been done inside my local Y.

During my off season, I usually do more weighted leg exercises. However, since I want to keep my legs strong, I have been doing mostly body weight lower body exercises. When I work out this way, I try and include some HIIT (high intensity interval training).  I’ll share with you one of my favorite lower body combo’s that hurts so good! If you aren’t sure what something is, just Google it or comment and I’ll help you out! I also made avideo for runners if you wold like more ideas. If you watch, please ignore my kids sneaking in the background, just keeping it real.

The following, unless specified, is done for 30-60 seconds. Do this combo 3 times Can use free weights to kick it up!

Squat Combo: 15 reps, holding the 15th and pulsing 10

Narrow Squat

Squat (feet just past hip width)

Sumo Squat (feet wide)

Squat Jump (HIIT)

Side lunge into Curtsy Lunge- right leg

Side lunge into Curtsy Lunge- left leg

Lunge Jump (HIIT)

Reverse Lunge then bring knee up- right leg

Reverse lunge knee up- left leg

Rolling toe to heel (start on tip toes roll to heels bringing toes up)

Wall Taps (HIIT)

Try it out and let me know what you think! It is a tough one so start where you are and progressively add time!

Pistal Squat