You gotta move or move on

Last last weekend, my AZ sister from another mister, Emily, came to visit me and go to Kenny Chesney’s Spread the Love concert. I was really excited to see Miranda Lambert and she was awesome. Sam Hunt also played…also amazing.

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We did yoga at the sculpture park and ate all the delicious food. I love having visitors and showing off my awesome city.

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Emily also helped me find a great new apartment! My lease was coming up real quick and while I had a plan A in place, things change and as Sam Hunt says, “you gotta move or move on.” Although Emily thinks it’s you gotta move TO move on. Thoughts?

Either way, I moved on Tuesday and I really like the new place! Err, at least what it WILL be once all the boxes are unpacked and Rigo has figured it out and calmed down a bit. He’s currently pretty sure I moved him and all our stuff there to leave him forever. My poor neighbors. Emily had a good idea to introduce him/alert the neighbors that he might be sad for a while in the new place and this is what I ended up with:

Rigo Intro

 

The new place is all of three miles away from where I was, but Seattle is full of unique neighborhoods so there’s a lot to explore. There are plenty of boring things that go along with moving, like packing and you know, moving, updating the DMV, blah blah blah. But there are fun things about moving too. My first month in the new place bucket list includes:

  1. Find my new running routes – easy 3-5 milers and longer loops for the weekends.
  2. Discover new restaurants. My new place is super walkable, so I have plenty of options for my new go-to sushi, burgers, coffee, Mexican, ice cream. Yum!
  3. Get to a November Project workout and running meetup. I’m much closer to their usual locations, so my typical excuse doesn’t work anymore.
  4. Find new walk routes for Rigo and check out the nearby dog park.
  5. Jump in a nearby body of water…I’m close to a few to choose from!
  6. Switch my holds to a closer library branch. I use the library ALL. THE. TIME. I used to just get ebooks, but I’m back on a hard copy kick and check out new release DVDs too. The new branch is walkable of course 🙂

What fun things do you like to do to settle into a new place?

 

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Finding My New Yoga with ClassPass

In Arizona, I had my workout routine down. I loved Lifetime and its yoga and spin classes. It pained me to cancel my membership, regardless of the fact that I wasn’t going to live anywhere near one! There are sooo many options for working out in Seattle – an LA Fitness right by work, a 24 Hour a block from my apartment, my apartment gym, boutique gyms a few blocks away and an endless amount of specialized studios a stone’s throw away. Oh, and gorgeous weather and many new running routes to discover.

I was going to stick to my apartment gym and running outside for a while, but I was craving yoga, so when I got the opportunity to try a free month of ClassPass, I jumped on it.

ClassPass partners with local studios – spin, yoga, pilates, dance, barre, boxing, you name it – and for a monthly fee, you can attend classes at any of those studios. I think the fee is different depending on your market, but it’s cheaper than most monthly memberships at the partner studios and you get to mix it up instead of being stuck with just one type of workout.

The concept is wonderful, but in reality, I attended three classes at the same yoga studio closest to my new place (which is the max you can attend at any one studio in a given month). I’m still figuring out my routine (and traffic!) so I wasn’t able to get to any more. Once I get settled a little more, I may consider trying it again.

If you want to try ClassPass in your area, click here for $25 off your first month!

A Week WITH Workouts

Since I last posted, lamenting about not being able to get my butt in gear, it’s been just about a month and I’m very happy to say I’m back on track.

Call it a combination of considering a triathlon this spring + the already 80 degree weather reminding me that, as a friend said, “spring training and shorts season is in like five minutes and swimsuit season is in like ten” + support/accountability partner + momentum. Whatever it is, I’ll take it! This is how my workouts went last week:

Monday: 4 mile tempo run + strength
Tuesday: hot vinyasa class
Wednesday: strength + 30-min (1200 meter) swim
Thursday: 4 mile run
Friday: hot slow flow yoga class
Saturday: 3 mile increasing pace run + strength + 2 mile steady run
Sunday: hot vinyasa class

Sean came with me to the gym on four of those trips! Making a plan to go after work and having someone hold me to that is huge for my motivation, which usually peaks at about 3pm and then heads straight down, sometimes not making it to 5pm.

Notes from the week:

1. All of my runs were treadmill, which I normally don’t like and it’s gorgeous weather and there’s really no excuse, except that those were days I went to the gym with the boyfriend and just as he encourages me, I want to encourage him.

2. Mentally I’m having trouble with increasing mileage, particularly on a treadmill when I can just hop off and call it good, which is why on Saturday I split up my 5 miles (of COURSE I’m still stubborn enough to get them all done)!

3. I used to consider yoga strength training and it certainly gave me definition in places I had been missing it, but I’m back to lifting, and for that, I blame a picture that Mama Laughlin posted showing her basically at the same weight, but looking fantastic when she added in strength. I can’t for the life of me find that damn picture.

4. Some days I’ll walk to the weights section and be like, “I got this.” Some days, I’ll be like, “what’s this heavy thing?” On those days I hide in the women’s section (at Gold’s) or an empty fitness studio (at Lifetime) and try to remember exercises I saw on blogs, in magazines or just make up some stupid ones myself.

5. I have been way too inconsistent with my yoga in the past few months and the classes this week were TOUGH, but I went and I know they’ll get easier.

6. I hoped to swim closer to a full mile (1600) in my 30 minutes, but that’s also something I know will improve.

7. Working out makes me a much happier person and makes it easier to get everything else on track. I ate better this week and my house was in a much better state than it had been. Sean is weighing the benefits of happy Megan v. the drawbacks type-A Megan. You can’t have one without the other!

My Summer Workouts

So, I didn’t quit the gym. Well, I did, then I actually started going so I unquit. Funny how it was going to take them two months to process my cancellation, but I could walk in a few days before the deadline and undo it with no lapse in my membership! It’s super close to work and I’ve fit in a few lunchtime workouts or just hit it on the way home. Plus I’m just too in love with their yoga studio. So, all is right in the world again (perhaps not quite in my bank account, but that’s okay)!

I’ve been running a decent amount lately, mostly treadmill. At the gym. At lunch. Watching the original Beverly Hills 90210. That might have influenced my decision to unquit.

But, I’ve also done some nighttime runs. Usually I lose my motivation by the end of the day, but I’m not getting up early enough to do morning and waiting until the sun goes down is a must. It’s still warm, but I kind of like them, even though they don’t seem to like me back.

Javelina-Hunting

On one night run my house key flew off my shoe (I loop it on my shoelace). A lovely couple stopped their car and helped me find it thankfully (because Rigo hasn’t learned to unlock the door yet). Then a quarter-mile from home, I saw a momma javelina and some of her babies. I FTFO! She saw me but didn’t really care, but in my mind she was coming after me!

Last Friday I went out for four or five miles at about 8pm and ended up looping out too far and finishing seven miles before I got home! My body wasn’t quite ready for that and it was hot!

If there’s anything I’ve learned from living in Phoenix for give or take 20 summers, it’s “get the hell out as often as possible,” so when a friend asked if I wanted to go to Tahoe for a wedding/her pre-birthday weekend even though the plans started months ago when it was still lovely in Phoenix, it was a no-brainer. It was chilly, but fantastic. I even got a brief teaser of a winter run because I could NOT pass up the opportunity for five cool and hilly miles there! I’ve booked two more water trips for the next two months and have two more in the works, thank God!

I marked on my calendar to make some decisions about my fall race calendar today. Why? I don’t really know, but now race brain has taken over. My mind is mostly imploding over the fact that the Fiesta Bowl half was pushed back two weeks and is now the same day as the IronGirl 10-miler. I like the half course and it would be my second half in the fall/winter and one of my 30 before 30 goals is a sub-2:00 half and the more opportunities I get, the better, right? But the hills at the Fountain HILLS (duh) IronGirl last year kicked my ass and I kind of want to go back this year and kick its ass.

Would you pick an enjoyable race or a challenging one? I think based on that I know what I should pick, but I’m leaning toward Fiesta.

There’s Just Something About Yoga Teachers

After proclaiming high and low that I’m just so dang healthy and I never get sick…I got sick twice in a month!

The first one knocked me out, but after a few days, I was recommitting to a healthy 2013 and getting back to running post-injury and I was doing okay with it until I got all sniffly again, then the throat, then the exhaustion, then the sinuses, oh the sinuses. And that crap hung around like a bad ex-boyfriend! Boo.

Finally, I decided the sick was not going to win and I was going to do what I could, so yesterday I ran and took one of my favorite yoga classes I hadn’t seen in far too long. It wasn’t completely awful and the warmth of the room helped me sweat out what seemed to be left. I woke up feeling better today, so back to the gym I went to run and – yay! – do yoga.

The thorn in my side about my perfect gym has always been the lack of yoga classes that fit my schedule on M/W/F. Yesterday I checked the schedule and saw a HOT yoga class added on Mondays and Wednesdays at 4:30 with a teacher with a great local reputation. Mind blown. My whole training plan just opened up!

I took the class today and I’m so happy! It’s a great addition and the instructor deserves his great reputation. And some of the cougars in the class agreed and I might have had a little giggle to myself about it. And then he told me my bridge pose (an ankle grab variation) was “beautiful” and I may or may not have blushed a little. There’s just something about those instructors, you know? Pop culture is on to something.

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Party on a Mat with my Homies?!

The Madison Improvement Club popped up on my radar maybe a few months ago. It’s a trendy little yoga and spin studio with a healthy cafe in Arcadia. I have a crush on Arcadia. If not for my full-blown love affair with North Scottsdale, I would totally move to Arcadia. For yesterday, though, I just went there for a yoga class at Madison.

They’ve been open for a while and seem to have grown a decent little following, but did a grand opening party yesterday with $5 classes all day and fun events, all to benefit families of fallen officers. I would have liked to do a spin and then yoga, but the spin classes were already on waitlist when I tried to get a spot on Thursday.

The grand opening party was a fantastic idea from a marketing perspective. I don’t know what their normal Saturdays have been looking like, but the little club was swarming. In fact, I pulled up to see they were valeting cars. Valet for yoga? Am I in LA?!

The building is nice, a repurposed club with great outdoor and indoor space that also used to be called the Madison Improvement Club, only the original was a meeting place for a women’s society, and has a lot of the “old is new and now modernly green” Arcadia charm. It was crowded with everyone rushing around, but had a great vibe among the staff and students.

I found a spot in the large yoga studio – I overheard that about 50 people had signed up, and it was pretty tight, but the room was somehow designed to fit something like 75 – the 90ish degrees a welcome change from the cold spell that had hit overnight leaving Phoenix in the 30s outside. The class was clichely full of mostly young women and middle-aged men who needed attention. I ended up next to a woman about my age who asked if I was spinning too and said she had been to the club before and that it’s “addicting.”

That's me! Front row behind the instructor in the teal getting my Warrior A on.

That’s me! Front row behind the instructor in the teal getting my Warrior A on.

The flow itself was good – traditional Vinyasa, somewhat basic and I worked up a good sweat in the heat – but it was definitely more of a dictation vs. instruction and the dictator (haha) walked around reading her phone?! It was like those restaurants where the waiter explains that he’s not being a douche on his phone, but it’s how they enter the orders because it’s cool. In the yoga setting, it felt like she didn’t know what she was doing and was reading a flow cheat sheet! I’m always super impressed with teachers who can give the class a great, intricate flow and then not miss a beat when repeating it on the left side. Then again, maybe she was bored and checking out Twitter!

The class didn’t start on time and didn’t end on time, which I chalked up to the rush of the party day, but don’t worry, plenty of yogis decided to leave whenever they found it appropriate for them! I hate that! I also noticed before class started, people were stepping on others’ mats and some wore their shoes into the space (though, thankfully not the same ones stepping on mats). I know a lot of newbies commit these faux pas just because they don’t know, but they need to figure it out! Yoga snob rant over.

So, a good workout, a little trendy for my tastes (try not to laugh if you check out the website), but I do like variety every now and then. The Madison offers first yoga class and first spin sesh free for locals so I’ll probably go back and try out the spin “party on a bike” or another yoga class with one of the big names in valley yoga circles – they have quite a few teaching for them!

Yoga and Compromise

#myfriendsaremarried is awesome and so very true-to-life and apparently that’s how my brain is functioning now, so in #mfam style, here’s how my workouts have been going lately…

When my body just screams, YOGA, but my race calendar is jammed.

This Saturday I’m doing a charity walk with my family for my sister’s job.  She’s eight months pregnant and is calling it a waddle.

Then on Saturday night, I’m doing the Neon Splash Dash, my first real 5K of the season. Then Sister City 5K in three weeks, then three more weeks until my third half-marathon at the Fiesta Bowl Half on December 2, Hot Chocolate 5K on December 9 and the Athleta 10-miler on December 16! Then I yoga!

I’m actually keeping yoga in about three times a week, so it’s not a huge sacrifice and I really want to get my running level back up, plus I’m doing a lot of those races with friends, which I’ve found to be more fun, so that’s good motivation in itself!

Visible Hope

Today I’m blogging an image of visible hope for Invisible Illness Awareness Week.

It was finally time to look closer at my chronic neck pain and last week I had an MRI that showed degenerative disc and facet disease and other side effects caused by swelling and inflammation aka arthritis.

I’m glad I finally have an answer. It’s very new and I wasn’t even going to share until I got a better feel for it, but I found out about Invisible Illness Week from Lauren’s blog and wanted to contribute my pic.

My plan for now – as I continue to learn more – is movement.  I love yoga and I feel strong when I practice and that is my visible hope!

Much Too Young (To Feel This Damn Old)

My body has been craving yoga, so on Tuesday I went to a class fully intending to kick off a seven-day binge, but then on Wednesday I woke up with the worst back pain ever.

I know, I know, “Waa, my back hurts” sounds totally wussy, but I think I have a pretty high tolerance for pain and it was BAD, I couldn’t move – like a stiff neck, but focused right under my shoulder-blade. Other parts of my body were a bit sore or tight from yoga, but not anything I’m not used to, this was something totally new.

And to clarify, I don’t correlate the pain with the yoga class, it’s just one of those things.  I blame most of my back pain on sleeping the wrong way and/or stress and/or the ergonomics of my job but my company is in a bit of a budget crunch right now so I don’t think it’s the time to ask for them to pay for an ergonomist to come in and figure out my desk arrangement for me.

Anyway, yeah, back pain = bad. I’d call it a 9.5. I might have cried a little and walked around all day with my shoulder tweaked up and head tilted to the side.

It was on my right side as always and I was concerned it was my disc issue flaring up again (my eating hasn’t been great and I’m REALLY going to focus on that in September). I got the earliest chiro appointment I could and he (Dr. Jeff Robinson at AZMulticare in McDowell Mountain area, he’s fantastic) put me at ease that it was likely a muscular issue (the meanest, nastiest knot ever in the whole world) because of the way my skin reacted to my beloved gua sha very heavily on the right side versus the left’s reaction to the same treatment…

Day of treatment in the white tank and today, two days later, in purple…see? It’s not so bad!

Thursday, I walked around looking like I got beat AND wearing an Icy Hot patch, but my head was slightly less tilted, we’ll call it an 8. I was also using the tennis ball in the picture above for a little myofascial release (where one person doing this looks normal, the collection on Google Images makes people look so weird). 

I’m usually a big advocate of moving to kind of heal myself, but I’m also trying to be better at listening to my body, so I took one more day off and this morning I felt soooo much better, like a 6. As you can see, I’m dressed and ready to head out to stretch those poor muscles in a hot yoga studio and give my body a little delayed gratification to its earlier request!

Why I hurt.

The most important news of the day is…I can’t lift my arms. My glorious return to yoga was on Tuesday and I know, I know…”practice today so you can practice tomorrow” and I really did try to take it easy, but I haven’t chaturangaed or downdogged in TWO MONTHS so obviously I was going to be feeling anything and everything.

Before that, my not-so-glorious return to yoga was a week ago. My first yoga studio sent me a happy birthday, here’s a free yoga sesh email, so I went, but I was the only one and the instructor was about 70. There’s nothing wrong with that, but since it was a totally customizeable class, I told her my neck and shoulders were tight (always) and we did a lot of stretching, some pose correction and – okay – ONE downdog. It was…interesting.

Yes, yes, my birthday was last Friday. I took the day off, ate carbs and shopped. It was pretty awesome. Apparently 28 is the age when a woman feels her sexiest. Lucky me!

Monday was exactly two months until the Tough Mudder Vegas race I may or may not be doing, but I decided it was time to get on track. I was going to push myself to workout consistently in August and get on a training schedule in September, but that first part doesn’t really work for me, so I planned out my workouts starting that very day and so far I’m four for four.

I started with three treadmill walk/run interval miles on Monday and then did it again last night. Last night I made myself finish faster (barely, but it counts) and the running felt better. Small victories! I’m definitely sore from those too though!

So, I guess the long story short of why I hurt is that I took too much time off and getting back to it is tough!

So that’s where I am and how I got here.  Where are you? How did you get there?