FitLabPGH is a podcast about movement and movement opportunities in the Pittsburgh, PA area. Once a week we also highlight a FitLabPGH mover…someone who understands that movement is a lifestyle…not just an activity. The questions are lightly edited to allow for easy readability. Click FitLabPGH Features for more info if you want to be featured/know someone who should be featured.
This Week: Lindsey Pogson
Are you a Pittsburgh native? If not, what brought you to the Pittsburgh area? I’m not! I moved here from Philly in 2007 for college (Pitt) and never left.
What are your three favorite movement activities in the Pittsburgh area? Powerlifting, running along the rivers, and all the day hiking opportunities with my dog right in the city (we love Frick Park).
Describe your fantasy movement-focused vacation…cost is not an object…where do you go and what do you do? I would LOVE to go back to Costa Rica for an adventure vacation. I’d start at Rincon de la Vieja – hiking, ziplining, rafting, lots of intense movement activities. Then I’d head to the beaches of Guanacaste and give surfing another try. I’d end at one of the country’s beautiful yoga retreats to relax and recover.
What is your go-to weekday breakfast? Your weekend breakfast? I eat a lot of avocado toast topped with eggs during the week. On the weekends, I’ll go for a quick potato and veggie hash, using up whatever greens I have on hand (and lots of bacon).
What is your favorite thing to eat in Pittsburgh? Note: it does not need to be healthy. The chicken and hummus plate from Aladdin’s in Squirrel Hill. It’s my go-to order (plus lots of tabbouleh) when I don’t have time to cook!
What is the most unusual and/or challenging movement activity you’ve done? Would you do it again? I’ve been involved in powerlifting for quite a few years now, but (re)developed a love of distance running recently. I love a ridiculous challenge, so in November, I competed in a powerlifting meet (max squat, bench press, and deadlift) on Saturday, Nov. 23, then ran my first full marathon on Sunday, Nov. 24. It was easily the most physically and mentally demanding athletic activity I’ve ever done. It required pushing my body near its limits in two very different ways, required a ton of logistical planning (especially around fueling myself), and forced me to adapt to pushing on despite being in a great amount of pain. And for that reason, it was the most rewarding. I’m not exaggerating when I say I feel like a different person after enduring the race. I’m more aware of how strong I really am. I will definitely do it again, but not for at least a year! I met my goals going into both activities, but there are SO MANY THINGS I can and will do better next time.
What movement activity/event are you looking forward to in the next year? While I definitely plan on doing the meet+marathon combo again, I’m hoping to attempt that in the spring of 2021 (for logistical reasons and recovery reasons). In 2020, I plan on running and PRing the Pittsburgh Half Marathon (with a sub 1:45 finish), setting some all-time PRs in powerlifting in a heavier weight class, and maybe having a go at a sprint triathlon in the summer!
Would you rather go scuba diving or skydiving? SCUBA. I love and feel at home in the ocean.
What is your favorite recovery or self-care practice? Floating! I utilized sensory-deprivation tanks (or float tanks) frequently while training for the meet and marathon -at least every two weeks. If you’re unfamiliar, float tanks are rooms or pods filled with about one foot of body temperature water and a TON of Epsom salts. Once you get in, you effortless float on the surface, and eventually lose track of where your body stops and the water starts. The magnesium absorption and zero-gravity environment provided a lot of physical relief for me, and I’d often time my floats around my long training runs. The sensory-deprivation part was actually the most beneficial. Taking an hour to unplug completely gave me the space I needed to meditate and envision what I was setting out to do in these events. I watched myself crossing the Philly Marathon finish line hundreds of times, and I really credit that visioning for crushing my time goal (with a 3:50 finish). I am a huge advocate for this practice, and will actually be part of a new float studio opening in Lawrenceville in early 2020, so keep an eye out and please ask me any questions about it!
What is the one place visitors to Pittsburgh “must” see? Squirrel Hill. I’ve lived in the neighborhood for the majority of my time here and I’ve come to really love it. I love how diverse the population is, how walkable it is, the gorgeous homes and architecture you can find scattered throughout, and that it’s sandwiched between two amazing city parks. Plus, the food. So much good food.
Contact info for Lindsey Pogson: