This weekend was quite the fit crashing fiesta. I’m still buzzing from the endorphin high coaxed from a perfect combination of sunshine, sweat, and spandex. Between Cherry Blossom yoga on the National Mall, the DC Fit expo, the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler, and commuting by bike share all over town, I’m not sure I could love the past two days any more. So in the interest of helping me wean myself off of all the awesomeness and ease into Monday, let’s recap everything for the folks at home.
Cherry Blossom Yoga
Lululemon hosted this year’s Cherry Blossom yoga event, which brought 3,000 yogis together to stretch and flow under the watchful gaze of the Washington Monument. Local yogic rock star Mimi Rieger led the hour-long class and assistants from across the DC yoga community waded through the crowd to help with adjustments.
The day was brilliant and breezy. Just the kind of early spring weather to coax people outside to begin the season of outdoor activities and playing around in the grass. I set up my mat in the back of the pack and next to my friend Jenny, who has been my workout buddy since college. We were both running the 10 miler on Sunday and thought a good old-fashioned stretch would be just the thing to get us race-day ready. And it was!
Despite a few technical glitches – including the audio dropping out a number of times during key points of the class (last audible instruction was plank pose…do I have to hold this till they fix the mic?) – the class was extremely well done and accessible for any and all levels. It was so darn cool to look around and see a sea of humanity breathing, yoga-ing, and coming together to enjoy a little quality time in the sunshine. There were crazy advanced yogis, beginner yogis, and everything in between. I even saw a few tourists stop, watch, and then decide to join in. How cool is that?
After laying on my mat for a few minutes of sunny savasana, traditional Japanese drummers took the stage for a surprise performance. What at first seemed ridiculously out of place soon turned into an intoxicating, energizing performance that perfectly capped off the class. People clapped, cheered, danced, played with yoga poses, and just generally enjoyed themselves. It was a sight to see!
I rolled up my yoga mat and made my way over to the event tent, where I ran into my friend V from Goûter and Krista the crazy-taleneted yoga teacher I obsessively stalk on Instagram for bendy inspiration. Seriously, folks, if you’re looking for an out-of-this world yoga account, Krista’s got it. V generously shared two of her latest tonics – a green detox blend and a root veggie and goji berry concoction – and I had to hold back from drinking both then and there. Yum!
Cherry Blossom 10 Miler Expo
I popped the tonics into my backpack, said goodbye to V, Krista, and Jenny, and set out on foot with yoga mat in tow to the National Building Museum to for Cherry Blossom 10 miler packet pick up. The entire process was so quick and easy – I was in and out of that place in under 15 minutes. Hats off to the event team for a top notch operation!
In The Capital’s “DC Fit” Expo
After a quick whirl on bike share up 9th Street, I dropped in on the DC Fit expo hosted by In The Capital. It was a day-long event filled with free fitness class demonstrations, expert panel discussions, delicious food, and vendors. I’m sorry I had to miss out on most of the activities, but I came in time to catch the Dance Trance demo, a panel on half-marathon training, and to say hello to friends from Sweetgreen, Drop In, Nike, Reebok Fit Hub, Disrupt Fitness, and Pole Pressure.
Great event, In The Capital, thanks for bringing together such an awesome group of folks for a day of fitness fun!
Cherry Blossom 10 Miler
The main event this weekend was Sunday’s Cherry Blossom 10 miler. I had been kinda-sorta training for three months for this race, my first in just over a year. I felt capable, but not entirely ready. The honest truth is that I hadn’t put much thought into the race at all. The first time I looked at the race map or start time was Saturday night. I picked out my clothes the morning of. I showed up to the start line 10 minutes before the horn. And you know what? I think the casual approach worked, because I had an amazing time on the course and finished way stronger than I could have ever anticipated.
I had fun. And I didn’t worry about training or splits or gel packets or the dead zone at Hains Point or anything else. I just ran the race for me. And it was freaking fantastic. So new race policy: get your head out of the game, fit crash like crazy, get in a few long runs, and let your body do the rest. It seemed to work!
What was your favorite fit crash from this weekend?
Happy Friday! Sharing a few fitness-related tidbits I’ve collected in my inbox this week. Hope you all have a wonderfully sweaty weekend and be sure to stay in touch!
- Cupid’s Undie Run: A thousand scantily-clad runners raised $235,000 for the Children’s Tumor Foundation at this year’s Cupid’s Undie Run in DC on February 9. It was a frigid day, so extra kudos to all the racers out there in their briefs. Check out the Undie Run Flikr page for photos from the race and get inspired to join in the fun next year! Did you run? Leave a comment and tell us about it!
- Charity Miles App: The United Nations Foundation contacted me about their partnership with Charity Miles, a free iPhone/Android app that enables people to earn money for charity when they walk, run, or bike. Bikers earn 10 cents a mile and walkers and runners earn 25 cents a mile. How cool is that? Talk about a reason to get up and lace those running shoes in the morning. This month, three UN Foundation charities will be featured in the app: Girl Up, Shot@ Life, and Nothing But Nets. Download, choose a charity, and do some good next time you sweat.
- $5 off Sweetgreen Salad: If you follow me on Instagram, I’m sure you already know about my Sweetgreen addiction, so this announcement is dangerous for me on many fronts. The folks over at Sweetgreen are offering readers a $5 coupon to spend at any Sweetgreen location – an awesome incentive to choose something healthy for lunch next week. How do you get in on the deal? Click here to claim this offer via Facebook or your email address and then download the free Sweetgreen rewards app. Pay with your phone at checkout and the $5 will be automatically applied. Bon appetite!
- Bright Beginnings 5k: Bright Beginnings, Inc. is organizing a USATF certified 5K at Hains Point on March 2 to raise awareness and funds to support local homeless children and families. All of the proceeds from the race will go to the nonprofit, which provides education, therapeutic, and family-stabilizing services that give homeless infants, toddlers and preschoolers, and their families the best chance of success in school and in life. Registration is still open, so you are interested in racing for a good cause, be sure to check it out! And if you are feeling extra altruistic, type NBEAR in the promo section to help a friend with stats. Thanks!
You don’t need to take out a loan to get in shape in DC. Here are a few weekly options to check out that won’t cost you a penny. I will keep updating this list as new things pop up, and will share one-time events on my Facebook page. If you know of anything I have missed, leave it in the comments.
Now go get crashing!
Here’s to a happy, healthy, fit crashin’ New Year!
This blog has helped me discover so many crazy and creative ways to workout in DC, and I plan on packing the new year full of more sweaty adventures. So, to help kick-off what I know is going to be an incredible new year, I thought it’d be fun to make a list of 13 things I want to crash in 2013. From the looks of this to-do list, I’ve certainly got my work cut out for me. Stick around and join in the fun!
Fit Crasher To-Do List for 2013:
- Parkour: I’ve seen people doing this in Meridian Hill Park and, to be honest, it looks terrifying. Jumping over fences, tumbling over walls, climbing up tall things – all without a helmet – sounds like a hobby that should be reserved for superheros only. But it is considered a fitness trend and, by goodness, I’ve gotta try it. The American Parkour Academy is located in the Mt. Vernon Square area and offers drop-in classes.
- Dance Trance: Zumba, ballet, and Bhangra classes have led me to this point…Dance Trance Fitness DC is a 60 minute cardio workout with choreographed routines to top music hits. I’m imagining some B.Spears remix going down.
- Kettlebells: These cannonballs with handles are an awesome way to get your heart rate up while working on building strength. I’ve used them in a few different fitness classes, but have yet to try a kettlebell specific class. Studio F3 in Dupont Circle seems like just the spot to try this out.
- Crossfit: The trend train has already left the station on this one, and I can’t believe I haven’t tried it out yet. I’m working on getting myself into a beginners intro class so I can learn the basics (read: not hurt myself). Crossfit “boxes” have been popping up all over the District, so it won’t be hard to add a few to my crashing list. A few on my radar include District Crossfit, Balance Gym Glover Park Crossfit, Crossfit DC, Crossfit Capitol Hill, Crossfit Metro Center, Crossfit Praxis…you get the idea.
- Trapeze: The Trapeze School New York has a DC location in the Navy Yard area. This has got to be an awesome core and upper body workout, right?
- Rowing: When things start to warm up and the ice chips off the Potomac, I would absolutely love to try my hand at a rowing class. You all know how much I love the stationary rowing machine at the gym. I’m hoping the love transfers to the real thing. The Washington Rowing School offers introductory lessons from their location in the Bladensburg Waterfront Park.
- Boxing: Grace, speed, agility, strength. Lots of things that are hard to piece together. Boxing is supposed to help, but I’ll be the judge of that. There are quite a few places to take boxing classes in DC, including Off Road on U Street, DCBFit in the Navy Yard area, Stroga in Adams Morgan, and LA Boxing in Georgetown.
- Archery: This may or may not be inspired by a mild fascination with the Hunger Games, but technically it is an Olympic Sport and therefore I’m adding it to the list. The DC Archers homepage mentions they hold classes for beginners. May the odds be ever in my favor, and all that jazz.
- Kayaking: Any given summer, brightly colored kayaks dot the Potomac like it’s one big Light Bright. While I’ve tried recreational kayaking before (read: floating), perhaps it’s time for an official lesson so I can work on my maneuvering skills. Luckily Valley Mill Kayak School starts beginner lessons in May.
- Rollerblading: I believe the technical term is “inline skating,” but I grew up playing roller hockey and believe I know a thing or two about blade skills, okay? That said, speed skating around DC would be taking things to a whole new level. Skate U in Silver Spring has a few beginner options, and Washington Area Roadskaters has free weekly inline skate lessons in Rock Creek Park.
- Rock Climbing: Indoors, people, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. And there will be helmets, ropes, grippy gloves, and possibly a spotter. But rock climbing is a no-joke full body workout that needs to be on my list for next year. Sportrock Climbing Center in Alexandria has a three-hour “Intro to Climbing” class for $50.
- Antigravity Yoga: To me, this looks like an awesome way to break something. Twisting and turning in silk hammocks, hands free up-side-down moves, and channeling Circ de Soleil But danger be damned, why not sign up? There are classes at Crunch Gym in Chevy Chase, and non-members like me can drop in for $15.
- Pound (along with about half of the Crunch Gym schedule): If you’ve ever been around me when an 80s power ballad comes on, you know I play a mean set of air drums. Why not put those skills to the test and burn some calories to boot? Pound is a 45-minute, heart-thumping workout using weighted drum sticks, and I’ve heard it’s coming to Crunch DC in 2013. Other Cruch-worthy options on my list: karaoke spin class, TRX rip trainer class, Kangoo, and would love to see Surfset added to the schedule.
No exercise plans today? No worries. I’ve got you covered.
First: exercise your right to vote. run, walk, rollerblade, bear crawl, or dance on over to the polls because today is election day! Don’t know where you’re supposed to go? Click here to find out.
Second: celebrate the end of campaign season stress with some deep breaths and down dogs. Lululemon has partnered with the following 21 DC studio locations to offer free yoga classes all day. Vote, vinyasa, and don’t stay up too late watching those results roll in!
Embrace with Faith Hunter Yoga
Quiet Mind Yoga
Yoga District – Dupont Circle
Yoga District – U St. Corridor
Yoga District – Bloomingdale
Yoga District – Downtown, I Street
Yoga District – H St. Corridor
Studio DC – Adams Morgan
Studio DC – Dupont Circle
Tranquil Space Dupont
Capitol Hill Yoga
lil omm yoga
Down Dog – Georgetown
Flow Yoga Center
Washington DC Dahn Yoga