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Stretching myself ....

May 21, 2008 - Phyllis Sigal
OK, here I go again ... moving outside my comfort zone.

"Phyllis — the athlete," my husband Bruce joked last night as I was stretching my poor muscles.

Never having been much of a sports-minded person, neither as a spectator nor a participant, even joining a gym about 11 years ago was a stretch for me.

But after all these years, I've come to love my workouts and my yoga classes.

Last year at this time I decided to walk the 5K in the Ogden Newspapers race, which is coming up again this weekend.

I really just figured there was nothing to it; I do four miles or so on the elliptical machine several times a week. But walking — even a 5K — on the hard pavement outside is quite different, I found. Especially because, last year, we walked the race, then ran to the car to drive to the airport — not stretching at all. When I got to the airport, I could hardly move.

That lasted for days.

So this year, I decided to do the walk again. (I must've forgotten about the pain; like you do the pain of childbirth.)

The fact that I hadn't exercised much for the last few weeks because I was out of town a good bit didn't really occur to me until I was talking to Bethany Romanek, a reporter here, and a runner. She'll be running in her eighth Ogden 20K this year.

"Have you been training?" she asked me last Friday.

That's when it hit me that not only had I not been training, I hadn't actually done much physical exercise at all lately.

So I hit the ground walking the next day.

I only logged 2.1 miles last Saturday. Oh, not so good, I thought after I measured my distance in the car. And, I hurt. Legs, shins, back.

Sunday, I did a 5K on the treadmill at CentreTown. Then I really hurt. Every muscle in my body was screaming, "WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO ME?"

I thought I should just take Monday off from exercising, but Bethany suggested I at least walk a mile, just to release the lactic acid that had built up in my muscles. I took her advice and walked a quick mile before going to my yoga class.

At the beginning of my yoga class, my teacher, Julia Payne, always asks what's going on with her students. I mentioned I was preparing for the 5K and that everything hurt.

Being the attentive teacher she is, many of our moves that night were moves to help me to prepare my muscles. (Thank you, Julia! I've been doing them!)

So between Bethany's suggestion and Julia's help, I felt much better on Tuesday. And did 15 minutes on the stair stepper and 45 minutes on the treadmill. Wednesday, 30 minutes on the elliptical.

And, I'm taking Thursday and Friday off — except maybe for some yoga and some stretches.

So, all this and only for 5K. I sure do admire all you folks doing the 5K at a running pace and the 20K walkers and runners — so far beyond my abilities!

And then there are a couple of women I know who just completed a full marathon — 26 miles! Dawn Ann Dean, another of my yoga teachers, ran for five hours, 10 minutes and 55 seconds! And Alyssa Duplaga ran for four hours, 44 minutes and 50 seconds!

I can't even imagine.

At least at the moment ... who knows ... maybe next year I could think about walking the 20K. If I start training next week!

But right now I'm just hoping to shave at least a minute or two off my 47.26 time from last year!


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