Bug Collecting, Spinning ‘Til You (Almost) Cry, and Lazy Breakfast Dinner

I intended to go out for my run first thing Tuesday morning.  My good intentions were foiled when I made the mistake of opening my computer while my Garmin located its satellites (which, for some reason, takes twice as long here as it did in LA or Rochester. ?????).  An hour later, I was finally ready to hit the road.  And the trails.  So I wore my Salomon Cross-Max sneakers, which are specifically designed to handle a mixture of road and trail conditions.

I actually don't have cankles in real life, believe it or not.

I have rather normal-looking legs in real life, even though this photo suggests otherwise…

I had a 4 mile run on my schedule, so I did an out-and-back, road-and-path combo in MacRitchie.  The weather lately has been (comparatively) cool, and there was a nice breeze when I wasn’t on the actual trail sections.  I also managed to collect some “friends”:

Guess I was moving faster than I thought.  THREE bugs plastered to my forehead (my legs had some, too).

Guess I was moving faster than I thought.: No fewer than THREE bugs plastered to my sweaty forehead.

Thankfully, none went in my mouth (as far as I know).

I've got my eye on Chicago next...

Look out, Chicago!

After cooling down and cleaning up, I had a productive day of work – interrupted only for a few games of Pocket Planes.  Seriously…anyone else as addicted to that game as I am?  When KMN first started playing, I thought it was silly.  Then one day, with a few minutes to kill, I took over a game he had going on the iPad (he’d started playing on some other device anyway).  The rest is history.  I’ve built up a nice little network up and down the West Coast of the US, and am working my way into the mid-West.  Watch out, United airlines!

Somehow, relocating to a coffee shop helps me stay focused and productive, so I spent some of the afternoon working at the Starbucks at Fusionopolis.  The price tag is a little higher than I prefer for coffee, but in exchange I get a few hours of air conditioning, free WiFi, and a lot accomplished.  A decent trade-off for an occasional afternoon, I’d say.

Bonus: My evening spin class at the gym was just an elevator ride away!  This was a new class for me – an “Interval” spin class being taught by one of my preferred Hot Yoga instructors.  I’m not sure I understand the difference between “Interval” and “RPM” classes, though – We rode a recovery, then raced, then climbed, repeat – it seemed pretty similar to RPM to me.   Except WHOA – I didn’t realize how stern a task-master my yoga teacher would become in the cycling studio!  And she knows my name.  Killer class + Instructor calling me by name = Holly busting her tushie.  Or, rather, her quads.  I’m pretty sure I left more sweat on that bike than in any other spin class to-date (don’t worry, I wiped it down when I was finished).

And there were definitely a few points in class when I hit that face-squinches-up-near-tears moment.  [Dear Body: WHY?  WHY do you think that diverting energy to cry at this stage is a good idea? Do you realize how much energy that will take?  And the snot-consequences?  Can’t we just focus on pedaling? Please???]  At times like these, I have a special place I go, in my mind.  I may be spinning as hard as I can, legs burning, pushing to stay on the beat during an intense climb – but I close my eyes and envision myself in the final half mile of a hard running race, pushing to the finish line.  This is a feeling I know.  I may not like it, but I’m familiar with it, and I embrace it as part of the running experience.  So I relax my face and pretend that I’m running, running, running to the end of an intense race.  I give it all I have.  And I remind myself, repeatedly, that my hard work on the bike today will pay off during a future race moment, making it a little stronger, a little smoother, and a little faster.

After rolling out my legs – IT bands and calves, which have been rather tight lately – I headed home.  I used the subway ride to revise our dinner plan.  I’d intended to make crispy pan-fried potatoes and omelets, to use up some of the extra veggies we had hanging around.  But I was tired, and hungry.  So instead, we made a cop-out recipe that looked something like this:

1. Microwave potatoes and cut into bit pieces. Put on plate.  Add salt & pepper.
2. Scramble eggs.  Put over potatoes.
3. Saute garlic, onions, peppers, and mushrooms. Put over eggs.
4. Reheat cooked chicken breast.  Put over veggies.
5. Top with pepperjack cheese.

Not pretty, but health and filling!

Not pretty, but healthy and filling!

We eat dinner pretty late around here, so by the time we ate, cleaned up, and chatted with my Dad (Hi Dad!!), I was done.  I was even too sleepy to muster one final bedtime round of Pocket Planes! Sorry, travelers – I left everything on my spin bike tonight and have no energy left to be an air traffic controller.  You’ll just have to be patient until the morning!

Are you a face-squinches-up-toward-tears athlete?  How do you fight off the feeling?

Any Les Mills trained spinners out there able to explain the differences between “Interval” and “RPM”?

8 thoughts on “Bug Collecting, Spinning ‘Til You (Almost) Cry, and Lazy Breakfast Dinner

  1. Kim

    I had to delete pocket planes. I was playing it entirely too often. I even played it waiting for my plane to take off once. I’m happily recovered, but this post might make me relapse!

    1. Holly KN Post author

      If it’s too distracting, don’t let me encourage it! RESIST! 🙂

      [I played my heart out over the weekend, so that kinda burned me out on it a *little* bit. I also keep the iPad in the bedroom during the day, while I’m working. 🙂 ]

  2. torontorunner

    your shoes are super nice!

    I *love* the atmosphere in starbucks. I don’t even like coffee and agree it’s pricey in there..but I love the atmosphere and can get lots of work done in there!

  3. Kristen L

    That spin workout looks intense!! Way to push through that exhausted cry-inducing feeling. Yesterday I pushed through my run interval workout on some tired legs. Was able to hit the right paces at least! Much harder when you have an instructor yelling our your name at spin class.

    1. Holly KN Post author

      I think the group helps, too – it can be a hard reckoning, when you have to push through fast intervals on the track all by yourself (when you’re the only one who’ll know if you cheat!). Want me to ask my spin instructor if she’ll go over to your track and yell your name for your next speedworkout?? 😉

  4. Lidza

    I sit in the back so no one sees me cry while spinning. I thought that was just a natural reaction to an intense spin class. Thanks for ruining that for me : P

    1. Holly KN Post author

      Well, I get it, you get it, sounds like Kristen knows what we’re talking about, I have another spin friend who’s talked about it – so maybe it IS a natural reaction. Think there are NIH monies for such a study…? 🙂


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