Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The 98th percentile, bikram yoga, and everything else

I've been working on this blog post in bits and pieces for the last week but FINALLY getting around to publishing it!

Registration opened up for the 2014 Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon last Tuesday at 10 AM CST. I put a reminder in my calendar. When it popped up, I turned it off and promptly forgot about it.

During lunchtime the next day, I was surfing the internet and a Disney advertisement popped up (gotta love internet cookies). I thought, "Oh yeah, I should probably register for Wine and Dine. I wonder how full it is?" I went onto the Run Disney website to take a look.

To my complete surprise, the Wine and Dine Half was already listed at 98% full. Worse yet, I was met with the glaring disclaimer that "Events may sell out before percentages can be updated."

Ruh roh.

I did my best Speedy Gonzalez impression and blew through those registration pages as quickly as I could type and click.

I zipped through so quickly that who knows if I even selected the right shirt size or entered my birth date correctly. Nevertheless - I got in!

BUT - if I end up with a race shirt that fits me like a dress, or if I end up in the "10 and under" age group, then we'll all know why.

Shifting gears -

I've been wanting to try bikram yoga for a really long time. Through the magic of Gilt City, I found a great deal on a 5-class pack at the Bikram Yoga West Loop studio. I gave it a go this past weekend.

I'd heard a few things about bikram yoga that made me uncertain about how I would like it. Namely:
  • The 107-degree room temperatures, of course, and their potential effect on the body
  • Instructors generally do not demonstrate the moves during class, they just talk you through them
  • A standard set of 26 poses that are always done in the same order
  • Classes are 90 minutes in length (the longest yoga class I've ever done previously was 55 minutes, and that already feels long to me)
  • No music
I was most concerned about how I would react to the heat. The last thing I wanted was to succumb to nausea in the midst of class. Generally it's not a good idea to blow everyone's zen to smithereens.

I prepared by taking a couple of salt capsules and hydrating fiercely in advance. I think I overdid it, though, as I found myself needing to use the restroom during the middle of class. (We were instructed to try to stay in the room during the entire class, though, so I held it.) Add bikram to running races as times where it's challenging to get the hydration strategy down.

The verdict after my first class? Thumbs up! The heat didn't bother me at all, I was able to follow along easily by watching the other students, and I didn't even think about the fact that there was no music. The 90 minutes went by pretty quickly, too. I felt really good afterwards - very limber and refreshed.

I do wonder if it would get tiresome doing the same set of 26 poses during every bikram class? We will see how it feels after I've gotten a few more classes under my belt. But as of right now, I am looking forward to doing more bikram in the future.

Other random notes:
  • I just saw that the Chinatown 5K announced its date for 2014. It is none other than July 12 - my birthday! This is going to be a really fun way for me to celebrate.
  • Maggie hosted an awesome clothing swap this past Saturday. I just love these types of events. They are such a great way to catch up with friends while cleaning out your closet and getting some amazing new-to-you stuff. I picked up some fabulous items that I've already begun wearing. Can we do things like this more often!?!?
  • I've been battling a scratchy sore throat, stuffy nose, and overall tiredness since this past Sunday. My ears feel clogged, too. It's made it tough for me to be on my A-game.
  • I had three miles on my training plan yesterday. I wanted to do my best to stick to the plan despite not feeling 100%. So I slugged it out on the treadmill. It was slow and very ugly, but it got done. And call me a wimp, but I will think again before attempting to run through cold symptoms in the future.
Wah, wah, wah

To end things on a more positive note, I am going on vacation tomorrow! So even amidst my sporadic posts, I will be away from the blog for a little while. Good luck to everyone running races in the near future (I've heard of a ton of St. Patrick's Day-themed ones...!) I look forward to catching up with everyone when I get back!


  1. Yay! I am happy you got in the race! I think my neighbor is doing that as her first half... that is the one in Nov, right? :)

    Ugh, I have the same sickness this week! I hope you get better so you can enjoy your vacation!!!!!

    1. Thanks, Kim! Yes, this is the one in November indeed. How cool that your neighbor is doing it! I think it's such a fun event that would be an amazing experience for a first-time half marathoner. =)

      Boo to you being under the weather this week, too! I wish you a speedy recovery, as well. Get as much rest as you can!

  2. Congrats on your first Bikram class! I knew you'd love it. And don't worry, I had a lady pass out on top of me once (she kind of tipped over like a domino), so you'll at least never have that issue as long as you hydrate and fuel enough prior to class.

    I'm so jealous you have a Chinatown 5K. With a name like Shinianen, I'm almost born to run that one. If only there was a Chinatown in MN... :-(

    1. Thanks, Shinianen! Your tips on bikram were super helpful for me. Before you mentioned it, I never knew that it was the same set of 26 poses everytime. It helped that I was able to look up the poses in advance of my first class. =) And oh my goodness, that poor woman that passed out! That must have been so awkward for you, too. Sorry that you had to experience something like that!

      Hey, if you are free the weekend of July 12th, come on down to Chicago! Help me celebrate my birthday and run the Chinatown 5K with me! =D

    2. AH, I'd love to run it... we'll have to see what my summer has in store. So far I've got a wedding (with accompanying showers and bachelorette party) and a few races set in stone. Chinatown is a "want", so I have to figure out if it fits in with my "needs".

      Being an adult sucks!!

    3. Totally understand! It would be awesome if it worked out, but it sounds like you've got quite the busy summer going already! Just keep me posted. =)

  3. Yeah, you got in the race. I did too! Oh and I laughed so hard with the Speedy Gonzalez cartoon. I can totally see you rushing and typing so quickly to get it.

    I am glad you like bikram yoga. I love it too! I did not hydrate properly my first time and ended up with a huge headache afterwards. The next time I drank a big bottle of gatorade and that helped a lot. We should make plans to go together one day.

    I will put the Chinatown race on my calendar. Hopefully I'll be in town and can run with you.

    1. YAY! We definitely have to meet up there! It is going to be a blast - and how exciting that you'll be getting your SECOND Coast to Coast medal there, too. What an amazing accomplishment! Yeah, it was a little awkward trying to register at the last moment like that. When you are in a hurry, it's amazing how many dozens of things you seemingly have to fill out and click through. =D

      That is awesome that you like bikram, as well! Sorry to hear about your headache the first-time, but Gatorade sounds like it would be the perfect remedy! I would love to go together some day. What studio do you go to?

      I hope that you can run the Chinaton 5K, too!!!! Keep me posted on how your plans shake out!!!

  4. I love Bikram! I once did the unlimited first month and did it 28 times in one month. I slept SO well after class, my skin was clearer and I just felt calmer. All reasons I still go to yoga. :)

    1. Oh my goodness, 28 days in one month! That is incredible! You are an amazing yoga devotee, indeed! It is so great to hear that it was so incredibly restorative for you, too. I hear frequently that you are supposed to go to yoga at least three times a week to truly reap its benefits, but I don't think I've ever been able to go that frequently. Especially after hearing your experience, I think I am leaving something on the table when it comes to yoga practice!

  5. Eek! To close for comfort on WIne n Dine. Glad you got in! I have a cold this week too and haven't run since Sunday. It's my last big week before taper too. Sigh. Have a great vacay!

    1. Thanks Marcia! So sorry to hear that the cold bug has reached you, too. I wish you a speedy recovery. Huge congrats on reaching your final training week before taper, too! YAY!!!

  6. Interesting about the bikram yoga! I haven't really done much yoga at all. I'm super "not flexible" and because of my shoulder injury, I can't hold some of those posititions too long. I need to find a good yoga video or something to do.

    And hope you feel better. I was just sick in the beginning of the month and I ended up taking 3 days completely off, did my bike trainer for a bit the 4th day, took the 5th day off, then decided to run!

    1. I'm not very flexible, either! My hamstrings and calves are perpetually tight. It's to the point that when I'm just bending over in the shower to shave my legs, I can feel the tightness. Crazy, eh?

      So sorry to hear that you were sick early this month, too. It really is the worst feeling, and having to take that much time off from training can be so hard from a mental standpoint. I am glad that you are back on track! And thank you for the shout-out on your blog today, I am so glad to hear that the 1-minute tempo repeats have worked well for you!!!

  7. You said that the bikram instructors don't demo moves, but do they come around and adjust you? I'm a visual learner and I tend to focus a lot (maybe too much) on getting my form "just so" during yoga. I need as much help as possible. Not sure I could swing it without seeing the instructor do it.

    Yay for speedy registration! I know you would have been kicking yourself if you missed out!

    1. In my class, the instructor did come around and work with individuals on form in between the times that he talked the group through the poses. He did briefly demonstrate some of the poses himself, too. But for sure, it was mostly about watching some of the more-advanced students to figure out what to do. If it was a class of all-beginners, that would have been really challenging!

      Yay for speedy registration, indeed! These Disney races are getting so popular now that I'm wondering when they are going to start going to a lotto system, too, LOL.