Tuesday, June 12, 2007

The Reformer, the Cadillac and Mike

My boss gave me a Christmas gift of five private pilates sessions, and today I finally had my first appointment. The studio was pretty much what I expected, from the smell of de-ionized air to the myriad of mirrors and workout contraptions. Several instructors and clients scurried from one machine to the next, while others performed stretches in their white socks and "pilate-wear" (mainly tight t-shirts or leotards and loose tights). Now I'll leave the house in just about any combination of running attire (though Kiera recently stopped me before I headed out the door with blue and green shorts paired with an orange shirt), but choosing what to wear for this unfamiliar event actually stressed me out. Luckily I was fine after unwittingly fitting in with the same standard t-shirt and loose tights everyone else had.

My instructor was nice enough as she guided me through a stretching and strengthening exercises on something called the Reformer (sounds ominous, doesn't it?). It was immediately apparent that my right hip was especially tight as it kept bouncing up off the machine when I was supposed to be "anchoring my tailbone" or some similar pilate-speak. Soon enough a leather loop was strapped around my left arch, and as soon as I started to push with that leg to move the weight (they use springs, not weights but you know what I mean) it convulsed into a wicked cramp, which was amusing to all. The leg stretches were interesting, but I definitely got tense whenever I got into a range of motion I wasn't used to. I'm adept at hurting my legs in a very systematic and repetitive way, but getting out of that familiar groove and following a different range of motion was a challenge.

After wrestling with the Reformer for awhile we moved on to the Cadillac. I made a point of not saying anything about the name of the machine, just to save the instructor the pain of going over the same sentences she must repeat to every new client. Here we got into the real workout, and my abdominals were shaking a bit with the effort. I was glad when this was over, and I'm certain I'll be feeling it tomorrow. I'm also certain that I am absolutely terrible at pilates.

All of this made the run a few hours earlier seem easy by comparison. I got up early to run the same hilly route as last week, though with some extra time I made it to the top of the road in Sabino Canyon this time instead of just 3/4 up. That last pitch is really a bear, and the one time I checked my heart rate at the wrist it was 168, which is a bit high for what is supposed to be more of a strength and technique run. At ten miles I could feel the glycogen start to dip, but I made a point of getting to 12 miles to work through that tired feeling. All in all it was a good run.

Training: 12 miles, 1:20:23, 6:43 pace

1 comment:

Sempre Libera said...

I don't know that it's possible to be bad at pilates :-) though it does sound like your body wasn't used to the movement. I admit that I find those big machines very intimidating -- I've only ever done mat pilates. Good luck with the impending soreness!