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!

 

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.

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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!

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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?!

SICK

It’s been quite a busy few weeks, with some family visiting and me getting sick. Now feeling a bit on the mend, I decided to FINALLY put my Classpass to use, and attended a restorative yoga class at Ishta Yoga‘s downtown location. Holy cow, was that a treat! I took a 60 minute restorative class with Gina. I arrived a bit early so that I could grab a spot and get acquainted with the space. Folks were already in the first pose, and Gina was helping people get into the pose as they entered. I think this allowed me to get a good 75-80 minutes of practice instead of just 60. Not too shabby. We ended up going through about 5 poses through the hour, all lying down or seated. I found Gina to be just the right amount of helpful. She would bring you an appropriate bolster/block or make an adjustment if needed, but did this so quickly and quietly that it did not interfere with the meditative focus of the practice. She also gave great verbal instructions so that I didn’t need to look at her to understand the next pose. This was important so that I didn’t have to open my eyes, sit up and turn around – again something that would disrupt the focus of the practice.

This was my first experience in a restorative class (my yoga experience has been more on the vinyasa end of the spectrum), and it was AWESOME. I have become more and more interested in stress management techniques such as yoga and meditation, and I think this is a great addition to any stress management program. I think a restorative practice could also be great for recovery. Gina mentioned that when we have a joint that isn’t feeling great we want to work it and stretch it, but in reality we should be resting the joint – something that can be achieved through restorative yoga.

I was also really impressed with Ishta Yoga. The facility was clean, the people friendly, the instructor knowledgeable (even giving variations for a variety of possible injuries or tight spots the people attending the class might have) and the receptionist was SUPER nice.

Later this week I’ll be hopping back on the cardio horse/bike when I try underwater spinning. I cannot wait for this class and look forward to sharing the experience with you!

In other news, I have new peacock hair!

peacock_hair