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Yoga for the Run

Author: Judy Richwine

I started the New Year off in Arizona with my husband, Gary, where we did a race called “Across the Years”.  We elected to run for 72 hours beginning in 2018 and ending in 2019 to complete as many miles as we could in 3 days.  The course was just over a mile long and we changed directions every 4 hours.

I had 3 goals for this race:  break both the 12 hour and 24 hour USA road record for the female age group of 75-79 and to also complete my first 100 miles.  I succeeded because of my training at EPY.  Yes, only yoga and a lot of it kept me strong.  I was even “running” at mile 98.

More about the run….It was too cold to sleep in our rented tents on our rented cots with the extra warm sleeping bags we had brought with us on the airplane so after the first 12 hours I kept running rather than lay on the cot shivering and listening to the loud snoring from the woman in the next tent.  

The temperature was about 28 F at night just outside of Phoenix with a high during the day of 45.  After 24 hours we were really tired and bummed about not being able to grab a few hours of sleep.  I kept on moving for another 5 hours before we decided to go to a toasty warm hotel and get a good night’s sleep.  By doing this, I lost almost 17 hours of running time and Gary lost over 19 hours but we felt sooo much better for the rest.

The next morning it was raining with a couple of downpours during the day.  But we were feeling great and kept on slogging through the mud and raindrops.  (I did not bring rain ponchos!). Gary had almost 50 miles to reach 100 miles and I had just over 25 miles.  Gary felt so good that he took off and lapped me many times until I had 99.7 miles and we ran my last mile together.  Instead of crossing the finish line I waited in the warming tent while Gary ran his last 3 miles alone and then we finished the last few feet together, completing 100.7 miles.  

We missed the race’s midnight New Year celebration of champagne and fireworks because we opted not to continue running for the last 14 hours of the race.  We celebrated in our hotel room with a dinner of chips, wine, and ice cream bars and watched the Times Square annual midnight ball dropping on television.

Now, how does yoga come into this?  Well, I practice at Lancaster EPY about 4-5 times a week and as a result of all the “chairs”, “warriors”, and “chaturanga dandasanas” I have a strong core, and strong legs and arms for a 75 year old woman.  

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