Coho Run and Bikram Yoga

I have 13 classes left to do for my hot yoga challenge and I have exactly 13 days left to complete them. This means I will be doing a yoga class every day for the next two weeks. Upon (hopefully) completing my challenge on Saturday, September 7, I will reward myself by taking Sunday off from exercise – HA just kidding! Sorry body … I will be participating in the 14k Coho Run in Vancouver.

The Coho Run is a 14k race starting in Kitsilano and ending in Ambleside where the Coho Festival is held. The run involves crossing the Burrard and Lions Gate bridges, which will make for a very scenic and exhausting course. This will be the second and longest race that I’ve participated in.

While my running training has taken a bit of a dive due to excessive yoga, my overall fitness has never been better. I have ran up to 16 km in my training runs and feel confident that I will be able to finish the race. If I feel like I can’t run any further, I will just think to myself “at least I’m not in a Bikram Yoga class” and it won’t seem so bad!

Crunch Time

As it turns out, doing a hot yoga challenge and training for a half marathon are difficult on their own … and together even more so.

I’m 38 days into my “60 day” yoga challenge (which is technically 63 days – July 7 to September 7) and have only completed 10 classes. This means I have 25 days left to complete the remaining 20 classes. My only consolation is that I can still theoretically finish the challenge without  having to do any doubles. 

Meanwhile, I have also been neglecting my half marathon training. Although I have increased my distance to up to 15 km, I have not been doing an adequate number of runs per week. 

I am not ready to admit defeat, however, and will have to pay for my slacking off last month by doing yoga almost every day plus get back to running at least three time a week. On the plus side, I now consider “slacking off” to mean only doing a couple yoga classes a week and only running a total of 75 km last month.

Bikram Yoga Challenge

I must be a glutton for punishment because in addition to my half marathon training (consisting of 3 to 5 runs per week), I have now signed up for a Bikram Yoga challenge. The challenge consists of completing 30 classes in 60 days (by Sept 7). Everyone who completes the challenge is entered in a draw to win three months of unlimited yoga. But the real prize, I assume, is feeling and looking amazing.

I am now 16 days into the challenge and have completed 5/30 classes, all of which have been 6 AM classes before work! I’m a little behind where I should be but I still have over six weeks left. I try to do the early morning classes because I need to be home after work to walk my dog out, go for a run, and wash all my disgusting yoga stuff which has been festering in a plastic bag while I’m at work all day.

The hardest part is getting up at 5 AM in the morning to get all my things together, have breakfast, and SkyTrain to the studio. Well, that and sweating profusely for 60 to 90 minutes while contorting my body into positions I neither have the strength nor flexibility to do.

The classes are a mental and physical challenge, especially the 90 minute classes. Although I have only done about 10 classes recently, I am already seeing some improvement. I try to set goals each time to hold poses longer and to do both sets. And I try to focus on how amazing I will feel after surviving the class!