On Saturday I woke up to yet another bitterly cold day here in DC. Gray skies, a steady shock of wind, and frosted pavement made it terribly hard to motivate for the nine miles I had written on the schedule. It was the first Saturday long run of my half-marathon training that I had elected to do solo, and as luck would have it, it was just the kind of day when I could have used the extra motivation of another pair of feet on the trail with me. But I knew I needed the solitude of nine miles to convince myself that this training was for real. More importantly, I knew I needed the solitude of nine miles to convince myself that I was for real.
There’s a certain tipping point in any training plan when you decide to fully commit for the long haul or back down and take the outside lane. This run – without fanfare or witnesses – was my steadfast proclamation that yes, I will be on that starting line on March 16, ready to rock. And that’s what I told myself…for nine cold miles down to the Washington Monument and back.
True to form, my slow twitch muscles finally warmed up around mile 5, when my legs settled into a faster pace to finish off the last four miles of the day. All in all, the run was a roller-coaster mentally and physically, but I was excited about the outcome. I rounded the bend toward home knowing that I was ready and able to face the next seven weeks of training head-on. And that goal time of finishing under 1:45? Exactly in the crosshairs.
As part of my recovery from all that pavement pounding, I signed up for a yoga workshop with Mimi Rieger and Rob Hess at the Lululemon store in Georgetown on Saturday evening.
Two hours of bending and stretching sounded like a perfect way to close out the day…until we started running in place on our mats. It was in that moment when I instantly remembered that the name of the workshop was “Energetic Flow,” not “Restorative, Easy, Gentle Flow.” The intensity of the poses seemed to only increase from there. SOS!
Mimi and Rob alternated leading 30-minute segments. I thought that their two distinct teaching styles complimented each other nicely, and it was fun to shake things up with new ideas and moves. Both teachers brought their A game and had us trying crazy new things I never even knew existed, like assisting partners from crow to handstand. Like I said, this was not a class for those who wanted to relax!
I have practiced with Mimi before at Stroga, where she teaches the budokon class I love so much. She brings the same level of energy and intensity to her yoga practice, and despite my tired hips and shaking arms, it made me want to instantly sign up for another one of her classes. There’s a lot to be said for a teacher who really pushes you to your edge during every single pose…even when you are not exactly ready to go there.
And let me just say, I was really not ready to go here…forearm hand stand to scorpion pose, then flip all the way over to forearm wheel. Rob made it look effortless from his mat at the front of the classroom. I tried it once and the momentum of my legs sent me toppling over onto my partner. The game of human dominos was making me nervous; convinced I’d break or pull something with another try, I was content to sit on my mat and watch others in their attempts.
After class, Sweetgreen had a few samples of their juices and wraps for us to try. I had no idea they offered sandwich versions of their salads, did you?
Fearing the wrath of the Georgetown parking police, I quickly packed up and power-walked my way to the car. I was so bummed to miss out on the Sweetgreen goodies that I made a pit stop on my way home to visit their new store in Glover Park.
It is beautiful inside – what a bright and airy space. My favorite feature are the drinks on tap. Cranberry apple cider, coming right up!
It was a crazy, sweaty, challenging Saturday full of showing up, being fully present, and trying new things. It seemed fitting, then, that this window decal was the last thing I saw on my drive home. Love it.