Tag Archives: recap

A Visit to CrossFit Shadyside

15 Oct

A few weeks back, while traveling for work in Pittsburgh, I had some unexpected free time.  So what did I do?  Immediately googled local CrossFit gyms.  A quick search revealed a box not even 2 blocks away from the hotel I was staying at! Boom! I took my chances that they’d let me drop-in without advanced notice and showed up at a 6:30am class.  I was greeted by Erin, one of the coaches, filled out a quick waiver and had no issues joining the class.


Crossfit Shadyside is actually located in the bottom part of Ryer Martial Arts Academy. and initially was less than half the size it currently is.  I snapped some pictures of the space to give you an idea of the layout, but it’s a decent size and has lots of equipment tucked away that you can’t see.  IMG_9418[1]




One of my favorite parts of the gym (and something that immediately caught my attention) was the “Box Rules”.  They’re so perfect for anyone just joining CrossFit and a good reminder for those who have been doing it for a while.  🙂IMG_9415[1]

The WOD (workout of the day) started with 10 minutes of mobility work (rolling, stretching), followed by 4 rounds of max effort Handstand Push-Ups (for me, modified by using a box), 2 minutes rest, then 8 bent over rows (using barbell), 30 russian twists (I used a 20lb med ball).  Finally, we completed a max effort 1000 m row, rested 5 minutes and finished with 4 RFT (rounds for time) of 3 push presses (85% of our 1 rep maximum weight) and 15 toes-to-bar (knees to chest for me).  I can’t remember the weight I used for push presses (maybe 55lb?), but I know my shoulders and armpits were sore for days after this WOD.  Hello, handstand push-ups!

There were probably only 5 people in the class I took, so I can’t say how it is during more crowded sessions, but Erin made sure to check everyone’s form and give us feedback, critiques and encouragement during the workout.  She also made sure I knew where to grab equipment from, which was much appreciated because I was so unfamiliar with their gym.  At first, I couldn’t figure out where the med balls were–they’re kept in a wooden box built into a wall!  Erin has been a coach at Shadyside for about two years and really seemed to know her stuff.  I definitely think it’s important to have someone coaching who not only knows about crossfit movements, but isn’t afraid to correct you or make sure you have proper form.

After class, I got to chat a little more with Erin about the history of CrossFit Shadyside, and she took me upstairs to the giant martial arts area.  Of course, I also took the time to snag some Shadyside tees for the boyfriend and myself!

I’m so glad I was able to check out another box during my work travels (see my last box review here), and highly recommend CrossFit Shadyside if you’re in the Pittsburgh area.  I know I’ll definitely be back!

Do you like to explore local gyms during travel?  What do you look for most in a coach or fitness instructor?  Tell me about it!



NYCM Training: Week 13

13 Oct

Hellooooo from Taper Town, my friends! I’m finished with peak week and am officially tapering until November 2nd!  Eek! It finally feels real.  Last year at this time, I was an absolute mess.  I was having meltdowns left and right over whether I could or would try to run my marathon.  This year is a totally different story.  Sure, I’m sore and tired, but I’m also so much stronger and confident that I WILL run the NYC Marathon.  Knock on #allthewood.  Seriously, knock on some wood for me?  Thanks.  And without further ado, here’s how peak week played out:

Monday 10/6: Rest and foam roll my ouchie quads.  Despite running a mostly flat route for my first 20-miler, my quads were hurtin and it felt good to roll em out!

Tuesday 10/7: 6 miles (3 mile repeats at 8:10-8:15 with 800m jog between).  I was honestly a little nervous I wouldn’t be able to hit these paces, but went out with intentions to give it my best.  Mile splits ended up being 8:06, 8:17, 8:13, which I was pleasantly surprised with.

Wednesday 10/8: 6 easy miles (9:59 average pace).  Surprise, surprise-I was traveling for work this week and was staying in a hotel near the Trenton-Mercer Airport in NJ, which meant there was nowhere to run outdoors, so I took it to the treadmill once again.  It was a mental challenge more than anything and I’m glad I was able to fit it in.

Thursday 10/9: I had high hopes of hitting up another CrossFit box during my travels, but it didn’t happen so I settled for a hotel room workout.  I started with a nice easy 20 minute yoga video and ended with a quick strength workout (3 rounds of: 10 air squats, 10 sit-ups, 10 push-ups).

Friday 10/10: Rest and a glorious 8.5 hours of sleep.

Saturday 10/11: Rest.  Less than stellar weather forecasts meant my running buddy and I pushed our long run off to Sunday.  I should have done a few easy miles, but spent the rainy day cleaning and getting life shit done.  It was awesome.

Sunday 10/12: 20 miles.  Beth offered to run the last 10 miles of the NYC marathon course with me and I tacked on 5 before and 5 after to total 20 for the day.  The weather was absolutely perfect for a fall long run and I can only hope for similar weather on marathon day!


I started my run in my old Astoria neighborhood and then met Beth at the Queensboro Bridge.  It was my first time running this bridge this training cycle and I did it TWICE (once at 5 miles, then again at 18.5 miles).  In 3 weeks, I’ll be running it at mile 15, so I think I’m ready.

Next, we ran up first avenue and over the Willis Avenue Bridge into the Bronx.IMG_9919 Then back into Manhattan over the Madison Avenue bridge.  IMG_9922We ran together all the way to the finish line and then I headed back East over the Queensboro and into Astoria.  Although my Garmin and Beth’s Garmin showed completely different paces the entire run, I’m going to go with mine, which was faster and said overall average pace of 10:10.  I definitely pushed my pace for a few of the earlier and later miles, per coach’s plan.  Overall, a strong run with my favorite running buddy!  I’m so excited to be in taper and start mentally preparing myself to run 26.2!

Weekly totals: 32 miles, 1 yoga/strength, 3 rest days

Alright…I’m ready for advice now!  How do I get through taper without going crazy?  Favorite playlist suggestions?  Go!