Yoga as Cross Training & Prana

 

Yoga used to be a huge part of my life and I consistently went to class 2 – 3 times a week.  When I lived in Orlando, I followed my favorite instructor, Christine Northcote around from RDV Sportsplex to her own studio, Full Circle Yoga, which has grown so much since she first took over.  In Phoenix, I would walk out of Alex Austin’s classes at The Madison freezing in the 112 degree weather from sweating so much during class.  And then my hamstring issue happened and my time on my mat dwindled because the stretching caused more pain than it helped.

So all that being said, when my friends at Fitapproach asked me to be a part of the #pranastyle #poseoftheday challenge in early February and test out a pair of Prana’s Prism Capri I thought about it and decided that maybe it was time to see if I could add yoga back into my routine.

yoga, prAna, review, prism crop, sweatpink, fitapproach, pose of the day

So how did it go?  Well I remembered how much I love yoga and how much joy it gave me, but I realized that probably about 15 – 20 minutes is the most that I can comfortably do right now and that it shouldn’t be every day.  I think I’ll start by incorporating it into my schedule 2x a week.

Now for my review of the Prana Prism Crop.  First off let me say these are the first pair of non-Lulu crops that I own, mostly because others that I’ve tried don’t fit properly or I spend all day tugging them up.  I was pleasantly surprised at how much I like the Prana crops.  They are made of a nice thick compression material that is moisture wicking, there is no sheerness when you bend over, they don’t move around while working out.

yoga, prAna, review, prism crop, sweatpink, fitapproach, pose of the day

After a lot of going back and forth, I picked the Rich Fuschia color in a size small (I’m 5’8 approx. 135lbs).  The crops fit me perfectly and I think I wore them the entire weekend of the LA Marathon outside of the actual marathon & again on my adventures at the Magic Kingdom with Sean, they were that comfortable.

yoga, prAna, review, prism crop, sweatpink, fitapproach, pose of the day

One of the things I love about Prana is their sustainability practices including (from their website) their partnership with bluesign® systems since 2012 to ensure that the fabrics they use meet the highest environmental and human safety standards.  This means that you don’t have to worry about their bright colored fabrics polluting the water or air with chemicals.

So their products are high quality and good for the environment, which is a win-win in my book.  Want to try prAna new spring line for yourself?

Use code PSSS16RLBT to save 15% at www.prana.com.

Review: Smarty Pants Vitamins #TheGoodGummy & GIVEAWAY

The awesome peeps at Fitapproach gave me the opportunity to try & review SmartyPants Vitamins #TheGoodGummy the last few weeks.  I received a monthly supply of the Women’s Complete Multi-Vitamin for this review.

It was actually quite fortuitous that this review came up because I’ve been working on my running goals & nutrition in particular, which also means working on my overall nutrition.  I’ve never really taken vitamins because they always make me feel weird, like I’ve had way too much caffeine and who wants to swallow a pill the size of a quarter, lol.

Smartypants, #TheGoodGummy, vitamins, all natural

Smarty Pants has found a way to make taking your vitamins fun.  They come in some super yummy flavors including orange, lemon creme and blueberry.  They are an all-in-one multivitamin with Omega 3s, Vitamin K2 and CoQ10, which makes SmartyPants the first gummy vitamin to include all 4 vitamins in one.

Most importantly they don’t have any synthetic colors, artificial sweeteners, flavors or preservatives, no high fructose corn syrup, gluten, tree nuts, peanuts or dairy.  I think all of these things in combination with the fact that they are a super flavorful gummy has made it so I feel good taking a daily vitamin.

As a runner and a frequent traveler, it’s really important to me to get the appropriate nutrients on a daily basis and I know don’t always eat perfectly.  French fries are a vegetable, right?

I’ve only been taking #TheGoodGummy for the last week since we got back from Florida and I am already noticing a difference.  I feel like I have more energy and am recovering well from my long & hard runs.  And most importantly I haven’t gotten sick even after the #TeamNakamura Coast to Coast (LA Marathon & Gasparilla 1/2) & 2 weeks of travel last month.

Coronado Running
With 7 races & a few flights coming up in the next 2 months including two 50ks (What was I thinking lol) I can use all the help I can get.  In addition to eating more vegetables and drinking a lot more water, I’m going to be incorporating #TheGoodGummy into my daily routine.

Want to try SmartyPants for yourself?  They come in women’s, men’s, kids, adult and prenatal versions. I’m giving away 1 bottle (30 day supply) of SmartyPants #TheGoodGummy vitamins to a lucky winner.

Smartypants, #TheGoodGummy, vitamins, all natural

Good Luck & Don’t forget to take your Vitamins ;)!

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Where I’ve Run Wednesday: Cuyamaca Rancho State Park

A few weeks ago the awesome peeps at Altra asked us ambassadors to tell them about some of the amazing places that we get to run.  So that got me thinking Sean & I have had the opportunity to run in some really amazing places, both on trail and on the road and I’d love to share those places with you.  So here goes…the inaugural Where I’ve Run Wednesday (WIRW for short) and I’m starting with one of our favorite spots near San Diego – this was posted to the Altra blog about 2 weeks ago but it wasn’t super clear that it was my post 🙂 oops so I’m sharing it here as well.

The very first time I came to visit Sean in San Diego (for our 2nd date) we went out to Cuyamaca Rancho State Park in Descanso, CA near Julian. I’m not sure what we were thinking because it was a super hot August day with temps reaching 100 degrees. But that day we would run/walk/hike 10 miles, giving me a small taste of what the mountains near San Diego would offer, like seeing the golden fields that California is known for the first time.Jenny Nakamura photo 1
Since that day in August 2014, Sean and I have spent a lot of time out on the trails in Cuyamaca Rancho State Park, the neighboring Cleveland National Forest, and on the PCT. These trails play host to a number of events, including the San Diego 100, Cuyamaca 100k, Mount Laguna Marathon, and Noble Canyon 50k.Sean has run all of these races so he has been a good guide, and we’ve explored a lot of the trails that are a part of these races. Some of our favorite spots include the third loop of the Cuyamaca 100k, which is approximately 18 miles of trail that takes you from Camp Cuyamaca into the northern section of Cuyamaca Rancho State Park before entering into Anza Borrego Desert State Park, and a short section the PCT before returning to the camp.

Jenny Nakamura photo 2
The views once you hit the PCT are absolutely spectacular, and I tend to pinch myself because it’s hard to believe that I live so close to such a beautiful place.  I really love this photo too because it shows how vast the area really is.  It’s hard to believe it’s just 45 minutes from the beach.

Jenny Nakamura photo 3
Another area that we like to visit often is in the Cleveland National Forest. There is a great spot off the Sunrise Highway—the Meadows Aid Station at San Diego 100—that we’ve spent a lot of time at lately, mostly because it’s a little flatter and more runnable. The single track in this area isn’t too technical and is well cleared. This area is a part of the Noble Canyon Trail and this winter we encountered a lot of snow, which was super cool.

Jenny Nakamura photo 5

Jenny Nakamura photo 4
There is so much to explore in this area. Cuyamaca Rancho State Park has over 100 miles of trail. Cleveland National Forest has over 920 square miles of trail, including over 100 miles of the PCT. And the Anza Borrego Desert State Park has over 916 square miles. The landscape is so diverse, from desert to fields to mountains to forest.

And the views? Well you’ll just have to come and see for yourself.

What are some of your favorite places to run?

How I plan to win at running…

So let’s be honest here…Running is hard.  And I’ve been making it a lot harder on myself because I’ve been neglecting a few keys areas.

How I feel during a hard, hot long run

#1 – My run nutrition sucks.  I feel sick on most long runs and that’s because I have yet (after 8 marathons and 28 or so half marathons) to dial in my nutrition.  I think I always revert back to my track days when I didn’t eat much because I was so afraid to throw up after a race (TMI – I have a huge aversion to throwing up and I would rather not eat than get sick – I’ve been like this since I was a kid).

#2 – My mental strength, not so good.  I try, but then when it gets hard, I have a really hard time powering through so normally my brain works against my body.

#3 – I just run and while this is fine and dandy, I’m not going to get a PR if I don’t do speedwork & have a bit more focus as far as my training goes.

So what I am I going to do about this?

#1 – I’ve decided to run more shorter distance races for a few months after the LA Marathon on Feb 14.  I’m going to focus on the half marathon and will get a new PR.  I’ve run 28 or so halfs and I’ve only run under 2 hours twice.  My current PR is 1:57:26 and I’m going to work towards a 1:55.  Which considering where I’m at right now is going to definitely take some work to hit those 8:46 miles.  I’ve got the San Diego Half in mid March which I plan to use as a goal race.

I will train to PR in the marathon.  Sean & I just signed up for the Vancouver USA Marathon on June 19.  It’s a flat & fast course and perfect for a PR.  And it’s not until June so it gives me plenty of time to train and really work towards a PR.

#2 – Start believing in myself more.  I have it in me, but I let my mind defeat me every time.  I am getting a new Momentum Jewelry Motivate Wrap with my mantra – I Can & I Will.  And I’m going to get a few books to read on how to work on this.

#3 – Focus on my run nutrition.  I’ve been saying this for a while, but it’s obviously a huge problem for me and something I really need to dial in. I shouldn’t feel sick on every run.  And since eating seems to be an issue for me, outside of oranges and jolly ranchers I rarely eat anything on a long run.  I don’t like Gu, I prefer more natural or real food type products but even though I take them with me, I rarely eat them.

I will be trying the CarboPro Hydra C5  as well as TailWind.  Each of these products has 100 calories per serving so hopefully if I like the flavor, I’ll be able to drink my calories and stop feeling sick every long run.  Sean also tried this awesome tasting Core Proven Nutrition drink mix at Tahoe 200 last year and it can be mixed with either of these other products which might be an option.

I love running and I want to keep doing it, injury free of course, for a very long time but I would like to feel like I’m accomplishing something.  I’m hoping that focusing on these three areas will help me to succeed in achieving my goals this year.

Do you have a favorite way to get in your speed training?

I’d love to hear what you do to get past the mental aspect of running.

And what are your favorite ways to fuel on a long run?