Listen to the Ali on the Run Show!
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Some Things Are Tougher Than A Marathon
I thought, considering I trained for and ran a marathon not too long ago, that I was in good shape. I can run for four-plus hours, so I can do anything, right?
Oh, Ali. So naive. And also a little dumb.
You see, sometimes I like to think I’m superhuman. I went through a phase once, after a particularly intense kickboxing class at the gym, where I wanted to become a cage fighter. I actually wanted to try cage fighting. I went home and researched it and watched all kinds of crazy YouTube videos…about cage fighting.
Turns out, it’s kind of illegal.
I also allowed myself roughly 24 hours to recover from the Hamptons Marathon.
Everyone — everyone — told me that wasn’t enough time and that I needed to give myself more rest.
In my mind, I am smarter than all those people, including the experienced marathoners and the seasoned running coaches.
Again, with me being naive. And again, with the dumbness.
So should I be surprised that after running 10 miles on Saturday, doing a wickedly hard Chisel class Monday night and running 7 miles yesterday morning, last night’s attempt at Figure 4 didn’t go so well?
Figure 4 is this new fitness craze in NYC. It’s the brainchild of former professional ballet dancer Kate Albarelli. She is a cute, curly-haired redhead and I am a little bit in love with her. Even though she almost made me cry last night with her damn “20 more pulses” demands.
The class is a barre-style class, and I was excited to try it out last night.
Might I suggest that if you, too, choose to check out this class that you don’t do it one week after running a marathon?
Pure Yoga is the nicest place ever. It’s so swanky and I always feel poor and sad when I go there because I wish I could afford a membership, but sadly, no. The class last night was at Pure Yoga’s Upper West Side location, which I had never been to.
It’s sprawling and spacious and everything is high quality, from the locker rooms to the loungey waiting areas to the studios.
As for the class? It was hard as Hell.
My legs were already fatigued before I even entered the room. Yeah the running has taken its toll, but the Chisel class I took Monday night left my quads, calves and hamstrings feeling particularly tender.
So when Kate had us stand at the bar, feet together in high releve (up on your toes, for my non-dancer pals), and begin pulsing — while balancing a small bouncy ball in between our thighs — I immediately wanted to smack her.
But I didn’t. Because she was also so nice. And she smiled a lot. And she played good music.
So I pulsed and I squatted and soon my thighs were shaking and quivering so hard that it was visible and I couldn’t help but laugh at myself.
Just when I thought we were done, I learned that no, we were not. We squatted deeper, and then we bent all the way to the ground and back up.
At this point I was not only trembling, I was sweating like an angry beast.
The 60-minute class flew by because we were constantly doing something different. Every single move we did was done to exhaustion. I never felt like I could keep going. We did ab work on the floor, used 4-pound dumbbells for arm and shoulder exercises and worked butt muscles that I truly did not know I had before.
Kate constantly emphasized using tiny pulses and movements to build strength. There were no big kicks — just small, controlled, harmless-looking things that left me feeling completely pathetic. In a good way, I guess.
I don’t usually like barre classes, but I loved Figure 4. If you happen to have money laying around, I definitely recommend taking the class at Pure Yoga. Also, if you have extra money after that, let’s be friends.
Except I’m not kidding. Not at all.
After a delicious Oreo cookie dinner, I woke up several times during the night because my legs hurt. Not injury-like pain, just serious muscle aching.
In my mind, the solution to that was going for a morning “shakeout run.”
Coach Cane, do you see what happens when I’m no longer under your careful watch?
I ran 5 of the slowest miles of my life this morning in Central Park.
I had some fun on the Bridle Path, made a very necessary bathroom stop and then ran around the Reservoir for a little while. It was a perfect fall morning, and even though my pace was was nothing special, it felt good to get my legs moving and be outside. My legs actually felt better while I was running than they do sitting at a desk.
Maybe I won’t go to spinning tonight. Maybe I will have another Oreo dinner instead.
Other things that I think are more difficult than running a marathon:
- Walking up subway stairs
- Roller skating
- Staying warm while skiing
- Vacuuming my apartment
- Keeping my closet hangers in color-order for more than 24 hours
- Keeping plants alive
- Cooking chicken
- Not eating the entire box of mac and cheese in one sitting
ANYTHING TO ADD?