Thursday, December 27, 2012

When the goin' get tough

I've been home in Plymouth for about a week now. And it has been delightful. While here I've spent a lot of good quality time with friends and family, gotten some great R&R, and enjoyed watching Archie try to make friends with my parents' 15-year old cat, Picasso.

Archie: Be my friend, Picasso! Love me!!!!!
Picasso: I will straight up murder you.

With my marathon a mere month away (again), training is at its peak. Again. I tried to get in a 14-15 miler this past Saturday at home and it went horribly awry.

Sometimes I look back at my blog posts and I'm like, wow, I am wayyyy too chipper. Because frankly? A good percentage of the time my runs do not go well. But somehow those runs become distant memory quickly and are not ones you want to share. It's the happy rainbow unicorn runs that you wan't to SHOUT FROM THE ROOFTOPS FOR ALL TO HEAR!!!! 

So with that in mind, I thought that I might share with you a more accurate representation of how a normal long run sometimes goes for MeriG. Lest you think that I am better than I am. Because we wouldn't want that.

Last Saturday morning I knew I had to get my run in early so that I'd have enough time to fully recover and nap in the afternoon before getting ready for a holiday party in the evening. My alarm was set for 6 am. It went off like a thousand daggers stabbing into my head.

Despite going to bed in a frozen tundra, my parents' house overnight had turned into hell's inferno and had dehydrated me to my core.

Archie meanwhile decided THIS would be the morning that he would become a cuddly kitty who wants to linger in bed and not bite my feet or lick my face or walk all over me until I got up. Nooooo THIS would be when he decided to be cute and sweet!

PURR! I love you new cuddle buddy!!!
So I had to throw my purring cat off of me and get out of bed into the fiery desert that was the Glansberg home.

I tread down the stairs and found my Dad making coffee. "I was thinking I'd make us a big egg breakfast!" he said.

"AHHHHHHHHH I really want eggs but I need to not eat a lot before I run and I need that not a lot to consist of the same thing I always eat which is the English Muffin and the peanut butter and my STUPID GUs THAT I DON'T WANT AT ALL TODAY and I want coffee but I can't drink coffee before I run and this SUCKS!" said I. Or something like that.

Dad slowly backed away. Smart man.

Outside it was a lovely 35 degrees consisting of a frigid mist. Not quite rain...but certainly not dry. Fan. Tastic.

I got bundled up and then realized... I left my headphones in New York. I brought basically my ENTIRE APARTMENT with me in a feat of epic over-packing, but left my headphones.

Mom: "Maybe you can just be with your thoughts?"
Me: "SHUT UP MOM I HATE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

So off to Walmart I went. On Saturday, December 22nd. Because that was what was open before 8 am.

Me in Walmart before Christmas.

I bought the cheapest headphones they had (a decision I would immediately regret during my 2+ hour run) and finally made it to the starting point of my route. And from there things only got worse.

The weather was horrific. The aforementioned headphones were slicing my ears open from the insides and giving me little shocks as I ran (that's not supposed to happen...). My legs felt like lead and each mile seemed an eternity. While normally I run about 9:45 per mile for a long run, that day we were 10:30 or SLOWER. And it felt HARDER. Slower + Harder = Badder.

I was hungry even though I head eaten. GU was making me feel sick to my stomach (and I usually love me some GU!). I had to use the bathroom and -- because tourist season was over -- my usual go-to summer and fall bathrooms were closed.

So, after a bit over 10 miles -- which took me SIGNIFICANTLY longer than normal -- I threw in the towel and headed home. I re-hydrated there and recovered a bit and attempted to get a couple more miles in since I had intended on 14-15, but after a few minutes realized it was futile. A good long run was just not going to happen for me.

The cat, the eggs, the headphones, the weather, the tired legs....all a massive conspiracy against me to keep me from my run. And at first I was proud to have overcome these obstacles. Y'all can't stop me from being the best! I am winning!! Even though I felt like hell LITERALLY FOR MULTIPLE HOURS STRAIGHT! And that's when I is that winning? I COULD HAVE BEEN EATING EGGS!

Hey, girl

As a runner, it's important to admit that not every day is going to be your day. But it's the hardest thing to admit as well.

With these training schedules -- necessary for many people like myself to have structure and plans -- you do run the risk of believing that you have to do these runs. They're meant to be guideposts, but they can end up feeling like the law.

And then that begs the question: When it stops being fun -- even for a day -- what is the point where we throw in the towel and call it a day? If you're miserable, when does "practice make perfect" and "try and you will succeed" stop and "SIT YOUR ASS DOWN" begin?

There is a fine line as a marathon trainee between dedication and being an OCD freak. Fiiiiiine Line. And when you realized you've crossed it? You gots to get quickly back to the other side or you're gonna fall your butt down that slippery slope. Fast.

I have another, supposedly longer, run ahead of me this weekend. The schedule says 16-17 miles, but I keep trying to tell myself that I will just "do what I can."

Easier said than done.

Let's hope for better weather, for less friendly felines, and that my Dad won't tempt me with his breakfast siren song. And if all else fails, the following mantra works as well: Two weeks until taper. Two weeks until taper. Just two weeks until taper...

When do you say "enough is enough" on your runs or workouts? you at all?

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Baby It's Cold Outside

Ok, first thing's first. We finally got resolution this morning on the 2012 NYC Marathon that wasn't. According to the NYRR, we get three choices:

1) Full refund ($250...not small change)
2) Guaranteed Entry into 2013, 2014 OR 2015 NYC Marathon...but you'll need to pay the $250 entry fee again.
3) Guaranteed Entry into the 2013 NYC Half Marathon in March (and you'll also have to pay the entry fee).

After some hemming and hawing [which lasted approximately 35 seconds] I have decided I am going to select the 2013 option. This probably comes as no surprise to my loyal fans and readers (all 10 of you), but I feel like if I don't go for it for 2013...come next November I'll regret it.

The downsides are two-fold. First fold: This will now be the third freaking time I pay $250 to run an "alleged" marathon.

$750 well spent??

Second-fold, this means that after I allegedly run the Miami marathon at the end of January....I'll have to start up training again in July or August for the November NYC marathon.

But so be it.

Because now this is a thing and I'm evidently a runner who does stuff like this now. So there you have it. Two marathons. One calendar year. Lucky '

Unless of course the Mayans are right for tomorrow in which case, all bets are off.

But we have plenty of time to fixate on November 2013. Let's talk about Winter Running.

WINTER RUNNING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

As I mentioned earlier this week in my post, I've done a lot of research and experimenting with running gear and layering. I still don't have it quite right (as this is my first year truly running in this horrid season betweenst fall and spring). But I do have some lessons / tips / items that maybe (just maybe?) will be helpful if you are considering embarking on the cold weather running. Or if you want to make fun of me for all the money and time I've spent on these shenanigans.

Before I begin, a caveat is required that I run "warm" (i.e. I seem to warm up more quickly than others) and that I am an awkwardly heavy sweater.

Not this type of sweater:

This type:

Keep my hotness in mind and adjust accordingly.

60 degrees+
I do my thing. Shorts (almost always) and a tank top. I don't like clothing touching my armpits when I sweat. I also wear a bondi band to keep my own sweat from blinding me or a white hat to keep my scalp from burning off my head. 

thumbs up!

50-60 degrees:
Bottom: Shorts still.
Top: Depending on the sunnyness, a tank or long-sleeved shirt. Arm warmers can also be used if you want to faux-layer to make things easy. Cool, that's easy.
Headwear: Optional

Bottom: I like wearing capri length running pants in this weather. Mine are tights from sugoi and I got them at
JackRabbit (a favorite store for myself and a newfound joyful place for fellow blogger friend The Merry Runner!

Top: I like to wear a long sleeved shirt with thumbholes like this one I own from Brooks.
If it's windy, I'd also throw on a windbreaker running jacket like this Mizuno one I own:

If you are little more "cold" of a runner than I, you may want to consider your long-sleeved shirt to be fleece-lined. Any running store or sports store will carry plenty of long-sleeved fleece lined items, and I own one as well that I wear when it's closer to 40 than to 50.

Accessories: Gloves or a headband may also be helpful, although you'll may take them off once you start running. And if you have a good jacket, it will have pockets to put them in.

25-40 Degrees:
Bottom: You'll want a fleece-lined running pant. I use the MidZero Tight from Sugoi and -- although a little pricey -- it's worth it. They also have a SubZero which is even more fleecy and cozy, but it makes my body a lil' too over-heated.

Top: You also will need to start taking seriously the power of three when it comes to layering:
  • Layer 1: A base layer. This should be VERY tight to the skin (like, unflatteringly tight) so that no air can be between you and your sexy body. This layer is intended to keep you warm while also wicking sweat away. I own one from Craft that I got at JackRabbit. It's expensive, but I've learned it's essential. No one will see it, so it won't matter that you'll look like an encased sausage. Even for the "warm" runners like me, I've learned the hard way that it is most definitely better to be too hot than too cold. Because if you sweat a little and are cold? And don't have a layer like this? You die of hypothermia. 
          Ok, that's a bit extreme.  But it sucks.

  • Layer 2: 2nd layer (I don't have a better name for this). This goes on TOP of the base layer and is used simply for warmth. For this I recently invested (of course at JackRabbit) in the Sugoi midzero zip. Clearly in purple. It's fleece-lined, has a great back pocket, a high neck, a nice fit (not too snug, not too loose) and the blessed thumbholes. I wore it last weekend on my run with Jen and it was delightful.

  •  Layer 3: Windbreaker if it's windy at all (see above in the 40-50 section!) You'll notice in the photo above I don't have this on, but it's because it was a STILL, SUNNY day. Check out the weather IMMEDIATELY before you leave on a cold day and make a judgement call.
Accessories: For SURE a hat or headband and gloves. Any sporting store will sell them. Although I haven't experienced yet, they say that to run in the snow you can wear a headband over a normal running hat to keep condensation out of your face....

...or you can just treadmill run I probably will...

Below 25: No freakin' idea. I hope this doesn't come up because I'm scurred.

Other: The running fuel belt is also crutial. You'll be sweating a little less (unless you're me) than in the summer, so you don't realize you're still loosing water and need to refuel. Also the water fountains get turned off in the winter.

I use the same socks from the summer, but when it gets really cold I also invested in a pair of thicker wool ones to make sure my tootsies stay cozy.

                                                  *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *
                                                             ^ This means my thoughts are now separated

As you can see, I have a lot of Brooks and a lot of Sugoi stuff, because that's what JackRabbit recommends. But honestly? They've never really steered me wrong.

I'm not going to lie to you, the stuff I've listed above will cost you a pretty penny. Especially if you buy much at once, such as what I did. It's a bit shocking in fact.

The bill is HOW MUCH!?!?!

However, the pieces are worth the investment. I can't stress this enough. When it comes to running gear, it's not the place to skimp. And this comes from a notorious cheap-ass. Good items will hold up well to wear and washing and will last far longer than cheaper counter-points.

By not putting too much credence on color, you can find stuff on sale or in outlets and -- at the end of the day -- I think we can align that staying warm and safe is more important than fashion.

This is fashionable running and is not recommended by MeriG.

I hope my little compilation helps a bit. Whatever winter activities in which you decide to partake, stay comfy, warm, and enjoy!

What's your favorite winter running gear?  Any different advice than what I have offered?

Sunday, December 16, 2012

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

On Friday afternoon I got an amazing surprise email. Roommate Jen who I ran with last week was willing to come into the city and run with me again on Saturday. I was beyond thrilled to not have to do 18 alone, because I've never completed more than 14 miles solo and I was scared! 

Jen is so funny, because she kept apologizing and asking if it was "okay" and wanting to ensure she wouldn't mess up my pace or wasn't asking me to start out too early. I found it hilarious because A) we're basically the exact same pace and B) I would go ANYTIME to not have to run alone! 

A lot of people thrive on that alone time, and so do a point! But more than a couple of hours of alone time running makes MeriG into a bit of a looney toon. I am not super into listening to music when I do long runs, instead opting for nerd-time rocking out to NPR. [Becoming more informed whilest running makes me feel super productive!]

But my ideal is to run and chat with friends, because it makes the time pass so much faster and is great for Quality Time. So, yeah, Jen. I was "okay" with you "crashing" my run. 

And as far as the early start was concerned? A 5:30am wake-up call and 6:30 start time is admittedly gross. But it also allows you to see views such as this...

View of the East River at Sunrise

And when you see a sunrise like that on a crisp, cool Saturday morning with a wonderful friend? It's still a little gross to be awake, but it makes it pretty worth it as a whole.

We started at my apartment and ran to the East River. Running through and beyond Carl Schulz park, we ran along the river up until the path ended at 125th and then retraced out steps back down until the path ends at 60th St (1st 6 miles).


Roomies on the run!

From there, we ran down 1st Avenue and re-entered the East River path in the 20s. We took this path around the Southern tip of Manhattan and up the West Side, ending in the 60s on the West Side.

Pretty bridges on a pretty day

See the Statue of Liberty yonder!

The weather was absolutely stunning. A still, sunny, 40-degree day. I had properly bundled up (a feat that I've been having a bit of trouble with with the winter running!) so I was even too warm for a lot of it. But mostly comfortable and cozy.

Thumbs up in front of Jersey

Lookin' classy in my favorite new Purple Brooks 1/2 Zip pullover

I'll post sometime soon about what I've learned about winter laying, because I think it would be helpful for newbies. Look for that sometime in the upcoming days!

Even though I've done this route a bunch of times now, I came across this cool quote as we ran near Tribeca on the West Side. It reads: "I can said without wind. I can row without oars. But I cannot part from my friend without tears." I thought it was really poignant and beautiful.

Perhaps the best part of the run, though, was trying to explain to Jen what SantaCon was. She hadn't heard of it, so as we ran I told her about the masses of thousands of people dressed as Santa who descend on the city and spread joy [read: create drunken havoc]. I don't think she quite believed me.

Well, at 10 am as we were finishing our run, we ended right at Pier 84. Which happened -- previously unbeknownst to me -- to be the exact starting place and time of SantaCon.

Thousands of Santas coming from all directions to meet at this spot. I guess she believed me in the end! I've never actually participated in SantaCon, and I thought it was an interesting juxtaposition for "Old Me" (who always wanted to do it, but always had a conflict) and "New Me" who finished an 18 mile run at 10 am on a Saturday. Fascinating.

Three more long runs until taper starts again for Miami! Eek!

Was your weekend full of running? Or of drunken mayhem? 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Bloggin' bout Bloggin'

I've been blogging on Run, MeriG. Run for 19 months.

First of all, I am enjoying it, so BACK OFF. I find this fun for me and a really positive outlet for one of the most central parts of my life lately. At its core, it's a diary. It's something I will (and do today!) look back on when I need inspiration or perspective. I hope some day I'm old and wrinkly and awesome and that I can look back at this time in my life -- with joy and pride -- and read about it or share with my loved ones. If this ever stops being fun? I won't do it. I simply won't.

And turns out others seem to like it. I know I've "inspired" at least a few friends to sign up for their first 1/2 Marathons or Marathons (y'all better not finish one before me...), and I think that's simply stellar. And I'm sure some people don't like it and then -- you know what? -- DON'T READ IT. That's the beauty of the interweb. No one forces you to click on this, so just put down your iphone or ipad or laptop machine or whatever and walk. away. slowly. No one gets hurt.

But the most random reason I keep writing? That I never intended when I started? The other bloggers I've discovered along the way.

As you can see to your right ====>>>>, I have a list of my favorites and I'd encourage you to check them out if you're interested. They all have very different voices (which I love!) and focus on different aspects of their lives (fitness, food, etc.) in really unique, interesting ways. I read and love them all. And I've made connections with many of them informally through the "social media" like the Facebook and the Twitter. And by that I mean that I quasi-stalk them and try to make them like me. I'll eventually wear them down, resistance is futile.

But WHY are there so many of us????

Well, I think that there are certain topics, in life, that simply invite this type of dialogue. And Running/Fitness is not alone. Fashion. Food. Mommy stuff. Weddings.

And the reason for that is quite simple.

These are events / topics / hobbies that are personal enough to make your own...yet universal enough to share with others. Blogging allows you to send your experiences out to the world, but better yet it allows you to connect with others and expand upon your experiences with theirs.

Run MeriG, Run is not just about running. It's honestly -- if we wanna go deep (and I think we do!) -- about a personal fundamentally changing and growing. Seriously. MeriG did not run. MeriG now runs. A lot. And MeriG's reasons for running have shifted dramatically even since the beginning of this blogging experience. Let's review:

  • Back in May 2011 I accepted my own challenge and decided "meh, half marathons aren't so bad anymore...let's willy nilly do a marathon!" Idiot.
  • In June I thought I was the first person ever to track my workouts, which is funny. In this post, I'm like "I am soooo organized because I write down when I workout!" Um, you should see what some of the other Bloggers and runner friends of mine do. You think I'm crazy because I keep an excel grid with mileage and cross-training days? You don't even know.
  • In July I wrote my first post on cross-training (although I didn't really know I was doing it at the time). It was titled The Devil Wears Lululemon and it made me famous. Kind of. But a lot of people legit read it. 

Up until this time, I was still MeriG, amateur running being hilarious and just trying to figure out how to get the miles in. Not too serious about food, stretching, fueling, attire...just taking it as it comes and feeling my way through it. I always intended, up until this point, that the 2011 NYC Marathon would be a bucket list item. One and done! Back to half marathons and drinking on Friday nights!

hahahaha suckers!!

The next few months were spent recovering both physically and emotionally before I could come back swinging in January 2012 and pledge to run the 2012 Marathon. I had learned! And grown stronger! What could possibly go wrong?

Denise, you created a monster!!!!

I was still focused on the 2012 Bucket List...but with an intention of doing it with a more informed attitude. To be better by being smarter and being more attune with my body.

Training started out for 2012 delightfully. Simply wonderful. New friends, fun group, feeling healthy...
  • August 2012: Aww look at you running halfs like it's no big deal!
  • September 2012: And reviewing clothes like you know something! Adorable. and running your first of two 20 Milers! Good for you!
  • October 2012: I was just running away like a truly crazy person. So blissfully, ignorantly happy. I was going to run the NYC Marathon. My training was all but complete and still felt fantastic! So fantastic that I actually started to panic a little...what would I do after November 4th? What would I fill my time with? How would I stay in shape, yet still feel as structured and positive as I did with these racing goals in front of me? I focused on my raceday checklist...perfecting my race tapering....almost like a real runner would.

...and then Sandy hit. 

...and then...2012 was no more.

And so, without a second thought, I signed up for Miami and, you know what? I don't need to run the New York City Marathon as my first. I can run Miami as my first and then New York later.

And just like that I realized I had transformed. Right before your VERY EYES. Into a full blown marathoner-to-be. Twice maybe. 


Let's see where the future takes us now. In May of 2011 I never, in my wildest dreams, would have thought that I would become the person I am today. The person who knows the lingo and owns enough running gear to stock a JackRabbit. The person who knows exactly what flavor Gus are the "good ones" and who has a subscription to Runners World. The person who gave up heels and cheese ('s just so GOOD!) and Friday night alcohol...and then became somehow OK with it. 

I'm now person who has the confidence to run 18 miles this weekend...on her own. For the first time ever.

With Miami now just 6 short weeks away, I hope you continue to join me on this awkward, amazing adventure, and thanks for the support!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Monday Night Insomniac Musings

My friend Denise started a really cool blog today. You should read it.

But that's not the point. The point is that she also sent me a tip (one I had heard before, but never took to heart until it came from this wise friend o' mine.) She wrote me an email that said the following:

"not sure if you've heard about It's so awesome...this could take you to a whole other level of awesomeness/awkwardness."

Well....I do love awesomeness....and awkwardness...let's give it a shot!

This is Archie -- in real time -- "helping" me blog:

And this is what happens after I figured out picmonkey:


Onward. But just for the record, it was Denise's fault!!

Last Sunday I went for a run with my college Freshman year Roomie, Jen. I've mentioned the Roomie in past posts because 1) she is an important part of my life and 2) she is an inspirational part of my running life. She lived with me back before MeriG Ran. Yes, back when we were sharing a double room in the East Dormitories of Brandeis University, the most working out I tended to do was a Tae Bo tape.

And by this, of course I mean laying on the floor and watching Billy Blanks do Tae Bo.

Ah, how the times have changed, Billy. But my god, do you punch that air well from your plie squat!

But now things are different because do things. Ugh.

Jen had a BIG b-day on Sunday and is also training for a Marathon (Disney, two weeks before my alleged Miami endeavor), and  she gave me the pleasure of kicking off her day with a 16- mile run.

We started in Brooklyn and ran the bridge:

Our run took us all the way around the tip of Manhattan, up the West Side, over and into the park and all the way to my apartment. It was rainy, and it got cold, but I was in fabulous company which made it simply delightful.

As I reflect uponst this time, I realize something: One of the best parts of this hobby of mine is the balance it provides depending on my needs.

I'll elaborate.

I love to run alone for the thinking and the solidarity...and also with others for the social aspect.

I like having short runs because they are, y'know, short...but also the long ones for the accomplishment.

I like my running days...but value immensely the cross-training and rest ones (like this morning when the alarm clock was simply NOT happening).

In short:

And I mean that. I really do.

My balance has made me a little less cynical about this "fitness" thing. Which admittedly is kind of annoying because cynicism is something at which I excel. But the upside is that hopefully the cynicism I once had can be replaced by the ability to share my experiences with others. To educate or -- perhaps -- to inspire? Or at least to amuse. With the interwebs.

It's especially cool when I can share my experiences with friends -- both new and old. We can catch up when we run and spend some truly quality time: a luxury which becomes all too rare as the days and years tick by.

Jen, I mean this from the bottom of my heart.

Jen and my lives -- in many ways -- could not be more different. She is a married, mother of two, and I won't even be in the same room as a dirty diaper. The litter box alone seems like such a chore. She has the Long Island house to my Upper East Side apartment. She is a Doctor while I am a [powerful] business woman. She is tall and I am wee.

But our common interests, values, and history keep us close. And as I've evolved, she's evolved, and we have supported each other and our individual decisions along the way. Or at the very least she has been incredibly supportive of mine.

We're pretty awesome is the net/net.

And I am fortunate to say that I have many wonderful, amazing friends that I could gush about in the same way. We have our shared history...but with the extra amazing layer that comes with sharing interests, conversation and support as we move through life. Because one day you wake up and "new" college friends? Um...I've had them for over a decade. Guess they're not the new ones anymore. And the even "newer" B-school friends are now going on 4+ years....whoa...

And then you feel old. Whoops. :::Shake it off:::

With the delirium of being past my bedtime setting in, I'll ask you:

Who in your life have you actually grown closer to with time? How do you stay close? And have you sent them a funny meme lately? Because you should.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Cross-Training: Review of Barry's Bootcamp

I tried Barry's Bootcamp a couple of times last year and never wrote about it. This fancy-schmancy, celeb-loved, popular, trendy LA-originated workout had opened a location in the Chelsea neighborhood of New York and was populated largely by hot gay men.

I did the workout twice before I Hurt Myself last year and couldn't run faux Marathon #1. I don't think Barry's "caused" my injury, per se, but it was just one of the examples of how I was pushing myself too hard and working out too much at the time. Just generally not listening to my body. Ended up in a boot. Yadda yadda.

Cool, so now I'm healed and I'm totes stronger and then there was a Gilt Group (Groupon-esque) offer for three Barry's classes significantly discounted at their new Tribeca location. Game on, I said.

Also, the last time I reviewed a cross-training class, I got SUPER FAMOUS with my Bar Method "Devil Wears Lululemon" post. Thought it was worth a shot to try it again. Here goes:

The Barry's Bootcamp description (from their website):

Since 1998, Barry’s Bootcamp has been delivering “The Best Workout in the World” to a legendary following, including many celebrities. Our no-nonsense, results driven reputation may intimidate some newcomers, but they quickly discover that Barry’s Bootcamp delivers an affordable, efficient and fun workout in a night club party environment that is nothing like the cliché boot camps found in every town.

To visualize, this is their homepage image:

Oh, hey everyone! You're TOTALLY NORMAL! 
Like I said, hot gay men.  The women seemed to be for show.

Let's juxtapose with me:


And again with one of them....
Hey girl. I have abs. 

Ok, so we're clear on the starting point expectations, yes? Great.

My friend Mel had written a great post about Barry's in her super great blog a few weeks back and --inspired by the booty-kicking described -- I cashed in on the Gilt Groupon.  Something to know about Mel is that she's, like, really nice. And really in shape. Her post is completely accurate...but I want to be real with y'all. this workout is fantastic but is not for everyone!

This was/is/will always be a No. Joke. Class. I literally would not recommend it unless you're already pretty in shape. I almost run marathons and I was basically on the verge of death.

Also, for the record, hardly any hot gays in the Tribeca class. Consider yourself forewarned.

Let's let the review start in the locker room. The worst locker room on the planet. It was the size of a thimble and was just full of rushed, semi-bitchy, in-shape women. When I tell you that I was probably amongst the most out of shape in the group, I am not for a moment joking. Not self-deprecating...just setting the scene.

They were all like:

And I was all like:

You go into the studio and, as the description suggested, a "party-atmosphere" indeed. Bumpin' music and these red club-esque lights. The benefits to the dim / club lighting is that you look better in the mirror. The con is that you look better because you can't see! I found it very disorientating yet oddly motivating at the same time. An enigma wrapped in a mystery tied up with a bow of knowing you are bein' so cool!

So, the premise of the class is four segments: Two treadmill and two strength training of some sort. The class I took was a "Hard Core ABS" class so it was -- indeed -- two treadmill 15 min segments and two abs 15 min segments on the floor. The class is split, so half is doing one thing, half the other, and then switch. The instructors really are amazing because they truly do manage both at once very, very well. It's almost like a choreographed dance. And as far as ensemble is concerned, the Devil -- as it were -- wears a black wife-beater.

Hey, girl.

I started on the floor to start my 15 minutes of "hard core abs". After about 3 minutes I was like, yep, that should do it for abs! But no. 15 full minutes of varied ab-work. I know I need to do this to strengthen my core and build stamina, speed, etc.....but....I just really, truly HATE doing abs.

The quarter of an hour was finnnnally up, and then we switched and I was like "Yes! Thank god! Treadmill! I am good at the running!"

But the running is harder at Barry's because at Barry's they think a 6.0 (10-min mile) is a "jog" and that you should be able to run at, like 10.0 or higher on the treadmill. Which is equivalent to the speed of sound. So basically he'll be like, "Treadmill people, you should be at 6.0, jogging pace," and then in 30 seconds he'll be like "increase be 0.5" and then a little bit later "increase incline by 2.0" and he keeps yelling out these instructions until you are flying vertically up a wall.

So then you're panting and sweating and just generally fatigued and then you do both another 15 min of abs (different exercises from before) and 15 more minutes of treadmill circuits. Whole lotta crazy.

Overall, if you are already an in-shape person and want to go for it? It will definitely get you to the next level. It's motivating, it's efficient (one hour feels like much more), it's total body, it's strength & cardio together, and it definitely works you to the point of fatigue. Great, well-trained, [hottie mchot] instructors and an innovative, interesting format. Oh and you probably lose about 3 lbs of pure sweat.

The description says it "intimidates newcomers" and they're exactly correct. I have a feeling I'd learn to love this if I went regularly, but only time (and the limit of my Groupon) will tell.