Saturday. Crazy busy week. Every day jammed packed. In many ways a good week. I feel I have definitely started training again (yes, I am aware I haven’t even done the marathon so I should still be in training).
After resting up with some walking and stretching on Friday/Saturday of last week (Friday self-imposed rest day, too much work to workout), I think I went into the Staten Island 1/2 Marathon as well prepared as I could be. My goal was to do better than that awful 18 miler where I averaged a 13:20. I need to get something back down into the 12’s. I wasn’t looking to PR — I just wanted to do better.
My best 1/2 marathon to date was the More Half back in April. I ran that in 2 hours 35 minutes for a pace of 11:54 minute mile average. To be honest I don’t even know how I ever did that because that was two loops of central park and I would consider that hilly. I wasn’t even trying to touch that time, I would be happy with anything in the 12’s. So I did a very specific run/walk plan breaking the race up into three segments (beginning, middle and smell the barn finish). I ended up doing in 2 hours 44 minutes (pace of 12:35). Considering I was doing deliberate 2 minutes of walking every mile, I am fine with that result. I am most pleased that I stuck with my plan and I finished the race feeling strong. My knees held up. I wasn’t dead the next day. I had put in a few miles before the race. I’ll chalk it up to an okay day.
Tuesday I finally got back into my yoga class. Boy did it literally kick my butt. I actually think I sprained my butt if that is possible. I’m kind of annoyed with myself for not getting back to the class sooner. It’s frustrating to see that I can no longer do movements that I could do two years ago but I know if I just keep going I will get better every week and soon enough I’ll be able to do everything again. The class is called Power Yoga and I am usually sweating within the first ten minutes. I brought an extra towel with me this week.
As I was waiting to go into the class on Tuesday morning I witnessed something that filled with with awe and my friends know I use this word sparingly — INSPIRATION. There was a class going on before the yoga class. One of those new fangled classes where they do a little of everything punching, kicking — looks very complicated. It’s called “Fight Club.”
The instructor is yelling out commands and all of a sudden she yells “25 pushups!” I gulped. Pushups. Haven’t done one of those in an age. But the inspiring part was watching her do them. I see people do pushups all the time. Nice and slow down, nice and slow up. Not this gal. Bump, de bump, de bump. She’s pounding out these pushups like she’s tapping her fingers. The killer part is as she is doing them she’s shouting out instructions to the rest of the class (I didn’t even notice what the rest of them were doing — I was so busy watching her.) My chin literally dropped to my chest and I just stood there watching as she pumped out those pushups like they were nothing. 100% perfect form and seemingly effortless. I’m sure she could have done 200 or some ridiculous number.
As I stood there with my mouth open I will filled with the same desire I had in 2004 when I first watched the Ironman. I WANT TO BE ABLE TO DO THAT. I was willing to pay her any amount of money to train me (okay I don’t actually have any money left but if I did I would have gladly given it to her.) The class quickly dismissed and the yoga class set up and before I could even say Vinyasa, I was twisting like a pretzel and staring at my toes while upside down. Pushups would have to wait for another day.
After yoga I did a swim session. Was okay, nothing to write home about.
Wednesday had an easy bike workout in the am and a good run in the afternoon.
Thursday met with my team for evening workout. We started with drills. Butt kicks, grapevines — they are all okay, but running up and down the stairs is not my cup of tea. Moan, groan — just do it, it’s good for you. After that we did some Fartleks (speed intervals). It was good because for the first time in my life I have a pack of people to train with. We had five people in our little group and we all stayed somewhat near one another. We were doing speed work so the point wasn’t to run next to each other but I think we pushed one another to work so that was good. Usually I am just stuck out in the woods picking twigs out of my shorts while everyone else is already home in a hot shower.
Afterwards we did some core and I was whining too much. I hate rolling around in the grass and doing core work but when I got home I really had to have a good talking with myself. Suck it up. Quit your moaning. If you didn’t whine so much maybe you would get better at these exercises you hate so much. Okay mental promise to stop whining.
Only problem with Thursday nights is by the time I walked home it was 9:30 (I’m usually in bed by 10). Of course now I’m hungry and I find myself in front of the tv and eating at 9:30 at night (usually I’m done eating at a very senior citizenly 5 or 6 p.m.) I wasn’t starving but I needed to unwind and that’s going to take some getting used to. I also wanted to make the Friday a.m. yoga class so I forced myself to sleep by 11. I had been doing very well all week with documenting my food and although I was over my daily points, not by too, too much.
Friday morning I went down to attempt Power Yoga again. This time, however, the gal behind the desk was the same gal who had been running that Fight Club class from Tuesday. I had to gush and tell her how awesome that had been to watch. Turns out she is some kind of martial arts pro/teacher/expert something or other. I forgot which martial art she said but she said she had been doing it since she was 7.
I asked her if she did personal training, she said no but she taught several classes and beginners were welcome. I told her my ego was too big to go into that class not being able to do a decent pushup. The people in the class looked pretty tough. She said it was just because they had all been taking the class for awhile. I told her that I would start practicing my pushups and when I could do ten again (that was where I left off before shoulder problems) I would come to class.
As I was about to enter the yoga class she stopped me and said she has another class where there are only 4 students and if I wanted to come to that class it would be much less intimidating and it would be okay if I wanted to do modified pushups. She said she also gets to give more personalized attention and would help me. (I know there is no real help for doing pushups other than doing them but it’s nice to have someone screaming at you to do one more.) The other gal behind the counter kept nodding her head yes, I should do that class. I told her I would think about it. As I was about to open the door to yoga I turned around and said “I’ll do it. I’ll start next week. It’s going to kill me but I think I need to do it.” The other gal behind the counter said “I can call you next week to remind you if you want.” Nope, I’ll be there. I may whine, I may be slow but the one thing I will say about myself when I say I’m going to do something I do it. I’m nervous but excited. I might have to skip the class the week of the marathon but we’ll see.
Yoga kicked my butt again. Lot’s of things I can’t do but I know this is exactly what I need to be working on. I need the wholistic stuff. The core strength, the stretching, the extra stretching, the ultra stretching. I hate the pigeon pose but I know I need to do it. I need to be able to balance again. I used to be able to do tree pose and bow pose. I have zero balance now. I need to reclaim all of that. Back to square one when I was working out with Rhonda on just the basic stuff.
Weight Watchers was a great meeting, not just because I lost 2.6 pounds this week (yeah for tracking and sticking to a plan!) But it was also about setting goals and asking for help and receiving help. That was how I felt the week had been going. I know I’m technically still wrapping up marathon season but I really feel I’m starting a new season. The marathon is just something I’ll do for fun and fitness. I’m not worried about my time. I just want to finish it injury free and enjoy one of the perks of running my butt off all year. It’s fun to run through the different boroughs and see the people and the excitement. I’m looking forward to it.
Unfortunately my Friday run stunk. Everything hurt. Really I think sprained my butt in yoga. Between Thursday night and Friday morning I think I just overdid a little and I didn’t get enough sleep. I was exhausted and everything was tight. I know it was the same day I did yoga so I should be all stretched but I wasn’t. I bailed after two miles. I couldn’t move. I needed sleep and I needed a stretch. Everything hurt and my mind was just not into it. I was mad at myself but I tried to remind myself that I had had some good runs over the last two weeks and that training is not about one day. Still I was disappointed.
This morning we had group swim (I have a lot of work to do on the swim but it’s just going to have to get in line with all the other self-improvements.) After the swim we had a really good training session in the gym. They went through a bunch of exercises that we should be doing. I found myself once again whining too much. I can’t do an inverted pullup. I can’t do a burpee pushup (http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/henkin18d.gif). I can’t, I can’t, I can’t. Ugh, there was that whiner again. They gave me a modified version where I just step back. Okay I could do that, I conceded.
We all did a little set of jumping jacks, planks and pushups. One of the coaches worked with me on modifying my pushup for my shoulder. First I demonstrated to him what was happening when I did a regular pushup. We could both hear my shoulder clicking. But what I feel is a bone jumping out and sticking into my clavical. He had my put my hands close together under my chest — more like a yoga pushup. No clicking. I wish it was easier but at least bones aren’t popping out. That’s just strength I need to build.
Then when nobody was looking I went over to the inverted pullup bar. I got down on the floor, grabbed the bar and pulled myself up. It wasn’t pretty and I couldn’t do a hundred of them, but I could do it. Hmmm, why did I just assume I couldn’t do it? That made me feel a little better.
Then a couple of the gals were trying to do the burpees off to the side. One did it. Great I said. That looked great. Then the other one tried it. They looked a little shakey but for the first time doing them I thought pretty good. I would never be able to do it. “Try it” one of them said. It’s not that hard. I knew I couldn’t do it because in yoga we have to always jump to our hands and I have to walk. But I said what the heck and got down and tried it. Again, it wasn’t pretty. I probably couldn’t do too many. But I did it. And as soon as I did it I knew with very little extra practice I could master that. Like most things, it looks harder than it is. Again I had to ask myself, why do you assume you can’t do that?
Then we did a 1:10 minute run and it was good. I felt none of the stiffness or soreness of the day before. Everything felt fine, back to normal. Go figure. Cat, Maggie and I stayed pretty much together. Cat doing a lot of the pulling but that was good for me to stay focussed and keeping up with her. It wasn’t too hard of a pace but I realized that having two others out there with me stopped me from drifting into la-la land. I’m not saying I was running faster because depending on how I feel I could run faster or slower, but it was nice to be accountable to keeping up. There was no reason I couldn’t keep up so I had to just tell myself to do it. Stop your whining and just do it.
Tomorrow, 3 hour run. No whining allowed. Next week Fight Club. Oh yeah!!!