I’m a Triathlete!!

I promise I’ll post a full recap later, but I just had to shout it from the rooftops:

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I’m a TRIATHLETE!!

The whole experience was so much more challenging, rewarding, and exhilarating than I could have possibly imagined. Everything went smoothly and fell into perfect alignment: fueling, prep, execution, all of it.

Thank you all so much for your encouragement and support along the way. There were plenty of times that I was anxious to the point of tears, but knowing that you all had my back really helped. I’m now 100% hooked on the triathlon, and I’m already looking for another one!

Can’t wait to share all the details soon 🙂

Long Time No Blog!

Hey everyone! Sorry for the lapse in posting – I’ve been on vacation for the last week and made a point to spend a little less time “plugged in”. It was hard to break the constant habit of checking my phone, but the less I did the easier it got. I had my first open water swim (eeeek!), Hubby and I went to the movies, we went hiking in the park and we did some shopping at the fancy mall (don’t we all know one?). 

  

Wednesday night I made a dream come true and saw the Smashing Pumpkins at the PNC Arts Center. I don’t mention it very much here, but next to running, music (most notably 90’s alternative music) is my life, and the Pumpkins are everything to me. Billy Corgan and Jimmy Chamberlin were a few of my first celebrity crushes, my father took me to my first concert at MSG to see them, I used their lyrics in our wedding vows… You get the point. So I met up with a bunch of my best girls (one even came all the way down from Cape Cod!) and we had an amazing night filled with nostalgia, laughs, and fun 🙂

  

As if my week could get any better, on Friday we schlepped into NYC to celebrate my birthday with some adventures at the Museum of Natural History!

  
 
After about 7 straight hours of walking and climbing stairs, my legs were fried. So this morning’s final open water swim before tomorrow’s triathlon was just what the non-existent doctor ordered!

  
I also got to try out my new birthday gift from hubby: a GoPro! 🙂

When I first dove into the water on Monday night, I didn’t know what to expect. I joined the Jersey Girl Triathlon crew for a group swim to conquer all the unknowns I faced: what would swimming in the ocean for the first time be like? What kind of crowd would be at the race? Was I going to regret this? You know – the stress inducing questions that keep you up at night. Well it turns out the answers were: awesome, the best, and hell no!

  
I’m listening to my towel from now on.

Today’s swim was no different from my first, either. Waking up at 5:30 to drive down to the starting line, making a new friend (What’s up, Amanda of King Yogart?), swimming, getting my ass handed to me by a few waves, and sitting through a Q&A with the race coach was the best thing I could have done the morning after my birthday.

  
Amanda, Heather (my tri-pro cousin), and I were all smiles after our swim!

And now I know: if I can swim 300 meters, get knocked face-first into the sand and spun around like a plastic bag in a tornado, get sand rash all over my elbow, and still feel ready to bike & run, I can do anything!

So now that I’ve got 7 weeks of training, a handful of solid brick workouts (in pretty atrocious weather, to boot), and 2 open water swims under my Fuelbelt, I’m ready to take on the Jersey Girl Triathlon tomorrow morning! 

  

Just Keep Swimming… and Biking and Running

It’s a good thing I’m a runner and not a mathematician. Because evidently – waaaay back when I first found my training plan – my silly ass miscalculated the number of weeks I had before my sprint triathlon, and I focused on training for 6 weeks when in reality I had 7. I never said I was good at math, guys.

tumblr_m9321xHlsO1rtwaqkAs such, I’ve been totally enjoying my “extra” week of training by building up these muscles even stronger! In the past week I completed not one but two brick workouts, and my confidence levels are nice and high.

IMG_7932Last Thursday I ran a few miles right after work in about 80 degrees and full sun – not my brightest idea, but I rationalized it by thinking if I could run in that weather, I can do anything. The brain is a funny thing, isn’t it?

My time wasn’t the best, but I wasn’t dead by the end of the run, which is important. I’m really trying to increase my endurance by pushing past the half hour/hour mark of my normal workouts, and it’s paying dividends. After the run and a short drive to the gym, I hopped right in the pool for 400m at top speed. To my surprise, the swim felt easy! Sure I was sucking wind at the end of every 100m, and guzzling Nuun like it was my job, but at the end of the workout I walked out of the pool not ready to die. Which is a huge step up from my swimming workouts a few months ago!IMG_7925

Friday I earned my rest day – but I couldn’t help it and ducked down to the office gym for 20 quick minutes of strength training.

IMG_7937Yep, in a skirt. Cause why not?

Saturday I woke to the sound of thunder, and rather than test out my lightning-dodging skills on the bike, I decided to take my next brick workout to the gym, where I [spoiler alert] totally killed my previous treadmill 2-mile PR! I think it had something to do with my new goodies courtesy of Brooks – tee, tank, hat, and new Transcend 2’s!!

IMG_7955I started off on a spin bike – yes, I know it’s nowhere near the same as a normal bike on an outdoor ride, but I just don’t work up a sweat on the regular stationary bikes like I do with the spin bikes. So I set the timer for 40 minutes and told myself to beat my previous outdoor bike 10K in 40:40 and well, as you can see I kind of crushed it. By doubling my distance in less time 🙂

IMG_7966Feeling pretty awesome, I hit the treadmill directly in front of me for 1 mile (as the schedule called for), and found myself flying.

IMG_7967Yes, that says 2 miles in 20:02. That means each mile was 10:01. And YES that annoys me to NO END. Sub-10:00 mile, you will be mine!!!

I was feeling so good, in fact, that I decided to keep going and pushed to 2 miles. After all, I told myself – I’ve got 3 to run on race day, I’d better get used to covering the distance.

IMG_7971I sweat clear through my shirt – and all over the treadmill – but I blew through those 2 miles and desperately wanted to keep going. But I don’t want to push myself too hard, my knees were starting to ache a bit, and I figured I’d give myself a nice thrill next weekend when I can really go for it and enjoy the final brick workout before race day.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – all this cross and strength training must really be doing something, because I’ve never seen running times like, at least not since 2011-ish. I’m feeling like I’ve finally found my fitness balance and I’m excited to see what this will do for me when I start distance running again in about 3 weeks.

How about you: any of you tri-hards find increased stamina when you returned to running? Any tips now that my first sprint is less than two weeks away?

My First Brick Workout

As my first sprint triathlon draws near, I’ve starting to feel the pre-race nerves kick in over the strangest things. For example, I had a stress dream last week about forgetting my sneakers, my bike having flat tires, a thunderstorm over the ocean at the starting line, and accidentally swimming with my phone in my pocket.

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So to alleviate some of that stress, I’ve started checking things off my race-prep to-do list – one of them being my race day outfit. Initially I just thought I’d go to the store and get a tri suit and be done with it, easy peasy. Well, after driving around to 7 different stores for 5 hours on a Sunday with my poor cousin (and returning home empty-handed), I realized I’d have to resort to the trusty interwebs once again.

Enter SwimOutlet.com – my cousin (who’s raced a few tri’s this spring already) got her outfit from here and loved it, so I took a look. To keep myself from getting too stressed out over multiple orders and sizing issues, I ordered basically half of the site in various sizes to ensure that I got it right on the first try. My credit card probably had a heart attack at the initial charge (frankly I’m surprised they didn’t call me about a possible fraudulent charge!), but the upside is that I finally found a suit that works!!

IMG_7069It’s by Zoot (who I’d never heard of before this), and after testing it out for a bike and run brick workout – my first tri-related double workout ever! – I’m officially convinced it’s the one!

IMG_7204 (2)This past Saturday, the schedule called for a 10K bike ride followed by a 1 mile run. Not bad in theory – I’ve been kind of doubling up with the DeskCycle during the day and running at night so this wasn’t a huge stretch, but putting the two activities together immediately after one another was an eye-opener. In a good way!

It was gorgeous outside – hot and not as humid as it had been all week – so I jumped into my new Zoot suit (sorrynotsorry), and set off. One thing I did notice was that the tri top rides up a bit, but I’m thinking some safety pins on race day will keep it in check. I cruised along at about 6:15-6:45/mile on the bike, which is a moderate effort. I could have pushed harder, but I wasn’t just looping along humming a song either. My legs were definitely feeling it the two times I stopped for water (I’ve since installed a bottle cage on the bike!), and once I hit 6.2 miles I was pleased with my time of 40:40. 10 miles would be a little over an hour, which I’m totally capable of!

IMG_7239Once I put the bike away, I set out for one mile and went by feel. Immediately I took off and found my leg turnover to be ridiculously fast. I’m talking like 9 minute miles fast – nowhere near my usual 11-12:00/mile pace! I must have been all warmed up and stretchy from pedaling the bike! I checked myself and slowed down to around 10:30, and at about the half mile marker, I flagged. The heat and full sun (it was 12:30 in the afternoon by now) were beating me down, so I walked where I needed and jogged slowly where I could, then took off again at 3/4 mile to finish at 11:24. Not gonna lie – I was shocked at how speedy that mile was after 40 minutes of biking!

IMG_7213 I wobbly-leg walked back to the shade of a nearby tree where we took the cooler out of the trunk and I downed a Gatorade so fast I think I can now coin the term “Gatorade Headache”. But it was so worth it – I’d just showed myself that I’m capable of so much more than I think! Sure it was just about an hour’s worth of work, but it’s something entirely new to me, this triathlon thing, and this workout proved that all the work I’m doing is paying dividends, and will continue to every day. And that’s pretty exciting if you ask me!

How about you: when was the last time you surprised yourself?

Fireworks, Ice Cream and Running

I’m not going to lie – I’ve got nothing left in the tank today. It’s the first day back to the grind after a 3 day weekend filled with gardening, walking, running, biking & swimming, and I am feeling it.

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Wednesday I woke up in a terrible mood – I don’t know if it’s the super sticky weather, the summertime blues, or what. So I hit the pavement after work around my office for a 2 mile run (avg. pace 10:56!) to stick with the schedule and felt OK. The air was thick with humidity and I had to deal with the honks of my coworkers as they passed me by on their way home. Maybe my ridiculous ombre-filled outfit had something to do with that?

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That night when I got home, though, things started to look up. Because I walked in the door and found myself face to face with this big ol’ box of happiness:

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The folks at Arctic Zero sent me a delicious care package filled with 5 of their new Chunky Pints for me to try, and I am 100% hooked. I tried their regular flavors last summer and found them to be pretty good – a nice substitute for when you need that ice cream fix but don’t want to undo all of the great work you’ve done by eating healthy and working out all week. And while I’m not usually an ice cream fiend, all that changed when I tried these babies.

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Where their standard flavors are 35 calories per serving (or 150 for the whole pint), these chunky flavors have add-ins that make them a little more decadent at 75 calories per serving (or 300 per pint), which is still peanuts compared to regular ice creams. But I’ll be the first to tell you: those extra calories are SO worth it. I immediately dove into the cookie dough chip and mint flavors, while Mike tried the butter pecan and key lime pie. Soon we were spoon-fighting over who got the last scoop in our bowls, and every night since then I’ve created little masterpieces mixing flavors and adding in things like melted organic peanut butter, reduced sugar chocolate syrup, whipped cream, and sprinkles. Just typing it is making my mouth water… is it dessert time yet?

Aaaaanyway! Thursday I woke up without all the guilt of a post-ice-cream-binge (because of the whole guilt-free, good-for-you thing they’ve got going on at Arctic Zero!) and headed to work for a half day. Before leaving I managed to get my biking in (5 miles in 16 minutes) and then we walked about 3 miles to and from our town’s fireworks show that night.

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Thankfully, Friday was nice and sunny and hot, so we took on our lawn all morning. it turns out that “weeding” is really short for “a bunch of squatting and bending over at odd angles to yank out stubborn roots while sweating in full sun for 2 hours”. As a reward, my friend invited me into his pool that afternoon where I went for a dip and did a lap or two, along with a lot of water treading while we chatted for a few hours. I know it wasn’t the standard pool workout, but I counted it – my poor body was tired!

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Saturday I woke up early for a pedicure and took a 100% rest day (and loved every minute of it, naptime included)! Because Sunday I hit the grind again pretty hard: in search of a triathlon tank and shorts, my cousin and I walked about 14 miles (slight exaggeration) around 6 different stores, all with no luck. I started to get discouraged (and Wednesday’s ucky anxious feeling started to return), so I dealt with it the best way I know how: with a run.

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I went out SUPER hard in the first half mile to burn off the restlessness and kind of set myself back for another 2.5 miles of pain in doing so, but it was OK. I lapped around the park and along the water for the full 3.1, eating bugs (ew) and dodging bats (double ew), but I finished sweaty and exhausted and feeling more like me. My pace was still pretty good considering how much I wanted to die after that first half mile, and given the fact that it was 88 degrees and 80% humidity at 8:30PM!

And that was my 4th of July weekend in a nutshell – how was yours? How are you handling this Monday?

Disclosure: Arctic Zero provided me free samples in exchange for my honest review. Receiving product did not influence my review. All opinions are my own.

Triathlon Training Week 2

When we last left off I was feeling pretty confident about this whole triathlon training thing – and I still am! So I dove headfirst (literally) into week 2 of training with a nice quiet swim last Monday night.

IMG_6690Nothing like having the whole pool to yourself!

I’m so happy: I finally figured out how to avoid the witching hour when swim lessons end at the pool! In the past, I would arrive at gym just as the locker room filled with kids screaming at top volume, playing hide and seek in lockers, splashing each other with water from the showers, and generally causing unsupervised chaos in the locker room. So now I stay at work a little while longer, change into my suit at the office, and arrive to an empty parking lot and silent pool. Bliss!

So I did the 6×50’s on my schedule and rocked them hardcore. Seriously: the breaks I need to take between 50’s are a lot shorter, I don’t start spluttering at the end of the lap like I used to, and I’m generally feeling stronger with each stroke. This plan is really working!

Tuesday was 20 minutes of biking, so I hit the DeskCycle throughout the day and pushed to 30 minutes and 6 miles. It just felt right, even in skinny jeans.

10986564_841050789320941_8441742770079039186_nWednesday was a run day, and I surprised myself with that unbelievably fast 2.5KM I talked about in my last post. I’m not going to lie – I also downed a quick cup of coffee moments before the run while I watched the hotties on the NHL Awards, so my performance was somewhat enhanced by all that extra adrenaline. But what the hell, I’ll take a 9:38 first mile and 10:17 avg. page for 1.6 miles!

IMG_6675Thursday was another swim day, with a full 300M on the schedule. While I still had to hold onto the side of the pool after every 100M to avoid drowning, I tested myself by not pushing off the side (simulating that dreaded open-water swim I’ll face in 4 weeks) and still managed to complete 400M relatively quickly! Yes, I still need to take breaks every 50-100M, but with 4 more weeks of training I’m pretty sure that even if I have to float for those recovery periods on race day, I’m not going to die nearly as quickly as I initially thought! That is, unless a shark happens to catch me straggling at the back of the pack.

Friday was supposed to be a rest day, but a friend and I schlepped into Peddler’s Village and New Hope, PA and managed to clock almost 6 miles of walking! Not exactly restful, but oh so pretty!

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The rest of the week’s schedule was kind of thrown off: I drove up to Connecticut and met my best friend of 25+ years for our annual girls’ weekend, and blissfully forgot all about training for 36 hours. We watched Chris Pratt’s thighs (err, I mean Jurassic World), hung out in the hotel hot tub, laughed until our stomachs hurt, talked about life, and drank wine until we passed out giggling in the same bed. She’s good for my soul, this chick.

IMG_6772Did I mention Chris Pratt’s thighs?

As a result, Saturday and Sunday were both rest days – but I hit it hard again on Monday by taking my bike ride to the DeskCycle. And yeah, about that “15 minutes easy” it said on the schedule…

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Sorry – I accidentally biked a half marathon in 48 minutes.

To my credit, I felt like I had a little bit of a price to pay by skipping the whole weekend, but it was totally worth it!

Last night’s swim was a little tougher than I’d hoped it be though – I had 3x100M on the calendar but for some reason I couldn’t hold it together past the first 100M. I started spluttering after 150 and had to stop entirely at 200 for a full minute or two. I was super glad to have the pool to myself, because that last 100 was ugly. But it was done!

Now I’m looking forward to getting a run in sometime today, even though it only says I need to walk/run 2.5KM. I have a feeling I’ll end up doing more but can’t wait to run by feel and just fall into the groove again. I missed my long run this weekend and need that runner’s high again!

How’s it going by you? Any of you folks in the US looking forward to a long weekend? And Happy Canada Day to my friends in the Great White North!

Triathlon Training Week 1 (and Hello, Negative Splits!)

Even though I officially registered for and started training for the Jersey Girl Triathlon last week, I’ve been unofficially “training” for it for a few weeks. In the last month or so, I focused a little harder on biking in addition to running to see a) if I could keep up with two sports and b) if I noticed any improvements in my fitness. And after checking off both boxes with a big fat YES, I went for it feet (fins?) first and am thrilled with how things have gone in this first official week of training.

Since I started in the middle of the week, I had to modify my schedule a bit and kicked off Week 1 with a swim last Wednesday – where I pleasantly surprised myself!

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The schedule called for 4x50m in the pool, but I mistakenly thought that the “25” in the distance of our local YMCA pool was meters when it’s really yards. Not a huge difference, but this is just one of a dozen other misadventures I’ve had while swimming that illustrate just how painfully cluelss I am when it comes to this sport.

The last time I swam, I needed to stop after each length to catch my breath and bring my heart rate down to safely make it to the other side of the pool. This time I promised to push as hard as needed for the full 50 each time, and I did! Sure, I needed a few moments in each turnaround to regulate my breathing, and by the 3rd lap I was hanging off the side of the pool gasping for air, but dammit I did those 50’s. And instead of the prescribed 4, I did 6 because I had to know that I could do the 300M distance I’ll have to cover on race day! And I didn’t have to be bottle-fed a Gatorade to get moving again after I finished, so yeah. #WINNING!

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The next day I took to the DeskCycle for the prescribed “15 minutes easy” ride the schedule called for, and found myself wanting to push a little harder. I can’t help it when the schedule I’m following recommends that I “try to run” the whole 2.5K recommended for the run workouts. I know what I need to do to maintain my fitness levels, and it sure as hell isn’t walking a mile and a half twice a week. So I did about 20 minutes and covered a little more than 5 miles Thursday, then took the recommended rest day Friday.

Saturday was rainy and cool and breezy (and I had a little too much wine at Happy Hour on Friday), but I still got out there for the 5K bike ride the schedule called for.

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I like to think the wind and the mist added to my training – it sure as hell made me work harder fighting through the wind gusts – but really all it did was make me wish I hadn’t ordered that second bottle of wine the night before.

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Either way, I got it done (while Mike walked/jogged a few laps around the park) and called it a day! And on a semi-related topic, Friday was officially the last time I’m going to really indulge in the vino until after this race, thankyouverymuch.

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It sure was nice having him around in case I toppled off my bike to nap in a roadside bush though.

After a LOT of water and sleep on Saturday, I was ready to run on Sunday. But then Mother Nature laughed in my face and spewed fire and 90% humidity at me. So I fueled up, double-fisted my coffee and water, and headed to the Y for my first treadmill run in months.

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multi-tasking at its finest

I’ve talked a bit in the past about how I don’t hate treadmill running as much as some of my running colleagues do. I actually kind of dig the mill. It’s temperature controlled, there’s a bathroom a few feet away whenever I need it, and I can push my pace in a safe, controlled way (and hide the speed decrease button to challenge myself even more) – what’s not to love?

As such, I’m pretty sure my positive attitude – coupled with the bottle of Nuun that I sipped on every 10 mins or so – turned this into one of my most successful treadmill runs ever!

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I rocked out to T-Swift and ran negative splits for the first time in my life, and the 10:xx pace was surprisingly easy to maintain, even for the final mile. Time was the only reason I had to cut my run short, and I felt like I could have gone much further. The treadmill and I were both drenched in sweat when I was done, too, which is remarkably satisfying!

While I haven’t been running as long as I was while training for the half, the consistently faster miles I AM running are proof positive that all this cross and strength training really is paying off, finally! After running 12:30-13:00 miles pretty solidly no matter the distance for the past year or so, I’m so relieved and energized to see some results, no matter how small!

So that was week 1 in a nutshell – how has your week gone?

What Have I Done?!

Ohhh boy… what did I just do? After all the thinking and hemming and hawing, and “maybe I shouldn’t”, “maybe I should” flip flopping, I’ve finally gone and done it: I registered for my first sprint triathlon!

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That’s right, just 2 days after my birthday this summer (in about 6 weeks!), I’m swimming 300 yards, biking 11 miles, and running 3 miles to officially earn the title of “triathlete” in the Jersey Girl Triathlon!

They say you should do one thing every day that scares you, and this is like, a year’s worth of scary for me. I mean, I know I’m capable of doing this – even if I have to crawl across that finish line I’m still going to finish – but it’s still completely and entirely new to me. But if I never try, I’ll never know exactly what I’m capable of, right?

So now it’s your turn – have any of you ever done this event before? Or a sprint tri of your own? I’m looking for all the advice I can get here, share the love!

Don’t Forget to Have Fun

Lately I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about how hard it is to balance things out without feeling like I’m stuck in an endlessly repeating loop.

giphyKind of like my friend the gray rat there..

In the past when a big race loomed on the horizon, I would get so focused on The Plan (with a capital P) that by week 10 I felt like a zombie. I’d spend most of the last few weeks wishing the monotony was over, plodding through each workout while repeating the faithful mantra “trust your training”.

duhFat lot of good that did me through endless treadmill miles.

I went from being excited to dreading those workouts, and if we’re being honest here, that kind of defeats the purpose of running, right?

So once my big spring races were done back in April, I scaled back my weekly mileage and looked for other ways to get my fitness kicks. And wouldn’t you know it, my running endurance has improved overall a result!

obvs I maintained a lower base mileage per week, kept my long runs to 5-6 miles on the weekend, and found that I looked forward to weekends because I could fit even more fitness-y type fun things in my day! On days when my knees and my heart just didn’t feel like running, I started doing stuff like yoga and walking (who knew?!). I biked more, both down the park on my trusty two wheeler and on my DeskCycle at the office.

IMG_5516Seriously, 18 miles while working? A few times a week? Hello, leg muscles!

As a result, the past few runs and smaller races I’ve done in May and June have been immensely better than my training runs and races in March and April. I go out strong and don’t waver after 10 minutes like I used to. My pace is consistently improving, even if by a few seconds. I feel stronger, more confident, and less anxious about race day in general. I’m also a few lbs lighter, which never hurts! Hell – yesterday I caught myself jogging up the spiral staircase at my office – I’ve never done that in the 2+ years I’ve been here!

hyperApologies to my coworkers for my new found energy.

I’ve got a 10K race coming up this Saturday and while I haven’t actually used a Plan with a capital P to prep for this race, I’m 100% fine with that. I’m trusting my training, even though it doesn’t fit into a rigid schedule and add up to a certain amount of miles per week. Sure, I’ll probably feel like dying halfway up those Central Park hills, but I look forward to it! Instead of “trusting my training”, this go-round I’m “embracing the journey” and look forward to smiling through all 6.2 miles.

How about you – have you ever just thrown “The Plan” out the window and gone for it? How did your race turn out? Want to race up the spiral staircase with me? 🙂

Trying out the DeskCycle

If you’ve seen some of my recent Instagram posts, you’ll notice that I’ve been doing some different cross training this past week, and I’m thrilled to finally be able to tell you all about it!

IMG_5426aAfter throwing my name into the pool for a “calling all bloggers” post on the Girls Gone Sporty Ambassador page, the folks at DeskCycle contacted me asking if I’d like to review their flagship product. I felt like I’d won the lottery! I accepted, and last Monday I received a note from our office warehouse manager saying that I had a package downstairs. It was like Christmas morning!

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Once my lunch hour rolled around I quickly got to work on putting it together – and surprised myself when I got it all right on the first try in under 10 minutes! Ikea furniture takes me like 3 hours and half a bottle of wine, so I was impressed with myself. The directions were super easy to follow and they even included that cute little wrench you see in the pic up there to help speed things along.

I was also very surprised by the high quality of this thing – it was SOLID. I had a little difficulty getting it up to my desk because the box was so heavy (maybe that’s a sign that I need some Desk Arm Weights?), and the pieces are heavy metal, ensuring that it’ll stay put no matter where you place it. Really impressive!

IMG_5433The coolest part was this little egg-shaped desktop display that connects to the bike and gives me a live feed of my speed, distance, calories burned, and total pedaling time! It’s extremely motivating to see that little thing staring me in the face, urging me to pedal some more. But I’ll get to that in detail later.

IMG_5429Once I got it all set up and under my desk, it took about 15 minutes to adjust the height of my chair and distance I needed to sit away from it in order to not bash my knees into the underside of my desk with every rotation, but luckily I’m a fast learner.

After a handful of co-workers all wandered by to take their turn trying it out (I had 4 coworkers who practically threw their credit cards at me to order their own once they tried it out), I settled in after lunch for some actual WORK, adjusted the handy little tension knob right between my feet to a level of 2 to start, and pedaled away.

It was virtually silent – the number one question I received on IG when I first posted about it – so unless you work in a library or office where you can literally hear a mouse fart, you don’t need to worry about annoying anyone. The only related noise I’ve heard in a week of using it is my chair squeaking as I pedal, but that’s my chair and not the bike!

I soon fell into a super focused zone as I compiled stats and did my day job work, and about 10-15 minutes into my ride, I found myself really sweating!! Usually I’m the one huddling up in a thick cardigan and complaining about how cold I am, but just a few miles on this thing and I was burning up! It happened so quickly that I had a brief moment of confusion before I realized that yes, I’d been biking, and… holy crap I did like 3 miles already! That was when I was hooked. Throughout the rest of the day, I’d pedal some more, step away from my desk to take care of something, come back and start up again. Before I knew it, 5pm rolled around, my legs were jelly, and I had completed more than 10.1 miles in 47 minutes!

IMG_5441That was all it took to hook me – now it was a game. I HAD to beat my mileage the next day! So Tuesday rolled around and I started my biking even earlier. I cranked up the tension to 3 this time, and felt the difference immediately. It also made me experience some “drifting” for the first few minutes too, which was a little annoying. I would pedal harder, only to push myself away from my desk and the bike, then have to wheel myself in again.

The folks at DeskCycle already had me covered though, because the bike comes complete with this neat little velcro Tether Strap that you can loop around your chair base and the front stand of the bike. Once you get it hooked around nice and tight, you magically stay put with no effort at all! Once I took care of that, I was able to crank out 15.5 miles throughout the day, with a total of 55 active minutes and 572 calories burned! I again sweat through my shirt after a few particularly strenuous bursts of cycling while filing emails, and while I’m not 100% sure how accurate the calorie counter is, 15.5 miles is nothing to sneeze at! Even if I burned 1/2 of those calories, that’s still something!

IMG_5452The competition with myself became fierce – my legs were super tired at the end of every day, but it was a great feeling getting this hard work in when I was sitting at my desk. I’m usually bushed by the end of the day, and pushing myself for a ride or run after a full day is sometimes a struggle. But with this fun little device, I was getting a good hour’s worth of workouts done each day while also working!

Wednesday I clocked a total of 17.1 miles in just over 59 minutes, and Thursday I managed to get in 18.2 miles in 66 minutes! It became a game – my coworkers would see me sweating as we held impromptu meetings around our desks and I pedaled away, and every few hours someone would yell out “How many miles are you at now?” and no matter what the number, their responses were always something like “I have got to get one of those!”

IMG_5516Friday was the final day of my self-imposed challenge, and I managed to clock a total of 18.5 miles, beating Thursday’s mileage by a hair. It’s true that 2.5 of those miles were running in the morning because I hadn’t run in days! But the 16 miles I biked throughout the day were still 16 miles, and I was amazed at the numbers I racked up over just one week’s use:

  • Total Miles Biked: 77 miles
  • Total Active Minutes: 4:44:09
  • Total Calories Burned: 2,828

All told, I was thoroughly impressed by the DeskCycle. I went into this thinking it might be a fun thing that I’d use and get tired of because it was too flimsy or didn’t give me a good idea of what I was doing, but this far exceeded my expectations. I get such a sense of accomplishment seeing those little numbers add up, and the wobbly-leg feeling I get at the end of every day tell me that I’m doing something right! It’s a super high-quality bike that will get your blood pumping while you’re doing every day tasks at your desk or even on the couch at home! My husband is dying to get one, and while I’ve promised him I’ll bring it home for him to try out, I have to admit: I think I’m just keeping this one and getting him one for our anniversary so I don’t have to share!

For more information or to get a DeskCycle of your own, check out their website – and tell them that JessRunsHappy sent you!

Disclosure: DeskCycle provided me a free sample in exchange for my honest review. Receiving product did not influence my review. All opinions are my own.