Monday, January 08, 2007


All the S words in one morning.

Apparently, my "snow fence" (imaginary) I put up on the Iowa border has gotten drifted over, as the snow is coming our way today for the first time in weeks. I had hoped to keep it west of here as long as possible, but it is January, so it has just been a matter of time. It does add one more challenge though to getting to the gym by 6:30.

I decided after looking at my proposed schedule for the weeks ahead that I really did need, and could manage, to add one or two spin classes in a week, so today was number one for the week, and my second since I can't remember when. Now, I am not a novice at spinning. I started spinning back in 1998, back when the word spinning usually conjured up the idea of some sort of weaving or yarn work, not indoor cycling. In fact, my first class was the day I had a cyst on my ovary rupture (without knowing what it was), so it was a rough start. So it sort of irks me when I go to a class and there are new people there, and they all treat me like I don't know a bike seat from a pedal. Today, I struggled with the tightening levers on the seat, thanks to some he-man who tightened it almost to the point of the screws being stripped when it finally loosened, and had a couple of women come over to help, trying to explain how it worked. Thanks, but I have figured out a quick karate kick does the trick of loosening the lever. I guess I showed them.

This was a new instructor to me, and I had heard how tough he was. He is an age grouper triathlete and runner, very muscled, and hard driven. I think he is self-employed, so usually spends a considerable amount of time a day working out. Still, he has never attempted an ironman distance, which surprises me. Not that becoming an Ironman is a rite of passage or anything, it just surprises me.

As for his teaching technique, I had become used to the Y instructors, who are very technical in their workouts, with lots of explanation on hand placement, pedaling cadence, and form. We got none of that today. I couldn't help but notice too how my friend Jan, who complains about neck pain, hunches and keeps her arms quite ramrod stiff. Another guy, whom I don't know, keeps his toes pointed down. And another, apparently prides himself on being a "true" biker and uses the aero position for the entire class. All big no-nos according to the Y instructors. I got the impression that the instructor was really into his own workout and wasn't focusing on any of the technical aspects for his class.

Still, I figured I could get out of the workout as much as I wanted. I am hoping to gain more strength by going longer in workouts, without pounding on the treadmill. I also figure it can help with bike to run transition later on.

Right after the class, I hit the pool for another polar plunge. It was still take-your-breath-away cold, but I only had 15 minutes, so it was tolerable. Again, I'm not sure whether being warmed up first or the cold water helped me swim faster, but it definitely made a difference. I don't feel I am really getting faster yet, but it seems faster.

As for the on-line sites for swim wear, if anyone could pass those on to me, I would appreciate it. I have forgotten where I looked before, and it does look like I will have more luck finding a suit on line than shopping here in town. And it is likely to save me time as well. Thanks!


nancytoby said...

I've bought a lot from - usually good selection, decent prices, and prompt delivery!

Shelley said...

We almost got snow here..darn!!

Fe-lady said...

This is precisely why I stay away from classes and trainiers!
Hey, send the snow and cold water here! The snow will melt quickly and the pool we swim in could use some balance as it's over 80 for the water aerobic ladies! Blah!
Go to for some fun stuff- or for some good swim deals! (Splish sizes generously-so I usually size down)
They both ship quickly!

Fe-lady said...

It's supposed to be "SPLISHWEAR"-

Anonymous said...

Too funny. Real roadies don't use aerobars at all. Aerobars are for triathletes. And toes down? Whatever.

Hope your next classes are more fun.

Anonymous said...

I ride with a man that last year won the state championship road race. He obviously knows what he is doing on the bike. He also teaches spin class. He has told me that "real" cyclists do need to be careful in spin classes. Some instructors will try to get you to use techniques that are contrary to good bike form. He gave the example that they tell you not to belly breathe. When I go, if they are doing things that are silly or not necessary to improve my biking I'll just do my own thing. Usually hunker down into the aero position and hammer for awhile. Spin classes have been the best workout for me to improve my sprint ability.. ie help me not to get dropped from the fast group when they pick it up.
I enjoyed your race recount. I can't imagine having an imposing hill like that in a race. You did great Vickie.

Anonymous said...

You can tell the instructors that are good bikers outside. The instructor can make all the difference in a spin class.

Anonymous said...

You can tell the instructors that are good bikers outside. The instructor can make all the difference in a spin class.