Tag Archives: nbc go healthy

Hill Running!

The hill practices officially began!  6 more weeks of them to go!  They are definitely tough, but I know they are good for me.  It’s hard to condense a 20 minute workout explanation into a few sentences, but I will try.

For endurance running, rather than racing up hills, you want to be efficient, you don’t want to expend so much energy that you die later on.  You want to maintain a consistent effort level whether you are going up, down or flat.  So you pace might be slower on the hill, but you effort will be the same.

Here are a few tips from my coach on being as efficient as possible while running hills  aka don’t waste energy:

  • Keep your back straight, don’t hunch at the waist, this shortens your legs range of motion and activates lower back and hip muscles, which can become strained.
  • Run with your elbows back and arms almost parallel to the ground. If you just concentrate on swinging your elbows back at a fairly fast pace, your feet will follow with short fast strides.
  • Shorten your strides, short fast strides up the hill will keep you from having to lift your legs high to take long strides while going up.

Our workout was simple, run from the Boat House up Cat Hill to the stop light and recover back.  Do this loop until the you are told you can stop.

We warmed up to the boathouse, and since I was “warming up” with Frank, I was running under a 9 minute mile.  When we got to the Boat House, a major protest was going on, which made things a bit more interesting.

Then we pushed up the hill concentrating on form and technique. At almost every lap one of the coaches would run with us and critique our form.

I made it just past Cat Hill before I got caught.

I learned that I hunch forward and I really have to concentrate on straightening my back and opening up the chest.  I did this and immediately it made it easier to breath.  I realize that I need to work on my posture all the time, not just while running. It actually took a lot of effort to concentrate on staying tall the whole practice, but it made a big difference. 

Once we got to the stoplight, we ran slowly down the hill.  By my third or fourth lap, I was really starting to tense in my neck, shoulder and arms, so the coach helped me focus on relaxing and just using the elbows, this really increased my speed.

We stopped after about 40 minutes and cooled down to the mall.

I feel like there are so many none running things I need to do to become a better runner and I only have so much time, stretching, strengthening the back, working on balance, it’s a little overwhelming!

In other running news, this week’s Hip and Healthy post on NBC Go Healthy is about Summer Streets—including my top 5 things to see and do.

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Amelia has a fabulous picture of the sand castle on her blog, so check it out!

One week left to catch the action!

Alo Winner!

Thanks for all the entries in the Alo Clothing giveaway!  It was one of the most popular giveaways in FitnessNYC history!

It turns out most people really care about design and flattery with function and comfort following right behind! Cost was also mention a time or two :)

With four ways to enter it took me a while to make sure each and every entry was counted, but that’s what excel sheets are for!

The winner is

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The translated to Heather!

Heather | July 24, 2011 at 5:55 pm | | Edit

I think clothes that are flattering/comfortable is most important. There’s so many choices out there but finding something that actually looks good on is sometimes a challenge. I’ve also liked Alo on facebook. Cute stuff!!!

Thanks for entering everyone.  I hope you like your outfit as much as I like mine, Heather!

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Also, check out my latest fitness news:

Midnight Yoga at Laughing Lotus at NBC Go Healthy

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And my first 30/60/90 class at Fit for Class!  Thanks for a great class, Darbi!

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Preparing for Peachtree

It’s funny, I am so used to my NYRR routine—packet pick up, the courses, the corrals–that I barely occurred to me that Peachtree would not be just another 10k.  Fortunately, a wise friend mentioned that the Peachtree Road Race was hilly!    It was at that point that I realized I should not only know the course, but how to get to it,  and, oh yeah, when it started (no biggie).

Point 1 Confirmed: it is hilly!

Us NYCers runner’s often feel like after Cat and Harlem hill become routine, we can do anything.  Hills smills.  Well, guess what?  I’m not going be in Central Park anymore.  Hotlanta’s got some serious hills!  Let’s take a look at the elevation charts!

Hotlanta

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Source: Peachtree Road Race

Best City in the World

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Source: NY Flyers

The ferocious Cat Hill only climbs 50ft and the mighty Harlem Hills climb around 100.

The Peachtree race starts with a nice gentle downhill and then manages to shoot up 150 ft in only half a mile! Once you conquer that bad boy, you continue climbing upwards for another 2 miles!  That means you are going uphill for 2.5 miles straight. 

Fortunately, the last .75 miles is mainly downhill!

Point number 2: Where it’s at.  I looked it up, but I am relying on the crew of people I am running with, who have either live or have lived in the area, to guide me to the start.  I am concerned about the whole 60,000 people thing.  I can not even comprehend how this race is bigger than the NYC Marathon. Blows my mind!  It will be about 10-12 times the size of the average NYRR race!

Point number 3: The earlier you start, the sooner you party.

I was happy to discover—when I took the time to look—that I am corral G, which starts at 8:05, this is on the earlier side.  There are 20 corrals total, all starting 5 minutes apart.  If this actually happens, I will be forever in awe of the ATC!

Not aforementioned point number 4: Hotlanta is HOT.  It’s supposed to be about 95 degrees on the day of the race, but probably a little cooler in the morning. It will also slightly more humid than NYC with similar barometric pressure.  To say I have no concerns about heat or humidity would be a lie.

But I am going to do a few things to give myself the best shot I can,

1.) Wear light, dri fit clothing. 

2.) Hydrate like crazy—I’m  considering  bringing my fuel belt

3.) Wear a hat

4.) Not kill myself, I am not trying to win this 60, 000 person race. I am going to enjoy the experience and soak it all in. 

A few tips before running an out of town race:

  • Check out the course, race size and elevation—you can’t decide to train for hills the week before the race—ooops
  • Find out where and when it starts—and transportation options
  • Figure out how to get your bib
  • Check out the weather, so  you can dress accordingly
  • Read the 4,000 emails the race organizers send—ooops x2

In other news, I “Joined the Party.”

I had the opportunity to try out a few classes at M Dance and Fitness, you can see my Zumba review here.  Next up, classes with Miss Diana herself!

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Summer is Here

What a great weekend!  It really feels like the endless winter is gone.  Can I actually put away the parka I wore last weekend? Hmmm.

The first major event of the long weekend was a wedding. It was at the Liberty House in New    Jersey.  It was really a spectacular venue.  Great views of the city, tons of indoor and outdoor space, it transitioned perfectly from day to night and there was lots of food and drink!IMG_1268

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Callo lillies, my favorite flower!

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Sunday night we had a great dinner with Bo and Ashley at Yerba Buena Perry.

In addition to two glasses of delicious Rose Brut, we shared:

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Guac, which has a creamy yet hearty texture due to chipotle, queso fresco and onion.  Yum.

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Cerviche Tacos

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Avocado, yuca and watermelon fries, interesting.

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Ashley and I both got the tilapia fish tacos, which were excellent.  I got spinach with figs, which I also loved.  We booked our reservation through Village Vines Concierge, so we got 30% off the entire bill including drinks.  Village Vines now has friday bookings at select restaurants, so it’s a great deal.

The rest of the weekend included sunbathing on the rooftop, a sweaty 7 mile run with Ashley, Manhattanhenge and a very ambitious salsa making extravaganza.  I will report back on the last two soon.

Also, if you’re feeling a bit sore—I know running+strength training always leaves me tight, check out my MELT review on NBC Go Healthy.

Free Ways to Take Your Workout High Tech

Check out this week’s Hip and Healthy post on free workout technology. 

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I discuss Daily Mile, Smart Coach, Fitness Pro and i MapMyRun.

A lot of these I learned about from you, so feel free to share your opinions!

Question: What’s your can’t live without piece of workout technology?

PS I have tickets the Yankees/Mets game tonight, and I’m really hoping for drier skies!

Oh, and some more fun photos from the Healthy Kidney 10K

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Note: Frank is considerably more happy about meeting the kidney than the chocolate chip bagel. 

Reebox Toning and Masala Bhangra

I think most bloggers will agree that one of the perks of the gig is the fun events you get to attend.  While I continue to blog—going strong since 2007–because I enjoy it, the  cool events and opportunities keep it exciting.

Earlier this week I had the chance to attend the Reebox Take a Lap event at the Reebox Sports Club—fitting location.   The event was marketing their knew line of Reebox toning shoes.   This was exciting because I have wanted to try toning shoes forever, but never new which brand to try.  Getting a pair for free made it easy.   Check out my new kicks:

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Before I took these babies home, I got fitted with professional podiatrists and then “took a lap” around the Reebox roof top track.

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Me and the Reebox rep.

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God I miss having access to a rooftop track!  They rock.  And from the little I saw, Reebox Sports Club was pretty amazing all round.  Kind of ridiculous in fact, I was sad I didn’t have time to fit in a workout!

My shoes are the Reebox Easytone Reenew.  Their toning technology is similar to that of a bosu ball, the pads on the soles of the shoe force your muscles  to constantly restablize.  If you want a more official definition, “The EasyTone Reenew features Moving Air Technology, built-in balance pods that transfer air in response to your stride and create micro-instability with every step.”

I don’t think this line as sleek looking as some of the other lines, like the  reeinspire, but they aren’t bad when it comes to toning shoes.  They are also incredible comfortable.  Like slippers!

I was told to ease into wearing the shoes a little at a time.  Not surprisingly, on my first day trying them out, I got distracted and ended up wearing them almost all day.  By around 4, I could really start to feel the extra work in my muscles. 

In addition to the shoes, I got a whole bag of goodies:

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Blister balm, heel savers, a shoe i nthe door, compression socks, a foot roller.

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Even nail polish, a cosy and more socks!

It’s always cool when you get to try a product you are really excited about, I’ll let you know if toning shoes are worth the hype!  BTW Does anyone need a pair of compression socks?

In other news,  my review of Masala Bhangra is up!  As most of you know, I love it.  I had only taken it at Self Workout in the Park, so trying the full length class at Alvin Ailey was a whole new experience!

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Vegan Curious

As you know, I am not a vegan in even the loosest interpretation.  However, my  latest post on NBC Go Healthy is actually about vegan dining options.

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So while I admit, I am not vegan, and I am sure some of you are wondering where the heck I get off writing about vegan food, I have dabbled in vegan, raw, vegetarian and pescatarian diets.  In fact, I would say I am mainly a vegetarian with minus a meal or two a month.

I  appreciate how vegetarian foods make me feel and the many health and environmental benefits they offer.  Originally, the driving force in my decision to stop eating meat on a regular basis was when I started learning more about the treatment of animals.  Today, if I choose to have animal protein in my meal, I always opt for the most humane sources possible. While I have never been strictly vegan, vegan meals are certainly one part of my diet.

I love eating out and healthy food, s0 eating in vegan restaurants makes it easy to combine the two.  Over the years, dining in vegan restaurants has  introduced to me a whole array of foods I had never tried before–coconut, mango, avocado, kombucha, tempeh, hemp…the list goes on.  Not only is this flavor palate full of flavor, but I love that it is also healthy.

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of dining with Gena at Counter.  While the conversation, laughs and gossip made the evening, the meal was delicious as well.

We shared a trio of appetizers: white bean hummus, butternut squash and broccoli raab crostini and crusted kombocha squash.

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For my main, I had the brown rice salad, which was delicious.  counter bar method 067

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As you’ve probably noticed, I eat out quite a bit.  While I try to stick to vegetarian options, my dining partners are rarely vegetarian.   Generally, restaurants offer both options, so everyone wins.

Cooking for a meat and non-meat eater can be a bit more difficult.  I’ve handled it many ways.  One is to make a mainly vegetarian meal and then just have a small meat addition, like store bought meatballs or a piece of chicken for whoever wants meat. Another is to find a vegetarian meal that doesn’t seem like just vegetables, such as pizza, pastas or soups and salads with tempeh.

The final option is to make something that can be easily assembled to be veggie or meaty, such as a taco bar.

This weekend I had quite a bit of time, so I made spaghetti squash with two sauces.  Eggplant caponata for me, one of my all time favorite foods, and bolognese sauce for him—both from Everyday Italian.  These were served over spaghetti squash, which we both adore.  It was a true win win.  We both loved our toppings.  While the eggplant version could easily be vegan, I added just a bit of homemade fresh mozzarella, which was like velvet, perfection!

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And a simple bruschetta that we both loved

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(Tomato, basil, onion, garlic, splash balsamic vinegar and black pepper over toasted baguette—I let the tomato mixture marinate for a few hours, which made a big difference.)

Whatever your dietary preferences, don’t be afraid to try new things.  Often labeling foods gives them an association that evokes a trigger or fear, but really good healthy food can come in any form no meat or dairy or label required.

Also, let me know if I missed any of your favorite meals or restaurants! :)

Formula 57!

As promised, a review of my first attempt at Formula 57!

The review is actually posted at NBC New York Go Healthy

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It’s no secret that I have something of a love affair with Physique, this is new chapter!

Is spring a crazy time of year for everyone?  I feel like I have been going a million miles an hour with no end in sight.  In all of this, I have definitely fallen behind on my housekeeping, so that is definitely on the schedule tonight!

Despite my schedule, one thing I always carve out time for is Bethenny Ever After.  In honor of that weekly highlight, I will recap my five favorite lines/moments of last night’s episode:

  1. “Clean as a whistle” in reference to her electric toilet experience.
  2. “That was a bit aggressive”—to her skating partner.  Ha, I wonder how often she says that!
  3. “Why does you baby never talk?”  I know!  I often wonder if they edit all scenes of Bryn crying like a baby.  She is too good!  All giggles and smiles!
  4. “Cookie is Naomi Campbell meets Lindsey Lohan”—so true! 
  5. “What is blu-ray?” by Julie.  How do they possibly not know what blu-ray is? 

Treadmill Quickies and Social Sports

I generally avoid the treadmill, but it is where I do most of my speedwork.  Which, admittedly is something I could probably do more of!

However, when I am on the ‘mill,  I mix up my routine often, so I don’t get bored. That way I almost look forward to busting out a few speedy intervals.

Lately, I have been keeping it short and sweet with 15-30 minute speed workouts, generally after some time on the elliptical.

Here are some of my favs as of late:

The 16 Minute Quickie

  • 1 minute warm up—I have already been on the elliptical, so I am warm
  • .25 mile sprint—generally around an 8 minute mile
  • 1 minute recovery at 4.0
  • 1 minute at 6.5
  • repeat from sprint, 4 times total.

Next time I am going to make my whole recovery at least jogging to add challenge, I have only done this once, but really liked the sprint intervals, seeing the pace at 7:53 minute miles was a rush!

The 24 Minute Blast

  • 2 minute warm up
  • alternate 45 second sprint, 90 second recovery for a total of 20 minutes
  • 2 minute cool down

This I do as part of the Fitnessista Bang workout.

The Minka Kelly (Yes, I still love this workout.)

  • Minute 1-5 MPH
  • Minute 2-5.5 MPH
  • Minute 3-6 MPH
  • Minute 4-6.5 MPH
  • Minute 5—7 MPH
  • Minute 6-7.5 MPH
  • Minute 7-8 MPH
  • Minutes 8-9—4.5 MPH

Repeat two more times.

In case you didn’t see my tweet, I have a new post at NBC NY Go Healthy!  It’s on the benefits of joining social sports leagues.  If  you’re active and are looking for fun way to workout and a great way to meet similarly fitness minded people, check it out!

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Starting the Week with a Bang

As hinted, I did try the give the Fitnessista workout a try last night.  Thank you Gina, it was awesome! Trying to make it through squat jumps after 90 lunges was insane.  But I managed to make it through all the strength and push through the 20 minutes of cardio at the end too. So a total of 30 minutes of cardio and about 40 of strength turned out to be a good sweat fest.  I am feeling the burn today! :)

Also, if you are enjoying my NBC New York Go Healthy posts, my latest one is up!  It’s  about trying the Crossfit workout.   As the weather gets warmer, outdoor workout are all the more enticing, so if you’re curious, I give it a high endorsement.  As I discuss, it’s different than almost everything else.  There is even a Crossfit Olympics of sorts, sponsored by Reebox!



I am excited to hear that several people are running  Scotland this weekend.  Tonight I happened to have dinner with two girlfriends from Team in Training.  It’s great that four years after doing TNT we are all still close—and still running. I really gained so much from that experience!

Night ya’ll!