Guest Post: Diary of a Spin Class

God I’ve missed cardio. That intense high after a particularly good, sweaty cardio workout. Gimme runner’s high. Spinner’s high. Kickers (?) high. Gimme any of it.

I’ve missed it so much since being sidelined not once, but twice due to illness. But, I’ve learned to embrace the “stillness” (borrowing the perfect word from Lindsay!) along the way. A lot more than I thought I’d be able to. And I’ve let it go.

But let’s be honest, I’m still me. 😉 Which means I am seriously craving cardio, and really wishing I could take these patience pants off. I had hoped to get to Ride this morning but my lungs just aren’t there yet. Plus, I find that the later in the day is better for me, less coughing and wheezing. So hopefully I can get some form of cardio in tonight. Fingers crossed on that one. I’m having major cardio withdrawal!!

But that’s not really the point of my post, sort of a segue into an awesome post from my sis, who many of you follow already (which I love!). <Note, not linking to her blog for privacy reasons, if you’re wondering why no link love>

However, her post was inspired by a total sweatfest she had last night while in Cali for work. It’s nothing short of inspiring (and I’m totally jealous, btw). If you’ve never tried a spin class, you must. I equate it to the high you get from running, but on a bike instead. 🙂 It’s also incredibly detoxifying, as my sis describes below.

Diary of a Spin Class…

I rush into class. Late. Grab my spin shoes (as my bra – yes my bra – comes flying out attached to the velcro – hellllo mortifying! Quick save, throw it back in my bag).

Hoping class is much better than the last non-Group Ride class I took while out here in Cali at 24 Hour Fitness.

Damn, was I in for a surprise. A complete and utter drenchfest.

Enter intervals. The entire hour-long workout.

Mindset during warm-up: excited. adrenalin pumping. this is what I have been waiting for. ramp up my warm up, first song ends, enter second song. Bruno Mars (love his stuff, as teeny boppper as it is). Wail on the second song…only to realize, it’s *still* the warm-up.

Eek, Guess I should have toned back that second song, wailing on the bike like there’s no tomorrow. Noted.

On to intervals. Starts with a 1:1 (one minute speedy but heavy-ish, 75-85 RPMs). Ramps up to 2:2 (a little faster, close to 90-100 RPMs)

Sweating. Breathing heavy, almost breathless.

The instructor is amazing. I tried to sear into memory her words:

“Go one step before breathless….”
“You have iron legs right now. Look down at those legs and just go!”
Visualize the reward. It’s at your doorstep, what is it? You’re almost there, one minute and you can have that reward.”
“Push. Are you at a 1 or 2? can you talk? Go faster. Be at a 3 or a 4, where you can’t speak.”
“Close your mouth. Can you still breathe? If so, add more intensity, because that shouldn’t have felt good at all [trying to breathe with your mouth shut]”

Next interval is a 3:3 but this time we can choose to ramp it up seated, and then standing, and then seated. I like this. The variation reminds me more of Group Ride.

…but wow, standing up makes trying to breathe even harder. Starting to struggle. Sweat pouring off me. Towel drenched.

….next and final interval is a 4:4 and at this point, I am pretty close to a 4, nearly breathless. I start to panic a little. My chest feels tight. The feeling i’ve been getting during my runs (which makes me wonder if I have exercise induced asthma).

I tone it back a notch. And then she says it again…”one step before breathless.”

And I just go. I don’t think. I let my legs work as she says “your body knows what to do, it’s always your mind that will stop you. Trust your body.”

We’re almost there and then it’s the last few minutes and she has girls vs. boys for the last 30 second intervals. Girls first. As fast and hard as you can go. Not about speed as much as it is about being heavy in the legs and speed.

30 seconds…men on deck at 5 second mark…we rest for 30, slowing down, I can’t believe how much sweat is pouring off me..

‘women on deck!”

we’re up….and I fly, I know I only have one more interval after this.


“final interval, I add more intensity and go…one notch shy of breathless.

And I’m done.

What did I picture for my ‘rewards’ at minute 2 and 3 of 4?

And the ability to run another half marathon.

I pictured them both. I felt it.

And I can’t wait to go back to class and do it all over again.

That was an experience.

19 thoughts on “Guest Post: Diary of a Spin Class

  1. Sounds like Kristy’s spin class here. I love her; she’s amazing. She also teaches Pilates, which was harder for me to love…just may give that another shot.

    So glad you finally had a good experience at the gym out in Cali. It’s hard to go to a new gym, not knowing what to expect from the instructors and whether or not the routine will be exciting and challenging. Double points for going with no prior experience of this instructor. 🙂 I’m sure confidence and another half-marathon will be under your belt in no time. 😀

  2. oh, I completely understand where you’re at – I have often taken Lindsay’s wise words when struggling through my injury recovery and frustrated states of being! 🙂

    LOVE the diary from your sis – invigorating!

  3. Ah, spin! It was my first love. Before I found running, I took spin all the time and even became certified as an instructor. I love the experience of sweaty cardio, great music, and the energy of the other people. You will get back to it soon.

    • Cool! I didn’t know you were certified in spin, very cool! Or that it was your first love before running. You’re right – part of the thrill of spinning is the group energy and vibe, total motivator.

    • YES! It’s a different rush than running but oddly similar too (if that makes any sense). It is amazing how much you can push yourself on that spin bike, to the point where you just might puke. hehe. LOVE that rush!

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