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On Again, Off Again

You love them, you hate them, You Just Can’t Get Enough…of sprints (or Black Eyed Peas wordplay, apparently.)

Here’s a themed play list celebrating all that angst combined with a sprint ladder broken up by hills. I have to be honest–I HATED this lineup when I was in the thick of it (because I really, really, really dislike going fast.)  But my heart rate was up and I felt GREAT at the end.  After all:

not easy

The definition for sprint for this class was med/light tension (around a 10 on a Keiser bike) and keeping the rpms between 90-120 for the full length of the sprint.

  • Warmup—Blame by Calvin Harris
    • Anna Sun by Walk the Moon
  • Sprint set 1: (15 on, 15 off)
    • Girlfriend by Avril Levine
  • Hill (20/20/20 seated/standing/hard climb)
    • Centuries by Fall Out Boy
  • Sprint set 2: (20 on, 20 off)
    • Because We Can by Fatboy Slim
  • Hill (medium gear, add every 30 seconds)
    • Boom Boom Pow by the Black Eyed Peas
    • Blow Me (One Last Kiss) by Pink
  • Sprint (30 on, 20 off)
    • Hey Ya! By Outcast
  • Hill (45 seated, 15 seconds burst our of saddle)
    • Figure 8 by Ellie Goulding
  • Sprint (40 on, 20 off)
    • Birthday (Workout Mix) by Katy Perry
  • Recovery Jumps
    • Fight Song by Rachel Platten
  • Hill (rolling climb)
    • Bittersweet Symphony by the Verve
  • Sprint (50 on, 15 off)
    • I Like It by Enrique Iglesias
    • Turbulence by Laidback Luke, Lil johne, and Aoki
  • Cooldown
    • Cheerleader by Omi


Too Quick Summer Recap

I have not updated in a long while! What happened over the summer, you ask? Here’s a short run down!

We now have quail!  Hatched right in our spare room.  Miso is a fan. Quil  quial

The most fun puppy-centric part of the summer:  Bark in the Park at our local minor league park!  SO MUCH FUN!!!


The indoor cycling room at one of the gyms where I lead classes was changed to a TRX/boxing studios. It was a really sad day when I found that out-I have made so many friends through classes at that location and miss seeing their smiling faces a few days a week.

However, I still teach one class a week (and sub when I can!) at another location. The Keiser bikes there are amazing! I love them much more than the Startrak bikes—it was one hell of an adjustment, though.

I had a great summer vacation with my family. Plenty of pool time with my niece, mini road trips with my parents, including stops in Tiburon, Sonora, Angels Camp, Yosemite, and a few beautiful days days in Lake Tahoe.

Tahoe                   Yosem

One of the most gratifying things about Lake Tahoe was seeing the site of the Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival, which is partnered with the Idaho Shakespeare Festival (where I worked for 4 glorious years) Ironically, the show that was running at the time was a production of Romeo and Juliet, a remount of the 2006 production I helped build. My mom got to see my work!

Tahoe shakespear

One thing I will say for my family—bee  r tasting is a big deal. I think I tried more craft beer in that two week timespan than I have in the first 35 years of my life.


Good lord, it’s wedding season. I am knee deep in coral and eggplant bridesmaid dresses (apparently the hot colors for this fall based on my limited research. )  I’ve had a few gorgeous wedding gowns roll through, and it’s not over.

I’ve been killing it with the spinning class profiles lately—trying a lot of new things and getting some really positive feedback. Hopefully I can get some of the playlists/profiles posted so I can come back to them when I’m stuck in a rut.

As for running—I signed up to run the Tiburon half in October and promptly crashed my bike and derailed the training. Between that, the terrible air quality, and the 106 degree temps, I am not optimistic that this is going to be a fast one. It sure will be pretty, with gorgeous views of San Francisco and Angels Island.


The husband and I celebrated 5 years of marriage at the Pacific.  Beautiful!


That’s a short recap! I missed so much!  I am hoping that I will be able to fill in the gaps now that I am back in front of a computer daily!

Ladder Up!

Posted on
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.
  • 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
Don’t Stop the Party (feat. TJR)–Pitbull
  • I Love it (Workout Mix)–Girlbop
  • 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
  • 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 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:


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 (


Have a great day!

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