Saturday, February 5, 2011

Snow Day Time Machine

Snow on Bike

Snow on Plant

Snow Shark

Staying Active in the Cold: Wednesday-Friday (2/02-2/04/11)

Today I’m going to hop in my Snow Day Time Machine and work my way backwards through the exercise highlights of the past three days.  It’s so easy for me to slip behind on my posts for Feels Like Flying that the best way to catch up is a post that zips through three days in one swoop.

Friday was a very exciting day around here: we had an official Snow Day because the 1-2 inches of snow was too much for the Texans to handle.  The university was closed, and so was the Health Science Center, which is where I work.  Our snow was glorious: soft and fluffy, it made everything look white-washed and gorgeous, a lovely change from the drab brown and grey that the landscape has been wearing lately.

I decided to bike to work, thinking that it would be safe if I rode really slowly and walked my bike across the busy roads, just to make sure I didn’t slip on any black ice.  A slow bike ride to work would certainly be faster than walking, and after a week of abstaining from the bike, I was excited to ride.  Even though my work place was “officially” closed, I still had work I wanted to get done, and if I could get to work, there was no reason for me not to work on Friday and then take a real weekend, which I desperately need.

My plan worked brilliantly: I took my time and rode slowly and got to work without incident.  I did have one spot where my bike started to skid, but I was going so slowly that I was able to catch myself with my feet and walk through that slick patch.

Going back in time, on Thursday evening I was feeling really lazy but decided to do some yoga to stretch and relax.  I chose the Morning Flow #1 again because I really liked it the first time, even in my state of psycho-fizz.  Doing this class again and in a much calmer state allowed me to think a little more about the pace and instructor here.  I think the pacing is great—not too fast, not too slow—but I find that Dawnelle, the instructor, does not do a very good job explaining the poses or transitioning you into the next pose.  She seems to assume that you know the class, so her instructions are almost like reminders rather than useful cues.  The pose guide is a great help here, as it provides a lot more information than the vocal instructions do.

Using the time machine to take me back to Wednesday, I arrive at the one day of bitter cold temperatures during which I was brave enough to exercise outside.  I ran outside, which was crazy and hard-core, but it was good to put on some sneakers and get moving.  I did a 30-minute loop, bracing myself against the fierce wind when I was on my final leg of the run, returning to home base.  Evidence of the wind’s strength was littered along my run; there was a house that had lost three sections of fence, presumably because the wind blew them out of the ground.  It was a little scary to see such destruction and to feel the bone-chilling cold pushing against me as I tried to keep moving forward.  Nevertheless, I finished my run unharmed and grateful to head inside to a hot dinner and cozy pajamas.

I have some lingering pain in my left knee after Wednesday’s run.  It doesn’t hurt when I walk around, but if I bend my knees, I can feel this ache that makes me groan like an old woman.  I’m a little concerned about this, as it seems to have popped out of nowhere.  During and after my long runs, I’ve had no knee problems and very little soreness after the runs, so why am I feeling this after a short run?  It hurt a bit during my bike ride commute on Friday, but it wasn’t enough to discourage me from exercising.  What’s funny is that it doesn’t even hurt when I run (or, um, jog across my living room to see if it hurts when I run), so I’m stumped about this!  I’ll have to see how my knee handles another 90-minute run on Sunday.

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