I don’t remember how I found out about FitStreets. Twitter? Andie’s blog? (Which you should all read, by the way. It’s great!). But as soon as I learned the first time was FREE, I was in. (Fit Girls tip: the amount of free and cheap classes in this city is insane, if you are looking for them.) Jill and I signed up for the 6:30pm Monday class because it was close to my house and the 6:30 start time was more manageable than most post-work classes. (How people can hit up 6pm classes right after a 9-5 shift, I will never know.) Jill and I met at my house and walked over. We probably should have ran, but we didn’t know what we were in for and needed to conserve energy. And we were still feeling the effects of our Muay Thai class the week before. Andie met us inside and was really welcoming and friendly. We signed a bunch of paperwork, and were off. There was one other student in the class (??) with us, a FitStreets regular.
We ran (fast!) down the Esplanade to a small park for our first top. Kicks and stretches. Then we ran (fast!) to the Distillery for some lunges and tricep dips. Then we ran (fast!) to Sherbourne Common to jump on things and to do push-ups. Then we ran (fast!) to another park for ab work. I think you’re getting the idea. At every red light, we did squats. Each running segment was between 2 and 10 minutes, at about a 5:30 pace, sometimes faster. Andie and Jill were off and running, chatting the whole way. I could keep up, but this class taught me two things: 1)I’ve been a lay runner since the Goodlife Half Marathon and that needs to change and 2) I need to turn these speed dreams into reality.
I really liked breaking up the running with strength training. I don’t get a lot of strength training in my fitness routine, beyond random bursts of “I will do sit-ups and planks EVERYDAY!” that last two weeks before I abandon them. And the frequent breaks meant I could work on running fast for short periods of time — something else I’m not used to and need to do more of.
We finished the class in just under an hour. Total run time: 24.11. Total distance covered: 4.5k. A solid first FitStreets effort, I’d say.
As soon as the class was over, Jill and I were talking about how we needed to turn our weekday runs into FitStreets runs. No more breaks! More planks and things! I hope it lasts.
FitStreets was so great! Who would have thought the idea of working out during a run, on the street, with no equipment or props would be so brilliant? You tell yourself now this sounds simple enough, but will you actually do it? Probably not. I sure didn’t, but I would try to convince myself I should do other activities before or after a run. But now I actually will. Or at least I’ll think more about what these other activities can be, since Erin and my FitStreets meet-up with Andie.
Andie was also super great! From the moment we arrived for our meet up, I knew it was going to be fun. The atmosphere, the vibe and Andie’s friendly personality made everything feel okay. I bet this girl can get away with murder. Imagine a friendly, sweet girl as your trainer. She’d tell you to drop and do a million push ups and you would becasue she’d be smiling at you the whole time. At least I would anyway. Andie made me feel safe, comfortable and excited. She was also so nice to chat with! Thanks for listening to me for pretty much the whole way, Andie. I hope I didn’t talk your ear off too badly!
I was so ready to get fit on the street! Ditching the gym is exactly what I’ve done since my half marathon training began. This was not by choice, however. It’s really hard to run, work out, and do yoga all the time. FitStreets taught me doing all these things is indeed possible. I wouldn’t be surprised if the JCC sent out a Missing Person ad for me. But that’s okay because I will be found on the street! Does anyone else think of Step Up 2: The Streets whenever you heard the word street? No? Maybe it’s just me.
I kept struggling with the idea of what to do about my membership because I am someone who needs variety in my work out routine. If not, I get bored. Andie knew exactly how I felt and knew exactly how to carter to my short attention span. One reason I hate doing short runs is I can’t justify running 3 or 4k for 20 minutes and that’s my work out. No way, a work out that doesn’t last at least an hour seems dumb to me. And an hour plus work out in this heat? You’ve got to be kidding me! But, again, Andie knew what she was doing by including various body workouts into our run, not only did the hour fly by but the run was actually enjoyable. It’s genius!
After walking away from FitStreets that Monday evening, as Erin mentioned, our new running plan is to be just like Andie. She’s upbeat and lovely, but also made us work. I took to every instruction of hers like an excited little puppy. I just wanted to do it all and more.
Andie the Fit Geek was fast (if that wasn’t made clear by Erin) and the ideal trainer. We ran at a much faster pace than I probably would have done on my own, but again that’s where hitting the streets with a group and a trainer comes in handy. You will actually do all the things you say you will, and you will actually push yourself a little more knowing there is someone telling you what to do next. The route we ran was the perfect distance to complete all the park exercises — all those jump squats, the core work and leg lifts was tough — but not to the point of exhaustion. It was challenging, but in a way that left you wanting more. Maybe that’s Andie clever methodology?
Erin and I are not only making new friends (thanks Andie!) while being fit, we’re discovering there is so much you can do, in terms of keeping fit, in this city while on a budget. And you don’t need fancy things to do it. FitStreets is one of the best examples we’ve come across so far. I highly recommend it! FitStreets works for all and any fitness level, so there is no excuse not to try it at least once. And you’re first meet up is free! Okay, now there are zero excuses. Trust me, Andie will take care of you, and it will be fun. I promise!