Tuesday, March 13, 2007

A gem and some nostalgic longing

Not long ago I discovered a wonderful online resource. I've mentioned before that I've taken up yoga as a way to improve my flexibility and strength, but I've been very off-and-on about it. What I really wanted was a class to follow, but I do not know of any right now in Bloomington, and also I am still not confident enough to try any poses in front of other people. And so, finding Yoga Today was a true revelation. It's a free, daily, hour-long yoga class, every day, even weekends. Did I mention it was daily? And free? Each class has a different focus. Yesterday I did one entitled "Blissful Hips and Hamstrings." Another later this week is "Power Yoga to Release Toxins." There was a "Yoga for Cyclists" last week.

It almost seems too good to be true. For now I have found the perfect solution, and I've started doing two or three of these classes a week. It's really amazing how much strength is required to do the poses the right way. I feel like I'm already stronger now than when I started, and possibly more flexible.

Of course, the ultimate hope is for yoga to have some positive contributions to running. I've been really hungry lately to be able to say I'm in the best shape of my life. But the PRs set years ago in high school and even just a few years ago in college continue to elude me. I know I need to give my training more time, but I can't help but wonder how I managed to run under 46 for 10K and 1:51 for a half-marathon on track training. Most of the intervals were quarters and long runs were usually no more than 8 miles. The training runs were called CTs (Critical Threshold) and the tempo runs PPMs (Pace Per Mile, 1-3 miles, once or twice I did 4 miles). I have faith that I'll get back there eventually, but it sure is hard to be patient! It may not happen this spring, but if I keep up this kind of consistency, it will happen sooner or later.

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