Five Things on Friday from Swirlgear, BTN 10K, True2Life, and Rock Solid Health

Some exciting stuff is going on in these parts and I wanted to share it with you. But, since my time (and yours, I'm sure) is limited, let's do it in the form of a list!

Rock Solid Health Fitness Studio, Chicago, Strength Training, Circuit Training

Photo Courtesy of Melissa DiLeonardo

1. I was recently able to take a class at Rock Solid Health in the Humbolt Park neighborhood of Chicago. The first week there is free and I took a "Rush Hour" class led by trainer Nicholas Walcott and studio owner Blair Rockoff.

The class was a ton of fun and consisted of a 4 rounds of a circuit made up of a variety of full-body exercises. And some rowing. Much like some of the other classes I've taken it was done in a timed format where you did the exercise for 45 seconds and then had 15 seconds of rest.

If you live in that area and are looking for a studio that will give you a great workout then I recommend Rock Solid. They also have yoga classes, spin classes, and I'm pretty sure I saw silks hanging in one of the rooms if you still want to try aerial fitness! Remember, the first week is free so you don't have anything to lose by trying it out.

2. I'm currently training for the Puerto Rico Half Marathon and the Illinois Half Marathon. When I ran my first half marathon back in 2009 I trained by myself. For the next few years, though, I ran with the Oak Park Runners Club. Then I trained mostly alone in 2013 for the Illinois Marathon. This year, though, I'm doing the CARA Spring Half Marathon training program. I haven't trained with a dedicated training group like this since I trained to run my first 5K back in 2007 so I'm interested to see what it's like this time around.

3. Speaking of races, I was recently contacted about the Big Ten 10K and 5K telling me that registration is now open. I haven't run this race in the past so I can't comment on the quality of the race itself, but I can say that it appears they go all out for the after party. Plus, you get to pick which university you want to represent with you race shirt. Granted, I don't feel a huge sense of loyalty to any Big Ten school so I don't know if this race is for me. Still, I went to the University of Illinois for my graduate degree and grew up in Champaign-Urbana so I suppose that might be my choice. Although, if I did decide to run this race I might pick Ohio State and give the shirt to my brother. He's a HUGE OSU fan. Also it appears that the first 1500 people to register get a gallon of Garrett's popcorn. So, you can always have your own after-party.

4. A group I'm currently a part of that has given me some great fitness opportunities over the past month, True 2 Life, is hosting a neat event called "Allowing Your Narrative to Work for You" on Sunday, February 23rd from 4:00 to 6:00 PM at 4305 N Lincoln Ave. The first part of the event will focus on using the "Tree of Life" writing exercise and then share it with other attendees. The goal is to encourage everyone to strengthen your lives and goals by encouraging one another. Hosted by Molly Moynahan, author and writing coach, this event also raises money for the True 2 Life organization which provides an online and in-person supportive community for anyone wanting to work on goals for themselves as well as producing podcasts and hosting meet-ups. A donation of $15 is suggested when you attend the event. Find out more here. And if you're interested in being part of the True 2 Life community just let me know and I'll send you an invitation to join the group on Facebook.

Swirlgear 2014 Collection, fitness gear, running clothes

Photos courtesy of Swirlgear

5. As you might know, I'm a Swirlgear Ambassador and I am SO EXCITED about their new 2014 collection that launches today! There are already some new pieces up in the online store and they've been giving sneak peeks of other pieces throughout the past two weeks. I cannot wait to wear one of the new tanks for the Puerto Rico Half Marathon and the new red color is perfect since my running club's colors are red and white.  If you want to order one of the new items just use code 945 at checkout for free shipping.

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    Erin Vandenberg

    I'm a 30-something who decided to get off the elliptical and expand my fitness horizons. Since moving to Chicago in 2008 I've run marathons and biked miles. I've done group fitness classes and lifted weights on my own. And now I want to share my fitness finds with you!

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