Monday, July 24, 2017

RWR:MEET ERIN, OWNER OF JASYOGA

"My inspiration and muse has always been the athlete, and my mission is to help as many athletes as possible use yoga to achieve their goals." 
~ Erin Taylor


We are long overdue for a RUNNERSWHOROCK interview so today I am more than thrilled to introduce you to the fabulous Erin Taylor of Jasyoga.  I first met Erin back in 2014 at a Oiselle Birdcamp out in Bend, OR.  We, the campers, were gathering for a running-related retreat, if you will, and Jasyoga was part of our package.  Erin had initially hooked up with Oiselle back in 2011 when she taught a class at their headquarters. It was "love at first hamstring" and she's been the birds' yoga expert ever since.  I am admittedly not a yoga/meditation person but after one session with her, I, too, was hooked.  She has the insanely magnetic personality but her vibe is super calm and mellow at the same time.  I found myself waking up extra early just to sit, chill and listen to her voice.  I've stayed in touch with her since then and have been eager to profile her here so you can learn more about her and Jasyoga.  A little background on Erin in her own words:

I was a journalist and started teaching yoga on the side for a while before deciding to pursue it full time.  I've been teaching yoga to athletes for over a decade but my practice officially became Jasyoga in 2010.  I first started doing yoga as an injured collegiate basketball player.  If you've ever been injured you know — you'll try anything to get off the bench.  Reluctantly at first, I rolled out a mat and in those early days I always wished that yoga would speak more directly to my needs as an athlete.  Since no sport-specific yoga solutions existed at that time, I eventually stopped waiting for someone to connect the dots for me and did it myself.  This led to big results both for me as an athlete — I haven't had a significant injury since — and in my ability to serve other athletes.  My inspiration and muse has always been the athlete, and my mission is to help as many athletes as possible use yoga to achieve their goals.  Over the years, my practices have evolved to suit the needs of all kinds of athletes with all kinds of different goals.

Originally based in Seattle, Erin moved to London in 2014 on account of her husband's job.  This ended up being the catalyst she needed for scaling Jasyoga to help more athletes.  While her team in Seattle continues to coach Jasyoga clients in the PNW, she has focused on building Jasyoga Video, a subscription-based video service that now has more than 100 yoga for athletes videos.  Which means we all can now can Hit Reset anytime, anywhere!  Erin has kindly set up a code for RWM readers - RUNNINGWITHMUSICRESET -  to use for a free month of Jasyoga Video.  Personally, I will be starting today as I have no excuse not to and neither do you.  Now, let's meet Erin, a RUNNER WHO ROCKS.

RUNNERSWHOROCK:ERIN TAYLOR

Name: Erin Taylor
Where you're from: Berkeley, Seattle
Where you reside now: London
Age: 34
Occupation: Founder + Head Coach, Jasyoga


RUNNING & MUSIC
What do you love most about running? 
It keeps me connected to my strength and resilience, and to the athletic experience and other athletes. It’s also a creative way to express whatever I’m feeling. 
What do you love most about music? 
It can be whatever you need it to be—from energizing to calming—and is a super supportive, readily available resource.


ERIN'S FAVORITES:
Band (current, all time or both): Currently loving Sigrid, top longtime faves include Bonobo, Ulrich Shnauss, Robert Plant & Joni Mitchell
Album (current, all time or both): Coldplay’s Ghost Stories—this was the soundtrack to a marathon labor before giving birth to my daughter and it supported me to be in a very magic space.
Race venue: I don’t do much racing but I love most courses in Seattle
Music venue: The Gorge in eastern Washington
Race distance: 5K 
Show you've seen live: That’s a tough one! Robert Plant at Chateau St. Michele in Washington was pretty goosebump inducing.  Coldplay’s Mylo Xyloto tour was pretty special, too.
Ice cream flavor: Coconut



THIS OR THAT
Sweet or salty? Sweet 
Live or recorded? Live
Coffee or tea? Coffee in the am, tea in the afternoon… or I could say coffee in the US, tea in the UK lol
Summer or winter? Autumn—it’s the best of both



MORE MUSIC INFO:
Which band or artist would you go see tonight if you could? Liam Gallagher
Which band or artist (wait...but no longer alive or playing together) would you go see tonight if you could? Led Zepplin
Which band or artist would you like to have dinner with tonight if you could? The Gorillaz
Which band or artist would you like to be playing alongside you during your next race (or long run)? Red Hot Chili Peppers

THE PEPPERS

LAST ONE: 
Today, I feel like….(fill in the blank)
I need a burger, which is how I feel most days.

Top 5 Songs for running, dancing or both? 
It’s super rare that I get to run without the stroller and I like to be unplugged with my toddler in tow - I really miss running with music! But sometimes my faves pop into my head, and they really help to push me through.  I can use all the help I can get while pushing that thing, it’s like running with a shopping cart with a very large, wriggly turkey in it.
Don’t Kill My Vibe, Sigrid 
You’ve Got the Love, Florence of the MachineThe Broadway Project (during a calming, meditative run)
Anything Beyonce



Last 5 Songs you listened to today?
Good question. I have like 10 different nursery rhymes stuck in my head right now!

Also about music/video:
People ask me all the time why there's no music in my videos (video.jasyoga.com) and it's because music—like yoga—is such a personal experience that I don't want to insert my personal preferences into other people's Reset. If you've ever been in a yoga class and the teacher puts on a song you can't stand, you know what I'm talking about. That being said, my colleague Sarah Mac has curated some Jasyoga playlists on Spotify for anyone looking for some musical inspiration to play in the background. Details here: http://www.jasyoga.com/posts/jasyoga-soundtrack

Listen to this:

Thursday, July 13, 2017

SUMMER GOALS

“Summer afternoon—summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.” 
~ Henry James 


Back in early June, I sat down and listed out my summer goals.  I'm a task-oriented person and I knew that putting them down on paper would increase my chances of following through.  My list is both long and lofty.  But, I love a good challenge and I knew I was ready and willing to put in the time and effort to achieve each and every item.  I'm happy to report that, so far, things are going really, really well.  At this rate, my potential success rate is looking good.  With a month and a half left, I'll be kicking it into high gear to check everything off.  It's not going to be easy, but you know what they say....when they going gets tough, the tough get ice cream.  Or something like that.  Stay tuned.

SUMMER GOALS

1. Eat ice cream every day.  So far, so good.


2. Take naps as often as possible.  Extra challenge...two in one day.  I know.  CRAZY.


3. Spend as much quality time with my kids as possible.  Grace is more than willing to help with this one.  Rosie, not so much.


4. Read books.  Lots of them.  My dear friend, Andrea over at Born and Read in Chicago is helping me out with this one.


5. Wake up early for sunrises at least twice a week.


7. Meditate daily.  I'm really excited about this one.  Working hard to slow down, practice mindfulness and let go using Headspace.


8. Explore new music.  Twist my arm.


9. Break the rules a little.  Lucky Charms for breakfast.  Need I say more?


10. Take the path less traveled.



Listen to this:
Glory Days by Sweater Beats

Thursday, July 6, 2017

RACE REVIEW:MURDICKS RUN THE CHOP 8K

This past Tuesday, I headed over to West Tisbury for the Murdick's Run the Chop Challenge.  Every year I look forward to this race for a few reasons.  First, it's on July 4th, which, in general, is just always a fun day.  Second, it's on Martha's Vineyard, one of the most beautiful, laid back, free-spirited places on earth.  And third, having started running it back in 2007 when I was a youthful 32 years old, it's an opportunity for me to come back each year and test my fitness.  The race doesn't start until 9am, which for me is kind of brutal as I tend to get up at the crack of dawn and by 9 o'clock I'm already on my second breakfast and my third cup of coffee.  Thus, I have to tweak my morning routine a bit to make it work.  Not that big a deal, but still.  The later start also means we're always battling the heat and it's easily in the 80s by the time we get going, sometimes hotter.  Clearly, neither of these factors are big enough to prevent me lining up.  As you may know from reading my last couple posts, I've been struggling with a cold and some related sinus/ear issues, on and off, since mid-June.  Along with my health, my running took a hit and it has taken me a while to get back on the road consistently.  Thus, I had zero expectations for this particular race.  As many runners do,  I tend to put a lot of pressure on myself to perform well regardless of what's going on in my life.  Knowing this, and not wanting to make this race anything other than a hard push and a good time, I made a conscious decision the night before that I would not wear my watch and would just run by feel, ultimately letting my body call the shots.  I realize this may not seem like a big deal to some, but it is for me.  I've been running competitively since high school and I honestly can't remember the last time I didn't race with my watch.  After writing this, I realize how ridiculous that may sound, but it's true.


Oh, and yes, I went all out with the red, white and blue because it was July 4th and I like to go big.  The morning of the race was gorgeous, warm but totally dry, which is rare for this time of year.  Lucky us.


As usual, I was up at 5:30am.  I sipped some coffee and tried to relax while I waited.  And then waited some more.  For the record, I really wanted a second cup, but I didn't do it.  Too risky.  I left around 7:30, got to the school around 8:00, grabbed my bib and shirt and then took off for my warm up.  It was already pretty hot when I got going and by the time I was back I was sweating profusely.  It's a smallish race so I did notice a few people looking at me and wondering why I was already soaked.  Gotta love it.  A little side story here.  I stood in line for the bathroom and listened as the people next to me had the following conversation:

Guy: Where's Mike?
Girl: I think he's off running.
Guy: Oh yeah, he's probably off doing his 20 mile warmup.
Both laugh.

That's right folks.  A lot of us, regardless of whether we're fast or slow, like to warm up before we race.  Does it seem weird?  Perhaps.  Is it weird?  Not really.  You can't go from zero to sixty in your car without seriously stressing the engine.  It's no different for our bodies.  As a runner and a coach, I 100% guarantee that you'll have a better race if you get the wheels spinning prior to the start.  Don't believe me?  Try it next time.  Still think it's ridiculous?  To each his own.

Okay, so back to the race.  It was just before 9:00am, I was warmed up and ready to rock.  I won't lie and tell you that I didn't reconsider using my watch.  It's kind of scary to let go and run without knowing how you're pacing yourself.  But, once I got to the line I'd talked myself back into it.  I chatted with a few gals who were also wearing Oiselle, running gear being one of the great uniters, while I tried to stay calm and breath, reminding myself many times that this was supposed to be for fun.  Finally, we were off.  I'd give you the detailed play by play but there really wasn't one this time around.  I settled in behind a couple women, hoping to use them for pacing.  I grabbed water at the first mile and shifted gears a bit.  I had no idea what kind of time I was running and I've never felt so free in a race before.  There were no mental games.  I was just cruising, feeling good, letting my legs dictate and going with the flow.  It's a hard course, and the heat makes it tougher, but I was feeling really good and my body was responding each time I surged.  I got through miles 1-3 pretty comfortably and then mile 4 felt about 20 minutes long, but it didn't matter because I didn't know my pace and there was nothing I could do about it.  And because of this, I didn't really care.  I just wanted to be done.  Someone told me I had the lead right as I started in on my final mile.  I was fired up but without knowing who was behind me while also knowing I didn't have much left in the tank, I knew it was still anyone's game for the win.  At the final turn for the finish I saw a woman waving her hands madly and I had a feeling someone was gaining on me so I dug as deep as I could to stay in first.  I crossed the line in 32:19, my fastest time to date, which I was thrilled about, mostly because I beat my 32 year old self.  But the best part was that I was overcome with pure joy and elation, a post-race experience that hasn't happened for me in quite some time.  I hate to sound cheesy here, but I was so ridiculously proud of myself for following through with my plan and then having it play out even better than I'd hoped.


Before I'd left for the race that morning, my kids had wished me good luck and told me to bring home the fudge....or else.  They were joking.  Kind of.  I did bring home the fudge.  Lots of it.  But I also brought home a fresh batch of confidence in myself and my body.  We runners battle illness and injury and whole lot of other crap.  But, in the end, our bodies are going to do what they are capable of on the day.  And in most cases, when we consistently work hard day after day, despite the small bleeps in the radar, it's more than we expect.  I need to remember that.   We all do.

Listen to this:
Giants by Lights

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

THESE RUNS

"The beautiful part of living is to realize the joy of being alive."
~ Terry Mark


It's 4:45am.  I want more sleep.  I need it.  But it's not happening.  I'm up.  I head upstairs to make coffee.  My dog, who has no concept of time, hops up and greets me excitedly.  Always ready, she is.  I step outside.  It's cool, low 60s, sunny, dry.  Perfect.  I sip and relax.  Today is the first day in a several that I feel almost human.  Almost.  I've been fighting a cold/sinus/ear infection for weeks.  On Monday, I finally went to the doctor to get meds and quickly learned that I'm allergic to the antibiotics she prescribed me.  It was ugly and I'll spare you the details, but I was in fetal position for 24 hours as it worked its way through my system.  My last run was Saturday and, even then, I probably shouldn't have run.  So today, Wednesday, I'm back on my feet and I'm itching to go.  Can you crave a run?  Sometimes you crave what you need.  I need this.  I lace up and feel the caffeine kicking in as I continue to wake up.  I grab Clover and turn my music on, but I play it low and go with a mellow playlist for a change.  I don't need the extra boost at the moment.  I'm flowing, slowly, which is okay because it feels really good.  I'm not an early morning runner.  But, I understand the appeal.  It's peaceful, quiet, still.  The morning is mine.  Today is different.  I don't need to push myself.  I don't want to.  I'm not going for it.  I'm just going.  I'm so grateful that my body is responding; to be out here doing what I love.  Do things happen for a reason?  Who knows.  I work, I train, I race, I rarely take a break.  It was time.  I'd forgotten about these runs.  The runs where pace and distance are irrelevant.  The runs that keep me smiling for hours long after they're done.  The runs that remind me why I run.  These runs.  Yes.



Listen to this:
Maintain by Vilde