March Runfessions

Hello, friends. Welcome to another edition of Runfessions, the monthly link-up hosted by Marcia’s Healthy Slice where we share our running transgressions and receive absolution from faithful readers. Step into the runfessional and let us begin.

Meditations in Motion

I started swimming again. And then I stopped.

A month or two ago, I runfess I decided to add swimming back into my fitness routine after a hiatus of several years.

I typically swam twice a week, on Tuesdays and Fridays. My swimming workout consisted of some warm-up laps, some laps kicking with swim fins (not using my arms), then some cool-down laps, about two-thirds of a mile total.

Swimming is a low-impact exercise that loosens up my whole body. The laps with fins strengthen my ankles, something older runners need to consider. It is a good rest day recovery activity.

Some of the best things about my swimming routine were the ways I rewarded myself after my workout.

Meditations in MotionI either took a trip down the red twisty slide, the funnest seven seconds of my day, or I sat in the sauna for a few minutes, which resulted in an “Ahhh“…feeling every single time.

Now, of course, the rec center is closed, so swimming, sliding, and sauna have all come to a screeching halt. They are all on my list of things I will do once social distancing comes to an end.

Running all the miles.

Since swimming and Body Pump classes at the rec center are off-limits, (I just found free online Body Pump classes today) most of my aerobic fitness activities have been narrowed down to only one pastime- running.

I don’t consider dog walks to be aerobic any longer. My dog Benji is getting old. He mostly pokes along, sniffing every blade of grass to see if it’s worthy of him depositing a few drops of pee on it.

Meditations in Motion

I runfess my mileage last week jumped about 50% over the week before. Of course, I had been in semi-taper mode before my scheduled half marathon, which turned into a virtual race.

And, speaking of virtual races.

which was canceled.

I runfess, I am not a fan.

Oh, it wasn’t terrible, but to me, it just seemed like any training run. The excitement, the competition, the camaraderie, the post-race soft pretzels just weren’t there.

Bill and I ran a virtual half marathon last Sunday in place of the Asheville half marathon, I ran with my typical running partner, Bill, on a course we often use, the local rail-trail, at a comfortable long run pace. It seemed like every other 13.1-mile run we do except for one thing: we used Strava for the first time.

Meditations in Motion

Welcome to the 21st Century

I must runfess, I really liked using Strava.

I am certainly not anti-technology. When I taught, I used it a lot and was very comfortable trying new things.

In my running, however, I am decidedly low tech.

I don’t listen to music while I run, preferring to chat with Bill or entertain myself with my own lively interior monologue.

I don’t have a GPS watch, just a $10 sports watch I got at Kmart, so I can tell how many minutes I have been running.

I never run with my phone.

But last weekend, I downloaded Strava, tucked my phone in my hydration belt, and, voila, a map of my route appeared as I ran, along with mile splits, and…well, you know.

Apparently, I’m the only one who doesn’t know.

I think I might use Strava on a regular basis.

Peace, breath, and Om.

Meditations in Motion

One last runfession: I am loving the yoga videos on YouTube by fellow fitness blogger, Judy.

I have done yoga in the past – power yoga and Bikram (hot) yoga.

These two forms of yoga provide quite a workout.

The problem was I was already getting some pretty intense workouts each week through running and Body Pump classes. I didn’t want another intense workout on my schedule.

Judy provides yin yoga and meditation videos, guiding her practitioners through gentle stretches and meditation.

I am especially fond of her hip-opening video, her class specifically for runners, and her “Destress and Relax” practice. They are just what this very tight, inflexible runner needs to stay loose.

Thank you for joining me for March Runfessions.

See you next month for another installment. Until then, stay safe!

 

You can find the places I link up here.

 

 

 

 

 

49 comments

  1. Your runfessions are duly noted. I didn’t know there were transgressions when one runs, but now I do. The things I learn along the way. I walk, slowly, with less and less purpose. Is that a walkfession?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha! I think running has some pretty strict rules. I violate them often! 🙂 Walking probably has similar rules. You are welcome to walkfess anytime you feel it is necessary! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • The thing I don’t like about strava is the social part. I don’t necessarily want people seeing my times. The routes are great, I think I run some pretty creative loops, but the times? Yuck. My Garmin died three years ago. I’ve been watch free ever since.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I admit I have never used Strava either. I usually just rely on my Garmin for all the stats. But I’ll check out Strava today – after all, I have the time to try out new stuff!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Last night, my first and still favorite yoga instructor came out of retirement and posted a FB live class. It was wonderful.

    I’m on Strava! If you want to connect, I’m Wendy Joyce. My pen name, lol

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Having all the races cancel or go virtual has to be such a buzzkill, but in the scheme of things, what can we do. Benji is such a cutie! Ozzy turns 3 in April and I don’t know where the time went! Thanks for linking!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. That’s nice you are taking Judy’s yoga classes-love it. This was supposed to be my time to start swimming again too for tri races. Oh well! Glad your running is going so well and yes Strava is full of info. Have a good weekend and stay well

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Again, thanks so much for the shout out!

    I LOVED going into the sauna after swimming. Of course first the sauna broke. Then that community center closed down (last year). I really, really want to buy one of those smaller, movable saunas for my home. They’re still not cheap enough. 😦 I bet they jacked up the prices even more right now . . . .

    I see you’re #teamdarlene, LOL. I’ll save my training for a real race, although I am still training as though Mt. Hood will be run — I suspect it won’t, but I’m still at least sort of training. Not terribly hard, not yet.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are welcome, Judy! I LOVE your videos. That yin yoga is exactly what I need.

      A friend of mine came into a little unexpected cash and that’s exactly what she did with it – bought a little home sauna. She loves it, especially in the cold months. Warmth just feels so good.

      I suspect the same thing about Mt. Hood. I am expecting it will be canceled but hoping it will still be run. At least Revel had a generous deferral policy even before the crisis.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I have a feeling that I will be running a lot more miles over the next few weeks, and I’m totally okay with that. Something about running really helps to curb my anxiety which is something I definitely need right now.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, running helps me to curb my anxiety too. I ran every day this week,. Today I designated as a rest day because I want to do a long run tomorrow. I can feel the anxiety creeping up already, knowing I won’t get out to run.

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  8. I would feel so naked without my GPS. I feel like I have been running alot more lately as well! I am also not a fan of virtual races either when you can run the same route for free, but I guess if you had already paid for the race why not? Keeps you accountable!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I just said to Bill today “I want to get a Garmin.” I liked seeing all the stats. Plus, I might try heartrate training. I think that could help me slow down on recovery days.

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  9. You probably know I’m not a tech gadget gal. My artsy-fartsy brain really struggles with technology & I’m a horribly slow learner with that stuff. I downloaded the Strava app & I runfess that I’ve never used it. Unlike the greater runner population, I’m alright not knowing all my stats for every run. Also, I have a hunch if I went to that “dark side,” there’d be no turning back LOL

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Aw, your sweet dog is so cute ❤

    I do love Strava. I love my Garmin, too, but I upload everything to Strava anyway.

    I haven't been in the pool in a while, but you make a great point about swimming being good for ankles. I may need to reconsider spending more time in the water when the pools open again.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I like your description of Benji meandering along. 🙂

    My boss is missing his pool time very much. He/wife swim every weekday at the local high school at 6:00 a.m. They swim with a group that practice there – guessing a swim team, don’t know, but he does the five mornings a week, one weekend morning and two evenings … same pool. He is always bummed when they close for school breaks, more bummed now as it may be to the end of the school year. In the Summer they swim at an outside community pool, also at 6:00 a.m. I told him it was time to put a lap pool in his backyard – he says he’s too old for all the maintenance. He turned 73 earlier this month. I also am looking forward to a return to normalcy – hope we remember how to act!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Benji has become more and more pokey. Usually, I am OK with that, but sometimes I just want to give him a quick walk. That doesn’t happen. Ever.

      Wow! Your boss swims a lot! When I sawm at 5:30 a.m. before school, there were a bunch of regulars there. I got to know some of them very well, even though swimming does not lead to chatting the same way running does. We would chat either before/after swimming or in between sets.

      Liked by 1 person

      • There is a retired woman I see sometimes enroute to Council Point Park. Pat walks her Jack Russell Terrier Lucy every morning. I stop to talk to her sometimes, then want to “move things along” but I can’t walk with her as Lucy stops and sniffs or has to investigate everything along the way – drives me crazy. If we stop to chat, Lucy jumps up and nuzzles her pocket as she wants a treat since Pat stopped (she keeps treats in her pocket as Lucy gets restless) – when the dog stops it is okay though. 🙂

        As to the swimming, I just hopped onto his e-mail as he always is telling people how much he swam – the last time he said it was Valentine’s Day, 2380 yards (1.35 miles) … I think he does 1- 1 1/2 miles each time. He really misses it. He was on swim team in high school and went to undergrad school at Northwestern University on a swimming scholarship.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Haha! You could never walk with Benji, Linda. He would drive you crazy too. Bill has lost patience with his pokey habits so I am the one who walks him most days.

        Your boss swims about twice as much as I do in one workout. He must be a good swimmer! I swim like a runner!!! 🙂

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      • That’s why I kind of dodge Pat and Lucy when I see them coming my way. That’s terrible isn’t it?

        My boss loves swimming and he tells everyone how many miles he swims, usually tells me daily and I counter with how many miles I walked that morning. He says he has a powerful chest and arms from all the swimming. I say this because he had a bike accident about five years ago. He rides his bike to Belle Isle, about a mile from our office – he does this in the afternoon if his schedule permits. He likes riding when it is the heat of the day, got thirsty, turned around to grab his water bottle and missed a curb and went over the handlebars and onto the ground. He had a third-degree shoulder separation. He saw a shoulder specialist who recommended he just wear a sling and since he swims so much and had powerful chest muscles, he should be able to heal the separation it on its own. It did, and he says he has a small knob where the separation was, but it otherwise fine. He used those exercise bands to strengthen his arms.

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      • My middle son commutes to his job by bike most days. He didn’t even have a car until a year ago. Then he bought an old pickup truck. His wife was worried about him commuting every day on busy roads and I agreed. Now when he is going to be late, he drives his truck to work.

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      • The problem is people aren’t paying attention as they are so distracted by their phones and I see that all the time when I am walking and people are looking down while driving – very worrisome! Well Robb (my boss) was making the 18-mile round trip to work every day in the Summer of 2016 – we were very slow that Summer and unless he had a client meeting, he did that trip daily. Then he had to pass the exit for the Chrysler plant and someone was not paying attention and mowed him down. He only had road rash, but it was pretty bad so he went to the E.R. and they did x-rays too. I think it was his one leg he fell on had the bad road rash as he had bike shorts on. He stopped doing the bike to/from work after that. He does ride at Belle Isle about a mile from our office in the Summer, but now takes the car and drives there like your son. He was spooked by getting hit.

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      • YES!!! There are so many distracted drivers these days. Once my husband’s office took a bus trip to Philly to see a nursing facility they had designed (He worked for an architect), then we went downtown to go out for dinner and see the sights. Because we were on a bus, which was high above the cars, I could look down and see how many drivers were on their cell phones. I was getting more and more agitated as I counted the number of distracted drivers. Terrible!

        I ride only on rail trails these days. I’m scared to ride on the roads.

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      • I agree with you Laurie and the worst is during the school year, when people are already running late and dash out to the car in the driveway, cup of coffee in hand and purse/briefcase in the other, jump in the car and pull out of the driveway without looking. Usually they are running late as they have to drop the kids off as I see kids in the backseat. Now, because so many people have remote starters, from a few houses back, you don’t know if they are in the car or about to run out of the house, especially if the car has tinted windows.

        When my mom and I used to travel the 401 highway from our house in SE Michigan to Toronto, about 200 miles of the 240-mile trip was on the very boring 401 highway – miles and miles of farms or just land (at least back in the early-mid 80s) and you’d see drivers on cruise control and reading a book … they did not have have video capabilities then to watch a movie and drive.

        Liked by 1 person

  12. I have the Garmin Fenix, but really don’t take advantage of all it can do, but like the option of looking back on the data if I want to. Now they’ve closed all the parking lots at the parks/trailheads, so unless you live close enough I don’t know what you’re supposed to do. ~sigh~

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    • We just got the “shelter in place” order for our county. We are only supposed to leave our house to go to the grocery store or doctor’s office. We can run or walk from home, but can’t drive to a trailhead. The screws keep tightening!

      Like

  13. Strava is fantastic. I also like the ability to add another runner to your run. Just today my watch was dead and my daughter and I ran together. After the run, she just added me to her run so now the run also shows up in my feed. Magic!

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  14. Way to keep up with your running goals despite the cancellations! I love the adorable face on your dog – he’s seen plenty of fast-paced walks I bet, and I bet that he’s grateful you took the time to share those moments with him. Sometimes a slower pace isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Keep on keeping on!

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  15. Strava is fun, and what I like the most is it syncs with my watch so I don’t need to run with my phone. I love disconnecting.
    That slide looks amazing. Hope you’re back to it soon

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Hi Laurie, It is amazing all of the classes we can find online. I put “Strava” on my investigate list. This is the first time I have heard of it. My latest ‘new’ thing since I cannot go to my Bikram Yoga classes is a 30 Day Youtube challenge. Adriene’s Yoga was recommended to me. Every day is different and I have to admit, a break from the 90 minute Bikram series. I have not missed a day yet (2 weeks) and I am transported into the land of zen for part of my day. Thanks for sharing info about “Strava.” Namaste.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I started doing yoga online and I really like it. It’s less time-consuming than getting into my car and driving to the yoga studio at a time when classes are offered. I once did a 30-day yoga challenge a few years ago. There were diet components too, which were difficult to follow, as I remember but I really liked doing it. Namaste!

      Liked by 1 person

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