Here I go again on my own (ish)…

My last attempt at a marathon wasn’t pretty.  It was the Rock N Roll DC in March 2015 and I had basically set myself up for failure…

  1. I had to train through winter. I hate winter.
  2. We had a pretty bad winter, so I slacked off and didn’t stick to my training plan like I should.

It poured the entire first half of the race and I tripped in a pothole around mile 15. I ended up half running/half dragging my leg behind me until mile 21 when I realized how stupid it was to keep doing something that made me so miserable/injured…and I quit.

I don’t quit.

So that brings me to the Philly Marathon 2016, which I am running November 20. I couldn’t let my last marathon be a DNF.

I get to train through the summer, which is hard because of humidity but easier than winter for me (I HATE ICE!!). I’ve also lost about 10lbs since the race in 2015, so I think that will be helpful to me come race day.

The training plan I’m using was made for me by my friend’s father who is an amazing runner.  I’m running 3x/week, with 2-3 days of cross-training. My body responds the best when I am not running super high mileage but still getting the necessary cardio in each week.  I’ve mainly focused on swimming, spinning, and yoga for my cross-training, but I recently rejoined Classpass and I look forward to adding in RowZone, pilates, and strength training to supplement my running.

As far as goals for my race go, I’d love to run a sub-5 hour marathon, but my #1 focus is finishing strong. To me, it’s much more important to cross the finish line happy and healthy than to hit some arbitrary time.

Here goes nothing!

 

 

Passions (Not the soap…RIP)

I’ve been at my current job for about 4 years now and I’ve been bored for 3 and a half of them.  I like my coworkers, love my company, but as far as my day-to-day job goes….eh.  I don’t feel challenged. I think that lack of stimulation is working its way into other parts of my life.

While I search for another job, I’m left figuring out how to reignite passion in other areas of my life.  I committed myself to training for my 4th attempt (hopefully third finish!) at the marathon distance. I rejoined Weight Watchers and have been working on cleaning up my diet and losing weight so that I feel like (and run like) my best self. I started a book club with my girlfriends from high school, which definitely helped me rediscover my love of reading.

Unfortunately, very rarely do you find a job that encompasses those things and allows you to make a living doing what you love.

So I have continued to find ways to do that outside of the office.  I love writing, so hence my return to blogging. My goal is to add in a little freelance writing, not necessarily for extra money, but for the love of it.  Maybe there will be fitness certifications in my future allowing me to share my love of working out with others.

Don’t get me wrong…I am still ferociously on the job hunt. I know that I can find a job that fulfills me more than I am fulfilled currently, but maybe I am meant to get my jollies outside of the 8-5 hours.

I’ve started by picking up a planner and following a pre-written “To Do” list (I. LOVE. LISTS.) in hopes of focusing my efforts after work.  It can be hard to come home after the office and gym and focus on another task, but I am always happy when I start.

Right now, I just need to try and stay focused on my goals!

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Not this focused, though. Don’t want to scary anyone.

 

Cleaning up my diet.

It’s no secret I’ve struggled with my weight.  I’m an emotional eater and that is not an easy habit to break.  I’ve tried severely limiting my “approved” foods, My Fitness Pal, juice cleanses and low-fat diets.

Tina

The only thing that has ever really worked for me has been Weight Watchers, but when I started it a few years ago the plan emphasized a low-fat diet without paying much attention to the quality of foods.  As I learned more about proper nutrition, I realized that it really wasn’t the way to go.  Yes, half an avocado is more than 2 tablespoons of fat-free cream cheese, but which is the better option?

With the new changes to the Weight Watchers plan, I noticed a shift in their thinking: encouraging a healthy, well-rounded diet as opposed to low-fat.  I think that’s a positive step in the right direction for those who struggle with the scale.

I started it again after coming back from my vacation to Arizona in March.  While we hiked a lot, we also ate ALL the Mexican and drank most of the beer.:)  I regret nothing, but when I looked at the photos from the trip, I realized that my outward appearance didn’t reflect how healthy and fit I feel.  I knew that my workouts were on point, but I had to take an honest look at my diet…and portion control.

I joined Weight Watchers, pulled out the measuring cups and started tracking every morsel of food that passed my lips, be it an egg white veggie omelet or four margaritas and some chips and salsa. Just because I didn’t track it doesn’t mean I didn’t eat it, and the best tough love comes from within.

So far it’s working.  I’m down 8lbs, which might not seem like a lot, but it feels like 80 to my brain and my clothes.  I have a few pounds to go, but I’m aiming for steady, sustainable weight loss and it seems like I’m on the right track.

This Week’s Workouts

Does anyone else think that the most stressful part of their week is planning workouts?  I get so worried that I’m not hitting all of my body parts, getting in enough cardio, or logging enough miles for whatever race I have coming up.

I don’t mean stress in a bad way, necessarily.  It’s like a little puzzle for me and in reality, it’s kind of fun.  Especially when I am trying to get into my favorite Classpass sessions.  It always ends up working out in the end.  I mean, worst case scenario: I take a rest day. Darn.

This week’s workouts have a great variety and include a new-to-me class, an outdoor boot camp with CoreFitness!

Monday: Hit up Dwyane’s class at Optimal…this class is truly a hidden gem.  The gym is this tiny little thing with no windows, but when Dwyane starts teaching the whole place lights up.  I want to try his hip-hop class one day, but I need to get over my lack of coordination.

Tuesday: Erin’s 6AM class at YogaHabit.  No better way to start the morning!

Yoga Habit

The sky from the studio.  This pic doesn’t do the view (or the space!) justice.

Wednesday: 6 miles outside.  I’m gearing up for the Oddyssey Half in a few weeks and I’m worried about getting my longer runs in.  6 miles is pretty much my threshold for morning runs (time-wise) and I’m gonna make it happen tomorrow!

Thursday: The Core Fitness Shred for Classpass class!! Can’t wait.  I’ll let you know how it goes, but the instructor emailed me about Battle Ropes.  They’re my frenemy, basically.

Friday: Ripped Abs at RippedPHL.  It’s my first time going to this studio in the morning, so I’ll report back about how showering/primping at the studio goes.  It’s always a gamble doing it for the first time!

Saturday: 4 miles and weights while I’m having a little vacation in Atlantic City.  My college roommate will be there for a conference, so we’re going to get some quality time together and I’ll hopefully get a quality workout while she’s out at the event!

Sunday: Reach and Raise!  I’m so excited to finally take part in this event.  Picture this: me and thousands of other yogis on the Art Museum.  I reached my goal thanks to generous friends, but it’s never too late to donate!

Can’t wait to feel the hard work pay off when it comes time for races and bikini season!

 

My 50th Classpass Class!

Can you believe it?

I’ve taken 50 classes since joining Classpass in December 2015.  Last night’s Joltin Jabs was the cherry on top of my fitness sundae.

I never considered myself a group fitness person.  I’m pretty uncoordinated and don’t enjoy chatting while I workout, so I usually stuck to my usual recipe of intense, long cardio, minimal weights and core work, and a weekly yoga class.  I switched it up sometimes to include spinning or swimming, depending on what Living Social deal I could snag.  That changed when I joined Unite Fitness 2+ years ago.  I found I enjoyed strength training as long as someone was there telling me what to do and I had fun alternating between the treadmill, bike, and rower.  Unfortunately, the price of Unite wasn’t sustainable to me, so I ended up leaving after a year to try and do it on my own.

Spoiler alert: it didn’t work for me.  I fell off the strength wagon and was becoming increasingly unhappy with my body, noticing how things that used to be high and tight were…not.

Several of my friends used Classpass and suggested I give it a shot.  It’s been 6ish months and I have no intention of quitting anytime soon!

I love being able to switch up my workouts anytime I want as well as try new studios in the area without committing to a hefty drop-in price tag.  Some classes have been better than others, but overall, I’m so happy that I have changed my routine.

Here are some Philly “Best Ofs” for anyone interested in trying it out:

Dwayne’s Body Blast Class at Optimal 1315

Priya Hot Yoga (especially any of Ashley’s classes)

Jess’s classes at Body Cycle

Joltin Jabs

Row Zone (Gary and Jason are my faves)

Flywheel (when you can get in!)

Unite Fitness

RippedPHL

My goal this month is to try at least two new studios…any suggestions?

For anyone interested in trying Classpass, use this link to get $20 off! 

 

 

May Goals

Since turning 30 last December and feeling like I wasn’t where I expected to be at that age (I know, I know…join the club.), I have been hyper-aware of falling into any sort of rut or complacency with my life.  Be it fitness or professionally, I want to make sure I’m always challenging myself to try a little harder and do something new.  I really think goal setting is the only way to ensure that I stay focused and make moves.

So here it goes!

  1. Ramp up my running so I can run a personal best at the Oddyssey Half marathon in JuneThe Oddyssey Half is the frenemy of the Philadelphia running community.  Held in early June, it’s often hotter than most half marathons in the area and it is DEFINITELY hillier.  I don’t compare it to my other half marathon times because the race is much more difficult for me than Rock and Roll or the Philly Half in September or November.  I’m going to work on incorporating more hills into my runs, as well as ramping up speed training at RippedPHL and Unite Fitness.
  2. Seriously begin a job search. – I love my coworkers and working at my company is great, but the position itself is leaving me unfulfilled.  It’s hard coming home from the office and the gym and then spending more time in front of the computer, but it needs to be done if I want to get out of my job rut.
  3. Read more. – I went on vacation with my mom and aunt last month and read 2 books in 5 days.  I forgot how much fun I have just kicking back with a good book.  As the weather gets warmer, I’d like to turn off the Netflix, get outside and read a good book.  I highly recommend The Darlings and What Was She Thinking?.

Review: YogaHabit Fairmount

As I write this post, I’m doing a mini happy dance in my seat…Fairmount has a new yoga studio and it is exactly POINT ONE miles from my front door.

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As someone who likes a good morning yoga sweat but still has to be at her desk around 8am, this is a godsend.  Be warned: it is hot yoga, so sweat you will.

I was lucky enough to snag a spot in the first class offered at the studio on Saturday as part of their grand opening celebration. Everything about the space lived up to the hype I created in my head, as one who is a huge workout junkie does.

First of all, I love seeing that block getting some love.  Anyone who lives in the area knows that there is a lack of development on Fairmount Avenue as you head towards Broad Street from the Art Museum…it has a gradual decline of quality and activity that YogaHabit, Bar Hygge, and Anytime Fitness are trying to remedy.

The owner, Jen, and her team did a great job of creating a bright and open space for your practice. The whole space is clean and “industrial” but also very welcoming.  After walking up a flight of stairs, you find yourself in the lobby of the studio.  There are cubbies and benches for your belongings as well as bathrooms, a shower, and a water cooler.  They also have a small retail section, offering tank tops, water bottles, and Lululemon yoga mats.

The studio itself has gorgeous flooring, light-colored walls, and HUGE windows overlooking Fairmount Avenue that create a relaxing space that I really feel enhances my practice.  Sidenote: there are no mirrors, which is amazing.  I hate practicing with mirrors, worrying more about how my stomach looks than how I am feeling.

So far I have been lucky to take two classes in the space, one with Jen and another with Alicia…they were both excellent! High energy and fun, while also allowing you to focus and center yourself. They offered hands on adjustments that helped me take full advantage of the poses. I took Alicia’s class the day after the Broad Street Run, which I had mentioned to her before class started, and her gentle adjustments really assisted me in loosening up my tight quads and hamstrings.

Best part?  The offer cool lavender soaked towels during savasana.  I put it over my eyes and totally zenned out.

They’re currently offering a $21 for 21 days pass to new clients, so I snagged that deal and plan to use it to its fullest in the coming weeks!

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YogaHabit

Location: 1640 Fairmount Avenue

Overall rating: A+

 

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