I *finally* chose a spring half marathon

I didn’t realize choosing a spring half marathon would be so stressful and that it would take me forever to pick 1 silly race to run.

Initially I was hoping to run Nike DC again since I had an absolute blast last year and even my parents enjoyed the whole experience, but alas that race doesn’t exist anymore. Back to researching half marathons I go.

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*Sigh* I wanted another Nike Tiffany necklace.

There’s so much to take into consideration when choosing a half marathon– I wanted something somewhat close to NYC or Westchester, a good [flat] course, obviously couldn’t be a weekend I was busy, if possible I wanted my parents to be free (their request as well– god forbid I get injured they want to be there to drive me home), and of course I need ample time to train.

So which race did I pick?

Walkway Over the Hudson! 

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[source]

The course sounds beautiful, shady and relatively flat, it’s not too far away from my parent’s house in Westchester, Mom and dad can be there cheering me on, and I like that it’s on a Saturday which means I can spend Sunday sleeping/ hobbling without worrying about work.

The only downsides are 1) the race is in June so I’m kind of worried about it being hotter than hell, and 2) the race is brand new so there’s no blog reviews to read or anything. The registration fee isn’t too crazy expensive and while it isn’t ideal, if the weather report says insane heat for that day, I can make a smart decision on race day.

I’m feeling oddly excited and honestly ready to start training for another half. While I don’t need to be training for something to get fulfillment out of my workouts, there’s something super satisfying about following a training plan, crossing off workouts after crushing them, and feeling your body getting stronger. I’m excited to get back to the routine that comes with training– weekend long runs, preplanning every workout, etc.

Choosing a June race also gives me some leeway to start slow when it comes to training. I’ve been really enjoying classes at Orange Theory and they’ve been the perfect way to get me running 2-3 miles again after 6+ months of running zero miles. Even if I wait until the weather gets warmer (or at least stops snowing…) to start seriously training, I’ll still have more than enough time to build up my mileage.

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Cheers to half marathon #3 :)

Anyone else running Walkway Over the Hudson?

What races are you excited for this spring? 

 

Workout Wednesday: Rock the EPOC

Hey there! I can’t wait to share my review of the brand spankin’ new Orange Theory Fitness in Chelsea. I had previously heard a lot of amazing things about OTF and was so so excited to finally check them out for myself. Thanks to their great grand opening special I get to take unlimited classes over the next 2 weeks before they officially open in March. I’m already making good use of the special and cramming in as many classes as I can. Stay tuned for a full review of the studio and class, but until then I’ve got a fun workout based on Orange Theory.

Each class I’ve taken so far has been half treadmill, half strength training with a focus on intervals and getting that heart rate up. Why is this method so awesome– EPOC. EPOC aka “Afterburn” as many people also call it, means the body is still burning calories and revved up from your workout. It’s not just about the amount of calories burned during that workout– your body continues to be a calorie torching machine thereafter. Check out this great article from Daily Burn that goes into further details about EPOC and HIIT.

Here’s how you can Rock the EPOC on your own:

 

PART ONE

 

After a warmup, start on the treadmill (or you can substitute with any cardio machine) and do the entire left side of the workout before moving on to the strength portion on the right. In the strength section do each set AMRAP (as many reps as possible) for 6 minutes before moving on to the next set.

How to find your pace:

BASE PACE should be the pace you could comfortably stay at for a long period of time. Think of it as a conversational pace.

PUSH PACE should be about 2 MPH higher than Base Pace. While you’re not totally going balls the the wall yet, it’s a bit more challenging than Base Pace.

SPRINT All out balls to the wall! Should be a pace that you can maintain for 1 minute without y’know, falling, but challenging and leaves you breathless.

RECOVERY is whatever it takes to recover and catch your breath after the sprint. If you sprinted at the correct pace your recovery will be lower than your Base Pace.

 

Give it a whirl and let me know what you think :)

 

Previous Workout Wednesday:

Studio Review: Peloton Cycle

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The Scoop:

There are a lot of cycling studios in NYC to say the least. Soul Cycle, Flywheel, Swerve, Revolve, Crank, Sync, Torq… need I go on? In my opinion unless you are offering something new, cool and unique, don’t open a cycling studio in NYC because it’s just plain silly.

When Peloton opened in Chelsea this past spring though, I’ll argue that it did just that– Peloton is the first of it’s kind in fitness because the studio not only offers live classes but also sells their bikes in stores which allows you to live stream classes no matter where in the world you are. Pretty cool, huh?

I actually took a class at Peloton before they officially opened but honestly didn’t get the full experience since the bike monitors weren’t installed. I was invited to take a free class this past week and couldn’t pass up the chance to check them out now that they are officially open.

The Studio:

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Peloton has an impressive amount of studio space, to say the least, and what a rarity that is in Manhattan. You first walk into the retail area where yes, you can purchase your own Peloton bike, in addition to cute workouts clothes. After check in you enter the huge lounge area shown above. I’m kind of obsessed with how much space Peloton gives you to hang out before and after class. There’s also a bar with coffee, juice and snacks. In conclusion, the lounge area is a million times nicer than my apartment.

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The locker rooms are also pretty incredible offering more mirror space than most studios and shower flip-flops. Yes, SHOWER FLIP FLOPS. This makes me giddy.

Even though there were 4 showers in the ladies locker room, more than most boutique fitness studios, there was still a pretty sizable line after the 7:00AM class and the space felt a tiny bit tight near the lockers while I was getting ready for the day.

The looker room is super clean though and stocked with every item you can think of including all Malin and Goetz products. I imagine the atmosphere is a lot more relaxing when it’s not the 7:00AM class which means plenty of people rushing to get ready for work.

The Class:

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I took the Metrics Ride with Lisa Niren which is considered a ride by the numbers class focusing on resistance and cadence. There was a bit of a competitive aspect because you could see your metrics compared to the other riders both in the class and streaming the class in other parts of the world.

The spin studio itself is large, spacious and offers stadium-style seating so no one’s butt ends up in your face (this is a serious problem at many overcrowded studios). Even if the class is sold out you won’t feel like a sardine.

The specialized bikes are high-tech with a small tablet at the front of the bike which tell you resistance, RPMs and overall output. The bikes are really quiet and ride like butter, I can’t think of a better way to describe them. It took some time to get used to them since I’m used to spin bikes that have a chain and feel slightly different under you. I can’t decide if I liked the smoother ride or not, at first in annoyed me, but then I started to like it a bit more. If you’re used to cycling elsewhere be warned that the RPMS and resistance don’t really align to other studios or a typical Schwinn bike.

The class itself was tough but a lot of fun. I adored Lisa’s fun playlist filled with eclectic music. She does a great job of motivating the crowd that’s both in the room and riding from home, giving shout outs to both crews. Since it was the metrics class it was very numbers based, we were given a range of resistance and RPMs to hit. I’ll say the numbers we were trying to hit were reasonable but not necessarily easy. There was a variety of hills, sprints, intervals, the works of a great spin class that definitely wasn’t boring.

Around 35 or so minutes into class there was a weight section with 2 dumbbells. I like that the arm section wasn’t just all shoulders all the time– my previously injured rotator cuff doesn’t do well with that, but this arm section incorporated a lot of bicep and tricep movements as well.

The lighting in the room is a lot of fun and made my inner theater geek pretty happy– depending on the song and intensity the lights were well synchronized.

I haven’t been spinning much lately so I was sucking wind and kind of embarrassed by the fact that I was hovering in place 25. I never said I was good at spinning, I just like it a lot!

It feels necessary to mention that my quads were also hella sore afterwards which never happens after a spin class.

Bottom line:

Peloton offers a solid spin class, competitive to others in the city as far as fun and intensity factor go, plus they have a gorgeous studio space unlike any other I’ve ever seen. Worth stopping by and checking out!

Peloton
140 W 23rd St, New York, NY 10011
1 Ride is $30 (includes water,towels and shoes)
Twitter, Facebook, Instagram

Photos via Peloton.

Creating a Business Casual Wardrobe

In high school I was really into what I wore. I used to literally plan out an entire months worth of outfits to wear to school so I would avoid repeating identical outfits during that cycle. In college I got a bit more lax about my outfits since as a theater student I was often times wearing workout clothes to class or costumes for whatever scene I was working on. And then after college I entered the fitness industry and uh stopped wearing “normal” clothes to work.

While my new work environment at Yelp is definitely casual as far as attire goes, wearing sweaty workout clothes is no longer acceptable and I of course want to present myself in a mature, classy matter. Truthfully, I was pretty excited to get back to my old, fashionable self. I think wearing Lululemon all day, every day, has sort of warped my self esteem to some extent, and I’m just learning again to get used to myself in jeans, bizarre as that sounds.

This weekend my super patient mama and I hit up Macy’s so I could completely rejuvenate my wardrobe. I sort of felt like I was on an episode of What Not To Wear and had totally been outted for wearing exclusively spandex over the past two years. I was super impressed with the current styles from Bar III and Kensie which basically screamed 24 year old work clothes and recommend checking them out if you need new work outfits.

Whether you’re fresh out of college and need to update that wardrobe of sweat pants, or spent your entire post-college life in workout gear like this gal, here are the simple essentials to creating a business casual wardrobe.

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1. Invest in a few great pairs of jeans.

Jeans, in my opinion, are the foundation to a great business casual wardrobe and skinny jeans are still king in my book.

I’m currently obsessed with JCrew’s toothpick jeans and also love the Gap’s legging jean. If you’re short like me, ankle length jeans are your best friend. Make sure to purchase jeans in a variety of washes– dark wash is my favorite but it’s also good to have at least one lighter pair plus a pair of black jeans.

2. Stock up on the basics

I love love love simple cotton V-neck and scoop-neck t-shirts in fun colors. On their own they are a bit too casual for the work environment, but dressed up with the right accessories and outer wear they are the perfect business casual top– plus they are super comfortable and pretty cheap to purchase. I always have good luck buying basic t-shirts at JCrew, The Gap, Old Navy and Nordstrom- Off the Rack.

3. Have a few “dressier” tanks

Nicer tank tops such as the above one from Vince Camuto make getting dressed in the morning easy. Bonus– they can also double as “weekend wear” with a cute bomber jacket.

4. Casual blazers dress up any look.

One of my most complimented pieces of clothing is a simple turquoise-ish blazer from Kensie. Cute colored blazers are my new favorite article of clothing– it’s a young, fresh and polished look, yet I don’t feel like a 16 year old. Side note, that’s a frequent problem I have since I’m really short and can shop in the juniors section. I have to stop and ask myself if I look 24 whenever I’m trying on clothes.

While a black blazer is essential, mix it up with some fun and funky colors with a plain top underneath. for a youthful but appropriate look.

5. Matches with everything black boots.

I wear my black, knee-high boots almost every day. While I’ve been starting to wear heels at work (after wearing weatherproof shoes during my commute of course) you can’t beat a great pair of black boots with jeans.

 

And now is the fun part– mixing and matching! As I’ve learned from Stacey and Clinton on “What Not To Wear”, stocking your closet with the basics means you can then mix and match to create new outfits with the same pieces.

Question: What are your business casual essentials?