It’s been more than three months since I wrote a training update, so you’d think there is lots to write about – exciting races, smashed PBs, new big goals… The reality is a little less flashy, but there is one thing I am super excited about.
Following years of wearing my trusted and beloved Polar watch, I bought myself a little gift for my birthday: a Garmin Forerunner 235. I am still in the middle of exploring my new toy, but so far I am very happy with my choice. Most importantly, it has given me a ton of motivation to go out for a run and keep my step target streak, which increases every day I achieve my goal! Of course I don’t know how long it will be until the novelty wears off, but one thing is for sure: It is always easier to keep the momentum going than to gain it, so I will do my best to retain my current drive.
Running Training Update
Because the last three months I struggled mostly with that – gaining momentum. The goals were missing, the training plan was missing, my focus was somewhere else, my energy levels down (a little winter dip perhaps?). To top it off, the hubby was busy with his studies, making it almost impossible for me to go out on a run by myself.
No problem, of course, I could just do my runs with Maria in the stroller… And I did. A lot. But, no matter how proficient I have become in it, if I am honest I do not enjoy those stroller runs very much. I can’t do any high-quality workouts (such as intervals, tempo runs or long slow distance), I have to excuse myself a hundred times when passing people (who don’t expect such a “vehicle” passing them and often get a scare), and I feel guilty towards Maria, for encapsulating her in this vehicle when she should just be running around freely.
To make it more fun for her I often combine a run with a visit to the playground, which seems to work for both of us. That is, if it doesn’t rain or isn’t too windy, ’cause we have been having lots of stormy, rainy days this winter.
A big turning point, however, was when Ahmed finished his exams and had time again to stay with Maria, and of course the arrival of my watch a couple of weeks later. I’ve been running a lot, doing some interval and tempo runs I was quite pleased with, and am thinking about signing up for a race or two. My mileage varies a lot, but I would say it is around 45 to 50 km per week at the moment. (I know, that makes me eligible to achieve the Run 2016 in 2016 challenge, but let’s not put any pressure!)
Yoga Training Update
The clear focus I missed with running was all the more present in my yoga practice. For the past three months, I continued practicing every day, with only a 10-day break during our holiday in Australia. I think the pain I had in my hips and knees got much less, and I believe I am finally seeing some effects! Nothing too exciting, however, and my hips remain quite stiff. I think that’s just how my body is, but I believe that doing some yoga and stretching every day will help them open up more with time. My hamstrings and spine, on the other hand, have become much more flexible since I started yoga in December last year. I can’t believe I’ve been training consistently for more than six months now!
Mid-May I found a new yoga teacher on YouTube, a (perhaps slightly narcissistic) guy who likes to practice without wearing a shirt and proper pants – or is it just the hot California weather?! I love his 30-day challenge and his focus on alignment and core work. Some of his sessions made me really sore!
An extra impetus was given on my birthday, when Ahmed gave me a beautiful yoga mat. It’s great to be able to do wheel pose and other more challenging postures without the fear of sliding off my mat and injuring myself.
For the months ahead, I am hoping to keep practicing daily, even if for only five or 10 minutes, and see how much I can improve.