A PR-Worthy Half Marathon Playlist

half marathon playlist

While I have no music ability whatsoever and am 100% tone deaf, I do believe in the power of music. Music can transform a dark hour-long spin class into a dance party or a dreaded treadmill run into the most invigorating part of your day.

Over the past year, I’ve become far less dependent on music as many of my training runs or workouts have been with Bo or other friends. The miles fly by as we catch up on life and talk about upcoming plans.

Fast forward to race day, when I have two hours of running ahead of me, and nothing to take my mind off the miles or the deep breathing that is about to begin. In certain races, this is fine. Focusing on the gorgeous scenery and just having Kristine’s company was more than enough to get me through the hills of Nike San Francisco Half Marathon. But, in order to push through the “pain cave” or mentally hard moments of Saturday’s PR attempt, I know that I need a perfect playlist. I need some hard-core rap that makes me feel tough, I need some Whitney Houston and boy band music that will make me want to dance and I’ll need some fast, upbeat songs to help me push my tempo and pace towards the end.

So, with that being said, here is my playlist for Saturday’s half marathon. At three hours in length, it is far longer than I’ll need, but perfectly long for the pre-dawn to the race start and a pre-race pump up while I go through my dynamic stretches and warm-up. It is a mix of everything from Adele’s soon to be overplayed hit to NSYNC. Come Saturday at 7 AM this playlist will be placed on random and the work will begin.

While I can’t predict the outcome of the race, I know that I have an awesome half marathon playlist that has made me break out in dance moves more than once tonight and will bring a smile to my face during the hardest miles on Saturday. It’s been ages since I was this excited to run alone!

If you want to open this playlist in your Spotify account, just click here. Otherwise, just use the scroll bar on the right side of the playlist to see each of the 46 songs.

Tell me, what song did I forget?




Finding Inspiration

Happy Monday! IMG_5839

The discarded cups and thrown confetti has all been cleared from the streets of New York, but the inspiration I gained from yesterday’s race is still very fresh.


For the first time in six years, I spent yesterday spectating, cheering and supporting friends and strangers alike as they conquered 26.2 miles. Back in 2009, when I last spectated, it was from the sponge station on First Avenue, while volunteering with the New York Junior League.  I didn’t know a soul running the race but watching these strangers conquer such an intimidating race, lit the fire inside of me, inspiring me to join the New York Road Runners and qualify for the New York City Marathon via 9+1.

From my cheering spot on Fourth Avenue I was able to cheer, scream and motivate runners as well as spot my friends Ireen, Theodora, Frank, and Kelly before lacing up my shoes for a few miles with Melissa. These running inspirations made it look so easy yesterday!




After a less than stellar final month of training due to an injury, Melissa was hesitant about yesterday’s marathon. In order to help her achiever her goal of finishing, I offered to run alongside her for a few miles, taking her mind off the marathon while providing her with some fuel and water. Exactly on plan, around 11:45, I spotted her as she crossed the mile 7 marker and quickly hopped in. We had a blast for 3.5 miles, as I gave her a tour of the Brooklyn sites. Humorously, a few friends spotted me, very confused including Emily and Kim.


As I prepare to conquer the heat and humidity of this weekend’s Savannah Rock’n’Roll Half Marathon, my third half marathon this season, I’m going into the weekend more excited than ever before thanks to these friends. I know the 80% humidity and predicted temps of 75 degrees aren’t ideal for racing but my goal is to finally break that elusive sub-2 hour half marathon mark. The sweat, tears, smiles and determination that these friends showed during yesterday’s marathon reminded me that so much of racing is mental. I can’t control Saturday’s weather but I can control everything I do leading up to the race, so I can go into the race feeling physically rested, mentally strong and smiling.  Until Saturday when I’m not working, you’ll find me foal rolling, sleeping and reading posts like this, reminding me of the most important things to do before racing in humid and hot conditions.

So here’s to you marathon runners, thank you for showing up yesterday and giving 110% to the boroughs, bridges and streets of New York City. A huge congrats to those I knew yesterday including Sashea, Camille, Jen, Theodora, Frank, Melissa, Chloe, Kelly, Greg, Ireen, Kayla and Dani.

Your turn: Did you spectate or watch the marathon this weekend? For those half marathon runners who have recently achieved new PRs, what are your tips? Do you run in humidity and heat often? Any tips?


Six Weeks of Bar Method

I’m that girl who loves recommendations. Whether I’m shopping on Sephora or looking up a restaurant, I always read the reviews and ask people for recommendations. When Kristine couldn’t stop raving about Bar Method, I knew that I needed to give it a second chance, especially since there is a location just a few blocks from our apartment. Six weeks and 14 classes later, I couldn’t be happier that I took her recommendation. The Bar Method Brooklyn has helped me stand taller, lose inches, gain strength, and most importantly, feel part of a community.

Based off the workout created by Lotte Berk, a German dancer, in the 1930’s Bar Method combines ballet bar and dance conditioning into one class. In 1959, she opened her first studio in London, sharing the Lotte Berk Method with students. In 1971, one of her students, Lydia Bach, bought the rights and brought it to the United States. Bar Method, as we know it today, was started by Burr Leonard, one of Lydia’s students. The Bar Method is based on the Lotte Berk method but has been improved and optimized based on input from physical therapists, ensuring that each exercise is not only effective but also safe. I had the chance to take a class at the flagship location in San Francisco, last week with Kristine! Since this first studio opened in 2001, they have grown to over 80 studio locations, including my local Brooklyn studio.

bar method brooklyn fall
While there are many studios in New York City that I enjoy, the Bar Method Brooklyn is very different than most NYC studios. As soon as you walk through the doors, you are greeted by a spacious, bright, airy space as well as very friendly staff. The staff makes it their goal to know each student on a personal basis, whether it’s by asking about their family or latest travels. I think part of this community is because the owner, Katie Muehlenkamp, was born and raised in Brooklyn. She knows how important community is in Brooklyn and wants to build that same community at her studio. On my first visit, the staff asked me about my current fitness routine so they could better explain how Bar Method can supplement the routine and which moves would be most beneficial.


This Bar Method location has two studios, a full locker room and shower area, as well as child care facility. Child care is offered for an average of two classes per day, a very welcome benefit for local parents. The studio is far more spacious than most, featuring wall-to-wall carpeting as well as a wall of windows which allow light to stream into the classroom. The carpet still looks brand new since every student is required to wear socks during the class. The studio can easily accommodate up to 30 students, providing plenty of space for stretching and moves at the bar.
The class itself is 60 minutes in length, including a warm-up and cool-down section. You will use two sets of hand weights, a lighter and heavier set, as well as other props such as balls, straps and mats. During the class, the teacher and assistants make things simple by providing you with the props you need for each move. Another Bar Method signature is the personal adjustments and attention they provide to each student. During class, expect to be adjusted or provided verbal cues no less than two times even if you are a Century Student, who has attended over 100 classes. The teachers want to ensure that every student gets the most out of the 60-minute class by having perfect, precise form.

Most people wear tanks, leggings and grippy socks for class though you can wear regular socks as well. The class begins with a dynamic warm-up that gets your joints lubricated and blood flowing. After the warm-up, you will move directly into upper-body that changes each day. Most days it includes moves that work the biceps, lats and triceps including arm curls, tricep extensions and tricep dips. Each class also includes 60 push-ups, which are spread between each section of class. As of this morning’s class, I am finally able to do all three sets of 20 pushups on my hands and toes, a huge improvement from where I started six weeks ago. Following the upper-body sequence, the class moves to the barre where you’ll spend around 20 minutes doing moves that will humble you and make your thighs, calves, glutes and abs quiver. In between each set, there is time for a deep stretch that helps lengthen and release the shaking muscles. The stretching sections are 30-seconds to one minute, providing ample time to lengthen and relax the muscles. Finally, the class moves to the center of the room for 10 minutes of ab work and glute work on the mat. This section often includes curls that engage the deepest ab muscles, helping to smooth and strengthen the core. Once the core work is is complete, students are rewarded with a final stretch and cool down session that leverages a strap to help students get deeper into each move.

bar method stretch

After the 60-minute class, I may not always be sweating but I always walk out feeling taller, stronger and leaner. Over the past six weeks, I have averaged two classes per week in addition to running three times per week. The Bar Method has started to change my body, most noticeably my posture and legs. I lost an inch from my waist during the six weeks and a half inch from each thigh. While this was a nice side effect, I was more excited by the way Bar Method improved my running. The perfect complement to running, many of Bar Method’s exercises strengthen the knees by strengthening the surrounding muscles in a low impact way. My new found core and leg strength has allowed me to feel stronger during hills and speed work as well as run three half marathons and Reach the Beach within a five week period without injury.

bar method lockers

Want to try Bar Method Brooklyn for yourself? Book a class via ClassPass or, sign up for their new client special. The special is $99 for a month of unlimited classes!

*Thank you to Bar Method Brooklyn for you support and partnership. I was not compensated for this review though I was provided a discounted media partner rate.