Archive | February, 2011

I Want to Ride My Bicycle

21 Feb

So the spinning curse has officially been broken. Thank the wheeled and padded gel-seat Gods at the newly opened Cycle Bar in Park Slope – you all are too kind! (The British accents were easy on the ears as well.) This evening’s trip was part of a three-part deal courtesy of Living Social, a coupon site that functions by the likes of Groupon. Adriana and I were able to get the classes at 75% off. NYC-ers you should definitely subscribe! (Though admittedly, this is definitely one of the better deals that I’ve seen.)

But back to the important stuff. If you haven’t been to a hardcore spinning studio before—let me set the mood. Essentially, it is church on a bike. The lights are dimmed (minus one or two that spotlight the tightly-clothed instructor)—this allows you to put the pedal to the metal in total darkness, amen! Next, the music is PERFECTLY timed to the workout. Seriously, people. It’s as if Janet Jackson is legitimately belting it out to the syncopated rhythm of your stationary sprinting. Today Ed chose tunes that were a bit more instrumental/tribal a la The Lion King. Personally, I prefer ones that I can attempt to sing along to while I am dying…but hey—whatever floats your Schwinn!

Fierce on a tricycle!

Compared to my experience at Soul Cycle on the Upper East Side (and I will be the first to admit that I had a lot of extraneous factors swirling around at the time)—today’s workout was sensational. Adriana and I chose the one-hour endurance ride, which consisted of 60-second sprints followed by 30 to 60-second recuperations + 5-7 minute long resistance “hills” where you pedal standing up. The resistance knob went up to 5 and the highest we got was up to 4 (usually going up in intervals of ¼), but trust me—working out at 4 actually felt like drudging through the mud. Good thing the music was blaring and the room was dark because I am pretty sure (make that positive) my mouth was muttering some not-so-pleasant phrases during those parts.

Today’s workout was such a welcomed change of pace. I’ve been especially conflicted lately in differentiating between how far my legs can actually run and how far my mind wants to go. But in an hour class (opposed to a run that could “last forever”), alongside 3 others (have mostly been training by myself), the group momentum was a much-needed boost. And it proved to me that I am nearing a point of fitness, which is exciting!

Math equation of the day: darkness + uncomfortable bike seat + burning thighs + the phrase “just 30 seconds more” + Rafiki-esque tunes + smooth sound of spinning = pure joy, my friends! Can’t wait for round #2.

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Where the Warmer Half Runs

17 Feb

Evening, loves! Wonderful to see you all again. (Smiles awkwardly at reflection in laptop screen.) So it turns out that when you are a writer in the three-dimensional world known as LIFE…the fun, personal writing for the two-dimensional world (like this blog) falls to the waste side. Hence, my absence! Luckily, the same has not been true of my running vida. Yes, you can breathe a big sigh of relief. I am sure you have been losing nights of sleep over it. There, there.

What you have missed: this Midwesterner has had it up to her faux-New York britches with the winter. Black snow is not sexy on anyone. Apparently, this is one of the worst we have ever had (and I can use the past few years to say OH YEAH to that). So guess what? I hauled it over to New York Sports Club and got myself a membership. That’s right! The oo-la-land of treadmills, white towels, complicated weight machines, and profusely sweating individuals—some might call this ecstasy. (You might call it hell.)

The New York gym culture is fascinating to me. (My parents met in a gym, for those of you that don’t know, so there is pre-meditated sentimentality attached here…I admit!) I have so many questions! Does one work out before the morning commute and then trek it home to shower? Or do I haul my gym bag to work and slip off the train and into the locker room? I realize that this is not macroeconomics (just go with me here), but these are the things I think about! Seasoned gym goers, please weigh in.

I also got my hands on a three-trip pass to a cycling studio here in Brooklyn. So here’s to giving the stationary bike universe another spin! (Like what I did there?) Last year, I tried Soul Cycle (the ultimate temple of the wheel world) and I swear I couldn’t feel my crotch for days. TMI? Sorry.

On that note, here’s to running in place and escaping the cold. Cheers!