One of my goals for the rest of the year is to consistently switch things up and challenge myself physically. I find that the three things that work best for me are: 1) to be consistent; 2) to have variety in my workouts and 3) to have a goal or something I’m working towards.
To that end, my goals through the end of the year are to:
- Be active every day of the week, with even rest including stretching or walking.
- Try a new class or workout every week or at least every other week.
- Strength train 2-3 times per week.
- Incorporate yoga at least weekly, but ideally twice a week.
- Cross-train in a healthy way for both the Tough Mudder (October 2013) and NYC Marathon (November 2013).
- Eat in the best and most balanced way to build and repair muscle and to fuel my body.
To join me on my journey, I purchased these guys:
This way, I can keep good track of my workouts and hopefully not chafe and blister in all the fun body parts that often chafe and blister when training for a marathon. Training sounds ultra sexy now, doesn’t it?
This past week almost every day brought a new (or renewed) workout…
Monday. I took my first Zumba class. I’ve never really been interested in trying it because I figured I could just dance myself in the comfort of my living room without the rest of the gym watching through the fishbowl-style windows surrounding the studio. I also figured that it would be a piece of cake since I have 12 years of dance training from my childhood and do a decent job pretending I know how to salsa when the appropriate music comes on at a club. Well, to put it mildly, I don’t think I’ve felt so uncoordinated or unable to follow a routine in a long time. Apparently, I am more adept at hip-hop than latin dancing because I was at least not laughable in those sections. Nevertheless, I broke a sweat and found myself enjoying the class. The fact that I wasn’t the only one looking lost at times was also a comfort.
After Zumba I did Equinox’s 30/60/90 class, which is basically a HIIT (high intensity interval training) workout that uses a step, dumbbells and a weighted medicine ball. You alternate various moves at 30-, 60- and 90-second intervals. It basically felt like a step class or Insanity on crack. Don’t get me wrong, the Insanity workouts kick my butt (especially if I haven’t done them in a while), but imagine doing them with a step and weights in your hands. I was definitely challenged and felt the burn quite a few times.
Tuesday. I was invited by my friend Amber (www.exsoycise.com) to grab a guest pass for Crunch and come with her to a Vinyasa Heat (aka hot yoga) class. Now, back in the day I dabbled in yoga, but I’ve never come close to earning yogi status. I found myself instead drawn to Pilates. But recently I’ve realized the importance of yoga for not only keeping my body flexible and muscles healthy, but also for grounding and calming my mind. As someone who literally wears my stress on my body (ask any massage therapist who has touched me), I’ve decided that it’s important for me to start incorporating yoga into my life. Besides, I’m really jealous of all the limber women posting these crazy pretzel-like poses on Instagram.
Now if Zumba made me feel like the least coordinated person in the room, hot yoga made me feel like the least flexible… all the more reason to keep doing it. I actually didn’t realize I was starting to feel the heat until I saw my foot drip sweat in a downward dog about 30 minutes in (the class is 90 minutes long). All in all, it was a wonderful class – I could do more than I thought I’d be able, but was also pushed and challenged, with so much to work on. How were headstands and back bends so easy when I was a kid? I have a feeling it’s going to be quite some time before I master them as an adult. But, I’m going to try.
Wednesday and Thursday. I took advantage of my Crunch guest pass to do strength training in the mornings with Amber. Wednesday we did back, chest and triceps. Thursday we did legs, plus I also ran my 5-mile tempo run (first run of marathon training). I had forgotten not only how much fun it is having a workout buddy, but it’s super motivating (especially when they are rockstars in the gym).
Friday and Saturday. I closed out the week with a 5-mile run on Friday and then my 10-mile long run on Saturday in Central Park. The 10 miles was the longest I’ve done in years. Luckily, I had a running partner so it wan’t quite so bad (other than the nasty hill we had to do twice).
So, overall, I’m super happy with my fitness this week. I’ll keep you all posted with any new workouts I do that forever scar my ego.