Get in Shape & Thrive: Intention

“Intentions are causes that create effect. Choosing an intention is the fundamental creative act. An intention is the reason or motivation for doing what you do. Every act has an intention….it comes from fear or from love.” Gary Zukar

Let’s face it, meditation is hard to prioritize, it feels embarrassing. What should I meditate on? How often should I meditate? Do I use certain words in my intention? Is it okay to use my intentions during meditation to ask for material things? Should I always use the same meditation and intention?  These many questions often get in the way of our actual action of setting time aside to meditate. Artha is one of the four desires in yoga philosophy (Dharma – duty, ethics, Artha – prosperity, wealth, Kama – pleasure, sensual gratification, and Moksha- pursuit of liberation). We can meditate on any of these areas as long as the intention is to support our soul’s dharma.

Yes, there are some who meditate for hours effortlessly. For me, some days three minutes is difficult and I want to avoid it at all costs and then other days forty-five minutes didn’t seem to be enough and it came effortlessly. Why is it easier to meditate in the storms of our lives? When tragedy such as grief and loss happen in our lives all the time, intentions, words, spring from us and we hope. The books that have helped me during storms in my life are How to Survive the Loss of a Love by Harold H. Bloomfield, MD, Melba Colgrove, PHD, and Peter McWilliams and The Ten Things to Do When Your Life Falls Apart by Daphne Rose Kingma.  For many of us, meditation is a struggle because we focus on ourselves and control over life, rather than a higher power.

Rod Stryker, one of my favorite presenters, of the four desires (check out his book The Four Desires) says, “it pays to pursue the meaning of the word itself purusharthas. Purusha roughly means ‘soul’ – the essential Self that is unchanging, that isn’t born and doesn’t die, but belongs to the universe. Artha means ‘the ability’ or ‘for the purpose of.’ Purusharthas means ‘for the purpose of the soul; and the very concept asks that you take the broadest view of your life.”  Are your days balanced in such a way that you feel supported from your inner work? Our spirit is the nonphysical part of us that is the seat of our emotions and character.

Meditate often, honestly, unselfishly, and confidently. Challenge yourself to meditate often. Two books that help me meditate in the morning and evening is The Daily Om by Madisyn Taylor and First in the Morning by Osho. Meditate until you are clear, inspired, and your heart is on fire with love, kindness, and compassion. Now don’t get crazy and act all goofy with your new found energy and annoy your friends. Just allow your heart and mind to engage with your spirit on an intensely personal level. We do this by meditating daily on love, kindness, compassion, intention, and our soul’s dharma. We need to get fired up, meditate, because it is what magnifies the spirit in our lives.

You can do a burn and release session for setting an intention for 2016, then release control and let go.  Take a moment to sit, grounded feet on the floor in your best posture, find your breath, and then begin. Take a piece of paper and write everything you want to invoke. These are feelings and circumstances that you want more of. On the other side of the paper or a new one write your intentions. Start with the feelings or circumstances that no longer serve you, the things you want to release.

Now say something like:

I no longer need the lessons that these feelings, things, or circumstances would teach me. If I haven’t already, I vow to learn these lessons in a different way that feels better and opens my heart.

Burn the list!

I invite these emotions and circumstances into my life this time to serve my highest and best good. I intend that these things will fuel me to be of better service, to be more present and to keep open my heart.

Burn the list!

Suggested intentions to release might be: Thinking you are not enough, breaking promises, dwelling on the past, worrying about the future, living up to others expectations, comparing yourself to others, etc. Suggested things to invoke might be: fun, financial freedom, intimacy, connection, creativity, etc.

Meditation isn’t an option for those wanting to live with mindfulness.

Questions?

  • What priority do you place on meditation?
  • How do you show this?
  • How can you benefit from writing out your intentions?
  • What are the disadvantages to writing them out?
  • How sincere and honest are you in meditation?
  • How can you avoid doing meaningless meditation or having been nap time?
  • What should we practice and what should we avoid? Make a List!

Intention:

Developing meditation and intention toward our greater good draws people to us!

 

Taking a Fast Challenge:

Fasting is a spiritual discipline that powerfully directs our attention towards a higher power. Consider for the next two weeks replacing breakfast, lunch, or dinner with meditation.  Four ideas or places to start your meditation practice from could be:

  1. Candle gazing for 3 minutes daily.
  2. Transcendental Meditation for 20 minutes daily (repeating an Om).
  3. Doing a guided meditation from your iTunes account.
  4. Following your breath in and out for a predetermined amount of time.

Next Steps:

Meaningful-have this be quality time for you

Educate- yourself on what you should practice and should avoid

Discipline- to be honest, confident often, and to prioritize your practice

Intention-allow the healing process to be what it needs to be for your greater good

Try- keep trying, keep practicing

Appointment- make one to meditate

Train- physical movement is good & makes sitting for prolonged periods of time easier

Each- day ask how we can be part of the greater good

 

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Get in Shape and Thrive: Plan

“Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.” Seneca

We are here to inspire you to movement! As we begin in 2016 and we are excited even pumped about the possibilities the New Year brings. What inspires you about 2016? What are you hoping for? What are you dreaming about? According to usa.gov the top five New Year’s resolutions are: Lose weight, volunteer more often, quit smoking, get a better education, and get a better job. Are any of these on your New Year’s resolution list? If you accomplish one or more of these on your list what would that mean for your life? A 2007 study reported that 88% of New Year’s resolutions never get accomplished. Why? One reason is that we don’t understand the difference between a dream and a goal.

SanKalpa means – Kalpa is a way of proceeding or more revealing the role to be observed above or before any other rule. San means a concept or idea formed in the heart, so basically it means the determination or will of an intention or most commonly a resolution that reflects your highest aspirations. Swami Rama says: “On this path you must first awaken your Sankalpa, the power of will and determination. Overcome your resistance. Expand your capacity… you must order your body and senses to function under the leadership of your mind.” A sankalpa is a desire that you are absolutely determined and committed to achieve. In our western culture a goal is probably the closest thing that we have that is similar to a Sankalpa from the yogic lifestyle. You will have many Sankalpa’s in your lifetime and you should plan to achieve and refocus on a new one every 6-18 months.
“A goal without a plan is just a dream” if you do not have S.P.O. R .R.T.S. written out for each goal or Sankalpa giving you a way to gauge your progress and celebrate your achievements the likelihood of success is very low. Harsh but true if you can’t or don’t measure you will not achieve.
Specific: measure your success and progress in numbers, percentages, milestones, dates. For example, I will attend Yoga at Mind Body Balance for 55 minutes on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday.

Positive: the goal should be uplifting and positively phrased. Have confidence in yourself! We tend to rise to the level of our own self-worth. Picture yourself reaching your goal.
Obstacles: what obstacles might you encounter working toward your goal? What might come up that would prevent you from obtaining it? Take action to put contingency plans into place and resolve the problems before they occur.
Realistic: your goal should challenge you, but it shouldn’t be a fantasy or a day dream. Make it realistic so you don’t set yourself up to fail. Yes it should be a stretch and uncomfortable but it should be achievable.
Rewards: we stay motivated to work toward our goals when we know the rewards. What will be your rewards once you’ve accomplished the goal? A Thai Energy Session perhaps 🙂
Tangible: goals must be written down or else you’ll tend to edit in your head as you go along. Many people daydream about being healthy and what they want to accomplish goals written down are tangible and concrete.
Self-Serving: the goal needs to be yours and yours alone. It is alright to accept advice and suggestions from others, but you will be more motivated to complete your goal if it is something you truly want to do.

Now write it into a sentence and post it everywhere:
I will (verb/ action) by (date) because (motivation). I will evaluate my progress by (measurement). I will reward myself through (reward).

Work the plan of:
Coming to Mind Body Balance regularly with consistency no hit or miss
Connect with others on the Integrative Sustainable Movement plan at Mind Body Balance Community and volunteer in the Seva programs
Commit discipline yourself and be devoted to your practice leave scarcity thinking behind

Next Steps:
• Get quiet and decide what inspires you for 2016 and are you healthy enough to achieve it with zest
• Write a S.P.O.R..R.T. S. plan so that your goal becomes more than a dream
• Start by doing your work of healing through movement
• Get Inspired through Integrative Sustainable Movement because You Can Fix You

Questions to Ponder:
1. What will you do now?
2. How and when will you start?
3. What does it mean to have movement in your life?
4. What will change in your life if you take responsibility to your health?
5. How will it feel to be part of a community that is living life on many levels?

Affirmation
I am the one who creates who I am. I can forgive my past failures and be free to learn new healthy movement patterns that serve me today.

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Why is Movement the First thing to GO!

Okay, so, I love this.

I see a client maybe 2-5 times a week (which is about 2-5 hours) and the client is away from the studio 160-168 hours a week. Now, something starts to hurt, bother them, or they aren’t seeing results fast enough… All of sudden the mind jumps and says “It must be the Pilates, yoga, or… (whatever service) is causing this.” What???

Have you even thought about this for a minute?

Typically, a client might even have a history of 100+ hours of these services working for them, changing their body shape, reducing pain syndromes, helping them feel great with more energy, etc… I’m continuously amazed at how, all of a sudden, they are ready to bag in the services that have transformed your life because they’ve hit a hiccup somewhere else in their life.

I’m not saying that it isn’t possible to become injured while doing these services, because you can. Movement always needs to be respected and you need to learn how to get it to come from the right place in your body. But logic says that if you are only in the studio for 5% of your life and the other part of your life 95% is lived outside of the studio, you might want to at least consider that it could be coming from somewhere else.

I love the book Your Body Speaks Your Mind by Deb Chopera because a lot of the time it is an emotion causing the new discomfort in our life. When you are doing Pilates and Yoga you are doing very deep work. As you breathe and learn to work deep in your body, emotions come to the surface. If we don’t direct our awareness to them and heal them they start to cause disease in the body and mind.

Often times I think I’m dealing with something great! Then I lay down on the reformer or turn to my mat for yoga and go “HMMM!”

Slowing down enough to breathe, to move, removed some layers of armor and exposed something. What am I not dealing with in my life? Where am I stuck in my life? Wow, I guess my parent being in the hospital has left me feeling unstable? Etc. Thank the movement for showing you this, for bringing the emotion to your awareness. Be curious about it and then come at it with a heart of love to heal it. Movement Heals in so many ways!

Just consider that if you are singing the praises of your movement and all of sudden you want to drop it like a hot potato, it probably isn’t the movement. So, honor the teacher in front of you and be present in the moment with them. Be aware of your thoughts, connect with your breath and breathe with intention. Remember there are always two lessons being taught: the one in your head and the one the teacher is teaching. Which one are you showing up to?

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UGH Time to Go Workout!

Let me just be honest here a moment. I’m an Integrative Fitness Professional and I don’t love to work out.

I know my dirty little secret is out, because (if I’m being honest) there are days I would prefer to stay at home curled up in my p.j.’s all day sipping tea (or wine) and not at the studio.

I remember when I was new to making a lifestyle change and I would have this big argument in my head about going to work out. It was like New York City in there….okay, well, maybe I’m crazy but you know what I’m talking about.

You come up with all these reasons why you shouldn’t go and then as you get closer to the studio you hope that the instructor isn’t there and then even 5 minutes into the workout you are still negotiating to stay there and to be present in the lesson.

The conversation might go something like this: “Oh, I didn’t get to bed early enough last night. I’m so tired….hit the snooze. I think I’m coming down with something…. (starting to get dressed)… I know I’ll feel better when I get there….(starting the car)… I wonder if she’ll text me and say class is canceled. I could use the time at home to get ready for my week. Fat chance, she never cancels. I hate her….. (pulling up outside the studio)… Shit! She’s there. I have to go in…… (walking in the studio)… Why is she so chipper? I’m going to suck as usual in my lesson. I don’t know what she sees in me. Is this worth it? … (first 5 minutes into the lesson)… (The end of the lesson)…I feel great, I’m standing taller, I love her. Oh, I don’t need a medical overhaul " See you next time!”

As we practice the new behavior it becomes easier to embrace the lesson. It doesn’t mean the emotions we feel go away though.

See, when you are doing deep work in your body it brings up a lot of stuff that we have stuffed down into ourselves. Things we may have forgotten were still there. They come up into our consciousness because we have slowed down enough to breathe, feel and move. I guess you could say they have risen to the top surface of the water line, where, before, they were below the water line. Be curious to what has risen because once we are aware of it, we can start to heal it.

Movement is a gift, so not moving isn’t an option. Movement heals us. Two thirds of our medical expenses are because of the choices we make. Be empowered to except the gift of movement and allow it to heal you.

Please share your mind chatter pattern below and tell us your secret to taming it.

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“Suspicious Procrastination”

Well, it’s been three weeks since I typed out the first blog.  I’ve been eyeing the box of pills and liquids suspiciously over the course of the last three weeks.  That’s why I typed the blog in the first place… accountability.  Clearly, being married to a fitness professional hasn’t inspired me to movement; I need the entire blogosphere to wonder what’s been up and why I haven’t written about the “great healthification of a stubborn middle-aged man.”

What?  You didn’t expect the fat guy to just jump in and do “health” professionally did you?  I don’t actually “do” health; in fact, quite the opposite.  My brain compels me to eat poorly and move little.

I have been a smoker.  I think it’s been almost nine years since I’ve smoked as a habit.  I still want a cigarette when stressed out or after a big meal or with my coffee or while drinking alcohol.  This is likely a sign of an addictive personality (if there is such a thing).  My assumption is that it will be much the same as quitting smoking when dealing with foods that I like to overeat.  I need some “brain re-training.”   Portion control, meal planning, changing my taste buds to crave fruit, vegetables and whole grains… these are all things that I know will happen.  The last three weeks, I’ve been putting it off.

If you stare at a “box of health” suspiciously long enough, It starts to stare suspiciously back at you.  This is why treadmills are always covered in clothes… to cover up the stare.  Thankfully, all of my exercise equipment is in a big, open, inviting studio run by my wife.  I never need to go there if I don’t want to.  This is a very effective way to avoid the suspicious stares of exercise equipment. 

Now, I have a new reason to procrastinate the start of the program.  Kim has told me that she would like to do the cleanse portion with me.  This is the beginning of the program that I’ve got in the box, so now I can wait until after Easter dinner.  Mind you, just because I’m not starting the cleanse, that’s no reason not to start with the other items on the list.  I could start eating better and moving more.  I won’t… because… you know…

Have you ever stopped to think about how close together eating holidays and personal celebrations are.  Americans are hard pressed to have two solid weeks without a food related celebration of some sort.  There are cupcakes in the office.  It’s your child’s birthday.  Your buddy is having a March Madness-all-day-basketball-a-thon.  These are real things! And there is no way to avoid them.  The only correct thing to do is to retrain yourself to handle them correctly.  I’ve heard it’s possible to have 1-2 cupcakes.  I know!  That sounds crazy, right?  I’ve heard it’s possible to eat a full meal of something healthy before going over to your Buddy’s house so that you don’t stuff yourself with the awesome crap that his wife has dutifully spent hours making for you fat old men.  Really!  I’m not making this up. 

A small amount of awesome crap is okay.  A person should never try to eliminate awesome crap.  It’s what makes us happy.  I have also heard that once a person’s fully re-trained, you don’t really want awesome crap as much and that it makes you feel kind of sick when you over-indulge.  This is the end goal, right?  To be so healthy that your body rejects awesome crap and you don’t crave it?  I think that’s the end goal, and most likely the reason it takes so long to change a lifestyle. 

I cannot imagine not craving Chili-Mac, or being utterly satisfied with a healthy version.  Who would that person be?  Not this guy.  Just typing the words Chili-Mac has made my mouth water.  Imagine spending all day Sunday cooking up the perfect Chili with sausage and burger, making it a little too spicy on purpose.  Imagine putting it in a lasagna pan and topping it with homemade Shrimp or Lobster Mac-and-cheese and baking it in the oven, covered in crackers until they are nicely toasted and the cheese is bubbly… and…  Sorry… Went off the rails a little bit.

What was I talking about?  Oh, suspicious procrastination.  Yeah, um, It’s bad, and I, um, need to try to work on that.  Right now I need to go get ingredients for Chili-Mac and prepare myself for the cleanse following Easter dinner.

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Determination is Everything

There are some people that just like to go through the motions of movement.

They can barely drag themselves in.

Then they proceed with a list of self-deprication… passively going through the movement… not being present… so that they can say “See? Poor me. I’ve tried and it just doesn’t work for me.”
I think they feel it gets them attention. In actuality, others just want them to be quiet and get to it.

Look, we all have our own story (our own baggage) that we try to neatly carry in our luggage. I’m not talking about those moments when our luggage springs open and those around us get peppered by it. I’m talking about the rat race of negativity surrounding every moment of your day, so much so that you can’t be present. We’ve all been there so I’m not judging. I am saying to put a time limit on it and then to dig deep into that will and desire. Look for some grit and make it happen

.
Basically, you are missing the work and the gifts that it provides.

Relish challenges because they lift you higher and make you better. Determination is everything to your success. If you have determination, if you do whatever it takes, you will succeed. Be determined today to improve your health.

“Success seems to be largely a matter of hanging on after others have let go.” – William Feather

If you are fully present in your practice and care about the lesson at hand (the meaning in all of it) you will learn how worthwhile movement is. You will appreciate the lessons learned throughout that practice.

Are you willing to ask “How Can I do better?” Post here how you can do better and/ or tips that you use to be present in your practice.

Being a perfect person, having a perfect relationship, or doing all things perfectly… there isn’t such a thing. Recognizing this increases our day-to-day happiness. What does your inner perfectionist look like? Why do you act the way you do? What are you afraid of?

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Mind Chatter

Beth Shaw, Founder of YogaFit, first introduced me to affirmations or mantras. I’ve been practicing them ever since. They are powerful and always help me overcome limiting beliefs. I’ve never thought about it until right now, but I guess I’ve used affirmations in my life before without giving them a name.  I’ve used them to overcome health obstacles.  I just always referred to them as my gift for positive thinking and my strong spiritual belief that I could make things happen in my life if I put my mind to it.

“We all walk in the dark and each of us must learn to turn on his or her own light” – Earl Nightingale

Let’s face it, we all have this mind chatter.  Some of the time it’s negative and some of the time it’s positive. Some of us have just one voice while some of us have a mob of voices. I can have conversations in my head.  If we aren’t careful we can get trapped there.

Okay, so now you all are thinking I’m loopy but really, tell me you haven’t been grocery shopping… and you know you should be buying vegetables… but instead you buy chocolate cake and ice cream. This is what I mean by the two different types of voices. Oh! Here is another example for you.  How many times have you come up with every excuse known to man as to why you shouldn’t show up for exercise?  Believe me, I’ve heard a lot.  You can be on the treadmill already and still talk yourself into getting off and leaving.  You know you’ll feel better afterwards and it is good for your health and well-being.

These voices can either promote or demolish us, our goals and our self-esteem.  I can learn something the hard way and pick myself up and be more successful the next time around. She doesn’t understand why I do what I do but knows that because I’m doing it I will be successful at it. When your negative voice creeps in, you can always count on your mom to give you a good kick in the pants. What does your negative voice tell you?  “You aren’t good enough.  Why change now you’ll just fail.  You’ll never be beautiful.  You’re not worth the effort.”   Do you have this voice?  Maybe several voices? I meditate and practice yoga.  It helps me quiet the mind chatter and still my mind; even if for just a moment. I practice Pilates because it gives me inner strength and I love my body for it. I practice fitness coaching because it gives me the grace and patience to see that every step (no matter how small and what time I start) is better than giving in to the negativity that surrounds us. Our lives are always swaying between light and darkness; we face good and evil, truths and lies, kindness and bitterness daily. You can’t escape completely but you can control the volume of certain voices.  It requires perseverance, dedication, self-sacrifice, and hard work daily.

I’m writing this while watching the Stanley Cup playoffs.  I’m reminded of some keys to winning.
Avoid Turnovers. Why, when we are on the path to greater health, do we self-sabotage our efforts?  Every time you use the word “Don’t” you set yourself up for failure? “Don’t eat cake.”  What do you do?  You eat two pieces of cake. “Don’t miss an exercise session this week.”  What do you do?  You miss the whole month.  Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away from our goal.
Build Momentum.  It takes both physical and emotional training consistently over lifetime.  You want it overnight.  Well, you are just starting out on your journey to a new you, a new lifestyle.  It doesn’t happen overnight, because if it did we would miss out on the character it builds going from point A to point B and you wouldn’t understand how to celebrate once you got there.
Play like a champion. Workouts should be called “Playouts.” It isn’t about being perfect and your clock hasn’t struck zero yet, so start today in taking steps to becoming your best self.  Let me and the staff at Mind Body Balance help you become the champion I know you already are.stacked stones with flower

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Marathon Blog #7

“There is a life-force within your soul, seek that life. There is a gem in the mountain of your body, seek that mine. O traveler, if you are in search of that don’t look outside, look inside yourself and seek that”-Rumi

Well, we just finished up our Trail Half Marathon and I have to say I had to dig deep. My practice long runs went much better for me than the race day run did. I was having stomach issues and found that my shoes for the rocky portions weren’t supportive enough. I had many mental struggles after the 10 mile marker and lost the personal pace that I had set.  When Danny Dreyer talks about it being a mental race he isn’t joking. We did a hard 13.1 miles and I think this took us to a new physical and mental level and reminded us that we still have work to do.

Our next race is in Northville on June 25th. It is a timed 10 mile run of a 12 minute pace. So, you guessed it, we will be working on our speed over the next 6-8 weeks. Don’t let this scare you.  It will come, just as the endurance keeps coming. Remember that the strength of your mind is your driving force through your training. Keep your eye on your long-term goal and remember how far you’ve come.  It’s something to celebrate!

Just as in Pilates, when you hit a certain level of performance you really start to focus on flow and rhythm.  In doing this, it doesn’t mean that the quality of movement is lost; it just means you have to find it quicker and stay centered. As we do speed runs this is also true.  You still must focuses on form.  Good form increases your speed.

Here is a checklist to remember when working on speed:

  •  start slow and gradually pick up speed,
  •  stay focused on your body sensing,
  •  relax your lower body,
  •  allow the stride to be long out the back
  •  allow the core to be strong,
  •  focus on your arm movement as it sets your pace,
  •  pick up your feet (not your knees)
  •  relax the shoulders, hips, pelvis, calves, ankles
  •  remember, effort with ease.

We will be dong interval speed drills and ladder speed drills. Interval speed drills means you’ll pick a pace that you can maintain for a long distance, run this for 1 mile and then take it up a notch for the next mile and then back down a notch for the following mile etc. Remember, to increase speed, just increase your lean. For the ladder drill, start out your first mile slow and then each mile after that pick up the pace slightly. Notice that I say “slightly” and “notch” or maybe even “a gear” I do NOT say to sprint 🙂

Remember this month’s goals are to improve form and learn to use our gears more.

Some additional things to strongly consider: fasting/ detox cleanse & new shoes.

I’ve logged over 160 miles on these shoes. I need to get another pair so that I can have them broken in for the event in October. At this pace I’ll need a new pair in October. I do not want to run on an old pair or a new pair. I will also pick up a pair of trail shoes as well.

I have noticed on the long runs that stuff seems to be coming out of my body through my throat and skin so I will be doing a fast in May and then will continue with one daily fast per week. I used to do this on a regular basis and got away from it. I’ve asked Sherri to talk about this in more detail in May’s Balancing Act Marathon Tip. I really encourage you to give this some thought.

It is time to sign up for your June 25th, July 8th and October 16th race (this one is expensive and goes up in price starting Tuesday) so get signed up you don’t want to be like some of our clients that were shut out of our last race.

Here is a race day schedule:

Month Training for The Half Training for The Full Link to Race
June 25th 10k 10 mile http://www.solsticerun.org/
July 8th 15k 15k http://www.moonlitformarrow.com/
August      
September 10th 5 mile & 10k Mellow full http://www.runwoodstock.com/index.php?option=com_frontpage&Itemid=1
October 16th Half Marathon Full Marathon http://www.freepmarathon.com/

Here is your training schedule for May: (it is now time that I’ll start dividing the long runs out for Half/ Full Marathon)

Week # Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
1 Active Rest/ Nap  Yoga Yoga/ Short Run Short Run Breathing Class/ Pilates Pilates Long Run
2 Active Rest/ Nap Short Run/ Yoga Yoga Short Run Breathing Class/ Pilates Pilates Long Run/ Holistic Health Class
3 Active Rest/ Nap Short Run/ Yoga Yoga Short Run Breathing Class/ Pilates Pilates Long Run
4 Active Rest / Nap Short Run/Yoga Yoga Short Run/Holistic Health Class Breathing Class/ Pilates Pilates Long Run

Week One: This is an active rest week for those that just came off the half marathon. This means short runs are about 45 minutes and your long run is 6 miles. (Interval Focuses of Form/ Speed)

Week Two: Short runs are now 50/60. Long Run for FM is 9 miles & HM is 6 miles (Ladder Focus of Form/ Speed)

Week Three: Short runs are now 50/60. Long Run for FM is 10 miles & HM is 7 miles (Interval focuses of Form/ Speed)

Week Four: Short runs are now 50/60. Long Run is for FM is 11 miles & HM is 5 miles (Ladder focus of form/ speed)

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Budgeting: Fast Food vs. Wellness Services?

“It’s amazing how fast you can go through $7,000 with beer, pizza and The Gap.” –Ben Affleck

People groan at the words budget, exercise, and healthy food. Why? They relate sinking, depressed, deprived feelings to these words. Well, if you have these feelings you aren’t alone. To the vast majority of us, it denotes scarcity, deprivation and limitations; none of which seem pleasurable. Exercising usually means eliminating fun, pain, boredom, sweat, feelings of inadequacy, something we do when we are stressed out. This is not my idea.

My idea is designing a plan to achieve healthy (not magazine) bodies; reaching all those goals you would like to accomplish over time without the heroic effort. Movement should be an enjoyable process not a bitter, restrictive, fearful pill to swallow.

An action plan for fitness and healthy eating doesn’t have to be written in stone, it should be flexible, adjustable and one that reflects your values and your life. All of these decisions and commitments that you make give you the power to change so you don’t feel trapped.  You aren’t stuck.  It wouldn’t make sense to create a plan that made you feel stuck. You can change things if you are willing. 

The power of a plan is that you can decide at the beginning of every week or month how you will spend your calories burned/ your fuel you use, how much, when and how. Then when you add up your cumulative calories burnt for the week or month you see whether or not you want to change your decisions for the following month or design a plan that works for you.  Then, work your plan.

I happily move spending calories I burn in the wisest of ways!

Add up your last four week’s receipts of eating out. I would bet if you commit to eating just a portion of those meals at home, you could afford a Fitness Coach, yoga or Pilates very easily. Notice I didn’t suggest to stop eating out completely; just slow the pace a little bit so you can find some balance between eating and moving.

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Marathon Blog #6:

“Some people think that successful people are born that way. A champion Is someone who has fallen off the horse a dozen times and gotten back on the horse a dozen times. Successful people never give up.” – Jean Driscoll (8 time winner of Boston Marathon, Wheel Chair Division)

The goals this month are to build to a continual running time of 20-30 minutes. It’s all in the pace, folks. Time and patience are required to making it to your first marathon or, for that matter, any marathon.  You need to be at the start line healthy and ready to run. Focus on your form, pace and body sensing; not on measuring.  To establish a strong mental attitude regarding your running: keep track of your midweek runs, plan ahead, space your runs evenly throughout the week and have fun. This is a difficult time in your running program. You must remember what your long term goal is and keep in mind how far you have come!

Congratulations for coming this far.  We are about one third of the way through the training program.  It is time for a celebration.  Treat yourself to something that allows you to reinforce your success (i.e., body work (like a massage), yoga class, pilates, a quality vitamin, new running outfit). Just do anything; something that inspires you and makes you feel great, whatever that may be. Think about it.  For the marathoners, you should be able to comfortably and safely walk/ run about 13.1 miles.  Jump into a half marathon to test yourself.  For the half-marathoners, you should be able to comfortably and safely walk/run about 6.5 miles.  Jump into a 10K to test yourself.   Remember, the events/ races are there to test your hard work and to allow some fun, positive energy in your training.

Trail etiquette:                     
Stay on the trail and follow the marked trail
Leave no trace behind you carry out what you carry in
Run in single file in the middle of the trail
Respect closures/avoid trespassing on private land
Do not disturb or harass wildlife,
no ear pods or ipods please, be in the present moment of nature
Give courteous and audible announcements well in advance of your presence and intention of passing “on our left” and show respect when you pass
Yield to all bikers, hikers, horses, etc. Uphill runners yield to downhill runners, Slower runners yield to faster runners, move over but stay on the trail
Be friendly, let other trail go-ers know they have a friend. “Thank you.” “Hello, how are you?” “Beautiful day.”
Run in smaller groups, it is less intimidating to others
Run with a buddy and let someone know your plan
Thank your volunteers
Familiarize yourself with the course map and have one with you
Be patient with the conga line.  Yell out “Trail—to your left or to your right” the slower runner should stop, step aside and make it easier for the faster runner to overtake.

This is not an all-inclusive list by any means but it should get you in the right mindset come race day to use your social intelligence and to help preserve nature.

Field trip on week two. Start and finish at Silver Lake in Pinckney Recreation Area. From I-94, go to US-23 North, (it jogs in Ann Arbor, and actually joins up with M-14 for a while, but stay on US-23 North), exit on North Territorial Rd.(first exit north of M-14). Head west 10 miles to Dexter Town Hall Rd. Turn Right (north), go one mile and the park is on the left.

Our group run will meet at our Start/ head of our Trail Marathon (running on a softer terrain (such as dirt trails) is easier on our joints, but look out for hard-to-see bumps, holes, tree roots, etc. We will plan to run 5 miles in and 5 miles out.  This will give us just enough of a taste to see what we are up against come race day. This allows us to find the location and see how much time we need to allow to get there. This will also allow us to experience a good portion of the trail ahead of time so that we can practice our hill technique as a group and offer support. This isn’t going to be an easy race, but learning something new keeps our mind vibrant. It gives us zest in life. You are going to face challenges on this run.  Think of it as a new adventure that will help you grow. Remember this whole process of training for such an event was to learn about your body and yourself. Learning can be a stretch goal at times and bring up feelings that are uncomfortable; physically, mentally and emotionally. Allow yourself to evolve as a person and don’t self-deprecate. Remember, I asked Sherri to hold classes at Mind Body Balance for our convenience.  Many of the classes have been outlined to follow the items that will come up in our training. She brings us a holistic way to handle these non-physical aspects of our training.

“In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.” –Albert Einstein

Hills?  In SE Michigan? Yes!  This race in May has a few of them and they will bring a challenge to our race. Why did I pick a race with hills?  Because having them included in our training is a great way to build stamina for the Ambassador Bridge and coming out of the Windsor tunnel, etc. There are several techniques that I encourage you to train with in April. If you are doing long runs with me, then you’ll be doing the Munson hill with me too. You can lean into the hill, hinging from the ankle-joint (ankle will stay down) keeping the stomach strong to support the back. Focus your attention only a few feet in front of you. Don’t over-stride up the hill. Pump your arms and walk up the hill. Be patient, take your time get to the top and then you’ll be going down the hill soon  🙂  Let cresting the hill and looking back be satisfying.  Don’t shy away from the hill because (as the ladies that ran with me last Saturday found out) it isn’t as much work as you think it will be; especially if you use my favorite technique of going up laterally. Here is a key element to remember.  Do not overwork your legs.  Your upper body will need to work harder on the uphill and reduce your lower body effort (70/30). Relax, shorten your stride, and shift your speed down. Think of a car shifting to go up a steep hill, Pump your arms forward (start at the hips and bring the hand up as if you were going to throw an uppercut to your chin) and lean into the hill. Memorize this check list to use when faced with a hill: shorten your stride, lean into the hill, swing the arms up to the face, relax your lower half and keep your heels down.

Okay, so I mentioned that I’m a fan of lateral up the hill. Now you can go half-way up the hill one way and then switch to do the other half or if you have a lot hills in your run just do one hill one way and one hill the other so that you are working your body uniformly. Going up a steep hill is difficult.  If you overstretch your Achilles tendons you will tire out your calves quickly and keep you from moving forward with zest. So, turn your hips into the hill and move laterally up it. It is like a cross step up the hill with your heels down so that your Achilles tendons aren’t overstretched and the calves don’t get over worked. The beauty of it is that you are using lateral muscles of the leg, it is like using a fresh set of muscles. This allows our body to work one set of muscles for running and one set for going up the hill conserving our energy. So, turn into that hill and go up it half-way one way and half-way up the other way.  Others might look at you funny, giggle or call you a newbie, but guaranteed they’ll give it a try out on their next run and start laughing at how easy it is.

Downhill running.  Relax (quads and calves) and surrender to the speed. Let the leg and pelvis rotate as need be.  Come into your 100 curl.  This will protect the lower back and sacrum.  Take smaller steps, zigzag down the hill if there is enough room, relax your shoulders away from your ears, let your body-weight ride softly down on your heels using the back of your legs as brakes and stay off your toes, think of dropping your tail bone down to your heels. This is new terrain for us so be present, do our body sensing

Water, carbs, etc….thanks to our ultra-athlete/ MBB member (Mary Kapp) I’ve been trying out some water devices because it has become the time where we need to start bringing our own water and carb/ electrolyte replacements on our long runs and to our events.  You can’t always count on the supplies at an event, that it agrees with our system or that it is timed when you need it).  So far, I like the Amphipod handheld thermal lite 12 oz.  It retails for about $22.  Here is a link to learn more and/or purchase. http://www.amphipod.com/products/hydration/bottles-handhelds/handhelds/handheld-thermal-lite-12oz

I personally have found a great recovery when I fill it with coconut water (Meijer, Health Matters, Trader Joes, Whole Foods all carry this) and 2 oz. of my Body Balance liquid vitamin (purchase this from Sherri Eby). I’ve been testing this vitamin out at Sherri Eby’s request for about 2 months now. I was sold when I started to include an extra dose during my long runs. The recovery is amazing, no soreness at all :), no deep fatigue the next day (just an hour early to bed and a nap on Sunday and I’m like new). I’d been testing out some Gu (carb/ electrolyte gels) and Mary and Tressa have gone shopping for me as well (thank you ladies for spoiling me). Some of the gels didn’t settle well in my stomach and the ingredient label was a bit scary too. So, once again I went to our resident natural-path and asked her to whip something up.  Sure enough, she took that challenge on and accomplished it. The natural “gu” is superb and we are in the process of just finding a better package for it.  But the important stuff to know is that the stuff that goes in it is better than anything on the market 🙂 Five gold stars for Sherri!  Mind Body Balance will be handing out one container of this mix to each of you at the 10K (so make sure we know you are signed up by commenting on this blog, otherwise you will be left out).  If you like it then Sherri will let you know how to order more from her for future events and long runs. My second choice is Honey Stinger Organic Energy Gel.

Upcoming events to sign up for:   http://www.solsticerun.org/  This is the link for our next race after the half-marathon. This event is on Saturday, June 25, 2011 in Northville, Mi. It is a solstice run to benefit cancer. This is a 10 mile run and it does have a requirement of keeping a twelve minute pace or we will be disqualified at the eight mile mark. This will push us to keep up with our training schedule 🙂 If this is too much pressure, or if you are training for the half in October, then sign up for the 10K. This race will fill up quickly and the deadline to register is May 15 for $40.  After this the rate goes up. This one has a really cool shirt.

http://www.moonlitformarrow.com/ this is a link for our following race which is Friday, July 8, 2011 in Greenville, MI  It’s a little bit of a drive so we should carpool. This is the moonlit miles for marrow run.  It benefits marrow and stem cell programs. This is a 15K (9.3 miles) trail run in the evening.  Again, this will take one of our training sessions off the pavement and onto a softer surface. The cost for this race is $37.90.

If you hear of other runs in our community or runs that you find that look fun. Please post them on our blog in the comment sections so that others can see it and sign up too. Make sure you include a link to the registration site for the race so that we can find it with ease.

Week #1 Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
1          Active Rest & Nap Short Run & Yoga Yoga Short Run Pilates Pilates Long Run/ 10K Event
2 Active Rest & Nap Short Run & Yoga Yoga Short Run Pilates Pilates Long Run/ Field Trip Run
3 Active Rest & Nap Short Run & Yoga Yoga Short Run Pilates Pilates Long Run
4 Active Rest & Nap Short Run & Yoga Yoga Short Run Pilates Pilates Long Run/ Happy Easter no Group Run
5 Active Rest & Nap Short Run & Yoga Yoga Short Run and Sherri’s Class on releasing stress and creating beauty Pilates Pilates Rest and eat right our Event is tomorrow

 

Week One: Short run is 40/50 and a long run is our 10K. Remember to do a five minute warm-up and cool down. Congratulations you are a runner. Body sense and watch your heart-rate monitor to determine when and if you need to walk.

Week Two: Short run is 40/50 and a long run is 10 miles. Remember to do a five minute warm-up and cool down. Congratulations you are a runner. Body sense and watch your heart-rate monitor to determine when and if you need to walk.

Week Three: Short run is 40/50 and a long run is 9 miles. Remember to do a five minute warm-up and cool down. Congratulations you are a runner. Body sense and watch your heart-rate monitor to determine when and if you need to walk.

Week Four:  Short Run is 40/50 and a long run is 4 miles. Remember to do a five minute warm-up and cool down. Congratulations you are a runner. Body sense and watch your heart-rate monitor to determine when and if you need to walk.

Week Five: Short run is 25/35 and a long run is our first half-marathon. Remember to do a five minute warm-up and cool down. Congratulations you are a runner. Body sense and watch your heart-rate monitor to determine when and if you need to walk.

 In Chi Running or Walking by Danny Dreyer read chapters 10 and/or get caught up.

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