Archive of ‘aqua’ category

Top 10 Fit Crasher Highlights From Last Week

Hope you all had a glorious Memorial Day Weekend! This past week was packed with all sorts of random fit crasher goodness, so I thought I’d break it down for you with a top ten list. Are you ready?

TEN: Kate Bakes Bars

kate bakes bars


kate bakes bars

I had the opportunity to try my very first batch of Kate Bakes bars. What makes these so special, you ask? Well, a few things! They’re made right here in DC by a local lady entrepreneur who is committed to providing the city with healthy on-the-go eats. The ingredient list is small and full of items I recognize, and each bar is always gluten free and vegan for anyone who has dietary restrictions. Not to mention, they’re pretty darn scrumptious too. My favorite flavors were the banana cinnamon oatmeal and the chocolate coffee. Perfect for tossing in my gym bag as a before or after fit crash snack. These things were definitely a highlight of my week! Thanks for the samples, Kate!

NINE: New Oiselle Running Shorts

oiselle roga shorts

My stash of running shorts is in serious need of an update. I was thrilled to receive a pair of the Lululemon speed shorts for my birthday earlier this month, but after wearing them over and over again, I figured it was time to add another new pair to the rotation. I have been hearing awesome things about the Oiselle roga shorts, so last weekend I popped on over to City Sports to try on a pair. It was love at first lunge (yes, I did a few in the dressing room). In fact, I wore them out the door and straight to the trail. There’s a front pocket deep enough to fit my phone, and a back pocket that works great for keys and an ID. They have just the right amount of stretch and a comfortable wide waistband. I’m officially smitten.

EIGHT: Garden Greens

organic salad greens

A friend of mine has an organic garden plot and grows some of the most delicious-looking produce every year. He is experimenting with different kinds of greens this spring, and is having overwhelming success with just about everything he put into the ground. So much so, in fact, that he currently has more lettuce than he can possibly eat and was kind enough to give me a sampling of his bounty. I was over the moon excited to have a huge bag brimming with the most colorful, fresh looking leaves I’ve ever seen. Salad heaven!

SEVEN: Outdoor Workouts

playground workout

 

memorial day weekend workout

No gym? No problem! Fit crashing doesn’t have to happen at a studio, especially when the weather is as beautiful as it has been here in DC. I like using the 12 Minute Athlete and Sworkit circuit training apps for quick, no-nonsense sweatiness wherever I go. I definitely got a few strange looks from kids enjoying an evening playdate at the playground, but hopefully they’ll remember the crazy lady doing pull ups on the monkey bars when they get older : )

SIX: Berry Season!

berries and lemon

I think this pictures says it all, yes? Hello summer!

FIVE: Standup Paddleboarding

Key Bridge Boathouse DC
On Memorial Day a friend and I slathered on the sunscreen, strapped into lifejackets, and took to the high seas Potomac River for an afternoon of stand-up paddleboarding at the Key Bridge Boathouse
(formerly Jacks Boathouse, RIP). I almost forgot what a tough workout it can be going against the wind and the current. After an hour of adventuring we docked our vessels and went in search of some much-needed nourishment. Hey, all that paddling is hard work! Thankfully, Malmaison was a stone’s throw away and offered fresh-squeezed green juices. I got the Hulk flavor, a refreshing combo of pear, cucumber, and other delicious ingredients. Win!

FOUR: Bowling at the White House

truman bowling alley white house

truman bowling alley white house

Talk about a fit crasher bucket list item! Can’t believe this actually happened. A friend invited a few of us to bowl at the White House Truman Bowling Alley last weekend. It’s a tiny two lane operation, complete with personalized bowling balls, a wall full of shoes, and even its own White House score cards. I loved looking over the pictures hanging along the walls of the various presidents and first ladies using it over the years – the history in that place! I’m absolutely terrible at bowling but had a blast. Now if only I can learn to keep it down the middle…

THREE: Crashing the Newest [solidcore] Studio

solidcore dc

On Sunday I took a bike share bike to Mt. Vernon Triangle to check out the newest solidcore studio. The location is a little bit hidden – look for it underneath the Le Pan Quotidien across the street from Sixth Engine bar. It has the same design as the other studios but in a more convenient place for folks living in that neck of the woods. A word of caution: this is still the toughest and most addictive workout I’ve done in DC. You’ve been warned.

TWO: Memorial Day 12 Miler

memorial day walk memorial day dc honor flight memorial day dc

The weather this past weekend was picture perfect. 70 – 80 degrees, no humidity, brilliant sunshine. I decided to make the best of it and adventure down to the monuments to see what kinds of things were going on for Memorial Day. I should have mapped it out before I left because it ended up being a whopping 12 miles! I ran part of the way but it was mostly a brisk walk. That said, I had to stop at one of the tourist-trap concession stands to buy a water and a bag of pretzels just to keep me going. Serves me right for not planing ahead!

As expected, the monuments were absolutely mobbed with folks in town to celebrate the holiday. I walked the length of the Lincoln to the WWII memorial just in time to witness a group of Honor Flight veterans being escorted in to see the monument for the first time. It was incredible to watch. Really brought home the “reason for the season” and I felt so lucky to have been there at the right time to see it. But next time, I’ll bring water and snacks for the journey!

ONE: Celebrating 80 Fit Crashes

dc fit crasher 80 fit crashes

The blog reached a whopping 80 fit crashes last week! Cue the confetti and party hats! Do you have a favorite? Leave a comment and let me know, I’d love to hear from you. Cheers to this milestone and at least 80 more sweaty adventures ahead :)

Capital Rowing Club Learn to Row Program: Update Three

crc-learntorow-row-8

On Sunday, I will finish my last class with Capital Rowing Club’s Learn to Row program. Can you believe it? I can’t – honestly, where did the time go. When I look back over the other posts I’ve shared about my experience, it seems unreal how far we’ve come in just a few weekends. We started off floundering in big, bulky barges and now we’re learning to feather our oars and row as an eight person team. It has been a total blast and I am sad our weekends together are coming to a close.

crd-boat-overhead

How cool is this photo one of the coaches took with the panorama feature? It looks like a time lapse of us lifting the boat overhead to walk it down to the dock.

crc-learntorow-dock

Most of us are feeling more comfortable with getting the boats on the water and ready to row. This includes opening and closing the oar locks, putting the oars in (the right way!), and adjusting the foot stretchers. We’re not fast by any means, but we’re definitely more efficient than we were when we started.

crc-learntorow-in-boat

Although, I have to admit, getting into the boat is still not my strong suit. Check out exhibit A in the lower right hand corner.  I’m obviously poised for something, but I’m not sure it’s a graceful landing.

crc-learntorow-push-off

Once in, we gave the boat a shove and we were off for our penultimate practice. The man in blue serving as our coxswain was a more experienced rower on the CRC team, and it was great to have his knowledge on board. He was really able to help us focus on keeping our form and composure throughout the practice – reminders we desperately needed as the boat started to pitch and bob when we tried rowing together, eight at a time.

crc-learntorow-update-3

This practice was one of the hardest yet, for two main reasons. One: we began rowing “by eights,” meaning everyone in the boat rows together at the same time. The more rowers rowing at once, the more unstable the boat can become. There were a few white knuckle moments. You get the picture. Two: we also added in “feathering,” which is a word to describe a flicking motion with the oars to help them travel more smoothly through the stroke. Doesn’t sound like much, but it has to be done exactly in sync with the rest of the boat and it has to be done just so…or else your oar gets stuck under water. No beuno.

crc-learntorow-race-bridge

While it was a rocky practice trying to tie everything together, I still can’t complain about being out on the water in the sunshine. Seriously. We rowed past the Navy Yard, the baseball stadium, and waved at the cyclists at Hains Point. It was a beautiful day and enormously fun. I’m looking forward to celebrating our little group’s “graduation” on Sunday and hear more about ways to stay connected with CRC as part of a regular program.

Here’s a short video of our boats working on feathering and rowing by eights. What do you think?


Capital Rowing Club Learn to Row: Update Two

boats_anacostia

In the eight months I’ve been fit crashing, very rarely have I done any workout twice. With so many gyms and classes to crash, I didn’t feel like I had the time or luxury to sign up for a whole boot camp session or buy a 10-class pack at a spin studio. I thought it would make the content on the blog less diverse and perhaps less interesting. Boring even. This discussion is something I’d like to explore in more depth at another time, but the point I’d like to make today is that I decided to take my chances when I signed up for the six-week Learn to Row program at Capital Rowing Club.

And I’m so glad I did.

While crashing a crossfit class here and a jazzercise class there is fun, I wasn’t sustaining any level of fitness. I was “crashing” – jumping in and holding on by the skin of my teeth, trying to keep up and enjoy the ride. And I have!

But a part of me missed the routine, the feeling of making improvements, of watching new muscles form and new skills develop. Feeling part of a team and the camraderie of sore muscles, hard practices, and sweat. While only a few weeks long with a few more to go, I have truly enjoyed hitting “reset” with CRC and reconnecting with many of the things I love so much about sport.

That said – here’s my second update from class (including a VIDEO!). To read the first recap, click here.

crc_ltr_week2_ergs

Learn to Row class is like a lego set. You learn something one day, and the very next you build on it. And then you keep building and building until you see your Millennium Falcon (or the fictional lego creation of your choice) begin to take shape. And then you start to get really excited and want to build the entire fleet. That’s the best way I can describe my experience so far. In weekends two and three, we did more erging, but began to do precision drills and sets based on stroke rate. In other words, it began to feel like the real deal.

crc_ltr_spacers

Building on the what we learned about the boats the first weekend, we then started to break big parts down into pieces and get familiar with every little nut and bolt. Literally. We practiced popping rigger spacers in and out, taking riggers on and off the boat, adjusting the foot stretchers, and ever so gently putting the boats back into the boathouse. I still feel like I need to write notes on my arm to remember all of the terms (port? starboard? stern? bow? weigh enough?)…hopefully there won’t be a quiz at the end of class.

crc_ltr_weekend2

And the best part of making it past the first weekend? Rowing in a real boat! Here we are gliding ever so gracefully past the Navy Yard (oh…to have a sarcasm font. This sport is a lot harder than it looks, people!).

crc_ltr_weekend2_coach

Things were a bit shaky as we got used to sitting in that tiny whisp of a thing. We desperately tried to learn how to “set the boat,” which in laymans terms means trying to get the boat to stop rocking for one darn second. If we’re lopsided, it’s really hard to get good strokes in and it’s also really hard not to get nervous about tipping into the Anacostia. I love water, but from what I’ve seen of this river, it wouldn’t be my first choice for taking a dip.

crc_ltr_weekend2_2

I went into the class thinking that once we got into the boats, practices would consist of a lot of rowing. Fast rowing, slow rowing, in-between rowing…but just plain row row row your boating all up and down the Anacostia. I am pleasntly surprised to say that I was horribly wrong. Practices on the water consist of lots of drills and instruction. This is great because it gives us a chance to translate what we learned on the erg into the boat, and we often have immediate feedback from a coxswain or coach to help us get it right.

crc_ltr_weekend2_3

Another thing that came as a surprise was that, while there are eight people in a boat, we don’t all row at once. At least not yet - we need a lot more practice before we do that. Sometimes only two people row, sometimes four. We tried six once but…well we weren’t quite there yet. But rowing by two or four means there are periods during practice when you get to take a breather and enjoy the scenery (win!).  Here we are floating by the Nationals stadium.

crc_ltr_weekend2_4

Our Learn to Row class has really lucked out with the weather so far. Boats go on the water rain or shine, but each and every weekend we’ve had clear skies, brilliant sunshine, and warm(ish) temperatures. It certainly has made the hours fly by and, because the boathouse is on the very edge of the District, the class feels like a little mini vacation from the usual DC sweat scene.

 crc_ltr_weekend2_5

I know a picture says a thousand words, but with any sport, video really tells the whole story. Here are a few snippets from one of our practices to give you a better idea of what goes on out on the river. Thanks to Coach Bob and Rachel for snapping the photos/video for me – I couldn’t do the post (in more ways than one) without their help!


I’ll have a few more posts about the Learn to Row program for you in the coming weeks. If you have any questions, leave a commment and I’ll do my best to answer!

Learning to Row with Capital Rowing Club

rowing-oars

I’m back!

It’s been three weeks since I last blogged about a crash and I am so excited to share what I’ve been up to. Every Saturday and Sunday in April and part of May, I am crashing the Learn to Row program with the Capital Rowing Club. I always regretted not joining the hordes of freshman who tried out for the Georgetown team in college. Mostly because I love being on the water, but also because I’m a sucker for early morning practices, endurance sports, and awkward tan lines.

Since then, every time I run, bike, or drive by the Potomac and see boats on the water, I think, “huh, that looks fun. Too bad I missed my shot.”

Well my friends…turns out I didn’t miss my shot after all.

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See the chick in the white hat? The one who looks like she’s trying not to freak out about the boat tipping over into the Anacostia river? That’s me! But before I share the excitement about rowing with real oars in a real boat on a real river, let’s start at the beginning of the class.

Day One

crd-boathouse-outside

CRC-boathouse-inside

The first weekend of class focused on two things: (1) familiarization with the boathouse and equipment and (2) learning proper rowing technique. That translates roughly into (1) learning how to not break all of the expensive things hanging in the boathouse and (2) learning to love the erg.

Day One

rowing-erg-day-one

The first day of class, we learned all the basic ins and outs of the rowing stroke. The powerful catch, strong finish, and slow recovery. There was a lot of lingo and technique thrown at us at once, but as with anything, the best way to learn is to just do. And do we did.

rowing-erg-group-day-one

We were lucky to have a volunteer coach set up his machine in front of ours so we could follow along and mimic his movements. Some of the students had never been on an erg before and were getting used to the awkward pulling/sliding/whirling of the machine. Others had some familiarity, but were learning to incorporate all of the new details. It definitely took a lot of concentration to break the stroke down and then fit the pieces back together. Let’s just say I’m three weeks into the class and still struggling to smooth things out.

rowing-first-day-dock

For the second half of class, we each grabbed an oar and headed down to the dock. The oars are made of carbon fiber and extremely light. This is great when you have to carry a few at a time.

rowing-barge-coach-bob

This is not great when holding them upright like in this picture and then a big gust of wind comes. Hilarity and panic ensued. Lesson learned!

rowing-barge-learning

These big, funny looking boats are called barges – the training wheel equivalent for rowers. They’re enormously stable and allow newbies like us to get a feel for being in a boat and using oars without the risk of tipping. I have to admit, I couldn’t have cared less if these weren’t real rowing boats. To actually be on the water on the first day of class was a huge win in my book. Sure we were tethered to the dock, but we were floating!

Day Two

row-daytwo-erg

We spent the second day building off of what we learned on the first. My Learn to Row class has about 30 people in it, so we often have to break into groups and rotate stations. I started off on the erg doing some drills and practicing my technique. It was an absolutely beautiful, sunny day and I felt so lucky to be out in the fresh air and on the water.

row-daytwo-placing-oars

Next, I moved down to the dock to learn now to successfully navigate a rowing shell. This included practicing how to place the oars in the oar locks (without falling into the water), figuring out where you can and cannot stand on the boat, and bending like a pretzel to delicately plop down into the seat.

row-daytwo-sitting-in-boat

The boat is much narrower than I had anticipated and lacks the stability of the barge. In other words, it rocks in the water and felt like it would tip over at any minute. So leaning across the boat to hook up the oars for the first time was something I did while holding my breath. *omgpleasedon’tflipover* And getting in that tiny boat? Well, that took mustering some nerve, closing my eyes, and praying that all the hundreds of squats I’ve done in my lifetime would somehow help me land gently into my tiny seat.

row-lift-boathouse

Not pictured: practicing how to get the boat out of the water and back into the boathouse. If I thought getting in and out of the boat itself was nerve wracking, this was sedation-worthy. Here we were, day two, a pack of total novices…being trusted with carrying thousands of dollars worth of equipment over our heads. Mercy me.

row-daytwo-barge-trial

Day two ended with a session in the barge. This time we actually pushed off from the dock and took some real strokes. It was organized chaos as everyone tried to translate what we learned on the erg. And then we had to figure out how to do that in sync with everyone else in the boat.

row-barge-my-oar

Did we go very far? No, in fact, we went in circles. Did we look like complete novices and something out of a bad summer camp movie? Absolutely. But it was enormously fun and we were having a great time.

row-barge-group

And that was our first week! It was a firehose of information, but we had a lot of time to practice and really were making strides by day two. An enormous thank you and Fit Crasher shout out to the volunteers and coaches who come out each weekend to help with the beginner rowing program. They have the patience of a saint and really take the time to teach us everything we need to know.

Stay tuned for more adventures from weekend two!