Wednesday, October 27, 2010

green silence

I discovered tonight that there is such a thing as eco-friendly running shoes.
the Brooks Green Silence- read a review here.

Standard running shoe midsoles take roughly 1000 years- seriously- to biodegrade in a landfill. All Brooks models now have been formulated with soy, which, when combined with the anaerobic & warm environment of a landfill, causes their midsoles to break down in just 25 years. Still seemingly a lot, but when compared to 1000 years... WOW.

Check out the green elements found in the green silence shoe:

  • BioMoGo, the world's first-ever biodegradable midsole for running shoes.
  • 75% of the shoe’s materials are post-consumer recycled.
  • Biodegradable insole and collar foams.
  • Laces, gillies, and reinforced webbing are 100% post-consumer recycled. 
  • Water-based adhesives are used throughout. 
  • All dyes and colorants are non-toxic.
  • Packaging is 100% post-consumer recycled.

I really hope this shoe fits! Unfortunately I have hard-to-fit feet so we shall see. I was just so excited to hear about eco-friendly shoe option I had to share. We need all companies, especially big ones, to take note of this kind of initiative.

article and personal photos copyright of Callah at

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

race recap- Niagara Falls Half Marathon

So, on Sunday Oct 24, 2010, I completed my first half marathon! I didn't take many snaps at all, so here are the few I did manage.

Spotted at the race expo- not sure how politically correct this is, but it made me chuckle.

What awaited us at the finish line! If you haven't been to Niagara Falls before, this is the view from Table Rock- the edge of the Horseshoe Falls, aka the "Canadian Falls".
I was a little upset that we were so rushed to leave (and find the girl that "ran" with me- aka ran nearly a full hour faster than me, wow!!) that I didn't even get a pic with my medal and the falls as the backdrop. I'm waiting for the professional photos and praying they aren't too horrible... I'll explain why below!

My (self personalized) bib & finishers medal! I wrote my name on because I know at a lot of bigger races people will cheer for you if they see your name- except in Niagara Falls, apparently, because no one else had their name written and no one said mine haha!

So, the race review. Keep in mind I'm slow, and ok with it! My goal was to run sub 3 hours (well, and finish!)

It was great because it was a 10am start time, so I woke up at 7am to have my plain bagel with PB. We hung around preparing for the race a bit before driving to the start where my sister dropped us off. We got there about 1/2 hour before race time, and were in line for the porta potty the whole time! I was actually still in line when the gun went off! But I figured the chip would do it's job- better to get the bathroom break out of the way before getting on the course and adding to the race time.

So, I ended up being one of the last people to cross the start line, behind all the walkers. it wasn't too bad though, just under 3000 people participating in the half, so it was fairly light weaving through people. (I usually run Ottawa each year, with 8,000-10,000 runners hence 3000 seeming "light").

I started off quite strong, my first 3km averaging just over 6m per km which is quite speedy for me. It was actually really warm, and within a few minutes had taken off my earwarmer and rolled up my sleeves. I reached 8k at about 58:30, shaving a minute and a half off my average time these past few months. I hit 10k at 1 (hour):15, which I was pleased with- in Ottawa, due to both poor pacing and lack of training, my 10k took 1:22. Big difference in 5 months! 11k was around 1:22- I was feeling good and thinking I might even be able to beat my secondary goal of 2:45.

Roll around to just before km 15- my sister was waiting for me at the water station to run the final 4 miles (roughly 6.5km). At this exact point I started experiencing extreme muscle cramping first in my calves, then my toes, and finally in my right inner quad.I'm suspecting sodium depletion. I would attempt running for about 50-100 metres and just seriously could not do it. I had to pause for a stretch out, and made the decision that the final 6kms had to be speed-walked - running was just not happening. I had been taking water and energy gels (Clif- 90% organic), but avoiding the sports drinks because I try to avoid artificial icky stuff. I was just losing more sodium than I was taking in. My sister jogged slowly beside me, since my walk is actually not much slower than my run (THAT's how slow I am, haha!). I kept checking my Nike+ sportsband to ensure I was on pace for my goal, and everything looked all good.

As we neared the last km, we could see the mist rising in the distance over the river from the falls- that's how I knew we were close! We rounded the last corner and could see the finish line. I gave my iPhone (slash music player!) to my sister, and she jumped off the course. I had about 150m to go and decided screw the pain, I am running! I started up again, tried to smile for the first photog through gritted teeth, and then i could taste it! There were 2 people ahead of me and I sprinted past them, pain with every step in every muscle of my legs, ignoring the finish line photographer and probably looking totally ridiculous for the final pictures, and crossed the finish line to the announcer shouting my name and cheers of random people! The clock read 3:00:30, but my chip time was 2:55:59. Yay for the final sprint getting me in just below!

After 20 minutes I finally found my friend, and we hopped in the car for the ride home (for a bridal shower my sister didn't even end up going to). I took an ice bath, which I definitely think saved me a lot of soreness! After a warm shower I did a few yin poses to stretch out. I feel it the most in my lower back, and a little bit in my calves, achilles, right quad, and hip flexors. I am looking forward to a 90m full body massage tomorrow. It is much needed :)

goofing around at the motel before the race - I really hope this is not my best picture!!

article and personal photos copyright of Callah at

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

meditation challenge

So, I had set last Tuesday as the beginning of my one-week meditation challenge. I want to call it a "failure", although I think that is a very un-yogic term! Let's just say I need a bit more work on my dedication. I sat 3 of the 7 days. 

Isn't it funny how a 30-day yoga challenge can seem so easy compared to 7 days of just 5 minutes meditation? I seem to have a horrible memory. Thoughts will flutter into my brain - "do this! Tell so-and-so that!"- and if I'm not able to act upon them right away, they just float away. Too bad I can't do that with all the unproductive thoughts- how much simpler life would be!

Meditating amongst the trash- if you can't see it, does it mean its not there?

As for the meditation itself, no problem! Of course I have "monkey mind", but sitting for 5 minutes is not such the challenge I made it up to be in my mind. I guess it is just like a long savasana, except seated.

So, I'm renewing the challenge. And hoping that I can act upon the thought to go do it instead of letting it float away!

This week is a busy one for me- the half marathon is approaching quickly! Only 5 days away. Of course, one of my school assignments is due the same day, and my schedule is so constantly packed that I never get a chance to work ahead for assignments. (This is why I need meditation!)

When you do meditate, do you prefer seated or in savasana? I'm still deciding!

article and personal photos copyright of Callah at

Saturday, October 9, 2010

aux vivres

So, I've been spending (Canadian) thanksgiving weekend in Montreal catching up with friends. I dropped in on one of the lectures at the Montreal moksha YTT, to hear Frank Jude Boccio speak again- he was one of my faves in July.

After a great lecture with fresh, untired ears that I may not have experienced during my own training (thanks to sheer exhaustion), and a meditation session, I decided to recommit to (or, rather, START) a home meditation practice. I was so gung-ho to start a practice post-training, and it just never materialized. Starting Tuesday (post-holiday!) I am going to start with a mini-challenge, 5 minutes of meditation for one week. I know its a small challenge, but they say to break big goals into small, manageable chunks!

Post-lecture, two of my friends from training took me to Aux Vivres, a vegan restaurant on St. Laurent. The "B"LT was highly recommended, so I decided to heed their advice.

My mind was blown.

(photo borrowed from this blog, i forgot to take one before chowing down!)

The "bacon" is comprised of flavoured baked coconut, along with tomatoes, lettuce and an amazing "mayo" in a chapati wrap. I can honestly say it was one of the best meals I have ever eaten. I can't believe it was vegan! If i had an aux vivres cook, my journey to veganism would be so simple (more on that later). We followed up with "Gateax Fauxmage" (uncheesecake) but nothing could top the amazingness of that coconut bacon. I'm going to try to replicate it one day, I will let you know how it goes.

So, there you have it. If you ever visit Montreal, definitely check out Aux Vivres- even if you're a meat eater. And happy thanksgiving!

How many of you have a regular meditation practice?

article and personal photos copyright of Callah at

Sunday, October 3, 2010

flowing it out

This isn't an informative post or anything, I just wanted to share my excitement with my amazing readers. After intermittent classes throughout September, I have been lucky enough to be scheduled FOUR classes this weekend! (I still have one more to go in an hour- breaking at Starbucks to do some homework!)

It's amazing how teaching a bit more frequently really makes all the difference in the world in your comfort level. I finally seem to be conquering the challenge that is my monotone voice (although I'm not sure how students perceive it, it sounds a lot more varied to me anyways!). I even managed to keep my cool as I attempted to get a spider out of the hot room today. Normally, I hate spiders, but I was so focused on "saving" the class (and not killing the spider, since that would be a poor example of ahimsa!), that I was attempting to pick it up with my hands! Luckily, the student whose mat spidey was visiting was an energy exchanger with no fear of spiders. The guy did NOT want to be picked up so she shooed him out of class, where he was brought outdoors by another fearless energy exchanger. Normally my eradicating spiders involves paper and a cup- never my hands! Crazy. I was just so focused!

Also, I taught my very first "flow" class today! The regular Moksha series, if you've never done it, is 40 poses, starting with a standing series, then a middle savasana, ending with the floor series- there are a few vinyasa flows introduced in the second half of class. The flow class incorporates sun sals between all of the standing poses in the first half of class. I'm sure it's run of the mill for most experienced teachers, but I was definitely a little nervous going in! With a few minor hiccups, I think I rocked it! Great feedback from our regulars as well. I feel a lot more confident going into the next one, knowing what I need to tweak.

So, basically... I'm feeling good! I know I have a long way to go, but it is great to realize that I can do this!

If you teach, when did you realize that it was meant to be?

article and personal photos copyright of Callah at