Thursday, April 19, 2012

Get Out There

The way my classes at Clay worked out this session (due to work, life, and all that other crap) I am on my own Saturday - Tuesday and then slammed with athletic training greatness at the end of the week.  

Since I'm still struggling with my shins Scout & I are (much to my dismay) temporarily eliminating any running. We're keeping our cardio up, however, by walking at what we consider a fairly fast pace.  Yep, I'm the crazy lady you keep seeing pumping her arms like a freak down the Rivanna Trail (the one you all make fun of...). I've been using the MapMyRun app on my iPhone to keep track of our mileage as well as my pace.  I love it because it tracks all of our outings and enables me to see our progress (or lack thereof).  The one thing I have unintentionally learned via this app is that while Scout is a great motivator for me because he gets me out the door by sitting by it and "patiently" whining waiting, he also slows my pace down significantly with his incessant need to pee on every third tree or bush that we pass (seriously, how much urine could that little bladder hold???).  We average a 14 minute mile together and 12.5 when I leave him at home. He doesn't actually know that do this so let's keep that between us, okay?  (It's totally crazy, but that dog is my best friend and it's important for me to keep him happy). 

On Wednesday mornings I head to Clay for an in-studio Athletic Training class with Hyam. It's no secret I think this woman is the shit and she totally kicks my ass every time I work out with her. So while it's definitely difficult, I love every painstaking minute of it.  Friday's this spring, however, I'm doing something new - an outdoor athletic training class with Sandy Archer.  Sandy is fairly new to Clay but definitely not new to the fitness scene in Charlottesville.  If her name sounds familiar it could be from her days of leaving people in the dust on the UVA track, or from the infamous Arch's restaurant she and her husband Rob own (of which there are now three delicious shops in town) or for the "standing room only" classes she has taught at ACAC for years.  Yep, she's that freaking awesome - and I'm totally pumped to be doing this new class with her this spring.  

The premise of this class is that we meet at a different park in Charlottesville to do cardio and strength training in a new and fun way outside.  We started our first week at Belmont Park, which is just a few blocks from Clay. During the class we did everything from running laps around the park, to Killers on the sidewalk, to pull-ups on the bars. to lunges up hills, to crazy tandem exercises where we pull each other across the basketball court with bike tires wrapped around our waists (not as crazy as it sounds, but definitely as difficult!). While the workout is intense the time flew by - and I can't wait to see what Sandy has in store for us this week!

I'm often asked what I love so much about Clay.  This is just one example of what keeps me going there week after week, month after month.  I NEVER get bored - and neither do my muscles.  There's always something different that challenges both my body and my mind in a new way.   I've learned that though the BOSU is a really cool training tool that can be used in a million different tortuous ways, I don't have to have one to get a good workout in.  There are plenty of things I could do right in my own back yard (if I wasn't afraid that my neighbors would report me to social services on the premise of insanity).  

So my challenge to you this weekend is to get outdoors.  Find a trail and go for a hike - run a few laps around your neighborhood - check out a new park in our area - whatever makes you happy - just get out there, do something new and have some fun! 

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