Saturday, January 30, 2010

Climbing 52 Flights of Stairs is Harder than it Sounds

From 2010 Big D Climb(by Eye-Fi)

2010 Big D Climb at The Fountain Building

I woke up today excited about my 3rd event in my 2010 Bike Run Yoga Challenge, the Big D Climb. The Big D Climb is a 52 flight, 1040 step stair climb at The Fountain Building that benefits the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Seven friends decided to join me today, the largest group of friends I’ve ever had at an event and we had such a great time! It was so exciting waiting at the bottom; we were all so pleasantly oblivious to what awaited us. Right before we started our climb, someone posted the fastest time, 6:20. We all looked at it and laughed. Seriously? I thought to myself, when I ran on the stair climber it took me 6 minutes to go up 28 flights if stairs there is no way I could do 52 in 6 minutes, that is insane! Congrats to “Zach” who had the fastest time, I “climbed” my own race thank you very much.

From 2010 Big D Climb(by Eye-Fi)

At 8:34 am we started the Bike Run Yoga team climb up 52 flights of stairs, there were moments of cheering, motivation, determination, feels of needing to throw up, exhaustion, annoyance for feeling so out of shape, and complete satisfaction for reaching the top.

The climb started off great, Rhonda was in front of me and I cheered her on, “Go Rhonda Go!” Then it was my turn. The guy got my D-tag to beep, “ok, go” he says and I start of running, going up two steps at a time cheering as I went. I made it to what I thought was a fairly high level and looked up, gasping for air, and saw the sign said 8. Only the 8th floor? Are you kidding me?! Fine, I think, and I keep going. Not two at a time but heck, I was still moving upward.

From 2010 Big D Climb(by Eye-Fi)

Somewhere around floor 20 – 22 a volunteer gave me water and it went down the wrong way. After that, every time I took a breath in I coughed like I was a chain smoker. Solution? Breathe through the nose, which is what we do in yoga for 90 minutes so surely I should be able to do that for a stair climb, right? Uh, no, apparently not. I noticed I was having the hardest time breathing through my nose, could be because I had some congestion from my ski vacation. (At least I will blame it on that.)

As I came around each staircase I kept seeing the stupid floor level signs and they really were pissing me off, I mean, they were increasing so SLOWLY! There were great volunteers cheering everyone on though and that was nice. At floor 25 they were shouting half way…half way I thought, man, I am about to pass out and I only made it half way? I made it to floor 26 but it wasn’t pretty. I can’t even tell you what the volunteers looked like, my eyes were planted on the stairs so I didn’t fall or trip myself.

Rhonda and I were going up together and then at the half way point she needed to take a break. I did too but I remembered what Coach Joe said at the San Diego Marathon, just keep moving forward, one foot in front of the other. So I just kept going, slow maybe but I tried to just keep walking up the stairs, one step at a time.

From 2010 Big D Climb(by Eye-Fi)

My arms started to lose feeling sometime shortly after the half way point. My mind started to think about the medics someone mentioned were at the top. At the TOP I thought, heck, I need one right now!

I lost my mind somewhere between the floors in the 30’s and 40’s, those floors at bit of a blur, probably a good thing. At one point I saw two ladies and one said to the other, “I want to take a break.” As I passed I said “I want to take a break with you too.” Of course, I kept going. I did have to stop a few times to cough. Coughing almost made me vomit the apple fritter I had before I got there. Let me just say, apple fritter does not take good the second time around.

Then, as I rounded the staircase I could hear beeping…and volunteers were shouting almost there. What a glorious feeling. When I run I usually sprint to the end but not today. Today I was just lucky to make it. As I came around the 51st flight, there was a lady taking pictures. I did my best to smile while still heaving myself up the stairs. I crossed the finish line with a time of 17:22.

From 2010 Big D Climb(by Eye-Fi)

I feel such an amazing sense of accomplishment today and feel so thankful Rhonda, Scott, Chris, Dave, Jessica, Kelly and Doug choose to run up 52 flights of stairs with me today. I am so proud of everyone, we not only did something for ourselves but we also helped raise funds and awareness for blood cancer research. It makes me proud to be able to be part of something greater than myself and I have loved my experiences with different events through the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. However, I think I would rather run another marathon with them than go up 52 more flights of stairs! Man that was HARD!

From 2010 Big D Climb(by Eye-Fi)

2010 Bike Run Challenge: Join Today! 

Yoga For Beginners 

ToeSox Yoga / Pilates Organic Cotton Toe Socks (Medium, Black) 

Skies Don't Work on Pavement, I Would Know

From Crested Butte
I didn't have any drink to spill on myself so I decided to get road rash instead.

Each day we walked up the street to this cut out in the snow and skied down “homeowner” to the Gold Link Lift. It was as ski in/ski out as you can get in my book. When we were done for the day we skied down “homeowner”, found the UT flag David had put out marking our exit and skied right up to the street. Every day except yesterday it was perfect, I skied to the cut out in the snow, angled my skies down and slid onto the snow covered street and skied down to the house and practically into the garage. It was so fun I could hardly contain my excitement. I had never been to a place where you skied right up to your front door!

Yesterday however was not like the other days. It was warmer and most of the snow had melted off the street. So as I came around the curve and up to the cut out in the snow, I noticed it was a steep drop, the snow plows had pushed the snow from the street to the edges so there was a steep drop off, then the street which was bare of snow. I poked my skies out over the built up snow edge right before the street and thought to myself, “How can I ski down to the house so I don’t have to walk?” Then it comes to me, I decided I would just ease my skies down the snow, make a sharp right onto the side of the road where there was still snow and ski down to the garage. It was a perfect plan.

So I went for it; I lean my skies down and slide off the edge, but before I can turn right I slid directly onto the street and my skies come to a sharp halt. My upper body keeps moving forward and since my legs are frozen to the ground because skies don’t actually work on pavement, I proceeded to fly forward. I caught myself with my hands just before my face got cozy with the street. So here is the visual, my legs are sprawled out, I am laying face down on the pavement and my arms out I like just scored a soccer goal. My poles are wrapped around my wrists so they are pointing outward, one ski had popped off and the other was attached and at a 90 degree angle to my leg. Karen, my friend I was, with wanted to laugh but was worried I had done some serious damage to my face. “Are you ok,” she asks. As I pushed myself up with my hands I shout back, “yea, I’m fine.” I pick myself back up, get my skies on and make my way down the street, on the snowy part. I look back at Karen who, after seeing me face plant it on the street, has decided to take her skies off and walk. I am laughing hysterically at myself and yell back at Karen, “I’m glad you didn’t have the camera out!”

Ultimate Skiing

SmartWool Light Skiing Sock - Women's

Fourstar Clothing Co Filbert Full-Zip Hooded Jacket - Men's

Friday, January 29, 2010

I Need to Ski More Often

From Crested Butte
Crested Butte

Before this vacation, I think the last time I skied was about 3 years ago in Tahoe and before that I think it had been 3 or 4 years. No one can be a great skier skiing once every 3 years, or at least I can’t. I did manage to make it down the mountain on the first pass without falling although I certainly feel many times after that run down the mountain. Falling didn’t deter me; I skied all 4 days and loved every minute of it, even the falls.

I stuck mostly to blue runs with a few greens; I didn’t want to break anything before I embark on yoga teacher training. Breaking something would be devastating to my new life goals so I decided easy and fun would be better than trying to “out do” my last ski experience, which again, was over 3 years ago. (No need to be a show-off.)

I got some great ski tips on Thursday and practiced actually using my poles instead of holding onto them like they were simply an accessory. I also learned to make smaller “s” curves and to keep my knees together. Both techniques made my thighs and quads hurt so I was glad I had received those tips late in the trip!

On my way back to the airport in Gunnison, I started thinking about the last 5 days in Crested Butte; I don’t think I could have asked for a better trip. As I rode the Alpine Express shuttle back to Gunnison I looked at the mountain and admired the steep snowy slopes I had just spent the better part of 4 days skiing and the lifts I had become good friends with. And the weather could not have been more perfect, sunny some days and snowing others, perfect every day.

The sun was beating down on me in the Alpine Express van, making me drowsy. I leaned my head back on the seat and closed my eyes. About halfway there I hear the driver point out a bald eagle up a head. I slowing opened my eyes and squinted toward the tree I thought she was referring to and barely made out a blackish looking thing that could have been a bird but my eyes were too sleepy to make it out. I blinked a few times and as we passed the tree I saw through the back window a bald eagle sitting in a tree. I smiled inside and thought that was a nice way to end an already wonderful trip. I promptly fell back asleep.

Around Gunnison and Crested Butte (Images of America: Colorado)

Crested Butte: From Coal Camp to Ski Town

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Amazing Creste Butte Snow and I was There to Enjoy It

From Creste Butte
Me at the top of Paradise Express Lift

Creste Butte got something like 9 inches of snow last week, or so I heard from just about everyone over the last few days. I don't really know the difference between a few inches or 9 (as it relates to skiing) so I usually just nodded my head and gave an approving expression as if I knew 9 inches was a good thing. As we drove in from Gunnison, it was clear what 9 inches does to a town, every rooftop had at least 2 feet of snow on top and the snow banks on the side of the road were at least a full person tall. I just stared out the window and watched the beautiful scenery in amazement. I stopped pointing things out to the rest of the people in the car because there were just too many wonderful things to see. If there was that much snow on the rooftops and on the ground in town, the mountain had to have just as much, that must be what people were so excited about. Then I was thinking, skiing is going to be awesome!

From Creste Butte
We started off today at Red Lady Express lift and did one green slope either Mineral Point or Keystone. My friends and I haven't skied in years so our objective today was to get our ski legs back. At the bottom, near Red Lady Express, we met up with a fellow yogi that now lives in Creste Butte and she took us up Silver Queen Express to what I would consider the "top" for those beginner to novice skiers. (Meaning, we were not in the black diamond area.) We skied down a great blue slope, Paradise Bowl, back down to the Silver Queen Express Lift.

We did Paradise Bowl one more time, at which point I promptly fell within a few seconds of hitting the slope. After huffing and puffing and moving my skies several times, I finally got my skies back on with the aide of a friend. the rest of the run was sketchy, my mind took over and every steep area I psyched myself out and made myself afraid of falling.  I made it down, I'm sure the few people that were behind me didn't appreciate the wide slides from left to right, but what do I care, I made it down.

After lunch we moved to the middle of the mountain and did some shorter blue runs off Prospect Lift and Gold Link Lift. I liked this area, it had some good areas to test my skill, narrow parts and even a few tunnels to go through. After half a dozen runs I called it a day. From where we were, it was an easy ski back to the house.

We are staying at a place right off the slopes so all I had to do was ski down Homeowner and look for a flag which marketed the turn off to the road where the house was. This was so cool, I've never done this before, I saw the flag, turned the corner and then slid into the street and literally skied on the street, down the driveway right into the garage! It was so awesome, talk about ski in/ski out!

Friday, January 22, 2010

I just met Nick Vujicic!

From 2010

A friend invited me tonight to a fundraiser event supporting Life Without Limbs and Nick Vujicic.Nick was born with no legs or arms. He has had a life full of challenges few of us could ever imagine and fewer could actually handle. And yet, he is a man full of love for life with a mission to share his story with the world. Nick spoke tonight of his life and how he came to help motivate and empower others. It was so amazing to see Nick in person, I had seen several youtube videos and have one of his dvd's but to see him in person was really a fantastic treat.

I first heard of Nick Vujicic from a youtube video I saw of him speaking to a crowd of people, all sitting on a table. He was vibrant, funny, and joked about having no arms or legs just as I might joke about being short or clumsy. It seemed no more odd to him for him to be the way he is than for me to be the way I am. Just watching him feel so comfortable in his own skin, his own life was inspiring.

Tonight was also filled with a little humor. At one point he mentioned how he wanted to be a speaker when he grew up and at his first speaking engagement he was nervous, even his palms were sweating!

He spoke of a time when he wished he had arms and legs, then he thought he might be happy. But then he saw people WITH arms and legs that were not happy and he realized he could be happy just the way he was. Arms and legs don't make you happy, just like that bigger salary or nicer car or [insert your vice] won't make you happy.

He also spoke about not so funny things like wanting to commit suicide as a young person and even tried 3 times. On his third attempt, he decided he couldn't burden his parents with the guilt and remorse that would happen if he died so, he didn't.

I can't explain the feeling I had sitting there listening to him. It was as if he was speaking directly to me. I felt happiness and joy both for him and for me. For him, for overcoming such overwhelming challenges and for me because if he can overcome not having arms or legs, surely I can overcome any obstacle that comes my way. And this attitude certainly bodes well for me and my upcoming teacher training, I sense I will have a lot to overcome.

If you ever get the chance to see Nick Vujicic in person, I highly recommend you do. He has beaten the odds. He lives life with a smile and in spite of his physical limitations, he has no limits of love for others. 

Thursday, January 21, 2010

I hate bendy people behind me in yoga class

From Sat.ChampionWorkshop
I hate bendy people behind me in yoga class, they makes me so competitive. 

Don't you hate it when you end up next to a bendy, flexible person in yoga class? I do. I particularly find it annoying when they are right behind me, they end up in my peripheral sight line and I am always aware they are going deeper than me and that makes me push myself more. This happened today, a lovely lady sat behind me that is known for being super bendy. Whatever right? I mean, she is at least 12 years younger than me...I shouldn't think I can compete with a twenty-something.

And THAT is the annoying part. Not that I can or can't compete with a twenty-something...that I even NOTICED there was a bendy person behind me. I'm suppose to be focused on myself and not worry about others. One of the great things about yoga for me is it isn't a competition with others in the room. My 90 minute practice is for me, I am suppose to go to my deepest points, do my best stretching...not go deeper or try harder because some young bendy person is behind me.

I was almost done with class when I realized I had forgotten about the bendy lady and was just focusing on myself. I guess that means the yoga is working. I'd like to learn how to lose sight of people outside of the room too! Maybe that will come with more yoga....and so...I'll keep going. Namaste

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Yoga is Essential...

I just read the Oprah story, part II, of Paige Williams journey through her 60 day Bikram Challenge. Paige is an amazing women to put her self out there and tell her story. She tells her story of her second month into the challenge, and I do mean challenge, and how it changed her life. There is also a sad part at the end about her health and how some health challenges she started off with were still with her. But she explains she is a renewed person and appreciates all she learned and gained...and is still taking Bikram yoga.

Paige says, "At first, this yoga felt exploratory, optional, but now that I know what's really going on, it feels essential to managing my day-to-day happiness and improving my overall well-being."

Well said Paige, well said.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Hot? Check. Sweaty? Check. Feel Great? Check

There is nothing like a good, hot, sweaty Bikram Yoga class to stretch out tight muscles after a run. Yesterday I ran the Too Cold to Hold 15k and my legs were feeling a bit stiff yesterday and today. I took yoga class tonight and my body feels great, loose and great!

Have you ever had a muscle pain in your knees or hip or maybe your ankle or calf and you just couldn't figure out how to get rid of it? What I found out running is often targeting the area where the pain is does nothing to correct it, that really the cause of the pain could be in a completely different place. A perfect example is my knee pain yesterday. Rubbing my knees was doing nothing to ease the pain. Reason being, the pain was due to knots in the muscles that were pulling on the ligaments/joints of the knee. My immediate solution was to foam roll my legs to loosen the knots. So, yesterday I "rolled" my legs, focusing on my calves where I noticed there were huge knots. These knots and knots in my thighs were stretching/pulling my muscles so much my knees were hurting, a common thing for me as a result of running. I even used a pressure stick and pressed on the knot in my calf and could feel a tingling sensation in my upper thigh, the pain was way up there!

I bought my foam roller last year when I started training for my first marathon and loved how easy it was to use. Mine came with a video and it showed several ways to roll your calves, thighs, hip, back, arms, really anything that felt tight. It was amazing how rolling an area for just a few days would quickly loosen the knots and relieve the pain. I wasn't taking yoga as much then so my leg muscles would knot up quite a lot after long runs.

Even  after rolling my legs yesterday, I was still feeling knots in my calves today, enough that I wore "cold and hot" pads on my legs all day. Then I went to Bikram Yoga and stretched every muscle and ligament in my body for 90 minutes. It was absolutely wonderful! My body feels so great, my knees don't hurt or feel like they are out of alignment and my hip doesn't feel strained. 

If you are a runner, I highly recommend trying Bikram Yoga, it will change your running forever! In fact, I believe I have been injury free because of the yoga I was taking before I started training for marathons; because I already had a good foundation of flexibility, I was been able to prevent many common running injuries. Yea for Bikram Yoga!

This is the foam roller I bought. Under $20 and it comes with a cd that shows you how to roll. It basically allows you to give yourself a massage and it is WAY cheaper than going to the spa and getting a massage. 

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Too Cold to Hold was Indeed COLD

From 2010 Too Cold to Hold 15K

Today was a cold one! I suppose that is why they call the 15K event, Too Cold to Hold; it was certainly COLD! It wasn't as cold as on New Years Day, that was just crazy cold but it was still very nippy. It was a good run even so. I had lots of friends there and afterward we went to Ozona for breakfast. Yum!

As usual, I hadn't trained for this 15K run unless you consider running 3 miles a week prior training. I'm not suggesting this is a good method of preparing for long runs, it makes running more challenging, things hurt a lot more and it is harder to keep a good pace. Proof I need to train more came to me when I tried to run the 3 miles a week before Too Cold to Hold and almost died on the treadmill. So why don't I train? You can read why in my other post, "Who Really Needs to Train for a Long Running Event?" 

The run started off slow, both Rhonda  and I wanted to stop almost as soon as we started! After a few miles we were feeling a little better about getting up early and running in the cold. We made it to about 3.5 miles before I thought to my self I wanted to be done. Neither one of us had trained and were feeling it. We both talked about how we were not trying to win the race though, we were just trying to finish. This thought kept surfacing throughout the run and helped us feel better about our speed and how the run was going. We were about at mile 7 when we calculated we could finish at about 1:50. By mile 8 we reconsidered our possible finish time. As we ran around the bend and I saw the mile 9 sign, I thought for sure we could do it...but we were both exhausted and not wanting to injure something before teacher training, I agreed to walk for a minute. Then, these two girls we had been switching lead with came up behind us and that seemed to motivate each of us and I turned to Rhonda and said, "lets go", she agreed with "You were thinking what I was thinking." No way we were going to let those nice ladies beat us!

We ran in the last .3 and sprinted to the end for a final time of 1:50:31. I consider that making 1:50 finish time. Today was a good run, harder than it needed to be but in the end, we finished. This was event 2 of my 24 I plan to finish this year as part of the 2010 Bike Run Yoga Challenge. Just 22 more to go!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

I Ran 39.3 Rock N Roll Miles!

From Bike Run Yoga
I got a wonderful gift in the mail today, my 39.3 metal from the Rock N Roll Marathon Group! I completed the San Diego Marathon in May and the San Antonio Half Marathon in November 2009. Competitor Group, the company that puts on the Rock N Roll events give additional metals for completing more than one of their events.

I love my metals, not that I wear them out (that would be just silly) or even look at them on a daily basis but when I do look at them, they remind me of the amazing accomplishments I achieved in 2009. I not only ran my first marathon, I ran in 3 half marathons and a handful of other shorter races. In total I completed 12 athletic events in running, cycling and yoga. This from a girl that had never actually run an entire 5k - ever! So if you think running a marathon or half marathon or really any goal you have for yourself is impossible, think again, anything is possible....just set your mind to it and take it one day at a time.

From Bike Run Yoga
From Bike Run Yoga

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Who Really Needs to Train for a Long Running Event?

My trainer always asks me, "are you going to run this week?" As if training for a long run was something I traditionally did! I haven't properly trained for any run, even the two half marathons I did this year, except for the marathon I ran with Team in Training. Training to me is a task and I am a master at procrastinating tasks. This doesn't seem to bode well for my running events.

In true form, I have not trained for the Too Cold to Hold 15k run this weekend. Why? Mostly because I just don't want to and a little because I have been really busy. These aren't good excuses I know but if you are thinking to yourself that I am weird, crazy, etc., just reread the comment above about procrastination.

I ran in a New Years Day 5 mile run that I thought was only a 5k and wasn't very happy about it, see previous post. I had mentally prepared to run 5k, was in no condition to run 5 miles! Remembering that event made me think this week I MIGHT want to actually run a little to prepare for the 15k. Just a little though, don't want to actually over achieve and be prepared for a running event.

After yoga yesterday I went to the gym to run three miles. I think to myself, three miles will be easy, no problem. Right, no problem...uh, think again. I get on the treadmill, I am all pumped up and ready to go, I got my ipod all set up and start off at a nice 5.7 pace. (I'm not the fastest running, just determined.) After a mile my side hurts like someone stuck a knife in my abs...I walk. Wholly cow I think...this is HARD. What the heck?

I keep going, at a slower pace...and I can only make it to 1.5 miles before I have to walk I walk I consider only going 2 miles and calling it a day. But I've already posted on twitter and facebook that I am running 3 miles, I can't just run 2, that is quitting. Ugh I think....fine...I am now pissed at myself and force myself to run 1.5 more. One good thing about posting what I PLAN on doing is it actually makes me do it.

I love it when a fast, up beat song comes on, I get energized and feel motivated to run. At mile 2 Candy Shop by Madonna comes on...I'm moving now! By the time the song is over I am almost at 2.5 miles...almost done!

I keep running and try to calculate how long it will take me to song? Two songs...6 minutes? This pondering goes on for another minute reducing the total distance to just under .4 miles. I so have this! At .2 miles I am so done, I increase the speed to 6.7 and just run my little legs to death until I finished. Three miles done in 36 minutes. Not my best time but I did it and I didn't die.

I did 90 minutes of Bikram Yoga and ran three miles....I consider that a good day. I'm going for 5 miles on Friday. The Too Cold to Hold is Sunday morning, let's hope I run better than I did running 3!

Chili and Bikram Yoga Don't Play Well Together

The studio I practice at, Bikram Yoga Dallas, has an introductory package of $40 for a month of yoga and this has produced an influx of new students. Classes are often over 40 people now, which is wonderful, but also means I have to get to class extra early if I want to be on the front row. The front row is the best if you want to be able to look at yourself the entire time, not in a vain way, but to really pay attention to form; also it helps motivate you to try harder. So I got there early yesterday and set up in the front.

The problem with this tactic is I had also had chili for lunch, not a good plan! Chili and the front row apparently do not mix well together.  I was hot, not just Bikram Yoga hot, but scalding hot...and was having a hard time controlling my breath. this was partly due to the large class and the heat generated by the room and also because I was trying so hard in each posture. I am pretty sure being hot in Bikram Yoga is a good thing, as it trying hard in each posture...but on this particular day, both did me in early.

During second set of triangle pose I sat down, big mistake. David, one of the owners of our studio was teaching, he looked over at me and asked "everything ok?" I shook my head yes."Is this your first class today," asks David. "Yes," I say. Then there was some comment about training and at that point I felt like a wimp and got up to do second set of triangle. I mean, really, if I can't get through one class, how am I going to do two classes a day for 9 weeks?

Note to self: Don't eat chili before class, drink lots of water and don't sit down during triangle pose.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Senior Vice President Goes Yogi on Corporate America

Today starts a new chapter in my life. Today I quit my Corporate America career as a Senior Vice President of a national company. To some this might seem scary or even just a little crazy, but I am excited about new beginnings and new possibilities. Life is too short to not live YOUR life. And so, today begins my journey to become a certified Bikram Yoga instructor and teach others the wonderful benefits of Bikram Yoga.

I started Bikram Yoga in 2006 when I moved to Dallas and was looking for something to "do" besides go to the gym. One day on my way to work I saw a sign next to the grocery store I frequented, "Bikram Yoga." I thought to myself, "I wonder what kind of yoga that is."

I looked up the website, signed up for their introductory package and proceeded to almost die in my first class. At temperatures of at least 105 degrees and 40-50% humidity for 90 minutes while moving through 26 postures, who could blame me?! Christina, my first yoga instructor joked in class we had about 45 more minutes, this was after about 70 minutes of class and I thought I was going to have to run out of the room. Bikram Yoga is possibly hardest physical activity I have ever done, and I love it.

Since then I have consistently practiced sporadically, if that makes sense. I have good intentions but life tends to get in the way and there have been periods of more than several months where I went to Bikram Yoga one or two times a month, if that. Then there are times when I go every day and can't get enough yoga! The latter has been the case recently since I made the determination I was going to teacher training.

I have the fortune of being apart of a great studio with wonderful teachers and really caring mentoring studio owners. I've traveled throughout the country and by far, Bikram Yoga Dallas is a step above the rest. You can't help but be inspired to do more, be more and try harder. And all of that leads to great things within and a desire to compete in yoga championships. I have completed three yoga championships representing Bikram Yoga Dallas and feel each competition has improved my focus and physical practice. Every time I finish training for the competition, I feel inspired and wish I had the ability to just teach yoga to others.

Several years ago I attend a weekend seminar retreat with Rajashree, Bikram's wife and was again, was completely inspired to become a Bikram Yoga instructor. But my more sensible, rational and realistic mind won and I pushed the thought to the side. This time however, I am making the leap and letting the "yoga mats" fall as they may.

My father recently asked me why I go to Bikram Yoga and my response was because it's hard! And it sometimes smells and people tend to throw sweat and well, you are sweaty yourself and the heat is awful and sometimes I want to run from the room. All these things seemed to puzzle him and then he realized, it is BECAUSE of all these "challenges" I NEED/WANT to come to yoga, so I can overcome all the obstacles and my yoga practice can win over all.

So please join me in this new adventure and new chapter, it will be nothing less than amazing, whatever it brings. Bikram Yoga Training, here I come! Namaste

Friday, January 1, 2010

One Down, Just 23 more

It is the first day of a new year, new decade and new Bike Run Yoga Challenge (BRY Challenge). I ran my first BRY Challenge event today, an easy 5k that turned out to actually be a 5 mile run! I should pay better attention to what I sign up for!

I signed up for what I thought was the New Year's Day 5k run near my house. I thought it was perfect, close and short; a good way to start off the year. I picked up my shirt and number yesterday, never occurred to me to look at the shirt. I looked up the race info again online yesterday and still didn't notice it was a 5 mile race.

It was FREEZING when I got up. I walked to the race, it was only 1/2 a mile from my house. I ended up jogging just to stay warm. Frost was still on the ground and the leaves were cracking under my feet because they were pieces of ice.

As I stood around waiting with the other runners, a lady comes on over the loud speaker and is explaining the course. "You are going to take a left on Lawther, go about 2 1/2 miles down. At Tiffany you are going to turn left and come back on the trail. Someone will be taking photos at about 4 1/2." What?! What mile? I turned to the guy next to me, "how far are we running?" "Five miles," he says. I say, "oh, I thought this was a 5k."

He looks at me a little funny and says "is this the first moment you realized it was 5 miles?" "Uh, yes!" And at that point people took off and I didn't have time to think, I had to start running! So 5 miles... Here I come!

It was blistering cold and at moments I was cursing at myself for not wearing gloves. And the nice man at Run On that convinced me NOT to buy long running pants, that capris would be enough, was ABSOLUTELT wrong! Long pants were a must! My calfs were very cold. My fingers were freezing and my hands were in a permanent fist shape, I could barely move my fingers. And yet, I was sweating, unbelievable.

I made it to the finish line... A little beat up but I finished. As I was running mile 4 and I could feel my glut muscles working, I remembered a conversation I just have with my personal trainer, that I need her bc I would never push myself to my max on my own. Running is no different. I COULD have run faster... But I would have had to work harder and it would have hurt more. And heck, it is January 1 for goodness sake! I have 23 more events in my BRY Challenge, no need to blow it out on the first event. Plenty of time to shine.

Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry®

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