Day 234: I dare to power yoga

COMFORT-ZONE

My running this week was up and down and up and down again, and no, I am not talking about hill repeats (Netherlands is a country flat as a pancake). I am not doing very well on the getting up early front, mostly because I do not follow my own advice of getting be bed early enough with my things prepared ahead of time.
I did have some small success, so I am improving, but I guess it will take a bit more time for me to adjust.

And that’s OK. I can take my time in this.

However, I want to write about something else. I did something extraordinary today. Maybe it wasn’t so special in the general understanding, but, for me, it was a step way out of the comfort zone.

I went to a power yoga class.

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As I wrote before, I am, generally, a weakling. My core and arms and shoulders and my back and pretty much all of the muscles are close to non-existent, with the exception of my legs (thank you dancing!).

When I showed up at the class with my stick-like upper limbs and my shy face, the instructor welcomed me and invited me inside, after what he asked about my yoga and power yoga experience. To which I replied that, I do yoga for a couple of months now, but I never dared to do power yoga because of how weak I am.

And he said, “Good you are here“. I was welcome, the weakling, because this whole business is not about where are you here, but where can you go from where you are. It’s to work on yourself and improve.

At that point he concluded that it will be a difficult class for me. And indeed it was. Even though we didn’t do that much different things from the regular yoga class I take part in, the time and the attention each pose got were both stunning and exhausting.

I actually suspect that, since three out of the five people in the class were new, we got a “lighter” version today, which still made me breathe heavily and sometimes was on the edge of what I can actually do. Am I going back? Hell yes. There’s so much for me get from there, to improve and to learn. As much as I enjoy the lighter, relaxing yoga as well, the power yoga class makes me feel like I can work on and explore my potential.

Step-Outside-Your-Comfort-Zone

What was the last time you stepped out of your comfort zone?
Do you like power yoga, and why or why not?

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Days 123-129: Week 2 of 10k training

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This was a busy and eventful week. I bought some gear. Ran my fastest 1k. Yay!
Ran my fastest 5k. Double yay!

The weather was… very Dutch. Remember all the beautiful pictures of last week and even before that? Well, spring is in full swing here and showing its more ugly face: the rain. Raining cats and dogs with strong wind on top. But I run anyway. I ran though rain, wind, stomach cramps and sneaky puddles this week.
My eating experiment seems to be successful, too. I eat more and I try to fit in more protein in my food, and I feel generally more energetic. I also seem to be less fatigued from the exercise, what was my main goal with this idea.

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Day 101: Back to running! kind of….

So, how did your weekend pass? Mine wasn’t that great (I haven’t managed to do half of all the things I wanted to), but I did run, and it was blissful. For the first time, I ran outside any plan, any route, any time limits; I just set off and ran through the city and the park in here for as long and as far as my legs took me. I ran to the nearby park and then through and around it before coming back home. That was absolutely fantastic. The setting off to the area I never ran before, without a goal in mind, felt great, and so did coming back to the the familiar parts I ran through so many times before. Not to mention how nice and pleasant was it to run through the park itself!

Day101

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Knee update

It is not yet fully recovered, so I had no runs to report recently… however, the pain while bending the knee is almost gone and I have no pain or discomfort from loading the joint. Two days ago or so it turned blue, so it is sensitive to touch in the spots where the haematoma is. Other than that, it is doing better, only feeling it a bit while walking the stairs.

Tonight I felt adventurous enough to wear my protection pads (dancing classes have a spring break till March) and go for yoga and a short 2.2km run afterwards. I had some small discomfort during the yoga, but nothing that stopped me or made any exercise uncomfortable.
During the run, I started slow and easy and after 1km, when my knee still felt good, I sped up and finished the second km in just under 6 minutes/km. I do feel my knee now, though. It is not swollen, just… sensitive. Not sure what to think about it. But the run felt so great.
I miss running so much!

Distance: 2.2km
Time: 8 + 6 minutes

Day 74: What a day!

17:00
I went to my dance class. My teacher is back, and I enjoyed my dance class! That makes me a bit confused. Two more weeks to go, but I should finally make up my mind what to do. Actually, I feel like giving it 10 more weeks to try the classes with her. I am getting used to her teaching style, and I think I am catching up on the choreography. Maybe the only problem I had was with me and the new dance style?

18:30
I have some leftover parmesan soup from yesterday, so I transformed part of it into pasta sauce. The soup is delicious, but very, very heavy (however, it also looks gorgeous). I think it would make a great starter, as long as you don’t serve much of it – it fills fast!
You can find the recipe (in English) on this beautiful French blog.

I really had to be creative and wrap up my dinner quick tonight, with all the plans I had for the evening. Because…

19:30
Yoga! I was wondering if I should go or not, but I figured, it would be a good stretch before my run. I was not mistaken. It was great, we had a very small group tonight and the teacher had all the time to pay attention and correct every single little mistake, and answer every single little question. I learned so much, and it was a great experience. I am so happy I decided to go after all. It took about 90 minutes, and then, after some talk with the yoga teacher, I could finally go for my run.

21:15
Off I went. The yoga place is not far from my flat, but it yielded a couple hundred extra meters. This was another easy, comfortable, steady pace run. It felt so good! Was it all the yoga before? My head so clear, just the slippery pavements, chill air and the sound of my feet. I need to say, I haven’t done this amount of various activities in one evening since my last dance workshops (and it’s been a while at those, too). What a great run, I came home exhausted, but very satisfied.

It was certainly one busy evening, but I enjoyed it so much. Hope more like this will come… and I hope I can still walk tomorrow.

Distance: 5.5km (+3km walking)
Time:        34:14

Day 70: Yoga? Yoga! & The Liebster Award

First and foremost, let me thank David from Run with Faust for nominating me for The Liebster Award. It is a special chain-award meant to promote new blogs and get bloggers to know each other a bit. I think it is a wonderful initiative and requires answering all sorts of questions and nominating other blogs, which should have 200 followers or less.
You should get to see my answers soon, but for now, go check out David’s!

Yesterday I went to my first yoga class ever. I am not completely new to yoga as my dancing teacher was using it for warm ups & cool downs, and I also did some at home some years ago with Wii Fit. However, I have never been to a proper yoga class.
My workmate found a place which is literally 3 minutes walk from my flat, so I decided to give it a go. And it was pretty awesome.

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What we did was called dynamic flow which incorporated tai chi, yoga and pilates in constant movement exercises. The pilates part was especially demanding, as I have extra weak core muscles. Having issues with those since I was born, I am already way better than I used to be, but they do need to be worked on. I also look forward to the hatha yoga classes to increase my range of motion and flexibility. I figured out will be a very good addition to my running work.

Needless to say, I could feel the muscles which worked yesterday very well in today’s run. Especially my glutes. It was a 4k, and I believe it was the most steady run pace-wise I have run to date. It was also fast for my standards, just under 6 mins/km. I am getting more and more comfortable with the improved running form (the working glutes are a good sign of that) and these paces, but the R-day is only a week and a day from now! I am getting kind of stressed about it, even though I know I shouldn’t.

Distance: 4.2km
Time:      24:48