Friday, February 01, 2008

Tough week in several ways

I can't promise a lot of brevity or clarity in this post. It's been a really tough week and I feel like I have a million things on my mind.


Hm. I'm not necessarily sure where to start. Last week was very difficult training-wise because I had a trip for work that began on Friday and I got back late Sunday evening. I wasn't able to train at all while in Southern California, so I ended up taking 3 days off. I probably would have felt worse about it except I developed a cold around Thursday that was at its worst over the weekend. So, in some ways, it was okay. I was forced to rest! Still, I was frustrated about being sick, frustrated about not getting to train and anxious about the effects that might have on my fitness gains I had made the previous week.

Que serĂ¡, serĂ¡, right?

Yeah, mostly. I tried to be optimistic about just moving forward and acknowledging that I'm still only in Base 3, that after this week I'll have tons more time to train and get out there. The other thing is that I began to freak out about not getting out there on my bike; then I had to remind myself that it is, in fact, my strongest leg and I'll have the next 8 weeks to get it back - should be no problem, and I'm still spinning, so there's a base element there, and my base rides right now are already around 50 miles. It's just hard because of the emails that have been flying around my cycling group's list about 'rides this weekend' and I'm unable to do anything but read from afar (I arrived in Omaha, NE yesterday and here through Sunday).

Did I mention this post would be a whine fest? I'll take some cheese, please. :)

So that was last week. I think my hours totaled about 5.6 or something. Blah. ON THE BRIGHT SIDE, the running aspect of all this is going beautifully and I am SO EXCITED about that. I don't have any issues with the plantar fasciitis that once threatened to plague me a couple of years ago. Last week I reflected that I haven't had any pain at all, besides the sore quads.

But then this week...I was sitting at my desk at work and noticed that my hips were really kind of hurting. I began to run over things in my mind:
  • Lower back strength? Not a problem. I've got a very strong back between swimming, yoga, strength training...I'm not really concerned there.
  • Over pronation? Took care of that last year with orthotics. Really shouldn't be a problem.
  • Running surface? Nope, been on a treadmill for the most part b/c of weather.

Devon was online at the time and I g-chatted her and asked her about it. "When was the last time you got new shoes? I notice I'll start to get some soreness when my shoes are wearing out," she wrote.

BINGO! I'm almost CERTAIN that's the culprit. While I have dramatically lifted my mileage in the last couple of weeks, I haven't really ever STOPPED running since last season. I do think I could be experiencing some slight inflammation due to the increase (i.e. I'm running about 20-25 miles a week now, vs. the average 4-6 miles/week I was averaging in the off-season), but I really do think it's the shoes. I'm going to try it out and see what happens.

In any case, I'm just excited to be running so much more and feeling good about it.

So the other thing that was really difficult this week was saying goodbye. I had my last Friday evening spinning class a couple of weeks ago, and that was hard in its own way. Only a few regulars attend Friday evening, but they sure are committed. I will DEFINITELY miss them. I'm also bummed about the fact that I worked so hard to really create a reputation that it was a class worth going to after work on a Friday, and it finally seemed to really pay the last couple weeks that I taught it. :-/ OH THE IRONY! When I first started teaching that class there were about 3-5 people every week. Then slowly...more like 6-8. In the last few months it's gone up to about 10-11. My very last Friday there were 18 people - the MOST EVER! Ah well, if that's what I contributed and the numbers hold (at least for winter!), then I'll be very happy.

This week was my last Wednesday morning spinning class. I am NOT a crier and I generally don't enjoy it, but I nearly broke down. There they were, all my regulars and a couple of new faces, all on their bikes by about 6:30, and this was our last ride together. "Well, I've been dreading this day for the last month," I said into the mic. Suddenly, Drew walked up to me (and I'm thinking "what's up, Drew?") and handed an envelope to me saying "We've got a little opening ceremony. We took up a collection and wanted to say thank you for all of the great workouts you've given us."

Speechless. (It was a very generous gift certificate to Sports Basement)

I was so overwhelmed by the kindness and thoughtfulness of this gesture that it was all I could do not to just cry. I HATE SAYING GOODBYE!!!!! This brings me back to why I didn't continue with outdoor education (my first job out of college). I worked so hard to get to know those kids and learn all of their names, only to have them leave a few days later and then do it all over again. It was exhausting - physically and emotionally. One of the many things I learned about myself as a spinning instructor is that I really am a 'relationship person.' I enjoy people so much and I enjoy getting to know them as individuals. I just hate the goodbye part of it.

So anyway, there we all were, and there's me, trying to hold back the overwhelming feeling of emotion and at the same time, do the best job I could to communicate clearly just how MUCH I enjoyed doing this and HOW MUCH they as students inspired me and gave me. Words don't really do it justice, but I think the action of looking forward, on Tuesday nights, to waking up at 4:50 so that I could get on that BART train at 5:37 and be in SF by 6:09 and have plenty of time to settle in and set up...well it's certainly not just because I like teaching spinning. It really had to do with all of the great personalities in that class.

What's amazing is that they really did inspire me in a multitude of ways. Certainly in ways to continue to deliver outstanding spinning classes. I really grew as an instructor, and I think that contributes to the emotion of it all as well. I always had fun designing my classes and thinking about the different goals I would set for them. It's a lot easier to think of goals when you start to get to know people.

Anyway, I could go on but I won't. I think I've communicated my sadness and my attachment well enough! Life goes on, and goodbyes are always part of it. My big challenge to myself is to walk into the doors of the Santa Rosa YMCA with a new attitude, excited and absolutely thrilled to be teaching in a new place. I challenge myself not to have a judgmental attitude, not to compare (Wednesday 6:30 at SF YMCA will always be in a category of their own!), and most of all, to give it time. One of my personality weaknesses is patience, and I often want everything to happen yesterday. So I must remind myself to be patient and TAKE IT ONE DAY AT A TIME!

Then there's the nutrition thing. I haven't really lost any weight, but I'm only putting a half-@$$ed approach to it as well. Cutting back on wine is difficult. Two weeks ago was horrible eating-wise. I thought my increase in training hours explained my newly-found voracious appetite. I mean...HUNGRY...ALL...THE...TIME. It was awful. I just kept thinking about food and how hungry I was! Then last week that kind of went back down and I realized it was PMS. I know, TMI but it's something for me to remember when I get that kind of hunger - it's not that bad in the off-season but when I'm training a lot, those hormones really exacerbate it and I just feel like I'm starving. Still, I try to make good choices. Traveling also makes it difficult to eat right.

Still, at the end of the day, I'm optimistic and know that after Monday (my last day of work), my life will become dramatically different and I will have a lot more time to cook the things I like to cook, eat how I want to eat and train to my heart's desire. Oceanside 70.3, here I come!!!

I'm going to end this post with my fantastic playlist that I put together for our final spin class. I had asked students to make requests, with the caveat that if they didn't like the music, it wasn't my fault! I received requests for "Blue" (Eiffel 65 - an electronica song), "Harder Better Faster Stronger" (Daft Punk), Gipsy Kings, and Patrick said "how about we get these people moving with some disco?"

Hm...disco, electronica and Gipsy I think it worked out quite well, and we had some awesome hill repeats. It was one of my favorite classes, actually!


Warm up

Last Dance – Donna Summer

Celebration – Kool & The Gang


Jumps every 10 beats

Stayin’ Alive – Bee Gees



I’m Comin’ Out - Diana Ross



Ain’t No Mtn High – Marvin Gaye



Seated climb (R:7-8) w/high cad (75+) (2:30), rest (2:30)

Blue – Eiffel 65

One More Time – Daft Punk


(3:00 work, 3:00 rest)

Seated climb (R:6.5), higher cad (80+)


Jerk It Out (remix) – Caesars


Run on a hill/seated climb (R:6.5->6)

Cadence ranges 85-90+

Harder Better Faster Stronger (live) – Daft Punk



I’m Your Boogie Man – KC & the Sunshine Band


Seated climb with pickups (R:7), Cadence ranges 75<->85

We Are Family (Conways Remix) – Groovestylerz


Standing climb/running on a hill (R:7.5), Cadence 70<->80+

Macho Man – Village People



Abracadabra – Steve Miller Band


2x Sprints (R:6.5)

0:30 sprint / 1:00 recovery

Last Night – The Strokes



Hotel California – Gipsy Kings

And...that's it for now...

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