Wednesday, April 07, 2010

going for a spin at cyclelogik

I know that Spinning or "Indoor cycling" has been around and fairly popular for awhile. I remember being in Mexico in 2002 and seeing spin gyms...so it isn't a new phenomenon. But it is something I had never tried- until now.

I've had a sore ankle for a little bit and it decided to get a little worse over the weekend. So, instead of just "running through it" like I usually do (and subsequently end up having to take an extended break due to injuring myself to the point of breakage), I decided to take a few days off in the hopes that it will heal with some rest. But, since I'm in the middle of a training cycle that leads to the Covered Bridges Half Marathon (still want to donate? there's still time!), I need to keep up my aerobic activity so that I don't lose any hard earned fitness. The pool was not looking appealing due to the rain, so enter the spin class.

I looked up the local cycling shop because I had heard they had a "Ride inside" program, sent out an email to see if anyone wanted to join me, and waited. No one wanted to come. I have to admit, I thought about not going. I kind of wanted the comfort of not being the only complete "noob" in a class of people who I was sure were "real cyclists". Finally, earlier this afternoon, I decided that like it or not, I was going to go. So I signed up and paid my money all online and just had to wait until the class.

As I got ready to go I thought "hmmm, I know I don't need a helmet, but if there was anyone who could fall off a spin bike and end up with a concussion, it would be me." But don't worry, I decided against the helmet :)

When I got to the shop, they were nothing but smiles and kindness. I immediately told the guy at the desk that I hadn't done this before and he introduced me to the instructor and she helped me set up my bike. (of course, I don't think I paid enough attention to how she worked the bike, so next time I'll still need help...but whatever) The pedal options were pretty cool though- there were different pedals available depending on what type of cycling shoe you had, but also just the cages for people like me who just did the class in running shoes and by people like me, I mean me...I was the only one without fancy bike shoes. Oh and speaking of what I was also the only one without- a towel! I meant to bring one but as I looked around the room at all the towels, I realized I had forgotten mine. Oops.

The instructor showed me what hand positions I should use depending on whether we were "standing" or sitting, and then said, with a clear look of "you don't know what you're in for" in her eyes, "today's class will be pretty tough...so when I'm talking about the 7.5, 8.5 and 9.5 out of 10 effort levels, you might not know what that is on the bike, so just go with it and do your best."

We started off nice and easy with a warm up and then it was right into the hills. She had put a DVD of the Tour de Flandres on the big screen and let us know that their hills would be our inspiration. Oh the hills we climbed...as I looked at the guys riding in Belgium, I was at least thankful that I wasn't on the cobblestones. We did several cycles of hill climbs and after the second last she said "I was going to do another one, but maybe not...unless you guys want to..." being the newbie, I didn't want to say anything, but I was thinking "umm...yeah I want to do another one...sure the last one almost sent a cramp through my calf, but come on...give me some more!" Luckily, the guy with "Will run for Chocolate" on his shirt told her that he we didn't pay money to have her be nice to us...so another 5 minute hill cycle it was. (basically a ladder interval of 8.0, 8.5, 9.5, 8.5, 8.0 effort...ouch)

The class was tough. I knew it would be tough. But I had no idea what to expect and I had no idea what parts of my body would hurt and when. I found it funny that as soon as she would say "you should be starting to feel that lactic acid burn" I would immediately notice that it was burning. Ah the power of suggestion. I also knew I would sweat, but I didn't know I'd sweat quite as much as I did (and I even had the bike closest to the open door). All in all though, I enjoyed the experience. I don't know if my legs will like me tomorrow, but when the instructor asked me if I would be back (after I told her that it was both terrible and great), I think I caught myself trying to figure out if I could swing a few more classes and being slightly disappointed that the "inside rides" only go until April 30th. Since I can't go for the next two weeks, hopefully I can get at least one more class in before the end of the session.

You'd have no idea from the outside that there's a torture chamber in there ;-)

8 comments:

lu said...

good for you! trying out a new place is always nerve wracking and i tend not to do it when it involves exercising because that equals double anxiety for some reason. but this post reminded me that i am not the only one gets nervous and it is best to just ask for some help.

...and i am sitting on my couch eating m&m's feeling rather unhealthy and a bit behind on my 1/2 marathon schedule!

Heather said...

I'm glad you went!! I know how you feel when you say you were the only one without a towel, shoes, and any idea of what you're doing. Katie and I liked to refer to ourselves as the Jamaican bobsled team of our triathlon last year. We were basically wearing sweats and runners while the athletes around us zipped up their tri suits and talked about which mount they would use to get on their bikes.

Chrissy and Brian said...

I just took my first "spin" class this week too! It was exactly how you described it, "terrible and great" I was in pain, but can't wait to go back next week. The "standing" part was killer and I am hoping to improve that for next week. I was super nervous too becuase it was my first exercise class ever, but it was good.

Hope your ankle feels better soon so you can get back to running.

Leslie's Keith said...

Ahhh...now you have experienced my 'secret regimen' to justify and burn off 'Mini Egg' season...(and now they're half price everywhere...so it's even more important!)

also 'Spinning' is the only way to justify a 32" flatscreen and entertainment system in the garage, when we don't even have a TV in the house!

Keith

Leslie's Keith said...

Ahhh...now you have experienced my 'secret regimen' to justify and burn off 'Mini Egg' season...(and now they're half price everywhere...so it's even more important!)

also 'Spinning' is the only way to justify a 32" flatscreen and entertainment system in the garage, when we don't even have a TV in the house!

Keith

Runner Leana said...

Wow, that sounds like quite the spin class! Love the idea of spinning to the TdF. That would be inspirational!!

Katie said...

Sounds like a great class. I've thought about doing spin classes, but honestly I hate fitness classes. I like to be on my own program. That being said, I have done some interval workouts on my stationary bike and am often amazed at how much I can sweat (and it's cool in my basement). I do believe that it has helped me with running too.

healthy ashley said...

Spin can be torturous!!! I think it was a great choice to do that during your running break!

I still think you should've worn the helmet. You never know!!