Frabjous Times


Saddled back up

It's been about four months now that I've been feeling less than perfectly healthy for one reason or another. Today is the first day I've been back to spin class at The Gym, and it felt pretty good.
The last few weeks, after I felt recovered from my last emergency room malady, I started going back a few times a week to see how well I could bring my cardiovascular fitness level back up. I didn't have any recurrence of problems breathing, and in fact it wasn't until I resumed cardio training that I finally was able to shake the rattle in my lungs. Fortunately it turned out that over time I was able to regulate my heart rate enough that I wasn't feeling all wiped out by the end of a half-hour workout. As an added bonus, we've been having this heat wave here much like the rest of the country, so it's also been a good test of my cooling systems. By the time the heat broke a couple of days ago, I'd decided it was time to get back onto a spinning bike and see what I could do for an hour.
I have been going to the 8:30 AM Saturday class for some years now. It turned out that the illness which began my hiatus was first manifested the first Saturday we had a brand-new instructor; the feeling of unwell I had afterwards was quite uncharacteristic, even allowing for differences in style from that of the previous instructor. He was still in charge of this time slot and the class hadn't grown from the half-dozen participants it had when I'd left off. I tried to get my name put on the signup list on Thursday but was told "it really isn't necessary, everything should be fine." I remembered to perform the usual preparations for class: bring along my bike shoes, hydrate starting a half-hour before class, instep and sole stretches beforehand, set up the bike to the best height settings for me, warm up fast and slow while waiting for things to begin.
The class featured different versions of “jumps” at high and low resistance, some higher speed work in the saddle and in third position, and progressive tension increases at constant speed. The only thing I missed was all-out sprinting. I expected to hit my limit either in my chest or in my legs, but it turned out that the thing that bothered me the most was some strain across the top of my back, which never was an issue before. I think maybe I was working my arms a little harder than I was ready for at the time.
I was still able to do some work this afternoon (spraying finish on a dining table at a customer's home) before zonking out for a while. Good workout.
Originally published: 2005/07/30 19:17:08
Previously published: Sat Jul 30 19:59:18 2005