TOL: Post-marathon fall fun

speedrun_10_25_16__mg_3427It’s officially my favorite season–cool temps, #foliageonfleek, pumpkin everything–how can you not just LOVE fall?? I’m also really enjoying have a bit more flexibility in my workouts instead of following a strict training plan. I’m definitely very type A so I’m sure this will change soon, but I’m going with it for now. I definitely thought I would miss having a training plan more than I have so far!

Basically, the past few weeks I’ve been sticking with doing something active 6 days a week (some habits are good ones to keep around), but more of those days have been things other than running (i.e. lots of yoga). In case you’re curious, I have a yearly unlimited membership to Yogaworks Back Bay. I did the math and figured out that if I go an average of twice a week, it’s much cheaper than buying class packs or waiting for sales. I have a whole post on saving money on yoga classes–check it out here if you’re interested!img_0719

I think in terms of marathon recovery, I probably could have taken more time off than I did, but I was itching to get back out there so I went with it. You live, you learn! I am still feeling some residual tightness in my hip flexors, but the yoga is helping loosen them up. I do have a half marathon in a few weeks, so I’m hoping to get in a couple of longer runs (8-10 miles) in addition to track workouts, and then see how things go from there. It is lovely to be able to vary my workouts based on what I’m in the mood for–or even skip them altogether if that’s how I’m feeling. We also got a hike in last weekend up Mount Monadnock, which is just lovely–under 2 hours from Boston and a pretty quick hike (2.5-ish hours total if you’re moving briskly). Not the easiest but the views are worth it.

img_0780In non-running news, J and I are finally making some progress with wedding planning! I have my dress and we officially booked our first vendor. I’m finding this process to be pretty annoying, so it’s nice to see a couple of things fall into place. My running/wedding related question is–is this worth $140?? I think it’s adorable and we’re gonna do some wedding weekend runs for sure, but it’s a fair amount of money! Thoughts??

Also, because old habits die hard, here’s a workout recap from post-marathon until now. I think it’s really interesting to see how other people transition from recovery back into a new routine, so I hope this is helpful!

Weekly Workouts:

  • 10/12-10/13: OFFimg_0734
  • 10/14: 60 minute yoga (ouch)
  • 10/15: 3.8 easy fall miles
  • 10/16: 90 minute yoga
  • 10/17: 3.9 miles at 8:09 pace
  • 10/18: Back to TRACK! 24×200
  • 10/19: First November Project stadium workout! 19 sections (again, ouch)
  • 10/20: OFF
  • 10/21: 90 minute hip hop yoga
  • 10/22: First “long” run–5.7 miles at 8:15 pace
  • 10/23: Mount Monadnock hike!
  • 10/24: 5.1 easy miles
  • 10/25: Track attack! 5.9 miles total, speedwork at 6:54 (details here)
  • 10/26: 60 minute yoga

Linking up with Running with Spoons for Thinking out Loud Thursday!

Fitness adventures: that time I tried aerial yoga

Fall marathon training season is officially over–and all of a sudden, my built-in workout plan is no more. While I’m still running, some niggling knee pain and a colder/darker season have made this a great time to revisit my favorite yoga spots (love to Coolidge Corner Yoga and Yogaworks Back Bay!) The void left in my fitness life also gave me with a hankering to try new things, so today I’m going to recap the aerial yoga class I took at Om Factory Yoga in New York City.

I’ve been wanting to give aerial yoga a shot for years–I LOVE anything that involves heights and getting off the ground (flying trapeze, anyone?) and I was bummed when South Boston Yoga stopped offering classes. So I scooted off during a family trip to NYC for Thanksgiving to take a beginner’s class at the Om Factory Flight School.

Location/atmosphere: Obviously this studio isn’t in Boston, but for anyone who lives in/spends time in NYC they’re located right outside of Union Square. The studio has big fabric loops rigged from the ceiling, and can accommodate about 15-20 students. The silks/hammocks (which you can see hanging out in the photo below) are adjusted for each individual student.image2 (1)

The basics: Aerial yoga is probably less traditional yoga than acrobatics type work, but it’s a fun fusion and the silk loops provide a really neat way to “float” your body weight up off the floor. Classes involve a ton of movement and playing around–sense of humor 100% required!

The workout: The class started with some standard breathing/stretching and then proceeded into a series of guided moves using the silks. The instructor was very specific and demoed all of the moves, which made it easy to follow along. We did corework, backbends, and upper body work using the silks to support our seats, backs, arms, and legs. I absolutely loved using the silks to invert and backbend–taking your feet off the ground makes it super easy to use gravity and get really deeply into the poses. There is an incredible amount you can do with silks, and for an inversion junkie/heights lover like me it was a total blast. If you were one of those kids who always wanted to get the swings to go up and over the top of the swingset, this class is for you!

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The takeaway: I had a fantastic time and loved getting to play around and take some photos after class. While my arms were pretty sore the next day, this wasn’t the most intense workout (thank goodness, because I had just finished an 8 mile loop around Central Park). It was a super fun challenge, though, and well worth it if you’re ever in the ‘hood. Boston studios, get on it–I’d love to try again!!

Stay tuned for more upcoming recaps of my fitness adventures–up next, I try my first bootcamp class.

My first #thinkingoutloud Thursday: why I love yoga!

Happy Thursday to all! I’m super pumped to be linking up with Amanda for my very first #thinkingoutloud Thursday.

Check out Amanda’s awesome blog at!

I want take a minute to tell you about my yoga class last week. It was one of the best I’ve ever been to.

It was, at times, gut-wrenching (both literally and figuratively), volatile, joyful, insurmountably difficult, and supremely tranquil.

In the course of 90 minutes, I felt:

  • Strong and confident: I got this, easy peasy lemon sqeezy. I’m the queen of the yoga mat and quite possibly also the entire world. Almost immediately followed by…
  • Humble: I’m trying to do something I never in a million years thought I could even attempt. I’m no where near being able to do it. But then I was…
  • Elated: I just did something incredibly challenging for the first time. It was terrifying, but I overcame my own fear. And I never could have done it if I wasn’t…
  • Utterly supported: I don’t just mean supported by my teacher’s hands, I mean supported by a room full of people who want each other to succeed. Strangers and friends alike. Even though at times I couldn’t help but be…
  • Disappointed: There are things that just weren’t going to happen yesterday. I couldn’t be more proud that I tried them, but they weren’t in the cards. So I had to practice some…
  • Acceptance and forgiveness: Which led me to the end of class. An extra long shavasana, during which I felt…
  • At peace: Utterly, totally, and completely. With myself–what I did, what I didn’t do, and the limitless bounty that is what I have yet to learn.

    Doing mountain post on a mountain! Ommm.
    Doing mountain pose on a mountain! Ommm.

I have a lot of competing demands in my life right now, and every day is a little obstacle course of challenges. I have moments when I feel (and swing wildly between) these emotions every single day. And that, ladies and gents, is why I love yoga. It teaches me to feel deeply, forgive readily, and move forward with courage and resolve.

What makes you love (or hate) yoga? Does your exercise routine help keep the rest of your routine in check? As always, I would love your thoughts and feedback!



On music and exercise

A huge part of my healthy gluten free lifestyle is keeping myself fit and happy from the inside out and from the outside in. For me, this means exercising 5-6 days a week. If you asked me six years ago if exercise was an important part of my life, I probably would have laughed in your face. I was hitting the gym once or twice a week, where I’d cruise on the elliptical or struggle through a pilates class. And I’d follow that class up with a couple of gluten-full beers and a plate of pasta from the dining hall. No wonder I wasn’t feeling great! Today, I’ve run six half marathons and I get cranky if I don’t get to the yoga studio 2-3 times a week. I feel amazing, and as a bonus, I finally lost that lingering college weight!

Side plank by the lake! #yogaeverywhere
Side plank by the lake! #yogaeverywhere

Part of what helped me make exercise a real part of my life was canceling my gym membership. I’m not anti-gym, but I am anti-exercise-that-isn’t-fun-and-doesn’t-make-you-happy. (I’m also anti anyone who is anti trying new things, so please don’t tell me you “can’t run” or “can’t do yoga” if you haven’t given it a fair chance.)


Personally, I plain old didn’t like going to the gym. I do enjoy yoga, and as it turns out, I really really like being outside. Whether I’m hiking, walking, running, x-c skiing, or downhill skiing, give me someone to chitchat with and some fresh New England air and I’m a happy camper.

On top of the world
On top of the world

As easy and breezy as that sounds now, it has taken me a while to get to this point–and I’m not ashamed to say that music is one of my biggest motivators. I love popping in my headphones and cruising down the Charles River bike path with my Spotify playlists blasting. I also learned to love yoga to the beats of Erica and Caitlyn’s fabulous hip hop yoga yoga classes at Back Bay Yoga. Nothing distracts you from the sweat dripping down your face 65 minutes into a killer vinyasa class like Jay Z,  #amiright?

Something funny happened recently, though–I started to find the music distracting. And not in that fabulous, makes-the-time-fly-by kind of way, but in the irritating, I-can’t-find-my-rhythm kind of way. Both during my yoga practice and my runs, I’m starting to work on dropping into the groove and listening to my body and breath instead of the music. It’s a funny mindset switch for me. I LIKE listening to music while I work out–I know lots of hardcore runners and yogis who are morally opposed, and I have no such problem. But I also like that I’m at a place where I’m not using the music as a crutch. Also, I’m hoping this will help me pace my runs a little bit better and work on running not just farther, but faster. Maybe even a full marathon someday. I still let loose with the occasional hip hop yoga class, and I’ll likely plug in for my longer runs, but in the meantime I’m going to work on listening to my body, my breath, and the sounds of my favorite city. I’m pretty excited about it.

Crossing the finish line of my first half marathon without headphones!
Crossing the finish line of my first half marathon without headphones!

Do you run with headphones in? What kind of music gets you through your toughest workouts? What’s your stance–is music a crutch, a necessity, or a nice added bonus?

Six ways to save money on yoga in Boston

Confession time: I have a little bit of a yoga addiction. Lots of people ask me how I have the… shall we say, resources… to practice so much yoga. If you pay full price for a la carte for yoga classes around Boston, they’ll run you around $15-$20 a class. Not cheap. So with further ado, here are my money-saving tips for you frugal yogis.


1. Keep an eye out for deals: Yes, I hate a clogged inbox as much as anyone else, but it’s worth it to sign up for email newsletters and watch for online deals. Groupon and Gilt City are the best sites for yoga in my experience, but Livingsocial features some good local deals as well. Some studios also offer promotions via their own mailing lists and social media channels, so sign up for e-newsletters and be sure to “like” your favorites on Facebook.

2. Keep track of your deals: Yoga deals tend to have short expiration periods, and it’s easy to let them expire without using all of the classes. I have a very low-tech system for keeping track of my deals–I keep a post-it on my desk at work and cross off classes when I use them. I also use google calendar alerts for expiration reminders. Find a system that works for you and use it. You want to be sure you’re getting your money’s worth!


3. Read the fine print: Yoga studios mainly use online coupons to entice people to try and hopefully fall in love with their classes. For this reason, some studios only offer their deals to brand new students (aka if you’ve been there before, no dice). I happen to think this is a terrible practice–where’s the consumer loyalty in that?? Super big ups to Back Bay Yoga for offering ALL of their fabulous deals to ALL yogis–like this one! $35 for 5 classes, which you have until December to use.  Talk about making me a happy repeat customer. Be sure to double check whether you are eligible for deals before you purchase.

4. New student deals: Most studios offer fantastic deals for first-time students, usually along the lines of $30 for your first 30 days unlimited. This is a wonderful way to give lots of different teachers a try without feeling cheated if you take a class you don’t like.

Eyes on the prize!
Eyes on the prize!

5. Try a new studio: Hit up some of the more affordable studios in the city, like Sweat and Soul Yoga (all classes are $10 cash) and Karma Revolution (pay by donation).

6. Use your discounts: If you’re a student, lots of studios have significantly discounted student rates. More to come on this when I start grad school in the fall!

All in all, on average I probably pay around $7 a class–and sometimes even less. Much more reasonable, if I do say so myself. What are your tips to save dough on yoga in Boston?