To Become a Yogi?

Does Yoga help running?

Pounding the pavement is something that I never thought I could do but realised that I can. Since starting running I have realised that I can actually do anything I put my mind to.

On average a runners foot hits the pavement 1000 times during a mile. With 3 times your weight going through your joints with each step it’s no wonder joints, muscles and ligaments come in for a bashing.

So would Yoga help with flexibility, strength and repair?

In short……. Yes!

Yoga and running are polar opposites in fitness, one high impact the other designed to strengthen, lengthen and build flexibility.   Engaging all muscles large and small whilst also relaxing and focusing the mind.

Possibly the biggest advantage to Yoga would be injury prevention, identifying any problematic areas before injury can strike and stop your training 

As a runner we push ourselves to plough on with training even when  we feel something is not right or troublesome, yoga teaches you to listen to your body and know the difference between injury pain and discomfort caused by the long/fast/training run.

Do I try Yoga? 

My biggest problem is being able to let go. Yoga is a form of exercise but also relaxation and I struggle relaxing especially in group situations.

Do I try a DVD or TV guided Yoga classes? Personally I think no.  Yoga is an art form and practised correctly can have so many benefits, flip side it….. practise incorrectly and surely it could work drastically against you?

There are so many forms of Yoga now it’s like trying to chose a new pair of shoes. Which do you try?


Well I am going to start at the beginning, an easy Yoga class in a local studio, no frills, heat, bungees, hoops or gadgets just plain simple Yoga with a qualified instructor.

Wish me luck! I will be back with an update as soon as I have decided whether Yoga is for me.  Fingers crossed it is, I have never been able to touch my toes!!! 

My Why

Why do I run?

Why do I love running?

Why did I start running?

Here is my Why! 

On my 40th Birthday I did my best to look great for my party.  I tried to look confident and happy as I was so grateful that so many people made such an effort to be there.

In honesty I wasn’t!  I hated myself. I hated the way I looked. Every step, move, word was painful because all I felt was a mess.

I was overweight, unfit, un-confident and very  unhappy.  

When I looked back at the photos I felt even worse. God forbid someone had also video’d me dancing and did no more than plaster it all over Facebook. To this day all I feel is shame and embarrassment.  
The only person who could change it was me. Moan all I like no one could help me unless I helped myself. 

I joined Slimming World and started cycling. The weight dropped off with alot of hard work and commitment. 

2 stone 4lbs lighter I was at a weight I had dreamt about but I was still unhappy with how I looked. 

I am also a total stress head, I worry about worrying about worrying!

My work colleague told me running was a great way to let go. He told me when you run everything goes, everything disappears. All you have is you and the run.

‘I can’t run’ I told him. ‘It hurts too much’ I said. Then I got to thinking how can I say these things when  I have never tried? So I donned my trainers and got out there.

I hated every second. I was right, I couldn’t run and it did hurt…. way too much.  NEVER again I told myself. But when I got home I realised that I actually felt a great sense of achievement. 

So that’s where it started. 

Little by little….. bit by bit….. I built up my run time and slowly my speed.  I will never be a time trial hero but I can see my speed improving. I don’t do it for speed I do it because I love it.

Now when I run I get the time I am out there clearing my head. It is like a mental filing session. Everything slots itself into place without me having to work at it. I can run, get home and then realise that I have no idea what I have thought about for the hour I have been out.  Sometimes I even struggle to remember my route!

I love running  because it has changed my life.

It has given me a calm I have never experienced, I has given me more confidence, it is helping to make me look better and feel better, it is giving me back to me.

Running is hard work, every run brings a new challenge, a new experience a new pain! 

But every run I conquer and defeat my demons bit by bit.

 That is why I love running.

That is why I run.

That is why i keep running.

Cheeky Little Chia 

Teeny Weeny little seeds bursting with goodness.

A natural source of fibre, omega 3 and protein.

These tiny little wonder seeds are the perfect post exercise recovery treat.

Try for yourself (it’s a little like marmite!)

Add 1 tbsp of the seeds to a glass of warm water or coconut water (for a true treat)

Leave to stand for 10 minutes and watch these little gems soak up 10 times their weight in liquid.  They will need a good shake or stir to break up any lumps.

Add fresh lemon/lime and some honey to taste then enjoy.  

The seeds do sink quickly so you will need to keep stirring/shaking.

It looks a little like frogs spawn (doing all good job selling it to you aren’t I??) but they are so full of natural goodness theu’re so worth it.  You may get some right funny looks at the gym but hey ho who cares?  It’s all in the name of health benefits!!!

If you cannot handle the consistency (it does take a little getting used to) put them into smoothies, on your cereals, onto salads, into soups/stews really anything! 

Where there’s a will there’s a way.

Aldi have them on their shelves for only £1.25. Total bargain!!  

Painful Side Stitch

side-stitch

Ok I have been running properly now for coming up to 6 months, on and off before that for 18 months.

Never have I had the dreaded Side Stitch attack!

I am a morning runner, up and out the door before day breaks but today my bed was just way too cosy and the weather outside to awful to contemplate leaving it.  So by lunch time I had resolved to the idea that today’s run would have to happen tomorrow.

By 3pm I was itching to get out, I needed the calm head space that running gives me.  With my cold having knocked me about for a few days I haven’t run since Tuesday, and I honestly miss it.

4pm I got myself ready to go, and off i went!

By mile two, the dreaded side stitch hit, not one side but both!!! With no idea what to do to stop or ease it I decided to slow the pace (not that I am fast to start) and concentrate on my breathing.  I didn’t stop but sure as hell wanted to.

I wonder whether my body is just used to the lovely morning run on and empty stomach and just starting out for the day?  Who knows:

So what exactly is side stitch?

It is an intense stabbing pain under the lower edge of the rib cage that happens when exercising.

What causes it?  (Taken from BBC Sport)

‘It is one of the main muscles involved in breathing. Most scientists believe that the pain is caused by a reduction in blood supply to the diaphragm, causing it to cramp. The stitch is caused by fluids which the body finds hard to digest. This causes the gut to “tug” on the ligaments connecting it to the diaphragm’.

How do you get rid of it? (Taken from Womens Running)

Do this next time you feel an ache coming on:
  • Don’t panic! It’s only a cramp.
  • Focus on maintaining relaxed, even breathing.
  • Slow down and place your hand around the area that hurts.
  • As you exhale, pinch this area between your fingers and thumb. …
  • Continue this pattern for five or six breaths.
  • That should do the trick!

I will most definately be taking this chestnut of advice on board and next time side stitch hits (hopefully not soon) it will work!

New Sport FX Makeup Range

‘Sweat Smart. Sweat Sexy.’ 

Any sort of exercise plays total havoc with most types of makeup.

Sweat and foundation really do not mix, it leaves you feeling claggy and looking a total mess. 

Not anymore…

Look what I found in Sports Direct a new range of skincare and cosmetics created ‘to adapt and work hard for active women with a dynamic lifestyle’.

They are packed with vitamin complex E, C and F, protecting SPF’S and nourishing oils.

With the range including Primers, Concealers, BB Cream, Bronzer, Eye Pencil, Brown Pencil, a specialised Mascara, Lip balm, Face Mist, Make up Remover and Brushes there really all you need to look and feel great before, during and after your workout.

Available at Sports Direct Stores now.

No Run Thursday 

Feeling rather under the weather today.

With the next training session scheduled for today I just couldn’t face it and I gave in.

A bit dissapointed with myself that I let this beat me but then just walking the dogs left me fighting for breath so a run could very well be the worst thing for me

Very tempted to grab the paracetamol but resisting the urge and instead trying out an age old remedy of honey, lemon and ginger in hot water.

Each one has its own healing benefits and revitalise and boost your immune system. Helping in fighting off the cold symptoms.
Feeling better already!!!

Pomegranate Power

Remember as a kid sitting for hours with a Pomegranate and a needle?

35 years it took me to recover from the torture of getting every single juicy seed out of this fruit. It just all seemed like life was way to short.

Now I get to have my revenge and have figured a way to de-seed this wonder fruit in minutes and believe me it is well worth it.

Super sweet and juicy and more importantly packed with vitamin A, C and E, iron and antioxidants. It’s also a good source of fibre.

It has also been claimed that they can be effective against high blood pressure, heart disease, inflammation and some cancers. 

More importantly as a runner they are said to help with muscle recovery after exercise due to the high amounts of antioxidants and phytochemicals that can reduce inflammation. 

With all these benefits you would be bonkers not to give them a go and better still pop along to Aldi and they are on offer right now for 59p for 3.

I mix half a Pomegranate seeds into my morning oats, giving natural sweetness but packing my brekkie with everything good for me.