Monday, December 30, 2013

Week 2 - Got It Done!

Despite holidays and traveling, I managed to complete all three of my key runs for marathon training. Having a treadmill in my parents' basement made this SO much easier to accomplish, but I'm still so glad I got my runs in!

Workout recap for the week:
Monday: Strength workout - ehhh, I walked 2.1 mi on the treadmill and did some squats.
Tuesday: Run (speed or tempo) - check! 7 mile Tempo Tuesday!
Wednesday: Strength workout - plus sitting by the fire, drinking hot cocoa, and opening presents - check! Walked/jogged 2.5 miles, and did 30 minutes of Sworkit strength. I did sit by the fire and open presents, but neglected to drink hot cocoa. 
Thursday: Run (speed or tempo) - check! 5 miles of speed work before boarding my plane to California! And immediately went to In-N-Out upon landing.
Friday: TBD - off? - ended up running 5 miles with Dan, who totally tricked me into running so far! It was beautiful out though, and would have been a crime to stay indoors all day...
Saturday: Long run - nope, ran on Sunday
Sunday: TBD - off? - 9 miles along the Pacific Ocean!

All in all it was a great week of workouts, but I'm missing my classes like Barry's, Uplift, and Revolve! Luckily apps like the Nike Training Club and Sworkit make at-home sweat sessions easier to manage.

Here's a little more about this week's runs:

Tempo: This was a "long tempo," with 1 mile warm up, 5 miles at tempo, and 1 mile cool down. The "prescribed" pace was 6.7 mph/8:54 min miles, but I decided to go a bit faster. I did a progressive run, starting at 6.7 and going up 0.1 every mile, so the last mile was at 7.1. I put on some holiday-themed Friends episodes and zoned out. Great run overall!

Speed: 4 x 800 plus warm up, cool down, and 2 mins rest between intervals. I ran the 800s at 8.3 mph/3:36 per 800. The first and second were OK, but the third and fourth were tough! In the fourth I actually felt as though time started to go backward...which is never fun. But hey, I got it done and made my flight! And...they're not supposed to be easy...they are supposed to be HARD. Important but hard thing to remember sometimes :)

Long: Ran 9 miles with Dan along the Pacific Ocean in Newport Beach! It was SO LOVELY OUTSIDE...I could've run 9 more miles. Man, how easy (I use that term lightly) would it be to train for a marathon in PERFECT WEATHER?! No long fleece-lined tights, no numb hands, no chance of snow...hmm, maybe I won't come back to NYC? No but really, the run was good - very sweaty and very sunny, with an 8:46 average pace...which is almost 50 seconds faster than the average pace I ran for the first 9 miler I did when I trained for Chicago. Things are looking good this training cycle my friends!
Happy and sweaty after 9 miles on the beach!
In addition to the workouts, I came across the goals I set last year. Let's see how I did on them...
  • PR in the half: Yes! Ran a 1:49:25 in the Long Branch Half in May. 
  • Be injury-free all year: So far, so good!
  • Try out a new exercise class: OMG SO MANY!!! Refine was my big favorite this year, but I also tried Revolve, and through Classtivity I went to Yoga Vida, PEDAL NYC, Uplift, Sacred Sounds Yoga, Aqua Studio, Fhitting Room, Jivamukti, Nalini Method, Exceed, and Barry's Bootcamp. 
    • My favorites? Yoga Vida, Jivamukti, Fhitting Room, Uplift, and Barry's!
  • Move up in bib numbers for NYRR races: Done! I ran a 1:50:02 in the NYC Half, which let me run in a faster bib group in the only other NYRR race I ran this year, the Pride Run. 
  • Go to the Astoria beer garden, the Tenement Museum and the Guggenheim: Out of all of these, I only went to the Tenement Museum. Better one than none, right?
  • Have an amazing vacation somewhere I've never been before: YES! Went on a cruise to Mexico in February, and went to Rancho La Puerta (also in Mexico) with my mom in October! In 2014 I'm going to PARIS!!!
  • Roast a chicken: Nope - never did get to do this one. But 2014...yes. It will happen.
  • Read more: I read a lot this year - not sure if it was more than 2012, but I did keep reading books!

I'm really not sure what my goals are for this 2014, other than a marathon PR (and roast a chicken). I'll have a think and get back to you all.

Thinking more short term, here's my workout plan for this week, which will be VERY subject to change depending on my traveling...
Monday: I'd like to get a little strength workout in sometime today...we'll see.
Tuesday: Run
Wednesday: Off - hello, New Year's Day!
Thursday: Run
Friday: Strength? I fly back on a redeye this day...
Saturday: Run
Sunday: Off? Yoga? TBD

Honestly, I will not be surprised if I don't in all my runs...but as always, I'm certainly going to try!

Here's to a fabulous 2014, all!

Follow me on Instagram if you don't already - mhhoff!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Week 1 - A Confidence Boosting Week

And with that, week 1 of marathon training is DONE!

Here was the plan for this past week:
Monday: Body Ride at Revolve - check! :) 45 minutes of Jason Tran being awesome and me sweating my butt off. 
Tuesday: Run - check! Short tempo on the treadmill. Walked home in snow!
Wednesday: OFF - check!
Thursday: Uplift Fusion - check! So fun to do this class with Theodora, Jen, Melissa, and Laura
Friday: Run - check! Another morning gym run - 3 x 1600, which I felt awesome during.
Saturday: OFF - check! I was exhausted from staying up too late packing
Sunday: Run - check! 8 mile long run on the treadmill.

Mileage: 19.5

I know, I's only one out of 16 weeks, but it was a really great week! I feel like it's important to have a confidence boosting week early on, too. It gives me hope that this will be doable in the end, though I have a lot of work left to do.

A little about my runs:

Tuesday tempo: 2 mi warm up, 2 mi at 7.5, 2 mi cool down. I took it easy on the warm up, starting at 6.5 and going up 0.1 every half a mile till I got to 7.0 for the last half-mile. For the first tempo run, I ran at 7.4 and felt good, so bumped it up to 7.6-7.7 for the second tempo mile. The cool down was similar to the warm up. It didn't feel easy, but it also didn't feel impossible. I'm so glad I'm getting over these fast-looking speeds and trusting myself to get them done!

Thursday intervals: 1 mi warm up, 3 x 1600m with 400m rest, 1 mi cool down. Not gonna lie - mile repeats terrified me during Chicago Marathon training, and I basically could not complete them. Looking back at my training logs back then, I see that I could not complete this workout without some serious walk breaks during the miles I was on! And I was running these repeats at a 7.6 - this workout had the mile repeats at 8.0! I felt awesome in the first one, and continued to feel good for the next two (though they were definitely more difficult as I went on!). Still, REALLY proud of this workout. I walked home from the gym with a giant smile on my face!

Sunday long run: Not much to report on this one - ran on the treadmill because it was pouring rain and I just didn't feel like dealing with it. I also felt like watching Homeland, so that is exactly what I did! I did a progressive run, starting at 6.5 for the first mile and ending at 7.0 for the last mile. It was unbearably hot in the basement so I was struggling with that aspect, but the speed didn't feel terribly difficult and my legs could keep up. Good run!

Run and Homeland followed by wine and Homeland
I'm really enjoying using the FIRST app for this training - the same training plan I used for Chicago, but with faster speeds! I'm mostly following this training plan, but I also purchased the NYRR marathon training program - it's like having a virtual partner there with you throughout training, and so far I like it! I'm planning to blend ideas from both plans, and hope that they will complement each other and my running.

The FIRST app is great - it fills in all of the speeds for me for every run, lets me switch back and forth between min/mile and mph for easy conversion, and I can check off all of the runs as I get them done (so necessary for this Type A girl). 
Check, check, check!
In addition to the app and the NYRR plan (which also has a log), I also have a Google doc that I use mostly to help me organize my Classtivity classes, but is also fun for me to tick off as I complete the workouts. 
Hot pink means I GOT IT DONE.
Speaking of Classtivity, I completed my December challenge! Granted, one of the 10 classes was a cancellation (hence the red above) due to a migraine, but I would have gone if I had felt like a human being. Ten classes in 20 days - not something I'd recommend, but I'm so glad I didn't let the pass go to waste! I'm going to miss those classes over the next two weeks, but I luckily have a couple of apps that will keep me on top of my strength workouts, and I'll be in California soon enough for lots of outdoor runs!

And here is this week's plan:
Monday: Strength workout
Tuesday: Run (speed or tempo)
Wednesday: Strength workout - plus sitting by the fire, drinking hot cocoa, and opening presents.
Thursday: Run (speed or tempo)
Friday: TBD - off?
Saturday: Long run
Sunday: TBD - off?

Have a very merry Christmas if you celebrate it! And if you don't, enjoy the day off :) 

Happy holidays all!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Short and sweet

I failed to post yesterday - last week was a super busy week and the weekend was no different! This week, marathon training technically starts, so I should technically have been in bed ohhh an hour or so ago...

Here's a short and sweet post about last week's workouts and this week's plan.

Last week my plan was to:
Monday: Run - check! I had 30 minutes to get a run in, and I did it! Just over 3.5 miles.
Tuesday: RIP Ride - negative. I played around with my Classtivity schedule a lot and took Tuesday off instead.
Wednesday: Run - nyet. Went to Uplift instead, so hey, that's a workout!
Thursday: Signature FHIX at Fhitting Room - check! Ben and Daury kicked my butt.
Friday: Uplift Strength - nein! Rest day.
Saturday: OFF - nope! Went to Revolve for some RIP Riding action with Christianne. It was amazing.
Sunday: Full Body at Barry's Bootcamp - check! Plus an evening flow class at Yoga Vida, which made my muscles (and my mind) very happy.

Six workouts, 3.55 miles. Plus about 2.5 miles at Barry's.

Though I didn't run much, I did get around to some excellent classes. RIP Ride was especially intense and very amazing. Christianne is an incredible instructor - a good combination of inspiring, intense, and a little bit crazy - as in, she got up and danced in the middle of the class, so not psycho insane, just fun! She is awesome. I think I'm digging her more than Kira these days on the RIP Ride...

Barry's Bootcamp was HARD (hello, sprinting on a 14% incline!), but I did not like the instructor! (Harley, in case anyone was wondering.) He just sorta seemed to be there to tell us what to do, but there was nothing motivating about him at all. It was also the first class that I'd done three rounds of exercise - don't we lose time going back and forth between the weights and the treadmill so much, and putting away the weights every time?! (Can you tell I've become a New Yorker who's all about the efficient use of my time in a workout? Ha!) 

Though Harley didn't do it for me, Chloe at Yoga Vida was really excellent. I went with Angela for the 6pm flow class, and even though the class was packed, I hardly noticed. She was really a great instructor and I loved the flow of things. I left the class at peace and feeling centered. I'll be back for that class for sure!

Now that brings us to this week...which is technically the first week of marathon training. Which means that in just about 16 weeks, I'll be crossing the starting line of the PARIS MARATHON. Which means it's time to get this training started!

I feel both completely/totally/utterly ready and not even a little bit ready for this training. I am SO much stronger this time than I was last time I trained for a marathon. I am also running faster times than I was back then. This gives me a lot of confidence about where I'm going to go, how I'm going to grow, and what I'm going to be able to do when 16 weeks are up. But I'm also being a big fat weenie about the cold - something I'm going to have to suck up and deal with because guess what? "It's cold out!" isn't an excuse. It's going to be cold out every day until this marathon happens, so I need to stop being a big baby about it. (This is something my dad tells me to do, in a loving way, of course.)

A friendly reminder from Thomas Jefferson to keep me motivated
It's time to push the limits, see what I'm made of, break myself down and build myself back up to run the fastest marathon I can run. Run on bad days, cold days, beautiful days, windy days, days when I'm exhausted, days when I don't feel like it, days when there are more fun things to do. There are 16 weeks between me and the marathon, and if I don't run because it's cold, or because I'm tired, or because I don't feel like it, it's my fault if I fall short of my goal. (I say all this, of course, with the thought that if my body is like, "HEY MARGARET! STOP RUNNING. THIS IS YOUR BODY SAYING NO!" then I'm going to listen to it. But assuming everything's in working order, I'm going for it!)

Here's the plan this week:
Monday: Body Ride at Revolve - check! :) 45 minutes of Jason Tran being awesome and me sweating my butt off. 
Tuesday: Run
Wednesday: OFF
Thursday: Uplift Fusion
Friday: Run
Saturday: OFF
Sunday: Run

Heeeere we go...!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

A runless week

You know how you make plans for things and hope that they'll happen and then...well, sometimes they just don't? That's sort of the summary of my week this week. I'd planned on going to RIP Ride on Tuesday, but a nasty migraine sidelined me and put me to bed nice and early. I'd planned on running a couple times this week, and, as you can probably guess, that didn't happen either. And I'd also made plans with my friend Katie to go see Frozen today (Idina Menzel two weekends in a row? Yes please!) - but it was completely sold out at BOTH theaters we tried. Alas, some things are just not meant to be.

This week's plan was...
Monday: OFF/light yoga - CHECK! Took the day off
Tuesday: RIP Ride at Revolve A mean migraine had other plans for me... 
Wednesday: Run Felt a bit better and did an at-home strength/cardio workout - did the 7-minute workout and Sworkit to get me through!
Thursday: Signature FHIX at Fhitting Room Had to cancel because we went to see Catching Fire after work! SO GOOD.
Friday: Run Did an Uplift Strength class in the morning - it was awesome! 
Saturday: Full body workout at Barry's Bootcamp - then multiple holiday parties! - CHECK and check! Hardcore workout and hardcore wine drinking BOTH occurred!
Sunday: Volunteering at the Girls On The Run 5k and hopefully getting a run in myself! - Volunteering gets a check but the run does not...unless drinking hot chocolate while walking around the Union Square holiday market counts? No?

Ah well. I'll run this week (no, really, because marathon training starts Dec. 16 and I don't want to start from scratch!). 

This week I returned to Uplift after a few months away. I didn't LOVE it the first time I went - it was a good workout, I got sweaty, and I really enjoyed their Malin & Goetz shower products and free Nespresso, but I just wasn't that into it. This week I decided to give it another shot, and I'm glad I did! I wore my heart rate monitor and found out that the 55 minute class torched 452 calories!!! WHOA. I mean, that's a lot of calories. AND! I was sore the next day! And the day after that! I also feel like I "get" it now. 

When I went in September, I was a hardcore Refiner - I had been going for a long time, and understood the rhythm of the class, knew what to expect from each class (except for how many times we'd have to do jumpbacks in one class), and was pretty comfortable with how it worked. Uplift does things differently, and that was hard for me to get at the time. Now that I've been using the Classtivity ClassPass, I've experienced lots of different classes, which I think has made me more open to how other classes are run, and how they work, not to mention WHY they work. I think it's important to understand what the class's goal is, how it's going to help you accomplish that goal, and what you need to do to get the most out of the class. I don't think that many fitness studios do a good job at explaining this to newcomers, though on the websites of most, they do explain.

I can't say I fully understand Uplift's ways, but having been to the class a couple of times now, I'm starting to get the hang of it. I hope I can keep improving in it and get the most out of every class!

The other superstar class I had this week was at Barry's Bootcamp (surprise, surprise). Though I've only been to a few classes, I can comfortably admit that I'm addicted to Barry's ways. I have now been to three classes, two with Noah Neiman, who is great. But this week I couldn't go to a Sunday class as I'd been doing, since I had the GOTR 5k, so I had to go to Saturday instead. I signed up with Courtney Paul, having heard the name before and thinking it's good to change it up, try other instructors. I also thought Courtney was a woman and figured it'd be interesting to see a woman's approach to instructing the class. Welp...I was wrong. HE is a seriously kickass instructor. He just seemed so on top of everything - he knew exactly when it was time to do the next interval, knew exactly what to say to push us, and brought an enthusiasm into the class that was totally infectious. I LOVED it, and I'll be back for Courtney again soon. (By the way...this class? I burned 555 calories in an hour. CRAZY.)

The treadmill intervals were really fun this week, too. I managed to get up to 9.7 mph for 20 seconds of the last 30-second sprint, bringing it up to 10.0 for the last 10 seconds! WOO! It was awesome. I felt AMAZING at the end of the class, and loved every second of it. I also started on the floor for the first time, and I have to say, I didn't hate it as much as I thought I would. I still prefer starting on the treadmill, but what can ya do when there are rabid Barry's fans gunning for the treadmills? (OK, I'm one of the rabid Barry's fans, too...)

I also had a great time volunteering at the Girls On The Run 5k this morning! Though it was freezing (no really, it was 31 degrees), I had such a good time with this amazing organization. It was SO FUN to see the girls' faces light up as we cheered for them, and I loved seeing them pick up the pace and give us all high fives as they went by. I hope I can get more involved in the organization!

The last thing I want to address is this runless week thing...I have to say, I am not happy about this being a run-free week. But some things that were out of my control happened, and some things (like bonding with coworkers over Catching Fire!) needed to happen. I just know that when it comes time for marathon training, and chasing my PR, and making Paris totally worth it (though really, Paris is always worth it) I'm going to have to make choices. Some of those choices might not involve me making the "fun" choice, and might (ha - WILL) instead involve getting up early for hill repeats in the frigid cold, and I'm going to have to do it because I want to PR, I want to run an amazing race, and I want to improve. Luckily the boyfriend is ready to help me go fast, and I might get a coach (biiig might, coaches ain't cheap!) to help, too. But I will have to rely mostly on MYSELF to make these things happen - no one is going to run that race for me, and I wouldn't want them to! I am going to take on the streets of Paris (and afterward, the wines, cheeses, breads, and pains au chocolat of Paris) having given my all in training.
See you again soon, favorite city in the world!
(Taken when I studied abroad in Paris seven years ago)
With that, here's the plan for the last week before marathon training begins!

Monday: Run
Tuesday: RIP Ride
Wednesday: Run
Thursday: Signature FHIX at Fhitting Room
Friday: Uplift Strength
Saturday: OFF
Sunday: Full Body at Barry's Bootcamp

Let's do this thing!

P.S. Sorry for the lack of photos...I didn't take any this week!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving and my December challenge

Happy Turkey Day everyone! Hope you all enjoyed your time with loved ones, friends, and family this past weekend. I braved the bus for Virginia this weekend, and the ride was actually not that bad! I had a great weekend at home, going shopping (Costco, Target, and the mall!), baking (see pie below), hanging out with family, seeing a show with my mom (OMG IDINA MENZEL), having breakfast with one of my oldest and best friends, and celebrating my brother's birthday with a GIANT (and delicious!) Costco cake. 
Mister, the cat; all-butter crust apple pie; musicals in DC!

It was just what I needed to recharge and prep for the holiday season - in just three weeks I'll be back there, hanging up ornaments on the Christmas tree, baking (probably another pie, definitely many cookies), and relaxing by the fire. I'll also be a week into marathon training - eek!

Onto this week's workouts!

This week I had planned to...:

Monday: Cardio Boxing at Exceed - CHECK!
Tuesday: RIP Ride at Revolve (this will cap off my 10 classes in November!) - CHECK!
Wednesday: Most likely OFF Walked for 2 miles on the treadmill!
Thursday: Pre-turkey run - CHECK! 6.5 miles in the books :)
Friday: Post-turkey run 15 mins stationary bike, 25 mins strength, 15 mins stationary bike!
Saturday: OFF 3.5 miles of running/jogging/walking (but mostly running!) - plus walking around Costco and the mall!
Sunday: Pre-bus run (?) Walked 2 miles on the treadmill!

Sooo even though I didn't do exactly what I had "planned" to do, I got a lot more working out in than I thought I would and I'm happy with what I did! Proud of myself for working out over the holidays :) Maybe this winter marathon training thing CAN happen?!

I also (foolishly) brought home some outdoor running gear, thinking MAYBE I'd like to go for a run along the Potomac while I was home. HA. Those clothes stayed nicely folded up all weekend long! It's just WAY too easy to run downstairs, put on a movie (or a Friends Thanksgiving marathon...) and zone out to the sound of the 'mill. 

I really liked having my Fitbit with me over Thanksgiving weekend. It was a really good reminder to get up and MOVE! And with the exception of a couple days, I did a great job at beating my 10,000 steps per day goal. Sometimes I'd just pop downstairs at 10:30 or 11pm to get moving and add on a few hundred more steps! It was a good motivator during a weekend when I could have been completely lazy and not moved from my parents' very comfortable recliner. 

One thing that I LOVED? Having the treadmill just downstairs for me to use any time I wanted! I'd totally get a treadmill in my future house, but that'll have to wait for now...I can barely fit my new Nespresso maker (early Christmas gift!) on my kitchen counter! 

Some people are doing plank challenges, run challenges, squat challenges this month...but my December challenge is going to be to use all 10 Classtivity classes in the first 20 days of the month! I think I can do it...but it will mean going to a class basically every other day! 

Here's my plan for the first week of December:

Monday: OFF/light yoga
Tuesday: RIP Ride at Revolve
Wednesday: Run
Thursday: Signature FHIX at Fhitting Room
Friday: Run
Saturday: Full body workout at Barry's Bootcamp - then multiple holiday parties!
Sunday: Volunteering at the Girls On The Run 5k and hopefully getting a run in myself!

That's THREE Classtivity classes in this first week! Fingers crossed I can keep this up for the following two weeks :)

Questions for the week...

Have you ever volunteered at a GOTR event? What can I expect?

Did you manage to squeeze in any exercise over Thanksgiving?

What's your December challenge?

Monday, November 25, 2013

Flights are booked!

The big news of this week is that WE BOOKED OUR FLIGHTS TO PARIS!!! Whee! Dan and I will be spending 10 days in Paris, with the potential for a day trip or two out of Paris. The booking of flights has absolutely lit a fire under me and gotten me suuuper excited about this race. Unfortunately, that didn't really translate into much running this week...

This week I was supposed to:
Monday: Run OFF
Tuesday: TBD Ran 4 treadmill miles
Wednesday: Run OFF
Thursday: Signature FHIX at the Fhitting Room - check!
Friday: OFF - check! :)
Saturday: Reinvention Chair at Chaise 23 Walked all around the park with Dan
Sunday: Full body workout at Barry's Bootcamp - check!

Dan and me taking advantage of the fall foliage in CP!
Even though I didn't get in the two runs I'd had planned, I'm glad I got in four "workout" days (even if one of the "workout" days was just walking aimlessly through the park!). Still, on Saturday, I know I walked almost 14,500 steps thanks to my trusty little Fitbit
Tracking steps, miles, floors, and more!
I got the Fitbit One after I went to Rancho La Puerta for (the best) week (ever) in October with my mom. In addition to zillions of fitness and wellness classes, delicious vegetarian meals, and countless ways to relax and work out, they also supply you with a pedometer to borrow for the week. I was often surprised at the number of steps I took per day, and for someone who's more or less glued to a screen throughout the day, I thought it would be a great reminder to get up and move throughout the day. I thought about how I mostly sit throughout the workday, getting up pretty infrequently, and thought this would be a good motivator - and it totally is! Upon hearing about this, my very kind grandmother offered to get my mom and me one, and we took her up on that sweet gesture! I love being able to check in on my progress throughout the day and enjoy the motivating messages my little Fitbit delivers (including "SMOOCHES MARGARET" (also, smooches?) and "UCANDOIT MARGARET"). I can also sync it with other apps, like RunKeeper and MyFitnessPal. All in all, it's been an excellent gift!

Back in September, I signed up for a Classtivity Passport (not a referral link), and they sucked me into purchasing a three-month ClassPass with the promise of a $100 Lululemon gift card if I completed three months (a promotion that was not specific to me, but to anyone who wanted a ClassPass). Because of this ClassPass, I've been able to go to some awesome classes, including Refine Method (no longer accepting the ClassPass, but still awesome), Revolve, Fhitting Room, and Barry's Bootcamp. The ClassPass lets you go to up to three classes at one venue, compared to the Passport which makes you go to 10 different venues. And for $99? Definitely a great deal for these boutique spots out there!

This past week I had an awesome class at the Fhitting Room with Daury and Julia (her awesome blog!) on Thursday, and was delivered a serious butt-kicking at Barry's Bootcamp by Noah on Sunday. 
The Fhitting Room, via
I'd been to the Fhitting Room once before and really loved the class. I'd had Daury as an instructor, but was new to Julia. Julia is small but very mighty - she has some serious muscle and is a STRONG lady. I really liked this Fhitting Room class, but I do not like how much time they take to demo each move before each new section of class. Maybe it's just me being used to Refine where you go from move to move with absolutely NO breaks, but I found myself getting antsy and ready to GO while they were showing us how NOT to do a move. I'd rather see it performed correctly multiple times than be left with an image of how I should NOT do the move. But aside from that, I do like how we use a ton of different equipment and used every muscle group. I also really liked doing the rounds for time - we did one of 7 reps each of squat/overhead press, kettle bell swings, and burpees for 7 minutes, and I nearly completed I was definitely sore the next day!
Barry's - treadmills and steps, which really serve as benches, via
Barry's was another GREAT workout. I've only been three times, but I've started on the treadmill every time - and I don't think I ever want to try starting on the floor! We did "Seven Minutes in Heaven" - 1 minute at 6.5, 1 minute at 7.5, 1 minute at 8.5, 1 minute at 6.5, 1 minute at 8.5, 1 minute at 9.5, 1 minute at 6.5. We followed that up with a floor workout including chest presses, squats, and lunges. There were only 15 lb dumbbells sitting around so I used those, even though I wanted to use something a little lighter. The next treadmill workout involved running for 3 mins, then doing all sorts of tricky things at various inclines and speeds. I was glad Noah just called out what we should do so I didn't have to think, but it was tough! On the 15% incline, I think I got to about a 6.7 on the speed and it was not easy! In the last floor workout, we did plank/row/knee, bicep curls, squat presses and more. I was a (happy) sweaty mess by the end!

This week I am winging it a bit since I will be home for Thanksgiving, but thanks to a very fitness-focused dad, we have a treadmill, bike, P90X DVDs, and weights at home - everything I might need for a good workout!

Here's the plan:
Monday: Cardio Boxing at Exceed
Tuesday: RIP Ride at Revolve (this will cap off my 10 classes in November!)
Wednesday: Most likely OFF
Thursday: Pre-turkey run
Friday: Post-turkey run
Saturday: OFF
Sunday: Pre-bus run (?)

Have a very happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

2013 Running Recap

After a long blogging hiatus, I'm coming back to it - I'm running the Paris marathon in April and want to make sure I can stay on track with training!

Here's a quick rundown of the past while of running:

Ran the NYC Half Marathon in March in 1:50:02. It was a freezing cold race the whole time. I can't say I had the best time during this race, though the smile below says otherwise! Not only was it cold, but the second half of the race was just kind of boring for me. Yet I have still registered for the lottery to run it in 2014...we shall see!
Blurry and cold!
Obviously I had to run another half to get that below 1:50, and I'd actually registered for the Long Branch Half before I got into the NYC Half - so off to New Jersey I went with my friend Christine! This was actually a really fun race - pretty good crowds, had fun, generally enjoyed myself - and ran it in 1:49:25!
Loved this race!
Around this time I wasn't running a lot, but was going to Refine a lot! I think it helped a lot with my strength and endurance. But as you know, it's sort of important to run if you want to run well/fast. When I don't really have a goal, it's hard for me to focus. And for whatever reason, I was just not that into running this year - which made me really glad that I hadn't registered for a marathon this year! I did have one more half marathon to run in September, the Zooma Cape Cod Half! It was a small race, really fun, flat in the first half and loads of hills in the second half. I finished it in 1:51:59, which I was really happy with!
Even happier that there was champagne at the finish line!
Colleen came in 3rd in our age group in the half, Christine powered through despite not feeling the best, and Amanda rocked her first race in the 10k! It was a beautiful day and we had a great time hanging out in Cape Cod afterward.

If that wasn't enough running for the year, I also ran the Army 10 Miler in October. I ran that in 1:26:04 - no music, ran with a friend, and had run 4 fast miles the day before, so I will take it!

So much for not being that into running this year. I'm glad I got these races in, but it's definitely shown me how important it is to train! Tempo, speed, and long runs really do make a difference! Paris training will absolutely incorporate those!

Hoping to blog more regularly from now on - here are my workouts from the week:
Monday: Candlelit Flow at Sacred Sounds
Tuesday: RIP Ride at Revolve
Wednesday: OFF
Thursday: Refine Method
Friday: OFF
Saturday: 4 mile run
Sunday: Full body workout at Barry's Bootcamp

Next week's workout plan:
Monday: Run
Tuesday: TBD
Wednesday: Run
Thursday: Signature FHIX at the Fhitting Room
Friday: OFF
Saturday: Reinvention Chair at Chaise 23 (might cancel/change, not sure)
Sunday: Full body workout at Barry's Bootcamp

See you next week!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

So. Many. Things. But mostly Refine Method

The year is already almost HALFWAY OVER and I am WAY behind on blog posts. To catch you up quickly, I've run two half marathons, completed the Refine Resolution Challenge (and have moved on to the maintenance phase), did a fun run with a ton of awesome bloggers/tweeters that I follow, and have taken a few spin classes at Revolve.

It's been a great few months for workouts, even though for a while I wasn't totally digging running. I think I experienced a little thing I like to call BURNOUT. Which is funny, since I wasn't really running all that much! However, somewhere between Refine, work, hanging out with the relatively new boyfriend, and attempting to train for TWO half marathons, I let running go a bit by the wayside and reprioritized. This happened mainly because I fell in LOVE with Refine Method.
Back when it all started...
Do you know what Refine Method is? Most of my NYC fitness blogger friends will, but if you're not one of them you may be confused. Refine? What do you refine at Refine? The answer: your entire body, attitude toward exercise and working out, and your limits (maybe those you reDEfine). It's an AMAZING circuit-based workout called metabolic resistance training, which uses pulleys, suspension straps, kettlebells, and body weight to get the most out of a workout. There are cardio bursts, too, full of jumpbacks, sprints in place, and step-ups. We do planks, hip thrusts, squats and lunges. Tricep exensions, lat pull downs, bicep curls and push ups. No two classes are ever the same. Form is HUGE (I learned quickly that I'd been squatting and lunging all wrong!) and you WILL BE corrected, no matter how long you've been Refining. I am always dripping with sweat (I actually get blinded by my sweat at least twice a class) throughout the class, and my fellow Refiners probably love me for it.

It all started because of Dori. Dori, whom I'd met a few years ago at a blogger meetup thing after a frigid 4 mile race in Central Park, is a fitness fanatic in the best possible way. She's tried everything - and she lets you know what's good and what's not. Refine was something I'd seen appear on her blog more than once and I was intrigued. When I saw they were having a Refine Resolution Challenge and that a couple people I knew had signed up for it, I decided to give it a shot. I needed some help with strength and was in a running rut, so to get out of it and to get moving again, I signed up for the challenge and was (very fortuitously!) paired with Dori as my Refine buddy.

Month one I did five classes (the minimum you could do was four). It was love at first class. Like, as in, this was my first Daily Mile post about it:
First Refine class ever and OMG I LOVED IT. I liked the variety, I liked that it was a challenge and I loved that I left a sweaty mess. Pretty sure my butt, legs and glutes are gonna hate me tomorrow though :) Bring on class number 2!

I'm such a nerd, I know.

You have to increase by two classes per month, so month two I did seven classes, then nine classes in month three. I'm in the "maintenance" phase now, which basically means I get a sweet rate on Refine classes ($10 less than a regular class!) and go to eight classes a month.

Refine is intense, but I love it. Seriously. I don't know how else to describe it. I look forward to going. I NEVER dread a class. Today I think I may have actually found nirvana as I laid on the ground stretching after a grueling class.

When it comes to the changes in my body, I (personally) don't see a ton. HOWEVER...the way I feel and the way my clothes fit helps me know that something's working well here. My abs (they are there, dammit!) are making a very slow emergence (oh if only I could cut out sugar), but my strength has increased dramatically. Can I do a million push ups or a pull up? No...but I am getting closer to that with every class that I go to, and am so much stronger than I was when I first started. Strong is sexy!
By the end...obsessed with lunges. OBSESSED.
I hope I can keep up Refine. It's an investment for me, but it's an investment worth making because it's in my body, my mind, and my health. I've met some awesome people along the way and love every second of class, even when I'm in the midst of hating it and pushing harder than I thought possible. If you're in NYC, it's totally worth checking out a class - the first class is half-rate and will suck you in!

Half marathon recaps to come...

Note: Refine did not ask me to write this post, I'm not being (nor have I ever been) compensated by Refine. I am just a #RefineAddict and want to spread the word of this amazing and awesome class!

Friday, May 17, 2013


I've been a bad blogger, I know. But I just saw this on another blog and thought it would be fun to fill in! I'll return with some race recaps and Refine Method thoughts soon!

Current Book
I just finished The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman, and LOVED it. Such a great read! It was interesting, well-written, suspenseful and just plain good. I love when a book has it all.

Since I finished that on Monday, I've moved on to Swimming at Night by Lucy Clarke. I'm less than 100 pages in, but I'm already drawn to the characters and like the writing style. The story is intriguing and I'm excited to see where it goes!

Current Music
The Great Gatsby soundtrack. Over and over and over again. I can't say I usually love Lana Del Rey, but Young and Beautiful is an awesome track. I listen to it on repeat because I'm cool like that. I keep thinking about how awesome a spin class to this soundtrack would be.

Current Guilty Pleasure
Trader Joe's chocolate-covered sea salt butterscotch caramels. Addictive. I have a little handful every night! Running out and will need more soon...

Current Nail Color
None. But I'm planning on a mani/pedi on Sunday and I plan to go for something bright, fun and springy!

Current Drink
Nothing in particular...but I did have a little glass of the most delicious glass of whisky at an event I worked the other night (it was for a client of ours that's a whisky company!). Not usually a whisky fan but MAN this was delicious. Looking forward to enjoying a beer or two at GoogaMooga tonight!

Current Food
Again, nothing in particular. Excited for the food carts at GoogaMooga!

Current Favorite Show
Parks & Rec! I watched all of How I Met Your Mother on Netflix and needed a new show. Since I have a crush on Amy Poehler, saw Aziz Ansari live (when he surprised the Comedy Cellar to try out new material!), and LOVE Rob Lowe, I figured it would be a good show to move on to - I was right! I seriously laugh out loud in every episode and really enjoy it.

I'm also making my way through House of Cards - Kevin Spacey is amazing in it. I think I have five episodes left, and I have no doubt that it will keep up with twists and turns.

And I can't wait for Arrested Development!!! I saw the banana stand in NYC this week (did NOT wait in line though) and it got me super pumped!

Current Wish List
A trip! I studied abroad in Paris and am YEARNING (can't think of a better word that sums it up!) to go back there. I'm currently torturing myself by subscribing to the Instagram accounts of Paris in Four Months, Lost In Cheeseland and Will She Love Paris, which all post stunning photos of the city (it's hard to take a bad picture of Paris though, let's be honest).

Much as I want to go to Paris, I'd go pretty much anywhere right now...London, Morocco, Egypt, Brazil, Australia, etc...basically, I want a trip.

Current Needs
Haircut, new glasses, fruit, vegetables and other groceries. And a RUN! I've run a couple miles here and there since the Long Branch Half, but no more than 2 miles. Today I'd like to go for 4 or 5...we'll see!

Current Indulgence
Levain Bakery. I have a thing for their blueberry muffins, and treated myself to one this morning!

Current Outfit
Yoga pants, tank top, glasses, hair in a bun. It's the classic "it's Friday and I'm working from home for half a day" look that all the glossies are talking about.

Current Excitement
GOOGAMOOGA! Nice spring weather! Getting into the Army 10 Miler! Signing up for ZOOMA Half Cape Cod! Extending my Refine Method Resolution program to the Maintenance program! HOLDING A PLANK FOR 5 WHOLE MINUTES!!! All things worthy of exclamation points and all things making me super excited right now!

Monday, January 7, 2013


A bit late to the game on this one but eh, might as well post, right? After all, 2012 was a pretty darn good one for me!

Watched the fireworks and the Emerald Nuts Midnight Run
in Central Park this year!
Here's my 2012 in running:

  • Best race experience: No-brainer (also I only ran in two races last year!) - Chicago Marathon. Worked my ass off for that sub-4 and was rewarded with a time that shattered my expectations.
  • Best run: 20.5 miles in DC three weeks before the marathon - the weather was great, I ran fast, I felt awesome. It was the perfect pre-race confidence booster!
  • Best new piece of gear: Brooks Defyance - I swear, they are making me faster.
  • Best piece of running advice you received: I really enjoyed my friend Zack's text the night before the Chicago Marathon, which read, "Don't be polite. Draw some blood!" Beyond that I don't think I really got a lot of running advice - I also didn't really seek any out and relied on ME to stay motivated. My marathon day mantra of "Be fearless. Be relentless. Be limitless" seems like pretty good advice, too.
  • Most inspirational runner: I'm inspired by just about every runner I meet and whose blog I read. We're all sort of in this together - juggling a job with fun with training and I think it's really interesting to read about how we're all doing this to accomplish a similar goal. My good friends Lani, Christina and Shawna inspire me as well!
  • If you could sum up your year in a couple of words, what would they be?: Oh gosh...hmm. 2012 was really about the marathon for me - breaking four hours. When I did that, I shattered what I thought I could accomplish. Throughout that training cycle, I became the kind of runner I want to be, and now I know for certain that (as Chrissie Wellington has said) my limits might not be where I think that they are, and that I can push them farther than I had imagined possible.

Recap of my 2012 goals:
  • Finish P90X - did pretty well on this! I think I ended up doing 78 days before I decided to focus a bit more on running than P90X - but I did get a lot stronger (especially in my shoulders - I think my best plank was 4 minutes!) and enjoyed P90X a lot!
  • Run a sub-4 marathon - CHECK! 3:47:40 in Chicago!
  • PR in the half marathon - CHECK! 1:57:44 in the RNR DC half!
  • Be totally injury-free all year - CHECK!!! This is probably one of the more important goals that I accomplished - SO happy I was injury-free all year!
  • Do 9+1 - NOPE. Just wasn't motivated to race so much - plus I feel like I was traveling all. the. time. in 2012. Maybe this year!
  • Go to a new country/state - CHECK! Nebraska and Illinois can be crossed off my state visits! Also went to Cape Cod and Santa Barbara for the first time, which was awesome.
  • Go to the Astoria beer garden - NUH UH! Ugh. THIS YEAR!
  • Explore as much as I possibly can in New York - check-ish? I feel like I did a pretty good job! There's still lost more left to see and do though!

And now for my 2013 goals:
  • PR in the half: I feel like this is totally doable. I ran a 1:51 in the second half of the Chicago Marathon, so I think I should be able to break 1:50 - sub-1:45 would be SO awesome though. I have two chances this spring (NYC Half and Long Branch Half)! Definitely going to make them count!
  • Be injury-free all year: I've found a great training plan that works well for me (Run Less Run Faster) and I'm going to stick to it.
  • Try out a new exercise class: I joined the Refine Resolution Challenge - my first class is on Wednesday and I've been buddied up with the wonderful Dori! I can't wait to get started!
  • Move up in bib numbers for NYRR races: I renewed my membership and hope to do more races this year - right now I'm at 8:59 (and that's from approximately three years ago!) so I think I should be able to do this!
  • Go to the Astoria beer garden, the Tenement Museum and the Guggenheim: Been in NYC five years, and I have yet to check of any of these! 
  • Have an amazing vacation somewhere I've never been before: Well I'm going to Mexico with my mom in October, so that should definitely be doable!
  • Roast a chicken: Never done it! I really want to do it. Don't ask me why, I just do.
  • Read more: I did a pretty good job of reading this year - a move to Harlem means more time on the subway (eight stops instead of two plus a crosstown walk when I lived on the UES) so I'd like to keep reading more books (and the New Yorker).
    • With that - read the books I already have sitting on my bookshelf! I have SO many but I'm never in the "mood" to read them...must improve this.

There are probably more to add...but those are the ones that come to mind right now. 

Let's see if I can do's to 2013 being even more awesome than 2012!