Mile High Run Club: Training Every Runner To Aim Higher

It should be mentioned upfront, that I am NOT a runner.  The fact that I recently fell during a run and actually injured myself had upped my “not really a fan of running” to an almost shocking level of active avoidance. I really needed to get over it, so when I was invited to check out Mile High Run Club, the new runner’s boutique studio, I knew I had and needed to go.

MHRC logo

Mile High Run club is a boutique fitness studio geared at both advanced runners and those just looking to improve. The studio opened in the newly happening NoHo fitness hub – just around the corner from Soul Cycle and Barry’s Bootcamp. It is a beautiful, clean, modern studio, with a bank of small lockers in front. Thankfully, in the gorgeous changing room, there were a handful of larger lockers and I managed to snag one, since my huge backpack was just comically too big for the small ones in the communal space. I stashed my stuff, left my ego at the door and made my way into the studio.

MHRC TreadmillsDecked out with awesome Woodway Treadmills, which more closely mimic the road and just feel better under your feet, MHRC classes are split in two different versions “Dash 28” and “The Distance.”  The class that I took was “Dash 28” with Debora Warner, the founder and program director of Mile High Run Club. For the last several years, Debora has coached hundreds of runners independently through her private training business.  Debora’s goal with MHRC classes? “You’re not alone on the treadmill anymore. My class will educate you and inspire you to aim higher.” I love the idea of getting true run coaching while in a group class setting because really, I need all the coaching I can get!

Dash 28 is a 45-minute class for runners of all levels.  The name comes from the fact that it consists of about 28 minutes of structured intervals followed by 10 minutes of strength training on the floor. Our class did a short warm-up jog on the treadmill while Debora checked in on injuries and levels of experience. Then it was on to the floor for some squats, lunges and some plyometric moves to get our bodies ready for the next 28 minutes. On all of the treadmills, there was a small laminated guide for what ranges you should be within if you are a beginner or if you are advanced – I obviously knew I would fall in the beginner category. I followed along and struggled with every bit. I was distinctly the slowest in the room but was never, ever made to feel bad about it. I did what my hill run was. I did what my sprint was. The goal of MHRC isn’t to just teach to the highest level in the room, or call out crazy numbers to hit on the treadmill, but to give everyone in the room the tools to be their best – whatever that is. At the end of the 28 minutes, we hopped off the treadmills for some kettle bell and core work.

MHRC kettlebellsAt the end of Dash 28, I was spent, but with a new desire to get my running, at the very least, back to a respectable level. Mile High Run Club is a safe, supportive studio where you can just work on getting better – in a group setting. Watching the good runners of the room that night, I wanted to be them. I can’t wait to go back and work on getting better. The best part though about my first session at MHRC, was that it was the first time in months that I actually wanted to run again and that is just an amazing thing….

dreams dont work unless you do


Photos & logo courtesy of Mile High Run Club. End quote just a little bit of internet goodness.

The Brooklyn Half 2014: Spurred On By The Back Of The Pack

This weekend, I crossed the finish line at the Brooklyn Half Marathon after not running more than a mile since December – which is ridiculous. The only running I’d done in months was during CrossFit workouts, which normally were more like running around the block. I had such good intentions to train, really I did, but I just hate running so any excuse to not run,I am all over and this winter’s crazy weather was all I needed to just not run at all. 

BK Half logo

I was planning on scrapping it but then it seemed like a waste since I had a bib to this sold-out race. So, I started playing with the idea of just starting it and seeing what happened. Some of my friends were all “You have to run it! You are fit, you’ll be fine!” the other half were “That is NUTS. You have to drop out! What are you thinking?” To both groups, I said the exact same thing: “I’m just going to start. Run a few miles and just see. There are a lot of subway options on that route!”  I didn’t really think I would run the whole thing… mostly, I just didn’t talk about it.

I ran the Brooklyn Half in 2011, the last race they did where you didn’t get a medal for completing it.  I’ve always been salty about that fact – I like medals!  When I ran it before I wasn’t as fit as I am now, but I had at least tried to train, which, as it turns out, really makes a difference.  I love to race but just don’t love running for running’s sake. I think my exact words after my first Brooklyn Half were: “That’s awesome but now that I’ve done it, I never have to do that again!” Triathlons are more my speed… but I thought since the 70.3 Ironman will end in a Half, starting to train early for that piece of it seemed like a swell plan and I could finally get that damn medal.  Except that intended training never happened.

On Saturday morning I bundled up in old layers, stashed my metrocard, some cash, my id and insurance card (I was worried it might be needed) in a wrist pouch and headed out the door. It felt strange leaving for the race with basically nothing but the bag check sounded like a huge pain in the ass.  I was in the very last corral and we didn’t get started until a little after 8am so I had about 45 minutes of just waiting around.  I loved listening to people chatting away about the upcoming race, all of the training they’d been doing and the plan for the race… but I felt like an impostor.


As we started to run,  I realized that while I knew where the race began and ended, I really hadn’t paid that much attention to what the course was actually like.  When I ran it before, we looped around the park before heading down the straight shot to Coney Island.  The new route had a lot more twists and turns and was overall just more fun since there was more to be distracted by but I did really wish that I’d looked at the map because I was constantly like …wait… where are we going NOW? I was so slow and pokey, with a running loop in my head saying: “Maybe you should stop. This is ridiculous. People TRAIN for this.”  The thing, though, about being in the back was that I was surrounded by people who were not so fit but had trained for the Half and were killing it by just slogging through. As one of them would pass me, that running loop in my head would be interrupted by an even louder one that said “If they can keep going, so can you.” And so, mile after mile, I kept going.  By mile 8, I was fully in it and knew that I would have to complete the thing but was so miserable by then that the five mile trek from Prospect Park to Coney Island, although straight and flat, seemed unbearably long.  Every few minutes that “So can you“ voice popped up and I just kept going. At mile 11, one of my friends, who was there cheering with Lululemon, screamed my name and grabbed me in a fierce hug.  It was just what I needed. The next 2 miles was fueled on that alone.


I crossed the line with a terrible time, but DID cross and was just so damn proud of myself for pushing through. I grabbed my medal, popped it on and headed back to the train. I didn’t really belong at the end party with everyone celebrating crushing their goal – I didn’t crush a goal by any stretch but what I did do was not let a race crush me. I was slow as dirt but finished and I couldn’t have asked for anything more.

I came home and took a nap, then chilled out for the rest of the day. I was wiped out but really not sore and the following day when I woke up was shocked that I felt totally fine. I learned a lot about how fit I really am at the Brooklyn Half, which is awesome, but I also learned that training is REALLY important. I need to get on that – I have a 70.3 to prepare for!

Photos from the NYRR Brooklyn Half site

Commitment Day & Starting 2013 Off Right

Commitment Day

On New Year’s Day, I ran in the inaugural NYC Commitment Day– a 5K run/walk that is put on in 30 major cities across the US, to foster an idea that I love:

“Commitment Day is a way to get people moving and excited about starting 2013 with a renewed commitment to living a healthy and active life, instead of simply making resolutions.”

I wasn’t planning on participating. I haven’t run at all except for a few very short sessions on a treadmill since the NYC Triathlon. However, one of my favorite fitness partners in crime, Julia from FitJourney, did want to do it and was already signed up. After a few days of being on the fence, I realized that I really wanted to be there for my friend’s very first race and to get back into running myself. I really needed to just start running again…to remember that I could and to not over-think it, because really, I was just focused on being there to support my friend. Of course, no surprise at all, but Julia killed it. She was steady and kept going, which really is the key to any race. Turns out, I needed the Commitment Day run too – I needed to remember that you just have to keep going.

New Year’s Day was REALLY cold. That morning, I bundled up and met Julia at Pier 84 to kick off 2013 right. If it hadn’t been for Julia’s drive to run her first race, there was no way I would have run that morning because really, I just can’t motivate myself to run when it’s that cold – but I am so glad I did! It was a great crowd filled with all levels of runners – from those that walked the majority of the time to the ones that sprinted and everything in between. There were so many groups and individuals supporting one another. It was an inspiring event, being a part of so many people committing to a healthier year ahead, for themselves and for each other. It was awesome to be there and run with Julia, but my favorite part was seeing how supportive her husband and daughter were. They made an awesome sign (which they sweetly included me on) and so loudly cheered for her. They cheered at the start, took a cab down to cheer at the halfway point and then back again to cheer at the finish line. It was awesome. It’s funny… it is so easy to forget how much support means in doing something big… After Commitment Run w Awesome Sign

In the last year, I’ve met so many amazing people who inspire me and make me more determined to work harder and get better.  I couldn’t have asked for a better start to the New Year than to get run with one of them.

2013 is going to be a kickass year and I can’t wait to see what it holds!

Enjoy life

Top photo from Commitment Day’s Facebook page, bottom photo from FitJourney’s Facebook page & bottom quote just a little bit of internet goodness.

Lacey Stone & The Epic Launch

“Free for a workout with celeb trainer, Lacey Stone?” – the answer to that question is always going to be an immediate “yes!”. So, before I even opened the email with that heading, I knew I was 100% in for whatever the workout entailed. Turns out, Lacey was going to be in NYC for a special workout for the launch of Epic’s new state-of-the-art treadmill at Dick’s Sporting Goods. The workout would give us all a chance to both try the new machine and to get our butts kicked by Lacey in one of her famously fun bootcamps. 

The event started with an overview of the machine by Lacey and one of Epic’s technical team and they went through some of the cool features, like automatic adjustable height and storing miles logged for each user, a super cushioned belt, WiFi and full internet capabilities. It seemed like an awesome treadmill for someone else but I didn’t really get the point of having the WiFi on it because really, I think you should focus on running while on the treadmill, not surfing the internet. That said, the thing about having the internet access is that the treadmill has the capacity to link up to Google maps, allowing you to run simulated routes anywhere in the world using all of the data that Gmaps has collected. It would be awesome for race training, allowing you to practice on what the terrain would really be like. For the demo, we ran a route in Scotland and the machine automatically adjusted to the various inclines (and declines too!) of the route and all the while, you got to watch the street view of where you were running. The techno geek in me LOVED it and it made running on the treadmill SO much more fun. Really, there are actually a lot of useful things about the treadmills having the WiFi feature for data collection and tracking progress – but really, that running through the streets of far away places is just freaking rad.

The workout was divided into 4 rounds of 10 minute sections, which meant that you got one round on the treadmill for “a mile for time race” and 3 bootcamp rounds on the floor. The way we were broken up, my treadmill section was the first round. It was fun to immediately get to play with the fancy machine but I wish I had been a little warmed up before starting out – my time was not so pretty. Of course, there wasn’t a chance in hell I would have come close to winning when the top three logged sub-8 minute miles – the people in that room were a fierce group! For me, the next 30 minutes were spent on the floor, where we had two simple props, a step and a 6-pound medicine ball. The rounds on the floor – filled with lots of lunges, squats and creative medicine ball moves -were ridiculously fun, as every class I have ever taken with Lacey always is. That woman knows how to bring the fun while kicking your ass. It is such a gift – which is why at every opportunity, I’ll drop everything and go to one of her classes if given the chance.

At the end of the workout, along with the top 3 runners’ winner gift certificates to Dick’s Sporting Goods, Lacey also drew a name out of a jar for someone to win one of the awesome Epic treadmills we had just gotten to play with! I SO wanted it but the lady who did win it, was also the fastest runner there and was so giddy about winning it that I was glad she won! I do covet it though….


Photos and video by Eric Stafford.

Snapping out of a funk with SurfSet Fitness & The Sporting Center at Chelsea Piers…

Last week was one of those weeks that seemed never ending, far too stressful and just in general, dreadful.  I knew going into it that it would be. So, I had booked a SurfSet Fitness class at the Sports Center at Chelsea Piers, knowing it would be the perfect thing to snap me out of my funk. I was so right – it really was the perfect class to have planned for the end of a bad week.

The first time I had taken SurfSet, I took the “SUP” version but this time I took the “Classic SurfSet” class.  I also planned accordingly, because this time, I knew not to plan anything after the class. The thing about taking a SurfSet class is that afterwards, you have the run of the sports center… I didn’t realize that when I went the first time and had planned something right after it, but not this time. This time, I planned on scoping out the Sports Center at Chelsea Piers while I had the chance! I was a few minutes late to class because really, from Brooklyn, Chelsea is ridiculously hard to get to on a good day…but on a weekend? It just gets goofy.  I made it, but by the time I got there, I had missed the set-up talk and how if your board needs adjusting, to let them know. The only board that was left was in the corner and VERY loose. It was almost comically hard for me to get the gist of handling this board since it moved much more dramatically from side to side than the first one I had ridden. Once I finally got the hang of it, I could focus on the actual moves and not on my fear of face planting in the middle of class! The class flew by after that, included lots of paddling, pop-ups, lunges and some pushups, and ended with some yoga poses for good measure. At the very end, we even tried to do a Crow pose on the board for an extra challenge. My Crow can’t fly on solid ground so it was comically flightless on a moving platform!  Sigh, it was not my most graceful class by a long shot….

After class, I took full advantage of being in the Sports Center at Chelsea Piers, the most impressively amazing gym in the city. I have wanted to workout there since I moved to the city but even a day pass there is $50. However, if you sign up for a ridiculously fun SurfSet class, you then get the use of the full gym afterwards, which is SO awesome! I ran around the indoor track and took in the amazing gym.  I ran on one of their fancy treadmills and took in the gorgeous views of the Hudson River and the Statue of Liberty. Seriously, being in a gym with huge windows, natural light and a killer view was vaguely intoxicating and exactly what I needed. I lifted weights in the spotless, stunning weight room, and rolled out on a foam roller in the stretch area before heading down to the locker room. Geeze people. Robes and plush towels, huge showers and an empty sauna… and yes, I took full advantage of the spa-like locker room. By the time I left, I was totally blissed out and loving life – a far cry from how I walked in!

After leaving Chelsea Piers, I headed to Chelsea to drink some yummy coffee and look at some good art, rounding out an absolutely perfect day. I couldn’t have asked for anything more!

( Top image from SurfSet’s Facebook page, middle image from The Sports Center at Chelsea Piers website, a bottom image a little bit of internet goodness)

FBS’s top 5 classes for 2011


Closing out this year, I am sick, which means that I have far too much time to reflect on all of the amazing experiences I have gotten to have this year.  I have done a lot of workouts, done a huge variety of classes, and written about a lot of them here.  When I think about my top 5 experiences, it becomes a challenge…because I write about the things I love.  So, narrowing it down to a top five was a little daunting, but it turns out that there ARE a top 5 that really stand out for me when reflecting on 2011:

  1. Jesse Alexander’s 1 Year Anniversary Ride: At that point, I had just taken a handful of classes with Jesse but it fully cemented him as one of my absolute favorites. It was one of those perfect classes, where everyone there was completely, raucously invested in the ride AND the instructor was completely in the zone. At the beginning of class, no one knew why this one was so special, but there was this moment of awareness when the place erupted with love – it was awesome to witness and changed my love of Flywheel to a flat out love of the community that has been built there.

  1. Holly Rilinger’s Training Camp:  Holly is awesome. Plain and simple.  In fact, one of her Flywheel classes was the reason I finally started my blog. It was the very first thing I posted about. She just has that sort of effect on you. However, it isn’t the class that I think of anymore when I think of Holly. In September, I was chosen by Health Warrior to participate in one of her Training camps.  It was 4 weeks of getting to workout with one of the best trainers in the city, in a small group setting. It was easily a highlight of my year. It says a lot that this night owl woke up voluntarily at 4:30 a.m. to attend – and never missed a class or was late – and that by the end, I really believed in my inner athlete.

  1. AS 1 – I didn’t know what to expect, really, when I got there but the one thing I didn’t expect was to love this workout. It is one of my absolute favorite classes I tried this year, hands down. As 1 is definitely going to be in the mix in the New Year. It was hard, exhausting AND made me feel like a bad ass. I love the minimal space, the exacting coaching and the functional based training – PLUS whacking those big ropes against the ground rocks. I left tired and invigorated – the sign for me of the greatest kind of class.

  1. Brick Workout v. 2 – This year I did two Brick workouts, sponsored by the Lululemon 66th Street and Flywheel. I loved the idea of indoor cycling and running back-to-back, and it was just as hard as I thought it would be. The first one was on a perfect, beautiful, crisp fall day and was great challenging fun. The second one though, is the one I loved, since it was during the season’s freak snowstorm in October. The indoor cycling portion with Aleah Stander (Flywheel rockstar instructor) was packed, but only 4 of us made it over to the park for the 3 mile run in a snowy Central Park with Abby Bales, the run coach who amazingly motivated me to keep going in the snow AND made it seem like fun. It was a workout that made me feel like both a bad ass and an athlete. It also made me think that maybe in the new year I should try and get some more running coach time in – it made a huge difference that day!

  1. Soul Cycle with Danny Kopel: A friend of mine invited me to my second Soul Cycle class (I had really enjoyed my first with Jenny Gaither, too) and it was ridiculously fun. It felt more like being at a concert and it made it easy to see why Danny has groupies – but it was also a just a good sweaty workout too. Of the handful of Soul Cycle classes I have taken, this one was the most fun and was the one that made me know I’ll be back at some point next year.


Images: 1. Internet goodness 2. Flywheel’s Flatiron location for one of my many visits 3. Our first Training Camp session from Holly’s Facebook page with our Health Warrior goodie boxes 4. The As 1 space from their website 5. Another bit of internet goodness 6.  Union Square Soul Cycle studio from their website

The 2nd Brick workout: the snowy, slightly crazy version…

First off, now that it is over, I seriously can’t believe that I actually did a Brick workout on Saturday – with the snow and cold and just generally crazy weather, it just seems amazing that it really happened. Not only did it happen but it was so much fun and I REALLY didn’t think I would be able to say that!

The morning of the second Brick class I woke up to a rainy, cold, generally crappy day and was bummed. I am not so good about wanting to run outside in rainy weather and add to that the cold, well, I was just convinced that the run portion of the Brick just wouldn’t happen.  Of course, the fact that I was going to get in a Flywheel class anyway meant that really it was going to be a good day – but the weather seriously put a damper on my spirits.

So I trekked up to Flywheel UES for what I was sure was going to just be the biking portion of the “Brick”. When I left Brooklyn it was raining, but by the time I got out of the train station on the UES, it was full-on snowing. At the studio, everyone was buzzing about the snow and about how crazy running after the class would be. Aleah Stander and Abby Bales were both in high sprits – as always – and ramped everyone up to start the workout and be in the moment. Aleah was amazing. I LOVE taking her class since she teaches such a great, positive, challenging class, plus today, her music was crazy good. She played songs I sang along to and even one I had to ask about after class – nothing helps make class better than great music! All through class, though, I debated with myself about the run afterward, so I rode really hard to make up for the fact that I didn’t think I would do it. I was sweaty and tired by the end but I also knew that if the run WAS going to happen, I was going to do it.  It suddenly just seemed possible.

I got asked A LOT if I was going to do it.


“… really?”

‘Yes. It’ll be pretty – a snowy Central Park? If I don’t do it now, I will never, ever do it. So yes, I am going to do the run.’

Over at the store, it turned out that out of the 30 or so people in the class, only 5 of us made it over to the run. Abby explained the route to us and was just her glorious, positive, supportive self and we got ready to head out. The others in the group were runner-runners and immediately I was like “Crap, I am so not this person”.  But the thing is, I am.

Saturday, running in the sludgy mess to the park, I felt like an athlete. I wanted to quit, but didn’t.  Saturday, I took a hard, awesome spin class and ran 3 miles in a snowy Central Park. It was cold and miserable and I have never been prouder of doing anything. Abby and Aleah ROCK, but that day, I thought that I rocked too!

Now THAT is a great workout.

(Image: a little internet goodness because it was too cold & wet to take any photos during the run!)

“Brick” workout: The workout that made me feel like I was hit by a brick…

On Saturday afternoon, I got the chance to try a “Brick” workout. A “Brick” is when you do a cycling/running back to back, two of the legs of a Triathalon – and the name apparently comes from the fact that it makes your legs feel like they are made out of bricks. It is one of those things I have wanted to try for awhile but just never have, since really, after a spin class, the last thing I have the motivation to do on my own is run! So, when I heard that Flywheel and Lululemon were teaming up to do one, I signed up right away.  Seriously, any chance to take a Flywheel class I take and to get to try something new? I’m in!

Even though MTA seemed like they were actively trying to make me miss the class, I made it up there in plenty of time to get all signed in, pick my bike and get my shoes. It seems like the UES Flywheel is a million miles away but every time I go to the studio, I am amazed by how quick it is to get there – plus the UES location is really starting to grow on me. Aleah Stander, who I have heard such great things about and who I have wanted to try for ages, taught the class.  It was such a great group of people who made it to try their hand at a Brick workout! They were so happy to be there and energetic about our unified adventure.  It made for a great time. That sort of packed, energized crowd always makes for an amazing ride. Aleah is awesome, positive, supportive and rallying – just as great as I had heard she was. Not only that but I got to ride next to Danielle, another fabulous Flywheel instructor, which totally upped my game for the ride. Did I mention I loved the group who assembled for this workout? The ride was just that: a straight spin class with no arms section, which made a few people grumble but which I loved. I mean really, we were doing a Brick, and there is no arm break in a Triathlon! As always, the ride inspired me to go all out and by the end my legs were quivering, so the idea that there was a run following that awesome class was hard to imagine.

We all gathered our stuff at the end and headed over a few blocks to the Lululemon store to get sorted into groups for our run.  I am pretty sure we lost some folks in the transition but 20 or so of us made it there. Abby Bales was the leader of the run portion of the Brick and she set about quick work of describing the route (bless her for choosing a route that ended with a downhill) and sorting us into pace groups. My group was the 10’ers and included both Aleah and Danielle. It was a 3.3 mile route but my legs really did feel like bricks so it was a really challenging 3 miles! Having the group support was awesome though and kept me going. Abby kept meeting the groups and cheering us on – which was so great! Having Abby on the trail rooting for us all was amazing. It was the first time I had ever run with a run group leader and really, I can see why people love it!

Word has it that there is going to be another “Brick” Workout again at the end of the month, and I wouldn’t miss it for the world.

(Photo: Abby Bales via Facebook of the Brick group at the end of our run. Our fearless leaders are in the center and that is me hiding up in the top row!)

The perfect start to Fall

On Saturday morning, an absolutely perfect, crisp, sunny morning, the fella and I headed into Manhattan for the Fitness Magazine “Mind, Body +Spirit” 4 mile race in Central Park. To get to Central Park from our little spot in Brooklyn by 9:30 to pick up my race number was far more challenging than I had really thought it would be when I had signed up for the race on a whim a month and a 1/2 ago. It was one of those many things that I was glad that I didn’t really think through, since if I had, I definitely would have talked myself out of it.

I, more often than not, say “hell, yeah I’m in!” before thinking about it- that is especially true if free things are involved.  So, when a random post popped up from Holly that said that any of her peeps that signed up for this race would get a training plan and one of her t-shirts, I signed up right away. Oh, I love free stuff and really, truth be told, I needed a little motivation at that moment to keep running.  After running the Brooklyn half-marathon in May, my motivation to run really had been waning, so this was just what I needed – plus, I really wanted one of those cool Holly Rilinger Fitness shirts!

So Saturday, I got to Central Park just in the nick of time to pick up my race number. It was such a great crowd, so happy to be there, and so into the race. I never really thought that I would enjoy races as much as I do, but there is something about running with that many people that is sort of amazing. The thing that I didn’t expect was the course; I really have never run in Central Park except for short bouts in a boot camp class here and there, so looking at the map beforehand meant nothing to me.  The first two miles were a slow grade climb…Oy vey! It made the first part of the race feel brutal! The second two miles did not remotely have the lovely downhill that I was hoping for, but at least there were some!

I finished in 38 minutes – which isn’t great but apparently means that I ran 9:44 minute miles.  At the end, I met up with the fella and went off to collect my goodie bag. On my way over, I ran into Mary, (Holly’s right hand) who I got to meet for the first time on Tuesday during boot camp. She, of course, rocks and is totally fit and inspiring too, and so when she high fived me, it felt like a medal. THEN she told me it she had my shirt for me and we should go and get it. I was giddy. I love those shirts!

After the race, the fella and I went to Grey’s Papaya and got a recession special – because really, if you get up that early and run AND are on the UWS, really, a hot dog is in order! We ended up going for a long stroll down to 34th before catching the train home.

It was, all in all, the perfect day.

The perfect weekend morning

When people ask me what my favorite workout in NYC is, I almost always say the Brooklyn Bridge Boot Camp with Ariane Hundt. I love starting my weekend on the Brooklyn Bridge with that class on Saturday mornings; it is such a perfect start to the weekend. Although waking up at 7:30am on the weekend is always a challenge for me, Saturday morning I managed to get myself up, made a lovely iced coffee and protein shake and left the house remarkably on time.

This summer I haven’t made it to many of the Brooklyn Bridge Boot Camp classes – either the weather has been too hot (I am a wuss when it comes to 90 + degree days) or I have been too sore from other things to go. Ariane really enjoys kicking your ass and is GOOD at it. Her classes are hard and I have known her for so long she won’t let me get away with anything. Of course, that is one of the reasons why I love her class, and really will only take her – if there is another teacher I cancel to save that class for an Ariane butt kicking. Saturday though, was such a perfect morning, sunny but not crazy hot, Ariane teaching and 15 of us – a group of first timers and veterans. Ariane is so good at gearing the class for the group level, while still making it hard for everyone individually. The class runs from the Manhattan side of the bridge to Brooklyn then back again. Filled with stops for pushups and step-ups at the benches along the way, squat and lunge stops and resistance band work, it is an intense, full body workout all while you get to really look at the amazing views of the Statue of Liberty, Brooklyn and Lower Manhattan. Inevitably, in every class, I have that moment when I am I think: “What an gorgeous city – I can’t believe I get to live here!”.  Every time – even after all of these years. That view is such a great distraction from the hard workout at hand that you almost forget you are getting your ass handed to you.

After class, instead of taking the subway up to my favorite Greenmarket in Union Square, I decided to make use of the cool “NYC Summer Streets” to get there. I love that every year in August NYC shuts down a major street to cars from lower Manhattan to Central Park for bikers, runner, and walkers to have a huge stretch of road to play on. There were stops along the way for bike tune-ups, free bike rentals, exercise classes, free snacks and fitness magazines. Lord knows I love freebees! It was a nice 2 mile extra run, filled with great people watching and enjoying the rare opportunity to play on a huge, open, car-less street in New York.

When I got to Union Square, I stopped at Joe’s Coffee for some more iced coffee. Then it was off to the Greenmarket and a quick tool around Lululemon before heading back to Brooklyn to wander around with the fella. It really was the absolute perfect morning!

A morning doesn’t get more perfect than that.

(Top photo credit: Ariane Hundt via Facebook)