Friday, March 23, 2018

My First Month With ClassPass

Let me start this post with this is not in any way a sponsored post. This is my truthful experience with ClassPass. As you all know from following my journey I started taking barre class in November to help with some missing pieces in my running. I held my barre membership until the end of February, but I knew with some travel plans coming up and getting back in to training I was not going to be able to make enough classes to make the membership worth it.

My friend Gretchen told me about ClassPass. She has been using it for a little while now and raved about it. I thought this might be the solution I was looking for. Plus, the barre studio I like uses ClassPass so it was a win-win.

I used a referral code (mine is in all of the links) for my first month of ClassPass and it gave me 20 credits for free. Most classes are four credits so that was five classes in a month. Ummm, yeah. What did I have to lose!

After you sign up I highly recommend downloading the ClassPass app. The app will let you set what time you are looking for your class to start and the distance from where you are. I usually set mine for after work. You can book classes up to a week in advance, so if you know you are going to have a crazy day at work, don't try to book a class!

I love the different classes you can take on ClassPass. I went to barre, yoga, spinning and an interval class twice. It was great. I loved being able to just pop in a yoga class when I needed some extra stretching. I also really liked trying different things I don't think I normally would have. I went to CycleBar and boy, that was an experience for sure. I can run half marathons and fell better than I did after that!

The really great thing is none of the studios pressured you to join. I would check in and say, "Hey, I'm Steff I'm here for a class on my ClassPass" and that was it. Each studio was very welcoming and explained very well how to have the best class. I cannot stress how awesome this was.

I have heard in some places that it can be hard to book classes on ClassPass but I have not run in to that problem yet. I am really good with booking classes ahead of time, but I did book one a day in advance and had zero issues.

When I got to class yesterday I was checking my app and got a notification that my 20 credit plan was now a 30 credit plan! That's 10 more credits and two more classes a month. From what I saw they also updated it to be able to go to the same place as many times as you want a month. Guys, this plan is only $30 a month! I'm not kidding. Think about how much you are spending on one workout class a month when you can explore so many different places at a fraction of the cost!

So, if you are interested you can use my referral link and get your first month free for 30 credits. Like seriously, that's it. You never know what classes you might find that you really enjoy! I have really taken a liking to the interval class I've been taking. I know you will love it too!

Have you tried ClassPass? What has been your experience? 

Monday, March 19, 2018

Pittsburgh Half Marathon Training - Week Five

This was the first week in awhile that I felt in control. While things at work were a little crazy, I was super focused on not letting it get in to my non-work life. I think I did a pretty great job.

After the half, I took Monday to rest. I was still super sore and needed the time.

Tuesday I jumped on the treadmill for my speed work. I only made it half way through my 400s because my hip was really bothering me. It takes me a lot longer to recover anymore, and I know this. I should have just taken another rest day. Live and learn.

Wednesday I went to get fitted for my glasses. It was almost one year ago (actually, Thursday marks one year) that my eye condition started. I found out that my right eye (the problem eye) had some trauma from the condition and needs some help. My left eye is great. It's really sad to know in a year I went from perfect vision to needing glasses so quickly. But, I'm glad to have talked to the eye doctor and she went over a game plan to try and help me with this process. I also did some barre work when I got home. Oh my abs....

Thursday Maddie, Jessie and I went to Orange Theory. I have never been before and Jessie and I did the team work together. It was interesting but not for me. Especially for the price. I don't discredit anyone who does it, I just don't see the fit in my training.

We also went to trivia after and WON! First place! It was a blast!

Friday I rested. I was so tired and hubs made dinner. It was so nice to just relax a little bit.

Saturday I hit the treadmill for a fun workout.
1 mile warm up
200m x 4 with 200m recoveries
3 miles at 30 seconds over goal pace
200m x 4 with 200m recoveries
1 mile cool down
7 miles total.

I loved this workout and so glad I could do it. It felt really good! Plus, I went to yoga after (yay ClassPass!) and really stretched out.

Then I hung out with some friends for St. Patrick's Day. SO MUCH FUN! I cannot stress how imperative it is to do things outside of running during training.

Sunday Jessie and I ran eight miles and a pretty perfect long run pace. We chatted, saw some dogs and she taught me about Rowing. I love these long runs. They help me break out of my head for a little bit and just hand out with a friend.

Weekly Total: 18.3 miles
March Total: 47 miles
2018 Total: 161.3 miles

I have some fun things coming up in the next few weeks. This time of year is always my favorite. Race season is super close and wrestling is great. It's almost Wrestlemania and our next trip! I cannot wait!!!

You can still save $10 on the Pittsburgh Marathon/Half/Relay by using promo code RUBELDSGPM10. Hurry! The code is only good until March 31, 2018!

Monday, March 12, 2018

2018 Rock 'n' Roll DC Half Marathon Recap

Rock 'n' Roll DC is my favorite race. It is no secret. This was my fourth year running this course and this year was going to be different. The first time I ran this race, we like to call it the monsoon. Year two was the year of fun. Year three was COLD. Year four was going to be for me.

Rock 'n' Roll has made some changes since the last time I got to run one of their races, let's go through some of them. At the expo when you pick up your bib you confirm your information by swiping your bib on some magical machine. It was pretty cool. You emergency contact information is pre-printed on the back which is CLUTCH! Also, no more foot tags!!! All fantastic changes.

Also at the expo was some new official merch including some neat shirts with all of the participants names on it. I really like this (my name was in the 1), it is something super different.

I also got VIP for this race and let me tell you, it was awesome. The parking pass itself was worth the price of admission. I'll get in to the rest of it later on.

Well, we all had some pizza and some laughs and got to bed. I got my flat runner ready and was ready to give this course all I got!

Lauren, Kelsey and I got dropped off by hubs who made his way to RFK Stadium (VIP parking FTW). Since he was going to be there we could leave some layers on early and not need to use gear check. It was about 38 degrees and windy. I'm in short and a long sleeve and wished it was just a few degrees warmer.

I got in the corral and just relaxed. I went through the race a little in my head. I wanted a 1:55 so bad and knew I had it in me. It was time to show it.

3...2...1.... GO!

I finally remembered to stay on the right side of the road since the first turn is a right. I wanted to feel comfortable but quick in the first 5k. As I got closer to the mile one marker I saw Kristen and Rachel! Kristen and I have been internet friends for a while now and Rachel is a fellow PRO Compression ambassador. Just seeing them really made me smile. We said hello and I kinda kept them in my view for awhile.

Moving through the streets of DC I noticed I am getting the feeling back in my toes. It was taking longer for my left foot to get warm. It actually felt like there was something stuck on the bottom of my shoe. Shake it off and keep going.

I remember going under and overpass and letting out a WOOOOO! Now in Pittsburgh I would get a ton of them back. Nothing. Not a single peep. You guys are no fun! When I got to the three mile mark I grabbed my first gel and had to ditch my gloves. I was struggling hard to get my gel out of my bra. Not too long after I saw another PRO ambassador Rebecca. So much energy already. I love it!

5k Split: 26:02

Ouch, I'm going to regret that later....

I have never seen this part of the course in the sunlight. No lie. It's really pretty! I cut back a little bit in miles 4-6. The hill at miles six is stupid and I really wanted to run up the whole thing this year. I also really took in the course this year. I coasted and wanted to really feel what these paces feel like.

The blue mile came quickly and I silently said thank you to all of the signs of the fallen soldiers we ran pass. It was the least I could do. Alright, hill time!! Lean forward, open up your stride, deep breaths. LET'S GO! Guys, I "ran" up that whole hill and still saw a 12:00 on my watch. Woof, that was so rough!

10k Split: 53:28

I took my next gel once I got my breath back. It gave me some time for my legs to come back to me. The next few miles are a little rolling, but I was ready for it. After my gel went down I went for my salt pill. That didn't go. I threw it up and felt this awful pain in my diaphragm the rest of the race. It kinda felt like a bubble stuck in the middle of my torso.

The crowds were growing. The first part is all business but the second half is a party. I saw so many dogs, great signs and booze. LOTS OF BOOZE! There was a lady who was running near me wearing a winter coat and it was making me really warm. The sun was warm but the wind was still kicking up.

Once I hit mile eight and that awesome drum line, I knew I had it. I actually only looked at my watch a few times, but I did notice I was about .16 off at the eight mile marker. With a number of overpasses to go, I knew I was going to have to manually split my watch at some point. I also got my second wind around this time. I haven't had a second wind in a race in quite sometime. It was nice!

10 Mile Split: 1:27

Ummmm what? 1:27?! Holy crap I'm at least going to hit my B goal (1:57), can I actually get my A goal (1:55)? I manually split my watch so I could see how my last 5k would go. Miles 10 and 11 are the worst for me of this race. There aren't as many spectators and it is just a strange area. I tried to take another gel and it did not go. Great, I guess I'll be going over half of this race on only water. Keep going. I knew I would see the Oiselle girls near mile 12. Just get there and it's all downhill from there.

When I saw the Oiselle girls I threw my hands in the air. Courtney ran to me, just like the past three years and I told her we did it! I'm sure she had no idea what this meant, but I needed to tell someone. I was going to hit my A goal.

My husband was going to be on the left side of the final .1 in the home stretch. I didn't care if it added on more distance, I needed to share this with him. The past few months have been rough for me and I really needed this race. I just gave him a thumbs up. I did it.

Official Time: 1:55:47

That is good for a two minute course PR!!! I hit my A goal for the first time in a race in almost a year. Guys, it hurt but felt so good. I saw Kristen and the other ladies and just gave her a huge hug. She had a 30 second PR and she earned that. I am go proud of her and all of her hard work.

I headed over to the VIP section and signed up for a massage. I still had the strange feeling in my torso and really wanted something to eat. They had an awesome spread but all I could manage was a bagel and a mimosa. Because, duh!

The massage was amazing and I could have stayed in that area all day. Seriously, if you needed a reason to go VIP remember these five things: parking pass, private bathrooms, food, drinks and a massage. Totally worth it!

You better believe I will be back for year five next year. I just love this race so much. It is challenging, but rewarding. Plus, getting to spend the weekend with some amazing people makes it that much better.

Below are the course map, elevation chart and my splits.

See the hill.....

Disclaimer: I was provided entry in to this race and VIP as part of the Rock 'n' Blog program. All opinions are my own.

Monday, March 5, 2018

Pittsburgh Half Marathon Training - Week Four

This week I needed to focus on me. Normally when I am in training I am super focused on training. Hitting my goals and workouts is a high priority for me. Then I had a mental breakdown last year about a month before my marathon and knew I had to work on balance the next training cycle.

Monday was a rest day for me. I have had a really busy past few weeks at work with no end in sight. Plus, with all of the rain we have been having, my normal route home from work has been closed. It has taken me longer to get home from work and really messing with me.

Tuesday was my first track workout of this cycle.

1 mile warm up
200m x 10 with 200m recoveries
1 mile cool down.

4.5 miles total.

I was a little quick on my 200's but everything felt really good. I cannot tell you how great it felt to get back out on the track. They are my favorite workouts.

Wednesday was a rest/stretch day after the track workout. I know I am not a young as I use to be and I need to give my body time to recover. It takes a little longer now, and that's alright!

Thursday hubs and I met some friends for trivia. Guys we got second place! It was so much fun and so needed.

Friday was a sit on my couch with a beer kind of night. My mental state was not good and it was really windy outside. I really want to get this across, IT IS OKAY TO NOT RUN! Do not feel like you HAVE TO do something. If you push yourself too much you will either get hurt or burnt out. Trust me, I've done both. When your body is telling you to rest, please listen. I did and it was so needed.

Saturday morning I went to the Steel City Road Runners group run for a "Meet the Bloggers" event. I decided to run the seven mile loop with the 9:30 pace group. The group was fun and I even met some blog readers which is awesome. We ran a lot quicker than a 9:30 pace but still, it was a nice run through downtown.

Sunday I went to barre, ran five miles and met a friend for brunch. All before 1pm! I felt so productive! I ran the first half of my five miles with Kelsey and dropped it the last half. I love the feeling of my legs coming back. It has been so long since I've trained for a shorter distance. It has already been a lot of fun. I'm excited to see how the next few weeks go!

Weekly Total: 16.6 miles
March Total: 12.1 miles
2018 Total: 126.5 miles

This weekend is Rock 'n' Roll DC and I cannot wait! I love this weekend so much. I get to see some of my friends and it is just the best getaway weekend. I'll share some of my favorite parts of the weekend later this week. 

The other reason why I'm excited for this race is because I get to see where I'm at! I haven't "raced" a half marathon since last April. Almost a whole year. I have no idea where I am, but since I have an idea - I want to see if I'm right.

Also, I signed up for the Cleveland half marathon this weekend. I'll be pacing my friend Maddie for the first half as she takes on her first marathon! I am really excited about this. I love running with Maddie and if I can distract her for a little bit, I am up for the challenge!

We are getting so close to Spring! I can't even believe it! Pittsburgh Marathon weekend will be here before we know it. Remember, you can save $10 on the Pittsburgh Marathon/Half or Relay with promo code RUBELDSGPM18 until March 31!

Thursday, March 1, 2018

No Spend February - The Final Week

Well we did it! We survived No Spend February! I cannot tell you how great it feels to have completed this challenge and have learned a little from it. Let's recap my goals for the month and how it went.

1. No going out for lunch or dinner - I think I only went out for lunch twice this month, which was awesome! We went to dinner once and I went to a birthday party.

2. No online shopping - The new running coat I bought was too big so it got returned, which means I did not do any online shopping this month!

3. No unnecessary spending - Check! Anything I spent money on this month was already budgeted for. I also worked on a budget for the next few months to know where my spending *should* be.

So what are some things I made adjustments to this month:

- I decided to eliminate my barre membership and go with ClassPass. I am traveling a lot in the next few months and started really training again. I don't have the same amount of time to get to barre. With the ClassPass membership I can take five classes a month and visit the same studio twice a month. Plus, I got my first month free. You can too with my referral link!

- I cleaned out a lot of my clothes I do not wear anymore. Guys, do you know how great that felt? I have some non running clothes that need cleaned out too, but I will do that in the next few months when I switch out some of my winter clothes.

- I unsubscribed from so many emails. I signed up for and it was the best decision I made. Not getting a million emails a day about sales or new products really helps with the mindless spending.

- Hubs and I really have made notice about our spending when going out. We usually try to have date night once a week, but have been lacking in the past few weeks. We haven't really minded staying home and just hanging out. Or wandering around Target and not buying anything. It has been kinda fun!

Overall, if I calculated it right, I saved over $600 this month! This no spend month has really helped me adjust to having a car payment again and focus on my spending. I super proud of myself and my other no spenders!

Alright, final totals. How did you finish up your no spend month?