Checking In 12/3/2021

With a “stepback” week in the M-3 plan, I stopped work-break runs after hitting my November mileage goals, and my right hamstring (which had been bothering me on and off the last month) feels a good deal better. I didn’t feel any difficulty on 3 mile runs in hilly terrain this week, and the only remaining run is a 5 miler on Saturday. Get through that 5-miler without any aggravation, and I should hopefully feel 100% or close to it going into next week after a couple of easy days.

I’m spending more time on the spin bike after work, not just for a Garmin badge but also because traffic coming home during rush hour has gotten pretty bad in recent weeks. So going to the nearby gym for an hour or so provides ample opportunity for rush hour traffic to clear up and make that commute easier (not to mention strength train on days I need to do so). Plus, I’m near a Whole Foods and other places to eat, which allows me to grab dinner a bit more easily afterward. When I was still commuting to the southwest end of town for the gym I’d get home around 8pm, but this allows me to finish up a bit sooner.

I also am experimenting this month with reintroducing some basic yoga, in lieu of the stretching routine I had been doing after workouts. The routine was fine, but another Garmin badge (one I usually ignore) gave me the idea to try yoga instead for a while. I’ve certainly done yoga before, usually in a classroom context (e.g. life in Seattle with dancers and other artists), so I have a fairly decent idea of bsaic poses and what to do. It’s just never fit what I needed in recent years.

But Garmin has a basic 10 minute yoga routine called the Shoulder Relaxer that I find do-able. So I made a point to do this each evening at the gym after the spin bike and my leg swings. I’m doing an old Steve Pavlina style 30 day trial, where I decide to do it everyday for 30 days and if at the end I don’t like it I can dump it. But I have to do it everyday for 30 days first.

The biggest challenge hasn’t been the poses, which for me are not hard at all, but remembering the routine and how to do them. The Garmin program will name the poses and count down time but won’t show you what to do, plus for some of the poses they use different names than I remember for those poses. I went in before yesterday and added basic descriptions to show up on my watch during the routine, and that certainly helped some.

I’m only into my 3rd day of doing this for the whole month, but so far so good. I’ll do the yoga routine after whatever else I’m doing at my last session at the gym that day, whether it’s spin bike work or my strength training.

This also means I have to go the gym every day this month, which I had already been doing for a while until recently (I’ve made a point to take some days off from the gym, especially if I ran that day). I won’t go to the gym just to do a 10 minute yoga routine, so I have to couple it with something else. It just means I get to do a little extra cross training, if nothing else. An extra spin bike session while reading isn’t exactly hard on me.

Though it’s cooled off and I can run after work once again, I may also run more in the mornings before work. I’ve been leaving home early and going to coffee a lot in the mornings, so getting up early isn’t a problem. Running in the dark while it’s cold might be, though, and since I’m training for a late spring marathon I don’t need the acclimation to cold for that.

Still, a drive across town and a 6-7 AM easy or moderate run on the outskirts in higher altitude before work might be less stressful than going to a park right after work and risking a later evening on an evening run in possibly-smoggier conditions.

We’ll see. I’ve avoided the need to make a decision so far because all my midweek runs are 3-4 miles, which were do-able during lunch. Now, the scheduled midweek runs are getting longer, and I can’t do those during a lunch break, so it’s time to find out how the morning runs feel.

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