Tuesday, November 30, 2010

This week’s plan

All I did was change the dates on my schedule from 2008!  Sure, things may be a little different now (not starting in the same shape, not training for a half), but who cares?  I THINK THIS IS GREAT!





I just put everything on my calendar.  The above doesn’t include all of the yoga that I am doing.  Seeing as yoga is my new career, it will take precedence over running if necessary.  I’m going to give doing both a shot and see where we are in two weeks.

I have sore legs from yesterday.  And a sore upper body as a result of a twist heavy yoga class last night.  Everything is sore and it feels great.

I leave on Monday for Florida thru Sunday.  I’m going to have to find a yoga studio nearby or be really dedicated with doing my own practice.  Running should not a problem while there though.

I am going to need to dust off the old heart rate monitor, which I haven’t used in a while.  I’m kind of excited!

I made an appt with a knee doctor and am looking forward to hearing what he thinks is going on w/my knees.  They’re really crunchy and don’t move as well as I want them to.  Hopefully he tells me all I need is to do some exercises that will cure everything!  I do not want surgery.  He’s also going to look at my elbow that I cracked falling down the stairs almost a year ago and hopefully my wrist too. 

I’m all fucked up!

This post is so poorly written but I don’t care.  Hopefully you didn’t either!  To make up for it, here is another random picture…


My favorite running buddy!


Monday, November 29, 2010

Comeback in effect!

I did it!  Not only did the three miles go well, but the FOUR miles went well.  I made a point to go very very slow and not stop unless I had to for traffic. 

I forgot how much I missed by not running:  seeing Mount Hood covered in snow, increasing my heart rate, waving at other runners to name a few.  It really does make me feel like a part of my community by running around my neighborhood. 

I eeked out a pace of about 9:30 which is good enough for me right now.  I think I am going to start back on the program I used two years ago when I really started back into running from basically scratch.  I still have the daily plan that extends for a couple of months while I was training for a half marathon.

I’m checking out a new yoga studio today in Portland:  Sunset Yoga Center.  Hopefully my body stays fresh!  I have started teaching at Rushing Water Yoga in Camas on Wednesdays @ 5:45 – it is a beginning Iyengar style class that is *FREE* through the end of the year!  I picked up another person’s class there on Sunday, so had the opportunity to refine the same sequence.  It is so helpful to teach the same sequence twice and honestly the 2nd time is much better.  If you’re in the area, please come by and check it out!  I still have my other blog dedicated to yoga so check that one out too:  http://emilyolivayoga.blogspot.com/.

(Thank you for the THREE comments I received between these two posts.  That really motivates me and reminds me how great my running friends are.  Love you guys!)


Some photos for you….

Yoga + Beer =

Thanksgiving at our house this year (Josh wearing my grandma’s apron):


Oh dear lord, stop me.  I’m about to go out for a run!  And yes, I’m obviously procrastinating because who stops to update a deserted blog before going out for a run.


I’m procrastinating because I’m scared.  Isn’t that ridiculous?  Some part of me just doesn’t believe that this person has run 3 marathons and is terrified of a little 3 mile jog.  I can see how beginners can hate starting a running program.

So, the goal is this:  just go out and do it.  Run slowly and simply plan to finish the run.  That is all there is to it.  If I go fast (which I know I will) I’ll die and need to stop and feel defeated.

That’s it!

Hope all of you real runners out there are getting along well…


Monday, November 15, 2010

Yoga Retreat

I just returned from a week long yoga retreat last night.  It was a teacher training retreat focused on Yin Yoga.  You can check out the description here

There is so much to write about the experience and I hope to have a fuller post on it someday (right!), but for now I’ll show you our typical day:

6:30 – wake up
7-7:30 – seated group meditation, typically done in silence
7:30-8 – free time, but I typically did my pranayama
8-9 – breakfast
9:30-12:30 – morning yoga session
12:30-1 – free time
1-2 – lunch
2-3:30 – free time
3:30-6 – afternoon yoga session
6-7 – dinner
7-8:30 – evening yoga session

That is 7.5 hours of yoga, meditation and discussion a day.  That is a lot of yoga-related activities.  I met some wonderful people.  I spent time in a quiet beautiful place tucked into the woods.  I ate good vegetarian meals every night.  I soaked in natural hot springs.  I was more introspective than I’ve been in quite some time.  I came out as the same me, but a more settled me than the start.  I have come a long way in 33 years but especially in the past year and had time to appreciate that.

I am so happy I did this and I would recommend that all of you try something similar at some point in your lives.


Friday, November 05, 2010

Just Breathe - Pranayama

As part of my regular yoga practice, my goal is to do pranayama at least once every day.  Right now I’m targeting 20 minutes for each session, but will build on that once I can prove I can make it a habit.  For now this is an achievable goal.

I’ll get more into pranayama later – the how, the why, the origins and different methods.  For now I’d just like to log what I’ve done.

Today I did a cycle of the following:

  • 5 minutes of regular breathing
  • 5 minutes of deep ujjayi both in and out
  • 5 minutes of viloma 1
  • 5 minutes of regular breathing

Ujjayi is “wind in the throat”, where you produce a quiet hissing sound in the back of your throat.  There is a bit more to it but that’s about the gist of it.

Viloma 1 is breaking your inhale into 3 parts with a pause inbetween each.  Exhale is regular uyajii.  During the pauses during the inhale you are to continue expanding your lungs.  This part I find tricky – how do you expand without breathing in more air?  Somehow I think I’m making it work.

I have a feeling after today’s session I may have some soreness in the muscles between my ribs.  This will be a good sign!

Regardless of what the books and philosophy say, I like doing pranayama and I like what it does for me.  I don’t meditate, so this is kind of a quiet meditation session for me.  I shut everything down, get myself in “advanced” savasana and just breathe.  It sounds so simple (and maybe kind of boring) but every day that I do this I feel tremendous the rest of the day.  Am I just happy because I accomplished something off of my checklist?  Or, are there really psychological and physiological benefits? 

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Summer 2010

A few months back, I stopped posting here because my focus was less on running and more on other crap that, honestly, no one wants to hear about.  I’m constantly trying to figure out how to better organize myself and be more efficient, but feel like those attempts always manage to fall short.  I started a blog that only I could read – mainly I liked the format of the blog and wanted to use that to keep myself organized.  It is a nice tracking device and to do list that you can organize with pretty links and background images.  I kept up with that for a while but stopped doing that as well.  I can’t believe I still have not come up with a foolproof way to make me organized and sane.  I’m almost 33 for god sakes!

I also started a yoga blog, but intend on using that as a tool for reaching out to students and developing a “business”. 

So, without rambling more (ha!), those are the reasons I haven’t been blogging.  But, I miss it a little and miss you a lot!  So, here I am, for the time being at least. 

I tried looking back on old posts to see where I left off so I could provide some updates:

  1. My Bangs:  They’re starting to grow out and I’m happy!  Life with bangs is kind of tough, esp for a girl that likes to spend 0 minutes on primping.  But in other hair news, I recently went a little darker…  Not sure if I love it but it is what it is – a change. 
  2. My Mom:  Ugh.  She is doing okay but her chemo started off really tough.  She got very very sick after the first treatment and ended up in the hospital.  They changed the formula and it got better after that.  Instead of a family trip in August, we decided it wasn’t a good idea, I went to visit them at their house. 
  3. My Yoga:  Really really great.  On my yoga blog I put together a list of what I’d accomplished over the past few months.  I used it as part of a request for donations for Living Yoga, but I’m so glad I documented it all in one place.  If you want to see that list, please click here.
  4. My Running:  Non-existent.  It makes me sad too.  After I healed from the marathon I did a few really fun trail runs in Forest Park w/Josh.  We had a blast, but for some reason stopped doing them.  Then, after a longer break, we decided to run just a few miles in the morning first thing.  We kept up with that for about two weeks and stopped again.  I’m not quite sure why.  Although I was in great shape from yoga, I had lost a lost of cardio fitness, and running was not easy.  It is so humbling to go from marathon-ready to that shape.  Not easy. 
  5. My Garden:  So much fun – we built raised beds and I planted a shiteload of tomatoes there.  Because of the colder temps, many of these ended up green but its all good.  I have many lessons learned to incorporate for next year.  I could go on for novels about the garden, but I won’t…
  6. Travel:  I spent 4 weeks in Italy, London and Spain.  So much to report on there!  I’m hoping to dedicate an entire post (or many) to this trip.
  7. Fun Stuff:  Lots of fun summer activities and now ready for the fall stuff.  We had a garden party/BBQ that I’ll post pics of below.  It was classy for many hours until late-night started and all hell broke loose.  At least no one called the cops.
  8. Injuries:  This deserves a post of its own.  I’m scared about the condition of my body.  My knees especially – they’re kind of f’ed.  The crunch around on every step/bend and after all of the walking in Europe, I can tell something ain’t right.  Aside from that, I have ganglion cysts in my wrists and my left wrist has been bad for a while.  I can’t really do downdog for long or anything else that puts weight on it.  Makes me very sad.  I’ve had this for many years but it usually doesn’t matter that much.  However, now with yoga, I NEED my wrists to be okay!  Other, less urgent things are:  bunion – one is starting to bother me; right elbow – I slammed it falling down the stairs 11 months ago and it still hurts.  I suspect there is nerve damage or a little bone fracture, so I need to find out what to do about it.  I’m taking action on all of this by going to a doctor, so will report back after I’ve gone.

That little report was obviously not in order of importance, nor did I cover deets, but it is something.  Something to get me started FGS!  Now, w/o further ado, here are some pics!


I treated my mom to a spa day before her surgery in June.


After my mom’s surgery (she looks pretty good!), about to head back to Portland.


Yoga night at my house (followed by Champers!) with the girls.


Fun times at the lake.


4th of July @ the lake.


My little peanut/niece Eleanor in Michigan in July


Taking my other niece Amelia put-putting in Michigan in July.


Alisa’s bday lunch at Veritable Quandary with PDX peeps.


Classing it up on the Columbia River


Classing it up at New Old Lompoc in Portland


Being outdoorsy near Mt. Jefferson in July


Coast trip August


Backyard BBQ in August


All cleaned up for wedding in September


Amazing camping trip near Bend, OR in September (this deserves a post of its own)


Garden booty in September!


Back to the scene of the crime (Chicago) for our 1st wedding anniversary in late September.


Our perfect little family home at sunset in October…

Meetup with Petra in London in October.

Bullfight in Madrid in October.

Wow – going through my summer pictures again makes me realize how much I did and how I should never take anything for granted.  That was nice.  There is so much more to be said and posted here, but this is about all I can muster for now.


Wednesday, November 03, 2010


I am starting to feel a little “over-sharey” after returning from a big vacation, so you may see some more posts coming soon.  At least I hope so.  I always liked having a place where I could just throw stuff down without feeling like it had to be 100% perfect.  That’s how I tend to get about everything in my life and I can’t stand it!  I swear I get nothing done.

That’s another story, right?

I landed last night after 4 whole weeks away from home, away from everything I know.  I have never vacationed like that before and what an experience.  I saw so many places and things that I’ve only heard about or seen in books and online.  I traveled with friends and met up with friends after a long break or for the first time ever.  I slept in many many beds with many uncomfortable mattresses and pillow and may have incurred permanent back damage.  I ate food that I’ve had before, but like never before – pizza and pasta are an example.  I got to attempt to speak Italian and actually communicate with the little Spanish that I know.

It was wild and I hope to recap more here soon!