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MIA. OMG. WTGDHHH (What the Gosh Darn Heck Happened Here). LOL.

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Holy cow. It has been a long time.

Just kidding. I still spin and run obsessively.

I have a big birthday coming up at the end of this year, and I am trying not to feel down about it. MID LIFE CRISIS, Y’ALL. So I’m listing the good. Luckily, it comes as an update on what I’ve done over the last 2 years.

  • I still run a lot. I have run the Napa Valley Marathon (again–did I post a re-cap? Maybe I will. It was a trip); the Two Cities Half (the Clovis one! Tequila at mile 8!); The Kiawah Island Half (best birthday weekend a girl could have imagined); The End of the Trail race (both the 10k in 2018 and the half in 2019); The Santa Rosa Half (I left off with training for the full. That….didn’t happen. Oops.); a bunch of 5ks, 4 milers, 15ks, etc. Plus a LOT of long miles solo with me and my favorite podcasts or books.

Sometimes I run. Sometimes I fly.

  • I still lead spin classes. Over the last 6 years (SIX YEARS??!?!?) my class profiles have whittled themselves down to about 12 different, really solid profiles that I rotate through with whatever music is speaking to me at the time. Spoiler alert: Not EDM.

What’s a holiday spin class without a kindergarten style visual aid?

  • I still sew a lot. Do I sew fun things for myself? LOLOLOLOLOL. But I sew beautiful things, beautiful dresses, working with beautiful brides who for some reason believe in me when I tell them it is all going to be ok and they will both look and feel exactly the way they want to look and feel on their big day. And the STORIES!

So that about covers basic updates. My goal is to write down all those race recaps I’ve been dragging my feet on, get more spinning profiles out there( maybe it will help inspire others in the oh-crap-what-are-we-going-to-do-for-spin-tomorrow rut.), all the amazing stories that come from being the safe person who gets to bond with brides before her big day, recap my current running challenges, and pretend the wider world cares deeply about what I’m doing.

Will puppy pictures inspire you to check in more?

But mostly? This a record for me. If my Jesuit education taught me anything, it’s that in reflection we can always find the lessons to lead us forward.

Want more regular updates? Find me on Instagram or Facebook at spinrunsew.

Want to see something specific? Comment below and let me know!

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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.

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.

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Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

My New Toys

I bought myself 3 new fancy toys this summer. I tend to be pretty damn cheap, so this was a big deal for me.

1) After many, many years of borrowing one/going to someone else’s house to serge the tiniest part of an alteration, I finally bought a serger.

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A Brother 1034D–delightfully basic, great reviews, great price, differential feed. Loving it so far!

2) We got married 4 years ago. So many of our dear family and friends gave us gift cards to Bed, Bath, and Beyond. They finally turned into this:

IMG_1033.JPG (bad pic, but amazing product.)
A Shark Navigator Liftaway Pro.Our house is primarily hardwood with a few area rugs, and this vacuum is perfect. The microfiber pad attachment? Brilliant. I love it.

3) I had an old Garmin eTrex gps that bit the dust 2 years ago. After a lovely conversation with a Garmin rep, I finally–FINALLY–traded the old unit in for a credit toward a Garmin Forerunner 15.

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It arrived the same day as a necklace honoring my homeland.

So far, I LOVE the watch. I’ve never had one before, so I can’t comment on missing any of the advanced features that other watches provide. It tracks my distance, pace, calories, HR. Love using the heart rate monitor strap in my cycling classes–makes teaching much more focused!

I am still twirling with excitement over these three things.

do you have any recent purchases that have quickly become must haves?

Let’s Talk Podcasts

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What is the one thing all my workouts/sewing/adventures have in common? My love of listening to podcasts.

I can’t do music when I work–the desire to flip to the next song is so strong. Give me a good story, game, or information? I’m yours for hours.

Here are some of my favorites (all available on iTunes).

1. Good Job Brain (www.goodjobbrain.com)

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Do you like pub trivia (or as autocorrect insists, pup trivia?) This podcast is an awesome collection of cocktail facts and fun trivia. It is my current favorite–I have listened to every episode available, and love when the magic blue circle lets me know when I have a new one waiting. I’m actually sad I was not aware of this podcast during its Kickstarter days–I would have loved to be an original backer.

2. Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me (The NPR news quiz)
Clearly, I like trivia. I also like smart celebrities.

Carl Kasell is my favorite:

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3. The Suze Orman Show
!

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I love a good Suze Smackdown, and I have learned so much from listening. Roth IRA FTW!

4. Chicken Thistle Farm Coop Cast

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The husband and i both love this podcast. We have learned a lot from their stories on the farm, and have gotten a lot of great tips on raising our garden and chickens. i love how they are very dedicated to living pasture to plate.

Also, The post on Heromine the pig giving birth was absolutely riveting.

5. The Mötley Fool

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Lots of great investing tips and market talk. It makes following the stock market/investing feel so much less intimidating.

Other favorites:
Storytelling: This American Life (stories from modern America, constructed around a weekly theme); The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (rebroadcasts of the radio show from the 1950s–including commercials!!); To The Best Of Our Knowledge (stories from modern America);Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar (another rebroadcast of a 1940s/50s radio detective series)

NPR: Planet Money, Playback, Sunday Puzzle, Car Talk, pop Culture Happy Hour, and many more

Quick and Dirty Tips: Money Girl, Legal Lad, the House Call Doctor and Get Fit Guy are favorites; Modern Manners Guy amuses me with his impolite judgements of others impoliteness)

Smart Passive Income

I have yet to find a fitness podcast I really love.

This is the audio that keeps my fly wheel spinning, my feet smacking the ground for just one more mile, and the hula hoe weeding one more bed.

 

Do you have any favorites/recommendations? Let me know!!

 

To Tri or not to Tri–That is the Question

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After a dismal* run on Saturday, I came home to an interesting Facebook message from a friend: want to do a sprint triathlon with me?

My standard answer is typically hell to the no. I have zero desire to swim. The more I mull over the idea, the more I keep thinking why not? I need a new challenge. I have until August to train on the swimming part. Here is a pic of beautiful Huntington Lake, in all it’s freezing cold, fighter plane at the bottom glory.

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Here are some of my hesitations. If you are an avid swim/run/biker, I’d love your opinion on if these are valid.

1. I can rent a wet suit, right? I’m cold just thinking about it, and I’m too cheap to buy one for a whim.

2. Will people make fun of my piece of crap, $35 Craigslist wonder of a bike with the puppy basket on the front?

3. Ugh. Swimming. I don’t know anything about etiquette at the gym for lap swimming, and I’m afraid of being THAT girl.

Ok, so it’s only 3 hesitations. I’m sure I’ll think of more.

On the running side, I’m helping a friend raise $$ for her team in training for making running headbands out of this:

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I’ll post the results on the flip side.

*Ok, not dismal, but cutting a 11 mile run down to a 9.7 mile run after a surprise asthma attack is disappointing. Lesson learned–even if it as been over a year since your last attack while running, don’t be lazy. Bring the inhaler.

Do you have any triathlon experiences? Advice? Warnings? High fives?

Ashleigh Lawrence

Ashleigh Lawrence - Personal Trainer and Strength Coach

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