Thursday, November 18, 2010

A Bikram Yoga Experience

Last Thursday I had a bloggie sleep over with Julie (she was flying out of BWI early in the AM and I live pretty close to the airport) and on the drive to dinner (Olive Tree—rip off of the Olive Garden—but tasty) she was raving about Bikram Yoga. After hearing her rave on and on about it, I figured I might as well give it a shot. It would probably help with my running and stretching and maybe help take care of my hip issues.

If you are unfamiliar with Bikram, here is a little snipet I pulled from

“Bikram Yoga is the 26 postures Sequence selected and developed by Bikram Choudhury from Hatha Yoga.

It has been proved and experienced by millions that these 26 postures systematically work every part of the body, to give all the internal organs, all the veins, all the ligaments, and all the muscles everything they need to maintain optimum health and maximum function. Each component takes care of something different in the body, and yet they all work together synergistically, contributing to the success of every other one, and extending its benefits.

The room is kept at 104*F because yoga changes the construction of the body from the inside out, from bones to skin and from fingertips to toes. So before you change it, you have to heat it up to soften it, because a warm body is a flexible body. Then you can reshape the body any way you want.

Hatha Yoga flushes away the waste products, the toxins of all the glands and organs of your body. It provides a natural irrigation of the body through the circulatory system, with the help of the respiratory system. It brings nourishments to every cell of your body so that each one can perform its function and keep your body healthy. Bikram Yoga also employs heat to further that cleaning process: When you sweat, impurities are flushed out of the body through the skin.”

I found a place between my house and my office and decided to give it a shot last night and was able to talk my friend K into coming. First impression—I walked in to the office of the studio and it was quite steamy with a lot of half dressed people lounging about. I actually started sweating once I walked it. I signed up for a week of unlimited Bikram, listened to the instructor give me a few first timer pointers, got changed and walked in to the studio.

Yeeesh, if I thought the front office was warm, I thought the studio was ridiculous. I could only imagine what their electricity use must be like. I got myself all situated and laid down on the mat until class started.

I think its no secret I am a sweaty beast. I really underestimated how much I would sweat during class and I was soaked about 5 minutes in to it and we were just working on a breathing exercise!! I really worried about the remaining 85 minutes of class.

Let me tell you something; I am inflexible—way more than I ever thought I was. I struggled to grab onto parts of my body, but I gave it my best and just tried to get close. The first half off the class was all poses where you stood. Some poses worked your flexibility, some worked your strength, some worked your balance (which I lack) but all had you sweating like crazy. I felt great during this part of class, to the point where I was thinking I could get into it.

The second part of class, you did a lot of laying down, back and stomach stretches. At this point, I started to feel really sick. I have been fighting a cold for a couple of weeks now and thought I had it kicked. I am not sure if it was the travel, stress, the late nights, the yoga or a combination of all, but I started to feel more congested and my throat started to kill me. I also was feeling a bit nauseous (note to self—maybe put some vicks under my nose so the BO smell is not as strong), so I took the rest of the class pretty easy, trying poses when I could and drinking some water, hoping it would make me feel better.

Even though the class was long, I really felt like it went by quickly and I enjoyed it. I am planning on going tonight too, hoping that it will help flush out the rest of this cold and that I will. I have heard that the first couple of classes are the toughest, so I think that next week will be a different experience!

Today, I feel a bit sore in places that were stretched and not often used.  I am hoping that the poses are a bit easier tonight, but expect another report after my week of unlimited Bikram Yoga is over!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A Sweaty Winner!

First, pardon the absence from my blog.  Unfortunately, my grandmother passed away (at 91.5 years old--because I think that half year is important to add) and I was out of town for her services and spending time with my family.  I hope to be in a more regular blogging pattern within the next couple of days.

Thanks for all the donations and entries into the raffle!  I appreciate all that you guys generaously shared with me!! 

Out of 71 entries, selected entry 20, making the winner Jamie!!!  Go over there, check her out and tell her congrats!  Shoot me an email and I'll get your package out to you!

Thanks again for all the support and entries!  Its so cool to have all your support.

Happy Running!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Quick update

Due to an unexpexted trip back to Iowa, the raffle winner won't be announced until Wednesday the 17th at noon. You can have until midnight on the 16th to enter now!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Three Things Thursday + a Raffle

  1. I guess I should thank the running gods for letting me stay healthy during my three races in three weeks stint.  I woke up Monday morning with an awful cold that has kicked my tail.  B (cousin's husband) ran the marathon last weekend with this and all the props in the world to him.  He is tough.
  2. My husband is going to have a crazy few months of work and school, involving some serious traveling.  One of these trips happens to be over the weekend of my Disney Marathon so I was seriously bummed about him missing this huge event.  Today, my mom, sister, sister in law and niece all said they were going to come down and make it a huge girls weekend!  I am super excited to have all this support with me, even if the husband can't make it!
  3. Need anything from Pampered Chef?  I am hosting a party this weekend, but you can order online.  If you go here you can order from the party and I will get money donated to my Team in Training page. 
Now to the raffle!

A Nathon Quick Draw Water Bottle

A StephanieMc Design Necklace (it says run like a girl on the circles)

A Thin Sweaty Band

To Enter:
  1. Mandatory--Donate to my TNT account here.  Comment to let me know you have done so.
    1. $1-one entry
    2. $5-five entries
    3. $10-15 entries
    4. If you want to donate more than $10, let me know and we can talk about how many entries you get.
  2. Post this giveaway on your blog and comment to let me know so.
  3. Spread this giveaway via facebook, twitter, etc and let me know you did so.
  4. Tell me about your best running experience.  Where, when, get the point!  
Thats it!  You have until November 14th at midnight.  The winner will be announced by noon EST the next morning!

Good Luck and Happy Running!!!

Monday, November 1, 2010

My Runniversary

**Pardon the typos.  I have kind of beat and am fighting to keep my eyes open.

In case you didn't remember, my first race was the Marine Corp Marathon 10K in 2009.  It started this hobby obsession with running and races and over the last year.  So, the 2010 MCM 10K is what I will affectionately call my runniversary! 

Saturday, Katye met me at my house and we headed into DC.  Instead of fighting the traffic (the rallies in DC were going on as well), we decided to hop on the metro to the Expo.  After an uneventful ride, we made it to the expo and cruised around, picked up our race packets and shirts and walked to various booths.  I stopped by Bondi Bands to exchange some of the bands I have (look for an update in a few days).  

Finally, we stopped at the Running Skirts booth to help out.  It was a good three hours of non stop helping ladies pick out skirts, find the best race outfit and convince them that once you run in a skirt, you will never run in shorts again.  Before we knew it, it was time to help the ladies pack up the booth and head out for some carbo loading, but not before we got a free case of Honest Ade (yummmm) and a photo opp with Cindy.
Honestly, why do I look so gosh darn goofy in all my pictures? I think I was trying to look taller.

We headed to Noodles for dinner (mac and cheese--yummy) and  made a quick ice cream pit stop at Target before heading to my cousin's house for the night.  Katye got to meet their crazy lab TurboTail Louie and we talked to B (my cousin's husband--my running partner) about his head cold and his plans for the race in the morning.  Before long, it was time to head to bed and get ourselves prepared for the morning.

5:15 came way too quickly, and we were all shuffling around to get ready, with one very excited dog at our feet the whole time.  After a quick ride on the metro we were at the National Mall, where the 10K started (the marathon started at the Pentagon).  We took in the sights and I noticed Cindy and her husband walking by.  We stopped to chat, take a few photos and delay removing our extra layers on the chilly morning.

Crappy iphone pic.  That's the Capitol :)
 Chewbaca.  When he said cheese, he sounded just like Chewie from the movie.  Best costume of the day!

Washington Monument.  
 My friend Melanie, Katye and I before the start.
Katye trying to stay warm??

We used the stink boxes and left just in time to head to the start and join in as the crowd was going by.  People were starting to run before the start line, but not this girl.  Its 6.2 miles people.  You will get plenty of chances to run!

The first mile, I felt great.  I was moving well, keeping an eye on my friend Mel and being a goofball (I was darting in and out of traffic cones).  We were able to see this awesome group of women (I can NOT remember what their group is called) drumming at the start and check out all the costumes

After the first mile, I was slowing down, but I still felt great.  After 1.5 miles, we walked for a minutes, then started up again and then I felt it.  My right hip was bugging me.  UGH.  We had started our 6:1 run/walks and I was keeping up (Celebrity spotting-- Carla Hall from Top Chef) with it until I felt a super sharp pain in my hip.  We stopped to try and stretch it out and talk to a guy working the course to try and find the next medic station (seriously, I appreciate you being there to help out, but could you have at least KNOWN something about the course).  

The next few miles were me walking and running shuffling when I could.  I managed to keep my walk to a really brisk pace and kept apologizing and urging Katye and Melanie to go on without me, but neither did.  I even tried to trick them, but running and slowing down, hoping they wouldn't notice, but they always did.  I hate being slower and holding people back.  At one point I thought I was going to have to hold Katye back from going up an overpass and yelling at some Steeler fans who were hating on the Ravens.

As we approached mile 6, I kind of got emotional.  First, because it my runnivesary and also because I had completed three races in three weekends--sheer craziness.  We hit mile 6 and I decided I would run the last .2 of the race.  There was minor hill (but its kind of cruel to do that to the marathoners) and made sure to finish the race running and really happy with myself.  Whats even cooler is I still PR'ed.  Even with my bum hip and a lot of walking, I PR'ed by a minute with my chip.  Katye stopped her watch when I stretched and walking to a medic, so without that stop, I would have PR'ed by 6 minutes!  Go me!  That is what I call progress!!

If you ever get a chance to run with Katye, do.  She is awesome.  She is such a great pacer and concerned with how you are doing and getting you to the finish line and is super positive.  Seriously, I could go on and on about her! 

The rest of the afternoon was spent running around, trying to find other runners we knew (Another Celebrity --I spotted Laura  between miles 22-23 and yelled for her like a huge psycho--sorry about that).  Katye finished the marathon with her friend (and helped get her across too---seriously, you need to run a race with this girl).

Me, Branden and Melanie-Branden ran his first marathon in 4:19!!!!  That would be a TMB Endurance Band on my head too, btw.

Spectating in Crystal City.  Katye got lots of comments on her "costume".  People, its an outfit!!
My cousin Amanda and Branden.  We love a Chuck Norris joke!

It was a long day, a long weekend and a lot of fun!  It concluded three long, hard weeks of road races for me too, which was a really cool experience.  A year ago, I did not think I would have done this at all!  

The whole experience also got me thinking--on October 30, 2011, I will be running the Marine Corp Marathon.  Awesome race, awesome crowds, awesome views and being part of the 4th largest marathon in the country--yes please!!!

Happy Running Everyone!