Happy Memorial Day weekend, my friends! I hope everyone is having a lovely weekend and enjoying good weather. (The sun finally decided to come out today here in NJ!)
Work ended at 1PM for me on Friday, so after a quick lunch with my roommate and a movie on the couch while the rain poured down outside, I kicked off my weekend of workouts with some spinning and a hot yoga class at my gym.
For the 20 minutes of fastest sustainable effort, coach notes say: “try to see how close you can ride to your ventilatory threshold – the place where you need to take the big gulp of air”. It felt great to be on a spin bike and just GO and not worry about anything else…all I had to do was pedal.
I ran into my yoga class and it was packed! I was surprised; I figured that a 6:30PM class on the Friday of Memorial Day weekend would be dead…but I guess the weather drove everyone inside. Dang it, rain! Regardless, I was looking forward to trying out a new yoga block that was generously sent to me by Manduka.
I’m not a huge “OMG I must do yoga every day” person, but I love taking the classes at my gym about once a week to loosen up, stretch, and get a mini strength workout in. As for all those fancy extra things yogis use…I’ve always just used the props they have in-studio. For the longest time I didn’t even own my own yoga mat…and the one I use currently I got for free! But now, I’m realizing that there are so many fun options out there that can make yoga much more comfortable. ‘Cause you need all the comfort you can get when you’re planking in a hot room with tons of sweaty people, right?!
So, after an hour of sweating and stretching and finally, FINALLY figuring out chaturanga, I have to say I loved the Manduka unBLOK. It’s simple but effective. It has curved edges instead of flat edges, which makes it more special than your average yoga block. It took the pressure off my wrists which is the one thing I always have problems with. Plus, there’s no sharp edges that dig into your back when laying on it to open up your shoulders (which I definitely need with all the swimming). I’ve always avoided that pose because the block hurt me…but no more evil painful blocks for me!
From the Manduka website: “The adjacent & dual curves allow for versatility in traditional poses, offering a deeper, more natural arc support while the flat sides of the block maintain the support of a traditional block.” They are also committed to eco-responsibility; “Not only focusing on superior design, Manduka also promotes their ethos of quality, thoughtfulness and sustainability in all realms of their business.” The company was created by a man named Peter; an architect turned yogi! I just love stories like that.
It has definitely earned a spot in my exercise basket!
Sidenote: Manduka is currently hosting a campaign to find the “most inspirational yoga studio”. You can nominate your favorite and the five winners will be outfitted with Manduka yoga gear along with an in-studio yoga experience/celebration with a high profile teacher. (Who wouldn’t love this?!) Plus, if you nominate a studio you’ll be entered to win an unBLOK kit yourself! For more details, check them out here!
As for yesterday…I realized that, in my excitement of getting back to running, I’ve been increasing and increasing my mileage and haven’t scaled back at all. Instead of my planned 11-12 miles, I dialed it down a bit . This decision was only partially due to the freezing cold weather and me trying to avoid running outside in the rain again (like last week!). Plus, with Rev3 Quassy coming up in 7 DAYS (!!!!) I figured a little bit of a shorter run would do me good. So, I ran 6 boring miles on a treadmill on a Saturday night. Obviously my Saturday nights are hopppinnnn! I wanted to swim as well but my gym DRAINED THE POOL for maintenance!!! AHHHH. Devastating. I can swim in the outdoor pool when the weather is nice (which is absolutely fantastic) but unfortunately the weather this weekend has been horrible.
I did a short bike ride today and am planning my long ride for tomorrow. I’ve been having some mechanical issues with my bike so hopefully all goes well…I need the confidence going into next weekend! Speaking of which, so far my wonderful Dad is the only one who has played my “Guess Kara’s Rev3 Finish Time” game. Join him and get in on the fun if you want!
Happy Memorial Day! THANK YOU TO OUR MILITARY AND YAY AMERICA!
Also, a big thanks to Manduka for allowing me to test their product, the unBLOK! Don’t worry friends, I wasn’t compensated for this. And I wouldn’t lie to you – all opinions are my own. If you decide to try it out, enjoy!