May 01, 2013

Bikram yoga challenge -- 32 days

Last week, with 17 weeks to go until Ironman Whistler, my body made clear that it was not ready to run. In fact it made clear it was not ready for much riding either, especially in the aero position.

While that was far from good news, it also confirmed that the pain in my heel was merely a symptom, not the cause. The real problem lies in my hips, glutes and piriformis. Unless I fix that soon, I will only be able to do the 3.8K swim on August 25.

From the outset, my registration was about helping me cope with the injury. It was about helping me overcome the reluctance to resume swimming and cycling as it became clear run training was off the menu for a while. As an athlete I am new to dealing with a long layoff from running; I have never had to do that before.

For me, registering for Ironman was also about not losing hope that one day I will be running again, training and racing freely. And in the last few months my optimism about my future as a runner has strengthened. But I have also realized it is going to take a lot more effort and work. And Ironman might arrive too soon.

Bikram yoga will form a key part of my new plan of action to help restore my body's ability to run, to increase my chances to do Ironman, as planned.

Yesterday I began a 32-day challenge of practicing daily. I feel that my body needs it -- my hips, glutes, piriformis, my spine need more flexibility and strength. I have no doubt that these 32 days will be extremely hard but I believe that the benefits and rewards will far outweigh the effort.

Last night, before practice, I told Bikram Yoga Sea to Sky owner and teacher Jena about my intention because I wanted to commit myself to it. Accountability is also part of the reason I am writing this post. In the past three months I have done 21 Bikram classes, so an average of seven per month, less than two a week, compared with the 31 I did the prior six weeks, as I have easily found reasons to "go tomorrow".

Life is busy, so if I want to add something to the schedule I have to commit wholeheartedly and create the time. Reserve the space in my day and mind to practice those 90 minutes every day for one month.

Yesterday's practice was challenging, as my body was tired from the three-day swim meet over the weekend. I probably had not rehydrated well enough either. It confirmed that it had been a good decision to tell Jena about the plan because otherwise I might have skipped today, and the next day, thinking the challenge could wait until "later".

But I know that my body needs it now. How do I know that? Ten days ago, Jena read a quote during practice, which went something like: When you come to the end of what you know, you arrive at the beginning of what you sense. And I sense that Bikram holds the key to my recovery. I certainly sense it is worth trying and seeing what happens.

So I am planning on today's 5:30pm class for day 2 of my 32-day challenge. Namaste. 


yogeekirsten said...

We are behind you 110%. Keep up the good work Margreet!

Margreet Dietz said...

Thanks so much -- I feel the energy of your support, it is fantastic! Looking forward to practice for Day 9.