Happening

Things have happened, are happening, and will happen.

I’m a Dailey Method Instructor!

LE.GIT.

LE.GIT.

I had hesitations about taking on Dailey Method instructor training during 70.3 training for obvious reasons.  The training, class observations/assists, endless practicing, and mock classes were just as time-consuming and emotional intense as I expected.  The quality of instruction is very high and TDM means a lot to me so I knew I would have to fully invest myself in the process.  That investment really paid off.  I felt confident and prepared for the mock classes at the end of my training.  Mocks typically don’t have high attendance so please picture my face when my second mock had 11 people, 6 of whom had never taken TDM before!  I was a bit intimidated but it went well and I learned a lot about how to respond to who is in the room and how to spontaneously tailor my language to the needs of the present clients.

On Sunday, I taught my first official class.  It was a typically light time slot but just like my second mock, it was inexplicably PACKED.  More and more people came in and I realized I would be teaching my first class to a nearly full room.  I taught TWENTY people (the room holds 24) and had a ball.  Friends and other instructors came to support me and we had some serious thigh-shaking fun.

First Class TRIUMPH!

First Class TRIUMPH!

I had several more classes this week and they all went well!  My language is feeling more and more organic, which is a huge relief.  I opted to script all my transitions and cues which ultimately gave me the security to go rogue.  I even killed a spider without losing count or my train of thought.  SO PROFESH!

So, how did this all balance with the last 8 weeks of Half Ironman Training?

I’ll just show you:

Funfetti of Training!

Funfetti of Training!

June looked like that too except all the workouts were longer.

In the last 8 weeks, I’ve maybe missed 5/90 workouts.  Without question, I’m in the best shape of my life.  I’ve lost about 10 pounds by adjusting my food (gluten-free, no refined sugar or carbs.)  I generally have a lot of energy and have completed workouts without problems.  This last week has been really tough and I’m not sure why.  I’m hoping it’s hormonal because I’ve been struggling bigtime physically and emotionally but that’s a topic for another post.  Generally, training is going well and I’m making progress in all three sports.

Some exciting things have happened in my singing life.  I traveled to the Ojai Music Festival to perform Beethoven, Ives, Feldman and a program of spirituals.  I sang a solo recital of Debussy and Wolf that got a positive review.  There are some other exciting things that I will share as soon as I can.

Not in sweaty spandex!

Not in sweaty spandex!

The big thing I’ve taken away from these intense months is to just GO FOR IT and take risks.  People have been unbelievably supportive of each leap I’ve taken and that makes the successes so much more wonderful.  I hope to have the space to blog more and elaborate on some of what I’ve been going through, especially in my 70.3 training.  In the meantime, I hope YOU are having a wonderful summer and taking some fun risks of your own.

 

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And we’re off!

It begins!

Where ARE WE?

Where ARE WE?

After absolutely CRUSHING yesterday’s rest day, today brought the true beginning of Augusta training.  I had a 50 minute trainer ride that had to include 5 x 20 seconds in a big gear at a high cadence.  My plan for the ride was to execute those intervals and also keep my cadence above 90 and stay in the big ring if possible.  Mission totally accomplished!

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I began the ride with the pilot of Lost.  The first three seasons are amazing and engrossing (don’t get me started on the infuriating downward spiral of that show or I will LOSE IT) so I thought they would be a nice motivator during my trainer rides.  The ride began in my basement but as sweat poured down my everywhere, the patio beckoned.  Set my trainer up in the shade and enjoyed watching the 580 commute.  None of us went anywhere!

Oh, your car is not on a trainer?  Sorry...

Oh, your car is not on a trainer? Sorry…

When I moved outside, I switched to music and found myself cueing Dailey Method thigh work.  That sure helped the time pass!  I imagine I’m going to spend a lot of my Augusta training thinking through my new teaching.  Great way to get out of the “are we there yet?” mindset.  Because, no, we’re not there yet.

Due to a light work day and wanting to take Dailey tomorrow, I moved my swim to today.  I figure that it doesn’t really matter if I swim on a running day or a cycling day.  I intend to follow my schedule as planned, the only exception being moving swims and TDM sessions around.  I also won’t ever put off a training session.  I can only move them earlier, not push them off.  Rules is rules.

So, it’s like a million degrees this week and I’ve been looking forward to trying some of the outdoor pools in my area.  My house is right between the pool at Mills College and Lions Pool in Dimond Park.  Just being specific in case you live in the East Bay and are looking for a pool near my house!

I really enjoyed the Dimond pool.  There are two large lanes (slow and medium) and one narrower lane for faster swimmers.  Word on the deck is that if you even swim freestyle in the slow lane, some regular aqua joggers will get in your face and tell you to move up to the medium lane.  I actually heard it happen!  Thankfully they didn’t give me shit when I moved into the slow lane to do my kicking set.  Probably because I was going very, very, very slowly.  Or they could tell that I would splash them if they sassed me.

I cannot TELL you how heavenly this swim was.  Yes, the lane was busy and there were some people who didn’t totally get the circle swimming but generally folks were friendly.  I introduced myself and asked questions about how people were planning to swim and all was well.  I felt amazing.  Strong, steady, and so happy.  None of the nausea or yuckiness I had experienced at my gym pool.  Totally hooked.  And totally tan.  I seriously have a full swimsuit tan already.  How the hell am I supposed to get sunscreen on my mid-back, btw?

My happy place.

My happy place.

I didn’t quite finish my workout because the lap swim ended when I still had a few hundred more meters to do.  Who knew kicking was so hard and slow?!  The YouTube video I watched did not mention that.  I did 4 of the 8 x 25 prescribed and did not feel bad about moving on to my main set.  Since it was literally my first time with a kickboard, I’ll make up those extra yards later this week.

All in all, it was a phenomenal first day.  I ate enough to feel happy and energetic all day but didn’t go off the rails in “celebration.”  As in, I didn’t consume any of these things.  Just this wonderful thing:

Mmmmm compressed and sliced meats salad.

Mmmmm compressed and sliced meats salad! Love those crazy Greeks…

And now, we foam roll!

What are you favorite swimming drills?  Any kicking tips?

 

#TeachItDailey

OMGEEEEEEE!!!!

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I am going to teach The Dailey Method!

This is old news if you know me or follow me on Twitter or Instagram but this is literally the first moment I’ve had time to sit down and write about it.  And I only have time right now because I’m digesting breakfast before heading out for a run.

Awhile ago, I was approached about the possibility of teaching.  I died of SqueeDelightProudness.  I’ve been taking Dailey Method regularly since I began this blog in February of 2012 (!) and the invitation to teach felt like a wonderful validation of the hard work I’ve put into my practice and the strength I’ve gained from it.  TDM’s deep commitment to anatomically correct alignment and form is in sync with my approach as a voice teacher and I have the schedule flexibility to teach classes so…..no brainer, right?  Just say yes?

Well, there was one thing holding me back.

(Well, two if you count the audition which seriously sent me into a full PANIC every time I thought about it.)

I HAVE TO SWIM BIKE RUN 70.3 MILES IN FIVE MONTHS.  

I knew the training for Dailey Method would be just as time and mind consuming as training for Augusta.  Especially because I pour myself completely into anything that’s important to me.  I obviously couldn’t take both on at the same time.  My goal during Augusta training was to get to TDM a minimum of twice a week but probably not much more than that.  Both Augusta training and TDM training are sure to push me way out of my comfort zone.  How could I handle being in wonderful but anxiety-producing situations so much of the time?  No way, right?  Also, the audition.  I had to teach a short portion to one or both of the studio owners and the idea of making a fool of myself in front of these women I respect was SO BARFY.

So, I explained that I had already committed to training for Augusta and that I was really interested in pursuing it in the fall.  Everyone was happy with that and I filed it away in the “future” folder.

And then I got a sweet email saying “Well, we’re having these workshops and it would be great if you could come so why don’t you just audition and we’ll see…”

GACK!

So, I prepared like a crazy person and successfully auditioned.  The feedback I received made me feel much more confident and like most things, once I know I can sort of do it, I REALLY WANT TO DO IT.  Just tell me I’m okay at something and I’m off to the races.

You want me to do what now?

You want me to do what now?

And then I went to a weekend of workshops and ascended into TDM nerd heaven.  I just LOVE learning about things that I enjoy doing.  Digging into the how and why of every single exercise, position, and cue gave me even more respect for this method.  I always knew that my instructors were very knowledgable and I often marveled at how they would tell you to shift weight or engage a certain part to activate a certain muscle and it always happened!  Learning to facilitate that experience for someone else has been fascinating and really, really fun.  I also have a great cohort of ladies who are currently training and one of my besties trained to teach last year and has given me tons of helpful tips.

Waterski with my girl Tonia and the amazing Susannah.

Waterski with my girl Tonia and the amazing Susannah.

When I agreed to attend the workshops, I figured I would pick away at the training through the summer and ramp up after Augusta.  And then I was hooked and decided that instead, I would compress the intense part of TDM training (class observations, workshops, and developing my training class) during the base phase of Augusta.  My hope is that as Augusta training ramps up, my TDM training will be tapering down to the point where I’m presenting mock classes and going live on the schedule.

So, basically, I’m insane and thrilled and Britney Spears.

 

Instagrammed Selfie = Fitness Professional Headshot.  #WhatAWorld

Instagrammed Selfie = Fitness Professional Headshot. #WhatAWorld

See you at the studio!  #TeachItDailey #HappyFit #AllNewHashtags

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You Spin Me Right Round, Baby, Right Round Like a Record Player Right Round Round Round!

The motto of Augusta 70.3 training (which officially starts in about two weeks, holy crap) is…

JUST DO IT.

Meaning:

*Cut the drama.

* Ignore the nerves.

* Get your work done.

I employed this motto for the first time about a month ago when I spontaneously decided to put on my hand-me-down pedals (thanks, Jess!) and clip my hand-me-down cycling shoes into them (thanks, Velia!)  I figured I would watch thirty YouTube videos and practice in my doorway for a month before actually attempting to clip in outside.  I floated this idea with my stepbrother (who can literally eat a spaghetti dinner while riding his bike in the snow) and he said “why don’t you just go ride?  Just do it!”

So I did!

Customary excitement and falling!

Customary excitement and falling!

I only had a couple little tipovers, AFTER I had clipped out and put one foot on the ground.  That’s how I do!

So, riding clipped in is AWESOME.  You all knew that.  I love being able to use my hamstrings and glutes more.  I could definitely feel the difference riding in the wind and I’m sure hills will be infinitely easier.  Hear that, Bears?

In the spirit of just doing stuff, I went to my first spin class today!

The class was held at my gym.  I arrived about 15 min early to ensure that I got a spot.  When it was time to enter the studio, I introduced myself to a few other classmates (including another brave newbie) and the instructor, Benjamin.  He was super cool and helped me set up my bike.  I clipped in and started gently spinning until the class officially began.

I LOVED IT!  WHERE HAS SPIN BEEN ALL MY LIFE!

Loved the hill climbs.  Loved being out of the saddle.  Loved the sprints.  Loved cycling in time with the music.  Loved it loved it loved it.

Without question, I need to get comfortable riding outside.  I will not substitute spin classes for outdoor time in my own saddle but a mid-week ride?  YOU BETCHA!

What have you “just done” this week?

Any triathletes out there incorporate spinning?

Anyone want to give me infinities monies to go to fancy spinning in SF?

Like, TOTALLY!

I didn’t think I could love The Dailey Method more than I already do and then they introduced:

#FITNESSFLASHBACKFRIDAY

Themey music and festive costumes? And a hashtag??  DONE.

Last week was 70’s and we had a disco blast.  No Warren Zevon but no problem!  I just sang ‘Excitable Boy’ during the drive home…

[This was one of the primary albums of my childhood.  Google the lyrics to 'Excitable Boy' or 'Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner' and my personality might start to make sense? Thanks, Dad!]

Today was 80’s so obviously this had to happen:

Wear all the neon you own, you say?

Wear all the neon you own, you say?

Any excuse to wear my SPACE CAT leggings….

With Kerry Corcoran - TDM - Berkeley studio owner , anatomy guru, and rainbow legging enthusiast.

 

Photo courtesy of Kerry Corcoran – TDM Berkeley studio owner, Anatomy Guru, Legging Enthusiast.

Kerry nailed the playlist!  Practically every song had the class smiling and laughing.  Highlights included: One Night in Bangkok (so random), We Built This City (a childhood favorite), and my favorite karaoke jam Total Eclipse of the Heart.  Music absolutely inspires me go a little deeper and work a little harder.  Or at the very least, it entertains the one percent of mental space I have left after adjusting my alignment and feeling pain.

And of course, the class was just as painful as always.  Thankfully, we did prone seat work which I’ve been training for since the 80’s.

Prone circa 1982.  Note the lifted seat appearance.  #happybaby

Prone circa 1982. Note the lifted seat appearance. #happybaby

Stay tuned for 90’s day when brown eyeliner may or may not be used as LIPLINER.

Like, totally #happyfit

What’s your FAVE 80’s tune?   Mine is P.Y.T even though it’s creepy!

#AFIProject

Those of you who follow me on the Twitters have seen many, many photos that look like this:

I painted those walls!

I painted those walls!

Right before New Year’s, I got the idea to watch all 100 films on the AFI (American Film Institute) Top 100 Films.  I love movies but there are a ton of iconic films that I’ve never seen.  I also wanted motivation to watch some genres that I wouldn’t normally gravitate to like Westerns and Silent Films.  As of today, I am on #50!  Here are some details about the project:

* There are 2 versions of the list.  The first list came out in 1997 and then a 10 year anniversary list with adjusted rankings (including some removals and additions) came out in 2007.  I am watching the updated list.

* In what order?!  This was quite a connundrum.  Chronological? #1-100? Backwards from 100 to save the “best” for last?  I opted to start at #1.  If I lost steam in the project, I wanted to make sure that I didn’t miss the highest ranked ones.

* I’m watching the majority of the films streaming or on DVD through Netflix.  So far, I’ve only had to get one movie from another source because it wasn’t available on Netflix.  I updated my DVD plan to 2 at a time. 

* I’m tweeting frequently about the project with the hashtag #AFIProject, in case you want to go back and see my immediate impressions of the movies I’ve watched!  

This project is one of my favorite things I’ve ever done.  There hasn’t been a single movie I haven’t liked.  Some that I didn’t think I would enjoy completely surprised me.  Only a few have been underwhelming but only compared to the amazingness of the others.

Later this week, I’ll post brief impressions of the top 50!

What’s your favorite movie?  If you read this post, PLEASE comment.  I would love to see what everyone else is watching!

Moving…Forward…Again…

Hi Friends!

Today I had the best run I’ve had in six weeks.  It looked like this:

Impressive is relative!

Impressive is relative!

When last I blogged, I was having a pretty tough start to the year.  It was probably the poor leadership of President Taft.  He really bums me out.

I haven’t blogged in a long time.  Get it?  HAR HAR.  Thanks for still reading.

Last weekend was the Oakland Running Festival.  For the second year in a row, I was injured out of the half marathon.  Many factors contributed to the minor knee/ITB injury that sidelined me but  inconsistent training was primarily my downfall.  Turns out you can’t skip midweek runs and then just jump into the long runs and not expect to get stranded halfway through a nine-miler.  True story.  Shitty story.  Doubly-sadly, my wonderful stepbrother and stepsisterinlaw were also injured.  They already had travel arrangements to come down from Seattle so we made the best of it and spent some great quality time together.  The morning of the race, we took a long walk along the shoreline and ate a big ole Mexican brunch.  It was wonderful.

FAMILY!

They are seriously the best.

Though it was disappointing not to race (especially when we went to the expo to pick up our shirts.  UGH.) it was so lovely to be together and talk about future races.  I can’t wait to have a bagillion dollars to build FamilyCompound so we can all hang out and train together every day!  That’s not creepy at all, right?  Phew.

The 007 aka The SEAN PECANNERY.

The 007 aka The SEAN PECAN-NERY.

I carboloaded for our family walk with that little donut and many, many more.

So, this injury.  It’s really minor but the last thing I want is to exacerbate it.  It first showed up at literally mile 4.5 of a 9 mile run.  THAT was a long walk home.  I basically felt tension and vibration all the way down the right side of my leg and major instability under my kneecap.  Once that initial intensity wore off, what I can only describe as knee “heat” (swelling?) remained.  After several days off, I’ve been doing run/walk intervals until I feel any sensation.  I’m very slowly building back up to continuous mileage on the treadmill and other soft surfaces.  I’ve also been foam rolling every day and lingering over the knots in my quads to the point of tears.  I’m getting better and I’m pretty sure that’s why.

Today I ran outside for the first time in probably a month.  I went to my beloved Lake Merritt with the intention of running only the soft surfaces.  After a lovely walking warmup, I began to run.  I felt like I was let out of jail.  I had no intention of pushing it but as I trotted along “easily”, I looked down and saw low 9’s on my Garmin.

WAHHHHHOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!

I have no business running those paces but I felt absolutely fantastic so I just enjoyed it.  Who knows what will feel easy next time but I couldn’t care less as long as I keep improving and stay strong.

I wonder why it was so easy?  Maybe it’s all the SWIMMING AND CYCLING I’VE BEEN DOING!

TEASER!

How are you doing?  DNS any races lately?  Eat any adorable donuts?

 

 

Make the Decision

2014 has not been easy so far.

I am technically at the end of my third week of half marathon training.  I hoped that by this point I would have worked my way up to completing all four weekly runs as prescribed.  I’m not.  Here’s why and why it doesn’t matter:

* I’ve felt subtle suggestions of the tendinitis I experienced this time last year.  No pain but some sensation.  I’m afraid of doing too much too soon.  I’m rolling my calves and listening to my body but I’m still nervous.  This has led me to skip runs, reschedule runs (and sometimes not do them), and cut some runs short.

I should still go out for every scheduled run, even if I can’t complete it.  My struggle is much more mental than physical at this point and getting out there every time it’s on the calendar will get my head back in the game.

* Work has been insane.  Good insane but still insane.

Insane for me still leaves plenty of time for training.  Also, my happiest days are the ones that include a long, tough workout.  

* I’m intimidated by being out of shape.  The workouts I’ve done have been haaaaard.

Um, you get in shape by working out, not by punking out.  

* I’m not super happy.  That’s hard to admit but I’m having some personal struggles.  The cloud isn’t completely overshadowing my training efforts but I don’t feel anything like I did during marathon training this summer.

Being back in shape will help me feel my best and surely alleviate some of the sadness I’ve been feeling.

Basically, I need to make the decision to fully commit and just get back in the game.

Fine.  Okay.  Doing it.  Fine.  Okay.  6 miles today.  Yes.

I’M IN RUNNER’S WORLD!

HOLY CRAP!

Wait for it.....wait for it.....

Wait for it…..wait for it…..Christmas sock monkey pjs FTW……

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SO RANDOM AND AWESOME!

This comment was in response to the ‘I’m a Runner‘ interview with soprano Lisette Oropesa.  She’s fabulous and of course as a fellow running soprano, I was thrilled to see us represented.   I believe I commented on the RW Facebook posting of the article.  Life lesson: even in a throwaway Facebook comment, ALWAYS say what you would want published in a national magazine.  I could have much been much more eloquent about my similar experience as the running singer but I’m still totally tickled to see my name in print!

Hey, RW: where’s my t-shirt at?!  :D

Are We There Yet?

Yesterday, I did my……….

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Remember how I registered for a Half-Ironman? Thaaaaaaaaaat…

I’m currently getting back in shape and training for the Oakland Half but honestly, the finish line I see during every tough workout is Augusta.

A few months ago, one of my fellow See Jane Run ambassadors, the lovely Tara, loaned me her trainer.  I finally learned how to put it on last week and yesterday morning I ventured down to the basement for my inaugural ride to nowhere!

It took me a bit of jimmying but eventually the bike fit securely into the trainer.  I have nothing to compare it to but my borrowed Travel Trac feels secure and looks to retail for under $200, in case anyone is in the market.  It’s not super noisy but loud enough that I preferred to use headphones while watching Netflix.

I figured one episode of What Not to Wear would be a good first ride, about 45 minutes.  I regularly do 45 or hour long rides at the gym but my own bike is quite a bit harder.  I loved it!  Being able to use my own gears and become one with my own seat is fantastic.  I’ve been riding a bike for exactly one year so I still have a long way to go in building confidence and comfort.  I think spending time on the trainer is really going to help with that, especially once I put my clipless pedals on.  Yeah, that’s happening.

The bike is so deceptively challenging!  I was sweaty and my heart rate was up a bit but it didn’t feel like a killer workout.  Then I went to Dailey Method and couldn’t do ANYTHING.  I came down to my knees in every plank sequence!  I don’t think that happened in the very first class I took!  Thigh work was impossible and by the final set of high c-curve abdominal work, I could barely hold my body up in space.  Dang, bike!

So naturally, I refuled.  With pork belly.

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What are your favorite trainer workouts and tips?  Intervals? Cool one-leg drills?  Lay ‘em on me!

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