21. Sunday 21 January. I put my money where my mouth is, put my $10 down, and ran my first 10k race.
The Wellington Harrier Athletic Club is awesome enough to hold a 5 and 10k race every month in summer around the waterfront called The Honest 10. I literally only found out about it yesterday, and figured why not. I had no idea what my baseline was, had never attempted to run a time (or even time myself) and “tomorrow” is as good a day as any! I wasn’t so sure when I woke up pretty early after not quite enough sleep – but I had anticipated my morning lizard brain and laid out all my clothes and gear on the couch ready to go so I just had to grab a snack and a coffee and get out the door. The race unfortunately has the most inconvenient starting place (the wind needle in Evans Bay) so I had to walk to town and grab an uber from there (I wasn’t quite early enough for the bus).
Got there, registered, found some other nervous people who’d never done the run before, and then since I was relatively early (I took the 8.15am registration time for a 9am start seriously), I settled in to do my yoga under a tree looking out over the marina. I honestly think this yoga practice is the one I am most proud of in the whole month so far – it was my first “off book” self directed one! And I felt confident and comfortable and a sense of ease and familiarity with what I needed right then to get ready physically and mentally to run. I won’t list the whole thing, but I did some breathing to start, and carried on into some really calm breathy twists and a basic flow with lots of low lunges, twists, lizard, extended side angles, peaceful warrior and nice calm folds. It was super lovely to practice in the open air and just feel my way through it, decide which muscles wanted attention as I went, and just loosen everything up. I felt surprisingly calm!
The race had pace setters for 40, 45, 50, and 55 minutes, and I decided my goal was basically to see if I could do under an hour, so I just set my sights on the 55 minute pace setter and off we went! Turns out he was a really cool guy, and I kept pace super happily as we ran; we chatted about our lives and running histories, old injuries, other hobbies. I was pretty happy with the fact I was keeping pace, holding a conversation and feeling good despite a headwind… for about the first 7km. At that point we had already turned around at the half way mark, but the wind seemed to have turn around too and was still against us, I was feeling the concrete (did I mention I really hate running on concrete?) and the humidity was building. Most of all though, I was getting tired. I know very well that I can run 10, 11, 12km – but I don’t usually do it at a set pace, and I certainly don’t usually push for faster. So we got to about 8km, and I am not going to lie, I was done. I did not want to do it any more, the concrete was decidedly unpleasant, I had started wheezing a little around the 6-7k mark so I wasn’t as happy to talk, and I got a stitch. I started to drag behind my awesome pace setter bud. Bless this man’s soul, he was very upset about this (on my behalf!) and started talking to me and giving me awesome encouragement – about the wind, about the time, about my pace, about everything. He was like “Come on – we’ve got time! We can crack an hour, we’re nearly there, just a last push, we’re going to crack an hour, you’re going to!” and he wouldn’t let me stop – and I’m super glad, because mentally I haven’t done as much pushing past the wall yet, and it was really hard. We made it! 59 minutes 11 seconds, which is about 5 minutes 40 per kilometre on average. I’m pretty proud of it! It’s a good place to start. Who knows, maybe I can get it down to 55 in a few months? after a little collapse on the grass, I led myself through another little self guided yoga practice and went and got a much needed coffee and lots of food.
So that’s a pretty active Sunday, right? Done, chill, Netflix, snacks? Hahahaha no. Since the weather was nice and tomorrow was a public holiday, we’d kinda been floating the idea of a hike and overnight camp. I had a lovely planning meeting with a friend over coffee and cherries and terrible terrible jazz, and by the time we wrapped up it was nearing the evening, the weather was holding, and we basically decided to go for it, so we packed our packs, fed the pup, and walked out the back gate and into the wilderness! We’re on the Zealandia fenceline, so basically can walk from that track out into the hills, over to the coast, down and around into the valley, or wherever we want to go! There’s a sneaky little spot we like to camp about 10km from home, so we figured that would be relatively simple mission – walk out, camp just before dark, leave early and be back for brunch. It was an absolutely gorgeous walk.
We reached our spot in good time and got everything sat up, ate ravenously, and of course I was exhausted so wanted to go straight to sleep. At this point though, we encountered the first problem – it was extremely hot. Three of us (two humans and a heater of a dog) in a two man tent on a humid night is not super fun, and we’d drunk rather more of our ample supply of water than would have been ideal. Problem number two arrived in the form of the wind – it had only been forecast as a 17k northerly, but it turned around and was smashing the tent from the south at more like 6 or 70. So we were incredibly hot, in a tent making an incredible racket and blowing the sides onto us, galloping through our water with the dog basically sitting up, turning in circles, staring at nothing, shivering as a mood… and I had the very tired realisation that tomorrow might be a holiday, but I had three classes to teach and a lot of work to do – I couldn’t afford not to sleep at all! By 2.30am we made the call that walking back and going to bed for at least a morning sleep was better than lying awake for another three hours THEN walking back, so we packed up, got out the torches, and started the march home! The dog thought we had absolutely lost our shit. We eventually made it home, crashed, and slept for as long as we could ignore the birdsong. Perhaps it was ill conceived, but it was certainly an adventure – and now I can tick off “do 30k within 24 hours” and “hike cross country at 3am” off my bucket list – and I never even put those things ON!
22. Monday 22 January. OW MY ALL OF ME. Nope. Nope nope. Body survived surprisingly ok, brain just NOT OK oh lord I am not built for not sleeping anymore. Attempted to work at home, failed, dragged my ass to town to try and peer pressure myself into working, ate breakfast at 2pm instead. Made it through dance practice and both classes though! Annnnnd took the opportunity to just drag my mat out into the studio (air conditioning!) and do a little yoga before class and a little yoga after. Since I did my own yoga yesterday rather than the series, I caught up on True Day 19- Thought and Day 20 – Awaken. Thank gawd they were both gentle little stretchy videos rather than active dynamic ones! It definitely felt much better to get moving and stretching, my legs needed it and I’m always surprised by how much better my upper body feels as well, even if I don’t notice tension or soreness beforehand. I definitely did not run today. Noooooope. I did do a little more stretching once I got home though.
23. Tuesday 23 January. STILL KINDA NOPE. I’m certain the day after the day after a sleepless night is the worst – it’s like brain DOMS. I was reasonably productive though, and made some awesome inroads into some new design work despite Photoshop crashing and losing my work at one point. Taught my two classes and headed home for True Day 21 – Finesse. Before I started though, I was chatting with the bae about planks and plank technique and how holding a plank for a minute is always the challenge you get given in workouts so I was like “I wonder if yoga has made that easier?” and held an elbow plank for as long as I felt comfortable – 1 minute 50 secs! I was timed silently so had no idea how long it was, which made that feel even cooler. I breathed through it and felt pretty ace! Then I turned on the video and realised it was a super planky day hahahaha. It was good though, the yoga has made the recovery from my epic adventures much better. I think I’m starting to work out Pigeon as well – it tends to either feel like nothing or COMPLETELY UNBEARABLE but I started to adjust and find where I’m meant to be focusing. It’s such a good stretch, I’m looking forward to being better at it.
24. Wednesday 24 January. I felt like pooooooos today! Ugh! Upset stomach, headachey, so damn tired and it’s SO DAMN HOT. Getting moving was the very last thing I wanted to do, but I went in to work (all packed up for house sitting in town tonight!) and while I didn’t get as much done as I could have, I spent some valuable time with some awesome people and tried my best. I bought cider to get me through the afternoon (the heat is truly unbearable even with fans going) and then realised that the cider I chose was incredibly strong (whoops) and not the best workday drink! It was pretty fun to hang out and solve the world’s problems with my friend who came in to help me work, but combined with not feeling so hot already and also feeling WAY TOO HOT I zoned out on the couch before classes and realised I really just wanted to be asleep. Got through it though, then went out for my fave burgers in town at Laundry since we were in town and free to wander! I didn’t have it in me to do a full yoga practice today, with the headache and tummy I just wanted to be in bed as soon as possible, so I did the 7 minute bedtime yoga instead. Achieved!
25. Thursday 25 January. I honestly had the best sleep, thank goodness! The bedroom at the house I was sitting is cooler and breezier than the one at home, and I was overdue for a good solid snooze, and the crash was delightful. Feeling much better than yesterday.
I did make one mistake though – I weighed myself. Don’t do that, I highly recommend just… not. Because there’s just no point, you know? I don’t own scales for a reason but I saw them in the house and curiosity got the better of me. PSA everyone (and mostly me): it doesn’t matter what you weigh, ok? I am well aware that my weight is not likely to be criticised by anyone except myself and that I’m speaking from a place of social privilege here; please know this is not a rant about omg like totally being so fat how terrible because a) there’s no problem with being fat and also b) that’s not a descriptor or experience I’m trying to claim. But I went to ballet school, and I have really really confusing gender feels, and it all leaves a messy scribble of a mark on my brain that means I freak out when my weight changes noticeably in either direction. Weighing myself today was a really good reminder: I don’t need to do that ever again, and I am just fine. I like how I fit my clothes right now. I like what my body can do right now. Mental workouts are just as important as physical ones, I think.
Today was a really lovely day. I checked off an absolute monster of a transcription job that’s been hanging over my head, finished off my work with one of my wedding dance couples, covered a class I don’t normally get to do and received so much kindness and goodwill from beautiful people – one friend gave me a whole bag of workout gear since I keep destroying mine, and we had a long overdue catchup about our similar dancelyf struggles, another friend dropped me off the most adorable cat-face bag full of home grown produce to eat. Then I jumped back on the pub quiz horse for 2018 with a magical team of pals, and a round of fantastic songs from when I was 18. I felt super loved!
So yoga time it was! At the end of the day, finally home again, I cranked out True Day 22- Release and Day 23 – Balance. Perfect, delightful and happy! I had a giant smile on my face all the way through release, the whooshing fast paced folds made me really happy. I was pretty thankful for my strong ballet feet too, even though they’re pretty beaten to heck right now with all the running, tap and yoga!
Then I channeled the happy into calm, and found the balances really really nice. I’m almost back on the chaturanga wave, feeling good and figuring out how to stop my elbows popping out (going suuuuuuper far forward on my toes) and finding which muscles need to work harder.
So that’s day 25… Wowee! Here’s to the next 7 of True and then…. more, probably 🙂
Days of Yoga so far in 2018: 24
Days missed: 1
Kms run or hill walked/hiked so far in 2018: 92