#PropelFit Challenge: Work Out with Friends

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by FitFluential on behalf of Propel. I was compensated and all opinions are 100% my own.

This month, Propel has been asking us to work out with a friend for our Add Flavor challenge. That’s not much of a challenge for me, since I love to work out with friends, but okay.

So far, most of my tri training has been solitary. This has definitely been a departure from marathon training, where my long runs were a chance to meet up with friends and chat for hours and hours. I don’t really know how you’d swim with friends, anyway…so. 

One recent weekend, I had two bike rides on my schedule of 1.5 hours each. That’s a lot of time to sit and think about life by yourself. So, I grabbed Jen, and off to the West Side Highway we went. She stopped to rent a bike, and I brought my trusty buddy. (She still needs a name.)

I’m a much more confident runner than I am cyclist or swimmer, so it’s also about learning to feel comfortable letting others see my potential weakness in these two sports, as well as stepping outside the comfort zone. Next steps: finding stronger cyclists to ride with to help me grow as a cyclist.

And bringing my Propel flavor enhancers on those shorter rides so I can practice drinking and riding.

When I started working out, the idea of working out with a friend terrified me. They would see how weak I was, and they would get frustrated waiting for me. Once I started running and training for my first marathon, I met Ashley, and we discovered we were around the pace. We began doing most of our long runs together, and I became more confident not only in running with others, but with myself in general. 

As I got a little faster, a friend pushed me to find faster training buddies to run with to get me outside of my comfort zone and increase my speed. I remember the first time I ran with Gia. The girl is a speed demon—but I could hang on! I also love working out with friends because it’s a great excuse to catch up in a healthier situation, and share a passion. My friend Lacey and I really like our wine, but when she discovered my favorite studio, it became something healthier we could do together.

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We rode up to the Little Red Lighthouse and back. There is so much about cycling that I’m still learning, including how to drink and ride, so I used our turnaround point as an excuse to hop off and chug some Propel. Next time, though, I think I’ll put some of the liquid enhancer drops into a water bottle with some ice. And maybe be less of a weenie and try to drink on the bike.

She rented a heavier bike, and doesn’t bike a ton, so it wasn’t my fastest ride, but that will come in time. Especially with a new bike, time in saddle is really important right now, and I had 1.5 solid hours of friend catch-up time as well as butt-in-saddle time.

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What’s your favorite workout with a friend? Do you like working out with friends who challenge you, or do you like to be the one challenging your friends?

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I Feel Alive

I feel so alive. May I hazard to say, more alive than I’ve ever felt?

I have a job I love so very much with supportive and amazing coworkers turned friends. It challenges me each and every day, and it’s something I’m so passionate about.

I finished a huge volunteer commitment that was something I never thought I could do, and that many times throughout those two years, I didn’t think I could do.

But sure, it’s easy to say the secure and what we’ve accomplished make us feel alive, right? The stuff that puts the wind in our sails?

What about the stuff that sometimes make us stop and catch our breath and wonder what the hell we’ve gotten ourselves into?

I think that’s what makes us feel alive, and that’s what I’ve been going for the past few months, with the support of people who believe me in before I believe in myself.

A few months ago, I decided to commit myself more to dating. And I have been, slowly. A few months ago, Lacey and I went to an Uplift book discussion for the Alpha Woman Meets Her Match. (I haven’t read the book or think I’m an alpha woman, but I was still really interested to hear what the author had to say as well as the discussion that would ensue.) Long story short, we all ended up going out for some more wine after and talking to Dr. Sonya Rhodes about our own romantical lives, or lack thereof.

“You need to date more,” she said. “And yes, you will get hurt. That’s part of it.” I heard a Jillian Michaels podcast recently, too, talking about hurting more by not taking those chances on something that could make you happy.

In the Hamptons, Heather and I had some deep conversations (warning: Theodora + wine generally equals either deep convo or telling you you are my favorite person in the world)…and I finally just let a whole lot go. She made a great analogy: I’d taken a lot of chances moving to NYC, losing weight, going for my dream job, running races – why was I afraid elsewhere? It was a major breakthrough, and gave me a new perspective. Something told me to take the chance on this share house with this friend I barely knew, and I’m glad I did. It’s already meant a lot more to me than just a few awesome weekends of partying out where it doesn’t feel like real life.

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And that tri thing: I talked with my coach tonight and laid out all of my tri fears. She gave me some solid tips about the bike: try to gain some extra momentum before you get to that hill so you have more power going up it. She also talked about giving me some more bike drills, similar to the idea of run drills.  We talked very candidly about her assessment of my abilities. She was honest that until I committed to my road bike and to an Olympic-distance tri, she wasn’t quite sure how committed I was. But she knows that since I’ve been working on my biking and my swimming, my heart’s in it. It still makes me nervous, but I’m just going to keep on pushing through that, one workout at a time. 

I didn’t originally post anything about doing the NYC Tri, because I was initially kind of scared. (Also, it was a last-minute decision – I managed to get a media bib just a few weeks out.) But hey, it’s next weekend, and I’m actually really freaking excited for it. 

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Oh, and I ran with three-time Ironman Kona champion Craig Alexander this morning at a media event. I nearly slept in, but how often do you get to run with Ironman champions? As I crossed Central Park South to get to the meeting spot, I thought of how far I’ve come. I was considered fitness media. Running with an Ironman champion. 

I’m trying new things. I might fail. I might get hurt. (Hopefully, emotionally, not physically, should any hurt occur.) But I could finish something I never thought I could. I could fall in love. This is the summer of possibilities. Letting go of baggage feels good.

What makes you really and truly feel alive?

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