It’s on like Donkey Kong

Annnnnnd we’re off. Today marks the first day of my training plan for the United NYC Half Marathon, which happens to be 97 days away. Woo Hoo . . . I hope.

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This time around, I decided to work with the Hal Higdon Intermediate plan for a half marathon. I’ve already put all of the workouts into my Google Calendar. Yay me. To summarize, this training plan has five days of running (one day dedicated to speed work), one day of cross training, and one day of rest. However, I think that I may modify this to alternate between two days of speed work and two rest days.

My overall goal is to become a faster runner because I can do the distance. I hope. I mean, I just ran a full marathon last month. Also, this past weekend, I ran a 15K, which is about 70% of this distance for a half-marathon. Sooooooooo, I need some advice from you expert runners.

Question 1:

This training plan has long runs that are all under 13.1 miles. I’m thinking that maybe I can throw in a couple of long runs that are in the 15-18 mile range. I know some folks do not like to run a longer distance than the race that they are training for; but in my case, I think running further would be beneficial for me. I have completed quite a few half-marathons so it is not like I am going to blow my wad running more than 13.1 miles during the training period.

Question 2:

How much speed work and why types of speed work should one incorporate to become a faster half-marathoner? I’m thinking Yasso’s 800s, some hill work, and tempo runs. Interestingly, the training plan only has 400 m at 5K and 30 – 40 min tempo runs.

Question 3:

Aw, hell. I forgot the other question.

I know that I’m going all over the place with this next point. But, I think that I may have  a-man-with-a-shade-said-duh-memeto add another cross training component to this plan. Yesterday, the BF and I went to the cardio class, B.L.T. (Butt, Legs, Thighs) at Crunch Fitness. Man, that class kicked our collective asses. The class was not hard at all, but I have like no core strength whatsoever. Also, I struggled to do all of the balancing exercises that focused on the left side of my body. Come to think about it, I did not do much better with the right side of my body either.  Actually, as I write this, I think that I should do some core work every day of the week. I mean, these exercises are easy enough that I can do them at home while watching TV or general bullshiting around the apt.

Speaking of TV. The BF just started watching “The Good Place”, and I have to say that I really like the show. I do not know if this is a good or bad thing, but Eleanor Shellstrop reminds me a bit of myself. Yeah, I can be a little self-centered. BUT, at least, I am not delusional enough to realize this character flaw.

Ok, that’s my peace for my training plans for the United NYC Half-Marathon 2019.

See you in the streets!!!

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Ranting Thursdays: Sometimes People Need Their A**es Kicked

Warning, long Zumba rant, but I think it will be kind of funny. 

Previously, I have mentioned that there is a little clique BS going on in my Monday class.zumba Basically, one or two girls will arrive to class 15 – 20 minutes early and will save MULTIPLE spaces for their other friends. For me, it not a big deal to save one spot for someone else, but to save 5-6 spots?!!! Since I know how these b*tches roll, I tend to arrive to this class a little early, so I can get a decent spot. Last week, I noticed that many of these women arrived EXTRA, EXTRA early to save spots. Even one of them said, I do not care if the class is full, I’m coming anyway. We have to sign up for classes either using the Crunch Gym app, 22hrs – 1hrs before the class, or in the gym 30 min before the class. Ok, no biggie. For this week, I decided to attend the ASS and ABS class, which is from 6:30 PM – 7:00 PM. Perfect, the ASS and ABS class ends 30 minutes before Zumba starts and both classes are in the same studio. Great, there should be no issue with me getting a decent spot that I like, since I’m 30 minutes early.

One participant (we’ll call her LHBB) arrived at 7:15 and started to mark her territory for her gang in front of me. I did not really care, because I had my spot. I call them a gang because they go to the Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday classes that are taught by this particular instructor (and I think they brunch together after the Sat. class). Surprisingly, we actually chatted a little bit, because she said that she wanted to make sure there was enough space for us. I jokingly said that’s a good thing and that I never know if I’m inside or outside of the row formation. At around 7:27 (three minutes before class starts), one of her gang members (CDWaDC) asked me if the spot in front of me was taken. I said yes, I think that is your friend’s (LHBB) spot, but I do not know where she went. LHBB bitch comes back to the spot and asks if I could move back. I told her a very firm no. Basically, she wanted to squeeze between CDWaDC and myself, which was stupid because there would not have been enough space. Plus, there were other people behind me, so I could not move back. Also, I have seen other members of their gang “politely” ask people to move so the gang will be accommodated. *Not tonight with Dr. KOS,before-you-go-further-you-today-is-not-the-day-15749801 girlfriend.* Then, LHBB tells CDWaDC that I was being “difficult”. How am I being difficult? I arrived early to class to get my spot. I followed the rules for reserving the class and my spot. The funny thing is that there was enough space to my left. Yes, I could have moved to the left. But, why should I?

  • I got to class early.
  • I like to be closer to the center, so I can see the instructor better.
  • What gives LHBB the right to have a particular spot when she arrived after I did?

Since I am a man, I really do not like verbally going back and forth with women (not that I don’t or won’t) – it is not really my style.

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This is not because they are women, per se, but there are certain negative perceptions that are associated with a man going off on a woman . . . especially with a black man going off on a white woman. I’m trying not to be tagged as ABM (angry black man).

Man this has gotten really long.

Some options:

  • Dance really big by making extra and over exaggerated dance moves, so no one will want to dance around me.dance
  • Purposely fuck up moves, so I’ll bump into people. You know, cha cha left when everyone else cha chas right.
  • Mark my territory, by shitting in the location where I want to dance.

After class (damn this could have been two entries), I guess she was “telling” on me to some of her other gang members. I hope they will not do a drive by on me next week. Instead of bullets, they probably would throw things from the BB starter pack.

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I did notice that another gang member (RGDBB) was talking to the instructor and gesturing in my direction.

Why don’t you take another damn class, Dr. KOS?

I looked into other Crunch fitness Zumba classes and based on my location and time, this one only works. Actually, there is one taught on Wednesday, but that will not work:

  1. It’s taught by the same instructor, so the same gang is in that class.
  2. Wednesday is date night with the BF.

After that class, I considered going back to my former class in Brooklyn (Tuesday, 7:30). That would be too much work commuting from the UWS to Brooklyn, then back to Harlem after class.

Victim complex:

I noticed that “certain type” of women start shit storms and play victim when there are covered in the shit. You know, they ones who throw stones and hide their hands. .

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Many women in my family has expressed this sentiment in their professional lives, but they have to tread lightly when dealing with it because they will come off as “aggressive”, “angry”, “uncooperative”, etc. I will leave it at that.

Friendly Rant:

Often I am asked for ID when buying cigarettes. It’s kind of annoying that when cashiers are like you 22 years old, after looking at my ID. Ummmmm, if I look 22 years old then why are you carding me, since the legal age to buy smokes is 18? I guess that I can take it as a compliment.

Tuesday Zumba Class May Have Some Competition

Ok, I am one of those people who can manage to hate on anything. Today, that changed  . . . a little bit. This week, I could not attend one of my favorite Zumba class, which is held on Tuesdays. What luck did I have in finding a Zumba class at the Crunch Fitness Express near my job.

I do have to say that I was absolutely AMAZED with the class, taught by Amber D (Crunch Fitness-Crown Heights). Everything was on point – the choreography, the music, the instruction, and the intensity. You really could tell that the instructor put time into her playlist because there was a great variety: Latin, Hip Hop, Pop, and East Asian and the music fit together. If there is one that annoys me is when an instructor  breaks up/stops the class  and skip through songs  to find the “right” one.  I loved every minute of the class; I wished that it lasted longer than 60 minutes.

In terms of cardio, the class was perfect. I pretty much spent 50% of the class in my peak cardio zone and burned about 808, according to my fitbit.

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It’s great to know that I have another option if I cannot make my Tuesday night Zumba class.

Ok, a little bit of hating. The only negative thing, which is out of the control of the instructor, is Crunch Fitness Express. The “express” component of the gym means that there is no towel service, so I cannot shower after class.

The Strugggle Can Make You Better

Yesterday, I attended perhaps the worst Zumba class ever. Ok, maybe it was not THAT bad, considering it was the instructor’s first class. Maybe I was a little crabby because I have not attended a Zumba class for 9 days (vacation in Spain) and the new instructor was subbing for one of my favorite instructors. 

The oreo critique: 


You know, the way of critiquing someone by sandwiching a bad thing with two statements of praise. 

  • The good: The music had a great variety – latin, african, pop, east asian, and R&B. 
  • The bad: Pretty much everything. Well, specifically the lack of cues and forgetting her own moves. 
  • The good: She seemed very receptive to critque. 

My biggest concern with the class was that she did not seem to know her own playlist. I can understand messing up cues or even forgetting your own choreography. There should be no reason for an instructor to be fiddling with the playlist during class or not knowing when the song is going to abruptly end. 

Like I said earlier, the struggle can make you better. Plus, it takes way more courage to lead a class than to follow a leader, so I will give her props on that. 

My obliques are sore (A Zumba post)

Over the past few months, I have been attending Zumba classes at various Crunch Gyms throughout Brooklyn. Mainly, I started doing Zumba because the classes were low impact enough for me to do after coming off of my herniated disc injury from earlier this year. Also, I love Latin music. 

Since I attend 3-5 classes a week – Mondays, Tuesday, Fridays and Saturdays. Well Monday class is Cardio groove but it is more or less the same stuff.  Below are a few fitbit reports from my workouts. 

Great workout, huh? Too bad I blow all the results by drinking like a fish and eating crap. Oh well. 

Ok so the reason for this post. We had a sub in yesterday’s class and she was a million times better than our current instructor. So much hip shaking/thrusting/gyrating to work the Abs. I find that our current instructor’s routines are way too static. I guess it is becauseof the   cheerleading that she used to do back in the day. 

A couple of funny/annoyances I have noticed:

Many times I am the only guy in the class and I get the whole you kept up very well with the women. 

  • Geez, I’m not a great dancer but I can hold a decent rhythm and move to a beat …unless there is too much arm movement. For some reason I cannot coordinate my lower and upper half of my body. 

If there is another guy in the class, he tells me how nice it is to have another guy in the class.

  • What does another guy in the class have to do with anything? Actually, I take that back. Oftentimes I find myself dancing harder when there is another guy because I don’t want to be the worse guy. 

My biggest pet peeve. When the instructors do not have their playlists on point. 

  • After a cardio-rich song, it bugs me when an instructor is skipping over tracks to find the “right” one. Ummmmmm some of us are trying to keep our heart rates up. You don’t already your playlist ready?!!!

Back to work so I get to Tuesday’s class tonight. 

The holidays need to come and go

Man, it is tough to train for a marathon during the holidays. Part of my struggle was a somewhat impromptu trip to Montreal for the past few days.  Just a few more days until the holiday season is over and I can get back to my normal routine… which include updating this blog.

My training week: Dec 26th – Jan 2nd:

  • Dec 26th – Rest (I ran 8.5 miles)
  • Dec. 27th – Rest
  • Dec. 28th – Rest
  • Dec. 29th – 5.5 miles fast (I ran 3.5 moderate)
  • Dec. 30th – Rest (I’m going to cross train as soon as I finish this entry)
  • Dec. 31th – 3 mi jog
  • Jan 1st – 5.5 miles fast
  • Jan 2nd – Rest

Slightly in my defense, I was in Montreal Dec 25th – 28th, so I did not run much there. I think that I will switch up my running activities for the 31st and the 1st, because I know that it will be a very slim chance that I will run 5.5 miles on New Year’s Day. NO GRACIAS.

Here are some tips, which I should have checked out before the holidays, from Competitor.com with my smart ass remarks in italics font.

  1. Set process goals
    • A little too late for that.
  2. Grab a buddy
    • Most of my buddies think that I am crazy for training for a marathon. The most I could expect is for my buddies to run to the bar with me.
  3. Establish a route
    • I tried to stick with my normal running plan, but who wants to run 11.5 miles on Christmas Day. . . Although I did run 8.5 the day after.
  4. Crank up the intensity once a week.
    • I cranked up the intensity of shoveling holiday cookies and eggnog in my mouth.
  5. Plan ahead
    • Isn’t that the same as tip #1
  6. Avoid temptation
    • Have you met me? I am kind of tempted to blow off the gym tonight.
  7. Adopt an at-home, strength-training circuit
    • I kind of half-assed this one.
  8. Cross-train
    • See tip #7
  9. Go easy on the alcohol
    • HA! I’m drinking wine at this very moment.

I hope that your holiday training plans went a lot better than mine.

Ack, 70 days remaining until the DC marathon.

 

Get off of that booty

I have been trying other modes of cardio in lieu of running. I haven’t given up on running; I just want to do other things (like focus on strength training) during my brief running hiatus. Here is the thing, unless I am doing something outdoors, I hate doing cardio indoors (treadmill, stationary bike, elliptical machine, etc.). One good thing about being a member of a moderately priced gym, like Crunch Fitness, is that there are ample random ass classes that one can attend. 
Recently, I have been attracted to the dance-based classes, like Zumba. But, I found a great class at the Park Slope Crunch location.  

Although from it’s discription, the class seems a little basic buuuuut it really burns the calories. Not only is it a general dance class, it incorporates at lot of body weight exercises, like tricep dips and burpees. There is a lot of twerking and booty pooping but I like to tweek and booty pop, so it’s all good in my book. Plus, the instructor is really nice and down to earth. I gonna make it my goal to attend this class every Monday. 

What do you do, cardio-wise, when you are not running?