Last week I ran a 15 km road race in our town and I was really happy with my result. I was aiming for 01:45 because I’m training for the Two Oceans Marathon in Cape Town next year (whoop whoop!) and RunKeeper keeps telling me I need to pace myself. But my time was 01:37:49, so I was ecstatic, not least because I felt so good at the end that I kept running (okay fine, also because my RunKeeper plan said I should run 16,1 km).
ANYWAY. The running thing is going okay. Yesterday my long run was 17,7 km and I honestly have never hit so many walls in a single run before, BUT I made it.
This journey is teaching me to listen to my body. This past week I was inordinately tired. I ran on Monday. Then I was supposed to do a call on Wednesday, so I decided I would run the Tuesday. I couldn’t. Figured I’d do it Thursday post-call. Still couldn’t. Then come Friday, when I got home, I was so tired that I collapsed into bed and well: couldn’t.
I think my body just really needed the rest. My current training program is supposed to have me ready for a marathon by January and the Two Oceans is only in March-ish, so I have time to take breaks.
My mom reckons there are times during one’s cycle that one just needs to take it easy. I don’t know if that is evidence-based but anyway: listening to my body. Got it.
Now, onto the topic you’ve been awaiting with bated breath:
I get that cross-training is important. My shin splints REALLY get that.
One of the things I’ve been trying to get into is spinning. I am NOT spinning-fit, but I’m willing to put in the effort to become so. Even though, MAN, spinning makes these tiny muscles in my body ache that I forgot I had. And that seat is so uncomfortable, I mean literally a pain in the ass.
I’ve tried spinning twice this year.
The first was somewhere in May. My friend and I signed up for a 05:15 class (first mistake, I guess). Spinning classes at our gym are so popular that you have to book your bikes in advance.
From the beginning, I knew it was going to be a problem. The instructor for the class was like an army boot camp general. And she was RUDE. Constantly shouting that we are unfit, embarrassing ourselves, etc etc.
Now I get that some people might like that kind of “motivation”, but I do not. Apparently the instructors at the evening classes are more chilled, so I have been MEANING to try another class.
This past weekend, the local SPCA had a 48-hour “spin-a-thon” for fundraising. This is not a new thing in our town, and my friends and I decided to join it for the fun. We chose bikes right at the back because we just wanted to have fun. Also, we weren’t expecting an instructor at all.
But there was an instructor.
She hopped on the front bike and started spinning. She didn’t talk or give instructions. She was doing her own routine and sometimes we emulated her when we could, but we are all young working adults and we were exhausted, and the only reason we were there was to hang out and because our entry-fees went to the SPCA.
So imagine our surprise when this trainer, who had been doing her own thing at the front WITHOUT SPEAKING/SHOUTING/WHATEVERING, gets off her bike and walks to us, then begins to admonish us as if we were school children, saying she wants to see us put in some effort.
When you do a 5km charity fun-run, nobody shouts at you to go faster. Many people actually go just to walk with their dogs. It’s for CHARITY. And there was no company sponsoring participants for per-km cycled, or whatever.
I mean, if I expected an intensive spinning class I would go to one at my own gym, right? I certainly wasn’t at a charity spin-a-thon to soothe an instructor’s ego.
So I was really disgusted by that. Both of these instructors just made the class really unpleasant. Is that what all spinning instructors are like, because… I’m not about that life.
Spinning looks like it can be so much fun and an awesome workout, but I don’t know if I should even try for a third time lucky.