After a 10k at the end of June, I have a couple weeks off before I need to start a training plan for my fall half marathon (and interim 5ks and 10k). Long runs not too long, but just keeping a base and trying to fit in things I enjoy.
Monday: Yoga (10 min)
I had every intention of bike commuting to work this day, but N started getting sick the prior afternoon, and I ended up not getting to sleep until 2 am, primarily listening to him cough and trying to figure out what I could do (just set up the humidifier and give a dose of tylenol around midnight). Instead made this my rest day for the week, with just some yoga.
My "annual" do-yoga-every-day only lasted through April, but I definitely noticed some muscle tightness since I stopped, so I'm trying to do it every day in July to get back into the habit.
Tuesday: Run 2.50 miles (13:34 pace, 68*, early evening) + tap class (60 min) + restorative yoga (10 min)
Wednesday: Run 2.3 miles (14:26 pace, 66*, late evening, 162 spm) + SL 5x5 A (35 min) + yoga (2 min)
Thursday: Bike 10.3 miles (10.6 mph) + restorative yoga (15 min)
Friday: Run 4.75 miles (13:03 pace, 59*, mid morning, 168 spm) + bike 5.15 miles + swim 500 yards + yoga (2 min)
Saturday: Bike 4.5 miles + tennis (10 min) + SL 5x5 B (30 min) + yoga (10 min)
Total swimming: 500 yards Total biking: 19.95 miles Total running: 9.55 miles Average daily steps: 15,008
We know work/life "balance" isn't really a thing. Or, if it is, it only means in the long term and not in the short term (you can have it all, just not all at once). But maybe we can have work/life alignment.
I recently (re)discovered Katy Bowman on instagram (I have one of her books on my to-read list, and I think I recall finding some information by her when I was first getting into minimalist shoes), and realized she has a podcast. I like to go back to the beginning of a podcast when I'm starting to listen, and the first episode discusses the meaning and importance of "alignment" in regards to movement and the body.
My takeaways from the episode, in regards to body alignment and movement, were:
Alignment matters in movement, not really when you're still. The impact of "bad alignment" or "bad posture" is not how you sit still per se, but the forces of that alignment when you move.
Alignment varies body by body. What's appropriate and prevents injury for one person may not quite work for another person.
Alignment for a particular skill may not be the same as good alignment for general health. It may be worth prioritizing alignment that improves efficiency in sport even at a cost of detriment to health down the road - so long as you're making a conscious decision to that effect, then that's ok. What harms people might be if they don't realize that's the trade-off they're making.
So, first of all, I think those are all important things to keep in mind for movement. But they also struck me as a really interesting mindset in regards to the push and pull of work versus non-work.
Alignment isn't static.
Life doesn't stay still. I love planning and organizing (objects or routines), and I would love to organize something, then sit back and enjoy my fine-tuned schedule playing out for eternity.
But that's not how life works - even more not how life works with a kid. As soon as you establish a routine that works for the moment, something will change and you'll have to sort it out all over again. This means keeping in mind that having the best balance of work and non-work is a moving target, not something you just set once. You have to be flexible and creative to continue to make life work for the current phase you're in.
Alignment is personal.
I sometimes assume I'm a lazy slob when I feel overwhelmed by my schedule which is already (1) a reduced workload (outside of tax season) and (2) heavily supported by a non-working spouse and a MIL who provides copious child care. I know there are tons of people with both spouses working full-time jobs and no family nearby. Maybe those people are actually just feeling stressed and unhappy about it, though.
Or, maybe those people just have different needs and abilities, and it works fine for them. (Ok, I think there are cultural issues that mean this is unlikely for the majority, but I'm sure there are also some people who thrive on this.) And wouldn't work fine for me. We're different people, it's ok. If I've found what works best for me within the constraints of the resources available to me, then good for me. If other people have done the same for themselves, good for them.
Alignment can serve different purposes - but make it intentional.
This is kind of the same idea as "you can have it all, but not all at once." If you have the ability to choose to work a lot, or a little, or not at all - you will have some current pros and cons, as well as long-term pros and cons.
I started my reduced schedule long ago in part due to mental health struggles. I'd previously "chose" the default of a full-time schedule, and it was simply too much for me, had too many trade-offs. I had the privilege to choose a reduced schedule in the off-season, and that's what made the hectic busy season be manageable for me.
There are, of course, trade-offs to my reduced schedule, like having a pro-rated salary and slowed advancement. If I didn't find those trade-offs acceptable, I would figure out other ways to deal with life to take on a full workload. But the key would be having that be a choice, and that's what would create the mindset to be able to figure out how to handle it. It was having a full workload that was by default and not truly a choice that was too difficult.
I'm not sure if it was the cumulative fatigue of training for several weeks(not at a very objectively high level, but more intense than I've done for quite some time), or what, but I felt just over it, and not into actually trying for real workouts. Fortunately, it's almost race time anyway, so I guess I'll call this a really restful taper.
Monday: Yoga (10 min)
Wednesday: Run 3.15 miles (12:20 pace, 59*, mid evening, 170 spm) + yoga (10 min)
Friday: Run 2.8 miles (13:24 pace, 66*, mid afternoon, 166 spm) + SL 5x5 A (35 min)
Saturday: Run 4.85 miles (12:56 pace, 57*, mid morning, 172 spm)
Sunday: Bike 4.85 miles
Total biking: 4.85 miles Total running: 10.8 miles Average daily steps: 12,995
Throughout this week, I had various issues with my right leg and foot... culminating in cutting my long run much shorter than I should have. It wasn't until that day that I finally realized... it's been a few weeks since I did yoga!! Why did I stop the yoga?! No wonder my right side feels totally tight and out of whack! I suspect the fact that I had been doing yoga so consistently (daily, until late May) was a major factor in being able to ramp my mileage up in my current training plan without having had significant issues until now. Now it's time to get back to the yoga, for sure.
Monday: Speedwork run 4.3 miles (13:18 pace, 81* and very warm, late evening, 156 spm)
Run goal: wu, 5 x 0.6 @ 10:15 (0.25 recovery), cd Actual: 4 x 0.6 - 10:10, 10:15, 10:12, 10:20
After some great runs last week, this one was not so much. I can blame the heat, my period, tired legs... hopefully it's just part of the process!
Wednesday: SL 5x5 A (35 min)
Thursday: Bike commute to work 2 x 5.65 miles + tempo-ish run 3.1 miles (11:52 pace, 70*, late evening, 164 spm)
Run goal: 4 miles @ 11:15 Actual: 10:56, 11:42, 13:07, 10:16
Also, not a great run... again, multiple factors, including heat and biking earlier in the day.
Friday: Cargo bike 1.8 miles
Saturday: Run 4.0 miles (13:37 pace, 55*, mid morning, 162 spm) + SL 5x5 B (30 min) + yoga (15 min)
Sunday: Kayak + yoga (5 min) + 1.8 miles (14:00 pace, 66*, late evening)
Total biking: 13.1 miles Total running: 13.2 miles Average daily steps: 15,185
Previously when I've done a 30-day yoga streak, and until recently this year, my minimum for it to count was 10 minutes (the shortest on the Down Dog app, when I initially started using it - they've since introduced some shorter options). However, I'm trying to fit a lot into life right now, so some nights I've just down a couple minutes of yoga moves on my own - still better than nothing. Workouts:
Monday: Yoga (2 min)
Tuesday: Speedwork run 4.25 miles (12:35 pace, 66*, mid evening, 158 spm) + tap class (60 min) + yoga (2 min)
Run goal: wu, 10 x 0.25 @ 10:00, 90 sec recovery, cd Actual: average interval pace 9:38 9:29, 9:50, 9:16, 9:33, 9:47 9:38, 9:35, 9:24, 9:43, 9:59
Wednesday: Yoga (10 min)
Thursday: Easy run 4.0 (13:17 pace, 73* and warm, mid evening, 168 spm) + SL 5x5 A (35 min) + yoga (10 min)
Friday: Cargo bike 1.8 miles + run 7.7 miles (12:51 pace, 61*, mid day, 170 spm) + yoga (10 min)
Run goal: easy pace 6 - 8 miles Actual: By the last couple of miles I felt good (and it was downhill), so I did a couple of fast miles at the end - 11:32 and 11:19.
Saturday: Bike trainer 3.1 miles (9.2 mph, 74 rpm) + yoga (10 min)
Sunday: Run 3.05 miles (13:57 pace, 57*, mid morning, 162 spm) + yoga (2 min)
Per my training plan, for Sunday I still needed to fit in a tempo run; I planned to instead sub in a run with a one-mile time trial, as I like using that as a gauge of my fitness before a race.
However, I woke up Sunday morning slammed with the cold that N had gotten a couple days prior. I still headed out for a run, thinking I might feel better if I got moving... not so much.
Total biking: 4.9 miles Total running: 19.0 miles Average daily steps: 16,481