To the Professor!

When I moved to Manayunk a few months ago, I knew my fitness routine would have to change a little…I was no longer downtown and walking past my favorite gyms and yoga studios on the way home.  Luckily, as a runner, my favorite workout can be done anywhere with the right pair of shoes, but I knew I would crave the inspiration and motivation that I get from fitness classes.

After seeing several posts about the Manayunk Beer Runners on Facebook (you might know their older brother, the Fishtown Beer Runners), I thought “Hey, this could work.”  A group of runners, all sizes/ages/paces, who enjoy torturing themselves for a few miles before meeting at a local bar for a cold beer? THESE ARE MY TYPE OF PEOPLE!

MBR 1 Year Group
Unfortunately, this picture doesn’t feature my favorite members of MBR…the dogs.

A few months have passed since my first run with MBR, and boy…was I right.  I have never met a more supportive, encouraging, hilarious, and weird group of people who I am happy to call my friends.  Led by Dave and Sandy, each week’s run is a challenging combination of hills…and hills (we don’t really have anything else in our area) that ends with good beer and great conversation.

The MBR chapter just celebrated their first anniversary with a beer-filled bash at Manayunk Brewing Company, where we congratulated each other on our accomplishments over the past year (nine people completed a marathon or ultra…including a few who ran Boston!), planned for the future with a new logo, and enjoyed talking running and complaining about how tired our legs are with our new friends.

MBR Logo
The artist who created this logo also made cover art for Snoop Dogg and/or Lion, which means we now have so much street cred. SO much.

It’s very rare as an adult to make new friends and I consider myself lucky to have easy access to a crew that gathers weekly to combine responsible running with responsible drinking in the interest of science, all with smiles and witty commentary as we try not to puke while running up Green Lane.

Dave
Did I mention that every run ends with a toast? I’m convinced people would be happier if they toasted more…maybe because they’d be drunk, but whatever.

To many more years of running, MBR, and most importantly…to the professor!

Join the Manayunk Beer Runners on Monday nights at 6:30 at Main Street and Green Lane. All paces welcome and drinking is obviously optional. Check the Facebook group for updates, route information, and general tomfoolery.

Week in Workouts!

After my move to Manayunk, it took me awhile to get back into a good workout groove.  While I was still working out 4-5 times a week, I didn’t feel like I had a routine and I was truly craving it. I knew with fall looming I would be getting back into a normal work schedule and thought I’d start before Labor Day.  It has definitely changed my mood regarding the end of summer for the better!

Monday: 4 miles on the Cynwyd Heritage Trail

IMG_3901 (1)
Goats! The Cynwyd Heritage Trail uses goats for landscaping. It cuts down on on pollution and labor costs for the non-profit. And they’re cute.

Tuesday: A super sweaty first yoga class at Hotbox Manayunk

Wednesday: Solidcore

Thursday: Rest Day

Friday: Solidcore Arms & Abs (It should be called Arms & Ow cause I was in some good pain)!

Saturday: Spin at The Wall

Sunday: Another hot yoga class at Hotbox!

All in all, it was a solid week for working out.  I am hoping that the Saturday/Sunday spin and yoga combo will become a staple in my weekly routine when I am in town…both teachers were phenomenal!

Now that the weather is getting cooler and my allergies seem to be improving (I’ve had constant sinus problems and infections for the last few months), I’m hoping to get back into morning workouts.  The Wall offers super early – like 5:15 AM – spin classes that I’d love to attend regularly!

Bikram: Sanskrit for “Death Wish”

Last fall, I saw a Living Social deal for Bikram Yoga Philadelphia.

bikramyogaphilly

It was always something I wanted to try, but the fear of passing out and the cost kind of prevented me from taking the plunge, but 2 months for $40?  Sign me up.  Luckily my friends are as nutty as I am, so when I finally showed up for my first class last night, I had Lauren by my side.

(Important to the story: it’s currently FREEZING in Philadelphia and I figured as long as I was warm for 90 minutes I’d be happy as a lark…I was correct.)

I showed up to the studio and the staff was as nice as could be.  They got me signed in quickly and pointed me in the right direction.  They have a small locker room next to the studio on the top floor…I’m not sure if there’s one near the studio on the second floor.  It was a bit crowded but I’m someone who changes at work before going to the gym, so I just needed to take off my layers and shove them in a cubby. Note: they offer mats for free!  There didn’t seem to be a lot, so I’d probably bring my own, but it was nice for Lauren who forgot hers.  Most studios charge for a mat rental.

We ventured into the studio and let me tell you…it’s hot.  Not as humid as I was anticipating, which was great, but definitely hot.  Like, sweating just sitting there hot.  It felt good to sweat out all of the toxins.  I kept sneaking glances at Lauren as if to say “If you’re the last person I see before I die, I love you.” Spoiler alert: I did not die.

The instructor came in and introduced himself but I was too busy thinking about who would get my stuff when I died doing yoga to remember his name.  He asked if anyone was new so I raised my hand (Lauren did not, the liar..).  He was super nice about it!  Very encouraging and complimentary, but also offered great constructive criticism.  His explanation of the poses was fantastic…I understood what he was saying and was able to make self-correction.  The class was rather large, so self-correction was important though he did walk around and help.

Half the class is standing poses while the other half is floor work, which I appreciated as my mat was too sweaty to do much on after the first 45ish minutes.  I definitely need to remember my yoga towel next time.

A post isn't a post without a gratuitous picture of Ryan Gosling.
A post isn’t a post without a gratuitous picture of Ryan Gosling.

The minutes flew by and I left feeling pretty rejuvenated.  I was definitely ready for a shower and something to eat, but I can’t wait to go back!

Pros:

– Clean studio.

– Friendly staff.

-A very “centering” experience.

-Major sweat sesh.

Cons: 

– Small locker room.

– Kind of pricey without a deal.

Overall rating: A