running

New Year, Same Old Recap

It's that time of year. The weird week between Christmas and New Years where you're not quite sure what to do with yourself. 

I always want to start planning, plotting, and rolling new things into action - but without wishing away the last week of the old year. It's a tough balance to find and a weird line to walk.

For me, taking time to review what did and didn't work in the previous year helps me chart a course and decipher a plan for the next.

So let's see what went well in 2017:

1. My business, as a whole. I took on more classes, taught more trainings, and created more opportunity than ever before. And it showed. As the year closes, it's pretty neat to see that I literally doubled my revenue from 2016.

2. Yoga retreats! I held my first two wine and yoga retreats in 2017. They were a test. Would anybody even want to go? Would working with my parents be successful? Would I even like leading retreats? Yes, yes, and yes. So in 2018 we welcome on two more retreats (there's ONE space left for the weekend of July 26-29- otherwise they are sold out) and a single day mini retreat (that is all full). And perhaps think about adding a third? A local San Diego option? Hmmmm...

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3. Teacher trainings. I co-lead my first 200 hour yoga teacher training at Spirit Yoga in 2017 and had an amazing experience. Not only did I get to impart my specific knowledge upon some amazing now yoga teachers, but I got to soak in the immense wisdom of my co-leaders. 2018 finds me heading back to Spirit from January to April to co-lead 200 hour teacher training once again (it's not too late to sign up!). I'll also continue to teach the anatomy portions of teacher trainings at other local studios. And I'm in the early stages of discussing hopping on board with co-production of a brand new teacher training with a dear friend (and amazing yoga instructor) for sometime at the end of 2018 or early 2019.

4. Anatomy. Publishing my first book was a huge highlight of 2017. Perhaps even more exciting was teaching the intensive course to yoga instructors here in San Diego. 2018 brings another local intensive (dates TBD), taking the course on the road (hello, Los Angeles in May), and beginning work on a second book and deeper level anatomy training. A large goal of mine is to teach this course outside of California - so any leads on studios that would love to partner to bring Critical Anatomy to their communities would be appreciated.

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5. Balancing personal life with work. We finally got a dog! We put in the love, time, and effort to make sure his first year of life was setting him (and us) up for success. And I think we nailed it. 2018 will bring more adventures with Arlo, bonding trips with Angelo, maximizing the quality of the time we spend together as a family, and making lots and lots of memories. 

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And where to improve...

1. Health and fitness. 2017 was another year spent battling injury. While it had many more highs than the previous year or two, it was still a year with more mornings of "ouch" than I'd like. I'm committed in 2018 to being better rounded - more yoga (my personal practice has been lacking), more strength training (yes, yes, yes it feels so good to be strong), appropriate recovery (hi foam roller), optimal nutrition (for performance, but also life). Because I'm committed to achieving big goals (Boston Marathon, a long trail race of some sort) and to having a year of being healthy.

2. Blogging. From a business standpoint, my weekly blogs, monthly blogs, and occasional in betweeners aren't doing much. And from a personal standpoint it's become something that I honestly am beginning to dread writing. I do not like having to write when I'm not inspired to. It feels less than authentic. So this year I'll be posting blogs when the inspiration strikes, and only when it strikes.

3. Run coaching. As the past two and a half years have led me down a yoga-centered road, I've let my run coaching and run specific teaching take a backseat. And while I had the opportunity to coach a few amazing people in 2017 (Antonette, Jessi, Jenn - to name a few) I want to do more! So in addition to more marketing and making space for more clients, I'll be continuing to teach runner's yoga every week and adding a Run Strong class to my weekly schedule. Plus, stay tuned for hopefully big announcements coming this year about expansion of my Rock Solid Runner programming!

4. Making more time for fun! I get caught up in the feeling that I should always be working. Because if I don't work, my business doesn't grow, and I don't get paid. And while that work ethic is one I appreciate and want to keep I know it is important to sprinkle some fun in. So here's to a year with more time spent with friends, enjoying coffee dates, ice cream scoops, tv shows, movies, reading more books, and playing more games. Also, planning more free events (because those are always fun) through Bodies in Motion. And generally smiling and laughing without holding anything back.

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Lastly, what's coming up immediately in January?

1. I'm keeping my theming going for yoga classes. January's theme is "foundations". It's impossible to build a sturdy house without a strong foundation and it's impossible to attempt or achieve an advanced yoga posture without the same. So we'll be focusing on one foundational aspect of our asana each week and building it up to a peak pose.

Come play: 

Mondays - 12PM at Buddhi Yoga

Tuesdays - 9AM at Spirit Yoga

Wednesdays - 7PM at Spirit Yoga

Fridays - 630AM at Buddhi Yoga and 9AM at Spirit Yoga

Keep up to date with my schedule here. 

2. I'm also keeping up with the small changes to my daily routine that I've coined "Maximize my Month". They may not stick as monthly challenges, but they'll be around. The current challenge? To buy less processed and packaged foods. Yup, grocery shopping is changing. No more browsing the middle aisles for crackers, snacks, cereal, and canned foods. Let's stick to the outsides of the store - produce, fresh protein sources, bulk items - as well as visiting farmers markets. Not only will it be better for us, but it will be much more friendly to the planet. Of course, some packaging will be hard to avoid (eggs are a good example) but the less the better!

 

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. 

 

Maximize My Month - September, 2017

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September is here. Kids are back in school, tourists from Arizona have gone home, and it's still feeling hot as ever in San Diego. With a new month comes a new challenge. And this is a simple one, but one I'm excited about. 

However, first we review August. The goal for August was to be more present: meditate daily, practice more yoga (even if just at home), and leave my phone while doing things like walking Arlo. I'm pretty pumped to say that I knocked this month out of the park. 

I made time to meditate (thanks Headspace!), I had the honor of leading my second retreat of the year (all about yoga and meditation - and a little wine), I spent lots of QT with Arlo, and I practiced more yoga (mostly at home). It feels great and this is a kick I will not come off of any time soon.

So on to September...

A few weeks ago I ran a 15 miler with some trail running friends (hi Lou, Megan, and John!) and we got in a convo about hydration. I fessed up that I'm terrible with drinking water before bed and in the morning. And that I felt like it might be inhibiting my exercise abilities to start my day off dehydrated. 

So this month I pledge to drink a glass of water before bed every night and one first thing upon awakening. I started this a few days early (overachiever, I know). I already feel better and even though I've been waking up once during the night to pee, I think it's totally worth it. 

So join me? Let's fight dehydration together!

PS John Nagib, this one's for you. I know you're in. 

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!