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Getting Back on the Horse: Runs, Weights & Aggressive Chocolate Tours

Posted Jan 06 2013 9:01pm

Christmas and New Year’s Recap

My eight days of travel from D.C. to North Carolina were great, but by the time I returned to New York on Tuesday of last week, I was very much ready to be home. Ready to start my new job? Well, let’s just say I’ve really, really enjoyed this extended time off more than I ever would have imagined. But I suppose that at some point — like, starting today — I need to be an adult again. So, here goes nothing.

After recklessly eating and drinking on our trip down south, I had hoped to kind of get my life back in order — you know, consume more greens and less Pop-Tarts (s’mores flavored, naturally) once again. That part wasn’t so hard. I had plenty of free-time to grocery shop (which happens maybe twice a year) and work out at my leisure. I even cooked up a recipe from my new Turkish cookbook, courtesy of Noah’s mom (recipe to come tomorrow).

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Wednesday’s 5-Mile Run

Speaking of workouts, I had been itching to return to my old stomping grounds upon my return to Manhattan. On Wednesday morning, I awoke incredibly eager to hit the paved paths of Central Park and had mentally mapped out a seven-mile route in my mind.

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Yet within just a few blocks of my apartment (I hadn’t even hit Grand Central yet), my old shin injury began acting up. That’s weird, I thought. Wasn’t I over that hump?

In the end, I probably should have known better. Not only had I ran multiple back-to-back (to back) days during my trip, but to top it off, I had worn my old pair of Asics (simply because I left them at Noah’s parent’s house and wouldn’t have to pack others). From the moment I put them on, I felt the difference and could tell that there was a little twinge thing happening in my bone. Regardless, the show went on.

Conclusion: Don’t wear old sneakers, especially ones you might attribute an injury to, just because it’s convenient. In the future, I’ll have to remind myself that there is a reason — a real, tangible reason — that I tossed them aside to begin with. I really should have just sucked it up and packed my Saucony Triumph 10′s. Oh well. You live and you learn.

While the seven miler never happened, I was able to squeeze in a solid fiver around the bottom loop of Central Park and home, where I supplemented the last 20 minutes of running that I’d never get to do with an eight-minute abs video and a bit of arm work.

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Thursday’s TRX Trial Session

Wednesday night, after the failed long(ish) run attempt, I began contemplating the rest of my week. I had been planning to runrunrun since I stepped off the plane in New York, but with those little signs of weakness, I knew I’d have to hold back.

That’s when I got a well-timed text from Beth of Once in a Mile . She was planning on hitting up a free TRX training class at New York Sports Club and asked if I’d like to come along.

I was apprehensive at first, mainly because my heart was still in Central Park. But after thinking about it not-too-hard, I realized that abstaining from running was an intelligent move, and texted back that I’d for sure be there in the morning.

photo cred: bestfitfitness.com

photo cred: bestfitfitness.com

Beth and I met at New York Sports Club on 59th and Park at 8am on Thursday (I chose to ran the mile from my apartment if only to get my fix; I’d walk home afterward). Our instructor, Kat, took us through the motions in a helpful, step-by-step way. First, we learned how to use the TRX straps. Having never used the bands before, I had no idea what we were in for and didn’t realize that each movement would require adjustments, so I was grateful that she took the time to explain this.

Once we had the basics down, Kat led us through a series of movements, each one performed for 45 seconds and with a minimal break (15 seconds or so) in between. By the time we were done, I felt pretty comfortable doing basic shoulder, back, core and arm exercises. I was able to complete each movement pretty easily (so I guess my eight-pound weights must be doing something for my body), though there were a few that were incredibly challenging. With those, I was able to pretty easily identify where some of my weaknesses reside.

At any rate, by the time we were done, I admitted to Beth that it wasn’t the hardest workout I had ever done. You might hate me in the morning, she assured me, and she happened to be right.

TRX is a total silent killer.

Friday’s Severe Pain & Sugar Binge

On Friday morning, I woke up with the sore-est arms ever. Ouch! I spent the rest of the day whining and complaining, forcing Noah to stretch and massage my upper body. And although I had planned to follow up (what turned out to be) Thursday’s grueling workout with a bit of weights on my own on Friday morning, an impromptu chocolate tour of Brooklyn got in the way of exercise. Life can be incredibly cruel at times.

As I lay on the couch, blogging, browsing, and generally enjoying my last workday of funemployment, my dad called me up and suggested we spend the day checking out a few venues in Brooklyn. 

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First stop: Peter Pan Donut, a tiny, hole-in-the-wall donut shop in Greenpoint that seems like it was transported straight out of the fifties (Pops got a real kick out of this).

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Peter Pan is known for their cake-style donuts, but to be honest, their fried jelly donut was my favorite; it tasted just like childhood.

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From there, we hit up a new venue with a stellar reputation, Fine & Raw. There, we met the owner, Daniel, who was gracious enough to show us around and give us our own private tour of his factory. Though not completely developed, Fine & Raw’s Bushwick space is coming along really nicely, and I can’t wait to return this summer to check out what the owner describes as an outdoor seating area with iced drinks and bean-to-bar creations.

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(My dad told Daniel I was a hipster, which, given my non-hipster appeal, was incredibly embarrassing and hilarious all at once. I loved it.)

After Fine & Raw, it was off to lunch, where my dad got a real taste of the hipster scene in Brooklyn — and loved it. And on our final two stops, we drove into the heart of Williamsburg to the famed Mast Brothers (gorgeous space, but I didn’t love the flavor of their single plantation bars)…

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…and then to Park Slope, where we finished up the day at The Chocolate Room.

Saturday’s Simple Living Room Workout

Weekends are when I usually find the time to take longer, leisurely runs — when I can navigate Central Park’s many paths without worrying about what time I need to be at work (though I suppose that hasn’t been an issue over the last three weeks). But knowing that my shin was a little iffy since my holiday trip, I decided to play it smart.

On Saturday morning, I was supposed to meet my lovely girlfriends for yoga and brunch (a very Manhattan kind of morning if you ask me). Our plan was to meet at the new Yoga to the People studio on 23rd and 3rd, which is great, since it’s close to my apartment, super cheap, and their newest studio, and so I had been wanting to check it out.

In true New York fashion, we all backed out at the last minute (a few too many glasses of wine the night before, perhaps) and decided to just do brunch instead, leaving me to lead my own 60-minute training session at home while watching cheesy Miley Cyrus movies. Not a bad replacement sweat session. All workouts should include Miley.

Sunday Runday Funday

Because of my shin, I had promised myself that I’d stay off the pavement until Monday morning. I knew that it was more important to run on the first day of my new job. But the sunshine, she was a callin’.

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Sunday was absolutely beautiful in New York City; it was one of those days when the sun warms everything it touches, and even in 30-degree temperatures, there was a hint of spring in the air.

I kept the run short and sweet, if only to respect my body. Around noon, Noah and I met Tim, green Oscar The Grouch sweatshirt and all, at the 59th street entrance to the East River promenade.

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The run took us northward to the Upper East Side, where Noah and I broke off from the pack and ended our run at Agata and Valentina, my favorite grocery store in the world.

And now, life goes on.

I wish I were more prepared to re-enter the real world on Monday, but I’ve got to be honest, the last three weeks off — more time off than I’ve taken since summer breaks during college — have been divine. But the real world calls. Presumably, my morning runs, which will of course take place much earlier than they have during the last month, will be integral to my reintegration to society.

  • How were your weekends? Have you tried TRX before? Have you been to the new Yoga to the People on 23rd? Are you as in love with chocolate, donuts and sugar as I was brought up to be?

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