Sharing our love of running, fitness, food, family and the beauty of Western North Carolina...

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

5 Yoga Morning Stretches

5 Yoga Morning Stretches To Jump-Start Your Day

Stretch One: Standing Half Moon-Ardha-Chandrasana

Stand with your feet together and big toes touching, with the heels slightly apart (or hip-width apart for more stability). interlace your fingers. With your. Pointer fingers released.  Then, stretch your arms up overhead and take a side body stretch to the right.  Take 3 to 5 breaths and repeat on left side.  if your shoulders are tight, you can end your elbows and catch your wrists or upper-arm bones.

The Benefits: The lateral side stretch opens up the side body and rib cage.

Stretch Two: Chair Pose-Utktasana 

stand with your feet together and big toes touching, with heels slightly apart (or hip width apart for more stability). Then, bend your knees and sit down and back.  Take 3 to 5 breaths.  You can stretch your arms straight out in front and elbows bent (known as 'cactus arms') or stretch your biceps by your ears.

The Benefits: This posture builds strength in the legs

Stretch Three: Forward Fold-Uttanasana

Stand with your feet together and big toes touching, with heels slightly apart (or hip-width apart for more stability).  Then, hinge at hips and fold forward so the crowned your head pours toward the earth.  Take 3 breaths.

The Benefits: This move gives flexion of the spine to stretch the entire back line of the body.  Additionally, it allows cerebral spinal fluid to bathe the brain.

Stretch Four: Low Lunge-Anjaneyasana

Step one foot back and release your knee to the ground.  Ensure your front knee is stacked. Right over the ankle.  Place your hands to your hips; lift your chest and shoulders to stack over hips. Take 3 to 5 breaths. As an option, you can extend your arms overhead for a greater stretch.

The Benefits: this move stretches the quads and hip flexors.

Stretch a Five: Reclined Twist-Supta Matsyendrasana

Lie on a mat (or carpet) and hug your right knee into your chest. Then float it over to the left in a gentle twist. Your left hand catches the knee and the right arm stretches along the ground to the right. Look straight up, or gaze to the right. Repeat on the left side.

The Benefits: Provides a twisting of the spine and massages the organs.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Yeti or Not 25k

It's been a very long time since we've come away from a race just as excited as when we started. The Yeti or Not 25k at DuPont State Forest was perfect: very organized, course scenery was beautiful, clear non-confusing course markings, fully stocked aid stations, and the funnest awards we've seen since the Crazy 8's 8k bobble head awards back in July 2009.  Put that together with perfect weather, and the Yeti or Not could not have been any better.

Bart and Paul at the start

Bart's recently been reading a series of articles by Marc Laithwaite, and Bart used his advice for pacing during an event.

Java was the center of attention and every one's favorite race participant

From the article "Pacing while Racing" by Marc Laithwaite...

"1) For long events, fat utilization is critical to prevent glycogen stores depleting quickly.  During your race, running at the correct intensity is critical.  If your race pace is too quick, then you are in danger of running your glycogen stores low, resulting in a poor performance."

Race director Aaron Saft giving pre-race instructions

"2) Maintain a constant intensity and avoiding spiking is also critical.  If you push hard on uphills and recover on the downhills, your intensity will vary greatly throughout the race.  Remember, when you pick your intensity for any event, average figures (average heart rate or average power) are pretty useless as a guide. You need to hold the intensity constant, with little change in intensity.  If you aim to run at a heart rate of 130 beats per minute, then set yourself a tight range of 125-135 for the duration of the event. Slow on the uphills and hold pace on the flat and downhills."

Ready, Set, Go!

"3) Avoid the fast start or you'll suffer later in the event.  It's very clear watching ironman races, marathon and ultra races that at least 90% of the field start at a quicker pace than they finish.  There are 3 main reasons for this: The first is that you are fresh, so going hard feels easy.  Second, you have an adrenaline shot at the start, so this exaggerates how good you feel.  The third and killer shot is the fact everyone else feels the same, so they all go too quick, and it takes a very brave person not to react and follow everyone else!"

Course clearly marked with arrows and pink ribbons

Shadow enjoying Grassy Creek Falls

While Bart ran the race, Shadow and I took a side trip to see a couple of water falls before meeting him at the second aid station. 

High Falls

High falls was our second stop before heading over to the aid station.

Hanging out waiting for Bart at the second aid station, mile 10.5. The couple taking care of this aid station were incredible! They offered encouraging words to literally everyone whether they were running the race or not! They even offered some aide to several cyclist.

Bridge crossing at Reasonover Creek

Bart managed to take several pictures during the run.  The overall comments of runners was how beautiful and scenic the course was.  We heard several runners say there was something beautiful to see during the entire run.

Lake Juila

Lake Dense

Great Run!

And the best part is the Yeti award.  We've had more fun with this little guy. This is definitely a race we will be back for next year!

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Easter egg leaf stenciling adventure run

To celebrate Easter we decided that during our run today we would search for any small leaves that we thought were pretty to use for stenciling our Easter eggs. There were so many to choose from, and it was fun when one would catch our eye, we would say, "wait, let's go back and look at that one".  And so from the findings from our run became our Easter egg project...

Wishing you a very happy Easter!