Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Momentum is Your Friend

Turns out once I miss my own deadline of a blog post at least every two weeks, well, it’s hard to begin again. The whole thing seems too daunting. Too many topics, not enough topics. And what about the photos??? I love the photos. Anyhoo. Time to climb back up on the blog horse, so speak. 

Transitions are hard (ok, I may be lacking a little wit and introspection with that but stay with me). A couple of times I started to write but the only thing that came to me were all the things I miss about running: the camaraderie, the people, the hot sweat on a cold morning followed by cold sweat and hot coffee. Who wants to read such melancholy drivel? I didn’t even want to write about it. When things are hard I tend to slap a smile on face, put my head down, and keep moving forward. Which is how I started considering what would fill my running void at least a little bit.

And that is how I started my yoga practice in earnest. I found a power yoga studio where the instructors have a sense of humor and don’t take themselves too seriously. I was in love when one instructor said “come down out of the pose gracefully (THUNK as several of us fell out) or awkwardly…if that’s what your body has today then go with it.” Clearly, this was a yoga teacher made for me. Cementing my love is that this studio focuses on astanga yoga, which means it kicks my ass strength wise and cardio wise.When you're done, you feel like you got a workout, not like you just had a nice long stretch. It's not the same as a good long trail run, but nothing is.

The yoga has been great to help strengthen my weak right leg and increase my ankle flexibility.  In fact, it is slowly increasing all my joint mobility inefficiencies and my body is feeling better, more balanced and stronger.

Whether I am running or yoga-ing I need more. More of whatever I'm doing (why hello marathoning/ultra/100 miles bike ride/half ironman tri, you sure look sexy today; come sit down and let me get to know you bettah). So, I couldn't naturally just go to yoga a few times a week. Oh no. Instead, I started my own 30 day challenge. Yoga people often comment with great reverence that 30 consecutive days of yoga practice will change your life. To which I reply, good thing my life doesn’t need changing (but it does need a challenge). I made it 27 days in a row before we went waterskiing and had a weekend of too much drinking and too much sun vs too much yoga.

This was me coming OUT of the water after floating for hours. Never let it be said I don't take sun protection seriously.

This is where the other beer drunks and I floated. All. Day. With a floating cooler, to make it all possible.

I floated so there would be more room on the kids who wanted to do this all day.

While I was getting drunk floating, the kids got tattoos.

Back to my 27 days of downward dog. It may not have been a round thirty, but it was long enough for me to notice two things:

First, it may change your life if you have never trained for a marathon or other endurance event. If you have, you are accustomed to doing everything in your power to stay on track. During my 27 consecutive days of yoga , I went to early classes and late, I tried new studios, I went when I was sore, tired, hungry and/or just didn’t want to, I went when I felt desperate for a day with no yoga, no matter how I felt,  I went. I even went on Father's Day. Had I never had this type of dedication before it would have changed my life, but because I had, it just made me happy in that same way that an early run in the cold and the rain makes me happy.I know plenty of people who have never dedicated a month to doing something every day and they should try it. It's good for the soul to realize just what you can do, even when you don't want to.

The second thing I noticed while reading the newspaper. I had one hand on my chin, one near my bent arm, when I leaned over and…..felt something….there on my arm…was that? Could that possibly be…oh yes ohmy it was, a …wait for it….TRICEP.Yahoo. I haven’t felt one of those in years (probably since I stopped training for tris and started training for an ultra). Indeed, I’d begun referring to my triceps as my bat wings, being that they kinda hung down and waggled like, well, bat wings. To say I was ecstatic is downplaying my reaction. Nowadays I go ahead and stroke my triceps while murmuring sweet nothings to them. Love yourself and all that.

I am ready to get back into running, but it turns out that I only want to run when it’s cool. Charrisa and I had a run planned and then the weather turned a diabolical 90 degrees. I opted out. I asked her, what’s gonna happen if I don’t go run that measly 2.5 miles? I have no running fitness to lose. I’m not slipping on my training build, because I don’t have one of those either. Bleh to running in the heat.  The weather will eventually cool and I’ll start lacing up my Nikes on a regular basis but until then I have yoga.

And crossfit.

And  30 days of paleo (day two of the whole 9. So far I’m going strong).

Yep, I figured I end this post with a few ideas for my next, just to help my own momentum.


  1. Well I'm glad you found something fun to do with yourself if not running! And the paleo thing sounds very cool, I know quite a few people who have done that and been happy with how it's turned out. I've recently made a big dietary shift but waiting longer to see how it plays out before I write about it - it's fun to try new things!

  2. You make me miss yoga. Who/where is this yoga teacher you found?

  3. I definitely feel you on the running void. I gradually have filled my weeks with non running things (swimming, yoga, rehab exercises), but it is not the same as running. I'm gradually feeling better, but I still don't know when I'll be able to run again.

    That 30 day challenge you did sounds like a great idea.

    And the lake trip you did sounds fun, especially riding on floaties towed by boats!

    Thanks for your question about running injuries, that was one of the best questions that I got, I put a lengthy response in my latest post =)