For the Love of Running

Just Running Through Life…

good for the soul

Like anything physical, we do it to feel good, to be healthy, to look good. The moment our hobby turns in to a competitive sport is the moment the feeling of EVERYTHING changes. We are no longer focused on the good of which these physical activities are providing; we are more focused on our times, our performance, our overall calories burned and our heart rate. It becomes more fact than it does feeling.

When we have to start reading our watches, our heart rate monitors, pacing our runs, are we doing it for the good of our bodies anymore? Are we even listening to our bodies? Or is it just a goal we have set for ourselves mentally beyond the physical aspect of it all? We want to win. Our society always wants to be first. “If you’re not first your last.” Right?

I got to a point in my running ‘career,’ where I felt terrible. I hurt everywhere, but I didn’t care. I was at an all time ‘fast’ and an injury couldn’t stop me, or at least I wasn’t about to let it. No, I didn’t feel good, my runs were OK, my legs hurt because I was typically running on and/or through injury, but my cardiovascular system was superb. It made me want to run faster. I wanted to maintain or beat my fastest times, over and over and over. I never gave myself any opportunity for recovery. Running a minimum of 4 miles up to 13 miles a day, 6-7 days a week with MAYBE a single recovery day, MAYBE, was wreaking havoc on my body. I didn’t care.

In my top drawer along with all of my pretty jewelry, I have this bomb.com heart rate monitor, and I have run some of my fastest runs with that little contraption wrapped around my wrist. Let me tell you, I have also never been sicker, more frequently injured, and it was beginning to take me twice as long to recover from those faster runs of mine. So in my drawer it now sits. I don’t use it to capture my current pace anymore. I don’t use it to push myself beyond what I would normally do. Why? A few reasons; 1. I’m not running for a place on a podium, 2. It isn’t my ‘career,’ I’m not being paid to do it. And 3. Because nearly one year ago I was running the San Diego Half Marathon and I felt terrible from the get go. ‘From the get go,’ I mean from the hotel room. I started my day clammy and ghost white on my walk over to the starting line. Let me remind you, I was just walking to the starting line of a 13.1-mile long run. Things were looking a little glum.

It was at mile 2, yes, only mile 2, which is where I noticed I was drenched in sweat. Like soaked. Let me remind you, we were in San Diego in June, it was overcast and 63 degrees, it couldn’t have been more perfect running conditions. I knew something was wrong because even though I was stopping at every water station, I was also drinking 2-3 cups of water and/or Gatorade, I could not quench my thirst. I was dehydrated and it is clear to me now, that at that moment I should have called it a day. Instead I decided I would glance down at my heart rate monitor, you know, just to ‘check in.’ Low and behold I was running an average of 8:10 minutes per mile, that included my water breaks. So needless to say, Ego chimed in and let me know that I was not about to stop, not now. I had a great thing going, sick or not, tired or not, knee pain or not, I only had 11.1 miles left and I was going to finish it damn it!

Well, upon completion of this fantastic (I use that term extremely loosely) run and aside from the worst knee pain, excruciating hip flexor pain and IT band tightness that I had ever experienced in all of my years of running, I ended up in the medical tent. 2 IV bags of fluid, Zofran, dextrose pumped in to my veins to help with my extremely low blood sugar levels, vomiting…. 3 hours later (Yes, one and a half times as long as it took me to run the race) I had color in my face, I could sit up right, heck I could even stand. I was so excited I was handing out post-vomit hugs to each of the paramedics and ‘my’ very own Doctor as I was on my way out of the tent…. dragging my left leg behind me.  I had totally forgotten about my left hip flexor.

The point of this story is, is that once a hobby becomes competitive, whether it be against your own personal times or others, we lose site of the real reason we are doing it, or at least we forget to pay attention to the most important piece of the equation: our bodies. Let’s face it, without our incredible flesh, bones and blood, we couldn’t achieve any of our ridiculously awesome goals.

I run so I can stay in shape, so I can keep my cardiovascular system conditioned and so I can spend time with my girls and catch up on their lives every week. THAT is what it is all about, for me anyway. It isn’t about my final time, it isn’t about my pace, it isn’t about the intensity of the person next to me. It is about me. It is about feeling good and that’s it.

It took me a while to get to this point. That goes for yoga too. No I don’t really care that you can come in to sirsasana from your prasarita padottanasana, no I don’t care about your pincha mayurasana, but I do like to watch it.  I love that you feel good when you are in the pose, and if that is why you are doing it.. then I love it. Do yourself a favor and attempt to avoid killing yourself just because you have realized you have an audience to entertain and/ or impress; that’s the moment injury can occur. Let it go. Let your ego go.

So now. I feel good. I am happy to go for a jog whether it be a 9 minute mile jog or a 5:30 minute mile sprint (and I’m talking MAX if it’s a sprint- it’s a single mile. ) I have even been walking more than running more recently because my long-term hip injury/inconvenience is now finally feeling better and I will do anything and everything in my power to keep it that way. So I listen, to my body, to my mind and to my breath because that is what we are supposed to do. The moment it no longer feels good is the moment we have to reevaluate and figure out what it is that does.

Enjoy the moment; enjoy the journey to the finish line, no matter if that finish line is your own or if it is a physical finish line at the end of an event. In the end, it isn’t about anything other than the journey. Isn’t that how we are supposed to live our lives too?

What would happen if you set aside your gadgets and you just took the sound of your breath, the breeze and birds and just ran based on how your body felt? What would happen? You would still be running 4 miles. 4 miles is 4 miles no matter your pace. You’re still burning calories, just do yourself a favor and attempt to listen. Your body is an incredible tool and a fantastic guide. It will tell you when it has had enough or when it wants more. So Lighten up, and seriously. LET. IT. GO.

The moment we no longer find happiness is the moment we have to determine what it is that made us happy to begin with.

Sometimes that is our biggest challenge.

Go Find your happy. XO

Our First Semi-Annual Yoga Benefit for the 100 Club of Arizona

**Gratitude** 

This was my very first event that I have ever put on *aside from my wedding,* and it was for one of the greatest organizations.  Even better was how amazing the organization and those who are a part of it were.

HUGE thanks to sooo many people, we were able to raise over $1200.00, thank you, thank you, thank you!

Thank you,

~To everyone who came out to support the 100 Club, the turn out was incredible for our first event <3

~To Chef Gordon and The Arizona Biltmore Resort and Spa, I can’t even express in words my gratitude for the hospitality and support.

~To Ashley of the 100 Club, She is absolutely incredible and helped in every possible way, I could not have done this without her support.

~To Kim and Matt Chavez who helped with not only teaching, but with set up and helping to provide raffle prizes.  I am so appreciative.

~To H3lla, our incredible DJ for setting the mood throughout the entire event.

~To Tami of the 100 Club for helping with registration and set up.

~To my sister, Kori for all of her hard work setting up and registration and Husband for your constant support. I love you both so much.

~To Patrice Mendoza and Crystal Jimenez and Hailey for your support, hype and donations.  Thank you for coming out to be a part of this, it means the world.

~To everyone who donated to our raffle, I am so grateful;  Kim Chavez, Anton Mackey, Spiritual Gangster, lululemon,Lori’s Grooming, The Biltmore Resort and Spa.

WITH So much gratitude, I could not have done any of this without your love and support, really.  This set my heart on fire and I cannot wait to continue with this relationship with the 100 Club and all of our future events.

Keep your eyes peeled, we will be hosting more yoga events in the near future to benefit this incredible organization!

To learn more about the 100 Club, or to donate: https://www.100club.org/web/100CLUB/GetInvolved/Fund.aspx

yoga at the biltmore flyer yoga biltmore twist 7 yoga biltmore sign 11 yoga biltmore savasana 8 yoga biltmore savasana 6 yoga biltmore ardha chandra 5 yoga biltmore 4 dj yoga biltmore 3 girls 10 yoga biltmore 3 yoga biltmore 2 yoga biltmore 1

 

Monday’s fit feed

Feed your mind, body and soul and get your body moving.  I like to post mini workouts every Monday, because I feel Monday is the day people have the least amount of motivation and need something to give them a little extra push.  So here’s your push. MOVE

6-10 Sets of Each / 3 rounds

Squats (regular old body weight squats):  As you squat keep your knees above your ankles as best you can.  If they move beyond your toes, don’t squat so deep! it’s ok!

Calf Raises: Options:  Stand on the floor, the edge of a step or a curb.  Feet are parallel to one another. Lift up on to the balls of your feet, drop your heels back down, repeat.

Sumo Squats:  Feet are wider than hip width distance apart, toes turn outward, heels turn in.  Squat as low as you can go, make sure your knees track over the ankles (They are moving outward, not forward)

Superman: Lay on your stomach, arms reach forward (If you have limited range of motion in your shoulders or if you have a shoulder injury, you can keep your arms down by your side), In yoga this pose is referred to as “Locust,” Or shalabasana.  Chin is forward and with an inhale lift arms, back, neck, shoulders and head off of your mat along with your legs (keep the legs pulling toward one another, they like to splay apart when lifting. This takes a little extra work ;), but you can do it.  Keep your gaze low so you aren’t straining your neck.  Breathe deeply here. Exhale lower back down.  Repeat for the appropriate amount of reps.

Basic Squat with Leg Lift: Yes, like a dog peeing on a fire hydrant, keep your feet shoulder width distance apart, squat as low as your body can go with the best posture as possible.  As you come back to the top of your squat, lengthen and lift your right leg to the side, bring it back to center, squat and repeat on the other side.

Push-ups: Because we can’t forget your arms! Modify by bringing your knees to your mat, OR hands to the wall or counter tops. This is a great way to work yourself up to regular push-ups with knees lifted!

Crunches:  Lay on your back, knees bent.  Find something to focus your gaze on above you to help maintain a neutral spine.  Hands come behind the head, they are only there for support, NOT to do the work for your abs.  As you exhale to crunch, only lift your head, neck and shoulder blades off of your mat.  Inhale to return to your starting position.  Slow and controlled and let the abs work for you!

Sweat and enjoy!

Happy Monday!

 

 

Juicinggggggg!

juiceIf you have followed my blog prior to me switching over to my new site, you know of my pure love (or love-hate) relationship with juicing.  Though, I am not exactly sure why I love it so much, since the first time I attempted a 2 week-long juice cleanse, I was rewarded with a nut allergy. HA!

What I did LOVE about my very first cleanse was how it made me feel.  I felt healthier, I had more energy, but 14 days was far too long for my body.  I jumped in to this particular cleanse head first with very little to no research at all.  My knowledge on juicing was lacking greatly, but I decided to give it a go anyhow.

What I know now:

Contraindications:  Juice Cleanse/Detox/fasts are not recommended for anyone who is:

-Diabetic
-HypOglycemic
-If battling (aggressive) cancer
-Anyone Under the age of 18
-Anyone suffering from an eating disorder

**PLEASE consult a Dr. before attempting any cleanse if you have any medical predispositions or are unsure if it is the right thing for you.**

I of course, am both pre-diabetic as well as hypoglycemic.  Had I have known the contraindications prior to my first cleanse, I would have been a little easier on myself.  I was blacking out a lot during the last week.  (Really great, huh? I’m really selling this juicing stuff! haha!)  I did finally allow myself to snack on goji berries and pumpkin seeds.  Now that I have completed many mini juice fasts, I am much more aware of my body and what it requires.  This means if I need food, I am going to eat it. Thumbs up. 🙂

Goji Berries: My favorite super-food: This red dried fruit is grown in Asia.  It is packed full of nutrients and antioxidants.  It is also known in eastern medicine as a “blood builder.”

Pumpkin Seeds: Referred to as the healthiest food, another favorite super-food of mine.  These little seeds are full of zinc, protein, magnesium, you name it, they’ve got it.  

Read more: http://www.care2.com/greenliving/13-health-benefits-of-pumpkin-seeds.html#ixzz2ykYSfoZy

With the addition of both, the dizzy spells and fatigue subsided and I received the energy I needed to finish off the 14 days.

***PLEASE NOTE: Modifications can and should be made if you do experience anything similar.  Consider any of the following: Raw foods, smoothies, nuts or seeds, but Keep it light.  Vegetable broth is also OK to include.

Normal side effects may include:

Nausea, dizziness, flu like symptoms, headache, fatigue, achy joints and runny nose.. Do not be alarmed, this is your body detoxifying and ridding of the toxins etc.

skinny funnyPreparation and easing out:

To alleviate these it is recommended to prepare your body for the cleanse a week or so ahead of time.  Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water before, during and after.  Once the cleanse/fast/detox is over, make sure you ease back in to a normal diet.  (Ex. perhaps eating vegan or vegetarian the week leading up to the cleanse and a couple of days following the cleanse.  Jumping in to heavy food immediately following a juice fast may force you in to the fetal position, bed, or on to the toilet.) These are just a few things to think about.  I will go in to more on that in a later post.

Length of juice cleanse:

Fasts can last anywhere from 3- 60 days (90 is pretty extreme, but can definitely be done; please be sure to consult a physician before embarking on any cleanse, especially if you are considering the lengthier cleanse.

Other options:

-Once a week

-Just on the weekends for an extended period of time. Etc.

JUICING VS. BLENDING:

So I’m focusing on juicing in this post, NOT blending.  You have probably heard of the Vitamix or the Ninja, both are great, but neither are juicers.  By blending your fruits and veggies you are liquefying to a degree, but the fiber of the produce is left for the body to still breakdown and digest, while juicing extracts the fiber, leaving only nutrients for the body to absorb.  This takes little energy for your body to consume; in fact the body is able to absorb the nutrients in to the blood stream quickly.

Benefits of a juice cleanse or fast:

It’s an excellent way to lose weight and cleanse the body of toxins. You will lose approximately 1 pound a day, maybe even more.  More importantly, it has the ability to make you feel lighter, happier, healthier and more focused by allowing your digestive tract a break and thus heal from the inside out.

The greatest piece of a juice cleanse is that it is only temporary and it is a great way to jump-start a healthy lifestyle and weight loss.

I have completed a few 3-day juice fasts since my 2 week endeavor, and I plan to complete another one this coming week.  3 days is the perfect balance for me based on my medical history.  My body is able to tolerate 3-days really well.

on the insideI do highly recommend consulting a physician before committing to any sort of cleanse (not just juice fasts).  Researching the options of a juice cleanse and length of time is crucial in deciding what will work best for you and your body.  Listening to your body during a cleanse of any kind is exceptionally important.  General guidelines are always just guidelines, nothing more, you know your body more than anyone else, listen.

MY DIET:

I currently follow a vegetarian diet. Processed sugars are extremely limited, I rarely ever drink alcohol, and my diet is completely gluten free.  Yet, my body still requires a break every few months.

The best part is that my husband is usually always-on board and willing to join me on these little adventures.  I love having his support through all of my crazy endeavors.

 

So with this…

A juice recipe!!

INGREDIENTS:

2 apples ( I used macintosh)

1 orange

1/2 cucumber

4 small carrots

5 stalks of Kale

Stick with organic fruits and veggies and drink plenty of water to help with the detoxification process.  You can always play with the recipes,  get creative and have fun with it!  It’s your body and your taste buds, Make ’em happy!

-The faster you drink your juice the better.  Time is a tickin’! The densities of the nutrients dissipate quickly, so it is important to get it in to your system as soon as it’s juiced.

If you have any questions regarding juicing or interested in learning more about it, or regarding the difference between juicing and blending, please feel free to comment, or email me!  I’d love to hear about your experiences with juicing as well!  Share away!  

Happy Monday!

Happy Monday everyone! Here is a quick way to get your blood moving and dust off the Monday Blues!

Enjoy <3

*If you have any injuries or medical conditions, Please Consult a physician before taking part in any physical activity.*

 

Warm it up:

1 Minute: Jumping Jacks
1 Minute: Body weight Squats

““““““““““““`

1 Minute drills OR 10, 15 or 20 repetitions per exercise (based on your level of physical activity):

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Body weight Squats (For more intensity, add a hop)

Push Ups (For more, elevate your feet by placing your toes on the edge of a step, a curb, or chair.  For less, drop your knees to the floor,  or stand with hands against a wall, (wall push-ups)).  Keep core strong, shoulders are strong and sliding back away from your ears.  Keep gaze low and spine in a nuetral position.

plankbottom of push up

Mt. Climbers Begin in a plank position, keep your butt down as best you can as you bring one foot to touch the floor beneath your chest, then alternate, switch legs as quickly as you can.  Use your core and BREATHE! You’ve got this!(For less intensity, walk it out!)

High Knees (For less intensity step/walk- slow your pace.  For more intensity run it- keep your hands above hip height or at hip height and attempt to touch the palm of each hand with your knees as you bring them up.  THIS IS A CORE EXERCISE- so keep ’em strong and engaged!)

high knee starting position high knees

Plank (For more intensity lift one foot and then the other.  Or lift one arm and then the other.  For even MORE, Lift opposite hand/opposite foot and switch).  Forearms or hands, shoulders are pulling back, heels are reaching toward your mat or floor, quads are engaged and core is really strong.

top of push up3 legged plankREPEAT,

forearm plank

Have a great day!

 

It’s new, Like the sun.

inspire

It’s about acceptance. Accepting yourself, accepting others, loving yourself and loving those around you beyond societal standards. Fitness is more than a physical practice, it is an evolution of self, emotional, mind, body connection that occurs when you give your body the tools it needs to live on such a level.

When we reach beyond the expectations society has created, we learn to live and love the life we create for who we are as individuals. Not just physically but more importantly, emotionally.

Getting tangled in the web of comparisons, we end up destroying ourselves on a deeper level, creating hurdles that weren’t initially there, which have been built with our own consent. Thus preventing ourselves from becoming our best selves, reaching our greatest potential without distraction. The problem is, is when we compare ourselves to others, we forget that they are more then likely doing the same, and not necessarily in a negative way, but perhaps they look up to you or have found inspiration through you, or aspire to do even a fraction of the things you have through your own journey.

So knock it off, LOVE yourself, be proud and live and BE yourself. Let the ‘titles’ and the labels fall away. For those are just additional, and unnecessary boundaries we are creating for ourselves, which will eventually need to be climbed over, hopped over, broken down to move and grow beyond.

These limits which we have set for ourselves, both intentionally and unintentionally, are only that… limits. So with love, and practice, we learn to get out of our own way. Live beyond your wildest dreams. Do something huge, something you have always wanted to, taking fear with you, but only allowing it to be the necessary grounding throughout the process. Nothing is too big. So quit building obstacles. Trust yourself. Be Yourself. Do something for yourself that is beyond the box you have created and are currently living within.

Stop thinking about it. Just do it.

Yoga has brought me to this place in my life where I have met people, interacted with people, both old and new, who have reintroduced the idea of letting me be me, and accepting all that that entails, both the good and the bad, without judgement.

Yoga has become my primary love affair, and to express and share all that it has brought to my life with others is a relatively new obsession. I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) in 2010, it has brought many challenges to my life as both a fitness instructor and just on a daily basis through my regular life. However It is through THOSE challenges, which have led me to be better than I thought I could be. OK I’m only human. I have a lot of slip ups, I have a temper and there are times where I want to just sleep and sulk. But then I get up, dust it off and be better than yesterday, try to be or do something I haven’t done before. Life is like yoga, it is practice. Every day is an opportunity to be better, to do better, to inspire, to grow.
My goal is to spread it like wildfire and for it to do just that- for it to grow beyond us as just individuals, but to create a sense of community and ‘togetherness’ but taking the individuals and becoming one. “The whole is greater, than the sum of it’s parts.”- Aristotle.

‘Yoga is for every. body.’- Laura.
“Yoga will get you, to where you need to be got.” – Stuart

Yoga is love. Make it happen.

Just think how amazing the world would be if we all lived with the intention of being our best selves and treating everyone else just as such.

Sweat!

Sweat Once a Day!

In honor of my 7th Anniversary, and my sisters 28th birthday, this is going to be a mini butt kicker for all of you! Please modify as needed.

*If you have any medical conditions, please consult a Dr. before performing any form of exercise. *

Complete 28 repititions of each of the following 7 exercises for a total of 2-3 rounds.  Or complete as many rounds as you can within 30 minutes. Go Team!

28 Reps:  Burpees: Begin in standing position, squat down, place hands on floor, hop or step your feet back in to a plank position, (option to add push up here), step or hop feet back to your hands (squat position), come to standing or hop up to standing.  Repeat.
28 Reps: Body Builders:  Plank position (forearms or hands), legs begin hip width distance apart. Hop the feet wide and then hop feet back together as if to perform a jumping jack in a prone position.  Allow for your core to stabilize you.  (If this is too much; Modification: step the feet apart and back together, eliminating the hop).
28 Reps: Squat Jumps (Modification: regular body weight squats, eliminating the jump):  Keep your knees in line with your ankles.  Sink your booty back, weight in to your heels.  Core is engaged, heart is somewhat elevated. As you come to the top of your squat add the hop, land with soft knees.
28: Full Sit Ups: (Modification- crunches):
Keep your gaze high, if hands are behind your head, only use them to rest your head.  Do not use them to help you lift, we are not trying to strain your neck.  Allow your core to do the work here in either variation.
28: Step Ups (14 each Leg):  Using a chair, Crate, box jump or stair; alternate leading foot to step up with.
28: Push-Ups: (Modification- knees to the floor): keep hips lifted.  If you feel too much pressure in your low back, drop to your knees.
28: Lunges (14 each leg):  Step one foot forward, keeping the knee directly above ankle.  Lowering only as deep as your body will allow.

Happy Sweating!

Hello world!

unnamed

Hello! And welcome! I am SO excited to finally have my website up and running.  I will be blogging about me, my passions, and my short comings (cough cough-cooking).  Thank you for following! I am so appreciative of every single one of you!

New Blog Posts to follow! Stay tuned! Big Big love