I joined the Big Vanilla gym in Arnold in January 2006 during a typical New Year’s resolution high and at the time happily signed a two-year family contract for my husband and myself that seemed to be the best deal they had to offer. The Big Vanilla is extremely convenient to where I live–I can get there in about 5 minutes–and my membership is inclusive of the lap pool, spin classes, pilates classes, racquetball courts, and an enormous spread of treadmills, stationary bikes, elliptical machines, weight machines, and free weights. All of these perks are bundled into my family monthly membership of $79. Since joining in 2006 I’ve really not had much I could complain about. Sure, I could nitpick, no gym is perfect, but there hasn’t been anything that really pushed my buttons…until now. Continue reading
It’s been a couple months since I last wrote and despite my neglect of my blog, I haven’t entirely neglected my winter work-out plan…although it hasn’t exactly gone according to schedule. In November I ran the Richmond Marathon with a PR and had high hopes of maintaining my running base while re-building my swim and bike base and blending in reasonable sets of weight work-outs. My running plan was to run three times a week, with an easy 3-5 mile run, a speed work-out, and a hill work-out. The reason for this is because my goal this year for the Cooper River Bridge Run is to complete the 10K with an 8-minute pace (and beat my husband).
When I look back at my RunningAhead log, I did pretty well with my goals immediately after the race. I took a well deserved break the week immediately following the marathon with just one pilates class that week. I then did a good job maintaining five days of work-outs weekly alternating runs with swims and added sessions of pilates–something I missed terribly during the height of marathon training. And then December came and from the looks of the log, holiday season hit in full swing. Continue reading
For many of us who are dog owners, there is no question about the motivation a dog can provide to get you out of your seat and out for a run. They need exercise just as much as we do. But what if you’re really not a runner, never were, and never plan to be? But your dog is, or easily could be. I was discussing this exact scenario with a girlfriend of mine who is queen of the elliptical machine at her gym and a proud new puppy owner.
As a dog owner, she is well aware of the dog’s need for exercise and walks him regularly, but the walks don’t do for her what her regular gym routine used to do. It’s been weeks since she’s been in the air conditioned gym, bobbing along to her iPod, and sweating it out on the elliptical. While she wouldn’t trade her new pup for the world, something about dog walks that involve lots of stops for training and ‘doing business’ just isn’t cutting it for her own exercise.
What to do? Continue reading