Monday, February 21, 2011

I'm Going To Be A SPINNING® Instructor!

Lizzy Hoffman
This past Saturday I took a Spinning®  Instructor Certification Class!  It was all day at the Brunswick County Community College in Bolivia, NC.  There was ten of us in the class plus our instructor Elizabeth Hoffman from Charlotte.  Elizabeth "Lizzy" is a Master Spin Instructor and was amazing.  She had great energy and a really positive outlook on Spinning®, exercise and life in general.  She also owns the Urban Bliss Yoga Studio in Charlotte.  Lizzy became a professional ballet/modern dancer when she was in her teens, and has danced for companies in the United States and abroad. She has a degree in Dance/Kinesology and Choreography from the University of South Florida.  She became a Master Spinning Instructor in 1996 and taught an extremely informative and engaging class.  She also knew two of my favorite riding buddies Furman Hammonds and Jen Doyle from Fayetteville, both of whom are Spin® Instructors!

"Spinning®" was created in the 1980's by ultra-endurance and world-class athlete Jonathan Goldberg, better known as "Johnny G."  Johnny G. was an ultra-marathon cyclist in the 1980's.  In 1988 he set a record that to this day that is undefeated in a 554 mile non-stop race across the state of Arizona.  He finished in 29 hours and 46 minutes more than 4 hours ahead of the rest of the field.  In his home garage he designed the first prototype "Spinner®"  bike and used this for training to help him in his bid to become the first person to cycle across America in RAAM (Race Across America).  In 1989 he placed 12th in the 2911 mile RAAM and 1st in the RAAM Open West.

In 1994, Johnny G. and John R. Baudhuin founded Mad Dogg Athletics, Inc. to manufacture the Johnny G Spinner®.   The Spinning® Program was born!!  With the help of health and fitness experts they developed the Spinning® Instructor Certification Program.  Today the program has grown into a worldwide phenomenon; it is the industry leader in equipment-based group exercise with over 150,000 certified instructors and 35,000 official Spinning® facilities in 80 countries.  

 Our class started with a classroom lecture discussing Bike Setup, then we learned about terrain, and basic techniques of sitting and standing and more advanced techniques including jumps and sprinting.  And also concepts such as rhythm releases, pedal efficiency and the fundamentals of breathing, relaxation, visualization and stretching.  By combining the positions, techniques and fundamentals workouts are developed.  We also learned advanced riding techniques - Cadence Building, Resistance Loading, Running with Resistance, Jumps on a Hill and Sprints on a Hill.  Then we met in the Spinning® room for get on the bikes with Lizzy leading us physically through what had been discussed in the lecture.  We did a short role play where we introduced ourselves and coached another student in setting up their bike for fit.  I was happy to have received a comment from one of them that it seemed like I've been teaching class for a long time already.  Thank You, Hawleys Bicycle World for a year of excellent information on fitting bikes!!!

After a short break for lunch we were back in the classroom to discuss Heart Rate Training, Class Design and how to develop Spinning® Profiles.  The Heart Rate Training was really interesting for me.  While I do train and race with a heart rate monitor, I use it primarily out of curiosity. In road races I've seen my heart rate peak at 203 but usually max at183 at the end of the race.  In a triathlon, the numbers usually peak at 188 for the run and 179 during the bike segment. Since I started racing so long ago I do my training "Old School" by Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE).  Which is also something utilized in Spin® classes for those who do not or choose not to use a Heart Rate Monitor.  I think this season I will pay closer attention to my heart rate zones while training and see what will happen. 

My fellow future Spin® Instructors!
We went back to the Spin room one final time for a short Road Ride with Lizzy conducting the workout like she would had us in "Race Day" or a peak performance "time trial" effort at the end of the ride - I thought I was going to see my lunch again.  I remember feeling that all I wanted to do was get down on my aerobars at the end of that ride.  I know I can push myself much harder in that position because that is how I've trained my body over the years.   But - there are no aerobars in Spinning®. 

I'm excited to be learning something new to add to my life.  In two weeks I'm taking a Water Fitness Instructor Certification.  I was approached one day last fall after I finished a swim workout by one of the Water Fitness Instructors at the pool, and she told me about the certification.  I'm really looking forward to this class too.  I'll post about it after the course!  See you then!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Phoenix and Bogey

Bogey and Phoenix at Ocean Isle Beach

I'd like to introduce you to my boys, Phoenix and Bogey.  This post has absoulutely nothing to do with racing and triathlons but they've been bugging me to write something about them.  I can't let them down.


 Phoenix (Halo Shiner's Rising Phoenix) is my 7 year old Golden Retriever.  Bred by Judi Hollenbeck in Burnett, TX.  She owns Halo Goldens which is just north of Austin.  Phoenix came to me after I lost my first Golden, Shiner. 

Phoenix is the sweetest and most perfect dog in the world.  Patient and kind.  What else would a Golden be?  There aren't enough words to describe what a Love Dog he is, we call him The Baby. 

Here he is on the cover of The Golden Retriever Weekly from a vacation at Dauphin Island, AL.

Strider - Phoenix's Dad
 Phoenix has a famous Daddy named Strider, BIS, BISS AM/MEX/AMS/WC CH Sheffield-Ducat's Spellbound SDHF, OS.  In 1999 Dog News named Strider the #2 Golden in the country.  He has sired an unbelievable number of champions.  On the Sheffield Golden's website there is a page just for his puppies.  They are adorable.

Jenny - Phoenix's Mom
His mom is Jenny, Kaylynn Tempo's Sea Sea Rider, also one of the sweetest most mild tempered Golden you will ever meet.  Phoenix gets his coat from his Mom.  He is super furry and fluffy just like Jenny.  We consider him an Angel With Fur - lots and lots of fur!  I was once in R.E.I. with Phoenix when he was a puppy and a couple came over to pet him and said he felt like cashmere.

And then there is Bogey (Halo's One Over Paw Bogey).  Bogey is our Wild Child.  He is in perpetual motion, that boy's energy never ceases to amaze me. 

The Rogue Bogue on the move!
It's difficult to get a good picture of him because he's always moving. He is also a lap dog and a big goof.  If you remember Goofus and Gallant back from the days when you read "Highlights" as a kid in the dentist's office, you'll know what I'm talking about.  Bogey is so Goofus and Phoenix is the perfect, well mannered Gallant.   I only wish I had as much energy as the Bogue.

Lissi - Bogey's Mom
Bogey's Mom was a sweet girl, lovingly called Lissi.  Justmoore Jean Harlow.  According to Lissi's mom she was a "Professional Tennis Ball Gatherer".  Lissi decided that she didn't really like the show ring although did very well in Conformation but she wanted to be a Certified Therapy Dog  Strider that I mentioned above is Lissi's Dad, so Bogey and Phoenix are related.  Phoenix is Bogey's Uncle! 

Getty - Bogey's Dad
Getty, CH Camlin's R U For Real is Bogey's Dad.  I think Bogey is a lot like his Dad.  Getty is a tennis ball fanatic just like Bogey.  From what I hear, Getty has super high energy too.  I can only imagine them together!  Getty is owned by Nancy Crowley of Camlin Goldens in Parker, TX.

Together the two boys make up the perfect compliment of calmness and spirit.  Kind of how I'd like my life to be!

The Mommys
This picture is of the boys Moms.  It really surprises me of just how much they resemble their respective mothers.  Can you tell which one is Jenny and which one is Lissi??

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

See Ginger Run

I haven't written about my running, although I run more days a week than I ride or swim.  Running by far my favorite of the three disciplines of triathlons but for me it's also a love-hate relationship. 

I've been running since fall of my Freshman year in college.  This past year I celebrated 31 years of pounding the pavement.  But it hasn't been without problems.  I heard once that the knees are both God's miracles and also mistakes on the human body.  While they are amazing and can surely take a beating from the activities that we put them through, they also are the part of us that can't seem to keep up with what we want from them.  My knees are the hate part.

I've had microfracture surgery on both of my knees.  The left back in 2002 and the right in 2009.  My knees hurt when I run, pretty much all the time, but it's tolerable so I will continue until some point in the future when it's just not bearable any more.  Then... I'll take up golf, so I can be outside and enjoy the fresh air.  But until that day comes where the Mobic doesn't help anymore you'll find me out running.

I don't run more that about 6 miles at my maximum now, it seems that right about the six mile point that my left knee starts to shut down.  This depresses me.  I miss the 10 milers.  I miss running half marathons and marathons.  I'd love to run the Big Sur Marathon again, but just don't see that in my future.  By far my most memorable and the most beautiful marathon that I've run.

I run every other day.  If I go back to back days then the knee is grumbling loudly. With the weather being so unpredictable lately that means some missed workouts.  I should get back to the pool and swim, but the pool where I swim isn't heated.  It's indoors so it's tolerable but when it's freezing outside the thought of jumping into a cold swimming pool isn't very appealing.  Maybe next week. 

My Garmin 310XT is my running buddy.  I've had it now for about a year and a half.  I would definitely classify it in the "My Favorite Piece of Training Equipment" category.  I've noticed that since having it I run faster. I remember back in 1985 I pretty much always trained at an 8:00 mile pace.  Now 31 years older it's more like an 8:30-8:45 pace, that's not too bad.  I like the thought that I've been running for 2/3 of my life. 

I remember my first running shoes - a pair of Brooks Vantage that were exactly the type of shoe I shouldn't wear.  I am a supinator, meaning I have rigid feet and need a cushioned shoe.  The first pair of Brooks I bought had a Varus Wedge in them.  Which slightly angles the foot to match it's slightly canted position. 

Now I run in Nike Zoom Vomeros, love them.  Super cushioned for my sad and pathetic little knees.  I've raced in the Brooks Ghost for the past two seasons but am thinking of trying something new this year.  I don't know what yet though.  I thought I'd email my friends at RunOn back in Texas and see if they have any recommendations.  This store is a runner's paradise.  Clothing lines the walls and sales floor, running shoes for days and all of the salespeople there to help you are dedicated runners.  There isn't a true running store anywhere near here and I refuse to shop online at that big running shoe retailer (to remain nameless) because of some really bad customer service in the past.

The love part of running comes from the simple joy of being by myself in the fresh air enjoying the sights as I move down the road.  I do usually listen to music, my boys Phoenix and Bogey got me a new iPod for Christmas so I have put together some play lists for different types of runs.  I know that the play list titled RunRunRun will always get me through a quick paced tempo run. 

I hope I'll be able to run for years to come.  I know I'll miss it.

Long may you run.
Long may you run.
With your cold heart shining
In the sun.
Long may you run.

-Neil Young