Sunday, June 9, 2013

Running, Strength and Yoga (oh my!)

I had a really good workout week. A really good one. So good, in fact, that I feel the need to recap it here.

Everything just kind of grooved this week. My workouts left me energized and even a little uplifted. My body felt strong and healthy. And it was really great.

The week:
  • Sunday I jump-started the week by getting my butt kicked at Barry's Bootcamp. Ouch-a-roo. In the best of ways.
  • Monday was an "easy" run (which didn't feel so easy after my Sunday!)
  • Tuesday morning I got up bright and early to go to the New York Sports Club Total Body Conditioning class I've been attending for going on two years now. Normally I don't gush about NYSC classes (most leave something to be desired...) but this particular one -- Tuesdays at 6:30 am at the 76th Street gym -- is really great. It's taught by Serena, the woman who founded the Masala Bhangra workout and she is great. Very tough and always mixes things up. It's also a nice feeling to be a "regular" in a class and feel like one of the cool kids.
  • Wednesday was another morning run on a gorgeous, picture-perfect day. Although that was a gorgeous day from sun up to sun down, the morning run on the river can just be so fantastic. Low(ish) humidity even in the summer, not a lot of people around, the sun low in the sky...I feel like I need to write a Disney song about it. 
Waking up in my UES apartment ready to face the day! Sun shining! Birds singing!

  • Thursday I met a couple of friends at a morning Core Fusion class at Exhale. It's a ballet barre inspired class and is very similar type class to one I reviewed a couple of months back. The instructor was great and I think -- thanks to a great Rue La La deal I have at Exhale -- I might try to go to this more often!
  • Friday I got back into hashtag #OnceAWeekYoga, also at Exhale! Having summer half day Fridays has opened up this world of afternoon classes for me, so I'm trying to take advantage.
  • Saturday I did a lazy loop around the park for a long run (and even ran into Miriam while I was at it!) On the way home I saw Ethan Hawke and was very impressed by my celebrity sighting.

Today, I rested. And blogged.

I felt good about my week for a few reasons. First, as much as while it's happening it can often feel hellish, the weeks I do morning workouts just seem to be .... a bit better. It kick starts the day and I think I actually feel stronger in the morning before I've worked and ate big meals. It can make me a bit zombie-esque after 9pm, but you know what? I'm 30. Deal with it.

I also really liked how different my workouts were this week. Any health magazine will tell you to vary your workout, but it's really true! You can get into a rut so easily, and I think that rut can happen even more so for a runner (particularly one in training mode). I did a few strength workouts this week that worked my body in very different ways.  

Finally, I think I might be finding my groove a little bit with this whole "yoga" thing. And by that I mean I've weeded out a lot of the classes that I absolutely do not want to go to again, allowing me to focus a little more on my practice and a little less of getting used to the studio, teacher, method, etc.

Over the past year or so I have tried several different studios and class-types, and ultimately I have focused in on Exhale as my preferred studio. Here's why:

What you see above you is a [crazy person's] diagram of my criteria for yoga classes. Each of the six studios have locations on the Upper East Side (which was crucial to even make the list). Where you see the orange bar either means I didn't have enough information or that I was on the fence. For example: Yes, NYSC gives you a mat....but when do you think they cleaned those mats last? 1975? C'mon now.

Exhale gets a bar for cost. The yoga classes there are $26 a piece (a little pricey...) but I honestly don't remember the last time I paid full price. Exhale is always on Gilt and Rue La La, and I always make sure to buy packages when they're offered. When I run out, I am definitely willing to spend $26 a class to have check marks everywhere else.

You're totally scared of me right now because I made that chart. I can tell. Sorry I'm not sorry, because that chart is a totally great reference guide for anyone also interested in #OnceAWeekYoga on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. So really it's more of a community service effort. I'm doing good for society!

Looking forward, I know that I won't even have two weeks in a row of this type of workout perfection. Between early morning meetings, weekend trips, and just simple fatigue, I think it's unreasonable to expect that this could even be a regular situation.

That said, I'm going to definitely try to take the lessons from this week (morning, variety, yoga) and move them forward when all possible. Without guilt-tripping myself when things -- inevitably -- don't pan out.

Now it's time for The Tony's, Game of Thrones and Mad Men. Huge, huge, huge TV night. [Sidebar: And by the way, anyone else still reeling from last Sunday's GoT episode? Holy CRAP!] 

I'm already sad that tonight is the Season Finale of my new obsession. My heart feels like this:

So sad. Because I know nothing.

:::Sigh::: My day of rest is always best when I reward myself by laying out the couch for four straight hours of TV. While Archie judges me.

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