Saturday, June 22, 2013

Mixing it up

When I first started training for the marathon relay, I naively expected weight to drop off rapidly (and lots of it).  By the time I ran the relay in April, I lost close to 25 lbs, which is nothing to sneeze at, but I was hoping for more.  Reading some of my favorite blogs and doing a bit of Google research, I realized I was lacking cross training.

So this time around, I've been trying to incorporate cross training in my workout routine.  The elliptical and bicycling on the recumbent bike have been my go-to faves on off-running days.  I've always wanted to try spinning though, since I love bicycling so much, and today I got that opportunity! 

Through Facebook and a friend I went to high school and college with, I found out about an event called Fit for a Cause at a local training studio, Evolve Personal Fitness (http://www.evolvepersonalfit.com/).  For a minimum $10 donation to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, you were able to participate in a 60 minute class consisting of 20 minutes each of spinning, strength training, and core training.  Win-win!  I couldn't pass up the opportunity to try spinning and donate to a great cause.  

I asked some friends (and co-workers) to join me and we had a great time! The strength training was great! We got to use free weights, but also a TRX machine (http://www.trxtraining.com/).  It was a strange feeling at first, as this is a suspension training machine in which you use your body weight to support yourself and I felt like I was going to pull it down on myself, although Doug at Evolve assured me I wouldn't. :) I loved it though and I'm pretty sure I need one in my house.  

Next up was spinning!  I was so excited to try this!  I got my bike adjusted and hopped on.  Seat discomfort began almost immediately, but once we got going, other muscles felt the burn, too.  Spinning was tough!  We did some climbers to simulate going uphill, which involved getting out of the seat.  A strange sensation at first, but I could feel the muscles in my legs working hard.  Then we did some exercises that involved quick changes from the seat to standing and my knees couldn't handle that.  A little disappointing, but I pedaled on.  I really enjoyed the music that we spun to and it was a great workout!  I'd love to keep spinning, but I think padded shorts are a necessity first.  Ouch! 

Lastly, was our core training.  Core training = 20 minutes of planking essentially!  Wow, I am not a proficient  planker.  A few weeks ago I was able to plank for about 20 seconds and repeat once, but today we did all kinds of planks.  Side planks, up and downs (going from a forearm plank to a push-up type plank) and we held them for what seemed like forever.  Poor Jim, our trainer for this portion.  I think I let him down.  1) it was our group's last session, so I was beat 2) I was sweaty and that made for slippery planking conditions 3) I have horrible upper body strength so planking and I do not get along.  He was very gracious about my inability to plank.  I ended up spending most of this session laying on the mat.  Motivation to work on upper body strength for sure. 

Overall, it was a great way to spend a Saturday morning. I got to try something I've wanted to try for quite some time and I supported a great organization. 

I'll leave you with another quote that I found on Facebook this week that reminded me to be patient in this journey and be proud of what I'm doing.  "Don't wait until you've reached your goal to be proud of yourself.  Be proud of every step you take toward reaching that goal."  

Indeed.