Tuesday, 21 August 2007

Running commute and yoga

I finally did it - I ran to work this morning. I've been wanting to do this ever since I started at my new workplace so I was really pleased to be able to cross this off my 'to do' list.

I'm not sure exactly how far it is - a bit less than 5 k's I think. It took me 35 minutes, I wasn't trying to run fast and I took a few walking breaks. My next few goals will be to get halfway without stopping, then to the top of the big hill, then to the office.

There was one stretch I was a little concerned about. It's on a major road, where the road goes across a series of three overpasses. I had to move onto the bike path with the traffic behind me. Fortunately traffic was pretty light and the bike path was wide enough for me to feel safe, so it wasn't as scary as I thought it would be. If it had been I would have had to either run on the other side of the road or take the walking path option.

Now I have to get some more clothes to work for my next run. I did pretty well with remembering things. I wish I'd thought to have my usual breakfast at work - at least I know that for next time. I also could have done with a clean pair of socks. I found it amusing was that I was pink for half the day. Mind you, I felt fantastic - I was in a great mood all day. I love those extended runner's highs. On the way past the big hill on the bus, I found myself breaking out into the hugest smile. I've been checking out the route for so long now that I felt an enormous sense of accomplishment to have finally done it.

I rang my brother to tell him what I'd done. He's the one who inspired me to become more active, and I knew he'd understand exactly how I felt, even though he's not a runner. He was as encouraging as he always is. It's great to know that I've got his support.

I don't think I would have felt nearly as good if I'd gone running with the girls, much as I enjoy running with them. I would have worked harder - I'm sure they would have run for longer than 35 minutes - but it wouldn't have been the goal I've been dreaming of for so long now. I'll save the bike ride / run combination for another time.

I want to go out and do it all again tomorrow, but I'm trying to remember that I haven't been doing much running lately and I should build up my time again slowly. I'm going to try to work out a run / ride combination that lets me get my gym work done too. I'm going to choose a 10k training program and base it on that.

Tonight I had yoga. I realised half way through the day that I'd forgotten to stretch after my run. Instead of doing some stretches then, I thought I'd be able to rely on yoga to catch up. Silly me. I wasn't able to do one of the earlier stretches because my quads were too tight, and then I started to cramp up during some of the other moves. Another lesson learnt.

Still, by the end of the yoga session I was feeling relaxed and mellow. We did classic yoga tonight - lots of sitting. One of the poses was a great shin stretch - sitting back on our heels with our toes stretched out rather than flexed. Leaning back from there to put our hands on the floor behind us was the move I couldn't do because of my quads. I'm sure it would have been a good quad stretch under normal circumstances.

We were doing a plank type exercise in yoga tonight, which had me remembering JayKay and her 60 second plank. (Well done JayKay!) Anyway, we were getting into plank position and then out of it a few times, checking that we had the position right. Then we got back into plank, lifted one leg and then held it. Not for 60 seconds, but long enough for me to count to 10. We then did the other leg. Some of the class were lifting the opposite arm as well. I didn't even try. While we were doing that series, it felt like I was up really high when I was in plank position. It wasn't until I was walking home that I worked it out. My normal plank position is on my elbows but I was up on my hands, so of course I was higher. When I got over the 'Doh!' factor, I was pretty impressed.

I've realised that my back is really tight. A legacy of all the sitting at a computer I guess. I'll have to find some exercises to work on that. I am going to buy myself a yoga dvd to do between classes. I've got a pilates book but I think the dvd will be a better option for me. I find stopping to read the next exercise really breaks up the rhythm. I guess if I persisted I'd learn the routine, but I haven't got that sort of patience.

Anyway, I've got to go and pack all the stuff I want to leave at work for my next run. Chuckle. I've also realised I'm going to need more running clothes, bike panniers (still haven't gotten around to buying them) and I'm sure I can dream up a few more 'must have' accessories.

Some quick replies to comments:

Celeste, yes, I had to laugh at myself for forgetting my precious building pass too.
Em, that would be lovely.
Kathryn, I'm sure you'd enjoy Body Attack. Wear cross trainers though! I finally thought of it last night and it made a big difference.


Andrew(ajh) said...

Great to hear you're doing SiS - I'm doing the 4km series this year, maybe we can finally meet and say hi face-to-face!

Isabelle said...

Well, my garden is very flattered to be your imaginary safe place! Today it's a bit damp and chilly, but still lovely. Thanks so much!

Spark Driver said...

I am also planning a run to work but as Pakenham is about 26km's away it will need a few more long runs before then.

If ever I have to run on the road I find that running into the traffic feels a lot safer. I would like to know what the vehicle looks like before it hits me :-)

Celeste said...

Yay with the running commute!!! It takes a bit of organising but generally well worth it!!

jojo said...

impressive..i cant even drag my butt out of bed to go for a morning run(i used to ride sometimes)..i would be super impressed if i ran to work...great effort.. i will have to give it a go one of these days..

warriorwoman said...

Excellent - another member of the running commute club. You're very brave running into work though, you have to be way more organised than when running back home but as you say you get the benefit of the runners high all day.