Mix It Up May + ClassPass Reviews

ClassPass is perfect for Mix It Up May. I barely ran this week, but I’m sore from using muscles that haven’t been engaged in forever. ClassPass is a monthly membership to fitness classes in LA. You can visit a bunch of different studios, like cycling, yoga, dance, circuit training, and pilates. If you’re a ClassPass member you get unlimited classes to studios in the ClassPass network. You can take unlimited classes but you can only visit the same studio up to 3 times a month. With LA having thousands of workout classes and studios, it’s hard to commit to just one. It’s nice to mix it up. If I wasn’t a runner I would totally sign up for this year round. I’m thinking it might be a good option for when I’m in need of a break from running. So far I’ve loved it. I was skeptical about finding good classes and getting enough spots, but it seems the opposite is the problem. There are so many options! My goal is not try a bunch of new studios over the next two weeks. Considering Marta, Ellen, Anna, Alaina, Cecilia and Brianne are signed up too, it’ll also be a fun social activity. Pros and cons of what I’ve tried so far are below.

Cycle House West Hollywood

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Pros

  • A high energy workout with loud music.
  • I loved the arm weights sequence.
  • You get alkaline water, apples and bananas at the studio.
  • Changing room is nicely stocked with essentials (lotion, deodorant, hair ties).
  • They have free shoe rentals.
  • The staff is very welcoming.
  • 75 minute validated parking across the street.

Cons

  • You get super sweaty. Not ideal if you’re like me and try to plan other activities for right after your workout.
  • Changing room is super tight. I showered there because Brent and I were going to dinner afterwards and it was cramped.

Pop Physique Westside- PopSculpt Class

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Pros

  • Great for toning and strengthening.
  • Calmer vibe. Sometimes you don’t need someone yelling at you after a long day at work.
  • Plenty of parking options both at the studio and on neighboring streets. It was fun to be in my old neck of the woods (Inglewood and Venice) where I lived when I first moved to LA in 2007.
  • Worked my hips that are in need of strengthening. Great for runners!

Cons

  • If you’re looking for cardio, you’re not gonna get it here. Considering doing a short run beforehand.
  • I wasn’t sure if I was doing all the moves right and could have used more assistance.

YAS Downtown-Spin/Yoga Class

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Pros

  • Half and half combo makes the class go by really fast.
  • Less of a “party on a bike” feel. Feels like a normal spin class and less like a scene.
  • Underground parking validated for 2 hours right next to the studio. Great for downtown which is usually super tricky!

Cons

  • I love the half and half concept, but I didn’t feel like I could really get into either one. I would have liked 45 minutes of each. Especially with the yoga, I wanted more.
  • The class was a little empty. Could be that most people were at happy hour on Friday afternoon 🙂

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Pros

  • Fun music and great instructor who was eager to help.
  • Made me re-think that ellipticals are easy sorority girl machines (sorry Alaina!) I worked hard! Great if you’re looking for cardio.
  • Loved the 20 second interval sequence
  • Perfect for a group of girls (Alaina, Marta, and Ellen went) It’s just a funny concept to get a bunch of girls on ellipticals working out to music. Think Cycle House on an elliptical.

Cons

  • I didn’t really understand the whole ab sequence. Maybe I was doing it wrong.
  • Not in the coolest location. In an old strip mall on Santa Monica Blvd.

In other news…

It’s been a while since I’ve posted some Sunday night week prep recipes. A few coming tomorrow, including the Meatless Monday enchiladas and rice Alaina and I made last week at The Gourmandise School. Best gift ever. Maybe a 30th Bday party idea? We had so much fun cooking up a storm.

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And in school news, the new Equitas Middle School site (where we’ll be co-locating next year) is almost complete!FullSizeRender (8)

Mix It Up May + Los Angeles Trails

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This weekend was the official start of Mix It Up May. What is Mix It Up May? Marta, Ellen and I are really trying hard not to creep into the crazy zone of running. We value balance and time with our friends and family who don’t need to deal with dumb marathon training year round. Marta’s registered for Chicago in October and Ellen, Brent, Donna and I are running New York in November. Before jumping into another training season, we’re taking a break from the routine and are decreasing the mileage. This doesn’t mean NO running, it means less running, more trails, no double digit runs (I’ll make an exception for you, Andrea) more cardio, more yoga, more happy hours, so that when we get back into marathon training we’re pumped and excited.

We kicked off Mix It Up May with, well, running. We ran (and sometimes walked) Sullivan Canyon. 950 feet of climbing. The view was beautiful. Here’s how you get there. A few tips, check the parking signs, watch out for bikers (I was paranoid Marta was going to get smashed by a bike flying past), know that the last mile is the hardest and take a panorama shot at the top.
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In the afternoon we hiked the 2.6 mile Los Liones Trail. Here’s Marta and I trying to be cool with artsy yoga poses followed by the octopus we ate for dinner at The Tripel.

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Today we went to Lulu, but instead of our regular nine mile run we cut it short and hit up the free in-store yoga class. Here we are doing partner poses. I love that the Beverly Hills location offers a free class Sundays at 10. You get to try instructors from studios across the city, and get a good stretch after your run.

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It’s nice to be home for two weeks after five trips in eight weeks. I’ve gotten to know Albany really well. Uncommon Impact offers high-quality teacher and leader trainings, so although Albany isn’t the MOST exciting place to visit, I do it to help me be a better educator. Next up is San Diego for Memorial Day weekend with the Beckianos. No airplanes till June though!

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And..I’m too cheap to pay for marathon foto pics, so I resort to screenshots. I think I look too happy in my picture. Check us out in Vancouver too!

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I also found this awesome Boston Marathon finish line camera. It’s fun to watch the elites cross, and to try to find your friends. I cross at 3:28 on the race clock.

Screen Shot 2015-04-23 at 6.14.20 AMSo I think the plan is kayaking and more yoga for next weekend. I might try to make a Soulcycle class sometime this week or bully Alaina into going to Green Yogi with me. How else should we mix it up!?

Ellen Ran Van!

LAX is my second home. I’m on my third trip to the east coast since March, and on my fifth trip of 2015. This time I’m headed to New York for a school visit and Uncommon Reading and the Common Core Conference. Crazy to think less than 48 hours ago I was running with Marta and Ellen around Stanley Park in Vancouver.
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Marathon season is over, and the three amigos have a lot to celebrate. Marta ran a 3:35 in LA, I ran a 3:22 in Boston and Ellen took 25 minutes off her previous marathon time, finishing the Vancouver Marathon in 3:37! Based on training I knew Ellen was going to have an incredible race. There was no way I was going to miss it. Brent and I found a great flight deal and the Mulholland family offered to host us for the weekend, and of course Marta couldn’t miss out on the fun so Anna, Brent, Marta and I all flew up to Vancouver for the weekend.

It was a quick trip, but we were able to cram in a lot into 2 days. Running 12 miles of the course with Ellen was a great way to see the city. Vancouver is absolutely beautiful. Ahh the crisp air, the mountains, the green. It was such a nice change from LA. We arrived late Friday night and despite much objection from Ellen and Anna, Menno gave us a quick tour of the marathon course before we went home and crashed.

Saturday morning we went for a shake out two mile run before taking the bus downtown for that expo. The expo was small, but it was efficient, the booths were quality, and Cliff didn’t have a crazy long line and was giving out free bars. We did our signature “casually walk past a few times and act like this is your first time visiting the booth.” Marta, Ellen and I each bought a Run Van shirt (Marta and I Technically ran in Vancouver), we took advantage of the photo booth, and we saw the elite women.

After visiting the expo we walked down Robson and went out for lunch at The Flying Pig in Yaletown. When Anna is in charge of picking the restaurant you know it’s going to be good. Great ambiance, great food, and a charming server. Oh, and banana bread for the table while you wait for your food. I had the trout with cous cous and avocado salad. Vancouver is a super healthy city. Most of my meals consisted of salads with seafood.

After lunch we met up with Andrea, Alaina’s best friend from growing up who lives in Vancouver and works as a color specialist at Lululemon. I’ve only met Andrea once in LA, but it’s like we’ve known each other forever. If you’re friend with Alaina, you’re friends with me. Andrea had run 17 miles that morning as part of her training for her first marathon that morning. Funny how Alaina’s friends tend to be runners, even though she absolutely hates running. We walked around the seawall drove to the original Lululemon in Kitsilano, walked around and got a drink at Local. Brent got really excited at David’s Tea. Tea is his new thing. Right, Anna? We also went to Pirate Joe’s. Some genius brings Trader Joe’s goodies from the US to Canada, and sells marked up. That night we had delicious salmon burgers for dinner and watched Prefontaine to get Ellen pumped for her big race. We were off to bed fairly early.

IMG_0326The morning of the race was absolutely beautiful. There was no wind, not a cloud in the sky and a perfect chill in the air. Ellen was super calm. I knew she was ready to have a great run. Because the race didn’t start until 8:30, she didn’t have to leave her house until 7:15. It was an oddly relaxing morning for a marathon. No waking up at 4AM, no getting to the starting line in the dark, no shuttles and no traffic. The Mulholland family lives in the perfect spectating spot for the marathon. We walked to the 13KM mark around 9 to watch the elites, and Ellen came soon after. She looked totally at ease and happy. Brent jumped in to run a 10K loop with her, and we walked over to the 23KM mark so that Marta and I could jump in and finish the route with her. Marta and I the rest of the route with Ellen, jumping off the course around 41K. I hope our fresh legs weren’t too annoying for her. We were snapping pictures the entire time. It was just too beautiful not to take pictures. At the end I was able to sprint to the finish and film Ellen crossing the finish line. Ellen, can I post the video!?

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Ellen gave it her all, and it was so inspiring seeing someone give 100% and stay so positive. I knew Ellen was tired, but she never got negative and never said she hurt. When I asked her how she was feeling she just kept a straight, focused face and would say “I’m good.” Marta and I stayed a few feet ahead of her and blocked the wind around Stanley Park. It was so great being a part of her marathon experience. Like I said before, Ellen ran a 3:37. Last year in LA she ran a 4:02. CRAZY PR. I’m so inspired by her dedication and hard work, and to think she is only 26. Can’t wait to see what else she accomplishes.

We celebrated her marathon at the Cactus Club on the beach, had dessert and sushi a few hours later. Gotta refuel. After relaxing at the Mulholland house for a few hours we were off to the airport for a quick flight back home. It was a quick weekend, but well worth it. Vancouver, I’ll be back. Mulholland family, thank you so much for your hospitality. You have a beautiful home, and were so welcoming. We loved spending time in your city and hope to see you in LA soon!

Marta, Ellen and I are mixing it up in May. More on that in my next post!