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How I came in dead last

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I’ve always said that if I ever come in first or last in a race, my running career would be over.I would have either reached peak awesome or the depths of despair.

Well, it happened. 

The sun sets over thet grain elevator..and my visions of dazzling the town with my running moxie


I ran a very informal 10k in my (very small) hometown in Wisconsin last weekend. I live in the hot, dry depths of California, so I can always blame it on the humidity. The route was a 5 k loop, with the option of running one or two laps. 

The race started at 8 am, and it was already pretty hot and humid, but with a breeze.  Look how cute the little kids are! 

Talk about sending kids mixed signals–the tape across the finish line of the kids line says “Fire Line Do Not Cross”


About 150 people were at the start line to run/walk to Extinguish Cancer. They had all the 10k people line up in the front.  FYI–you know who ran this 10k?  Ten people who ran an 8:30 min mile or faster; and me, who hovers right around the 10 min mile mark.  This disparity in speed was pretty obvious right off the bat.

The fire truck blared it’s horn and we were off! The first loop was awesome. There was a breeze, it was fun and familiar, and my 5k split was right at 30 min. So I started the second loop. 

At the 4 mile mark, I turned onto the long street that goes from one end of town to the other, and saw the rest of the 10k runners a full half mile ahead. I also heard some firemen at the water stop yelling “white tank top! That’s the last one! ” This was it’s own special kind of embarrassing. 

The chief of police drove her golf cart and chatted with me for the last 2 miles ( it was her job to give the OK to break down the water stops.) I was very much in the “screw it, time to just have fun” mindset, so if I didn’t want to run 3 blocks? Jump in the golf cart.   When I asked if the beer tent would be open, the chief radioed in to make sure there was a cold one for me at the finish.❤

Taking a break from my golf cart ride to actually RUN


When my asthma started kicking up, I was left with the decision:  call my mom, who was a few blocks away, or jump in the golf cart for a detour to get my inhaler. I chose the latter.  This proved to be a mistake–my poor mom ended up in a golf cart with one of the towns EMTs and found me about a half mile from the end.  Because of the need for an inhaler, I was escorted the last half mile by the chief of police in her golf cart, the EMT and my mom in a second, and another EMT in a third. 

I triumphantly wheezed across the finish line with my entourage, arms raised in (the opposite of) victory, chanting “Last place! Last place!” I was the very last person to cross the finish for both the 5k and 10k.  

BUT! I still came in 11th place overall and 3rd place for the women.  It’s the little victories! 

It would have been embarrassing if I didn’t have such a damn good time. But how can you be filled with anything but warm, snuggly love when that many people rally around you to keep your spirits high. I miss how much fun living in a small town can be. 

Talk less. Smile more. 

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It’s TONY’S Week!!

It’s no secret I love theatre and the magic of the stage–or, more accurately, the magic of being backstage as I’ve been designing and creating costumes in for both professional or acedemic theatres for the last 15 years. So the Tony Awards (this SUNDAY!!) are worth a special spin class playlist.  


Naturally, I couldn’t resist making myself a Hamilton themed tank to wear. 

So 

Warm up 1     

  • Good Morning Baltimore Hairspray
  • The Schuyler Sisters Hamilton

Speed up on the Chorus.     

  • Everybody Talks Neon Trees

Small hill     

  •  Centuries Fall Out Boy

Speed pickups (start at 70 RPMs, add 5 RPM up to 90 x 2).   

  •  I Love It (Workout Mix) Girl Bop

Recovery      

  • You and Me (But Mostly Me) Book of Mormon

Hill ladder (Add one gear every 60 seconds, starting with intervals of 15 seconds speed burst out of the saddle, 45 seated,transition to 45 up/15 seated)

  • I Need Your Love Calvin Harris
  • Work Work Britney Spears
  • Mama Mia Mama Mia

Transition/recover 

  • Hey Soul Sister Train 

Small Hill

  • Here’s to Never Growing Up Avril Levine
  • E.T. Katy Perry

If there’s time! One more song of speed pickups

  • Can’t Feel My Face (Workout Mix) Dynamix Music

Recover/Cooldown

  • Seasons of Love Rent

It was a nice way to mix it up, especially on a week where I managed to lead four classes in a span of 36 hours AND kick some ass in the #rwrunstreak. 

Burrito time is right!  

Do you have any show tune favorites?  Please share them and have a great weekend!!!

What’s better than one Tabata?

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FOUR Tabatas!

I feel like I get into such a rut with my profiles. WILL THE CLASS NOTICE WE DID THIS SETUP 6 WEEKS AGO?

Here is one of my newest profiles. Not one, but 4 tabatas balanced out by hills/recovery. As always, a tabata is 20 seconds all out effort, 10 second recovery x 8. The tabatas were all a bit different, incorporating ladders, mixing up standing/seated, etc. I teach on Keiser M3s, so the gears are just a suggestion. There are not a lot of formal recoveries in this list, so encourage riders to take some extra time jumping in on the hills and to listen to his or her body.

This profile is solid. It is easy to lead a group through, because it repeats the themes so evenly and people know what to expect. It was a great workout (my legs were trashed after I did a test run on it)—but do I love this one? Nah—or, at least, I love it once every 9 weeks or so.

Any feedback is always welcome!

  • Warm up
    Jump Around House of Pain
    Gangham Style PSY
  • Stand and Run, increasing every 30 seconds
    Bad Romance Lady Gaga
  • Seated climb, burst of speed on chorus
    Harder to Breathe Maroon 5
  • Tabata 1—Seated or standing (rider’s choice!), moderate to heavy gear (14 – 16)
    Take Me to Church (144 BPM Workout Remix) Karma
  • Hill—2 songs long, increase gear gradually keeping RPMs above 60
    Sail AWOLNATION
    My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark Fall Out Boy
  • Tabata 2—Alternate seated and standing, moderate to heavy gear (14 – 16)
    Want to Want Me (Workout Mix) Dynamix Music
  • Hill—2 songs, moderate gear and fast legs
    You Give Love A Bad Name Bon Jovi
    Hard (feat. Jezzy) Rhianna
  • Flat Road/Active Recovery
    You Make Me Feel (feat. Sabi) Cobra Starship
  • Tabata 3—Start at Medium gear (12/13), increase 1 gear every other round
    Shut up and Dance (Workout Mix) Dynamix Music
  • Small, quick hill
    Team Lorde
  • Tabata 4—Start with gear at 16, drop one gear every other round
    Rock that Body Black Eyed Peas
  • Recover
    Someday, Someway Marshal Crenshaw
  • Cool Down
    Marvin Gaye (feat. Meghan Trainor) Charlie Puthchristine-lahti-actress-quote-my-hearts-in-really-great-shape-thanks

Have a SPINTACULAR week!

Pick up the PACE!!

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I am constantly looking for new drills to incorporate for class, so when I found this RPM increasing drill, I was pumped to try it. The feedback from Wednesday’s class was pretty solid as well!

Basic profile for this class:  2 song hill, speed drill, tabata, 2 song hill, speed drill.  I teach on Keiser M3s, so the gears listed are suggestions based on the bike.  As always, adjust to your personal level of fitness. Here it is paired with music–enjoy!

  • Warm up
    Can’t Feel My Face The Weeknd
    Waking Up in Vegas Katy Perry
  • Hill (Start at 12, add 1 gear every 30 seconds until 18; slowly bring it back)
    No One Alicia Keys
    Stand By You Rachel Patten (my new favorite song!)
  • Speed drill!  Each round, keep it seated with RPMs at 70–add 5 RPMs every 30 seconds up to 85, then stand with an all out effort for 45 seconds.  Recover 45 seconds.  Suggested gear is 10, with a 1 gear increase each round. Four rounds total, capped off with a tabata (20 second all out effort, 10 second recovery x 8)
    Take Me To Church (144 bpm Workout Remix) Karma
    Love Runs Out One Republic
    Girlfriend Avril Lavigne
    Ex’s and Oh’s Elle King
    Sugar Robin Schulz
  • Hill (same as before)
    Bittersweet Symphony The Verve
    Wake Me Up Avicii
  • Tabata OR 30 second sprints (30 on, 30 off)
    Love Me Like You Do (Workout Remix) Dynamix Music
  • Final flat road free for all
    Stay the Night Zedd
  • Cooldown
    Everything Has Changed Taylor Swift

And because it is weird not to have any pictures, I found this quote and I am in love.

Health-and-fitness-photo-quote

Have an awesome weekend of just being YOU.

How to Survive a To Do List

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It’s wedding season!  At the very least, it’s the end of wedding season, and I am finally getting back to posting playlists, class profiles, running thoughts, and the like.

May 14 (tomorrow) has been the most popular date this spring, and I have dedicated the last 2 months to staying on top of a very busy season. I have had some pretty spectacular dresses to work on, and one of the most challenging things that has come up is the popularity of sheer net yokes on dresses.  It’s a learning curve to be sure (resetting armscyes is a bitch!), but I think I am finally getting the hang of it.


Top:  the physically largest dress I’ve ever worked on.  The final product involved a complete reshaping of the top, and adding a custom lace sleeve detail.  I can’t wait to see the pro pics!
Bottom:  a gorgeous custom gown that involved painstakingly removing the lace grime the hem and resetting it and sewing it by hand to maintain the integrity of the tulle skirt.  Lots of hours put in, but the payoff was huge. 

If you are interested in seeing more of the sewing side of things, feel free to follow my business on Instagram and Snapchat at @kkalterations.

Right now, I am looking forward to going back to LIVING my life instead of surviving a to do list.  One of the first items on deck–making a decision about buying a road bike.  Suggestions welcome, and stay tuned!

Sorry, not Irish. Kiss me anyway!

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Happy St. Patty’s Day!

 

I will be celebrating with my annual viewing of the beer baron episodes of the Simpsons (unlike my college days, which were somewhat a…different…story.)

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All holidays require a special playlist WITH a visual aid, and last night’s class was no different!  This lineup was very well received–after a warmup and a hill, we took the shamrock loop x 5.  The total time for this loop is ~25 minutes, so adding a hill at the end rounded out a 1 hour class.

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Warm up

  • Don’t Trust Me 3OH!3
  • Time of our Lives Ne-yo and Pitbull
  • Ordinary Day Great Big Sea

Hill

  • You Shook Me All Night Long ACDC
  • Blank Space Taylor Swift

Shamrock Loop: 1 min seated hill (7 out of 10 difficulty) 1 min standing burst of speed 1 min hard climb (9 out of 10 difficulty) 30 second transition 1 minute seated sprint (5 out of 10), 1 min recovery

All this 5 times–25 minutes of looping fun! All this while these awesome songs are playing:

 

  • Run Runaway Great Big Sea
  • Take Me to Church Karma Remix
  • Whiskey in the Jar Metallica
  • Johnny, I Hardly Knew You Dropkick Murphys
  • Old Black Rum Great Big Sea
  • Drunken Lullabies Flogging Molly

Recover

  • Wild Night Van Morrison

Hill

  • Zombie The Cranberries
  • Stuck in a Moment U2

Cool down

  • Carry On FUN
  • Lucky Me Great Big Sea

It was fun to break out of the norm, and the class seemed to love it.

I’ve been really pushing it on the work/bridal alterations front, so my legs were pretty trashed after this class and my favorite part was coming home to hang out with my favorite red head.

img_4608

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Happy Trails to Me!

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What a day for a trail race!  I ran the San Joaquin River Trail 10k this morning, and it reaffirmed my love of trail races.  There is something so peaceful about running on something that is out in nature (rather than my favorite urban trails) and where the pack is super spread out so you feel like you have the wholes rail to yourself. It’s a wonderful mix of feeling alone but not lost. 

In a land where there is so little rain, it was unnerving to listen to the thunder and pouring rain all night and imagine what the trails would look like. So I overpacked:  short sleeve, long sleeve, rain jacket, backup long sleeve, pants, backup pants, socks, backup socks, towel, hoodie, garmin, shoe bag, Spi belt, inhaler.    

Spoiler alert, I didn’t need ANY of the extra stuff I packed. 

Woke up with an insane craving for waffles, so I made a batch at 6 am before heading to a friends house to carpool.  (Btw, I’m on snapchat as spinrunsew if you want to follow along!)

  
We got to the start line and parked a bit down the road in a field–all while avoiding some cows on the road.

  
 Gorgeous weather–and by gorgeous, I mean perfectly cool, a bit misty/light sprinkles (no heavy rain!), and cloudy.  The course was in 2 parts–a 4 mile loop, and a 2 mile out and back.  The first mile was on the road, downhill, and was surprisingly HARD.  I was still adjusting to the elevation, and it was a bit shocking to feel that winded.   

The trail was in good shape, not too steep (so minimal sets of speed hiking–I was able to run most of it, albeit slowly).  There were a few places on the trail that were dangerously soft because of the rain, but thanks to the footprints of those who had gone before, it was easy to see where’s ou needed to take it easy.    

The out and back part of race was the best.  We ran over the infamous San Joaquin Gorge bridge, and the clouds started rolling in. It’s crazy how cloudy it was on this part of the trail compared to the start. No filter! 

 I finished the race in 1:19 garmin time (11th in my age group, or double 1st place as I like to call it.). I also love the finish line party–breakfast burritos, bananas, and a keg of really good local beer.  It was a small race, so the finish line area felt wide open and extra festive. 

  
Until the rain started falling in earnest and it was time to GO.  A hot shower felt so amazing when I got home.  Some cozy leggings and compression socks later, and I was ready to enjoy taking it easy the rest of the day–a ver, VERY welcome way to spend a weekend day before dress rehearsal week at work. 

And, according to my Fitbit, 109 floors, baby! 

  
 Happy Trails and here’s to a good week! 

 

Ashleigh Lawrence

Ashleigh Lawrence - Personal Trainer and Strength Coach

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