2015!

Hey Y’all!

After taking a pretty lengthy break for the holidays (from the blog, NOT the gym!), I have returned! After three weeks of travel, it’s nice to be back to normal.

While I was traveling, I tried to prioritize my workouts, especially since I wanted to enjoy some of the foods of the season! I’m very lucky to be able to use the gym where my mom is a member for free when I travel home. I’m double lucky that they have three of my beloved ergs. My MIL was incredible and actually purchased short term gym memberships for my husband and me while we were visiting. I used this membership to row, take some group classes and do some weight training. And when I didn’t have access to a gym (and wasn’t super sick 😦 ), well…burpees. I also turned to some of my favorite blogs that include great travel WODs:

I probably ate paleo…60-70%. I’m calling this a win, considering I have little control over food prepared when I’m staying with family.

Sooo…now we’re back and ready to WORK in 2015. Now that we’re into the new year, I think I’m going to start to move my focus back to run training. Just 216 days until Seawheeze!!

How were YOUR holidays?!

 

Gym Time!

WHOA! It has been a busy week-ish. Being home post-Thanksgiving, I have been on my gym game. I have made it to a class every single day (except one when the subway was messed up and I was too late to enter class 😦 ) since getting back to NYC. This is certainly a record for me, and it has left me feeling strong before the holiday season. Seeing my progress over the past couple months is providing some good motivation to keep moving with the holidays coming up.

I’ve really found something I love in rowing. I had never really rowed much before experimenting and taking classes through Classpass. At my first class, I was hooked. I’m not sure what it is, but I seem to have fallen into something I seem to be naturally good at AND really enjoy. How often does that happen?! I’m trying to cram in as much rowing as I can before I travel, and have found at least one gym along my travels that has an erg. One reason I’m so focused on getting rowing time in this month is Concept2’s Holiday Challenge. Concept2 is a major manufacturer of rowing machines (ergs) and for each person who rows at least 100k meters between Thanksgiving and Christmas, will donate 2 cents per 1k meters. It’s a pretty big target for me to hit as a new rower, but I’m setting that as a goal to try and complete by Christmas Eve!

Quick workout summary below! No running happening right now – it’s cold and I was all about the classes!

Rowing – 9,000 meters – 45 minutes on the Concept2 dynamic rower. Whew. That’s a workout..

Restorative Yoga – my favorite. Gimme bolsters. Lots of twisting poses to help with digestion on the Monday after Thanksgiving. Genius.

A hatha yoga class, focusing on the triangle pose. Lots of wonderful stretching and learning the fine details of the pose including all of the different rotations of the arms and legs. Awesome instructor, too.

Rowing again – this time on and off the erg with some bodyweight interval training thrown in. This workout absolutely killed me 5 weeks ago. Now? Great workout, but I can actually walk (instead of crawl) home.

Aquacycling!!! Boy do people have hilarious reactions when I explain to them what aqua cycling is (it’s spinning, but your bike is fully submerged in a pool). No matter what other people think, I think it’s the bomb, and had a great time with Lucie. She had perfect balance as an instructor – motivational but gentle, got you to push, but also close your eyes, breathe, and appreciate the moment. I’ll definitely be revisiting her.

Hip hop cardio. I won’t lie, it takes some courage to walk into fitness classes you’ve never tried all by yourself. Even after doing this for several weeks, this was probably the most intimidating class I’ve taken. Mostly because it was in a legit dance studio, and it was packed. The thing is, I had nothing to worry about. Great instructor, fun way to start my Saturday and holy cow did I sweat. I would easily rank this my sweatiest activity to date. You know this class is not messing around when the warm up song is Beyonce’s Run the World (Girls).

More rowing and yoga! 45 minutes on the erg, an hour of restorative yoga. That has kind of emerged as my ideal workout right now.

With so many holiday obligations coming up, I doubled up my Wednesday workout to include an hour of hatha yoga, and a BIG 45 minute reggae theme row. I figured if I was going to sit on airplanes all day Thursday it wouldn’t kill me to move a lot on Wednesday. So glad I did that. One great thing I’ve noticed as I’ve been getting stronger, is that I can do more and push harder, and not feel completely incapacitated the day after a big workout. What a GREAT feeling!

Food has been interesting this week. Saturday was a holiday free for all with some friends. We decorated their apartment floor to ceiling, watched Muppet Christmas Carol and ate everything bad for you imaginable. Otherwise my diet has been pretty solid, with my biggest offenses being a trip to Chipotle on an especially hungry day.

I did have a food epiphany at the end of last week, however. I started using a food tracking app called Cron-o-meter. I like this app, because it gives you some really great nutritional information, not just calories, especially things like types of proteins, omegas 3 and 6, etc.. There is even a default paleo setting. I discovered (after being hungry ALL THE TIME) that taking these intense classes on a daily basis but not changing my diet was not giving me enough calories. Not even close. While I use calorie counting and burning metrics as more of a ballpark, when my net for a day is 400 calories I’m clearly not fueling properly. I’m not a big one for counting calories, but using this app has helped shine some light on what I need to eat and when.

How do you make sure you’re fueling your body properly to stay active?

PS Christmas tree setup is a pretty good workout, too 🙂

O Christmas Tree!

O Christmas Tree!

 

Thanksgiving Fun

Happy Thanksgiving!!

What a busy week it has been. I’m very happy to report that I’ve managed to stay extremely active during this festive week, despite being away from home. Unfortunately with all the travel some unfortunate diet choices had to be made, but you do what you can. First, the food run down…

I’m some kind of weirdo who doesn’t really like traditional Thanksgiving food, so for me it’s just another dinner. I was at a family gathering in DC and we went out for the big dinner. My plate consisted of some white meat turkey, green beans, mashed potatoes and a little bit of baked ziti (ok, and a martini). All that other “good” stuff (cranberry sauce, stuffing, pumpkin pie) – ick. Never have liked it. So that meal went pretty well.

Anyway, I managed to keep my other meals KIND OF healthy. Breakfasts were great – scrambled eggs with veggies and potatoes. Lunches were a bit of a mess, including one day at the Air & Space Museum where the only choices were literally McDonald’s, some horrible looking pizza, and a Boston Market combo that sounded just as unhealthy as McDonald’s. So, burgers it was. My husband and I did haul a bunch of fruit and veggies along on the trip so we had some good snacks on hand to try and curb the cravings and keep the carbs to a minimum!

As for staying active, the past 12 days have been a success. Before I left Illinois, I managed to squeeze in one more run, and a strength training routine:

  • 3 minute warm up walk
  • 6 x 3 minute walk, 1 minute run
  • 3 minute cool down walk

Followed by the Tuesday workout from the DailyHiit 8 Week Total Body Challenge:

The strength training workout pretty much wrecked me and I was sore for days. By the time I was walking comfortably I was on a girls’ weekend to the mountains. We had a blast in the cold fall air, and got some great hikes in – again keeping active! The highlight was a 5 mile round trip hike to a great overlook point, including the ruins of an unfinished hotel from the 1920’s.

Hotel ruins

Hotel ruins

Hotel fireplace

Hotel fireplace

Overlook point in the Catskills

Overlook point in the Catskills

Squeezed in a rowing class at a new studio before heading out for the holiday. This class was on a water rower. It looks fancy, but honestly I think I prefer the Concept2.

First day of our holiday excursion, my husband and I both wanted to get some activity in. Unfortunately we were in the midst of a nor’easter. Ugh. Nevermind the rain and cold, we dragged the dogs out and I got a mile and a half walk in.

Cue the big turkey day! I woke up early with every intention of working out. Turns out lying in bed was pretty awesome so I stayed there for a while. I did make it to the hotel gym, just a little behind schedule 😉 I decided to do some strength work for a quick, efficient workout. I mean, I had a Thanksgiving Day Parade to watch so I didn’t want to dally around in they gym! I decided to do a 12 minute AMRAP from Tamalpais CrossFit:

I’m not going to lie, I almost decided to just make this 7 cleans and 7 thrusters and take out the burpees. Seriously, this is the kind of crap my mind tries to pull. Luckily I snapped myself out of that ridiculous idea and did the full WOD, as intended. I’m happy to report that I made it through 2 rounds plus 7 cleans and 7 thrusters and 1 burpee. I’m looking forward to trying this quick and simple workout again in a month or two to see if I can up the weight and/or rounds.

That same day we decided to walk home from dinner which was around 2 2/3 miles. I’m not sure everyone was on board with this plan, but I loved it – it was so fun to see a city by walking through it.

Finally back at home for a few weeks before more holiday travel madness, with a full week of Classpass classes booked. Lots of rowing, yoga and a little dance on the schedule.

Did you all have a happy and active Thanksgiving?! With even more holiday travel coming up, I’d love to hear about your favorite ways to keep active when you’re away from home and a regular routine!

More Bumps

Last weekend I had all of my workouts and menu planned for the week. I was on top of it! Then, life happened! Unfortunately I had to jump on a plane at the last minute for a funeral in Illinois. I was determined that I wouldn’t let this travel time derail me, so I made sure to pack plenty of gear and resolve to get my workouts in. Turns out, when you set your mind to it, you really can get things done.

I arrived Wednesday morning, and in an effort to stay awake after my 4AM wake up call, went for a run. It was cold, but I always love running around my hometown on our absolutely fantastic Constitution Trail. It’s a safe, well-maintained and beautiful place to exercise, and I always miss it when I leave town. Wednesday run was:

  • 5 minute warm up walk
  • 12 x 2:00 walk, 0:20 run
  • 2:00 walk
  • 5 minute cool down walk

Thursday morning I went to a group fitness class with my mom. Holy cow. the first half hour was cardio/dance/aerobic types of movements, followed by some strength and core moves with resistance bands and some pilates moves. It was a pretty tough hour and boy did I work up a sweat! I don’t have the slightest idea how many squats I did, but it was a lot and I felt it the next day. It was a great compliment to the run the day before.

Saturday was another run day. Since the wind chill was somewhere around 10 degrees that morning and I definitely did NOT pack warm enough running gear for something like that, it was back to the gym to jump on one of their super fancy and very comfortable treadmills. As much as I hate that machine, this one was a nice comfy ride and before I knew it, my workout was over. I upped my run time, too, and really didn’t notice any additional fatigue. Hooray!

  • 3 minute walk up walk
  • 12 x 1:50 walk, 0:30 run
  • 2 minute walk
  • 4 minute cool down walk

Today we hit up a Zumba class. While not particularly challenging, it was fun to get moving for 45 minutes and hang out with my mom. I even got to show her some of my rowing form after the class.

It is downright cold and I’m thinking I may need to up my outerwear game if I’m going to do any outside running this winter. A few years ago I was in PT for a hip injury, and my therapist told me that running outside throughout the winter can really boost your fitness dramatically. I’m trying to keep this in mind on those cold mornings when I don’t want to get out of my warm PJs – that it will pay off when Seawheeze (which is 270 days away!) rolls around.

Paleo is non-existent when I’m home. I can modify some meals, but for the most part it is extremely difficult/impossible to follow a strict paleo diet here. But, I do what I can when I can, and will worry about cleaning up my diet once I’m back in my own kitchen. For the most part I do get a lot of veggies and high quality meat, just mixed in with some carbs. Of course after the funeral we had a home cooked meal that I could NOT pass up. With Thanksgiving dinner happening out of town at a chain Italian restaurant, I jumped on this meal of traditional comfort food. It was glorious.

IMG_20141114_113838

Back to NYC in a couple days and back in the fitness saddle. I’ll be looking to get in another run or two this week, and am already registered for a rowing class later in the week.

Hope you are all off to a great start to your weeks! Anyone do a particularly great workout over the weekend?

Monday Run

My Saturday run felt pretty good, so instead of a last minute rowing session, I decided to squeeze in another run tonight. Unfortunately I was in a huge hurry and it was already dark so I ran on the treadmill. Ugh. Hatehatehate.

But, I got the minutes in, and am so glad I did! One more run in the books!

  • 2 minute warm up
  • 8 x 2:30 walk, 0:30 run
  • 4 minute cool down

The highlight of my evening, however, was this killer soup I made for dinner. It is SO. DELICIOUS. I love this “recipe” because it’s so simple. I didn’t measure anything, I just chopped stuff and threw it in a dutch oven. Who doesn’t love a healthy, one-pot meal (that happens to make a LOT for leftovers and freezing)?!

IMG_20141110_190343

Dealing with the Little Bumps in the Road

A slow workout week, since my knee was sore from the 7 miles of marathon walking last weekend! I knew I was just sore and not injured, but didn’t want to aggravate the soreness, so I laid off the cardio.

Instead, I hit up my beloved restorative yoga with Gina at Ishta Downtown on Monday. Although I’m at a relatively low-stress period in my life, I still find great benefits from these restorative and meditative classes. I can’t imagine what wonders they would have worked had I discovered them in more stressful times.

On Wednesday my knee was still bugging me, but I wasn’t going to let that stop me from getting in some sweat time! I guess one thing I’ve learned from being hurt so often is not to give up when there are bumps in the road. So, I did some body weight exercises that wouldn’t stress my knee with repetitive motion. I ended up doing:

With the exception of the pushups and side planks, all of these exercises have been prescribed to me by physical therapists in the past to help with weak/deactivated glutes. That glute weakness leads to knee and hip issues in both legs. I was really proud of myself that instead of sulking that I was sore, I was able to turn it into an opportunity to strengthen some weak areas!! Huge mental progress for me.

Thursday also tested my mental strength. I was having a hard time sticking to my clean eating. I had some appointments in the evening, I was super hungry and Five Guys was calling my name. BUT — I resisted, and had a lovely dinner of delicious, paleo leftovers. Exercising my willpower muscles big time!

Friday was Zumba time! My knee was all clear by Friday, and I had a blast in class. Apparently my best move is twerking. The instructor went nuts. Who knew?

I was feeling great with the fresh knee and a good sweat on Friday, so I decided that today would be the day I went for a run. I had taken a few weeks off when I developed some really nagging and concerning pain in my foot. It was a crisp, cold, beautiful day in Brooklyn, and I just HAD to be outside. I picked up right where I had left off with:

  • 5 minute warm up walk
  • 12 x 2 minute walk, 20 second run
  • 2 minute brisk walk
  • 5 minute cool down walk

IMG_20141108_143753-EFFECTS

It was so great to finally get out and get some running in, if only for a few minutes. I can definitely tell that the classes I’ve been taking this last month are translating to my running. Yay crosstraining! I closed out my week by registering for a few Classpass classes for next week!

Overall it was a really fantastic week in which I overcame some mental hurdles. They may not have been major obstacles, but I feel like these opportunities to make positive decisions will help out when something bigger comes my way. As one of my biggest inspirations says, “Just keep moving forward!”.

Hope you all had a wonderful week! What opportunities have you had recently for making positive decisions?

NYC Marathon Weekend!

What a weekend! For the second year in a row I hosted a friend from college who was running the NYC marathon. While I didn’t have time to post, I still got my workouts in, and then some!

He arrived on Thursday, but I still had time to hit up my Aquacycling class. I made a quick stop at a nearby Lululemon, hoping they’d have some of the special edition NYC marathon gear. I was only interested in one piece, and thought it wouldn’t be taboo to buy and wear, since there was no mention of “marathon” or “2014” on it. I asked the first “educator” I saw if they had marathon pieces and she said “We have two”. Shoot. “The one I’m wearing (a sweatshirt) and…”. MY PANTS! Anyway, they are awesome, and they are mine.

NYC skyline on Run Inspire Crops!

NYC skyline on Run Inspire Crops!

The skyline is reflective!

The skyline is reflective!

After that I met up with my friend and headed to the marathon expo to pick up his race packet and do some shopping. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to get another deranged turkey headband from Sweaty Bands (I love these things – I have a lot of trouble with headbands staying put and these seem to work!), and picked up some Nuun on the expo discount.

IMG_20141104_084054

Back to the workout of the day, I took a different instructor at AQUA this time. I thought my first session was a little lower in intensity than I was looking for, and after reading instructor bios I thought this one might work. It was definitely a more intense workout, but more of a regular spinning type of workout (meaning a lot less upper body, which bummed me out). No matter what, I still got in a great workout.

Post expo, we had just enough time to get ready for Hallowmeme. I was “Hot Dogs or Legs?“.

Hot dogs or legs?

Hot dogs or legs?

Friday was a rest day. Saturday I made it to another great class at Row House. 50 minutes of sweat. It was wonderful. I am LOVING rowing. Lovelovelove. They even had leftover glow sticks from Halloween – rowing with glow sticks in the dark – amazing. I’ve also been doing some research into rowing, and most people agree that gains in rowing readily translate to running. Great news. Since my rowing studio is just down the street from New York Running Company, I stopped in after class to check out some shoes I spotted at the marathon expo. I’m just going to drop in some pictures below, and you can see for yourself why I HAD to have these. They are AMAZING!

IMG_20141104_084442~2 IMG_20141104_084524 IMG_20141104_084546

Then, the main event! Marathon Sunday! The marathon is my favorite event that takes place in NYC. I watch/cheer every year, and every year I end up crying. I am always overcome by the energy and inspiration. My friend and I set up 3 mid-race checkpoints and a meet up spot for post-race. So fun to run around the city and see different parts of the race. I knew I did a lot of walking, especially when I walked from 112th Street and 5th Ave to 75th and Columbus. I decided to map out everything and it turns out I walked around 7 miles just during the marathon! It was a beautiful day and was great to get in a little extra movement.

Monday was restorative yoga day back at Ishta Yoga with Gina. This is by far my favorite yoga class of all time. I really enjoy Gina’s instruction and she picks the BEST poses.

Of course this weekend meant some questionable food choices, so back to weekday paleo this week! I’ve been doing strict paleo on weekdays and whatever I want (paleo or not) on weekends.

Hope you all had a great weekend. Anyone watch or run the marathon?!