Dot writes: following my own illnesses I signed up for yoga classes. Following Hugh’s hospital stay I signed up for a 10km run, the Dublin Flora Women’s Mini-Marathon on 3rd June. These are good things because they motivate me to look after myself a bit and become more fit and healthy, though finding the time remains a challenge and I admit that I may not actually run the whole 10km. I’m planning to do the mini-marathon in aid of Temple Street Children’s Hospital (memo: must tell the hospital this so I can be on their official team and get a nice purple t-shirt), but the yoga is purely in aid of me.
It must be said that the people who design training programmes even for relatively unambitious 10km-ers do assume quite a lot of freedom to head out of the door unencumbered for an hour or so three times a week. The dad of one of Hugh’s classmates is finding the time very neatly by running part of his route into work everyday, but I can’t quite bring myself to do this (one word: handbag. And some other words: red, sweaty, centre of Dublin, embarrassed). (In case you’re wondering, he isn’t training for the Flora. He’s a man.) So far I have done quite well by managing three short outings since I signed up just under two weeks ago, one rather pathetic puff round the park and two more vigorous but (alas!) definitely short circuits on roads. One of these was facilitated by Ken being in Dublin, and the other two by Hugh having clinic appointments so that I was at home during the day; this doesn’t bode awfully well for managing to fit running in to the normal routine. However, I spent a bit of time earlier making a table in which to enter my goals and what I actually do so I can track my progress towards the race. I looked at various different plans online, which all proposed complicated mixtures of differently paced runs, sprinting at intervals, circuit training, walks and (hooray) rest days, and after some thought I wrote in my plan: try to get out at least twice each week and steadily increase my distance. And we’ll see how that goes.
Perhaps auspiciously, I have stubbornly managed to attend all my weekly yoga classes since starting them in late February. They are on Tuesday evenings, and I have resisted the protests of my children, who don’t like to see me leaving just before bedtime, and arranged a babysitter for the times when Julie was going to an evening lecture, all in order to be told to relax the back of my knees and do an exercise that is wonderful for the immune system. I do wonder sometimes whether yoga teachers really believe all the stuff about kundalini energy and bridge pose being good for heavy periods that they earnestly spout. I love the exercises, but an inner voice tends to pipe up from time to time and whisper “This is bunkum.” However, I leave the classes feeling relaxed, pleasantly stretched and rebalanced and with more energy than I had when I came in, so I think I can take a little bunkum along with it.