I'm not much of a fitness buff. I try to stay just active enough to keep my problem areas in check. Blogging and a nagging foot injury are interfering with that at the moment, but given the choice, my two favorite ways to exercise are running and yoga. For me, running is the biggest bang for the buck with respect to a cardio workout, and yoga is great for balance, flexibility and peace of mind. My perfect maintenance fitness routine is a 3 or 4-mile run 3 or 4 days a week and an hour of yoga twice a week. My goal is to get back to that in the next month (as it's been for months).
This weekend, my favorite running event and my favorite yoga person both have big days in store. On Saturday, the new Shakti Studio on College Parkway will have its Grand Opening from 12 - 4. It's in the office complex at the corner of College Parkway and Bellrive Rd. They will have mini yoga sessions and demos along with some raffle give-aways and henna art. My friend, Cheryl Arends, is an instructor at the new studio. I know from first hand experience that she is a wonderful yoga instructor and a delightful person.
I've been doing yoga off and on for 10 years. For me, it's been a great compliment to running when I'm in a good fitness routine (which I'm not at the moment). I benefit from the stretching and from the emphasis on balance and core strength. I've taken a variety of classes at Big Vanilla. They have something for everybody except perhaps the yoga purist. And I've dabbled in Bikram, or "hot", yoga, which is a whole other can of hot, sweaty worms - not for everybody, but I'm perversely drawn to it.
I've also taken classes with Cheryl at the Cape Clubhouse. Her enthusiasm for yoga is infectious and refreshing without being goofy or overwhelming. I came away from her classes with a much better understanding of the subtleties of yoga postures. Wherever I do yoga now, I hear her coaching in the back of my head reminding me to lower my rib cage or spread my toes and get properly grounded. It's a testament to the quality of her teaching and commitment to proper form that I recall it so readily. The new studio so close to the Cape will be a terrific addition to the fitness and wellness options available to us, and they are fortunate to have Cheryl on board.
Switching gears, my favorite running event is the annual Annapolis 10-miler which will be run for the 35th time this Sunday morning. The course starts at the Naval Academy Stadium and winds its way through downtown Annapolis before heading out over the Naval Academy Bridge and up through the neighborhoods on the opposite side of the Severn. Then it heads back down Ritchie Highway, back over the bridge and skirts West Annapolis before returning to the stadium.
Supporters turn out in great numbers for this race. Last year there was a chamber music group playing next to St. Anne's on Church Circle as we passed through the downtown area. The home owners in the residential neighborhoods are always ready with a cool spray of the garden hose, an encouraging word, and even a cup of beer. It's a good time whether you're a world class runner or a casual jogger like me.
I'm not a jogger of any sort at the moment thanks to a wicked case of plantar fasciitis. I think the seeds of this injury actually were a result of overtraining for last year's A10. I've been off of it for several months now, but my stubborn refusal to wear anything but flip flops during the summer months has not helped in the recovery. I'm hoping to get back out running in the next month, but it will be a very gradual ramp up to just a couple of miles a few times a week. Maybe I'll make it back for next year's A10. I will have to settle this year for cheering on my husband and friends.
Check out Shakti Studio on Saturday if you're so inclined, or head downtown and cheer on the runners on Sunday morning (race starts at 7:45AM). If anybody wants to run in the A10 and didn't register before it filled up, I have a number free for the taking. Your results will be under my name, so you need to be a woman (I guess), and you need to be a really fast runner! Whatever you do this weekend, get outside and enjoy the pretty weather!