Shadows are rather lovely, aren’t they? Shadow me as I pursue my second love – running/physical fitness – via pictures and posts. And because I won’t be able to help it, you’ll get some glimpses at piano and music as well.
Sunday, December 10, 2017
No pics…again….:/ Pictures aside, as I’ve been working out consistently and learning some new gym skills, I have been excited to see strength and definition developing once more. There are so many different kinds of fitness out there that it means there is always something new to learn and a new way of challenging oneself physically. Pretty cool! One aspect of working out that has become part of my consistent routine is core work… yes, there’s some definition coming there too, but nothing close to a 6-pack! 😉 I’m still dreaming about that. My workouts are functioning to keep me moving as I am at a desk much of the day and build muscle. Once the New Year arrives, I am hoping to begin focusing on running again and reach a new PR or two. I’ve also got CG Games 2018 in the back of my mind. Happy training everyone in whatever area of fitness floats your boat!
Monday, November 27, 2017
Hello friends! Happy belated Thanksgiving and an early Merry Christmas! I do not have any pictures to share (bad blogger I am!), but do have to keep saying – I’m working out! No surprise. 🙂 Currently, I am enjoying working out with a group of young people from my church in a group fondly known as Drossfit. I’ve been working on a different fitness skill set than what I’ve worked on before and it’s been challenging, but wonderful at the same time and not as hard on me as some of the boot camp work I’ve done, which I love but cannot sustain consistently right now. Modifications are still a part of my world as I let my shoulder and neck continue to heal, but the ability to move and workout with others is something I am continually grateful for and gives me a serious pick-up throughout the week. I hope you have something that does the same for you! If you don’t, working out is definitely something you should give a try. It’s worth it! Alright – pics coming next post. Oh, btw, check out my new Discography page! My first CD is releasing this Friday! 😀
Thursday, October 19, 2017
Hey, hey! Look at that swag! 😀 1 finisher medal and 1 Top-finisher in my age-bracket medal for the PNC Running Festival 5k. This past Sunday, I finally got to race in the PNC Running Festival (formerly known as the Milwaukee Running Festival). The festival began in 2014, the year I moved back to Texas, and I have been wanting to run in it ever since that time. All race distances – 1-mile fun run, 5k, 10k, half and full marathons – are part of the festival, meaning there is something for every runner. I so appreciate that! The tech tee was also one of the niftiest ones I’ve got from a race. It has PNC Marathon on it, so I’m embarrassed to wear it because I did not run the marathon and make no claim to having even attempted that, lol, but it is still a an awesome tech tee!
Part of what made this race particularly cool for me, outside of the legitly cool temp of 57 degrees (and it kept dropping post-race), was that my parents came to watch me run. First race I’ve had them at since I started running 3 1/2 years ago!
This race felt fast for me, but apparently was not my personal fastest race time. I came in at 22:45 (according to the race tracker, I held a 7:20 minute mile; according to my watch – 7:10).This put me first in my age-bracket, 4th over-all female, and 13th in the overall 5k. It was a good race! I’m looking forward to focused training in the Spring and faster times too!
I’m continuing to assist occasionally at Camp Gladiator, even got a BOLD workout in this past camp cycle! Happiness. My chronic neck and shoulder issues continue to calm down and I have had to learn to respect them and the need to pace my workouts due to them. I am also tremendously enjoying working out with a group of young people from my church. I mentioned this in my last post – the group is known as Drossfit after one of the trainers, Drew, but now has the official title and website of Kingdom Workouts. One of the highlights of my week!
Oh! And this past weekend was birthday weekend! October 12 was the “official” day – racing was part of that celebration for me and then, of course, being with my family. 🙂 …can’t forget the treats…
Friday, July 29, 2017
Hello, hello! Happy Friday. 🙂 How are your workouts going? Mine are not extremely intense, but I’m continuing to move. My biggest job is still to let my body heal. That is coming along, but more work to do. With that said, I’ve been chipping away the on-boarding work with Camp Gladiator to be an hourly-assistant trainer with them and I’ve also begun attending a Crossfit garage gym just a block-and-a-half from where I live (I modify everything, lol). It is known as Drossfit, coming from the first initial of one of the two trainers who run it – Drew. It is awesome.
Monday, June 19, 2017
Oh peeps! I’ve got fun news below. I’m still working my full-time day job in a church music publishing company (and learning much), but I’m finally beginning to explore my love of fitness, not on the working-out side, but on the trainer side of it. So read on for some personal work-out updates but also for trainer updates. Oh! And a music update.
A trainer who helped me prepare for my ACE certified personal trainer exam back in October told me that the kind and quality of workouts available to me were only limited by my creativity. How cool is that? Up until that time (last September), I had never thought of personal training as being something creative. How freeing to be told it is a playground of creativity! And that creativity is beginning to have an outlet – I have officially begun the on-boarding process with Camp Gladiator to become an hourly assistant trainer. My own workouts as a Camper in CG have been extremely limited (and for 3 months at the start of this year non-existant) due to old injuries. I have missed CG sorely!! Outside of running, CG is truly my fitness love here in Dallas. The CG culture is fun, encouraging, friendly and I have wanted to continue to be a part of that. Due to having earned my PT certificate, that is becoming a reality. Part of the on-boarding process includes selling 10 camps…so if you know anyone looking for a great fitness routine and group – tell them to get in touch with me. 😀
Now for a few pics, because what’s a workout blog without pics?? And a few updates on what I’m doing to stay active as I continue to heal.
May found my in Wisconsin for 6 days accompanying a musical. While there, I dropped in on my first-ever trainer, Garrett Stangel, at his gym – Balance Fitness. This time around we talked exercises and form. I still left sore…
I also took advantage of a great deal on ClassPass this month that let me attend barre classes, yoga and ballet giving me the opportunity to explore lower-impact forms of fitness that challenged me but also continued to expand my knowledge of training methodologies and approaches.
I recorded my first sacred solo CD in May too. And it’s coming your way soon!
And last but not least…Arbonne. As I’m working to create a lifestyle of health and wellness, encouragement and service to others, I’ve incorporated a health and wellness opportunity via Arbonne. More to come but take a look at my page and their products and feel free to contact me with any questions. Part of how I’m staying shape while I let my system heal. http://www.arbonne.com/pws/maryannasalo/tabs/home.aspx
Sunday, May 7, 2017
May is off to a lovely start here in Texas. We’ve had some cool mornings (cool days too, for that matter) – the best. My work-outs have continued to be greatly diminished in duration and intensity. It’s been a relief to have to rest; but it’s also been very discouraging to not run and boot camp the way I’ve grown accustomed to doing. My main goal right now – keep moving. I’ve been able to add in easier weight workouts and am working on stabilizing resistance band work. Running slips in there too. This week, I got to get out with my running buddies Jessie and Brook, twice! Jessie and I are both out-of-shape for our standards, lol, so we suffered together on our 3-mile run on Friday. She’s been finishing her second master’s at SMU in piano performance. Good reason to be out-of-shape. She had a different marathon to run – master’s recital. That’s done, so we got running time this week. Take a peek.
Monday, March 6, 2017
Happy Monday. 🙂 I’m having a slow start to week in Cincinnati following a rather non-stop week and weekend. My second loves of fitness and running had an outlet this weekend – I ran my first 5k of the season on Saturday at the Trinity River Levee Run. It’s the only race I’ve done every year since returning to Texas and I love it. The race takes the runners over the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge and through the beautiful Trinity River Valley – just a beautiful course. The temperatures are still cool at this time of year adding to the pleasure of the run. My race pace was slower this year than last year due to not being able to train. I took second place in my age-division in this race last year but was not expecting to place this year. Not only did I place, but I took first! in my age division. I think all the fast people stayed home. 😉 For not training, I still held a sub 8-minute per mile race pace finishing in 24:03. I’ll take it!
Practice calls. Getting ready to premiere a commission with my trio – The Unsuspected Trio, on Tuesday night in one our member’s first doctoral recital at College Conservatory of Music in Cincinnati. Bye for now!
Saturday, February 25, 2017
My first love, piano, has got more attention since I’ve been injured. Ironically, some of the injury does stem from years and many hours at the piano. But hey, such is life and! I’m still playing and playing well!! (and I’m not saying I don’t have much more improvement and work to do at the piano…oh my, do I ever have work to do 🙂 ). I am about to be on the road of workout rehab! I’ll be working with my first-every trainer, Garrett Stangel of Balance Fitness, on corrective and stabilizing exercises. Long road ahead. It is incredibly frustrating to be sitting on the side-lines and feeling like I’m watching the muscle I had developed and cardio stamina and endurance disappear. That and I’m missing some absolutely gorgeous training weather here in Dallas. Getting rolling on the corrective work will be a relief. And before pics, a thank you to my chiropractor is also in order. His care has been exceptional and I am grateful.
Now for pics! These will be from my piano “workouts” and not just the training, but the “race,” i.e., performance. Isn’t that what we live for as musicians?? Nothing quite so wonderful or so terrifying as stepping onto stage for a live performance. Glad this one did not have to be memorized. 😉
Several of my family and friends came to the concert. Above are those with whom I managed to get pics! One of my former co-workers from Simply Fit Meals and several of my lovely lady-friends from my church. What a treat to have all of them present!
I’ll leave you with those for now. Next week I’ve got two days of out-reach concerts with the Children’s Chorus of Greater Dallas. And! Wait for it! The following week, I’ll be in Cincinnati doing another world-premier with my trio – The Unsuspected Trio. Check out the link below for details and to support us! https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/the-unsuspected-trio-world-premiere-music-piano#/.
Wednesday, February 8, 2017/(Expanded and edited Saturday, February 25, 2017)
Hello, hello! How’s your New Year thus far? Mine started off with a new job and a focus on running. Spring time is my personal running season and I look forward to it. Sadly, pre-exisinting injuries raised their nasty heads yet again (think neck/shoulder problem I had going into CG Games) and I’ve been benched yet again from not just running but weight-training and swimming too. I do have some pics to share with you of some of this year’s workouts! Love me some running with Luke’s Locker and, of course, Camp Gladiator. I may not be camping right now, but the trainers and campers are still wonderful and it is an organization I am happy I can be a part of! Oh! I also made a “guest” appearance at a training run with Run-On! when I was training for the Rock ‘n Roll half-marathon. For now, I’ve had to kiss that half-marathon goal good-bye and my first 5k of the season coming up on March 4 may also be a race I have to give-up. Not making that decision until next week.
Friday, January 12, 2017
First post of the New Year! Good-timing; I’ve had the opportunity to begin working on my goals for this new year, as in not just planning them, but actually working on them. 🙂 I still have planning to do, but I know the big goals so I have begun working towards them even though I still feel very much as though I’m figuring out how to work towards them.
I’m quite excited for this year for several reasons. My running buddy gave me the top-rated running journal out there for Christmas. It is filled with training tips and advice and pages for a full-year of training journaling. I felt like a small treasure had been put into my hand. The journal is helping me organize my training and track my training so that I have a solid approach and can see where I’m doing well and where I could be doing better.Happiness and awesomeness! I am also excited because I have my personal trainer certification. You may laugh, but this excites me because I learned much going through the course that is helping me learn how to train my own self better. If I can train myself, I will better be able to turn that around and help others train. My final reason for being excited – I am giving myself the time and space to not train all out, all the time, but recognize that a steady, consistent training schedule and training pace when actually working out is what will get me to the next level of running and boot-camp competing. I love to push hard at the starts of runs and workouts. However, the pace I chose isn’t always one I can sustain through the entire run or workout. This year, I get to scale back a bit and build on my foundation of strength and speed. It will be hard; I’m competitive. But, I know I will see results and I am looking forward to those.
Pictures of a few of my workouts this year are coming soon! I’ve got a new gym at work to show you; a beautiful pic or two of White Rock Lake, and, I think I’ve got a couple CG pics hiding in my phone somewhere…if I don’t, I track some down from someone. Love me some CG!
While you wait for those, what are goals you’ve set for yourself this year?
Saturday, December 31, 2016
Happy New Year’s Eve! Isn’t it amazing that 2017 is arriving in just a few short hours? Since the Games, I have been at a much slower and less intense workout pace…for the most part. A few CG workouts have happened in there…and I’ll be honest – I forget how challenging they are, lol. When I’m consistently at CG and in the midst of training, CG workouts seem normal, definitely challenging, but for what it is needed to qualify for the Games and then compete in them, I’m mentally asking for and expecting tough workouts and I’m not the only CG camper doing so. All that to say, I’ve enjoyed several walking days, some running and some resistance band training. More disciplined work begins tomorrow and I’m super excited. I’m looking forward to approaching this next year of life and training, fitness and music, with a fresh mindset and ideas for training and practicing – not necessarily new ideas, but new-to-me. Stay tuned to watch those ideas and plan develop. In the mean time, a few pics follow to prove I have been out-and-about working-out ;).
With that, I close out this year’s round of blog posts. What staircase of life are you going to take the first step up this year? Perhaps even the first few? Enjoy the process and the growth that will bring. Happy New Year!
Saturday, November 26, 2016
Hello, hello! Today’s post is all about CG Games 2016. Pictures will be the order of the day for this post. Lots of visuals for you with comments to fill in details. The Games were a blast and killer at the same time. Take a look!
For those of you who are not familiar with Camp Gladiator, CG follows a 4-week camp cycle, with each week focusing on a different facet of fitness. The 4 different events at the Games featured exercises and intensities that correlated to each week of the normal camp cycle. The division in which I was competing followed CG’s usual 4-week camp cycle exactly, something for which I was quite grateful. It gave me something mentally I could relate to and grasp as I went through a competition for which I had no prior experience around which to build my physical and mental preparation and stamina.
Oh! I bet you are wondering where I placed in all of this! Here’s the breakdown:
Event 1: Endurance: 15th
Event 2: Strength and Agility: 15th
Event 3: Interval: 17th
Event 4: Peak: 24th
Overall: tied for 14th with two other ladies, for a total of 18 spots gained from prelims. Competing against 49 other women in the finals; against just over 300 from across the county in the prelims.
And that’s the Games! It was a fabulous day and I am so glad I got to go and compete. Post-Games, I am doing my best to take workouts to a less strenuous level and focus on letting a couple issues heal. Not my strong suite, but a must for over-all health and longevity in fitness.
Monday, October 31, 2016
Happy Monday and Happy Halloween, Folks! 🙂
Last week was quite the week on the fitness front – as some of you already know, I took and passed my ACE personal trainer exam this past Friday and, as a result, am now an ACE certified personal trainer. So excited! I’m really looking forward to being able to grow in this area of fitness and training. Having the certification opens many further learning opportunities that weren’t necessarily open to me prior to have the certification. On that note – stay tuned to my website for up-coming music and fitness business additions. I can now officially pursue both passions for my pleasure and benefit, but also for the benefit of others! Perhaps I can help you. Let me know. I’ve got a contact form on my About Me page.
CG Games are drawing ever closer. Just under two weeks left! I got to go to my favorite CG Camp location on Friday (between work schedule and the occasional need for a longer sleep in the morning, getting to camp has been a challenge) and workout with some of my fabulous fellow competitors and awesome trainer, Mason Murphy. This week will be my last hard week of training before tapering next week. I’m starting to consider when I will fuel during the Games and what I will use to fuel, in addition to my regular physical training. No small deal. Fueling properly and at the right times can make the difference between success and failure.
Saturday, October 22, 2016
My silence of just over 2 months has been broken! And I’ve got news for you! But before that – the reason I haven’t posted anything for so long is because I had no new sacred improvs to include. I just took care of that problem yesterday, so after enjoying this page, head on over to my Sacred Selections page to enjoy my latest improv. Oh! Check out the Vlog too!! 😀
News: I qualified for my bootcamp’s competition! Exactly three weeks from today I will be at the Circuit of Americas competing in CG Games 2016 for over $20,000 in prizes. Yes, really. The top 50 in the individual female category were invited to participate in the finals after two Saturdays towards the end of August and at the start of September of 4 qualifying events. Just over 300 women out of over 1,000 registered ladies actually participated in the qualifying rounds. I placed 32nd. From my main camp, there are 5 other ladies going as well as 2 men. I’m looking forward to a terrific and very challenging Saturday, November 12th.
Since qualifying, training for the Games has been my focus. None of us competitors will actually know what the events are until the day of the Games, so training has been a bit tricky to know precisely how to direct. I have some good insight into what to expect from the Preliminary rounds and camp itself, but nothing absolutely specific. Below are some pics of the workouts I’ve been attending or doing on my own to maintain as well as progress my fitness level towards the Games.
Per usual, I am attempting to keep all leg muscles healthy and functional. I’m on at least a two-day running break to let my right calf muscle settle down after the run in WI, which had me on hills. Continuing to stretch and rolling my left IT band. Beyond that personal recovery work – thanks to my chiropractor for keeping me in shape to workout and make music. Training continues! What are you training for??
Sunday, August 14, 2016
Folks, I had to wake up that sleeping cat and gently encourage her off of my lap in order to go workout at my WI trainer’s bootcamp. Now that is true dedication to exercise, if I do say so myself. 😉 Seriously, though, I count every morning I get Shisa on my lap when I’m home in WI (and every morning I don’t get her on my lap too). Last weekend, I got to go home to WI to play for a cousin’s wedding. It was a lovely weekend of family and friend time and a couple of great workouts with my first-ever-trainer, Garrett Stangel, at his gym – Balance Fitness. Check it out if you live in the area!
Here in Texas, CG is still happening. Wednesday night’s camp featured the great Mason Murphy and some CG Games-style exercises, amongst others (prelims and finals may be one of my new training goals).
This week, I also got myself into SMU’s fabulous gym to do some additional cross-training – biking, further strength-training, and swimming (3/4 of a mile today!). A minor calf-strain and IT-band issue benched me on the running front this week. Working on healing! What are you working on this week on the fitness front?
Monday, August 1, 2016
First day of the month – good day for a new blog post! I am discovering that I really like the first days of new months. It’s a fresh start! and another month full of possibilities and opportunities – known and unknown. I have just a couple of glimpses of workout places for you. Both come courtesy of running with my running buddy, Jessie, who is training for her second marathon – Chicago. We did a track workout (think speed) last week and a regular training run (think mid-distance). I need to keep getting out with her – she creates great track workouts!! CG happened on Friday – no pics, but it was a great workout and once again, happy to be out moving with others. So, enjoy the two pics I do have for you and while your at it, since it is the first day of the month – any fitness goals or other life goals you have that you could refocus on and work towards this month? I’ve got one or two up my sleeve – to be revealed at a later date. 😉
A part of White Rock Lake picture above.
Thursday, July 21, 2016
Okay folks, nerd-moment: I’m listening in on a coaching call with The Run Experience and I’m jazzed. Runners (or any athlete who incorporates running) you should absolutely check out The Run Experience. Founder Nate Helming has created an on-line coaching portal that includes multiple programs that target beginning runners, increasing speed and reducing injury (the big running themes of the whole site and all programs), training for long distances, etc. I haven’t been able to take full advantage of what they offer (I have joined a 5k training program), but I have already learned much from what I have watched and am very excited and looking forward to learning more and reaping the benefits of what they offer. Go check them out: http://therunexperience.com.
(post continued, Friday, July 22) If you’re wondering what else I’ve been up to on the fitness front hiking in Taos, New Mexico last weekend comprised part of my workouts (oh my word – I had been told the slope to the top of the ridge my trio and I hiked would be steep – no joke. We were at altitude too. Whew.). Camp Gladiator (of course 😉 ) and running too.
By accident, I have managed to join the ranks of those who play Pokemon Go…okay, I suppose this really isn’t the same, but it’s as close as I’m getting to playing Pokemon Go and I had a blast doing it. Bree, leader of Luke’s Locker Pint Striders, gave us runners a Pokemon Go scavenger hunt on our run this week. I needed to go at a slower pace anyway as I’m nursing my left IT Band once again. The hunt totally did the trick while making the run in the heat lots of fun.
A great CG workout with Meredith Body and Derek Plate took place this morning. I do love my CG workout fam and trainers. Always brightens my day.
What keeps you motivated to move? A great boot camp? new training goal? Have fun this weekend fulfilling that motivation.
Saturday, July 9, 2016
I am a bad fitness blogger this week…I have almost no pictures for you. 🙁 But! Workouts did happen. Currently, I am searching for a new goal to work towards. I find goals, in both music and fitness, to be helpful. They give me some extra direction and push to work at things. Take a guess at what might become a new goal for me. Once I know what that goal is, I’ll fill you in and you can see if you guessed correctly. 🙂
Wednesday night featured a double-header starting with CG at Tiezte Park under the great Mason Murphy and then a run of just over 3 miles at Luek’s Locker White rock with Susan and crew. I hadn’t been out with Luke’s in a while. Good to reconnect!
I couldn’t resist snapping this pic of the leader Luke’s Locker Thursday night social running club – The Pint Striders – Bree. She’s fearless and fabulous. (Can you find me in the pic?? :D)
Have I mentioned that I run for mochas? and possibly for the occasional splurge of some magnificent piece of glutinous bakery? A restful morning with spiritual food and physical food is pictured below.
Oh, and I’m practicing for another concert – one in Taos, New Mexico with SMU. Coming up next weekend. (I am in this picture, believe it or not…)
Monday, July 4, 2016
Happy Independence Day! I’ve got a month of workouts upon which to bring you up to speed about! I’ve been running and working out in Dallas this past month and! I also managed to get some running accomplished in New Mexico and California on a workout trip with my church job. Right now my main goal – keep moving. What about you? Do you have a goal? They make a difference. Oh! and how could I forget? I got to a do a modeling photo shoot with Camp Gladiator at the start of June! Check out the pics below.
Other fellow camper models waiting for our call to go workout (yes, we didn’t just “pose” for pictures, we worked-out!). We had to go through make-up, wardrobe and weights and mats station before being cleared to go model. The shoots took place in Austin, TX. Great excuse for me to visit that city.
Oh yes, Texas friends. Be jealous. I got to run in 55-degree weather in June!
Gotta get the classic shadow pic of me running included, right? 😉
Yes, I run for mochas. Especially when they come from a coffee place that I enjoyed but which has no locations in Dallas or in Milwaukee. What about you? What do you run for?? (I did another run/walk this week to Royal Blue Grocery here in Dallas for their Mocha – it’s the closest in taste I’ve found to Colectivo’s mocha in WI.)
Tried some new workouts too this past month at Crowbar Studio – rowing with the beautiful and musical (she’s an excellent bassoon player!) Brittany Harrington, picture below, a bike, bands, and balls class and a barre class.
And last, but certainly not least, Camp Gladiator. Oh yes.
Today’s workout took place at home. It’s a rainy 4th of July here so far.
Friday, June 3, 2016
I don’t know about you, but I’ve been tired recently. I think my body and my mind decided they wanted some chill time after finishing school. Honestly, it is scary as a musician to have times when the drive to practice or spend hours at the instrument is just not there. Same for working-out and let me tell you, it’s odd when I’m not chomping at the bit to get out there and cover some turf. So! Movement and practice do continue but at a slower pace that accommodates my rest and recovery needs at the moment.
Today’s photo comes from Goar Park CG with Meredith Solomon Boyd and Dresha Pemberton. I guess some of my joy for working out is coming back…a 5 mile run with my running buddies, Jessie and Brook, preceded the CG workout.
Monday, May 30, 2016
Happy Memorial Day! Many deep thanks to those who have served our country and to those who are serving our country. Thank you for your sacrifices for us!
It’s been a while since I posted. My master’s program at SMU finished with in a whirlwind of master’s recital, graduation and having friends in family in town. Thus, my prolonged blogging absence. But! Workouts have still been happening and Camp Gladiator, aka, CG, is in my calendar more consistently once more. So let me get caught up on a couple of weeks plus a day of CG workouts (not all work outs pictured – just what I remembered to get on camera…)
Cole Park BOLD workout pictured above with Tyler Wagner and Laila Sarvarian (amongst other trainers that night)
Goar Park BOLD workout with the lovely and sweet Meredith Boyd and! how cool is this! first time camp attendee – Mr. Patrick, founder of La Madeleine! A wonderful French Cafe in the DFW area.
Tietze Park with Mason Murphy and Amy Pylant and a workout built on Memorial Day. The board only captures part of the workout. Orange cones came with workout instructions too.
Good stuff, folks! It keeps me moving. Have a good week!
Thursday, April 28, 2016
In case you haven’t heard peeps – K-taping is the new body art.
Cool, yes?? 😀 My Airrosti doctor (Dr. Alex) decided he was going to have fun today and I wear the results. He is going to be working with Crossfit Athletes next weekend at the regionals here in Dallas and apparently they like having their hands and wrists taped – I was his practice-patient today. But, he did do some deep tissue work on my wrists and hands for me, so not completely unneeded. 😉 Practice days/piano days have been long and hard recently (grad recital coming up this Saturday has nothing at all to do with that…). Getting some legitly-needed TLC for arms, shoulders and hands was a mind-easer for me this morning. The deep-tissue work isn’t always comfortable, but it makes such a difference. As a pianist, runner and bootcamper- I use my full body everyday, hours a day.
And, I’ve got one other person to thank today – Duncan from Luke’s Locker.
As I was working through my running injuries, he helped me get into the right fit of shoe for me, letting me know that if the pair he put me in didn’t work out, we would keep exploring other options until we found a pair that was right for me. He took me on as his “project” of pain-free running once he heard my story. So between him, Dr. Alex and Dr. Yocom – I am running pain-free. How weird is that?? More like – how wonderful is that?
(just over 5-mile interval run this past Tuesday morning; and a 4-mile tempo-run last Thursday 7:20-7:40 pace.)
Ok, I lied. My running buddy, Jessie, is also on my list to thank today. (I always wondered how she got such cool shots of her and Brook running – she uses the camera screen-flip option coupled with the timer to set-up and get fabulous pics. Light-bulb moment…)
We’re both finishing our degree programs at SMU this semester in piano performance (she is doubling in pedagogy!). She is my running buddy, piano-support buddy and friend. I had been praying for a running buddy since before moving to Texas…I never dreamed I’d get a piano buddy, friend and running buddy all in one person.
On that note, come and hear me present my graduate piano recital, in partial fulfillment for the master’s of music degree from Southern Methodist University, this Saturday at 2 o’clock in the afternoon. This is my piano-marathon. For now. 🙂
Sunday, April 17, 2016
For those of you who race or have raced, be it a 5k, 10k, half or full marathon, you know that many times the real race isn’t until the last half-mile or mile. That can be where a win or new PR is achieved or not achieved. The last leg of a race requires that you maintain your focus or reset it, honing in on the goal ahead of you. This kind of focus and intensity is required not only in the race itself but also in the preparation for that race. The training requires commitment, focus, relentless dedication. This is half of why I love working-out and running. One has to work steadily and consistently to see results. The other half – I just love it. 🙂 The same goes for music-making. Great performers aren’t made over-night but over years of dedicated commitment and work to their chosen art form. I am not claiming to be a great performer (not yet, at least 😉 ) and I am certainly not claiming to be perfect in the commitment and dedication to the art from (or working out ), but I still can speak from experience – good performances in any venue are the result of many hours of practice, lessons, thinking about and studying the score. Music making and out-put is a continual growing and learning process, limitless in the depth and breadth available to those who explore and ask questions of it. There’s a rush of excitement that comes with discovering new things in music just like there is an adrenaline rush that comes after a good workout or well-run race. Rather cool, yes? I hope you’ve been able to enjoy some extra physical activity recently and perhaps some new insights and skills in your chosen line of work. This week didn’t contain as many workouts as last week did, but I still managed to get out and get some work done. Highlight of the week – CG at Watermark under the great Mason Murphy!! 😀 I’ve got some new gear to show-off too!
(Running and various forms of burpees and scooter-board ab work comprised the majority of this work-out. CG Games Preliminaries training has begun. Yes, I have registered for prelims. Qualifying rounds coming at the end of August/start of September.)
Decal for my car window. Oh yeah.
And – 2 weeks until my master’s recital. My “race” goal right now.
Sunday, April 10, 2016
Oh peeps, rejoice with me – I got to go to CG Watermark on Friday morning. I could only keep up with one athletic outlet this semester and running was it. As a result, I froze my CG account from mid-March to mid-April. It’s actually not quite unfrozen, but Mason, Divisional VP/Director/Trainer with Camp Gladiator, graciously let me come join the final workout of Week 4. I could stay away no longer. Added bonus – Nature’s Plate came and served breakfast!
Beyond CG on Friday morning, my hobby and serious side interest got some attention this week like it hasn’t received since September or October – i.e., I got to come up for a gulp of air before entering this final stretch of grad recital prep, and that gulp of air did not mean any less time at the piano this week than normal or needed. But the workouts – I got to run, try out a new fitness group, go to the SMU gym and do CG. Be still my heart…that’s not exactly what workouts do, is it…? Anyway…
Tuesday – Orange Theory Fitness – new to me! Very cool combo of rowing, weight training and running. I will be incorporating that training approach into my own workouts. (also, a 5.14 mile morning run w/ Luke’s Locker)
Wednesday – SMU gym (it’s a nice gym!)
Friday – CG 🙂
Logged just over 16 miles this week between all workouts.
And the piano front:
And a sneak preview of grad recital rep.
3 weeks to show time! This is getting real.
Saturday, March 26, 2016
Race day! Woohoo!! 😀
This morning, I was up and out the door and parked in the Horner Parking Garage of First Baptist Dallas before the sun was up. Wanted to make sure I got a parking spot! I laid my running clothes and gear out last night. Makes life easier the morning of the run. 🙂
I didn’t give myself enough time to do a thorough foam-rolling before leaving, but I did get some accomplished and I took my Lacrosse ball with me to continue work once I arrived at the race. (Instructions from my Airrosti sports doctor – foam roll before and after running. Hint, hint for those of you who are running but don’t do this 😉 I’m having to take him very seriously on that front.)
The weather could not have been more beautiful – sunny with blue skies and temps in the mid-50s. A fun-mile walk/run at 8am preceded the start of the 4-mile run at 8:30. (Can you find me?)
I signed up for this race last year. Truthfully, between school (i.e. an impending grad recital), full work schedule and the hit-and-miss training this past month due to injuries, I was not excited about running this race until I went to pick up my packet. And even then, I was still scared. I had a goal I wanted to reach and I feared I wouldn’t be able to attain it. Plus, I wasn’t sure how I was going to hold up physically. Good days and bad days are part of the recovery process. I was hoping for a good day.
Running and running well takes work and effort, just like anything else worth doing. I was afraid of the effort I needed to give during the race. The shortage of training these past weeks enhanced that fear. Fear disproved!! But, it gets even better!
My runs, both training and racing, are usually painful – I cope with pain in both my lower legs in virtually every run. One of my typical questions for my running buddy, Jessie, after completion of or in the middle of a long run is – “Do you hurt when you’re running?” I’m always puzzled and slightly embarrassed when the answer is “No.” How can you not hurt when running? What’s wrong with me? To my amazement and delight, this run was not only a PR and medal-earning run, but the best run physically I have had since beginning to seriously run almost two years ago.
As I said in my last post, the misstep I took just over a month ago that resulted in left achilles’ tendinitis and a lower left leg sprain/strain may have been a blessing in disguise. Dr. Friel targeted those issues. He then expanded his work to the include the right leg as I gave him information about what runs usually feel like for me, working on muscles and ligaments in both legs that had been sore, tight and hurting in runs for months…okay, more like a year…plus. Disbelief was my response when he told me running shouldn’t hurt and that is was possible for it to not hurt. That’s pretty much all I’ve known as a runner. Today, I had the freedom to focus almost exclusively on running rather than fighting my body the entire run thanks to his work. Muscles and ligaments are still in the healing process, therefore some discomfort still existed, but the improvement was massive! My mind was blown and still is. Perhaps another half-marathon is in my future! 😉 If all I have to worry about is the cardio aspect…hey, I’m up for another half! 😀
Foam rolling, Lacrosse ball rolling (a golf ball is about to get added to those items; if I want, I can freeze it and get an ice massage when rolling with it! how can I say no to that?), stretching and strengthening are going to continue hardcore, folks. Dr. Friel’s work is not going to be wasted and I can’t pass up the opportunity of running without discomfort. Enjoy a few more photos of this morning’s race while I go start score studying again (practice and 1 1/2 hour lesson already happened today). 5 weeks til my grad recital. Oh my.
And I can’t resist another pic of more cool taping Dr. Friel did. He did a nice job, didn’t he? 😉
Tuesday, March 22, 2016
Runners injure…it’s a thing, apparently. At least it is for me right now. A misstep a few weeks ago mid-excellent-run led to achilles tendinitis and a lower leg sprain/strain which finally sent me back to Airrosti for help after four weeks of hit-and-miss training. This time around, my Airrosti provider has been Dr. Alexander Friel. The misstep may have been a blessing in disguise. Not only has Dr. Friel got me on the road to recovery, but he has given me insight on persistent lower leg discomfort that crops up as soon as I begin seriously training (foam rolling or not) and which I thought was just part of being a runner. Thankfully, not true. Form, the right fit of shoe, strengthening weak muscles, and proper warm-up and recovery techniques (foam-rolling) are key. I’m still learning that and I’m still learning new ways to foam roll. (If you want to ratchet it up a notch, get a Lacrosse ball and roll on that. I promise, you’ll love it.) The real joy of joys from this round of treatment- I’m going to be able to run my next race of the season this Saturday – First Baptist Dallas’ 4-mile Easter Run. Many thanks to you, Dr. Friel, for your work. Running and life are better because of it.
Being injured does have a perk or two – check-out the fancy taping, courtesy of Dr. Friel. Pretty, cool, yes? Not only does it look cool, it provides support and enables better blood-flow to the injured/treated area, thus speeding recovery. Oh yeah.
Training run completed today – 5.2 miles of warm-up, fartleks and cool-down. Starting to feel good again.
On a fun note: take a peek at my new-to-me running toy – a refurbished Garmin 15. With the addition of this watch to my running wardrobe (which was already super impressive 😉 ), I can now truly call myself a runner.
The coloring in my music book continues. Grad recital coming in just under 6 weeks. NBD.
Wednesday, March 9, 2016
Running in Wisconsin this week. The second shadow is my Wisconsin workout buddy – Cam. We did a Spartan Sprint last May – I owed him an obstacle course. No joke. This week was just a normal run, no obstacles. 🙂 It’s been a rough couple of training weeks due to another minor injury and then sickness, but regardless, the training I’m doing with Luke’s Locker is paying off. I ran my first 5k race of the season this past Saturday and placed 2nd in my age group. Felt good. Here’s the proof…the medal! 😀
Below is a picture of some of my wonderful fellow 5k/10k speed and conditioning trainees with whom I have had and continue to have the pleasure of training among this spring.
And lastly, my substitute piano teacher for this week…lessons have been rough…
Friday, February 5, 2016
Do you have any landmarks that you look for when driving home or going to work that are your visual reminder that you are close to those destinations? In running, those landmarks certainly exist. Those landmarks become especially important the closer I am to finishing a run. Only a mile to go…I can do this! Haha! You can relate, I am sure. 🙂 Two mornings a week and one night a week, I run on one of Dallas’s local and very popular running trails – the Katy Trail. The lighted trees signal the start point and end point of my night run and it is always a relief to see them looming in the distance on my way back. I am blessed to run with a group of runners on my night run in which is included a new running buddy – Michelle. She’s fast (thus my relief to see those lights at the end of our runs 😉 )!! and a two-time Boston Marathon qualifier (running her second this year!) and a total sweetheart. Having a great running buddy by my side and having a landmark like those lights helps me push to the end. I can truly see the light “at the end of the tunnel.” 🙂 Every-day life has people and points like Michelle and those lit-up trees too, doesn’t it? Who and what are they for you? They’re wonderful, aren’t they? Oh! In closing, first race of the year and a training goal coming up at the start of March! Woo!! It’s a 10k (excited for the run, but not the distance, haha!). Wish me luck! I would love to set a new PR. And! Grad recital coming up in 3 months! My other massive training goal. Speaking of that…practice calls.
Saturday, January 30, 2016
My other fitness love is boot camp and I’m a member of a pretty awesome one called Camp Gladiator, or CG. I joined CG about 3 months after moving to Texas from Wisconsin and after online research of workout groups in the area. I had seen one of the CG camps training at a park within walking of distance of where I lived at the time. I finally mustered up the courage to drop by this camp at the end of a Saturday morning camp and ask for information. The trainer I spoke with told me to come back on Monday evening and visit the camp. I did, but no one was on the field. Part of me was relieved. I am shy and always have been, so dropping in to visit the boot camp without anyone bringing me as a guest took courage on my part. But another part of me was really, really disappointed; I had been excited to get in on the fun and challenge of the workout. Fortunately, I saw another lady who looked like she was there for the same reason I was. And my thought proved correct. The Monday evening camp was meeting in a parking lot behind a church next to the park. At the time I was not aware that the two trainers running the camp were two of the original trainers of CG – Mason Murphy and Amy Pylant (i.e., they’re kind of a big deal). It took one more workout (a 5:30am workout at that) and a bit of coaxing from Mason to get me to sign my boot camp life away to CG and I did and I’m happy and I love it. 🙂
So many wonderful trainers, fellow campers and excellent workouts.
My Friday morning workout this week was the 5:30am camp at Watermark with the one and only Mason Murphy, Kevin Harkins and Kayla. Mason must have entered the New Year with a subconscious (more likely conscious) resolution of creating herculean workouts…apparently they weren’t challenging enough already…Friday’s included such things as medicine ball tosses up parking garage ramps, sprints and dragging (or for me pulling because it’s easier on my shoulders. I haven’t forgotten that I do have to take care of myself for playing piano ;)) fire hoses. CG has got tons of locations in the DFW area and beyond. You can’t go wrong joining CG if you’re on the hunt for a wonderful group of trainers and people with whom to workout.
Action pics from CG coming in future posts! Promise!
Friday, January 22, 2016
Not the greatest pic, but check out that good-looking Luke’s Locker White Rock store in the background and observe those whiteboards randomly (or not so randomly…) placed in the grass and parking lot. Yep, this is the starting point of my Saturday morning training runs. Oh! And it gets better! There’s a Starbucks in the same plaza! After a chilly run, strength drills and stretching there’s nothing quite like a mocha. This week the 5k/10k groups will be heading out for a 4 mile-run on the White Rock Trail (woo! haven’t been on that trail since October!) – 2 miles relatively easy out and then hard 2 miles back. Squats with side leg raises, curtsy lunges, glute lifts, planks (the best), pushups and stretching will close the workout. In the midst of the training, I am meeting some fun new people and still hanging with my first ever running buddies, Jessie and Brook (they’re hard to beat, folks, on the company and conversation). More on those peeps coming soon. While you’re at it, mosey on over to my running buddy’s blog http://brookrunshappy.com.
Friday, January 15, 2016
I did it…I signed up for Luke’s Locker spring 5k/10k speed and conditioning training program. I’ve never formally trained in running and that has been a desire of mine for some time. I finally gave in to that desire. The half-marathon training program tempted me, I will be honest, but speed and conditioning proved to be too much to pass (I love short distances! not because they’re short but because you can and have to open up and go all out from the start). Thus, the 5k/10k program won. My best 5k time is right around 22 minutes. That’s roughly a 7:20 mile. While I am coming back from some necessary time off (i.e., I’m a bit slower 🙂 ), I am still hoping to see that time drop to 21 minutes or less. I missed the Saturday morning pace placement run (I didn’t sign-up until Monday night), but made it out Tuesday-Thursday of this week. On Wednesday morning, my running buddies, Jessie and Brook, came and ran too. First run with them since October/early November and injuries! What a treat.
Grad recital just over 3 months away!
Friday, January 8, 2016
For those of you who enjoy running or working out as a hobby or serious pursuit, you most likely know what it is to injure. It’s tough on the body and the mind. I joined those ranks in October. And thankfully, am exiting them now. My injuries began with the wrong fit of running shoe for the distances I was running and then further developed from over-training and lack of proper recovery (foam rolling and rest). And there is a reason I am finally recovering. Read on. 🙂
It has been sometime since I ran this particular stretch of pavement at White Rock Lake with my canine and human running buddies, Brooklyn and Jessie. Going on 3 months to be exact. I’ve been on the side-lines of running and boot camping for those three months due to injury. Thankfully, the tail end of month three has finally allowed me to begin building again. And the reason for that is courtesy of Dr. Matt Yocom and his assistant, RJ Teague with Airrosti Rehab Centers.
I’ve been hurting in my runs (long or short) for months, many times limping post-run or even mid-run. I kept pushing until I couldn’t ignore my body any longer. I aggravated something in my left hip and pulled something in my left knee. I didn’t know exactly what I aggravated and pulled, but I knew things were not right and my thoughts proved correct. I had to decrease my running from half-marathon distance ( I was supposed to run one at the end of October. It was cancelled due to rain. Fortuitous for me. I couldn’t have completed it) to a mere mile and even that short distance was causing discomfort and swelling in my left knee. My hip was holding up better than the knee, but it was not healed. In addition to drastically scaling back my running, I took a significant break from the boot camp I am member of and adore – Camp Gladiator. I needed the physical rest, but I was frustrated with the lack of healing and lack of knowledge of what was injured in my knee and hip. I didn’t want to injure further and risk not being able to actively train again. At the advice of my long-distance training mentor, Garrett Stangel (based in WI), I at last sought out the help and expertise of a sports doctor, Dr. Matt Yocom. I had patellar tendinitis in my left knee and a very tight left IT Band. Between his hands-on work and the recovery and stabilizing training from his assistant, RJ Teague, I was given the permission and the freedom to begin running again. And running I am (boot camping too!)! Beyond some remaining tightness that will resolve as I continue to foam roll and stretch, I am doing both activities pain free – after two weeks and four appointments. That is both a physical and mental gift to me and I want to express my thanks to Dr. Yocom and RJ in this post. I have been given back a significant source of pleasure and enjoyment as well as an important stress-relieving outlet and thinking opportunity – running. It’s part of how I breath in my full schedule of work, practice and grad school. Plus, I get to get outside and enjoy the fabulous city and state I live in. I’m looking forward to continuing to build my distances again…though speed and conditioning training is calling my name…what about you? What physical activity is calling your name? Have fun!