Friday, November 2, 2012

I am Centaur, Hear me Roar!

Err....."nay"?  Centaurs probably don't roar. Actually they have human vocal chords so probably just normal talking and yelling and stuff, but who cares.  Stop nitpicking.  (This makes sense later, I promise). 

Seriously, I have been writing blog posts left and right!!  Unfortunately, they have all been in my head, and I haven't actually taken the time to type them up.  ;)  Today will be different.  Despite the fact that it is already 10 minutes past my bedtime (if I want to get 8 hrs of sleep), I am going to bang out a quick post, because otherwise it won't happen!
I made this prior to Halloween, on, and never got around to sharing it.  So what the hell, I have no other pictures for you today.  Here you go.  Happy Halloween.  I like the eyes personally.  Not over the top, but still creepy.  (My "real" eyes are blue).  I also gave myself a vampire nose job and made my cheeks way more gaunt.
Since the marathon, I have run 4 times.  I took 5 days completely off (M-F) after the race on Sunday 10/21.  Saturday, Monday, and Tuesday I did easy 3 mi, easy 3 mi, easy + hills 4.7 mi, respectively.  Then Wednesday I did 5.2 tempo.  I think maybe those 3 days (M-W) were too much.  Especially the hills Tuesday followed by the hard run Wednesday.  My right shin is hurting now.  And my right calf has had a knot it in for several days.  Luckily, my ham-ass feels pretty good, but my back has been it's worst ever (ongoing since about 2 weeks prior to the marathon).  So... what's a girl to do?  Today is Nov 2nd.  My McMillan training plan (20 week plan for the Rock CF half in March) came a while ago, and that starts Nov 5th.  I'm thinking no running until then.  The plan starts with pretty low mileage and gentle running, so I should be fine. 

Because of my back pain, I've been getting back to strength training consistently.  I managed 3 times in the past week which is stellar for me.  Nothing too long or intense, just basic core, back, and upper body exercises.  I'll go into more detail on that another day.  I am back to 5 "real" pushups again.  5 to go for 10!  Pullups...well let's not talk about that.  They suck.  Even when I cheat with a stool they suck.  Current: 0.  Record: 0.  Goal: 1.  Ha.  I also have my first ever chiropractic appointment tonight at 6pm.  Exciting!  I've never been to one, so I figure it can't hurt to try.  If it helps, I'll go back again!  I'm also thinking a massage is in order.  I've only ever had one of those, and it sucked.  I'll find a new guy for sure.

Now, on to what I really want to talk about....SPINNING!  I bought a Groupon a couple weeks back (thanks MegO for the Twitter tip!), for RydeOn in Saline.  I had been there once before (free first ride for new customers), and liked it, so I decided I should take advantage of the deal.  I was off work last night, so had the whole night to do whatever.  At about 4am I was thinking about my non-running for the next few days and decided to check the spinning schedule.  Just my luck, they have a 5:45 am class that had space available.  Score!  I love that it's so early.  Prior to today, I have been spinning exactly twice in my life.  Once at RydeOn in Saline, and once at Bodies in Balance in Ann Arbor.  I like BiB because it's closer and cheaper, but their morning classes are at 6:45am, and that's harder to stay up for.  And really, if we're talking strictly about the experience, I like RydeOn! better.  They have nicer bikes, and the workouts are very technical.  I'm never worried about whether I'm working too hard or not hard enough or anything.  The bikes each have a computer that tells you your RPM and watts, and what gear you're in, and I also wear a heart rate monitor.  You find your individual "flat road" and then set your gears throughout the workout off of that.  The instructor helps you find your flat road gear at the beginning of the workout.  Initially, I chose 9, but I quickly realized that was a little to easy and I went with 10 for most of the workout.  For example, the instructor might say "okay, we're going to go for 1 minute at 7 above flat road".  Then she'll tell you what your RPM should be.  So if she says 75 rpm at 7 above flat road, I can do that.  If I'm having no trouble doing 80-90 RPM at that level, I know my flat road is too easy, and I can adjust upward for the rest of the workout and for next time.  They also tell you what heart rate range you should be in, so you can adjust off of that too.  I really do love it.  And it's the only workout I've found that I feel like I burn as much as I do running AND get benefits that are transferable to running (cardiovascular fitness improvements, leg strength, leg turnover).  I just wish it wasn't so damn expensive.  At RydeOn, it's $14 to walk in to a class!  If you buy a card, it reduces to $10-$12, depending on how many you buy.  The absolute cheapest is like $8 a class and that's only if you pay for the year in advance.  (Not going to happen).  I also wish it was closer, because I live on the north side of Ann Arbor, so getting to Saline is a good 20 minute drive. 
My heart rate data from today's workout.  I also felt like that should have been higher based on the intensity of the workout.  I should have seen a couple peaks nearer to my max of 195. Guess I'll have to go harder next time. 
The instructor today totally flattered me.  She was like "you've been indoor cycling before right, you look like a pro".  Haha!  I told her this was my 3rd time ever, and that each time was separated by a good 6 months.  Then when she was helping me find my "flat road" she said: "you're a fit person, so you'll probably need a 9 or a 10".  I'd like to think that I really did look fit, but I believe it had more to do with the Running Fit 13.1/26.2 shirt I was wearing.  Oh well.  She asked me how I did at the end, and I told her I had fun, but maybe she wanted to know my workout stats?  She kept talking about wattage goals during the workout, and beating your previous number, etc.  I should have told her so I could have known how I did.  Not that she would probably tell me if I sucked.  Apparently the average wattage at the end of the workout should be approximately your "ideal body weight".  I didn't know what my ideal body weight was, so I came home, checked here, and found this: "According to your height of 5' 6" your ideal healthy weight is 139 pounds. Your recommended weight range is between 123 and 154 pounds".  (Phew, I just squeaked in at 151, haha).  

So, if the suspense is killing you, here were my end of workout stats (I guess that they're the averages?)

RPM: 78
Watts: 148  
Max instantaneous watts seen: 504

So I beat my "ideal weight" goal wattage of 139 by 9 watts.  Woot!!!  I'm surprised the RPM average was so low.  I felt like most of the workout was 75-110, but there were some steeper "hills" where she wanted to target about 60, so I guess that drug it down.  The computer shows instantaneous watts and RPM throughout the workout, in addition to giving you the average at the end, so I also included the highest wattage I ever saw during the workout.  I'm as strong as a centaur!!  (504 watts = 0.67 horsepower = 2/3's of a horse.  Oh I crack myself up.)

So you can totally see how this could be a great cross-training tool for runners right??  Or even a replacement if it came down to it.  I can go for a watts PR!! (average or max, though average is obviously the more important one for the workout)  It definitely fits the bill if you're a numbers runner like me!  Love chasing me some numbers!!  For the record, I absolutely hate biking outside!  Clarification, I hate biking outside as a WORKOUT.  Leisurely biking or biking as a form of transportation are perfectly enjoyable!

Next time:  Increase my flat road gear to from 10 to 11, and, if the workout is conducive to it (if she tells us to put it at a max effort hill at a lower (60ish) cadence), I'd like to max out the bike at some point (highest gear is 24, the highest I put it in today was 21).

Fun stuff!

It is now 1 hour and 18 minutes past my bedtime.  So much for quick.  Drat.  


  1. Replies
    1. Haha! Spinning is pretty ok because they have you up and down so frequently.


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