Rise Fitness vs Orange Theory

I’m four months into my newest obsession. Typically I’ve lost interest by now and have just accepted the fact my credit card is going to be billed an embarrassing amount of money until the end of my contract for me to do nothing.

I have held off on mentioning it in case that happened yet again. (I’m 41. I have lost count of projects I’ve given up on.)

Somewhere in what I pray was the middle of Covid (please make it stop) my friend Michelle and I were comiserating that we really, really missed the gym because of working from home. Our workplace offers free classes with a $15/month membership.

We wanted something super challenging that was convenient for both of us. I live near downtown and she is in Hilliard. I like buttcrack of dawn workouts and she prefers after work. And of course we didn’t want to pay an arm and a leg plus a butt and a thigh.

Her suggestion was Orange Theory. Cool! They have locations near each of us. They have varying hours. The classes look intense. I reach out via Facebook messenger to see if they have any promos. Nope. Okay. No biggie. I decide to do my first class anyways to check it out. It’s free and maybe they’ll have some offer that I like.

I download their app and try to verify the code to log in and sign up for my first class. It doesn’t work. I try it 3 or 4 times. Nothing. I email their tech support. Nothing.

I decide to check out Rise Fitness Community in Upper Arlington instead. They get back to me immediacy, I choose to buy a 3 month package without trying the first few class. Everyone is super friendly. The place is very clean and well storages out for Covid protocols.

Zero problems other than my lack of fitness. Seriously. The first two weeks I went 2-3 times a week and had to pace myself to make it through the class.

After my first month, I’m in love. I try to convince Michelle to join me and she says she can’t spend the $ right now. Totally understand.

Then orange theory IT reaches out to see if my case was closed satisfactorily. Umm you’re emailing me a month later after I’ve joined another gym to help me with a problem I asked about 4 weeks ago? I ignore it.

Two more months pass. I’m loving Rise. I’m noticing a huge change in my fitness. I’m now going 3-4 times a week and pushing myself in ways I never have before.

I’m at the grocery store with Nate picking up protein powder jk I was picking up rice and my phone rings. It’s Orange Theory. Some super perky person is super excited that I’m interested in Orange Theory and they’d LOVE to have me stop by.

I very politely tell them with a huge smile that I was very interested but they never got back to me for 3 months so I went with Rise Fitness who DID get back to me quickly.

It is month 4 now. I loved it enough to buy another 3 month package (and love the fact I’m not stuck in a contract) and am challenging myself to go 4-5 days a week. They’ve added more class times, so it’s totally doable as long as I get to sleep at a reasonable hour.

Week 1 thoughts

Week one of the new year is down. I heard that most people give up on their goals by the 2nd Friday, so I’ll be curious to see what sticks for me which will be here soon.
As mentioned in my previous post, my first goal is to drink 112oz of water a day.
1/1 – 16oz short
1/2 – made it
1/3 – made it
1/4 – not quite half
1/5 – made it.
I’ve also learned that I need to make more of an effort to drink the bulk of it in the daytime so that I’m not getting up every 15 minutes in the middle of the night to use the bathroom. Weekends continue to be a struggle for me in the way of not sleeping 12 hours and drinking enough water. It is entirely too easy for me to get out of a routine, or into a bad routine?
I’ve gotten back to running in earnest. I’ve decided to focus on improving my Cap City time in the Spring and then focus on prepping for Big Bad Wolfe in the Fall. If I only focus on Big Bad Wolfe, there’s really no reason for me to run until April, and I prefer goals to work towards. They keep me motivated.

My 2019 Cap City time is ugly at 3:30:54, so definitely have room to improve.

Columbus Marathon

I started out this year with the goal of running my first marathon ever. I was turning 40 in the first bit of October, and the Columbus Marathon was turning 40 in the second bit. It was serendipitous, totally meant to be.

And then life happened. Mom was in and out of the hospital, spending 8 weeks getting around the clock antibiotics for a spinal infection. She was home for a short bit and ended up back in the hospital under a medically induced coma because she was in so much pain from her congestive heart failure.

Nate was looking forward to the holidays for the first time in ages (his father passed away 3 years ago immediately after Thanksgiving and we lost his mom in November of 2017.) I didn’t expect my mom would make it through the the holidays. (These days I’m hopeful, but not taking it for granted.)

The stress of this plus the trips up North made me realize there was no way I could dedicate 6+ hours running on the weekends. I switched to the half, and continued to half ass train for it. It wasn’t pretty, but I was going to make it happen.

I felt like I was starting to come down with something but got the flu shot anyways. And then I ran a ten mile race. I wasn’t sure about it, but I’d convinced a few of my friends to do it because it’s my favorite race. I got super light headed and considered turning around at mile 1.5 for the 5k course, but decided to carry on. It was ugly. I struggled, but I ended up PRing the race by 20 seconds.

And I came down with a cold. Everyone jokes about the man flu or how pathetic men act with a cold, so maybe I should claim that metaphorical man card, because it destroyed my energy levels for 3 weeks.

Which happened to be how long it took to get to the Columbus Half. Even worse than a DNF, I was a DNS.

Running is Selfish

So not going to lie. This hurts my soul, but I think it’s the best decision in the long run. (No pun intended since this will actually be a shorter run!)

A number of things went into my decision, most of which all lead back to the same thing, my mom is in the hospital again, hoping to get back to the rest home. She’s also requiring blood transfusions among other things.

It turns out there’s a shortage of O positive (universal donor) blood products right now. They’re down to a 1 day supply at the hospital and my mom has an oddly specific set of antibodies and they had to find some at the Red Cross and bring it in for her.

My fingers are obviously crossed for her recovery, but my intention is to visit every other weekend while she’s in the rest home/ hospital and donate platelets on the alternating weekends. They may not go to her, but I don’t think they’ll go to rich vampires or a sadist like Elizabeth Bathory de Ecsed who enjoyed bathing in the blood of women she murdered. (Seriously, it’s a thing. Look it up.)

Between stress and drive time I’m struggling to get 4 runs in a week and handle life at home without losing my shit. I expect to continue to train as much as I can (continue with the full marathon plan and cross train 4 days a week but not beat myself up if it doesn’t happen.) Family needs to be priority right now.

I’m keeping my 20 mile Big Bad Wolfe registration, and hope to complete that and PR the Columbus Half Marathon. Wish me (and my momma!) good luck this year. And go out and donate some blood to vampires or hospital patients through the Red Cross if you’re healthy enough. 😉

Capital City Half Marathon

I’ve signed up for the Cap City 3 times and came up with an excuse to not follow through twice. Actually, I made excuses the third time as well. As mentioned in a previous blog post, I came very close to switching to the 1/4 marathon- only sheer cheapness kept me from doing it.

I didn’t sleep well Friday night, but who ever does before a big event?

I got up early, ate some breakfast, drank some water, got dressed and hit the road. I immediately got stuck in traffic and decided the first available parking lot I saw was perfectly fine. It turned out to be a ten minute walk, so not bad at all.

I was really pleased with the number of porta potties and ease of gear check, and was quickly into the corral I’d been assigned to. The local news was covering it so they were trying to pump up the crowd and also hit specific timing cues, that was a bit awkward. Speaking of awkward- I realized I was about ten feet away from the coach who had called me out on needing a new sports bra in front of about two dozen people prompting me to drop out of the local running club three weeks into it even though I’d paid for a year.

The race kicked off on time, and my corral was released about 25 minutes later. (I’m always paranoid about whether course close time is based on first person or last person over the start line- it can make a huge difference in whether I’m swept and stuck on the sidewalk behind a street sweeper after roads are reopened on me.)

The first few miles were easy, I got a huge kick out of a guy in lederhosen singing you turn me right round. Miles 3-6 were fine. I saw a couple in matching unicorn onsies dancing and having the time of their life. Miles 6-9, I felt pretty warm and a bit light headed butI laughed about a guy with a sign saying “Run faster! There’s bears behind you!”

Mile 10, I started to feel waves in my inner calf muscles as they were twitching, and my Achilles tendons were aching. I’m trying to slow down, stretch, change my intervals, drink water, fuck, anything but they shift from rolling waves to full on Charlie horses.

My niece texts me to wish me luck and cheer me on which brightened my day.

I’m still trying to get my body to cooperate and try a sip of Gatorade from a water station. I immediately realize why they say nothing new on race day. My stomach is rolling along with my muscles. I’m so close to hurling I almost hope I do just to feel better.

I’m texting Nate telling him I’m struggling. He tells me I’ve got this and asking what I need. Every time I try to pick up the pace my calves full on cramp. I’m slogging up ANOTHER FUCKING HILL and am flat out walking. I am near tears because I really wanted to break 3 hours and it’s slipping away from me. At mile 11.2 I know I can turn right and walk 0.5 miles home and get an uber or I can gimp another 2 miles to the finish line. 10 minutes versus another 40.

I see Nate hustling across the intersection. He gives me a kiss, calls me a bad ass, and tells me I’ve got this. He jokes and says I’m still beating all the fools behind me.

So I keep lumping. At one point, I hunch over because I don’t think my leg is going to hold me. A couple stop and ask me if I’m okay. I promise them I am and keep slowly hustling. Every time I try to speed walk, my muscles cramp. I see the finish line in the distance and try to run. I can’t. So I try to not grimace as I cross the finish line at 3 hours 27 minutes.

The volunteer puts my medal over my head and congratulates me. I keep walking through the chute and another athlete gives me a high five.

This was my most challenging race ever. I had moments I would have went to a medic if I’d seen one, but I completed it. I have any number of things I’d like to improve on, but I have to say I am very fortunate. I have a very supportive family, and the running community is awesome. Random strangers checking to make sure I’m okay or giving me a high five made a really hard day a little bit better.

So thank you random strangers. 🙂