It’s Easier To Run But Crosstraining Is Important! (weekly workout recap)

Last week’s workouts were day to day decisions. I judged the temperature outside in relation to my mood in order to make my workout choice for the day. Some mornings I got outside to run and some mornings I chose indoor workouts instead.

Many of the indoor workouts can often be more challenging than running. Like Warrior Sculpt for example? It’s no walk in the park. And as much as I love Warrior Sculpt while doing it, I always think how much easier it would have been to run.

Quick story…

I’ll never forget the time in 2013 when I took a mixed combat class at the gym. A friend of mine was teaching this boxing conditioning class at Lifetime (back when I was a member) and he asked me to attend for fun.

Flashback photo here, July 2013….

mixed combat

I thought who I was at the time, running half marathons like no big deal without even specifically training for the races.

That mixed combat class nearly killed me. This was before I started Pure Barre. I didn’t do much cross training at the time aside from some free weights on my own schedule. My core was so weak that I could barely handle a few seconds in a plank, let alone the several drops to plank (oh, and the burpees) throughout the class. I could barely keep up! I’ll never forget it.

Runners are well conditioned to run. You give us something else that isn’t just repetitive forward motion and it can be a real challenge, especially when not used to incorporating other types of workouts into a routine. Runners can run at an easy pace for hours on end and even speed workouts can feel easier than certain cross training activities.

What am I trying to say today?

Well, if you feel as though running is your only way to achieve a quality workout and make you stronger, think again. It is so truly important to crosstrain. Only one type of exercise is never the answer. Varying workouts is a good thing! It’s critical to do various styles and types of workouts to not only challenge the mind and body, but strengthen, balance, and build endurance too.

So maybe winter is your time to try other workouts. If you can’t get outside to run or feel as though you are burned out from the cold miles, try another type of workout! I promise you won’t be disappointed.

Monday – 45 Min Fire

I’m getting better at this HIIT style of yoga. I love it!

FIRE yoga

Tuesday – 20 Min Pilates/3 Mile Run

I started with 20 Minutes of Pilates from Do Yoga With Me before heading outside for a quick run.

Wednesday – 20 Min Yoga/3 Mile Run

Another morning of a quick indoor workout at home before the sun was up enough for me to run outdoors. I started with this 20 minute wake-up and flow yoga and then bundled up to run.

Thursday – 30 Min Warrior Sculpt

All I could think during these 30 minutes of Warrior Sculpt was that running for 30 minutes (fast or slow) would have been SO MUCH EASIER.

lifetime warrior sculpt

Friday – 45 Min Barre3

I hadn’t done a Barre3 workout in a few weeks so today seemed like a good day for this one.

Saturday – 6 Miles

I woke up a little sore from yesterday’s barre3 workout (always a good thing, I did something to challenge my muscles!) but was ready to run. It was cold (real feel of 18 degrees) but I was fine – I ran later in the morning, the sun was bright, and I wasn’t in a rush.

Sunday – 5 Miles

The sun was bright and the wind was light so I just had to take advantage of running again today. 30 degrees didn’t feel too bad.


The weather seems decent this week for January so I’m looking forward to running a few mornings and getting outside during the day for some walks. Have a great week!

Fred Lebow Half Marathon Training & Workout Recap


The first day of December is on Tuesday (is that crazy or what?) which means time is flying and before I know it, it will be time to run my next half marathon, the Fred Lebow Half Marathon on January 24, 2016.

While the half marathon distance isn’t something I need to train for, I do want to focus on a few things in order to give my best possible effort come race day.


Central Park is tough. It’s loaded with rolling hills and I do not train on hills at all! When I ran my first Fitness Magazine half in April 2013 (with an injured shoulder, I still don’t understand how I ran the race!) which also runs the Central Park course, I ran the hills very well with a finish time of 1:49:01.

What sticks out in my mind from that time period is that my weekly mileage was much lower and my cross training (spin and elliptical) were much higher in priority.

While I do not plan on joining Lifetime again right now for spin, I do plan to force myself inside to the gym more often (at least once a week) for the elliptical machine. I have always felt that the random ramp setting combined with high resistance has helped my legs train for hilly races.

If I am not feeling too stubborn, I may also skip outdoor running of my usual loop for the treadmill so that I can run with an incline.


I have been doing well when it comes to incorporating speed work into my runs lately so I will continue with my usual workout routine.

Pure Barre & Yoga.

I have no intentions of changing how often I do either Pure Barre or Yoga for the time being. As the race approaches, I will adjust the frequency, lightening up on Pure Barre probably during the week before the race.

Even with training and preparation, the January weather may impact the race. I am praying that the weather stays mild, or, at the very least, let it be frigid without snow falling or ice on the ground. Cold I can handle, winter precipitation is a whole other story!

For now let’s take a look at my workouts from the past Thanksgiving week:

weekly workout recap

Monday – Pure Barre Mile High 2 DVD & 5 Miles

I like starting off the week with an unstructured easy run. This felt nice.


Tuesday – 8 Miles

Totally awesome run today! It was fairly cold outside (29 degrees) which helps me to run faster without really feeling it.


Wednesday – Pure Barre Mile High 1 DVD & 35 Minutes Elliptical

Early morning elliptical time focusing on resistance and hills. I like watching the news for a change rather than listening to music.


Thursday – 10 Miles

An uneventful and quiet Thanksgiving morning run.

running route

Friday- Pure Barre Studio Series 3 DVD

I did not feel like running this morning so I didn’t.

Saturday- 13 Miles

An average pace of 9:10 does not even come close to telling the whole story for this long run. Post to come about it tomorrow.

That sunrise though…


Sunday – Pure Barre or Yoga

[bctt tweet=”Half Marathon training & workout recap #running #halfmarathon #FLMH #workoutrecap #fitlfuential @pure_barre”]


Don’t forget to enter the Skoop giveaway, winner to be announced tomorrow!

Are you training for a winter race?

How often do you run hills?

Best thing you have eaten since Thanksgiving?

Nagging Need For Cross-Training


I have this slight nagging need for some cross-training at the moment. I say slight because 99.9% of my being just wants to run outside every single morning but the other 0.1% of me knows that I cannot do that without running myself straight into the ground.


I decided to do something different so I tagged along with my fitness pal (and I don’t mean the app) the other day to try out a kickboxing class at a studio I had never been to before last week.

To be fair here, kickboxing is not a completely new-to-me activity. I have dabbled in and out of group fitness kickboxing classes since the age of 18 but haven’t taken a class on the regular in almost two years.

kickboxing class

ILoveKickBoxing is a kickboxing studio with lots of locations throughout the country. The class I attended was at the Oyster Bay, NY location but you can click here to find a location near you.

I was extra excited because the purchase of a three-pack of classes came with my very own pair of boxing gloves!

boxing gloves

I felt legit…and happy that I didn’t have to stick my hands in someone else’s sweaty gloves. Ick.

Before the class began, the very nice instructor sat with me for a few minutes to go over my current fitness routine and to discuss what to expect during the 60 minute class.

I made sure to inform her that I am a runner who just ran the Long Island Half two days earlier which was my way of saying, I will go at my own pace during the class and only do what I am comfortable doing as my muscles are sore and I don’t want to overkick or jab my way to an injury.

The truth is though, race recovery or not, I typically go at my own pace with any new (or even old) workout, only doing the parts I am comfortable with and modifying poses as I see fit.

Class Structure:

Taken from their website…

Our class is not a “follow the leader/punch the air” cardio class. It is a well-balanced workout consisting of cardio training and resistance training to help you burn fat and tone muscle in a short amount of time.

The first 30 minutes of class consisted of a brief warm up with cardio bursts like running (I can do that!), burpees (I don’t care to do that!) and lots of other quick little sets of stuff like push ups and core work which, I am so super proud to say, I handled like some old pro.

The second half of the class was spent with my hands inside of my fancy boxing gloves doing the jab – cross – hook thing and kicking the big bag.

kickboxing class

If you are wondering about my pretty pink tank top, it’s the Lululemon Power Y Tank (luon) and I am in love with it! It might be designed for yoga but I wore it for kickboxing and  love it for running. I want one in every color, it’s like second skin comfy and fits really nice too.

Overall Kickboxing Thoughts:

I loved this class! I always enjoyed kickboxing through the years and really liked returning to it right now for a change of pace.

I was really happy to see that I still recalled all of the jab sequences I have learned and that I maintained good form <- the instructor told me so 🙂

I appreciated that this class involved more true kickboxing technique rather than be just another cardio kickbox group fitness class found at any local gym.

It was great comfort to have an instructor by my side since it was my first class to assist me with the second half of class to ensure I was able to follow the punching sequences being directed by the lead instructor.

I noticed a HUGE difference in my strength, balance and ability since the last boxing-style class I took almost two years ago at Lifetime.

kick box 2013

Flashback photo from July 2013! Read the post from that kickboxing class here!

Even I had to go back to reread that post because I recalled that I wanted to die within the first two minutes of that class at Lifetime not to mention I was left beyond sore and unable to move for a day or so after that.

This time however, I didn’t need to die. I felt so much stronger which I attribute 100% to Pure Barre.

Seriously. You can run mile upon mile but will only get stronger when you cross-train on a regular basis to strengthen and balance those muscles, especially when you incorporate the ever-important core work.

I immediately felt my strength during this kickboxing class (especially in my core) and noticed how able I was to keep up with so many parts of this class which made me beam from the inside out because I just knew it had everything to do with the my three (and sometimes four) day a week Pure Barre habit.

What a difference Pure Barre has made in my strength, balance and overall muscle tone in just under a year!

Will I continue to take more kickboxing classes? Yes! I have two left right now and will probably add a few more from time to time in my attempt to cross-train on a more regular basis.

Also on my cross-training list:

*Get back to spinning and try a SoulCycle class

*Hit the gym at least once a week for the elliptical machine in place of an easy run.

Be sure to check out the rest of the Tried It Tuesday posts!

[bctt tweet=”I tried an ILoveKickingBoxing class and loved it! #triedittuesday @scranberry33 #kickboxing #crosstrain #purebarre @pure_barre #likboysterbay”]


Are you a kickboxing class fan?

Do you make sure to cross-train every week instead of running for every workout?

How often do you do core work?

Snow Day & An Elliptical Workout


I really wanted to measure the snow for us using my Hello Kitty ruler but I couldn’t open my front door just now because the snow is blown up against it.

snow day

My car makes it seem so simple, like flipping a switch can turn the snow and off but it can’t.

snow button

I was hoping to be able to squeeze in just one more outdoor run before the blizzard hit yesterday morning but it started snowing the powdery-type stuff ten minutes before I was to head out the door.

Powdery snow is slippery snow and not worth it to me so the treadmill it was.

I know we talk a lot lately about learning to embrace the treadmill and making it work for us but during the winter, when I am in the gym more than outside, I can only do so much treadmill running.

I try to cross train with the elliptical machine at least once a week on a regular basis but during this time of the year, I use it even more often to mix up the repetitiveness of running in place over and over.

under armour shoes

I think you already know that I don’t run a lot of hills at all.

Maybe I should more often but I find that I don’t struggle as much as one would expect during hilly race courses and the only thing I can attribute this to is the work I do on the elliptical machine.

I like to crank up the resistance.

It certainly makes it difficult to pedal but I remain convinced that all of that cranking and focusing on those tough hill climbs has strengthened my legs and given them some running-hill ability WITHOUT actually running hills on a more regular basis.

This elliptical workout will keep you engaged because you are pressing the resistance button up or down every minute.

You will gradually climb all the way up and then all the way back down.

As you go up, your pace will slow and then as you come down, you will pick it up again, just like when you run hills.

I like to set the machine to the random course setting which handles the up and down pattern of the incline for you. I hope your machine has that setting too, it’s my favorite.

elliptical workout

If you are trapped inside the gym this week and are looking for more cardio workouts, here are a few more:

Mix It Up In The Gym Workout  – so many different things to do in order to keep moving and prevent boredom

Indoor Cardio Workout

Make It Through A Mile On The Treadmill

Treadmill Pacing – Long Run

Treadmill Pacing – With Progression

Cardio Burn Elliptical Workout

Elliptical Machine Tips

I think it’s just a Pure Barre DVD morning for me. I can’t get out the front door!


Are you in the blizzard zone? How much snow do you have?

Do you use the elliptical machine often?

Do you run hills on a regular basis?

Pure Barre DVD’s and We Tried The Chobani Oats


They say runners are stubborn and I am certainly not the exception to this rule.

I don’t like to cross-train even though I know that I have to yet I get all stubborn anyway and will run too many days in a row, especially in the summer when the sun is shining and I can step outside without four layers, a hat and gloves.

I realized though that there is one thing that will keep me from running:

Freshly highlighted hair that comes complete with a haircut (two inches!) and blowout.

Ain’t no way I am willing to sweat up my hair before it is time to wash it.

I tried to take a quick picture for you while inside the Pure Barre Studio yesteday but it was a bit dark in there.

pure barre

That’s the ballet barre where I spend my time lifting, toning and burning.

I cannot say enough about how much I love this class, especially since I am always guaranteed a full-body, non-impact workout which doesn’t let my hair sweat.

I have been going twice a week for the last few weeks and have absolutely noticed an increase in my core strength, flexibility (I am so NOT flexible) and an overall strengthening and balancing of my muscles which I have definitely felt in a positive way while running.

Next week is already the last week of my one-month membership package.

I haven’t decided yet if I will sign up for another group of classes simply because of the price. I love it though so I need to do some thinking and consider other expenses before making my decision.

What I didn’t know until yesterday is that Pure Barre does offer several DVD options for at-home workouts.

I was never one to actually do an at-home workout, especially by following a DVD, but this might be something to consider in order to save some money and still benefit from the technique.

Anyway, big things happened in our kitchen yesterday.

chobani oats

The big Chobani Oats taste test.

Not impressed. At all.

Like, if the container didn’t tell me there were oats inside, I would never have thought there were oats inside.

chobani oats

My son agreed. Good thing I always have cooked oatmeal ready to go because we added a big scoop to the container to make it right.

chobani oats with oatmeal

If you have to doctor something up to make it good, there really isn’t any point to buying it in the first place.

Unless of course you are traveling and need something in a pinch that is portable, packable and airport security-friendly.

I live in fear of making my own oatmeal/yogurt concoction and having security take it from me because it somehow counts as a prohibited liquid.

I am still recovering from the time that airport security seized a jar of my peanut butter. 

Speaking of peanut butter, I received my usual shipment of Crunch Time yesterday.

crunch time peanut butter

Normally this would make me happy but what I really needed was a jar or two of The Mighty Maple. I have been completely out of Mighty Maple for a few weeks now and cannot believe I haven’t made it a priority to replenish my supply.

The forecast this weekend is looking beautiful so I know I will be at the beach but at some point in between the sand and the ocean I need to make an emergency stop at The Christmas Tree Shops where I always find The Mighty Maple for a really good price.

Have a terrific weekend!


Do you like to do at-home workouts?

Has airport security ever taken away your food?

Which nut butters are currently in your kitchen?






Three Tip Tuesday – Learning From Mistakes


There is a very serious game of Monopoly going on in our house. So serious that we left it all set up and ready for the little boy’s next move.

unnamed (43)

If I want to be totally honest, I was too tired to enforce clean up of the game last night so I said we can continue playing today.

So. The new Keurig machine? Not my best friend just yet.

unnamed (44)

It really doesn’t work all that well or maybe I should reform this sentence to state that it’s coffee brewing has been sporadic at best. I am giving it a chance to warm up to me but there is a possibility that it may be heading back to the store.

Did I rush my decision to not trust my old Keurig?

People who know me know that I am a very trusting and loyal person. I never make a rash, abrupt decision nor do I hold much of a grudge, especially when it comes to the people (or things) that I truly care about.

However, one too many times I have been too trusting, too loyal and well, too caring to make the necessary moves and changes in my life at the appropriate times.

Funny how a Keurig machine can bring about this conversation.

I gave some thought to this yesterday morning as I ran (six miles if you were wondering. Some of those six were tough and then suddenly I didn’t want the run to end).

How often do you find yourself in repeat situations where you really should have learned your lesson the first time around?


We experience many things in our lifetime and live to tell about it. But, how often can you say that what you experienced you have not only learned from to develop your intuition but kept in mind in order TO NOT find yourself repeating old and maybe not-so-good-for-you patterns?


Your intuition only works for you if you  have learned from your mistakes. Oprah taught me that.

Let’s talk today about three areas of our lives where we may be stuck in repeating patterns.



When I first got married and lived with my then husband, he wanted me to buy a few cereals for the pantry, including but not limited to Peanut Butter Captain Crunch.

I told him no way. I couldn’t have cereal in the house. He looked at me as if I was insane. And probably told me straight out that I was in fact insane.

You see, back then I didn’t eat enough and certainly didn’t eat balanced when I did.

And when one doesn’t eat a decent balanced diet with enough calories, they get crazy hungry in the evening and eat whatever they crave. And then some.

For me, back then, my downfall was cereal (and m&m’s).  If I opened the box (or bag) I couldn’t be responsible for what occurred next.


And after every cereal attack, I tried the next day to not let it happen again.

My way of making up for it was taking it out on my meals by trying to eat “healthy” which translated into “still-not-enough-calories-or-balanced”.

I was still hungry and craving things in the evening because I still wasn’t eating enough during the day.

It was much easier for me to not have cereal in the house yet is that a way to live? Especially when you live with someone else? Is keeping the cereal out of the house the way to solve and learn from the problem or simply masking it?

If you are still super hungry in the evening beyond a normal, random craving, you are probably not eating enough during the day.

Food is fuel, let’s all remember that. Ignoring true hunger will not help you. It may seem to work for a few hours, or even a few days, but at some point, appetite and cravings kick in and take over.

At some point back then I got a hold on this concept and dealt with it and applied it to my life.

There are still plenty of nights where I am hungry. When it happens, I often make another meal. Another dinner, another snack or if chocolate calls my name, I answer with handfuls of chocolate chips.

But, if it happens on a regular basis, I know it is my body telling me I am not eating enough during the day and I have learned to listen and make the appropriate adjustments during the day.


If you are single, married, divorced or somewhere in between, how many times have you found yourself dating the same type of not-good-for-you type of person, fighting the same fight, tolerating the same scenario, ignoring your feelings for the sake of someone else, accepting something you don’t really wish to accept?

We can even throw under this topic our business and career relationships as well as relationships with our friends.

Why haven’t we learned from previous experiences?


We can watch for the signs, make note of them in our heads but sometimes our hearts get in the way and we don’t want to listen to reason.

We may be afraid to speak up for ourselves, afraid to rock the boat or are simply afraid to make a change.

Regardless of the relationship, we cannot change others; we can only change our reaction to others and our reaction to situations.

Relationships are a tricky thing yet I am pretty confident in thinking and saying almost all of us have been in repeat situations with no one to blame for that but ourselves.

Something to think about, yes?


Bad runs happen. Sometimes there is no explanation to offer; they are just a part of life.

However, several bad runs in a row may be caused by something you are doing or shall I say not doing – like taking a rest day.

I can sit and blame my sneakers, my diet, my mood, my legs or the rain (if I am feeling all Milli Vanilli)…

th (2)

I can write a whole post about how suddenly my runs just plain stink, question why I can’t sleep all that well and wish I had a personal masseuse in my closet for my legs that keep aching.

I can do all of that wasted thinking in place of simply realizing what I already have come to know – OVERTRAINING. REST DAY NEEDED.

I know this yet sometimes ignore it. I push myself to run through it even though I need a rest day.

Running and running and running isn’t going to suddenly make the next run better. Rest is necessary. Cross training is necessary.

When will I learn to remember this? Hmm. Today. Today I will remember that I ran six miles yesterday and although  I am not due for a rest day, I am due for a cross training day.

As for the Keurig machine, was I too abrupt to say goodbye? I don’t know. I am trying not to repeat old patterns in keeping things around longer than they deserve and the Keurig machine became my target practice.



Can you pinpoint areas in your life where you are currently repeating old not-good-for-you patterns?

What is your craving/nighttime downfall? It’s funny, I never really looked at cereal again after that time in my life. Now I go straight for dark chocolate chips.

Last time you played Monopoly?







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