Hill work on…the bike.

Yesterday I was supposed to do 5 miles of hill work. However, since we were hit with ANOTHER snow storm, I didn’t want to risk slipping on black ice and I was not up for running in -5 deg weather (just yet). So I took to the bike instead. I decided to try out Cyc Fitness. A new spin studio that opened in the David Barton gym. I especially liked the concept that you can use the gym two hours before/after spin class. I took a pilates class before spin to stretch me out a little.

The instructor: Keoni, who is also the creator of the Cyc Method. INSANELY energetic and made me want to keep on pushing through intense HILLS. His music was great and always made you feel like moving.

The class: At only $25/class and with access to the rest of the gym, I think this is the best bang for your buck. Keoni does not tell you what RPM to hit. Instead, your cadence is supposed to sync to the beat of the music. He also has you turn your resistance down to zero and then tells you how many turns to make from there. This is super helpful because often times instructors tell you to turn up the gear but you have no idea if you are at the right resistance. The entire class had great music and Keoni was so full of energy. It does get loud in there so if you are sensitive to this, probably not a good place for you. There was a lot of hill work (which I needed) and we used sandbags to strength train for about three songs (this is longer than other classes) WHILE going up a hill on the bike. I definitely got my hill work in.

I usually don’t use the bike to substitute for any running workout but I thought yesterday was a good day to do so given all the factors. I haven’t received my new running shoes yet (I HATE footlocker- they cancelled my order without even telling me) and didn’t want to risk injury. If you only have a few miles planned, or have an easy day of running , it will not hurt to substitute it with an activity that will help you build strength for running.

Actual running: I did my second long run on Monday. 12 miles at an easy 9:30 pace. On the phone the entire time. Through Rock Creek Park. In 50 deg weather. I was in heaven. I had not run through Rock Creek in so long and it is one of my favorite runs. I was also able to catch up with good friends and talking on the phone forced me to run at a conversational pace. Phil and I ended the day with Olive Garden’s unlimited bread sticks and salad. Don’t judge.

Advertisements

More Snow and Indoor Workouts

This past weekend we were hit with our first blizzard. As much as I love winter running, safety is always first because being injured is WAY worse than having to fit in a few treadmill runs. Luckily though, I was able to get in a run outside the day after the storm (Saturday):

20140106-081900.jpg

20140106-081908.jpg

After my run, I did some strength work. I usually only get in about 15 min of exercises after a run. This is what I did:

  • Reverse plank dip – 30x
  • Planks with leg left – 1 min
  • Side planks – 1 min each side
  • Bicycle – 50x
  • Superman – 20x
  • Metronome – 20x
  • Deadlifts with kettlebells – 20x

Some of these workouts you can find here.

Sunday was a different story. We got some freezing rain and all the snow on the ground turned into black ice. This is very dangerous so please do not run outside in this kind of weather or get some Yak Trax.  I almost fell just walking down the street. So instead of going outside (because it was slippery and I was fighting a cold), I hit the treadmill and did some intervals. Then I went to a spin class at Revolve. I really like Revolve classes because it’s like a dance party every time. See my post here on Revolve.  The music is always upbeat and the instructors are always so encouraging. Since I know you are as depressed as I am about having to go indoors during times like this,  here are some ideas if you are stuck inside:

  • Take a class: This is a good time to work on your strength/flexibility. With so many boutique studios in NYC now, you have so many options. Otherwise, your local gym probably offers some general total body classes. I take Shred 55 at NYSC with a handful of instructors.
  • Do your own strength exercises/stretching: Ok, maybe you don’t like being stuck inside a room with a bunch of sweaty strangers. You can always do your own strength routine at the gym or at home. See above.
  • Spin: I used to be a spin hater until I found good instructors. Spin is a great way to cross-train for runners because it works the opposite muscles.  Go to a spin studio/class or do your own workout on a stationary bike. I like classes at Revolve, Flywheel, or  Swerve. If you are poor (like me), these studios sometimes will offer free classes.
  • Intervals/speed work on the treadmill: I like the LADDER. Warm up for one mile. Speed up for one min and then recover for one min. Repeat at two mins, three mins, so on. I usually do a 1-1-2-2-3-3 sequence and then work my way back down. Cool down for one mile. It depends on how much time you have and want to spend on the ‘mill.

If I have to resort to a treadmill run, I will usually limit it to no more than one hour (because otherwise I will go crazy) and then take a class or do strength work afterward. That is exactly what I will be doing today.

Also, this week is the FIRST WEEK of marathon training!!! I have four short runs and one 10 miler scheduled. No more blizzards, please!

—————————————————————————-

What do you do to cross-train?

Anyone ever use Yak Trax? Worth it?

Races and Revolve Spin Review

I am officially registered for the NJ Marathon. I also registered for the Allstate 13.1 Half Marathon, which I ran last year on a whim. I am very excited because I never really plan this far ahead for anything other than a marathon. But part of my “thing” this time around is to sign up for shorter races earlier so I can factor them into my training. I truly believe that the absence of ANY races during my Berlin training contributed to my poor performance (which relates back to my poor training/pacing).

Yesterday I took my first class at Revolve in NYC (first class is free!). I took Jason’s class and I straight up felt like I was in a club. He played amazing music that really made you pedal hard and fast and I was truly exhausted. Maybe it’s because I haven’t gone spinning in a while but I would like to think it’s because he had so much energy. He had us do climbs, sprints, and then in the middle of the class we did weights with sandbags that were on the side of the bike (I think this is sort of Soul Cycle-ish?). We were out of the saddle for about half the class, which I like because I feel like when I’m out of the saddle I am mimicking running (prob not but let’s pretend). I would definitely go back for another class. My plan is to spin once a week to keep my cross-training in check. Anyone want to come?!

——————————–

Any spin enthusiasts out there? Do you go to a spin studio? If so, which one?

What type of cross-training to you do/find most effective?

Post-Marathon Blues

Almost immediately after we ran Berlin, I started thinking of my next marathon. I wanted to redeem myself and make up for my awful finish time, which was so far from my goal. I started thinking of what I did wrong – my off-target training paces, the lack of time to recover from jet lag, the wrong training plan for me, not enough cross-training, no smaller races, etc. There were so many factors to consider. However, all that aside, I have found my next marathon- the New Jersey Marathon, right along the Jersey shore and right in Phil’s old neighborhood. I have yet to figure out my training plan for NJ but right now I am just focusing on getting back into running and cross-training.

My plan of attack for the next few weeks:

  • buy new running clothes
  • cross-train
  • find smaller races for the fall/winter.

——————————————–

-Anyone run NJ before??

-Any races coming up?

Injuries

I had a panic attack this week. I started packing up my room on Tuesday (I’m MOVING tomorrow!) and I felt a tightness in my hip. Thinking I just needed to stretch it out, I did just that…except the tightness didn’t go away and instead I woke the next morning with a dull pain in my hip. There was one spot that especially hurt when I put pressure on it so of course I googled my symptoms and decided I had hip bursitis. I immediately called my closest ortho (I have many) but she was booked for two weeks. However, I’ve injured myself way too many times to know when I should go to a dr asap and I didn’t think this was one of those times so I just waited it out and rested. Turns out that’s all I really needed. Then today my posterior shin splints came back….I couldn’t even run for ten minutes without messing up my form. Can’t a girl get a break?! I just finished icing and taping them. Sigh. It makes me nervous because I start training next week.

Injuries are inevitable when you run. You have to learn how to decipher the different types of pain and trust me, you will know when it’s the bad kind of pain. When it is indeed the bad pain, do not run through it. Just rest and do low impact exercises. Your body will thank you later. Today I took a spinning class, which was both forgiving on my shin splints and my hips. I thought about giving up my gym membership but for days like today, I’m thankful I have one. #firstworldproblems.

Weight Gain, Another Recipe, and a Running BREAK!

Alright. This is just ridiculous. I’ve gained 8 lbs since I joined Eq. I don’t know if that’s just a coincidence but all this talk about “it’s all muscle” is just not true anymore because how can someone possibly gain that much weight in such a short period of time? Do I have to quit Eq now?? No, no. Whatever the reason, I’ve decided to stop weighing myself. I used to never weigh myself but then I got into the habit whenever I’m at the gym and now I can’t seem to break it. No more.

Speaking of weight gain, I made this baked banana french toast casserole with an oatmeal crumble over the weekend for brunch. I found the recipe on Pinterest (I love Pinterest so much…) I made the HEALTHIER version and here’s my adaptation of the recipe. I wish I took pictures but I can attest that it was tasty and I will def be making it again! I will just show you the original pic from foodiecrush.com:

Ingredients

1 loaf of french bread, cubed
3 ripe bananas, sliced
5 eggs
1 cup almond milk
¼ cup butter, melted and cooled plus 1 tablespoon for greasing pan
1 tablespoon vanilla
1/4 cup sliced almonds (or any kind of nut, or even better, choc chips like the orig recipe!)
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg

for crumble
½ cup oatmeal
½ cup butter, at room temperature
½ cup brown sugar

Instructions

  1. Generously grease a 9 X 13 deep-dish casserole dish with 1 tablespoon of butter. Place a layer of bread slices alternating direction of bottom crusts and top crusts to outside of pan. Add a layer of bananas and almonds. Repeat 2 more times ending with layer of bread.
  2. In a large bowl whisk eggs, milk, butter and vanilla together. Slowly pour over bread layers making sure to coat evenly.
  3. In a small bowl combine oatmeal, butter and brown sugar and mix into clumps with your fingers. Top casserole with oatmeal clumps. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a few hours or better, overnight (I only had a few hours and it was fine).
  4. To bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove casserole from refrigerator and bring to room temperature, about a half an hour. Bake uncovered for 35-45 minutes or until edges are bubbling and top is golden. Remove and let set for 5 minutes and serve.

 

Now can we talk about RUNNING?

I took this week off for my long run, only totaling about 18 miles for the week. I’ve been feeling very sluggish lately and I have been running slower. I started looking back at my running and realized that I really haven’t taken a week off (with just easy running) since the beginning of the year. This is problematic considering marathon training starts in two weeks and I will need a pair of fresh legs. So the next two weeks will consist of easy running, not to exceed 20 miles/week. I’m going to use this time to take advantage of Eq and go to all the classes.

Speaking of classes, I took the 30/60/90 class on Saturday and I am STILL SORE. Boy, am I out of shape!! Tomorrow morning I’m going spinning because I finally got into this one instructor’s class. And this weekend I’m going to ride my bike. I hope Phil fixed my handlebars :D (THANKS BABE YOU’RE THE BEST).Speaking of Eq classes, I never told you guys about Pilates Bootcamp – I LOVED IT. I was sore for days and the instructor was pretty innovative. I’m going again this week.

I have 3 lemons and lots of flour that I need to use up before I move. What should I make?!?!

New Type of Bootcamp and a Recipe

Today I took a Pilates bootcamp class at Eq. It was hard. I will let you know if I feel it tomorrow. We used medicine balls, resistance bands, rings, gliders, and weights. I would def go back. Mid class some chick strolled in late and squeezed her stupid mat right between me and the person next to me, leaving virtually no space between us. I gave her many dirty looks but she just did not get the point. After class I did 30 minutes on the treadmill bc I didn’t feel like running through the streets, dodging people and stopping at red lights. I did my 1-2-3 intervals.

I have to share this recipe with you that I found on Pinterest. It’s honey mustard pretzel chicken!!

I used Trader Joe’s pretzel nuggets and used a coffee grinder to grind the pretzels into THIS:

20130502-210018.jpg 20130502-210024.jpg

I also used whole wheat flour to dip the chicken in instead of regular flour. The only complaint I have is that the breading stuck to the wax paper after it was done. I think next time I will dip the chicken in egg first before I coat it. Otherwise, it was pretty good and I’ll definitely make this again. Here’s the end result:

20130502-210034.jpgI have a lot of leftovers!!

20130502-210040.jpg

I’m pretty excited for the weekend because all I am going to do is run, make roasted chick peas, and go home to see the fam/go to dim sum!!

———————-

What is your favorite recipe?

What are your plans for the weekend?