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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Spin 10 vs. YMCA Spin

During the winter, I maintained my sanity with two kinds of spin classes: Spin 10 and YMCA Spin classes...

On Mondays & Thursdays I do Spin 10. Spin 10 is a totally unique spin class that takes place in the middle of an old firehouse on the westside of Wichita. Van Tubbs is our fearless leader through the 90 minutes (or so) of spinning. It's always a good workout (even on his so-called "easier days"). You bring your own bike and trainer to each class and watch his video mixes of bike races, music videos, the occassional chinese food commercial (haha China Star buffet), and other randomness that he plugs in there to take your mind off the hard work. I love to watch the time trial races...very motivating!

Before class starts, Van turns the lights off and the Christmas lights on (yes, you read that right - Christmas lights).
These are the Christmas lights that illuminate the room
just enough to see your bike computer. And who doesn't
want to spin with Christmas lights on?
I LOVE IT!

His cat (Raz) and two big grey dogs (Mojo and Cleo) walk around class and either pretend to watch us spin or watch the videos. The music is awesome. The workout is awesome. The company is awesome. As much as I'm excited about warmer weather and getting in more road time, I'm actually going to miss this class (it ends March 24)!
Me - warming up.


The husband - apparently he's too hard core to warm up.

On Tuesdays, I spin at the North YMCA with my co-worker/neighbor/friend/dogsitter, Becca (this girl obviously holds a lot of titles in my life). While it's a typical YMCA class, I still love it! Pam G. kicks our butts and makes us laugh. She usually brings a CD of 80s music, which I totally dig, and it's a quick-in and quick-out (60-minute) class since it's right around the corner from my house. There's also another hard core spinner girl there that I see each week. She has buff arms. I should work on that...maybe later.

This is my YMCA Spin Class.
Poor photo quality, but what are you gonna do?
It's hard to multi-task quality spinning and good photography...


This is me (right) & Becca (left) after YMCA Spin.
Wow, my face is red - proof of how hard I worked!
Becca, why isn't YOUR face this red?!?!?

So, each of these classes are really cool in their own right. They're both useful for different aspects of training and both have their place in my spinning heart.

I will say that I'm typically S-T-A-R-V-I-N-G when I get home from Spin 10 and not so much when I get home from the Y. Not sure why that is...maybe it's the additional 30 to 45 minutes of spinning.
I think my new favorite post-spin snack is Terra Chips. Have you ever had Terra Chips? A full serving of vegetables in every ounce is their claim. I hope that's ok because I eat a lot more than one ounce...they're so delicious! The downside is that their stinkin expensive. I'm pretty sure $5 for a bag of chips is unreasonable, but I like them.

A full serving of veggies in every ounce.
Try them...you'll like them.

So, tonight is spin night at the Y. Looking forward to a little Rick Springfield, AC/DC, Billy Idol, and Duran Duran! She's hungry like the woooolf....I CAN'T WAIT!

Set a goal for yourself to try Terra Chips before my next post!
Chelsea

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Who's your daddy?

I hate to exercise.

I'm not sure if I've mentioned that somewhat important fact in a previous post or not, but even if I did it's still worth repeating...I really do hate to exercise. In fact, when it comes right down to it, I only know one person who hates to exercise more than me and when she started exercising, I figured it was time for me to board that train. (Thanks, Shea Shea for inspiring me.)

So, tonight was my very first hill training night, and being as though I hate to exercise (yes, I decided to say it AGAIN), I was really dreading this evening. But I knew I had to do it so I threw my bike in the car and drove to Kechi after work (for you non-Kansans, Kechi is right outside of Wichita). I found a stretch of hills and nice spot to park on the side of the road (basically in a field). I got out the car, got my bike out the car, put the helmet, jacket, gloves, shoes, & sunglasses on (yes, I have that much crap to get ready before I can start) when a farmer in his overalls comes outside and yells, "Git! Git! Git off my properteee!" So, I threw all my crap back in the car and I "gitted."

Drove up three or four miles, there were still hills so I found another little parking spot - again, it was off the road - and got all my crap back out of the car, redressed, and started pedaling. It was a rough start. Hill one and two hurt. But somewhere about three miles in, I looked down and realized I was going 15.6 miles per hour UPHILL! This is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G for me! I felt so good and so happy that I actually yelled, "Who's your daddy" out loud to the hill. It was not long after this that I saw a police car next to MY car. I hauled butt over to my car and played the whole, "Oh my gosh, officer, what's wrong? Did I do something?" Now add a total ditzy tone to that and you'll know exactly how stupid I sounded...but it worked. No ticket for me. He did provide me with information on another place to park. So, here we go again...

Threw all the crap back in the car and drove a few more miles up the road to Furley. Parked. Got all my crap out and started a second round of hills. Hurt like hell, but at this point I didn't care because I was still feeling euphoric from my "Who's your daddy" hill. By the way, I've NEVER said that phrase before, but for whatever reason it woked in this situation. Anyway, I did only about 4 more miles of hills when it started to get dark so I packed up and as I was about to leave, ANOTHER farmer comes out to tell me that I can't park there. WTF?

So, I did it - I completed my first week of hill work. And for as much as I was dreading it, I am in the best mood right now. I still hate to exercise, but I LOVE how it makes me feel...afterward. And this is why it's all worth it. Now it's time for a treat...Skinny Cow for a Cycling Cow.

Skinny Cow ice cream in individual servings - only 150 calories!
Try it - you'll love it.

I've had a really productive training week this week. I set a purpose for each workout and I think it helped me to stay focused. I've also been really pretty good about eating healthy this week. So much so, that I can't wait to weigh in on Friday. I have no doubt that I'll be yelling, "Who's your daddy" when I get on that scale! Whoop Whoop! (And yes, I'm the aggravating girl in a crowd who likes to "Whoop Whoop" when she gets excited!)

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Yes, I'm still here

For you few followers who've been reading my blog, I apologize. I started this blog with gusto (three posts in one week is gusto in my world), and then the second week...nothin. Aside from being sick...twice...and going out of town for a very busy weekend, there was no energy time to workout. And this past Saturday was officially the start to my June 5th Century Ride training. I missed that training day (and the next one) because I attended a friend's wedding in Texas, which was quite a hoot. In fact, I think I used that wedding as my "party it up" celebration before serious workouts kicked in.

Having waaaay too much fun at a wedding
with the husband and old friends!

So, now here I am. I really did start my training last night - did about 80 minutes of intervals at my Spin 10 class (I will explain what Spin 10 is later this week). It was supposed to be an easy night, but I was utterly exhausted 30 minutes in...guess I have a long three months ahead of me.

Me - before the 80 minutes of spinning intervals...

Here's my training "plan" for this week:
Saturday - 25 mile group ride (missed it - having too much at wedding)
Sunday - 10 mile recovery ride (missed it - hungover too tired from wedding & traveling)
Monday - 10-20 miles of interval training (I think I did about 17 miles last night)
Tuesday - Light cross-training day (I think I'll run 2 miles and do some weights)
Wednesday - 10-20 miles of hill training (the only thing I dislike more than running is biking on hills)
Thursday - Spin
Friday - Rest (can't wait!!!)

On another note, my mom is awesome and made me some scarves to sell for my fundraiser!

Isn't this scarf awesome? It's very soft fleece
and will keep you extra warm! Only $20.
Thanks to K-State alum, Amanda Dolechek for modeling.

My mom is also working on some KU scarves as well and I should have those soon.

OK, so I'm up to $1,025. Still have a long way to go, but I have some other ideas up my sleeve. In fact, I'll be hosting a raffle party in the near future...it involves raffling off a signed jersey from a pretty well-respected and very popular NFL Quarterback...stay tuned for more details!!!!

It's beautiful weather in Wichita today! Spend some time outside and get some fresh air - wherever you are!

Chelsea


Friday, February 18, 2011

Week 1: The Cow "Weighs" In...

I've decided that Fridays are a good day to not only reflect on the previous week, but it's also a good day to weigh myself (before weekend indulgence takes over)...

First of all, it's been a productive week I think. Even though I didn't work out as much as I would have liked due to one aggravation reason or another, I was still very mindful of what I was eating and tried to make the best decision possible. For example, on Wednesday, I went to Wendy's for lunch. I had chili (good decision) and a baked potato (moderately good decision) and about 10 crackers (not a good decision) WITHOUT butter (great decision). Wednesday night I skipped the glass of wine since I figured I had eaten enough calories in crackers earlier in the day. So, while the crackers weren't a great idea, I decided that was my indulgence for the day. When I start to prioritize when, where, and with whom I want to enjoy my meals, it makes it easier to eat healthy I think.

Another productive moment this week? Starting this blog! I've wanted to join the blogging world for like a year, and it feels great to finally have moved forward with that goal. It makes me feel somewhat accountable for my actions and I think it will definitely help keep me on track for my 100 miles on June 5th!

A not so productive moment this week? I went to bed at 7:30 on Thursday night and I wasn't even tired. I was just being a lazy cow.

In the end, I think getting myself back in the habit of making healthy choices and starting this blog contributed to an overall successful week - I weighed myself this morning and I lost 2.2 pounds!

So now? TGIF! I plan to have some wine and hopefully a good steak at some point and enjoy the company of a friend we haven't seen in a while. I'm also planning to go to two yoga classes and get in at least one long bike ride this weekend - the weather looks like it's going to be fantastic here in Wichita! I also plan to do some reading in my hammock on the deck.

What about you? What are your plans for enjoying a happy, healthy weekend?

Chelsea

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Girly Perspective on Cycling Gear

So, I'm not going to lie...one of the things I love about cycling is buying gear (minus the spandex- so gross). But, you really have to watch your budget because these bike things can get real expensive real fast...

Bike jerseys are my favorite! They can be as unique or as simple as you want. In fact, you can even get custom bike jerseys made (no, I haven't done this YET). I think I currently own six jerseys. I definitely don't need that many, but I can't resist - especially when I get them for a deal on Ebay or Craig's List. My favorite jersey came from a recent vacation to Napa Valley. We went to the Spoke Folk Cyclery in Healdsburg, CA. (Some very nice people there - ask for Kimberly. She's cool.)

On a side note, I think bike jerseys would be really cute with jeans and some funky sandals, but the husband disagrees. I haven't decided for sure yet, but I might try to start that trend. Stay tuned for more info. on "Bike Jersey Friday." It's coming...

The one downfall is that bike jersey fabric is easy to pick and then they look tacky and worn. So you really have to take care of your biking apparel and wash by hand. This is somewhat of a pain.

This is my favorite jersey from Spoke Folk Cyclery.

Then there's the shoes and clips (notice I've skipped the spandex bike shorts and went straight to the feet - again, spandex, so gross). I don't think there are quite as many options on shoes as there are on bike jerseys, but there are still many. I guess it mostly depends on what kinds of clips you have. I have Shimano SPDs. I like them, but I will say I take a long time to clip in which is bad when I'm stopped at a light and trying to cross the street, but I'm still not sure if that's user error or not. While I typically love shopping for shoes, bike shoes aren't exactly my favorite. They're not stylish, and they make you walk funny. I'm considering purchasing those mountain bike shoes that fit more like a tennis shoe. Anyone have thoughts or experiences on that one? The other option is to go with SpeedPlay clips for no other reason then they come in pink and that's just cool. Hopefully, clipping in faster would just come with the territory.

These are my current clips.


These are the clips I want - in PINK.


These are my current shoes.



The most important piece of gear for cycling is the helmet. You must protect your brain. You need your brain to go to work and do a good job so you can pay for all your hobbies - like biking. I don't really know what else to say about that one except go buy a helmet BEFORE you make cycling a hobby.
This is my current helmet (BORING), but it does save lives...


Then come the accessories. There's bike jackets, arm warmers, foot warmers, gloves, tights, sunglasses, little funny-looking mirrors that attach to your helmet or sunglasses so you can see behind you, bike bags, water bottles, bike computers, gps watches, and much more I'm sure, but this list is getting ridiculous.

These are my gloves. I thought about investing in a cool pair, but I've since learned that when you need to wipe your nose mid-ride, this is where it goes. Lesson learned?
Don't spend a lot of money on gloves.


I also have a Garmin GPS watch that I'm still getting used to. It's huge - like literally wearing a computer on your arm. But, it does make me look like I know what I'm doing.

This is my Garmin GPS watch. Not attractive, but functional...I guess.


OK, I guess I have to say something about spandex shorts since you have to wear them (unless you enjoy having a numb butt). I recommend first trying them on in the fitting room. This will more than likely be an unpleasant experience (well, maybe it's only bad for cows - I don't know). Whatever you do, don't try them on with a full stomach. You'll want to die. Second, the more uncomfortable these shorts are in the fitting room, the more comfortable they'll be on your bike. I remember thinking that there was no way I would ever wear my shorts again. They felt like I was wearing a diaper. But I was forced to get them because I had bike plans the next day. Let's just say I've never regretted that purchase. Your spandex is another thing you'll want to wash delicately and take care of. They don't come cheap and I don't know anyone who wants to spend a lot of money on that! I have two pairs of bike shorts. My Pearl Izumi's (the diaper shorts) I wear on longer rides and the Quest shorts are for 20 miles and under.

I told my husband about this post before it was published and he asked if I was going to include things about wrenches and stuff. That's why I changed the name of this post from "Cycling Gear" to "A Girly Perspective on Cycling Gear." For any guys reading this, wrenches and other things manly will be included in a later post about tools and equipment (something I still need to learn more about).

So, do any of you have any bike gear or accessories you really like - besides a basket? (Although I do have one of those on my leisure bike, too.)

On another note, blogging is fun. My only problem is that I read these posts 8 million times before I publish. Will I ever get over that?

Happy cycling,
Chelsea

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Yes, I'm a crazy cycling cow...

My name is Chelsea.

I like to ride my road bike. Actually, I like to ride all kinds of bikes. Something about a beautiful day and fresh air just doesn't seem like exercise. I hear that's how all exercise "should" be. To bad, I just can't agree with that, but I do like cycling.

During the summer of 2009, I was determined to no longer be a cow. Kudos to me! I lost 25 pounds. Then I became so satisfied with my progress, I quit trying to loose more weight (even though I still had about 35 more pounds to go). And so, I stayed a cow - just a smaller cow.

Around that time, I discovered cycling - mainly because my husband does triathlons (yes, yes, woa is me, I'm a cow and my husband is skinny- whatever). But I had the best summer last year because I truly enjoyed our Sunday morning date rides, and I decided that this was the activity for me! Go out and burn 1,000 calories while having the time of your life. What a deal, right? (This takes us to present day...)

Since I'm enjoying cycling (and even winter spin classes), I've decided it's time. It's time for me to kick this cycle love up a notch. My new venture is to train with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Societies (LLS) Team in Training to do a 100-mile bike ride in Lake Tahoe June 5, 2011.



Have I lost my mind? Probably. Do I have to raise a lot of money? Yep. Am I probably going to regret this somewhere along the way? Sure. But right now I'm excited. And I'm sure it will all be worth it when I cross that finish line on June 5th. Not to mention, I'm helping a lot of people with the money I raise. (By the way, if you've already donated to my ride, THANK YOU! If you want to donate, visit http://pages.teamintraining.org/ks/ambbr11/cgaspard.)

Finally...the purpose for this blog:
I will document all my training and fundraising experiences here. I'll also probably talk a lot about food because riding my bike makes me hungry and I like to eat. And since I want to ride 100 miles, I need to try and loose about 15 more pounds (the less junk I have to tote in the trunk come June 5th, the better). So...I'll be more hungry from more exercise and I still need to loose weight? This should be an interesting blog.

Anyway, I hope you'll stick with me through this new venture and provide your insights and comments wherever you want. (FYI - The more motivation you can give me the better.)

Now I'm off to eat a Lean Cuisine even though I'd much prefer Taco Shop...
Chelsea