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Tag: running

Instructing Treadmill & Outdoor Running for Body Adaptations

As you know, I love running! It’s the constant in my life. No matter what is going on in my day, running is always there for me. Aside from the mental clarity and emotional support that running provides, it also makes me stronger and fitter. I can get these good running vibes on the treadmill, out on the roads, and definitely out on the trails. Going out for a long run, I can tune out the world and just be with each step. However, it feels good to push myself to its limits some days. VO2Max intervals or other interval training work great for creating adaptations to your body. When we work hard, we get fast, stronger, and fitter.

Reviews.com recently contacted me to include their treadmill research on my site. I thought this was perfect timing, as I’m in the process of designing a treadmill class based on my Revo2lution Running Master Trainer certification. Having a treadmill class allows clients to run in a way that most people neglect to do for themselves. Running at the same pace for the same amount of time or distance every day, not only gets boring for you but also for your body. I’ve always said, “Your taste buds like variety and so does your body.” Instructing treadmill classes allows me to coach everyone at the same time regardless of their speed. Everyone is given the opportunity to work and push at their own pace depending on their fitness level. This treadmill article is a thorough article that narrows down the best of the best. http://www.reviews.com/treadmills/  Who knows, maybe I will open up my own “running” gym and outfit it with one of these beauties!

Let’s get out there and run on the roads, trails, or mills together.

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Running Clinic Series at Sellwood Yoga & Align Fitness

Health Unleashes Greatness Through Running. Come join the Running Clinic Series at Sellwood Yoga & Align Fitness.

IMG_7795Why run? Who has got time for it or even enjoys it? I do! I do! I’ve been running for over 20 years. I don’t compete as much as I used to, but I love this activity more than I ever have. When every muscle works together, like actors in a musical, it can unleash joy, the feeling of freedom, and GREATNESS. This I do believe.

Randomly, stepping out the door and going out for 10 miles is not the way to do it though. We need to prepare our body for such a feat. How do we prepare? With me, of course! We prepare mentally and physically for the demands we put on our bodies. Visualizing the work ahead and how we see ourselves performing and accomplishing the work is a first step. On top of our mental team, our body also needs to be prepared. Warming up with exercise-specific drills and running to meet our bodies where they are is the place we begin – starting and training smart! Once our mind and body are prepared, we can play with body weight exercises to enhance our groundwork, play with effort, speed, distance, and hills.

On top of all of that, we need to condition our core because proper form often relies heavily on a strong core. Flexibility plays a key role as well. If our hip flexors and ankles are flexible, it will allow us to run with proper form to avoid injuries and gain speed and power. If we just go out for a run without taking care of the pieces of us that help us run, then we won’t get very far.

Come run with me and a handful of runners every Wednesday from 5:30-6:30pm at Align Fitness.

See you there!

 

Keely Grand has been a competitive runner for over 20 years, a high school running coach, holds numerous health certifications, and recently became a Running Specialist with Run-Fit, Revolution Running. In two weeks she will become a Master Trainer under Jason Karp of Run-Fit, Revolution Running.

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Teaming Up – How To Make A Long Run Even Better

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Enjoy your run moment

After a long run, how can there really be anything else to do? We’ve enjoyed the scenery and taken some pictures. We’ve nodded or peace-signed to our fellow long-run-day runners. We’ve sweat. We’ve strengthened our lungs. Even our heart has worked and grown, specifically our left ventricle, pumping enough blood and provided enough oxygen to complete our run. So, what else do we need? Well, we need to think about fuel and our mind.

When you finally get to press the stop button on your watch, I’m sure you feel a bit of relief. Some words that may cross your mind, “Ahhh, it’s done! I did it!” You did! But before you leave your run behind you and hop in the shower or grab that coffee, go into your closet and take out your yoga mat and foam roller.

We’ve got to stretch and do a little bit of strength before we put our efforts to rest. So, find a nice quiet space to lay out your yoga mat. Sit down with a nice straight back, sitting “criss cross applesauce” or on a mediation pillow, and just take a few slow, deep breaths. Quiet your mind for a couple of breaths, only thinking of your breathing. Next, let your thoughts wander about your long run. How did you feel during and after? What sights did you see? What sounds did you hear that made your long run enjoyable?

After your reflection, go back to taking a few deep breaths, breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth. Think of nothing but your breathe.

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Stretching & Foam Roll

Next, let’s team up this long run even more with caring for those muscles that worked so hard for you. Take your foam roller and start to gently roll out your glutes, quads, calves, and back. Remember to keep your core engaged and support yourself. After rolling out, move into a downward dog position and start pedaling your feet (about 6x), then perform 5 shoulder presses, followed by 5 alternating knee crunch-ins, and repeat this about 3-4x. When you are finished, you can lay on the mat and finish up with any favorite stretches.

Fuel! It’s really not just the first 30 minutes after your run that you need to worry about. It’s the entire day and every day after. Are you seriously going to give yourself a nutritiously calibrated post-run snack and then two hours later eat a pizza or buffalo wings? I hope not.

Long Run Nutrition Team Up Ideas to Fuel You Beyond your Long Run:

Post-run Smoothie: date, banana, maca powder, cocoa powder, almond butter, almond milk, frozen berries, spirulina

Lunch: mixed raw veggies and hummus w or w/o toast

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Food for Fuel

Dinner: Wicked Awesome Salad! Chopped Kale, Cucumbers, Tomatoes, Red Pepper, beans with Rice & Apple Cider Vinegar (mixed and sitting/soaking for 10-15 min). Mix in flaxseed meal and nutritional yeast. Then drizzle peanut sauce (peanut butter, a little apple cider vinegar, gluten free soy sauce, wIMG_6587-1ater, rice vinegar.)
This can be served as is or over warm quinoa. Not only do adults like this meal but little humans do too.

There’s so much that we can do for our body and mind even after we’ve put in a strong effort. Remembering that recovery and fueling is just as important as logging miles can be a struggle. However, once you get in the rhythm of stretching your body and mind in those ways, your body will thank you in the end!

Team Up!

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The Epic Week of Fitness Has Come

This is an epic week of fitness – bootcamp classes, coaching, and running!

We are all jumping into the busy season of school, sports, and work again. Often, it feels great to be busy but getting going can be like jumping into a fitness routine after having years off – you’re a bit rusty but muscle memory will prevail.

Teaching is both exhilarating and exhausting.

It is a week that I’ve been half dreading and half extremely excited to tackle. Typically, my regular week only includes teaching two Bootcamp classes at Align Fitness and teaching one-on-one fitness sessions. This week, I’m subbing twice. I dread the hours leading up to subbing because I don’t really know the clients attending. I’m a stickler on form, function, and coordination, so the idea of correcting another instructors clients is tricky for me.

This week is different, though. All the classes so far have been the best. The energy, fitness literacy, and pure strength of each client has been off the charts. Every single person has come through the doors ready to work and be pushed!

Picture perfect fitness!

There is rarely time to take pictures of my fitness classes because I am too busy teaching, but I managed to snap one a few weeks ago.Bootcamp Class Align Fitness I clearly remember starting with a particular group of four and where they were in their fitness.

Now, my class has grown to 10-12 in circulation with seven constant every week and with such focus and whole-body fitness. They have worked so hard in the last few months and you can tell in every exercise we perform together.

As an instructor, it’s exciting to bring a group of people to the next level, and the next, and the next, etc… I’m always eager for each week as we reach for new heights, with new exercises and movements.

My Align Fitness Bootcamp routine looks like this!

  • A dynamic warm-up (arm circles, high knees, butt kicks, jumping jacks, plank variation, pilates ball adduction w/ squat series, low-impact a.k.a. slow burpees, and jump rope)
  • TRX Squat w Row alternating between high & mid-rows. Followed by TRX Back Extension. Cardio Burst. 2 sets of 12
  • Push-ups w/ Yoga Block. Squat Jacks or low-impact squats. 2 sets of 10 each.
  • TRX Bicep Curls. TRX Plank Roll-Outs, Weighted Forward and Reverse Lunges. 2 sets of 12 each.
  • TRX Tricep Press. KB or DB Wood Chops w/ Lateral Lunge. 2 sets of 12 each.
  • Plank Series
  • 20 Burpees. TRX Single Leg Squat with Cross-Body Knee to Elbow Oblique Crunch. KB or DB Pullovers w/ (heels together) Crunches
  • Core Work and Stretch

Ending a good workout with some deep breathing.

Lastly, we end with a few deep breaths together and our class mantra, “Breathe in all the strength you put into your workout and let that strength carry you through your week.” For my class, it’s not just fitness and strength of the body that we are working on, it’s also fitness and strength of the mind.

Coaching is back in session.

This week also marked the beginning of my second cross country season as Head Coach of the Portland Waldorf School’s Cross Country team. My team comes from a high school of less than 100 students. Getting kids on a cross country team is pretty hard to accomplish in a large school, never mind a school with less than 100 kids. I’m so lucky to have some interested and skilled kids to kick off this season right.

Today, my plan was to do an easy run to see where the kids were in their fitness. However, a couple of athletes did four miles, one did 3+, and the other did one mile. It was such a great first day of practice. This year, athletes will have an increased exposure to meditation, physical literacy, and sports psychology. As high school coaches, there is more that we can add to our high school teams’ growth as athletes and humans.

Running is a mode of transportation for the body and the mind.

My true love is running. Quieting of the mind is a practice that most of us need reminders to exercise. Running helps with the quiet, and works even better when meditation is happening regularly. I’ve evolved as a runner over the years, as many runners have. As running serves various purposes in my life, I hope that my athletes also find themselves or parts of themselves in their running.

Hitting the trails does the body good.

Trail running is my main focus right now and luckily I have the Oaks Bottom trail in my area. Forest Park is a little too far to travel to when time is limited, but it probably has the best trails in Portland. Presently, we will be staying close to Oaks Bottom. However, in future weeks we may be venturing to Tryon Creek for a change of scenery.

A message I like to practice daily and spread to my clients and athletes – PMA every day. You can turn any day around with a change in the mind. Positivity spreads throughout the body and to others rapidly, so practice PMA daily.

Keep on doing what we do best and do it to our best.

 

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Take Pride In Being You and Spread PMA

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Appreciating yourself and others goes a long way. Having PMA goes even further. If you line 10 people up and take a quick look at their build, you will notice that each person looks different. They may all be able to do the same amount of push-ups, miles, or squats but one might have more defined calves and another might have a defined upper body. Maybe one person is long and lean, while another is short and stocky. For instance, my husband and I are both runners and we typically run the same mileage. I, being a personal trainer, perform weight bearing exercises multiple days a week. My husband doesn’t do anything other than run. His upper body is defined and mine looks strong but not defined like his. However, I can do things that would be a complete struggle for him.

Today, I was running on the Springwater Corridor. I’ve been pretty hard on myself when it comes to my running ability and form since my surgery and today started out no different. Until, I let PMA (Positive Mental Attitude) come into my mind. I stood tall, corrected my form, and just went. The run felt good, not really fast, but good. A bit before my turn around point I saw this runner who, to me, looked beautiful and strong. I thought, “Wow she looks amazing! I wonder how far ahead she will be by the time I head back.” I surprised myself when I passed that same runner not too long after I had turned around. I almost engaged in negative self-talk when I saw that runner, but I stopped myself and decided to just be happy to be out running. When I decided to have PMA I was able to maintain my pace and pass her when I had no goal of doing so. Had I started to beat myself up after seeing how incredible she looked, I may not have continued my effort and my run would have ended on a real negative tone.

Through the years as a trainer, my body has been scrutinized and gotten long looks up and down. I’ve gotten feedback about my build that has hurt. I can’t count the number of times that people are shocked by my strength because I’m not really built and I’m on the more average-looking side. So often, as I am setting up for a class where the clients don’t know me, they question my education and experience based on the way I look – it could be my youth-like appearance (yet I’m 37 and have been training, teaching, and learning for 15+ years), my not crazy definition, who knows. When I am done teaching though, you can tell that they hold me in a completely different light than when they first met me. The majority of the time, I am thanked and asked what other days and times I am teaching.

We all have views of ourselves and occasionally we size up others, but why? Why do we torture ourselves and others in our heads? We are in this crazy, awesome, challenging world together so why not support each other regardless of any factor. If goodness breathes in our soul, then goodness is what we should exhale and disperse into the world.

Start with PMA. Any time a negative thought enters your mind, stop the thought in its tracks. Turn it around with a positive thought. The more positive energy you hold, the more people will catch your PMA.

Share your PMA stories below and let’s see if someone catches it!

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A Journey to Being Incontinence Free

I’m a mom of two awesome, active boys who has suffered from incontinence for 7+ years. This is my story and my individual solution to fixing this issue that has plagued every run since October 2008.

At the end of May, I had TVT surgery for incontinence. For the last 7+ years I’ve lived in silent embarrassment whenever I’d run, teach class, coach, or play in the yard with my two boys.

I thought that I had done everything possible to fix or aid my leakage. When I was finally fed up, I went to see a Urogynecologist for help. After very little thought, I scheduled my surgery. I was sick of being wet. I was done dealing with it. After my surgery, the recovery was unlike anything I’d gone through. Having babies feels a million times more natural than having this surgery. It all heals in time and you do get your fitness back, slowly.

About 7 weeks post-op, I made the mistake of googling TVT surgery and recovery. I ended up reading horror stories! When I initially investigated the surgery, I was mainly looking to understand the procedure. After the surgery, I somehow ended up reading all of these horrific stories of the mesh becoming infected, detaching and dislodging into the uterine wall, or not even working, I freaked out. My doctor had warned me that there was a 1% risk of these things, but c’mon 1%?!

I soon became aware that this surgery was making waves that were crashing down on women who have already suffered. The worst thing I read was that the FDA moved the surgery from being medium risk to a HIGH RISK surgery. Why didn’t I know this before? Some other things that I came across were kegal balls, jade eggs, vaginal massages, physical therapy vaginal stimulation, AND Kim Anami! Kim Anami stopped me in my tracks! The things she can lift with her pelvic core muscles is jaw-dropping! As I attempted to get my body back in running form at weeks 6 and 7 week post, I wasn’t 100% fixed and I did wish I had found Anami before all of this. All that new information made the recovery even more difficult. However, because there is no turning back, I put the newfound knowledge aside.

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I ordered a pair of Dear Kates to take away the worry and any noticing of leakage on my runs. I’ve been told and also found out myself that Dear Kates are amazing! They feel great and you can’t notice if incontinence or your period is causing problems while you are being active, i.e. running, hopping, dancing, etc…

At 10 weeks post-surgery, I am getting my body back slowly and noticing an extremely little amount of incontinence. I used to spill over a Super Plus pad and now I use just a panty liner and am not even sure if I need it – that’s a great sign. However, due to the increasing number of horror articles and posts, I am not sure that I would recommend the surgery. I was terrified that I’d be the 1% and the 1% is scary! My job as a patient, is to continue to strengthen my pelvic core muscles and listen to my body on all other levels as I try to regain my strength and fitness.

My advice to anyone going through this, is to listen to your body. Try everything possible before you give a yes to surgery. In 2014, I had reached the point of trying everything that I was told do try. I didn’t know that in 2016 there were a few other options that could also help me. Exhaust all resources and then make the decision with a competent doctor. I feel extremely fortunate to have had Dr. Denman – her work is priceless.

 

 

 

 

 

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Bring the Family Closer by Running Across the Country

IMG_6001That’s us! Summer 2017 will be the most exciting one to date, as my husband and I will run 3,000+ miles from Boston to the Oregon Coast. It’s a feat that I have been dreaming about for years, high school is probably the first time the thought crossed my mind. However, the timing was never quite right. The timing still may not be right, but we are going to do it anyway.  My gut has been telling me to take the Oregon Trail – Rt. 20. It starts in Boston (where we are from) and ends in Oregon (where we live). There will be some additional navigating to avoid super busy roads, stay in the country, and to possibly avoid a ferry or not. Running across the country completions has been recorded by 252 people so far. So, we are definitely not the only ones but it’s an adventure that we just don’t want to wait any longer to do.

Not only do we want to run across the country, but we also want to share our “loves” along the way too. I dream of teaching fitness classes and juicing demos and my husband dreams of sharing his hardware hacking skills to kids along the way. Even though an audience for health & tech hangouts will be few and far between, there will be opportunities to share our work. Between blog posts, Instagram, Snapchat, and YouTube we will keep everyone informed on our progress and when the next health & tech hangout will be.

Coming along for the ride will be our two boys and my parents. Our boys love running and riding their bikes. My husband and I met running. As parents, we are so busy during the school year that we really want to dedicate some time to us as a family – a running family adventure seems like the perfect way. Being a fitness professional, my goal is to inspire wellness. My husband is an electrical engineer/hardware hacker who wants to inspire his community, both young and old, to wellness. So, this family adventure feels right. Every thread of my body screams for this adventure. We just need to do it right, for all of us.

Checklist:

  • Route: Southern or Northern? East or West? Leaning towards Rt. 20
  • Days of Journey: hoping to complete between 90-120 days
  • Mode of transportation/housing other than feet – tour bus
  • Travelers: My husband and I, two kids, and my parents
  • Have all technology ready to promote our health & tech hangouts
  • List of supplies:
    • shoes
    • juicer
    • Vitamix
    • Vega
    • Orgain Meal Replacement drink or something like it
    • Places to buy and how to keep fresh fruit and veggies
    • Bulk Nuts & Seeds
    • other food
    • water
    • clothes
    • sunscreen
    • baby wipes
    • bikes
    • Necessities for the kids
    • fun activities planned for the kids
    • ASTC Museum Membership (Children’s Museums)
    • Sponsors?
    • Media?
    • Tools to document journey

 

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Journey to Be Incontinence-Free

Have you ever sneezed and then suddenly felt a spot of wetness down there? Or lost all motivation to jump rope for fear of unloading your bladder with each jump? Or maybe you really do want to play “Red Light, Green Light” with your kids, but it’s just too inconvenient to prepare? I think as mothers, we deal with it. We deal with a lot. This is just one more thing we slap a bandaid on and then continue on with our life. We make it work. However, if you pay close attention to what you are feeling inside, you will notice a little piece of you gets lost. That lost piece gets larger each time you can’t do something or if you hold back to prevent/stop/slow down the pee.

In 1 day I will be undergoing something that, I believe, will change my world. For the last 7 1/2 years I’ve been dealing with incontinence from giving birth to a 9lb baby boy who had a huge head and the cord wrapped around his foot. For hours I felt like he was just plain stuck. The labor did some damage. About 3 1/2 years later my second baby boy slid on out without me even noticing – this time with the help of an epidural. There are a ton of other crazy things that happened with both pregnancies, and so I’ve come to the conclusion – despite a pregnancy book that said “Women are built to have babies” – that I in fact was not built to have babies. I wasn’t. Don’t get me wrong, I feel like I’m built to raise them, but not have them. 

One of my favorite things to do in life is run. Running is my best friend. I’ve cried, laughed, worked through relationship stuff, worked out professional struggles, and have been struck by stop-in-my-tracks awe over the surrounding beauty on many occasions while running over the last 20+ years. On top of running, I am also a personal trainer, fitness instructor, high school running coach, and mom to two amazing, happy, smart, ACTIVE boys. My life is filled with physical activity. I am not one to just sit around, unless I’m writing a blog post, planning workouts, or lesson planning for my Life Skills class. I never stop moving, much like my two boys. This activity also means that I’ve gone through a lot of laundry and pads over the years.

I’ve tried everything from diet (thinking that maybe my hormones were out-of-whack), to physical therapy, to even taking a ton of pelvic core and post-natal personal training workshops. I’m now vegan and have balanced hormones, don’t drink alcohol, have a really strong core, and have worked my body in every way known to help incontinence, yet I still have this problem. So, my next step? I perfected my coping strategies for incontinence: I basically don’t drink any water during the day, which is not good, if I know I have to be active in the afternoon (coaching or fitness class), bring extra pads wherever I go, the treadmill is less impact so if I don’t feel like dealing with being soaking wet I usually head there, change my stride from the hips/glutes when needed to avoid excessive leakage (which leads to injury I found), and lately I’ve been opting out of physical play with my boys so I don’t have to deal with it. 

The last one is what got me to call up the doctor. I’ve ALWAYS been physically active with my boys. We were always playing some sort of game that involved running, jumping, tagging, tackling, etc… I got so sick of having to change my clothes, that I just stopped. Plus, my boys got older and bigger, so I had to be even more active with them. But, after sitting in a lecture with the author of “Boys Alive” I realized that boys need physical play with their parents. It’s how they work things out. Also, before I know it, they are not going to want to run around with me. They are going to be off on their own adventures with their buddies in a matter of time and I am missing out on the present – this precious and short-lived time together. I have done everything I possibly can do decrease my symptoms, but nothing has worked. Now it is time to make something happen.

Three weeks ago I called to make an appointment with an OB I’d never met, at a hospital I’d never been to before. I was a long-time patient at UCSF and I had started incontinence care there, but we moved and I dropped my health needs. So, exactly two years later I found myself on the phone giving my information to someone new and suddenly they had a cancelation for the very next day. Was the universe speaking to me? On Thursday morning, I woke up and raced to get myself ready and to my appointment – early! I arrived and was seen straightaway and within 30 min I had my surgery scheduled. I couldn’t believe it. Years of trying different things and completely unsure about taking this step, and it happened so naturally and quickly. 

The tools used are smaller, but the procedure is the same as it’s been for the last 10+ years. They will be using mesh as a sling and inserting it under the urethra. The sling will support the urethra and help keep it closed – especially in those unexpected times of a cough or sneeze! There’s a 1% risk of it not working, getting an infection, making it worse, and/or making it work too good. I can’t run or lift more than 5lbs for 6 weeks. For that bond that I will regain with my boys, I think it’s worth the 1% risks and the time spent recovering. 

I’m looking forward to worry-free running, when I can race down a hill and not do the biggest kegal exercise ever, or sneak attack my boys in a game of tickle tag, or put on a surge in a race and not have to change my stride to avoid leakage, or race my boys around our yard without running in to get a pad first or changing pants later. It’s going to be good. I’m going to feel like a new person.

If you are like me and have been contemplating surgery for incontinence, follow me as I will be posting my recovery and road back to leakage-free physical activity!

Keely Grand – 

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Keely is a plant-powered wife, mother, runner, personal trainer, high school running coach, high school health/life skills teacher, and freelance writer who doesn’t drink alcohol and is all about that PMA – positive mental attitude. She has spent her entire life trying to make people happy and healthy, but getting her master’s degree in Health Communication, certification in Personal Training, and later a certification in Plant-Based Nutrition is what gave her the tools to be successful in that pursuit. Keely’s belief is that the only way to lead people to happy, healthy lives is to live a happy, healthy life. So, she truly walks the walk.

http://www.keelygrand.com/

https://www.facebook.com/Keely-Grand

https://twitter.com/KeelyGrand

https://www.instagram.com/krunner79/

 

 

 

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PRs

Personal Bests. Personal Records. Wins. First Place. Runner Up. Age Group Winner. Overall Female or Male Finisher.

Wow! These all sound wonderful and thrilling to accomplish. I, for one, have reveled in the wake of a top finish. However, as I progress in my running “career” I’ve found new meaning in logging miles and collecting race bibs. When I was in high school, most of the girls in my school did not run and did not think it was fun. In college, I surrounded myself with a few more like-minded peers, but still the majority of people that I knew did not run. Every year that I kept on racing and putting more miles in my legs, I met more runners like me. Some were super competitive and others just ran for fun. From the very beginning of my running days, I’ve considered myself to be a slightly above average runner, so competitive racing naturally became a part of me. I had finally gotten my full of hard track racing while running on the incredible GBTC team. To this day, it is one of the best experiences I have ever had when it comes to running. As the years passed I got faster, but not fast enough to be considered an elite athlete and so I slowly found myself developing a different mindset towards running.

In my late 20’s-early 30’s I started hopping into fun races like the Hot Chocolate Run, 80’s run, Nike Women’s 1/2 Marathon, Hood To Coast Relay, Halloween 5k, Holiday Dash, plus more, and I realized that it’s fun to compete but even more fun to just have fun! I also started noticing the number of runners that weren’t really there to compete, far out numbered the competitive ones. When I started taking stock of who was running and the stories behind their running, an emotional connection to the races and fellow runners budded inside. A shift from wanting to be in the front at every race to running for health, strength, and enjoyment took over. Leaving my competitive running team in SF (short-lived team member for Impala Racing Team), running on my own for a few years, and finally joining up with Oiselle Volée was the last bit I needed to fill my nutty running legs up with joy.

When I go on my FB feed I see friends from way back, who were never runners before, posting their running photos from various races and runs. I’d say that more than half of my FB friends are a part of a world that once didn’t exist in their lives. Being a part of Oiselle also gives me the opportunity to learn and meet people of all abilities who enjoy running as much as I do. To me, this is so beautiful to watch the power of running unfold. Some run for health, for fun, for a family member, for sanity… the list goes on.  20 years ago I felt like I was a part of a very small group – runners – and people thought I was a nut because I loved it so much. Now, I have runner friends to be inspired and encouraged by wherever I turn. So, to all of my runner friends who are worried or feel bummed by places, times, and wins remember that your efforts mean so much more than any of those things. You are contributing to a lifestyle or world that is deeply woven in some of us and it thrills us to have… company! Go out and have fun on your runs! Work hard, give it all you’ve got and remember that you always have a runner friend cheering for you!

 

Share your running stories below!

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Improvement, Day 3: Fueling The Soul

I think most of us can agree that if our soul feels full, then we feel content. If it’s the slightest bit emtpy we start looking for the next thing we think will fill the void. Humans are creative. We use food, alochol, weed, late night television watching, romance novels, and . . . in order to fill whatever void is missing from our soul.

Let’s dive into some possible Fuel For The Soul options, so we don’t try to fill the soul with more emptiness.

  1. Music: My family and I recently ate dinner at a friends home. In the background of our conversations, through the laughter and occasional screeches from our children was this serene music.  Our friends said it was Lemongrass, which they followed on Pandora. The very next chance I got, I went on my Spotify to find the channel. There’s just something invigorating about Lemongrass. I listen to it when I’m working, cooking, playing with the kids – it’s good stuff. This music will definelty fuel your soul.
  2. Gut Helpers: It’s hard for the soul to feel good when your gut doesn’t. Plant-based fiber will get your system working. Fennel tea aids digestions (bloating, gas, etc…) and is loaded with great vitamins and minerals, apple cider vinegar aids in normalizing acidity, and ginger eases mentrual cramps, nausea, and can be used to help break down high-protein foods such as meats and beans.
  3. Podcasts: Comedy. Health & Wellness. Fitness. Fiction. Story Telling. Science. Spirituality. You name it, there’s probably a podcast for it. So, whatever area sparks your soul, check out some podcasts on the subject and it may just have you feeling just a little better. [My go-to podcast is The Rich Roll Podcast]
  4. Essential Oils – Trust me, I was just kind of into it when I first started reading about oils. Then, I went to my parent’s house for a family vacation and was caught off-guard when one day my feelings went from being really bothered, to blissful. I took in the essential oils my mom had “on” and did a couple yoga moves. Before I had time to process anything, I was a new person.
  5. Movement: a bit of movement can go a long way. With movement, the blood flows, edorphines are released, and you just get rid of stuff. Being a runner, I tend to use my running as a means to renew and rejuvinate myself, but as of late, I’ve been revisiting my old yoga practice due to some injuries. My head space can become clear while practicing yoga, just as it does while running.

Do you have any go-to’s to fuel your soul?

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