Can you feel the change in the air? Break out the trumpets because Fall is almost here: my hands-down favourite season.
Fall means back to school (and routine!) for the kids in their cute new outfits, starting new sports and activities – while the monotony of lunch-making is not yet completely unbearable. Temperatures start to drop, ushering in crisp mornings and nights, followed by colourful leaves. Thanksgiving and Halloween await like unwrapped presents, just around the corner.
Last but certainly not least, as the heat and humidity of summer disappear, the best running of the year is upon us. Just in time too because, with the most recent flip of the calendar, race season is officially on. And there’s something else on the list this year, for me. Along with the kids starting their Fall activities, I started one too. Today was my first day of yoga! That’s right, this runner is going all yogi.
During the dog days of summer at work, our staff enjoyed a day dedicated to health, wellness and socializing – a day of recognition and thanks for our hard work all year (and believe me, we earned it!). Ever the keen bean, I helped to organize the day’s activities and invited a yoga instructor to come teach us some moves we could incorporate into our daily routines at our desks. The class was AMAZING and the instructor was fabulous.
Immediately, I decided that I should investigate some options for working yoga into my life, preferably over the lunch hour as I just cannot squeeze one more dang thing into my days! A few others were interested as well and then a few more and then a few more. At this point, it seemed like it might be smarter for us to organize our own class so we could set the time and place and make it convenient for us. Luckily, I had strength in numbers on my side with plenty of interest and the support of my employer. The 2 classes we offered sold out in record time. Voila! A little idea becomes a brand new reality.
While I’ll be practicing yoga twice a week, the scheduling of the Monday class will make any runner smile because we all know what comes before Monday. Yes, Sunday – better known as Run Day! How perfect to have yoga the day after a long run! I went out for a 10-miler yesterday which was my longest run since my half-marathon in June and, with cooler temps, I was able to maintain a faster pace than I had been all summer. The result was some residual stiffness and tightness today, particularly in my hip flexors. Yoga to the rescue!
One of the main reasons I am so eager to incorporate yoga into my routine is to help with my running: strength, flexibility, injury prevention. As I get ready to hit my fall training hard in preparation for my half-marathon next month (Niagara Falls, here I come!), I am hoping my yoga practice will become a welcome tool in my arsenal of tricks to keep me limber and moving forward.
Just as I recently enjoyed the rush of getting a bike and taking up cycling with visions of duathlon in my head, today I enjoyed doing something else for my running. These things are all related and hopefully making me a more well-rounded athlete. (That word still feels odd to use when referencing myself, but that’s another post! Need to own it, right?). I used to feel uncomfortable trying new things and worried I would not be able to do it. Since I started running, I find myself seeking out these new challenges and jumping right in. Sure, the yoga poses are unfamiliar right now and I may not know a Savasana from a Lotus, but I’ll learn. Good things happen when you step outside your comfort zone.
Maybe someday my running will thank me. But in the meantime, I need to thank my running for this: the confidence to get out there and try something new. Namaste.
Tell Us: How do you cross-train? And when was the last time you tried something new?