Archive for March, 2015

21 Miles, all Smiles

Signs of spring are popping up all over the place.  The snow is melting, a few flower buds are sprouting and many of the runners preparing for the Boston marathon likely had their “last long run,” before Marathon Monday.  Today’s weather conditions were much like what I ran through last year at this time for my last long run prepping for Boston, with my dear friend, Alex.  A few layers needed but the sun was shining.  Here is a before and after picture at the beginning of our 21 mile run.

With running season ramping up, I asked my running expert friends and family members for some race day tips, whether you are training for a 5k, marathon, ultramarathon, or an event like Ragnar.  Here’s what they had to say.

  • Trust in your training.  If you have followed your training plan, trust that you are able to finish the race.
  • Come race day, DO NOT CHANGE anything!  This includes nutrition, pace and clothing.  Do not buy any special shorts, pants or tops to wear race day.  If you have not trained in it, do not wear it – you don’t know if any discomfort or chaffing will result in new clothing and you don’t want to deal with pain caused from new hot spots.
  • Don’t get caught up in the hype…ie, don’t let the atmosphere and other runners alter your pace.  You have trained to run a certain pace, don’t end up bonking because you went out too fast.  You want to have a negative split, meaning your second half of the race is faster than your first half.
  • If you have friends/family attending the race, have them spread out throughout the course.  If they are able to get to desolate/isolated parts of the course, even better.  It’s great to see familiar faces in lonely parts of the course.
  • Many races have a camp to hang out at before the race.  Bring toilet paper, you don’t want to get stranded.
  • Even though you may not feel thirsty, it’s usually a pretty good idea grab a drink at the rest stops.  Alternate between water and sports drinks.
  • Have fun and enjoy the experience.

be well-

 

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Survive, and Move On

This is one of my most favorite times of the year, March Madness.  Athletes and coaches eagerly awaited their fate to see if they would make the list of 64 best and if so, who their first opponent would be.  This year in particular is a bit more special as I have dear friends, near and far, who made the cut.  In addition, my alma mater has moved onto the Elite 8 for DII.

March is a game of Survive, and Move On.  Scouting reports, film, controlling the controllables, tangibles, intangibles, calling on prior experiences are all part of the process in helping teams to move forward.

This morning, I’ll be sitting down with a group of like-minded people for our second day of a three-day workshop.  Much of the focus is a brain-based training system.  The brain is what makes everything else function.  And the number one job of the brain- survival.

Neuroscientific research has been at the forefront for the last several years.  Understanding the brain is constantly being challenged in environments, both internally and externally.  Examples might be are you reacting or responding to emotions, checking for cars as you cross the street.  Much like March Madness, we call on prior experiences to survive and move on.

After I’ve had a few days to digest all the information from this workshop and taken time to watch my friend’s games on dvr, I’ll follow up with more details.

Until then, Got your 6.

be well-

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Lulu’s, Tattoos, Beads and more….

Self admittedly, when I came onto the yoga scene first as a practitioner and then a teacher, I wanted to look and feel the part.  Often times, a large chunk of my paycheck went to pay for things such as designer yoga gear and mala beads.  Tattoo ideas such as the OM symbol, prayer hands or something in Sanskrit passed through my mind.  The idea of attending Burning Man could be fun.

It was as if there was a checklist of things I had to mark off, one by one.  And then there was a shift.  I had the confidence in who I was and what I stood for.

The cost of clothing, class passes, workshops, retreats, magazines, singing bowls, mala beads, tattoos, all in the name of yoga, is a multi-billion dollar business.  There is no doubt I have helped to contribute to that number.

Last week I went into one of my favorite shops in town.  It happens to be full of handpicked items the owner brings back from Nepal.  He always takes the time to give me some sort of lesson while I am there and I am eager to learn what he has to share.  On this day, he explained the symbolism of the Green Tara’s posture and mudra (hand position) and what she stood for.  And then he talked about the significance of 108, the mala beads, by drawing out diagrams.  Having someone take the time to teach me a bit of history behind a 5,000 year old practice is impactful.

For me, the brand name of a clothing line is no longer important.  I am just as comfortable wearing sweat pants and a tee-shirt while teaching.  Beads I wear around my wrist are there to help remind me that meditation can be done anywhere, anytime.  Singing bowls offer a beginning and an end to my practice.  As for that tattoo…..

Everyone is going to have their own path, their own way of living.  Find what is important and meaningful to you.

be well-

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Reconnect with Humanity

A few weeks ago I saw many people posting what they were giving up for Lent. While it has been many years that I have set foot in a church for anything other than a wedding or funeral, I chose to take my own 40 day challenge. The only difference, I choose to give, rather than give up. I choose to give more of myself through spoken words, hugs, smiles and the biggest challenge- 40 letters in 40 days.

So far this has been a great experience. I have written and mailed off several letters, spoken to friends and family over the phone with long conversations, and have visited friends in their homes. Doing all of this has provided the opportunity to reconnect in ways other than social media.

Much of our life is over stimulated with work, social engagements, daily/weekly tasks, and most recently, technology; we forget the importance of connection. While technology has provided few tools to make our lives easier, it has also created a sense of separation. Watching people on the subway or walking down the street, nearly everyone has a phone in their hand either texting or listening to music. Companies are choosing to do more Skype and video conferencing rather than meeting face to face. When out to dinner, both parents and kids have some sort of device in their hand.

Take a few moments to watch this video and then go out, leave the distraction behind. Reconnect with humanity.

be well-

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