Thursday, April 29, 2010

Although my memory is excruciatingly bad, I think I can say that I have been actively practicing yoga for about 10 years now. In college at the local gym, at the beautiful SBYC in Santa Barbara & now in LL with my beloved Ali.

The precious thing about yoga is how after so long, you can learn the simplest trick to help your practice. Tonight, in a flow I have done thousands of times I realized for the first time that I needed to exhale before moving into upward facing dog in order to allow the room for the inhale & extension. It was amazing that one small exhale made all the difference. And how fitting as this month's focus has been on the breath.

And even though I am tragically not even close to inverting with confidence, I did get one step closer as my hips released even closer to giving me the trust to extend my legs.

Distance: n/a
State of Mind: Completely, completely soaked

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Met up with a smaller crew for our usual mid-week run. My legs were still feeling the effect of the speed workout from last night but I started out running with a few of the faster runners & just couldn't get myself to slow the pace.

Afterwards, Coach asked me what my reasoning is behind "always running hard". I was honest with him & told him lately that I only run to get out of my mind. Which I think he thought was a little sad, but nonetheless true.

Distance: 5.35 miles
State of Mind: Mind over matter...

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

One thing about working in Manhattan & living in Brooklyn is how obvious it is when I am pulled in different directions. I can feel the stretch as I run from my agency to the train at Herald Square...all the way back to Brooklyn. But I will never get over the feeling that I have as I turn the corner & see the arch on my way to the park.

Tonight I met up with the speed group & headed to the track for a little workout. Coach had us do 12x400's, which was a big number to swallow.

I was pretty happy with my times, averaging 1:29-1:31 for the first 10 until the last 2 when I broke down a bit. Although I should be disappointed, I love the feeling of pushing myself over the edge. Even I have no control.

Distance: 3.5 miles warmup, 12x400's, 3.5 miles warmdown
State of Mind: The lightness of day...

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Just because you buy waterproof doesn't mean that is what you are going to get. Oh yes, today was one of those days that made that test quite easy. Met up with R to do the cemetery loop, where we kept our heads down & our minds full of family dynamics. Definitely wouldn't have made it out this morning without the company of her.

Distance: 9.75 miles
State of Mind: Hating hills, even more than usual

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Today felt like a promise to many more beautiful runs. A hefty sized group joined up at GAP to get out of the park & into the streets. We decided to do a bridge run, heading into Manhattan on the Brooklyn Bridge & back into our boro through the Williamsburg Bridge.

During the final miles of the run, there was an amazing ratio of guys to girls. Definitely made the view much better.

Distance: 12.5 miles
State of Mind: Trying to enjoy every moment

Friday, April 23, 2010

Met up with S for an afternoon yoga session. Although I love adding a new activity to my Friday, it is a little hard to get in the right head space. But the practice definitely had a lot of great movement, if only I let my mind take it in instead of rolling right past.

Afterwards, we headed west to a cute little restaurant called Tipsy Parson. Very yummy. And a perfect way to end a work week.

Distance: n/a
State of Mind: Always wanting more...

Thursday, April 22, 2010

My god, I am not sure you could have fit another soul in the practice room tonight. You could feel the energy in the air even before we started. Practice tonight was again filled with unique vinyasa flows, poses that required complete attention. I had a series of highs & lows, from successfully inverting in handstand to letting anxiety get the best of me when I tried to move into wheel while standing.

The whole practice tonight was focused on finding your inner teacher, the one that lets you break free of your fear & doubt, to leave room for all-important breath. I spent the whole rest of the night thinking about how much of my life is filled with fear & doubt, wondering how I ever have room for the positive.

Distance: n/a
State of Mind: Why, that's a new way of looking at things.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The park was a bit magical night, as light rain sprinkled down upon us. With few runners out at the park, it was nice to get in a quiet run with the core group. I cut it short on the second loop & rather enjoyed the peace of the transverse. No matter what climate or season, I am always amazed about how peaceful the park makes me feel.

Distance: 7.85 miles
State of Mind: Absorbed in it all

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

After a bit of a disappointing race this Sunday, I was excited to meet up with the group to do a speed workout. And, for once, not that bummed that the plan was to do hills. After a 3 mile group warmup, man which was long, Coach determined the best place for hill repeats would be on the outside of the park as the park is being taken over by the seasonal increase in outdoor activities.

Through all 9 repeats, I felt very much in control, not focusing on the women around me but rather on my own breath, form & making a huge effort to take shorter strides. It wasn't until the 7th repeat that I began to break down a bit...which I was expecting much earlier.

Distance: 5 mile warmup, 9x300 hill repeats, 2.5 mile warmdown
State of Mind: Hanging on

Monday, April 19, 2010

After a rather forgettable day at work, I knew I needed to get outside to enjoy the last few moments of sunlight. Initially, I did a short loop on my own, just to feel what running on my own was like again.

After the short loop, I met up with my bros to do a trail run inside the park. It was fun & quite different, as I enjoyed the relaxed nature of what I consider to be home with them.

Distance: 7.5 miles
State of Mind: A bit calm, at least I think

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Woke up early to make my way out to the JFK Runway 5k. The race was much more crowded than last year but full of a lot of excitement, rudely interrupting the cement jungle & fuel fumes of a typical day at the airport.

The race was supposed to take place on an actual runway, but due to the Icelandic volcanic issues, the route was changed last minute to take place on the roads instead. The scenery was nothing to write home about, but it was cool to get out & try something different.

My individual race was less than stellar, I felt stuck in the same gear the whole time & couldn't figure out a way to shift. But the PPTC teammates around me did amazing, which always makes me feel proud & happy. But maybe even just a little bit alone at the same time.

S, R & I decided to get dropped off at Atlantic Avenue to make the long trek back to our respective neighborhoods together. I imagine we got lots of second glances as we ran alongside traffic for most part of our run. Not exactly beautiful, in the common use of the word BUT it does make one appreciate the benefits of nature just that much more.

Distance: 2 mile warm up (mile up to the park & mile around JFK parking lot), 5K race @21:47 or roughly a 7 minute mile, 11.75 miles from JFK to home TOTALING 16.85 miles
State of Mind: Suspended a bit...

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Truth will become life. Or so that was the philosophy of tonight's yoga practice. It was a beautiful practice full of movement my body needed so much. But no matter how much I pushed through physically, I didn't even get close to cleaning up the mess inside my head. But I am not giving up anytime soon.

Distance: n/a
State of Mind: Needing space & time

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Even though my legs have been feeling quite tired lately, I wanted to push them a bit to play with my boundaries. Met up with the speed group tonight, which was lighter than usual. I wonder if people listen to their bodies more than I do & choose to take a day or two off here & there.

Coach had us do a grueling, outside loop tempo run to test our ability. The plan was to start the tempo run at Parkside, run a full loop & turn back around once we hit Parkside again, finishing at 9th Street & PPW.

I started off with R, M & what I thought was an easy pace. Felt comfortable, felt normal, felt do-able. But about 3 miles in, I went from feeling fine to feel a bit out of control. I struggled to hang on but managed to keep my composure until we hit the hill coming back from Parkside. In a matter a seconds, the girls were long gone, leaving me with my heavy breathing, heavy legs & heavier thoughts.

I had a lot of unanswered questions at the end of the tempo, but that is the great thing about running. If you over complicate it, it becomes no fun.

Afterwards, G & I headed to Amorina for a quiet dinner of pasta & beer. A perfect end to hard run.

Distance: 2.75 warmup, 4.7 tempo run at 7:15 pace (I am guessing a bit), 1.5 warmdown totally 9 miles
State of Mind: Endless learning

Monday, April 12, 2010

Did a casual run in the blossom-filled park tonight, enjoying the spirit of the youth around me. It is so funny how kids can eat up all your attention & still want more. Reminds me of how I grew up, constantly surrounded by kids of all ages wanting to break free & learn.

I could tell, from my legs, that the extra running is starting to takes its toll. The plan is to continue pushing, casually, so I feel ready for the events in May.

Distance: 7.35 miles
State of Mind: Stumbling a bit...

Sunday, April 11, 2010

What a gorgeous day for a run. Met up with the group to do an outside loop followed by some extra distance with A. A proves that good friends can really make any conversation easier, even the toughest of ones.

Distance: 8.4 miles
State of Mind: Feels good to take an easy.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Today was all about discovering Brooklyn, with a gentle touch from S. The thing about Brooklyn, as opposed to say Manhattan, is it is so large with many neighborhoods few of us travel through on a regular basis. On our adventure this morning, we ran along the outside edge the park down through Flatbush, splitting ourselves between Midwood & the Flatlands before heading into Marine Park.

Truthfully, doing these types of newer runs seem to separate out the group a bit as smaller groups are formed to ensure none of us stray to some far off place. I have been feeling pretty good lately, leg-wise, so I tested my boundaries by staying with the faster group, which proved successful. Especially as the way back up the park came with it's own package of difficulties, including a slight uphill grade, very cold wind & a pack of guys that decided to push us girls to our limits. Which, for me, isn't very difficult to do. I think it is pretty obvious, that once you actually peak inside me, you see how very soft I am.

Distance: 14.7 miles running, rest walking back from getting a bagel with S
State of Mind: Feeling strong, for the circumstances

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Yoga practice tonight was quite different than I was expecting. With the warm weather & the beautiful sunsets lately, I was thinking we would spend the hour & half in constant motion but instead we spent the time focusing our energy on balance & awareness. It was one of the most painful practices I have done in some time as I was forced to scan my body from head to toe with each movement. But the pain was completely worth it.

Distance: n/a
State of Mind: If I close my eyes, I see successful inversions in my future

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Met up with the group for a hot & humid run around the park tonight. I really didn't know how my body was going to react, as it seemed difficult to even make it up to the park. But after I got going, I felt my rhythm kick in & my pace steady. Once I got over the heat, I was able to see how beautiful the sunset was...full of many shades of pink.

I realized that one of my favorite things about running is my mental state before & after runs. Right as I start my warm up to the park, my mind if full of ideas, to-dos, worries...but less than an hour later my mind is free of thoughts & just enjoying the surrounding beauty.

Distance: 5.35 miles
State of Mind: Man, the heat is challenging...

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

With Coach mysteriously out of town, a few of us decided to get together for some informal speed training to help round out our weeks. Instead of more of the usual, S suggested we try something new & head to Ft. Greene Park for stair repeats.

The stairs were immediately exhausting, but completely exhilarating at the same time. Plus, it was nice to spend time with a smaller crew, vibing off each other along the way.

Distance: 3 mile warm up, 7x stair climbs, 3 miles warm down
State of Mind: Off day, mentally, but physically felt great

Monday, April 5, 2010

You think you know a place until someone shows you how very wrong you are. Although I have been running in the park for several years now, G took me to places I have never been to before on what was supposed to be a usual run in the park. His goal was to start running & to let our imagination lead. It was quite tiring & quite lovely all at the same time, as I rushed to jump over logs or under bridges. A good few miles of the run I had no idea which way was up or down.

If anything, it shows how routine running can be until you go out on a limb & try something new. I truly feel spent from the effort, but at the same time a little renewed.

Distance: I would say around 7 miles, but I really have no idea
State of Mind: Maybe I should get used to be told what to do...

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Started off this beautiful easter with a nice, slow run 'round the park. The heat & humidity were a perfect balance, making me feel like I was running harder than I actually was. And it just goes to show my fitness level increasing as I didn't feel one ounce of pain from yesterday.

Distance: 5.35 miles
State of Mind: I feel most comfortable running

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Met up with the group to take in the sights of Brooklyn on this sunny, gorgeous morning. We decided to stay in the borough, hitting Greenwood Cemetery, the streets of Sunset Park & Bay Ridge before climbing up to take in the lovely waterfront views from Owls Head Park. A few of us stayed on & headed down to the boardwalk for a few extra miles crossing into Fort Hamilton. On our way home, we ran through Shore Road Park as we made our way back through the neighborhoods towards home.

On our way back to the slope, it was obvious that the inclines & heat impacted our ability to pick it up. We were all suffering as the sweat was dripping down our bodies, thirsting for an end to the numbered streets. As we neared the park, R suggested we visit her beloved bagel hole for a post-run treat. My legs definitely didn't have any issue calling it quits, they were begging for the beating to stop.

Distance: 14.9 miles (about 13 mod-hard, with 1.9 easy)
State of Mind: Through the grit & grime of the city, we saw beauty.

Friday, April 2, 2010

In a departure from my usual schedule, I met up with S & R to take in a yoga "happy hour" practice at Laughing Lotus. The studio was much more packed than suspected & the sunlight filled the room with a wonderful heat...blinding me through much of practice. It was a challenge for me to escape into my own world, but I just let the breath & movement take over & things fell into place. Afterwards, we went next door to Boqueria to celebrate the beautiful evening, a lovely way to end a Friday evening.

Distance: n/a
State of Mind: Practicing the control of my breath, not the other way around.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

After a meeting above Chelsea Market, I found myself free to walk the island for a bit before hitting yoga class. The class was emptier than usual, as the holiday weekend is upon us. Although A was in New Orleans on a retreat, her replacement had a way of filling the gap quite well. My legs suffered a bit, especially my quads...which never seem to overcome the tightness of my back half. I will forever be pulled in two directions.

It dawned on me during meditation that my habit of falling back on my memories is only out of fear of loss. And if I accept my decisions, I should be able to sit in peace.

Distance: n/a
State of Mind: I think my biggest obstacle is boredom