can I be a yogi & a runner at the same time?

Trying to complete this half marathon training plan:


…is causing all sorts of this:

planning the next 125 days of my life is giving me extreme anxiety. afraid to take on too many new things. just need to commit to the plan.
Alicia Hansen

Anxiety-ridden, irrational Alicia sent that tweet on Sunday night after staring at the above Excel sheet for far too long. Coming off my recent forced downtime via double ear infection, I headed to the gym for some cardio on Thursday. I managed a vinyasa flow class the night before so figured I was ready for my usual elliptical/running workout. I wasn’t. I made it through the full 45 minutes but was ROCKED by the end of it. The last fifteen minutes on the track doing my version of intervals (power walking a lap, then running a lap) left me nauseous and very unlike that runner that used to blog here back in the summer.

A lot has happened since then. I wonder if I still have the legs, the lungs and the longing to run a half marathon. I look at my fellow Cleveland Marathon bloggers posts and get inspired. I remember that feeling: that runner’s high that I love. I remember how great I feel physically and mentally when I’m regularly running. Then it comes time to put my sneakers on, I panic and run to my yoga mat.

I’m comfortable on my mat. It’s a safe place. A place that has gotten me through a rough patch on several occasions. It’s helped me discover what is important to me, how I want to structure my every day life and inspired some crazy goals – many of which are manifesting themselves as I speak. One of those goals is completing yoga teacher training so I can be teaching by the end of 2012. I’m happy to share the realization that that goal is becoming reality as I’ll start “NYTT” aka Nishkama Yoga Teacher Training in March (noted on the schedule above).

That is what sparked the moment of anxiety on Sunday. As I plugged in my NYTT dates into my workout schedule, it all seemed to be like I was taking on too much. As it’s also on my goals sheet, I really want to break that 2:15 time in 13.1 miles, but my current level of cardio fitness is making me believe that if I don’t get on track NOW (or even yesterday) it’s not going to be a possibility. But can I work on furthering my path as a yogi while increasing my speed as a runner?

Even this morning I sit here debating: do I go to 9:30AM vinyasa flow or do I head to the track? You’re not a runner if you don’t run, but all I can think about is being in downward dog. So can I really be both a yogi and a runner? Feel free to talk some sense into me – Lord knows I’m not providing it to myself right now!

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  1. Roxanne says:

    I say do what you love. If your passion isn’t running right now, that’s ok. You can force yourself to go through the motions and train for a half marathon, but that will probably take away from your yoga training. And if you’re splitting your time between the two activities, you might not be able to do either one of them very well. I say pick the activity that makes you happiest and stick with that for right now. I think Hal Higson even tweeted about this type of scenario the other day. Simplicity is key. Pick one goal and work towards that. Having multiple goals at once could set you up to fail.

    • Alicia at Poise in Parma says:

      Considering you just used one of my buzz words for 2012 (simplicity), I feel like you were reading my mind. I’m not sure about splitting my effort between two huge goals. Thanks for your thoughts!

  2. Jess says:

    FIRST – SO cool about teacher training, you’ll be an awesome instructor!!

    SECOND – hugs, big big hugs. Take a breathe and exhale for a minute. You can totally make this manageable, I know you can. I have found that barre work mixed with running has been such a great mix and I’m sure the same is true for yoga/running. You just may have to learn to chooes your battles as the miles add up – one less yoga class a week even, or one more rest day. Listen to your body on that one.

    Also – embrace the confidence you’ve found in yoga and apply that confidence to running. Let go of that fear and realize that your body can do this. It’s done it before and it’ll do it again. If you can let go of the fear, your running will take off, I promise. xo

    • Alicia at Poise in Parma says:

      Jess: I heart you for calming my crazy mind down. I’d like to think I’d be able to handle the balance between the two as before, but YTT is SO much bigger than just practicing. I’m trying to make a rational, level-headed decision so having friends like you to talk me back to normal is greatly appreciated!

  3. Kali says:

    Honestly, if you’re feeling this way already, it’s going to be really hard to get through and give both 100 percent. Ask yourself which is more important to you right now. And don’t forget, the half marathon will always be there. The race wot go away next year or the year after. No need for more stress!
    Love you girl!

    • Alicia at Poise in Parma says:

      Kali: I can always count on your for a realistic, kick-in-the-behind reply, and that I am thankful for. If I go forward with the running, you know you’ll be seeing the training plan before anyone else!

  4. Heather says:

    Here’s the question: what do you WANT? Once you decide what you want, then the answer will come. Because if you want it bad enough, you’ll make time for both.
    I’m sure you’ll decide what’s right for YOU. 🙂

  5. Carly says:

    I love that you are going to do NYTT! I’m obsessed with yoga, and I think that it has done far more for me overall than running ever has. Not to discourage you from running, but follow your heart!!!! Running will feel like a chore if you are 100% committed to it.

  6. Holly says:

    Perhaps you should reevaluate your PR goals. Maybe you can still do the half – but make it a fun run.?

    I am excited to hear about your YTT journey!!

    I have been struggling a bit with my training too, but also due to it being January. UGH. I long to practice yoga and run – but often there are just not enough hours in the day.

    • Alicia at Poise in Parma says:

      You make a good point about reevaluating the PR goal. I may reevaluate the distance as well – I have said I’d like to run another 10K. Thanks for that idea!

  7. jobo says:

    I just read this post the other day and have not stopped thinking about it: – you don’t have to run a race to prove that you are a runner (not that I think that is what you are doing or why you are doing it!), race or no race, if your goal is to run the 13.1 and to do it now, then focus on that and not yoga. HOWEVER. reading this post and your recent posts on yoga, and to me, it feels like your heart is there, and not in racing/running…you are doing it moreso to prove you can. Girl, YOU know you can. WE know you can. But are you passionate about it as you are with running? I don’t know that you are and that’s OKAY! Just as I proclaimed I am a runner, not a racer, once I released myself from that label and pressure, I felt a huge ton of bricks lift and I actually LOVE running again. Maybe if you release that pressure and PR goal from yourself and just run…to run, when you want, where you want, how far you want, you might surprise yourself. Ya know, in between becoming that passionate yogi that you will beocome!! My two cents 🙂 XOXO!

  8. Lee says:

    Very cool that you’re going to do the teacher training.

    I’m actually wondering something similar about my training and that’s whether I can keep up weight training while running. I’ve always let it fall to the wayside in past training and I really want to not this time. My goal is also 2:15! My race is in March.

  9. sharla @262milejourney says:

    You can absolutely run and be a yogi at the same time! But I think you’ll feel a lot better if you take the PR pressure off. I know it’s hard to let go of big goals like that. The NYTT is the bigger deal (at least that’s the way your post reads) so my advice would be to pick a fall race to aim for your PR.

    Congrats on going for your certification!

  10. Becca @ Peace, Love & Bagels says:

    I’m struggling with the exact same thing right now. I love everything yoga, it’s where I get my warm fuzzies. But I also miss running, want to keep running, want to run the half in May…but I can’t seem to get myself out the door. I don’t know where the happy medium lies. Because I’d love to practice yoga every single day, even if only for 15 minutes, but I also want to run a few times a week. I don’t think I have the time for both in one day but I always feel like one has to suffer for the other.

    my goodness.

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