Friday, April 4, 2008

You spin me right round baby, right round

To follow up on my previous post, I haven’t done anything about the Nike+ sensor situation. I spoke with someone at a Nike store who said I’d likely get a positive response if I sent in a comment, but that inspiration has not hit me yet. I am liking the return to running sans gadgets.

So, it’s April 4th, and this morning it snowed in Manchester, NH. I have this memory of my birthday (which was about a week ago) being in warm weather. That hasn’t happened in years, yet still I hold on to that memory – which may have been one birthday for all I know – and expect that each year will be like that.

I shouldn’t really complain, as I did technically spend my birthday in the sun. We were in California, dividing a week between San Francisco, the PCH, and a brief stop in LA. It was a terrific trip, even if it made the return to our “spring” weather even more jarring…

Lately I’ve been checking out the spinning classes at my gym. It’s one of those things I’ve wanted to investigate for a while, but never made the time for in my day. Given the icky outdoor weather lately, I’ve been less inspired to run outdoors, giving me the perfect reason to get on the bike.

The first time I ventured in I tried the morning class. The leader was a nice guy, and did the appropriate amount of pushing-not-forcing for that early in the morning. However, did I mention that the class is at 6am? I consider myself a morning person and all, but 6am means waking up pre-6am, and that just wasn’t very pleasant.

So I switched to the evening class, and I’ve stuck with it. I’m looking to make it a regular habit, and as such I’ve formed some opinions on the sport and my evolution therein. For example: foregoing bike shorts is a mistake. Learned that one on the first time out… My poor bum.

The thought I kept returning to in the most recent class is the relativity of the 1-10 effort scale that we are instructed to follow. I don’t have it memorized, but it is, essentially:

1-5: Don’t bother even remembering what these mean, because classes never involve being in this zone.
6: Warm-up, some effort involved
7: More effort involved
8: Out of comfort zone. Quads on fire. Talk to self to keep going, and hope your neighbor can’t hear you.
9-10: Can’t continue.

Why is the “can’t continue” zone two numbers? If you can’t continue shouldn’t it just be that zone?

Also, pain is a very subjective thing. My 8 may be your 6, or vice versa. If I may speak as an Aries, I’m a bit competitive by nature, and loathe to admit – or even realize – that I may need to ease up. If I may speak as a girl who like to psychoanalyze herself, I know myself well enough to know that I am pretty terrible at admitting to physical weakness, a trait that has gotten me into trouble more than once. Not my best trait, but it’s how I’m wired.

Mind you, I keep going back. While it hurts, it’s a good kind of hurt. The kind of hurt that makes me think I will be stronger for it. And it sure beats running in the April sleet.

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