• The November Project

    November 21, 2013

    I finally tried the November Project! Yeehaw!

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    And I roped Kerrie into trying it with me! I love her because she’s always up for an adventure!

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    We were both invited to yesterday’s November Project workout on behalf of New Balance, who is hosting a variety of fitness events in and around Boston all month long as part of their Lace Up 365 program to commemorate the 25th anniversary of their partnership with Susan G. Komen. New Balance sent us some great Komen-inspired gear to wear to the event, so I pretty much layered on everything they gave me because it was SO COLD this morning (just 30 degrees F) when we started working out.

    Ok, November Project! Never heard of it? It’s basically a FREE workout for anyone who wants to do it. Simple as that. It was started with two guys who wanted to stay motivated through the cold, dark month of November and it just snowballed from there. There are several November Project locations around the country, so if you’d like to join, all you have to do is show up! Seriously. Just show up.

    The November Project workouts in Boston take place on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday (they’re all different), so yesterday morning’s workout was a stadium workout at Harvard Stadium.

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    Kerrie and I arrived just before 6:00 AM, so it was still dark outside, but people were already climbing stairs. We were told people typically start at 5:30 AM and 6:30 AM, but it seemed like you could start whenever you wanted to—alone or with friends. I saw a good mix of both. I also saw people wearing headphones and playing their own music, but there was also a DJ blasting tunes for everyone to enjoy, which definitely made it a fun time and helped pump me up when my legs were burning so bad on the last few stairs of each section. I don’t think I was ever so excited to hear the theme song to Rocky! Haha!

    Kerrie said it looked like there were zombies walking up and down the stairs at the stadium! Haha!

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    Kerrie and I decided to get right to it. 3…2…1…GO!

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    The Harvard Stadium has 37 sections, which are separated by regular size stairs. The workout that Kerrie and I did yesterday was called a “full tour,” so you climb up each of the oversize stairs (hello, quads) and then climb down the regular stairs for each of the 37 sections—a total of 1,147 stairs. (Yup, my calves are on fire today!)

    The actual workout for yesterday was a “tour of 50,” which means you start at section 37 to section 13 and back for a total of 50 sections. Yowsahs. I think I would have died if I had to do that workout. My legs were shaking so bad by the end of 37 sections. I was like a baby deer coming down the last set of stairs! My legs would have fallen off if I climbed 13 more sections of stairs!

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    Of course, if you can’t do a “full tour,” you can climb stairs on half the stadium or do as many sections as possible in 35 minutes. There were people of all shapes and sizes doing this workout—some were beginners (we met a gal who said she only got through 10 sections her first time, but she did all 37 sections the other day!) and some people were serious fitness buffs. I saw a number of people running the whole thing! They were animals, I tell ya!

     

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    Everyone we met at the November Project was so incredibly friendly and really excited to hear that it was our first time—one woman even hugged us! Kerrie and I also had the chance to meet one of the co-founders: Brogan! He was so happy to hear it was our first time and gave us both high-fives after the workout.

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    I was SO PUMPED to see the final section of stairs! Stair climbing is no joke. I’m never going to look at the stair climber at the gym the same way again!

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    Success! We completed a full tour, 37 sections, 1,147 stairs! I still can’t believe I made it. After about 14 or 15 sections, I actually wasn’t sure if it was possible, but Kerrie and I just keep trucking along. I think having a buddy definitely helped get me through it!

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    I really loved my first experience at the November Project. I’d probably go all the time, but it’s kind of a hike from where I live. (It took Kerrie and I close to 40 minutes to get there yesterday morning.) Even still, it was such a great workout and, boy, people were friendly. I really can’t express how warm and welcoming everyone was. I’d totally go to another November Project workout in the future. I want to try one of the Monday or Friday workouts next!

    Questions of the Day

    Have you ever heard of the November Project?

    What’s the best free workout you’ve ever done?

    What’s the farthest you’d travel for a workout?

    P.S. Last chance to enter to win a 6-month subscription to NatureBox! I will pick a winner this afternoon!

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    { 67 comments… read them below or add one }

    Sarah (Shh...Fit Happens) November 21, 2013 at 2:59 pm

    Never heard of the November proj…..but makes me want to go run some bleachers!!!

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    STUFT Mama November 21, 2013 at 3:09 pm

    Awesome! Such a fun project! Gotta love bleachers!

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    Livi November 21, 2013 at 3:10 pm

    I’ve never heard of this but it’s such a cool idea!!

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    Colleen November 21, 2013 at 3:50 pm

    Just discovered this on your page and went to find that they’ve got one here in Madison! I’m going to send my boyfriend to check it out, because I’m leery of both mornings and cold… But he’ll love it! Thanks for the heads up!

    Reply

    Tina@GottaRunNow November 21, 2013 at 5:00 pm

    Never heard of it, but what a great workout for your legs!

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    Jayne November 21, 2013 at 6:34 pm

    Love November Project! Maybe I’ll see you at your next workout!

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    Lauren @ Peaks and Passports November 21, 2013 at 6:39 pm

    That’s such a great concept! My favorite free workout is the Community Yoga that is offered every Saturday morning in Vail. Free yoga outdoors in a beautiful setting is an AWESOME way to kick off a weekend morning!

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    Luv What You Do November 21, 2013 at 11:35 pm

    So I just learned about this. I read about it in two magazines and am so sad that there’s no Chicago chapter yet. Perhaps I need to get on that!

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    Kate @ Trekking Kate November 22, 2013 at 12:00 am

    The November Project looks awesome! I have to look in to it in my area!

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    Niki Mosier November 22, 2013 at 11:44 am

    Those steps look super intense. Pretty sure I’d fall flat on my face!

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    Courtney @ Don't Blink. Just Run. November 22, 2013 at 2:30 pm

    That sounds awesome, but unfortunately I’m even further than you down in RI. Maybe eventually there will be more locations. That would be sweet! It definitely sounds like a tough workout – don’t think I’d make a full tour on my first go-round.

    Reply

    Cassie November 25, 2013 at 9:49 am

    I just read about the November Project in my new issue of Runner’s World. If I ever visit Boston (which I would love to do someday) I really want to try it!

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    kathy gomez November 28, 2013 at 1:28 am

    This post is really amazing. Thanks for stopping by us. Fully recommended your blog… 

    Reply

    Max Greenberg December 26, 2013 at 2:41 pm

    Hi Tina,
    I just discovered your blog while I was researching the November Project, which I am very psyched about. We used to live in Newton, MA and my wife and son were just there last week and she sent me a link about the NP so, here I am! I work out at the YMCA and also the JCC here in Palo Alto, CA, and realize the thing I’m missing is a “support” group of workout buddies to keep me on pace and keep me from getting lazy about my workouts. Your experience at the NP you blogged about and what I have read online makes me think this is a great place for me to be. I’m about 40 miles from SF which has it’s own NP. I’m planning on checking them out next Wed, New Year’s Day so I can get a taste of the program. Then hope to start a Palo Alto chapter, or something similar. Your blog looks great, best of luck with it. I’ve got a local blog here on http://www.paloaltoonline.com called “Eat, think, act right and prosper”: http://paloaltoonline.com/blogs/b/eat-think-act-right–prosper?i=36 where I comment on food, exercise etc. Happy Holidays, MAX

    Reply

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