Archive | February, 2012

Gym Etiquette & Such

28 Feb

I work in the Grand Central area and I am extremely lucky that my gym is 5 seconds away (ok 30 seconds, but who’s counting?). Anyway, since the area is packed with working individuals, there are a few lunch hour classes that aim to meet their needs (i.e., squeezing out a workout mid-day in their already busy schedules…like me). That said, the classes are usually packed. In order to get a spot, I (amongst others) head out to the gym early to save a spot. After awhile at the gym you begin to recognize people and become friendly. On occasions, someone will text me and ask me to save their spot (i.e. throw a mat down where they would be) because they are running late.

Yesterday this happened and the gym manager flipped out (legit screaming), stating that it is not proper etiquette to hold someone’s spot since it’s not fair to other members, even if that member whose spot is being held down is coming. She then threatened to have us escorted out if she were to see us doing it again.

As far as I have known, this happens at gyms everywhere… does this happen at yours? While I understand her reasoning, I don’t think it’s fair that I have to leave my job almost 15 minutes early because the class gets so crowded. I also don’t think it was right for her to take the tone that she did with us. It was condescending – we’re adults; we’re not children to be scolded. Let me know your thoughts.

That said, today I didn’t do a class. I did a tempo run and did 4 mi in 44 mins. It was a tough run –  though my pace wasn’t that much faster than normal, I think it was my shirt that motivated me (it said, “I’m not just eye candy; I train to win.”) – and the fact that my 5k is soon.

Ahh, now to pass out at my desk.


A Runner

27 Feb

I don’t know when I became a runner. I think it just happened.

I ran my first 5K (YAI Central Park Challenge in June 2009). My paced was 15:30 and I finished in about 50 minutes. I finished last in my age group (20 to 29, I was 25 at the time) and I didn’t even run the entire thing – I did a walk/jog combo.

After that, I didn’t run until 2011. I participated in the EIF Revlon Run/Walk in Times Square. Also a 5K. I recall finishing in 37 minutes – I ran the entire thing, only stopping once for water/change a song on my iPod.

I also ran the LI Run for the Warriors (a 5K benefiting Veterans) in 2011 wherein I clocked in at 33:20.

On February 4, 2011, I ran the Gridiron Classic 4miler in Central Park. My finish time was 40:30 (at a net pace of 10:10).  My next race is on March 4th, the Coogan’s Salsa & Blues also in Washington Heights. That one is also a 5K.

I won’t lie… I am nervous. I am more nervous about the half-marathon in April that I am running with some friends. I just started to really incorporate long runs… (my schedule is insane so I do the best I can) and yesterday I did 6 miles in 70 minutes.

If you had told me in 2009 that the YAI 5K was going to be the first of many races down the line, I would have laughed.

But here I am.

Running more.

Logging miles.

Getting my stride checked out (I over pronate slightly on the left).

A runner.

Don’t Tell Me What I Can & Cannot Do

24 Feb

I just got back from my weekly SGT (small group training) class. SGT is kind of like personal training where you work one-on-one with a trainer in a very small class of no more than 8 people. The trainer leads you through a variety of exercises all the while giving each member individualized attention and focusing on your skill set and abilities. I’ve been involved in SGTs at my gym since they were first introduced. During a most recent session, one member made a comment to me as I went to execute one exercise that I found rather upsetting. Specifically we were doing leg raises on the mat and it involved ankle weights. Our trainer gave us the option of using 5lb weights or 10lb weights. I decided to go for the 10lb weights because I knew it would be more challenging – plus I really want to strengthen my legs since I am running more.

As I strapped on the weights, the other member who in every other way is so nice and sweet and encouraging had advised me not to do the 10.  Inwardly, I was gob smacked and extremely frustrated.  Simply put, I just never expected to hear something like that from a woman, never mind her. Anyway, I did the leg raises and yes, it was challenging but I proved to myself, which was most important that I was able to do it.

One of my fave bloggers, Meghann Anderson of Meals and Miles went through something similar but with an older man. Here’s her story:′

UPDATE 3-2-12: I spoke with the gym member who was very upset about the whole situation. It ended up just being a GIANT misunderstanding and things are fine now. Next time, instead of turning to the blog to air my grievance, I’ll talk to the person in question instead.

Gym Pact

23 Feb

Every year (namely January), countless numbers of people sign up for the gym hoping that to make good on a new year’s resolution.  Despite people’s best intentions, the membership ends up collecting dust and the bank account ends up getting charged & charged & charged for an unused membership.

Enter Gym Pact.

Two recent Harvard grads recently introduced a service called  (it’s also an app for the iPhone) based on that premise. They contend that the sting of losing money for missing a visit and the promise of collecting money for going is enough to keep you on the treadmill.

I’ve recently started using it and for 20 workouts thus far, I’ve earned $6.00 (I have it set for the lowest fine ($5.00 at 4x week gym promise and for ½ those workouts I was a “trial member”).

What if it cost you $5.00-$10.00 every time you missed the gym? Would that motivate you to go?

Being paid to go… well, that’s motivating me!

You can read more at their website: and sign up.

Crazy 8’s workout

23 Feb

Crazy 8’s workout!

So part of my fit-living involves going to the gym. I am in a small group training class (8-10 people working one-on-one with a trainer) that uses a personal trainer who we meet with 1x per week for an individualized workout.

Well, this past session my trainer was on vacation so she gave us a homework assignment to do called crazy 8’s.

Crazy 8’s is an cardio training class which includes interval running on the treadmill for 20 minutes followed by 8 exercises done with 1 minute to rest in between. After the first set of exercises are done, you repeat it but only have 30 seconds to rest between each move.

Some of the moves include side planking, burpees, tricep pushups and the like. After the first round my gym buddy Jasmine and I were wiped. To do another set was not just physically grueling but mentally as well.

When all was said and done though, we felt on top of the world. So my advice is to push past the mental – you can do anything – your body is capable of  a lot more than you may think!

Happy exercising!

Hello world!

19 Feb

Welcome to RunningLongsIslandNYC. My name is Kasandra. I am a budding social worker and newbie runner (but veteran gym rat). Welcome to my blog where I hope to showcase my highs and lows of running/staying healthy/and being fit all the while working full-time and going to school part-time to get my Masters in Social Work.

I will do my best to update this blog as much as I can.  😉