Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Handing in my Runner Card

Today was super busy.  I woke up pretty early again, as has been the trend.  For some reason I can't seem to sleep more than about 6 hours this week.  I looked at the Vie Fitness class schedule to see what was available, and saw a 4:15p yoga class, so I decided to give that a whirl.  I've done yoga videos and stuff at home, but have never been to a "real" class.  This one was really small again, just like the Barre Intensity I did last week.  There were 4 of us, plus the instructor.  I'm pretty sure one of the "students" was the girl who taught the Barre class last week.

Anyway, I kind of hated it, but I kind of liked it.  I made a major wardrobe mistake, so that was a problem.  I wore a tech t-shirt and a capri + skirt.  The shirt kept falling up so I had to tuck it in, which looked absolutely disgusting.  The skirt also spent more time up than down.  Oh well.  As for the class, I was impressed with some of the "tricks" the instructor could do.  It made me want to keep coming and get really good at it so I could do them too!  Especially some of the headstand type and balance type things.
I want to be this awesome.  
I didn't like the fact that I felt like I was going to yak a few times during the class.  Holding some very uncomfortable positions for a long time really turned my stomach.  I also didn't like that I didn't seem to get that good of a "workout".  But, as I get better balance I can probably engage more muscles and work harder.  On the other hand, I liked that I was kind of good at it, for a newbie.  I'm very flexible at baseline, so I could do a lot of the things that some of the "regulars" couldn't.  (Especially any type of back bend or hip flexibility move).  It gives me hope that if I really committed to it I could get pretty legit.  As a cheerleader in high school, I did a lot of flexibility and gymnastics type stuff, so a lot of that is still with me too.  (I know, I know.  I can't believe I was a cheerleader either.  I didn't like the cheering part, I just liked the stunts and the gymnastics.)

This Vie place is kind of growing on me.  I like that you don't have to register for a series of classes (like commit to yoga every Wednesday for 8 weeks); you can just drop-in on any class.  On the other hand, things like yoga should probably be more of a progression week after week, learning/improving as you go, not just haphazardly hopping in to classes with no background.    Regardless, at $16-$20 per class (depending on how many you buy at a time), I'm not sure I can justify continuing to go there after my Groupon is done (only 3 classes left!  So sad.)

After the class, I went home for a little bit.  I had been planning on going to the rec center prior to my swim lesson and getting 30 mins to an hour of swim practice in, but I decided that I needed to work on fitting in in these group yuppieville classes.  (Seriously, I stuck out like a sore thumb in my awkward running outfit and bandana around my head).  I looked at some of the clothes they had there at the studio, but there is no way I am spending $58 on a tank top.  So I decided to go to Old Navy and check out their active wear prior to my swim lesson.  They have some really nice stuff and good prices!   My total was $83, which wouldn't have even gotten me like two things at lululemon.  Plus you can't see all my business through the pants, so that's a win.  I got a sports bra, two tank tops, a pair of athletic capris, and a pair of jean capris.  Here's what I got, plus the skinny jean capris that I didn't take a picture of.  You're welcome.
Apparently the key to a yoga top is that it's loose around the belly part but elastic or tied at the bottom to keep it in place.  Makes sense I guess.  Tank top: $8.  Matching sports bra: $4 (you can see the straps of it, but it kind of looks like part of the shirt!)  

Another "blousy" yoga top with a tie at the bottom.  And matching capris.  When in Rome....   Ha.  Like how I opted to show you the leg stripe?  That was actually tricker than it looks, because of trying to look at the mirror and hold the phone at the same time.  I can do a much higher/better scorpion if facing forward and using both hands!  Anyway, these things weren't on clearance so the top was $17 and the bottoms were $23 I think.  Still, not too bad.  I guess I could run in these tank tops too.  I dunno.  I never see anybody running in anything like that, so maybe it's not allowed.  :)

If I had more time I probably would have raided the clearance rack a little more thoroughly.  I got there at like 6:40pm, started trying things on at 6:59pm, and finished checking out at like 7:24pm, and had to high tail it over to the rec center, change into my swimsuit, and shower, and make it out to my lesson a minute or two late at like 7:31.  Phew.

My swim lesson was tough today.  We tried to work on breast stroke and butterfly mostly, which I never really learned before, so it was awkward.  I suck at the legs and the timing on the breast stroke.  The butterfly I barely even got into...the first time I tried I sucked water big time and came up coughing hard.  Fun.  So I have a lot to work on this week.  She gave me a butterfly drill to practice which is basically 3 kicks only, then one full stroke with legs and arms, then 3 kicks only, and so on.  Really, for me it will probably be 3 kicks, one full stroke, stop, stand, breathe, repeat.  I don't really "get it" yet.  Haha.  We still haven't done a flip-turn, which I really need to learn to make my lap swimming at the gym less laughable.  I need to learn how to turn around for all of the strokes.  I'll ask her to teach me that next week.  My backstroke and freestyle are coming along nicely though.  I'm getting much more comfortable/natural at those.

So....I'm kind of over trying to be a "runner".  It's just not working for me.  I can't do high mileage weeks without getting injured.  My form is terrible, and I've been stuck at the same pace for almost 2 years.  Don't get me wrong, I still like it, and I still plan to race like crazy, because it's fun, but I think I'm done with the whole training plan thing and focusing on a single race/time goal.  (ie: "I'm training for a half PR at Rock CF, or I'm training for a specific marathon").  I guess I'm saying running isn't going to be such a high priority focus for me in my weekly exercise.  I'm thinking like 15-25 miles per week, running 3-4 days per week.  It doesn't help that running is becoming kind of a PIA, since I'm foam rolling and lacrosse-balling before each run, and then doing a bunch of PT/strength exercises and stretching after.  I've been too focused on running and neglecting overall strength and fitness and it's starting to catch up with me.  I have some pretty bad muscle imbalances between my left and right side, and I just feel weak.  And I'm just not good at it.  Strength and flexibility were always my strong suits, not speed and power.  I hereby hand in my "runner" card.  It's now just one of several cardio options I have, and something fun to do on the weekends to get cool medals and T-shirts.

Speaking of medals, if I manage to pull of this 13x13in13 thing, I'm going to spring for another medal rack:
Custom preview image created on the Allied Medal Displays website. 
Cool, right?

I suddenly feel a lot of relief over not having to come up with a "training plan".  I'm probably going to run Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays ("Friday"= Saturday morning group long run).  I'll fill in the other days with swimming, group fitness classes, spinning, and maybe workout videos in a pinch.  I'm really liking these group classes though, so going back to workout videos on my own is going to be hard.

Honestly, I'd bet money that I get faster with the above "plan".  We'll see though.  I don't care, because I feel better and stronger already anyway.  Thank you knee, for forcing me to do new things!

I need to come up with a good option for yoga/pilates/barre/spinning/whatever classes.  Right now I'm paying $1 a day for a gym membership, mainly for access to the pool, and then additional $$$ for studio classes.  If I didn't need access to the pool, I could lose the gym membership and just use classes at one or several "specialty" places.  That would be fine with me, except for I registered for a triathlon (Why did I DO that???), so now I need to keep the stupid pool access.  Rargh.

Going to a specialty place is nice, because they're really good at what they do (ie RydeOn for spinning, or the Ann Arbor Center for Yoga for yoga (duh), or Pure Barre for barre classes), but then I'm suddenly spending a lot of money on working out.  I like to have options and variety, so I think joining a gym that has a pool and provides fitness classes for free with the membership might be my best option.  Anybody have any recommendations?  Ideally I want access to a pool, barre classes, pilates, yoga, and spinning.  Good quality, good prices, and good times (pre 8am and post 5pm).  Around here it looks like One on One Club, Liberty Athletic Club, and the WCC fitness center are the "one stop shops" that fit the bill.   There's the Y too, but you have to pay for parking, and all the "good" classes are an additional fee it seems like.  Any others that I missed?  Of those, WCC is the least painful for me to get to, travel wise.  I just hope the class quality doesn't suck.  It probably will.  I probably won't become a yoga pro going to those.

My campus gym membership is good until like June 19th anyway, so I'll have to supplement with classes at least until then.  Not sure where yet.  Maybe just keep testing the waters at all the different places.  Many of the studios offer the first class free, so I can probably go a month or two hitting all the studios without paying a dime. :)  Gotta love Ann Arbor.  I don't have to worry about it just yet though, because if I stick with one class a week I have 3 weeks left at Vie.

BTW: I ran a 5K yesterday (the April Fool's Day Twinkie Run) and got 3rd in my age group, with a "Twinkie time" of 24:13.  Recap pending arrival of some more race photos.  Spoiler:  It was a blast!


  1. Just finding a twinkie is worth a run these days. Seems like a lot of the runners are turning in their cards right now.

  2. I fully understand, but curious if some rested legs don't long for something different after some weeks and months. The thing is, I have sort of made this change, -I'm doing very low mileage, but just trying to hit my long runs - yet still have two marathons. 2014 is going to be marathon free. My legs are all tore up, and it takes away the fun and spontaneity at times. Damn, I'm depressed just writing this.

  3. Several things:
    1. Congrats on your podium visit in a Twinkie race no less. Classic!
    2. You are making me feel guilty about not going to the classes offered at my gym. Maybe I will branch out.
    3. I am totally stealing your 13 x 13 medal display design. I am so glad that there are creative people out there for me to copy.

  4. I have those capris! I like them. 99% of my workout stuff is old navy. Can't beat the price for the quality. I know what you mean about lululemon...spending all that money to have, essentially, the emperor's new clothes.


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