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Yoga and Speedwork and Beach, Oh, My!

March 31, 2009

Yesterday I attended a beginning yoga class at our community center. I was auditing the class before I made a financial commitment to attend for the rest of the season (at $5 a class; what a cheapskate!). My experience with yoga has been limited to following a Pilates video on my own and doing some of Runner’s World suggested yoga poses on my own. But, as I’ve said for some time now, I need to get more flexible, and I think I was ready for some more accountability. When I go at it on my own, I’m never sure if I’m doing things right.

The instructor was friendly and, as expected, a little . . . um . . . is “hokey” the right word? Being a little cynical*, I was more than ready to roll my eyes at a few moments of “find your center,” etc., but I hung in there, continued with the breathing, and stretched, pushed, and pulled. It was an incredible workout, and actually more physical than I had anticipated. Yes, we stretched for some time–forward bends, back bends. We did the down dog, up dog, and cat pose. We did balance poses (including the tree), which I stink at, but loved working on because I actually have terrible posture (my posture is actually best when I run, bad when I walk, and worst when I sit). We did some intense core work, which worked my legs very hard, and I told myself the reason it was so hard on me is because my earlier run, 7½ miles at 9:45 pace, was the longest and fastest since the Toenail Incident.

Anyway, yes, the class will be booked for Monday nights. I finally can say with certainty that yes, yoga is great for runners. I literally felt my muscles lengthening and saying “aaaah.”

Today, I was back on the roads. I thought about taking a rest day–yesterday’s 7-miler was, as I said, the longest in a while, and I know intellectually that I should ease my return to the roads. Not having run in so long, running two days back-to-back was harder than I’d thought, and I wondered about throwing in a third day. But I was up, and tomorrow the Monkey and I have to get out of the house earlier than usual, so I decided to get back into speedwork instead. Makes sense, right? Instead of taking it easy, go ahead and have a tough workout instead.

I did make it an easy speed workout–ran just two mile repeats with quarter-mile recoveries. And I have, as suspected, lost some ground. My mile repeats during racing season were run at an average 7:45-7:50 pace. Today, it hurt to run those mile repeats–longest miles of my life! The first one I ran at an 8-mile pace, which is a little slower than my 10K PR and supposed to be my pace for the 7-mile run (that ain’t gonna happen!). The second repeat came in at 7:42, but that one hurt. And today, I absolutely walked my recoveries, which I don’t usually do.

Well, I knew it would happen. While training for my first marathon, I very consioucly made the decision that speed training, and even the strength training of running the bridge, had to give way to the pure endurance training of stacking up miles. I was bound to lose some speed. Now, the speed training takes precedence again. The mileage can come down, the speed training comes back into focus, and the cycle turns again. I’m not too worried about the 7-mile race–I’ll rest the day before, hydrate, and count on adrenaline, again, to save the day.

Today, the animals and I went to the beach for the first time this summer, and discovered that we’ll have to go shopping this season as they’ve grown quite a bit over the fall. They’ll both need new suits–the Lamb’s two piece is rather more revealing than her mother would like, showing a band of tummy when she raises her arms, and I think with her fair skin I’m going to get her in a rashguard set this year. The Monkey is okay in his trunks but I’m going to go ahead and get him a spare since during the summer we spend quite a bit of time in the water. We had fun splashing for a while but then we had a shower that forced us out of the water and into our cars, just in time for it to stop. The timing was perfect for me, though, as I was ready to head back.

Later, mid-afternoon, a thunderstorm rocked the house. It seems the typical summer weather pattern is starting to settle into place already.

I’ve gone ahead and made a follow-up appointment with the podiatrist. I had to go into the water at the beach today, which isn’t really a beach but a lagoon, and I’m worried about the way it looks anyway, especially as I head back into my 5-day runnng routine. My original follow-up appointment was canceled when the doctor was called into emergency surgery. I might have to take the kids with me to this one but I’m hoping since I was flexible when I showed up in his office for an appointment, only to be told that he wasn’t there and Oops! Did we forget to call you? that they’ll be flexible about my having limited options for childcare. I had childcare lined up last week, when the original appointment was scheduled. I also have a neurologist appointment the following morning, so I can only ask the Boss to miss so much work.

So, there you go–yoga, and speedwork, and beaches. Oh, my!

*Some would find it amusing, or contradictory, perhaps, that a self-professed Christ-follower, who asserts that the 66-book Bible is the God-inspired, man-written Word of God, would describe herself as a cynic. Nevertheless, my faith is inspired by hard evidence and personal experience. I tend to be extremely hard-headed and, though I can be moved to compassion by the poverty and needs of others, tend to cast a suspicious eye, for example, on my children’s tears. So the “you are the wave” part of the yoga lesson was difficult for me. But I’ll learn to let go, I suppose, and pray instead.

    2 Comments leave one →
    1. run4change permalink
      March 31, 2009 5:30 pm

      Yoga kicks my booty. And yes, “hokey” is a great word. I get sore from yoga but I love it, just don’t do it that much. Maybe I will start doing more.

    2. the Ringmaster permalink*
      March 31, 2009 7:28 pm

      It’s another reason I’m signing up for the class–it’s too easy not to do it when it’s just the DVD player waiting for me.

      Did a little Warrior posing at the end of my run today–aaaah!

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