Spin, Sweat, Sip

I’ve chronicled my journey with running while pregnant, but what about other exercise? I’ve been trying to make the barre class at my local gym on a regular basis, but since I have more time in the summer, I wanted to take the opportunity to test out some of the newer exercise options here in Baltimore.

REV logo

I heard about REV Cycle Studio when they opened, but was a little nervous about attending a class. I haven’t been to cycle in ages, much less with a growing belly. But when I got the invite to #SpinSweatSip, I knew I had to go.

REV studio

The evening began with a preview of REV60Blast, described on the studios website as follows:

“Push through your fitness threshold with our intense, signature 60-minute cycling class. Get inspired by one of REV’s certified indoor cycle instructors, who are trained to help you crush your fitness walls over flats, climbs, and valleys. All fitness levels are welcome.”

Our instructor for the evening was Jami, who led about 20 of us ‘social media influencers’ through 45 minutes of spin combined with strength. It was a great balance and each portion was easily modifiable to fit one’s fitness level. Her music choice was on point, and her teaching style left you invigorated and ready to conquer anything.

SpinSweatSip

Once we finished our workout (which certainly lived up to the promise of making us sweat), we were treated to wine and appetizers from The Wine Market, a local restaurant.

SSS food

All in all, I LOVED this event. Often, a group fitness class can be scary the first time. This way, I was allowed to meet other like-minded people and chat/commiserate about our experience. I also got the chance to speak to REV staff and learn about other classes and specials they currently offer.

SSS group

Special shout outs again to REV for hosting and The Wine Market for feeding us. Can’t wait to return and try out some other classes!

Fueling Better

It’s no secret that my morning workouts have been sparse since finishing my first half marathon earlier this month. Actually, my knee hast quite been the same since and running anything over two miles has brought a searing pain in my knee. No bueno.

So I stopped running for a bit. I miss it terribly and have plans to take it slow, but also test things out after fully resting it for a bit longer. In the meantime, I returned to my first love…the barre. It was a less than triumphant return, and one filled with lots of aches and pains. Yet, I keep going back and will even sub a class next week.

bw barre

With my main source of cardio on hold, I’ve switched up my routine (yet again) to continue being active while strengthening. My morning and afternoon walks with Watson have been reinstated and I’m jumping on the elliptical more. However, one thing that hasn’t changed is my need to refueling a smart and effective manner. Training gave me great insight on how food intake plays a part in performance.

So imagine my delight when I received a package from Vega. If you remember, I received a variety of products from them earlier this year and was eager to see what this package contained.

vega recovery

Peanut Butter Recovery Bars! These Vega Sport Protein Bars contain 15 g of complete, multisource, plant-based protein. Talk about fueling better – these bars are made to held aid in recovery to get you back in action as quickly as possible. A definitely plus for someone as antsy as myself. Not to mention, they are delicious. When I get a hankering for food between meals, I sometimes nosh on them to keep hunger at bay!

pb choc recovery

For more information and to see which Vega recovery product is best suited to your needs. visit http://fuelyourbetter.com/

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Disclaimer: I received a complimentary shipment of Vega bars as a Sweat Pink Ambassador. All thoughts and opinions of the product are my own.

Ring That Bell

A few weeks ago, I purchased a set of kettlebells. While I would like to tell you they’ve been used for their intended purpose, that would be a lie.

kb dog gate

Yes, those are weights in front of a dog gate. No, they dd not keep Watson in his room for more than two days before he found a way to break free. (Surprised? Nah. Didn’t think so.)

I finally got around to using the bells this morning and whew! There’s definitely a difference between using them and a set of dumbbells. Here’s the workout I completed.

kettlebell workout

Notes: Posture is key with these exercises. Keep your chest open and abs engaged for a complete workout. Need help deciphering the moves? Click here and here for some guides.

Have fun with this and if you try it, let me know your thoughts! (Extra points if you play this song during a set or two.)

Like this routine? Check out others on my Workouts page!

Disclaimer: I am not a certified fitness professional, just a gal who likes to spice things up with her exercise routines. If any of these moves hurt (in a bad way), stop and consult a professional.

Don’t Stop Believin’

As part of my ambassadorship with  Fit Approach and the Sweat Pink community, I decided to join in their monthly challenge.  Fit Approach partnered with Lorna Jane Active and created the Move Nourish Believe challenge.

The Move Nourish Believe challenge follows the Lorna Jane philosophy to:
MOVE your body every day
NOURISH from the inside out
BELIEVE in yourself and that anything is possible if you work hard enough

Here’s how it works:
1. Each day throughout the month there is a new challenge. Conquer the daily challenges and post a picture of yourself doing so on Twitter or Instagram. Tag @LornaJaneActive & @FitApproach along with #mnbchallenge #sweatpink #lornajane
2. At the end of each week, recap your successes on your blog and/or Facebook page. Each blog post equals five bonus entries! Share the blog post on Twitter and tag @LornaJaneActive & @FitApproach.

Here’s the link to the Facebook event as an easy way to keep up to date with the challenges  and see how other participants have been interpreting the theme.

Week One was Move, Week Two was Nourish and Week Three was Believe. Here are my recaps of Weeks One and Two.

This week by far was my favorite of all three. Believe is a big word for me and my interpretation of these prompts were so much fun to share!

2/17: Spoil Yourself! – With the holiday, I got to sleep in, cuddle with the pup and warm up by the fire.  A great way to start the week, if I do say so myself.

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2/18: 5 Mindful Minutes – This one was a bit difficult for me, but I managed to create five peaceful minutes at the end of the night.

wine and watson

2/19: Be Happy – This required for us to show our happy place. While a beach is never a bad option, at the moment all I’m craving is some porch time in the summer, relaxing with friends and family.

JA family summer 2013

2/20: Thankful Thursday – Thursday was rough for me. Yet, once I finally got my workout in, I took time to be thankful for my body and good health. It’s something that I take for granted often and need to be more grateful for moving forward.

legs

2/21: Share the love – Here’s a shout out to our #1 supporter. The JA has always been one of my biggest champions. He started running last year and encouraged me to give it another try. He’s been at every race since, and I know I couldn’t be as successful as I am without him!

JJ & JA engagement ornament

Apparently Watson contributes greatly to my happiness and well-being. Sorry I’m not sorry for the pup photo overload.

What’s been inspiring you this week?

 

To keep up with more of my everyday shenanigans, follow me on Instagram!

Just A Minute

Running is a love/hate relationship even in the best of weather. Add in snow/ice/freezing rain and suddenly getting out of bed and on the road (or worse, the treadmill) presents even more of a challenge.

click image for source

click image for source

Truth.

I found that interval training is the best option for me when running inside. It keeps my mind active, muscles engaged, and sometimes, just sometimes, makes the miles fly by.

Here’s the workout I did yesterday.

just a minute workout 2

I know this won’t work for everyone, but I think it’s a great template for a beginner who’s not ready to fiddle around a ton on the treadmill. Even for you veterans, there are those days that running and keeping balance isn’t happening so feel free to take it and make it your own! If you do, make sure you check back in and let me know what you think 🙂

If you liked this routine, check out other workouts I’ve created on my Workouts page.

Disclaimer: I am not a certified fitness professional, just a gal who likes to exercise. If any of these moves hurt (in a bad way), please stop and consult a professional.

Thinking Out Loud

I came across this series from Running With Spoons recently and thought today would be the perfect time to join in.

Thinking-Out-Loud

Similar to my sporadic Join Me for Tea posts, here’s my brain dump for the week:

– Cold. Relating to both the weather and my health. Tuesday night I came home with a swollen gland and the beginnings of a sore throat. Yesterday, during our day off due to ice, it escalated into a full-blown cold. The JA has it, too. Forgive us for our snotty noses, achy bodies and general crankiness for the next few days.

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– Speaking of achy bodies, I printed this bad boy earlier this week. While I haven’t bit the bullet and officially signed up, it’s happening. Giving myself a challenging race will keep me motivated during the remainder of winter. Even with my cold, I pushed myself out the door this morning to get my run in (and allow my legs to recover) before barre tonight. It’s going to be a long road if the weather doesn’t cooperate. Send me good vibes & feel free to chime in with any training tips!

half marathon training plan

– Puppy update. Watson’s doing well with his heartworm treatment. However, his shots start the first week in March and he’s already getting antsy. Things will only get worse as the weather warms up. He’ll be on sedatives for March and April but not fully recovered until November. Poor pupalup will miss out on a whole spring/summer of extreme activity. Pray for us all.

Watson was not impressed with my planking. Shortly after this, he stuffed one of his toys in my face. Gross.

Watson was not impressed with my planking. Shortly after this, he stuffed one of his toys in my face. Gross.

– I need a phone intervention. My iPhone hasn’t been able to back up in 10 weeks because there’s not enough storage. Why? Because I hoard pictures. Any good apps/suggestions on how to keep this under control? And don’t suggest Instagram. That’s part of the problem.

See that 2.5? It needs to be 4.9 (I think) to back up. Whoops.

See that 2.5? It needs to be 4.9 (I think) to back up. Whoops.

The Buddy System

It’s true. Things are better in twos – Britney & Justin (my teenaged heart is devastated they didn’t work out), pant legs, cookies…you get my point. Yet, the majority of my time running has been solo and I liked it like that. However, I’ve recently found that the buddy system could be much better for me (at least in the winter) and here are some reasons why:

1. Safety – The other day I almost got hit by a car. I’m fine and was more frustrated than anything else. A middle-aged gentleman was crossing a one way street and was looking in the direction of traffic instead of in front of him as he pressed the gas pedal. I was in the cross intersection as he pulled up to his and figured he saw me as he was pulling to a stop. Apparently not. I was lucky enough to get out of the way (it seemed by a hair), but it was a harrowing experience. I’m not saying that I’ll never run by myself again, but when I do, I’ll make sure to wave/scream/jump up and down before crossing an intersection when cars are around.

I was wearing these bad boys, too. How can you not see a woman in bright purple pants?!

I was wearing these bad boys, too. How can you not see a woman in bright purple pants?!

2. Motivation – This morning, we had a two-hour delay. Yet, true to his morning person form, the JA made a plan to be up and at the gym by 6:30a. I, begrudgingly, said I would join him. It turned out to be just the kick in the butt I needed to ramp up my day. 2.5 mile intervals on the treadmill, 1.5 miles on the elliptical, and one mile walk with the pup to cool down = 5 miles before 8a. BOOM.

AM workout 1-23-14

3. CamaraderieRunning with Lauren this past weekend made the bitter cold more manageable. We got to know each other better and both agreed that the almost 6 miles we completed went by much quicker than had we each gone at it alone. Plus, when you’re in house buddy looks like this, how can you say no?

Watson with rope

4. Competition/Accountability – Pride is a big thing for me. I don’t want to be the one to call it quits first. If I say I’m going to be somewhere and there are people counting on me, I’ll be there no matter what. I don’t want to be the first one to ‘chicken out’ and if it’s agreed upon that we’ll do a certain number of miles or a certain speed or a certain new workout (or especially a certain new food), I’m there. Let’s get to it.

Do you find it better to work out with a buddy or by yourself? I’m a big fan of group exercise for a lot of these same reasons, but there’s something to be said about doing things all by yourself.