may reflections, june goals

May has been a great month for personal growth and movement! First, I landed a big consulting gig and am working to develop a charter school proposal for a group on the west coast. Second, my exercise was consistent. I started 5K Fridays and I took a big challenge on and decided to try back-to-back yoga classes. I was really intimidated by taking a 90-min class but I’ve survived and I am seeing strength increase in my body; my second class on Tuesdays is a yin class where I drape myself over various props for an hour and leave feeling like I can float away! It’s a great combo and it seems to be balancing my body well. My nutrition is improving as well; I talked to my doctor about my concerns and she gave me some ideas, so I am going to try that out in June and see how things go.

I am really proud of myself for my consistency around cardio this month. I tried to lock myself into a routine of:
– 1.5 miles + weights (Monday)
– 90 min hot yoga & 60 min yin yoga (Tuesday)
– 1 mile + weights (Wednesday)
– off (Thursday)
– 5K (Friday)
– 90 min hot yoga (Saturday)
– 90 min vinyasa & deep relaxation (Sunday)

The Sunday class is a great way to wind down after the busy week. The poses are slower and held longer and then there are props at the end for a restorative portion. I feel like this is a great combination of exercise for me and if I’m feeling burnt out or over-run, it’s easy to drop the 90-min class on Tuesday or Wednesday’s run.

Now to discuss the 5K Fridays — my goal around this is to eventually (in winter) get to a weekday 5K. I have a plan to slowly ramp up to that, figuring that I’m outside walking around a lot more in the summer and the winter added exercise should be able to help me better maintain my health. At the end of 2018, I would rarely attempt a 5K. My mile time was about 11:45 for one; 12:30 pace for two; and 13:30 for three. On Instagram, there’s a man who started to run a 5k a day — this is really what gave me the confidence to start working towards that. I was really thrilled with the work I’ve put in 2019 to improve my physical health.

My 5K splits for May are as follows:
May 3, 29:51
May 11, 29:26 (Saturday instead of Friday; Mother’s Day plans had me alter schedule)
May 17, 29:24
May 24, 29:15
May 31, N/A (I told myself all day that I’d tough it out despite feeling run-down thanks to my allergies but at the end of the day, I decided to forgo the last one. I’ll pick it back up next Friday.)

I know for people who are fast, this may not seem like much, but to me it’s huge. I’ve never broken 30 minutes for a 5K; not even when I was in high school and ran track (and was far more fit). This tells me that I am doing something right and that my consistency is paying off.

When I went to the doctor last week, I talked about how I’m seeing a change. I’m definitely getting faster and stronger (I can lift more and certain poses in yoga that I couldn’t do before are easier for me to flow through); my pants are getting looser; and I’m seeing more definition in my muscles; however, my weight is steadfast and isn’t changing. This is when she introduced I look into a low-glycemic diet. She shared her experience doing this last summer and said it made a difference. She told me that as we get older, exercise isn’t going to be enough to move the scale. So, I’ve done my research and am focusing on foods that are natural and whole. This is something that we do a decent amount of but we also rely on takeout/delivery far more than we should. I think that this will help to stay focused on healthier.

My goals for June are to continue a yoga schedule similar to above — travel will make it difficult to get there week to week but I’m confident I will figure it out and get in as many classes as I can (or fill in with self-practice at home). I like the contrast of the heated vinyasa class, which is quick and challenging with the yin yoga, which leaves me feeling floaty and relaxed. Saturday’s class is similar to Tuesday’s heated one and Sunday strikes a great balance between them all. I think that these classes all support the cardio I’m doing.

My running goals will adjust for June a bit:
Mondays, 2 miles + weights
Wednesdays, 1 mile + weights
Fridays, 5k
If, for some reason, I have to skip weekday workouts, then I at least want to make sure that I get the 5k in.

Beyond fitness and health, I’d like to get back to reading more. I have a handful of books that have gone untouched since the semester picked up. Ideally, I’d go down to the beach and read but the weather hasn’t supported that. I’m hoping to get back into reading this month and to continue on my writing. I’d like to shift some and focus more about parenting adventures — for whatever reason, I never get the details/tone right when trying to write about something that’s happened. Hopefully, I can start to work on that.

Overall, I think that my goals are attainable and I’m looking forward to seeing what June brings!

yoga-spiration

I was a little discouraged on Friday after yoga. I take a vinyasa/restorative class and for whatever reason, really struggled during the flow portion of class. I was frustrated and while that subsided when the restorative portion of class came about, I left feeling disappointed in my body’s abilities. Still, I hit the mat on Saturday afternoon for my hip hop class. It was very challenging because of the chosen poses/sequences, but I left feeling proud of what my body allowed me to do.

Then, Tuesday rolled around…

Tuesday was kind of a strange day for me: I ate a pound of asparagus for lunch and then dreamed of dancing of french fries on the drive to and at the end of yoga.

I take a yin and restorative class on Tuesdays. I’d briefly considered taking a hip hop class this week but I really enjoy the stillness of the yin portion and always leave in such a great headspace (which is absolutely necessary with the treacherous threes my toddler is going through). As class ended, I was planning my next move: French fries from byChloe.

byChloe is just down the street from yoga and I decided to try it because my usual, Dig Inn, stopped serving their chili oil brussels sprouts last week and I am oddly affected. I looked at the menu beforehand and figured on a Greek salad (sans tofu feta & chickpeas) and air-fryer fries. Before I left, I grabbed some beet ketchup (holy moly) and chipotle aioli — what a lovely treat and a great way to top off a strong showing at yoga.

I am looking forward to Friday’s class and am hopeful that my body will be more willing to expand and experience growth. I’m also planning to change up some of my classes in the coming weeks. I want to try a strength & structure class and a different yin class. I’ll be sure to update on the different classes/instructors, as I’m looking forward to more experiences!

Additionally, I am considering getting a bolster and yoga blanket for my practice at home. I have one block but want to get a set of two as well. My goal in the coming weeks is to do more self practice at home and also start to add in some elliptical and weight training — nothing to overly exert myself, but just to aid in strength building. I’d like to have a stronger routine so that once the weather breaks, I can get out for walks more frequently and maybe the occasional run.

What are some of your exercise reflections and goals?

 

 

yoga & boston

When I lived in Boston, I was probably the healthiest I’d been since living in DC. I used to walk everywhere I could, I was training for my first half-marathon and I was going to yoga at a studio called Sweat & Soul regularly.┬áMy favorite yoga class there was hip hop yoga — what’s not to love: A heated room, hip hop music, and a vinyasa flow. It was a great workout and I was going twice a week.

I have tried several yoga studios in my area since moving to the suburbs but none of them compare, so I get bored and agitated during my practice. I’ve managed to do a good bit of at-home practice but it’s just not the same; and my husband, surprisingly, is not impressed by my jacking up the heat to recreate a studio feel.

My husband was traveling for work a few weeks ago and I spent a lot of time thinking about how to get back to that level of health and happiness. I scoured the Internet, but was unable to find any hip hop yoga classes on Boston’s north shore. I looked in my immediate area and maybe 15 miles in every direction. The only hit was ONE yoga studio in Boston’s Copley area.

I checked out the yoga studio online and took them up on their free first week offer. I attended Friday night’s restorative class and yesterday’s hip hop. I loved both but if I’m being honest here, I found far more benefits than just the yoga classes.

The studio is in a bustling area of the city, so after class both days, I walked to a restaurant and grabbed dinner/lunch to go. I got to walk around the city for a little before heading back on the MBTA and going home. I realized as I walked that being in the city gives me another type of energy. I truly love walking around — it brings me a great joy! Another thing I realized was how much these classes can lessen my mental load.

Currently, I am the go-to for all questions in the household, but if I’m gone (and off the grid, as I am during yoga and was before/after largely), nobody can ask me any questions. As a result, I had 3-4 hours on Friday and Saturday where I just got to be, me. It really helped me feel energized and after discussing, my husband and I agree that this should be a big part of my weekly routine. So, I am hoping to get there Friday & Saturday and then Monday afternoon before class and Tuesday evening.

Now, I have to keep this in mind as I meal plan. With hot yoga, you shouldn’t eat within four hours of class, so I will miss a few dinners a week that I’ll need to figure out. I think want to make sure I’m budgeting to grab something at Dig Inn, Sweetgreen, Cava, or other counter service places that offer loads of veggies.

I was pleasantly surprised at how great it felt to have that much time to myself and how the simple act of walking and grabbing a bowl of beets, brussels sprouts, and apples could make feel so great. I am looking forward to more weeks like this and more walking around once spring/summer are upon us. (It’s tough to be too excited about logging miles walking during a New England winter.)

What kind of exercise or activity makes you feel joyful?