Orange is the new black. {Orangetheory Fitness!}

Hello. My name is Lauren and I’m addicted to OTF.

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Based on the response I received on Instagram and to a post I wrote last week, I’ve realized that I am in very good company. The other weekend I attended my first class at the brand new Hunt Valley, Maryland Orangetheory studio and I think it only took me about 5 minutes to get completely hooked. Orange has always been one of my favorite colors.

A little about it for people that may not be familiar although I do think I’m a little late to the game. Blogger friends in the DC area (I first heard about it from Sue I believe) have been enjoying OTF for quite some time and I had been hoping they would open a studio in Baltimore. (Then they did even better and opened one bike riding distance from my house!) This information is direct to you from their website because I’m not even going to pretend like I’m a scientist and while I understand it I could not explain it without it turning into a rambling trainwreck. So here you go:

The physiological theory behind the Orangetheory workout is known as “Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption,” or EPOC. By providing you with a heart-rate monitor and POD, we can monitor your 5-zone interval training sessions that we call the Orange 60. During the 60-minute workout, you will perform multiple intervals designed to produce 12 to 20 minutes of training at 84% or higher of your maximum heart rate, which translates to Zones 4/5. This program design produces workout “afterburn” effect, which is an increased metabolic rate for 24 to 36 hours after the workout. When combining the amazing workout with EPOC, our clients burn an average of 500 to 1000 calories.

When I walked into the studio I had little idea of what to expect outside of blog posts I’d read. I knew there would be treadmills and rowing and then maybe some weights involved. My first impression was a very good one; the Orangetheory of Hunt Valley is clean and well maintained and there were two very friendly young women working behind the desk. I filled out a short questionnaire and was outfitted with my heart rate monitor, then just before class was to begin I was given a little tour and met the instructor, a high energy woman named Sonrisa. I got a very good vibe from her and liked her immediately. A couple of big screens were mounted at the front of the room and they displayed the names of everyone who would be taking the class with me. Seeing myself up there kickstarted my competitive nature. I think I come off as a touchy-feely, emotional-type person, but deep down I’m very analytical and I love numbers, data, and stuff just like what was up on the wall. Just as long as no one is making me do any of the actual math myself.

My first stop was on a treadmill (YAY I love this already!) where I was introduced to the concept of “Base Pace”, “Push Pace”, and “All Out”. A little card was attached to each treadmill to describe what all these things meant, but basically you would fall into one of three buckets: Power Walker, Jogger, and Runner. As a runner, my Base Pace would be 5.5 MPH or more on the treadmill with the incline set to 1. My Push Pace was 1-2 MPH over that and my All Out was exactly how it sounded…I jacked that speed up as much as I was comfortable doing. We began with some intervals this way and then I was instructed to hop on a water rower, which is a machine completely new to me and not just because I’m not used to water rowers. More like I have never rowed in my life.

Luckily, Sonrisa is awesome and gave me a quick tutorial on proper form. It felt easy at first, but by the end of the class I would be cursing that rower as soon as I got on it; it was an incredible workout! From there we were doing various exercises on the floor involving weights, medicine balls, and TRX straps. Then back on the treadmills for more intervals, including kicking up the incline to 8…and cue my heart monitor freaking out and going up to like 120% in the red zone. I think it was just a temporary malfunction because I was laughing through it and obviously not dead, but getting back down into the green zone after that was definitely a challenge.

The music was blasting and I was feeling super pumped. We were constantly in motion and 54 minutes soared by so fast that I was shocked when she told us our time was up. I obviously knew I had been working hard, but according to the screen I had burned around 585 calories! We all gathered together to go over our results that were displayed in bar graph form. That 84% or higher that was mentioned in the OTF description is the ORANGE ZONE and the even more scary sounding RED ZONE where it’s okay to be as long as you are breathing, alive, and in control of yourself. I spent a little more time than I would have liked in those zones, but that gave me something to work toward for the next time.

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I actually did have much better luck with it the next time I went. Also it was partner night and my friend and I burned almost 1600 calories between the two of us and subsequently went out for pizza and a big greasy cheesesteak. 

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Sweaty and happy!

If you are fortunate enough to have an Orangetheory near you and haven’t tried it out yet, GO. I promise you that you will love it. Better yet…come with ME! I think my friend even enjoyed himself and he always tells me how much he hates running. I’m excited to attend another class this week and sign up for a package.

Have you tried Orangetheory yet? What do you think of it? 

xo,

Salt

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Happy {Half} Marathon Monday!

There’s nothing quite like signing up for a race to get you feeling more focused! With no desire to run a full this spring (or really at any point during 2016) I want to improve my half marathon time. I’ve only raced a half 5 times, but I love the distance.

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Ocean City, MD on April 30th! I hope the weather is good because you never really know what you’re going to get in late April around here.

This past Monday marked the first day of the 12 week training plan that I’ve been Frankenstein-ing together from a couple different sources. Basically I have a couple different workout options on any given day which I think will keep me extra interested and motivated. Rest days are always Friday and long run days are supposed to be on Sunday, which is a new thing for me. I hope the next 11 weeks go as well as week 1 did!

Monday, February 8: 3 miles + strength. Both of the plans I’m working from suggests strength or cross training each Monday, which fits in nicely with my life because that’s when I generally go to Body Pump. I did that in the morning. Then in the afternoon, I took advantage of the last “warm” day we were supposed to have this week and did my 3 miles outside.

Mid-30’s is “warm” now. Yay.

Tuesday, February 9: I had a choice between 6 x hill repeats or 4 easy miles, so I hopped on the treadmill and combined the two. 8 x hills that were 400m apiece with a 400m flat in between equaled 4 miles. I was pretty darn proud of myself when this workout was over because I had cranked the treadmill hill setting higher than I ever have in the past.

Wednesday, February 10: Both plans were again in agreement on 3 miles and one of them also suggested strength training. I went to the gym right after work to run my 3, and then later on that evening attended a 60 minute Bikram class. Over the past months, my yoga practice has suffered and I feel like I’m as stiff as a board. There was a lot of improvement in this class over the one I went to last week!

Thursday, February 11: Tempo run. 2 mile w/u, 3 miles at half marathon pace, and a 1 mile c/d. I had to pick up Betty in the afternoon so I ran early in the morning. My body was still pretty sore from yoga the night before and it was tough, but I got it done.

Friday, February 12: REST. One plan suggested core work and I didn’t even do that much. I needed a day to just do nothing.

Saturday, February 13: Okay so remember when I just said that my long runs are supposed to happen on Sundays? Well I already messed that up in week 1.

I had some special mystery weekend plans and wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to get a long run done the next day so I switched it to Saturday morning. 8 easy miles on the treadmill. One for each degree that it was outside at the time. Hence…treadmill.

One goal I have for myself throughout this training is to slow my long runs way, way down and I think I did a very good job of that the other day. I felt fantastic after this run.

Sunday, February 14: 4 mile run + 4 x 20 second strides. I didn’t get to the gym until the late afternoon, so I’m glad to have made the decision to move my long run. 19 degrees is better than 8, but in the end I just didn’t feel like putting on all the clothes that would be required to do this run outside.

Total Mileage: 28
Grade: A+

Still way more running on the treadmill than I really want to be doing, but I’ve been making it more challenging with big hill adjustments. Hopefully soon I can kick this ridiculous aversion to running in the cold and get back out on the pavement for the rest of my training.

Or rather hopefully soon it will be 70 degrees. Let’s go with that instead.

What are you training for right now? How was your week of workouts?

I hope everyone had a great weekend!

xo,

Salt

NCR MARATHON TRAINING WEEK 5: It was kind of like a taper.

For the most part this week was sooooo much better than last week. Those crappy long runs sure make us appreciate the good ones. I scaled back my mileage a little bit and slowed myself down due to a 12 mile race this coming Saturday morning followed up by a 5K in the evening because I’m insane.

Let’s recap…

Monday, August 24: I hadn’t been to MEGAbarre in awhile so I figured why not? And I learned a valuable lesson: When you don’t go to MEGAbarre for awhile, chances are good that you will be in a MEGAworldofpain afterward. My core was so sore for the next few days afterward that it felt like I had been hit by a MEGAtruck.

Tuesday, August 25: 3 miles which I ended up making a 5K. I think this week might be my last week of easy 3 milers on Tuesday and Thursday and I’m going to miss them dearly.

Wednesday, August 26: My hamstring was sore and I had 6 miles on the agenda. I ended up doing them on the treadmill because that surface is a little easier on my legs. This run was nothing spectacular, but then are treadmill runs really ever that spectacular?

Thursday, August 27: Another 3 miler turned 5K. I did this one on the treadmill as well because I also wanted to hit up BodyPump class. Later on that evening I did a video at home that focused on glutes in the hopes that if I get stronger in that area my hamstrings will stop screaming at me so much.

Friday, August 28: 

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Rest day. I ended up walking a lot that evening though because I took Betty to the state fair and exercised my right arm throwing darts at a wall of balloons to win her a stuffed unicorn.
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“HE’S SO FLUFFY!!!”

Saturday, August 29: The Hal Higdon I am loosely following said 12 miles. Because the operative word there is “loosely”, I decided on 8 because I’m not trying to overdo it before all the races this weekend.

I made plans to meet my friend Michelle at the trail. Before Saturday I had never done a training run over 5 miles with another person and I’m definitely going to need to do it more often; we had so much fun! The time flew by as we chatted and we even managed to negative split everything from mile 3 on.

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Between the Renaissance Festival that afternoon and the Ravens game that night, I was on my feet for pretty much the rest of the day but my legs never let on. I felt fantastic after that run and like I could have kept going for miles.

Sunday, August 30: Cross training day. I started off with 30 minutes on the elliptical at the gym to loosen up my legs from the day before even though they didn’t really need it. Then after attending a wedding shower for a very dear friend of mine who is getting married in a couple weeks, I crammed my giant Salsa Warbird in the back of my teeny tiny Fiat and headed back to the trail for 16 miles.

I won’t be setting any course records on a bike or anything, but it was the best ride I’ve ever had. My legs felt excellent and completely unlike I had run at all the day before. I finished filthy, happy, sweaty, and covered with dead insects. Also I really need a rack. The only scrapes and scratches I sustained were from trying to get my bike in and out of the car.

That includes on my back bumper. Oops.

Total Mileage: 20+/16.
Grade: A.

My focus this week is obvious: Saturday. I am supposed to have a 6 mile pace run on Wednesday that I’ll probably knock a mile or two off of that so that I don’t burn myself out. I’m getting so excited!! Charles Street 12 is one of my favorite races and if I play my cards right I should be able to PR considering that last year I was running on a busted foot.

Do you have a race coming up this weekend? Which one? Long runs with friends or solo?

Happy September, everyone!

xo,

Salt