Pelotonia Training Catch-up

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Original Post:

This year Seph and I are committing to a two day fundraising ride – to raise $6,000 total to ride 200 miles over two days, in August, in the humidty of an Ohio summer that we aren’t used to!!  While we aren’t asking you to put in the training miles with us- although you are welcome to, we are asking for your help with our fundraising efforts.

My dad was a patient at the James Cancer Hospital and received excellent care before, during and after his bone marrow transplant.  While the complications of the transplant eventually won, he fought hard with rarely a complaint.  Supporting this fundraising cause is very important to me, and while I’ve fundraised many times in the past, this cause is just a little bit more special.  All funds we raise will go directly towards research, and improving treatments and outcomes which can really make a difference in patient quality of life.
My longest ride to date is 87 miles so there is a lot of training ahead of us to be able to complete 100 miles on day one and another 80 miles the following day!  We appreciate any financial contributions you can provide, regardless of size as well as support and encouragement during training and the event weekend!

The commitment number of $2,500 is just for one of us to ride…so double or nothing to get us both out there for two days!  If we cross $6,000 we will each ride 100 miles on both days of the ride! Help us suffer!

Any amount helps the cause and we are happy to ride in honor or memory of your beloved cancer patients and survivors!

Please join me in supporting this cause, where 100% of your donation will go directly towards cancer research at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center-James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute.

Update April 3, 2018:
We took a little vacation last week to Bend, OR where the pace of life is slower and we got to enjoy the outdoors.  Three fat bike rides on snowy trails, three hikes in new to us places and then fun home owner tasks like raking pine needles and lifting 96 stones for a fire pit ring.  Now is it back to focusing on training and fundraising, with a goal to raise at least $10 for every mile I plan on cycling this week – and I’m looking for a week that is over 100 miles!

Update April 25, 2018:
Thanks for the support we’ve gotten so far! We are 100 days out from the event and about 70 days out from our fundraising deadline.  Even though the progress tracker above shows commitment met – that is only for one of us doing 180 miles.  We want to do 200 miles….which means we need to fill that tracking bar all the way up to $6,000.  Want to double your donation?  Check to see if your company offers matching donations!
Update May 15, 2018:
In the last 3 days I rode 99+ miles with 5000′ of climbing!  Now to get that all into one day!

Shakeology – why should I drink it?

Well, I suppose there are lots of reasons. Here are some of my reasons and the benefits I’ve seen from drinking it regularly:

  • Fewer cravings for sweets
  • Less breaking of my fingernails 
  • Tastes good!
  • Full of vitamins, minerals and that buzz word “superfoods”
  • Improved digestive function
  • Helps ward off illness with all of those vitamins
  • Easy and healthy breakfast or snack 

Being Healthy

Being healthy. What does this mean to you? Why is it important to you? What keeps you from being healthy?

To me being healthy means being physically active, eating well most of the time and not dealing with chronic health issues.  For me being physically active helps keep me mentally balanced and during exercise is a time when my brain is often thinking through issues and solving problems that result in ah-ha moments for something that has been puzzling me for hours.

Healthy isn’t a number on the scale or the sum miles you ran this week or how many veggies you ate this week. These types of measures can help establish good health,  but by themselves they don’t mean you are healthy.  I’ve seen way too many people who are at a “healthy” weight, but can’t run a mile or carry three bags of groceries. If we were to judge just by the scale and measures of BMI – I’m definitely overweight.

Healthy is being strong enough, mentally and physically, to participate in life.  It’s setting a good example for others in your life.  Healthy is being able to keep up with your kids and grandkids. It’s about balancing eating habits and fitness.

It pains me to watch friends and family members suffering from chronic illness, fighting diabetes, being rushed to the hospital due to heart disease or living a sedentary life. It could be lack of initiative, an unsupportive network to make change, the uncertainty of where to start, a sense of overwhelming because healthy habits seem daunting, it could be genetics.

In the last year I’ve been introduced to healthy lifestyle coaching and become connected to an incredibly supportive group of people. Now I want to take what I’ve learned about healthy eating and exercise programs and help others start on a path to a healthier lifestyle.  This is really no different than when I decided I wanted to teach yoga and share the value of yoga.

What has been key to me is planning and consciously thinking about meals instead of thinking of what is quickest to eat.  The good news is that this doesn’t take a lot of time and that you don’t have to be an accomplished chef to eat well.

The holiday season has started and being healthy doesn’t mean I’ll skip out on all of the good food or miss a lot of workouts. It does mean I need to be a little more mindful of scheduling fitness and planning for big treat meals.  I’m putting this out there as a measure of accountability,  so I can maintain a healthy lifestyle through the holidays instead of waiting for New Years resolutions, and because I’m curious about your views on health.

Meditation Practices

Meditation practices can seem very new age-y or for hippies, and the first reaction to meditation can often be negative.  Thoughts like, I can’t do that, I can’t sit still that long, I will fall asleep, my mind can’t shut down to focus, are all very common concerns.  The practice of mindfulness allows for mental peace, increased concentration and control and awareness of thoughts and reactions to your own thoughts as well as the outside world.  The good news is that even regular short (10 minute) sessions of meditation can be beneficial in changing your thought processes and increasing mental awareness.

Therapeutic Yoga

Therapeutic yoga can encompass multiple forms of yoga and is most often used in private or small group classes.  Hands on healing is a key component of therapeutic yoga and is generally used in conjunction with elements of yin, restorative and gentle practices.  This type of yoga is often used with patients that have chronic illnesses, are fighting cancer or have other limitations.  The practice can also focus almost solely on breath work and meditation and mindfulness as opposed to physical poses.  The benefits of therapeutic yoga are more often being recognized in traditional western medical world as well.

Restorative

One of my favorite descriptions of this is guided nap time!  I’d probably call it more guided rest period, but either way it is one of my favorite practices.  Restorative practices make heavy use of props for a couple of reasons.   The main one is that the poses are held for a long time….a long time being 5 – 20 minutes.  This means that an hour long restorative class never feels like long enough and that even in a 90 minute restorative class you may never do more than 5 poses, including savasana.  The second reason for the props is to allow your body to be fully supported.  In a yin practice props are used but the poses are designed to get into the joints and synovial fluid.  In a restorative practice the intent is to go even deeper and impact the central nervous system.

A restorative practice does not involve any standing poses, all of the poses are sitting or lying on your mat, but despite not being physically challenge it can be a challenging adjustment to get used to the stillness and the patience needed to settle into a pose.  Restorative (and yin) practices can also bring up a lot of emotions as well as mental awareness.  And if we don’t like what we are seeing and hearing and experiencing in our mind and with our emotions it can be very hard to deal with and can even feel threatening or uncomfortable.  If you can get past this (which can definitely take a few sessions) you can find significant benefits from a restorative practice, particularly a greater sense of peace and calm and all the benefits or meditation.  When I teach restorative classes I will often read a guided meditation during the pose that is held the longest and it is amazing to watch the participants sink into a deeper state of relaxation.

Viniyoga

This is another style of yoga that I don’t have any personal experience with, but in some ways is the polar opposite of Iyengar yoga.  Viniyoga aims to provide a broader background of yoga, including philosophy and the use of breath, in addition to learning the poses so that the practitioner can best make yoga work for them and their life.

In many ways this fits with my personal style of yoga, I’m not a complete anatomy geek or alignment nazi – I want the practices to be safe and comfortable for you and your body and for you to be able to find and utilize the elements of yoga that provide you with the most benefits.

Iyengar Yoga

Iyengar is a very specific type of yoga that makes heavy use of props in order to get exact alignment.  It is very precision focused with the exact alignment and shape of the body in the poses being the primary factor.

I don’t have any personal experience with this type of yoga, but would love to learn more about it.

Gentle Yoga

This is an interesting category, and depending on the teacher the definition of gentle can vary greatly!  Gentle yoga will often offer modifications and a less challenging pose as the primary pose.  For example, instead of high runner’s lunge, the pose will be with the back knee down, instead of starting in a high lunge and giving the option to lower the knee.  Props are often used but not necessary.  Gentle classes will often attract people with less range of motion and the props can come in handy then.

I’ve been to and taught gentle classes that never have any standing poses in them, and I’ve been to other “gentle” classes that left me a sweaty mess.  Gentle classes can be a good place to start and get used to poses, and tend to move slower than a flow class while still using the same poses.  As with any yoga class if you go to a gentle class and find that it isn’t as gentle as you hoped, find another class and teacher instead of giving up.  The teacher and their style and intensity is critical to finding a good match for you.

Kundalini

Kundalini is an incredibly fun practice that I was introduced to by one of my teachers in teacher training.  It can involve pretty quick movements, moving on the breath with strong inhales and exhales.  The movements can build a lot of heat in the body and the practice can be a lot more of a core and strength workout than you might expect.  The focus in a kundalini practice can also be on different chakras – or energy centers within the body, either focusing on specific ones or working through all of them depending on the intent of the class.

If I teach an all levels flow class I definitely incorporate some kundalini elements and depending on how gentle a gentle class it is, may include some aspects there as well.