Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Trying out Pilates and a Speedy Run

It's been an action packed couple of days.  Oh, before I forget, I put Diary of an Aspiring Loser up on Facebook.  Click the "like" button on the left-hand side of the page if you do indeed like my blog :)  
Anyway, so yesterday I went to the private pilates session (being a responsible blogger I brought my camera).  I arrived early so I could do a quick 10 minute warm-up jog beforehand.

What can I say about Pilates?  It was interesting.  There were times when it was quite challenging (I spent 1/2 the time wincing).   I think it's one of those things that you really need to practice to get "good" at the positions and moves so you can then really get a lot out of it.  This being my very first time meant a lot of correcting and reminding of proper form.  It's also very precise, a slight movement off here or there and you're not hitting the target muscle.  I'd say 2-3 times a week would be needed to build up good form habits and then to start really challenging yourself and gaining more strength. 

I learned some interesting things, like my left leg is stronger than my right.  After some discussion with the trainer, Laura (more on her in a bit) we concluded it's because I tend to hold my kids on the left side (so my right arm is free to do stuff).  I needed reminding probably 20 times to engage my right quad/hamstring/glute.  I also learned my inner thigh muscles, the adductors, are quite weak and stiff.  Still pondering what to do about that.

Now on to something else that was really cool.  The trainer, Laura Molina, who is also the owner of the business (Strength Within Pilates - love that name!) is a fellow big-time life transformer who's lost over 100 pounds!  She even did the SF to LA Aids 585 mile bike ride!  We chatted some after the session - it was so cool talking to someone who knows this journey, who gets it.  I have 3 group classes left and I plan to use those after the half-marathon but I hope to stay involved with Laura beyond that.  It's neat being around people that are on the same road I am. 

After the Pilates I had one of my favorite go-to lunches, a High-Tech curry shrimp burrito.

Shrimp pan seared in yellow curry with onions, fresh veggies, brown rice, tomatoes, cilantro in a grilled low fat wheat tortilla.

It is SO very good.  Then I went to a chiropractor to have x-rays taken of my back.  I'm meeting with him tomorrow to see what he finds.  I'm willing to give it a try to see if it will help. 

After that it was off to the gym for my 3 mile run and some strength training.  I have been feeling like I could push myself on a 3 miler and yesterday was the day.  I started out with a quick pace, not sure if I could maintain it the whole time but willing to give-it-a-go.  Well, would you look at this?

That's right.  10:46 average pace.  That's 5.57 average mph!  Holy speedracer!  And I was not on a track, this was in the streets surrounding my gym and even included some slight inclines (total elevation change was 76 feet).  And do you see how the third mile was the fastest?  My heart rate stayed in the high 150's/low 160's the entire time.  I am so happy with how this run went. It wasn't easy but I just kept pushing myself to go and it paid off.  And can I just say that 3 miles is such a lovely distance.  After the half-marathon is over I think I'm going to use 3 miles as my go-to distance for gym/training.  So after the run I hit the weights and did back/biceps/core work.  I thoroughly enjoyed myself. 

Today, Wednesday, is another gym day.  I have not been feeling like getting up it in the freezing dark so Miguel agreed to have me go either after he's off work or just before the kids go to bed.  I'm hoping mornings will feel more do-able when it's less freezing cold outside.  That said, I'm sort of 1/2 committed to a 5:15am run with Karen (my neighbor friend) tomorrow.  If I don't do it first thing I don't think it will get done.  At least it's not raining, right? 

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