I wanted to call this post “FUCKING YOGA!!!!!1!!!1!!!” but I figured that was unbecoming of me.
Every time I have done yoga in the last year (which is twice), I’ve hurt myself. The first time it was just major soreness and really tight hamstrings, so it was painful, but not what I’d call an injury. I had a personal training session last week and it fell on a day where it precluded me from strength training in my normal classes, so I had to improvise. I had a “fun workout” day in the training plan for the week, so why not yoga! I’ll tell you why not. BECAUSE YOGA HATES ME. Some freaking dead pigeon pose and I’m unable to walk.
I was in so much pain the next day that I can hardly even explain it to you. My right hamstring was screaming. Normally, tight hamstrings are helped with running, and I had 3 on the schedule, so I walked one to work it out and ran two at a good clip. Major mistake. Maaaaaajor mistake. Even with the steam room and some gentle stretching (aside: it was my first time in the steam room and I had major claustrophobic feelings and until I figured out you have to breathe through your mouth, I thought I was going to suffocate! Fun!), even with a full mile walking as a warm up, I was injured. In bold. And italics. It hurt worse than it had before, and was a lump of sad muscle. It hurt not just to get on and off the potty, the pressure of the seat on my leg hurt! WTF?!
So, I skipped my long run on Saturday.
I’m going to pause here because I probably need to revise that sentence.
I skipped my long run on Saturday and was terrified that my ability to run 6 miles would suddenly evaporate because I missed the long run on the plan and I am only holding onto the magical ability to run by a tentative thread (also, sanity!).
As a person who could never run, this thing I can do now is like the holy grail, a unicorn, dragon, and IDK, the cask of Amontillado all combined into one unattainable, mythical thing. It’s that moment where you’re balancing eleven plates and they’re all spinning and if you whisper wrong or have the cojones to say out loud “I am spinning eleven plates!” they will all fall down and break into a zillion pieces at your feet. Best thing to do is just keep going and pretend you don’t notice so as not to scare away the luck.
So they crash, right? And I’m in abject terror that it will take a long time to heal and I will be set back forever and what if I can’t ever run again and I have to start over from the beginning, and what if this is it and OH MY GOD HOLD ME SOMEONE.
I had to remind myself that I am not the person I used to be. A setback is just a setback and not a lifestyle change. 6 miles is not my longest run, and I will be able to run it again, even missing this one. I reminded myself that I am training for a 5K. A PR in a 5K, but still. 3.1 miles. I could probably run once a week until Thanksgiving and PR on a 5K what with my current best time. I have similar feelings about the weight – like I’m going to eat too much one night and wake up 250lbs again. I have to constantly remind myself that I could eat a dozen doughnuts today and chase it with a pizza and I would still not wake up 180. (I’d have puked waaaaaay before 180 what with my current stomach and sugar capacity, but let’s just say even if I aimed for competitive eater and got it all in…) This all happened so fast and is so new that I spend so much mental energy trying not to let those spinning plates know that I notice them. Nope. Just standing here. Doing nothing. La la la.
So a lot of ibuprofen and ice and epsom baths and texts to Erin later, I’m out the other side. And I missed ONE RUN. (Please, feel free to roll your eyes at me here.) I halved Monday’s distance, but I ran. My hamstring is really tight, but I’m not in screaming pain.
I ran the slowest, hardest mile I’ve run in a long time today for my Cardio-point test (where they put the mask on your face and you run and the computer finds your anaerobic threshold and heart rate zones and where you’re burning fat vs. carbs), and I got some fabulous feedback that I’m pretty darn metabolically efficient. There were a few “I’ve never seen results this good” and “You killed it!” type phrases thrown around, and I have to be proud of that mile that took 15 minutes, but ended at a 5mph with a 10% incline and told me that I had the aerobic base of like, Jane Fonda in 1980. (I jest. A little. Maybe.)
If nothing else, I have another tool in my toolbox for when I pull something or hurt something and have to take an extra couple rest days – or heaven forbid a rest week – and I can pull out my printout that says (I paraphrase) Your cardio fitness is so fucking good I can hardly stand it! And maybe it’ll make me feel better about missing a long run. Probably not, but at least it can try.
(Me, now. And she’s not leaving.)