Friday, August 13, 2010

Marathon Training and Yoga

Marathon training has officially begun.  Well, mostly.  After much internal debating (and talking with friends) I decided to join Kenyan Way for marathon training.  I have my schedule through the Houston Marathon (assuming I "win" the lottery next Tuesday) and I think it wil work.  I could choose how many days a week I want to run (I chose 3), my current weekly distance and long run distance (15 miles/week, 10 mile long run), and I can also adjust my training pace to accomodate the heat and humidity.  For now until ~October, I'm basically running 5 miles on Tues, 5 miles on Thurs, and 11 miles on Saturday (21 miles per week).  Every 4th week is a recovery week, where my long runs are cut by 4 miles.  Then in October, the speed work (track sets or progressive runs) kick in, my week-day runs are between 5-7 miles long,  and my long runs gradually get longer and longer until December where I start running 20 miles.  I will have 3, 20 mile runs.  They'll be broken up, one week will be 20 miles, next week will be 12 miles, then 20, and so on.  Christmas Day will be celebrated by a 20 mile run.  Lucky me.  I suppose my "present" will be an ice bath and a nap.  Plus, I can eat whatever I want all weekend guilt-free.

Based on what my friends say, this seems like a good, solid plan.  Its nice to hear I chose wisely.  Especially when I look at my former running club's marathon training plan.  The longest run is only 15 miles - at Thanksgiving.  Two months before the marathon.  Not to mention they're missing more than a few miles.  Those poor people, it will be a tough race for them.  Glad I was smart enough to switch groups!  It may cost more and its farther away, but being properly trained is worth it!

The new running shoes are still being broken in.  Or maybe its me that's being broken in.  The Newtons are doing really well.  I've run 4 times in them, being well-behaved and only doing 1 miles per run in them.  They feel good.  Wish I could say the same for my Brooks.  My calves/achilles are so tight when I run in them, and lately my left foot goes numb after 2 miles.  Hoping this is just me being my usual "resistant to change" and hopefully running in the Brooks will get better.  I'm very tempted to race TriGirl in my Newtons this weekend, but its not worth a potenial injury from doing too much too fast in strange, form-altering shoes, so I will run in either my old NB's or run in the Brooks.

Something else I've been working on is yoga.  I've been actually more of a pilates person - have been doing pilates consistenly for ~3 years.  I really liked the core elements combined with the stretching.  But lately its boring and not very challenging.  Most likely because the Monday "Power Pilates" instructor (while very nice and technically a good instructor) is just not challenging enough for me.  I loved the old instructor - if I skipped even one week, I would be sore for days.  But I suppose the other ladies (who are not hard-core like me.. ie do "normal" amounts of exercise) didn't appreciate the harder workouts and complained.  Which is why I'm not being challenged enough.  Sure, I could take private reformer classes, but I'm not sure I want to fork over the $ for that.  I added in yoga last year, at the encouragement of some gym-friends of mine.  There's a 5:15 AM spin class and most end up going to yoga at 6 AM, which is a pretty insane, but actually good combination.  I did that last fall, then last winter I decided that waking up early on Thursdays was too much to ask of myself, so I stopped.  I resumed the spin/yoga in February, when HIM training started.  I've since dropped the spin class but have continued with the yoga.  We've had 3 yoga instructors since I started.  Andrew was insane - his class was more of a "look at the crazy things I can do", while most of us watched and laughed our own "yeah, right, I'm never going to be able to do that" laugh.  He moved, then we got a woman, who well, sucked.  But it was the only yoga class I could fit in, so I went anyways.  Some was better than nothing.  There were so many complaints about her that she was replaced by Bob.  Bob used to drive me batty, because the few times I went to one of his classes, he did breathing stuff, and he had finger chimes.  Blech.  I really didn't like his classes at first, but like I said before, it was the only class I could work into my schedule, so I needed to suck it up.  I don't know what happened, but about 2 months ago, I really started enjoying his class.  Poses were getting easier, and while he didn't do much breath work, the 2 minutes he does at the very end (while sitting - not lying down) is actually very useful.  And the breathing cues he gives us during the poses are very helpful too.  My favorite poses are half moon and anything with pidgeon.  He's also big on triangle and revolved triangle (or other revolved poses) and with my swimmer shoulders, I have pretty limited mobility in getting them rotated around and open.  But lately, he's been having to adjust me less and less.  I don't know if he's just given up on me or if I'm better.  I like to think I'm getting better.  I even got a "you're doing better" at the end of class yesterday (un-solicited!).

So now, I think I may drop pilates entirely, since Monday is now my recovery day (and the other yoga classes are even less challenging than the Monday night one) and just keep yoga.  It will be interesting to see how I can keep doing yoga at 6 AM when I also have a 7 mile run scheduled.  Maybe by that time I can run after work.  Or I will just be waking up at 4 AM to cram all this in before work.  I don't know.  But its nice to be able to see progress in something that was challenging (and frustrating at times) and then be able to translate it into other elements of my training.

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