This last week was super sweaty and busy and I spent so much time feeling thankful for the laughs along the way.
Here were my workouts:
- Tues: Ran 4 miles
- Wed: Hatha 1 Yoga
- Thu: Ran 4 miles
- Fri: Stretched
- Sat: Ran
- Sun: Paint Party
Some of the thoughts I had along the way:
“I did not miss waking up at this ungodly hour.” – Waking up at 4:45 AM for my Tuesday and Thursday runs
“I missed this so much!” – After those same Tuesday and Thursday runs
“Oh, this is just what I needed.” – When I realized that my Hatha yoga class was focusing on hip openers
“Oh… ow… oh… oooh…” – During my stretch session Friday
“Hmm… this was supposed to be a six-mile run, but my Garmin says seven miles.” – Checking my watch after a special new 6-mile loop… that really is closer to seven
“Glad this yoga has my back and shoulders strong.” – two hours into the paint party at my little sister’s new place
I met up with an old friend yesterday that called me “the healthiest person she knows.” While laughing I tried to explain that working out was a social event for me. Running with my ladies gives me a chance to catch up on their lives, tell shark stories and drink coffee, and it’s much healthier for us than a Happy Hour. Though the coffee I ordered after Saturday’s
six seven miles would beg to differ:
I didn’t get as far on the iced coffee as I thought I would so I stuck it in the frig for later. I may or may not be sipping on it as I type.
Tropical Storm Isaac will likely complicate my runs this week.
Granted, Isaac will be skirting by the (not-so) Sunshine State, but we’ll be getting remnant rain from it regardless. I dislike this, but I am thankful we’ll be safe. In the meantime I will continue to drag my dogs outside in the rain for their potty breaks. Hmm… I should count that as another workout.
If the rain curtails my running this week (I don’t do treadmills), I will just improvise with extra yoga and strength training where I can.
How/will Tropical Storm Isaac curtail your workouts this week?
Last week I started my week eager to get back into the swing of things. And boy did I ever end up getting my sweat on:
- MON: 30-minute Jillian Michaels Yoga Meltdown DVD sesh (thought I much prefer calling it a Yoga Melt) in the AM
- TUE: 3-mile run in the evening
- WED: 1.5-hour walk (no clue how far we went… I was Garmin free) in the AM
- THU: 3-mile run in the evening followed by furniture strength training
Yes, that’s right. I said ‘furniture strength training.’ It’s the new thing… everyone is doing it. At least Rox, Donnie and I were!
It all started when Rox and I both got held up working late on Thursday and had to miss my favorite yoga class. Instead we decided to go for a run in the new neighborhood (which really isn’t that new to us since it’s the neighborhood we both started to run in together). While we were running I asked Rox if she would mind following Donnie and I to a co-worker’s house after our run just in case we needed any help moving the armoire I had purchased. It was an IKEA piece, so I assumed that it would be made of lightweight particle board (as most IKEA pieces are), but was asking Rox as a precautionary measure. Rox, being the wonderful friend she is, agreed. A friend later declared that this was the classic old “bait and switch” though that wasn’t my intention. I really didn’t think we’d need her! After our run, we set off for what would become our second workout of the night.
When we got to the house and saw the armoire, Donnie walked right up to it and gave it a little shove to measure it’s weight. The armoire didn’t move… it was solid. Doubting the strength that Rox and I possess, he said, “I don’t think we’ll be able to manage this.”
Insulted by this comment (does Donnie not realize how strong chaturangas have made us??) we immediately jumped in and said we could do it. However, in the back of my mind I was thinking, “Oh crap. How are we going to do this??”
We set up with Donnie on one end and Rox and I on the other and proceeded to move through a series of lifts and turns. We soon started to erase all doubt from Donnie’s mind. With only the occasional help of a 4th person (helping steady us so we didn’t scratch up the walls) we got the piece out to my car.
We encountered a major obstacle when we tipped the armoire to slide it into my car and it wouldn’t fit. Until last Thursday, my Honda Element (nicknamed “Ele”) had never met a piece of furniture that wouldn’t fit. All we needed was one more inch!
We set the armoire down and stared at each other. The reality that we would have to move this back into the house and do this whole thing again another day was starting to set in and sending me into full panic mode when Rox spoke up. She knew who we could call.
I love Rox for many reasons, one being that she’s strong (mentally and physically) and two being that she thinks quick on her feet. While Donnie sat outside guarding our armoire, Rox and I set out to borrow an Expedition from incredibly graceful folks.
We came back with the Expedition and managed to slide the armoire right in. Perfect fit!
Back at the house we slid the armoire out and decided on a game plan: We would carry the piece straight into the house and to it’s new home without resting or stopping.
Donnie: Can you handle it?
Me: Um. Yeah… I think so. Maybe. I mean, I don’t know. How far is it again? Do you think maybe that’s too far…
Before I could finish my verbal self-doubt, Rox and Donnie started lifting. I had no choice. And in no time at all, the armoire was in it’s new place:
Rox high-tailed it out of there before we could ask her to mow our yard. Ha! If you’re reading this, thanks lady! You’re the strongest woman I know. Well, behind Killer T, of course. But who can compete with her?
After Thursday night’s excursion, I decided I would take it easy the next few days. My back was in full agreement.
Have you tried furniture strength training lately?
Last night I planned to hit up a simple yoga basics class, but was talked into taking a hot ashtanga flow class instead. I ended up staring at my sweaty self for almost an hour.
You see, the hot studio recently underwent some renovations, one of which was a mirror added to the length of the class (there used to be one just at the short end front of the class). Now instead of facing the old short front, we all turn our mats and face the long mirrored side of the class room. I suppose it’s so more people can see their form in the mirror. All I know is that if you’re late, like I was yesterday, you get stuck right in front of the mirror. Staring at yourself. And if you’re as close as I was yesterday, you’re also trying not to break the mirror during a sun salutation.
After taking an entire hot yoga class placed strategically right in front of
myself a mirror, I have made some very important observations.
Observation #1: I sweat… like, a lot during hot yoga.
Like drip drown my balls a lot. My entire body was
At one point I was folded over, watching the sweat drip down my nose and onto the mat in front of me and I actually starting to sing Get Low in my head. In my brain it was something like this:
However, on the outside I just held my pose and breathed.
Observation #2: I have big brown eyes.
And by “eyes” I really mean puppies. Melons. Lady lumps. Flotation devices.
I didn’t think I was wearing an exposing top, yet my cleavage still looked like a giant, shiny, sweaty mountains. I made a mental note to start wearing turtlenecks to class. Does Lululemon make yoga turtlenecks?
Observation #3: I have a lot of work to do.
At times I noticed that my shoulders weren’t squared, I was sticking my ass out, or I was misaligned. If I got a progress report to bring to my mom after class, I’m sure it would read something like this:
Dear Ms. Vazquez,
Your daughter really needs to work on everything when it comes to yoga. Except for shavasana. She seems to do that okay.
Observation #4: It’s really hard not to stare at yourself when you have no where else to look.
I tried looking up. I tried looking down. I tried squinting so everything was a blur.
Observation #5: Waterproof makeup does work.
On the bright side, I did confirm that my waterproof eyeliner and mascara (that were applied in the morning before work) are indeed waterproof. If only I could say the same for my hair.
Have you ever had to take any fitness class in front of a mirror? How does it make your feel?
Last weeks was one of those crazy weeks that ends up with you screaming in your car. If you’ve never screamed in your car, you should really try it. It’s a nice stress reliever.
The month of July is notoriously busy at my job and last week was my second week of going full force. Perhaps it wasn’t smart of me to make plans for every day after work, but after the yoga challenge, I was excited to rejoin the social world.
I started my week off with Hatha. I was still feeling optimistic about my week.
On my way over, I stopped at Whole Foods to pick up some “hard cheese.” I’m no wine aficionado, so I asked the Cheese Lady for some help. After I told her what type of wines we would be tasting, she suggested a gouda. I asked what I should pair the cheese with (thinking she would respond with a cracker), she suggested a peach or a pear. I opted with pears, since they are crispy and I wanted that texture.
When I got to Rachelle’s I was super excited to see the food spread, and my friends of course!
Also at the table:
- A flat bread pizza that Rachelle made and was AMAZING
- Brownie bites
- Bagel chips and soft cheese spread
It was such a fun night! However, I found myself dragging Wednesday…
My day was super busy, so I had to force myself to ignore that headache I woke up with. After work I took off towards College Park, to join the Central Florida Lady Bloggers at Taste for the July meet-up. It was a large group of us, and I got there late. I was pleasantly surprised to find myself sitting next to Victoria from Running Peanut. She’s about 19 weeks pregnant, but is tiny and you can barely tell. I spent the early part of our meet-up asking her fun pregnancy questions.
The second half of the meet-up we were led in a discussion of how to fit in blogging in the midst of our busy schedules. There were a lot of great ideas shared, but I was too busy figuring out how I was going to fit in my exercise last week to think about blogging. Ha!
Another busy day at work followed by an hour and a half of Ashtanga. Somewhere in between work and yoga I did some car screaming.
After yoga I found out there was a small hiccup in the home buying process. This was just what I needed to go home and cry. Honestly, if I hadn’t been so worn out from my day I think I would’ve taken the news in stride (as I’ve taken the whole home-buying process). However, I was too tired to be strong.
Most people dream of going out Friday night. I spend the day dreaming of sitting on the couch Friday night. Finally, my work day ended and my couch-sitting started. Aaaahhhhh …
I hit my snooze for an hour straight and then at the very last possible minute decided that I was going to wake up after all and go to my 8:30 AM Ashtanga class. I’m super thankful for my new yoga friend that knows I have the habit of walking in at the last minute Saturday mornings and now saves me a spot next to her so I don’t have to practice at the front of the class.
I spent the rest of my day running preliminary moving errands (donating books, buying storage bins, taking all of my CDs out of their plastic and into a organizer, drinking a Venti frapp, etc.). I was pooped, but when the boyfriend suggested we go to dinner I figured I could pull myself together for an evening out.
We were both so hungry it was hard for us to decide on a place to eat. And since it was a Saturday night we knew we would be facing long waits everywhere.
After doing a little calling around, we found out that the Dexter’s in Thornton Park has zero wait. We were there in 5 minutes.
I was craving red meat, so I opted for the bacon-wrapped meatloaf. I’ve seen this on the menu before and always opted against it, but after recently watching The United States of Bacon on TV, I was in the mood for something like this.
D went for the Fish of the Day, which would’ve been my pick if I wasn’t pining for red meat:
We were starving so we also ordered a side of their truffle fries as an appetizer. They were so good that we ate the whole thing before our dinners came.
Both of our dinners were amazing! The meatloaf wrapped in bacon had the perfect flavor and the boyfriend’s fish came with a fried spinach that melted in our mouths. And the polenta that came with his meal was delicious too! So. Good.
While my meatloaf was definitely the star of the plate, the snapper had a very strong supporting cast. We were happy with both of our choices, and enjoyed our leftovers yesterday for lunch!
I spent my morning drinking coffee and deciding whether I would hit up Hatha at 11:30 AM. When I got a text from a friend saying that she was at a Starbucks nearby, I decided to throw on my yoga clothes, visit her for a bit and head over to yoga.
My Hatha class rocked my face off. I definitely had to remind myself to breathe often.
By the time I got home from yoga, I was hungry. Good thing I had some amazing leftovers!
Sunday night we headed to the grocery store to stock up for the week. But first, we stopped at a friend’s house who had tons and tons of boxes that we could have for moving. She posted on Facebook that she had boxes to give away and you better believe I responded immediately. A big thanks to Lauren for the boxes!
And staying true to the old rule “Never go to the grocery store hungry” we decided to stop at Gringos Locos for a quick bite. I got the sloppy taco and the double D. Both were yummy, but afterwards I was stuffed. I would’ve been fine with just one taco.
This week I’ve got plans to start packing and sorting through my clothes and yoga in between. It’s time to finally donate those expensive work pants that I can no longer fit in. Besides, if I ever do get back down to a size 8, I’m sure I’ll want to buy new pants to celebrate.
How do you manage a busy schedule?
Growing up my dad always called me “Butterball.” I think it was meant to be a term of endearment, but I’m pretty sure he may as well have been calling me “chunky butt” because that’s how I interpreted it. Also, I was always the “roundest” of my siblings. In fact, my tiny, petite mom always tells me I get “esas patas” (those legs) of mine from my dad’s side of the family.
On the other end of the spectrum, my mom always tells me how photogenic I am. We’ll be looking at pictures and it never fails:
Mami: Oh, look how beautiful you are in the picture. You’re so photogenic.
Me: Thanks, Mami.
Mami: Did I ever tell you about how you were chosen by a children’s modeling agency because you were so photogenic?
Me: Yes, Mami.
Mind you, I don’t ever actually ask my mom why she didn’t actually sign me with them. I suspect it had to do with money, but I really don’t want to get into why I was never made into a child star so I could makes lots of money, become my parents’ boss, throw it all away on candy, Barbies, theme parks, and the eventual drugs and alcohol that always follow, then burn out at the young age of 16 and have to check myself into rehab. No, I don’t want to discuss these missed opportunities. So instead I change the subject.
Also, I don’t want to point out to her that I’ve already deleted all of the pictures where I had a double chin. Of course she thinks I’m photogenic.
So what does this have to do with the yoga photo shoot that we got for completing the 30-day yoga challenge? Well, let’s just say it reinstated my mom’s decision to not have me model. Because I pretty much suck at it. Sadly, dreams of becoming a 30-year old, short, plus-sized model are over. It’s a good thing I kept the ol’ day job.
Apparently I’m most photogenic when taking casual photos in a large group. But make me stand by myself in my
spandex yoga clothes and tell me to strike a pose and I freeze and panic. Why did I think we were doing a group photo? Why hadn’t I practiced at home in front of a mirror? Why were all of these girls so skinny and bendy?
I felt so uncomfortable in my skin, which is weird since after many, many years with this body, I’ve become quite comfy in it. What can I say? I was out of my element and I still have my moments.
I managed to only strike two poses, because suddenly I forgot everything I have learned in yoga. Out of the 11 photos our wonderful studio owner sent us, I only will be showing you the two below. That’s because I’ve already deleted the other nine pics and want you to think I’m naturally photogenic.
I do love these two pics a lot, and am super happy I didn’t run out of the room without getting photos taken, which is what I really wanted to. At the end of the day, I did something that scared me and two good photos came from it.
Thanks to Christine at Full Circle Yoga for organizing the challenge and all of its wonderful prizes! I look forward to taking the challenge again next year, and practicing for the photo shoot in front of the mirror beforehand.
When was the last time you did something that scared you?
A little over a month ago, I decided to take up my yoga studio on their 30-day yoga challenge. For the next 30 days, I worked my schedule like it was a puzzle, figuring out how to fit in 26 practices.
Here are my final thoughts about the experience: the good, the bad, the funny.
I started this challenge because I am on a hiatus from running caused by my bitchy IT band. Said IT band was hell bent on punishing me for transgressions I committed against my body while training for and
running pirate peg-legging my way through the Flying Pig Marathon.
The doc ordered strength training in my legs and core and lots and lots of stretching and boy did I cover those in June! My arms and shoulders feel stronger than ever and I find myself having oddly amazing posture. My legs and hips feel super stretched and there’s not an overly tight muscle in my body. My body feels amazingly relaxed, which is a vast contrast from how it tends to feel during marathon training.
However, I did slack on rolling my IT band with the foam roller and the stick. Because of that, I still have scar tissue that I think needs to be broken down on my right leg. I could feel the results on this when I went for a test run on Thursday after yoga. I was only a quarter-mile into my run when I felt that familiar pressure next to my knee, so I started walking immediately. But let me tell you what, that first quarter mile was amazing! I couldn’t help but smile when I felt the wind blowing through my hair. Oh, how I miss exercising outside!
Also, I have a bit of tendonitis in my right foot that I developed during my Flying Pig Marathon pirate peg-leg run. I have done little to rehab it and started to hurt more towards the end of the challenge. I’m now doing yoga with an ankle brace on and sleeping with a different compression brace and already I’m feeling better.
That’s how many pounds I lost with 26 days of yoga. Considering I spent most of my time doing low impact Hatha and Ashtanga practices, and had zero free time for cardio, I’m not disappointed. I tend to gain weight when injured and not running, so I was happy to avoid that fate this time around.
This is how many loads of yoga clothes I had to wash in a span of a month. However, the rest of my laundry took a hit and as a result I did much exploring of my closet towards the end of the month. Thanks, yoga challenge, for helping me get creative with old (but the only thing I had clean) clothing!
I must say that I am very impressed with myself for not buying any yoga clothes during this challenge. I managed with what I had: a bunch of running clothes that would have to make due for yoga.
My favorite article of clothing? An old, faded pair of yoga pants I got from Old Navy ages ago. They were the only pants I had that I didn’t have to constantly pull up between sun salutations. One day, when my budget allows for it, I will go stock up on some yoga pants.
The oddest thing I wore to yoga class? A black leotard with some old sweatpants. I needed to do laundry.
My hair was a hot mess during the month of June. Too avoid frying my hair too much, I spent much of the month wearing my hair in ponytails and twists, similar to this:
And then at the end of the month I had my sad ends trimmed. Yeah! My hair survived the yoga challenge!
I didn’t get to spend much time at home during the month of June. This was partly due to the yoga challenge and a lot of celebrations with friends.
It was also partly due to our house hunting. Yes, that’s right. House hunting.
D and I have been discussing buying our first home for a while, and decided to start the house hunting process after I returned from my Cincinnati marathon trip. Big fans of shows like House Hunters and Property Virgins, we knew we could be searching for quite some time before we actually found our first home.
Well, our search didn’t last as long as we thought it would. We fell in love with the sixth house we saw. And if everything goes well, we’ll be closing on our very first home later this month!
By the way, I have to give my friend Beth big props. I met Beth in my marathon training group. She’s hilarious, fun … and happens to be a very knowledgeable and hands-on realtor. Since D and I are property virgins, she has essentially held our hands throughout this whole process. We feel so blessed to have had her by our side! If you’re looking to buy or sell in the Central Florida area, I highly recommend Beth.
On a related note, never ever go house hunting while doing a 30-day yoga challenge. I spent the first three weeks of the challenge, viewing houses, meeting with our amazing realtor, negotiating, attending inspections, etc. … all in between work and yoga classes. While the yoga was helpful in helping reduce my stress levels, the time spent on yoga and house hunting almost killed me. Which brings me to …
Sniff, Sniff, Cough
Three weeks straight of going full force finally caught up to me on the fourth week of the challenge. I got a cold that left me sniffling my way through downward dogs and coughing through shavasana. Sudafed was my best friend, and I somehow managed to work my way through the last week. I’ll make a note to take vitamin C next time around.
Wait, you would do this again?
Aside from increased flexibility, stress release, increased strength and glory, we also received some rewards for completing the challenge:
- Discounted monthly rate (which I’ve already taken advantage of)
- Free guest pass (which Donnie took advantage of yesterday)
- Gift certificates to local spas and restaurants
- Yoga photo shoot (hopefully I’ll have some pics to share soon)
I’m going to keep up 3 to 4 yoga classes per week for the rest of July, while rolling my IT band daily. I’ll also continue to do these short test runs weekly and hopefully I’ll be back to running by the end of the month.
Thanks everyone for your support along the way!
First, I had to get to the class… which proved to be quite the challenge.
I woke up Saturday morning at 7 AM and rolled myself begrudgingly out of bed. I brushed my teeth, threw on my yoga clothes, grabbed our yoga mats and told Donnie I would meet him at the studio at 8:30.
Then I ran over to Starbucks to pick up some fraps for me and some friends:
You see, there was some confusion Saturday morning. And by confusion, I mean that I made a pretty big assumption that if I had not been so busy with yoga I would’ve had some time to really think through.
My running group leader organized a self-supported long, long, long run for a
few ton of her closest friends. She did this last year for her birthday, so without giving it another thought, I assumed this was her birthday run. Never mind that her birthday is in September. My brain couldn’t be bogged down with such details.
So I show up to the run and saw Sue right away. Our conversation when a little something like this:
Me: Happy Birthday, Sue! I got you a frappuccino!
Sue: It’s not my birthday.
Me: Oh, is it tomorrow?
Sue: No, it’s in September.
Me: Oh, wow. I thought this was your birthday run.
Me: Do you still want your frappuccino?
Sue: Not really. I can’t drink that right now.
Some Girl: Today’s my birthday!
Me: Oh, happy birthday! Do you want a frappucino?
Some Girl: Oh, no. I can’t drink that while I’m running.
Lucky for me some of my friends showed up and quickly jumped on a nice, free, cool caffeinated beverage. Goodness, who knew people don’t like to drink chilled yumminess during their lap breaks?!
Anyhow, that just gives you insight into where my brain has been this past month…
After I had finished wishing happy birthday to people whose birthday it was not, I jumped in my car and drove to yoga. I made it with just a minute to spare. Poor Donnie was just sitting on the floor in the studio because I had his mat. I laid out our mats just in time for class to start.
The class was great, even though my teacher told me he wasn’t going to go easy on me just because it was class 26. What he didn’t know is that after Friday night’s power flow class, it would be pretty hard to break me. I felt so good that I even tried an unsupported wheel pose for 2-seconds. Weeeeeeeee!
After class I stopped back by the run to see how everyone was doing. Somehow my friend Lauren convinced me to walk a lap (2.6 miles) with her. I didn’t have shoes, so I walked them in my flip flops.
The good news is, I had zero IT band pain (though it was just walking). The bad news is I have blisters on the bottom of my feet from walking in flip flops.
Afterwards I soothed the blister pain with this:
This, my friends, was a french toast cupcake topped with maple syrup and bacon. Erin made these yummy treats, along with some other yummy cupcakes. The flavors in my mouth were such a treat. I stand by my belief that bacon does make everything better!
Since Donnie and I had planned to spend the rest of the weekend near bodies of water, I was off again. And spend the weekend by the water we did indeed!
We each had family in town so we ended up being really busy the rest of the weekend. I haven’t really had much time to think, never mind process how 26 days of yoga has affected me.
You know what? I think I’m going to go ponder it over a glass of wine.
The one thing I can say for sure is that I’m planning on taking off from all exercise until Thursday… a much needed reward!
Congrats to Carolina, from Peas in a Blog, who not only finished the 30-day challenge as well, but she finished it with days to spare. Girl, you were a beast!
How did you spend this beautiful weekend?
I am still doing a happy dance. “Why’s that?” you say? Because on Saturday I completed my 26th class of the 30-day Yoga Challenge at my studio!!
But let’s start on day 25 …
Day 25: Power Flow
After my first experience with Ying Yoga, I was limited with choices for classes I can take on a Friday. The only other class available is a Power Yoga class described as “a level 2/3 Flow class that works up to a higher level of vigor with more challenging variations of postures demonstrated.” That “level 2/3″ part is what made me choose Friday as my rest day for the rest of the month. However, this Friday left me with no choice. My level one ass was going to have to make do in a level 2/3 class.
Usually I’m eager for work to end and my weekend to start, but not this past Friday. This Friday I spent my day dreading going to class. By the time I finally got to class I was just repeating “you’re not going to die” to myself over and over.
The good news is I didn’t die! But this was most certainly the toughest practice I’ve had throughout the challenge. I’m proud of myself for reigning myself back and taking the lower level modifications, rather than throwing my back out trying something that was obviously beyond my level.
However difficult the class, the worst thing about the class was actually a guy right in front of me in class. This yogi was something I hadn’t seen in any of my classes to date: a show off.
At first I thought he was a teenage boy, and that explained his behavior of laughing through tough poses and looking over at his neighbors and smiling while he hit the pose deeper than they did. It was disruptive, but I took him to be a bendy teenage gymnast or something and didn’t mind as much. However, at the end of class I thought I heard him mention that he was an instructor himself and got a better look at his face. Oh, he was not a teenage. Suddenly his behavior seemed all that more worse.
With his abilities, he certainly had much to be proud of. But to this point I’ve found most yogis to be modest. The fun part of yoga is that so much is internal … you’re fighting your thoughts from distracting you … you’re keeping your body from pushing too far too soon … you’re focusing on your breath. But you’re usually not competing with those around you. Yes, from time to time you’ll find yourself comparing yourself to those around you (this happens to me all the time… Friday especially) but you remind yourself that this is about your practice, not theirs and refocus.
I guess it just took me off guard to see someone making their practice more of a competition with their neighbors. But with 25 classes under my belt in June and this was the first time I encountered this, that’s not too bad.
Afterwards I shot my friend Carolina from Peas in a Blog a text that only said two words, but just about covered my experience:
She knew exactly what class I was talking about.