Putting Some ‘Yunk In My Trunk.

In my younger days, I was a total cardio junkie.  I’d toil away on the elliptical for an hour with no problem but my body and mind would shut down as soon as someone said strength training.  The group fitness scene in Philly made me see the error of my ways.  Studios like Unite Fitness and RippedPHL taught me that lifting weights will only help my running while yoga and barre classes are easy ways to tone without killing your joints.  My move to Manayunk left me worried that I would skip strength training because these studios weren’t conveniently located for me anymore.  Luckily, Manayunk has their own fitness scene and these three studios are putting Main Street on the fitness map.

Row Zone

RowZone Manayunk – When I lived downtown and used Class Pass, Gary’s Row Zone Rittenhouse classes were my JAM. It’s a great mix of cardio and strength and I love changing up my routine…I am NOT one to sit down at the rower on my own.  I was thrilled to find out that RZ Manayunk is only blocks from my house and even more excited when I had instructors as great as Gary.  I definitely recommend it!

Hotbox Yoga

Hotbox Yoga Manayunk – After my move, it took me awhile to get back on my mat.  I’m not sure why I wasn’t motivated, but it probably had something to do with missing my beloved Yoga Habit and Priya. Last week’s rainy Tuesday inspired me to sign up and when the offer is $40 for 40 days, how can you go wrong?  The studio space is large without feeling too big and while they don’t have mirrors (that’s a plus for me), they do have windows. The super nice staff is a big perk, too!  I plan on getting back into regular practice and hopefully into a headstand for once!

The Wall Cycling

The Wall – Spinning and barre are stupid expensive endeavors.  Flywheel (while amazing) is close to $35/class and that’s INSANE to me and Pure Barre practically requires a second mortgage. Enter The Wall.  Located right off Main Street, the studio offers barre and cycling in a really bright and open space.  Best part…a 20 pack is around $200.  CRAZY. I love being able to work it in as regular cross-training again since I’m not breaking the bank to do it.

Walking up and down the hills in Manayunk as well as running on the many trails available to me are still my main forms of working out, but these fitness studios have definitely worked themselves into my regular routine.  My joints, and my butt, thank me.

Philly’s Rock N Roll 10K

Months upon months ago, I signed up for the Rock N Roll Half Marathon.  Fast forward to the beginning of August, I realized I had neither the desire nor the endurance to run a half right now.

Despite Competitor’s reputation for being difficult to deal with, I realized I could seamlessly transition my half registration to the 10K. Since I had signed up so far in advance, I didn’t feel like I was losing a lot of money so I was happy to downgrade to run a race that I would enjoy.

Competitor’s expos are usually large and in charge, and this year’s was no different.  I showed up a little before the opening at noon on Friday to get in and out on my lunch break.  Unfortunately, everyone else had the same idea.

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The line snaked around the lobby of the convention center.

Also unfortunately, an email went out right before I left that their shipment of tshirts was delayed and they wouldn’t arrive at the expo until 2pm. Normally this would annoy me, but I assumed that due to the hurricanes in the south, there were a lot of shipping issues across the country.  People were given the option to come back to the expo later or pick up one at the finish line.  I ended up not doing either…I’m not a fan of the RnR shirts so I didn’t want to clutter up my house with something I didn’t even want.

My favorite part of any RnR expo is the Brooks booth.  I wear a notoriously expensive sports bra and they are rarely on sale outside of a race expo, so I always buy at least one. With 15% off and a free lingerie bag with purchase, I was pretty pumped!  I plan on doing a post about the slight redesigns on the Juno after a few wears.

I wandered around for awhile, picking up some free snacks and checking out the shoe sales.  Unfortunately, my beloved Kayanos weren’t on sale enough to warrant buying a new pair at the time.  I’ll have to keep an eye out for deals.

This was my first race at the Art Museum since moving to Manayunk and I was concerned about race morning logistics.  Luckily, I had purchased an Uber Pass for the month and it was only $5.99 to get to the start.

Skyline
Views like this never get old.

I was there early enough to easily check my bag and watch the first 5K runners come across the finish line before lining up to start my race.

I wasn’t really expecting much considering running hasn’t been my main focus for awhile, but I knew that a flat course would make for a much easier run than the hills I’ve been getting used to!

Unfortunately, I don’t have much to say about the race itself.  It’s a standard out and back course on MLK Drive along the Schuylkill River.  I love the views it provides, but it’s a standard course for any Philly runner.

I came across the finish in 1:08:33, which is far from my 10K PR.  I think it served as a great motivator for ramping up my running this winter in preparation for the Hot Chocolate 15K and the Broad Street Run in the spring!

I’ll leave you with a picture of my recovery plan…

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I regret nothing.

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

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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.

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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