June 30, 2011 at 3:59 pm | Posted in Alzheimer's, Thursday group, yoga | Leave a comment

Last night I went to the free YogaWorks open class on Pier 46 again.

It was another totally gorgeous perfect day for outdoor yoga. Practicing outside is so much fun.

But this was not my best class ever. I was totally off balance the entire time. I kept falling out of poses, wobbling, and turning left instead of right. Once I fell completely onto the ground! It wasn’t even a hard pose – maybe Warrior I? – but I just couldn’t stay up and I tumbled. It was really, really weird.

It was still a good practice, though. A little more aggressive than the last class at the pier, but that’s probably a good thing. I am relying on yoga to be my strength training now.

R2R Thursday group meets tonight. Though it is technically a team practice, ALL are welcome, so please feel free to come! We meet at 6:30 at the Columbus Circle entrance to Central Park, near the loop. You’ll recognize us in our purple Alzheimer’s gear!


If at first you don’t succeed…

June 29, 2011 at 6:12 pm | Posted in Alzheimer's, running | 3 Comments

If the day starts with T, I’m running in the park with Team Run to Remember.

An even bigger crowd than last Thursday. The more, the merrier!

Last night I had the opportunity to run with a true newbie – someone who, like me, was not an athlete or a runner at all before joining the team. She has only been running on the treadmill to date, so she struggled a bit with finding her breath – it was, after all, a hot and humid day, and the rolling hills of Central Park can be quite a shock to the system!

We probably started out too fast, and about a mile in, she needed a break, so I walked with her. I know she felt discouraged, and maybe a little overwhelmed. I told her I’d been there myself, and that with a little time and a little faith (in herself, in the training), she’d get to where she needs to be. Luckily, she has a great attitude, and I think she believes.

We ended up cutting the route short and run-walking the entire way. The important thing is that even though she needed breaks, she always came back to running, and we finished strong.

It takes time. You don’t wake up one day and become a marathoner. You have to work really hard, and it’s physically and mentally exhausting. But anyone can do it. Just keep trying. You’ll get there.

Edited to add: Remember what I was thinking at this point when I was training for my first marathon?

Open at Yogamaya.

June 28, 2011 at 6:32 pm | Posted in yoga | Leave a comment

In the spirit of trying new things and hitting up some new studios, I purchased a 3-class pass to Yogamaya from Gilt City last week, and went to my first class last night.

It was an “open” class, which to me means that students at any level can go and make the instruction work for them. And, though the Yogamaya description did say that this class was not for totally new beginners, I was surprised to discover that I was, by far, the least experienced yogi in the room. I guess “open” means different things at different studios.

I still mostly enjoyed the class, but I was definitely a bit overwhelmed. I thought the teacher – Bryn Chisman, one of the studio’s founders – was charming, but she moved quite fast and I felt a little confused at times. We started in down dog and moved through the vinyasa at lightning speed. At times, I was pleased with how much I could handle; at other times, I felt really tired and a little disappointed that I couldn’t keep up. Bryn was a good teacher and did come help me into a pose at one point, and I liked that even though I am clearly incredibly inflexible, she just assumed that I could do it with a little guidance. (And I did do it, though not without pain!)

I should also mention that the studio is gorgeous; it is light and bright and incredibly well-maintained and organized.  That kind of stuff matters to me, a lot, so I thought it was worth mentioning.

I will definitely go back to take the remaining two classes on my card – but I’ll probably go for a level one class next time. The deal is still available, so check it out yourself if you’re interested!

Hope & possibility.

June 27, 2011 at 7:22 pm | Posted in races, weekend | Leave a comment

Yesterday I ran the Achilles Hope & Possibility 5 mile race in Central Park.

It was a beautiful morning. I went to the race by myself, and I wasn’t planning to meet anyone, which was nice – I could just watch and think and enjoy. (I did end up seeing my father-in-law, and we ran the first two miles together, but after that he left me in his dust!)

I wasn’t interested in running a fast race. I wanted to be totally in the moment and not rush to the finish. So that’s what I did. I moved at a pace that felt comfortable and tried to be grateful with every step that I have two strong legs to run on.

Achilles International is an organization whose “mission is to enable people with all types of disabilities to participate in mainstream athletics in order to promote personal achievement, enhance self-esteem, and lower barriers to living a fulfilling life.” It’s so incredible to see the way this group has empowered people who might otherwise have given up because of their injuries or other issues. I saw countless wheelchair racers, plus a number of people with prosthetic limbs – including one very young war veteran missing both legs and one of his arms – and several blind runners. All of these people could stay home and feel bad for themselves, but they choose to participate, and they are an inspiration.

So, every time I complain about it being too hot or cold or an ache or not having enough time, I will try to think of them and remember how lucky I am that I can run.

Simple math.

June 24, 2011 at 8:18 pm | Posted in Alzheimer's, running, Thursday group | Leave a comment

I love love LOVE this team already!

It was sticky and nasty, but seven members of Team R2R 2011 edition came out for a 5 miler in Central Park last night. I ran with a Junior Committee Member prepping for her first marathon. Prior to last night, she had only run 4 miles in training; now she has 5+ under her belt. See how that works? Meet team, run together, push yourself, achieve greater distances. Simple math!

I hope everyone has a fabulous, run-filled weekend! I’m doing both races in the park – the Front Runners New York Lesbian and Gay Pride run on Saturday, and the Achilles Hope & Possibility 5-miler on Sunday (the most amazing, inspiring race of the year). Anyone else going to be out there?

…and we’re off!

June 21, 2011 at 7:33 pm | Posted in Alzheimer's | Leave a comment

I love the Team Run to Remember Marathon kickoff meeting. It’s so exciting to see all of the new people running each year, and imagining what the next four months will be like together. Plus, it’s fun to get them all good and scared.

The room was packed!

All of these wonderful people have seen what Alzheimer’s can do to a person and a family. Together, we’re going to raise awareness in the community – not to mention a pile of donations for research, programs, and services – and hopefully get a bit closer to ending Alzheimer’s in our lifetimes.

I can’t wait to see Central Park littered with dedicated people running in these purple shirts.

I still can’t believe I get to coach this awesome team. I am the luckiest person in the world.

Sweaty yoga.

June 20, 2011 at 8:48 pm | Posted in weekend, yoga | 2 Comments

This weekend, while home visiting my family, I finally went to the one and only yoga studio in my hometown for a class. It’s called Synergy Power Yoga and they practice the Baron Baptiste vinyasa style.

Little did I know that that meant HOT vinyasa!

I started getting nervous when everyone walking into class came armed with towels and multiple water bottles (I had none of either). I knew it wasn’t Bikram yoga (which is practiced in a room heated to 104 degrees), but I still thought I might be in over my head.

In the end, I did wish I had a towel and a water bottle (or seven), but I actually loved it! Somehow, when I’ve heard people talk about hot vinyasa, I assumed it was more of a gym class than a yoga experience, but I was really wrong about that. This was super challenging but still featured all of the wonderful things I love about yoga: I felt calm, relaxed, and able to get away from the real world.  And it was kind of fun to be sweating like crazy all over the place. Refreshing, almost. I will definitely be back to this studio, and I’m also going to seek out a hot vinyasa studio in the city.

I do have one gripe, though, and I’d love to hear what people think. There was one person in this class – quite young, perhaps not even in college yet – who just did whatever she wanted the entire time. I know that yoga instructors encourage students to take more challenging poses if they are able, but this girl just seemed to be doing acrobatics that were completely unrelated to what the rest of us were doing. To me, that was kind of distracting and rude, but maybe I’m wrong. (Also, why bother spending $15 to be instructed if you’re just going to do what you want anyway?) I’m not sure what the proper etiquette is since I have no acrobatic skills myself. What do you think?

On the trail.

June 17, 2011 at 8:29 pm | Posted in running, Thursday group | Leave a comment

The first practice of 2011 marathon season was…

small 🙂

But that’s okay. Five runners is a perfect size group to start with.

Rather than doing our usual 5 miler, we decided to go for a shorter distance. Running on the loop would have been out of the question anyway, since the Corporate Challenge was taking over most of the park. So we set out on the Bridle Path and headed north.

Running on the Bridle Path is completely different from running on the loop. It’s a dirt and gravel road that winds up to and around the reservoir. It’s under a canopy of trees and it’s easy on the feet (though, it’s so bumpy that I wouldn’t be able to wear my minimal sneakers there). I forgot how beautiful it is, and how pleasant it is to run on.

This is the best (and kind of only) time of year we can run on the Bridle Path in the evening – because of the tree cover, it gets dark there before it does on the loop (which is a paved road, out in the open and lit by street lamps). So I will take advantage!

We covered about three miles. It was the perfect first run back after the half.

Anyone racing this weekend? I heard the Portugal Day race has a tech tee!


Yoga at Pier 46.

June 16, 2011 at 6:03 pm | Posted in Thursday group, yoga | Leave a comment

Last night I eased myself back into yoga with the free class offered by YogaWorks on Pier 46 in Hudson River Park.

The setting was perfect. The sun was shining, but it wasn’t too hot.

It was an open level class, so we stuck to the basics, which was good for me after such a long hiatus. I was worried that I might feel uncomfortable, but it felt so good! We did lots of sun salutations and variations. I could have stayed in down dog all day. And I really loved doing yoga outside.

Afterwards, they handed out coupons for a free week at YogaWorks and a chocolate treat from Organicoa, who sponsored the event. We walked right over to grab our samples. They were amazing! Chocolatey and cool and refreshing.

These free classes will continue on Wednesday nights at 6 pm through July 27.

R2R practice tonight! Join us? 6:30 at the Columbus Circle entrance to Central Park, near the loop. You don’t have to be on the team to come.

Rounding out.

June 15, 2011 at 7:06 pm | Posted in not-running | 4 Comments

I don’t eat meat for a lot of reasons, and ultimately I believe it makes me a healthier person and a better runner. But I also understand that there are a few things, nutritionally speaking, that I may miss out on by abstaining from animals.

Recently, after reading about it here and there, I decided to try taking a vitamin B12 supplement to round out my diet. B12 does not occure naturally (in significant amounts) in plants. You can get it from eggs, milk, and yogurt, but of those three, I only eat eggs, and I usually skip the yolks, so that’s probably not going to do it for me.

B12 is important for growing red blood cells, which is a pretty big deal. If you’re deficient in B12, you could end up with anemia, fatigue, weakness, constipation, and loss of appetite. Plus, it could affect your metabolism. No bueno.

I know this will sound crazy, and perhaps echo Jessie Spano’s passion for caffeine on that classic episode of Saved by the Bell, but these are magic pills. My energy level has changed significantly since I started taking them – it has gone way up. If I feel sleepy and ready for bed at 8 pm, I know it’s because I forgot to take my B12 in the morning. In general, I just feel better. It’s pretty amazing.

Now, in case it’s not painfully obvious, I am NOT a doctor, nutritionist, or any kind of medical professional who is qualified to dish out info on what you should or shouldn’t consume. I’m just sharing what works for me.

Do you take a vitamin? Multi? Women’s? Fish oil? Anything else?

(Image source.)

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