Friday, October 8, 2010

Tribal Drum Dance Yoga

I had various work demands this week that caused me to miss Monday and Wednesday night yoga...which meant that I was looking at class Tuesday and Friday only...unless I braved Internal Muscle Shift yet again!

So I went.  I carried on and on to Bill before this class about how I hoped it wasn't step aerobics for the first part because step aerobics reminds me of a dance class and I am awful at coordinated anything.

Well, it wasn't a step class.  IT WAS TRIBAL DRUM DANCING YOGA WHATEVER.

Eesh.  I am being totally honest when I tell you that any kind of dance related class scares the hell out of me and makes me very uncomfortable.  This is directly related to being kicked out of dance class when I was around 6 years old because I would ruin the rehearsal.  True story. 

Now, Kim is a former dancer and gym instructor, so dancing anything comes naturally to her.  She led us through some kind of squat sequence in time to drumming.  Not surprising at all, when everyone else was squatting and swaying to the right, I was swaying to the left.  Basically thats how the whole class went for me until the yoga portion.  Now, what is frustrating with this is that I was not really getting a great workout because I was too focused on being in time with everyone and not looking like an idiot.  I could feel my jaw tightening up and my head spitting out all kinds of awful words.

Then I told myself to stop.  Just stop it.  No one else in that yoga class cares if I am swinging my arms the wrong way - heck, the class is in a dark room and everyone else is too focused on themselves not looking like an idiot.  And truth be told, we all looked like idiots.  It was tribal drum dance yoga...for non-dancers. 

The class went much better after I got over myself and my hang ups.  Its funny how a memory, an old fear, can absolutely destroy you and your confidence unless you confront it, see it for what it really is - wasted energy holding you back.

* * *

This Monday is a holiday and Revelation will not be holding their regularly scheduled yoga classes.  Instead, Kim is cancelling the Awakening Yoga, Power Yoga and YinYang Yoga and is instead holding a 2 hour class at 9am.  I am assuming that this will be a mixed style class, but no promises.  If anyone would like to join me, please let me know!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Easton 5 Miler

Last Sunday's race was not actually called the Easton 5 Miler...I think it was the Harvest 5 Miler or something similar to that.  Whatever it was officially called, that race rocked!

My sister, sister-in-law and I got there pretty early and the weather was cloudy with hints of sun and chilly...PERFECT race weather.  Really, if you race or even run, you live for running weather like this.  In New England, we get about a month of it...maybe a month and a half, so you have to make it count.

I'm not going to lie, I was a little nervous going into this race.  My long runs have been topping out at 5.7 miles and I have had few miles in between.  Really, I have basically sucked at training in general lately.  The night before the race Bill asked me what my goal was and I told him 10 minute miles.  I think I used to run 5 milers at 9:50 miles, so that seemed about right.

And I was (almost) dead on!

My sister-in-law Meri and I ran almost all of the race together, which was a treat for me because shes about 30 seconds per mile or so faster than me.  We hung out together and got to chat and race, which made miles 2-4.5 fly by.  Mile 1 was actually a little painful due to our pre-race dinner of wine and pizza...and wine.  But after mile 1, we were good to go!  We paced the first 4 miles at steady 10:10s.  I felt great!  Meri left me at the 4.5 mile mark to burst ahead and I finished strong at 50:34, which put me around 10:07 miles. 

I have to tell you all, I am pretty pleased with this effort.  The weather was beautiful, the company was good, the course was pretty and I felt like I ran a smart (if not a teeny bit conservative) race.

I also had a great run at lunch today, which leaves me contemplating my next race.  I would love to hear some ideas!  I am looking for a pretty 5 Miler or 10K...

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Bonus Post!

So things have been a bit crazy this week.  I am going to try and do up a 'race-recap' post from my 5 Miler this past weekend sometime later today, but in the meantime, something to tide you over...

Thid email was sent to me this morning from Bill's Mom.  Now, I do not know who this Molly person is, but I agree with what she has to say.  Here you go:

"Why Women Must Lift Weights

I don't want to scare you, but I will.

If you're 25 years old, congratulations! If you're older than 25, you've passed your prime. The prime I'm talking about is your level of peak strength. This doesn't mean you can't be stronger at 35 than you were when you were 25, but you have to strength train to reach this goal.

The Facts

After you hit your peak, your strength levels plateau between the ages of 35-40. The bad news is that after 40, you begin to experience an accelerated loss of strength. By the time you're 65, if you're the average person, you will have lost about 25% of your strength.

If you lost that much strength overnight, you would struggle getting out of bed and wonder why you felt so weak. The problem is this: we lose strength at such a slow rate that we don't really notice the effects of getting progressively weaker over time.

Then there's the Big C. No studies show that lifting directly lowers your cancer risk. But studies have shown that strength training fights obesity, including abdominal fat, and that has been shown to lower your cancer risk, especially for older women. It's one key part of your overall healthy lifestyle that you don't want to skip!


When I design exercise programs for women, the majority of them don't want to lift weights. Most women want to lose weight (even if it's as little as 5 pounds) and think the only way to lose weight is through cardiovascular exercise, not strength training (we'll discuss this in a minute).

These misconceptions have turned into excuses over the years. Take a look at some of these excuses (and the truths behind them) and see if you've ever used one:

"I don't want to bulk up." This is the one I hear the most. You see a female bodybuilder on a magazine cover and you don't want to look like her! Don't worry about that. These women train 3-5 hours per day, and many admit to taking steroids and other 'growth' substances. Besides, we can't bulk up like men! Men have 15-20 times more testosterone than we do, which is why they are physically stronger (as much as I hate to admit it).

"I'm strong enough to do anything I need to do." Remember, if you're over 40 and not strength training, you're losing muscle mass. You may not feel it now, but you will. Trust me.

"I have a bad back and don't want to aggravate it." Inactivity is the worst thing you can do for a bad back. By doing appropriate exercises to make your back as strong as possible, you will be less likely to suffer from relapses of your existing problem.

"I train for marathons - that's enough strength training!" Training for marathons is hard! But what about the rest of your body? Your arms, back, shoulders and core shouldn't be left out. Your body will love you more (and you'll better protect your joints) if you include strength exercises into your marathon training.

"I only have time for cardio workouts." Do I even need to respond to this? I talk to women who get on the treadmill for an hour (an hour!) and tell me they don't have time for strength exercises. The solution? Split it up: 30 minutes of cardio and 30 minutes of strength. An added bonus is that you only need to strength train 2-3 times per week.

Get Strong & Stay Strong

Getting stronger means a lot of things.

You'll be leaner and you'll burn more fat, so your clothes will fit better.

You'll be more resistant to injury.

You'll have more stamina as you get older.

You'll be better able to manage chronic conditions (such as arthritis, osteoporosis, diabetes, obesity, depression, and back pain).

You'll sleep better.

You'll be more confident.

You'll probably even look taller because you'll have better posture!

So get on the path of getting strong and staying strong. Think about how you want to feel when you're 75. Your body and mind will thank you for it.

Be strong,


Molly Napolitano has over 20 years of experience in developing medically based fitness and rehabilitation programs. She earned her master's degree in Exercise & Sports Science at the University of Florida in 1989 and went on to specialize in exercise prescription for the elderly."