Sunday, November 20, 2011

I use to run. Now I do Yoga.

I know that you know that I like to run. I've posted about it in one way or another more times than I can count. You could probably click on the "running" label down there in the bottom right hand corner of this blog and count them if you really want to know. I'll just say I've mentioned it a lot. So I suppose you'll be surprised to hear that I am not running right now, in fact, I haven't gone on a run since somewhere around late-summer. And, no, I'm not injured. I just don't want to.

Yes, you heard me right. I've fallen out of love with running. Why? Well, for several reasons. In every book regarding the paleo/primal lifestyle that I've read over the past 6 months, they all presented the idea that cardio workouts may not be as great as we have all thought. I didn't really think much about it then. I figured I wasn't running everyday, and I wasn't running that fast, plus I was still doing weights and stretching. I figured I was okay. But then the Half-Marathon happened. And you know how horribly that went for me. If you don't, go read that post and then you'll be all caught up. Go ahead, I'll wait.

All caught up? Okay, so, I admit that experience really burned me out on running. So, here I am all grumpy at running and my body's lack of cooperation, and then I go and do some more reading about health, fitness and working out on various blogs. It seemed like I kept running (running, hee hee) into it. And the more I read, the more it started to make sense to me.

If you'd like to read some of what I read, check out these posts:
There is a ton more info out there, but these were just a few that I really liked.

Okay, so back to me. All these things combined brought me to the conclusion that I would be putting away my running shoes for a while. I'm still working out, that's for sure, but my methods and goals are different. I'm still tweaking it a bit, but for the most part, my typical workouts involve: hikes, long (fast) walks around my neighborhood, yoga, a couple days of heavy lifting and sprints. 

Oh, I sorta lied. I'm still using my running shoes for the walking and the sprints, but I'm not doing any runs. Sprints don't count, it's a total of 4 minutes; 20 seconds fast, 10 sec recovery, repeated 8 times. And I usually sandwich that between a couple rounds of full-body movements like push ups, squats, pull ups and planks. The full-body movements is where the tweaking is coming in--I need to ramp those up to include heavy lifting instead of just body-weight, but I've been working on just mastering the basic moves first. So, even though I'm not actually lifting heavy, that's what I'm counting as that. (Does that even make sense?)

And you know what? I love it all. It's so great to get out and hike again, I'd really missed it. It's been years since I did that regularly. I enjoy it so much more than running. I also like my neighborhood walks, it gives me great time to think and pray. The "heavy-lifting" makes me feel like I'm making progress--I'm getting closer and closer to being able to do a pull-up and that fires me up. The yoga helps me focus on the here-and-now and makes me sweat buckets. Yoga can be a really great workout--it's one of my favorite ways to spend an hour recently. It's not just all "om's" and sitting cross-legged on the floor. It's strength, balance, flexibility and core. My favorite yoga workout right now is Bob Harper: Yoga for the Warrior. If you think Yoga is easy, you should try this one. It'll kick your butt. And it's got GREAT background music. Doing this workout makes me want this t-shirt.

So, there you have it. I use to run, but I don't anymore. I haven't seen any drastic changes in my body as a result of this change, but I'm giving it time. I'm enjoying myself and not stressing about it, because that's part of it too. One of these days I'm sure I'll be able to show you a difference, until then, I'll be perfecting my bird of paradise position.

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