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Workout Windup: Rockin’ the Workouts

While week two of Workout Windup didn’t pan out so well, week three went pretty fantastic. Let’s hop right to it, shall we? Here’s how my workouts went:

  • Rest on Monday
  • SoulCycle on Tuesday at 6 a.m.
  • Barry’s Boot Camp on Wednesday at 4 p.m.
  • Hot power at Pure Yoga on Thursday at 6 p.m.
  • Yoga DVD on Friday at 7 a.m., strength training at 6:30 p.m. Rest
  • Run 10 miles on Saturday
  • Rest Sunday

I did every workout I had planned except for Friday and Sunday, and frankly, I’m ok with it. I really listened to what my body wanted this week and well, it told me it needed rest days on those two days. I didn’t want to push too hard and risk worsening my situation, and I think I met that happy medium this week. Especially during that 10-mile run on Saturday. My knee wasn’t in pain, but my body definitely pushed for those 10 miles. It was the perfect distance for me to really get in a solid, hard workout (TWSS).

MRI is scheduled for tomorrow night, so hopefully I’ll have an update by Wednesday on how to proceed. In the meantime, I’m going to slowly incorporate more running into the schedule because it’s time for marathon training to begin! This week, here’s what I have planned:

  • SoulCycle on Monday at 7 a.m.
  • Run 3 miles on Tuesday at 7 a.m.
  • Hot yoga at Yoga to the People on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m.
  • Run 4-6 miles on Thursday at 6:30 a.m., strength at 6:30 p.m.
  • Rest Friday
  • Run 11 miles on Saturday
  • Yoga DVD on Sunday

Now I’m off to pay some bills (fun, fun) before heading to bed. Good night!

Now you tell me: How did your workouts go this past week? And what do you have on the schedule now?

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Workout Windup: Getting on Track

So week two of Workout Windup was a bit of a fail. I planned to fit in all of these workouts, but I let life get the best of me. I had a busy week at work and just didn’t make the time that I needed to break a sweat. I know it was because I didn’t schedule exactly what I would be doing. I work well with structure, so that’s just what I need to do. So I ended up doing this:

  • SoulCycle on Monday morning, not going balls to the wall Walk around Astoria Park, about 3 miles
  • Hot power at Pure Yoga on Monday afternoon 
  • Rest Tuesday SoulCycle on Tuesday morning
  • Yoga DVD on Wednesday
  • Strength, incline walking on treadmill on Thursday
  • Rest Friday
  • Light run on Saturday, mileage TBD
  • Rest and/or yoga on Sunday

Like I said, a bit of a fail, but at least I did something. I also made a lot of progress in the doctor department. I saw two doctors last week, and my third one today. Post coming later this week on my diagnosis —  I still need to get an MRI for the final results.

So, pending doc’s approval, my schedule for this week is:

  • Rest on Monday
  • SoulCycle on Tuesday at 6a.m.
  • Barry’s Boot Camp on Wednesday at 5p.m.
  • Hot power at Pure Yoga on Thursday at 6p.m.
  • Yoga DVD on Friday at 7a.m., strength training at 6:30p.m.
  • Run Saturday, mileage TBD
  • Strength training on Sunday

In other news, I got my hair cut on Sunday! It’s a pretty big change for me, but I’m a fan 🙂

This is what I looked like before….

(Lots of temptation in the office last week)

This is what I look like now!

Now you tell me: what workouts do you have planned this week? 

Workout Windup: Sticking to Goals

Workout windup is back! Although I’m in the midst of some crazy pain problems as far as my hip and knee are concerned, I’m determined to still fit in as many workouts as my body (and doctors) will allow me. So I’m resurrecting Workout Windups on Sundays to help keep me on track. I’ll recap what workouts I completed for the week, then plan out what I’m doing the next.

Let’s get right to it, shall we? This week I…

  • Went to hot power yoga at Pure Yoga on Wednesday. My friend, Lauren, tagged along for a community event Pure was having. We selected hot power, one of my favorites and her first go at it, and then sampled some sushi after. Perfect combination! Next time I’ll remember to take a photo…
  • Ran 4 very cold and blustery miles on Sunday
  • Did a yoga DVD twice on Sunday. The only one I have in my apartment right now is a half-hour long, so I went through it twice to give me a good 60 minutes. Right now yoga seems to be the only thing I can do that leaves me completely pain-free (I haven’t tried swimming yet), so I’m going to try and incorporate that into my workouts more often.

Nothing too crazy, but I’m glad I was able to fit some sweat sessions in before heading to the many doctors I owe a visit.

This week, my plan is to listen to my body. So as long as I’m not experiencing a lot of pain, I’m going to:

  • SoulCycle on Monday morning, not going balls-to-the-wall
  • Hot power at Pure Yoga on Monday afternoon
  • Rest Tuesday
  • Yoga DVD on Wednesday
  • Strength, incline walking on treadmill on Thursday
  • Rest Friday
  • Light run on Saturday. Mileage TBD
  • Rest and/or yoga on Sunday

And there ya have it! Now I’m off to relax and watch the Golden Globes!

P.S. Did anyone else watch the football game last night? Broncos got SPANKED! Go Patriots 🙂

Now you tell me: what workouts did you do this week? And what’s on the calendar next week? 

September in Review

It’s already October 4, so we better get cracking on some new goals! But first, let’s see how I fared in September.

Fitness:

  • Follow half-marathon training plan. Check! I’ve had to make some adjustments because I’m now training for six weeks instead of ten, but I’ve been squeezing in all of my workouts and my body can really feel the improvements.
  • Strength train once a week. Done! I did a strength workout and a yoga session every week except for the week I was sick. So I get a full check for this. I said so.

  • Go to yoga once a week. Well, I already answered this in the last bullet point. I did it!
  • Do one plank every day. Fail. Major, major fail. The only time I did planks was when it was already built into a strength workout. Oops. I know what I need to work on in October…

Health & Nutrition:

  • Sleep more. Major win. I’ve been doing so much better at getting an adequate amount of sleep, and I’m really proud of myself for that. The computer has been shut off at 10:30p.m. every night of the week and I was usually asleep well before 11 or 11:30p.m. My body is getting into a steady schedule where I don’t even radically sleep in on the weekends, and I really like it. Aiming to keep it up!

  • Eat more veggies. This was an easy check. I love veggies and I only put it on the list because I felt like I was seriously slacking on them in the last few days of August. I’m pretty sure I had a large portion of vegetables in at least one meal a day throughout September. Awesome.

Life:

  • Get a full-time job. I don’t have too much to say here, because there are a lot of things in progress right now. I didn’t get the part-time job I really wanted, but that’s okay because I believe everything works out for a reason. No, I don’t officially have a full-time job now, but we’ll see where the road takes me. I’m working hard every day and that’s what matters.
  • Start studying for my PT certification.  Umm, fail. I didn’t even crack open the book 😦 In my defense, things were crazy at work and I’ve been trying to set up a steady schedule between work, training, blogging, friend time, family time and Dustin time. I’m going to make it happen in October though, promise!
  • Go on date night every other week. We didn’t go every other week, but that ended up being because of money issues. However, we did spend a lot of quality time together this month and are getting used to living with one another. But we do have a date night coming up this weekend! Oh, and that puzzle we bough for Dustin? He finished it in two days. I helped by placing 15 out of 750 pieces.

Overall, I’m pleased with my progress and think I did a good job. Yes, there’s room for improvement, but I think there always is. I’ll be back with another post on October’s goals!

What goals did you have for September? How did you do? 

Workout Windup: Half-Marathon Training Week 2

Another week, come and gone! I don’t know about you, but time seems to be flying by faster and faster. We were hit with a cold front this week and I think it’s safe to say fall is officially here. Woohoo! Fall is my favorite season, by far. It’s so pretty, the temperatures are perfect, the fashion is fabulous and the surroundings just provide a ton of inspiration.

But I’m getting off topic…let’s get to the workouts of the week!

Goals:

  • 1 strength workout
  • 1 yoga session
  • 1 spin class
  • Run 15 miles
  • 7 planks

How I fared:

Monday: Ran 3 miles

Tuesday: Spin with FITNESS staff and Biggest Loser girls, Hannah and Olivia

Wednesday: Off

Thursday: Ran 5 miles

I’m really proud of this run. I hadn’t gotten in this many miles before work yet, and my mind was constantly going back and forth about backing out of the last mile, but I told myself to suck it up and just do it. I did and it ended up being a great run!

Friday: Ran 4 miles + CoreFusion strength class

Funny story: I went through my whole work day thinking I was going to yoga in the evening with Libby. I walked through the door and the instructor looked at me funny, asking “why do you have a yoga mat?” Oops. Turns out Libby signed us up for a CoreFusion class, which incorporates components from yoga, but is mostly strength training with a lot of planks. Oh well, at least I got that workout out of the way.

Saturday: FITNESS Mind, Body, Spirit Games 4.1-mile run

I snagged a PR! It felt really good to get out in Central Park and face some more hills. I’m going to try to get one run in a week over there from now on.

Sunday: Yoga + Meeting Lance Armstrong

Tested out a new DVD at home and was pleasantly surprised! It’s great for beginners and I got a great stretch in. I still prefer going to a studio because of the atmosphere, but this is definitely handy for when I can’t make class.

Oh yeah, and I met Lance Armstrong. It was his birthday and he hosted a 4-mile run to celebrate that and his 15-year anniversary since his cancer diagnosis. I didn’t run for multiple reasons, but I went and met Lance and wished him a happy birthday. Unfortunately, it was crazy busy so no pictures were taken.  He’s a really nice guy though, in case you all were wondering 😉

Totals: 

Miles run (this week): 16

Miles run (total): 29

Strength workouts: 1

Yoga sessions: 1

Spin classes: 1

Planks: Who knows (Only from CoreFusion..failed doing these on my own)

Celebrity meetings: 3 🙂

I call this week a success! I’m really happy with all of my workouts and my body is feeling it. Doing my best to pay attention to it and make sure I don’t injure myself. I see yoga happening more frequently in my future!

Oh, and I have some stuff in the works for a new race…when details are confirmed I’ll let you know!

How did your workouts go this week? 

Recuperating Post-Race

It’s been three days since I ran my first half-marathon, but I’m still riding high after such a great event. Although I’ve been feeling pretty sore, particularly in my left foot, I can’t help but smile every time I think about all that I accomplished on Sunday.

So what have I been doing the past few days while riding out my soreness? Stretching. Lots and lots of stretching.

Yogify me, captain!

I knew I wasn’t going to do much running this week because I ran the entire half-marathon. Throughout my training plan, I set myself up to use the run/walk method because I simply didn’t think I was ready to run 13.1 miles straight. Once I was at the race though, the energy from all of the women completely captivated me and pushed me through each and every mile. Not once did I feel like I desperately need to walk.  In fact, when I did walk, I kept feeling the urge to pick up the pace and run again. It felt glorious.

Run, Sam, Run!

But on the flip side, it meant I had some seriously sore feet after the race. My knees were killing me after the race too, but that pain subsided by Monday. By Tuesday, I was craving another workout but didn’t want to push my body past its limits. So what’s a girl to do?

Yoga!

Streeeeeetch!

I love the Warrior 2 pose.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not a yoga expert by any means, so I made sure to head to the class offered by my campus gym. These photos are just some additional stretches I did at home afterward. I don’t incorporate enough yoga into my exercise routine and I really need to get into it more often. After all, it improves my running and lets me do cool things like this:

Another favorite but trying to get closer to the floor.

And this…

I like to think I look peaceful in this one.

It felt fantastic to stretch out my muscles so well after running for such a long distance. My muscles were praising me afterward, much like they did after I took a class at Strala Yoga. I’m still very much a novice, so I can only hope to one day bend like Tara Stiles.

Extremely bend-y.

For now, I’ll keep trying to touch my toes some more. And I’ll always make sure to fit in my all-time favorite corpse pose.

Just chill.

It has quite a morbid name, but it feels oh-so-good.

Are you, like me, new to yoga? Or more of an expert? Ever given it a shot? I’d love to hear everyone’s thoughts on it, and any tips to stretch me out some more!

Strala Yoga Impresses Again

Strala Yoga has made an appearance on The Pulse before, but after chatting with fellow bloggers about the place, I decided it was time to test it out again. Although I loved the “Strong” class the first time, it didn’t convince me to pick up yoga on a regular basis. I definitely incorporated it into my workout routine more often, but only when I happened to be available during a class. I never purposely made time for it.

Tara Stiles’ “Relax” class, however, may have changed my mind. I headed over to the new studio at 632 Broadway tonight and prepped myself mentally for a session that was sure to be filled to capacity. Originally, I was going to meet up with Jess from Fit Chick in the City, but unfortunate circumstances kept her from joining me. Despite the initial rush of anxiety that I felt in the elevator, I forged ahead and I’m glad I did. I felt immediately welcomed the minute I stepped through the glass doors and my fears subsided as I settled in the dimly-lit room amongst the numerous yogies.

The new studio is beautiful with plenty of room to stretch without feeling like you’re stepping on toes — but like I assumed, the class was full. Stiles is rising in fame every day and everyone wants to get their om on with the well-known teacher. Who wouldn’t when you can take a class for only $10? I was even offered a deal to take an unlimited number of classes for a week for the ultra-low price of $20 because I hadn’t been to the new studio before. Talk about a deal! If I was in NYC long enough, I definitely would’ve signed up.

Stiles in the old studio in NoHo.

The poses Stiles took us through weren’t extremely challenging, yet they worked my muscles enough for me to really enjoy every move. She fluidly instructed us from pose to pose, yet also allowed time for us to do our own thing and move the way our bodies wanted to. The calming music connected with the high points in the class, with the volume increasing when we were set free to listen to our bodies, focus on breathing and move through poses that felt best. By the end, I was thoroughly relaxed, invigorated and happy. My body was humming its thanks for such a glorious workout.

If you have a chance, head over and reap the benefits yourself. But if you’re not in NYC, consider buying Stiles’ book, Slim, Calm, Sexy Yoga. I got it as a Christmas present and like what I see so far!

How ’bout you? Are you a yoga fan or gym rat? Tell me what you love about both!

Learning Yoga with Tara Stiles

Strala Yoga Studio

Many people, myself included, take the term “group exercise class” very seriously. Meaning, I don’t go unless I have a friend tagging along. Call me crazy, but I need to have that moral support when I’m exercising in front of a group of strangers and the instructor can zero in on me at any second. I know from working at a gym that most instructors don’t judge (unless you show up to spinning class in cutoff jeans and hiking sneakers), but you never know about the other participants.

If you’re like me, then you’ll understand why I dragged my best friend, Liz, to a new yoga class when she came to visit me in NYC. After arriving at 42nd Street at 12:30a.m. on a Friday night, you’d think I’d let her snag some extra shut-eye the next day, right? Wrong. We were up bright and early to head to Tara Stiles’ Strala Yoga in NoHo.

Now, before you start thinking I’m a huge yoga guru, let me make it clear that yoga has never been on the top of my priority list (same goes for Liz). I usually forget to stretch before and after my workouts (I know it’s important; I’m getting better, I promise!), so contorting my body into various positions and holding them peacefully is not one of my strengths. But I’m here to give you the scoop, so I knew it was time to give it a shot. Not to mention I didn’t want to miss a chance to work out with one of the most prominent yoga instructors in the nation.

Although the “Strong” class is normally an hour and 15 minutes long, I was only there for 45 minutes (due to unexpected subway construction) and I still got a sweat-inducing, muscle-blasting workout. Tara took us through a variety of poses that didn’t just stretch the muscles. We did core, leg and butt exercises that really strengthened the muscles as well. By the end, my tank top was drenched with sweat.

One of many poses Stiles moves into with ease.

Tara was also extremely nice and helpful with each class participant. She corrected my form when necessary, as a good instructor should, but she didn’t point it out to the rest of the class. In the middle of a pose, she quietly walked over and adjusted my body. And to make things less embarrassing, she cracked a joke and always had a bright smile. Her husband, Michael Taylor, was also extremely welcoming. It was jaw-dropping to see him do many advanced yoga poses despite already knowing that he has studied and practiced Eastern movement and healing techniques for over two decades.

Although all these things are great, I haven’t even gotten to the best part: the price. Yoga classes in NYC are typically $20 per class and can be close to $300 a month if you’re a regular goer. But Strala Yoga offers a unique, affordable opportunity: $10 a class.

“I want to make yoga affordable for everyone so that it can be something that’s easily integrated into everyday life,” Stiles told me after class. “We make the classes enjoyable and affordable, so we always have people coming back for more.”

Sounds good to me.

This really could be the best deal around. So if you’re in NYC, pick up your yoga mat (or rent one there for $2) and head over to Strala Yoga. Look for me while you’re there — I’ll probably be the girl near the back trying to accomplish the basic Eagle Pose.