This past Tuesday I returned to yoga after a few weeks off. Make that 4 weeks off, now that I've consulted my calendar.
No wonder it still hurts so much, two days later.
Aside from having been away for a while, things were not boding well for a good yoga session that day. At around 3 pm I suddenly crashed. The walk from my office to the car and the car into the Y seemed exhausting. What I really wanted to do is go home, sit on the couch, and watch TV for a few hours.
But being the good girl I was, I went to yoga. And boy did I regret it. I don't think that I have ever regretted going to yoga before, but about 40 minutes in to this particular class I was wishing I had gone home to lay on the couch. Our instructor had decided that tonight was going to be the endless night of flows. We must have done 30 vinyasa series and my legs started to wobble during an intense series of high lunges. The remaining 20 minutes of class were terrible, as Penny (our instructor) added side planks into the middle of the last few vinyasa series. At the end we rounded out with two core exercises that I couldn't even do because I was so exhausted.
Then I almost fell asleep during savasana.
When I got home I ate dinner and went to bed at 9 pm... at which point I promptly fell asleep.
My training schedule called for 3 miles on Wednesday. The weather was surprisingly tolerable, so I texted Prabir to see if he wanted to meet me for a short run after work. We hadn't run together in ages and luckily he was available, so we met at the Y at 5:15. I knew things were going to be bad because no matter how much stretching I did, my hamstrings felt like rubber bands that were about to snap.
And boy was it terrible. Not even Prabir could distract me from the fact that my legs felt like two blocks of lead for the entire run. I don't think I've ever been more happy to make it back to the Y.
This morning my hamstrings were still incredibly tight so I was dreading the 5 miles called for by my training plan. During the day I took the opportunity to stretch whenever it presented itself. This included quite a bit of time spent bending over and touching my toes in my cube while at work.
I waffled between running outside and wussing out and running on the treadmill in air conditioned comfort. The AC won out and luckily, while my 5 miles seemed to drag on and on, it wasn't nearly as painful as I had anticipated.
So, the lesson that I learned so you don't have to: don't take a four week break from yoga and then decide to jump back in during the first week of marathon training, unless your goal is to screw yourself.