Spinning In The Twighlight Zone

No, my spin class is not held in the middle of the night.  Let me explain.

After months of saying I was going to get back to spin class, I finally bit the bullet and went.  Alarm was off at 5am and I was up, fed and out the door by 530.  This was my first time taking spin at this L.A. Fitness; the one I went to prior to moving had a spin class that was never full so I was shocked to see only 3 empty bikes when I got to class, which was five minutes early.  I found a bike in the back corner and got set up.  The seat was broke.  I moved to the only other open bike, which was crammed even further in the corner and got on just in time for class to start.

Then I entered the twilight zone…

  • The instructor was overweight.  And I don’t mean a few pounds.  I don’t even mean heavy.  I mean, her BMI is likely to place her in the obese category.  Of course I was a little surprised by this, but figured she was legit since the class was packed- I mean, no one is going to go to a 545am class if it sucks.
  • The instructor kept getting off the bike.  This is without a doubt the oddest thing I have ever witnessed at a spin class.  Now I have to assume that she herself cannot complete the entire class, but still…I would think she would at least stay on the bike.  Seriously, every 4 or 5 minutes, she would get off the bike and walk around in between the bikes cheering on the class.
  • And by cheering I mean screaming.  This woman was loud with a capital L!
  • And she made us do countdowns for everything- 10-9-8-7…you get the idea.  And there was this old guy who needed to be louder than everyone, including the instructor and not only was it annoying, it was downright creeping me out.

When we got back into the locker room, a bunch of the ladies from class were talking about how great the class was…and one asked if I as new.  I explained that I was new to this class but not to spinning.  They asked me what I thought- I wasn’t as honest as I was in the bullets above, but I did mention that I thought it was odd that she got off the bike.  Every single one of them agreed that they thought the same thing when they first took the class but they all came back because there is just something about her that makes the class good.  And they are right.  And her weight had nothing to do with her ability to give people a good workout.  I can’t even pinpoint what made it so great because I seriously felt like I was in the twilight zone the entire time and at times I was downright annoyed.  But I broke a major sweat, felt totally energized and ready for the day when it was over and had the urge to go back.

So even if it is a little weird…and not quite what I have ever experienced before…I will be going back.  I’ll need to get there earlier so I can get a bike that isn’t in the corner without air circulation and I might need some earplugs to drown out the loud countdowns and creepy dude, but it looks like spin class on Tuesdays is a sure thing!

What is the weirdest experience you ever had with a class?

She Runs! (And Works Out!)

I’m back kids.

This past week I got myself back into action.  And it felt great!

Over the course of the week, I swam twice, ran twice and did my HCC workout twice.  The plan that isn’t a plan (that Joe pointed out, actually still counts as a plan haha) is working so far.  Every workout was a success and I really believe that it is solely because the pressure is gone.  At some point by the end of summer, I got tired of working out.  It got to feel like a job and when I wasn’t training up to my ridiculously high standards I was frustrated.  Between the nagging calf pain after every race or training run and the fear of getting re-injured, I stopped being excited to get up and workout or throw on my kicks after a tough day.  And that led to working out less and less and putting few miles on my shoes- which meant goals weren’t being met and I was frustrated.  And that all led to a small burnout.  I think if I had kept myself at the pace I was going with all my racing and training, I would have been injured, instead of just slightly burned out.  So, as I have said many times, I think my decision not to race last weekend was a good one.

Both of my swims were great; it felt so good to be back in the water.  On both occasions, I just swam freestyle.  Now that tri season is over, I am going to spend the off-season working on my swim endurance.  I am looking to participate in a long distance swim race next spring/summer so I need to spend some serious time in the water just swimming for distance.  And about running…well, I did it!  I ran for the first time in 2.5 weeks and it WENT AWESOME!  I ran twice- once  in the beginning of the week for 25 minutes and later in the week for 30 minutes.  I think going out for time, and not miles, was a good idea.  Of course, I am aware I need to get a certain amount of mileage in over the next 9 weeks in prep for Philly Half, but I actually ran a better pace when I went out for time over miles.  I was a little crampy (not sore-yeah!) after my morning run Wednesday which ended up being just over 3 miles.  My legs bothered me at work and by the end of the night, I was so tight.  I broke out the stick and went to town on my calves.  By morning they were feeling much better.  I realize that I really need to keep up with my PT dynamics…as with everything else, I slacked over the last few weeks and it was big time noticeable.  If I want to have any chance of running well at and recovering well after Philly, I need to be vigilant about this!

As for biking…well, that didn’t happen this week.  Still haven’t gotten my bike from my parents house yet.  And I didn’t make it to spin class.  It would be easy to get mad about it but I am not going to do that; I am going to let it go and hope to get to spin class this week.  All things considered, I feel really good.  I have a good feeling about Philly and about the off-season.  I hope it stays that way! 🙂

Lastly, even though my workouts are seemingly getting back on track, I still feel like I am lacking inspiration and/or motivation with this blog.  I feel like posts are just lacking something…maybe because all summer I raced and had more material…I don’t know.  But I feel boring and uninspiring!  I need to find my blogging mojo!  I have been toying for a long time about getting my own domain and I think it might be time.  Perhaps if I re-vamp the site a bit…make necessary updates, add some pages, change my format…etc…I will get re-inspired.  Stay tuned 🙂

The Seven Links Post

Got this idea from Kim; it definitely took me some time to narrow down my choices (and by “some time” I mean it took be almost two months to complete) and as you can see, I still could not pick just one in all categories!  I really had fun with this and hope some of you will participate and re-post as well. 🙂

  • Your First Post
  • The post was called What I’ve Learned and it is still one of my favorite posts.

  • The Post You Enjoyed Writing the Most
  • My 200th post was definitely the most fun post I ever wrote.  But a close second would be my 100 things about OneLittleTriGirl, which was actually written as a “page” not a post.

  • A Post That Had a Great Discussion
  • This is a three-way tie between my Taco Bell post, Biggest Loser post and my Full Disclosure post.  With the first two, it was good to see different pov’s and also see that I was not alone with my thinking.  With the Full Disclosure, it was just nice to finally really feel like everyone knew me.  It was such a good post for me to write and the support was amazing.

  • A Post on Someone Else’s Blog That You Wish You’d Written
  • At least once a week, I write on someone’s post “you took the words right out of my mouth” or “I feel exactly like this” or “love this, I totally relate” or something to those degrees.  The point is, I could never narrow this down to one or two or even ten posts.  But I can say this…there are many times when I wish I was as poignant as Joe, as motivating and positive as Robin, as funny as Beth and as creative with my posts as Lacey.  Now Lacey is a girl who can title a post!!!

  • Your Most Helpful Post
  • I think my most helpful posts are the ones in my Swimming 101 series.  You can find them all under the swimming tab in my categories.

  • A Post With a Title You’re Proud Of
  • This goes to my Squish A Boob and Save A Life post!  I struggle with coming up with titles for my posts, but this one was clever, attention-getting and the post helped to spread awareness.  That’s a win, win, win for me!

  • A Post You Wish More People Had Read
  • My post on Hard Work and Balance is one of my favorites but I had so few readers at the time, it went pretty much unnoticed.  I still look back on that post when I am struggling.


    I hold myself to a very high standard.  I am extremely critical of myself.  At times, I fail to remember that I am as human as the next person and I can only do so much.

    Here is a list of things I am giving myself permission to do from here on out:

    I give myself permission to…

    • run, bike, swim whenever I feel like it

    • travel whenever possible

    • take a bath with a good book in hand

    • separate my skittles by color and eat them in a specific order

    • spend too much money at the book store

    • have breakfast for dinner…or ice cream for dinner

    • delete my reader when necessary

    • be content with sprint tri’s for now

    • laugh at myself

    • take mental health days

    • sing at the top of my lungs while driving

    • not read emails that cause me angst

    • sleep in on a Sunday

    • hide people on Facebook and unfriend them when I see fit

    • stand up for what I believe in

    • put myself first

    • watch mindless TV every now and then

    • always order the same dish in the same restaurant

    • be honest with myself and others – hopefully, not always brutally

    • drink a glass of wine every night if needed

    • not waste time with relationships that are one sided

    • say no when I don’t want to say yes

    What do you give yourself permisson to do?

    Starting Fresh

    I did not go spectate at Rock and Roll yesterday.  Being at the expo Saturday made me sad and I did not think being at the race would be good for my inner being since I have been so down on myself as it is lately.  And as it turns out, I was up half the night with a raging headache and woke up feeling like poo.  I am feeling better now but I am taking it as a sign that resting my body was a good idea.  For the record, not racing still sucks.

    Before I get into my plans for a fresh start, I would like to give a huge shout out to my friend Jen who finished R&R with an awesome time and since it was her first, it is an automatic PR!  Woo-hoo!  Additionally, huge props go out to all my teammates who participated in Syracuse 70.3- there was a huge bunch of them…I have been randomly checking in on them and they are all doing awesome- way to represent TT!!!


    Okay, now about this fresh start! 

    Here’s the plan: the plan is, there is no plan.  That’s right.  No plan.  Other than the fact that Iwill be progressing in run mileage in preparation for the Philly half, I have no need for a plan.  Therefore it’ll work a little something like this…when I want to swim, I will swim.  When I want to bike, I will bike.  Lifting?  Yeah, if I want to.  The new goal is to keep up with my running and workout a total of five days a week.  And for now, that is it. 

    The plan that isn’t a plan started today.  I swam.  For the first time all year, I swam just to swim.  No plan, no equipement, no timed laps…just 35 minutes of freestyle swimming.  And it was wonderful 🙂  I feel absolutely rejuventated and ready to get back into the swing of things!

    PS- I finally(!!!) updated my sidebar 🙂

    Fear Of Injury Or Just Being Smart?

    Maybe a little of both?

    With two days to go until PDR, I was still feeling conflicted when I woke up this morning.  And I don’t even know why because I honestly knew the answer.  By lunchtime, I was willing to make the decision that I knew was best.

    I am not running PDR Sunday.

    I have been conflicted over this race since I ran Avalon on Sept 5.  This is one of my favorite races and I have looked forward to it all year.  It was my goal to run this back when I could barely walk from my injury.  All my hard work was for this race.  And then suddenly, I just didn’t want it anymore.  At least not enough.  But I could not figure out why, so I made no decision and continued to give it some thought.  Perhaps I just needed a break and some time to think.

    As it turns out, I had a lot to think about.  I came to several conclusions as to why I was feeling such a way coming into what was supposed to be my comeback half-marathon but it always came back to one thing–> I am almost paralyzed by my fear of re-injury.  And it has led to a bit of self-sabotage on my part with training which has thereby kept me from being prepared for this race.  And maybe if I knew that was what was happening all along, I could have stopped it, but honestly until I assessed the situation honestly with myself, I didn’t even realize I was doing it.  And once I realized it, it was really too late.

    If I learned anything, I learned that it is never a good idea to race when injured.  And no, currently I am not injured- at least no injury has been diagnosed- but I have been having this pain in my shins.  It didn’t bothers me unless I was running hard or after about five miles and it wasn’t even all the time.  But it was enough.  And it hurt after seven.  And I expected to run thirteen?  I did.  But I haven’t run in almost two weeks and truth is, I haven’t really wanted to lately because I don’t want to push through pain/soreness.  In addition to feeling like something is up, I also am feeling slightly burned out.  The combination of all the variables just wasn’t adding up to anything good.

    Yet…despite all this knowledge, I was still conflicted until today.  And then it hit me…at some point it became clear that I was only truly conflicted because of my fear of disappointment.  I hate to think I have disappointed those who support and believe in me; and I really hate to think I have disappointed myself.  What if I was just being paranoid…what if there is nothing wrong?  But then again…what if there is…what if??  You know what happened the last time I second guessed myself…I did not run for over two months.  Way back in February when I thought my hip pain was nothing, I ran a half-marathon and ended up with a torn hip flexor.  My gut told me something was wrong but I was so afraid of disappointing people and myself that I ran the race anyway.  Right now, my gut tells me something is up with my body- no clue what..shins, burnout…whatever- but I feel like my body needs a break.  Running thirteen mile is not a break.  I will never regret running that race in February; it was one of my favorite races of all time.  But hell if I am going to make the same mistake twice!

    So in the end, like so many other races this year, I have decided to skip this one.  And maybe it is out of fear of injury.  Or maybe I have finally wised up.  Either way, it still sucks.

    I am trying to remember how far I have come this year- they said at first that I would be lucky to be running by June and lucky if I raced at all before fall.  Instead of giving into that theory, I busted my butt and was back out running in the middle of April and racing by the end of May.  And I went on to not only race all summer, but almost every weekend and I piled up the PR’s.  So is it disappointing to give up another race?  Of course.  But instead of focusing on what I can’t do, I am trying to remember what I have done and what I will do in the next few months.  I still plan to do Warrior Dash and now that I have had a break, I am going to start picking up the miles in preparation for Philly Half.  I fully intend to still run that race.

    I tried to write this post a few days ago- but I wasn’t ready and I was overemotional about it.  Now, I feel at peace with the decision and ready to go cheer on my friends while they race.  I already feel better about getting out there and running a few miles…starting a new training cycle for Philly…I already want to run again.  I’ll be able to run just to run…I mapped out a two mile loop by my house that I plan to run a few mornings a week to get a base going. I went from being stressed out and sad to peaceful and rejuvenated.  Man, letting go feels good!

    Writers Block

    I have 14 unfinished posts in my drafts.

    I have writers block.

    How does that happen? 

    I am going to go ahead and guess part of this is because I have not worked out in over a week.  Over. A. Week.


    But seriously, I did spend roughly four days moving and was on semi-vacation and the school year just got under way.  But tomorrow…tomorrow is back to the grind.  Back to mornings at the gym, pool time, spin class, pilates, after-work runs and the hard core club.  Vacation weight begone!

    And that is about all I have for you today.  That and this link, where you can donate to BOMF for my half-marathon in November. 🙂

    A Look At Summer

    As much as 2010 has been a thorn in my side, with a lot of stress, injury and more stress…this was a really great summer.  Despite my injuries this year and what seemed like constant pain in one form or another, when I look back I feel extremely accomplished.  It was a good summer for racing, I had a most excellent birthday and I am wrapping up my third weekend in a row down the shore as we speak.

    As I laid in bed falling asleep last night I started to really give thought to how far I came this summer; I was hard on myself because I often switched up my goals and in part it felt like I was taking the easy road.  But this road was not easy, it was full of challenges.  Was it the summer I expected?  No.  But the end result was one PR after another and some really great experiences.  And I’ll take that as a win.

    I consider my kick-off to summer Black Bear Relay in May; the coldest swim I have ever endured and also my first 1500 meter ows.  It was brutal cold and I threw up in the water before finally finishing…but I finished.  I knew my next swim of that distance would seem like cake in comparison!  Next up was the Scott Coffee 8K- I still wasn’t allowed to push or run hills of any kind but it was still a good way to gauge my recovery.  I did well too and it was the start of getting my confidence back.  After that, I had a small break wherein I attended two weddings in two weekends and then my birthday.  And before I knew it I was back to racing; with the exception of two weekends, I raced every weekend from July 11 until this weekend, Sept 11.  First up was Philly Women’s Tri which was once again turned into a DU; it was just as brutal as the year before but at least I knew what to expect.  It was also my first PR 🙂  I followed that race up with NJ State…probably my most anticipated race of summer.  First it was an Oly, then I made the smart but agonizing decision to drop to the Sprint.  In the end it was the right thing to do.  It was the best race I had all summer and the most fun.  Oh, and another PR 🙂  A week later I was in Belmar for a Sprint Tri; another fun race and another PR!  I followed that up with a Spring relay at Steelman where I had a great swim.  The seond 1500 swim, and just like a predicted…in comparison to Black Bear, it was cake!   Just as I was getting used to all this PR’ing…Wildwood came along and beat me up!  To date, this was my most challenging race.  I knew I was tough when I crossed that finish line!  A week later I did the Medford Sprint as a relay and had my best swim time to date.  Another PR! It was a great way to end my tri season!  And I topped the race off by heading down the shore.  And the racing did not stop…last week, I ran the Avalon 7-miler and although it tested my strength and my body, I finished well.  And this weekend…well, this weekend I am enjoying the end of summer!

    And because I love photos…I give you, a summer in photos!

    The thing is, I haven’t figured out a way to post it to this page- WordPress doesn’t support the OneTrueMedia, and on YouTube the music doesn’t play.  And it just isn’t the same without the music.  Therefore in order to see the montage (and you know you want to!) you have to click here.

    What’s next?  That is still a tough question.  I am still not running…I will run this week and see how I feel to determine my course of action for PDR.  The Warrior Dash is still a definite and as long as my legs feel healthy, so is Philly.  But after Philly, I am taking a major break from running.  I need to heal- I need to just enjoy running without the pain or lasting aches that come with my longer runs.  For a few weeks, if not more, I will be much more focused on getting back to 100%.  Cause if you know me, you know I am already looking for ways to make 2011 even better than 2010!!!!

    What was your biggest accomplishment in the summer of 2010?

    *This day cannot go without acknowledging its significance- thinking of all those who gave 9-11-2001 and still give. ♥

    Winner Winner Chicken Dinner!

    Woooo-hoooo; I have been a winning machine lately!

    First, I won this awesome Chocolate prize pack from Paige:

    The very next day I found out I was the winner of Suzy’s give-a-way and won me some of this:

    And then I won Jill’s give-a-way and scored these:

    Additionally, I recieved the following tags whilst on vacation 🙂

    Indi and Kim both tagged me for the Happy 101 award:

    The rules are to name 10 things that I like, and then pass along to 10 bloggers.

    • Wildwood Crest, NJ- my home away from home
    • Flipping my pillow over to the “cold” side- anyone else do this?
    • Vanilla flavored milk- makes my coffee perfect!
    • The Phillies- ♥ them!
    • Homecooked Meals- really, there is nothing like it!
    • Scrapbooking- I am working on a running/tri one right now.
    • Getting a magazine in the mail- always nice to get something other than a bill!
    • Wine- ’nuff said!
    • When my clothes are still warm from the dryer- best feeling, especially in winter
    • Unexpected blessings- they happen all the time, you just have to look!

    And Jamoosh tagged me in the Cherry On Top Award:

    Answer this question: If you had the chance to go back and change one thing in your life, would you and what would it be?

    Is it cheating if I say nothing?  Cause honestly, I have always felt like if I changed one thing, no matter how big or how small the experience, it would change everything.  And I don’t think it would be worth it.  However, if I could change things out of my control…if I could change that Jimmy died, I would- I still have yet to find a reason why that had to happen.

    Thanks for the tags everyone!  I hope September is being good to you- I have moved in, school has started and after this weekend down the shore things will be getting back to normal!  I hate when summer ends, but I do like being on a routine.  I am slowly catching up on my reader too!

    PS: If you haven’t yet checked out my BOMF donation page, please do.  The link is in my sidebar.  This is a charity near and dear to me.  Any amount helps!