spinning

Taking a Slow Day

“Slow down you’re doing fine 
You can’t be everything you want to be 
Before your time.” 
–Billy Joel

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Last night I worked the second shift.  I woke up after only 4 hours of sleep and headed to spin class despite still be exhausted and having a sore throat.  The thing is, this morning was Motown Morning and l LOVE the Thursday morning instructor.  I had already planned my whole day around this class, and I didn’t want to miss it.  The class was GREAT!  It was a Motown-Music-Spin-Sing-A-Long!  The actual singing part was a little difficult given the workout was rolling hills, and we were all out of breath.  Our instructor, on the other hand, who had given up her bike at the front to make room for another member in class, spent the entire class dancing, singing, and shouting out workout.

The thing I love about her classes is that she LOVES music and goes out of her way to pair the cadence of the ride with the beat of the Imagesongs so everything is timed perfectly.  She also clearly loves life.  I think that is why her class is so popular.  If you arrive only 10 minute early (YES early, not late…At 5:20 in the morning mind you!), you will be saddened to find no bikes available.  That is because her class is worth dragging yourself out of bed at 4 in the morning…in the dark…in the cold.

That is why I didn’t want to miss it.  Sure, going on 4 hours of sleep and no breakfast (because I didn’t feel well enough to eat it) were probably not a great idea.  I certainly wouldn’t recommend trying either.  However, class was A LOT of fun, and I survived without a problem.  I did make it a point not to push myself as hard as I might have otherwise.  Regardless, though, by the time I got home I felt like crap again…. which was a problem because I had to meet with the trainer at 9am. 

I thought about canceling, but since today was supposed to be upper body I figured I could just eat and muddle through it.  Unfortunately for me, it turned out to be core today… which sucked royally!  It was my own fault for mentioning at our last session that I was having low back pain and thought my core probably needed more work.  Since we did tons of plank work in that workout I really didn’t expect core again this week.  I was WRONG.  The good news is the hubs came along too, so I wasn’t suffering alone.  Plus, he was struggling even more than I was.  That made me feel slightly better, but it was still frustrating.

I had to take a minute and remind myself that I already did almost 22 miles of hills at spin already this morning… ON TOP OF all the running, spinning, and lifting (including core work) that I’ve already done this week.  Of course my legs (along with everything else!) felt like lead!  Of course I was struggling!  I had punished my body all week, and now I was expecting peak performance on 4 hours of sleep.  Yeah, it wasn’t happening.  I did finish the workout, but I had to take A LOT of breaks.  I wasn’t able to do any of the exercises for a full minute without pauses.  My quads were fried from spin.  My shoulders were still done from power cleans and core 2 days ago, and my entire body was in rebellion… so I went home and took a nap.  No run today.  In fact, I also skipped out on my swim this morning.

Instead of a rest day, I’m going to consider today a “slow day”: as in slow down and take a breath.  Sometimes I get so caught up in pursuing goals and becoming the best and fittest version of myself that I forget it’s okay not to go full tilt every second of every day.  While it is great to have aspirations, they shouldn’t consume my whole life.  Part of being the best version of me is finding balance.  Today I dragged myself out of bed to workout first thing this morning (the morning part is actually debatable).  The rest of the day I’ll spend chillaxin… or at least, I’ll do my best at it.  😉

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New Year, New Adventures!

“Life is either a great adventure or nothing.”
Helen Keller 

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Recently, I have been a bad blogger.  I could blame the holidays, but the fact is that there are just a lot of things higher on my priority list than blogging right now. Not that blogging isn’t important to me or I don’t enjoy it, but spending time with my husband and family, getting in a good workout (or two…or three), and getting adequate sleep all rank higher on my list.  Sometimes it’s hard to juggle everything plus the full time job; unfortunately, that means frequently the blogging gets cut.  However, with the new year upon us I am going to making an effort at blogging more regularly… again 😉

One new exciting thing is with the start of 2014, I am now officially a Tough Chik.  For those of you unfamiliar with what Tough Chik is, you should check out their website.  I already have their Toughie long sleeve T-shirt, and I have to admit that I immediately wear it every time it comes out of the wash because it is just so darn comfy.  I am still waiting for my official gear to arrive, so stay tuned for that.  In the meantime, my hubs gave me a gift card for Christmas (I might have sent him a few links to items on my wish list…) which I am looking forward to spending.

In other news, I have done something I never thought I would do and joined a Weight Loss Challenge.  No, I am not worried about my weight.  The hubs is trying to lose 20-30 lbs (so he can attain the appropriate weight recommended for his dream bike); and I am being a supportive wife.  We joined the Challenge as a team, so that means for every pound I don’t lose he’ll have to work that much harder.  See, supportive! Given that he is uber competitive, I thought the Challenge would be good motivation for him.  Plus, it’s through our gym, so it’s convenient AND they give a new challenge every week to get extra points toward winning.  This week was our first challenge.  It was a pretty simple fitness test consisting of as many reps as possible in 1 min for push-ups (43), sit-ups (58), and air squats (63).  Then we had to run/walk for 12 min and cover as much mileage as we could (1.68 miles).  We also had our first weigh in today (142.4).

While I am not particularly concerned with needing to drop any weight, let’s face it: after the holidays we all feel fat and bloated.  We eat waaaayyyy more crap than we would normally, and our bodies rebel against us.  Not to mention that I for one am really prone to letting a workout slide around Christmas in favor of getting some last minute errands done.  Then once my routine is messed up, it all goes to hell.  I have already been redoubling my efforts to get back on track, but this fitness challenge will add a little extra push.  Plus, with the hubs motivated to get in shape, I won’t have to feel like I need to choose between spending time with him and working out.

As some added motivation to get into better shape, the hubs has been pushing to start a family.  Initially, I had told him I wanted to attempt a Half Ironman first.  However, now I am starting to realize that I have a more finite window for producing healthy offspring than I do for accomplishing all my fitness goals.  Since you are only supposed to maintain your current level of activity when pregnant, I figured it’s best to get my arse in the best shape possible NOW.  While I realize that fitness during pregnancy is a bit of a hot topic lately, I have always been taught (as a women and healthcare professional) that exercise during pregnancy is totally safe as long as the women is already conditioned for it.  Therefore, if I am in great shape prior to getting pregnant that means it should be ok to continue strength training, spinning, running, and swimming (in moderation).  Obviously, all that would be off in the event of a complicated pregnancy; but I am a firm believer that being a fit pregnant women is good for the baby and mom… not to mention the easier delivery/recovery.  Plus, if I am going to be a vessel for a baby, I want to be the healthiest possible vessel.  To me, that means eating healthy AND working out for as long as it’s safe to do so.

That’s about all the excitement I have to share for now.  I will keep you all posted on the Weight Loss Challenge and family expasion progress.  In the meantime, you can rest assured that I will continue to kill it in the gym.  I hope you all had a lovely holiday.

Much Love!

The Running Thriver

Entering New Territory

“Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life

as by the obstacles which he has overcome.”

-Booker T. Washington 

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             Thank you Man Bicep! Love this one!

Today I entered uncharted territory: I started swim lessons. This was a HUGE step for me, and the final piece in my triathlon training journey.  I had intentionally saved swimming for last because I knew it would be the most difficult for me.  I was so nervous about the class starting that I literally got no sleep.  I was up every hour on the hour and just lied awake most of the night.  I was afraid that my total lack of experience would be an issue and that the swim instructor or other class members would be impatient and mean.  What I found when I arrived was quite the opposite!

ImageThe swim coach assured me that I would not be the only person foreign to lap swimming (as well as swim caps, goggles, etc), and although that was a total lie and I was the ONLY inexperienced person in the class, things still went remarkably well.  The first half of the class I tried to get the hang of putting my face in the water and breathing properly, but I was really struggling- despite the best efforts of the coach to help me.  I just couldn’t get the hang of the rhythm, and found I didn’t have enough time to get air in before putting my face back in the water. I ultimately figured I could either spend my class time working on the breathing or attempt to do the work out .  It seemed more helpful to focus on the workout and practice proper breathing on my own time.  

Once I did give up on putting my face in the water, I was actually able to keep up with the rest of the “slow” group.  I was pleasantly surprised at just how many laps I was able to swim with fairly minimal rest in between. The other swimmers were not bothered by my total newbiness, and that was a huge comfort.  In fact, they were all very supportive, assuring me it would get easier and that I was in the right place.  One swimmer even offered to work with me on the breathing outside of class, which was a super kind gesture.  Even the life guard introduced himself and offered support….which made me wonder just how badly I looked like I was struggling.  I later found out that he was the one who had taught the swimmer who offered to help me how to breath properly a few years earlier.  It appeared I was not the only person picking up swimming as an adult after all.  

Maybe it was the fact that I was so much younger than everyone else that caused everyone to take me under their wing; Imagehowever, I’m noticing that people at the YMCA are like that.  It’s like a little community there with everyone on a first name basis, which is probably why new people stick out like a sore thumb to them.  It’s comforting to be in such a warm, friendly environment when taking on something as anxiety provoking (for me) as swimming.  There is just something about putting my face in the water that makes me tense up and hyperventilate! Yet, I think if I am going to overcome that anxiety and get the hang of swimming properly that the other swimmers are right about me being in the right place.

Being in that pool today, I was pleasantly surprised with myself.  Of course, I was not thrilled about being unable to conquer the breathing, but I was excited that I was able to swim so many laps.  More than that, I was keeping up with people who have a lot more experience at swimming than I do.  Given that I have almost 8 months before the half ironman, I think  hope I should be in good shape.  

ImageIn other riveting news, I also started spin classes today!  It was super fun too!  Adam and I went together, but I don’t think he was quite as enthusiastic as I was.  In fact, I noticed I was the only person smiling through the entire workout, which I don’t completely understand… Doesn’t everyone love endorphins? 😉  By the end of the class, I had covered over 23 miles which is kind of ridiculous even for a bike.  That’s sub 3 minute miles!  Plus, that was on top of my hour of swimming (no rest for the weary there!), 4 mile run (on the dreadmill at 9 min pace), and full leg workout with the trainer.  I think it’s safe to say that I am going to be very sore and hungry tomorrow!  Don’t worry, I did at least take a nap in between my leg workout and the spinning.  🙂

 

Tomorrow it’s back to work, but I am hoping to get out early enough to catch the next swim class afterward… that is if I am still able to move by tomorrow…  Hopefully I will get some decent rest tonight.  If nothing else, at least I get to sleep until 4:30 instead of getting up at 4 for the pool!