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Maximize My Month - November, 2017

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A timely combination of October's monthly challenge centering around complaining less and my body deciding that running wasn't going to feel good happening in the same month made for an interesting, and sometimes difficult, October. 

A month of interesting conversations with myself, and a select few around me, about what my body is trying to tell me, how best to listen, and how to balance that want/need to run and move with the apparent need to rest. Some of the outcomes of these conversations was a conscious decision to sleep in a little more, skip some morning workouts, and (pretty drastically) cut down my running all together.

I told Angelo yesterday that I have been feeling guilt around sleeping in and skipping morning workouts. Not because I feel like I should be doing them, am lazy for not, or am upset about missing previously planned events...but because it felt so good. I've been feeling guilty that my body feels so much better when I do those things. How goofy is that? I've been dealing with fatigue and pain for so long, and it's ingrained in us that things should feel uncomfortable and difficult, that I feel guilty when they don't. 

An unintended side effect of this conscious decision to slow down was something I'm unhappy with - hitting snooze. I've become a snooze monster. 

The amazing thing about taking some mornings off, or sleeping in (which is like 6AM for me), or substituting running workouts with something else is that, ideally, I should feel like I have a little more time in my mornings. Time to make a cup of coffee and sit down to drink it. Time to read the news. Time to catch up on those bottom items on the to do list that get ignored often. Time to walk the dog. Time to meditate.

But if I just hit snooze, I lose that time. And I don't gain any meaningful sleep, we all know this.

So November's challenge: kill the snooze monster. Set an alarm the night before and JUST GET UP when it goes off. 

Ya with me?

xoxo

LP

What I'm Into Wednesday - A Reset Week

Have you ever gone on a trip and then felt like you needed a trip when you got back from your trip? We've all been there. I was feeling that way on Sunday afternoon, returning from Joshua Tree, and became determined to not let that feeling carry into the week. This week's list has a little to do with how I managed that.

 

Do:

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Let's start with the trip. This weekend was the first annual #SouthwestCollisionCourse. November Project tribes from San Diego, Los Angeles, and Phoenix converged on a plot of land near Joshua Tree for an evening of racing (6pm - midnight, relay style on teams) and camping. The race was so well organized and the contingent was strong (about 130 people). The plot of desert land worked great for cars and camping and the trail was a fun mix of dirt road (which are apparently private drives, whoops) and challenging trail. All is good in the hood and the event is running smoothly right through the finish at midnight. I have to give my team, the Regul8ors, a shout out. They were so fun, raced hard, and had a blast. Special shout out to Angelo for stepping in when my foot started acting up to run my last leg for me. All the positive aside, this is what I took away from the night: I greatly dislike huge group camping. When I go to nature, I want to enjoy nature. Campfire, star gazing (and Saturn gazing in our case), tent sleeping, quiet nights, and early morning sunrises. There was a small contingent of attendees who decided to take the post race party into the early morning. Like 4:30am early morning. I don't like techno ever, but especially not at 3am. Here's my thoughts: it's fine to enjoy yourself and have a few beers, but be respectful. Respectful of the fact that it's not your property, that there are neighbors nearby, that there are 100 other people who may not want to hear your drunk self yell and blast music, that there are kids, that people might want to sleep after running hard, and that they might want to rise early the next day (well rested) to enjoy nature. It's official, in my old age I've run out of patience.

 

See:

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Last week we began real dog training for Arlo. As in we hired a trainer. James from Who's Walking Who will be coming out once a week for 4 weeks to work on the things that we felt were beyond our ability: attentiveness off leash, not jumping on new people (or old people for that matter), recall off leash, and a little possessiveness with toys. James spent two hours with us and the effectiveness of the training is already noticeable. After talking to a good friend of ours who is a dog trainer, and talking to James, we decided to use the mini Educator with Arlo. It's a low powered electronic collar that delivers a variable (controlled by you) vibration/buzz when you press a button. Let me start by saying that the setting at which we've been using it with Arlo is so low that I can't even feel it when I put the collar on my own body. That being said, it's working really well. He hates it (for now), which is to be expected. Having to pay attention to your parents is no fun. It's exhausting for him to think that hard (which is awesome, see photo above). The only thing I don't like? The serious judgement I get from people who don't own dogs when they hear we are using an e-collar. How do parents of real human children deal with all the parenting shame??? Get off my ass people, he's not your dog and I'm sure you'd rather he not jump all over you. 

 

Hear:

I went into full blown podcast mode on my drive to Joshua Tree. My fave of the weekend was a Radiolab episode entitled Anna in Somalia. It was beautifully done and told a fantastic story about love, literature, and imprisonment. Give it a listen.

 

Smell:

Coffee is not a new topic on this blog. But in my mission to relax into this week instead of approach it with stress I slept in on Monday morning, made myself a large mug of coffee, and enjoyed it in the house - not in a travel mug on the run somewhere. Just being able to sit, to smell the coffee, and to drink it leisurely was heaven. But to make it even better, I made my coffee in the french press (as normal) but added ground roasted coconut and some cinnamon. YUM.

 

Taste:

Upon awakening from a much needed nap on Sunday afternoon I took it upon myself to meal prep for the week. Angelo is out of town for a few days and that normally means my nutrition goes to shit. But I'm getting serious about it. I'm unhappy with a few things performance and appearance wise, and I know that nutrition plays a larger role than even exercise, so I'm on it. That means MEAL PREP. The least amount of work I have to do to eat well on a day to day basis, the better. I roasted some sweet potatoes (or are they yams? What's the difference?) with avocado oil, salt and pepper. I cooked up a mixture of lentils and quinoa in some beef bone broth. And I made a little two bean (black and garbanzo) and corn salad with balsamic and olive oil. Toss those together, add some protein and veggies, and I have lunches and dinners all week. 

 

What I'm Into Wednesday - The Canadian Edition

This past weekend was the 2017 SeaWheeze Half Marathon. In case you don't know, SeaWheeze is lululemon's signature race. It takes place in their hometown of Vancouver, BC and pretty much takes over. 

To give you an idea of the fanaticism surrounding this race, here are some details:

- It sells out in about 12 minutes each year. 10k runners. 12 minutes.

- The exclusive runner's store (where you can buy - for full price - exclusive prints and colors of their clothing) opens on Friday at 7AM but people line up starting around 7AM on Wednesday. 

- This year's fan favorite, the rainbow reflective clothing collection, sold out within 23 minutes. You can buy yourself some run tights on eBay for about $1000.

And what's crazy to me is that this is all about the clothes for many of the people, which totally overshadows the amazing race itself and the post race festival.

This was my 3rd year pacing (as a Pace Beaver, they call them in Canada) and each year gets better from logistical, entertainment, and support standpoints. 

Plus Vancouver is one of my favorite cities of all time. So in honor of that, this week is all about the trip!

HEAR

In the yoga world there is no shortage of people to look up to. Longtime teachers, Instagram celebrities, and talented local teachers abound. One of my teachers and mentors in the yoga game is Goldie Graham. I've learned so much from her and share many of the same values and opinions in terms of the yoga world as her. We're lucky enough to have her as a local teacher here in San Diego (sorry, Bostonians) and she was selected to teach at the Sunset Festival post race. Over 8000 runners showed up to practice yoga in beautiful Stanley Park before the evening concert from Cold War Kids and Young the Giant. Goldie was calm, collected, commanding, present, and nailed teaching this class. It was so fun to be a part of, to listen to, and to watch go down. 

DO

This is an obvious one: RUN THE RACE! In my third year as a Pace Beaver I've had a few opportunities to reflect on just why pacing this race is so much fun. The course is fantastic, the crowd support and support from lululemon is unparalleled. But it's really about the runners and my fellow pacers. Pace Beavers are all ambassadors from around the world who are selected to come to Vancouver and pace a time anywhere from 1:35 to 3:00 in the half marathon. We're there to be your time keeper, your safety watcher, your motivator, and your entertainment. It's so much fun to help people crush goals, to watch the human spirit tackle the half marathon, and to do it all with other badass ambassadors by my side. I'll be back as many years as lululemon will have me!

SMELL

My knowledge of food of different cultures is very, very limited. I'm a picky eater and I get nervous to try new foods. Vancouver has an amazing food scene and I was determined to take advantage of it. Enter Kosoo. This Korean fusion restaurant was near the hotel we stayed in our first night in Van and was amazing. It smelled so incredibly good, had lots of veggie options (meat weirds me out), and tasted just as good as it smelled. Check it out if you find yourself in Vancouver!

TASTE

I'm dedicating this to all of the breakfasts on our trip. Looking for donuts? Go no further than 49th Parallel and Lucky's Donuts. Something more substantial? Our last morning in town we hiked up the Grouse Grind (get there too... worth the sweaty mess you'll be afterwards) and then headed to Red Wagon. Why? Pancakes topped with in house smoked pulled pork and pork belly and jalepeno cornbread just to name a few reasons. Moral of the story? Sweat hard to eat harder. 

SEE

Grizzly bears. Yup. If you climb the 1.3 miles and 2800 feet straight up Grouse Grind you'll get to a mountaintop with a lumberjack show, a wild bird show (hello, bald eagle!) and GRIZZLY BEARS. Two orphaned grizzlies now live at the top of Grouse. When we got up it was cold and rainy, which resulted in most of the other tourists seeking shelter but clearly didn't affect the grizzlies, who walked straight up to the fence. I'm talking like 20 feet away. It was amazing, breathtaking, and really freaking cool. Climb yourself up there!

What I'm Into Wednesday - FUN.

When I compiled this week's list of things I'm digging I was reminded of how lucky I am. My life is "busy", can be "stressful", and I have "adult" things to do...but overall it's really not that difficult. Much of what I do on a daily basis is fun - work and play both fall into this category (and they cross over quite often). And I have to say, for that I'm thankful.

So this week is all about FUN. 

Taste

One of the things I find to be the most fun is eating. And I love trying new restaurants. Angelo and I went out on a puppy-less date on Saturday night and checked out Tribute Pizza in North Park. A few friends had recommended this joint and they were spot on. The space is big, bright, and airy and the food we got was awesome. Foccacia with roasted garlic, a big salad, and a vegan pizza with a squash sauce and roasted veggies. YUM.

Smell

Let's just continue on the food train. Good friends of ours host a Thursday night themed dinner at their house and this past week's theme was "vaguely Asian". So I Googled Asian desserts and an Asian pear crisp came up. Upon further review, the only thing Asian about it was the variety of pears but considering the theme was "vaguely Asian" I figured it worked. Asian pears, orange juice and maple syrup made up the fruit portion. The crumble was oats, coconut, almonds, and crystallized ginger - with coconut oil as the fat. It turned out amazing! And smelled so good. 

See

This Saturday was one of my favorite races in San Diego - the Balboa Park 8 Miler. It's one of the oldest races in town and is a longtime fundraiser for the San Diego Track Club. It's put on by my favorite race directing company, High Performance Movement, and takes you on a serious tour of the roads and trails of Balboa Park. I'd been hesitant to run it due to a flare up of some foot problems in the past few months so instead I planned my normal run to head past the race finish so I could cheer in some friends. My brother in law crushed his race, my Ashley Lane Fitness girls had a blast, and (of course) there were plenty of November Project peeps repping the #grassrootsgear. While racing is fun, watching your friends and family cruise across the finish line was a blast.

Do

That leads into do: RUN! Specifically, run without pain or discomfort. Last week I stopped by Milestone Running and harassed them for about two hours. We talked about all my weird foot pains and problems (and my f-ed up feet) and tried on just about every shoe. In the end, they gave me a returned pair of Hokas to try out. Let's preface this with the fact that I've avoided Hokas like the plague because, honestly, they're pretty ugly. But I'm at the point where I'll try anything. So I tried them for a long run Saturday. AND THEY WERE AWESOME. 14 painfree miles later and I may be hooked (for now). While they won't fix the problem, they are a good part time solution. So I went back to Milestone Sunday and bought myself a pair. If you see me running in them, try not to laugh. I promise to stop laughing at other runners wearing them too.

Hear

When I go on solo long runs I occasionally like to take headphones with me. But I don't listen to music, instead podcasts. So here's another one for you: RadioLab (again) and their episode titled Breaking News. It was all about new technology on the horizon that is basically like Photoshop for audio and video. Yup, you will soon be able to edit audio and video - making yourself (or others) say and do things that never actually happened. While the tech is cool, it's also a little terrifying. They dig into it pretty well here. Give it a listen. 

Maximize My Month - July 2017

Sometimes you have great ideas that you're chomping at the bit to engage and sometimes you're fresh out of ideas and just waiting for inspiration. I love when that inspiration strikes!

Let's back up. June's goal was to do handstands every day. I put an entire year (2015) into learning how to do handstands. And like anything, if you don't use it you lose it. And I had felt like I lost it. But it was really fun and fascinating to see how quickly that movement pattern came back this past month. It really is like riding a bike - muscle memory is there and it's powerful. And sometimes flipping your perspective (literally) is very necessary.

Back to this month's inspiration. Last week I got to Ashley Lane Fitness a few minutes early for a session with a client and I took advantage of it to spend 10 minutes working hip and ankle mobility. Only 10 minutes and it was the best I've felt in months. I mentioned this in passing to my friend, and Vajoggy founder, the HP (and tiny, bread making magician Allie) and they were in agreement that it was an area they needed to be working on. This is the moment of inspiration: accounta-billa-buddies. Every day we'd text each other to remind each other to take 5 minutes and work on something we know we need to be doing daily (for us, mobility work). 

So that's July's goal: get yourself an accounta-billa-buddy. Find someone with similar goals. Commit to each other to keep each other in line to do those small things that you would forget about/postpose/procrastinate on your own.

Together, we're stronger!

xoxo

LP