Monday, September 29, 2008

yoga workshop, hip openers

My general complaint with Yoga Yoga is the unpredictiblity of the intensity of the classes. I can go for weeks, and really not complete a single class that burns any calories. It's great for my head, and I do enjoy those classes full of chanting and breathing and rolling around on the floor, but sometimes I am looking for a bit more. With that in mind, I signed up for a workshop. Hip openers. Really, it was the only weekend workshop they had that worked with my schedule. I didn't really think it through. I thought it might be nice to go stretch out and relax after my 10 mile run that morning. I figured the longer format would include some outlining/background/discussion then a long warm up, some more intense poses and a nice long relaxation period. Boy was I wrong about what I was getting in to. The class was in a huge room. There were about 30 of us. I was all the way in the back. People got up and sprinted in to the room when the class before ours was still coming out. Clearly this front row cabal devoted to following this particular teacher. I recognized the rest of the class as Kundalini instructors and some other yoga teacher types.
She had a thick eastern european accent, kind of like Bela Karolyi or this Russian speed skating coach I had one time at hockey camp. She was like the weird dance teacher at Kent and had a headscarf and a lot of eyeliner. She was very demanding and there was nothing zen about the class.
"Put all your things on the stage! Nothing on the floor. You may have small water. a bottle. Nothing else. If you know me, you will know I will step on your things!"
She badgered us through sun salutations and very intensive strange poses I have never seen. The icing on the cake of this ridiculous class I had no business being in after running 10 miles, was a 10 minute pigeon pose. 10 freaking minutes. In pigeon. I toughed it out, but in reality, I spent about as much time in child's pose as I did participating in the class. The instructor was attentive to my ralph wiggum status as the class dunce, but I was really expecting to learn more and be punished less.

training log blog

So I am taking a stab at the whole blogging about my experiences as a new runner. I probably should have started chronicling this whole experience a little sooner, but this weekend was really pretty ridiculous and seems like a good place to start. I'm training for a marathon. The AT&T marathon in feb. I didn't really start running until this past June. I trained for the Human Race 10k all summer. Everyone else was off swimming and doing fun tris, and I was running. I achieved the goal I set for myself at the Human Race and wanted to keep running. I noticed that the marathon training groups had started, so I thought I might take a stab at it. I was already at their weekly ramp up distances.
Fast forward to this weekend. I've been running my weekly long run religiously on Saturday mornings, sometimes with a group, sometimes not. I was going to run with the Rogue group because their run was open to the public this week. I was supposed to run 9 miles, but when I got there they had 10, 12 and 14 mile options, which was wierd because I was expecting a 7 and 10 mile option. Either way, I was running the 10, a big step up from the 8 of my long run the week before.
The run was pretty rad. It was a nice cool morning. I had good tunes. I was running alone, but clicking along like a metronome, meeting each mile marker in exceedingly good time. I zippped up and down the hills on Exposition with some fast guys and was really enjoying myself. It was the run of a lifetime. Then I got to the hike and bike trail, and I fell in to a black hole. According to my splits I was running like 14+ min miles. I really suck at calculating distance on the trail. I hate running on the damn trail, and I am pretty convinced, had I stayed on lake austin and run straight across 5th street, I would have finished well ahead of my goal time. Sadly, it took me 45 min to lumber across the trail to the starting point. I missed the congress avenue bridge and had to run back around. It was really amazing to see how my body just started to say NO! No mas. I am done. Like when I take Buttercup on a run and she pulls to the side and tries to lay down. I was feeling pretty down and out about the whole thing, until I realized even with my crummy splits on the last 2 miles, I had been going all-out with no breaks, for longer than it took me to complete my last tri. No transition time, no time for coasting downhill on the bike... after looking at in that light, I felt a lot better about my effort, and how much it took out of me. I really wouldn't have minded a day just to lounge and recover, but some dark masochistic side of me had signed up for a yoga workshop at 3:30. Check the next blog for my report on THAT.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

The Human Race

I got back on this blog so I could give myself a big ol pat on the back for completing my first 10k. I trained mostly by myself, getting up at 6 am to beat the Texas summer heat during the hottest summer on record here in the Lone Star State.
I ran the Nike Human Race with Lance Armstron, Aaron Piersol, Matthew McCoughnahey and about 13,000 other people. This was my first running race. My motivation to train for this came from my piss poor pace at the Danskin in June. I actually ran faster in 2004 when I was drinking like a sailor, running on a treadmill and still riding a mountain bike. Something had to be done. I had learned about the awesome couch to 10k plan from the Weight Watchers message boards and decided to give it a try. I think one of the big tricks to following a plan like this, is to adapt the plan to fit your needs and not worry about if you need to take time out to run a little slower or do a little less mileage. The race went really well. I was pleased with my time considering the hot evening, the hilly course and the sketchy water stops. I'm a total nerd with my hydration belt, but I was the envy of many when I circumvented the whole mess and gulped down my water. It's always good experience to go to a big event like this even if it was a little overwhelming for my first running race. It's also good to remember that a 10k is six point TWO miles, so when you pass the 6 mile marker you shouldnt get all confused and slow down, sigh. Good race. Sketchy water. Excellent time.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Back to this blog

After a lengthy hiatus, I gotta say those early posts really give me a perspective. Of course, I actually went to meetings then, instead of my current plan which consists of weighing in about once a month ... eeek. I have to say, it's helping me stay true to the plan and fits in better with the work insanity, bicycle commuting and training regimen.