Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Yoga, foam rolling, Surf City and Lance Armstrong

So this is what we all get when Jen doesn't blog for more than a week.

A whole bunch of stuff crammed into one blog posting.

This post will be much like the rest of my day, an A.D.D. cocktail of different thoughts on different subjects...


Where to start?

I took the plunge on Jan. 10th and signed up for the Surf City half marathon - which happens on Feb. 3.  Trained? Eh. Not as much as I would like to be. With less than a month to go at sign-up time, I started to cram/train immediately. My first week was a  3 - 2 - 8 mile week of miles. (um.) and last week I did 4 - 2- 4 - 10.  A twenty mile week. And it felt pretty good. I made sure to take my 10 miles slowly, hydrate tremendously and even stopped to stretch around five miles in. It all paid off. I managed to do it with no cramping. I will not be PR'ing this half but I am looking forward to enjoying it.

I'm coming back! 
This past week's ten mile long run was important and significant for me. The last time I attempted 10 miles it wasn't a good experience at all - as you might remember from this Ragnar Race report. Conquering those miles felt really good. I will do another 8 - 10 miles this weekend and then use the rest of the week to taper with smaller 2 or 3 milers.

It sucks that I'm traveling the day before the race - 8 hours of travel with my layover. I'm going to really have to super hydrate somehow and try to remember to wear compression socks on the plane.

BTW did you catch this? I was voted some sort of "Top Health and Fitness blogger!" -->

In other news -- I've been taking a very serious approach to trying to fix my leg issues. I suffer from tight hamstrings and frequent cramping on runs over 6 miles and it's starting to bum me out. So I've been playing with hydration/potassium/magnesium and other nutrition approaches.

I've also invested (freaking $40 bucks!) in a foam roller (they say it's a great way to work those muscles) and am attempting yoga and strength training. Anything to become a better runner. I swear - who is this person I've become?

Kinda liking this thing
As a person who's pretty impatient, sort of has trouble with balance and is the most unflexible person on the planet, yoga is (haha) kind of a stretch for me. I mean it's uncomfortable for me to even sit cross legged and when bending, my hands go just below the knees when trying to touch my toes. It's really bad. It's probably also why I really need yoga.

Yoga was kind of annoying. I didn't care for the instructor who just kept telling the newbies to "look at others if you don't know what you're doing." and I didn't get a nice zen vibe there. I didn't love it but I'm going to give it a few shots before I give up. I didn't like coffee, beer or running at first either and now I am a fan of all three of those things. So there you go. Maybe it's an acquired taste! I'm trying a different studio this Friday.

And then there's Lance.

Oh Lance.

I think doing Oprah was a mistake. I felt zero sincerity from him and I felt so much like the only reason why he was doing it was because his big ego made him believe that it was all he would need to do to win back some affection from fans and possibly pave the way to be eligible to compete. Uh. I don't think so. I think I liked him even less after the interview. The whole thing just seemed pathetic to me.

So... Any races coming up? Do you do yoga? Do you foam roll? Do you have thoughts about Lance?

Inquiring minds!!



Kristi aka Fiber Fool said...

I applaud you for checking out another yoga studio. Even just a different instructor or discipline of yoga can make a huge difference. I love pairing Yin yoga with my other fitness activities because the focus of it is relaxing and letting go (with ample use of props to aid in doing so) which really helps the joints open up. It does require some mental fortitude as you usually hold poses for 3-5 minutes at a time. But it has been huge in increasing my range of motion and flexibility. If you don't find Yin in your area look for hip opening classes or ones specifically for runners/hikers/bikers. I am also a huge fan of the foam roller!

Unknown said...

I am currently training for my first half in April. Good luck with Feb!
I completely agree with your assessment of Lance's lack of sincerity. The interview was uncomfortable to watch and if he thought he was going to win anyone back by it...well I think he will be disappointed.
I look forward to a future post about foam rolling!

Frickin' Fabulous at 40 said...

Kristi's comment made me remember the yoga block that people use as a brace or a way to complete a pose. Seeing that you have tight hamstrings, not being able to touch the floor causes imbalance, which you say you suffer from already. That brick might help you out a lot, along with a more compassionate, patient TEACHER, someone who wants to help you learn, not just seeing dollar signs!

Michelle said...

Finding the right yoga instructor for you will make a world of difference. I've been going to a yoga class now for 3 months and it's made a big difference, along with a lot of foam rolling!

Jana said...

I'm also running the Surf City Half next month! I've heard good things about it. I love hot yoga, but it definitely took me a few classes to get into it.

Amy Z said...

Zero thoughts on Lance. He's not worth my time to think about. In other news...that foam roller looks awesome! I just have a cheap one without a grid-like surface. Let us know how it works/if you like it!

Caroline said...

Surf City...I will be there.
hopefully THIS time we will meet
I will not PR either but I am ok with that.

Lance.....oh boy...it is a miracle that my TV is not broken

Maria (maslife) said...

I think yoga and foam rolling are both very worthwhile investments of your time.

I love my trigger point foam roller - hurts so good! hahaha!

And, it sounds like your yoga instructor wasn't the best. I think it's worth it to try another one. If you find the right instructor, you'll get great benefits from yoga - flexibility along with strength. Yoga flow can really be a tough workout :)

Happy running!

Big Daddy Diesel said...

Have fun at the race

Foam rolling, something that is soooo good for you will hurt sooos bad while doing it, you will see what I mean.

Lance "confession" did not seem to have compassion or sencerity in it, he still just doesnt get it

nikki said...

have a great time with the race!!! you are like a renaissance woman! xo

Anonymous said...

I absolutely LOVE yoga but you have to find a studio that fits you. I have been to a few I will never go to again and some that I dream about going to again. Also gym yoga and studio yoga are totally different.

The Skårtist said...

If you want REAL torture err, I mean fun -- there is a class in LA that incorporates pilates, yoga AND foam rolling. It's intense.

Kitty Fantastic said...

Hi Jen! You should definitely check out another studio. the instructor should walk around and help people, give pointers and even help get you into the proper alignment.

P.S. Thanks for taking the time to answer my email about buying a treadmill. I did buy one and have really been enjoying being able to walk/run at home. Please check out my blog I started to track my progress from walking to running.

Thanks for being such an inspiration!

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