Since the past seems to fade rather rapidly these days, I guess that my best strategy to actually get something written down is to start with the present and work my way backwards.
After a pretty hectic travel and adventure season in September and October I have finally managed to settle back into a routine. I have cut way back on my yoga and am currently taking just two classes a week, both at LA Fitness, with JR (don’t call me William) on Tuesday and Janelle on Thursday. I am also taking two or three Power Pilates classes with Becky Tyo at Pilates X in Los Altos.
Mistress Becky is now my prime core coach/torturer as Stephanie, my former core coach, is now enjoying being a new mother too much. Becky’s ministrations are greatly appreciated. Welcome to Team John, Becky! Then there is the weekly Gyrotonic session at Orange County Gyrotonic, and my bi-weekly visit to my body mechanic, Donna Place, at Long Beach Gyrotonic in Naples.
I am doing a lot of dance classes–3-5 classes each week. Lyrical Jazz with Miss Sari, Beginning Jazz and Beginning Ballet with Miss Carrie, and Intermediate Ballet with Miss Vannia at Elevation Studios, and Adult Ballet with Vannia at EnPointe studio. I also made my ballet performing debut with both the Beginning and Intermediate Teen/Adult classes in the Elevation end-of-term recital. The nine dancers in our Beginning piece ranged in age from 72 down to 11!
On the physical side, the two major fronts are my triceps and my right foot. I think I may have made a bit of a quantum leap on the triceps in the past week or so. Yesterday I was very conscious of a new level of activation and engagement in parts of my triceps that been missing for quite a while. I think that a major factor in that development has been Mistress Becky’s Plank-O-Rama, specifically December’s 30-second chaturanga. Not ready yet for handstands, but getting better all the time.
My right foot has improved enough that I can envision the day when instead of having a bad foot and a good foot I just have right and left feet. I am now at a stage where the entire right leg is now CAPABLE of making the appropriate alignments to support proper walking/running. That has required a lot of adjustments to bones, ligaments, tendons and God knows what other anatomical features, and it has been an often painful process. The body doesn’t particularly care to do things differently, but it will come along if you are both firm and compassionate with it.
I said CAPABLE above because it still takes work and mindfulness to achieve proper walking. The muscles that are necessary to accomplish that have been located and activated, but are in serious need of strengthening. “Last to fire, first to tire” seems to be the rule for many of them, so starting out on a walk, for example, is often uncomfortable until everything comes on board. Then later in the excursion discomfort returns as those muscles tire. The task now is to extend that comfort zone on both ends.
My tool for accomplishing those tasks is the trudge. Traveling uphill at a good pace for many miles. The benchmark I have set for myself for the future is the Mount Wilson Toll Road, a dirt track that ascends 4200 feet over 10 miles to the top, for a 20 mile round trip. When I can make it from bottom to top and back down in 8 hours I will consider myself ready for the next phase, the ultra-marathon.
The clock is ticking as I have already registered for the 50K run at the Zion Ultra Marathon in April. So on April 21 I need to be able to cover approximately 31 miles in 10 hours. In order to do so successfully I will be required to do some running to make up for rest time and difficult terrain. Once I build enough strength I will then need to train myself to run in a gait that is efficient and capable of sustaining for long distances over flat or moderately sloped terrain.
Off now to do some trudging! Destination, Mount Wilson Toll Road, goal, five miles up, five miles down…
Okay, I actually started this on Friday, wrote up to the lines above Saturday, and this is now Christmas morning. The trudge yesterday was a good one. I maintained a 2.5 mph pace for the entire 10 miles (5 up, 5 down), and still felt like a functioning human being afterwards. I also was able to push the pace up for the initial 2.5 miles and 1300 ft of elevation to a 2.8 mph. Knees are a little cranky today but got through this mornings 4 mile walk without complaint. I think there’s hope!!