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fitness friday: a pre-weekend workout tip.

1 Jul

In general, I love to work out.  I like how I feel the whole rest of the day and it in general just makes me happy.  Even if some of my colleagues joke that all I do when I’m not at work is exercise, it is an important part of each day.  But, as the week goes on, sometimes it is hard to make myself get out of bed, especially after a long week of waking up early to squeeze in workouts and the occasional late night at work.

A few months ago, the DTLA Soul Cycle opened, which is walking distance from my current apartment.  My friend Kristina started going every Friday before work – and we quickly became tight with our instructor, Lisa.

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I absolutely LOVE Soul Cycle – and I can say that because I teach spin classes, and have also tried basically every other major spin studio, at least those in LA.  I’ll save my intense musings on why I love Soul so much for another post, but the point is it works for me.  Just like that “If we build it, they will come” line from Field of Dreams, if I schedule a Soul rooster ride, I will go.  I start every Friday off early, STOKED to work out, and then I grab a smoothie on the way to work.  Not to mention, going to Soul Cycle feels like a treat — I don’t wake up annoyed I have to get a run in or do weights in a haphazard and lackluster fashion in my living room.

Kristina, Lisa, and me this morning.

Kristina, Lisa, and me this morning.

So, my tip is to give yourself something to look forward to — maybe a run date with a friend, a studio class, a hike, etc.  It’s both a motivator to work out when I might otherwise opt to sleep in or phone it in, AND its a reward for getting through it all the other days AND I get to spend time with Kristina before work.  Win-win-win.

Leave a workout tip below: What’s your tip for beating the battle with the bed? 

spin. run. repeat.

19 Nov

I’m sorry I’ve been so MIA this week!  I wish I had an excuse other than laziness.  Yes, law school finals are approaching, but I’m a 3L remember.  (Read: I am actually nervous about how laidback and relaxed I am feeling as finals approach.  And don’t think that’s because I’m already prepared.  Not even close.)

Anyway, here’s what’s been going on in my fitness world the last week or so:

Running with Back on My Feet LA.  You can read more about my experience here.  I am loving getting to know all of the members, and watching them grow and gain confidence.

I also had a lot of fun last Thursday at a BOMF Happy Hour in the Palms/Culver City area at a swanky little bar called Oldfield’s Liquor Room. It was a cool little spot and fun to meet some of the other volunteers from other BOMF teams.

BoMFLA

BoMFLA

Spinning. My blog friend (now real life friend) Katherine  came and took my class and wrote the sweetest blog post about it. I am so grateful for the support of the blog and fitness communities, and I love that Katherine and I became friends through our blogs. We’re so 2013.

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Me and Katherine.

My Saturday class was also stocked with supportive friends — my law school friends Armita, Jackie, and Alexis all came and crushed it, and my friend Dominique (who I know through my BFF, Whitney) came and took her very first spin class , ever, with me!

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Me and Dom.

The most amazing healthy fat combo, ever. 

On Thursday, I had dinner with Whitney at Tinga, a bougie Mexican place in Santa Monica.  The best thing we have both have ever experienced was guacamole with BACON in it. Yes, you read that right.

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Mustache Dache.  On Sunday morning I did a little race in Elysian Park after one of my DTLA Running Group friends suggested it.  I was more nervous for a 5k than I am for most half marathons (running fast is scary).

I had a lot of mixed feelings about the event — namely, the race was 0.5 miles short so the total mileage was 2.66 miles. (not a 5k).  While it was awesome to see a 18:55 on my Garmin, the race is essentially meaningless because of the distance.  What the race lacked in legitimacy it made up for in fun, though.  It had an impressive pre and post race expo, and a Sierra Nevada beer garden. We easily spent 5x as much time at the beer garden then we did racing, but whatever.

Things that are jokes, this alleged pace per mile.  Try again, Mustache Dache.

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Hahahaha.

I’m happy with my place and “time” (my miles were in the 6:45-7:00 range, I think).   All in all, it was a fun event, just poorly managed.

Champagne Brunch at Barnsdall Art Park.

After my “race,” I met up with my friend Armita, Eric, and Eric’s friend Alex for an event at Barsndall Art Park. For $25, we sipped on 3 different champagnes, and had a delicious lunch from a food truck they brought in.  Also, the weather in LA is (still) gorgeous.

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That’s all the news for now — on deck for this week is my final trial in my Trial Advocacy class — and you guessed it, more spinning and running (and probably drinking).

halloween spin playlist.

31 Oct

Happy halloween, fitness friends!!

Source: HuffPost/Getty Images

Source: HuffPost/Getty Images

I taught two spin classes last night — back-to-back — and for the second one I decided to break up the routine and do a Halloween Ride!

I perused a few Halloween workout articles online and mixed some of their suggestions with a few of my personal favs…”Come Little Children” from Hocus Pocus, anyone?”  My class had fun and liked the variation.

I thought I’d share it here in case anyone wants to make their workout today a little bit more festive!  (If you want more details about what we did on the bike for each track, just leave me a comment!)

What’s your favorite Halloween song of all time?

Mine is probably Thriller — gotta love MJ!

i went to the lululemon warehouse sale and lived to tell about it.

15 Sep

A few weeks ago, someone RT’d a tweet that mentioned a Lululemon warehouse sale taking place in Los Angeles.  I added it to my calendar and made a mental noted that my morning of Friday, September 13th would be spent at the LA Convention Center.

Unfortunately, I didn’t get up at 4:30 am that morning to get in line with the rest of the fitness population of Los Angeles. I got there around 9, stood in line for 90 minutes, and realized I would still have a good 3-4 hours ahead of me. I cut my losses and went and enjoyed the rest of my day. It was a SPECTACLE there on Friday. I enjoyed the tweets of @bretturig who was dragged to the event with his wife and was sort of poking fun at the absurdity of all of these people waiting in line for clothes they sweat in.

I pretty much gave up any hope of scoring any sweet deals, but then I saw that one of my friends from law school had waited 15 minutes (at 5:30 p.m.) and walked away with a ton of cute stuff. I was going to try again.

On Saturday, I had my afternoon relatively unscheduled (after my spin class, that is), so I stalked the warehouse sale twitter account (@lululemonWHUS), and as soon as they said the wait was under an hour, I bolted out of my apartment and walked to the sale. I stood in line exactly one hour before I headed into the sale. I spent about 90 minutes perusing the racks. Some of the items weren’t THAT discounted, but as time wore on, the deals get better.

Day 2 prices.

Day 2 prices.

My best deal was the Vinyasa Before You Vino Bag for $29, a couple of cute crops (the pink ones were $9), a Fast Track tank in black, and the Puri Tee Short Sleeve shirt. I also grabbed a few things for my mom and a friend or two.

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On Saturday, I managed to snag 12 items for $300. I’d call that a success. The 12 items were:

– Gym Bag

– Warm-Up Jacket/pull-over (2)

– Fast Track Tank (2)

– Power Y Tank in Blue Laceoflauge (1); for a friend

– Pink Crops

– Amped Crop in Blue w/ Yellow Stripe

– Boogie Short (Pink)

– Puri Tee Short Sleeve

– V-neck tank

– Cream colored yoga pants

I am NOT a huge shopper. I would rather go to brunch and laugh over mimosas or go hiking than go shopping, just about any day, but I have been in the market for new workout gear. I use workout gear just about every day – and sometimes more than once. And now that I am teaching spin twice a week, I feel like it was time to upgrade my workout wardrobe.  Seriously, I was wearing old Nike shorts that I’ve had for 5+ years that sag when sweaty. TMI? Probably.

Anyway, the event was fun. Lululemon did a pretty good job of carrying the elements that make the in-store experience into the convention center – they had women on kangaroo jump type shoes, people doing yoga, break-dancing demonstration, and a DJ bumping some great beats. They also had people come around and take pictures of people standing in line so they could write a “goal” down and have a picture taken with it.

I like lululemon because I have had great experience with the quality, and look. Before this sale, I have owned exactly 4 lululemon items: a tank, a pair of shorts, a running skirt, and a different tank I bought for spin purposes.

fav tank + shorts. [seriously my fav things to wear running].

fav tank + shorts. [seriously my fav things to wear running]

running skirt convert on my first 20 miler.

running skirt convert on my first 20 miler.

spin tank.

spin tank.

After my success on Saturday, I decided to monitor the Twitter account on Sunday. Since I live so close to the sale, I really didn’t have a reason not to go if there was no wait. Around 5:30 I walked back in. To my delight, I found that tanks were now 5 for $50. I also scored a super nice rain jacket for $19 (I know it never rains here, but maybe I will travel sometime to a place where it isn’t always sunny and gorgeous), a pair of bright yellow crops (good for body pump/lifting) for $9, a few running skirts for $9 (one for me and two for my mom), and a few tanks for friends. Lulu success Pt. 2!

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(I got more than what is pictured here, but you get the idea…).

I am not a lulu fanatic – in fact, much of what I have read about the company is unnerving and a little weird. (Remember the “Lululemon Murder” in 2011?). Some of the company’s ideology borders on cultish. That being said, I think some elements of the company’s marketing strategy is genius – they really have figured out the whole “aspirational brand” idea, and I love the fact that they offer great community events like free yoga, running clubs, and race support during local races. I also get that part of their marketing ploy is to make you feel empowered or inspired when visiting their stores, but I like the fitspo mantras and the fact their employees have vision boards and stuff.  A location is opening in Westlake Village near my parents’ home…and my fingers are crossed that a DTLA location is next!

Anyway, I had a great time scouring for deals this weekend and now look like a semi-legitimate spin instructor/”fitness professional.” Also, I signed an e-mail “Yours in Fitness” today…but that’s a story for a different day.

The rest of my weekend was spent trying to compensate for the overly girly activities of going to a sample sale 3 different times for cute workout clothes. I saw the Dodgers win the only game of the series against the Giants, watched them lose while drinking (grossly warm) beer with Armita at Public School 612, and drinking wine at Barnsdall Art Park.

Did you go to the Lululemon Warehouse Sale in LA this weekend?

Thoughts on the brand in general? 

 

could I be any more LA?

30 Aug

I realized the other day that I was “so LA” when I was out to dinner with my friend/neighbor/walk-to-work buddy Peter and his new roommate, Fadi, at Sugarfish (the best sushi I’ve ever had).  My schedule this year is really laid-back (#3LFreeL or #3LOL will be used a lot in the next year), so I have a lot of time to do fun things and generally be obnoxious.  In between bites of halibut, Peter asked me what I had planned for the next day.

This was my response: “Well, in the morning I’m going on a #SOULDate with my friend Katherine.  We met through each other’s respective blogs and became friends in real life. And then later that day I’m meeting a law school friend in Malibu to do some snorkeling.” It then dawned on me…I could not, if I tried, be any more “LA.” HOW DID THIS HAPPEN. Whatever, LA is the best.

Sugarfish was incredible.  I am new to delicious sushi. I only really realized I liked it in the last few years – I used to be weirded out by the idea of eating raw fish, and before that I didn’t even like COOKED seafood.  I ordered the $30 fixed-price meal called the “Trust Me.” All of it was delicious, but the halibut was my fav.

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The next morning, I set my alarm for 7 to make it to Soul Cycle in Santa Monica to meet Katherine for the 8:30 class.  I left at 7:35 and got there an HOUR later, walking into the class a solid 10 minutes late.  As heartbreaking as that was, I enjoyed the class and liked the instructor, Molly, a lot, although she’s no Laura Crago (mine and Katherine’s fav ever). Katherine and I grabbed coffee after and she filled me in on super important (not sarcasm) healthy living blog gossip.

Although I joke about my LA hobbies (spinning, blogging for two) I love the fact that my blog and social media obsession has allowed me to get to know people and make real friends! Katherine and I have gone spinning together at least 4-5 times now and have definitely become friends in the process.  One of these times we’ll take a photo together – but post-spin is never when I am looking my greatest. Anyway, Soul Cycle is the best.

After our spin fest, Katherine and I parted ways and I drove down PCH a little to meet one of my law school budz, Taylor, at his parents’ house.  He has all kinds of weird hobbies, the latest being spear-fishing.  Since we both don’t have Thursday class, I jumped at the chance to snorkel/be in the water while he tried to kill some stuff.  Multiple victories were had:  I fit into a wetsuit made for a tiny child, I saw a bunch of fish and MULTIPLE seals, and Taylor did not puncture me with his harpoon. Yay!  The visibility wasn’t awesome as the day went on so no fish tacos were consumed, but all in all it was great to be out there!

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I left the ‘Bu and headed back to DTLA where Loyola was having its first “Turf Club” of the year. Yes, I went to school by choice when I didn’t have class, but it was because they were literally giving out free beer.  And, as my friend Ross pointed out, they weren’t keeping to the prior “two drink” minimum.  Beers were had and “networking” was conducted.  A win for all!  Also – HUGE upgrade on my law school’s part for switching from Coors Light to Golden Road’s Hef this year for a beer option.  Clearly my priorities are in order.

source: instagram.com/loyolalawschool

source: instagram.com/loyolalawschool

Other “LA” things I’ve done recently include seeing the Dodgers lose (sadly) to the Red Sox last Sunday, and going on a run to U$C with my running group.  Although I didn’t go there, running a couple of laps around their track is pretty magical. Eww did I just say that?

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My status as an annoying social media…enthusiast was revealed today when I went to pick up a package for my subscription-box obsessed roommate. (She’s on vacation and has 4 boxes of loot waiting for when she gets back. Everyone has their vices.  I am not judging).  Anyway, there was a package for me too – my own bag of loot c/o Klout!  KIND bars sent me a bunch of bars to sample and INCREDIBLE high-quality incase brand headphones.  I will never use earbuds again for anything other than running.

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That’s about all the news I have. I’m off to sub a spin class in a couple of hours and then beat the heat by (probably) listening to Miley Cyrus “We Can’t Stop” remixes at length.

Oh, last thing, I binge-watched Orange is the New Black in the last week after making fun of my mom for doing the same thing. SO good.  And of course, someone told me I look like Piper Chapman so now I have completely internalized the show.  The other day I thought I saw Crazy Eyes on my run to SC.  Nope, Gillian, you are not Piper Chapman, the show is fictional, and fake prisoners are not roaming the streets.

Have a great Labor Day weekend y’all!

Fav LA stereotype? I probably embody it, let’s be real. 

so you want to become a spin instructor?

20 Aug

As some of you may know, I recently started teaching spin classes! I thought I’d share with my little corner of the web how I did it.

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I got into spin my sophomore year of college.  In an ill-fated attempt to join Cal’s triathlon team, I took a few classes.  I quickly learned that my swimming and biking wasn’t at a level I’d be comfortable competing at, so I dropped the team.  But I did stick with spinning!  I took classes at Cal’s RSF and my hometown’s 24 Hour Fitness when I returned for semester and summer breaks. I even joined gyms and took spin classes when I studied abroad in Barcelona and again when I lived in Madrid.  I take my obsessions SERIOUSLY.

Since being back in LA, I have enjoyed spinning at Gold’s Gym downtown, as well as YAS Fitness, Flywheel, and of course, Soul Cycle. So after years of spinning (roughly 6 years), I decided to accomplish the goal of becoming a spin instructor.

at the YAS-A-Thon 2013.

at the YAS-A-Thon 2013.

In my mind, there is NOTHING worse than taking a bad spin class, mostly defined by a low energy instructor with bad music.

How to Get Certified

In order to become a legitimate spin instructor, you need to get certified.  I chose to go through Spinning (R).  It was a one-day class, from 10 am to about 6 pm.  We had about 25 people take the certification course, led by a master trainer from Mad Dogg Athletics.  We learned pretty basic things like how to assemble a class, the different hand positions, and how to set up a bike. We also took a couple of rides.  It was really a fun day — I joked that I felt like I was at spinning camp.  Although the certification is about $300, it is really efficient.  Spinning.com requires that you essentially get re-certified every 2 years, but I know this requirement is not enforced by many different facilities.  The week after the class, you have to take a 50 question multiple choice exam.  It is not difficult. (I took it literally while I was blow drying my hair).

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How to Get Hired

Getting  certified is only the first step – you need someone to actually want you to work at their gym!  Many spinning specialty facilities (Soul Cycle, YAS) require that you go through their own teacher training.  I decided to wait to reach out to potential gyms until after I got certified.  That week, I reached out to my gym, Gold’s Gym in Downtown Los Angeles.  The group exercise manager responded and suggested I meet him for a brief interview.  I lucked out in that my gym was looking to add a new spin instructor to the team, so I was matched up with Marcus, a long-time spin instructor at my gym to co-teach a class or two.  I taught the first three songs of a couple classes.  This really got my confidence up and also introduced me to a lot of the regulars.  I would really recommend suggesting this to the gyms you consider reaching out to.

Since then, I now teach one class a week (Saturday mornings) at my gym, and may be picking up another one in the near future.  I’m also subbing occasionally.  It’s awesome to be a part of a fitness community and to be around people who share a similar interest.

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I’ve also enjoyed assembling playlists and figuring out what I’m going to say to the class.  The hardest part is definitely getting comfortable with the mic and not sounding like a total dork when I’m coaching.

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one playlist.

Hopefully over time, as I grow as an instructor, I can post more playlists, tips, and thoughts on instructing!

In the meantime, anything you’d like to know? 

 

(favorite) days of summer.

18 Aug

Tomorrow is the first day of my last year of law school.  Even typing that is UNREAL.  I am oddly sad to start my last year of school, ever.  I have always loved school and love law school the most of all, so it’s definitely bittersweet. (I know, #nerdalert like whoaaaa).

I had a fabulous summer and wanted to capture some of my very favorite moments:

Running a Marathon

Running a marathon has been on my “bucket list” of goals for forever.  After I was sidelined from running the LA Marathon in 2012 due to a gnarly IT-band injury, I decided this year was the year after running a strong half in May.  I trained for it in less than a month (I wouldn’t recommend that, but hey).  I felt like I wasn’t going to ever walk again and may have lost a toenail or two, but I completed my first marathon this summer in 3:49.  It was probably the thing about this summer I am most proud of, although it wasn’t necessarily the most “fun.”

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Teaching Spin 

I was really on a roll with checking off fitness goals this summer.  Ever since I REALLY got into spinning (2007/2008), I’ve had the eventual goal of getting certified.  I’ve been meaning to do a full post about this, but I spent a day getting certified in late June, took a test online, and a week or so later I started co-teaching at my local Gold’s Gym.  I’m now an official employee and teach Saturday mornings.  It has been fun and challenging, and I am grateful Gold’s took me on.  My favorite instructor is my mentor and has guided me and given me great advice.  Now I just need to try and sound like less of a dork when I speak on the mic.

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Los Doyers 

One of my favorite things this summer was going to a TON of Dodger games.  I RANDOMLY happened to be at Dodger Stadium the night Yasiel Puig made his MLB debut, and this season has been straight-up magic so far.   I’ve been lucky to go with law school friends, high school friends, a study abroad/hostel friend,  my parents, work friends…etc. It’s been an awesome summer for my Dodger game attendance, and for the boys in blue. #AllTheyDoIsWin

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Chicago. 

One highlight of the summer was going to Chicago for my friends’ AK and Andrea’s wedding, and then spending a few more days there doing Chi-town things.

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Santa Cruz for Reid’s Graduation

My parents and I had a great time spending a relaxing weekend in Santa Cruz to watch my brother graduate.  I especially loved the short run I squeezed in along the coast and exploring my brother’s neighborhood!

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Outdoor picnics/boozing.

I loved going to Street Food Cinema‘s movie nights at Exposition Park this summer – I managed to make it there twice.  I also discovered a new love – the Wine Tasting Fridays at Barsndall Art Park. The 4th Annual DTLA Craft Beer Crawl merits its own post as well – so fun.

law school friends at Street Food Cinema.

law school friends at Street Food Cinema.

Barnsdall.

Barnsdall.

beer crawling.

beer crawling.

Paddleboarding.

I only did this once, but it was great.  I’m adding “getting on the water” as a new fitness/life goal.  I want to own a paddleboard, especially one that says “YOLO” on it.  995980_10102316772371403_1849457150_n

DTLA Running Group. 

Although technically I started running with these guys in the spring, I started really getting into it this summer.  I average one run a week with a group I found through meetup.com. I’ve explored some awesome areas near downtown: Vista Hermosa Park, Echo Park Lake, Boyle Heights, and LA State Historic Park.  I’ve also met some great people – last week we did beer and tacos after!

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I’m looking forward to this semester and hope to tackle some goals, learn a lot, and have a lot of fun. #ThreeLFreeL may be the relevant hashtag.

What is your favorite summer memory?