Saturday, September 24, 2011

Week??; The Reluctant Yogini

I haven't posted a training update in over a month.  I've considered myself injured since the end of July which is a bad place to be when you are marathon training.  I started a pretty time consuming course of treatment with a chiropractor.  It is a long story but we eventually targeted tight hip flexors pinching on my femoral nerve as the source of all my woes.  My leg would hurt when walking and also the first 3-4 miles of any run.  If I made it past that point, it would loosen up and I would feel stellar.

What a conundrum -- the longer I ran the better I felt if I could only muscle through the beginning pain.  I was in a strange land, walking the line of the injured and the non-injured.  One one hand, I couldn't do any specific pace work or speed work.  I couldn't walk without pain for most of the day.  But on the other hand, I could knock out 20 miles and end feeling super.

Are you injured when you can run 20 miles?  I felt bad whining about my hip when so many people can't run at all with their injuries.  But at the same time I've been training at a sub-par level, merely keeping my mileage and endurance base up.  It wasn't nearly as satisfying as the type of running I enjoyed the beginning of the summer.

I was getting pretty disenchanted with the lack of progress my leg was making after tri-weekly chiro visits for a month.  I think my doctor was starting to sense we had hit a wall.  She had been suggesting I attend a hot yoga class and I would mentally brush it off as there was no way you were getting me into a yoga class.  I guess she had played her last card because she gave me some tough love and more or less forced me to take a class.

That's right.  I went to a yoga class.

Last week Thursday I went to my first class.  Naomi was my yoga buddy and almost literally had to hold my hand our first class together.  I was so nervous!  I didn't want to go to yoga.  I didn't think it would help and quite frankly I almost didn't want it to help.  I didn't want to like the yoga and I certainly had no plans to do this on a regular basis.

I didn't die during the class.  Can't say I loved that first session but I did enjoy it and wasn't averse to attending again.  On Friday I went for a run, came home, and tweeted this:

In eight days I went to six Bikram yoga sessions and my leg went from 40% improved to 95% improved.

If I only knew then what I know now.

On top of that, I actually like and dare say have a major crush on Bikram yoga.  I'm planning on incorporating it into my normal routine and hopefully it will get my leg back to 100% very soon.  More importantly, I hope it balances me out a bit to prevent injuries down the road.

So here we are the day before my 29th marathon.  This is not going to be the race I hoped it would be.  My training was going so well a few months ago that I was tinkering with the idea of trying to PR.  That isn't happening.  My original plan for Half Moon Bay was to at least set an aggressive time goal (perhaps a 4:10) to gauge where I was as we got closer to Two Cities in November.  That isn't happening, either.  I'm going to go out comfortably and take whatever my legs give me.  I'm mainly hoping for a pain free run.


Rabbits' Guy said...

I guess body parts can take so much and then they need a change. What ever works. Thanks for the update - people worry.

I am not a fan of chiropracters, although many are and get good results. I'm wondering why you did not use a respected/well-referenced Physical Therapist instead?

audgepodge said...

Wow, that is AMAZING about your recovery! Hmmm... now you've got me kinda interested! :) Altho my legs normally feel fine but I'm feeling pretty sore right now. Is it sad that I'm kinda embarrassed to take a yoga class right now because I got the *nastiest* looking blister on today's race? I guess I could put a band-aid on it if I was really gonna do it.

Anyway, have a fun time tomorrow!

Leana said...

I've tried yoga but I've just had a tough time getting on the bandwagon. I'm so glad to hear that it has helped you so much!! That's amazing. I know today won't be the race you were hoping for, but that being said, I hope you are having a great time out there!

cliff said...

yoga is a part of my workout. although, i always thought bikram yoga seemed kinda gross, since everyone is sweating all over the place. does it smell in there? w/ the dried up sweat on the floor and mats, and the windows closed. said...

well, i'm so glad that the yoga has been helping your leg feel better! can't wait to hear about the race :)

Courtney (Pancakes and Postcards) said...

this is great sandra! bikram is seriously amazing. the hardest part is getting there. i want to get there again because i know it'd do wonders for my running but it hasn't happened yet.

amazing job today!

Erin said...

I'm a big yoga fan! I've been doing prenatal yoga lately and it really helps my back (which is all kinds of achy due to baby)!

Rachel said...

so great to hear that your leg is feeling better! i'm a HUGE fan of bikram yoga, although i find it tough to fit in during marathon training (despite the benefits!). hope the marathon went well!

Alisa said...

I used to love bikram when I lived in Boston b/c I was always so cold. I should try it out here too---since it has begun the months and months of cold and wet here.

So glad that it has helped your leg/hip so much. Sadly, I don't think any amount of yoga would help my foot =(.

naomi said...

And we have a convert! So glad that you are enjoying it. I have a love/hate relationship with yoga but lately it's been all love, and I'm glad to have a yoga buddy now!

Michaela said...

Wow -- this gives me hope! I've been terrified of Bikram yoga for ages -- I HATE heat, so this seems like torture for me. But after your results, Bikram just might be what my hip flexor needs, too!

Glad you are feeling better!

BikramYoginiRunner said...

Bikram Yoga is the best cross training exercise for runners. It's simple but it's not easy. I am glad you liked it. I practice x5/week. It's my 90 minutes of mental vacation.