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Ladder Up!

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One of my LEAST favorite things to do on the bike are fast hills.
It is so easy and pleasant to settle into a hill at 60 rmp, settle into your breathing, listen to the music and roll with it.
Kick up that pace 10-15 rpms and fight to get up that hill fast?  It’s not called an uphill climb for fun.
I did this list last Saturday, and it completely kicked my butt (which just means I found a hole in my training and need to incorporate this MORE.) I got some great feedback from the class, and hope you enjoy it as well.
This playlist incorporates one big hill at the front and a hill ladder in the second half.  What is a hill ladder, you ask?  It’s a 10 – 15 minute sequence of a 15 second hard standing climb followed by a seated hill. I absolutely stole this class set up from a Spin member featured playlist, but can’t find the name of the instructor to credit her.  Wherever you are, THANK YOU!  I”m in love.  I think you’ll like it too.
Warmup
  • Get this Party Started–Pink
  • Burn–Ellie Goulding
Seated, burst out of saddle and add 15 rpm on chorus
  • Don’t Trust Me–3OH!3
Hill–climb alternating seated and standing,maintain 70-75 RPM.
  • Dirty Bit–Black Eyed Peas
  • Applause–Lady Gaga
Jumps
Don’t Stop the Party (feat. TJR)–Pitbull
Tabata
  • I Love it (Workout Mix)–Girlbop
Recovery
  • Let Me Love You–Ne-yo
Hill–45 second seated/standing/hover intervals.
  • Paper Gangster–Lady Gaga
  • Bring Me to Life–Evanecence
HILL LADDER (12 minutes)
Minutes 1-4–15 seconds, burst out of the seat, 45 second seated climb
Minutes 5-8–30 seconds burst out of the seat, 30 second climb
Minutes 9-12–45 second burst, 15 second recovery
  • Love Runs Out (Workout Mix)--Diamond
  • Pumpin Blood (Workout Mix)–Rockit
  • Black Widow–Iggy Azalea
Cooldown
  • Day Dream Believer–The Monkees
  • The Only Exception–Paramore

Vanity by Numbers

Two mama  of the bride/groom stories from my former blog entitled “As the Bobbin Winds.”  Someday, I wil actually write a book about my alterations adventures.

Yesterday, I had a mother of the groom bring a dress over for a consult.  She had “ordered a 12” but she swore it was “more like an 11.”   However, “I’m usually a 16, but thought I could make it to at least a 14” by the time this wedding came along.  She wanted to know if putting a corset back into the dress was a) a possibility; and b) if it would look good.

I have time this week (thank you, summer!) so yes, it’s a possibility, but to be perfectly honest, any corseting below the waistline would look like she bought a dress that was too small and was trying to make do.  She agreed, and I have never been so happy to see someone head off into the sunset with her feet firmly planted in reality.

The worst client I’ve ever had was a mother of the bride who I’m sure has not been ever told no in her life.  I always find it so strange when I meet someone who is old enough to be my mother has the maturity level of someone in middle school.  Perhaps it speaks volumes about my state of mind that I equate immaturity with spoiled, but this woman seemed to encompass both traits.

“I’m a size 18 on top and a size 12 on the bottom, so I ordered a 14.”  This math does not equate.   I explained everything I could do to make it fit better, and suggested that she perhaps re-evaluate her choice.  “I’m a 12, so a 14 should certainly fit.”

So after approximately 24 hours of work,  6 (yes, that’s right, SIX as opposed to 2 – 3) appointments,  she sat in my office crying because I had ruined her dress, ruined the wedding, and ruined any chance for her to have a decent picture of her and her daughter on her wedding day. (On a redeeming note, her daughter also brought me her dress and wished me luck dealing with her mom.)

Altering clothing does not equal plastic surgery.  If you have little chicken wing folds on your armpits and you have not purchased a dress to cover that, I can’t fix it.  I can’t magically make more fabric appear.

To hell with sizes.  Buy what fits–and when in doubt, but a size larger.

I LOVE YOU, NOW THAT’S WHAT I CALL MUSIC

I just bought yet another Now That’s What I Call Music album.  I love them, and I love the random ones that pop up on iTunes for 6.99.

Last week I managed to pick up Now That’s What I Call Music 52.  It heavily influenced this playlist.  We rocked out to it Wednesday night for a set of all super hills.  I kept telling the class “your quads will thank you!”

Spoiler alert–mine did not thank me. They were wiped by the end.

Here you go!  This playlist is 2 rounds–hill, jumps, power hill, tabata.  Repeat.

Warmup– Starstruck (3Oh!3)
Fireball (Pitbull)
Won’t Be Home (Old 97s)
Run on Chorus–Still Into You (Paramore)

Hill Block 1–Love Runs Out (One Republic)
My Prerogative (Britney Spears)
Am I Wrong? (Nico & Vinz)
Recovery Jumps–Teenage Dream (Katy Perry)
Power hill–Turn Down For What (DJ Snake & Lil John)
Tabata–Wild Wild Love (Workout mix by DJ DMX)

Recovery–Bang Bang (Jessie J, Ariana Grande & Nicki Manaj)

Hill Block 2–Santa Monica (Everclear)
We Cn’at Stop (Miley Cyrus)
PowerHill–Stay the Night (Zedd)
Tabata–Best Day of My Life (Workoutmix by Dynamix Music)

Cooldown–Wonderwall (Oasis)
What a WOnderful World (Nick Cave and the Flaming Lips)

And a little something worth repeating when the hills get tough:

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Tomorrow kicks off with spin followed by an hour of yoga!  What do you have on tap for your weekend workouts? 

Too Much Technology!

At the start of every year, I vow to do better at tracking what I do, what I eat, etc.–until it gets overwhelming.  This year, I have obsessed with learning to use my heart rate monitor and maximizing my workouts.

This has been a frustrating process.  I have 2 HRM–a Polar F6 strap (the poor watch bit it after an unfortunate trip through the washer AND dryer), which I use in spin class because it connects with the bike; and a Garmin 15 +HRM.  Sometimes I’ll wear both at once–I have found that the Polar registers my HR appx 7 beats higher than my Garmin.

It’s frustrating reading up on where my heart rate *should* be (at age 35, max heart rate is appx. 185, depending on the calculations used.)  My HR is SO HIGH compared to what is recommended.

Average HR for spin–165.
High–175-182, especially during HIIT rounds

Average for a tempo run–170
Average for a easy run–165

In spin, where I am very aware of my HR and ability to speak, I don’t find myself “feeling it” and finding it difficult to speak until 165+. My heart rate does come down quickly at the end of sprints/HIIT rounds (where my HR gets very high) so there’s that. It’s frustrating reading all kinds of articles that seem to indicate that my heart is going to explode.  But if it does, I’m doing what I love.

I got my husband a Fitbit flex for Christmas, and he has also quickly become obsessed with daily tracking steps, sleep, etc.  I do wear my Garmin during the day to track steps, but it tends to be bulky (which is not a great thing when you are dealing with fabric all day.)

But tracking sleep!  Do I need a Fitbit?  Or is it better to get a Garmin Vivofit for every day?  Or a Polar whatever that does the same thing so I can track my HR?

Too much technology!

How do you track your workouts?  What gadgets do you use?  Any words of wisdom? 

Happy First Class of 2015!

First class of the new year–lots of awesome new faces, lots of regulars, and NO MICROPHONE!!  My voice was trashed by the end, especially because my music needs to compete with the Zumba class on the other side of the wall.

I hope all the new people enjoyed the Kick Off 2015 hit list–it’s an old favorite of mine, and I hope they felt comfortable as a member of the class but able to push themselves to a new, shiny level of fitness.

Here’s the list!

  • Warmup 1–Bang Bang (Jessie J, Ariana Grande, and Nicki Manaj)
  • Warmup 2–Shake It (Metro Station)
  • Seated Flat Road–Vida la Vida (Coldplay)
  • Seated/Run on the Chorus–Timber (Pitbull featuring Ke$ha)

Hill Block

  • Standing Climb–Crazy in Love (Beyonce)
  • Seated Climb–Paparazzi (Lady Gaga)
  • 1 min hard climb into recovery–Hollaback Girl (Gwen Stefani)
  • Recovery Jumps–Magic (B.O.B.)

HIIT List!  2 minutes high intensity, 1 minute complete recovery x 5
BONUS ROUND:  1 minute seated hard climb

  • Birthday (Workout Mix–Blaze)
  • I Gotta Feeling (Laidback Luke Remix)
  • Domino (Myon and Shane Remix)
  • Til The World Ends (Varsity Team Radio Remix)
  • Take It Off (Ke$ha)

Finishing round

  • Seated climb/run on chorus–Dark Horse (Katy Perry)
  • Hard climb into cool down–We are Young (Fun.)
  • Cool Down–All About That Bass (Megan Trainor)

To finish it off, I love this quote from one of my favorite websites to visit (http://www.firststepsfitness.ca/motivational-quotes/)

quote0035

Have a great day!

New Year Madness

Happy New Year, everyone!  Hope you had a wonderful holiday season with those you love!   We had house guest madness, which made the holidays fun and go by in a blur. We hosted my brother, sister-in-law, and niece (baby’s first Christmas!) for Christmas, and were an overnight stopping point for Oregon family heading to the Rose Bowl (Go Ducks!)

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I haven’t had a chance to sit down to reflect on the year past and to look forward to the goals I wish to accomplish this year. I’m still a big fan of monthly resolutions, so there is always a chance to regroup and punt.

2014 Reflections:
There was a lot of good. I had a great year running–not a fast one, but a fun one.  Lots of great race experiences, runs with friends both old and new, and making time to grab a cup of coffee after a run to connect with others were some of the best parts. I leveled up as a cycling instructor at the gym where I teach, and I am very proud of that.

I also had a badass year of working with brides and altering dresses.  It was fun, free of high-stress clients, and very productive.  I think I have this dress alteration thing down.

There was a lot of bad–2013 was ROUGH in my house, between the loss of my father in law, DH’s cancer diagnosis, and DH’s layoff.  We spent a lot of 2014 dealing with the fallout of these big things, which made me value the support system I get from my running girls and fitfam even more.

So what are my goals?

  • Take the veggie a week challenge.  The husband got me this book to inspire us to try a new vegetable each week.  Repeats will probably happen, but it will be good to highlight one thing a week to get it in the mix.
  • Take one strength training and/or one yoga class a week.  Thanks to the Lululemon store, I found a great yoga class that starts shortly after my Saturday spin session.  Love it, and hope I can keep it on my radar.  There is a strength class I love, but the 5 am time slot is not as snuggly as my bed.  I’m working to change that.
  • Sub 2 half marathon at the Heavenly Half Mararthon.  This is cheating because it’s a down hill race, but I don’t care. I came in at 2:06 (9?) last year after portapotty/visiting/picture-taking stops.  54 days.  I’ve got this.
  • Enjoy every bit of California I possibly can.  There is a chance I will live in a different area in the next year, and I want to live it up in CA while I can.
  • I lost some great friends this year (but if you’re in Denver, you gained some great people!), but am looking forward to making new connections and reinforcing new friendships.
  • Post weekly.  Here we go.
  • Most importantly:

do-not-let-anyone-dull-your-sparkle-inspirational-quotes

Local Race Love

I love our local running community, and last Sunday was our big party–aka, the Two Cities Marathon and Half!  This was my 6th year running it (2008-2010, 2012-14–what was I thinking in 2011?!?!?!  I STILL regret skipping it).

There is a race suited for everyone–a full marathon that takes you through the cities of both Clovis and Fresno; a half through Clovis; a half through Fresno; a half marathon relay; a 5k; and a kids fun run.

I have very strong feelings about which race to tackle–I’ve run both the Clovis half (two way traffic on the running trail–no bueno) and the Fresno (wide open road, running along a quiet, tree lined lane on the edge of town with beautiful views of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, all white capped with snow…and one, teensy 1 mile long hill).

Guess which one I prefer?

We have had an insane drought here for the last year.  So when does it decide to rain?  At packet pickup at the expo.  Super soaked doesn’t even begin to describe the trip from the parking lot to the expo.

That didn’t stop this girl from carbo loading:

IMG_2437.JPG

The morning of the race, it was amazing to luxuriate in bed thinking “Hey, the marathon has started.  I don’t have to get up for 10 more minutes.”  I got up and indulged in my pre-race favorites–one cup of coffee, a fun sized snickers bar, and enough body glide to wax a surfboard.

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I jump in my car thinking I have 30 whole minutes to drive across town to the start line.  A mile from home, I realize that I forgot my Garmin–I was disappointed I forgot it for my last half, so decided to go back for it.

Good thing, because it was sitting right next to my race bib.  Oops.

Made it to the start line at 7:13, and then realized my part of the race began at 7:30, not 7:15.  I could have slept 15 more minutes! Plenty of time for a pre race selfie!!

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The race itself:  beautiful, cool, comforting.  I’ve run this route 4 times (minus the year I ran Clovis and the year it was a single half with a different route), and it’s always nice to run an old favorite.  With all the rain the day before, the view of the snow-capped (!) mountains was crystal clear. It was absolutely beautifuL.  Glorious.

I ran this race alone, and I ran it slowly.  My goal was to beat my Santa Rosa time of 2:18.  I cried like a baby when the 2:20 pacing group passed me.  Full-out sobs.  Not my finest moment.

Another downside–only ONE person on the entire route appreciated my bib.  Sad face.

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BUT!  This is the first race in ages my knee didn’t act up.  No pain during, minimal soreness after. So slow = hurt pride not muscles.  Good to know.

The finishers area was awesome as always.  They have great food (Ice cream sundaes!  Coffee!  Bananas! And to a lesser extent, Breakfast!); the shirt didn’t suck this year (I’m not a fan of brightly colored sweatshirts–the understated, lightweight long sleeve was perfect); it was fun to meet up with the LLL running group at the foam roller/stretching station they set up (and very, very helpful for recovery); and the beer garden was a great place to socialize (and after running–2 beers was almost enough to knock me out.)

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Even though I forgot my race bib and watch, I you bet your ass I had my ID for the beer garden.

This race truly is homecoming for the local running community! And great big ball of love I feel is indescribable.

Until next year!

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