Friday was my Peloton bike delivery day, and I was so excited! Since I knew I’d want to shower after the delivery, I also made it my grocery shopping day, and headed to the store after a short walk with Sugar and then my regular 7am work call.
However, the delivery people surprised me and called while I was at the store, saying they were ahead of scheduled and would it be okay for them to come early? I had just gotten to the front of the line to get into Trader Joe’s, but knew I’d be very quick in the store, so we agreed to meet up in 30 minutes. I arrived home to find they had already mostly assembled the bike in their van, and it took them less than 5 minutes to carry it down to my back patio, attach the screen, and then quickly carry it over the threshold and all the way to the spot where I wanted it! I was thrilled the guys were willing to bring it in for me, since I was a little worried about navigating the heavy bike over the sliding door track by myself. We all wore masks, and they basically dropped it off then immediately headed outside to give me a few instructions – only inside for less than a minute. Perfection!
While I was eager to finally ride my fancy new bike, I forced myself not to. I have been working out a lot lately – mostly because I’ve been running with Sugar every morning, and she is such a joy on the leash that I end up doing a lot more mileage than I did with Sesame! For several days in a row, I’ve told myself I should keep it to a short run of 3 miles or so… and then kept adding on more cul de sacs and turns on the neighborhood streets until we’re clocking in six miles. I could tell that my body needed a rest day, and Friday was it! So I only jumped on the bike for a 90 second “just ride” to make sure the bike was working properly, and then forced myself to stay off it and skip all other workouts until Saturday.
It ended up being a good day for a workout break, though – work was slammed! While most days of the week I’ll work as late as I need to, I usually try to call a hard stop on work at 5pm on Fridays. But not so much this weekend. I ended up working till 8pm, heating up some leftovers quickly for dinner, and calling it a night pretty early.
Saturday morning, I wanted to get Sugar some good exercise (since we had only done a 20 minute walk the day before), but I also wanted to prioritize a Peloton ride as my own challenge for the day. As a compromise, I took Sugar on a three mile trail run up on Coyote Ridge, and I was disappointed to find that in spite of my rest day, I was still pretty slow. Ugh! I hoped I wasn’t so burned out that I would need two rest days in a row to really recover. I know I have been working out a lot lately, but it’s one of the activities that makes me happiest in quarantine 🙁
After getting back home, I quickly headed to my basement and decided on an intervals & arms class with Tunde Oyenin to christen my bike. Although the class was a few weeks old, I ended up getting a huge surprise… when Tunde herself high fived me!! I’ve heard that the instructors will sometimes pop into their old rides to dole out high fives, but I’ve never had it happen to me before, and I certainly wasn’t expecting it. I honestly squealed with glee when it happened (scaring poor Sugar who was sleeping in the corner), and all I could think of was the much-maligned Peloton Christmas commercial, where the actress says, “She said my name?!” in excited disbelief. So many people hated that commercial, but personally, I thought it was pretty spot on, and this experience cemented that 🙂
After the ride, I jumped off the bike and flipped to the Peloton app on my iPad for something else special – my friend Heather R’s 150th strength class! Four of us took the class live with her to celebrate, and it was really fun to think of us all safely in our own homes but doing the same workout. Meanwhile, it was a good workout – here’s a link if you want to try it. Although it was bodyweight, it was definitely full body, and pretty intense too! I kept wishing for more rest breaks, though I know it’s good for me that I didn’t get them (ha). There was a 5 min warmup, 10 min focus on upper body / core (renegade rows, pushups, and something core), 10 min focus on lower body / core (reverse lunges, deadlifts, cossack squats, plank pull throughs, and plank punches), and 5 min AMRAP finisher (6 curtsy lunges, 6 cleans, 6 push presses). I got super sweaty, and was proud to stick with 20 lb dumbbells for the whole AMRAP!
I want to share a great quote from Jess’ class. “Instead of saying ‘I can’t wait till this is over’, say, ‘I can’t wait to see who I am when this is over.'” I completely agree with that sentiment, and it is exactly what my mindset has been for quarantine. You can’t look at this as a pause on life; life keeps going, even while we’re at home. I think you have to look at it from a lens of, how can you make the time at home productive, in whatever way you most need? Maybe that’s working out, maybe that’s family time, maybe it’s reading, or maybe it’s resting and taking care of yourself. But it makes me sad to see friends counting down “until this is over” rather than taking advantage of the forced sabbatical we all have, and figuring out how to put it to use.
As I know I’ve probably whined about ad nauseum, I was planning to take the month of July as a sabbatical, and live in France for five weeks – focusing on training hard as a runner and also enjoying my cooking. I may not be in France (though I can pretend!), but I’m trying to take advantage of being home and not being able to go out to do the activities I had been planning for my sabbatical. Work is super busy right now, but not being able to see friends has given me a lot of extra time, and I’m trying to make the most of it by doing my best to make my life what I wish it could be.
After the strength class, it was finally time to dive into the yummy breakfast I had popped into the oven during my workout – Budget Bytes’ carrot cake baked oatmeal, plus a massive mug of coffee. While shopping on Friday, I had also picked up an order at Target that included both disinfectant (score, finally!) and this adorable coffee mug. I had been talking to friends for weeks about how when non-essential stores reopen, the first thing I wanted to buy was a giant coffee mug that makes me smile. But then, it occurred to me that Target has cute mugs in addition to groceries / necessities… and when I found this online for pickup, this fit the bill! I know I don’t need another coffee mug, but to use Marie Kondo terms, this totally “sparks joy” for me, and therefore was well worth the $5 I spent on it for how happy it makes me. Funny how it’s the little things!
I spent most of the rest of the afternoon reading and relaxing, with Sugar sunning herself on the patio. Although she’s not allowed on the indoor couches, I decided to make an exception and allow her on the outdoor sofa.
Although I fired up Zoom for my weekly Saturday game night, it ended up being three of us – Heather R, Heather B, and me. With that small group, we were able to easily just have a conversation rather than needing to do a structured activity (as I’m sure you’ve also experienced, I find that conversations with more than a four or so people on a Zoom meeting are just unwieldy). It felt so good to catch up with these girlfriends! Heather R and Heather B have actually never met in person (I introduced them during quarantine), but we’ve become pretty close, and Saturday’s discussion was a great example – it feels great to have good friends for intimate conversations about the state of the world today.
I went to bed early after our Zoom call… but ended up staying up till midnight reading. Oops! Not my intention… though I read two entire books, so it was at least productive insomnia 😉
The next morning, I eschewed my shiny Peloton bike (hopefully that doesn’t become a thing) for a long trail run. The trails around my house are nice for weekdays, but I’m trying to spend at least one day each weekend driving to a trailhead (within ten miles of my house, per the governor’s directive) for a change of scenery. On Sunday, Sugar and I headed to the High Plains Trailhead – a trailhead I can actually run to from my house if I’m doing a longer run.
We did go for our longest run ever though – 7.1 miles! Sugar was a champ and kept a great steady pace in the second half, particularly – it seemed like she figured out her rhythm and learned exactly how far ahead of me to run where I wouldn’t trip over her on the single track. I also learned she doesn’t really like technical trails and tends to slow down a lot on rocks, so that will shape where I take her in the future. I am definitely going to start doing this trail frequently! We only saw two runners and one biker the whole time, which I thought was pretty good.
When I got home, I dived into brunch in a big way – making blueberry waffles that I topped with lemon curd. Yum! After a bit of a break for that, I decided I still had a lot of energy (I’m sure the sugar helped), and so ended up jumping on the Peloton bike after all – this time for the 30 minute Lizzo ride with Robin, in order to get the special Peloton “quest” badge. I don’t know that I care that much about badges, but I’ve been curious about this ride anyway. Unfortunately, it was not my cup of tea – Robin was rather shouty, and I was also disappointed that the target metrics weren’t at all accurate (seems weird that they wouldn’t get right for a featured class they were encouraging thousands of people to go back and take?). I was still glad I tried it, though.
In contrast, the 20 minute Jess Sims upper body class from 5/7 that I took right after was possibly the best Peloton strength class I’ve ever done! We hit the arms hard, and in a straightforward way where you knew exactly what was coming and there weren’t many rest breaks. 2 min mobility warm up, 8 mins of three moves (bicep curl to press to tricep extension, and two others) repeated three times, 8 mins of four moves (reverse flyes, skull crushers, chest presses, Arnold presses) repeated three times, and then a 2 min plank finisher. The plank (after all that work) was particularly brutal – my shoulder were begging for mercy after just 20 seconds, and I really struggled to stick with it till the end. I am going to be sore for days after this! Love it and can’t recommend it enough – this is definitely going on my list of classes to repeat, as it absolutely smoked my arms. I knew I would barely be able to move them on Monday, and that felt good!
For lunch, I decided I was still in the mood for something fruity (I am loving citrus flavors lately!), so tried Budget Bytes’ recipe for orange chicken. I paired it with steamed broccoli for a healthy, but really delicious meal! I spent the afternoon alternating between chores and reading magazines, and I felt really good about everything I accomplished – I got a lot done in a short space of time!
Finally, while I didn’t do a ballet class like last week, I once again looked to Instagram Live for entertainment – and took a live cooking class with Deena Kastor and the Mammoth Track Club! She taught us to make a vegan shepherd’s pie, and I had a lot of fun cooking along with her. However, I decided I wasn’t really in the mood for such a heavy dish (I was still reasonably full from the orange chicken), so decided to not cook it and just put the assembled dish into the fridge to bake the next day.
For my Sunday night dinner, I quickly threw together Budget Bytes’ creamy white bean and spinach quesadillas. My tortillas were falling apart a little bit (I have the smaller size for individual tacos, which seem to be flakier), so they were pretty messy, but they were also really tasty… and reasonably healthy too. Good decision for a quick and easy meal!
So – lots of good workouts, lots of good food, and lots of quality time on the trails with Sugar. Not a bad weekend overall!