I have entered a new era. I am now living in the I-Have-Discovered-The-Magic-of-Recovery-Tights era.
In my mission to get back into shape after Baby 2, I aim to work out and/or play tennis five days a week. When I have time, I cram in a short run on the weekends. Back before life with babies, cycling was my favorite cross training activity. I could ride 30 miles without much problem. That was now three years and two babies ago. Recently, my husband got me back on my road bike. After completing a 19-mile ride, my legs were Jell-O. I could feel the ache coming on fast.
Worried about next day soreness — and even worse, second day agony — I went to my drawer of workout gear and dug to the back for my nearly forgotten pair of Skins RY400 Recovery Tights. The science behind these is pretty technical, but basically these tights use compression to deliver extra oxygen to muscles to help them recover more quickly (check out my previous entry on Skins for the nitty gritty details). When TW first brought in Skins a few years ago, I picked up some of the recovery tights because I was really sold on all the benefits, but I hadn’t used them much because I proceeded to expand the family and shelved super intense workouts.
I’ve hit only twice since my last blog entry. To me that’s shockingly infrequent as someone who played five times a week pre-baby. I thought that once I was back at work, it would be much easier to find the time to play. Like many notions about life with baby that I had while I was pregnant, I’m discovering that Mom Reality has different plans.
I usually try to workout or playtest during lunchtime, but before baby, I didn’t need those lunch hours to run errands. Technically, I guess, I don’t have to run my errands during lunch now, but as a mom who works full time, I want to spend as many off hours with my daughter as possible and make those hours count. For me that means not running errands like going to the grocery store and post office after work and instead trying to do them during the day while she is at day care. As I see it, I am not only relearning my balance on the tennis court, but also learning to balance my new life.
Those two times I did get out on court, though, I have noticed marked improvement. I am feeling much less alien on the court and have worked out my spacing and timing. I don’t feel like I’m on my heels as much as I was those first couple of times out, but I’m still not getting down and don’t feel like I’m committing enough on my groundstrokes. I feel like I might have picked up a habit from when I was playing pregnant by playing too upright and being overly cautious. So during a hitting session with Spencer earlier this week, we worked on cross court forehands and backhands. I used this opportunity to work on bending my knees and stepping into the ball. We finished up our hour doing the cross court and down-the-line control drills at net with volleys, and I know how much fitness work I have to do because my quads were burning from those net drills.
I feel like I’m regaining some feel with racquets as well. I restrung the Yonex V Core 100 S at mid tension with a new WeissCANNON string that we’ll be carrying. It’s called 6StarString Supercharged. It’s a unique mono-multifilament, according to WeissCANNON. Monofilaments and multifilaments are twisted together to form the string. While stringing it showed some nice elasticity, but not quite as much as some multifilaments I’ve strung. On court, I enjoyed the comfort most of all. I didn’t find loads of spin, but I’m not much of a spin player. This change in string setup is just what I needed for the racquet, too. The V Core 100 is delivering me a softer feel that I enjoy, and I’m glad Yonex has brought back that feel. I prefer it to the crisper response I felt I got from the RDiS series. I’m working to sharpen my strokes right now, and I’ve noticed I’m catching the leading edge of the 24.5mm beam of the V Core. I’ve also been playtesting the Volkl Organix 10 295g, which has a thinner 20mm beam, and haven’t had this problem. I didn’t have this problem before, so it means more time drilling those groundstrokes.
I’m playing Jason today, and this weekend my husband wants to play some tennis, so I’ll bring home the playtest racquets. We’ll wheel the baby out there in her stroller and hit some balls. Maybe that’s the ticket to more court time: making tennis a family affair!