Category Archives: Dailey Method

#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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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!

CA Sprint Tri Training – Week Six

Week Six complete.  Week Six RECAPPED!  Yeeeeuh!

#punctualblogger

#praiseme

This week was a little weird because I got the stomach flu and I adjudicated a children’s pop singing competition.  On Friday, I did these two things simultaneously.

I figured I'd be the Paula but who was I kidding?  I was Simon.

I figured I’d be the Paula but who was I kidding? I was Simon.

Popular hits among the 3rd – 5th grade set: ‘Stay’ by Rihanna and ‘Waiting for Life to Begin’ from Once on this Island.  Okay…?

On to the workouts!

Monday 5/13 – Cycle, Transition Run, TDM

40 easy minutes on the stationary bike and a short transition run.  For the second time, a dude on the treadmill next to me remarked on the length of my run.  This motherf*cker who was walking at 3.4 (yes, I looked and you would have too) had the nerve to say “I bet you could run longer than that!”  Yeah, thanks bruh.  Please don’t bait me into telling you that I’m training for a triathlon.  I’m limited to saying it 14 times a day and I’m not wasting one of those iterations on your sauntering ass.

Snap.

TDM was awesome and hard.  Jelly legs, even though I was holding back.  I wish I could take class every day.  I’ve said it before but if I had to choose one activity specifically to make my body look and feel amazing, it would be The Dailey Method.  No question.

Tuesday 5/14 – Swim

900 meters in the pool.  400, 200, 100, 2 x 50.  All freestyle!  BOOYAH!  The 400 took me about 10 minutes.  If that could be my OW time in three weeks, I would be a very happy triathlete.  Hell, if I’m a triathlete in three weeks, I will be a very happy triathlete.

Wednesday 5/15 – BRICK

Third brick in Alameda.  I extended the bike to 45 minutes (from >30 minutes the previous two weeks) and encountered some BRUTAL wind.  God, wind sucks on the bike.  I forgot my Garmin (d’oh) so I wore a stopwatch to keep track of time.  When I put it on, the face was on the far side of my wrist so I couldn’t see it OR take my hand off the handlebars long enough to turn it.  Really gotta work on that.  Like, is it a problem that I’m racing a triathlon in three weeks and I can only take a hand off the bars if I’m in a parking lot?  Please just say “no”.  It was rhetorical.

The run was good and hard.  I went by feel and attempted to feel a little more relaxed than the previous two weeks where my pace was under 9:30.  I don’t want to race every brick workout and I feel like it’s important to know how to slow myself down at the start of the run, when my heart is already elevated off the bike.

I swear, nothing makes me feel more accomplished than those outdoor brick workouts.  Kind of cannot WAIT to actually do it in a race.

Thursday 5/16 – Swim, Cycle

1000 meters.  Shaved a minute off the 400.  All freestyle again!  I think my swimming is improving, even though I still totally suck at it.  I’m awful.

Biked indoors after the swim.  I guess it was kind of a brick.  It takes a long time to dry off and suit up for riding but I was exhausted for the first ten minutes of the ride.  Sounds like a brick to me.  Otherwise, it was an easy 50 minute ride.

Friday 5/17 – Stomach Flu

My beloved woke me up in the middle of the night.  He was majorly sick for the first time in many years.  Like, since I’ve known him.  I comforted him and as I tried to fall back asleep, my stomach was super gurgly.  I thought I was just being the most empathetic (and paranoid) future wife ever until about 7am when I discovered that he didn’t have food poisoning.  We both had a nasty stomach bug.  And one bathroom.

Spent the rest of the day spooning Merlin and feeling feverish, itchy, and gurgly.  Until 3pm when I had to smile at third graders in cutoffs imitating Adele.

He's my friend.  He has a moustache.

He’s my friend. He has a moustache.

Saturday 5/18 – Stomach Flu, 100 Singing Children

Planned on either a long ride or long run before the musical bonanza.  Didn’t happen.  I was so weak from Friday when I ate literally 300 calories and probably didn’t even absorb them.  8 hours of judging was just too draining.

Sunday 5/19 – Cycle, Run

Woke up this morning with major gurgles.  Shit.  Ew, bad pun.  Sorry.  I didn’t want to lose another day of training so I took it indoors for easy bathroom access.  Ended up doing my longest ride ever!  20.5 miles in 60 minutes!  PDR!  I kept my heart rate low and my stomach held up well.  Decided to tack on a run while I was still feeling okay.  Ran two slooooooow miles (thankfully without any commentary from my treadmill neighbors).  Great success!

Another pretty good week of training, considering the random illness at the end of the week.

Do you train through tummy trubs?

 

 

Suuuunny Day….

Shakin the. CLOOOOUDS AWAY!

I love the sunshine. I always know this intellectually but once it’s sunny, I’m shocked by how GOOD I feel. How genuinely HAPPY.

(Hang ten while I find the happiest picture in my iPhone photo roll…)

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Happy AND tan!

So, I had a rest day on my schedule but it was 80 degrees and I was done with work at 10:45am. Not run or cycle in this gorgeous weather?! Get real!

I’m truly being careful not to add extra workouts or overdo it. It was easy to shuffle workouts around so I could ride today and take TDM with a good friend and one of our favorite instructors. Tomorrow’s a heavier work day so taking a rest day then was ideal!

I intend to do every scheduled workout of this training cycle unless I have some compelling reason not to.

Don’t make me say the “i” word.

I will be flexible when the weather is amazing. I will not run on consecutive days. I will listen to my body! I will not continue this sequence of sentences any longer.

Do you like sunshine? Do you like absurd questions?

One More Inch…

For quite awhile, I’ve felt that my effort in Dailey Method has been…..weenie-esque. I definitely (mostly) give my….no. I was going to say that I give my all in the abs and arm sections and give a lot in thigh and seat work, reserving some
lower body energy for my other activities. But that’s not true.

The truth is, I’ve stayed in my uncomfortable “comfort” zone for ages. Don’t get me wrong, I work HARD. My face is neon pink, my muscles quiver, and my breathing often verges into the Lamaze zone. Maybe that’s why they don’t push me any harder and I don’t push myself any harder.

I’ve got more. I *can* go down two more inches. I *can* press my arms up into the bar block to put more weight on my already quaking abs. Only in push-ups am I anywhere near a point of muscle failure. It’s time for me to really challenge myself.

With two weeks before the start of triathlon training, I’m doing a self-imposed TDM boot camp. 5 classes in 7 days and in each one, I’m going to push myself out of the familiar and into the suck.

The first class was three hours ago and my legs are still jelly. Good sign.

Ever find yourself getting too comfortable with “just uncomfortable enough”?

I Would Like To; I Will…

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

He told me to tell you "Happy New Year" also.

He told me to tell you “Happy New Year” also.

After my epic post recapping 2012, I’m ready to move into 2013.  It’s hard to imagine having a more intense or accomplished year than the one that just passed but I’ve got some big plans.

I’ve never been a resolution girl.  I connote “resolution” with failure.   It seems like people resolve to do things that they don’t really believe they’re capable of.  It’s a very “diet starts Monday” attitude and the January 1st date just feels so arbitrary!  Huge BRAVA to the many whose resolutions lead to permanent positive change.

I’m pretty sure that the likelihood of following through on any type of goal or resolution is directly proportional to your belief that you CAN accomplish it.  To that end, I have things in 2013 that I would like to do and things that I will do.

Things I Would Like To Do:

These are all things that would be great to do in 2013.  I’m not sure they’ll happen for various reasons: may not be physically capable, may not be interested enough to fully commit,  may chicken out…  In any case, I won’t be heartbroken if they don’t happen this year but I bet most, if not all, will!

  • Take spin class(es)!
  • Make running friends and run with them!
  • Join a Masters swim team!
  • More trail running (need friends…)!
  • Group rides!
  • Run 800 miles!
  • Attend 150 TDM classes!
  • Run a 24 minute 5K
  • Run 10 races!
  •  Ride in a cycling race (metric century, maybe?)!
  • Track workouts!
  • Blog 3 times a week!
  • Figure out a nutrition plan that allows me to both feel slim AND have great workouts!
  • Be honest in my TDM practice every time.  Drop the ego but push myself past my limits.
Things I Will Do:

These are things that are happening in 2013.  Fully committed.  Fully excited.  Fully ALL IN.

In 2013, I will PR all distances (5K, 10K, half marathon).

I will become a wife.

I will become a triathlete.

I will run the Chicago Marathon.

BRING IT, ’13.

2012

Oh hi!  How have you been?  I’ve been….busy.

Busy.

Busy.

The holidays have been amazing.  Lots of delicious food, family time in Seattle and WEDDING DRESS SHOPPING!  Can’t even tell you how fun it is to shop for a wedding dress as a fit person.  Subject for a future post, I promise.

No, I really promise.  3x a week blogging schedule in 2013.  It’s happening.  Pinkie swear!

I realize I’m a day late and several dollars short recapping 2012 but I can’t let it go undocumented.  This was a truly monumental year in my life.  I discovered physical and emotional strength that I had no idea was in there.

* I Learned to Run

…..and it changed my life.

Who in the HELL is that woman?  Not the woman who started 2012, that's for sure.

Who in the HELL is that woman? Not the woman who started 2012, that’s for sure.

I’ve spent the better part of the morning trying to write this paragraph.  When I began the couch to 5k in February, my running intervals were around a 10 minute mile.  I was neon pink and puffing at the end of each interval but I felt more alive than ever.  I was awake.  I started to push myself to go a liiiiiiittle bit faster in the last interval.  A liiiiiiiiittle bit harder up the hill.  I learned to push.  I accepted and even welcomed discomfort.

One day, I woke up and was ready to run a race.  It was f*cking awesome.  I ran into a couple of good friends there so the pre-race excitement was off the charts.  The sea of bobbing heads in front of me when the race began is one of my best memories of all time.  I was swept up in the race energy and ran 5k without stopping for the first time ever!

The FINISH LINE.  My new favorite place on earth.

The FINISH LINE. My new favorite place on earth.

I was hooked.  So hooked that three days later, I took a huge leap of faith and registered for a half marathon. To be run on my 30th birthday!  I spent the next 4.5 months slathering sunscreen on myself, foam rolling, running, and exceeding the sh*t out of my expectations.  Double digit runs?  Wikiwhaaaaa?  I completed my first half marathon.  It was hard.  It was totally worth it.

During this process I became a runner.  I know many people who run much faster than me and are reluctant to refer to themselves that way.  I have no problem with it.  From the moment I arrived at that first race, my identity expanded to include “runner.”  I found myself reading every book/blog/training plan I could find, plotting workouts, talking about running, writing about running, running about running.  I was a runner.

Here are the stats:

Not. Too. Shabs.

* I Got Strong, Courtesy of The Dailey Method

I was scared to return to Dailey Method.  I had gone in early 2011 and though it was clearly effective, it was very embarrassing and frustrating.  I was heavier and that was challenging but it was really my negative feelings that held me back.  This year, I had some mojo building from running, weight loss, and regular yoga practice.  The first class back was nearly better than my best classes in 2011.  I was ready to get strong.  And I really, really did.  In April, I joined the trade staff and continued to regularly attend classes as my primary form of cross-training.  It absolutely transformed my body but more importantly, made me feel like a strong, sexy, fit beast.  It also kept my completely free of injury by strengthening and stretching my running muscles.

Happy girl in her happy place

Happy girl in her happy place

My TDM improvement is a bit harder to quantify than running but I’m still a stat girl.  According to my records, I attended 109 classes.  Booyah.

* #TriFri

Blogs have been a huge source of inspiration over the last year.  I absolutely love marathon recaps and they introduced the possibility of racing into my consciousness.  A number of the ass-kicking ladies I read are triathletes.  Reading about speedy marathons are amazing and motivating but nothing blows my mind like triathlon.  It’s just so badass!  I started to maybe, kinda, wonder what that might be like.

(!!!!!!!)

#TriFri (Triathlon Friday) began with stationary cycling at the gym.  I pedaled like a maniac, sweating my balls off.  LOVED IT.  As I walked from the bike to the treadmill, I looked at the pool.  Baby steps.

I grew up swimming during the summer and on vacations but never in an organized fashion.  Like with strokes.  So I bought a suit, goggles, and swim cap and spent the next several months working up the nerve to look like a fool in the pool.  Once I finally did, I loved it.   TriFri was officially on!

One more major obstacle:  I’ve never ridden a bike.  Pretty scared to do it.  Scared of looking like a fool and also scared of maybe killing a child.  So I went to the beach and my breezy, Sonja, helped me ride!

SO FUN.

SO FUN.

It was scary and fun and awesome.  I spent the next 6 months pondering getting a bike of my own.  Then I did.

Oh hey!  BIKE!

THIS IS MY FRIEND, THE BIKE.

Rolling.

Rolling.

So, in summation:

*I worked from running 30 seconds to 13.64 miles!

* I ran 5 races!

* I learned to swim freestyle (in progress)!

* I learned how to ride a bike (in progress)!

* I built a 6-pack and some serious Michelle Obama arms.  Sorry for the straight-up brag but……not sorry.

I also broke off my engagement, moved into an apartment, realized four days later that my fiancé was the love of my life, we repaired our relationship, I moved back in, and couldn’t be happier!  And I did the NATS (National Association of Teachers of Singing) intern program which was super challenging and scary and amazing.  Oh, and I went to Hong Kong and Disneyland (twice!)  Yeah, 2012 was a big one…

* I changed my life.  I did infinity things that were scary.  I became strong.

Best.  Year.  Ever.

Gimpy

Went to Dailey Method today.  Never realized how much I use my hands until I, sort of, couldn’t!

On the injury scale of 1-500, this is a 2.  I have full mobility of both hands and very minimal pain.  The deep cut on my right hand has begun to heal.  My left wrist, while quite bruised, is in pretty good shape.  And here’s what I still couldn’t do:

Neutral Spine Plank

I did this but my very bruisy wrist was not happy.  I pretty much couldn’t wait for this sequence to be over.

Chaturanga push-ups

Heeeeeeeell no.  Even if I could support myself on my hands, my wrist totally did not want to bend that way. 

Downward dog.  

My wound rebelled.

Traditional push-ups.

Didn’t even try.  I just sat there watching everyone else and feeling like a total punk.  I hope everyone saw my band-aids.  I tripled up on Angry Birds so they were pretty hard to miss.  I waterskii’d extra low to make up for it!  Don’t judge meeeee!

All-fours seat work.

Well, shit.  This was the only type of seat work I had no chance of doing.  The wonderful instructor, Meg, knew my gimp-sitch and said I could do prone instead.  

Holding the strap in a V-shape during flatback.

Who knew??  This was super uncomfortable!  I ended up holding the strap just with my fingers by the end.

Grasping my hands behind me in shoulder bridge.

After 60 minutes of lameness, this was the lamest of the lame.

I never thought I’d miss a hand so much!

I’M A MONSTER!!!

[source]

I can’t imagine how frustrating it would be to have an actual injury!

How do you deal with minor but debilitating injuries?  Whine?  Power through?  Rip curtains with your hook?

Week Of

A couple friends have asked how much I’m running/working out this week.  Since it’s only a half marathon, there isn’t a significant taper period.  Just an easy week leading up to the race so my legs are fresh and happy.  The plan is to have a normal week but taking everything easy.  Except the foam rolling.  Going deep on the foam rolling.

Monday:  Dailey Method.  I am going to classes this week but not pushing myself during the typically brutal thigh work sets.  I can’t even tell y’all how devious and amazing it felt to just go through the motions of thigh work yesterday, with barely a quiver.  I felt nice heat through all parts of my legs but I was not working hard at all.  Must not make that a habit!  I could certainly justify skipping classes this week but as I’ve said ad nauseum, the dynamic stretches in TDM are amazing.  I fully credit the combination of strength work and stretching in TDM to keeping me injury free over the last 19 weeks.

Today: Easy 3 miles.  When I say “easy” I mean the sloooooow pace I’m going to try to start with on Sunday.  Also food detoxing from last night’s sushi/pizza debacle.  I feel like straight up sh*t today.  It’s a water and veggies day.

Wednesday: TDM, foam rolling, happy dancing that it’s almost here!  Detox day two.

Thursday:  What I expect to be a very hot final  run.  It will have to be mid-day and we’re having an unreal heat spell.  Good practice for Sunday morning if it’s hot as hell in the second hour.  Still detoxing, depending on how I feel in the next couple days.

Friday: TDM.  Possibly amazing 30th birthday dinner if I can get myself together and choose a restaurant.  If not, amazing 30th birthday dinner next week!

Saturday:  Rest day, EXPO!  Lunch with my amazing friend Rachel who is coming up from Santa Barbara to run the race and celebrate with me!  Try to fend off the barrage of early birthday presents.

Sunday:  Half Marathon PR!

What are you doing for my birthday week?  I graciously give you permission to do things because I am a benevolent birthday princess.

 

 

I’m here! I’m here!

I’m here! I’m alive! I’m still training!

Fall has arrived and my work load has increased about 300%. I have a number of new students (including several professional singers) and a number of gigs on the calendar! After the annual dry spell that is summer, September is always a wonderful and slightly overwhelming relief.

In the midst of chaos, I still managed to “bake” DOUBLE STUFFED OREO STUFFED CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES for my darling’s 35th birthday.

Flying Saucer SUGARSHIPS!

For the first time, I’ve had a workout/training schedule to consider when putting together my teaching schedule. Being a morning runner, there’s virtually no conflict as the typical opera singer does not want to take (or teach!) her voice lessons at 7am. I can be home, foam rolled, stretched, fed, and showered long before the teaching or singing day begins. No problem.

Dailey Method is another story. As a member of the trade staff, I usually cannot take the morning classes because they’re too full of paying clients. In order to take the mid-day and afternoon classes, I’ve had to schedule my morning students on running days. With some creative scheduling, it has been fairly easy to get daily workouts in and even some doubles. Sometimes I have to run in the evening or take a late class but with cooler weather, that’s not a problem.

Sometimes I think about the original intention of this blog. I can barely remember the almost 15 years I spent avoiding, hating, and fearing physical activity. It’s truly become one of my favorite parts of my life. This is a subject for another post.

I will leave you with this picture of my cats investigating the dishwasher:

Curiosity…