Weekend Update & Workout Recap

Happy Tuesday! I was MIA yesterday but living it up in Pismo Beach. My day consisted of delicious food, family and the beach. That is my idea of the perfect kind of quick getaway! I will have a full recap of Pismo Beach on Thursday for Travel Thursday but first let’s rewind a bit to Friday night.

After work, the husband and I decided we wanted to grab some food out. I am the world’s most impatient person (Type A all the way) which makes waiting seem like torture. I agreed to go out if there was no wait wherever he decided! Thank goodness, the restaurant he had in mind had no wait at all. We went to Luna’s Modern Mexican Kitchen for my first visit. We started off with chips and salsa (which always results in spoiling my appetite) and delicious margaritas!

Weekend Recap Lunas Mexican Food         Weekend Recap Lunas Mexican

For an appetizer, we had their table side guacamole which was fresh and inhaled by both of us! By the time our food came out, I was not hungry but I managed to find a spot in my stomach for the unique dish I ordered. Their food is Mexican with a twist. The waiter explained that their dishes are Mexican food items with a European or South American flair. I had their chicken dish that included plantain rice, fresh veggies and a cheese spinach stuffed pollo. It was such a weird concept because the dish tasted like a Mexican cordon bleu! I left the restaurant knowing we would be back very soon to try other items. We finished the night by picking up Emma to walk to Baskin Robbins for ice cream. Emma loved the attention from people sitting outside the shop. She kept begging her daddy for some of his ice cream. What can I say, she loves food like her mom.

Weekend Recap

On Saturday, I woke up to teach my 8am Cycle class which was a packed, energetic class. We were drenched in sweat 2 songs in and left feeling so accomplished to finish my workout before 9am. I stopped to get Starbucks on the way home since I knew the husband and I would need the caffeine for the full day of moving ahead. We packed, moved and stored 90% of my old apartment. At the end of the day, I checked my Fitbit and had walked 20,000 steps (twice my daily goal). By the end of the night, we relaxed after our extremely tiring day. Lifting heavy boxes and walking up and down stairs is a great workout!

Weekend Recap Starbucks

Sunday started with my 9am Cycle class. I did some errands and stopped to see my Dad on Father’s Day before heading up to Pismo Beach. Unfortunately the drive took forever with traffic but it was worth it once I made it up there! I will recap all the amazing food & fun this week but needless to say I ate my weight in delicious food as seen on Instagram.

Pismo Beach Surfside Donuts

This week’s workouts included an additional Rest Day since I have been busy with moving. Since I have been struggling to get strength training in, I found an arm & ab challenge on Pinterest that I am going to start next week with my sister. Hopefully having the move out of the way will also result in more strength workouts this coming week.

Weekly Workouts

Weekly Workouts Recap:

Monday – Taught a one-hour Cycle class

Tuesday – Taught a one-hour Bootcamp class

Wednesday – Rest Day

Thursday – Taught a one-hour Cycle class

Friday – Rest Day

Saturday – Taught a one-hour Cycle class & TONS of strength training while moving

Sunday – Taught a one-hour Cycle class

Talk to you tomorrow with my latest Stitch Fix recap!

Tell me: How was your weekend? Do you mind waiting in lines or for a table at a restaurant?

Workout: Salty Sweaty Session & Tri Update

A day late with Wednesday Workout but I had to celebrate National Running Day yesterday. Although it was running day, I was all about my cycling yesterday. With starting of triathlon training and getting my new bike, I finally broke down to  get a new pair of cycle shoes. I currently have a pair of cycle shoes that have SPD-SL cleats. However, both gyms I teach at use standard SPD cleats. Unfortunately my first pair only fit the SL so it was time to get another pair. I  am looking forward to not only using these in class but training with some new shoes!

Cycle Triathlon Shoes

This workout however was yesterday’s Wednesday Workout. I love workout sessions that leave me drenched in sweat and the feeling of a high intensity workout where you feel that salty sweaty dripping in your eye. This workout will result in a super sweaty session. Rounding out the abs, arms and legs workout, the final workout is all about cardio.

Salty Sweaty Session Cardio Workout

To complete this workout, finish each exercise for 30 seconds. Repeat the round for a total of 2x. The exercises are: Mountain Climbers, Ice Skaters, Burpees, Jumping Jacks, Jump Squats, High Knees, Jumping Rope, Plank Jacks

Happy Wednesday Workout! Enjoy!13:)

Weekly Workouts & New Music

Welcome back from the weekend and to June! I was able to soak up some of the beautiful California weather this weekend, get plenty of cycling in and spend time with friends and family so all in all it was a great weekend. I am excited the new month starts on a Monday because I love a fresh start to the week, let alone to the month.

Starting the week and month off, I spent some time on Sunday planning and prepping for the week. This included making cycle playlists for my classes, meal prepping and workout planning. When making my spin playlists, my main goal is to make a list that includes new hits as well as some oldies but goodies (I try to incite at least one person to say “I love this song” when an oldie comes on in class). This week was a strong song purchasing week as I bought a good mix of new songs that will be great to add to a playlist

New Music Playlist June 1

New Music for week of June 1, 2015

  • Where Are U Now (Skirillex & Diplo) feat Justin Beiber
  • One Last Time (Ariana Grande)
  • SOS (Rihanna)
  • Celebration (Kool & The Gang)
  • Levels (Avicii)
  • Believe (Mumford & Sons)
  • All Night (Icona Pop)
  • Empire (Of Monsters & Men)
  • I’m on Fire (Bruce Springsteen)
  • This Summers Gonna Hurt (Maroon 5)

Weekly Workouts

I have mentioned before that I am super nosy which makes some of my favorite blog posts the ones that share the day in a life of, weekly workouts or meal plans. I thought I would share my weekly workout recap from last week as a way to give others who may be nosy as well as a way to be more accountable to myself knowing I will post a recap. My workout week was very cardio heavy with 4 cycle classes. My goal for this coming week is to add more strength training to my workouts.

Weekly Workouts Recap:

Monday – Taught a one-hour cycle class

Tuesday – Taught a one-hour bootcamp class

Wednesday – 30 min cardio session (15 mins elliptical/ 15 mins running) and Burning Guns workout

Thursday – Taught a one-hour cycle class

Friday – Rest Day

Saturday – Taught a one-hour cycle class

Sunday – Taught a one-hour cycle class

Tell me: How many workouts did you do this past week? What is your goal for the coming week? 

Abs, Abs and Abs

Happy Wednesday which means time for a workout! Most people have one body part they love to work out and one they wish they could avoid. I despise legs. I hate my legs feeling like jell-o and the soreness trying to squat on the toilet after leg days. Abs on the other hand I could do all day, every day. There was a good year where I did an ab routine everyday. I love core exercises and love when I push myself even to be sore from an ab workout. Unfortunately, abs are not just about crunches but a mix of core exercises with high intensity cardio. A request from bootcamp last week was to do a more focused class on abs. So here is your Abs, Abs and Abs workout.

Abs

Complete 20 reps of each exercise. After you have done one set move to the next set. Once you have done each circle, repeat the rounds. Here are the exercises listed out for your reference:

Round One: Side Planks, Windshield Wipers, Bicycle Crunches, Jump Ropes

Round Two: Planks, Ice Skaters, Russian Twists, Jumping Jacks

Round Three: Reverse Crunches, Burpees, V-Ups, Mountain Climbers

Enjoy your Workout Wednesday! Tell me in the comments- what is your favorite body part to work out or your favorite exercise?

Group Fitness Classes: Yay or Nay?

Since I teach cycle and boot camp group fitness classes, I’m sure you can guess my stance on group fitness classes. But I guess it’s confession time… About 3 years ago, before I taught group fitness, I attended my first step class at the very gym I now teach my own classes at. I walked in with my best friend, excited and ready to bring back the 80s. In my head, step aerobics made me think of my favorite Saved by the Bell episode where the girls were dressed in leg warmers and spandex making a music video. Unfortunately, I did not get to live out my Kelly Kapowski dream because the step instructor started the class by saying “Hi, follow along as we start our first exercise.” Even before I became a certified instructor, I could tell this was a bad way to start a class. No warm welcome, no explanation for a newbie and definitely no calm for my nerves as a newbie. The peppy instructor immediately started on a routine that made me feel ridiculous. The step choreography was not only advanced but seemed like a memorized routine. I tried to stay positive, push through my embarrassment and discouragement but I couldn’t. After I turned left when I should have turned right, bumped into an older gentleman who shouted excuse me rudely, I gave the look to my friend. We both knew we couldn’t stay in the class. We quickly and quietly grabbed our steps, glad to have set up in the back and ran out of there.

Besides my own incident, I have heard horror stories of rude instructors, unsafe practices in class, high school status mean girls and on and on. These are the reasons people often say Nay to group fitness classes. As an instructor and fellow group fitness class attendee, these reasons break my heart.

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Group fitness classes have so much to offer people of all ages. I think the key is finding the right class for you. If someone asked me what my favorite class to teach is I would have to say boot camp. Yet my favorite class to attend is definitely cycle. Why? Because each class has its own benefits. I like the encouragement I get from certain classes while another class offers a cardio workout. Depending on what I trying to accomplish I can find a class that will suit my workout needs for the day.

I think the #1 reason that group fitness is a Yay in my book is the camaraderie. People of all ages and athletic levels can and should be able to attend classes. The right instructor in a class will be able to modify or intensify any workout to better suit individual needs. One of my boot camp classes is the prime example of a diverse group that can be offered. Men, women, 18 year olds, 50 year olds, athletes, members wanting to lose weight, members trying to gain muscle, parents, students and couples. This mixed group of people are the prime example for group camaraderie as they cheer each other on through each circuit and exercise. They make sure to reach out to new people during class and help set up each week. It is no wonder this class has the highest retention rate. If I was not an instructor for the class I would be attending every week as a member.

Another advantage to group fitness classes is the consistency you get when attending. You are able to show up to the gym and have a pre made workout done for you. Whether Pilates, cycle or kickboxing, you show up to class with someone else doing the planning for you. Group fitness helps to take out the thought of your workout allowing you the chance to simply work. In addition, this helps to combat boredom with your workouts. Many fitness articles will tell you to change it up, try different workouts and keep your muscles guessing. You are allowing your workouts to do just this without having to plan it yourself.

Lastly, I think a benefit is the group fitness environment promotes a challenge. By having the camaraderie you are pushed and motivated to power through an exercise. With the consistency of the workout you are given a foundation to build and improve on. As a regular attendee of a class, you should be challenged in each workout, allowing you to improve- whether by adding more resistance, increasing your weights or improving your pace. Especially when combined with regular attendance, consistency helps to build the challenge of a class.

At the end of the day, group fitness classes may not be for everyone. Some may not like the pressure of having to be social while some may like their quiet time during their gym session. In addition, not all classes are for everyone. I have met many members who attend a different class every day while another member swears only by one type of class and one instructor who teaches it. Everyone must do what they love and enjoy.

So tell me: Group fitness classes- yay or nay?
If so what is your favorite group fitness class?

Ragnar Relay So Cal Recap Part 3

…And here I thought I could recap the race in 2 posts. That just shows how much goes on during Ragnar. Let’s finish it up with the finish line recap!

The last leg of Van #1

Van #1 headed to the start of our last exchange with Van #2 to try and catch some sleep. The two options were to sleep on the golf course near the exchange or in the van. Since the husband and I had only brought blankets, we decided it’d be warmer to stay in the van. While we stayed warm, we did not get much sleep before it was time to get up at 3am. We organized the car, got ready for the next round and set out to say goodbye to runner #1.

Unfortunately after I finished leg 2 and before I started my 3rd leg, things went downhill. I have never had problems with being dehydrated in any sports or races. Most often people think of 100 degree weather if dehydration is involved. We had cool weather both days but regardless I did not drink or eat enough to support the activities I was doing. The Ragnar medics that helped were so sweet. Although they couldn’t do much on site, they were accommodating, attentive and appreciated. After it was decided by my team I wouldn’t run the last leg, I just focused on drinking water and catching up on my sleep.

Although I was bummed to miss out on my last leg in the beautiful Torrey Pines, it was beneficial for me to recover. After Van #1 finished their last legs, we grabbed pizza and were able to relax before we had to meet Van #2 to cross the finish line together. Our van was lucky because one of our team members lived in San Diego. She generously let us use her shower and couch. Let me tell you, that was the best shower of my life. There is only so much dirt and sweat build up that a person can handle.

Ragnar 2

The finish line at Mission Bay

After filling our bellies and catching a nap, we headed to Mission Bay for the finale of the weekend. The finish line was one huge runner party. The backdrop of the bay with boats and calm water was one of the highlights of the race. The energy of the teams waiting for their last member to finish together was infectious. Since this is a relay, I loved that teams cross together because it is a group effort that is needed to be recognized. All members were needed to get from Huntington to San Diego. After we crossed the finish line together, we took pictures, grab our beers from the beer garden and ate pizza. Each team member received a team medal which really emphasized the team camaraderie. When you put the back of the medals together they had a message that read: “Together we ran 200 miles.”

Ragnar

All in all the finish line at Ragnar was a fun atmosphere to relax, recap and regroup. Everywhere you walked, you heard runners retelling their tales of hills, lack of sleep and blistered feet. The question that was asked most often was “What legs did you run?” I thoroughly enjoyed my first Ragnar experience and understand why people continue to do the races every year. It is such a unique, special race that you have to witness for yourself.

Ragnar 3 Ragnar 4

Thank you to Ragnar Relay, the amazing support and volunteers for a great weekend. It is amazing what goes into these races and how smoothly it flows. Every volunteer we had was kind, helpful and enthusiastic. See you in October for Ragnar Napa Valley!  

For more information about Ragnar, visit https://www.ragnarrelay.com.

Ragnar Relay So Cal Recap Part 2

I know you must have been on the edge of your seat waiting for the next recap of Ragnar. Well in that case, let’s get to it.

Van #1 drove down to Oceanside around 12pm on Friday. Our next set did not start until after 6pm so we knew we would have plenty of time to relax. We grabbed lunch and parked the van in a designated Ragnar parking lot. Over the next few hours, we were able to enjoy time at the beach, tag other team’s vans and relax our legs before our next run.

Tagging is a fun activity where each team leaves a team magnet or marks with window paint the other team’s vans. Especially when you are parked in large parking lots of other team vans, it can be fun to walk around and hit as many vans as possible. Team pride is important during Ragnar. Not only do you decorate your own team vans, often have team shirts made, many including our team dress up in costume. Our team name was “Team TBD- Totally Brain Dead” with a zombie theme; our tagline was “will run for brains.”  It only seemed fitting as we knew we would be zombies after little sleep, no showers and lots of running.  Many of us created tattered, dirty and bloody zombie shirts as our costume to wear during our race. We decorated our van with zombie warnings, caution tape and “bloody” hand prints. Getting in the “zombie” spirit was definitely easy being a Walking Dead fan who had just watched the finale.

  VanVan2

As we started to approach our next start time we started to organize our van in preparation of getting our next set of running clothes together. Since my next leg would fall after 9pm, I knew I wanted to wear my zombie outfit in the second leg since it was at night. Wouldn’t you want to be running in pitch dark and see a zombie chasing behind you? I dressed in my zombie shirt, skull bandana and safety gear. No zombie look would be complete without lots of dirt and grime on my face.

Zombie                 Zombie2

My last leg #18, was 3.0 miles with an easy rating. Within the first half mile, the incline kicked in but the cooler weather was definitely appreciated. Since some of the portions of the race were poorly lit, I was motivated to follow where I could see at least one runner in front of me. At times this kept me faster than my planned pace which I was thrilled about. While I did feel this section warranted a higher rating due to the elevation gain, it was a quick run. As I got closer to the finish line, the crowd got louder and louder. I was thrilled to cross the finish line as the exchange was another fun one to finish since all vans were present. Due to the late hour, we headed out quickly to get to our next exchange to try and catch some sleep before our last run.

Check back Monday for the final recap of Ragnar.

For more information about Ragnar and all locations they host, visit https://www.ragnarrelay.com/

Inspire Yourself Workout & Playlist

Inspire Yourself

Here we are at another Monday! Before I give you today’s spin workout and playlist I wanted to discuss a topic that comes up often after spin class. Many times someone in spin will tell me after class that they were really pushing themselves but the don’t know why they cannot go as fast on sprints/ heavy on resistance/ long as distance as others. I always remind everyone that they cannot compare themselves to others. Not only are you not able to read what the other person’s bike states, everyone is at a different place in their fitness. Some have been going to spin class for years, some a week. Some struggle to sprint for a 10 second stretch while others are out of  breath half way through a hill.

You can compare yourself to others but at the end of the day where does it get you? We need to stop comparing ourselves to others and start being proud of what we have accomplished. Maybe you were able to lift a heavier dumbbell this week. Maybe you were able to run an extra mile. Maybe you simply got yourself to the gym after a stressful work day. Whatever it is, celebrate what YOU have done, not what others have done. While I love finding a motivating or inspiring quote on Pinterest or Instagram, you have to inspire yourself. Be proud of what you accomplished.

Joy

Spin Workout & Playlist

Today’s spin workout is all about climbing, climbing and more climbing. After missing spin class last week I wanted to make sure that everyone had a resistance heavy workout where they would leave with legs feeling like jello. Climbs are alternated between standing and seated with all starts at a low to moderate resistance. The playlist definitely went over well and become a fun sing along when we rocked our last climb to Queen!

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These workouts and playlists are set to motivate and inspire you to get a good workout in but you are the one who has get yourself on the bike or to the gym. No one can force you to show up. Remember, at the end of the day, you are the only one who can motivate or push yourself. While others offer additional motivation, support, encouragement and inspiration, you are the one who has to set the first foot forward.

Inspire yourself. Motivate yourself. Show up for yourself. Be proud of yourself. 

Ragnar Relay So Cal Recap Part 1

Who willingly tries to get 12 people to sign up to participate in 2 day relay race of 200-ish miles? But wait.. There’s more! This race will also start at 5am; run through the middle of the night and take place in a van with sweaty, smelly, sleep deprived runners. Those who sign up for this activity are crazy. Those who decide to be a captain of a team and convince others to join are just plain insane!

Well, I am one of those insane people. Not only did I sign up for my first Ragnar race in So Cal, for some reason I thought being a team captain for my first relay would be a great idea. Most often I have these so-called brilliant plans then a few days, weeks or months later I find myself asking “Who’s crazy idea was this?” Oh yes that crazy idea was mine.

It has been a week since Ragnar So Cal has come and gone. I didn’t want to recap the race right after I ran it because I would have told everyone run for the hills (just make sure they are downhill because running uphill is brutal). Unfortunately, during the race I experienced my first case of dehydration which prevented me from doing my last leg. However, here we are, a week after the race and I have been asked would I do it again? The answer was “Sure, add me to your Ragnar Napa Valley team.”  The majority of our Ragnar So Cal team has decided to form a Ragnar Napa Valley team for October. That alone should show that all of the first timers from our team would do it again.

What is it that makes people want to do it all over again? I think the experience is just too unique to pass up! I believe Ragnar promotes a strong camaraderie among all types of runners despite age, athletic ability and sex. The team aspect allows newbie runners to race with more experienced athletes. Competing as a team allows you to be a part of a race where you get constant support from start to finish. Runners feed off the energy of cheering on their own team. With each leg you know that you are running to a team member to pass off that slap bracelet for them to keep the relay going.

Ragnar1

A little more details before I jump in my first leg recap: 12 team members, 2 vans, 184.2 miles to be exact starting in Huntington Beach, finishing in San Diego. Each team member runs 3 times in a consecutive order. Each leg they have ranges in distance from 3-12 miles at varying difficulties.  Races start on Friday between 5am to 11am depending on the average team pace. Racers will finish anytime on Saturday between 10am and 8pm.

My first leg was #6 for 6.7 miles starting in Tustin listed as a hard rating. The first mile in, my legs were feeling fresh as I started to feel a slight incline kick in. By mile 2 that incline fully kicked and steadily climbed through each and every mile. The first 2 miles were a mix of trail and residential running.  Past 2 miles, the elevation gain made my legs feel heavier with each step.  I felt a push to keep going every time we hit a stop light and a group of runners would gather, jumping around, waiting for the light to turn green. The last mile was brutal. My legs started to feel heavy and I thought about walking when vans started driving by on the street, honking and cheering out the window. That meant the finish was close and I was almost there! I think the worst part of leg 1 was the difference in Ragnar’s distance from my Garmin. When my Garmin read 6.2 miles I told myself you can push it another .5 miles. Then as I turned the corner I saw Ragnar’s sign stating I only had one more mile!! Talk about crushing when I saw that last portion was another hill to conquer. But this was the worst of my legs and I had already done almost 6 miles. What was one more mile at this point?

Ragnar2

After I handed off the slap bracelet to runner #7 I sat back, caught my breath, thankful that I just finished my hardest leg. Now was the time to eat lunch and enjoy the break Van #1 had before our second round.

Stayed tuned for Ragnar So Cal Recap Part 2…

Spin Workout with Playlist

Happy Tuesday! Lets get right to it with a spin workout and playlist for the week :

Spin Playlist

1) Mama Didn’t Raise No Fool- Magic  WARMUP  Start with stretching on the bike while picking up your RPMs. Increase your pace as you loosen up your legs and arms.

2) Honey I’m Good- Andy Grammer  SPRINTS  The first set of sprints should be standing with moderate resistance in 15 second increments with 15 second recovery.

3) Centuries- Fall Out Boy  CLIMB  The first climb should be standing from start to finish. Start with a low resistance and add resistance every 15-20 seconds until reaching the top of the hill.

4) Shake Ya Tailfeather- Nelly JUMPS  In counts of 4 seconds, start in a seated position with moderate resistance. On the chorus take it up (standing tall), back to a hover position as far across the saddle as you can and back down to the seated position. Repeat on the choruses staying seated on the verse.

5) Hall of Fame- The Script  CLIMB  Staying seated start at a moderate resistance adding resistance taking it to the max gear on the bike. When you reach the top, take up to half the resistance off and pick up the RPMs. Time for a downhill ride!

6) Bang Bang- Ariana Grande  SPRINTS  Heaviest sprints of the ride with moderate to heavy resistance. Alternate between 20 and 15 seconds taking 10 to 15 seconds recovery.

7) When You Were Young- The Killers  CLIMB  Start the climb seated but as you increase the resistance, alternate between sprinting up the hill and slowly pedaling through the resistance.

8) Yeah- Usher  JUMPS  In counts of 4 seconds, start in a seated position with heavy resistance. On the verse take it up (standing tall) and then back to a hover position as far across the saddle as you can. On the chorus, stay standing nice and tall and increase the pace on your legs.

9) On The Floor- Jennifer Lopez  SPRINTS  Starting with low to moderate resistance, increase resistance with each sprint until heavy resistance is reached. Sprints should alternate between standing and seated.

10) Really Don’t Care- Demi Lovato  JUMPS  In counts of 8 seconds, start in a standing position with moderate resistance. On the verse take it up (standing tall) and then back to a hover position as far across the saddle as you can. On the chorus, stay standing nice and tall and increase the pace on your legs.

11) Right Round- Flo Rida  SPRINTS  Last set of sprints should be standing with low to moderate resistance. With the lower resistance, increase the sprints to 20 second sprints with 10 seconds recovery.

12) Fancy- Iggy Azalea  CLIMB  Last ride should start at a moderate resistance adding until the top of the hill. When you reach the peak of the hill, reduce the resistance every 10 to 15 seconds until you reach your flat road.

13) Style- Taylor Swift  COOLDOWN  Slow RPMs and heart rate down as you begin to slowly decrease your pace. As you slow your legs, stretch the arms, shoulders and core before you stretch the legs.

14) Run- Matt Nathanson  STRETCH

Now lets get spinning…