Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Runners Who Spin

Alternatively Titled: We bought a spinning bike.

I'm not a runner who trains. I could be, but that sounds daunting and time consuming and I just like doing my own thing. That's probably why I run average 8:30 miles with my fastest mile ever being a 7:42. That's slower than some runners average for full marathons. I run for health, me time and because I just love being outside in the fresh air and nature. Plus, my regular hobby of eating ice cream has to be met with a generous love for cardio.

We recently bought a spin bike on Amazon. It currently has 1,764 reviews and has now dropped in price by $32 (don't you hate that?). It averages 4.5 stars and with that many reviews and at the super steal price of $199, it's basically two months of a gym membership and it's paid off. Spin instructors reviewed it and mentioned they bought multiple for their homes to have mini class sessions. I figured it was worth the gamble since I'm definitely no expert. Plus, a 100lb item SHIPPED to my door for about $250 (at the time), um... total deal.
Reasons We Bought a Spin Bike:

(I mean me. Because the husband wasn't in on the purchase. Insert meme about hoping the husband is away when the Amazon Prime order arrives...)

- Spinning is the only workout I've ever done that I get WHOOPED by 80-year-old women. It's hard, people. If you've never taken a spin class, you are quickly humbled by the difficulty.
- It's a different workout than running. I love running, but I'm injury-prone and wanted other options. Plus, I didn't want to drive to the gym or pay another $100/month membership.
- I can do it when the kids are home. We're approaching a THREE WEEK winter break for the kids. That means I either run with them in the stroller (but I've misplaced my BOB Duallie rain cover for cold weather and they can be super frustrating with their bickering), or I have to run at night. I can spin when Elliot is away on business and while the kids are in bed or watching a video. It gives me more flexibility when I just need to sweat it out.
- The husband can get more exercise in after super long days at work. His job has him working crazy hours. The bike is setup in our tiny guest room, it has wheels to transport, or he can close the door and bother no one, even if he feels the need to spin at midnight.
- I don't have to run in the dark. It's winter and the sun sets in the 4 o' clock hour, well before the husband arrives home. I either have to run during school hours for exercise, or I'm stuck in the dark. While we have lots of reflective gear and blinking arm bands, new stories of missing runners still haunt me. Plus, who really wants to run in the dark during winter? Currently our wind is howling outside.
- I'm thinking ahead to next year. I'm planning to return to teaching and it's unlikely that I will have loads of time to run outside as often as I currently do. But a quick 20-minute spin session is totally do-able.
- It was a $200 gamble with great reviews. Why not?

So far, I'm digging it. I've done two workouts on it and I'm loving the ability to get in some cardio in our small rental home. The bike has a small footprint. It's in our 10x10 guest bedroom with a queen bed and comes on wheels, so we can easily move it to our master bedroom when guests are here.

I bought an iPad Holder, a bicycle computer to measure RPM and mileage and a seat cushion for the up and down and out-of-the-saddle comfort. These were all recommended items I read about through reviews. I think I paid $20 for all the extras.

It's fairly quiet, though not a perfect as those gym-grade ones, but pretty darn sturdy and smooth with a 40-lb flywheel front. It doesn't even move a millimeter when I'm spinning fast or changing the resistance.
I run. Not very fast. I spin, Probably even slower. Now I just need to improve my yogi form and I'll be doing all three of my favorite workouts on a regular basis. That third one is going to take some serious patience and guidance. #sendhippies

Monday, December 5, 2016

Another Year Around the Sun. Six.

Each year Thanksgiving comes around and then it ends and then it's December 5th. It's almost like the days in between aren't even there, because they are a rush of time.

This morning I spent my time running six miles for my firstborn on his birthday. At each mile, I wrote one of these wherever my feet landed. In six different places around my neighborhood, I left a mark for him.
I also spent the morning registering my rainbow baby for Kindergarten. Irony sure does enjoy smacking me right in the face. My would-be Kindergartner and my upcoming Kindergartner with worlds colliding. It's rare this happens, so I guess it's a sweet wink. (It would be even sweeter if the school wasn't going to a year-round calendar. Which likely means we're moving to another school zone.)

Tonight we will enjoy dinner out and quite a bit of dessert-eating and present opening, all to remember that boy who first made us parents. I miss him with everything in me. To think of how he would've shaped who is younger brother is and how happy it would make his little sister to have a great big brother to love and play with.

What I miss most, though, is knowing who he would be. How our lives would be different with him here and what he would grow to become. I really miss everything.