Thinking Out Loud Thursday

I’ve decided I’m going to participate in this week’s Thinking Out Loud Thursday hosted by Amanda from Running with Spoons. 

1. Respect the swim, and the turtle pose. 
Seriously, I took a yoga class today and then swam about 15 laps in the pool immediately afterward.  It was amazing.  I haven’t taken a yoga class in months upon months, and it was exactly what my aching IT band needed.  I’m hoping to make yoga a weekly thursday tradition.  I’m not very flexible and it shows when I’m taking the class. Dang tight muscles.  I decided that I would follow yoga with a swim, and it was a great idea. I was out of breath after a few laps. Its amazing how strong you can be in one sport and then completely fall apart in another. Good night of cross training.
2. Chris’s school pictures came in, and I immediately framed one and put it on my desk.

Hahaha, how awesome is that picture?  I just can’t believe that nobody asked me about it. I’m sure you also noticed the hawk pinned to the bulletin board behind the frame… and why yes, it does say, “Don’t be hawkward, follow group expectations”. I guess you just had to be social group.
3. I ate my weight in chocolate today.

I couldn’t help it. I woke up this morning and couldn’t fathom the thought of going to work this morning. I did…but I think my eyes were glued shut until I walked up to the front door. I also woke up a little cranky, so the first thing I ate (as I’ve been trying to bring my breakfasts to school in order to keep the hunger at bay in the late morning) was a piece of chocolate. and then another piece. and then another piece.  An hour a later, a handful of M&M’s here and there. You know how it goes. 
4. I absolutely love and can’t stand Vanderpump Rules. 
I’m really behind in my TV watching, since I haven’t been getting home from school and exercising until about 7:30 most nights. I am currently catching up on a few episodes and I think the only reason I watch is because they are so beautiful, but they are just. so. awful. as humans. 
Click the link to figure out yours. I took the quiz on buzzfeed and this is what it came up with.
I’m kind of surprised by this, because the last time I was in LA, I hated it there. I definitely think I belong in California because the sun, the shine, the happy vibes are calling to me all the time, but I’m a Northeast gal through and through because I can’t imagine being that far away from my family. Maybe someday, but now’s not the time. Or maybe, just maybe, I missed out when I should have gone in my 20’s. Who knows.
Let’s chat:
What’s in YOUR brain this Thursday? What city did buzzfeed pick for you?

What a pain in the butt

And hips. Ok, I’m done now, so I’m updating the post.  I had some butt/hip pain this week, and noticed it slowly becoming more and more of an issue since my 16 miler.  It wasn’t the 16 miles that killed me, I think it was the 16 miles then driving (while obviously in a seated position) for 3 hours to new york state.

I was becoming a little concerned, because, man, my butt hurt!  I did a little research and decided I could potentially be developing Piriformis Syndrome, which is described in more detail in this article of Running Times (although I came up with the title of my post before I read this…so… well, I guess the title wasn’t thaaat creative.). 

Basically, Piriformis Syndrome is stated as such (care of running times) “You’re 12 weeks into your marathon training program: while out on a long run, you develop a sharp pain in your buttocks.  As you continue to run, the pain persists.  Your hamstrings feel tight and even a little sore, though by slowing the pace the symptoms subside a little, and you finish the run.  While sitting at your favorite post-run hangout, there is a tingling sensation in the back of your thigh and calf.”  Bingo Bango.  Sounds about right!  I have also noticed my hips being super extratrordinarily tight.  

The solution?  Obviously 1. google it, 2. email Becca, my coach, and 3. go to yoga, pronto!  Becca gave me some tips on how to stretch the area.

For butt exercises stretches, have you tried the tennis ball? Take it to your hip or sit on it and massage out the areas that hurt. Also squats always help as well to strength the muscle- especially one leg squats, holding the position for 30 seconds.

Then of course there is this one: Lie on your back and bend your knees as though you were going to do a sit up. Your feet should be about 2  feet or so away from your butt and about 6 inches apart.  Take your right leg and place it on top of your left. Your right ankle should sit just below your left knee. You will probably feel some stretching in your hips at this point. Reach forward and clasp your hands together a few inches below your knee. (Your right arm goes through the opening you created when you crossed your leg and your left arm goes to the outside) Pull your left knee towards you, you will feel a deep stretch in your right side hip, butt and lower back. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat!!! THIS one will work best for you!

Ahhh, I loved those stretches.  I gave the tennis ball stretch a shot after I finished an all level yoga class.  WHICH I HIGHLY RECOMMEND GOING TO.  Again, yoga just knows how to expose my weakest points.  I’m strong with my hamstrings, but man, I am not as flexible as I should be, especially to prevent injury.  I really really really have a weak core!  I notice this the most when standing on one foot and balancing.  Its just like when Billy from Running Emporium told me that I stand on stability balls all day.  If I had a stronger core, and hip area, my feet wouldn’t strain that area so much.

LAUREN get with the program and just strengthen your core already!  But….its so hard! I was at the gym with Olivia last week and was dyiiinnggg when I tried doing crunches.  I don’t mind running 16 miles, but crunches make me scream UNCLE!  If I am not into paying for yoga at the South Boston Running Studio, then I need to start thinking about going to the free classes at my gym.

My butt and hips seriously feel so much better thanks to yoga and the quick toning up I did in that time! (Also, I suggest not doing Yoga in your cocktail dress.  You can try, like I did here, and fail miserably.  You could also be awesome at it.  Either or. )  RUNNERS.  Please go to yoga.  You can look up some free videos online here at Exercise TV online.

Ok, time for me to get to bed, I have to be up early for the big 20 miles!!!!!!! Wish me luck ahhh. Its the marathon dress rehearsal!  Some words from Becca to get us going on this run:

You’ve done all the prep and now it’s time to show yourself that you are ready for race day. Use this Saturday’s long run as a dress rehearsal for race day. Plan and do everything you want to do for the week leading up to the day. Take some time this week to visualize yourself running the marathon. See yourself having a great time out there on the course kicking butt. :D Also see yourself handling and adjusting to obstacles that might pop up. PLEASE this week, give yourself plenty of TLC. Put YOU first, your family and friends will understand! You are all ready to do this! 20 IS a big number, but really, it’s just a number. Take one mile at a time. You are in GREAT company with each other as well!
One mile at a time, another long run!! ENJOY!! Run for those who can’t, and would do anything to be in your shoes!!! 

Yo yo yo yoga face yo yo yoga face

I absolutely loved taking the Yoga class at South Boston Yoga with Megan. I was so surprised! Best of all, because it was an introductory class, it was free! Ok, so let’s backtrack.
I left school about 45 minutes after it got out and headed to Golds to go for a run. Although I had originally planned on doing a 3-4 miler, around mile 1 I had to stop because my legs were so tight, I thought my calves and shins were going to explode. Thankfully, they did not, but I had to stop at mile 2 to stretch out, again. I finally called it quits around mile 3.25. I was fine with the amount I ran, but was a little disappointed because I’m totally over having tight shins and calves, thus making my ankles feel like they are encased in bricks. Sigh.
Fast forward to 2 hours later, where I met up with Megan at South Boston Yoga, signed up for

my free class, grabbed a mat, and went into a very quiet room; whispering as we updated each other on the goings-on in our lives. I spent the next hour and a half in complete shock at how inflexible I was, but how excited I was to try out this new stretchfest. It felt like complete bliss and I was even surprised to find myself sweating! I basically watched Megan the entire time, because I didn’t know boo about yoga, but I was able to keep up, no problem (mostly). Man, what a work out for every muscle in your body, especially my core, which I know is the most untoned area of my body. Yep. Its true, I can’t lie. Kickin calf muscles, not so much in the core. I decided to buy the unlimited 2-week newbie package for $25 and will try to balance yoga, with boxing, with running throughout the rest of January. God, I’m so interesting and complex.
Sara mentioned that I have totally been on a Manic high, which is probably true, but seriously, what an awesome thing to get a high off of. I’ve been bouncing around to different exercise classes and have just loved them all. Tomorrow, I’m squeezing in a run before heading to Rudy’s in Somerville for a Girls night, Girls niiight. Then I’m checking out Crossfit on Saturday…with a saturday night shindig at the New England Aquarium for Steph’s company work party. Yes, you read that right. I’m going as her date, and Winter Wyman has rented out the entire aquarium. Can you say awesome?
Let me also end this post with two songs that are perfect for the yoga master in all of you. First off is Lissie’s Everywhere I go, who opened at the City and Color concert (who I also recommend listening to. Love love love songs like… Sleeping Sickness, Casey’s Song, The Girl, Coming Home, Save Your Scissors) at the Somerville Theater last January, and Steph reminded me that I loved so much (as she and I went together). Second, is a song by Iron and Wine called The Trapeze Swinger that was playing during the meditation portion of our Yoga class this evening.
*Another update! Another SNOWDAYYYYY! I’ll pay for it in June, but it looks like I’m hitting up Yoga at noon and then a run at golds. Hopefully I’ll get 4 miles in!