Monday, June 27, 2016

Spinning out and June 20-26 training recap

I am going to echo the sentiments of so many folks who can't believe it's the end of June already, and that July 4th is next Monday. Where does the time go???
Here are my workouts from the week:
MONDAY - 10 minutes stationary biking, 30 minutes strength work on biceps, triceps, abs, lower back, and hamstrings
TUESDAY -  3 miles of interval training on treadmill (10 minute warm-up, 2:1 tempo/walk ratio done at 7.5/3.5MPH), yoga class
WEDNESDAY - 45-minute circuit workout (Luna Rise and Shine event), Zumba class
THURSDAY - Rest
FRIDAY - 40 minutes lifting, full-body
SATURDAY - Run 10 miles
SUNDAY - Spin class at CycleBar

I'm still fighting boredom with my workout routine, so Wednesday's circuit workout and last night's spin class helped.

Let's talk in more detail about spinning. To me, it's an exceptionally challenging workout. The first time I took a spin class, it hurt to walk for three days afterwards! For this reason, I've only taken a handful of classes over my lifetime.
Last night, Erin invited me to attend a grand opening event at CycleBar in Burr Ridge. Thanks, Erin! I put on a pair of biking-type shorts and braced myself for the inevitable burn.

Upon arrival, the studio had a photo station set up with cute props:
L: Erin
R: me
Erin and I ran into Susie and Tiffany. This was my first time meeting Tiffany in person, which was a very nice surprise.
From L to R: me, Susie, Erin, and Tiffany
The studio felt like a nightclub - it was dark with differently-colored spotlights and pulsating music.
Sorry for the blurry photo, it was hard to take pictures while pedaling!
The studio provided spinning shoes to all participants. It was my first time clipping in to a bike, and it took some getting used to. I'm accustomed to focusing only on the downward pedaling motion so I need to learn how to "pull up."

As expected, the spin class was killer. In addition to the usual cadences, sprints, and climbs, the instructor led us through a series of on-bike strength work. For example, we did miniature "push-ups" on the handles; pedaled while standing up and leaning our butts back as far as possible (reminiscent of barre exercises); and pumped a small bodybar. It was quite a workout! This is what my legs felt like afterwards:
How the heck do people take spin classes on a regular basis? Those folks must legitimately be built with quads of steel. Good lord.

Shifting gears (literally) - here are some random notes from the week:
  • Adam and I have a car that's 13 years old with only about 80,000 miles on it. We only use it to visit suburban friends/family on weekends, and to run errands when public transit isn't convenient. For us city-dwellers, owning a car is a luxury. Unfortunately, we've had a rising number of issues with repair and maintenance, so we've been thinking for awhile about getting rid of it. This is tough for me because the car is my baby and I love it. However, over the weekend, another repair issue came up - so we are again debating whether the car is worth maintaining. Sigh.
  • I started food journaling on MyFitnessPal last Tuesday. The experience has been quite the rude awakening for me. I usually eat fresh fruits liberally, but MyFitnessPal tells me they've got lots of sugar and carbs. My first day, I was already over my daily quota for both by mid-afternoon. It's definitely a learning process that takes time. I'm making adjustments little by little. 
  • Last Saturday night, Adam and I went to our first outdoor concert of the season at Millennium Park. The city was decked out in honor of yesterday's Pride Parade so the backdrop was especially stunning:
  • My 10-miler on Saturday morning went well for about the first 6 miles. I hadn't been looking forward to the long run, so it was an enormous relief to feel normal. Then the temperatures, sun, and humidity started rising, and things quickly went downhill. Clearly I still have work to do in adapting to the warmer season. In the meantime, I am contemplating the much easier, simpler, faster, and more effective path of simply never running summertime races again. It's all about efficiency, right? =D
As HoHo would say, "That's a wrap!"

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Linking up with HoHo and Tricia for the Weekly Wrap. I'm also inaugurally linking up with Angela and Ilka for the Sunday Fitness & Food Linkup (even though I'm a day late!)

40 comments:

  1. I almost fell off my chair reading how long you've had your car, and how many miles you have in it.... because in the Area of PA that I live, it's nearly impossible to move without a car! So to have a car for that long with so few miles... a miracle!

    You make spin class sound like fun! those pictures look like a bike party!

    An outdoor concert sounds really fun!

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    1. LOL - thanks Ana, but having a car that is driven so infrequently leads to other issues. For example, the car has had premature brake rust due to so much inactivity - and the fix cost a lot of money! So it's a double-edged sword!

      The spin class was quite an experience! It definitely changed up my expectations from the more traditional spin classes I've taken in the past. But my leg burn is still as strong as ever. =)

      Outdoor concerts are my favorite part of the summertime! It's a shame the season for them is so short!

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  2. Using MFP is eye opening! I've learned I'm pretty carbaphobic and don't get enough fiber! I also have learned that some days I'm way under my goal and feel like I've indulged and other days go SO over. It's interesting to see the ebbs and flows of life.

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    1. Want to trade places on the carb consumption? =) I've heard a lot about how most folks consume too much sugar, and I didn't really think it applied to me until now! Indeed, it is very interesting how what we think and feel versus what the tracker tells us. This means the trackers are doing their jobs for is! =)

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  3. I used to do spin class regularly, but now don't get to it. It's just getting used to it and going on a consistent basis. My legs are always fine when I go, it's that darn bike seat.

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    1. Ah yes, let's not even get started on the uncomfortable bike seat! In class, some of us were joking about bringing in our own gel pads to put over the seats!

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    2. Yeah, I spend enough as it is on running gear. Don't even get me started on biking gear. =D

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  4. That picture of the the city at night is stunning!!
    You do have a very different life city dwelling lol I can't get anywhere w/o a car.
    That is great you started logging. I use Lose it and it will give me insights, some I don't want lol
    You look really good in your running clothes...very fit :)
    Your Spin class lights would inspire me to order a cocktail lol

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    1. Thank you so much, Karen! I totally hear you on the different lifestyle - all of my family members in the suburbs need a car to get everywhere! I've never heard of the Lose It app - will definitely have to check it out. You are right on the insights that we don't always want. I try to tell myself it's these realities that will help us to improve, but it's still tough, yes? Thank you so much for the kind words - and LOL on wanting to order a cocktail, that would make spin class a LOT more fun!!!!!!! =D =D =D

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  5. Yes it is crazy how fast time flies! I always think summer kind of starts winding down the day after the Fourth of July. There is anticipation for the holiday with the parades, fireworks and fun runs. Then the next day comes, the biggest holiday of the summer is over and its back to work until Labor Day! :( I have read that one of the biggest drawbacks to MyFitnessPal (which I use) is that it treats a calorie as a calorie regardless if it comes from a fruit/vegetable or a candy bar. I like WW model where they allow unlimited fruits and veggies as long as they are eaten and not blended in a smoothie/shake. I never worry about eating too much fruit, just too little fruit!

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    1. I hear you on the July 4th timing! It's both good and bad that July 4th is on a Monday this year, yes? And don't even get me started on the double-edged sword that is Labor Day. It's lovely to have the long weekend, but it's also sad that it signals the end of summer for real!

      YES on the WW treatment of fruits/veggies versus MFP. When I was on WW, I ate tons of fresh fruit and was actually very proud of myself for doing so. On MFP, I feel like I have to be cautious of my fruit intake, which is sobering. Especially in the summertime when the produce quality is so high! Likewise, I also believe in not worrying about too much fruit versus too little. In my opinion, fruit is always still better than eating processed and packaged foods!!!!!!!

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  6. I'm with Pete. I feel like July 4th is the "middle" of summer and it's all downhill from there. Sigh. I was right there with you suffering in the heat Saturday. Ugh. Why do we train in summer again? I swear I get too many carbs breathing air these days. Finding Dory was good, BTW! Very sweet story!

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    1. Yes, it is sad knowing that post-July 4th is the latter half of summer. LOL at getting carbs breathing air these days - it's so true considering how much humidity we've been dealing with! Yay for Finding Dory! One of my biggest questions - what ever ended up happening to the fish in the tank that escaped in their plastic bags???

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  7. That spin class looks fun--altho I'm really a low maintenance exerciser and wouldn't need all the entertainment. I was fine just riding in the trainer this winter. I love that you got to meet Tiffany! I haven't met her yet either.

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    1. I hear you on the low maintenance, I am usually the same way - but it was nice to shake up the routine for one night. Keeps us on our toes! Tiffany is great! I hope you get to meet her soon!

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  8. Emmers - your week didn't seem boring to me at all. Congrats on getting a lot of activity done, especially that 10 Miler followed by a spin class the next day! How fun that you got to meet some other bloggers in person!I totally hear you about the car. We lived in Manhattan before moving to Florida - and we never felt like we really needed a car, ever. It's so true - for city-dwellers a car is a luxury. Living in the city really keeps you more on your feet by walking everywhere. So good for you!

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    1. Thanks Ilka! I've long been a believer in "even a little bit is better than nothing" - and a lot of times getting started is by far the hardest part, yes? Oh wow - I can only imagine what a change it would have been in car perspectives going from Manhattan to Florida. All of my friends who moved to NYC automatically put "sell car" as the first thing on their to-do list! Much appreciate all your positivity. =)

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  9. Emily - could you please correct your name in my comment. I don't know what I was thinking :):)

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    1. LOL - Emmers is my nickname and I actually really like when people use it! So no worries, there is absolutely no correction needed! Thanks Ilka. =)

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  10. Time really is flying by. Hard to believe 3 weeks til RnR Chicago! That really is crazy about how low mileage your car is but completely understandable. Why use it when you have so many different ways to get around in the city?! Then you compare it to me...I've had my car since the beginning of November and I am almost to 10k. I've never done a spin class but feel like I should at some point. Even with cycling here and there I have never clipped in either...putting new pedals on my bike is on my to do list though.

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    1. I cannot believe it's only 3 weeks until RnR Chicago! I'm planning on doing an 11- or 12-miler over July 4th weekend, taking a stepback week the following weekend, then it's race weekend!!! Craziness! I heard it's actually better for the car to be driven really frequently because it keeps the gears in motion, literally. Goodness, if you ever do a spin class, brace yourself! They are really, really challenging (but you do have control over how hard you want to push yourself, of course). Yay for new pedals on the bike!

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  11. I'm no nutritionist, so don't take my opinion too seriously, but I wouldn't get too bent out of shape over the fruit/sugar/carb thing. To my understanding, what you really want to watch out for/limit is your intake of added sugar, not naturally occurring sugars in whole foods. There's a BIG difference between taking in 15 g of sugar from eating a large apple and taking in 15 g of sugar from eating a handful of jelly beans. One provides you with fiber and vitamins, while the other provides you with literally zero nutritional value. I'd bet it's nearly impossible, if not entirely impossible, to keep your sugar intake at 25 g or less/day while still eating the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables/day. So yes, maybe your sugar consumption at face value does seem high, but I'd definitely encourage you to watch out more for added sugars that come in packaged foods you've bought rather than naturally occurring sugars in fruits and such.

    That spinning class sounds awesome! Clipping in gets much easier the more classes you take, but the first few times it is really tricky!

    Bethany @ Accidental Intentions

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    1. Love it, Bethany. Thank you so much for being the voice of reason!!! Everything you said makes complete sense. You are right, not all sugars are created equal - and it's tough to isolate a certain component of any food item without analyzing everything else it brings to the table (both literally and figuratively). I am completely on board with the focus on minimizing processed, packaged foods. We should enjoy what Mother Nature intended for us to eat, yes?

      It sounds like you've got some experience with clipping in! I'm glad to hear it gets easier because it feels like it would take a long time to adapt to!

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  12. I loved how the skyline was lit up for Pride as well! So pretty. It's always fun to see what the buildings say and what we're celebrating. :) And I'm with you on the spin class - I've only taken one but it just about killed me ha

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    1. The city did the Pride festivities very well, yes? There was another building which said #ALZ on it, which presumably was an ode to Alzheimer's? It would be interesting to be the person in charge of getting the decorative lights in order. Oh yes, spin classes are as close a form of self-inflicted fitness torture as there ever will be! LOL

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  13. I've only done one spin class... It's just not my thing AT ALL. I love going for a nice easy (FLAT!) bike ride but I trying to make it a workout.
    How cool that you can get by without a car. Even in Denver the public transportation system wasn't that great. We have gotten by with 1 car for 3 years now but we can only get away with it because we both work at home.

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    1. Kelly, you are preaching to the choir when it comes to enjoying FLAT land!!! I am all about flat runs, flat bike rides, flat pancakes, you name it. And I hear you - spinning is definitely not a staple in my usual regimen, either! I rode Denver's public transit when I was there many years ago, but I can see how it would be easier to have a car there. You are very fortunate that both of you work at home!!!

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  14. Sounds like a good week! Wow! That CycleBar looks like fun! Like you, Spin is a hard workout! It's probably because I don't get on the bike much. The first time I did it, it was pretty intense with the standing and like running on the bike. I had no idea it was like that. Sorry to hear about your car. What a great backdrop of the outdoor concert you went to! Great pic!

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    1. Thanks Sharon! I almost never get on the bike, either - and I've heard some seasoned bikers talk about "butt callouses" from getting used to the seat, LOL. I definitely haven't developed anything like that! Yes, the standing and sprinting on the pedals is super intense. During class, I could hear everyone around me gasping for breath. Thank you for the kind words on my picture and appreciate the sympathy on the car!

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  15. Both you and Adam have really taken to Divvy so I could totally see you guys doing a car share service, too! The only downside is that you can't check the car in and back out like you can with the bike so if you go to the 'burbs for the day you have to pay for the whole day, even if the car is parked for several hours. I think that's a bummer. But it's probably cheaper than having a car that needs repairs!

    Also, thanks for coming to CycleBar with me. It's always more fun to have a buddy, even if you don't get to talk during the workout. I did end up having to cut my Monday leg day workout a tad bit short due to fatigue, which I found surprising! I guess that ride was tougher than I thought!

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    1. I've heard mixed reviews about the car share services. Some folks love it, but others have complained about availability, "peak-time pricing," inability to check the car back in when completed, etc. It's a tossup! Convenience is definitely something you pay for!

      Thanks again for inviting me to Cyclebar! I agree, it's always great to have a friend there, and it was fun getting to share the experience. My legs are STILL feeling fatigued. I haven't done any leg strength work since last week, and I probably won't for yet another day or two! The spinning really does have a lingering impact!

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  16. You may have heard my story about the one spin class I've taken. After 10 minutes, we were kicked off our bikes in humiliation when the people that reserved them finally showed up. They flipped on the lights and booted us out. I hesitate to return...it would have to be incognito.

    Everyone talks about adapting to the heat & humidity. I can't seem to do that. Ever. So you let me know if you do and please pass on whatever tips you may have! Thanks for linking with us Emily!

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    1. WOW. That is the most awkward scenario I've ever heard of when it comes to any fitness class. If I were you, I definitely wouldn't return. It sounds like the situation was handled very poorly! In my opinion, if a person doesn't claim his/her seat by the time class starts, they've forgone their reservation!

      I can't seem to adapt to the heat and humidity, either! Maybe by around September things start feeling better, but by then the weather starts cooling down, as well. Funny how that works, eh? Thanks again to you and Tricia for cohosting!!!

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  17. Ha I would like the nightclub feel to this! How exciting you got to do this with friends. Spin is a wonderful workout and one I need to incorporate back into my routine. One good thing about spin I found is it really doesn't take that long to build up and your legs not feel like jello for 3 days! Keep it up! Do you really ever adapt to heat and humidity I wonder? Thanks for linking up!

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    1. The nightclub feel was unique, to say the least! It's a nice substitute for the real thing when folks are too old to go to the real nightclubs, LOL. I'm glad to hear spin doesn't take that long to build up, because to me it seems like it would take a LOT of time! I wish I knew the secrets to adapting to heat and humidity, sigh. Thanks for co-hosting the link-up with HoHo, as always!

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  18. I've had my car for 10 years and it has about 80000ish miles. I've taken a spin class a few times but would like to again. I've been to FlyWheel once and actually enjoyed it but found it to be too expensive.

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    1. You sound like a true city driver, too! Our cars have a lot in common! I've never tried FlyWheel but I've good things about it. Bummer that the price is too high! It seems like a lot of the upscale fitness classes are really raising the rates these days, yes? Good thing running is inexpensive! Oh wait... LOL!

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  19. LOL - that is why I don't do summer races! The heat and humidity (and sun, if it's out) are too much!!! I hope you have cool weather for your summer races.

    What did you decide to do about the car?

    I want to try a spin class! I bet if you kept doing it, it would get easier. But then you might get bored of it, which is why you are trying different things, right?

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    1. I'm thinking more and more that summer races should either be avoided altogether, or should only be done for pure fun (e.g. to get the race shirt). I've only got 3 more races this summer - RnR Chicago 5K and Half, and the BTN Big 10K. After that, it'll be smooth sailing!

      It turns out the car just needed to get a new battery! So we are keeping my baby. =) =) =)

      OMG - knowing you, you would crush a spin class. You'd make a great spin instructor! And yes, you know me very well - these days it's all about mixing things up to keep the interest high. =)

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