Category Archives: Spin

Flywheel, Wicked, and a Change of Plans

I had a really enthusiastic post planned for today in which I would detail how I wanted to focus on getting faster this winter and wanted to eventually go for a very ambitious half-marathon PR.

Those plans, thanks to the persuasive Nicole, are going to have to wait until after Christmas. Actually, maybe it’s just that I’m easily reeled in to doing crazy exciting things?

More details to come…but let’s just say that long distance and me aren’t going to call it quits for the season quite yet. I’m scared and excited.

So instead of telling you about all my grand plans to get faster in preparation for a spring marathon, I’m going to tell you about my weekend.

My beautiful and tall friend Anna came into town to play with ME, and play we did.

I really wanted to try Flywheel spinning, and since Anna had never been before, I figured we could both give it a shot.

Wait, that’s a lie. I actually really wanted to go to brunch at my new favorite breakfast spot in Seattle, and Flywheel happened to be down the block. I’ve had moderate interest in Flywheel, but since Anna said she wanted to do some kind of activity on Saturday…I figured why not.

I know what you’re thinking: “Robyn, you had a bad cold and you ran a marathon the week before, how did FlyWheel go?”

(You definitely weren’t thinking that, but you should be, so go with it.)

I might be *slightly* exaggerating, but miles 15-23 of the marathon felt EASIER than this class. I don’t know if it was the nasty cold I’ve got, lingering fatigue, or if it was really just that hard, but this class worked me over.

The real problem was that I grossly underestimated how hard it would actually be, and admittedly I walked in like a cocky little beezy. I’ve done hard spin classes, and there are times when I wish certain spin classes were a little more challenging.

But not like this. This was spinning on steroids, and it NEVER let up. It was only an hour, but I sweat more than I ever have in a spin class, and it’s safe to say that I literally had nothing left in me at the end. Anna agreed with how hard it was, which made me feel better, but I haven’t been so humbled by a workout in a long time.

On the good side, it was a great class, and I’m sure I would have loved it without the whole post-marathon and a cold thing going on. The place was also super swank with towels, water bottles, burly men ready to assist you on the spot, showers, and rental shoes. I’d never worn clip-in shoes before, and I could tell how much of a difference they make. Of course, now I really really want some. (BF, this is the time when you can start getting Christmas ideas via my blog innuendos.)

Afterwards, we made our way to my original intention for the outing, Portage Bay Cafe, to down some French toast and crab cake eggs benedict (you read that right).

That night, my sister Corey came down to Seattle and we went to see my all-time favorite show, Wicked. I originally saw Wicked in London when I was studying abroad, and there have been few performances that have had such a big impact on me. “Defying Gravity” remains my number one inspirational song, and it’s a staple on my race-day playlists.

Dark theater shot of the three of us.

Anna, will you come live in Seattle and play with me every day? Law school is lame.

The show was fantastic and I was so happy to get to see it with two of my favorite people.

Another dark theater self-portrait…with proof we were there.

I broke away from my ususal couch-and-10 pm-bedtime Saturday raging night routine and went out with some more friends after the show. Again…not the best idea with a cold, but I’ve heard that tequila and Robitussin essentially do the same thing. Right?

But, it was all in the name of seeing friends and having a grand ‘ole time—worth it. My cold might be worse today, but I bagged another great weekend to add to last week’s splendor.

After a very unintentional rest day yesterday, I went out for 9 miles this morning and felt tired but good. It was perfect out and surprisingly warm. I’ve recently foregone running with a watch, and it’s really helped keep me relaxed and moderately paced. = I’m admittedly a little scared to strap my Garmin back on because I don’t want to see slow numbers flashing back at me—so for now my competitive self will have to hold off. It’s all in the name of staying sane and healthy—which is what I currently care most about.

I hope everyone had a great weekend!

By the way…if you haven’t heard Lindsay became an ultra-marathoner this weekend at the Pt. Defiance 50k! Congrats Lindsay 🙂

 

“Tri” Weekend and Celebrating the Earth

Hello!

I hope you had a great weekend and I hope your week has started off swimmingly. I could be mistaken, but it seems as if everyone is a little bit high on a “it’s getting warmer and sunnier and therefore life is good” kind of mood, meaning there is general cheer in the air. The onset of summer is always an enjoyable time of year, and when you’ve been down-trodden with rain and gloom for several months as we have in the PNW, a little dose of sunshine can go a longgg way.

Case in point: This past weekend.

I normally have a generally good time on the weekend, based on the increase in food consumption, the decrease in computer time, and the amount of running I get to do. However, I can boldly say that I don’t know if I’ve had a better time overall on the weekend as I did this last Saturday and Sunday. Everything was generally perfect, therefore I am going to tell you about it.

Exercise-wise, I was able to do a “tri-series” of sorts over Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Essentially, this means lots of swimming on Friday, lots of spinning of Saturday, and lots of running on Sunday. It was highly enjoyable to mix up my workouts, and I love being able to focus a lot of energy on one solo activity at a time.

I find that when I front load a heavy-exercise weekend with some swimming, everything feels better. As you know, I believe swimming is magic, and my body always seems to enjoy the time spent in the pool.

Although, I will admit, I have a difficult time not getting a tad paranoid when I’m doing laps and the “family area” is filled with 50 toddlers learning to dog paddle. I’m not an uber germ-a-phode or a clean freak, but the thought of swimming in tons of urine is really dampering to the whole experience. I think I’m going to tell my children that if you pee in the pool it comes out bright orange and everyone can see it. This should scare them out of it, right?

Anyways, I don’t normally do a heavy spin day before a long run, but since this week’s LR was only 16 miles, I decided to go for it. And despite my quads feeling a bit tired yesterday at the end of those 16 miles, overall I felt great, and I loved spreading my sweat through tons of different activities.

Also, who am I? I just said “only 16 miles.” Okay, 16 miles is still a long run. Fact. BUT, after 22 last weekend, 16 feels a lot more accessible…particularly when it’s done in 60 degree sunny weather on an all-flat course.

Which brings me to the vitamin-D filled glory that was this weekend.

People, I know we’re not supposed to talk about weather in blogging. But when you have not one, but TWO 70 degree days in Seattle, WA it is a BIG DEAL.

I took full advantage of the splendor, and it was nothing short of fantastic.

Aside from the aforementioned endorphin filled activities, allow me to show you some more highlights.

my backyard

While BF did man things on Saturday, I decided to take full advantage of this beautiful land I live in and took myself to the beach. I spent a solid 2 hours with an ice coffee, an Anne Lamott book, and the sun basking in water-front glory. I actually fell asleep laying against some driftwood, and it was heaven. There are few things more calming to me than being by the water, and given the fact that I was already in a post-spinning/caffeinated state of elation, this whole set up was my essence of perfection.

This also happened on Saturday, which is always a party.

See that “Now Open” sign? Yes, TJ’s has come to West Seattle, a mere 7 or so minute drive from my house. Do I talk too much about grocery stores? Yes. Positively. I will own every ounce of that statement. BUT any TJ’s fan out there will agree with me on the general happiness increase that goes hand-in-hand with your proximity to a store.

I think I could get an award for my excitement for the little things in life. I’m not sure if this is a good thing, or it means that I shoot too low in terms of my expectations, but no matter. I love you Trader Joe’s and your cheap almonds and whole wheat pizza dough.

Sunday had the promise of all-day sun, and BF and I were ready to take full advantage. Oh, and take it we did. Not only did we take it, but we took every single hour of the day and squeezed as much sunshine-filled activity out of them as we possibly could.

As I stated earlier, the day started with a 16 miler, completed averaging 8:20 miles (very happy about that) and the biggest blister I’ve ever gotten in my life. With two toenails on their death bed and now this beauty covering my entire pinky toe, I think it’s safe to say I’m ready to be done with training and get this marathon show on the road. I’m in a bit of a pickle because I think my old shoes are the reason for all my foot ailments, however my new shoes make my knee hurt, so it’s really just a debacle between which pain I’d prefer.

Post runs (BF did 10 miles), we walked to our typical bagel spot. Walking in shorts and flip-flops mind you. THIS IS A BIG DEAL.

Blueberry w/cream cheese and strawberry jam. Perfection.

Bagels should be an essential food group.

Afterwards, we decided to take on an endeavor we’ve only talked about hypothetically in the past: Planting a vegetable garden.

You see, we live in a big house that was turned into 5 separate units, and with the whole “living in a real neighborhood in a real house” scenario comes a 24 sq. ft patch of garden with which we can “do whatever we want,” according to our landlord. We both liked the idea of a vegetable garden, however it required not only the soil and the plants, but we needed to remove all the weeds and various shrubbery that had taken over our plot of garden.

As you can imagine, it was easy to procrastinate taking on this activity.

But not yesterday, when being outside was required, and we had a day to do whatever we chose.

So off to the hardware store it was, and we loaded up on all the things you need to be a green-thumb person. Okay, it was actually more like this:

Me: “Oh! Spinach!”

Me: “Ohhh!! Strawberries! Kale!”

BF: “How about….”

Me: “OHH!! PRETTY FLOWERS!”

Bf: “Check this out..”

Me: “Can we get a big chocolate cookie after this?”

Eventually, we made it out with a large variety of vegetables and a few flowers to plant.

Hooray gardening!! Also, those are my running clothes I'm still wearing. It's fine.

I got my cookie too, don’t worry. So did BF.

Also, in a very “we are a semi-adult couple who lives in a semi-adult home” move, we bought PATIO FURNITURE which was on sale. Again with the little things people. Until yesterday, when BF got all handy-man and set up our new table and chairs, the sole piece of furniture on our porch was a little, lone rocking chair. Now, we can do all kinds of fun things out there, including eat dinner, play cards, and make fun of all the people of segway tours that “drive” by our house.

Seriously. WALK.

Anyways, once arriving home and setting up our new sitting area, we got to work on the garden.

You pour the soil BF, I'll document.

After some pulling, clipping, digging, and planting, we had a final product!

Gardening!! Earth Day!! Not going to Safeway for vegetables every day!!

Into the newly poured soil went: spinach, snow peas, kale, strawberries, beets, chard, mint, basil, rosemary, radishes, and flowers. I’m PSYCHED. Now, let’s just see if this actually produces anything…

To celebrate our “manual labor” we headed to the park down the street to play some catch/whiffle ball. Note: It is not easy to play whiffle ball with two people, though it is highly entertaining, and perhaps more entertaining to the people watching.

It was actually after all these activities that I realized it was Earth Day, which made everything so highly appropriate.

I love the sun. I love running. I productive days. I love convincing BF to buy cookies with me.

Did you know these things?

I’m sorry if you’re tired of reading about me getting excited over and over about the exact same things all the time, but what can I say? I’m easy to please and I know what I like.

 

So, that’s all for now. If you made it all this way through my weekend recap, both thank you and I hope you had a great weekend as well. Today begins the less than two week countdown to marathon day, which will be on May 6. I’ve technically begun tapering, but as you can tell by my recap of exercise this past weekend, the real tapering is yet to come. I’m probably going to turn into a crazy, “I HAVE EVERY FEELING IN THE WORLD” person, and so I can almost guarantee some frightening/entertaining posts in these next couple of weeks.

NOW YOU! Tell me about your Earth Day, your weekend, your long run, your favorite grocery store, your simple pleasures, or ALL OF THESE THINGS! I enjoy comments.

An {Exercise} Affair to Remember

Happy Valentine’s Day!

I hope you have spent the day doting on a loved one, or simply doting on yourself. I personally see nothing wrong with showering yourself with love on Valentine’s Day, because—after all—shouldn’t we show ourselves the same kind of affection we show others? I think so.

If you’ve read this blog for more than 9 seconds, you know that I have a mild obsession for activities that make me sweat. Running is my numero uno {Read: The title of this blog.}, but as you know there are other physical activities that get me all giddy inside as well.

That being said, I’m realizing that my feelings for each of these activities is very parallel to stereotypical romantic relationships. Say what? you ask. Well, allow me to explain it to you in my Valentine’s Day Tribute to the Three Lovers in my exercise life.

SPINNING

Oh spinning, you dirty little Casanova.

Spinning is the essence of a steamy, infatuous, lustful relationship. You all know the kind. It’s gets you all hot and bothered (yes, literally) and you find yourself somewhat addicted after just a few meetings.

Just think of the kind of music that plays in spin. Fast, upbeat, invigorating, Britney…you get the point. It’s not true-love-let’s-have-babies music, it’s “You’re hot and I’m interested for tonight” music.

And the sweat. Oh, the sweat. Spinning can get your pores going more than any other cardio workout there is. I can run for 18 miles and never sweat the way spinning for an hour does. It’s not that running doesn’t know what it’s doing, and in fact—I do sweat a lot—but there’s really nothing quite like a good drenching from a spin class.

{Sex joke inserted here}

In the end, it’s not going to work out. The gym isn’t always open, classes and instructors come and go, but you never forget the jolt you get from spending an hour atop that bike.

I realize I’m walking right into these, but I’m not sorry?

 

YOGA

You know that best guy{or girl} friend you had all through those rubbish relationships? (Yep, Adele reference right there). The friend that had your back no matter what, and even if you didn’t talk for a few weeks, they were right there to pick you up.

That’s yoga.

Reliable, dependable, and ready to pick up your pieces when I’ve been spit out by my other lovers.

You see the other lovers, despite being debonaire and flirtatious, have a way of breaking me down. That’s the problem with intensely deep relationships—they can hurt just as easily as they can make me feel invincible. Luckily, yoga is there—ready to swoop in and cradle me in its loving, non-judgmental arms.

Yoga brings me back to life when things get rough, and many would argue that it should be yoga that I end up with when all is said and done. The problem is, though, there isn’t any passion with yoga. Sure, it brightens my spirits and is fun to hang out with, however it doesn’t quite have the ability to get me going the same way my other lovers can.

Think Johnny and Marissa from the OC, Gustav the farm boy from Ever After, or Dan Humprey in this season of Gossip Girl.

All of them are {this} close to nabbing the leading lady, but at the end of the day, they are cast into the “we’ll always be friends” role.

By the way, if you didn’t understand any of those references, I’m slightly judging you.

Kidding, but for real you should watch Ever After. Or, hit up Netflix and let Gossip Girl ruin take over your “I’m way too old to watch this show but I can’t stop” adult life.

Running

Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you the leading man in the production of my Exercise Love Life.

Running is the sappy love songs you pretend to hate in public but secretly belt in your car.

It’s the yin to my yang, the Noah to my Allie, the Mickey to my Minnie.

Okay, maybe that didn’t totally translate, but you get the point: Running is the love of my life, and no matter who else tickles my fancy, there will never be anything quite like running.

Running does all the things that a perfect mate should: It knows when I need it most, it challenges me to do my best, it helps make my days better no matter what, and—most of all—it’s unconditional. Running will always be there to rejuvenate my love for life and for myself. Sure, it can be tough on me, and sometimes I may even think I’ll give up on it. But even if my back is turned, running is still right there, ready to guide me when I need a hand to hold.

Being a runner is one of the titles I pride myself most on, not because I think it’s impressive or somehow gives me leverage, but I love the feeling of encompassing myself with an activity that is so simply happy.

Because in the end, all we want from our relationships is to make us happy. And although spinning and yoga can liven my mood, there is nothing quite like the overwhelming joy of a good run.

 

So there you have it. I’ve learned a lot from each of these relationships, just as we learn a lot from our relationships in our real lives. Certainly, the complexities of romance are far less simplistic than “How do I want to work out today?,” and I know it’s a lot harder to typecast actual people quite so stereotypically. However, when we strip relationships in our lives to their bare bones, both with people and the things we partake in, we can see the ways in which they build us up, knock us down, and how they have shaped our experiences.

And to those of you who know my history a bit, I must add this side note: BF might have held the best friend role in high school, but he has also been all three of these aforementioned relationships at one point or another, which together has given us a wonderfully dynamic, passionate, and all-around wonderful romance that I’m so grateful for everyday.

Hey, it’s V-Day. I had to give at least one sappy shout out.

 

Now, go eat your weight in truffles, and know that no matter who you may or may not be celebrating with, the most important kind of love is the kind you have for yourself. Because if there’s one thing I’ve learned over my 23 years, it’s that the ability to make ourselves happy is the most valuable Hallmark card of them all.

 

And yes, I do still watch Gossip Girl and have no intention of stopping.

 

NOW YOU! Tell me some of the loves in your life! Running, Ryan Gosling, Chipotle burritos, Harry Potter, anything!