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Tough Week, Tough Love

Happy May!  Gorgeous, glorious May.  I always associate this month with the color green (for very obvious reasons) and it was so wonderful to go out this morning, on the first run of the month, and to see so many trees that were bare when I started training for the half at the beginning of March turn completely green.  The blooms of April are gorgeous and I'm always sad to see them go, but May brings the promise of summer.  And this year, of my very first solo half marathon!

This week started out tough.  The weekend was amazing, but filled with so much fun (theatre, drinking, late nights - all with a full teaching and work schedule!) that I woke up on Sunday feeling really under the weather.  I've been calling it allergies all week because that makes it sound much better than a cold, but I really do think I've been fighting a cold.  You can feel the difference, you know?  Stuffy head, sore throat, and just plain physical exhaustion.  Too bad for that cold, Sunday was chock full of activity, including a gigantic Karma Kids birthday party and my longest training run until the race - a whopping 10 miles in Central Park.

I got up and did it, and I kept getting up and doing all of my classes and desk shifts.  The only thing I was able to really skip to give myself a break was Tuesday morning's run, which I had no problem doing at all!

Yesterday, however, Marc and I had planned a date night (it turned into a sushi date with my father-in-law, which is always a great time, followed by Mad Men reruns at home because we're obsessed).    We planned to take an hour long class with personal trainer, spin teacher, yoga teacher, and Karma Kids Yoga's Director of Business Development, Manager of Teachers & Desk staff, and Resident Tinkerbell Jen Fink Oppenheimer.  It's a free class for couples (or bff's!) offered through New York Sports Club for the month of May called Tough Love:  Bars, Bands, & Blindfolds Bootcamp.  Always a sucker for Jen, a great workout, and alliteration, I immediately scheduled a day for Marc and I to take the class.  Always a good and willing sport, Marc signed on board.

The odds were slightly in favor of us bailing.  I was exhausted from a busy day of lots of running around and was just feeling burned out from the week and Marc was tired, cranky, and overwhelmed with how much material he has to hammer into his head for upcoming auditions.  Luckily, I had already told Jen multiple times that we were coming, and dammit I wanted that free couples workout!

Though I was nervous because I was feeling tired, I was also pretty confident after going to Refine regularly since December and training for the half - I'm in good shape.  I can tell you very honestly, though, that Jen kicked our butts!  It was broken up into "Chapters," as the original workout was inspired by the Fifty Shades of Grey craze of last year.  After a warm-up, we went into absolutely brutal intervals to be done twice (the second time while blindfolded) of mostly plyometric based exercises like jump squats, jump lunges, and some others like single leg lifts (which my hamstrings are still crying over).  There was also some fun blindfolded wheelbarrowing - where I feel the deck was stacked WAY against me!

Lounge chair...highly recommended for all ages!
The second chapter was one of my favorites - one person does a cardio exercise for 1 minute while their partner does a core exercise for 1 minute, and at time they switch.  We did this for a total of 12 exercises each.  It was fun to see where I struggled - and where I performed better that Marc!  The third chapter closed off with some intense strength based exercises with no rest...and then the glorious end included some yummy partner poses.  A lot of them were super familiar to me as a Karma Kids Teacher, but it had been ages since I'd done them with a grown-up!  Lounge chair feels a lot better with my 6'2", 180 pound husband than with a tiny 4-year-old...as much as I love the tiny 4-year-olds.

We left the gym exhausted, sweaty, and with major mood boosts!  Gone was the crankiness, and my energy skyrocketed for the rest of the night.  And I'm not saying the workout cured me, but I woke up this morning feeling better than I had all week.  So...take that as you will!

Sweaty and happy!
You have this whole beautiful month to grab someone you love and head to New York Sports Club to take this free, fun, butt-kicker of a class!


 Post workout sushi optional, but recommended.

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