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!