Many Happy Returns

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July is my favorite time of the year because (1) it’s summer and (2) it’s my birthday month! Yay! This year, my boyfriend took me on a sweet romantic trip to Maui–one of the Hawaiian islands I had not yet explored.  We shared some incredible, unforgettable experiences, like running along the beach, hiking, zip-lining, snorkeling and relaxing.  Although I was sad to wave goodbye to the island, I returned back to LA to celebrate my birthday with my dear friends, exploring one of my favorite exercise endeavors!

I initially started “Three-E-Beverley” this past February in an attempt to keep myself accountable for my bike training in preparation for the Solvang 1/2 century ride.  It was going to be my first long bike ride and I wanted a way to journal my progress.  I took spin classes at various studios around the city before work, after work, or on my days off–rain or shine, I wanted to stay committed.  With the help of Classpass, I have been able to experiment with several different studios within the South Bay area, and around the city of Los Angeles.  When you shop around to multiple studios, you’re bound to find your favorites.  Bespoke Cycling Studio is definitely at the top of my list.  In fact, I love this studio so much, I thought, why not throw an amazing birthday party for myself and friends?  My birthday was the perfect opportunity to introduce my friends to my favorite studio, whether they’ve been spinning before or if they are first timers.  Not only is Bespoke conveniently located off the 110 freeway, they provide free parking, free spin shoes, and free alkaline water.  And the cool eucalyptus scented towels at the end of class is always just the cherry on top.  Once Bespoke gave me the OK to throw my birthday party at the studio, invitations were sent out and my Sunday Funday Birthday Spinning Party planning began.

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I was lucky to have Elady agree to teach my birthday ride.  Not only does she bring a fun and inspiring energy to the classroom, but she always plays music that keeps you moving and grooving.  I feel so honored that she came into the studio, along with another incredible instructor named Jackson, to teach on her day off — what a special birthday treat.  My friends arrived early to the studio in preparation for my birthday ride; shoes on, bikes set, head in the game.  As we all clipped into our bikes and the music started pumping, Elady warmed us up and got the party started.  Her chemistry with Jackson was electrifying and the rhythm of the music got everyone motivated to conquer the next 60 minutes.  We danced on our bikes– tap backs and push ups, and Jackson introduced us all to the sexy body roll. Everyone, including myself, was sweating from absolutely every pore.  It was by far one of the sweatiest spin sessions I have ever challenged myself to.  After class, the guys in the group were joking about the pools of sweat they created around their bikes–mission accomplished!

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After 60 minutes of amazing cardio goodness, we all enjoyed a spread of mimosas, cold brew coffee courtesy of Sole Coffee & Tea, and fresh fruit.  Everyone was on an adrenaline high and I couldn’t be more grateful to the amazing host, Bespoke Cycling Studio, the hard working instructors, Elady and Jackson and to all my wonderful friends who woke up early (some hungover) to celebrate my birthday on a Sunday morning.

 

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“The Force” – ClassPass Review YAS- Silverlake

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Yas – SilverLake

http://go2yas.com/yas_locations/silverlake/

1932 Hyperion Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90027

323-665-6011

Classes: First Class $13/ Single class $25 or single yoga class $17, 10 classes $200, 10 Yoga Classes Only $140, Monthly Unlimited $250, Yearly unlimited $2200

  • If you work at Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles they offer your 1st class free.  Just show your ID.  $15/Single Class, $130 for 10 Classes

Parking: Free parking available in a small parkade, spots are limited.  Hyperion Avenue provides meter parking if none is available at the studio.

I find exercising after a 12 hour shift at the hospital quite difficult at times, but since YAS is less than a 10 minute drive away from my work, I convinced myself that I had no more excuses. The class consists of 30 minutes of spin followed by 30 minutes of yoga.  The first time I took a YAS class, I was initially thrown off with the 30/30 Spin and Yoga combination.  I’m use to taking one specific type of class at a time, such as either just spinning or just yoga, so the combination of both spin and yoga in one class was a nice change of pace.  It definitely makes the 60 minutes speed by quickly.  After taking care of others for 12 hours, my initial reaction is to go home, shower, grab a glass of wine then head into bed and prepare for the next day.  But I have to admit, the YAS 30/30 is a perfect healthy ending to my long day at the hospital.  Your heart is initially pumping from the cycling, followed by a calm relaxing meditative flow of stretching to end your class.  After class, I head home, take a nice long shower then head into bed, restful and relaxed.  At the end of the night, I feel a sense of great satisfaction knowing that I was able to not only take care of others at the hospital, but also myself at the studio.

 

What I Learned On My First 1/2 Century Bike Ride

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It’s been three weeks since my first 1/2 century bike ride and I have had time to rest, relax, and reflect on my first 50 mile bike journey.  My boyfriend and I signed up for the ride 6 months prior to the event, but I didn’t start seriously training until January, which was 2 months before the event.  I have never trained for any bike race event before, nor have I ridden a bike for more than 20 miles, so the thought of biking 50 miles was quite intimidating.  Fortunately I am lucky that I have an amazing trainer, who happens to be my boyfriend, who encourages me and helps me to push my limits.  Here are the 5 major things I learned during and before my 1/2 century ride.

  1. Training – Give yourself time to train.  The importance of putting yourself on a plan is significant.  Two months prior to the event I created a training calendar for myself.  Since I work 12 hour shifts at the hospital I had to force myself to schedule workout times before or after my shifts and on my days off.  I had to focus on both indoor and outdoor training.
    1. Indoor Training – I would take spin classes to help me build my endurance and confidence on the bike.  These were great training sessions prior to my shifts at the hospital because I would spend 45-60 minutes on the exercise bike before heading into a hectic shift.  
    2. Outdoor Training – Training outdoors on your actual bike is significant.  In spin classes when I’m tired, I have to admit I would cheat (guilty as charged) and not turn that dial up all the time.  When you are biking outside and riding up that hill, there is no turning down that dial.  If you do, you will be forced to get off your bike and walk up the hill.  I learned that I didn’t want to walk up that hill so I pushed myself.
  2. Equipment & Gear – Invest in buying good equipment and gear.  
    1. The Bike – My first bike was a heavy hybrid and although I loved that bike I realized that I would struggle completing 50 miles on it.  So we invested on buying a road bike that would make it easier for me to complete my 50 mile bike journey.  
    2. Shoes & Clothing – I recommend buying clip-in shoes and padded shorts.  Once I learned to clip-in on my bike, I became faster and it was much easier to ride uphill.  When buying your first clip-in shoes, it’s important to get fitted for those shoes at a local bike store.  I learned the hard way after riding in my shoes a few times (which I purchased online) that they were too small, so I had to go out and buy another pair of cycling shoes that were much more comfortable, making my ride much more enjoyable.  Sitting on your bike seat for hours without padding can make it difficult for anyone to enjoy a long bike ride, so I also used padded bike shorts or padded underwear.  These made a world of a difference and I can guarantee it will make a difference to you if you decide to use it for spin classes or outdoor cycling.
  3. Safety – When riding on the road, it’s important to know your road safety.  You don’t want to get hit by a car, nor does a car want to hit you.  When on a crowded road, ride single file and listen to your surroundings.  Similar to driving, stay to the right, except when you’re passing, then pass on the left.  During the Solvang ride, there was a group of four bikers in front of us who rode side by side, taking up the whole road.  While I was breathlessly struggling up the hills, they continued to block our path until my boyfriend called out “On your left!”, which then they finally moved to the right, allowing us to pass.
  4. Nutrition & Hydration – They have SAG stops for a reason.  SAG means ‘Support And Gear’, where they provide food, water, nutrition and maintenance for your bike.  I was feeling good at the beginning of my ride, so I didn’t force myself to eat very much during the SAG stop.  I ate a couple pieces of fruit and drank some water at the rest stop, but after riding past Panda Express, I completely regretted not eating more at the SAG stop.  The whiff of chinese food put me in a ‘hangry’ state of mind and I became grouchy because I didn’t properly feed my body.  While riding you burn so many calories that you need to remember to feed yourself.  Looking back I should have eaten a handful of peanuts and nuts they offered including their peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.  This would have helped me finish the race in a much more happier state of mind.    
  5. Have FUN! –  In the end, don’t forget to have fun.  I was lucky to have my friend Sarah  participate in the bike ride with me.  We encouraged one another to workout and have fun throughout the process.  I was also lucky that my boyfriend did the whole half century ride with my friend and me.  Even though he could have gone with his friends to ride the full century, he stayed with us the whole time and it made the ride much more enjoyable and fun.  Being in the company of others who share similar interests as you always enhances your experience.   

“Why Do We Fall?” – Alfred from the Dark Knight

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When I was eleven years old, I got my first bike.  I remember being super excited about it because that meant I could explore the neighborhood and travel far with my new bike.  I loved riding my bike everywhere when I was a kid but what I remember loving the most was speeding down hills.  The wind blowing through my hair and the thrill of the ride always put a huge grin on my face.  I was a kid and I was living in the moment.  Then one day, as I was traveling down a big hill and speeding along, a car driving down the street suddenly appeared on my right side.  I quickly turned my bike to the side, hit a curb, somersaulted in the air and landed on my hands and knees.  The driver of the car came out to check if I was ok, though I quickly brushed him off because all I could think about was how my mom was going to be upset with me for scraping my knees again.  I told the driver, “don’t worry I’m ok!” and rode my bike home.  Once I got home, I snuck through the back door and into the bathroom to wash off all the blood from both my elbows and knees.  Then suddenly I felt a sharp pain in my left arm and I couldn’t stop crying because the pain was unbearable.  My mom, hearing my sobs, came into the bathroom.  I looked up at her with tears in my eye’s apologizing to her about scraping my knees … again.  She looked at me and hugged me.  She helped me cleaned the blood from my knees and elbows and took a look at my arm and told me that I may have broken my arm.

I’m sharing this childhood story because after I fractured my arm, I didn’t ride a bike for a long time.  As I got older, I would ride along the strand, but I would never push myself to go too fast.  A couples years ago, I met my boyfriend, who happens to be an Ironman triathlete.  He loves biking so much that he bought me a beautiful bike.  He’s been such a great influence in my life that I told him that I wanted to train for a 1/2 century bike event in Solvang.  The past couple of weeks, he’s been pushing me to work on speed intervals and hill training.  This has been scary for me because our outdoor training sessions have many hills and cars.  Though with the help of both Classpass and my boyfriend’s training I have built up a lot of strength, endurance and speed.  While these attributes are significant to my training, I believe the most important accomplishment they both helped me achieve is the confidence to overcome my fears.  Don’t get me wrong, I still have fears of falling off my bike, but sometimes as I’m coasting along, I can’t help but be present in the moment and appreciate the beauty that surrounds us.

“Getting Out of Your Comfort Zone” – ClassPass Review: Bespoke Cycling Studio

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[Getting Fit Before My Shift]

Bespoke Cycling Studio

www.bespokecyclingstudio.com

735 S Figueroa Street 105, Los Angeles, CA, 90017

Cycling Classes: First time clients – $59 for two weeks of unlimited, $28 single class, $260 for a 10 class package, 1 month unlimited $299 – no commitment, auto-debit unlimited monthly $249.

Parking: 90 minutes of free parking available with validation.  Entrance located both 7th & 8th – Park only on garage level L1, L2 or L3.

I was on my way home running errands when I took my 1st class at Bespoke cycling studio. My boyfriend reminded me that I have to train for Solvang ½ century and that spinning is great training. So I looked on Classpass for local downtown areas that offered spinning and signed up for Kelly Proctor’s class.  I’m always weary when I take a new instructor’s class because i often get attached to certain teachers that I absolutely love. This is one of the main reasons why I love Classpass because it forces me to try different studios, different instructors and different workouts. I get comfortable in my little space and forget that change is not to be feared, but to be embraced.  “Getting here is always the hardest part”  the mantra I always hear in my yoga classes and once I arrived at Kelly’s class I was so happy that I came.  Her class was amazing.  I absolutely loved the structure and the music she played.  She kept me energized throughout the whole 45 minutes.  After taking her class, i was determined to try out the other instructors at Bespoke.  Luckily they offer a 930am class which is perfect for me to take prior to heading into work.  Elady’s class at 930am is just as amazing as Kelly’s and I love spinning to the beat of the music in her class.  I leave the end of class dripping in sweat.   After getting your butt kicked for 45 minutes, Bespoke offers cold towels to wipe yourself in after your major sweat session.  What a refreshing treat.  Since the studio is on my way to work I usually take advantage of their shower rooms.  They offer all the amenities (towels, shampoo, conditioner and body wash) that the only thing i need to bring is myself and a change of clothes.  It’s a great way to start my day prior to heading into my chaotic shift at the hospital.

Bonus: If you don’t have your own pair of spin shoes, Bespoke provides them so you can experience the full leg workout.

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“The Power of Shared Energy” – ClassPass Review: FitOn Studios

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[First Class with my co-worker at FitOn Studios]

FitOn Studios – Manhattan Beach & Redondo Beach

www.fitonstudios.com

2407 N Sepulveda Blvd                          531 N Pacific Coast Hwy

Manhattan Beach, CA 90266             Redondo Beach, CA 90277

Cycling Classes: 1st class free, $18 single class, $160 for a 10 class package,

Barre/TRX/Fit 30-30 Classes: $21 single class, $190 for a 10 class package

$199 unlimited everything/month

Parking: Free parking available behind the studio (located off of Marine Ave and Oak Street) – Entrance easier to enter via Oak street

I got introduced to fit-on when they 1st offered their Groupon special.  You can’t beat 10 classes for $59 dollars.  The Groupon worked at both the Manhattan and Redondo beach locations.  If Groupon isn’t offering this special then I definitely recommend signing up for Classpass. Taking several classes with fit-on via the Groupon special and Classpass, I’ve tested out many of their spin instructors.  With this knowledge I naturally gravitate towards the spin instructors who inspire and push me to my limits. PK teaches both at FitOn and Bay club in the south bay.  I know he teaches at Bay Club because my boyfriend is a part of that gym and he loves PK’s class.  He tells me his music is motivating and his energy is incredibly infectious and I couldn’t agree with him more.  His music will keep your feet pedaling through the music and your heart pumping.  I’ve also taken Angela Bennett’s class and she definitely has the same energy level as PK, but incorporates weights for your arms at the end of class which is a nice change.  She incorporates both spinning and lifting so your legs and arm gets an equal opportunity to get a good workout in.

Because I’m training for Solvang, I haven’t had a chance to try out their barre or trx classes, but once I complete my bike event, I’m definitely going to give these classes a try.

 

“Solo Sweat” – ClassPass Review: YogaCycle

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YogaCycle

http://www.yogacycle.com

2015 Manhattan Beach Blvd Ste 110, Redondo Beach, CA, 90278

Yoga, Indoor Cycling & TRX

Classes: $10 first class/Yelp has first free class offer, $25 single class, $50 2 weeks unlimited, $120 autopay monthly

Parking: Free parking available in front of the studio on the corner of Manhattan Beach Blvd & Doolittle Drive

YogaCycle was one of the first studios I visited when joining classpass! I’ve only taken their spin classes since I have been training for Solvang.  Since it’s a fairly new studio everything in their facility is new, chic and modern.  The owners and instructors are super friendly and helpful when setting up your bikes.  Since the studio is less than a year old, there have been times when I have taken a couple of their spin classes being the only student, but that didn’t stop my sweat factor at all.  When you are the only one in class there is no cheating with that dial.  After a class with YogaCycle I was dripping in sweat.  Thank goodness for their shower rooms with dove shampoo, conditioner and body wash.  But remember to bring your own towel as they don’t offer this extra amenity.