Mar 242012

Saturday was supposed to be sunny and 60 degrees! Woohoo! 60 degrees in March? I’ll take it! I was so excited about the prospect of some warmer weather and getting some vitamin D. So when Michael suggested we go for a bike ride, I said definitely.

Then we played the oh-so-fun game “What do we wear biking today?” It’s a sometimes frustrating game because until summer time, it’s really hard to gauge how cold it will really be outside on the bike. We both rode around our cul-de-sac while we decided what to wear. I settled on no cycling tights, just my super-pale bare legs in shorts, and a short sleeved cycling jersey with my arm warmers. I wore one of Michael’s base layer tank tops underneath my new cycling jersey.

It was cool in the shade and the wind was strong, but once we were in the sunshine we were comfortable. The arm warmers were the right choice. I ended up taking those off later. Michael and I biked from our house to the I-205 Bike Path and headed North. There was a headwind the entire way but I didn’t mind it.

If you’ve been following my blog for awhile, you know it’s been a long time since I was out on my bike for reals. In fact, November was the last time I ventured out on my bike outside. For the last four and a half months or so I have been faithfully going to Spin class once a week. My goal was to increase it to twice a week but I still haven’t done it because that would mean giving up one of my weight lifting days and I don’t want to do that.

My hope was that Spin class would keep my base steady throughout the winter. Saturday was my chance to see if it worked. The verdict was not quite what I was expecting. The first medium sized hill I came to almost killed me. My THIGHS WERE ON FIRE. I kid you not. I got to the top of the hill where Michael was waiting at a stop light, my heart rate was 170 (that’s high for me) and I was out of breath. Damn.

Each big hill was a challenge for sure. I was starting to feel discouraged about all the time I’ve put into those Spin classes. And then the hills got easier. Maybe I was just rusty? The hills got a little easier, my recovery time improved, and my energy was just fine. I did not feel tired at all, even with a headwind.

The even better news? I did not feel fatigued in the saddle at all. I think Spin class has at the very least has kept my comfortable sitting in the saddle. Plus, all the weight lifting and core work kept my upper body, back, and shoulders  from getting fatigued.

The downside of the beautiful spring day as that my allergies really wreaked havoc on me. I’d also forgotten to take any Claratin before the bike ride.

We turned around and headed South on the I-205 Bike Path to where it connected to the Springwater Trail. We decided to take the trail West into Sellwood to stop somewhere for lunch.

We ended up at Pizzicato for lunch. Michael ordered a slice of pizza and a spinach salad. I got the mozzarella, spinach, basil and tomato panini. Ever since that delicious sandwich I had at the East Side Deli, I’ve been craving a panini. The one I had for lunch was quite good. The spinach salad with feta, tomatos and pine nuts was even better.

Looks pretty good, huh? It was! After we finished our lunch we headed back home. It was still warm and sunny out and I was enjoying my time on the bike. I still felt comfortable on the bike and was really happy that we went out together.


Time: 2:15
Total Calories Burned: 1101
Total Mileage: 23.25 

The verdict of my Spin class is that I am going to continue going because I feel like it has kept me comfortable in the bike saddle. My goal is to now challenge myself more on the hill climbs in class. I think I’ve been going easy on myself.

QUESTION: Have you noticed a difference between a fitness class and the actual fitness outside of the class? Was there a big difference for you? 

May 202011

I had to change my normal swim routine this week because of plans. Instead of swimming on Friday nights (which I love because it’s quiet and usually uncrowded) I went after work on Thursday. All day on Thursday I felt like it was Friday as a result. I had to remind myself it wasn’t Friday yet, and then I felt disgruntled. ;)

I received an email from a reader, Maia, that officially made my Thursday awesome:

“I have been reading your blog for about 9 months now, all throughout my own personal weight loss journey. I was focusing primarily on jogging to lose my weight but because of a bad mental blockage during a 10K I decided I needed to start doing other exercise. I had always wanted to swim, but it was because of your blog and your talking about your experiences with it and sharing tips, etc, that I  FINALLY got over my phobia over wearing a swim suit again (even after a 60 pound weight loss!) or venturing into the unknown territory, and got my butt to the gym pool. It’s been a couple of weeks now and I’m IN LOVE with it! So, I just wanted to thank you for helping me break through a wall and find something that I love.”

That made me SO happy! I am excited that my blog was able to inspire a reader to try swimming. I am also happy to see that Brie is growing to like swimming too! It’s catching! I love swimming and I think it’s the best exercise out there.

If you’re a new reader, how I lost 110 pounds was through swimming. I didn’t become a runner or a cyclist until much later in my journey. I swam three to four days a week. It was a slow start. I was nervous about being seen in a swimsuit at 250 pounds but I was determined to lose the weight and knew I had to just get over it.

I was really slow to start. I used to be a good swimmer as a teen. I was on the synchronized swimming team, I swam laps a lot. But I hadn’t been in a pool in years. I didn’t beat myself up though. I took it slow and swam within my limits–resting a lot. I eventually got faster. I didn’t have to rest as long, or as often, in between laps. I got better and more precise. I was SO happy the day that I swam 1/2 a mile without having to stop and rest. And then I was able to swim 1 mile without stopping or resting. Now? I swim 1.25-1.5 miles twice a week like it’s nothing. It just takes practice. :)

Thursday I had a pre-swim snack of plain Greek Yogurt with pineapple added to it. My swim was great. It was actually kind of nice to change up my normal routine, even though the pool was crowded for the water aerobics class that started at 6:30.

I swam just shy of 1.5 miles (100 lengths = 50 laps). I think 110 lengths in the pool is 1.5 miles. The water aerobics people were invading the pool so I had to call it quits.

Swim Stats:

Time: 56 minutes
Calories Burned: 409

After swimming I went home for a makeshift dinner of whatever we had leftover in the house. We both looked at the barren fridge and decided to go out! It was slim pickings.

We went to Portofino in Sellwood. I’ve been there a few times and always had delicious food. They had their bistro seats outside set up so Michael and I sat outside and enjoyed the cool evening.

I was famished from swimming so I partook in the bread and olive oil. Michael refrained since he’s still on the diet.

I’ve been craving scallops for about a week. As soon as I saw “Seafood Risotto” on the menu I knew that’s what I wanted! Shrimp, Scallops, Dungeness crab, Clams, Wine, Garlic, Herbs & Saffron Risotto. YUM!

It was amazing. The scallops were perfectly seared and crunchy, but soft on the inside. Perfect. I wish it had been all scallops instead of shrimp because 3 scallops just weren’t enough.

I ate half of the entree and saved the rest to take for lunch. I felt content and satisfied. My glass of Pinot Grigio went well with the seafood. It wasn’t a sweet wine.

It was a nice teaser for the coming summer. I’m looking forward to spending a lot of time dining outside! Preferably commuting there by bike!

QUESTION: Is your workout routine pretty ingrained or are the days flexible? What’s your favorite exercise?