Friday, October 22, 2010

A Whole Lotta New

After my marathon, Danni posted a comment suggesting the FIRST running program. I gave it some thought because she's right - I am truly injury prone. But, only running three workouts per week conflicts with something else; I'll get to that in a minute. Thankfully, the comment did get me motivated to try a variety of running alternatives to see what works for me. It's about time cuz I'm getting old! I've learned a lot and you can now consider me a convert to cross training.

What I tried: swimming laps, elliptical, stationary bike, mountain bike, yoga (gasp), ballet barre, strength training

What I learned: I really liked swimming, but I don't want to pay for a gym membership and the schedule didn't really work for me. The elliptical was ok but again - gym membership and I can't afford to buy one. Stationary bike...snooze. The ballet barre was of course familiar and I really wanted it to work, but it's too hard on my earlier in life injuries.

What worked: Mountain biking!!! It's sooo hard especially with the trails around here. I'm bruised and battered but love it so. I go by myself or Steve and Buddy hike while I learn to navigate the terrain. I'm getting the hang of uphill, but the downhill is scary-especially coming around the switchback curves.

The biggest surprise: YOGA! I'd taken classes in the past, but - this may sound very silly - I could not handle the breathy, annoying voices of the instructors and their endless commentary like "soften the eyes." What's that about anyway? However, I got lucky with my choice of purchased DVDs and can't get enough of it. In just two weeks, I can tell a big difference in muscle tone, strength and flexibility. My nagging Achilles and IT band soreness has really improved as well. I really like the power yoga, but am finding I also like PM yoga workouts which focus more on breathing and stretching. I still incorporate some free weights, single leg lunges, etc. but really the yoga takes care of a lot.

I'm also excited about another something new - the thing that conflicts with the FIRST running idea. Towards the end of summer, I was talking to a friend about women who run but feel too slow to join a running group. One thought led to another and pretty soon a women's running group was formed; one especially for new runners, those returning to running, and people who just want to get together, socialize in a healthy way and motivate each other. We've now been running twice a week for almost two months and I am completely blown away by how it's taken off. These women are working hard and they are getting faster! Mostly though, I just love listening to their conversations; realizing how important those two scheduled times have become. I love being a part of it and look forward to seeing people each week who inspire me.

So that's it. Like I said, a whole lotta new and a whole lotta fun!!!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Oh, how I've missed you

Trails, that is. This week's return to trail running was just what Buddy and my achy knees were needing. Other than last weekend's Wolf Creek Relay (race report and pictures hopefully coming soon), I've taken a good break from running.

We took a tour of Mount Ascension for a total 6.5 miles. Soooo quiet. A perfect morning.

Isn't Buddy such a good poser?

A view from the top. Grrr...beetles.