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Somebody’s Gonna Miss You

This week is pretty insane, to say the least. Things are very busy at work, I’m moving to a new apartment throughout the week, I have various engagements every night and I’m going out of town for a wedding this weekend.

But the craziest thing is that this girl is leaving.

Karla is one of my favorite co-workers and after sitting with our desks right next to each other for the past year, we’ve gotten quite close. So much, in fact, that we’re often finishing each other’s sentences or jinxing because we’re just saying the same thing simultaneously. Cute stuff, I know.

But alas, New York is not quite her scene, and she’s heading back to the Midwest to be closer to her family and in an environment she’s more comfortable with. Although it sucks to see her go (she seriously is the nicest person in the world), I totally understand and respect her decision. But I expect plenty of visits!

Nonetheless, I’ve been devoting as much of my evening time to her as possible this week. As my Spinning buddy, we usually hit up one of Danny’s SoulCycle classes together. When I found out she was leaving, plans began to form and Danny and I secretly started planning a goodbye ride. My job? Get her there and bring the balloons. Done and done.

Although there was a brief scare because she was wait listed during sign ups on Monday.

Luckily, the Soul fairy sprinkled its dust and got us on bikes right next to each other before class began. Karla walked in, saw a bike pimped out with ribbons and blue balloons, and realized what we were up to. Especially when “Bye, Bye, Bye” started blasting overhead. Although I’m a BSB girl through and through, N*Sync has a special hold on K, so including the boys was crucial.

Danny took us through a fantastic class where we sweat a lot, smiled ear-to-ear, had water sprayed on us and then cried when  Rihanna’s “Farewell” came on near the end. Damn that song is emotional. It was such a great way to send our girl back to the Midwest.

Then we met up with our co-worker, John, to chat about life and enjoy some adult beverages.

What a bunch of cutie patooties those two are.

Then we spun again today. But this time, Ali came along for the ride. We’d been trying to make a date for a while now, so it was perfect timing that this finally came to fruition. It was now or never not until next time she’s in town!

We took Parker’s class, which was a first for all of us, and while it wasn’t “OMG holy sweatiness that was unbelievably fantastic,” we left with a good layer of sweat and smiles. And then we ate 16 Handles. Obviously.

I forgot to take a picture. Bad blogger.

Tomorrow we’ll have a final sendoff for this girl after work and I’m pretty excited. It still hasn’t quite hit me that she’s really leaving. We’re gonna miss you, K, but I’m just telling myself that September will be here before you know it!

 

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What Now?

Now that my main race has come and gone, I’ve taken some time to just breathe so that I don’t feel like I have to work out. I hate feeling that kind of pressure, especially when it’s related to something that I love doing so much. I don’t care what the haters say, to me, working out is fun and I thoroughly enjoy every time I make the conscious effort to break a sweat.

Well, unless I’m “forced” to do it because of a training plan and I’m feeling burnt out. But you catch my drift. Otherwise, I remember to look at the bigger picture. Because nine times out of ten, that truly makes every bit of pain and frustration worth it in the end.

But now that I don’t have a specific race to train for, what am I up to? I really like lists, so let me break it down for you.

Upper Body Work. It’s been severely neglected, but no more! I’m busting out some serious upper body moves now and I’m going to rock sundress season. Yes, when I’m not in workout clothes, I occasionally like to don dresses. They make me feel pretty. Or something.

#SmoothieADayinMay. Gina started this challenge and once I read up on it, I immediately hopped on board. I’m smoothie obsessed, the weather’s getting warm (so I actually crave the smoothie) and I need a quick breakfast that will give me a full serving of fruit with some veggies sneaked in. Seriously, if you haven’t put spinach in your smoothie yet, do it. You can’t taste it at all. Such an easy way to pack more nutrients into your meal.

#PlankADay. Let’s just keep the Twitter hashtags going, shall we? This trend is all over the healthy living Twitterverse, which only helps me stay motivated to stick to it. Because unless I’m already working out, I don’t remember to do a plank. But if I see that #plankaday bugger pop up in my news feed and I still haven’t done the sucker, I quickly drop to the ground and hold a plank for as long as I can (Confession: I may or may not have recently done this in my bra and undies because I forgot about it before I took a shower for the night…whatever works!). So far, I’ve timed myself at 1:30. I think I can do longer – that’s what the challenge is for! I’ll also incorporate side planks and other plank variations to keep things interesting.

Spinning. The PT said no running for two weeks (last week and this one), so I’ve been getting my heavy cardio from a lot of spin classes lately. My second love, I seriously missed sweating it out on the bike while training. It feels so good to do a hard workout and not finish in pain, and let’s face it: if you’re going to a good spin class, you’re going to leave drenched in sweat. I love that feeling. And in my opinion, you’re never going to get a mediocre workout when you go to SoulCycle or Flywheel. Y’all know my heart lies with SoulCycle, but I’m not afraid to jump to the other side every once in a while, especially if it’s for a good cause.

That’s coach Abby and I before her charity ride this past weekend. Her and the hubby raised over $2,000 for The Fisher House Foundation! Woohoo, rock stars!

Strength Training. I’m doing a lot of exercises that my PT has (or is in the process of) passed on to me, many involving strength and balance movements for my lower body. The Bosu ball has become my friend, as has the “box.” By that, I mean the thing you use to do box jumps on. That’s one of my favorite moves, despite how much it burns while I’m doing them.

Better Eating.  I’ve been really watching my portion sizes lately. When I eat with Dustin, who houses two to three times what I should be eating, it’s easy to lose sight of what’s normal and what’s not. So I’ve been making a conscious effort to cut down my portions and fill those portions up with a lot of natural, whole foods. Sure, I want to look great in a bikini this summer, but I’m mostly doing it so I’m not so darn moody. When I eat like junk, I feel like junk, and I treat people (mostly Dustin) like junk. That’s not very fun, so we should stop that.

What about you? What things are you planning out to keep you on the “healthy living” track? 

Feel-Good Friday: Food and Friends

Happy Friday! I hope you’re all having a fabulous day and ready for the weekend celebrations. It’s been a rainy week here in NYC, but that hasn’t stopped me from getting my thankful on. Here are just a few things that have been making my feel extra fantastic this week.

Source

Cooking. That’s right, I’ve been doing it people. I’ve made three legit meals this week, which must be a new record. Dustin and I fell off of the cooking-at-home bandwagon with our crazy travel schedules, but we’re hopping back on now.

Kristin’s recipes have been a lifesaver, giving Dustin the not-healthy taste he wants with the nutrition boost we both need. Buffalo chicken quinoa was created one night and crock pot Santa Fe chicken another. Last night I made a turkey enchilada casserole following this recipe, and it tasted just as good today when it served as my lunch. YUM.

Physical therapy. I’ve been going religiously twice a week and it’s helped dramatically. I barely felt any knee pain during last weekend’s half, and the foot pain is getting better every day. After this week’s appointments, Ken says I should only need to come in for one more week before I can continue on my own. It’ll be a sad day, Ken, I know, but we can still be friends. I just don’t want to keep paying you to be my friend. 🙂

Cake. I wasn’t kidding when I titled this post with the word “food.” It’s FITNESS’ 20th anniversary this month (yay!) and we had a yummy cake in the office to celebrate. NYC friends, if you’re looking to quickly get a cake for a reasonable price, go with Buttercup Bake Shop. Super cute and super delicious.

Bloggers. There are so many of you out there, and I try to read as many as I can. You’ve given me some fantastic ideas for “what’s next,” especially because I’m not going to be hard-core running for a little bit. Stay tuned, folks, I promise you’ll find out soon.

Cinco de Mayo. I love Mexican food. It’s by far my favorite. I’m always in the mood for it. ALWAYS. Put a margarita next to it and I’m a happy girl. I even like to have it after I race half-marathons. But yeah, I’m celebrating this weekend. TBD which Mexican place will be hit up this weekend, so if you have suggestions, throw ’em at me.

Chocolate. I just have to talk about these delicious treats that Abby gave me as a post-race celebration. Holy yum. I don’t remember the name of them, though. Abby, help a girl out? I need to go buy some more.

Spinning. No, I can’t run right now (PT Ken says so), but I can still break a sweat. So my choice of cardio right now is Spinning. I actually just got done spinning, where I got my dance party on at SoulCycle with one of my fave instructors, Danny. And we can’t forget about the charity ride I’m doing tomorrow now, can we? It’s sure to be a sweat-tastic time, so if you’re in the concrete jungle, stop over at 3p.m. I’ll be nice and give you a sweat-filled hug. Pinky promise.

What’s been making you feel good this week?

Rest In Peace, Clare

It’s been a long time since I’ve blogged, and there are reasons behInd my decision to step away from my little space on the Internet. But I couldn’t stay away today. The fitness community had their world turned upside down yesterday when it was announced that Clare Veronica Walsh, a wonderful, beautiful, inspiring SoulCycle spinning instructor, had passed away.

Clare was such a great woman, always full of life and she brought such a vivid energy to everything she did. I had the honor of taking many of her classes and absolutely loved every single one. She made you work hard and praised you for your accomplishments every single step of the way. When I signed up to take a class with Clare, I often left feeling invigorated and inspired, hoping that I could one day reach the same level of awesomeness that Clare was at on a daily basis.

While I don’t know all of the details about what happened to Clare, I can say that she was young, beautiful, caring and extremely compassionate. My heart breaks whenever I think about this situation, and I can’t even imagine what her family, close friends and fellow SoulCycle instructors must be going through. My loving thoughts and prayers are with you all ❤

This is definitely a time to grieve and reflect on the wonderful life that Clare lived, and to unite with everyone that Clare impacted (I know there are many). However, I'm going to do my best to honor Clare. Her sudden and unexpected passing is a harsh reminder that life is short and it will be over before we know it. So hug the ones you love tight, and tell them how you really feel. Tell them often, every single day that you can, because you never know when you'll see them again. And live life to the fullest. Chase after your dreams and forget about everyone who tells you you can't. You'll never regret trying.

I know many people will be dedicating their workouts in the coming days to Clare, just like I will. Although tears may be shed, I'll clip into my bike with her beautiful face in my mind and pedal as hard as I can, rocking the front row as much as possible. No matter how much it may hurt, we know that's what she would want. Rest in peace, Clare. God received a beautiful angel now, and there are so many here that will never forget you.

Sweating with Brett Hoebel

Guess who went spinning with Brett Hoebel this morning? This girl did!

Brett Hoebel and muah.

Side note: I told you I’d bring you some sweaty goodness today. I’m the sweaty, he’s the goodness. 

As you already know, I’m a huge fan of The Biggest Loser and absolutely loved watching Brett on the show every week in season 11. I love that he has a strong science background and his experience with Capoiera (a Brazilian art form that combines elements of martial arts and dance) was fascinating and definitely brought a new element to the show. I was extremely disappointed when they revealed that Anna Kournikova would be joining next season, effectively replacing Jillian Michaels, Brett and Cara Castranova. I just don’t think she should be on the show because she is not a certified trainer. It’s clear that this decision was based on an attempt to improve ratings.

She has a pretty smile, but she's not qualified.

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Anyway, Brett came to a SoulCycle class and then he hung out with Jenna and I for a bit (he’s friends with her). He’s a total sweetheart and very humble. I loved chatting with him and learning more about his career path. My final opinion: he’s a great guy and I really hope he succeeds in whatever he decides to do. Not to mention he’s very, very easy on the eyes!

Like I said, he's nice to look at.

The rest of the day was filled with work and yummy eats. My lunch was a whole wheat pita layered with hummus, cucumbers, feta cheese and chickpeas. Delicious! I followed it up with a strawberry Chobani.

Quite a tasty lunch.

Closeup action.

I plan on having that lunch again tomorrow.

On to fashion shot number two! I wore another new dress to work today and quickly realized this is going into my favorites pile.

Got this little number from Kohl's.

Isn’t it cute? I love the pattern.

I’m off to bed to try and get a good amount of sleep before another spin class tomorrow morning (lots of spinning this week)! Have a great night!

If you could work out with any celebrity, who would it be and why? I’ve met Brett and Jillian Michaels, so now I need to get my hands on Bob Harper! 

SoulCycle is Cathartic

Happy Monday! I don’t know about you, but there’s nothing like kickin’ off the week with a fantastic workout.

That’s exactly what I did this morning when I trekked down to Union Square for an 8 a.m. spin class at SoulCycle.

Therapy.

I met up with my friend Jenna bright and early to get our sweat on. She loves SoulCycle and I enjoyed it when I went for a class last summer, so I figured I’d pair up with her for my next few sessions. I got some gift certificates for the studio, so I’m putting them to good use! Plus, I need to get as many free workouts as I can…I simply can’t afford a gym membership right now.

Anyway, it felt great to do something other than running! I’ve always loved spinning, but haven’t been able to take a class since I graduated from college back in May. I love that SoulCycle turns off the lights and the whole class is lighted only by candle light. My instructor, Clare, had the perfect amount of intensity, encouragement and mental grit pulsating through the room and I really pushed myself to the limit.

Random photo of my yummy lunch. Lots o' veggies.

Everything about this class was great. The upper body exercises we incorporated into a few songs, the music itself, the energy in the room and the level to which I pushed myself. It was all phenomenal. I felt like I was letting go of all of the stress I had been dealing with and just focused on the burn in my muscles, the sweat dripping down my face and the force of my legs pushing the wheel round and round. It was cathartic.

Whoever thinks spinning is just a workout is crazy.

Or maybe I am. I’m not sure which one is right, but I’m going to say the former.

Regardless, I felt amazing after the workout. I forgot to take a picture, but I’ll be sure to include some sweaty goodness for you tomorrow.

However, I did remember to take a picture after I was dressed for work. I get ready so much faster when I don’t have my computer distracting me.

I love new work clothes.

This is new dress numero uno! I’m in love with it and got it at H&M for only $34.95!

How was your Monday? How do you feel about spinning?

Top 2010 Spinning Beats

From Healthy Revelations

I have taken various spin classes over the last two weeks at studios throughout NYC in order to test out different teaching methods. One thing that tied each class together? The music. Each instructor had different tastes in music, but there were a few songs that showed up in every playlist. There are just some tunes that make you forget about the pain pulsating through your body and simply pump you up to finish strong. Below are my top 10 tunes of 2010 that push me through that monstrous hill or the last stretch of a sprint session.

  1. Love the Way You Lie by Eminem featuring Rihanna
  2. California Gurls by Katie Perry
  3. Jai Ho! by the Pussycat Dolls (It came out in 2009, but it’s too good to leave out)
  4. Your Love Is My Drug by Ke$ha
  5. OMG by Usher featuring will. i. am
  6. Imma Be by The Black Eyed Peas
  7. Whataya Want From Me by Adam Lambert
  8. Airplanes by B.O.B. featuring Hayley Williams of Paramore
  9. Break Your Heart by Taio Cruz
  10. Empire State of Mind by Jay-Z featuring Alicia Keys

What are your favorite spinning beats? I’d love to check ’em out!