ClassPass: A review.

After a tough year running wise last year, I ended 2015 with a hamstring injury.  I never went to PT, but after a semester at Google University I self-diagnosed a proximal hamstring strain.  The suggestions were resting and strengthening, so I decided that I was not going to run for a month and give my leg time to recoup.

The problem was, what would I do instead?  I belong to a great regular gym, but if I can’t run it limits my cardio.  They don’t offer as many spin classes as I would like and I can only take so many elliptical sessions before I want to throw myself off a building.

That’s where Classpass comes in!  A few friends suggested that I try it, given that I love new fitness classes and a lot of my favorite studios are on there already, such as Flywheel and Unite.  You can attend each studio 3 times during the month using Classpass, but you can take an unlimited number of classes overall.

It’s $89 a month, although by using this link you can get $20 off your first month.  No commitments and no sign up fee, which was key for me.  While it’s definitely a great deal, I’m not sure if $89 is sustainable for me.  This way, I’m not stuck with an expense every month if I decide can’t afford it.  They also offer an option of freezing your membership for $19/month.  You still get to take one class during the frozen months and you’re probably still spending less than you would if you registered for the class normally (hello Flywheel and your $28 fees).

After one month of using it, I can definitely tell you that I’m hooked.

Overall Rating: Five Stars (out of 5)

Number of Classes Attended: 10

Studios Attended: Priya Hot Yoga, Flywheel, Unite Fitness, Row Zone, Anjali Power Yoga

Pros:

  • There are sooooo many studios on Classpass.  From spinning to barre to Crossfit to rowing to boot camps, you can really find anything on there.
  • You can try studios that have been on your radar for awhile without actually committing to a membership there.
  • At $89 per month, you’re spending a lot less per class than you would if you signed up via their website.
  • You can take Classpass on vacation with you.  Changing your “metro area” is super easy and allows you to take classes in different cities while you’re out of town.
  • My workouts have been so varied and inspired lately that I can feel my body making some great changes.  I was lacking this with my own non-running workouts.

Cons:

  • It’s not cheap.  While it can be a great deal, it’s also still a large expense that I’m not sure is sustainable for me right now.
  • There are limited classes available.  I was a little disappointed that some studios, like Unite, offer very few classes to Classpass members.  I understand they need to keep them for their own clients, but I think they could do a little better with offering more accessible times.
  • Classes fill up quickly.  If you want to go to Flywheel, sign up early!!

I think I’ll end up keeping it for another month or two to get me through the winter and into distance running weather, but after that we’ll see how I’m faring financially.  Definitely worth a shot though!!

Thursday Thankfulness

As anyone who looks at my blog (Mom, thank you) knows, I’ve been terrible at updating this.  I keep saying “I’ll start Monday!” or “I’ll do it after I study for chem.”  Well, my last chem test was yesterday (WOOHOO!) and I found myself making an excuse about posting something until I read Ali’s newest post.  Not only is she possibly the busiest fake friend I have (new husband, new puppy, new giraffe stories) she’s also living with Crohn’s disease.  And she manages to write beautiful, meaningful, puppiful posts that I love.  So here I am with Thursday Thankfulness.

I’m thankful that my chemistry class is over.

I think we all saw this one coming.  Online learning is a struggle for me (both with motivation to act on my own behalf as well as not having immediate feedback and the ability for face-to-face discussions), especially when it’s something like chemistry.  Too much math!  Too many numbers! Brain melting.  I’m starting anatomy next semester as an on campus class and I’m both scared and excited.  One step closer to becoming an RD!

I’m thankful I got to travel so much this year.

One of my goals for 2015 was to visit a new city, and I visited a lot more than that!  Early in the year I went on a road trip with my brother to move him to Colorado and we stopped in Indianapolis, Columbus, St. Louis and some smaller towns along the way.  Then I spent a long weekend in Nashville for my friend’s bachelorette party, a weekend in Boston and Salem with my boyfriend, and another long weekend in Chicago to see my friends that recently moved there.  All of these places were beautiful and amazing and interesting, but I left each time with even more of a love for Philadelphia.  There’s no place like home!

I’m thankful to be turning 30.

Sometimes.  Ask me again next Friday.

I’m thankful to take a short break from running.

I’ve been having some leg pain and just want a little break so I can strengthen my hamstrings and glutes and try out new fitness options.  I doubt I’ll make it until January without running at all (I already cheated this morning), but I’m definitely doing less distance and more HIIT and strength.  I am hoping to run the 2016 Twin Cities Marathon and I know I’ll need major leg muscles for that!

There are about 54000 other things I am thankful for, but I feel like that’s a good end to my first blog post in about 54000 months.  

What are you thankful for?

Spring Workout Resolutions

My marathon is coming up in 20 days (EEK!) and I am definitely not where I had hoped to be in terms of training.  The ice, the cold, and the general blah-ness of winter has made training more difficult than I anticipated.  I am still excited and ready(ish) to run my third marathon, but my lofty goals of the late fall are now gone and replaced with more reasonable but still exciting ones.  I’m going to re-evaluate after my long run this weekend.  Keep your fingers crossed for decent temps in DC!

All of these “feels like” sub-zero and single digit days have inspired me to make some springtime workout resolutions…

1. I will not give up the chance to get an early morning run in. I miss starting my days with a few miles along Kelly Drive but it just hasn’t been feasible with the amount of ice still on the sidewalks.  It’s easier to run a marathon with sub-par training than it is to run one with a broken ankle.  I can’t wait to get back out in the early hours with my fellow nutty runners.

2. I will get back in the pool. I rejoined the Drexel gym so I could have access to a treadmill and a pool on a regular basis, but I haven’t taken advantage of it as I should. Part of it is the distance (it’s a subway ride from my apartment) but it’s also the hassle of dragging my morning get-ready gear to the gym and back.  When the temps are warmer, I feel like I don’t wear as much makeup and I dry my hair much less (top knot for the win!).  Can’t wait to cut my prep time (and prep materials) in half.

3. Iced coffee.  This isn’t really a resolution so much as a “Wah, I miss iced coffee.” I make no apologies for my feelings.

Broad Street Run!

I didn’t make it into the lottery (sadface) so I am running with the Fairmount Park Conservancy, a great organization that helps my beloved Kelly Drive. :)  For more information or donation opportunities, check out my CrowdRise page here.

Weekly Workouts

Got my 10 miler in on Saturday, despite the “feels like” temp of 2 degrees!  Major thanks to Allie for making the rounds with me.

Funny story: we got about halfway through our run and my neck started to feel really uncomfortable (like it was cramping up).  I reached back to feel it out and realized my sweaty hair had froze TO MY NECK.  High bun inside the hat next time…I don’t care what it looks like.

Here are my workouts for the coming week…

Monday: Unite

Tuesday: Unite D Series (45 minutes of cardio v. 30 in a regular class)

Wednesday: 8 miles

Thursday: Unite

Friday: Bikram

Saturday: 10 miles!

Sunday: Rest

This weather is kind of crappy, so I’m probably going to replace one of the 8 milers on my schedule for the three Unite classes…not perfect, but oh well!  Easier to run a marathon a little undertrained than with a broken ankle from falling on the ice! :)

Five Favorite Things on Friday

1. Gift certificates that allow me to buy coffee guilt free.  I’m trying to cut back on spending and coffee was one of the first things to go but thank God for coworkers and friends who understand and enable my addiction by gifting me coffee.

2. This clip of Liam Neeson’s prank call to Maggie Grace’s ex-boyfriend.  Everyone needs a Liam Neeson in their life.  Or preferably, the real Liam Neeson.

3. The dreadmill. While we normally have a tumultuous relationship, I’ve really appreciated having access to one training for Rock & Roll DC. While I get bored out of my gourd after a few miles, you can’t run a marathon if you’re broken on the ground after hitting a patch of ice.

4. My YakTrax. You need to get these things.  I wear them to walk to work and it’s a much less stressful walk when I know that I’m not going to die. Thank you, Dad.

5. This dress. I rented it for an event in March and I am insanely excited to wear it.  Rent the Runway never disappoints.

Essential Gear for Winter Running

This is what greeted me when my alarm went off this morning…

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I mean, c’mon.  Really?  Needless to say, I ended up hitting the treadmill for the six miles I had on today’s schedule.

I actually don’t mind running in the cold weather, but when you add low temps to ice, darkness, and wind…it’s probably best to stay inside.  Luckily my tolerance for cold-weather running has gone waaaaay up since I started purchasing the right gear.  I thought I’d do a quick little round-up of what I think are my essentials for a successful frigid run.

Let’s layer from the inside out….

1. Long tank top. – Serves as a butt warmer as well.  I wear this one a lot from Lululemon, but Target and Gap have great choices too.  I love this Target one a lot…don’t be shocked if I go buy it.

2. The warmest running pants around. – I don’t know what sort of trickery UA has woven into these pants, but let me tell you…they’re magical.  And they’re worth the $50.  I have a few other pairs that I like (from brands like City Sports and Fila) but nothing keeps me as warm as these do.  I normally save my other ones for when the temps are close to freezing or a little above.  Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to find a cheap cheap alternative yet, but I’ll keep you posted.

3. A fleece lined top. – I found a Nike one scouring the racks of Gabriel Brother’s while visiting my grandmother in West Virginia.  It’s the most obnoxious color and pattern and it’s amazing.  I bought it for $25 there, so it’s probably at least $50 in real life.  Unfortunately, I can’t find a picture or a link to a Nike one, but I know that UA also makes great tops.  And I shall now go home and treasure my crazy looking top since you can’t get them anymore apparently.  RIP awesome tops.

4. A running jacket. – This coat is similar to the one I bought from Target several years ago, except mine is bright pink.  It’s served me well the past few years and I don’t really feel the need to upgrade right now, but if I did I know what I’d get.  Tina made me uber-jealous the other day when she posted the coat that her husband bought her for Christmas.  It’s like the Mercedes-Benz of running coats and I’m sure it’s every bit as amazing. #lifegoals

5. Gloves. – I buy cheapo ones at race expos so I can use them as tissues.  Don’t judge.  That’s what washing machines are for.  Check Wal-Mart for some good ones and for those ladies who are blessed with tiny hands like me, don’t overlook the kid’s section.

6. Head gear. – I lose a lot of heat through my absurdly large dome so I tend to stick with an ear warmer.  I bought one a long time ago from North Face for my one and only attempt at snowboarding and I still use it. This is similar.  While you can find ones for a lot cheaper, I’d recommend investing a little for a fleece lined one.  They’re easy to wash (don’t dry!) and it keeps your ears warm while not getting you all hot and bothered.

While this will keep you warm and cozy, please do not be silly and run on ice and craziness.  Either jump on the treadmill or take after Fat Amy…

Bikram: Sanskrit for “Death Wish”

Last fall, I saw a Living Social deal for Bikram Yoga Philadelphia.

bikramyogaphilly

It was always something I wanted to try, but the fear of passing out and the cost kind of prevented me from taking the plunge, but 2 months for $40?  Sign me up.  Luckily my friends are as nutty as I am, so when I finally showed up for my first class last night, I had Lauren by my side.

(Important to the story: it’s currently FREEZING in Philadelphia and I figured as long as I was warm for 90 minutes I’d be happy as a lark…I was correct.)

I showed up to the studio and the staff was as nice as could be.  They got me signed in quickly and pointed me in the right direction.  They have a small locker room next to the studio on the top floor…I’m not sure if there’s one near the studio on the second floor.  It was a bit crowded but I’m someone who changes at work before going to the gym, so I just needed to take off my layers and shove them in a cubby. Note: they offer mats for free!  There didn’t seem to be a lot, so I’d probably bring my own, but it was nice for Lauren who forgot hers.  Most studios charge for a mat rental.

We ventured into the studio and let me tell you…it’s hot.  Not as humid as I was anticipating, which was great, but definitely hot.  Like, sweating just sitting there hot.  It felt good to sweat out all of the toxins.  I kept sneaking glances at Lauren as if to say “If you’re the last person I see before I die, I love you.” Spoiler alert: I did not die.

The instructor came in and introduced himself but I was too busy thinking about who would get my stuff when I died doing yoga to remember his name.  He asked if anyone was new so I raised my hand (Lauren did not, the liar..).  He was super nice about it!  Very encouraging and complimentary, but also offered great constructive criticism.  His explanation of the poses was fantastic…I understood what he was saying and was able to make self-correction.  The class was rather large, so self-correction was important though he did walk around and help.

Half the class is standing poses while the other half is floor work, which I appreciated as my mat was too sweaty to do much on after the first 45ish minutes.  I definitely need to remember my yoga towel next time.

A post isn't a post without a gratuitous picture of Ryan Gosling.

A post isn’t a post without a gratuitous picture of Ryan Gosling.

The minutes flew by and I left feeling pretty rejuvenated.  I was definitely ready for a shower and something to eat, but I can’t wait to go back!

Pros:

– Clean studio.

– Friendly staff.

-A very “centering” experience.

-Major sweat sesh.

Cons: 

– Small locker room.

– Kind of pricey without a deal.

Overall rating: A