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Tag: trail running

Angels Rest to Devils Rest – Adventure or Torture?

Angels Rest is perched up high in the Gorge. To get there you have to push yourself up 2 miles of steep, rocky, super challenging terrain. This adventure was a run for us, but many others hike. Angels Rest offers a spectacular view and is a great reward after the climb. Devils Rest is a continued accent from Angels Rest but with no view at the top – it’s hell to get there and has no reward, hence its name. The entire run is an adventure but teeters on torture as well.

The idea of this run began as an adventure, but after a half mile of running it quickly began to feel like torture. My last bit of writing was about the rewards of pushing past our comfort zones, so I tried to keep that in my mind as I scrambled over rocks and one foot after the other tried to push up the mountain. It was a struggle. On the other hand, my husband loves trail running. He describes trail running as an adventure and “feeling free.” He looks like he’s gliding over the rocky uphills and eloquently galloping the downhills. Every quarter mile or so, my husband pauses and waits for me to catch up to him. He stands  there with this giant smile on his face and says, “Isn’t this fun? You’re doing great. We’re almost there.”
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I’m a high school running coach, fitness specialist, and I’ve been a runner for more than half of my life; I’ve never needed anyone to really coach me in a workout or race. Yesterday, though, I needed every bit of encouragement from my husband. He’s so happy running trails. The happiest. Meanwhile, I’m cursing under my breathe the entire time.

Having PMA (positive mental attitude) is a way of living that I work on every day. My favorite books are Success Through a Positive Mental Attitude, The Energy Bus, Real Love, and The Power of Positive Leadership, but yesterday I struggled to bring the positivity out of me. I didn’t spread the torture I was feeling, but I also wasn’t shining positivity like my husband. I decided to praise the beauty around us and every time we ran down a part of the trail that felt good I made it a point to tell my husband. That little bit of positivity that I put out in the world took the edge off of the physical torture I was feeling. In the past, when I felt physical pain in a workout or race I’d repeat the words “you can do this” so I decided to give it a try. It worked when I needed it during this torturous adventure.
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After six miles of mostly uphills, I ate my date with almond butter. Then we had 2 miles of rolling hills, and ended the run with 2 miles of insane downhill running. I told my husband I’d meet him at the bottom and like a deer he trotted off down the rocky mountain. I tripped without falling a handful of times, but finally made it to THE END. Water, an Orgain and half of a Picky Bar refueled my tired body and sore ego. My husband is really good at trail running. Trail running is really hard for me.

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We hugged, kissed, high-five, fist-bumped and hopped in the car to meet our kiddos and my parents at the Vista House. They had a great time exploring Larch Mountain, blueberry picking, and running around the Vista House while we adventured, borderline-torutured ourselves on a glorious trail run. In the end feeling free on the trail felt good and the thought of it puts a smile on my face. So, go #livefree and #befree among nature!

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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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