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My excessive energy, extreme narcissism, and intense love of neon-colored spandex is both managed and fueled by my addiction to fitness. I push myself to extremes and I push other people's buttons. Obviously I needed my own blog.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Body Crushers!

I came back out to Long Island for the weekend so that I could attend Yves and Dana's Body Crushers class at Fusion Fitness. I'm a big fan of these special classes that Yves offers, and I especially like them when they are hosted by Fusion Fitness in Great Neck. Nice people, clean space. My only complaint is that the super shiny floors that are great for dance classes can be treacherous during sweaty kickboxing classes.

Look at those guns.
Body Crushers was a hybrid class that I like to describe as the Girl Talk of Fitness. It's perfect for those of us who are ADHD and get bored easily. We started off with some Zumba, then moved onto kickboxing. Then we did a little dance, followed by sculpting, and then we did more Zumba, and then we ramped up the dance we had learned earlier, and that's when shit got awesome.

When you get lost, just shake.
There's a moment in dance classes where the choreography and my feet seem to just click. My legs just know where they should be and what they need to do next. Unfortunately this does not apply to my arms and it doesn't last once I try to think about it. The picture above was taken before this clicked.

I would never deprive you of an unflattering photo.
After an hour and a half, I was sweaty, lightheaded, and busting out some mildly inappropriate dance moves. I also remembered how to do a pada beret. I have found that sneakers can make dance moves even more awkward and clunky than normal, but I was very pleased with how my K-Swiss Micro Tube 100 fits held up. If you're looking for a trainer that you can use for a variety of activities, these are sick shoes. I wouldn't run in them, but I use them for everything else.

Because it's completely normal to take pictures of your
reflection in shop windows.
If reading about Yves has made you want to learn more or attend one of his classes, you should check out his website:

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Fat Leg Strikes Again!

One of the reasons I love coming home on my days off is spending time with my mom. (I also like having my laundry done, being fed, and spending quality time with my cats. Why don't I live at home still?) My mom took me shoe shopping. Shopping with other people's money is also a plus.

Mr. Mink!
I have been meaning to get a pair of black tall boots for months, and we figured there would be good sales. We were correct, except almost all the boots I liked were sold out in my size. The other pairs (actually all of them could have been since I couldn't try on the small sized ones) wouldn't fit my calves. Does anyone else have this problem?

This is almost laughable.


Every time I'd stick my foot in the boot, I couldn't zip them up. I'd then yell, "The fat leg strikes again!" My mother finds this hysterical, but then she would still wonder how overweight people find boots. She even accused me of having cankles. For the record, I do not have cankles. I have slender ankles and nicely developed calves.

While waiting in line to purchase two pairs of ballet flats, my mother pointed out this woman and her tiny-legged boots. I have no words.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Fighting the February Funk

I tend to get in a February funk each year, characterized by spending long periods of time in bed, bad food choices, and drinking too much. Surprisingly this has nothing to do with Valentine's Day, and yet it tends to overlap. After sleeping 2.5 days and chasing Cheerios with prosciutto, sopresetta, and Swiss sandwiches, I signed up for Tripp Doherty's Monday night spin class. (I actually planned ahead for this and brought my cycling shoes home for the weekend.)

Target capris and a high school gym shirt miraculously disguise my binge eating.
I got that shirt for calling alumni during the Choate/Deerfield Challenge. Choate won obviously.
Tripp's classes make me feel alive, that I am confident and capable. I feel up for the challenge and can get out of my head for a while. Sometimes his classes allow me to tap into my emotions. I have trouble expressing emotions that aren't anger (those I express quite nicely since I started practicing what I preach about non-violence conflict resolution) and I tend to stay quiet until those emotions turn to anger.

There I am on bike #1, in front of the entire room like the egoist that I am.
Maybe I should have used the flash?
Tripp's class was a feel good class, but I didn't experience any emotional breakthroughs. That's why I signed up for Tuesday's 9:45 AM class. Maybe there will be some tears this time.

It's difficult to cycle and take pictures in the dark at the same time.
It was so hot in there that I had to ditch the shirt. It's a safe space
to bare your love handles.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Winter Running Gloves

My friend Holly is into running and sent me this question:

Hey girl! Question for you. Ive been running a lot in the park and am so sick of having to take off gloves to work my iphone. Do u recommend any good running gloves for winter?? I read your blog all the time! Youre my new running go to person lol :)

Thank you Holly for sending me this question and reminding me to finally write a post about my awesome Brooks Adapt gloves ($30).

the glove
I really don't like to wear gloves when I work out because I find them cumbersome. Fabric ones get wet and sweaty and leather ones are easily ruined. I found these Brooks gloves and my life has been forever changed. The glove is made of of 85% polyester, 15% spandex and the mitten is 100% polyester. They don't feel wet even when running in the rain.

The glove keeps my hands warm in reasonably cold temperatures (30s), but I put the mitten over my fingers if it's in the 20s or below. These gloves aren't made for super frigid temperatures, but you should be good running in Central Park night or day. I used these during my 15.5 mile run in the snow and my fingers only got cold when I was holding my frozen water bottle.

the mitten
The best part of the Brooks Adapt gloves is the MP3 thumb pad and the flip-back thumb. I am told that I should be able to use an MP3 player with these things, but I haven't been able to unlock my iPhone while running without flipping back the thumb. I just tested the MP3 pad while sitting on my couch, and it definitely works, so maybe I have issues doing things while moving. Maybe you'll have better luck.

the flip-back thumb
These gloves come in black, black with yellow, and black with green. I chose to get a colored pair because I like that they increase my visibility to others. I also drop things so it's nice to be able to see something that glows. The gloves have these nifty tabs on the wrist to make it easy to pull them on and off. These tabs are magnetic, making it easy to keep these gloves together in your pocket, bag, or running pouch.

I bought mine at the Jackrabbits on 86th Street, but you can order yours here.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Valentine's Day 5K

Last year I signed up for the Valentine's Day 5K in Prospect Park, but I had had a crappy weekend, flipping out about some boy (this seems to be a trend, no?) and my running buddy Palindrome ditched me because his foot hurt. Really? Your foot hurts? You're a runner. Most runners have feet that hurt. I sent an email to the race organizer, Mike, and being the great guy that he is, Mike said I could run this year instead.

I went to my parents' house for the weekend (doesn't that sound so much more grown-up than saying my house?) and decided it was best to drive to the race. I worked in Brooklyn for two years, and there is no excuse for how I managed to miss all the exits I did yesterday, adding thirty minutes to my trip. My GPS just hates Brooklyn. We don't have problems anywhere else, but the minute we get over the Jackie Robinson, she's adding distance, removing streets, and claiming all other sorts of nonsense. I managed to get my bib from PS 154 before the race began and I found parking right next to the park's entrance.

I decided to finally take my red Brooks Adrenaline GTS 11s out of the box. The Adrenaline GTS 11s went on sale last month and I snapped these pretty babies up. I was saving them for my birthday, but then realistically assessed the situation and decided I couldn't wait that long. I want to wear them for the Caumsett 50K, but I couldn't resist wearing red shoes for a Valentine's Day run.

I love brand new white shoe laces.
I obviously made my mother take a picture of me.
I wore black matty m leggings, my red C9 by Champion for Target pullover, white Old Navy athletic socks (3.1 miles didn't warrant ruining my outfit with day-glo Balega socks), my patriotic Knockaround sunglasses, and an awesome faux-fur headband. I had planned on wearing my bright yellow Brooks gloves but I decided I didn't need them and left them in the car. Poor decision.

Female finishers received red carnations at the finish line.
We all lined up for the race somewhere between the entrance closest to 10th Avenue and Center Drive. I do not understand Prospect Park and I spent four and a half hours running around it. It confuses me, the landmarks look all the same, and I wouldn't be able to find you if without a compass and a map. I thought I had placed myself up towards the front, but the race volunteers asked everyone to get in the rec lane and suddenly I found many more people up ahead of me. I surged forward at the start and found that I was running something like 4:37 miles. Obviously not sustainable, but it got me out of that crowd. I reined it back in and finished my first mile in 6:37*. (These times are subject to change. My Garmin is on my kitchen table and I am at work, so I am writing this from memory.)

Leaving the park after the race.
I was feeling pretty great heading into the second mile. The second mile is the never-ending hill that the Professor and I battled over and over and over and over again during the Brooklyn Marathon. It's not that steep, you don't even really notice it at first, but it just keeps coming at you. I kept telling my legs to speed up, but my mind had my body trapped in marathon mode. I was able to run at 6:58 pace a few times, but I also kept stalling out at 8 somethings. I think I completed mile 2 in 8:02 (need Garmin verification.)

I am a big fan of the t-shirts.
The last mile remind me of mile 20 of the marathon. It was either run it and shut up or cry and go home. I started chanting beast in an even more beastly voice than usual. My real-life friends can attest to how years of smoking, chanting, and chugging has given me a deep and sometimes sexy voice. It's usually strongly disliked by children and high-strung women, but it has given me a fall-back career in the adult phone industry.

I came in at 22:40 according to the Garmin. The course was exactly 3.1 miles. I like consistency between my wrist and the race officials, so I am looking forward to when the official results are released.

I had to work after the race, so I didn't return to the school for celebratory cups of hot cocoa. Instead I drove into Manhattan to drop off my clean clothing (thanks Mom!) and pick up my FWF (favorite work friend) before heading back to Brooklyn. We were site leaders for administering a survey on Universal Pre-K in Bed Stuy. When I am not running drunk, I care deeply about ed reform. I am multi-faceted. FWF shared her new ginger treats with me after we each inhaled a #13 while we waited at McDonald's for our volunteers to check back in. They're really tasty and would probably have killed me appetite if I wasn't already stuffed from chicken mcnuggets and fries.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Companies that Should Sponsor In Shape Out of Mind

So I survived my first long run since the Brooklyn Marathon and I woke up feeling great. I guess it only takes 15.5 miles to pound out a case of the neurotic doldrums.

My coworker was telling me about how many of her husband's friends are athletes (mostly triathletes), and that one guy is sponsored by Odwalla. I think a company should sponsor me. The following companies would be suitable (listen up PR) and they probably aren't sponsoring any other runners.

My go-to drink is a double Dewar's white label, two ice cubes. I've carbo-loaded many a race with my beverage of choice. I even knocked one back before heading to the subway for the Governor's Island 10K.

Phillip Morris
I've been a longtime customer of this tobacco company. I've been smoking Parliament Lights since 2004 (except when I briefly quit). Before that, I smoked Marlboro 27s and when I started smoking, I smoked Marlboro Reds. A tobacco company sponsoring a runner might seem insane, but I'm probably the only runner who'd be totally okay running in a P-Funk Light jersey.

I think people mistake the scent for my perfume.

Every day starts with TRESemmé. I don't like to shower in the morning (I shower right before bed and wake up with supersweet bedhead), so I dampen the front on my hair and then spray a bristle brush with hair spray and brush the front pieces before wrapping the rest of my mane into a bun while it sets. I pull the hair-tie out later and viola. If the weather is inclement, I bust out the Climate Control spray. If my hair is particularly dirty looking, I use the dry shampoo spray. Then I tease my hair and add more hairspray. My best running hair-dos involve teasing and hairspray. Being athletic is no excuse to look like a beast.

Are any of my reader's sponsored? Tell us what it's like.

Take the Long Way Home

The Professor and I reunited for a weekday evening long run. Not since August have we enjoyed a nice run along the Westside Highway together. We met up at 34th Street and headed uptown. We started off at a reasonable pace (except my Garmin didn't catch its satellites until later in the run so it made it seem like I ran a bajillion minute mile) and I was feeling pretty good. I realized that I had tied my shoes really loosely within the first mile, but I refused to let myself retie them. There's something to the looser shoes. I also forgot my hair clips and drove myself crazy until the snow shellacked my wispy pieces to the sides of my head.

New Jersey!
We didn't really talk much. I think I've been inside my own head a lot, and I've spoken to a few people I trust about what's been bothering me. I questioned if I should try to tell the Professor about it, but it seemed kind of forced. This is weird for me because I usually go to him first when I'm trying to figure something out.
My photography skills are amazing.
The Professor really likes the park by the Westside Highway and I must admit that it is pretty neat. It is so empty now (28 degrees, February, snow) compared to in the summer. I think I enjoy it more now than then too. I told the Professor I was only going to stay up to post about this run tonight if I could take awkward pictures while we were running. I asked that he just keep going and that I would catch up.

One of the creepier statues in New York, especially at night in a deserted park.
I really wish that I had gotten a photo of the rapist tunnel at about 97th Street that takes you through Riverside Park. It really is creepy because it's well lit but shoots you out into this dark path lined with trees. We didn't see anyone sketchy (surprisingly), but it's probably because it's so cold out. We did see another runner, however.
In my defense, I was wearing glove mittens and
I couldn't really handle the buttons.
We left Riverside Park and cut east towards Central Park. We entered at 110th and headed up into the Harlem Hills. I run those all of the time in the morning with T and in the evenings by myself or with the neighbor. I didn't realize that the Professor doesn't get to enjoy those bad boys on a regular basis, and he;s never run the loop backwards. Clearly we have a new item for our to-do list.

I have wanted to go on a date at the West 79th Street Boat Basin Café for a while.
Hint hint once it's warm. I'm talking to you Backgammon Partner.
(I don't know if he reads this. I don't know if he'll be around once it's warm.)
By this point it was snowing and not just kind of freezing raining. I felt awesome. It kept me cool but not cold. The Professor had 2 miles on me because he ran from his office and met me near mine. I don't think he felt as awesome as I did, but he was definitely holding his own. I broke out a 90-calorie reduced-fat chocolate chip Quaker Oats granola bar I jacked from work. The Professor and I split it and shared some water at my mile 6.

Around mile 7, I decided I was going to keep running after the Professor left. I hit 8.25 at 72nd and made the Professor take some photos with me. Remember my requirements on writing this post this evening. I gave my Backgammon Partner a call because I was very close to his apartment and I would choose a workout with him over a workout in the park, but alas he is preparing for a very important interview. Keep your fingers crossed for him.

I put my earphones in and turned on Lana Del Rey's Born to Die (Deluxe Version) and headed up Cat Hill. I ran the full six-mile loop. It was cold. My fingers started to burn. I wasn't tired though and I felt like I could just keep running and running. It went by pretty quickly.

Somewhere in the west 90s, I was listening to "National Anthem" with the snowy sleet hitting me in the face and it occurred to me that when they make the film of my life, they should have a scene of me (hopefully played by a former Disney star very close to a nervous breakdown) where I am running to this song in the snow and this signals the beginning of my downward spiral, before sort of hitting rockbottom, and then rising like a phoenix to return and sieze the day. Unfortunately this song is all about partying in the Hamptons, which doesn't really mesh well with the snow. And let's be honest - my parents thought I would hit rockbottom years ago and instead I routinely rise like a phoenix and can be found running a race the next freaking day. Nonetheless, I expect a movie of my life and I don't intend it to be on Lifetime, unless its going to be one of those awesomely advertised specials that college girls insist upon DVRing.

I digress.

Map of my run.
I found myself back at 72nd Street and stopped my Garmin at 14.61 miles. I texted the Backgammon Partner back because he had sent me some messages while I was running. I wanted to shake my legs out a bit so I walked over to Park and then started the Garmin and began running again. Obviously I forgot my Metro card at work (I remembered everything else!) so I needed to go over to 86th Street and buy another one. Don't get me started on those fucking ghetto machines. Thank God I had 5 bucks in my running pouch. I also dropped my super sweet Brooks running glove but this very attractive Asian man returned it to me.

I like capers with my salmon.

My favorite.
I went by the Fairway to pick up dinner and dessert (I ran 15.54 miles - I get to eat gelato.) The poached salmon with caper dill sauce may be the most delicious thing I have ever eaten and it was
under $9.

So much easier than typing out the splits.
I actually completed my run only 16 minutes later than my Caumsett 25K time. Things are looking up for the Caumsett 50K.

I got some weird looks at Fairway. I guess I did resemble a wet rat by the end.

 I just realized my favorite padded bra is in my desk drawer at work. Eff.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Cardio Blitz

Working from home has its perks. I hit up Cardio Blitz and Ab Lab at 74th & 2nd at 6:45 this morning and was showered and working at my apartment by 8:30.
Craig subbed this class today so I don't know if the regular class was any good, but I really liked it today. We did cardio drills at our benches - think high knees, plyo jacks, and squat kicks. We did arm work combined with lunges and squats. My only complaint is that we had to move our benches from horizontal to vertical and back way too much. I know this might be surprising, but I can rotate my body much more easily than a bench, three sets of weights, a towel, tissues, Chapstick, and water. I don't travel light.

My legs were really achy. I guess that run was harder than I thought. I also tasted last night's chicken and broccoli a few times during class. Really pleasant.

My outfit was supercute but I had no one to take a picture of me.
I didn't think the timer function was appropriate in a packed locker room.

I realized one of my sorority sisters was in the row behind me, but then I noticed that she was with another girl that I absolutely cannot stand. It was too early to deal with that so I pretended I didn't see either one of them. Oops. In hindsight, I feel kind of bad not saying hello to my sorority sister. I've always really liked her.

I made myself a protein shake out of cold coffee, skim milk, unflavored whey, and Walden Farm's zero-calorie chocolate syrup post-workout. I chased this with toast with fresh grind peanut butter and honey. Of course I was doing this while I was on a conference call and managed to get honey all in my hair.

Feeling very accomplished with my morning, I went to my doctor's appointment (the reason for workinh remotely) and then headed into the office.

Pink and Green.
I brought in a casserole and a side of this jello stuff. I totally understand why you would think this looks disgusting, but it's actually delicious. My mom's Midwestern; we eat a lot of things that come from the Campbell's Soup Cookbook.

Running - Everybody's Doing It

So one of my favorite teachers (real teacher, of children, not a fitness instructor) is not only adorable but superfun. She was my wingwoman at a work-related event, and since I left with six eligible (yet mildly crazy) men interested in me, I think she earned her stripes. She is an In Shape Out of Mind Reader, and she sent me a link to a post on HelloGiggles yesterday called 10 Reasons Running Doesn't Suck as Much as You Think. You should read it.

HelloGiggles cleverly used this old People magazine cover for their post. Back in the 70's people were baffled that other people ran. Then more and more people started "jogging". Then Farrah Fawcett started jogging and soon millions of feathered heads were out pounding the pavement.

Did you know that running is defined as a gait in which both feet are off the ground at regular points in running cycle? (Thank you Wikipedia)

On a slightly related note, the Backgammon Partner and I were comparing legs late last evening. I have legit shelves cut into my quads (they're impressive) and I didn't think there was any way he could compete. He did. I swoon.

Now's that's running.
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