A story of going from being a non-runner to planning for a marathon in three years...

Friday, August 28, 2009

Core and More

After taking a several-months-long break from Pilates, I went back to it last night. The instructor remembered me and one of the "regulars" even remembered that I'd been training for a race. There were two new faces in class but otherwise it was the same group as always.

I could totally tell that I'd taken a break from Pilates. Some of those moves were killer last night. And the leg lift series was torture. One of the new women in the class just sat there most of the hour watching us, unable to do many of the moves. It made me think about how difficult it can be to get into exercising when you're really out of shape or really out of touch with your body. Sure, Pilates is difficult. Sure, there are still some moves I can't do perfectly. Sure, I remember the first time I took a core strengthening class that I laid my head down on the mat and struggled not to cry. But I've always been able to at least attempt the movements. I tried to talk her into switching to the beginner yoga class. I think Pilates may be a little too advanced for someone who has never done any strength training before in her life.

After Pilates, I asked the instructor for assistance in finding the pool entrance. Thank goodness I did or otherwise I would have never found it! She walked me to the locker room and even then I had to ask some women in there where the door to the pool was. They certainly keep it hidden!

The pool at the Y

The other things I was worried about? Well, my suit still fits, but I can tell that it's old. The elastic is starting to disintegrate and, while it still had enough left to keep the legs and the front lining tight, the outer shell just hung loosely when it got wet and it seemed to be shedding flakes of elastic everywhere. I think I'll be buying a new suit this weekend. I'll miss this one, though. It was a pretty purple color with very faint stars on it! But it has to be at least 10 years old.

I'll also be buying goggles. I definitely needed them last night. Without them, I tend to swim diagonally across the lane and start to freak out because I can't see. The instructor was nice enough to let me use his for most of the class. He also gave me some tips on where to buy good goggles for cheap (FYI: He said Marshall's for those of you that have them in your area).

There are four of us in the class. One very beginning swimmer, one guy who can swim but can't tread water and just doesn't feel very comfortable in general, and one woman who wants to learn better technique. And me.

We didn't spend a lot of time moving last night. Back and forth across the pool a few times. The class is only 40 minutes long, though, and the instructor spent a lot of time talking with each of us. I suspect that as we get further along we'll spend more time swimming and less time talking.

The only bad thing is that at the end of the class he wanted to see if we could touch the bottom at the deepest part of the pool and then swim back to the surface. Right as I touched the bottom and started kicking to head back to the surface, both my calves cramped up and became rocks. Seriously. I had like tennis ball sized rock hard lumps instead of calves. Oh, it hurt! And it's hard to stretch and massage your calves in the deep end of a pool! They were still tight and sore when I went to bed last night. I'm thinking that even though my previous experience with professional massage did not impress me, I might need to check out the massage services offered at the Y. My hamstrings would probably thank me, too.


Michael D. Wong said...

Are you training for a tri? I'm planning on doing a tri and marathon this year. I would like to do a sprint tri before the Champaign Marathon, do the Marathon in Champaign and then decide whether to do the Chicago or something else. We shall see!

Kelly said...

I really love pilates but I have taken a long break from it. I hope I can get into it again! Thanks for telling us about your swim class- I am considering doing a "stroke improvement" class. But the only problem is the classes don't end til 9:30 and I am usually in bed by 9. I blame 5 year olds!

Bayjb said...

I've never done Pilates but I've heard amazing things about it. I should see if my gym would let me take classes. I hear it's awesome for your body.

kilax said...

Did your calves get better?

I bet I would be like that lady at the first class. I am so uncoordinated, it takes me forever to mirror someone else's moves!

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