Monday, April 12, 2010

Class #77 Cycling Monday Noon (Carla)

Ironically, one of the things I’ve had to give up during the ‘quest’ is attendance at my “regular” group exercise classes – like this one. I’ve been a regular in Carla’s Monday/Wednesday noon class for about 5 years and I’ve missed seeing everyone for the past 7 weeks. So, today is something of a homecoming for me and it’s nice to see all the friendly faces. They like seeing me too – especially since I’m giving away a $25 gift certificate at the end.

Seriously, this feeling of coming home is one of my favorite aspects of group exercise. Since there are regulars in every class – they become acquainted with each other over time and inevitably friendships are formed. Some classes are more social than others. For me, bike classes are high on the social scale because everyone can easily see and interact with each other. Of course there are limitations to these interactions.

Not the least of which is Carla, who only tolerates a smattering of chatter before she gives us ‘the look’. As I’ve mentioned before, Carla attracts a big following and one reason for that is her, ahem, enthusiastic encouragement. Carla is not averse to yelling at us (lovingly of course) if/when she thinks we’re loafing. She might say something like – “I can SEE you’re legs pedaling and I KNOW you aren’t going fast enough” – the tone in her voice somewhere between disgust and exasperation. The thing is Carla would never cut corners and she finds it hard to stomach when we (I’m speaking mostly of the long-time regulars here) give less than our best effort. So, yes, you can socialize (a little) in Carla’s class but do so at your own risk.

Another reason I like Carla’s class is she tends to prefer “mashing” (I think that’s the term) where we use a bigger gear and lower pace (RPM’s) – basically this simulates hill climbs. For some reason, this seems to fit my body or temperament more than sprinting. We always do some sprinting but usually there’s a long climb out of the saddle and a long climb in the saddle and that’s what we do today.

Carla training a client

I’ve got my heart rate monitor and watch on today and I’m curious to see how the bike and watch will compare with each other. The bike I’m on today is not my ‘usual’ one and its gearing seems a little harder – I feel like I’m working quite hard but my average watts are only 133, a tad low for me. The measure that doesn’t lie though is the average heart rate – on the bike’s monitor it reads 136 while my watch says 135. Either way it’s around 82% of my “max” heart rate and that’s not bad as an average (my high heart rate in class is 150). On total calories burned, the bike tells me 367 while the watch reads 470. I think the difference is that the watch includes “basal metabolism” (the calories I burn at rest) and the bike is counts only “extra” calories – those burned up by the work in the training session. Does that make sense?

As usual, it’s a big class with about 20 in the peleton today. There are more women than men but not much. In a feat worthy of Ripley’s – Kathy Bauman called her shot today. She was the last person to turn in her entry slip and when she did she said with surprising conviction “I know I’m going to win”. Sure enough, Carla drew a name and it was indeed Kathy Bauman. Premonition, psychic powers, blind luck?? Who knows but she's the $25 gift card winner!

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