July & August 2016 Recap

Goodbye summer! Here’s a breakdown of all the classes I took in July & August.

JULY

Full Body @ Barry’s Bootcamp

Barry’s Bootcamp has so many instructors so I enjoyed trying out a few new instructors (new to me). Shannon demonstrated all the moves with excellent forms – I felt like I got a really effective workout in. Matty’s music was on point – the music really motivated me while I was on the treadmill and on the floor. Justin introduced me to dynamic mode and some challenging combo moves. I was definitely a sweaty mess in all three classes!

Crank Exhilarate @ Crank NYC

Pro: It takes me less than 5 minutes to walk to this studio. Con: Maybe I clipped into the bike wrong, but I didn’t feel secure on the bike and thought my shoes would unclip (they were moving in all directions). I booked this class last minute because I had to use my final class for the month before going on vacation. I think I was too tired from a week of intense workouts, because I wasn’t really feeling it. The instructor was really positive and had great music, but I probably won’t be back since I don’t feel super comfortable on the bikes and this class is all about choreography (which I’m not a big fan of). IMG_7427.JPG

Signature FHIX @ The Fhitting Room

I love how all the instructors at The Fhitting Room have such different personalities. The classes are structured very well and are super challenging. They’re serious about giving you an awesome working but also provide so much energy and motivation. Eric is hilarious, Farouk & Mat are super down-to-earth, Daury is a tough guy in the best way, & Jason knows which tunes get you working.

NRC Speed Run @ Mile High Run Club, Noho

  • Date: 7/19 and 7/26 (Jes Woods)
  • Booked via: Nike+ NYC

I prioritize this speed run session on my calendar and try to go every Tuesday. I love being able to get 4+ miles in while training to run faster and faster. Jes is super friendly and encouraging – go run with her!

 

S.A.L.T. @ TMPL Gym

I found Diana on Instagram and love when she posts videos of workout moves. She started teaching a HIIT class at TMPL Gym and invited people to try it out. I love how she used all sorts of props to get us working hard. Barbells, battle ropes, resistance bands, sleds (using step platforms/towels/weights). I gave it my all and was very exhausted by the end of class.

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AUGUST

NTC @ The Sports Center, Chelsea Piers

Why is Nike so fancy? Nike NYC offered some NTC sessions taught by some talented Nike trainers every Monday in August on the roof deck at Chelsea Piers. We got to do workouts (from the NTC app) with a gorgeous view. The classes were pretty HIIT-heavy, and my fave moves were any that involved lifting heavy dumbbell weights. I’m glad that we got to watch the trainers demonstrate all the moves and motivate us throughout the whole workout. I feel more comfortable approaching the workouts in the NTC app.

ASH FIT @ The Sweat Sessions (14th Street Park)

Loved Ashley’s unique class – it was a HIIT session mixed with mobility/stretching and moves inspired martial arts/boxing. While I enjoyed taking a class outdoors, I definitely left the park with a few bug bites…not fun haha. I did get to chat with Ashley after and she is the sweetest thing! I met some other ladies that are into fitness – I just love how friendly the NYC fitness community is.

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A.C.C.E.S.S. @ Bandier Studio B

A.C.C.E.S.S. stands for athletes, connection, core, endurance, strength, stretch. It’s an active recovery class focusing on mobility, dynamic stretching, active flexibility, & core strength. I liked the emphasis on proper form and really stretching everything out. I’ve been trying to stretch more so that my body doesn’t feel too strained.

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FlyBarre @ Flywheel Sports

  • Dates: 8/4, 8/9, 8/19, 8/27 (Arms & Abs, FlyBarre 60, FlyBarre Sport 60 w/ Emily Sferra),  8/12 (FlyBarre 60 w/ Kara Liotta), 8/25 (FlyBarre 60 w/ Brittany Franklin)
  • Booked via: ClassPass or Flywheel

I did a TON of FlyBarre this month. I’m legit obsessed with Emily (as I mentioned in my June recap). She seriously kicks my butt even though I’m barely moving haha. Kara is also amazing – she’s like the queen of FlyBarre. Her moves and transitions flowed so smoothly. I had to take so many breaks, but I definitely enjoyed how challenging her class was. Brittany is very similar in that she made us do some different variations of moves that shocked my body. My inner thighs were on FIRE. I like the different versions of FlyBarre (the arms & abs focused class is great when I want to rest my legs and Sport has some cardio blasts which is a great addition to the barre class).

Full Body, Abs @ Barry’s Bootcamp

Jen was so bubbly throughout the entire class – it kept me alert and pumped, Dagmara got me to hit 11.0 on the tread – props to her (and all instructors) for dealing with such large classes. Noah has to be one of my fave instructors because his runs/floor work are intense but he has be laughing constantly. The day after I took his class, I found out he’s no longer teaching at Barry’s. I’m bummed that I didn’t take more of his classes but excited for his new studio!

TH 101 @ Tone House

OH. MY. OUCH. Tone House is no joke. This really is the most difficult class in NYC. The warm-up leaves me breathless. I took TH 101 (the beginning class) and I think one girl gave up in the first half of class because she was not having a good time. It was pretty challenging. But I love it. Even though I’m legit scared of “gallops” (why does that move even exist?) & ask myself why I want to put myself through such torture every time I book a class, I go back. I feel so accomplished after a Tone House session (I made it alive!) and respect all the instructors and other students who are serious about their workouts.

NRC Speed Run @ Mile High Run Club, Noho

  • Date: 8/16, 8/23, and 8/30 (Jes Woods)
  • Booked via: Nike+ NYC

Yay for confidence in just a sports bra, free ice cream after 5 miles, & prepping for the 5th avenue mile!

Signature FHIX @ The Fhitting Room

I’ve discovered my fit-mate HAHA just kidding. But seriously, I’m obsessed with Dennys. He was so welcoming and friendly when I first met him and now he always greets me with a hug and asks how I’m doing. He pushes me harder because he knows I’m stronger than I think I am. Love his energy!

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NTC & The Fhitting Room @ Unlimited NYC (Citi Summer Streets)

When I saw that Nike and The Fhitting Room were partnering up, I signed up for the session right away! Nike shut down 51st St/Park Ave and featured a bunch of the city’s best fitness studios throughout the day. The workout started with some NTC moves led by Kirsty & Isabelle. After a pretty intense “warm-up”, Dennys & Ben kept the intensity going – there were definitely a lot of push-ups, jumps, & burpees involved.

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Fly 45 @ Flywheel Sports

My last spin class before this one was in late June, and I was struggling. I think my body has gotten used to HIIT & barre, so it’s no longer used to spinning a million miles a day (lols). Lyonel was cheering us all on and had some great classic tunes that kept me going. Don’t get me wrong, I was still having a hard time (especially because the torqboard makes me super competitive, but I was nowhere near the top). I did my best to forget about the numbers and focus more on having a good ride.

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June 2016 Recap

A mighty hot summer means mostly indoor workouts + four fun (but blazing) races with NYRR in June. Here’s a recap of all my workouts for the month!

Runs (hover over photos for dates & mileage):

Classes:

Total Body (Instructor in Training – Free Class) @ Brooklyn Bodyburn, Williamsburg

  • Dates: 6/1/16 and 6/3/16
  • Instructor: Hannah Hildreth
  • Booked via: Brooklyn Bodyburn

When I saw that Brooklyn Bodyburn had a bunch of free classes with a new instructor in training, I booked as many as I could fit in my schedule. Hannah is super friendly and has a bubbly personality. I’ve gotten used to quick transitions during Megaformer classes, so I felt a bit stuck when Hannah would change her mind about the move we were doing or explain it in a confusing way. I still felt like I got an amazing workout both days! I haven’t gone back after Hannah’s classes – mostly due to how far the studio is (as I’ve mentioned in my last recap) and it’s really difficult to snag a spot via ClassPass.

Pure Barre (Grand Opening Free Class) @ Pure Barre, Tribeca

  • Date: 6/2/16
  • Instructor: Nicole Picard
  • Booked via: Pure Barre

I was browsing the ClassPass hashtag on Instagram when I came across the Pure Barre Tribeca account. There were a few posts about free classes since the studio was opening on June 1st. I think it’s a good workout (judging from previous Pure Barre classes I took back in California), so I was curious to try a class here in NYC. Tribeca is about 40 minutes away from me by train, and I was almost late to class (I always freak out when this happens haha). But I made it! Nicole is wonderful. All the other Pure Barre instructors I’ve taken haven’t seemed very approachable or friendly. She was cheerful and really nice when she made adjustments. She came over to me towards the beginning of class to ask my name and mostly cheered me on (not excessively like some instructors tend to do at some classes, she seemed genuine!). Even though there are studios closer to me (I’ll talk about another Pure Barre class I took this month later on), I’d probably travel down to the Financial District to take another Pure Barre class with her!

Arms & Abs @ Barry’s Bootcamp, Tribeca

  • Date: 6/6/16
  • Instructor: Rebecca Kennedy
  • Booked via: ClassPass

I heard how hard it is to get into a Barry’s Bootcamp class on ClassPass, and dang it’s war at noon. I got myself into a 10:45am class (thank goodness I can make those off-peak times) and mentally prepared myself for what would be a very challenging class. I really don’t like running on a treadmill, but something about the atmosphere of the studio (with the instructor and fellow classmates) got me pumped. I think it’s crazy that people sprint at 10-12mph like it’s nothing. I used to be terrified about sprinting at 9mph. And I love the switch between the treadmill and the floor – my body definitely feels the burn. When Rebecca told us to pick up heavy weights, I wimped out and picked weights that I knew I’d be comfortable with. During the second session on the floor, I decided to challenge myself with heavier weights. We’re stronger than we think we are!

SKY TING YOGA @ SKY TING YOGA

  • Date: 6/7/16
  • Instructor: Jamie Lugo
  • Booked via: ClassPass

This studio is a cute place in Chinatown (a bit far from me though). Jamie was very chill and laid-back and took us through a nice, challenging flow. I like how they provide you with yoga mats. With my 10 classes/month, I don’t see myself using my classes on yoga studios. I know I should find a balance between intense cardio/spinning/HIIT bootcamps and stretching/Pilates/yoga, but I think I’ll rely on practicing yoga in the comfort of my own home with Yoga with Adriene playing on my laptop.

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Butt & Legs @ Barry’s Bootcamp, Chelsea

  • Date: 6/7/16
  • Instructor: Alycia Stevenin
  • Booked via: ClassPass

Oh man, my butt was in pain for days after this class. When we had to go back on the treadmill after the first floor session, I actually thought my butt was broken and that I wouldn’t be able to run. Alycia is small, but she totally commands the room. She knows her shit and pushes us to sprint crazy and lift heavy. I felt like I worked out my absolute hardest during that class – sweat was flying everywhere haha.

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SLT (Instructor in Training – Free Class) @ SLT, Flatiron

  • Date: 6/8/16 and 6/20/16
  • Instructor: N/A
  • Booked via: SLT

It looks like Brooklyn Bodyburn and SLT are the only Megaformer studios in NYC, so I was interested in trying SLT. The studio isn’t on ClassPass and costs $40/class, so I wanted to scope out a community class first. I got one of my best friends, Miki, to take a class with me and try the Megaformer for the first time. This studio has the older version of the Megaformer (not sure of the exact model), but it made me realize how much the improvements on the newer machines make the workout more seamless. The two instructors I took were very positive, but I didn’t feel like I was getting a crazy, intense workout in both times. It’s still a great workout (especially for the core) and I highly recommend taking Megaformer classes, but I wouldn’t say the particular classes I took would be worth $40.

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Fly 45 @ Flywheel Sports, Tribeca

  • Date: 6/9/16
  • Instructor: Holly Rilinger
  • Booked via: ClassPass

Holly is amazing. She’s so friendly & motivational with an inspirational bod to boot! I’m trying to take classes at all the different Flywheel studios in NYC to see which one(s) I like and which instructors I want to go back to. I probably won’t venture out to the Tribeca studio again, but I’d love to take another one of Holly’s classes!

FlyBarre 60 @ Flywheel Sports, Upper East Side

  • Date: 6/10/16
  • Instructor: Daniella Ortega
  • Booked via: ClassPass

Oh man, where has FlyBarre been all my life. Seriously, I think I’ve found the “one”. This studio makes me forget about all the other barre studios out there. My only issue is that we only get 3 visits per studio a month via ClassPass, and FlyBarre and Flywheel both count as Flywheel Sports. Even though Flywheel was my first love (in terms of fitness classes haha), I have to say that I’ve enjoyed my two FlyBarre experiences more than my few Flywheel classes in NYC. I definitely think community and instructors have a huge impact on my experience. I absolutely loved the instructors, front desk, & community back at Flywheel Sunnyvale, so it’s hard adjusting to the atmosphere at Flywheel studios in NYC. There are SO many instructors and you mostly likely don’t see the same students in the classes you take. The instructor, Daniella, told us that this was going to be a hard class and she was right. I sometimes worry that a barre class might be a bit boring and not challenging enough, but I was shaking the whole time.

Fly 45 @ Flywheel Sports, East 60th

  • Date: 6/14/16
  • Instructor: Jen Percival
  • Booked via: ClassPass

I took a Flywheel class with my friend, Maryann (who I met during a Peloton class in May). We took a morning class with Jen who had some amazing tunes and such great energy. Before class started, a girl was actually spinning a bit too hard (warming up?), and her foot somehow slipped out of her shoe. The part of the bike where you clip in was still turning pretty fast and hit her foot so she had to sit out. I was pretty far back and saw this happen, but I was shocked that the people on the bikes RIGHT NEXT TO HER didn’t say or do anything…someone two seats over clipped out of their bike to go see if she was okay. Other than that encounter, I did find myself going a bit too hard (that torqboard really gets to me). I felt pretty dizzy after class and for a few hours afterwards. I should probably tone it down. East 60th is a beautiful studio though! I’d probably travel just a few blocks more to take my Flywheel classes at this studio rather than the one on East 67th (Upper East Side studio).

Abs @ Barry’s Bootcamp, Noho

  • Date: 6/16/16
  • Instructor: Noah Neiman
  • Booked via: ClassPass

I’m not going to lie, I was pretty scared about taking Noah’s class. Don’t judge a book by its cover though – he’s a really muscular dude, but he’s not intimidating at all! He’s a funny guy and was joking around for the whole class. I was having so much fun that I didn’t realize how torturous the sprints and ab work were. Abs is my least favorite part to workout because it hurts so bad haha. My favorite part was doing burpees – I love them so much. I’m hoping to get into another one of his classes soon. I also like the Noho studio out of all their locations (besides Upper East Side which isn’t on ClassPass) because it’s the easiest one to get to.

 

FlyBarre 60 @ Flywheel Sports, Upper East Side

  • Date: 6/21/16
  • Instructor: Emily Sferra
  • Booked via: ClassPass

Emily is BOSS. I don’t know how she was demonstrating almost every single move with amazing form and so much passion and energy. She would go around to every single person in the room to make sure they were doing the moves right and pushing them to work even harder. She made the class fun, sweaty, and the hour just flew by. She is the main reason why I’ll be buying a 5-class pack at Flywheel and I’ll probably use all of my credits on her FlyBarre classes!

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Chest, Back & Abs @ Barry’s Bootcamp, Chelsea

  • Date: 6/22/16
  • Instructor: Alycia Stevenin
  • Booked via: ClassPass

I wanted to take the Chest, Back & Abs class because I want to give more love (aka build more strength) to other parts of my body. My butt & legs get too much love and attention already. Alycia encouraged us to lift heavy – I find myself reaching for heavier weights more often (in and out of Barry’s) to challenge myself more and I feel more confident. I must have done a gazillion rows during class. After class, we had more fun with a mini photo shoot (here are two out of the dozen shots we took)!

Fly 60 @ Flywheel Sports, Lincoln Square

  • Date: 6/23/16
  • Instructor: Lissa Smith
  • Booked via: ClassPass

Seriously, where do all these instructors get their energy? I’ve heard great things about Lissa, so I finally booked a 60 minute class with her and sweated like a maniac throughout the entire class. She was very welcoming and we chatted a bit before and after class. I love when instructors are genuinely interested in getting to know you. Bonus: the bikes have your name on them (it’s the little things that get me).

LOVE is LOVE Signature FHIX @ The Fhitting Room, 67th Street Penthouse

  • Date: 6/25/16
  • Instructors: Ben Wegman & Amanda Butler
  • Booked via: ClassPass

I’ve seen a lot of rave reviews about The Fhitting Room and how hard it is to get into a class. I was also terrified that I was going to have a hard time because the class is difficult. I was able to get into a noon class on Saturday. I really like how the classes max out at 24 people and that there are 2 instructors. It’s amazing that they coordinate the class so well and complement each other. When I first saw Ben and Amanda, I thought “whoa they’re pretty” LOL, but they knew their stuff and demonstrated the moves well. We did a warmup, 2 rounds of a circuit, and a FHIX/AMRAP at the end (where you do certain moves as many times as you can for a certain length of time). The circuit involved dumbbell chest presses, ladder drills, ski erg, seated box jumps, and rope pulls (those kettlebells tied to the ropes were heavy!). I’m also terrified of box jumps, so I took a kettlebell and did step ups on the boxes instead. Overall, I’m in love with the studio and plan on using up my 3 visits every month.

Flex Pilates + Citibike Ride (Free) @ Flex Studios, Noho

  • Date: 6/27/16
  • Instructor: Mary Wolff
  • Booked via: Flex Studios

I heard that Flex Pilates (with the reformer machine) used to be offered on ClassPass but not anymore. Now they have a class where it’s 30 minutes of barre and 30 minutes on the reformer. The studio posted about a free Flex Pilates class and Citibike ride with Mary Wolff, so I booked a spot immediately. The machines they have look very sleek and Mary got us through us a hard workout. I haven’t been on a bike since I was 10 years old, so I was pretty scared about riding one in NYC. After the initial terror and pedaling for 10 minutes, I  felt at peace coasting on a bike through downtown NYC and the East River. What was supposed to be a 30 minute bike ride turned into almost an hour long bike ride, but I had a blast! We ended up at Juice Press and I had the D-Tox Super Smoothie (coconut water, coconut meat, acai berry, agave, cacao, vanilla, mint, cashew, avocado, coconut oil + a banana), which I devoured within a few minutes. Definitely one of the best Monday afternoons I’ve had in a while!

Pure Barre @ Pure Barre, Upper East Side – Lexington & 88th

  • Date: 6/28/16
  • Instructor: Catherine Helm
  • Booked via: ClassPass

After taking a great class a Pure Barre Tribeca, I wanted to try a class at the studio near my apartment. It took less than 10 minutes for me to walk to this studio (score!). I did get a decent sweat in and Catherine was very knowledgable, but I got the same vibe with her as I’ve done with previous instructors back in California. They’re not very approachable and move through the moves so quickly that you’re not sure you’re doing them right. Pure Barre moves super fast. I’m also not fond of the atmosphere & didn’t feel an uplifting vibe. I may go back since the studio is so close to try a class with a different instructor and if I haven’t maxed out my 10 classes a month at my faves (Barry’s, Fhitting Room, Flywheel/FlyBarre)

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NRC Speed Run @ Mile High Run Club, Nomad

  • Date: 6/28/16
  • Instructor: Jes Woods
  • Booked via: Nike+ NYC

It’s so hard to book a run via Nike+ NYC (free sessions with Nike Run Club), especially when the sessions are at Mile High Run Club. Go Nike for offering so many runs (around NYC and at this studio). I’ve been looking forward to taking a class with Jes, so I was excited when I was able to get into the NRC Speed Run for Wednesday night. The Nomad studio is larger than the Noho one. The treadmills had towels with Nike+ NYC and we were given pace cards to help us know how fast we should be running. I now know that I can make it 45+ minutes on the treadmill! The atmosphere was great – music was loud, neon lights were flashing, shirts were flying (don’t worry, just the dudes lol), and the “pacers” were going around the room giving high fives. I look forward to attending more of these sessions so I can continue working on my speed!

Signature FHIX @ The Fhitting Room, Flatiron

  • Date: 6/30/16
  • Instructors: Eric Salvador & Julia Avery
  • Booked via: ClassPass

Eric and Julia are amazing. I couldn’t stop admiring them when they were demonstrating the moves. They made everything look so easy. Julia actually just moved out of NYC, so this was one of her last classes. I’m glad I was able to take a class with her before she left. Eric (Fhitting Room Head Instructor) is hilarious. He was joking around a lot but also went around keeping everyone motivated. I grabbed heavy kettlebells during the FHIX segment at the end and he was watching me to make sure I was doing the move correctly. I said that I needed a lighter set and he jetted across the room to get me lighter ones. I really appreciated that. The circuit involved 2 rounds of sit-ups, row machine/ski erg, seated box jumps, rope pulls, push-ups/shoulder taps & ladder drills. As someone who always said no to box jumps, I was motivated by watching everyone else do it and discovered that it’s not that terrifying. It’s such a great, explosive move and I feel so badass every time I do it. I’ve already booked my next Fhitting Room class with Eric and I can’t wait!

 

 

NYRR Five-Borough Series: Queens 10K 2016 Race Recap

June has been packed with fun races! Last Saturday, I ran the Queens 10K at Flushing Meadows Corona Park. This was my first time running the Queens 10K and running on new terrain was refreshing.

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I woke up at 5:30am (I’m always paranoid about waking up late and missing a race) and started to get ready to make the journey to Queens. Dan said he’d come with me to the race to cheer me on, so I woke him up at 6:45am. We left at 7am for the 6 train and took it down to 42nd st to take the 7 train across. I really had to pee since we left 42nd st, so I was thankful that there was a bathroom at the Mets-Willets Point station (score!). Plus the lines for the bathroom at the park entrance and the porta potties near the start were insane – glad I got to avoid those. I dropped off Dan at the start line while I trekked to my corral.

 

According to NYRR, it was 66 degrees with 59% humidity, but it felt a million times hotter. During the Mini 10K, I only had water at the last station. This time, I think I stopped at 3  or 4 stations for water/Gatorade. Thank goodness the course was mostly flat. Here are my splits (according to my Nike+ Running App):

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Official splits (compared to the Mini 10K I ran the week before):

5K: 0:29:34 (Mini 10K: 0:29:17)
Final: 0:59:31 (Mini 10K: 1:01:39)
Avg. Pace: 09:35 (Mini 10K: 09:56)

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Comparing my splits, I ran miles 1-4 faster at the Mini 10K, but I ran miles 5-6 faster at the Queens 10K. This was partly due to my motivation to get sub-1 hour. At the beginning of the race, I thought I wasn’t going to finish in less than an hour because I didn’t think I’d keep up my pace through the heat. The first 3 miles for me during any run is always the hardest. I start a run thinking “ugh why am I doing this?” but then I start to feel good around mile 4. I re-evaluated how I felt mentally and physically around mile 4/5 and decided that I could push myself harder. I spotted Dan near the finish line, and seeing him made me so happy. I bolted to the finish line and felt proud when I looked down at my watch and saw 59:32 (official time: 59:31).

I wanted nothing more than to leave the park and go home to shower. Once I found Dan, he said “I knew you’d get under an hour!” and gave me a big hug. I run races alone, but I love having Dan there for me at the end of a race. The love and support lifts me up when all I want to do is pass out on the ground.

Mini sob story: I went to the NYRR Annex on Monday to get my medal engraved with my name and time (so cool of them to do that). I went to pick it up on Tuesday afternoon, but when the girl handed me my medal, it had someone else’s name/time on it. She checked that person’s bag to see if their medal had my name/time, but nope. I was really bummed about it (I was already having a stressful day), but the girl said they would give me a new medal with the right info. I have yet to receive it, but hopefully soon so that all my medals can hang out in my drawer together lols.

Next race: Achilles Hope & Possibility (4M)

 

 

May 2016 Recap

May was full of running and classes. Here’s a recap of my workouts.

Runs (hover over photos for dates & mileage):

Classes:

Mixed Level @ The Bar Method, Midtown

  • Date: 5/12/16
  • Instructor: Kristin Kelleher
  • Booked via: ClassPass

I love it when barre classes are challenging. I took a class with the owner, Kristin. She was great at giving personal attention to each person and pushed each of us to work harder. She made us do so many push-ups, which I thoroughly enjoyed!

Fly 45 @ Flywheel Sports, Upper East Side

  • Date: 5/15/16
  • Instructor: Emily Burkhardt
  • Booked via: Flywheel

I’ve been raving about Flywheel constantly to Dan (the bf) and he finally agreed to take a class with me (since your 1st class is free). I’ve been following Emily on Instagram for a while and decided to book a class with her for Sunday afternoon. While I think Emily is an awesome instructor (she’s super upbeat and motivating), I can’t stand the Upper East Side studio. I don’t know if it was just the day we went, but the studio smelled so bad. It’s very small (going to the brand new studio at Astor in April certainly spoiled me), so it felt very crowded/stuffy. There were two older men in front of me and I swear their sweat flew at me and made it smell worse. I love Flywheel, but I don’t plan on booking a Flywheel class there again (even though this studio is the closest to me). I’ll go there to take Flybarre (which I’ll talk about in my June recap), but I’ll travel to further studios to get my Flywheel fix.

45 Metrics @ Peloton, Chelsea

  • Date: 5/17/16
  • Instructor: Robin Arzon
  • Booked via: ClassPass

I read rave reviews about Peloton and Robin, so I booked one of her classes. If I had to describe her in one word, it’d be fierce. She’s hilarious and has no filter. I felt intimidated at first, but she had me laughing throughout class and pushed me extra hard. The studio is gorgeous – there’s a lounge outside of the studio with a cafe. I made some new friends as well (always a plus)!

DASH 28 @ Mile High Run Club, Noho

  • Date: 5/19/16
  • Instructor: Elizabeth Corkum
  • Booked via: ClassPass

I’m not a huge fan of running on the treadmill, but I like being told what to do by a coach who knows what they’re talking about. The ambiance is cool – slightly dark studio with colored lights, runners all around you, loud music, & a motivating coach. They have new Nike shoes you can test out (I think I tried the Nike LunarEpic Flyknit). It was cool to try them out, but I like my trusty old Asics better. I enjoyed the format of the class (DASH 28). We ran intervals for 28 minutes and about 10 minutes of strength training (with kettle bells). I’m bad at doing intervals on my own, so having someone tell me what speed to run at for a certain length of time makes it easier. They also offer HIGH 45 (45 minutes of running) and THE DISTANCE (60 minutes of running), which I have yet to try. I think I’ll stick with DASH 28 because I like the strength training segment at the end. If I wanted to run for more than 45 minutes, I’d probably take it outdoors.

Total Body @ Brooklyn Bodyburn, Williamsburg

  • Date: 5/25/16
  • Instructor: Bianca Vesco
  • Booked via: ClassPass

Oh how I love the Megaformer. I’m actually surprised that NYC aka the mecca of fitness studios only has two Megaformer studios (Brooklyn Bodyburn and SLT NYC). I feel like I had so many studios around me back home in the Bay Area. Bianca is intense – she made us do mountain climbers on the machine (which I thought was so dangerous haha) and all sorts of moves that had me falling.  Her class was probably the most challenging Megaformer class I’ve ever taken. I was sore for days. The studio is pretty far though, so I probably won’t be able to go back as much as I’d want to. Also, these classes fill up on ClassPass within seconds. The only way I got into her class was because someone canceled the night before.

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Tribe Ride (Free) @ Cyc Fitness, Astor

  • Date: 5/26/16
  • Instructor: Christine Abramo
  • Booked via: Christine

I’ve heard great things about Cyc, so when I noticed a lot of new instructors having tribe rides (aka free classes), I got excited. I messaged Christine on Instagram and she added me to one of her classes. Cyc Astor is located inside the DavidBartonGym at Astor Place. When I walked downstairs to the studio, Christine spotted me and gave me a huge hug. I love when instructors are so friendly! She also gave me a shout out at the beginning of class welcoming me to my first Cyc ride. Even though Cyc doesn’t have screens/bikes that measure your stats, the vibe of the class was awesome. The music was on point and blasting – it really put everyone in the mood. For someone who is super competitive and into the stats at Flywheel, it was so liberating not to have to think about my numbers. The weights portion was interesting – you use soft beanbag-like weights and do boxing/swimming-ish moves. Towards the end of class, Christine shut off the lights and it was pitch black. That was my favorite part of class. I haven’t been back to Cyc since then, but writing this review makes me want to go back haha!

RH Community Class 50 (Free) @ Row House, Columbus Circle

  • Date: 5/27/16
  • Instructor: Melissa Welch
  • Booked via: Row House

I always thought rowing was intimidating. I don’t have the strongest upper body, so I thought I’d have a hard time getting into it. I thought Melissa’s community class was a great chance for me to take my first rowing class. It was definitely an ordeal getting to class. The 6 train was majorly delayed so I got off the train at 59th st/Lexington ave and instead of transferring, I RAN to 11th ave (nine avenues over/1.5 miles). I was very sweaty when I arrived 5 minutes before class started. Melissa introduced me to the machine and I spent most of the class watching her and another girl in the front row. I think rowing makes me feel super badass (am I Frank Underwood now? just kidding…). I liked how we alternated between rowing & floor exercises (burpees, pushups, squats, ab exercises, etc.). If/when I go back to Row House, it’ll be to the studio near me (Upper East Side)!

45 Live DJ @ Peloton, Chelsea

  • Date: 5/27/16
  • Instructor: Robin Arzon
  • Booked via: ClassPass

I definitely wanted to take another class with Robin and thought the “Live DJ” ride would be a fun way to spend my Friday night. Man the trains do not like me. I left 45 minutes before class, but the 6 and M trains were delayed. It probably wasn’t the best idea to take the subway at 5pm (high traffic time). While the train was stuck at a station, I called the studio to ask if I’d be let in late and the guy told me they had a strict 3 minute policy. They’d let me ride on the bike in the lounge (which sounded super awkward haha). I was pretty bummed, but as soon as I got off the M train, I bolted to the studio and made it within the 3 minutes after class mark. I felt a bit flustered, which made me not enjoy the class as much I as I wanted to, but I still got a great workout in!

barre3 Community Class (Free) @ barre3, West Village

  • Date: 5/30/16
  • Instructor: Kelly Ramis
  • Booked via: barre3

barre3 was my jam back home (shout out to Los Altos and San Mateo). I just didn’t feel a good vibe with the class/studio in the West Village. Kelly gave us a challenging workout, but I think I checked out of class when I noticed the studio manager sitting in the corner on his phone. He did the warm-up moves with us, and then spent the rest of class watching. I understand that he had to observe the class since Kelly is a new instructor, but that kind of made me zone out. I was bored and looked at the clock a lot. I might try another class here in the future, but the studio is a bit too far. I’ll probably end up taking a barre class at a barre studio closer to me.

 

I’m having so much fun running races and trying out a bunch of NYC studios & instructors! Let me know if you have any recommendations. I’ll be sure to post my June recap a lot sooner than I posted this one. 🙂

NYRR New York Mini 10K 2016 Race Recap

Last Saturday, I ran a 10K with over 8,000 other women in Central Park. There’s just something about running with thousands of women that feels so empowering. I feel like we’re all supporting and motivating each other to be stronger.

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I woke up around 6am and felt very groggy. I like to think of myself as a morning person, but lately, it’s been so hard for me to get out of bed. I have headaches on the regular. I pushed the negative feelings aside and got ready to head out to Central Park.

As usual, I had a Clif Bar (my go-to pre-workout snack), and packed a plastic bag with a water bottle and a banana (which I ate 30 minutes before the race).

According to the NYRR Results page, it was 63 degrees with 63% humidity. I certainly felt the humidity and was not a fan because it made the middle to end of the race feel like torture. I think I ran faster than I had intended to because I wanted it to be over.

Here are my splits according to my Nike+ Running app (It was a 6.2 mile race, but my app recorded 6.36 miles):

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Official splits (compared to when I ran the race in 2013):

5K: 0:29:17 (2013: 0:29:13)
Final: 1:01:39 (2013: 1:01:23)
Avg. Pace: 09:56 (2013: 09:53)

Here’s 20 year old me (who was 16 seconds faster) vs. 23 year old me:

During the last half mile, I bolted to the finish and was out of breath when I crossed the finish line. I picked up my pink medal, pink carnation, and pink bagel (say what?). I had a few bites of the bagel before I felt weird about it being pink and then tossed it (sorry!). Dan met me after the race, we took a few pics, and then it was off to get breakfast and chill for the rest of the day. The best way to spend a Saturday: race, brunch, chill. 🙂

Next race on the list: NYRR Five-Borough Series: Queens 10K

Airbnb Brooklyn Half 2016 Race Recap

I ran my second Brooklyn Half on Saturday, May 21st.

Back in January, I already knew I was moving back to New York in the spring and wanted to run the Brooklyn Half. I was ready to sign up just before 9am (Pacific time) and snagged a spot in the race. The race sold out in less than an hour! When I ran the Brooklyn Half in 2013, I signed up a week before the race (very last minute decision).

I originally planned on training for this race, but I became very addicted to Flywheel Sports (spinning studio) and took advantage of their $100/unlimited month deal for February. In the span of 33 days, I took 28 classes (yes I’m crazy). I ran a few times in February, but Flywheel definitely overshadowed running. I did more Flywheel, some barre3, and classes/couple runs with my best friend in March, and then moved to NYC in April. There’s just something about NYC that makes running such an adventure for me. I love discovering new areas to run, so I spent early May going on a number of runs to re-familiarize myself with the city. I love that we live close to Central Park – there’s so much of it to explore.

I went to the Airbnb Brooklyn Half Pre-Party on the Wednesday before the race. There was a city stoop, swings, lounge chairs, hammock – fun for those who wanted to enjoy the nice weather. I had to get back to work, so I went in to get my bib, shirt (customized with my last name), bought running gels, enjoyed some free coffee, snapped pics, and then bounced! I also got a Brooklyn Half pint glass for being one of the first 50 NYRR members at the party (yay for swag!).

The night before the race, I set my alarm to 4:45am to give myself plenty of time to get ready in the morning. I got dressed, had yogurt, and left at 6am to catch the subway. It’s always great seeing fellow runners sporting their bibs on the train. While I waited for the race to start, I ate a Clif Bar around 7:30am.

It was so crowded at the start line. Here’s what the corrals looked like when I ran the race in 2013 vs 2016:

I was in Wave 2, which started at 7:45am. I crossed the start line around 8:10am.

The Brooklyn Half 2013 was my first race and half marathon, so I felt comfortable running a familiar course. The race started next to Prospect Park and we ran a few miles through the park. The park contained the “hilly” part of the course, which wasn’t super hilly (compared to San Francisco hills…oh boy). The rest of the course involved running down Ocean Parkway until Coney Island. I had an energy gel at mile 6 and instantly felt rejuvenated. They were handing out gels at mile 8, so I had another. I drank water/Gatorade at every single stop until the 10 mile mark, when I got the urge to go to the bathroom. I’m notorious for hitting up the bathroom frequently, so I’m proud that I ran the whole race without a bathroom break!

Dan (the bf) was at the finish line to congratulate me, snap post-race photos, and then we were off to brunch!

Here’s my post-race photo in 2013 (left) and my post-race photo this year (right).

And I couldn’t resist taking a photo in front of this beautiful/colorful mural.

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Here are my splits this year compared to when I ran it in 2013.

5K: 0:30:24 (2013: 0:32:33)
10K: 1:03:25 (2013: 1:06:20)
15K: 1:36:29 (2013: 1:39:34)
20K: 2:10:03 (2013: 2:09:14)

Final: 2:16:57 (2013: 2:15:05)
Avg. Pace: 0:10:27 (2013: 0:10:20)

I spent the rest of Saturday recovering in bed with Netflix. I was definitely sore and my knees felt slightly uncomfortable (I’ve never experienced knee pain), but I felt fine the next day. I got my medal engraved on Monday. Yes, it’s slightly crooked and my OCD had a hard time dealing with it initially haha. But It’s pretty cool that NYRR engraves medals (for certain races) now!

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June is going to be a busy month in terms of running! I’m running the NYRR Retro 4-Miler, NYRR New York Mini 10K, NYRR Five-Borough Series: Queens 10K, & Achilles Hope & Possibility (4M).

I also reactivated ClassPass in May, so I’ve been taking a few classes here and there. I’m excited to mix up studio classes with running. Cheers to an active 2016!

 

January 2016 Recap: ClassPass

Better late than never! I won a month of ClassPass in January, and decided to take a class every single day. After a few months of no exercise, it was just what I need to get back into my workout groove. Here were my stats at the end of the month:

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Days 1, 7, 28: The Dailey Method

I hit up the Willow Glen location (gorgeous studio) twice and the Los Gatos location once. I never took a barre class before, so my first class was a bit confusing for me. The instructors for my first two classes were okay. It was a good workout, but not as challenging as I like my workouts to be. I really enjoyed my last class there. The instructor led us in a workout that kept me entertained (and shaking) for a the whole hour.

Days 2, 16, 26: Flywheel Sports

I LOVE this place. The instructors are so motivating. The classes are the perfect length (they have 45 min & 60 min classes). They have two screens in the front of the class that display the “TorqBoard”, which ranks the whole class (those who opted in) based on the power they have. Power is calculated by your resistance (Torq) and RPM. Bikes have a “Tech Pack” next to them where you can see your numbers. So the instructors tell you how much Torq you should have and what your RPM should look like – simple, love it. Your stats get saved at the end of class in your account so you can keep track of all your activity online. The amenities are great. Free towels, water, and post-workout fruit. They have really nice showers as well. I like this place so much that I got a one month membership and have been going 6 times a week.

Days 3, 30: Revelry Indoor Cycling & Fitness

I took two different classes here. The first one was RevBody (spin class). The instructor led a great class, but after taking Flywheel, I wanted to be able to see my numbers. The second class was REVformer Basics. Besides Flywheel, I’ve become obsessed with the Megaformer. I really like that this studio is a less than 10-minute walk from work!

Days 4, 13, 15: Pure Barre

Pure Barre is a pretty challenging barre workout. My first class was a bit confusing though. I didn’t understand the concept of “tucking”. The instructor kept coming over to me to help me with form which I appreciated, but she taught the class at such a fast pace, I wasn’t sure I was doing anything right. My second class was my favorite, but the instructor wasn’t very friendly outside of class. I like chatting up with instructors and fellow students when I take classes, but I didn’t feel that the people at these studios were friendly. The front desk girl at Los Gatos was super chill though!

Days 5, 22, 29: barre3

If Flywheel is my #1, barre3 is my #2. I got a nice sweat going on at every class and I definitely felt the shakes at the bar. The instructors and other classmates were friendly, which made me want to come back for more! It’s a bit far from my house (25 minute drive), but it was the only barre3 on ClassPass and I felt it was worth the drive.

Days 6, 11, 25: Live Lotus

I took Vinyasa Flow and Power Vinyasa Flow. When I run, I tend not to stretch (bad Michelle). After taking so many yoga classes this month, I’ve learned how important it is to balance out the cardio and aerobic movement with slow/strength moves and stretching. The studio space is nice and cozy. They have cubbies, showers, yoga props, and mats to use for free.

Day 8: CorePower Yoga

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetI took Yoga Sculpt aka heated power yoga with weights. It was mighty hot in there. According to the site, the heat is at 92-95 degrees. The site describes the class: “You’ll combine free weights with C2 sequencing and cardio to intensify each pose while mixing in strength-training moves like squats, lunges and bicep curls.” When I read that, I was pumped. I did Bikram yoga a lot in high school and I oddly enjoyed it. But after not practicing hot yoga for about 7 years, yoga in a heated room is a bit of a struggle. I think I prefer doing yoga now at room temperature. 🙂 I’m bummed I didn’t get to go to this studio again. I went to the Almaden location because it offered the Yoga Sculpt class. The Campbell location (very close to me) only offered the beginning yoga classes or Hot Power Fusion at 7:30 AM on ClassPass, which I couldn’t fit into my schedule. The studio does have a one week free deal that I may sign up for!

Days 9, 27, 29: Burn Pilates

If we’re keeping score, I rank Burn #3 (after Flywheel & barre3). 55 minutes of cardio, weights, and pilates. There are tons of HIIT moves, which I love. The two instructors I took were upbeat and positive, which made me excited to be there. They also pushed us to do lots of challenging sequences. My last class (with Aurora Ramirez) was an evening class, and she made it extra hard by having us use weights for majority of the class. I definitely appreciate a good challenge and I hope I get to go back to this studio soon!

Days 10, 17: Core Studio

Ah my first megaformer class. The machine may look a bit scary (it looks like it has a face haha), but once I got the hang of it, it was a [sweaty] blast! The instructor (Emily) gave me a quick introduction to the megaformer before class and during class she commented: “Are you sure you’ve never done this before?” and “I can tell you workout.” which boosted my confidence and made me work harder. My second class was with Hannah. I sweated and struggled majorly. Her voice was so soft and soothing, but in an assertive way (if that even makes sense). Somehow it made the class really listen and do what she said, despite how painful it was…SORCERY haha.

Day 12: Core MOcean

The megaformer obsession is real. This was my 2nd megaformer class. I took the 7am class to start my day off on a torturous note. The studio is a nice 10 minute drive from home, which made it that much easier to get my butt up, out of bed and moving! I also took a Flywheel Sports class that evening. When you first sign up for an account on their site, they automatically add a free credit to your account. 🙂

Day 14: Barry’s Bootcamp

We might as well have a Top 5 list. #4 is Barry’s Bootcamp. It’d probably be higher up on my list if it was CLOSER. I only got to go to this location because I tagged along with my mom and brother to drop him off at his dorm (near the studio). You know I love HIIT, so I was excited for the intervals between running (on the treadmill) and strength work (on the floor). However, despite how much I love running and fancy treadmills, I very much disliked running on the treadmill here. When we got to the floor, I was 10x happier! All the people who go here are pretty ripped (at least in my opinion haha), so it was motivating to watch them workout super hard. I like insane workouts like this, so I’d go back if it was at a more convenient location. They have a nice locker room with Malin & Goetz products in the shower, so I left the studio squeaky clean. I wasn’t going to get their $8 protein shake (my wallet says ouch), but I was pretty dizzy after the workout, so I decided to try their popular PB&J shake. All my fave ingredients in a delicious smoothie. I didn’t get a picture of it because it was gone in less than 5 minutes! 🙂

Days 18, 20, 23: Imago Fitness

For some odd reason, you can’t find this studio on the regular ClassPass “Classes” search page. I would never have found this gem if I hadn’t switched to the studio/map view! The studio offers group classes called SYNERGY, which include fat blasting circuits. I took Thursday’s “Curve Carver” (lower body), Saturday’s “Total Body Burn”, and Tuesday’s “Strong n’ Sculpt” (upper body). After my first class (lower body), my butt and legs were in major pain and I had trouble walking for a few days. The instructor, Charlene came up with new, tough moves for us to work through, which made all the classes interesting.

Day 19: Pilates ProWorks

What a cute little studio! They offer so many classes on ClassPass, which is a big plus. It was a 10 minute drive from work, but way too far if I took the train from San Mateo to Burlingame, then walked. I was only able to take one class here (my commute/transportation routine is always changing) – the 55 minute Pilates Pro class. Pilates ProWorks designed their own machine known as the FitFormer. According to them, it allows for more seamless transitions and it’s longer, wider, and more comfortable. The teacher was great, but I don’t think most of the class knew what they were doing. I like to look at others for help with the current move, but I found myself having to pay very close attention to the instructor to make sure I was doing a move correctly. I also found myself staring at the clock (not a very good sign). When I was leaving, I saw a matBox class going on. This class is 1 part Kickboxing, 1 part Mat Pilates, and 1 part Yoga. If I ever go back to this studio (or another location), I definitely want to try out that class!

Day 21: CORevolution

Processed with VSCOcam with a6 presetI loved the atmosphere and decor of this place. The instructor, Chelsea was very friendly and gave great instructions for beginners and those with more experience. I did go back to this studio to try the Lagree 25/The Ramp class with Andrea, which has the megaformer on an incline and the class is 25 minutes long. Man how do they come up with such torturous yet satisfying workouts? To complete my Top 5 list, CORevolution is #5. Out of all the megaformer studios I tried, this is my favorite. They offer so many class times, the people are nice, and the [two] instructors I had were amazing.

Days 24, 26: Transform Fitness Studio

This Megaformer studio is conveniently located less than 5 minutes from the Mountain View Caltrain. I absolutely loved Andrea’s class. I was sweating in the first few minutes of class because she had us do really difficult moves starting at the back of the machine. She is hilarious, and her stories made the 45 minutes fly by. I mean she still kicked our butts, but at least I was smiling and laughing through it. And yes, on Day 26, I also did a 6AM Flywheel class. Started my day with Flywheel, ended it on the Megaformer. 🙂

Day 30: Nandi Yoga

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetWho knew there was a yoga studio so close to the office (10-minute walk)? I found this studio towards the end of the month. I took the noon Ashtanga Vinyasa class. While it was a great way to get moving in the middle of the day, there wasn’t a very peaceful vibe. I really like when yoga studios are a bit dark or dimly lit, but the room was super bright. I also kept looking at the clock in the class.

Day 31: peacebank yoga studio

Started my morning and last day of ClassPass with a Vinyasa Flow class. This studio is right next to the Redwood City Caltrain Station (with a Peet’s Coffee across the street yay!). I like that the room is slightly dimmed and that the instructor was knowledgable and friendly.

ClassPass in the SF Bay Area is $119/month. Taking 34 classes comes out to $3.50 a class – how cool is that?

Starting off 2016 by working out every day and trying new workouts was just what my body needed. I feel badass, strong, and happy after completing a challenging workout, which motivates me to keep it up. As I mentioned earlier, I decided to purchase a one month membership to Flywheel Sports. It’s $100 for your first month, so I couldn’t pass up on such a great offer. I’ve been going nearly every day because I’m so addicted to the studio, the people, and the workout of course! I’m moving back to NYC in April, and once I’m settled in, I plan on signing up for ClassPass. I can’t wait to try out all the amazing studios in my favorite city!