I am still “gym shopping” and have a 2 week trial membership at Sport & Health. I went to a spin, excuse me, cycling class there yesterday. The room was cool, dark with black lights and tv screens the played music videos of the songs we cycled to. However I was caught off guard by 2 things. 

1. The bikes. This Keiser bike freaked me out. It took a few adjustments throughout the class for me to find my “sweet spot” on the bike. I’m not sold on the set up of the bike yet, but I did like the screen that showed RPMs, calories, gear and MILEAGE. I did 20.5 miles yesterday in class and burned 440 calories!

2. The lack of interaction in the class THREW ME OFF. My old class that I loved had 2 high energy instructors who cheered us on and motivated throughout most of the class. Heck they’d even sing along or do dance moves at times. AND all as participants in the class we actively shouted, cheered, and sometimes even barked BACK at the instructors. This class was very quiet. The instructor didn’t talk a bunch and everyone in the class was silent. After the class I talked to instructor (who was subbing) and asked about if there are more interactive classes and he said not really. He said in DC people tend to me a bit uptight and aren’t into cheering, being vocal. 

I don’t know if Les Mills RPM is a different type of class than other spin/cycling classes, but all I know is I miss my RPM class with Mitch & Ria in good ol’ Alabama terribly!

CITY FOLKS: are “city” classes more uptight than “country” classes?

For Athletes, Dealing With Pain May Be A Big Gain

Via: NPR

Ever wonder why some people can run a 50-mile ultramarathon while for others even the thought of such endurance sports borders on torture?

Exceptional physical fitness, of course, sets the ultramarathoners apart from the rest of us. But scientists say what might be more important is athletes’ excellent ability — both psychologically and physically — to cope with pain.

It turns out that most athletes’ high tolerance for pain while exercising may also help them deal with it when they’re at rest.

A fresh analysis of studies on pain perception by researchers at the University of Heidelberg in Germany finds that athletes can tolerate more pain than non-athletes. And, the researchers conclude, regular physical activity can change the way practically anyone perceives and tolerates pain.


Of course one size doesn’t fit all when it comes to pain relief, but the German researchers think that exercise could help people with chronic pain learn how to better deal with it. The findings appear today in the journal Pain.

The researchers looked at 15 studies that evaluated people’s pain threshold, comparing the jocks with the couch potatoes. The athletes — and especially endurance athletes — consistently seem better equipped to grin and bear pain than non-athletes.

But athletes don’t seem to have a higher threshold for pain than others. In other words, most people recognize pain the same way. Athletes can just stand more of it longer.

That seems to be because athletes tend to develop coping skills in their training. “Athletes are frequently exposed to unpleasant sensory experiences during their daily physical efforts, and high physical and psychological resistances must be overcome during competitions or very exhausting activities,” the researchers write. “However, athletes are forced to develop efficient pain-coping skills because of their systematic exposure to brief periods of intense pain.”

The researchers hope that non-athletes will take a cue from athletes and use exercise as a form of treatment to build up these skills. Exercise is far from a new treatment for pain, but neurobiologists are just starting to learn how it works on the brain’s perception of pain.

Still, as Jonas Tesarz, a pain specialist who lead the study, said in a statement, “Further research is needed to clarify the exact relationship between physical activity and modifications in pain perception.”

As we’ve reported, researchers are also exploring how meditation might also help people suffering from chronic pain, as another way to relieve it without highly addictive drugs, or their side effects.

Locked out

So Wednesday I took the day off to handle DMV and other relocation type garbage including finding new doctors – hence my sports podiatry appt which was able to get due to a cancellation as opposed to waiting 3 weeks.

I was gearing up for a run Wednesday, I was outside with the dog and my house key, but my Garmin didn’t have any juice so I charged it and did shred instead. I was running late for a date I didn’t want to go on and opted not to run. I shower and get ready for the date just for the guy to tell me he thought it was Thursday and not Wednesday. Really?!?

My roommate was at a hockey playoff game, but I was texting with her and she suggested I go shopping for a date I outfit for a different date this weekend. So I grab my keys and close the bottom lock from the inside (which was never an option at my old apartment) and pull the door closed when I realize I never put my housekey BACK on my keychain from when I was going to go run!

On top of that my car clicker battery chose that moment to die also so I had to manually open the car and drive to CVS to get a battery for it slash figure out how to open the damn clicker.

To make a LOONG story story. I dealt with 2 failure locksmiths and had to wait 4 hours in my car for my roommate to come home.

Words of advice: Make a spare key just to have as a running key so you don’t have to take your actual key off your keychain!

Meet my new friend night splint. I have a heel bone spur and plantar fasciitis according to the doctor. It’s treatable, but not curable. Lots of different possible treatments. I’m going with the splint and icing options on top of new running shoes and getting inserts.

Talk about BEFORE and AFTER.

Sarah and I have each lost more than 40 pounds since the last time I saw her in summer 2009.

Sarah came to DC this weekend to visit and run the Race for Hope 5K with me. She kicked ass with a time of 24 minutes.

Despite us not living in the same state since college, Sarah has been such a supportive friend, cheerleader, and tumblr reader. We are running the Marine Corps Marathon in October together and know it will only strengthen our bond.