Epic Fail

Posted: May 5, 2012 in Injuries and Owies, Yoga
Tags: , ,

Sometimes, mistakes are valuable.  They can often serve as immediate portals to that ultimate ‘ah ha’  moment when the inevitable challenge or difficulty you happen to be experiencing makes it glaringly obvious that you’ve fucked up and, hopefully, what you need to improve to prevent it from ever happening again.  I just happened to experience one of these epic fails.

Things have been chugging along pretty sweetly with my training for the past few months, so it’s been some time since anything has really jumped out to bite me in the ass.  As I’m currently in my ‘recovery week’ in my training program, I haven’t been doing any big mileage or over all exertion days.  It’s been nice actually; a nice, easy run here, a short pedal around the neighborhood there, maybe a dip in the pool, and perhaps a slow, exaggerated, dragged out stretch in the evening.  Yup, training is good this week, or, so it had been.

The incident happened yesterday.  As per my schedule, I was slated to complete a 10k  tempo run which, at this point, is no big deal.  What?  48-50  minutes of spiking my heart rate?  No problem.  Hell, I can do this run blindfolded and manacled.  Thing is, the weather has suddenly risen recently to more, shall we say, summertime conditions.  It’s not Cancun hot out there just yet, but it’s definitely warmer than I’ve been accustomed to.  I think it’s officially safe to put away the winter training gear for the season and begin looking forward to the warmer, drier weather…thank God.

For the most part, I enjoyed myself.  It felt great to run in a t-shirt and shorts again and feel the warm breeze on my skin.  I ran through the old neighborhood and even passed by my old bachelor pad on Woodland Avenue.  I did realize how much I prefer running out in the country where I train now as opposed to the city streets but, otherwise, it was a nice nostalgic jaunt around my old stomping grounds.  I reminisced about how I used to be feeling, or compared times I used to see at particular points along that all-too-familiar route and, then, compared that to how I was doing at that moment which was inevitably stronger, faster, and more capable.  Excellent!  Who doesn’t love that kind of confidence builder?  Over all, the run was successful.

I hear ya girlfriend…

The fateful mistake came when, in a moment of invincibility, I decided to then go and participate in a hot Vinyasa flow yoga class at my YBS studio.  Hell, why not?  A good stretch seemed ideal and I’ve really been missing my regular yoga sessions since moving to the sticks.  So off I went.  I was already sweaty and shit from my run so I just stripped off my shirt, grabbed my mat from the trunk of my car and found a spot on the floor and got ready to get my yoga on.  Unfortunately, it was all downhill from there.

Almost immediately, something seemed wrong.  My energy was ‘off’ and I felt about as useless as a bucket of donkey foreskins.  ‘What gives?’  I thought.  Well, actually, what I thought was more along the lines of: “Get with it you useless fuck.  Suck it up and get it done.”   But my body just wouldn’t respond.  In fact, it absolutely rebelled.  It was like every cell and muscle in my body had pulled a complete ‘Pancho Villa’ and fought against me.  By the 15  minute mark I was racked with severe stitches through my upper and lower back, shoulders, and hips.  Then the cramps started in my hamstrings and calves.  My strength was being literally siphoned from my body like sap from a maple tree.  By the 45  minute mark I collapsed on my mat completely spent and feeling pretty miserable.  Whatever confidence I had felt on my run had totally dissipated in a big pool of loser on the studio floor – brutal.  At the 50  minute mark I tucked my tail between my legs and packed it in altogether to make my way to the showers instead to rinse off the disappointment in cascades of cool water.

So what went so wrong?  I already know all about the importance of hydration and the pitfalls of dealing with heat.  I’m even keenly aware about the importance of having a proper ‘recovery strategy’ and so on and so forth. ..the fuck?  Had I just become unaccustomed to the rigors of hot yoga since adopting more of a home practice?  Was I just out of practice?  No, that wasn’t it.  Then it occurred to me that I hadn’t really hydrated well that day prior to my run; or during the week really.  In fact, my regular hydration lately has been equal to that of a Bedouin nomad.  My excuse is that I’ve been working from the office this week as opposed to home where I will typically drink lots of the wet stuff.  Coupled with the fact that it was hotter than usual, and I already sweaty before entering in the studio, I was probably well on my way to a good case of dehydration already.  ‘You idiot!’  I thought on the ride home afterwards.

Even this morning during my swim workout, I was feeling a bit tight as if my muscles might cramp up at any moment, so this is my wake-up call.  I need to get back on a proper hydrating routine, especially now that I’m covering longer distances, putting in more training hours and the weather is warmer to boot.  Likewise, I need to be tweaking my recovery strategy a bit more to allow for better muscle regeneration, functionality and flexibility going forward.  All things I know and can do.  I think yesterday’s episode was just my body’s way of telling me to smarten the fuck up.

Duly noted.

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