Category Archives: Goals

29 hours in: 200 Hour YTT {Embodiment Project}

As of Sunday evening, we’ve logged 29 of our 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training (YTT), and completed the first full weekend of everything yoga! My “weekend”, as I typically know it, didn’t exist. Instead it was spent with 15 gals on the same adventure, led and inspired by Coral Brown (via Om Oasis Studio). From Thursday to Sunday evening my mind dipped in, swam around a bit and then fully dove into the heart of a practice that, so far, has only been asanas and Oms to me.

Completing a 200-hour training is akin to kayaking out to that tiny island that looks close enough to swim to, but is actually miles away (like whoa, depth perception!). You’re wading through much deeper water than you probably anticipated – there’s so much more to know and digest. It’s the first giant leap to your initial destination; you can stand on solid ground again, but then you have to decide whether to stay comfy sun-bathing on the beach, or getting dirty exploring various trails.

I’m much more of a hiker than a beach baby.

This weekend was a lot of history and introductions, and a little bit of moving around! For one of our first Omwork assignments, we took pictures for the Embodiment Project –  a list of poses to document now, and again at hour 200. “No retakes, or omg-these-pants-suck!, or let-me-fix-my-hips” – just pose-and-shoot, fashion choices of the day be damned. These are straight-up stage 1, how things are looking ~15% of the way in:

tadasana_HC utkatasana_HC

Utasana_HC downward facing dog_HC

chataranga_HC

upward facing dog_HC

warrior 1_HC warrior 2_HC

reverse warrior_HC - Copy side angle pose_HC - Copy low lunge_HC  twisted high lunge_HC

wheel pose_HC 
Our training didn’t happen to be outside perfectly situated in the direct sunlight, but these pictures got lucky.

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And that’s that! I couldn’t begin to sum up what we learned in a short 29 hours with one blog post, my brain is still busy doing that for itself. But this photo journal will be one of very few objective benchmarks, along with the hours counting up to the first 200.

Questions? Thoughts on YTT, or yoga in general? If you want to do your own little journey along the way with these poses, hop on in! The next round won’t be until May, so we have plenty of time to strengthen, root down and rise up.

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Filed under balance, Goals, motivation, training, Yoga

5 Down: 200 Hour YTT

My research began long before we physically arrived in Monterey. Yoga Teacher Training (YTT) has been on my mind for years; as with many major life goals, there will be a lot of things that seemingly keep you from checking the box (really, you just stubbornly stand in your own way). But this little break from DC life seemed too perfect an opportunity to pass up. I found a studio, found their training schedule, and kept it bookmarked for months.

I barely mailed my deposit in on time, as the ghost of resistance finally faded with moments to spare. Adios, yo. We’re gonna do this.

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We’ll have seven weekends of Thursday – Sunday trainings over the next four months. We’ll complete at least 180 hours of training, 15+ classes of Prana yoga, and multiple other projects and observations. Last night got the process started – 5 hours in a small room with 15 other anxious yogis. In the 5 minutes spent sitting in silence, waiting, transitioning from student to teacher-in-training, my brain flipped through every yoga moment I can remember from the past 5 years. It also sat there being like “Do you have everything you’re supposed to? {Nope, not yet…} Don’t forget to bring a check tomorrow. 8 hours is a long time in one room. I wonder if it’ll be sunny this weekend…”, reveling in the last 5 minutes of the unknown, I s’pose.

Ytt_Day1

We completed a 90-minute heated class in the middle, sweating out any lingering nerves, doubts, annoying to-do lists or fears. We have 5 hours in, and endless asanas to go. This is exactly where each of us are meant to be, right now.

Ommmm, y’all.

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Filed under about me, Goals, Yoga

On Goals & Being Vulnerable

At this point in the year, there’s not much left to do but reflect, listen to holiday music on repeat and watch Love Actually. He’s recovering from an amazing run at CIM, I’m recovering from a feisty knee that has finally decided to stop throwing tantrums. It seems very appropriate that our year wrapped up like this, in support:

2014-12-07 09.24.27-2

Confession: I signed up for CIM, three days out from Marine Corps. (“The truthBecause if you can’t say it at Christmas, when can you, eh?”)

What should pretty obvious is that I didn’t run it, but the few weeks leading up to that decision were unpleasant, to say the least. One of the positives I could come up with was that if I lost the chance to race, it really only mattered to me. A total of three people knew I was registered – me, my Coach and my fiancé. Only three people had to watch the emotional roller-coaster that is realizing, as a runner, that you’re sidelined. Not only do you have to give up the chance to race, to finally feel satisfied (or so I hoped!) after a long year of training and missing those exact training goals*, but you also give up control over something you want to do daily – simply run.

The body controls you. The injury controls you. The circumstances control your decisions. You have to step aside and be patient.

But at the end of the day, for once, there was no one to tell besides my legs. Sorry gals, you’re out. No more racing this year for you. And as someone who has believed strongly in the power of sharing goals (with friends, family, blog posts, blends + IRLF, etc.), this was an indescribable relief. A much needed silent break.

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Courage_Dietitian on the Run_Brene Brown

There are two camps in the goal-coaching world – one that encourages goal-sharing, and one that says, “Lock it up. Keep it to yourself!” Every week during every month of the year, I work with people to set and achieve goals. We think about big goals, and break it down into smaller ones. Sure, they’re sharing this with me, but not always with someone else. While I’ve always thought I was most motivated by having outside accountability, I know that not everyone functions in the exact same way.

Point of the story: putting your goal out there makes you feel vulnerable.

Sometimes that’s just what you need to embrace the challenge; you allow, and maybe rely on, others to fuel you with courage and encouragement. You feed off of their excitement for you, and the excitement you feel when you say a Big Hairy Audacious Goal l(BHAG) aloud. When it inevitably gets hard, you think of how it will feel to verbalize that you’ve decided to quit. Instead, you keep going.

Sometimes, it takes just as much courage to keep it to yourself. To see where you can go on your own. To test if you’re being true to you, and if the needed intrinsic motivation is there.

inner success

Thanks, Katie.

Neither way is perfect, and now I know, neither way has to be set it stone for each of us. Now I think it may be a mix of both. Maybe some things you want to put there for accountability, maybe to try and recruit friends and family to join you on an adventure. Maybe some things just need to be yours, and you’ll realize you have all the tools you need to build your success.

Either way, have the courage to know what you want, and show up for yourself.

 

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Filed under challenges, Goals

Cardio & Kitchen Abs: November Challenge

Well this post is about seven days late, but not a dose-of-ab-inducing-awesomeness short. Don’t you worry.

My colleague and fit-buddy, Melissa, brought me onboard for her November “Abs Challenge”, and you know I can’t turn down a monthly goal. The first week’s focus: the kitchen & the cardio workout.

It’s a pretty common misconception to think that you’re 1,000 crunches away from a six-pack. Rather, those abs may never been seen if you don’t tackle nutrition and cardio, too. Core strength can be achieved in a variety of ways, but if you want visible results you have to take it a few steps further.

Exhibit A: the interval workout.

Track Interval GRP workout_Dietitian on the Run

I’ve spent more time with the 6-lane oval in the past 6 months than I have in the past six years. (But it’s worth noting that you certainly don’t have to run in ovals to get in a quality interval workout!) With any interval/speed workout, make sure you give your muscles a proper warm-up with some walking, jogging, strides and/or plyometrics (depending on how much/fast you intend to whomp yourself). Then, hop to it!

If you’re training for a race, have your goal-pace in mind (goal race pace = GRP). If you’re just out working on your fitness, go by feel and your level. Ex: recently raced a 10K for the first time? Go for that 10K pace by feel. Turn the hurt up a notch for the 800s (GRP – 30 seconds). Something comfortably hard. Don’t be all chatty during that 1 mile or any of the 800s, but don’t reach that finish-line-puke-threshold level.

Cool-down. Recover. Refuel!

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Now that we’re in the kitchen, we have Exhibit B: Quality Carbs.

natures carbohydrates_Dietitian on the run

Newsflash: most people eat plenty of carbohydrates! Rather, most people eat them in excess. And the body is so used to this that is has plenty of mechanisms in place to put the extras away for later. In case we, you know, randomly go into starvation mode or suddenly find ourselves with NO FOOD ANYWHERE or maybe decide to hibernate. All of which are such unlikely circumstances today that what actually happens is we store layer upon layer upon layer of extra carbs. Some of it can be found in the liver and muscles for quick use, but because those stores are pretty full, too, guess what’s next? Your belly! 

And your abs don’t take precedence here. They hide in the shadows.

So, rather than pile on the extras, let’s hop on nature’s carb party! If your goal is to build lean body mass (muscle), shift your focus to natural sources of carbs and leave it at that. They happen to also be full of fiber and water, so you fill up pretty quickly! We’re looking at things like squash, potatoes, fruit, beans and legumes. And did you know some nuts have carbs, too? YEP. See, plenty of nutrient-dense options!

These are just a few of my personal favorites:

Natural Carbs_Dietitian on the Run

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Ready to join? It’s okay if you’re late, too. Check out Melissa’s posts for some more food & workout ideas, and let us know if you’re in!

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Filed under challenges, food, Goals, health, Nutrition

Recovery & Resilience

This year has taken my running+racing ego for a wild ride. Let’s just say this:  I severely underestimated the cumulative effect of taking 2013 “off”.There’s not one single thing I would change about that decision, or any of the other ones I made in that calendar year (‘twas a great one, indeed),  but set me up for peak physical fitness it surely did not. Noted.

2014 started off like a rocket: taking the RRCA running coach certification course, signing on to work with a Coach and subsequently starting to train for a marathon (after a 10 day trip to Africa, of course).  If you’ve hung around for a while, well, we know how that turned out.

Desire to Change_Dietitian on the Run

Right away my name was thrown into the MCM lottery just to see what might happen.  I knew that my body had more to give. I also knew that was a lot more to be learned from MAF, my coach, and my favorite sport.

I ran MCM with a goal to re-qualify for Boston. It wasn’t a huge stretch, but it certainly wouldn’t be easy (and it’s not supposed to be!). I let Katie whoop my butt from July to October, and have never been so happily exhausted.

Aaand, now we know how that turned out, too.

Katie reminded me that I took a huge chunk of time off my spring vs. fall marathons in one year; I did what I did on that day. And it’s up to me how to move forward from that, how to recover.

Resilience_Dietitian on the Run

If there’s one thing I’ve learned from this year, it is this:  whether or not you choose resilience will teach you a lot about yourself and your strength. It won’t give you measurable pounds lifted or minutes per mile run or a specific race time. (At least not right away….) But every time you choose it, you run a meter that deposits a lot of emotional energy in a bank with an incredible interest rate.

When you choose to be resilient after your perceived failures, set-backs or let-downs, you’re recovering and coming back stronger.  You’re soaking in a mental ice-bath – letting the sting of the situation-at-hand cool down, become numb, and eventually dissipate. It’s absorbed into your muscle and brain tissue to rebuild and get ready for what’s next.

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It took a few days and enough time to accept, absorb and let go of a race day that wasn’t what I expected it to be, before finally giving credit to a few things. I didn’t enter this year with the fitness base I’ve had in the past. I didn’t keep building on the successes of 2012, and because of the year I did chose to have ( think: more fun less fitness, in a great way), I entered this one as a different athlete. I’m rebuilding. And it’s a long, tedious process that involves using a lot of patience that I didn’t think I had (still debatable, I s’pose). 

But it’s way more exciting to be resilient – to chase endurance and strength and speed on my own terms – than to throw in the towel.

courage_Dietitian on the Run

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Filed under about me, challenges, Goals, running