I have been trying to rest and recover like a good, smart marathoner this past week and you know what? I’ve hated it. With the exception of the first 3 days after the race, I’ve felt antsy and moody. If my body were feeling 100% injury-free, I would already be running again, even if it had to be at a much slower pace. But alas, that pesky IT band of mine is threatening to make my life miserable indefinitely if I don’t properly rest it. Lina is experiencing identical frustrations because she has acquired peroneal tendonitis in her left foot and also cannot run. Our conversations have reduced to mutual whining about not being able to even look at people running.
So, my solution to my (our) grievances is to do some hot yoga, or more specifically, Bikram Yoga. For anyone that has never done Bikram yoga before, here’s the deal: The room is set to 105 degrees with 40% humidity, and typically the classes are 90 minutes. Another aspect of Bikram is a specified sequence of 26 poses, which never changes. (Generic hot yoga studios don’t necessarily adhere to these guidelines, but legally all Bikram studios have to.)
Why would I, or anyone for that matter, subject themselves to this sort of torture, you ask? A couple things:
1) That is a silly question. This is a blog about running marathons, and I think running a marathon is even MORE insane and masochistic now that I’ve actually run one. So my answer to this is that I have an endorphin problem. No delusions here.
2) For a stiff, tight distance runner like myself, a hot, humid environment can really help when it comes to stretching, and I need all the help I can get.
3) Hot yoga gets my heart rate up and really makes me sweat, so it is the closest I can come to getting the effects of running without doing other repetitive motion/pounding activities that will aggravate my IT band. (I am aware that swimming would be a good alternative, but I hate swimming. I don’t even really like it recreationally, so that’s out.)
Anyways, I’m going to test out a few different studios with the hope that I can go 2-3 times a week while I recover, and then maybe continue going 1-2 times a week once I resume training. I went today for the first time since March (and my second time ever) and it felt great. I felt a little lightheaded at the beginning when I was first getting used to the heat, but you do get used to it. Also, my legs didn’t give me any grief, which was lovely.
I can’t even express how much these classes make me sweat, though. I feel like a cartoon character. For anyone who has seen Dr. Horrible, I am the female equivalent of Moist. Seriously, I sweat like it’s a super power. Oh well. I guess I’m getting my money’s worth, right??