Posted in Chicago fitness, Chicago gyms, Healthy Chicago, Uncategorized, working out

Get Sweaty at Sweat

Friday night I attended my first blogger event at Sweat. I’ve been to Sweat before and I regularly go to HIIT classes so the format itself was not new to me. We need a shortened class, Tabata style, and it flew by. Let me break it down:

Show up to Sweat. Everyone is super nice. Duh.


They give a quick tour and lavish you with water… Sorry Propel but you are not my jam. Amenities in the bathroom however, are tops.


IV me comes in to sell us on their services. While I am sure that stuff works great and I am always curious to try new recovery techniques, I also consider $80 shots to rehydrate during a hang over rich people nonsense.

Class is led by Owner Paul who I haven’t worked with before. Class breakdown is above. If I had know DB push presses were going to be on the schedule I would not have used I such heavy weights in the SWAT class I took at Enrgi shortly before. Total arm burnout. Other thoughts on class: he gave us different instructions for sprints (raise incline, raise speed, etc) which really forced you to push, they have a target on the wall where you are supposed to aim and as a short as hell women I moved to a different wall as I was concerned about my form in attempting to reach the ceiling, rowing and TRx were standard and boxes came in various sizes and again as someone with no legs I thank you kindly.


After class we were treated to some juice ( yum), homemade protein balls (double yum) and Q&A.


It’s interesting to talk to an owner about their goal for their gym and he was really interested in what we all look for in a workout and what we find intimidating.

For $169 a month, I think Sweat is a bit pricey for me, but they are a great little community oriented group fitness gym in the Gold Coast. Or if you just want to roll into KitchFix and then stop by Sweat to purchase one of their awesome tanks you could do that too.

Posted in Chicago fitness, Chicago running, Health and Happiness Movement, Healthy Chicago, Marathon, Nike, running, working out

This Weekend I ran 1 Mile

I did not run in high school. I did not run in college. I did start running until three… oh maybe it was four now… years ago. Which means the last time I ran just one mile was three, maybe fours years ago because at the time, I physically could not run one mile. This weekend, I ran the Humboldt Mile inaugural race (put on by Three Run Two) and the idea was to run your fastest mile.

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I have no clue what my fastest mile is. Well, I have a clue now and it’s 8:03 minutes. Though I am quite convinced that I could have run faster. The funny thing about a mile is that it is just long enough where if you don’t know what pace to go you find yourself thinking can I go faster before I give out (the answer is yes) but it’s just short enough where you don’t want to go to too slow. I was running… not necessarily uber speeding but running fast and towards the end I thought oh god, my legs are tired already but then I saw the finish line and was like oh hellz no I can sprint through this.

How does one prepare to run their fastest mile? I have no clue. I just did my usual runs. I suppose one could actually run a mile and figure it out that way. Or one could do something like Nike’s Find Your Fast program. Or one could just throw their hands up and say who really cares and hope for the best. Next time… if there is a next time, I know I can go faster, but at least this time I know what my fastest mile is.

If you are wondering if I would recommend this race for next year, the answer is absolutely. The course is through the gorgeous Humboldt Park which I am never around. It starts at a very reasonable and happy time of not 6am. It’s fun, it’s quick and how often do you get to run just one mile?


And no, I didn’t take any of these pictures. I stole them from the very talented Three Run Two photographers. Personally I forgot to take any pictures that day.

Posted in Chicago fitness, cross-training, Enrgi, Fitness, Healthy Chicago, Nike, Uncategorized, Warrior, working out

Bucktown 5K and Adventures in Nike

If you are signing up for the Bucktown 5K make sure you use my code RAMSWGAG3 for a little something extra in your goodie bag.

Last week and continuing into this this week I have been trying to step outside of my box and have had some adventures with Nike. Nike is huge in Chicago. They offer free classes at their training center, free group runs with their running club and free events. Quite frankly if I didn’t love my gym so much I would ask myself why I am paying when I can do all these great workouts for free. 

Speaking of my gym, last week Nike rolled into Enrgi to let us try their new cross training and running sneakers: I am not quite sure if I loved them or not but they are nice and light which is delightful! They stopped by for a special warrior class at Enrgi where we got to try both sneaks.


Saturday I finally joined NRC for a long run. The efficient side of my brain has a hard time traveling south just to run back north and then south again but since I have more flex in my schedule I figured why not. We headed south from Nike for an 8 mile run and views I don’t always get to enjoy. I definitely enjoyed this run (especially since a friend joined me) though we ran a bit faster than the anticipated 9:30 pace… So by the end I was trying to focus on other things so I wouldn’t slow down.


Last night I attended a football Inspired class designed for draft week (sliders, med balls, farmer walks, superman push ups, deadlifts, sprints and all the fast feet you never knew you wanted). The class was part of an Instagram contest and while I didn’t make it to the final round I did get a nice lil draft week tee (which I quickly sweated through) and got some nice sprints in! The downsides to this event was that we had to be at the new Michael Jordan store (apparently they use their workout area upstairs to train high school athletes in poorer neighborhoods…thumbs up!) by 6:30 but the class didn’t start until closer to 7:30. I had to get a friend to cover my class that night and I could have actually taught it. They did win me over though with their locker room which was loaded with our tshirts and the frees to wear. 


I said I probably wouldn’t do this type of thing again, but let’s be real… I would!

Posted in Challenges, Chicago fitness, Chicago running, cross-training, Fitness, goal setting, Half marathon, Healthy Chicago, Inspiration, Rest days, running, working out

Monday Motivation…

And belated Happy Easter. I could give you a run down of my weekend which included a brutal 11.69 mile run (the first 6 was great, the second almost 6, not so much…. this is why recovery is important kids) and a class with my gal Brittany over at Studio Fit… but instead, I will just give you this video from this 9 year old phenom.

Fish sticks.

P.S. The Shamrock Shuffle is next weekend. If you are headed to the expo on Saturday night look for me at The Ram Racing table!

Posted in Challenges, Chicago fitness, Chicago gyms, Chicago running, cross-training, Fitness, goal setting, Healthy Chicago, Warrior, weight loss, working out

Dichotomy 

There is a lot going on in my life right now. Which is true of basically everyone. And as much as I feel like a lot of things are falling apart, a lot of things also seem to be coming together. So to focus on the good…

1) I am pleased to say that I was chosen as a RAM ambassador this year which means that I will be repping the race series and Fleet Feet at various expos.

2) I’ve been picking up lots of shifts over at Coop. All this running around has me somewhat exhausted but I am gaining valuable and awesome experience. I work in Downsize which is a program for folks who have lots of weight they want to lose. I have a few regulars who are awesome and strong and have beautiful form. In the past week we’ve also had some newbies: one woman who has never worked out before and a 62 year old woman who doesn’t need to lose weight but wants to. They both require lots of attention and modifications but they are both trying so hard and I respect them so much for joining the program. This all means that I need to look up some more modifications of course, but it’s pretty darn cool. I only began my fitness journey a few years ago but it’s easy to forget how it feels when you start. It’s hard. It hurts. It’s somewhat embarrassing. But that all goes away so fast.

If you had asked me a few years ago where I’d be in a few years this would not have been the answer but I’m so glad it is.

Thanks Midas
Posted in Chicago running, Enrgi, Fitness, goal setting, Health and Happiness Movement, Healthy Chicago, Mental Toughness

Stop, Goal Time!

So far 2016 has felt like a lot of floundering around to me. My mental space is out of wack. My physical space, while pumping, is all up in the air and my career space is in that phase where I am ready for a new journey but also scared poopless of failure. So today I decided to finally tackle some of that (physical duh) and I printed out my calendar through October. I know it seems a bit cray to some, but I needed to prioritize my gym workouts with running and some time at HardPressed. For those of you who don’t know, HardPressed kicks the life out of you and means you better be going light the next day.

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So for the next year I will be looking at the pages above to remind myself what my goals and priorities are health wise and what I can cut back on. Don’t you worry, I did include rest on my written page of priorities.

Speaking of health… I took a rowing class on Tuesday and if you want a serious butt kicker give this a shot. The first number is the meters to row, second number is stairs to climb, number in the circle is in the time to do it in. I was the last person in class to finish and I finished in 23 min so strive to go under that number!

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Thanks to Robert at Enrgi Fitness for the crazy good sleep I got after this Athlete Row class.

My doorman kept telling me there was going to be a lot of change this year. I scoffed a little as he kept talking about new buildings, but so far as it pertains to my life, nothing except my desire to workout has felt like a constant.

P.S. The featured image is a quote from Matt Frazier over at No Meat Athlete!

Posted in Chicago fitness, Chicago gyms, Finding your calling, Fitness, Health and Happiness Movement, Healthy Chicago, Mental Toughness, Warrior, working out

The Time Is Now

I’ve been in a weird mental state this week as some personal things are going on but when your mental state is inclined to be sad, I find that it’s the best time to push through with the things that you want that make you happy. And thus, I am working out like a monster and have been applying to gyms for jobs. JOBS! How scary!! I received a few responses from my resume and quite frankly, I am suddenly afraid of failure. I shouldn’t say suddenly afraid, I think I am always afraid to chose something to do with my life because what if I fail? The realistic part of me knows that so what, you fail, you move on. The part of me that really wants this is like oh god, but what if? Not that long ago I had a nightmare where I had chosen to go back to grad school for creative writing and I was in my program freaking out because I didn’t want it anymore. I woke up stressed out and sweating. Making choices is a nightmare for me. I mean that’s just ridiculous.

Anyway… I was listening to a podcast with Tim Ferriss this morning and he said this:

“Most people don’t attempt great things because they don’t think they can achieve great things.”

– Tim Ferris

And that’s where I feel like I am at in life. I want to stop living a mundane office life and achieve something great. I mean maybe it won’t be great to some, but it will be what I want which makes it great for me.

And where have I been working out this week:

Running… in snow… and cold… because sometimes you just need it to clear you head and make you happy.

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Rowing and taking various Athlete classes with Robert over at Enrgi. These classes are stellar because you just focus on one thing (like rowing, KBs, etc) and focus on form and performance at a higher level and yes, I want that.
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I just realized this video is missing my actual sprawls… but oh well!

And finally, this isn’t where I am… but I love this note from a No Meat Athlete FAQ on running.

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This weekend I will be checking out a class at a new to me gym, attending a Dry Athlon over at Equinox as part of a Sweatworking event, and taking a group fitness class at HardPressed. By Sunday night I suspect I will be among the dead.

“Make this year the year that you astonish yourself.”
– Tim Ferriss