MarathonMaiden's Blog

December 11, 2009

Just Dance

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 14:36

So I wanted to talk about my experience in jazz class but it just never felt appropriate / I could never find the right way to work it in.  So obv I didn’t.  But Thursday was my last class of the semester so I wanted to include some thoughts on my experience and how I felt it impacted my running.  Because like I’ve written before (and been a broken record about it) I’m running really high mileage and feeling fantastic doing it.  I have no direct evidence that Jazz is the root of this but I suspect that it has a large influence.  What am I going to do next semester without it?!

First off I think EVERYONE should take a dance class, runner/other type of athlete or not.  Apparently (and no I don’t have studies to back this up) research has shown that it can stave off dementia because you’re constantly working the brain with music and steps and counts.  And as fun as senile old people are, I don’t think anyone wants to actually be one.

Anyway.  Back in September I was so incredibly skeptical of this class.  I mean, I am a high achiever and a dance class as part of my schedule?  Clearly even though it was hard in the way I typically associate with tough classes it was challenging.  A huge emphasis was placed on stretching and flexibility (duh have you ever seen dancers?!).  As I wrote in my guest post with Christina I never stretch.  So not only was I working muscles that I don’t regularly use but I was stretching them out too.

Not going to lie, the first few classes were tough.  I was never sore but there was always that feeling of “Oh yeah.  *insertbodypart* exists”.  A good feeling IMO.  But all this stretching left my hips being able to open up and my hammys to loosen up.  And my stride with running because more fluid and relaxed.

Another huge key was my ability to become less klutzy.  I mean, I trip over my own feet.  Regularly.  But having to dance and flow with the music has turned me into a *more* graceful person – definitely still not in the graceful category but closer for sure.  I love that I “move like a dancer” like when I get dressed? Yup I point my toes.  It’s awesome! I suppose that this musicality I’ve developed has impacted my running just by giving me more balance and being able to trust the movements of my body.

In the mental health category: I feel so happy when I left that class! I absolutely dreaded going to it and actually dreamed up excuses to miss / sit out of the class.  But, like running, I felt so much better at the end of class.  It was a great stress relief and a great way to let off some steam during the day.

Plus I also like the way it improved my moves on the dance floor 😛

Like last night.  I’m not saying I’m the best dancer out there but hey, I’m not longer limited to my “white girl” moves.  I can now at least feel the rhythm.  And that makes going out so much more fun.  I’m less self-conscious of what I’m doing. I’m also actually going to see my friend perform in the Dance Company show tonight.  I love watching dancers too.  I could prolly do it all day haha.

I wasn’t going to include my running today in this post but I kind of want to brag on how BAMF I was (because when do I not brag on myself?!) And I will preface this by saying the cold this morning is nowhere near intense as what some people are getting.

BUT.  It was the coldest it’s been yet here.  I don’t have the exact numbers for when I woke up but at 0800 it was 22* with the wind chill factor making it 10*.  That was with the sun being up for an hour or so.  (And yes even after going out last night my body oh so kindly woke me up early).  I’m 100% positive that I was in the low teens (actual) and low single digits to negative (wind).  Brrrrrrrr.  And it’s not that much warmer now.  It’s 1430 (as I type this) and it’s only 26* (actual) and 14* (wind).  And the wind really has been in effect today with pretty continual wind as well as up to 40(!) mph gusts.

I still got my run in.  Sure my hands were frozen within the first mile.  I remember saying to myself “This is going to hurt a lot when I finish” And naturally it did.  I actually had to lay down because I got so incredibly nauseous as my hands rewarmed up. Like practically fetal position so I wouldn’t vomit everywhere.  I told my friends this they all told me that it was NOT normal to feel like that when cold.  But this wasn’t just “cold” so I’m wondering if they’re right? I’m pretty cold sensitive despite living in New England my whole life…

Okey-dokey.  Time to finish up some minor details for school.  Today was the last day of classes (and the end of fall semester undergrad classes!?).  I’m 100% done with 3/5 classes but just need to put some edits on this physics paper to hand in by 1700 today (hizzah!).  Then I just have my Spanish final on Monday to deal with. NBD.  Omg I can’t believe it: this will likely be the first weekend I have such a relaxing to-do list.  But I’m sure I’ll find a way to change that *inserteyeroll*.  My life just isn’t complete without a bit of stress haha.

Enjoy your Fridays everyone! Stay warm too! Hot chocolate (esp with peppermint schnapps) = clutch 🙂

P.S. (again): If you have any question for me: Bring. It. On.  I’m looking for new ideas / topics to write about in the future.



  1. I was a dancer until I was 14 or 15, if you can believe it. Can’t do it at all now.

    Comment by runjess — December 11, 2009 @ 15:55

  2. Oh man. I have that happen to my hands when they warm up. It hurts so bad I want to cry, but I can’t because it hurts too bad.

    Comment by EarlyRunner — December 11, 2009 @ 16:01

  3. Hi there! Glad you found me from Christina’s blog. I read your post on stretching the other day!
    I’ve always wanted to take a dance class! I don’t have the most rhythm but I think it would be fun and challenging.
    As for your hands, it sounds like you may have Raynaud’s? It’s the result of poor circulation and your fingers turn very white, and then when the blood starts circulating again it gets very painful and your fingers turn a blueish/purplish. You should google it 🙂
    I’ve had Raynaud’s for several years and more than anything it’s a pain in the butt!

    Comment by Meg @ Be fit Be Full — December 11, 2009 @ 16:49

  4. Hey girlie!! YES u WON!!! send my your mailing address to whenever you get the chance. Questions for you…what’s your typical weekly trainning schedule like? any meals or foods you can’t live without? Hope you have a great weekend sleeeeeping…im soooo jealous! and goodluck on your last final!

    Comment by Lizzy — December 11, 2009 @ 18:02

  5. If you think you can dance, you should see my moves 😉

    Comment by Matt — December 11, 2009 @ 18:12

  6. You are a brave soul banging out a run in the low teens … especially has a card carrying member of the cold-sensitive hands club. Is there are nearby running store where you can pick up a few pairs of waterproof/thermal running gloves? It’s only going to get colder so you may want to consider it. Maybe a good stocking stuffer from the fam?

    Comment by a marathoner — December 11, 2009 @ 18:57

  7. Yes, I can dance, if you count the funky chicken and the electric slide. And… being a great LA (aka redneck) gal, I know near every country line dance invented. LOL, graceful- um, NO!

    I can not imagine running in 40 mph winds WITH the cold- ugh! You are hard core!!!!! I’ve run here with winds higher than that before a hurricane and it’s really hard work!

    Comment by Rebecca — December 12, 2009 @ 06:08

  8. I don’t know how you ran out in this cold! It’s soo windy which makes it so painful! I just ran to the gym this morning(which is like 3 minutes away) and I was dying by the time I got there. This post really makes me want to take up a dance class.. I’ll have to look into that

    Comment by BostonRunner — December 12, 2009 @ 11:30

  9. Interesting reading about your dance class experience. I never thought about the hip opening effect it could have. And that’s pretty cool you can bust a move on the dance floor now! 🙂

    Comment by Liz — December 12, 2009 @ 14:20

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