Swimming, Running and Body Flow – A Week in Review

les_mills_body_flow I’ve been so busy that I haven’t been able to write as much as I want to. There are so many things I plan to write about that I started keeping a “blog log.” Now I just have to find sometime to write!

I had some great workouts last week – swimming, running and Body Flow. Here’s a recap:

Swimming
It was week two of swimming class. I spent the entire week trying to learn side-breathing. I’m having a hard time finding the right timing of when to turn to take a breath. Marie, my teacher, tells me that I’m raising my head too high out of the water. She said I need to learn to use my hips to twist my torso to side-breath. She said that there’s no reason to lift my head out of the water. Keep my chin down, move my arms, twist my hips, blow bubbles, don’t lift my head out of the water — its so much to remember! During the first part of the week I felt too low in the water, that when I lifted my head, I’d inhale a whole lot of water. And I did take in more than my share of chlorine. So gross. It felt like I hit a wall and just wasn’t getting it. But I kept practicing and wasn’t going to get discouraged.

On Thursday, Marie took a few of us into “the big kids pool.” She wanted us to get used to being in deeper water. Personally, I don’t have a fear of deep water, but I did feel that the shallow “little kids pool” had become my “crutch.” If I felt out of form, or ran out of breath, I would just stop and stand up in the water. I couldn’t do this in the “big kids pool.”

We did a few exercises to get us used to the deeper water, then we started swimming in-lane. I made it half way down the long-length of the pool only to have my calf cramped up so the life guard made me get out of the pool to stretch. He said that I was probably dehydrated and didn’t have enough potassium. Maybe they should put potassium in the chlorine because I inhaled plenty of it.

After I stretched I got back in the pool for a few more minutes before Marie moved us back to the “little kids pool.” Then guess what happened – everything just clicked! I started swimming laps and the whole side-breathing thing just clicked! I finally understood what she meant by turning my torso to breath and not lifting my head up. Maybe the switch in pools was just what I needed. I was able to swimming laps just turning by body, not just my head. The trick for me is to move slowly, rhythmically, and not rush myself. Finally a breathing through, but it was too bad that it came at the end of the week.I didn’t want to lose momentum.

Class starts again tomorrow night, so I jumped in the pool this morning to see if I could remember how to do it. It took about 15 minutes (and a whole lot of chlorine) of practice, but I think I found the timing again. I hope I can carry it through to this week’s classes.

I’m so glad I started taking swim classes. Its so peaceful and soothing to be in the pool at the end of a long day and just feel your body flow with the water.

Running
My running schedule has evolved to doing 3-4 mile runs on Monday and Wednesday mornings, with a long run on Saturday. I told myself that I would restrict myself to only 6-mile runs so I can completely heal from my hamstring injury, but I was feeling so good on Saturday that I ran an 8-miler. And not only did I run 8-miles, I did it in 82 minutes, which is way too fast a pace for me. But I couldn’t help it; I was really into my music and feeling the rhythm. And yes, I am sore today, but luckily, I’ve learned how to rehab my body from these long runs.

After the run, I stretched at the trail for about 20-minutes. It felt so good to lie in the hot sun and stretch. It was probably my favorite part of the entire run. For runs longer than 6-miles, I run with my running belt so I had kept myself hydrated the whole time. As soon as I was done stretching, I drove straight home, made myself a strawberry-banana smoothie, and stretched for another 20-30 minutes. Then I drew a steaming hot bath, with bath therapy powder, and soaked for about 30-minutes (while reading my weekly issue of Entertainment Weekly).

After my bath, I ate some lunch and then spent another 45-minutes or so rolling on the foam roller and using the theracane. Seems like a lot to do, but this is what my body requires.

Body Flow
I haven’t been back to yoga since my injury but I really need to. To be honest, I have a love/hate relationship with yoga. Sometimes I really love it and other times I don’t — mostly because some teachers expect you to become a yogi like them and give up other activities. They don’t get that I go to yoga to balance my body so that I can continue to do the other activities that I love.

This is why I love to take yoga classes at Lululemon. Not only are the classes free, the instructors usually change monthly so there’s not this pressure of commitment to only practice yoga “their way.” The Lululemon store that I go to has a class on Friday’s at 5:30 pm. I love taking classes at this time. I’m usually mentally drained from the work week so its so refreshing to get to a class and clear my mind.

But this month, the Friday class is Body Flow, a Les Mills program. I’m familiar with Les Mills from taking Body Pump, Body Combat and Body Step, but I had never taken a Body Flow class. Its a combination of yoga, tai chi and pilates, that not only focuses on flexibility, but strength too. And its choreographed to music. Being a music junkie, I was hooked. I was familiar with the yoga poses and pilates exercises, but I’d never taken tai chi before so it was completely new to me. I loved it. I hope they continue it into August.

So with swimming, runnning, Body Pump (weight-lifting class twice a week) and a yoga/pilates class I had a great workout week and hope I can continue it going into this new one!

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One Response to Swimming, Running and Body Flow – A Week in Review

  1. Pingback: Fish out of Water « For the Sake of Cake

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