Tunes and an update

Good morning!

I’ve been away from blogging due to some work travel.  My apologies, although I knew it was coming and mentioned it briefly in a prior post.


As expected, my fitness activities were sidelined due to travel.  I made a quick trip over to Germany (quick trip and Germany shouldn’t be used in the same sentence) last week.  I arrived there Wednesday morning and flew back to the US early on Friday morning.  Quick trip.  I took a tiny suitcase and while I thought about bringing my sneakers and workout gear, I knew that a) it wouldn’t fit, and b) the days would be long and working out just wasn’t realistic.

I had brief visions of running around the streets of Frankfurt and then I snapped back to reality.  Running around a foreign country with no knowledge of the language probably isn’t a good idea.  Not to mention it didn’t even get light until after 8am.  I definitely talked myself out of that one (luggage limits aside).

Lucky me also managed to get sick during my quick trip.  I felt the beginning of a cold prior to leaving and then travelling, plus a lack of sleep, contributed to me ending up with a full blown cold.  I was prepared though and had medication on hand.  The descent on my flight back threw my ears for a serious loop and I ended up in extreme pain and unable to hear for most of the day.  While it improved slightly, it didn’t improve enough so I went to the doctor on Monday evening and was diagnosed with a double middle-ear infection and blood in my right ear.  Lovely.

In addition, I was supposed to fly to Vegas today for yet another quick trip.  Thankfully the doctor told me I shouldn’t fly, so here I am.

Of course the travel and the sickness haven’t done much for my fitness.  I taught a packed class on Saturday off the bike because I was a mess.  I taught again last night (packed again!) and managed to ride for most of the class.  It felt good to do a little excersise although I definitely still felt off at times.

My tentative plan is to take the rest of the week to get healthy and then pick back up with things on Saturday.

I got an email from my coach talking about starting training about 8 months in advance of the half (as opposed to the normal six).  The additional two will be a slow ramp up phase.  He makes it sound very do-able.  He also didn’t seem phased by me telling him that I hadn’t been doing much running.

My goal now is really just to stay healthy and get back to a regular routine.  I was doing pretty well pre-travel so I know I can get right back to it.  I will of course keep you posted.


Class last night was full, which was very exciting to me because the Tuesday class, while a great group, is never particularly crowded.  We have 22 bikes and we tend to average around 12-15.  It’s definitely January at the gym, but a full class is a full class.  I had three first time riders and all did well.  Hopefully they will return!

I wanted to do a ride I hadn’t used in a while, so I went with my best of 2013 ride.  Some of the songs had been really played out at the time, but after a year I felt it was OK to play them.

Here’s a screen shot.  Let me know if you want to follow me on Spotify.



As always, feel free to share any good tunes!

Have a great Wednesday!!


Work it out Wednesday Tunes

Apparently there are no usable music related words that start with a “w”.  So I guess no alliteration in clever titles.

This week, songs for working out hard.

These are the songs that really get me going, whether it’s on the bike, on the treadmill, or in the weight room.

While I do plan to put them into a playlist, I haven’t done it yet, so here’s a manual list of a few:

Walk – Foo Fighters
Delirious – Steve Aoki
Numb – Usher (one of my favorite overall songs)
Battle Scars – Lupe Fiasco
Strobe – Deadmau5
Heart Upon My Sleeve – Avicii
Centuries, The Phoenix, My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark – Fall Out Boy

Feel free to share your thoughts.


Weather here has been frigid!  (if you are somewhere where it hasn’t been…don’t tell me)

Running has been tough.  Or rather, treadmill running has been tough.

I’ve always disliked running on the treadmill and preferred to be outside.  There’s something about actually moving that seems to help.  Imagine that!  Not to mention having a change of scenery can be enjoyable and distracting (in a good way).

I figured my running would be limited to the treadmill until the weather improved.  However seeing how much I was struggling led me to consider other options.

Really, the only other option was to run outside.  In. The. Cold.  Could I really do that?

Both my sister (the guru) and my aunt run outside throughout the winter.  Both of them told me it really isn’t so bad.  Yeah right.

I had read something on facebook along the lines of “I won’t go outside if the temperature is less than my age.”  I loved that and figured that I’d set 35 as my threshold.  Great!  Well, too bad 35 isn’t even in the forecast.

So today I decided that I was going to run outside…regardless of the temperature.  Sort of.  I had heard that the high would be 33, which was a huge improvement over the prior day’s 16.   I had planned to go in the morning but  plans changed, so the afternoon it was!

I commited to it, so I just had to do it.

Thankfully my sister had given me some warm running pants.  My mother had bought me a great thermal type shirt (from Kohls, it was great), gloves, and an outer layer from Athleta.  I then borrowed a neck warmer and a headband from my neighbor.  You’d think i’m kidding, but it really took me about 15 minutes to get all suited up.  I had spent so much time getting ready, I had to do it.

Armed with my new Garmin, I headed out.  I had no real route in my head so I just went.

I’m happy to say that I ran 2+ miles.  I ran a mile, walked for about 3-4 minutes (if that), then ran another mile.  At that point I walked a little before attempting to pick up the pace up a final two part hill.  I took a brief break in the middle of the hill to change my music, but I pushed myself and finished.

The verdict?  Much better than I was expecting.  Yes, my nose was streaming down my face, which is gross, but it got better.  And yes, breathing was tougher, but that too got easier.

First time with the Garmin was pretty eye opening too.  My “easy” pace was slower than I thought, but my pace when I exerted more effort was faster than I thought (including my pace up the hills).  I’m loosely encouraged and kind of looking forward to my next outdoor run.

My schedule this week will be interrupted by work travel, so it may not be a good running week, but I will fix that when I return.

Thanks for reading and enjoy the rest of your weekend!!

Music…on a Wednesday

This blog is definitely still finding itself.  What that really means is that I’m still figuring out what I want to write about (and what might be interesting to others).

I originally started this blog to talk about music for spin classes.  At the time, there was a shortage of resources sharing spinning music and class profiles.  Thanks to groups on Facebook and tools such as Spotify, it’s now very easy to see what music people are using.  That said, not everyone is part of that world.

To me, music and working out go hand in hand.  A good song can totally boost my mood (and my effort level).  Therefore I’m going to continue to occasionally share the music I use in class…or for my workouts.

I’m going to try to post a music related entry once a week, on Wednesday.


This was my best of 2014 ride.  I’m sure not everyone would agree that it was the “best”, but it was made up of songs that made the charts this past year.  It kept the energy level high and was pretty fun.

Here’s the spotify link if you’d like to listen:   Best of 2014

Feel free at any time to let me know if there are any songs that you’re loving.

Nothing is simple

Good evening!!

After my frustrating run attempt on Saturday, I spoke to my sister (aka the running guru…in my mind).  I was complaining to her about how I can’t run, my shins hurt, my stomach hurts, blah blah blah.  I’m sure it was a thrilling conversation for her.

She gave me some quick information on the best running form as well as some stretches to help prevent shinsplints.  Apparently once you have them, you will always be prone to them, so it’s learning to overcome (or something like that).

I have a management coach at work (as I prepare to take over corporate America) and based on the many assessments I’ve taken under his guidance, I know that I am a learner.  So of course to the interwebs I went to try to find some more information on form and stretching.  Like any search, there’s a ton of information, both good and bad, out there.

The guru had told me that you want to avoid running with a heel strike.  I had heard this before but am not sure how easy it will be to change.  Do I want to land on my forefoot?  Where do I want to land?

I found these images online and while they’re helpful to look at, it’s still the actual process of putting these concepts into play that may not be so easy.

common-running-vs-good-form running form

Is it best to work on this on a treadmill or outside?  Is a treadmill the answer to any question other than dangerous conditions outside?

As a beginner, I’m wondering if it’s best to try to work on this now, as we all know how hard it is to change a habit.  Or should I be worrying more about running in general and then fine tuning down the line?

I think a lot.  Probably too much and here’s proof!

I think these are good questions for the guru or my coach (who has no clue what he’s gotten himself into).

I need to get some more details on the stretches she mentioned, but once I have them, I will definitely share.

And in case you were wondering, I did manage to run a mile today at lunch.  Nonstop.  On the treadmill.  Phew.

I’m a little scared

Happy Sunday!

For many people, tomorrow is back to work day after a lengthy vacation from the grind.  I went back to work on Friday so while I’m still not looking forward to Monday, it’s a bit easier than it will be for some others.

My weekend was good, but not terribly exciting.  My stomach has been acting a bit weird and hurting a lot, which is annoying.  It’s tolerable for the most part, but bothersome.  But anyway…

I taught Spin on Saturday morning and then figured I’d run a mile after class.  That didn’t go very well.  While I did have some stomach pain I was able to work through it and then my shins started bothering me.  I stopped mid-run to stretch my shins/calves and then started again.  At that point the stabbing stomach pains showed up.  I was definitely discouraged but I had to stop.

I did some good stretching after and then called it a day.  Perhaps in hindsight I should have tried for the mile before spin (not after).

So in no real order, here are some thoughts that are going through my head:

  • Am I really going to be able to run 13.1 miles?  I haven’t even really conquered a mile in the few times I’ve tried.
  • Maybe it’s the treadmill and I just need to get outside.
  • It’s cold outside and I’m scared of not being able to breathe.  Maybe I just need to suck it up and try.  I know I do, but I’m a little nervous.
  • Is my coach going to think I suck?
  • Is 8 months enough to go from nothing to 13?
  • Why is my stomach all of a sudden acting up?  Is it psychological?

Clearly the half is on my mind.  I take a little comfort in the fact that it is still quite a few months away, but I also worry that time will fly and before I know it, it will be here.

My goal this week is to keep trying to run (inside or out) and mix in some strength training as well.

Thanks for reading my ramblings!  🙂

Happy 2015!

It’s officially the year I am going to run a half marathon.  Scary!  My commute to work is about 10 miles, so I will be running a distance longer than my commute. Sometimes I think that’s neat, other times it’s totally overwhelming!

That said, it’s time for me to get at it.

After a lazy Christmas, I made it to the gym three days in a row.  Although the third day I didn’t do much (other than get annoyed with the crowds and the clientele).

As I mentioned in my last post, I did a little running on Monday.  I ran a mile without stopping (sort of).  Dumb me had my ipod over the emergency stop button and I managed to accidentally press it towards the end of the mile.  Oops!  But why I’m really writing about this again is because of how crazy sore I ended up.  IT band, hamstrings, calves, feet.  You name it!  I’m chalking it up to going from zero to hero fifty too quick.  Not that two miles is anything crazy, but I guess when it’s been years, it kind of is.

On Wednesday I had every intention to run a mile.  I was still sore, but that was workable.  What stopped me was my stomach.  With spin, my stomach has always been an issue.  If it’s a morning class, i can’t eat.  If it’s an evening class I need to watch carefully what I eat throughout the day and not eat for about 3 hours before.  I get really bad side cramps.

I didn’t think I had this issue with running so I had some granola with yogurt at about 8am.  I got to the gym around 12:30 and the second I started running the pain started.  It’s really tough to work through so I stopped and instead did some incline walking.

After years I’ve come close to figuring out my eating habits for spin and now it looks like I’m going to need to start over for running…or run in the morning on an empty stomach.

When I completed the questionnaire that my future coach provided, he asked about fueling.  I admitted that I’d never had a distance that required refueling, so clearly this is going to come up.

Any suggestions? (thanks in advance!)