More FitStreets

This is Jill, not Sarah. But you get the picture.


What: FitStreets
When: Mondays @ 6pm
Where: Integrative Health Institute (46 Sherbourne Street)
Who: Andie Clement


After two weeks away (cottaging and a long weekend), I got to go to FitStreets again! Yay! Even better? I convinced my friend Sarah to come with me. Double yay! After the fact, I realized it was my last FitStreets of the season (Andie has two more Monday sessions scheduled, so time to check it out is running short!). After struggling with fitness and how I felt about it the week before, I was ready for a hard workout, and Andie delivered.

Sarah and I weren’t alone: we had two fellow FitStreeters with us today. Four was a good number, not so small that anyone got left behind or singled out, but not so big that it was a struggle to stick together. We did a route I had done before (you have to admit it’s impressive it took 6 sessions before we replicated a route) but the exercises were different. We focused on legs tonight, with a healthy dose of push-up thrown in for good measure.

It’s funny how FitStreets (and work-outs in general) is like that. The last two times I went, I thoroughly got my ass kicked. But this time, I felt good, strong. Sure, I was exhausted by the end, but it wasn’t a heaving, red-in-the-face, wanting to cry exhaustion. So much of how successful your workouts are depends so much on everything you do leading up to it: how much you’ve worked out before, what you ate, how much you slept even how your work day went. While I’ve always understood this, experiencing it — and making decisions around it — is quickly becoming a priority for me.

I think I need to get a fancy GPS watch. What do you recommend?



FitStreets Round #4

No pictures this time, so you’ll have to handle seeing this one again!


Well, what goes around comes around. With my last FitStreets post, I was getting cocky. So I was well overdue for an ass-kicking work-out.

I missed FitStreets last week, thanks to the long weekend and a sport I’d like to call extreme Olympic watching. So I was ready to roll when August 13 came around. And it hurt from beginning to end. Steve (hi Steve!) made me look like an out-of-shape slowpoke this week. It certainly helped put things into perspective.

The night started off with a longer run to UnderPass Park. (If you haven’t been yet, you should go. It’s fascinating and fun!). There we conquered by biggest fitness weakness: my upper chest. I’ve tricked myself into thinking I have decent upper body strength. I can do push-ups and planks, see? But oh no. That’s a lie. Tonight, I could barely do the swing tricep dips, I couldn’t do the pull-ups, I couldn’t lift myself off the ground. I could do the box jumps, which saved any last shred of dignity I had.

After that, we ran to Trinity Church. By this time, I was feeling it in my legs. Our pace felt significantly slower than it has in the past and I am totally to blame. I’m not sure what it is. Thanks to lunch time yoga, I’ve significantly increased the number of workouts I do in these past couple weeks. And Jill and I did an epic bike ride to the Junction and back to check out the Junction Flea Market the day before. I think it was a combination of both these things. Regardless: my legs were tired. So when Andie told us we were going to do 3 sets of “6 burpees and a sprint,” I thought I was going to puke.

I didn’t, but it was close.

After Trinity, we ran to Sherbourne Common. I have never been so excited for ab work in my life. Stand-up push-ups were followed by leg lifts, crunches and butterfly crunches. Then we did a short running loop, ending with a sprint from Jarvis to Sherbourne. Well, Andie and Steve sprinted. I tried to.

In the end, we did 5k in 27:33. And I woke up with a sore chest and upper back. Good times.

I sound whiny, but I’m grateful. Too often I get into a run/yoga/run work-out routine and this keeps things fresh — and keeps me aware of how many other things there are too work on.

Fit Streets Round #3

High five push-ups! Thanks Andie for posting this pic of my pain on Facebook.


Okay, you’re probably sick of Fit Streets updates by now. What can I tell you? Other than Fit Streets and the regular run-and-yoga routine, I haven’t been doing much fitness-wise. I need to do more and plan too, including starting a new lunch time yoga schedule, spinning and other fun things. But since I can’t write about things I haven’t done yet, I’m going to write about Fit Streets.

I wasn’t as fresh and ready for this run as I was last time. Maybe it was the 10k Saturday or the island biking the day before. Maybe it was how hot it was. I don’t really know, and it doesn’t matter. After a warm-up jog to the Integrative Health Institute, I was ready to run with Andie and Steve from last week (hi Steve!), and newbie Caitlin from Lulu Lemon at the Eaton Centre. She writes updates for their Facebook page called Try It Tuesdays — check them out. I will be stealing, I mean finding inspiration from Caitlin’s fit adventures.


I both love and loathe that this photo makes me look like a GIANT.


This week, we stuck to the waterfront. First stop was a condo model suite where we did inch worms (not bad) and pistols (not good). Then we ran to the Toronto Ferry dock where we did standing long jumps (my jumps were very short) and high five push-ups (these were actually kinda fun). What hurt the most was the long run back to Sugar Beach, which was immediately followed by hill repeats and a wall sit. I have never been so grateful for basketball camp in my life. Wall sit repeats from grade 6 through university made these puppies not easy, but bearable. I was grimacing less than Steve was (Sorry Steve!). More push-ups finished off this stop, and I was feeling it in my shoulders — improving my upper body strength is on my to do list!

The run was rounded out by heading to the Esplanade for core work and sprint home. By the end (4.86k) I was feeling it. But I powered through the jog home to make it a clean 6k for the night.

Next on the list: getting my weekly mileage up so I’m actually ready for A Midsummer’s Night Run! It’s closer than it seems…


FitStreets Round #2

I was not this angry the whole work out, I swear! (Thanks to Andie for tweeting this pic!)

After a positive experience with FitStreets two weeks ago, I decided to buy a four session pass. Why? One, it was perfect for my schedule. Two, I really liked Andie’s fit philosophy. Three, I like the idea of supporting a young entrepeneur instead of a big gym. Four, it was less than $60, which is cheaper than most of the yoga classes I buy. So after Jill and I returned from our Nova Scotia adventure, I was back. This time, I was doing it by myself.

This Monday was a humid day and I broke into a sweat on my warm-up jog (okay, it was closer to a walk) over. But Andie was prepared: our route this time had two water stops, instead of one, and our pace was about 10 seconds slower per kilometre  — but the route itself was a little bit longer. Speedy, but manageable. (That might have more to do with Jill not being there and me being all whiny about my rolled ankle than the weather. But I’ll take it). I think Andie was in the Kula class Jill, JK and I took the night before, as she focused on legs. I have done more squats and chair lifts in the past two days than I ever have done in my life. My quads are burning.

FitStreets was easier the second time around, but I think that was just because I knew what I was in for, and not because the workout was less intense. I liked that Andie mixed it up — there were only a couple exercises we replicated, like tricep dips and squats. And I like the small group atmosphere. This time, it was just me and a guy named Steve (Hi, Steve!), which make the hour feel more like “hey, this is a kick ass run with friends” instead of “hey, I’m taking a class.”

Except Andie made us sprint. Three times. Sprinting is my all-time most-hated fitness activity. I guess what doesn’t kill you….makes you a better runner.

All in all, I’m really glad I picked up the extra FitStreets passes. And if you’re a runner looking to mix things up, I can’t recommend FitStreets enough. You’re first time is free, and if you don’t want to go alone, let me know! I’d be happy to come with you.

Now, if you exuse me, I need to go ice my quads.



Sister Act: FitStreets




What: FitStreets
When: Monday @ 6:30
Where: On the street! (But actually at the Integrative Health Institute at 46 Sherbroune Street)
Who: Andie

Erin’s story:

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.


This is a tricep dip. I do not look very happy demonstrating it.


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.

Jill’s story:


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’m demonstrating the twisted lunge we did! Much more fun than tricep dips!


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!