Friday Fitness News: 3 Days Off!

Hooray for 3-day weekends! Who else is off on Monday? I don’t have classes on Mondays so I technically don’t have a day off, but JB and everybody else does sooooo…lazy relaxing days ahead for me. And not a day too soon, people. I am in desperate need of this weekend. Bring. It. On.

This week has been awesome for me, fitness-wise. I’m killing it on the treadmill, and I will be for a little bit longer since last weekend’s long run was such an epic fail, thanks to my stomach. I’m loving my morning routine that allows me to get my workout done between morning clients and 9:30am Physics class. I’m jamming out at Flywheel with my favorite homies. I am just killing it!

And according to this week’s Fitness News, all my running intervals and Flywheel-ing are far better than my long runs anyway…read on, friends.

  • Apparently, endurance exercise is now being looked at as “the worst form of exercise”.
  • …and interval training is the best way to improve your health and fitness.
  • Don’t tell Lance Armstrong that. He finished SECOND at his first triathlon and was not too happy about it.
  • Shout out to the Millrose Games Women’s Distance Medley Relay champions, the team from New York Athletic Club (my old high school teammate is the lead-off runner–wicked fast, right?)
  • Every single one of you should read this article about the slippery slope from “watching what you eat” to “obsessing over every morsel” and it can be disastrous.
  • Buuuuut, if you’re refueling with too many energy bars, you my be overdoing is on ARSENIC. What the..?!?!
  • Sore muscle remedies. I, personally, have a love/hate/despise relationship with The Ice Bath.
  • The blame game of who should be fixing the obesity epidemic in America rages on. This week’s loser? The government.
  • I’m sure there’ll be plenty of blame to go around for the raising of the NYC marathon prices: $225 just to run! Crazy. I will see you all at the Marine Corps Marathon.
  • And finally, things that piss off your yoga instructor…or any instructor, for that matter.

Well, folks. That’s all for this week. I am off to enjoy my 3-day weekend. I hope you do, too!

Now go out and run!

“How Do You Stay So Motivated?”

…JB asked. Last night, this very unexpected question came my way from my gorgeous husband and I struggled to give him a concrete answer.

If I’m being honest, what comes to mind first and foremost is vanity.

Gabrielle Reece, courtesy of SI.com

Gabrielle Reece has always been an inspiration to me. She’s strong, she’s healthy, she’s visibly athletic and she’s had two babies…and still has THAT BODY. She is a testament to clean living and exercise and I want to be like her some day…you know, 6’3″ and blonde ;) Let’s be honest, I am not genetically metabolically blessed and I’m ok with it. I’ve had to exercise my entire life to stay in decent shape so working out is nothing new to me as I venture deeper into my thirties. I guess I should probably be grateful for that.

The other component of my devotion to fitness has nothing to do with motivation at all. Fitness is part of my LIFE, pure and simple. In my world, there is no option to skip workouts just like there is no option to skip brushing my teeth in the morning. I started the habit of exercising for life very young and now it’s just as much a part of my life as breathing.

 

I have always liked cake = must work out. Coincidentally, this is also the year I started running.

Public shame is another tool I use to stay motivated. I set goals, tell everyone I know about them, and then am forced to give updates on my progress when people inevitably ask, “How’s such-and-such going?” That’s what got me to the start line of my 1st marathon in NYC.

I'm not ashamed of this less-than-flattering, heavier Abby picture. That is me ROCKING NYC for the 1st time!

Sharing my fitness and life goals with others has motivated me to stick it out on many an occasion. Twitter and Facebook have opened up an entirely new community for me to seek motivation and encouragement from, which is an awesome benefit of social media.

But beyond those reasons, I find that fitness has taken over a new space in my heart these days. With my flare-ups threatening (and sometimes succeeding) to derail every single workout I try to do, I have started to realize just how important exercise is to me as a person. I guess you really don’t know how much something means to you until it’s taken away.

Working out makes me feel better about how I look and who I am. Running makes me feel a sense of accomplishment. I feel powerful and strong (duh, I know) when I lift. I feel a sense of camaraderie with my fellow classmates when I spin. I feel peaceful and like a dancer when I finish yoga. I am exhausted in the very best way after I swim.

I am my best me when I am happy in my fitness life. I guess that’s the final thought.

I want to be my best me for my husband, my family, and myself. So I make time to run, spin, flow, swim and move in a way that makes me feel good. And that is the best motivation of all: to feel good.

Me. Feeling good, post-sweat.

What motivates you? What gets you to the gym/on the road/in the class? Share with us.

Now go out and run!

Friday Fitness News: Olympic Trial Weekend

“I am feeling very Olympic today.” Name the movie. Anyone?

Image courtesy of flags.net

*sigh*

I am alone in my Olympic geeky-ness. Well, not entirely. The Twittersphere is abuzz with Olympic Trial spirit as our best distance runners duke it out down in Houston, Texas this weekend for the coveted marathon spots at the London 2012 Games. Kara, Meb, Ryan, Deena and so very many more will toe the line for 6 spots (3 women, 3 men) on Team USA.

Sadly for us running geeks out there, the Trials will NOT be televised NOR will they be streaming live ANYWHERE. Thankfully, there are fabulous people who have traveled down to Houston to help us out.

  • Runner’s World  will be live blogging and Tweeting as much as possible.
  • New York Athletic Club will also be throwing down updates on Twitter, but probably NYAC athlete-heavy.
  • Did YOU want to go to the Trials? Oh, here is what you would have had to do.
  • The Lehmkuhles are both headed to the trials. That’s cool. JB and I will be sitting on the couch.
  • Here’s a breakdown of the Men’s and Women’s fields for Saturday, in case you are unfamiliar with how unpredictable this race could be.
  • Everything else you need/want to know is here.

And my predictions? Deena, Shalane, and Desi for the women and Meb, Ryan, and Brett for the men.

Now for the rest of the Fitness News!

  • So, the yoga world is in an upheaval this week. Even I got in on the discussion. Well, NY Magazine and NY Times both published anti-yoga articles and both Regelin and Black had something to say about their respective interviews.
  • Lululemon founder and CEO Chip Wilson stepped down from his position this week. No scandal, he’s still the Chairman of the Board of Directors for the company and your favorite yoga pants won’t be affected.
  • This breakdown of the difference between male and female runners is both hilarious and true.
  • Hostess filed for bankruptcy. Again. I’m not their biggest fan. So long as Entemann’s is still up and running, I’m cool. Mmmm…crumb top donuts.
  • This firefighter will run the MARATHON PORTION OF A TRIATHLON in full firefighter gear 27 TIMES THIS YEAR. If that doesn’t call for all-caps, I don’t know what does.
  • Virtual Anatomy. Cool.
  • What’s it like at the Biggest Loser Ranch/Resort? Find out. Does this make you want to go?
  • If you’re in the NYC area on February 12th, come ride at Flywheel Sports for Michael J. Fox’s charity, Team Fox. Do it.

Wow. That was a lot of news. I wonder if any of you read to the end of this? Well, if you did, allow me to share a bit of good news with you. I received my first, and hopefully not only, call for an interview at a school for their Doctorate of Physical Therapy program. VERY exciting since it’s my school of choice. Fingers crossed, everybody!

And thank you all who voted for me for Best New Run Blogger on the Run Chat Awards. I did not win but it’s an honor just to be nominated, right (plaster fake smile on my face)? Seriously, congratulations to those who won. I will fight you to the death next year.

What are your marathon predictions for tomorrow? Do these anti-yoga articles dissuade you from hitting up your favorite studio? Will you miss Twinkies when they’re gone? Tell me all about it.

Now go out and run!

I ♥ Yoga, But…

Thank you for all of your kind comments and feedback on yesterday’s BTAT guest blog by Obi-wan.

“I know you come from good stock and you prove it every day when you choose to live and not just exist!”

“This was awesome.”

“Too good not to pass along.”

“This was a wonderful post from your dad–great advice that I will heed should the injury monkey climb on my back one of these days!”

“So sweet that your Dad did this for you! Love it and the message it conveys!”

“Thanks, Obi-wan, for your wise words”

“Fantastic post, Obi-wan!!!”

He’s pretty awesome and I’m glad so many of you enjoyed reading little bit about his inspiring story. Maybe, if we ask nicely, he’ll come back? And maybe, if we say pretty please, Mrs. Obi-wan will share her story with us, too? You never know…onto today’s post!

Yogis, don’t hate me. I’m on your side and I’m here to help!

So, I love yoga. I feel good when I go to class. I like trying new teachers. I think everyone can benefit from some type of yoga.

I love yoga. Outdoors yoga is the BEST!

That said, if done incorrectly, yoga can really hurt you.

As a student of anatomy and physiology, I spend my time studying how the body moves, what movements cause injury, and how to help people recover and prevent these injuries. My job as a personal trainer requires that I coaching people through a series of exercises safely and effectively. And I’m kind of a stickler for form.

This is where I get into trouble in yoga class.

Some classes are absolutely amazing. The teachers are clear about the placement of every single part of your body and when to breathe and where to put your focus. They walk around, adjusting everyone constantly and encouraging people to work within their limits, not above them.

These are the classes I love.

Ooooo-mmmmm

I attended the opposite type of class on Monday. I hated every single moment of that class and almost walked out just to make a point. Why the negativity? Because it was just offensively bad.

In a class of about 50 or so people, I would say that at least 30 of them looked as though they had never been to a yoga class before. Not because of their bodies or anything superficial like that, but because of the confused looks on their faces, the constant turning around to see what others were doing, and the terrifyingly bad form they exhibited in the “simplest” of yoga poses.

It was unsafe, distracting, and inexcusable.

I felt bad for the students because it was the instructors’ fault they had bad form. He did not touch or adjust a single person. I was shocked.

William J. Broad wrote an article that was published in the New York Times last week (you saw it in Friday’s Fitness News) that people in the fitness world are fighting about all over the blogs and in yoga studios everywhere. It’s titled, “How Yoga Can Wreck Your Body.” In it, Broad interviews Glenn Black, a popular yoga instructor who is incredibly verbal about the physical dangers of yoga.

I must say that I completely agree with every single one of the dangers highlighted in the article and there are many, many more. I train yoga instructors and devotees and I help them to re-learn how to move through their asanas in a safe way. Several people I know have seriously injured themselves in class and spent years in physical therapy.

Form is everything. Yoga, like every other sport/fitness activity in the world, can cause you injury when done incorrectly. Yoga is good, when done safely and I encourage you to consider learning more about it, BUT if you are new to yoga do yourself a favor and do a few private lessons or very, very small beginner group classes before jumping into it, ok? Don’t push. Be safe.

Rule of thumb: If it hurts, don’t do it. Seriously. Listen to your body.

Now go out and run!

Friday Fitness News: End of Year

First off, I’d like to thank Samantha and the team over at Fitness Magazine for selecting me as one of their “Fit Bloggers We Love” and featuring me on their website. I’m honored to be chosen and I thank you all very much for the compliment. I feel very fancy.

Secondly, I want to thank Maggie over at Fat Bottom Slim for including our BRick workout as her Top 5 Workouts of 2011. Maggie attended both BRick workouts and ran both times. Yes, she was there for the ridiculously snowy/slushy 2nd BRick run in a blizzarding Central Park. Smart? Maybe not. But we sure had fun! Thanks, Maggie!

These two very cool honors are leaving me with a serious high going into the last day of the year. But I’m not going to get into all that year-end retrospective stuff today. I’m saving it for tomorrow’s *VERY SPECIAL WEEKEND POST* which will include my Runner’s World Holiday Streak recap as well. Hint: it’s been a roller coaster ride of a year.

In the mean time, let’s wrap up the fitness news this week.

And that’s all for this week. Did I miss anything? I tried to stay away from the end-of-the year stuff so that I can blab all about that tomorrow. So stay tuned for it! In the meant time, welcome to all of you who are clicking over from Fitness Magazine. I hope you come back and comment and get something out of this little blog of mine.

Are you participating in the Runner’s World Holiday Streak? How’s it going? 

Did you reach or set a fitness goal this year? Tell me all about it!

See ya’ll tomorrow.

Now go out and run!