Last week was characterized by two things:
1. Not much running.
2. A return to yang yoga.
Both of these were good things. As I’ve said before, I tend to use the post-long-race week as both a physical and mental break from training. I take a step back from my intense Sunday afternoon workout scheduling session, and just do whatever workouts I feel like – or don’t feel like – doing. I put zero pressure on myself to do anything, and if I want to lounge around and read a book instead, or sleep in for an extra hour, I let myself. So after last weekend’s 50K, my workout week looked like this:
Monday: Yin yoga.
Basically, I fell asleep in a candle lit room while ostensibly stretching my hips. Glorious.
Tuesday: Yoga by the River
I also used a hair dryer on Tuesday. I did not, however, carry a flower pot on my head…
A new East Coast Lululemon showroom opened last week in Singapore. In preparation/celebration, the owners organized a series of free Tuesdays by the River Community Yoga classes during September and October. This was my first time in attendance. There were over 100 of us – probably closer to 200 (?) with our yoga mats spread out on a pedestrian bridge at Clarke Quay. The guest instructor demonstrated and led from the broad concrete railing.
This was an interesting experience, and I’ll admit that I left with conflicting emotions. First of all, doing open air yoga with like-minded folks after sunset was REALLY COOL. But Clarke Quay is a pretty popular evening hang-out for expats, professional locals, and tourists. Our group occupied most of the bridge (leaving just a narrow space for people to pass by), so we were impossible to miss. As my mat was located next to this walkway, I heard lots of comments as people went by – and a fair share of them were from groups of men, to the effect of, “Whoa, it’s our lucky day!” Then, they pulled out their phones and started snapping pictures.
A week later, and I’m still not sure what I think about this. On one hand, we are opting to practice yoga in tight clothing in a very public setting. And there were plenty of groups, women, and couples staring (and photographing) too. I mean, we were quite a sight:
On the other hand, such blatant discussion and admission of oogling makes me feel a little bit uncomfortable. But, I think I’m filing this one under “Live and Let Live,” though – and I’ll probably go back this week. [Tonight, actually – locals, come join us – BYOM (bring your own mat)!]
Plus, this yoga session reminded me of how much I’ve abandoned my “other” yogas (Hatha, Flow, Vinyasa) in lieu of Yin. Although Yin is great for stretching and relaxing, I do enjoy the challenge and strength required by yang yogas, and want to ensure I fit in a class or two each week in the coming months.
Wednesday’s dinner: Dahl and homemade Naan. Maybe not much to look at, but soooo good!
I have lots of team-teaching to do in the next two months, so you’ll be seeing a lot of spinning going on. This was just a little test/warm-up. While I didn’t kill myself with resistance, I was quite pleased with how good my legs felt – generally quite strong, just a touch of residual fatigue when I pushed the hills or sprints hard. Three cheers for speedy recoveries!
Thursday: Short run/walk & Yoga
This was the Grand Opening of the Lululemon store I mentioned above. The owners and managers of this store are an energetic, passionate bunch, eager to share their love of fitness. In fact, I’m working with them to dream up some joint Lulu-RWH programming, so locals, stay tuned!
Anyway, they invited me out for the opening, so I joined an excited, chatty group of 30-40 athletes for a 2-3K run/walk to and through some of East Coast Park. There, we enjoyed half an hour of waterfront yoga. Delicious!
Our instructor kept saying, “Reach to the ceiling/mirror/back wall,” then catching herself when we all laughed. I think she needs to lead MORE waterfront yoga!
Next, we headed out for a ride around the East Coast area and tour of some local yoga and pilates studios…on a Hippo tour bus (don’t ask me why it’s called a Hippo bus; it doesn’t look like a Hippo):
My job rocks. I spent the morning working out, then sitting on the sunshiny, breezy upper deck while riding around Singapore (and ducking the occasional low-hanging branch), talking to yogis and runners, people for whom fitness is a passion – and in many cases, a profession. The morning ended with mini cupcakes and Chinese treats back at the showroom. Overall, a very fun morning. Good luck with this new adventure, ladies!
I also left with my very first Lulu apparel to “test drive” – the blue & white striped tank. We’ll see how it fares after a few weeks with me!
Friday: Good intentions, zero execution
Saturday: Communication Fail
I was supposed to shadow an RPM class on this afternoon; but some miscommunication meant that I got to the gym…but didn’t end up shadowing. Unfortunately, I was wearing my flip flops, and carrying my cycling shoes, but was absolutely without sneakers – so an alternative workout would’ve been hard. I did some stretching, then came home and finished up my book (Red Mist by Patricia Cornwell – total brain candy).
Sunday: Long Run (9 mi)
GCA has been hankering to try out a new park connector, so I met her, and another of her friends (A), for an early morning run from Buona Vista MRT out to Pandan Reservoir. This was super fun for me – Pandan Reservoir is near to my in-law’s place, so this is where KMN and I used to run when we would come to Singapore to visit. This run was made possible by the construction of a new, shiny, loopy bridge over the AYE (freeway) that just opened. The bridge is really quite impressive; I should have taken a picture – but I’m a bad blogger, and failed to take ANY photos of this group adventure.
We took the pace nice and easy, and the miles passed quickly with company. My knee did just fine until about Mile 8, when it started to twinge a bit. After a few twinges, I dialed back to a walk to the finish. Walking, bending, squatting, and all other activities were fine for the rest of the day. For now, I’ll continue to treat with rest (or at least, stick to short runs), and add in a bit of quad/hamstring strengthening. The beauty of being post-key-race is that I have the time and freedom to let this run its course, without being anxious about training that I’m missing.
Anyway – I thoroughly enjoyed getting out for miles with friends – and meeting a potential new running partner *A*ahem*A*! AND, the run ended with a trip to Ghim Moh market, where I was reunited with my first (and still favorite) tau huay (soybean pudding):
There’s nothing like your first time. Especially when it’s as good as this one: smooth, creamy, just the right amount sweet…
I only wish I had thought to bring another five containers home, to eat this week. Instead, I’m just going to need another excuse to go join GCA for a run in her neighborhood. 🙂
And that, my friends, brings us to the end of post-ultra-week. Total Workout Time (including stretching & rolling): 6 hr, 19 min.
Coming up this week? Lots of spinning, and some more non-yin yoga (and, who am I kidding, some yin yoga, too!), and probably some short runs.
Public group yoga: Awesome, or uncomfortable?
Beach yoga: Yay or Nay?
[I hate getting sand everywhere, but have to admit that the views were spectacular!]