Category Archives: Monthly Goals

Dear November…

This is the usual “let’s go over the previous month’s goals and set new goals for this month” post. I’m clearly a few (or more) days late. You probably realized I’ve been a bit preoccupied with some bitch named Sandy.

What did I want to accomplish in October?

  1. Do a plank for 5 minutes, comfortably. If I do not do one everyday, it alright. Yea that did not happen. I only did Planks at Refine Method and for Lindsay’s October Photo Challenge.
  2. Continue practicing yoga and pilates. I actually don’t think I went to one yoga or Pilates class this month. That’s really awful.
  3. Complete 2 (hopefully) successful 20+ mi runs! I did one. I ran 20.2 miles. I wanted to do another but figured my training at that point in time was sufficient for the NYCM. Now I hope that ONE 20.2 mile run was sufficient for Richmond.
  4. Do 2-3 strength train sessions each week. The only strength training I did was Refine Method, and that was once a week and only twice this month.

What did I learn about myself this month?

I need to get my act together. I was probably in the best shape of my life WHEN I WAS INJURED! I cross trained and strength trained, I did yoga and pilates and a lot of Nike Training Club and core work! I was 10 pounds lighter and although I was miserable that I was not running, I was definitely more fit.

So what did I accomplish? Nothing out of the goals I set, which is sad.

November Goals (starting 11/5):

  1. Complete the Richmond Marathon with a smile on my face.
  2. Realistically, go to yoga OR pilates once a week!
  3. Go to Refine Method once or twice a week.
  4. Run 100+ miles for the month of November.

Let’s see if I can do MUCH better this month and not write a post full of complaints and self-pity 🙂



Dear October…

September was a great month. More than great actually. I went to Vegas, I turned 27, I started running again. I feel like I accomplished a lot.

  1. GOAL: Literally do a plank every day! ACTUAL: Not even close. I always forget and the Plank Police yell at me on Twitter.
  2. GOAL: Run a sub-23 minute 5k race. ACTUAL: Not ready to run those paces yet.
  3. GOAL: BECOME A CERTIFIED SPINNING INSTRUCTOR! ACTUAL: I am now a Certified Spin Instructor 🙂
  4. GOAL: Continue practicing yoga and pilates. ACTUAL: Not as much as I would like. I found myself focusing more on running again. I don’t want to fall into this trap. I need to adjust my priorities again!
  5. GOAL: Try new (healthy) foods that I have never tried before. ACTUAL: I have no idea or do not recall if I tried anything new but I hope I did.
  6. GOAL: Run. Anywhere, for any amount of time. ACTUAL: Done and done and done at Ragnar (I will do a review soon, when I can actually sit down and process the amazing experience)!

I am so elated that I am running again (not fast, but freaking strong) that I do not care about missing the other goals right now. There is time for them in the near future!

October 2012 Goals:

  1. Lets keep this one going from August until it actually happens: Do a plank for 5 minutes, comfortably. If I do not do one everyday, it alright. I won’t post pictures of my plank times anymore either, until I hit 4 minutes and 5 minutes!
  2. Continue practicing yoga and pilates. I will get back into the game with both of these. I feel better after both classes and there is no reason to only focus on running!
  3. Complete 2 (hopefully) successful 20+ mi runs!
  4. Do 2-3 strength train sessions each week. I need to work on my core as well! This will help to complete the NYC Marathon.

What are your goals for October? 


Schwinn Spinning Instructor Certification

I have went back and forth with my love for spinning since 2007. I would spend a year going all of the time and then stop going completely. Over the years, when i was going on frequent dates with the class, I felt like I could potentially one day be an instructor. Then I would stop going (mainly it was during times when I would focus more on running) and the idea and dreams of conducting my own class would disappear.

When I injured my a couple of months ago foot, I was told to bike. I didn’t have a bike yet (however, I just got one this past weekend), so I went to spin class once or twice a week. This consistent attendance reminded me why I loved being there – the energy of the class and connecting tough moves to (sometimes) amazing music. During certain classes – I thought to myself, “I could run a class and i can get people motivated to climb this awful hill and complete a kick-ass workout.” I decided to go for the certification. LUCKILY – my friends Lyndsey and Erin (read an interview with her here) were already planning to get it as well. Initially we were going to sign up for the Spinning program, but after calling around to gyms and studios in NYC about their requirements (and preferences), we decided on Schwinn Fitness. We scheduled September 15 at an Equinox in Woodbury, NY!

Our 8 hour program was completed in the spin room the entire time (we were on and off the bikes a lot – and on the floor)!

schwinnerinclass Lyndsey and Erin diligently learning!

Our instructor, Jeffrey Scott, was PHENOMENAL. His energy was contagious and he was freaking hilarious. You can read more about his credentials here, but basically he has been in the biz for 20+ years (and even taught step class, bonus points – I loved step in high school, but sucked at is and tripped a lot).

Some details about the program:

  • The Schwinn bikes are awesome. They have an aluminum frame and a steel flywheel.  The bikes are very light and easily portable by lifting onto front wheels. The bikes were built to mimic a road bike so the flywheel is connected to the pedals directly by a chain and there are various handle bars.

Photo courtesy of ErinPhoto courtesy of Erin 

My favorite part of the bike is the MPower Console.

schwinnconsole After ride: Shows high/low and average stats – these were my highs after one of our rides. Hello high heart rate.

The console is placed in between the handle bars. Through the ANT+ technology (Garmin users!) you can sync your heart rate monitor to the console which will display calories burned. Huge plus: your RPMs are always on display. I believe this is an amazing way for the student to be aware of their output. If the instructor gives a range – the student will know whether or not they are working hard enough (or even if they need to back off a bit). I hope to be able to incorporate this type of user experience when it comes time to teach a class (Jeffrey let us know that Schwinn is continuously developing this technology).

  • I learned A LOT: How to fit a student to a bike; Important stretches necessary to prevent injury and help the body adjust after an intense workout; Instructor communication and cues to get the class motivated; Music selection. We spent a great deal of the lecture on the body’s anatomy and range of motion and how it relates to cycling (Quick fact: a correct setup will mimic a correct lunge – the knee should never be over the ankle)! The most interesting part of the program (in my opinion) was learning about which muscles are recruited during pedaling!
  • Schwinn research and training results in a completely different ride than I have been doing for my entire spinning life. Their motto is “If it’s not done on a bike outdoors, we don’t do it indoors.” This eliminates jumping and introduces new body positioning (to name a couple of examples). Instead of instructors directing the class by percent of max heart rate (an unknown calculation and feeling to many students), it is done by zones – easy, moderate, hard and anaerobic. It is a different method of teaching and I really like it and believe it is much more user-friendly than what I have previously experienced.
  • The best part of the day: Two 50ish minute, high-intensity spin workouts. I am not going to lie to anyone here – the first one was the hardest spin class I have ever done. I went into the second one absolutely frightened and panicked that my heart was going to stop. It ended up being just as hard – but (here’s the kicker) Jeffrey was an amazing instructor with an overwhelming (and contagious) enthusiasm for fitness – and he pushed each one of us to give the best effort we could for that workout. I ended the day full of endorphins and satisfaction with the certification and my new riding abilities!

My thoughts and feelings:

The program was informative from start to finish (I only listed a few key points from our day)! The elements of the Schwinn program were presented very well: teach authentic cycling principles, create a broad-based appeal and develop an engaging and empowering coaching style!

Jeffrey kept the entire class engaged (it helped that more than half of the class were already seasoned instructors that were completing a new certification)! At the end of the program, he gave us the exact cycling workouts we had completed, broken down by song, intensity and speed. I love that I can go back and review the entire workout and piece by piece put together everything that I learned (and also have a base to start for my own class one day)!

I am extremely happy I now have this certification. Do I believe I am ready to teach a class? Yes and no. Yes I can get up there and put my newly-learned moves to kick-ass music. No I do not feel like I have enough of an understanding of the science just yet. I am going to review the literature and make sure I am able to answer as many questions that a class may have. Was it worth $225? Every penny. I honestly hope to get a job as soon as I am ready (and with that a free gym membership)!


I would love to hear from other certified instructors about their programs vs.. Schwinn as well as their certification and job-search process! Any details will be extremely helpful!!

As a student, what is your favorite/least favorite thing about an instructor?

Who wants to take my class?

Dear September…

On August 1 I was four weeks into my marathon training and I was high as a kite on running. Then I got hurt and my kite got struck my lightning and it burst into flames. Dramaaaa Queeeen. Let’s see how much I accomplished in August…

  1. GOAL: Do a plank for 5 minutes (and more than once). ACTUAL: I got to 3 minutes before I got hurt. My doctor told me NOT to do planks until I was healed. So this goal is pushed back a month.
  2. GOAL: Take a spinning class once a week. ACTUAL: COMPLETED! This is going to be a goal every month, FYI.
  3. GOAL: Run a sub-23 minute 5k race. ACTUAL: Not a chance. Moving on….
  4. GOAL: Go to a Refine Method class with Katherine. ACTUAL: COMPLETED! I friggin loved it so much (but couldn’t take more classes during the month due to the cardio movements but I will in the future) See my review here.
  5. GOAL: Learn how to cook tofu successfully (and with flavor). ACTUAL: COMPLETED! and so excited about it! I made a yum Tofu Piccata for Heather’s Meatless Monday A to Z challenge!

I accomplished 3 of the 5 goals and missed the other 2 because of an injury and not because of pure laziness. I can deal with that!

September 2012 Goals:

  1. From August: Do a plank for 5 minutes, comfortably. Mini goal: Literally do a plank every day! #stopforgettingdummy
  2. From August: Run a sub-23 minute 5k race (I plan on running again next week if all goes well, if not, we will keep moving this back).
  3. BECOME A CERTIFIED SPINNING INSTRUCTOR! yippee. More info coming soon.
  4. Continue practicing yoga and pilates.
  5. Try new (healthy) foods that I have never tried before.
  6. Run. Anywhere, for any amount of time.


Alright, Let’s do this September!

What are your goals for September? 


Dear August…

This summer is going by very quickly. I can’t believe I am already in the fourth week training for the NYC Marathon!

Starting this month (and until November), my schedule is packed with exciting things! Two of my best friends are getting married, another is having a baby and fitness wise, I will be busy with training and I am actually running lots of races!

As a reader of other fitness and running blogs, I like to see others accomplish goals they set for themselves each week, month year etc. I decided I want to start setting monthly goals for myself as well!

Here are my goals for August 2012:

  1. Do a plank for 5 minutes (and more than once). Currently I am LOVING the #plankaday challenge. I can hold a plank comfortably for 2:30ish before I shake and fall.
  2. Take a spinning class once a week. There should be no excuses for this one. My gym is 2 blocks away from my office and there is a class offered everyday of the week at lunch time.
  3. Run a sub-23 minute 5k race. Help me find me a 5k race where I can sprint my ass off before Aug 31.
  4. Go to a Refine Method class with Katherine.
  5. Learn how to cook tofu successfully (and with flavor)

There you have it! Check back with me in a month and hopefully I will have accomplished these 5 tasks.

What are your fitness goals for August? 

Have you ever been to a Refine Method class?

Please send me a good tofu recipe. That is a request/beg.