Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Fitness challenges

I have been reveling in my post-marathon off-season, shall we say, very enthusiastically: way less running, no spinning since my intro class, no strength work, and so on.  Don't worry - I have learned and truly believe that rest and recovery is a healthy, important component of a year-round training plan.  But now I'm ready to get moving again, bit by bit.

Last Tuesday, I pursued an exceptionally wise and intelligent schedule that included both my first day of boot camp and my first day of yoga class in months and months, five hours apart from each other.  Boot camp included the s-word (stairs) but was a little easier than I expected.  (Note: I feel comfortable saying that now because today I experienced the vast unknown that was Week Two, and it was A Whole Lot Harder.)  Yoga was wonderful - I loved the class and teacher - and I really, truly vow to work on that this winter.  Even one yoga class per week in the past has done great things for my flexibility and muscles and breathing (not to mention the brain benefits).  Josh came to class with me last week and I think he came away with a new appreciation for how darn challenging yoga can be. 

But then I was so sore the next day, and every hour it got worse instead of better.  Owowowowow.  Completely, utterly my own fault.  I'm still sorry, my sweet hamstrings.

I missed boot camp last Thursday, so today was my second session - and, as mentioned, it was a lot tougher.  There were basically two workout stations set up, each one with four exercises per station.  We'd have to do 20 repetitions of one exercise at one station (e.g. lunges) and then run fast across the gym to get to the other station and do another exercise (e.g. push-ups or whatever) and then run back to do another...and so on.  

I wrote "push-ups or whatever" because the upper body and core stuff was all via those TRX bands, which I have used before but not too frequently.  Do you know what those are, Reader?  They're basically these ropes/bands that you hook into a sturdy surface (a door frame or whatever) and you grab them and do strength work using your own body weight.  (Check out these people if I am not being remotely coherent.)  Ouch!  These things are serious.  But they're also very adaptable to what kind of challenge you need, so everyone can use them without adding or removing weights.  It seems like a really handy piece of fitness equipment to have at home.  Also, I have neither broken the bands nor fallen on my face yet, so I deem them productive.

I love being able to squeeze in a run or a class at lunch during the workday, because even though it's usually not too leisurely because of the quest to get back to my desk, it always clears my head and leaves me refreshed.  Sometimes I actually make big strides in a work project when I'm working out at lunch.  Today, though, I was mostly focusing on trying not to fall on my face with those little bands.

I will continue this sensible schedule of taking two classes per week (just both on Tuesdays) with more yoga later tonight - but I won't come crying to you, Reader, with words like "ouch" and "agony" and "sore" in tomorrow's post.  I promise.  It's only fair.

P.S. Hope you like the tinkering I did to spice up the blog's header!  This stuff is all new to me, but I'm having fun playing around with it.  This lady is the queen of it all and inspired me to try.  I reserve my right to completely change my mind and do something different in the future!

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