Yoga for Tight Hips/IT Bands

Yesterday I made it to a lovely yoga class that was much more relaxing than the “Power Yoga” Kath and I frequent on Tuesday (although I haven’t been in the past couple of weeks-so maybe I am not so frequent). The class allowed me a lot of time to stretch and enjoy the poses. After a bit of a tempo run on Monday night, yoga loosened up all my muscles especially my tight hips and IT Bands!

Below are some of my favorite poses, my hips and IT band tend to be tight so these help my flexibility in those areas especially. All of the pictures are from Yoga Journal, which also has very detailed directions on how to do the poses as well if you are interested.

Pigeon pose

Low Lunge

"Fire log" I have never heard this name for the pose, but I also cannot remember what my normal teacher calls it...

Revolved Triangle

Also just for fun:

Plow pose

Whenever I try to do this, I start to have visions of breaking  my neck. I know it’s not really logical, because everyone else seems to go into and out of the pose unscathed, but it just makes me really uncomfortable thinking about getting into the pose.

Any other good poses for runners or other athletes? Is there a pose that freaks you out a little bit?

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Five Random Things

Over the past few weeks/days I have had experiences that I wanted to blog about, but they were unrelated and  I could not fit them into a post logically. So today I decided to just share a bunch of random things.

1. I found FOUR (4) four leaf clovers!

I am kind of a semiprofessional four leaf clover finder ;), so this doesn’t break any personal records, but I did think it was really cool. What wasn’t really cool is that in order to find four leaf clovers you have to look at the ground for long amount of time.

Unfortunately this can cause people around you to think 1. you are super depressed 2. you lost your earring 3. you are lame for looking for four leaf clovers. Also it hurts your neck after a while.

2. Speaking of nature, it is inch worm season in Chapel Hill. They hang down from trees and get caught in your hair or backpack. I should give these guys credit though, they have abs of steel and can inch like crazy. It took me approximately 30 attempts to capture one in the inch position.

3. I ran on a treadmill for the first time on Saturday! I have tried to run on a treadmill before, but I don’t think I have ever made it past a 1/4 mile before quitting out of intense boredom. However on Saturday it was rainy and I really wanted to run. So I geared up with my ipod and water and headed to the gym. The experience was actually not as bad as I thought it would be, and I appreciated being able to see my speed. Maybe next week I will try a treadmill interval workout?

4. Batch #2 of Kombucha has been succesfully made! I totally freaked out the first time I touched my SCOBY, but this past time was much more successful and I am feeling more confident with my brewing capabilities. I will do a full post when I start my third batch this week.

5. I have mentioned before that I love a good Cake wreck, which is almost guaranteed to make me cry with laughter. And now I must add Hyperbole and Half to my favorite hilarious websites. I have approximately eight favorite posts right now, but this one is especially hilarious.

Getting My Groove Back

Making the transition from vacation to real life last week was tough! It was so nice not having to even think about what food to prepare/buy/eat. I managed to squeeze in a couple workouts at the gym on the boat, and swimming in Nassau should count for something! But I basically only worried about what I would wear to dinner that night and how many appetizers I could order without being absurd (my max was 5-true story).

I returned to my apartment on Sunday evening to an empty pantry and full schedule. The next night I went to the grocery store and stocked up on tons of food to get me through the next six weeks-but let’s be real, it will probably all be gone by next weekend (especially the Cinnamon Crumble Kashi which maybe has two days left).

So while the eats were pretty good, the workout front was severely curtailed. Kath and I went to our favorite yoga class on Tuesday, and then I ran on Saturday…yeah it was that bad.

This week I am looking at a more normal workload, so I want to restart a few things that have fallen by the wayside in the stress and business that is school life.

-100 push-up challenge: oh right, I did start this like 9 weeks ago. And I was doing pretty well…until the workouts became so hard that I could no longer do them in the morning before class. I would be dripping sweat and my face was super red-not a great look. I think I am going to restart at week 3 and move the workouts to right before my shower at night, so it won’t matter how sweaty I get.

cycle: I miss my cycle class so much these past few weeks! Now it’s back to my two/week schedule 🙂

running? I am making a concerted effort to incorporate running more into my life now that spring is here. As I have mentioned before, I am a fair weather runner and have never run on a treadmill. For me the enjoyment from running comes from appreciating the weather and natural scenery, but since the forecast is looking like this:

running might not happen…I’ll keep you posted

Have a great start to your week!

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Also, I read this helpful post from Rachel Wilkerson about getting back into the swing of things after vacation and really liked her suggestions

Me and My Key

Today was too beautiful to spend my workout in the gym’s dark cycling room. So I decided to go on a run for the first time in like 6 weeks (which is really embarrassing actually). I fueled up with sweet potato oatmeal topped with Greek yogurt and chia seeds.

And then got outside! I decided to add another mile to my normal three mile loop, so I would have more time to enjoy the weather.

I am a pretty minimalist runner (if you can call someone whose last run was almost 2 months ago a runner). I prefer to run without my iPod, water, or even watch. Since I am not training for an event or trying to get my time down, being completely unencumbered allows me to fully enjoy the movement and my surroundings. One thing that I do have to bring with me on every run is my house key. My friend Anika taught me this neat idea for storing your key while on a run.

A large safety pin+house key

Pinned to the inside of my shorts

I use this method to store my key if I am not wearing one of my running shorts that have a key pocket already built in.

I never thought I would say this, but running is my time for mediation of sorts. For so much of my life I am listening, watching or just surrounded by noise and images. On my runs I just listen to my feet hitting the pavement and my breath. It helps that I generally have a random song stuck in my head that I will sing to myself for parts of the run (today was “Drive By” by Train). I am lucky to live near such a naturally gorgeous campus that I can enjoy the scenery passing by without getting bored.

I love being outside and enjoying some time sans technology.

Just me.

and my key.

Ok, enough being sappy 🙂

Lunch included a delicious wrap, with my favorite hummus, chopped red pepper, cucumber, and chicken.

I always overestimate how much can fit into a wrap and have to eat some of the insides before I can roll everything up

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!!

Do you have any exciting plans?

Updates

Happy Hump Day (and Ash Wednesday)

Today’s post is going to be kind of random, but it includes several things I have been doing/thinking about. Although I don’t think that any of them warrants an individual post.

-Workout goals from last week: All in all I did pretty well with my workout goals from last week. I managed to sweat through two cycle classes, one 3 mile run, Simply Abs, Simply Arms, and three ridiculously hard days of push ups. I skimped on the second run and Simply Legs.

-Running felt a lot better than I thought it would. I actually might have enjoyed it? The weather makes the biggest difference in the world, but I also just enjoy the silence (I run without headphones) and chance to think about everything and nothing. Let’s be honest, usually I just have one stanza of a totally random song stuck in my head. For some reason, last week it was a Christmas song, “Happy Holidays” or something along those lines. I have no idea why.

-I started a pintrest account, and am still trying to figure it out. I hope it will be a great place to go for recipe and workout inspiration (as well as apartment decorating, work outfits, and of course, wedding planning ;))

-I am now growing a Kombucha SCOBY (Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast)!! It takes all my will power not to check on it every time I go into the kitchen (it is growing in a cupboard). I will let you know how it is progressing later on this week, they are supposed to be usable in 10-14 days.

-I get on the plane to Florida in 12 days!!

So.

Excited.

🙂

Thirsty Thursday: Tropical Green Smoothie

Yay we made it to Thursday!

This week was not too busy, but I always look forward to the weekend. 🙂

Yesterday I completed the first of my two scheduled runs of the week

The weather was quite warm, which made the experience a lot more enjoyable. It has been a while since I have run, so it took a while to get back into the groove. The fact that the first .5 miles of my route is a HUGE hill did not help my confidence. Chapel Hill is aptly named to say the least. I my mantra throughout the whole thing was alternately “you just have to make it up this hill” and “just one more big hill to go”. Lying to myself actually helped me a lot 😉 In the end, it wasn’t nearly as bad as I had imagined.

To reward myself for hitting the road, I feasted on this tropical deliciousness:

Tropical Green Smoothie                                  

1 frozen banana

1/2 cup frozen mango and pineapple

1/2 cup of orange juice

1/2 cup water

2 handfuls of spinach

1 scoop protein powder

Blend up and enjoy. If you are not worried about sugar count, go ahead and use a whole cup of orange juice instead of just half.