Gillian’s Spin Class

Last night I had the privilege of attending my blog friend turned real life friend Gillian’s spinning class at Gold’s Gym.

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Gillian and I met almost 2 years ago through our blogs. We hit it off and have been eating, spinning and expo-dominating together ever since. Gillian is a 3L at Loyola Law (yay lawyers) and also just got certified to teach spin. She has taken on a few classes at Gold’s Gym downtown and is killing it as a spin instructor. I’ve never been to a fitness class taught by a friend and Gillian and I have very similar taste in spin classes (Laura Crago’s Soul Cycle class for life, although now that Soul Cycle is raising their prices that will be very few and far between) and we like the same type of music when working out (more beats please) so I was very excited to take her class.

First of all, Gold Gym downtown is very nice and totally surprised me. I thought Gold’s was going to be full of obnoxious bro-ey weight lifters and very bare bones as far as gyms go. I could not have been more wrong. There was a fancy locker room and pool, a couple very nice studios for body pump and spin, and plenty of machines. Everything was very up to date and fancy.  Obviously, my impression of Gold’s was completely off base.

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Gillian’s class was fantastic. If you go to Gold’s you should check it out. She had us doing several sets of sprints, hill climbs and jumps. The jumps worked the core muscles, the hills challenged my legs and the spring forced me to push through fatigue. The music was heavy with beats, hip hop and remixes of popular songs which I really enjoyed. I was dripping with sweat after one song.  Gillian also worked arms into her class which I appreciate because I will take strength training where ever I can get it.

I had some issues switching from spinning in clips to spinning in regular shoes but after a song I got the hang of it. I wasn’t sure how long the class was going to be so I tried to pace myself. Gillian was very clear about when to increase resistance and by how much. I kept at least one extra turn on my resistance throughout the class and at some times increased my resistance even more. My legs felt strong and capable throughout class and I am sore today. I feel like people being sore after your class is a major sign of win so congrats Gillian.

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Gillian has a serious talent for teaching spin and if you get a chance you really should try and take her class. For me, it is super motivating to see her take on spin certification and teaching while in law school. She’s passionate about spinning, got certified, went after teaching opportunities with tenacity and strives with every class to get better. She definitely motivates me to focus up on the things I’m passionate about and taken them on! Gillian teaches at Gold’s on Wednesday night at 7:45 and Saturday morning.

I have been a very negligent blogger recently (blah blah blah). People are telling me that they  miss my blog. I will be posting more… probably mostly fitness based right now because that’s whats on my mind but I’ll try to get some food in there for ya. 

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Victory Lap

So as you could tell from my last blog post, I PASSED THE BAR EXAM!

Finding out that I passed was the proudest career moment of my life thus far. I worked really hard, twice, to achieve this goal. I had a huge smile of my face for several days after finding out the results and I still look at the screen shot I took of the screen telling me I passed because I can’t believe I really did it. I checked my scores with my boyfriend, drank a bottle of prosecco in celebration, and then went out for drinks and dinner to celebrate. It was probably one of the best nights of my life!

I also made a baller thank you breakfast for my boyfriend.

Behold:

This is my breakfast special: a layer of hash browns, with an egg scramble with onion, pepper, cheese, bacon and sausage topped off with avocado and more bacon on the side. I made a variation for myself that was the same but instead of scrambled I had mine sunny side up which is my new favorite way to eat eggs.

Last week my Dad was also in town on a stopover before going to the Grand Canyon for Memorial Day so we continued the celebration with several meals out at Circa in Manhattan Beach and Pecorino in Brentwood. When I was in high school if I made the honor roll my Father would take me out to dinner. Food is the best incentive ever for me so I obviously strove to make the honor roll every semester of high school. He declared our dinner at Pecorino to be the “final honor roll dinner”. It was nice to be around my old stomping grounds. We even popped into Tavern for a drink.

I was very anxious about bar exam results in the weeks leading up to May 17th. I started to work out more in order to distract myself. In addition to running I expanded my cross training. I start marathon training for Long Beach the week after the 4th of July. My working out hasn’t been focused since February and I definitely haven’t done a “long run” since then. Here is a rundown of what I’ve been up to.

Spinning

Thanks to hanging out with Gillian, I’ve been spinning more than usual. The week I got bar results we met up for a #SoulDate and went to Huckleberry after.

I could not love their brisket hash more.

Over out matching orders of brisket hash we decided to expand our spinning horizons and check out Fly Wheel. Fly Wheel is similar to Soul Cycle in that it’s a very expensive spinning class. However, the first Fly Wheel class is free! Obviously, we were in a Fly Wheel class about 10 days later.

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The Fly Wheel studio was very open and bright. The shoe rental is always free which I appreciate. When you arrive at the studio you sign in on computers and there is both cold and room temperature water available.

Gillian and I were attracted to Fly Wheel because of the torq board element. Basically, each bike has a little computer. You can control your “torq” or resistance and you also can see your RPM’s while you bike. The instructor tells you about where you should be in torq and RPM as you progress through the class. At the end of class you can go online and check your stats. There is also a leader board at the front of the room. At various times in class the instructor told us to sprint and put the leader board online.

As a competition junkie, I loved the torq board. It made me push way harder in class. Gillian loves competition as much as I do and for the class we went 1 and 2 on the torq board. Gillian got the number 1 spot. Unsurprising because she is a total badass and just ran Rock n Roll San Diego yesterday (her first) in under 4 hours.

Overall, I enjoyed Fly Wheel. I like that I can track my stats and I loved that the shoe rental is complimentary and how open and welcoming the studio is. The price of Fly Wheel and Soul Cycle are the same but Fly Wheel comes with more free “extras”. Let’s be honest, if I’m spending that much on a spinning class, it’s nice for them to throw in the shoe rental. I loved being able to track my distance and calories. On the whole, I think I like Soul Cycle more than Fly Wheel but I’ve also been doing it longer and have my favorite instructors etc.

Swimming

I’ve wanted to get back into swimming for a while and I finally bite the bullet and bought a swim suit online. I managed to find one at SwimOutlet.com for only $22. I decided to jump on it. Living in Manhattan Beach and South Bay there are tons of open pools with cheap lane swimming. Going into marathon training I want to have plenty of cross training options lined up for myself. Luckily it is pretty inexpensive to swim laps at the pools near my home (think $4). Way cheaper than Soul Cycle. Clearly, I need cost effective cross training options.

So far I’ve checked out the Hawthorne pool and one of the public pools in Manhattan Beach. I’ve loved both! Both are clean, there are always open lanes and they have kick boards readily available. I’m starting to look up beginner swim workouts. I’m not technically a beginner. I swan club at Northwestern when I was in middle school and I played water polo my freshman and sophomore years of high school. I wasn’t super talented, but I enjoyed being in the pool and spending time with my friends. I liked the occasional two a day work outs a lot less. I haven’t swum in a long time so I’m easing back in and looking up workouts online.

Today in fact, I went to the pool and completed an even 2000 yards. I did a warm up, alternating sets of kicking and pulls, a ladder, 200 yards of kicking and cool down. I realized I was going to be 200 yards shy of 2000 so I tacked on the kicking workout because I was so close to 2000.

Anyone out there swim? Any workouts you want to share?

Running

On the running front, I finally went to a running group in Manhattan Beach last week. I ran a mile to the store, 5 miles in my group and a mile home. Holy hills. My legs were DEAD the next day. I usually do not run in groups but I really dug this run in particular. I’ve been struggling to stay motivated, especially on the hills in my hood.

On Saturday I partook in a running and yoga class on the beach with the same running group. We did the run on soft sand which was more challenging than my usual run.

And finally, I am putting together my marathon training plan which will start in July! I’m taking this month to base build. Basically, I don’t want to feel dead after the first few weeks of training and I want to be able to hit the ground running next month. I’m piecing together a plan based on Hal Higdon and Nike. I want to do plenty of cross training and allow of rest days that will work with my schedule. What marathon training plans have you used? Any suggestions?