May 15, 2014

My Running Career Is Officialy Over

sad face

(Image)

I’ve been having issues for a while now with my knees.  In fact I just finished up a few weeks of PT for the left one, I tweaked it in a boot camp class a few months ago.  I went for a follow-up on Monday to the orthopedic surgeon and turns out my running career – or HOPE of a running career – is over.  Going forward, no high impact activities, specifically no running.     He suggested cycling and swimming.  I guess my spin shoes are going to get a lot more use.  Happily as it gets nicer outside, all I want to do is bike around town.  Sigh.  I am definitely bummed. 

February 27, 2014

Life Lesson #56402

socks

Anyone else completely over winter?  I am.  I am over carrying my gym shoes with me while I wear my boots.  Gym shoes + slushy sidewalks = unhappy wet feet.  Boots also require a totally different kind of sock than a gym shoe, as pictured above.  Boots + ankle socks = potential for blisters and cold legs.

So not long ago I arrived at my Equinox for a spin class, totally excited to get on the bike.  Lo and behold, I forgot to pack ankle gym socks.  I had on these green smart wool (thick) socks to keep my tootsies toasty on the commute.  Those above mentioned boot-gym shoe-sock issues really got me down.  My mind was racing, “Should I skip spin?  Will my feet get too hot?  I hate hot feet.  I did not get up at the a$$ crack of dawn to get to the gym and not work out!  I am going to spin in these socks, hot feet be damned!  I have a goal to reach!”  So spin I did.  Turns out it was one of the best classes I ever took and one of the best rides performance-wise I have ever had.  My feet stayed pretty cool.  But I am not in a hurry to spin or run or lift in these socks again. 

Life Lesson #56402 – always keep a spare pair of gym socks (and maybe some undies) in your gym back for boot-gym shoe-sock emergencies. 

(Disclaimer – the fact that I would never commute in spin shoes as they are impossible to walk in is irrelevant.  I miss my sneakers and I miss them hard.)

January 30, 2014

Comfortable in the Sweaty Men’s Area of the Gym

 weights 3

(Source)

The sweaty men’s area of the gym.  Scary.  Intimidating.  Impossible to approach without a trainer in tow. 

Not anymore.  Today I did my first workout in the sweaty men’s area, ie free weight section, of the gym.  It was awesome.  I felt comfortable and confident.  I even looked in the mirror when I did my tricep dips.  I HATE looking in the mirror during a workout, but I have to say, I liked seeing  my arm muscles move. 

I also went back to this today.

 

running

Though I didn’t look anything like that girl, I did use my Couch to 5K app to do a good running workout.  5K season will be here in no time and I want to be ready to go! 

 

 

 

December 4, 2013

OUCH

post workout

(Source – borrowed from Mary Stefanski’s facebook page)

So that image above of my cousin Mary is how I felt today after my workout.  I hadn’t done a really serious, gruelling workout in almost two weeks and it was SO HARD.  I wanted to quit half way through.  I felt vomit rising after only 20 minutes.  I half-ass’ed the burpees ’cause I thought I might pass out from exhaustion.  It’s funny how quickly you fall out of shape.  This is one of those days where I swear to myself, “I will never not workout again! The pain of coming back is just too hard!”  We will see how spin class goes on Friday morning.  Eek!

October 22, 2013

Boot Camp otherwise known as “This Class Will Make You Want to Lay Down and Die”

burpee picture

(Source)

When I left Crossfit behind, I stupidly imagined I would be done with the dreaded burpee forever.  Holy !&*@&^@ was I ever wrong.

I attended my first ever Bootcamp class today at Equinox. with this guy, Trooper Prince.   

prince4

Intense does not quite explain it.  First let’s talk about the ground rules.  No stopping.  No leaving early.  No water except at the designated water break.  If any of these rules are broken, there is a penalty for the rest of your class.  And what is this penalty?  Burpees.  Executed to the expectations of Trooper Prince or you do it over again.  And do them over again we did.  And over and over and over.  I swear at one point we did the number 2 burpee six times before we moved on to number 3.  Inside my mind I was screaming “DIE TROOPER DIE” as he kept shouting at us “ALL WE KNOW IS GO. GO GO GO!”

The class itself, not the penalty portion, incorporated a lot of squats and weight training.  I wanted to vomit after 10 minutes.  When the water break FINALLY came about 30 minutes in, I was so grateful, I wanted to give Prince the sweatiest hug ever.  I resisted and drank almost my entire bottle instead.  Smart.   

We did step work.  We did jumping jacks.  We did running relays. We did mountain climbers.  Then we did climbers with this glide thing under our feet.  For an entire minute.  We had three tries to get it done, meaning if someone stopped we had our penalty and then we had to try again.  I admit.  I had to stop.  I could not do it.  I immediately apologized to the people around me.  They gave me death stares but said, it’s OK.  I felt shame. 

I also felt pretty amazing once the torture stopped.  I rewarded myself with a few minutes in the steam room and a nice long shower with all the Kiehls products I could pile on my tired body.  Awesome.  Will I go back?  You bet your burpee I will. 

 

October 7, 2013

Firefly 2013

start line

Thank you Justin Timberlake.  Thank you Brittney Spears.  Thank you Lady Gaga.  Thank you for being the soundtrack to my Firefly 2013 5K.  I couldn’t have done it without you!

My friend MJ and I did this fun run Saturday night in Prospect Park.  See that yellow armband I am sporting, it lights up blinking red and carrying me through the hilly course.  Yes, hilly.  Not Flat at all.  There was one giant hill midway and I am proud to report that we ran it, not walked it.

We had a really effective game plan, we used the Couch to 5K app during the run, doing sets of 5 minute run and 3 minute recovery walks.  I forgot how much I love racing.  Yes the running itself is great but it’s being part of something bigger than myself that thrills me.  The energy of my fellow runners.  Seeing all the crazy glowing outfits.  It is pretty awesome.  In fact, I am already on the lookout for the next race!

 

 

July 3, 2013

Where Brooklyn At?

brooklyn

(Image)

Happy Fourth of July everyone!  I will be celebrating by packing.  Because in just over a week we are picking up and moving to Brooklyn.  Pet friendly apartments are hard to come by in Astoria so we are off for a new adventure.  I am psyched to explore a new neighborhood with great restaurants, shops and of course, Prospect Park. 

One downside.  Major in fact.  Crossfit.  Just when I was feeling comfy and at home at CrossfitQueens, I have to find a new box (gym).  There are so many options but I mean, come on.  The box has to be easy to get to.  Nothing out of the way, if it is a pain in the a$$ to get there, I’m not going.  I think I have chosen my new home at CrossfitNYC but I am going to take a class and make sure I fit in.  If the vibe isn’t down, I won’t feel comfortable working out there.  Wish me luck!

June 10, 2013

I Want to Ride My Bicyle, I Want to Ride My Bike

 bike 1

For a while now, I have been wanting to ride a bike.  I didn’t exactly know how….I mean I knew how to peddle and I have balance.  But I didn’t know anything about gears or the proper way to get on or stop.  I didn’t have my own bike or even a helmet. 

I grew up in a rural area without sidewalks on a relatively busy street.  Not exactly bike friendly for kids.  If I wanted to ride my non-speed bike around the driveway that was cool.  But mostly I was either in our pool on summer days or reading books the rest of the time.  Yep, I am a self-professed nerd.   

For the last year, I have been wanting to give biking a try. I wanted to conquer my fears around biking.  Yes fears.  Maybe sounds silly, but this is New York City.  Fast paced, lots of traffic.  People would rather kill you than smile at you.  OK, OK, I exaggerate, but you get the point.  My dad even got me a bike – the neighbors were giving them away.  He took one and got it fixed for me.  Sadly, that bike wasn’t the right size.  It was a great effort and I love him for it.  Dads always want to make their daughters’ dreams come true. 

A few weekends ago John took me to Master Bike Shop on the Upper West Side to rent a bike.  He took me over to Riverside Park where there are plenty of long flat stretches and the lessons began.  I have to say, I really thought we would argue and it would be really hard.  But John is a good teacher and I picked it up fast.  Soon I was in Central Park and then on the streets of the Upper East Side.  With the city buses, crazy traffic and all.  Amazing!  I fell in love. 

Later that week, I bought a bike on Craigslist. 

bike 2

A beautiful one year old Cannondale hybrid for a very good price.  I bike to Crossfit.  I bike to the park with Sadie and John.  I bike as much as I can.  I love the freedom.  The wind in my face.  I just LOVE riding.  I even love how my legs hurt sometimes doing the work of biking.  I get now why the boys I knew back in the day were all into their bikes because I am full on into mine. 

 

May 31, 2013

The Murph

 Murph-WOD

(Image Source)

Oh Yeah.  The Murph.  I have been hearing about The Murph for a while now from my CrossFit peeps.  It is the Memorial Day WOD to end all WODs (WorkOut of the Day).  You can read about Michael Patrick Murphy, for whom this WOD is named, right here

I had no intentions of doing The Murph at all.  I didn’t think I was ready.  All that running with all that jazz in between?  Are you kidding me?  I was still in beginners and running 800 meters, once around the block, is hard for me.  By running I mean all out RUNNING.  And my RUNNING is what most people consider to be a JOG.   

When I showed up at Crossfit Queens on Saturday for my beginners class, two of my coaches encouraged me to Murph it out.  “You can scale it,” they said.  Oh, Ok.  So Memorial Day at 10am with butterflies in my stomach and “you can, you can, you can” chanting through my head, I went to do The Muprh.  Or Half a Murph.  I was pleasantly surprised at the number of half-Murphers.  A full Murph is quite literally, insane.  A half…do-able.  I substituted ring-rows for pull ups. (Note, I didn’t hold it at the top like pink top girl, I pulled myself up, lowered down and repeated quickly so as not to, like, die) 

An awesome girl I have never met named Julie counted my reps for me and cheered me on.  Thank God for Julie. Counting while your heart thunders away and you can feel your blood pump fast to your brain like your head might explode, is basically impossible.  The hardest part physically was, as I expected, the running.  I admit I walked a little during the second half mile.  But I pulled it out and ran the last 200-300 meters. With all things CrossFit, times count.  30 minutes flat.  WOW. I DID IT!  I did Half a Murph with ring rows in 30 minutes flat.  I AM BAD ASS!

When I was done and coherent again, I counted reps for a couple named Emily and Ben who also half-Murphed it.  They brought their 2-year-old, Sophia along for the day.  Sometimes instead of counting, I blew bubbles and drew with pink sparkly sidewalk chalk while waiting for Emily or Ben to run.  It was amazing to witness their team work.  They have been coming to CrossFit for a long time and their pull ups were top-notch. 

It was incredible to see all of us, probably 50-60 people, doing the same WOD in the same space.  Knowing that CrossFitters everywhere were doing the same thing we were brought me a cool feeling of unity and community.  That is one thing I really like about CrossFit, it isn’t just a workout, it’s becoming a place where I belong. 

 

April 17, 2013

Crossfit Queens and a Major Case of Squat-itis

crossfitqueens

Hi Everyone! Hope you are having a great week so far!  I know I am! I am fully committed to my new community, Crossfit Queens!  I have been to three beginners classes so far and am loving it.  Even though the box (crossfit speak for gym) is moving a little further away this Saturday, I decided it is still better than going out of my way in Manhattan.  Plus, I had been to two classes at this box before and knew that the people I met were supportive and fun.  Coach Andy and Coach LJ teach the morning class and they are great teachers.

What have I learned so far?  The squat is the basis of all things crossfit.  Not just any squat.  Not the squat that I learned at 24Hour Fitness with all gazillion of my trainers. Or the squat that they show you in Shape magazine.  But squatting below parallel.  Like booty down practically to my heels.  Many, many, many times over.  And then again and again and again.  Sometimes with weights over my head.  Sometimes doing them and then getting down on the ground and doing sit-ups and push-ups.  Not gonna lie, it was really, REALLY hard to sit down and stand up after my first class last week.  I wanted to cry going up and down the stairs.  A co-worker asked me what was wrong when she passed me on said stairs and I didn’t know what to tell her.  I had a major case of squat-itis.  Happily, I can report that the pain does go away.  Squatting might even become enjoyable.  You might even catch me squatting for fun during commercial breaks…except, does anyone even watch commercials anymore?

What about you?  Have you had a major case of squat-itis?