Bikram Yoga review

Huh. Here’s a review I wrote from a Bikram yoga class I tried back in April, lost in the draft folder…

•Wish I had gotten there a little earlier so I didn’t feel so rushed
•Per a friend’s recommendation, I drank more water than normal that afternoon. Good, except I had to leave 15 minutes into class because I couldn’t suck in my stomach (which I swear the instructor said 100 times during the 90 minute class) with a full bladder.
•I wore capri pants and a tank. Shorts would have been better. Lots of ladies in sports bras and booty shorts.
•Bring a big towel to cover your mat – I had a smaller towel and it was ok, but everyone else had full size towels on their mat
•Wash your clothes right away or hang them up. Everything is really wet and nasty
•Speaking of nasty… Wish this place had normal tile floors instead of indoor/outdoor carpet (or whatever is on the floor). As one might expect, this studio was pretty rank. Floor would have been more sanitary than carpet

Overall? I liked it. You keep moving, the class is pretty easy to follow, and the heat does make you feel more flexible.

Add: I didn’t get to continue past a few classes because my bf and I found a new apartment and The Move took over. May try it again, would be nice when it gets a little cooler outside.

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Returning to the triathlon life… overcoming fear

Greetings. And welcome to… Kelly gets back into shape, 2012 edition. Sigh. A year ago I was in tip-top shape having completed Ironman Wisconsin in 2011. Since then, I’ve taken quite a bit of time off from regular training. I’ve moved, gotten a new job, gone to, and participated in, many beautiful weddings. I’ve hiked and climbed. I learned to snowboard. I did Crossfit for three months… ending in January. I tried Bikram yoga. I went to San Diego, Zion National Park, Yosemite, Tahoe, Chicago, and ICELAND.

Sadly, folks – not much in the way of bike riding, running in that list. Which is okay. It’s good to try new things. Except that I signed up for Ironman Lake Tahoe, Sept 22, 2013. That’s just over twelve months away. Plenty of time to get back to it, but I know that I need to regain some fitness before throwing myself to the training gods come January.

I know I need to do this – I want to be fit – but why am I having such a difficult time making training a priority these days?

I went to the pool yesterday and swam 35 minutes continuously. Probably around a mile, maybe a little less. Gave me some time to think, since I wasn’t counting laps. I recognized that I am scared. I haven’t had this much time off my bike since I bought my first road bike in 2005. Seriously. I don’t know how it happened, but it did. I am slow and don’t have much endurance. I am scared to try masters swimming – always have been, but I also know I need coaching and help. I’m scared because I don’t know if my arms are strong enough to go for an hour. I’m scared to get back to Crossfit (which I think really helps me stay uninjured) because I’m so incredibly weak. I’m scared to run with anyone but my buddy Cara, because I know she’s not judging me.

WOW. Fear of failure has stopped me from even starting.

I sure am glad I realized that, because I’m going to try my best to use that fear now to motivate me so that I can be back to a fitness level that turns this training nonsense from uncomfortable work into… uncomfortable FUN and joy.

Now, I don’t want to try to do TOO MUCH at once. Kind of a recipe for injury, fatigue, and generally hating myself. With that in mind, I hope that the following goals are a challenge, but achievable.

Short term goals that need to be made public so I’ll do them:
1. Go to master’s swimming in Alameda at least once next week
2. Use the seven-day free pass at Bladium gym in Alameda within the next two weeks. Fingers-crossed it doesn’t suck. I was spoiled at M2.
3. Starting Monday: write down or take photos of what I eat. Not going to post my diary, but I need to do it. Target: 21 days of diary.
4. Push-ups, sit-ups, and air squats at least three times a week until I restart Crossfit somewhere

Training log:

  • Friday – swim, 35 min
  • Saturday – one hour ride, mostly hill. DONE. Even did a repeat, despite wanting to vomit
  • Sunday – run with either hills, stairs, or intervals. Target 30-60 minutes.

Variation

Oh hai!

So, I’m not training for an Ironman anymore. I do need to update the tagline of my little blog. Ironbirdwell, however? I get to keep that one forever.

And that’s pretty great.

Not training for anything in particular right now. Hm… wait, no, I’m training for life. To be generally fit enough to enjoy stuff that I like to do and want to do, like bike rides with my friends, hiking, climbing, and running. I’ve also  found that regular exercise keeps me happy – both mentally and physically.

The past two work weeks have looked like this:

  • Monday – Crossfit
  • Tuesday – Track (running speed work)
  • Wednesday or Thursday – Spin
  • Wednesday or Thursday – Swim
  • Friday – Social run, maybe with some intervals and/or hills
I really like having this much variety (Duh. Triathlon is three disciplines.), but kind of wish I had the desire to do two workouts a day, so that I could get another spin class in (a surefire way to improve bike fitness) or get in two Crossfit classes a week (again, more effective than once a week). But for now? Not yet. I think that this is a good maintenance sort of routine. Maintaining my happiness… but it’s not going to make me a better Crossfitter or triathlete.

Plus, there’s all sorts of other stuff I want to do! I’m learning to snowboard and have been to Tahoe twice this year. Maybe just a few more times and I’ll feel like I’ve fully graduated from the bunny hill. I recently purchased a Groupon deal for two months of Bikram yoga. Pretty psyched to get into that. And I want to start going to the climbing gym at least twice a month – I enjoy that challenge as well, and would like to improve my skills indoors so I can enjoy some outdoor climbs this summer.

I do have to decide a few triathlon-related things over the next few months:

  1. Do I want to sign up for an Ironman or 70.3 for 2013? If so, which one(s)?
  2. Do I want to do any races this year? I didn’t race at all in 2007. Maybe I just need to take a year off sometimes?
  3. If I want to race next year, do I want to put in some effort this year to finally improve my swim?
  4. What if I don’t want to race again? How do I cope with those feelings? Triathlon is a pretty big part of my identity, but maybe I’ve moved on?