Saturday, January 23, 2010

My first yoga class!

As a teacher, that is!

Friday night I taught half of a 45 minute yoga class that consisted of 10 other yoga-teachers-in-training. It was terrifying and stressful, but super rewarding and uplifting at the same time. And my partner was great - she and I worked together really well and she's already a fabulous teacher!

Together we designed a class that focused on forward folds. We had to make some adjustments for time constraints and stuff, so I'm not exactly sure what the sequence was that my partner led everyone through. But here's the sequence I led the class through:
  • Seated breathing with flowing arm movements
  • Baddhakonasana
  • Flowing cat and cow poses with the breath
  • Uttanasana - held for 5-10 breaths clasping elbows in front or behind legs
  • Surya Namaskara A - twice, holding down dog for 5 breaths
  • Parsvottanasana, flowing to Urdhva Prasarita Eka Padasana
  • Prasarita Padottanasana with hands clasped behind the back
  • Prasarita Padottanasana with fingers hooked around the big toes
It's not super challenging - which is good, because my class came after two other 45 minute classes - but it's great for stretching out the hamstrings and relaxing after a tough day. The whole sequence took us about 20 minutes to move through, so it's pretty quick, too.

I'm excited to start working on designing more of my classes now! It's a pretty awesome rush to successfully make it through your first one.

Thursday night workout

Thursday I decided it was time to take a break from the yoga and get in a good hard cross-training session at the gym. I need to get more running in, but after the treadmill wall I hit on Tuesday, I thought cross training would be a better option.

The gym is generally difficult to navigate in the month of January. Lots of people join to try and fulfill their New Years resolutions; lots of people are involved in various weight loss contests that coincide with these resolutions. All of this leads to the same number of machines and a much higher number of people. So Thursday night's workout was kind of disjointed and all over the place because several machines had broken down and the machines I wanted to use weren't open when I wanted to use them.

So here's what was in the mix on Thursday night:
  • Treadmill: 2 miles @ 1.0 incline, 8.0 speed
  • Rowing machine: 5 minutes of 30 seconds on/30 seconds off
  • Step-Mill: 20 minutes at level 10, 10 minutes at level 5
  • Rowing machine: 3 minutes of 30 seconds on/30 seconds off
Ideally I would've done the rowing portion all together, but I had to jump as soon as the step-mill opened up; otherwise I would've never gotten it!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


Image courtesy of

I have such a huge mental block when it comes to treadmills it's ridiculous. I swear, it's 10 times harder for me to run on a treadmill than run outside. I think that makes me weird, because I always hear from other people that they find running on treadmills easier and have a tough time going the same speed outside as they do on the machine. Well not me! Give me a run outside any day over the stupid treadmill!

Today I completely messed up my workout schedule. I was supposed to hit up a Mysore class at 6am this morning, and then hit the 'mill for 4 miles after work. Failure number one was sleeping in and completely missing Mysore. Oops! To make up for it, I went to an hour long yoga class at the gym instead. That was good, but it's pretty hard to run 4 miles after you've spent an hour getting hot, sweaty, and limber - and you already hate the treadmill. Failure number two was only running 1.5 miles on the 'mill after yoga (1.5 miles at 1.0 incline and 8.0 speed - with a .25 walk at 1.0 incline and 4.0 speed). No where close to the 4 miles I was supposed to put in. Argh!

I need to start holding myself accountable to the workout plans I make and not slack off so much! I also need to actually come up with a formal training plan for the marathon in May - which is less than 4 months away! Ack!

This week's workout schedule

This week's workout schedule is pretty intense because I'll be gone all next week - I've got a lot of yoga practice to get in and a lot of miles to run!

Monday: Off! After yoga yesterday, I need a day off.

Tuesday: Mysore yoga class; 4 mile run

Wednesday: Cross-training; light weights/abs

Thursday: Mysore yoga class; 4 mile run

Friday: 3 hour yoga school - I'm teaching my first class tonight!

Saturday: Long run (7-10 miles)

Sunday: 7 hour yoga school

Monday, January 18, 2010

A Sunday full of yoga

This blog is quickly becoming a yoga blog and not a running blog. Oops! Since September, I have spent about 10 hours a weekend, three weekends a month, doing yoga and working towards my teaching certification. It's a lot of yoga, but it's totally worth it - I've learned so much about the philosophy of the practice and my own body in the process.

So this Sunday was spent like so many in the past few months have been - on my mat. We had 3.5 hours of practice in the morning, focusing on opening and strengthening hips. Alison of Harmony Yoga was our teacher - she's so fantastically motivating and pushes you, yet is kind and gentle at the same time. We did all sorts of pigeons, threw some arm balances in there, and (after a bunch of other poses) ended with a 10 minute savasana.

After the certification class ended at 4, I decided to come back to the shala for a 75-minute restorative yoga class. Like last time, it was fantastic and exactly what my body needed to end the weekend.

So that's how I spent nearly 10 hours in a yoga studio on Sunday.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

When life gets in the way

The past week-and-a-half have been full of life craziness that has made it extremely hard to get up the motivation to get out and move my body. It's so funny to me that I abandon running so quickly when things get busy, even though I love it so much and I know that it's one of the few things that keeps me sane.

A wedding, house guests, and master's degree thesis that seems to have a life/mind of its own, general work craziness, and a bout of the flu... it's like everything that could be thrown at me in the last few weeks was. But now it's time to get back to business! I'm running a marathon in 4 months, and I need to train for it darn it!

I hopped back on the exercise horse last night with an awesome 90-minute ashtanga-inspired yoga practice at the Yoga Shala. We got pretty sweaty going through sun salutations, warriors, and various triangle poses, and then busted out the chairs for some supported shoulder stands and back bends. It felt great last night to get back into everything, and I'm only a little sore so far today.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Insanity takes many forms...

... and for me, it comes in the form of racing.

My first brilliant plan regarding race strategy was to register for Bloomsday - a race that will take place exactly 1 day after I get married, and is in a different state that's a 6 hour drive away. My honeymoon is not scheduled to start until Monday because I wanted to make sure I had the opportunity to run it if I wanted. But alas, I've been assured by just about everyone that this whole idea is completely insane and that the last thing I'll want to do the day after I get married is run a 12k, let alone traveling the opposite direction of Hawaii and running a 12k.

Instead, I've decided to run my first marathon 4 days after returning from my honeymoon! May sound crazy, but this plan is waaaaaay more logical. Look at it this way: almost every marathon training plan includes a taper of some sort - usually a week or two where the running is light in preparation for the "big day" (my second "big day" I guess!) - and my two weeks will perfectly coincide with my wedding and honeymoon! Genius!

Saturday, May 15th, I will compete in my first marathon - the Windermere Marathon, which finishes in Spokane. I have a date to train for, and am working on coming up with a training plan and realistic goal.

Here goes nothing!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Restorative Yoga FTW

Today I was definitely in need of a bit of relaxation - a way to destress without taxing myself too much before the crazy week ahead. I was contemplating going for a half-effort run when an email from my yoga studio arrived in my inbox saying that there were plenty of spots left in a Restorative Yoga class starting tonight at 5:30. Just what I needed!

I love Restorative Yoga because I feel stretched out afterwards, but not exhausted and hot and sweaty like so many other types of yoga classes. It truly is the yoga alternative to massage. You won't get a workout - it's no substitute there - but it's great for those days that you're taking off from training completely. We did supported Hero Pose, held some looooong supported Pigeon Poses, and of course had an excellent relaxing Savasana to finish out the class. It's amazing what the addition of a bolster or block can do to help you get deeper into a pose and really feel an awesome stretch.

Spokane was lucky enough to have a visit from the famed Judith Lasater in late 2009, considered by most to be the Mother of Restorative Yoga. If you ever ever ever have the chance to take a Restorative class from her you should jump at it because you won't be sorry! I also highly recommend that those interested in Restorative Yoga check out her books and writings on Restorative Yoga because they have some great ideas for poses, many of which can be done at home with regular household items.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

First workout of 2010!

I had every intention of working out yesterday - but between the champagne and not getting home until 3am, it just didn't happen. New Years Eve will do that to you, I guess!

So this morning I went to the gym bright and early hoping to beat the resolution crowds. It was a testament to my dedication, rolling in at 8am on a Saturday in the middle of a three-day weekend, but I did it! I was a little too proud of myself for that, though, cuz I definitely didn't do as much or work as hard as I should've... oh well!

Here's what was in the mix this morning:
  • 2 mile run on the treadmill @ speed of 8.5, incline 1.0
  • 400m walk on the treadmill @ speed of 3.5, incline 1.0
  • 10 minutes rowing, 30 seconds on/30 seconds off
  • 10 minutes on the step-mill @ level 10
I think I was in the gym for a total of 45 minutes, so these was not much rest between each part of the workout. It was a great way to start the day!

Friday, January 1, 2010

About the Runner

Hi there! I'm Becca, a 24-year-old college graduate trying to make her way in the adult world. I live in Spokane, Washington, with the love of my life (soon to be my husband!) and my pet fish. I work full time, am finishing up a Masters degree, and am also getting my yoga teaching certification on weekends - and boy do those things make my social life suck! :D Besides being super active I love reading books, drinking wine, watching reality tv, and taking long naps - that's how exhausting life is these days!

Basically I'm the coolest person ever.

So what's this blog all about anyway?

Well, long story short, I've been running since I joined my junior high cross country team in 7th grade, and I love it! The best feeling in the world is beating a PR, crossing the finish line of a race, and having people cheering for you. I took a break from running in college to pursue a different sport at the Division I level, but now I'm back and better than ever and making up for lost time! It's been fun reconnecting with the beloved sport I left behind and pushing myself to improve.

So obviously, all this means that it's time to set my sights on the ultimate race - the mecca of American running - the end all be all of competitive races: the Boston Marathon. My goal for 2010 is to qualify for the 2011 Boston Marathon that will take place in April, 2011. To qualify, I need to run a 3 hour, 40 minute marathon (26.2 miles) on a certified course at some point in the next year.

So are you ready to join me on this journey to every runner's dream? Follow along as I run, stretch, and train my way to Boston in 2011. You can also send me an email at if you want!

A fresh blogging start!

2010 is a year of beginnings for me: the beginning of a new marriage (in May), the beginning of a post-school life (in March), and the beginning of the second quarter of my life on this earth (in April). So why not start this year of beginnings out with a fresh blog beginning as well?

This blog will document my journey to qualify for the Boston marathon, which will obviously also include my participation in my first marathon. I love to run, I love to compete, and most of all I love to accomplish the goals that I set for myself.

Join me on my quest; it's going to be a fun ride!