Monday, April 30, 2007


Except it's not that bad. I got to sleep in this morning (Mondays are rest days, in general) - now, most people's idea of 'sleeping in' is not 7:30 a.m., but it's mine, and I savor it. It just felt so good to not have my alarm blare at 5:30 and for me to think "damn, already?"

I woke up at 7:30 feeling fresh and rested. I turned over to look out my window and it was a bright crisp morning already, with the Golden Gate and SF Skyline in plain sight. As I sat up in bed, I realized my legs were a little tired, and rightfully so.

I managed to get in about 72 miles of riding this weekend - 31 on Saturday and 41 on Sunday. Saturday was a gorgeous day and we rode along The Great Highway out to Lake Merced and back. Just Jim, Tom and I and I was a little worried at how I might do. The last group ride I went on about 3 weeks ago was miserable for me. I couldn't believe at how horribly I was keeping up (I wasn't), my legs really didn't feel like spinning above 90 rpms for longer than 10 minutes, and I couldn't climb for sh**. It gave me a lot of concern, given at how close my first race was.

However, since then, I took it upon myself to start paying a lot more attention to my cadence in spinning class, keeping a high cadence and playing with different resistance levels. I've been diligently spinning a lot in spite of the lack of road miles, and thought it was the least I could do to help make it all work. seemed to! No problems with Jim and Tom (who are both great riders), even pulled them for a nice stretch along the crashing ocean waves to our right as we headed past the SF Zoo on our left. Tom took advantage of our tail wind on the way back and we were bookin' it at 25 mph! It was so awesome! I was a little afraid of going that fast just because of all the bumps in the road and the quick maneuvers we were having to do, and I worried I might not have enough time to react. Sure enough, Jim took a hard bump and lost his water bottle from his cage, so that was the end of our speedy train down The Great Highway. Hightailed it back through GG Park and the urban streets of SF, back up to the Legion of Honor (where I reminisced on the Escape from Alcatraz Tri...ah, the memories) and over the GG Bridge (simply gorgeous - I love both views: to the left, the expanse of the Great Pacific and to the right, the beautiful Bay already littered with sailboats around Alcatraz) back to Sausalito where we enjoyed some GREAT coffee at Cafe Trieste and watched all the cyclists (and their BIKES) go by.

Sunday morning I met up with Lee in Santa Rosa. Wasn't quite the beautiful morning I'd experienced just a day before, and it took awhile for me to warm up. Damp air, low-lying fog, but still gorgeous green around us. I love riding up there and am so grateful to be part of such natural beauty. The vineyards are green again, with grape vines getting ready to sprout those buds and produce the grapes that will inevitably be part of some fine wine that people all over the world will enjoy.

We were about 20 miles in and I got my first flat in over a year. Seriously, it's been THAT long. I allowed Lee to help me out just because it had been so long, I was fumbling more than I normally might. I count my blessings in some ways that I'm not a seasoned flat-tire repairwoman. They're such a pain in the rear and really take the momentum out of your ride!

After a few minutes we were back on the road, and Lee said "so we can either head back or tack on another 10. Up to you." Hmmm...I knew what I needed and wanted. We both agreed that we had no time constraints and tacking on another 10 would be good.

Really, the whole time...I felt great. Climbing felt great. I was strong on the flats. I even beat Lee up a few hills, though he was already at a slight disadvantage...but I took it! I was definitely done by the time we rolled up to his house, but it feels *so good* to be back in the real saddle again. That said, spinning the way I've been lately has truly paid off and I feel really ready for this race coming up.

Not only that, but there's only about 5 weeks left until the Tour de Tahoe! That's a good 73 mile ride with a bunch of climbing. Last year I was sick while riding, and while I enjoyed it immensely, I want to go out and really ride it well this year.

So, hooray for spinning. Hooray for the beauty of Northern CA that makes it *so easy* to want to get out and ride. And...HOORAY FOR REST DAYS!!!!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

I love spinning.

If I would've put half as much effort into some of my college classes as I did for this class today, I might've had a better GPA.

The prep work really paid off, and I felt so ready to get in and teach and so comfortable with knowing my outline that I was even able to improvise a little when I realized that in practice, a few of the things I had written out weren't quite right. This occurred when I realized that people were beginning to look a little haggard and the next thing on my agenda was more standing sprints. So, with a quickness, I switched things around and had them do a little recovery and THEN on to the standing sprints!

It was such a natural feeling for me to be up there, and I was so excited - I knew my energy was really transferring to the students in my class. I think I did well with the song choices, as there were several times I saw people lip-syncing along with the music, which is ALWAYS a good thing!

It also seemed like I was really engaging the class and giving them a workout - people were sweating, working hard and seemed like they were listening to what I had to say (which, I had to compliment myself on, I didn't do TOO much of!), and the best part of all was that as they left they said goodbye and "Thank You!"

So, as they say, practice makes perfect. I'm definitely still rough around the edges but since I had no idea what to expect, I'm SO happy that it felt so good. I definitely want to get better at transitions, building good workouts, etc. but this is a fantastic start.

There was, however, one main problem, and it has to do with this insane love of asparagus I have (and how abundant it's been at the grocery store lately). All I could smell the entire TIME was ASPARAGUS in my SWEAT! UGH! I STILL feel like I smell it. I think it's worse than garlic.

Oh, asparagus. Between the pee and the sweat...we may have to part ways for awhile.

My First Spinning Class as an instructor - TODAY!!!!


Why am I so nervous? Everybody has had so much confidence in my ability to do this, so why are my palms sweaty and why is my heart racing (and I haven't even hopped on the bike yet...)?

Besides wanting to be as good as everybody thinks I'll be, I just want people to get a good workout. I don't want them leaving thinking "gee, that sucked. I could've done that on my OWN better than that."

While I've taken a pretty fair amount of time designing my workout for today, one thing is that everybody is motivated by different things. Me, it doesn't take much. A little competition, a little dance music, knowing I'm making my body work hard - those all motivate me. For other people, though, it's not always so easy. Not everybody likes to push themselves as hard as they can go. Sometimes people need an extra push.

So, we'll see how it goes. I'm just going to try and remember everything I've learned and in my opinion, one of the most important things is NOT to talk a lot! We have two ears and one mouth for a reason. :-)

Friday, April 20, 2007

Just a short update - been too long!

How can I expect people to comment if I never update my blog? So, THANK YOU to people who commented! It's nice to know that people read my blog.

So, since the 5K, I've been raising the intensity a bit but not really adhering to what the ideal 'plan' would be according to the Triathlete's Training Bible. Then again, Wildflower (my first race this year) is not my "A" race - i.e. the race that I'm really hoping to be in peak condition for. So, I'm confident in my base training and I'm feeling really great about my run.

The whole concept of LSD (Long Slow Distance) has really been a great one to follow all winter. It's really focusing on keeping your heart rate lower for a longer period of time. I feel like I've done well with this for running, which was something I felt I really needed to work on so that when it comes time to be running 13.1 miles, I can run at a good pace while sustaining a lower heart rate.

I'm just a bit concerned about the bike. I haven't been able to get out there on the road NEARLY as much as I would feel good about. All the travel I've done for work has just rendered it impossible to get out there. Spinning helps, but being able to truly log those miles on a Saturday and Sunday morning is what I'm needing. Again, luckily this is NOT my A race and it's only 25 miles.

Today is a rest day and it sure feels GOOD TO REST! I took a kickboxing class while I was in L.A. this week and it left me totally sore. Also, somebody told me that the spinning classes in L.A. would kick my ass, and they were RIGHT. It was the hardest spinning class I've EVER taken! I loved it and it gave me some great inspiration for my future in teaching spinning.

Speaking of: the exciting news:
I will officially be a spinning instructor for the YMCA Embarcadero Branch! I'll start in a couple of weeks after paperwork gets finished. I'm half nervous but half VERY excited!