Sandwich thins

You Are Stronger Than You Think

Portland weather has apparently skipped Fall and gone straight to Winter. It’s been in the high 30’s lately and of course, the rain. I’ve had to scrape my car windows in the morning because it’s been so cold. Not exactly conducive to biking to work, either. But then I’m a fair-weather biker/runner.

I finally tried a spin class! I went last Thursday night after work with my friend Robyn.  I’m really glad I put “spin class” on my November Goals list and actually got out there and did it. I liked it! I might be a new convert.

I enjoyed the class. It pushed me further than I’d ever push myself on a bike alone in my living room. That’s the good thing about classes like this, you can’t go easy on yourself with an instructor telling you to push it.

The other thing I liked was that it was fun. It was a change from the boring ol’ routine. PLUS I am very excited to be able to maintain some sort of cycling fitness throughout the winter. I hated having to quit the bike last winter but I’m just not going to bike in the rain.

The class was only half full. It was kind of fun to be in a smaller class. It felt more intimate. I also noticed that the instructor knew the names of all the regulars. I thought that was pretty cool.

The class we joined on Thursday did a Hill Routine. Quite the workout for a newbie! I enjoyed it though and it wasn’t too much of a challenge. There were several moments in the class where my thighs were burning on the “hills” but I pushed through it. The instructor told us we were “stronger than we think” and to PUSH through it! I did.

Several times during the class I looked at Robyn and she gave me this look:

She gave me so many evil eye looks during the class I wondered if she’d disown me after the class. 🙂 They were similar to the above photo.

I wish I’d had my heart rate monitor to see how many calories I burned in the class. I went online to see on average how many calories are burned in a Spin class at “moderate” pace. It said 688 for my weight. I’m skeptical. I would put it closer to 500 at best. I checked my pulse several times during the class and it was racing! If I had to guess I’d say it was in the 150-160 range. I sweated more than my bike commute, but less than my normal runs (to give you an idea).

When the class was done I had a quick snack (so glad I brought snacks). I ate a few apricots and prunes and then we parted ways.

When I got home we had turkey burgers for dinner. I was famished! I also had some cucumber salad and half a serving of baked fries with dinner. It hit the spot.

Some Observations:

There were people there of all shapes and sizes. Don’t be discouraged if you aren’t at goal weight yet. I think Spin would be a great class for someone starting out in their weight loss journey.

Most people wore regular workout clothes. I was the only one that was wearing cycling clothes. But I was much more comfortable in my cycling gear than I would have been in anything else. I wore my bike shorts and was glad I did. Robyn borrowed an extra pair of my cycling shorts and she was happy she borrowed it!

I brought my cycling shoes to clip in but the clips were not conducive to my shoes (I have mountain bike shoes). I think my other cycling shoes might be better. I just wore my regular running/workout shoes instead and they worked just fine.

The class was a lot easier for me than other classes I’ve taken. The main reason I dislike fitness classes is that I can’t keep up with the moves. I don’t know the routines, I’m uncoordinated and I’m always two steps behind the rest of the class. It’s just frustrating. Spin was not like that. It was easy to catch on and keep up. Perhaps it was easy for me because I am already a cyclist?

The next day–I was not sore from the class at all. So that’s good. I guess my fitness level on the bike hasn’t totally diminished yet.

Next time: I’ll bring 2 water bottles instead of just the one. I went through my water fast!

It’s important to have the bike adjusted properly in the class. Mine was a little off. I noticed because my knees started to hurt during the last 10 minutes of class or so.

QUESTION: Are you a Spin enthusiast? How often do you go? Any tips for a newbie?

Spinning in New Pedals

Well, new for me. Remember how I had an equipment malfunction on last weekend’s 40 mile bike ride? When I got home from work on Monday Michael was swapping out my broken (and jerry-rigged) pedals for an old pair from one of his previous bikes.

[blackbirdpie id=”77901923633725440″]

Yes, I plan on switching to clip-in pedals soon. In fact, I already have the clip-in pedals I just need to get the shoes that will fit with them. I had hoped that I would get the new shoes this winter so I could practice clipping in and out while I was on the bike trainer. But honestly, I think I just need to suck it up and do it already. I need to get over my fear and practice before the Portland Century.

I’d planned on biking to work Tuesday but woke up to rain so moved it to Wednesday. The morning was cool and very gray but dry.

The temperature was in that weird in-between where it was too cold to not wear warm clothes but once I warmed up I was too hot. I stopped by the river and took off my top jacket. I felt much better after that.

I continued on. The trail was pretty quiet and empty, not many cyclists out. The Hawthorne Bridge wasn’t crowded either.

I arrived at work in decent time, hot and sweaty. I’d parked the car a little further away to add some distance to my ride.

Morning Commute:

Time: 33 minutes

Calories Burned: 247

Distance: 6.1 Miles


As the day went on yesterday it got grayer, darker and colder. It was the first time I wore my long tights and cycling jacket on my commute home. I watched the weather turning gnarly and figured I would be riding home in the rain. Fortunately, it stayed dry.

Before I rode I  ate my banana for a snack. I’ve decided to quit bananas. They are healthy and I like them yet every time I eat a banana I am HUNGRIER than ever. It’s NOT a good pre-workout fuel for me and I realized that yesterday when my stomach was growling angrily the entire ride home. Plus my energy was in the toilet. The whole ride was a struggle–and I hadn’t even gotten to any hills yet!

I got back to Michael’s car in Sellwood and the second I hopped off the bike I thought I was going to collapse. My legs were jello. Not good. I immediately ate my little Babybel cheese snack (70 calories) to try and take the edge off my gnawing hunger while I drove home.

Afternoon Commute:

Time: 29 minutes

Calories Burned: 226

Distance: 6.1 Miles


Calories Burned:  473    |     Distance: 12.2 miles

The moment I got home I ate a snack in a frenzy. I was so famished I couldn’t think straight. Not a good place to be. Michael got home shortly after that and he suggested we have turkey burgers for dinner instead of the salmon and scallops we’d planned on. I was so hungry I immediately agreed. We had an early dinner.

Grilled asparagus as the side. I devoured every bite and felt immediately better. I also had one glass of white wine.

Instead of doing chores and running errands like I planned on doing, I got into my PJ’s and Michael and I settled in to spend the rest of the evening catching up on TV shows (The Office specifically). It was nice to just totally veg out!

QUESTION: What is your favorite pre-workout food? And what’s up with bananas?!?