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Weekend Recap: From Central Park to Chinatown

Posted Jun 03 2013 8:14am

It’s. So. Hot. Out.

OK, tirade over.

Fortunately, on Friday, I was in the know about a sweet little gathering of fitness freaks like myself to take place at Pedal NYC after work. And while I had originally planned in my head to log 3 miles in the morning, and to supplement my AM excursion with an evening spin class, instead, I woke up early and simply clomped around the apartment doing nothing in particular until I realized it was too late to run.

On Friday, I would only spin.

clothes

The great part about this pre-weekend opportunity is that spinning is an indoor activity; by skipping over my daily morning run and participating in this evening class instead, I was essentially avoiding the lovely heat wave that’s so relentlessly taken over Manhattan as of late.

But for those of you who have followed WRFG from the start, you’d know one very important little detail that would detract from this “great” opportunity. I, Stacy, lover of all things glitter, have never spun before. True story. I’ve been avoiding it like the plague, with no real explanation why exact that I’m terrified of having to “clip in.”

After wandering around the city after work, making my way on foot from my office on 42nd and 2nd to the studio on 61st and West End (and, shh, making a pit-stop at Saks to see if there were any cool dresses left from their bridal sample sale; there weren’t) I finally found it: the studio where my first spin class would take place.

Actually, I didn’t find it on my own. To be honest, the studio is tucked neatly past West End, closer to the water, in a small and hidden courtyard I’d have never found myself. Thankfully, the theme of the evening’s ride – HEAD TO TOE NEON – was a dead giveaway to the group of blogtastic ladies (hey Once in a Mile !) walking in the vicinity of the studio, and so I tagged along and eventually found where I belonged.

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(Photo courtesy of Erin, aka One More Cupcake)

What Pedal offers is a really cute, clean space without the pretentiousness of what I imagine other studios to boast — the reason why I’ve avoided a few others around the city up to this point. Plus, I could spin wearing my normal sneakers; no clipping in required.

When trying a new type of workout in general, you tend to want to do so in a nonjudgmental space open to questions and mistakes. I was grateful to have my first go-around in such a studio. When we arrived, we were greeted by the gracious hostess of the evening Running Bun , obviously dressed in spandex, and obviously neon-ed out. Along with Ashley, I also met Erin, aka One More Cupcake , who would be our energetic instructor for the evening, pumping tunes and words of encouragement throughout the 30-minute ride.

What I didn’t realize about our class on Friday, and I actually really loved, was that following the dark, glowing ride in which we climbed hills, pedaled faster, and gave it all we had, was that the spinning would be complemented with a post-pedal TRX and arms session. What a pleasant surprise! While I had never done spinning before, I could definitely recognize that my legs were getting so much attention, and by the time we were nearing the end, my arms were screaming for some love.

The last 30 minutes were spent doing biceps curls, raise the roof push-ups and other basic plyometric-style exercises. During some sets, the lights were on, the get-me-to-a-bar-now agony apparent on most of our faces. During others, the lights were turned off completely, leaving only the effervescent colors of our glow sticks to indicate who was moving and who had pooped out (I was absolutely one of the latter).

After spinning on Friday, I was pumped to return to running on Saturday, and headed straight for Central Park upon waking up. During the run up to Central Park, I stayed by Noah’s side, breaking off from him at the 72nd street entrance where I’d meet my cousin and continue north to the reservoir. It’d been way too long since I’d been up there, but with a 5-mile cap, it can be tough to incorporate this breathtaking route.

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I had been planning on running all the way home and surpassing that special, if not limited, number. But by the time we ran around the reservoir and made our way back to 72nd street where we would exit, I was spent. It was hot. I was dripping sweat. My toe was pretty painful. I took it all in stride, and walked the rest of the way to my cousin’s apartment, where I ended the run with a little stroll around Agata and Valentina — my favorite specialty market in New York City — picking up delicious bites (like grilled sun choke and asparagus salad) to quench my hunger back at home.

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Sunday, my toe was in bad shape, which left me with the mentally and physically painful question: What can and can’t I do?

toes

Luckily, a friend recently pointed me quite literally in the direction of the best thing to happen to New York City since Baked By Melissa — and it wasn’t even soup dumpling related. Chinatown. You guys, if you haven’t treated yourself to a $20 for 30-minutes reflexology session in a shady little Chinatown storefront, then honestly, I don’t know what you’re waiting for. It was by far the best half-hour of my weekend.

On that note, I’ll leave you with a task at hand and a personal question. What will you do for yourself this week to ensure 30 minutes of happiness?


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