Friday, February 2, 2018

5 Things to Know About Orange Theory Fitness!

I joined OTF back in late August and I haven't looked back.  I have fallen in love with it!  

1.  THEORY:  Orange Theory fitness bases it's classes off heart rate training and maximizing your time in the orange heart rate zone (hence the name).  Zones 1 and 2 (black and blue) are for warmup and recovery. OTF recommends spending 25-30 minutes of the workout in Zone 3 (green), with 12-20 minutes in Zones 4 (orange) and 5 (red) to maximize afterburn.  You will be required to buy a heart rate monitor through the company with a few different options and price points.  I have the cheapest option- the chest strap and I think it is just fine.  I put it under my bra strap and hardly notice it.  

2. FORMAT: Classes are about 23-28 minutes on the treadmill and then switch to weights/rower on the floor for the remainder of the 55 min class.  

3. SCHEDULING: Classes fill quickly!  I guess that is a testament to how many people love it!  They have a very easy to use app and you can book your classes out a month in advance.  I have an 8x a month package which works out to about 2x per week, but not always.  It is based on a billing cycle such as the 25th to 25th of the months depending on your join date.  You will just have to watch to make sure you aren't going over on some odd months if you try to always go Tue/Thur for example.  If you have unlimited plan, then you never have to worry!  

4.  RECIPROCITY:  If you travel, you can use your class package at any other OTF location around the country.  If you belong to a regular OTF and try to use it at a premium gym (like DC, NYC and LA) you may have pay a surcharge.  I belong to a premium gym (DC) and had no problem booking and taking classes when I traveled to St. Louis for the holidays.  

5. MOTIVATION: The music is always bumping, the lights are dimmed with an orange goal and the coaches are constantly praising and motivating!  The screens showing your current heart rate zone are really self motivating as well.  When I see that I am not in the orange zone but we are working on a time when I should be, I know to push harder.  

What are you waiting for?  Your first class is FREE!  

This post was in no way sponsored by Orange Theory Fitness and I received no product or compensation.  I just love them!  

Monday, January 8, 2018

Easy No Bake Power Packed Peanut Butter Cookies

  • 1 cup natural creamy peanut butter
  • ½ cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 cups Trader Joes Ancient Grain and Super Seed Oatmeal
  • 2  tbsp hemp hearts

These cookies are easy and healthy!  The Ancient Grain and Super Seed Oatmeal base is chock full of nutrients as its made from whole grain rolled oats, quinoa, amaranth flakes, almonds, sunflower, pumpkin, hemp, flax and chia seeds!  They are delicious!  

  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking sheet. Set aside.
  2. In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, add peanut butter and maple syrup. Stir until well incorporated. Stir occasionally, heating until this mixture begins to bubble. Remove from heat and carefully pour in the dry mixture.
  3. Stir and fold until thoroughly combined.
  4. Using a spoon, scoop and drop balls of cookie dough onto the prepared baking sheet, evenly spaced apart. Using a fork, flatten cookies to desired thickness.
  5. Chill in the freezer for 15-25 mins, until firm and completely cooled. 
  6. Enjoy! Store in the fridge!  
  7. Adapted from A Beaming Baker

Monday, January 1, 2018

Ten Great Races to Add to your 2018 Calendar!

1. Shamrock Marathon and Half Marathon  March 16-18, 2018.  Celebrate in a tent on the sand with Yuengling beer, stew and the Dublin 5, one of my favorite Irish bands!  Everyone gets decked out in green in celebration of St. Patrick's Day.  It's a big party!  And the latest exciting news.....Kara Goucher will be there.  I am so excited!  I can't wait to go back.   The hubby has run the full and I have done the half.  

2Cherry Blossom Ten Miler.  April 8, 2017.  Not to be missed.  This race is a DC institution and self dubbed "Runner's Rite of Spring".   People travel from all over the US, hoping to get perfect race conditions that line up with peak blooms!  The lottery is over, but they do allow for bib transfers and that window is open in February so keep an eye out and ear open.  People are always selling their bibs as the race gets closer.... put the word out that you are looking! 

3. Revel Mt. Charleston Marathon.  April 2018.  Downhill, speedy marathon starting in the mountains outside of Las Vegas.  Finishes in Las Vegas where it's fun to celebrate and recover....racecation!   Free photos and finishers video.  They also have the most liberal deferment policy I've seen of any race allowing more spots to open up as the race gets closer. 

4.  Shipyard Old Port Half Marathon and Lobster Bake.  Portland, ME June 23, 2018.  Race field capped at 4,500 to keep it small.  Coastal course with Shipyard beer, pizza and ice cream to refresh you at the finish. It's only $59 until 1/30/18....and I should mention my medal was gorgeous blue glass!

5. Beach to Beacon 10K Cape Elizabeth, ME.  Aug. 4th, 2018.  Gorgeous course along coastal Maine with a finish at the iconic Portland Head Light House.  Registration is through lottery coming up soon and there is a bib transfer season as well.

6. Lululemon SeaWheeze Half Marathon. September 2018 This race is already sold out for this fall and word on the street is that they WILL allow bib transfers this year.  If you don't get a bib, you can still attend the Sunset Festival attached to the race as tickets can be purchased separately if you aren't running.  A great waterfront course in Vancouver plus sunset yoga festival and concert.  You can read my recap of the 2015 race here.  If you did get in for 2018, I am super jealous of course, but  as always want you to have the time of your life!  Check out the guide I put together to help you make the most of your trip!  I am secretly hoping they will move this one back to August in the coming  years. #teacherschedule

7. Smuttynose Half Marathon September 30, 2018.  Great fall seacoast course and a great medal with the Smuttynose Harbor Seal on the medal!  The beachfront after-party in true New England style is fantastic as well.  Lobster rolls, clam chowder, and Smuttynose Beer!  You can read that recap here of the 2013 race.  I can't wait to make it up north for this one again one day! 

8Marine Corps Marathon.  October 28, 2018.  "More Than a Race".  So true.  You will feel such emotion and pride for your country running this one.  You will feel an amazing sense of gratitude for our service members and their families.  You can't beat the amazing 26.2 mile tour of the Washington, DC area...staring at the Pentagon, running past monuments, the Potomac River and ending at the Iwo Jima Memorial.  Entry for this race is also by lottery which opens on March 22.  I have run this race 4 years in a row 2013, 2014 and 2015, 2016 and you can click on the year to read my race recap.  I won't be running this year.  The kids mini-marathon the day before is also a fantastic event!  

9. Richmond Marathon and Half Marathon.  November 10, 2018.  This was my half marathon PR and my hubby and I both love this race so much that we alternate years that we each get to run it.  We just keep coming back for more!  Great course, beautiful finish festival area, fast downhill finish and easy logistics-we basically park and walk to the start with about 15 mins to go and drive down the morning of from DC!  We love this race! 

10. Annapolis Running Classic  November 2018 Date TBD based of the Navy Football schedule.  Great race through historic Annapolis.  Not flat and not a PR race, but the after party will make the 13.1 mile jaunt well worth your time.  Lots of micro-brews and oysters in the party tent.  They always have amazing premiums for the runners as well.  You can read my recap here of the 2013 race.  The hubby and I make sure this is part of our race calendar EVERY year!