Sunday, September 22, 2013

Introducing: The Spin-STAR!

Hel-loooo friends!
After last week's first encounter, I guess I may be jumping the gun at nicknaming myself the SpinStar and overhauling my blog to talk about how awesome {I am} spinning is. 
But at least I can say that this week definitely felt better than last week. 
I was a little bit worried at first since it didn't seem to be going that way in the beginning.  First, I attended a baptism for my oldest friend's daughter and got my first pregnant experience at being around crying, screaming babies.  Melissa and I have agreed that perhaps I need to hang around babies more to get used to it all without getting overwhelmed.  She also assured me that while it can be hard at times...the experience is the best, most awesome thing EVER.
© Catherine, Cardio Confessions 2013

The thing about Filipino baptisms is that there's food.  Actually, I should reiterate: The thing about Filipino baptisms is that there's FOOD

I was a goner the second I walked in the door to Melissa's parent's place.  I was actually up at the buffet table getting seconds before half of the guests had even gotten their first plate.  Sorry, but when you put sliced up hotdogs and scrambled eggs in fried rice, it's every person for themselves, man!  #snoozeyoulose #aintnoshameinmygame

As I was making my way to the door to head over to the gym, Melissa busted open a container filled with some kind of smores brownie/cookie/deliciousness.  I don't really know what it was, but because I was missing out on cake, she wanted to give me something sweet for the road.  I grabbed one and then started making my way around to say goodbye to everyone and by the time it was really time to go, I had no more smores deliciousness left!  I was like, "Mel, I thought you said you were giving me something for the road?" Hehehe, good thing Mel has a billion years (26) of putting up with me so she knew me and already had the container open and YAY! More smores deliciousness in my greedy little hands.  I totally shoved it in my mouth and I was driving away, I realized that I was more than just full.  I was like, uncomfortably full.  Shallow breathing, short puffs of breath full.

No matter, I committed to myself that I was going to give spinning a second shot and wouldn't it be just convenient if I didn't go because I totally gorged on hot dog fried rice and deep fried Filipino spring rolls.  Start driving over and I'm glad that I had left when I did because I would get there at a good time and spend some quality time with my chosen bike.  I could NOT have another one of these:

Image Source: Google Images | Some eCards
The day before I was determined to make sure I had a better ride than last week, so I went over to Canadian Tire and picked up one of those slip-on gel seat covers.  To make sure that everything was a-okay, after I picked one up, I had to test it out.  On my own with a bank of empty spin bikes, I had all the time I needed.  I looked the bike over and checked out all the knobs and doo-hickies.  If they're on the bike, they've got to do something right?  First, I adjusted the seat height.  Can't get much more straightforward than the lowest it could go, so: check.  Next there was another knob.  Okay, let's twist it and see what that does.  Hot dang!  That knob moves the seat FORWARD!  Well I didn't know that!

Next up, the handle bars.  Last week, I was positive that my handlebars were too low, which caused me to lean over super far and thus, lady bits/butt bone -> seat -> *whimper*  It took a couple tries to get the handlebar as high as I needed it to go (I even think that it would feel better if I pushed it up one more knotch for next week) but my position was a lot more comfortable this time around and I also learned that a little bit of a slight hip tilt forward also helped.  I think it was still due to the higher handlebars though.  If the bars were too low as they were last week, it caused a bit of a back arch while leaning over, hence the unwanted contact.

After a little bit of a delay (I got to the gym parking lot before I realized that I had forgotten my gym bag at home and had to go back for it O.M.G!), I was in class and a bit sad that I didn't have that extra time cushion to customize my bike before the class started, but ah well, I still didn't poon out when I had the chance to get straight into bed instead of grabbing my gym back and hauling ass back to the gym!

My goal this week (besides saving my ass - literally!) was to notch some more miles on my belt and to give 'er a little bit more than I did last week!  I guess both goals were easier this week since I didn't have to constantly stop pedaling to smack the feeling back into my butt cheeks (or to silently cry the time away) and knowing that I ate an indecent amount of spring rolls that I DESERVED to turn that resistance knob up!

Just because I know I deserved it doesn't mean I loved it:

But thank goodness, Courtney got me through once again and I've now got a second (more successful) spin class to my name!  Things can only go UP from here because I'm aiming higher!  I want MORE miles!  I want MORE calories and I want MORE resistance!  I don't want to walk away from these classes thinking I got nothing out of it, because in a class like this, there's just no such thing!  If you feel like you got nothing out of this class, chances are you didn't give ENOUGH!  And that's on you, my friend!  You can only get out what you put in and if you put in half-assed-ness, well got yourself a half-assed workout! #truestory  Next time, I want to barely be able to walk out because I OWNED that ride (and not because my bike chair kicked my butt!).  I notice that I'm still too quick to reach for that resistance knob to turn it the other way.  Gotta keep working on that!

So that's that!  I'm feeling pretty proud of myself for not just throwing in the towel after my less than favorable experience last week!  And check it out: I went more than 2.5 miles farther than I did last week!  I think it was the towel.  Last week, I didn't think I would need one and everyone had one, so this week I made sure to bring one and it totally made me look like a legit spinner.

This week, I also switched my HRM from my Nike+ monitor to my Polar bluetooth one and worked out based a lot on my heart rate.  I love that my HRM chart totally illustrates the "route" that Courtney had us take - including the hills and mountains she had us like and the speed bursts!

The ups and downs caused my seat to fall off a little before halfway into the ride and I realized that it didn't seem to matter so much (two thumbs up for preparedness!) but I'll continue to bring it anyway because I'm a real biker now and also I paid $20 for it. 

Confession: I totally caught myself in uber concentration mode during speed bursts and resistance upping.  Meh, whatever works!

So for those of you who are working up to your first spin class, just know that it may not feel like a ride in the park - or on a fluffy cloud for that matter - and that "oh, it's just biking" is totally NOT the right mindset to start the class with if you don't want to get your butt kicked and that a little extra time before the class start is MONEY if you want to ensure the most comfortable ride possible.  Also the best advice to note: this is YOUR ride.  Nobody is looking at you and nobody is watching or judging you - hell, everyone has their OWN mountains to climb, so you just do you.  Don't be afraid to make it the best ride for yourself that you can.  If you're uncomfortable, try to adjust your bike in ways that will make you more so.  If you're too comfortable, well then, what the heck are you there for? To coast?  Turn that resistance knob, man!  As Courtney says: Get comfortable being UNcomfortable, my friends!  It's the only way to get better! (

Next up for me?  I clearly need some more spinning/cycling gear.

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