It’s been quite a week-ish – I’ve admittedly been quite exhausted for a fair amount of the week, as work has been quite busy and sometimes I forget what it’s like to eat“lunch” before 3:30pm. It’s made for an interesting week running-wise – mostly I’m dragging, which could be attributed to being tired from work, poor nutrition from not eating the best on work days, or the addition of some cross training! (Or a combo of all of the above?) I spotted a deal for $19 two week trial of Class Pass, which I’ve been eying for awhile, but traveling and marathon training wouldn’t have allowed me to get my money’s worth. Since I don’t have any imminent travel plans and am working both weekends within the trial period (therefore I can take classes while Eric and everyone else is at work), I figured it was time to do it. Plus, half marathon training is a little less intense than marathon training, and I definitely need to do more cross training, so you can’t go wrong. Here’s how it shaped it:
Monday, January 25th
I worked through the snowstorm, including clomping through Central Park to get to and from work, and had a very tiring patient, so I was looking forward to not being at work on Monday. My original plan was to do my long run on Monday, but I realized I was going to be really, really tired, and I planned on taking an 11am class at FlyBarre, so I decided to move the long run to Tuesday. Instead, I planned for an easy run – five miles of whatever pace felt easy. I did the four mile loop in Central Park (plus the half mile to and from the park, perfect!), and my legs surprised me with 8:09 pace. Fascinating. Although I felt mentally tired, I feel like my legs were keeping it easy, so that worked out nicely. I headed home, grabbed a water bottle, and walked down the street to try FlyBarre.
I’ve been to FlyWheel a few times and enjoyed the workout, but when I’m looking for classes, I want something that will compliment my running. Things like barre, pilates, yoga, and strength training are high on my list, especially since I don’t want to take a day off from running to do something like spinning. I’ve done barre class before (Bar Method, specifically), and FlyBarre is right down the street from me, so away I went.
I was greeted by a fit female instructor who I figured was tiny yet would pack quite a punch. AND THAT SHE DID. The class was mostly empty, as less than half the mats were in use, but I attribute that to the 11am class time – probably not the most popular. We got started right away and did a bunch of different exercises. Abs, thighs, butt, arms…I couldn’t tell if there was a routine involved, and it seemed to be all over the place. It was also really, really hard. I’m mostly sure this is a result of me only running and therefore not having any muscles/strength related to barre, but I had to come out of the poses multiple times. It was rough. I didn’t love the class, but I’ll say it was hard. Not sure if not loving it was a result of it being different than previous barre classes I’ve been to, or if it just wasn’t my favorite
After class, I showered and got ready to head out to Connecticut to see my college roommate, Sara, for a return of the Bach Party. Watching the Bachelor is a huge guilty pleasure of mine, and some college friends and I used to have parties to watch it in college. Sara and her husband moved to CT in July, and I definitely haven’t taken advantage of her being so close! Time to change that – I headed up and Sara made dinner (pad thai – yum!), and we had wine and watched the Bachelor. It’s a little more fun when other people can share in the commentary (Eric doesn’t like the show, surprise, surprise), and it was good to bring back the old times! (Olivia is the worst, isn’t she?)
Tuesday, January 26th
I took the train back to NYC in the morning, then ate a banana and peanut butter in anticipation of the long run. I could tell I was a bit tired and felt a sore in my butt (thank, FlyBarre!), but otherwise my legs felt okay. It was pretty warm in NYC, so the snow started melting and make giant puddles at every intersection. After making some leaps and bounds, I ran in the clear Central Park, which was great. Except I didn’t feel so great. I wasn’t sure whether I wanted to do 8 or 9 miles – eight to keep it the same as last week, or nine to push myself a little bit. I figured I’d get to seven miles, which is where I would need to make my decision about how much more to add on to my loop – of course, I got to seven miles and two mile didn’t feel like it would be much more. I added on the lower loop of Central Park, and as I was coming back across 72nd St, a bird pooped on me. Magically, the bird got both my glove and my tights, so that was sad. Into the wash they go! (Whenever we do laundry next, of course…) My pace was definitely on the slower side, and not necessarily by choice, but I got it done. Nine miles at 8:24 pace, so I guess that’s right on track, although I wish it felt a little easier!
Logic says I should have taken off the rest of the day, but I wanted to try another class – I booked a 4:30pm Sculpt class at Uplift Studios. I’ve taken a Strength class at Uplift before and it left me unable to walk normally for almost a week, which is something I really wasn’t looking for. The Sculpt description seemed a little bit less likely to make me walk funny, so I went with that. I really enjoyed the Strength class and the atmosphere at Uplift, so I definitely was excited to return. It’s a combination of a yoga class and a strength class – we did lots of vinyasas and plenty of squats and lunges to add in some strength. We did some arm work, which I didn’t even use weights for. It’s amazing how hard of a workout you can get without even using weights! Oof. But I really enjoyed the class and I think it targeted areas I need help with – yoga for stretching and strength, but adding in lunges/squats for more strength and some balance. Additionally, my legs were a bit sore the next day, but I definitely think I could have done an easy run and not disrupted my schedule. (I worked on Wednesday, so that was out.) I would definitely repeat this class and think it would make a great addition to my running routine.
Thursday, January 28th
After another long day at work on Wednesday, my plan for Thursday was to not set an alarm at all. I woke up at 9-ish, which was earlier than I thought, but I’m happy with that. I had booked a barre class at Pure Barre, which has a couple locations near me, so that’s convenient. I headed to Pure Barre on Columbus Ave, which only opened about six months ago.
I was immediately welcomed when I arrived at the studio, and the instructor set up my equipment (band, weights, ball) for me and then gave me a quick run down of the moves and encouraged myself and another new woman to work at our ability, whether that meant using weights or not, to look around for help, to take her corrections positively, and to have fun. Hooray! This class followed the general flow that I’ve experienced in other barre classes. The instructor made a point to know all our names, and she was great about giving instructions and personal corrections. We worked arms, thighs, butt, and abs – mostly in that order. I kind of like the idea of working an area and then knowing you’re done with it. The instructor also offers lots of cuing, including saying that you only have one more modification left and counting down for the final ten moves. It still amazes me how such small movements can hurt so much, and I definitely did a lot of shaking. One of my favorite moves involved pinching your shoulder blades together – my posture isn’t that great, and I can really feel that move helping. The class was hard and I could tell I was working – I think the small movements really help with muscles I need for running, so I think barre would be a great compliment to running. It also didn’t really make me sore (just more tired, ha…), so I think that’s a plus.
My evening involved running plans – a run with the team! The Battalion met for a fun run in Central Park, a run that we call “Guactails,” bringing back an old tradition where we could run to guacamole and cocktails. (Best running team ever, right?) The plan was four-five miles ending at Playa Betty’s, a new taco bar on the UWS. We had about six people show up, so we took off in Central Park – starting at Columbus Circle, up to Harlem Hill, turn around and head back to 72nd St, then off to the bar! I mainly stuck with Baker, Abbe, and new friend Jen (fellow UWSer!). My legs were really tired – our pace wasn’t exactly fast, but I was struggling to keep up. We pushed the pace up Harlem Hill and waited with a power arch for the rest of the group. After regrouping, we headed back to 72nd St, powering up the hill there, then taking it easy the rest of the way to the bar. It was fun to have a team run and to run with a group – I don’t usually see other people much when I run, so it was cool to be out there when other normal people are. Five miles at 8:06 pace – I’ll take it!
We ended at Playa Betty’s – we had to wait a little bit for a table, but not too long because you don’t want to keep hungry runners waiting! We ordered some drinks and guacamole and waiting for some team members who weren’t running to meet up. We eventually ordered tacos and life was great! I’d recommend checking out Playa Betty’s – the portions are a little on the tiny side, but they were tasty! And who doesn’t love tacos? If you want a running team that eats tacos, let me know!
Friday, January 29
Ah, Friday. I woke up so, so tired. I wasn’t sure what my plan was for the day, but I had booked another noon class at Pure Barre – Columbus Circle. I dressed like I would run after (why not?) and headed down. The class was much like the day before, but with some different moves. I like routine so it was nice to know what could potentially be coming next, and the class flew by. The instructor was really awesome and encouraging, and I admittedly liked the music. I never run with music, so it’s a novelty for me to have music on while working out. I found myself closing my eyes to push through the final sets, and I was definitely shaking at some points. A woman next to me was totally rocking it, but I felt good about working at my own level. Some of the moves seem to be extra challenging for me, not only because I’m new to the moves, but also because my hamstrings are really, really tight. Even sitting with my back flat against a wall is hard, as it stretches my hamstrings a bit, so trying to move my legs up and down in that position is extra difficult. But – certainly something that’s good for me, so I’m not actually complaining.
The WSH is clear for running!
I felt like I worked, but I didn’t feel dead, so I figured I’d head over to the West Side Highway to see if it was clear enough to run. (Spoiler alert: it was!) I thought about possibly doing four miles – my original plan for the week included speed work on either Thursday or Friday. Thursday was out because of the group run, and I really wasn’t feeling it for Friday. This became even more evident as I started to run and could hardly hold a nine minute pace. I was exhausted and running into the wind – such a poor combination. I turned back way early and set my sights on running for twenty minutes. 2.28 miles. Blah. Some days you just have to accept throwing in the towel, so that is what I did. I know that doing all these classes most likely took a toll on my overall energy and my running, but I think that would happen with doing anything new.
I love the idea of adding classes into my usual routine, mainly because I’m not necessarily motivated enough to do them in my tiny apartment. I don’t love cross training enough to do it myself, and it’s nice to get out of my apartment and experience a class. However, classes are expensive, especially if you want to do a variety (aka not at just one studio), so ClassPass is a great option. I’d like to continue it after this trial is over – I just have to be better about mapping out when I’ll take classes and what type in addition to running. Of course, it’s already difficult for me to map out classes with my schedule, so we’ll see. I don’t think a PR effort is in the cards for me in March at the NYC Half, and I’d like to focus on getting stronger (even if it’s just in my core, not necessarily building huge biceps!) and keeping injuries away.
Do you add classes into your running routine? Any suggestions for best ways to do so? Best classes to take to compliment your running? Obviously long run day isn’t the best day to add in another workout…oops.