Thursday, September 17, 2015

Thursday Truths

Keeping this post short and simple. Focusing on the positives.

Truth: Thursday mornings are becoming one of my favorites. I love lacing up my running shoes and heading out to meet-up with other runners.

Truth: Getting a running group started takes time. It was week #2 for the running group. There were fewer of us today but two new members came out.

Truth: Post run smoothies are better than water. Today's smoothie might not have been super healthy, but we are working on that with a local restaurant. Stay tuned.

Truth: The name Posture Pump scares me. However, the thing is amazing. It has worked wonders on my neck. I'm feeling confident that my American chiropractor in China knows what he is doing.

Truth: Crockpot BBQ chicken is the bomb. I cooked yesterday (if you call throwing ingredients into the crockpot cooking...and I do) and am having leftovers today.

Tell me a truth from your day!
Do you like crockpot cooking?

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

First Impressions of Flow Yoga

I showed up at YogaLife for Pilates class only to learn that the schedule was different for this week. Instead the class being offered was Flow with Alignment. The girl behind the counter said the class was ok for beginners to try, so I figured what the heck? I'm already here.

Since it was my first time taking this type of class, I thought I'd share my first impressions/thoughts:

1. When the instructor only speaks Chinese, DO NOT PANIC! It is easy (most of the time) to follow along by simply watching the instructor or the people near you. If you are really messing up, the instructor will come to you.

2. Flow starts off slow. I know this has something to do with breathing. Connecting with our breath. That sort of thing. We sat for what seemed like an extra long time, just breathing. This leads to #3.

3. Seated meditation poses are hard work. You would think that sitting down would be restful. Effortless. Not so much. For a beginner like me, sitting straight makes my back muscles tired.

4. Pay attention to the sequence of poses. We were shown poses in groups of 4-6. After moving through them slowly, the instructor would have us repeat the sequence multiply times at a faster (but comfortable) pace.

5. It's OK if you can't do ALL of the poses. Most people in the class collapse the pose or simply lay down at some point. For me the goal is to try everything. Then I can see if I'm improving at all later.

6. Be prepared to sweat, A LOT! Even when it's not hot yoga! Normally I find it annoying to have sweat dripping off my face, arms, and legs. But in a yoga class, sweating means your body is warm, your muscles are warm, and therefore ready to stretch and twist and reach...I like this feeling.

7. You are supposed to contract your muscles while posing. I did not know that! I know my muscles contract as I am moving, but when holding a pose, the instructor pointed to my quads and indicated that I should contract (at least I think that's what she meant. Yogis let me know if I misunderstood). And, it's not easy to do. Believe me, I tried to tighten that quad. It just didn't want to cooperate beyond what it was already doing.

Not my class, but photo from YogaLife website

Overall, I liked Flow Yoga and will probably go back when it fits in with my schedule. It was a good class for beginners to take.

Do you have a yoga class preference?
Give me your best beginner yoga advice...

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

There almost wasn't a #TreadmillTuesday

I spent my morning at the SWIC Welcome Breakfast signing up runners for the new running group, drinking mimosas, and enjoying a wonderful breakfast party. This was a much bigger event than the normal Tuesday coffees at the Hilton and was about 30 minutes away at the Marco Polo Hotel in Futian.

When I got home around lunch time, I was feeling pretty blah. I FaceTimed with mrC who is on a trip and told him I didn't think I was going to make it to the fitness center, but after taking some ibuprofen I decided to go for it. 

I walked to the fitness center and five miles later, I felt much better.

Yesterday I read a great article on yoga stretches for runners (here), so after my run I actually did them. I'm not very good at stretching after my runs, but I felt so good going through all 10 poses. 

My post-run swim made me feel even better. I love when no one else is in the pool. 

Tomorrow is my second pilates class. Wish me luck!

Do you like mimosas? 
Do you push through feeling yucky or take a day off?

Monday, September 14, 2015

Motivation Monday! Who Dey!

Today started with a little American football. I had to show support for my team while listening and watching online.

The team that no one ever believes in came out the winner!

I met the SWIC hiking group for the weekly climb up Nanshan. Today one member who usually needs to turn around made it all the way to the top!

I started thinking about the WHO DEY message. It originated during a time when the team was doing poorly, but then went on to play in the Super Bowl. Who Dey think going to beat those Bengals? Nobody!

We all go through those times, when we doubt ourselves, when others laugh at our goals. Those times when the mountain seems insurmountable.

But we have to
keep pushing,
keep fighting,
keep working,
keep climbing
for what we want.

What's your mountain?
How do you stay motivated?

Sunday, September 13, 2015

#SundayRunday and What I Love About Strava

Today was one of those days where it wasn't easy to get up early and go for a run. Having a date to run with friends helps.

Before getting out the door, I did some warmups and stretches. This is a new one from the chiropractor that is great on the glutes, but makes my lower back feel good too. I think it's just a standing pigeon pose.

The girls and I got to see the end of sunrise along the waterfront and enjoy the newly planted trees at a new apartment complex. We also enjoyed comfortable temps in the high 70s for all 3.5 miles! It still felt like 85, but it was the first time I saw temps below 80 since moving to China in May.

I've always been a Nike Running fan. I have the Nike+ GPS watch and use the Nike Running app. Most of my running friends are using Strava and lately I've been checking it out.

There are 4 things that I really like about Strava:

1. The Feed. I can follow my friends and see their workouts.

2. The Kudos. Giving and getting high fives is awesome-ness.

3. The Groups. Because it's about finding and loving your tribe, right?

4. The Best Efforts. Instantly see what was good about each run (even when it felt like crap!).

I'll still use my Nike (until I get a newer, bigger, better running watch) because I can't leave all that running data behind!

What did you do on Sunday Runday? run, race, rest?
Are you on Strava?

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