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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20 miles done!

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I know I owe a training recap from last week but I had to update the blog about this achievement: Last night I ran 20 miles!

I don’t know that I have words to adequately describe how I feel about what went down last night. I took off along my usual route, extended by two miles. I took it easy with my usual run/walk intervals. I was antsy to get going and had an adrenaline high the whole run. I took my friend Carolyn’s suggestions and loaded my ipod with house music so the whole run felt like I was dancing in the club. I turned around to head towards home near a familiar pier which I ran to the end of, coming back and seeing the entire coastline in front of me was incredible.

My lower body got tight around mile 14 so I pulled off and did some stretching. Once I knew that I was only a mile away from home I took a slightly longer walk break with the knowledge that if I did I wouldn’t have to take another. With my eye on the watch I saw the walk break was off and I took off like the wind sprinting to the end of the 20 mile run. Nothing hurt anymore, all I felt was adrenaline. I finished the run and did a little fish pump in the air. The high I experienced was completely unparalleled (so far)! It is true, running never takes more than it gives back. Running 20 miles takes a lot, my whole lower half was tight, but the feeling I got back was 1000x.

I walked it off, took an ice bath, ate dinner, drank water and iced my knees. It took a while for me to come down enough to sleep despite being totally beat. Luckily I woke up this morning and didn’t feel sore at all! Actually I feel fantastic, like I’d completed a light yoga class. Tomorrow I have an 8 miler so I can have a round 40 on the week.

In the past few months I’ve learned that marathon training takes a lot out of you. It cuts into your time, it seems to last forever, it leads to soreness, hunger, exhaustion and weird body quirks (I promise you don’t want to know) but yesterday reminded me why I am doing it and I cannot wait for three weeks from now when I am in Chicago.

Bring. It. On.

Thanks for all the support I’ve gotten via facebook, texts, twitter, the blog and email. You have no idea how much it means to me. I really appreciate it. You guys are the best!

Chicago Marathon Training: Week 11

Not many weeks left now!

Monday: 1/2 marathon recovery

Tuesday: 6 mile run

Wednesday: Rest day

Thursday: 16 mile run

Friday: yoga

Saturday: rest -> dad was in town so I spent the whole day with him

Sunday: 4 mile run -> again, dinner with dad so I ran, didn’t go to yoga

Total miles: 26

Observations: What this week of training doesn’t reflect is the fact that I ran 37.1 miles in 5 days (Sunday to Thursday). I was VERY proud of myself when I finished my 16 mile run Thursday. I had calculated the 5 day mileage total in my head. My legs felt like jello during my 6 and 16 mile efforts but I managed to hang in with both and I ran a negative split in the final mile of my 16 miler. Hello runners high! Seriously was swelling with pride. Runners run! The mile total for 7 days was lower than I had planned but hitting 37 miles in 5 days is a huge accomplishment and injury free! Who says a running week needs to be Monday through Sunday? I love to buck tradition.

That’s about it! Only two more really long runs left (18 and the dreaded 20) and I’ve already gone to yoga once this week! Yesssssssssss.

Chicago Marathon Training: Week 6

It was a struggle but I made it on all my runs this week and hit my goal mileage! Wahoo! Work is winding down and I am being more judicious about my after work time so I don’t have to go on as many morning runs.

Monday: rest

Tuesday: 4 mile run

Wednesday: 4 mile run

Thursday: rest

Friday: 4 mile run

Saturday: 12 mile run

Sunday: yoga

Total miles: 24

I made sure to take plenty of walk breaks on Friday and Saturday. I’m still working my way back into shape a little bit but I definitely feel like I turned a corner this week. I fully intend to take walk breaks during the marathon. I’m learning the key to walk breaks is to take them before you really need them. I took a total of 3 walk breaks on Saturday during my 12 miler. My time was slow (2:10) but it was totally worth it. I took a big walk break along the water front and it felt incredible. Why rush past all the beautiful scenery?

In other running news:

I am now the proud owner of a foam roller! I rolled my legs out after the 12 miler and it really helped. I also bought new running shoes. I went to The Starting Line in Marina Del Rey and had a very positive experience. The guy who helped me listened to all my paranoid yammering about planter facitus and the type of shoes I’ve worn in the past. Plus he was cute. That didn’t hurt. I tried on several pairs, ran with them on a treadmill and even run outside. I settled on Saucony Progrid Triumph’s. I haven’t run in them yet, but I did run some errands in them this morning and they felt great!

Goals for next week: Build confidence and keep up with my mileage. I’m setting a personal distance record next Saturday!