A New Found Run Love

You caught me. As your Run Around Girl, I haven’t been running around too much recently, and I’m definitely missing it. I still do a couple short runs a week, but with dance, work and other workouts, running’s been on the back burner.

I got a coupon in the mail recently, giving me two free weeks at New York Sports Club. I was there in a second to redeem my trial membership, excited to have the equipment at my disposal. Some are flabbergasted when I tell them that I’ve never run on a treadmill before, so on this cold, rainy day I decided to go for it.

I hopped on the only available treadmill. After 10 minutes of running, I was bored out of my mind. I had to put on my most motivating, pump-it-up playlist to even get through those 10 minutes. I ran a moderate 6-6.5 speed, but after a boring start, I began sprinting so I could keep my attention focused and my workout going. I upped my speed to 8-8.5 for these intervals.

Here’s the workout:

  • Run for 10 minutes at a moderate pace
  • Sprint for 1 minute
  • Jog for 2 minutes
  • Alternate this sprinting and jogging combo 6 times
  • Cool down for 5 minutes

I loved this because I felt distracted by watching the clock; the intervals were over before I knew it. The 8-8.5 speed is about a 7 minute mile, a pace I’m not sure I’d be able to run on pavement alone.

I completed my gym time with 30 more minutes on the (beloved) elliptical. Even though I was drenched in sweat and had tired out my legs, I loved this workout. I’m not sure I would’ve gone that fast or done that many sprints had I been outside. Not to mention, I was able get a great cardio workout while avoiding the rain.

Unfortunately, my membership only lasts another week, so I don’t think I’ll have the luxury of treadmill use in my future for much longer. I’ll have to try this same workout outside and see how I fare.

Happy Running!
The Run Around Girl

Running Highs and Lows

I had so many emotions about running this past week. Here are some high points and low points:

High: I ran five of the seven days this week! In between the second and third days, I danced for two-and-a-half sweaty hours. My legs are dead, but it felt good. My week proved the point that running can be an exercise you can fit into any schedule. I mean, I don’t remember the last time since I moved here that I did any kind of dance or exercise class more than five times a week. It would cost an arm and a leg.

Low: I can’t get out of this 2.5-mile rut. Ever since my 3.5 mile stunner, I’ve been set back about a whole mile. With my jogs on Friday and Sunday, I told myself that I had to run three miles. On Friday I started out with a longer run in mind, but instead just ran to Plank, did Pilates for an hour and a half, then ran back home (only about two miles.) Saturday was a day of rest, and I thought I’d be energized for a long Sunday run. I even smiled to myself when I bought a chia seed Synergy drink at Whole Foods, and the label said that chia is known as “runner’s food.” (Can you tell I was looking for a miracle?) Regardless, I still ran just under three miles, broken up into two pieces.

 

High: I took my own Sweat and the City advice. The Sunday run was broken up in two pieces because of terrible crowds and a failing iPhone, but I used that break to do some cardio interval work, planks on sidewalk railings and triceps dips on park benches.

Low: Lots of looks like I was a crazy person. I got over that real quick, but I couldn’t help but notice glances in my direction when I did raised lunges next to a couple staring out at the water or glares from the people sitting on the bench where I did triceps dips.

High: I LOVE running by the water. I can’t get enough of running along the Hudson: peaceful water, postcard views and fresh(ish) air.

Low: My Sunday run by the water was too crowded. When I ran along the Hudson on Sunday, it kind of ruined my love affair with the area. It was my fault though. I should have known that 5:00pm on beautiful Mother’s Day Sunday would be crazy, but I was blinded by the fun I’d had running there for the past couple weeks. I realized only when I saw the crowds that I’d been going during the best possible times–mid morning on weekdays.

 

Overall high: I really enjoy running, and I feel like it’s a different experience every time. I’ve discovered that the interval, more broken up running (Plank’s Run Club style) is what I’m more drawn to.

Overall low: I’ve dually been frustrated by running this week. The mileage rut, the crowds, the cramping legs. Even though I ran a lot this week, I never felt like I was in a groove.

I’m going home to Cape Cod for the majority of next week. It will be a much-needed break, but don’t think that I haven’t set some running goals for while I’m there! I want to run two of the four days I’m gone: atleast one of the jogs needs to be to the beach (a surprisingly hilly route) and one of them has to be with Stella and Kody…the dogs.

Have some tips for how to get to into a third mile groove? Leave them here or on Facebook or Twitter.

Happy Running!
The Run Around Girl

Sweat and the City

Trying to be healthy in a city where it’s easy to indulge is a constant battle. Some of beloved New York’s downsides affect our fitness plans and overall wellness. Here are ways to combat a few of these cons and make your city living as healthy as possible.
Con: High cost of living
This involves your outrageous rent, your expensive organic food, and what I’m really getting at–your gym memberships and workout classes that cost an arm and a leg.
Make it a pro
There are a couple of ways to get the most out of spending so much money on your favorite fitness method. Make sure you spend your money on something you enjoy where the teachers know and challenge you. Within this one place you should be offered a variety of fitness options, so you don’t plateau. You’ll be happier while you work out and always feel challenged. Schedule your classes in advance so it’s an appointment for you. That way you’ll be less inclined to miss class for a silly reason, and you’ll make sure you don’t waste your money. If you’re using a gym for cardio equipment alone, then learn to run outside. You’ll save tons of money and spend more time outdoors, something we all need.
Con: Pollution
While exercising outside is usually satisfying, one thing that gets me down about is the NY pollution. I feel like I’m sucking in more exhaust fumes than oxygen.
Make it a pro
Use this as an excuse to find beautiful natural environments in the city where you can exercise. Run along one of the rivers, walk through a park, etc. If the place is new to you you’ll be distracted by all there is to take in, making your work out fly by. If the place is an old favorite but still natural and peaceful, you can use the opportunity to get more zen with your work out. A lot of these more natural places in the city have obstacles you can use to your advantage: sidewalk ledges for adding some quick cardio intervals (like running up and down from ground to ledge or bunny hops) and park benches for standing plank push ups or tricep dips. If you’re not in the mood for cardio, bring a mat to do some pilates or yoga.
Con: Long work hours
Unfortunately, it’s part of New York culture to have an impressively busy work schedule.
Make it a pro
If you spend a lot of time at your job, you’re probably stressed and constantly occupied by tasks you have to do for others (your boss, your co worker, your client), but think of your exercise as your time to do something for yourself. When you schedule those class appointments or pencil in an early morning jog, that time is for you and you alone. Don’t use the time to mentally write your to do list, but rather listen to your favorite songs and let your mind go blank. No need to stress yourself out even more while you should be taking “me” time! In fact, if your mind is in overdrive while you’re exercising, you’ll be more likely to quit your workout early to start accomplishing tasks. Make the workout the top of the to do list!

We love New York, but it certainly does make things more difficult at times! Make your exercise time your personal oasis from this busy concrete jungle we call home.