Friday, April 30, 2010

Class #109 Cycling 8:45 a.m. (Cary)

At long last, the quest will end tomorrow and that’s a good thing because my gas gauge has the ‘low level’ warning light on. The proximity of the finish line though, is giving me a psychological boost and sufficient adrenaline (I hope) to cross it.

Yesterday was a rare three-fer marathon as I am in ‘mop up’ mode, crossing off whatever unattended classes remain. After ending Sculpt at 8:15 last night there was still some club work to do and I hung around for an hour to help pull the cover across the pool in preparation for the bubble take down today.

Today then is really the last big push. This morning I’ve got Cary’s 8:45 cycle class followed by Carla’s noontime TBC (Total Body Conditioning) along with a few hours of bubble work sandwiched in between. I should get out to the bubble project just in time to help pull the four thousand pounds of inert platic across the (covered) pool and roll it up – that’s the one part of the job that requires all hands on deck. The truth is, if you have enough folks during this phase it’s not too bad a chore – if not, it can be a real drag.

All this is on my mind as Cary tells us to ‘start our engines’ because class is beginning. Right off the bat, I note a sluggishness in my legs that I hope will subside out over the course of the ride.

After twenty-two previous bike classes you might think that there’s not much new ground to cover. You would be right. Still, each teacher has his/her own flavor and Cary’s no exception. She teaches two classes a week - I took her other one way back on March 1st (blog #23). I remember from that class that she likes to do ‘hovers’ - standing climbs where the rear end is pushed back over the seat to isolate the hamstrings. Sure enough we do those again today and sure enough my hamstrings feel it.

Cary Andrews

Cary pushes us through her own mix of climbs, sprints and intervals, which show up in most of the classes but she also throws in one unique twist that I haven’t seen before. A little more than halfway through she says we’ve got an eight-minute song and our goal is to cover four ‘miles’ on the odometer. Everyone knows that the odometer isn’t really measuring miles (we’re on a stationary cycle for goodness sake) but it’s a reasonable equivalent. The odometer moves faster as the watt reading goes up, which is a function of rpm’s and gears. Anyway, it’s up to each of us to decide what combination of gearing and pace is ideal to click off the requisite mileage. As it turns out, I can’t quite make the four miles because 1) it’s an ambitious goal and, 2) my worn out legs aren’t cooperating very well.

After 45 minutes of work we ease into the warm down and Cary chooses that time to tell us about a recent adventure she’s had. She is an avid horseback rider and lives far enough out of the city to own horses and ride them in her ‘neighborhood’. Recently, she was out riding when a new neighbor’s dogs breached their electronic fence and attacked her horse. Since this was a new, young and huge horse that Cary is still getting used to, she was afraid he would panic and roll on her – a frightening and potentially deadly proposition - so at the first opportunity she jumped off and the horse bolted for the barn. Fortunately, everyone was all right (the horse had a few bites on his ankles) but it was a harrowing event nonetheless. At the end, Cary asked everyone’s advice about fending off dogs in such a situation and the consensus was – the best defense would be to impress upon the new neighbors the danger of their dogs getting out to prevent a repeat performance.

Cary riding Rambo (not the horse involved in the attack)

In class I note that I’ve burned 450 calories while maintaining an average heart rate of 130 with a maximum rate of 145. It’s not my best effort but not too bad either considering my dilapidated state.

It’s a smallish class this morning with only four other riders – all women and all regulars in Cary’s class. The $25 gift certificate goes to Mary Klopfenstein.

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