Tag Archives: sweating

Confessions Of A Shameful Runner


I have a confession to make:  I am a shameful runner and have been for years.

Let me explain…

My running journey started out in 2006 when I experienced my first heartbreak.  With no prior heart healing experiences to call on, I turned to running to get through it.   Slowly, I started out running at a 12 minute pace and eventually worked into a comfortable 10 minute mile, where I stayed for years and years to come.

During the 365 days of sweat challenge, I shaved off another minute, leaving me hanging tight at a 9 minute mile.   It’s a pace I’m comfortable with and rarely do I speed up or slow down.  It wasn’t until I created My Sweat Project on Facebook and Instagram that I noticed how intense some runners are and that I was incredibly far from running like them.

My old running obsession.

My old running obsession.

This longing was causing me to feel shame within my running self.   For months I started tracking my runs on NikePlus and would gauge my running ability off of my times and those of others.  The pressure I was putting on myself was making me fall out of love with something I truly enjoy.  Not only that, I started ditching my running partner, Journey, because she slowed me down.    It felt horrible.

After months of dodging running as much as possible I decided to try out a 60 day running streak.   Feeling inspired by my little goal, I ran 3 miles everyday for the first four days with my favorite running accessory:  a little black dog and my iPod (sans the running tracker).  Day 5 it was wicked cold, which helped me decide to skip my outdoor run since I don’t belong to a gym

That run skipping day invoked this simple thought, “I get to create what my running looks like and make it fun again.”  With that, I want to give my new running rules ideas:

  • No timed runs.
  • Bring Journey.
  • 5 days off out of 60
New running style.

New running style.

Three small things change the way I view running.  I’ll keep up with this for the next 60 days and see if I can fall back in love with the sport.   Low pressure = bigger gain.

Is there something that you can do to make working out more fun and less stressful?  I challenge you to find a version that feels the best to you and ditch the stress.  More fun means you’ll stick with it longer.  Promise.

Please share with other readers what works for you in the comment section below.  Now get to some sweating that you truly enjoy!

Holiday Yoga

Since the end of the year-long workout challenge, I have found myself gravitating to a sweaty scene that primarily involves yoga.  Perhaps it is healing my body from a year of non-stop sweat.  My real theory is that yoga is teaching me that working out can be enjoyable, every time.  Especially when it is different, every time.  Add that to the reasons I love spending time on my red mat.

With the recent move to the suburbs I have had to explore (a ton!) to find a yoga studio that fits my lifestyle.  Luckily, I stumbled across a gem in Parker called “iThrive Yoga.” Nothing could have prepared me for the view from the studio.  The floor to ceiling windows boast a full view of the Rocky Mountains with a dusting of snow.  It’s the most peaceful picture to stare at while breathing in detoxifying stretches and exhaling things we do not need.

The most persistent pest of a thought that keeps showing up in my life is my lack of ability to stay present.  Especially during the holidays.  Thanksgiving is over and then I cannot wait until Christmas!  Christmas is done and bring it on New Year!  For me, the holidays represent times where more love pours in than the average day.  I think that is why we adore these precious days so much.  So instead of rushing from holiday to holiday, yoga has helped me stay in the present.  Breathing consciously for 3-4 hours a week and moving with intention has the tendency to teach just that.  Presence.

This holiday season I hope you find the things that keep you present.  If you already know what does this for you then please, please share!

Days 360-363: The End of an Era

Day 363: After two and a half years at lululemon, I am sad to say that last Sunday I put in my two weeks notice to leave the company.  The part-time job  took me from an HR world filled with Fenway Franks and a lonely heart to a world filled with deep breathing, living with intention and more black luon than any one person should ever own.   The job has filled my life with more love, friends and happiness than I could have ever imagined.  It was one of the hardest decisions that I have had to make, however I felt like all the signs in the world have been pointing at me to go coach full-time.  Although it’s incredibly hard for me to do, I knew it was time.

Now I am filling my mind with how to get through the transition by filling my home office with as much happiness as I have gained in the last 2.5 years.  Hopefully I can send that on to my future clients.

With that being said, I went to my last staff meeting on Thursday morning and started with a 45 minute yoga flow led by my amazing co-worker, Jessica Lapham.  She led us through lots of community breathing and inspirational messages that made me teary-eyed for the newest transition in my life.

After work was done that day I came home and went on a quick 20 minute run to make me feel more at home in my home.

Day 361: On Friday I went for a 30 minute run in the snowy morning and was wondering the entire time what happened to Fall?  We seemed to have skipped that season in Denver this year!

Day 362:  Yesterday morning was another one of those, “how the heck am I going to fit in a workout?” type of days.  It really rattles me to the core when I feel stressed about how I will find the time, however, it always works out.  I took Mike to work at 6 a.m. and then went straight to Pura Vida gym for 45 minutes of cardio, followed by 15 minutes of weights and 10 minutes of abs.  Phew, got it in.

Day 363:  This afternoon my friend Katie and I went to my favorite Core Power Yoga on Broadway for a C2 class.  She introduced me to yoga five years ago by taking me to Pura Vida, where I fell on my face attempting crow pose in my first class.   After I let go of my ego, I eventually came back to the practice and it’s now changed my life in a way I never would have thought possible.  Namaste Katie, Namaste.

Days 320-322: Isaac Didn’t Slow Us Down

Day 320:  Oweee, hurricane Isaac was fierce!  Mike and I stayed inside all day and listened to the wind and rain.  Our honeymoon villa is situated on the top of a mountain and provided for some great storm watching, also a bit scary when you’re unfamiliar with the surroundings.  An hour of yoga flow helped and so did all of our attempts at getting in the hot tub.

Day 321: Mike and I had planned a four island tour on Wednesday and it was moved to Friday due to the weather conditions.  With the phone and internet down, we were not sure if the boat trip was still going to go out.  We waited at the dock in St. John until we saw a little boat pull-up.  It was on!  The trip organizers told us once we were too far away from land to change our minds that this was the “roughest seas they have ever gone out in.”  YIKES.  Thank goodness we do not get motion sick!

We hiked for 2 miles doing the Baths tour at Virgin Gorda, snorkeled near Tortola’s coast for a short while before jellyfish slowly scared everyone out of the water and ended our day playing in the ocean at John Van Dyke in the British Virgin Islands.  Mike and I loved every second of it (minus the jellyfish!) and ended up being thankful that the sun wasn’t out to add more heat to the day.

It also inspired me to start a new blog once we return home, more on that to come  🙂

Day 322:  Yesterday morning Mike went scuba diving and I explored St. John some more.  After his scubaing was done we decided to try out some of the only beaches we had not hit just on the island just yet.  We ended up hiking over an hour to get these beautiful bays and rewarded ourselves with playing in the ocean and homemade PBJ’s.

Although the hurricane has passed us in the Virgin Islands, it is now sadly expected to hit the main US.  We are hoping that it slows down and does not cause much damage.  In the meantime, our flight was delayed four days and we are going to hop over to stay in St. Thomas for a change of scenery and sweats.

Until next time…

Days 315-319: St. John Sweats

Days 315-318: Typically I do not lump together workouts, however I think that I can make an exception for our honeymoon week!  Right now we are in St. John, overlooking the tropical green mountains and the light blue ocean.  It is honeymoon heaven, regardless of the fact that hurricane Isaac is right outside our door and cutting into our outside play time.

We chose this island for our honeymoon because it is a huge playground for hiking, snorkeling, beaches and apparently, wild animals.  Everyday we have been here has been filled with hikes to remote beaches for snorkeling, hikes to snag a view of something beautiful, swimming in the clear water and trying to chase down sea turtles or sting rays.  Although it’s all been natures workouts, they have been more fun than anything at a gym or studio I have done in the last year.   It has made us realize that active vacations are definitely what we will be seeking out in the future.

Today is the day that Isaac is going to effect us the most, so I will roll out my yoga mat and flow away ion our deck in between sets of storms.

If you do not hear from me again, I will be breaking from the blog and enjoying the experience as much as I can while working in some sweat sessions.  I do have a huge favor to ask of Mother Nature, could she help us out and give us some sun the last few days?  Our newly obsessed beach going selves would be greatly appreciative!

Days 248 & 249: Sacred i

Day 248:  Yesterday was one of those days when nothing sounded like a fun workout.  Do you ever have those?  If you don’t, then you can’t be human.  I decided to ride my bike to and from work and tag on an extra mile on both ends.  I also cut my break short and walked for 15 minutes.  Lastly, in between cleaning up our apartment, I threw in some jumping jacks, planks and push-ups.  So what was my workout?  I’m still not sure, but I did as much as my lackadaisical workout attitude needed.

This has absolutely nothing to do with my blog,  I just felt that it was my duty as a blogger to share this awkward 20 something awesomeness with the blogosphere. A few days ago I started watching the HBO show Girls and it has changed how I feel about relaxing and watching the toob.  In fact, I am trying to write this post really quickly so that I can squeeze in another episode before walking to work.

Day 249:  A few nights ago I had the honor to meet Diane Sieg, www.dianesieg.com  at a lululemon charity event.  After I startled her with my almost abrasive excited question, “Are you Diane Sieg?” we chatted up a storm about how we both went to Indiana University, love yoga and life coaching because it makes us grow.  She then invited me to join her yoga class at Sacred i http://www.mysacredi.com/index.html  today which primarily boasts “regulars.”  I was so in.  So in that I got there 20 minutes early and tried to keep myself busy by playing with yoga blocks and striking up a conversation with any willing practioner around me.

Diane opened up class asking the question, “do you remember what it felt like to fall in love?”   Heck yes I do, and I am not sure there is a better question in the world to bring me to a happy place.  Here I was, jammed into a small studio with 28 strangers around me and my mind and my heart immediately opened.  Mike…eyes….first kiss…his embrace…two weeks…”I know I love you.” Deep breath.

“Now, that love doesn’t always stay that intense or we would never get anything done.  After awhile that love takes commitment.  As does your practice.  Commit to love your practice on your mat.  Choose something you love about yourself and love it today.”  Today I loved how the second I walked into an unfamiliar studio I felt right at home.  I loved how my body moved without thought and my lungs breathed deep into my memories of my relationship.

After class my yoga partner during inversions asked, “see you next week?” as though our one flow by each other  now meant we are the newest addition to a “regular” Saturday class.   A comment like this usually scares me, but today, I knew that my newest friend was right.  I’d see her next week and hopefully many more to come.  #yogabliss

Days 246 & 247: Memories and Blisters

Day 246:   I am finally feeling back to normal and full of life after the six-day friend bender last week.  Refreshed, I wanted something to truly kick my butt…and Core Power Yoga’s Sculpt class with Tara, truly did just that. The studio boasts a steamy 95 degrees (or somewhere around there) and is a perfect combo of cardio, strength and balance.  She even blared some TOTO “Africa,” which gets me amped like no other.

At one point I glanced at myself in the mirror and realized that I was running through the motions, but that my mind was so far away…in Vail with my 12 favorite friends, celebrating love and friendship.  I’d start randomly smiling and try not to laugh.  I’m sure I looked like the crazy person in the corner.

Freshly made good memories were the best way to get through a painfully hard class.  What helps you get through your hard workouts?  Do you listen to your breath or drift away to a shining memory?

Day 247:  When my clients give me excuses why they do not work out, I make sure to call them on it.  I don’t like excuses one bit….especially mine.  However, today, I had two big ones called “blisters.”  Last weekend my dancin’ shoes really did a number on my feet and they stubbornly do not want to heal.  Regardless, I wanted to get out and run.  I bandaged up my feet, tied up my new sneaks and headed out.  I made it 40 minutes before I had to call it quits.

I guess those good memories from yesterday made a longer lasting impression on my heels. #blistersmeanfunhappened

Days 237-239: Single Sweats

Day 237:  On Monday afternoon Michael and I went to the Denver Athletic Club for a 90 minute sweat sesh.  Mike started with free weights and eventually retreated to the pool and I tackled the treadmill ended up with some weights.  For the first time in four years I did some squats with a barbel and weights.  Can you tell this type of working out has become foreign to me lately?   I think I even let out a loud grunt at one point.  It felt awesome to become acquainted with the weight room after many-a-years away.

Day 238:  Yesterday I went to Core Power Yoga for a sculpt class at 7:15 a.m. for an hour of toning, cardio and yoga.

Day 239:  Today marked the beginning of my bachelorette party weekend.  My first friend, Emma, came to town bright and early.  Unfortunately, with the tornado warnings and hail the size of my cat we have glued our butts to the couch for the rest of the night.  However, I did manage to get in an hour of lifting and 30 minutes of cardio at the DAC this morning.

Next up?  Four gal pals come in tomorrow, followed by eight more on Friday.  I am hoping that my friends will take over the blog writing for the weekend and fill you in on all the sweating that will be going on in Vail.  WHOO HOO!!!!!

Days 185-187: HOGA and Greens

Day 185:  Friday was day two of the detoxifying fruit/vegetable fast and the most sore I have ever been in my entire life (see:  two previous days of sweat).  My body was drained.  Mike and I went for an hour walk around the neighborhood while every 20 ish steps one of my sore legs would give out. #healthyexhaustion

*The photo of me sleeping/spooning my cat on the couch was taken this evening at 8:30 pm.

Day 186:  My legs were finally able to bend again, so I celebrated with a run around my neighborhood.  For fourty minutes I soaked up the sun (with loads of SPF 30) and took in all the dreamy homes that I love looking at and longing for.

Day 187:  Day four of the detoxifying and I have a lot of energy back.  On day two we added in a lean protein and veggies for dinner and that helped out a bunch.  With all of my gusto returning I found that my body was craving yoga.  I have not had a home yoga practice in such a long time that I knew it was time to unroll my mat in my living room.  I turned on some Ondemand classical tunes and setup my own flow for 55 minutes, while I smelled our smoked paprika chicken in the oven. Home + comfort food + my two loves (Mike and Jack the cat)= bliss.  I could get used to this type of sweat.

I focused on poses that gave my back a good stretch and took the largest breaths I can remember ever taking.  I inhaled strength and exhaled love.  Over and over and over again.  It was such a gentle reminder of how peaceful hoga (home yoga) can really be.

Recipe of the week: Carrot Bliss

  • 4 large carrots
  • 1/2 inch lemon (including peel)
  • grated ginger
  • 1/2 cup ice
  • 1 cup water

Blend in Vitamix using the “frozen dessert” setting.  Sidenote:  this is definitely not a dessert, just a delicious carrot juice.

Day 184: Ozzie Style

Day 184:   I am so stoked about the class that I took this morning that I had to  write about it ASAP.  We had Bonza Bodies owner, Jamie Atlas, come into our lululemon athletica store in Cherry Creek to teach a bootcamp class with some serious Australian flair.  I have done a lot of bootcamps, but this one really took the fun cake.  Not only was it hard, it was educational, hilarious and high energy.  Jamie’s (large) presence made me want to exert more effort and watching 20 of my co-workers enjoying their sweat sessions made it even more memorable.

Sneaky Jamie walked around and secretly* videotaped us going through circuits.  Here is the video for your viewing pleasure:

*I say secretly because I did not notice him run by.  I would have at least tried not to look so exhausted doing the side step lunges if I knew the paparazzi was coming!*