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Saturday, 29 May 2010

10 Sunny Miles and 12 Rainy Miles

I had a good run last Sunday, it was soo hot though! I can't believe how much the weather has turned, my run today was rainy and cool! I was glad to get some hot weather running in as it's often hot for the half marathon I've signed up for. My water rucksack has been soo good, my long runs have been far better since I got it as I'm not spending the last few miles thinking about nothing but water! I ran over the bridge and did some of the half marathon route for this run... The hills really affect my speed, I'm not sure if I'm going to be able to hit my goal of under 2 hours!

10 miles in 1:33:28 9.21 per mile
Mile 1 - 8.47
Mile 2 - 9.40
Mile 3 - 9.19
Mile 4 - 9.01
Mile 5 - 8.10
Mile 6 - 10.26
Mile 7 - 9.42
Mile 8 - 10.30
Mile 9 - 8.41
Mile 10 - 9.13

Work update!
The regional manager came to speak to me on Thursday. As I'd written a letter to her it is being classed as a formal complaint so I was interviewed about it and so was my manager and the area manager will be too. I got my points accross and I'm hoping they will come back to me with the answer I want but I'm looking for another job and not worried about going back on the dole if they don't sort things out. I told her afterwards I would not return to work until the issue was resolved so hopefully that will speed things up. I feel bad about letting my manager down but I felt I needed to make it clear I was serious. And as I said to her, it has been going on long enough. If I stick around they could just keep me at a lower wage and fire me as soon as they find someone who will work for that wage, at least I force a quick answer this way, at least I hope I do! I hope they sort it out though as I still want to work there, I just won't if they don't pay me what they initially offered!

Yesterday I ran some awesome intervals! What better way to begin an impromptu day off! I started my intervals off by testing my mile time, I was hoping to get it under 7 minutes... 6.53 Hell yeahhhhhhh! There was a time not very long ago when I thought my body was just not capable of getting a mile under 7 minutes cause I could only just get it under 8.. I was so happy to get it under 7... Next goal, under 6.30? I hope so! After that I did 400m repeats, I thought I had done 4 but when I checked the garmin I did 5! Yay!

1 mile warm up 9.30
1600m - 6.53
400m - 1.45 (1.53)
400m - 1.42 (1.53)
400m - 1.39 (1.53)
400m - 1.41 (1.53)
400m - 1.34 (1.53)

400m RI between 400m, 4 minute rest after 1 mile. Total of 4.25 miles. I love interval days!

Today since work still haven't rung me I had another day off so I decided to make the most of it and do my long run since tomorrow I'm going to a BBQ at Mike's sister's house. It was totally different to last Sundays sweltering run it was raining the whole time! Come back sunshine!

12 Miles - 1.53.45 9.29 per mile
Mile 1 - 8.33
Mile 2 - 9.30
Mile 3 - 9.09
Mile 4 - 9.25
Mile 5 - 8.39
Mile 6 - 9.53
Mile 7 - 9.37
Mile 8 - 9.42
Mile 9 - 10.00
Mile 10 - 10.18
Mile 11 - 9.58
Mile 12 - 9.04

It ended up being a pretty good run, I had to change my planned route half way through though as I got on to the bridge and there was a sponsored walk going on! There were masses of people in pink hats so I quickly turned around and ran a different route. At least I got some hills in before the route changed.

Hope everyone is enjoying the weekend! Lets hope for some sun in England tomorrow. I'm looking forward to catching up on all my favourite blogs tomorrow before the BBQ, for now Mike and I are watching Prizefighter, there have been some great fights so far!!

Monday, 24 May 2010

Sunny Intervals

Did everyone have a great weekend? I have been outside most of the time enjoying the sun! We had a little heatwave, I just hope it stays hot but that's probably a bit too much to ask of England!

On Friday I had a day off so we decided to head to the track for our intervals, it's been too long since I did intervals, I forget how much I love/hate them. We went early morning and it was still sooo hot, Mike poured water over me when I was done, that's about the only time that wouldn't elicit a mad response from me haha

I did (times I was supposed to be getting are in brackets);

1 mile warm up 9.20
1200m 5.28 (5.46)
1200m 5.23 (5.46)
800m 3.43 (3.47)
800m 3.45 (3.47)
800m 3.46 (3.47)
800m 3.43(3.47)

total 4.5 miles


I got a versatile blogger award from Anne @ Asthma and the Gift of Running, thanks Anne!
Now I get to share seven things about me and pass this on to a few more bloggers!
  1. I never know what to write on these things..!
  2. I met Mike on myspace!!
  3. My mum and dad think we met at a nightclub
  4. Even though I love Lost I have not watched the last episodes yet... I have them recorded but I haven't watched them...
  5. In winter I get so cold I sleep in thermals, fleece pjs, a hooded dressing gown, thick socks, slipper boots and a thick quilt and in my old flat it was two quilts and a blanket cause it was colder!
  6. I used to HATE running, absolutely hate it, I'd do anything to get out of cross country at school
  7. I took figure skating lessons when I was a teenager, I wish I didn't quit!
I'd like to give the award to everyone who comments on this post because you're all wonderful!

I also have some work news! Remember when I mentioned about them hiring me as assistant manager on one wage then lowering my position to supervisor which also came with a lower wage... Well I sent a letter to the regional manager asking her to sort it out and reimburse me otherwise I would leave and seek legal advice. Well she is coming to see me on Thursday. I hope she sorts it out, I don't really want to leave, there are quite a few parts of the job that I don't like but they aren't big enough issues that I would leave over them. The wage thing is though, I will do if they don't sort my wages out. Cross your fingers and toes for me please ;-)

I'll be back soon with my 10 mile recap from yesterday ooof it was a hot one!!

Monday, 17 May 2010

Positivity

The comments on my last post got me thinking! I need to be more positive about my running and not be so hard on myself when I don't quite meet a goal I've set (or my plan has set). I tend to have a very defeatest attitude when something doesn't quite go to plan and that's not good for anyone! Thanks for the reminder everyone :-)

Hope everybody has a great Monday!

Sunday, 16 May 2010

11 Miles!

I'd been planning to get my 11 miles done for ages but for some reason I just could not find the motivation. My first attempt was foiled by a run down mp3 battery, the second I convinced myself a boxing workout was more important. The third attempt happened today. I finished it but I'm not entirely happy with it, my times ended up a lot slower than I was supposed to be running...

There are two reasons for my slower than planned time! Number one, it was the windiest weather I have ever run in. I literally found it hard to run in a straight line, the bridge offered no protection to the wind and the first hill I tackled had a really strong headwind. It was sooo hard.

The second reason was my own stupidity! After reading on Jag's blog about the body power expo she is going to and then looking at the website I found the 100 rep challenge... Well you know me, I can't resist a challenge! Neither can Mike so we both had a go... The 100 rep challenge consists of 10 dead hang pull-ups, 30 push-ups and 60 ass to grass squats. It said on the website the first so many people to get it under 1 min 45 seconds got a prize so that was our goal! Mike did it in 1.31 and I just managed it spot on 1.45 (I modified it to do a bar hang for 10 seconds and knee push-ups). I realised about 5 squats in that what I was doing was daft... who does 60 low and fast as they can squats before heading out for the longest run they have ever done.. Silly me apparently ha ha - I paid for it, my legs were dead weights by mile 5.... live and learn!

Mike came with me on the bike while I ran today, it was great to have some moral support, and he tried to shield me from the wind but there just isn't enough of him he he.. I bought a camelback type rucksack last week and tested it on this run. Very impressed! The water tasted a bit funky but I'll take funky water over no water any day! Mike wasn't a fan though.. he hated the taste! We had a bit of a comedy moment as he tried to drink it whilst cycling alongside me... not easy! He nearly crashed into the bridge railings, I had to grab his knee and steer him away, I think an old couple saw us and giggled a bit!

I tried to run my slow, on pace, fast style today but it went out of the window around mile 6 when I just wanted to finish it in any time I could! I still think that type of running will work for me I just think hills and wind were too difficult for me today!

Mile 1 - 8.47
Mile 2 - 9.57
Mile 3 - 9.40
Mile 4 - 8.53
Mile 5 - 9.08
Mile 6 - 10.13
Mile 7 - 10.54
Mile 8 - 10.19
Mile 9 - 10.55
Mile 10 - 9.59
Mile 11 - 9.31

Although I'm dissappointed with todays times it's good experience. It could be ridiculously windy on race day and I'm not going to let it stop me running then so why let it stop a training run. If anything hopefully next time I run I'll feel super speedy without the wind against me!

Friday, 14 May 2010

Core Challenge Winner

How has everyones weeks been? Good I hope!

I've been doing more of my boxing workouts lately, I did one on Tuesday;

8 x 2 minutes (30s heavy bag, 30 sec plyometric jumps x 2)

That absolutely killed my legs, as in they're still hurting.. my poor calves!

and one today;

Heavy bag 6 x 2 minutes

Followed by a circuit;
20 seconds on each station then 1 minute rest before repeating the circuit.
  • Burpees
  • Shrugs (10kg in each hand)
  • Push-ups
  • Jumping Jacks
  • Upright Rows (10kg barbell)
  • High Knee Dumbell Press
  • Chair Dips
  • Lunges
  • Mountain Climbers
  • Dumbell Punches
  • Leg Raises
  • Clean and Push Press (10kg barbell)
  • V-ups
I just flopped on the floor after that, I'm so tired lately! Glad I got something done though, I almost didn't, just felt too tired after I'd done everything else I needed to do on my day off!

I want to give a quick work and uni update too... Work is pretty much the same, I've gone to a person higher up in the company to contest the wages they are paying me, if she sorts it out I will stay, if she doesn't I will leave. I'm so angry about it all, it seems that because jobs are so few and far between that they think they can do what they like.

I tried to do my masters application online to find the website wouldn't let me so I emailed the admissions person about it... They had closed applications early this year due to high demand. I was absolutely gutted at the time but now I've had a few days to think about it I don't feel so bad. I started looking at my other options and found a degree course on mental health nursing. I wanted to go into social work to work with people with mental health problems so actually this course is far better suited to me. I spoke with admissions today and they are also full for the September start but run a course beginning February 2011. I can wait til then.. so long as I get on... As long as I have something that I'm working towards I'll feel better. I feel a bit in limbo career wise at the moment. My music is not working out and I certainly won't stay in retail. I hope I get on to the course, I need something to aim for!

Now... some good news!

The Core Challenge Results and Winner!!

All the following people participated in the challenge and I drew a name out of a pot... cue Mike and I giggling about George Abdabdudwengo jokes... That probably means nothing if you're not from the UK... Fonejacker is funny :-)

Jo @ Thirty and Healthy
not sure on her time but I'm putting her in anyway cause she did the core work.
Anne Marie @ Goals for the Week! from 45 seconds to 90 seconds
Laura @ Keeping Slim and Getting Stylish from 30 seconds to 80 seconds
Anne @ Asthma and the Gift of Running from 80 seconds to 120 seconds
Lauren @ Merry Mishaps from 3.30 to 4.07 despite a farting cat!
Marcia @ Running off at the Mouth managed 5 minutes to start with!
Lizzy @ Healthy Bites Conquer Athlete Appetites from 1.30 to 3 minutes

Great work guys :-)



aaaaaaaaaaaaand the winner is............................



Lauren!

Well done Lauren, please email me your postal address to box-run-eat@live.co.uk and I will send you the ab wheel, unless you already have one then I'll send you something else!

Monday, 10 May 2010

Lots of Tempos!

Did everyone have a good weekend? Mine was fun, I had an induction course to go to on Saturday which was ok, had some time afterwards to wander round York which was good! On Sunday it was my glorious day off so I got some running and bodyweight strength done I love days off!! I'm trying to get my masters application sorted out right now... If I can't get the right music career or any career at all I need to make changes so I'm really hoping I get on to the Social Work Masters... I think it would open so many doors for me! Cross your fingers please ;)

Weekly Totals
Miles - 15
Push-ups - 80
Chin-ups - 80 seconds on the bar
Pull-ups - 0
Neck exercises -0
Isometric punches - 0
Wrist curls - 0
Core work - 1


Core Challenge
Nobody let me know they had finished the core challenge, soooo... if you all comment with your before and after plank times I'll put you all into a hat and pick out the winner! I know it's easy for life to get in the way, it did for me. But I'm sure even if you didn't get two a week you all improved so let me know!

I set out planning to run my first 11 miler yesterday... My mp3 player ran out within 2 miles so I decided to run my tempo instead! I can't get the data off my new garmin yet.. it was cheap because it's slightly faulty, the mode button doesn't work so when I tried to upload it, it crashed the garmin centre as it tried to get all the persons runs as far back as 2006! I'm trying to get sports tracks instead as that lets you choose which to upload but my laptop is on its last legs and I can't get it to work. Anyway I'll post my stats from memory.. I didn't do very well, it seemed really hard and I think it's to do with my fuel before hand, I didn't have my usual breakfast and I don't think my replacement breakfast was enough and I had it too early so all in all not very successful! I got my old lungs back haha

Roughly I did
1.5 miles warm up at 9.20 pace
2 miles at about 8.10 pace
1 mile at 9.10 pace

The last mile was just impossible and I've no idea why, it was so much effort to keep it at 9.10! Some days just don't work too well I guess!

In the evening Mike and I did some tempo push-ups/core/chin-ups,
Tempo push-ups 4 seconds down, 1 second hold at the bottom, 2 seconds back up
6 x max / 60s core hold

Tempo chin/pull-ups - 4 second hold at the top of the bar, 4 second hold at 90 degrees, 4 second hold at the bottom
6 x chin/pull-up / 30-60s core hold

Took less than half an hour and got quite a lot of work done, not bad :-)

Hope everyone had a fun Monday!

Friday, 7 May 2010

Bits 'n' bobs

Eek it's been so long so long since I wrote a blog post! I can't remember what day I ran but I had a really good run this week! After my 6 miler the other day I think I've figured out what works for me running! One slow mile, one fast mile, one mile at pace. I ran 9 miles about 2 minutes faster than last time and it felt a lot easier too! My overall pace was 9.02 - if I run the half marathon at that pace I will be a very happy bunny! Unfortunately though, we have heard a lot about a killer hill at mile 9 which is long and steep apparently... That scares me when it comes to reaching my time goals... I hope I can keep the pace.

9 miles in 1:21:14 target pace HMP+20 = 9.21.. went a bit fast! Average pace 9.02
Mile 1 - 9.24 (slow)
Mile 2 - 8.33 (fast)
Mile 3 - 9.21 (on pace)
Mile 4 - 9.30 (slow)
Mile 5 - 8.19 (fast)
Mile 6 - 9.13 (on pace)
Mile 7 - 9.23 (on pace)
Mile 8 - 9.30 (slow)
Mile 9 - 8.00 (fast)

I think this works as it makes use of my anaerobic system which due to boxing I think is quite a bit better than my aerobic system. Mike did my little idea too on his run and it worked for him too, he ran two minutes faster than his previous time too so it really worked well for both of us. We're both planning on using it in the half marathon and I can't wait to try it on next weeks 11 miler! Eeeek 11 miles is a very long way, to me anyway haha, scary stuff!

After the run I did some core we both started by testing our max plank.. I did 3.53 and Mike did 5.15!! We also did 20 minutes of core work, it was the most tough core work ever! My core was not happy doing anything after that plank!

I managed to get a few chin-ups and push-ups in this week too, Mike and I did a quick pyramid last night 5 to 10 and down again, I did 5 second holds on the bar and then 5 push-ups which totalled 80 seconds on the bar and 80 push-ups. It's a good way to do them because it's quick and you get a lot done :-)

I'm still having problems at work. I don't think I will be staying there.. I'm going to give my notice next week. The area manager effed up and told my store manager to hire an assistant manager. I've seen it written down on a task list in her writing (I photocopied it as evidence!). Anyway she has since backed down and claimed that I'm only a supervisor - this means a fair bit less pay than the amount agreed on in my interview. They won't change it even though it is their mistake. On principle, even though I actually don't mind the job, I don't feel I can stay. They are just walking all over me and I'd rather go back on the dole where I would actually be financially better off believe it or not! Even on the higher wage I would have had more on the dole. I was so angry on the phone today to the area manager. She didn't even accept any responsibility even though I told her I had seen the sheets of paper which she wrote instructions to my manager to hire an assistant manager. It's all a total shambles. I don't want to work for someone who can't do her job properly and is constantly blaming other people for her mistakes. I've already seen her do this on other occaisions in the three weeks I've been working there it's just ridicuous.

I'm going to leave on a happier note or two! Go check out Laura's great giveaway at Keeping Slim and Getting Stylish. It features some yummy natural balance treats among other goodies!

Also, Claire from Boutique Run emailed me earlier in the week.

'Boutique run is a new lifestyle and fitness event designed exclusively for women, which I thought might be of interest to you and your readers? We’re trying to get more women active by making sports event more accessible, sociable and fun; mixing fitness with fashion, beauty, style, live music.... And post-run champagne! We’ll also be helping raise money for our charity partner Breakthrough Breast Cancer.

The inaugural run will be taking place in Batterea Park, London, on Saturday 10th July at 6pm. It’s a girls night out with a difference; a scenic 5 or 10km run followed by entertainment and pampering.

We’d love to offer your readers 25% off their entry fee if they use the code BRE2 – which means the entry fee will be £25.95'

I don't think I will be able to run, I wish I could but I can't see myself being able to afford the travel and the transport down there. If it changes and anyone else is running it would be great to do a blogger meetup!

Well I'm off for a date with sailor jerry again :P

Monday, 3 May 2010

Amazing Run!

I had the BEST run yesterday! I felt like I'd borrowed someone elses lungs! It was so good :-) The run I had planned was a 6 mile long tempo run which I was supposed to run at an 8.53 pace.. The fasted I'd ever run 6 miles before was a 9 minute pace so I didn't actually think I would acheive the pace set out in the plan... I was so wrong! I set out with a plan to run some miles fast, some at pace and some slow. My first mile would be a slow warm up then I intended to speed up just a little bit... I sped up a lot but it felt really good... I was concerned I would burn out as I have done many times before so I decided I would make sure the next mile was a slower than pace one. When I started that mile it just seemed comfortable around an 8.40-8.45 pace so I hovered around there and decided the next would be slow, the next mile ended up being a slightly slower but similar pace... I forced the 5th mile to be a slower one so I could ensure a strong finish, my last mile was a 7.50 pace! The last time I ran 6 miles, I was so tired by the last mile I ran a 9.28 mile and my previous ones were slower. It felt so good to smash my old time! Yipeeeeee!! I also beat my old 4 and 5 mile times along the way! I've no idea how I did it today I hope this trend continues!

My times;
4 miles in 34:49
5 miles in 43:40
6 miles in 51:31
6.2 miles in 52:56

My splits;
Mile 1 - 9.08
Mile 2 - 8.13
Mile 3 - 8.42
Mile 4 - 8.47
Mile 5 - 8.51
Mile 6 - 7.50
0.2 - 1.24 (7.05 pace)

Annoyingly, I lost my belly button ring on the run... I lost one on last Sundays 9 miler too!! I have two piercings in my belly button and I'd just replaced the one I lost last week, what are the chances of it happening again!! When I noticed it was gone I didn't know whether to laugh or curse... so I did both! Another thing... this woman in a car stopped me for directions! Erm lady I have a pace to keep here haha.... couldn't help her cause I didn't know what she was looking for but to be honest, I'm not sure if I would have helped if I did, there were plenty of walkers to ask...why pick me! Has this ever happened to any of you? I was really surprised to be honest haha

I have some exciting news.... Mike found me a bargain Garmin 301 on ebay!! I'm getting my own garmin... how long have I been going on about getting one!! It's slightly faulty but it's only that the mode button doesn't always work... I can live with that! Yay :D

Right... must go get ready for work... boohoooooooo

Sunday, 2 May 2010

Monthly Recap April...

...and a few other bits 'n' bobs!

On Thursday I ran 4 miles, Mike came with me after work and we did 1 fast, 1 slow, 1 fast 1 slow, it was fun! Even though it was pouring rain and we got absolutely drenched! While we were out running we bumped into a few members from a running club. They invited us to go running with them some time. Their club house is not too far from where we live so I expect we'll go down and train with them sometime in the near future. The men we bumped into were faster than me, they overtook us, but I looked at the race results on their website and there are a few women around my speed, and even some slower than me! Running clubs always seemed like a really scary place to go.. I went once with the uni running club and felt I slowed them down so much because I just couldn't keep up. I feel a bit more confident with my running now. I've trained a lot more now, when I went out with the uni running club I'd only ever run on a treadmill for 30ish minutes at a time and was not at all ready for keeping up with some speedy road runners!

Stats! 4 miles in 36.32
Mile 1 - 8.13
Mile 2 - 10.29
Mile 3 - 8.14
Mile 4 - 9.22


Weekly Totals
Miles -17.5
Push-ups - 35
Chin-ups - 8
Pull-ups - 2
Neck exercises -
Isometric punches - 0
Wrist curls - 1
Core work - 0


Monthly Totals and April Recap
New Years Goals
Running/conditioning

Complete half marathon (current 4 miles) As of end of March longest run/jog is up to 10 miles yay for double digits!
One mile in >7.30 (current 7.55) 7.16 - New goal to get it under 7 minutes - not tested this month
Two miles in >15.30 minutes (current 16.23) 15.24 - new goal >15 not tested this month
Three miles in >24.30 minutes (current 25.25) 24.21 during 5k time trial
Four miles in >35 minutes (current 35.47) Not tested

Strength
Hold a plank for 3.30 minutes (current 2.30) 3.33
3 pull-ups in a row (current 0) Not tested as not been working on pull ups this month, must remember them next month!
5 chin-ups in a row (current 1) As of end of January 4 but from 90 degree not dead hang, from dead hang can do 1.
30 push-ups in a row (current 10) Can now do 30! - new goal, 50! Not tested this month.

Boxing
Improve hooks and uppercuts – practice in sparring
Improve stance so weight is spread more evenly
Angle off – don't stand square
Win my first fight!
The boxing goals are getting better! I'm glad we've got a gym to go to now so I can get in more sparring and hopefully get my medical done as soon as the coach thinks I'm ready, he seemed more cautious than my last coach and was suggesting waiting til next season (September) to start boxing so all my skills are good for a beginner - that's kind of dissappointing because I want to get started but kind of good because he won't put me in before I'm ready, which I suspect my old coach would have done. It's just good to be back at a gym so I'll listen to what he says and fight when he thinks I am ready too. The last thing I want to do is go in there underprepared, lose, and regret it!


New Years Resolutions
Do core workouts twice a week Done except for last week, :-( did not manage to stick to my own core challenge... lame!! I'm blaming the tiredness from work but really I should have managed to push it out.
Neck exercises once a week Bad!! Only did two weeks.
Wrist curls once a week Same...
Isometric punches once a week Don't even go there!
Boxing three times a week Not back there that often but hopefully will be soon!
Running three times a week (distance, sprints and intervals) Getting there, I feel like I'm making good improvements running!
Follow pull-up/chin-up plan Again, it's something which I've not done enough of since I started work.. I feel really bad about how my training has suffered the past two weeks I've just not had the same motivation I normally have. I hope I find it again soon!!!

Monthly Totals - March
Miles -53.9
Push-ups - 303 (16 weighted)
Chin-ups - 35
Pull-ups - 22
Neck exercises - 2
Isometric punches - 0
Wrist curls - 2
Core work - 6

I know why my totals are down but I'm still feeling a bit annoyed at myself! I hope I find a better balance this month. Everything about the job is stressing me out at the moment. Especially the fact that they're trying to change the pay agreed, it's a job but it's not something I want to be my career, I didn't spend 5 years at university to help manage a shop, I want to do something to do with my degree so if they're going to screw me over I don't know if it's worth staying... Bahhhhh I'm sorry I feel like I do nothing but moan about the situation at the moment.

I haven't included my new mile times from today since technically they are from May since somehow May has sprung upon us out of nowhere! Won't be long until the half marathon in June EEEEEEK!! Scary but exciting!!

Core Challenge Updates
Remember the core challenge ends today!! Can you all let me know if you did your two a week and before and after plank times! I'm going to do a post with the results and the competition winner. Not that I was going to enter myself, but I disqualified myself by missing some core last week :-( I hope you all did better than me! I did manage to increase my plank time a little though didn't quite hit my target but I was SO close!!

Saturday, 1 May 2010

Yoga Pose May

Today I'm featuring a yoga pose as part of Yoga Pose May hosted by Tina at Carrots 'n' Cake and Kate at What Kate Ate, I am doing warrior 1.

The following description is taken from my yoga online, original page here.

Benefits

  • strengthens the shoulders, arms, thighs, ankles and the muscles of the back
  • expands the chest, lungs and shoulders
  • stretches the hip flexors, abdomen, and ankles
  • develops stamina and endurance in thighs and core muscles
  • stimulates abdominal organs and digestion
  • improves balance, concentration, and core awareness

Cautions

  • heart problems
  • high blood pressure
  • medical conditions that affect balance
  • shoulder problems like tendonitis / bursitis-as the arms are raised, keep hands open and arms parallel to avoid compression into the shoulder joint
  • neck problems-maintain eyes forward and chin parallel to the ground

Steps

Virabhadrasana I (veer-ah-bah-DRAHS-anna)

Virabhadra = the name of the warrior who is an incarnation of Shiva

  1. Stand in Tadasana. With an exhalation, step your left foot back 3 1/2 to 4 feet. Align the left heel behind the right heel and then turn the left foot out 45 degrees keeping the right foot forward. Rotate the hips so both hip points are facing forward and parallel to the front of the mat. Gently root the outer edge of the left foot into mat as your hips and shoulders rotate forward
  2. Inhale and raise your arms perpendicular to the ground keeping arms open shoulder width apart and parallel to each other. Reach through the fingertips as the palms face inwards. Draw the shoulders blades down encouraging the shoulders to move down and away from the neck. Feel as though the shoulder blades lightly hug into the back.
  3. As you exhale, contract the abdominal muscles and tilt the pelvis so the tailbone moves down and under. Slowly bend the right knee placing the knee over the heel. As you continue to breathe, feel the right heel anchoring allowing the toes to lighten and spread. Applying slightly more pressure in the right heel rather than the toes will keep the right knee more stable and will minimize force being placed into the knee joint. Continue to draw the tailbone under and towards the pubic bone and feed the bottom front ribs in keeping the abdomen from swaying outward. Picture the pubic bone lifting towards the navel. Keep strengthening the pose by pressing the outer left heel into the floor sending a lifting energy up the left leg into the pelvis and through to the arms
  4. Stay tall over the pelvis feeling the ribcage (especially the back edge) lift away from the pelvis. Keep your head in a neutral position, gazing forward, or tilt the head back and look comfortably up at your thumbs
  5. Breathe slowly and stay for 30 seconds to 1 minute. To exit, exhale to lower the arms and place the hands onto the hips. Inhale as you press firmly into the right heel and step the left leg forward. Exhale to release the hands from the hips and adjust the feet and pelvis into Tadasana. Take a few breaths and then repeat with the other side for the same length of time.

Modifications

  • Beginners may find it difficult to keep the back heel grounded, therefore move the left foot a few inches to the left so the heels are staggered and not aligned.
  • If you have difficulty balancing or find the pose to deep, decrease the distance between your feet several inches; ensure that the right knee is still over the heel and not over the toes.
  • For deeper variation, move the left heel back a few more inches and bring the right thigh parallel with the floor; ensure that the right knee is still over the heel and not over the toes, and keep the tailbone reaching lightly under.
  • For more challenge, bring the palms together in prayer as the arms are raised; keep the shoulders from rising and continue to hug the shoulder blades into the back; lightly press the pinky region of the palms together moving more energy up the arms and creating a subtle external rotation of the arms.

Additional Reading:
Exploring Warrior 1


Here's my take on it, please excuse me looking a bit rough! I had already had a Sailor Jerrys when I got the email saying I was today and had a mega busy day at work! The place is kinda driving me nuts, and to top it off today I got told I wasn't getting the pay agreed in my interview, I'd be getting less.. wtf? I don't know if I'll stay I feel like I'm being taken for a ride since it's so hard to get a job at the moment... anyway... I won't go on about it again, I keep getting side tracked by it on the blog cause it's on my mind so much at the moment!

Even though I've only just started doing yoga this is one of my favourite poses so I was glad to be chosen to do it (also relieved I got given a pose I could do! I think Tina and Kate chose wisely as I said I was new to yoga!).




Other bloggers doing the Warrior 1 pose;
Dancing Through Life
All in the Family
Daily Nibbles
Duchess of Fork

Join in and give it a try, if I can do it, you can!