Sunday, March 14, 2010

I Owned The Podium Today! Well, Sort Of.

Our friends to the north have nothing on me, except for Alexander Keith, what has to be the greatest wilderness on earth, tons of great food, rivers, lakes, the original Molson, a better economy, and Bob and Doug McKenzie. But I owned the podium today, damnit! Without getting anyone disqualified either!

I owned the podium by coming in second in my age group in a 10K race at Fort Hunt Park today. And the guy in my group who finished ahead of me didn't stick around for the awards. Bascially, we ran around the park five times on a flat loop with one tiny uphill. Needless to say, it was a course conducive for fast times. I won a nice shopping bag from DC Roadrunners. I will make great use of that, and of another accomplishment. Another PR. 43:13, best 10K on its own by 1:48, best 10K split by :34.

Great day today that ended with another yoga class. No headstand, it wasn't part of the practice tonight. But that's fine, I am more than comfortable with what I did to end.....possibly my second favorite Sunday of the year after Super Bowl Sunday, the day Daylight Savings Time starts. Bye.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Spur of the Moment Vegetarian Recipe #1

I rambled on a bit ago about moving to a vegetarian diet. I've made progress, with the complete transition to occur after I finish eating what I already have in my refrigerator and soup cabinet. Keeping with the not wasting food thing.

Well, I'm going to post about Spur of the Moment Vegetarian recipies that I throw together on, well, just before I start cooking. Heck, I may add ingredients when the water for the pasta is already boiling.

Tonight I am crashing at home, going to bed early, and bascially doing nothing of note. It's dreary, rainy, parts of Old Town are flooded. And on the docket for tomorrow: a 10 K race, 3 hours of cleaning out my old apartment pre-move-out inspection, yoga, and maybe some PMP studying. So I decided to throw together some pasta that will help me stay strong tomorrow. Where I want help is naming the recipe. Should we start a name that recipe game? Anyway, tonight's recipe:

- 2 small servings of pasta (I was hungry, need carbs for tomorrow, and had just finished a light workout at the fitness center).
- 2 or 3 tablespoons of Olive Oil EVOO!!
- 1 tablespoon of Oregano
- 1 tablespoon of Lemon Pepper Seasoning

Saute everything but the pasta, (last time I tried sauteing pasta I got a grade a G, the results weren't even good enough for an F) which you cook normally. If you are not vegan, toss some parmasean on top of the pasta and toppings. Presto, a great meal that took me about 3 minutes to think of and start cooking. Heck, it took me almost as long to wash the dishes afterwards.

So, name this dish for me. And throw other vegetarian recipes my way.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Yoga: A Year Later!

I'm still practicing! One year ago today I walked into Pure Prana Yoga Studio in Old Town Alexandria for my first ever class. I finally developed the courage and scrounged up the funds to start taking yoga classes, about five years after I developed an interest in it. That fateful night changed my life in a lot of ways. I started with the 12 week cycle of Fundamentals, as I was advised to. While I wondered from time to time what a lot of the fundamentals were doing to help me out, that wondering was for naught as I would soon learn the basics for yoga practice. The first twelve weeks helped me get used to doing many exercises that I may not have ever done before. Only four weeks in, I started going to Open to All classes on Sunday evenings and rarely felt like I was years behind everyone else. "I can do this!"

After the fundamentals class I decided to keep up my yoga practice as best as I could, including using DVDs at home. During week 12, I even managed to do my first headstand! Of course being self-deprecating, I was so suprised that I pulled it off that I immediated lowered my lower body to the ground. However, I remembered the lessons taught about it being my practice and I should do what I feel comfortable with at a given time, not to try to "beat anyone at the yoga game". So I ddin't get mad at myself for bailing out of the pose earlier than I would have liked to.

Vinyasa was the next step taken on the Yoga Parkway (I made that up). Vinyasa is flowing yoga, in laymen's terms it's, you're moving all of the time, even during final relaxation pose (time to work on your breathing, peeps!). When I walked out of one of my first vinyasa classes, I had the same feeling after I walked out of my first spinning class four years ago. I never want to go back! I'm too tired and beat! I'll be back next week anyway! But 8-9 months later, I have worked on my vinyasa "skills", taken some jivamukti classes, and went to a restorative-based class when they starting having them at my old apartment complex. I try to do 15-20 minutes of basic yoga when I wake up each workday morning as well.

Am I ready to go to teacher training? Not by a long shot. Am I doing regular headstands? No, I've only completed two headstands since the first one at the end of fundamentals. So it's not part of my regular practice yet by any means. Am I happy with my progress? Absolutely! Even though "progress" isn't the goal, I am very happy with how much yoga has helped me. It's helped me relax about as much as anything can. I'm more flexible than I used to be, that's for sure. And I only takes me a couple dozen steps to get loose during running instead of two miles. Not bad considering I would have been happy if people even knew my name after a year!

As I reflect on my one year anniversary as a yoga practicioner, I've been thinking of how yoga and running have pretty much taken over my non-work life. As Greenie from Denver said, those are good things to take over your life. I'm still 50 pounds lighter than I was on January 1, 2008 and while I would like to make that 60-65 without losing muscle and overall strength, not to mention has stronger abs, I've pleasantly suprised myself with how I have been able to keep the weight off.

Now how can I continue to grow into this practice? That's the new question. For now, it's time to celebrate tonight!

Time to celebrate the one year anniversaty of my yoga debut by..........

Going to Pure Prana for an Expanded Vinyasa class!