SPIRE Ride at SPIRE Fitness

spirespinstudioOn Saturday, I decided to try out a new fitness studio in Milwaukee. Since all Saturday classes at The Barre Code were booked solid when I went to sign up for class on Wednesday, I took advantage of the free first class at Spire Fitness.

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I first heard about Spire Fitness through a Facebook post. I was really excited to see a spinning studio coming to the Milwaukee area and was very eager to try it out. Spinning was always my go-to heart pumping, cardio workout before I discovered cardio classes at the barre. I was a little nervous because the last time I took a spin class I was pregnant with Madelyn, so it has been awhile.

I signed up for the 8:30 a.m. ride with Hubie. When I got there, I checked in and they gave me a fresh towel. I put my stuff in the lockers that they had in the lobby and walked into the cycling studio. It was set up with like your typical spin studio: the bikes were all lined up stadium style with the instructor bike being in the front of class. There were mirrors in the front of the class. In the mirror I read this quote: “The only time you should ever look back is to see how far you’ve come.” The words were written backwards on the wall, only to be read the right way in the mirror.  Loved this design element and motivation.

The bikes had dual platform pedals with the option to clip in if you had bike shoes. I don’t have bike shoes, so I chose the bike that also had the shoe straps. I got my bike set up and the instructor looked it over before we began class. There were 5 of us in class and we had one latecomer to the class. For the most part, most of us were new to this studio and needed help adjusting to the bikes. Because of this, class started 6 minutes late. I didn’t care so much because I didn’t have anywhere in particular to be, but I could see how this could be a little annoying if you’re working out before work or something else.

We finally began our workout and it was amazing! From the music and the light changing to the awesome instructor, I had a great workout. We started out with a warm up and the lights were a warm orange. I felt like I was under a heat lamp, warming up my body. Once we started getting into our workout, the lights changed to a cool blue, which helped me focus on working hard. We did 1 minute sprints at the end the lights went out! It was pretty cool to ride in the dark.  Hubie was a wonderful instructor too. He kept reminding us to engage our core and to make smooth circles on the bike, using those push/pull (quads/hamstrings) muscles. He was really motivating, riding with us the entire time. I’ve taken spin classes where the instructor hops off the bike and walks around the room “motivating” (more like shouting at people) to work hard. Not a fan of that. I knew the entire time what I should be doing and how hard I should be working.

Pros:
-Great Instructor
-Free first class
-Easy parking 3rd ward parking @8am
-Fresh towels incase you forget one
-Great retail area
-Option to take other classes: they offer yoga & rowing
-One of a kind cycling experience

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Cons:
-The price. For a monthly unlimited it is $160, it can be kind of costly.
-Late class start.
-The lockers don’t have locks. They’re just lockers to store your stuff, so I wouldn’t advise bringing anything of value in with you.

Overall, this spin class was really good and I’m looking forward to trying it out again. They offer a new client special of 8 days unlimited classes for $20. I might try it out in December or the first of the year because I’d really love to try out their yoga and rowing classes. This is a great addition to the Milwaukee fitness scene and I’ll definitely be back!

Pumpkin Season!

Happy Wednesday! I hope everyone’s week is off to a great start! I just finished up week 14 of marathon training for Chicago and I’m well into week 15-PEAK WEEK! After this week is over, the mileage starts to decrease before the big day is here. I’m very excited and only a little bit nervous ;-)
Here’s how week 14 went down:
Monday: Barre Class
Tuesday: 5 miles @ 9:10 + core work
Wednesday: 9 miles @ 9:50. Had some Garmin issues along with rainy & windy weather, but I powered through and figured out what went wrong at the end.
Thursday: 5 miles @ 9:10 + core & stretching
Friday: Barre class/stretch
Saturday: 18 miles @ 10:05. Played around with my pace for the marathon. Ended the last mile going uphill. Muy mal planning on my part. Weather was slightly cooler than what is normal for this time of year, but I refused to put away the shorts just yet.
photoSunday: Brunch with the family/rest day/took lots of naps and it was glorious.
On Sunday, I was feeling domestic. With last week’s cooler temps, I thought it would be the perfect time to whip up some baked goods. I had a counter full of zucchini and a cupboard full of canned pumpkin. Put the two together and I present to you, Paleo Pumpkin Zucchini Bread. It turned out so good (and made our house smell like Fall), that the whole loaf pan was gone with in two days. Oopsy whoopsy. I will be making another batch, experimenting with another type of almond flour. Maybe it will be done in time for a special house guest next weekend? ;-)  I’d like to find an almond flour that works well in baked goods and doesn’t make my bread/muffins too “soggy”. It was good, but a little bit more “soggy” (as I hate the word moist!) than I would’ve liked. The pumpkin could’ve been the culprit too.
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Pumpkin Zucchini Bread

Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 cup blanched almond flour
  • 3 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 eggs beaten
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup shredded & zucchini
Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Mix dry ingredients (first 4) in a small bowl. Set aside
3. Shred unpeeled zucchini and blot with a paper towel to squeeze out excess moisture
4. Beat 3 eggs in a larger bowl. Place the remaining ingredients (except zucchini) in the bowl, then mix on medium for about 2 minutes until all ingredients are combined. Add the zucchini and beat again just enough to incorporate.
5. Slowly add the dry ingredients with the mixer running, until all of the flour mixture has been mixed in.
6. Spoon the batter into a loaf pan. You can also make muffins.
7. Bake for about 50-60 minutes until the middle is set and a toothpick comes out clean.
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Question of the day: What is your favorite pumpkin flavored thing to eat/drink/make? I also love pumpkin cupcakes with cream cheese frosting :-) My fave!

Weekend Happenings

Happy Tuesday!  I got an extended weekend this week…I’m home sick today :-/  Being sick on a nice, sunny day is the absolute worst.  But I’m taking advantage of having an empty, quiet house by relaxing and catching up on some reading.

This past Sunday, Madelyn and I met my sister and her friend at Colectivo for Maker Market.  We browsed some local vendors and I picked up some handmade soap from Cloud Nine Soap Co.

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This is my first experience with handmade soap and I loved it.  It left my skin feeling super soft and clean.  Added bonus, the soap had a very mild, but pleasant smell to it.  I’m going to definitely check out more of their products next time I come across their stand at a market.

After the market, we headed to Home Depot to get some things for our yard.  I got some hanging flower baskets and hubs got grass seed and straw.  Hopefully, we seeded correctly and we will have grass by this summer!  Our yard has come a LONG way and I’m excited to see it when it’s all finished.  IMG_2624Although we spent a lot of time in the yard this weekend, we also found some time to play at the park!

parkThis little monkey LOVES the park!!  This was the first time that I’ve taken her by myself and I never realized how much she loves to climb!!  She’s pretty brave too :-) We played for awhile and she fell asleep in her stroller on the walk home.  She’s at such a fun age-this summer will be filled with lots of adventures :-)

I’m off to eat some breakfast, drink some juice and hopefully kick this cold!

Kinda like Christmas

Happy Monday!  How was your weekend?  Ours was pretty jam packed over here: birthdays, baseball games and the discovery of a new to me running store…10 minutes from my house {DANGER!}

PROAfter work on Friday, I headed over to Performance Running Outfitters (PRO) to get fitted for running shoes.  Last time I got fitted for shoes was shortly after Madelyn was born.  I kept buying the same pair when the previous ones wore out.  This time, I wanted to talk to a professional because, since training for the marathon, my left calf and heel seem to get really tight after my runs.  The lady who helped me had me do a few exercises and then got me on the treadmill to video record my feet while I ran.  I have neutral pronation, my foot rolls in very slightly as it lands on the ground.  My running form has gotten tremendously better since the last time I got fitted for shoes so the shoes I was running in had much more stability than I actually need anymore.

After running in a few pair of shoes, I decided to go with the Saucony Guide 7…and a pair of Newtons.  I’ve been eyeing up Newton’s since my mom’s friend told me about how much she loved running in hers during the Get Lucky 1/2 Marathon.  I initially went to PRO with every intention on just getting the Newton’s, but because they’re more of a natural running shoe, there’s an adjustment period with them so I needed another shoe to rotate out.  Lucky for me PRO gives a 10% military discount and they also honor Newton’s 20% military discount.  After looking at their website a little bit more, I later found out that the woman who helped me, Jessica, was actually the owner of the store.  She was so nice and down to earth.  I’ll definitely be back for all of my running gear :-)

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Another awesome benefit of shopping at PRO?  For every $200 you spend, you get $25 back to use on your next purchase. I went back the next day and bought this $70 Brooks running jacket for $17.  It was marked down on clearance and I had my $25 to spend.  WIN!

brooksjacket

On Saturday morning, I headed out the door to break in my new Saucony’s.  I did 6 miles, out and back and my legs felt great!  A little sore, but nothing like what I’ve been experiencing.

first6milesI had my route mapped out and kept an eye on my pace the whole time.  That was the first time I focused on my pace as opposed to the distance, and I think it worked out well for me :-)

After I was done running, I had a bunch of errands to get to(including heading back to the running store!) for someone’s birthday!! Larry turned 30 this weekend and we were having a little party at our house to celebrate him.  I purchased cupcakes from Miss Cupcake and a dozen vegan cupcakes from Classy Girl cupcakes.  I picked out the “manliest” cupcakes I could find: Beer Nuts, Stout, and Maple Bacon.  The vegan cupcakes were banana with chocolate-Madelyn LOVED them and all weekend I kept hearing a little voice saying, “cupcake, cupcake!”

cupcakesHubs knew about his party, so I surprised him with an awesome gift…Cubs VS Red Sox in BOSTON!!! We’ll be heading to Beantown at the end of June and I can’t wait!  We haven’t boarded a plane for a trip since our honeymoon three years ago.  He was really excited as well.

gift

After the party, we headed out to the bars for a little bit and then woke up in the morning to get to the Brewers/Cubs game.

SOB

Note the water in Larry’s hand :-) We just can’t hang like we used to…nor do I want to :-)

It was a great weekend with awesome friends and family.  30 looks good on him if I must say so myself ;-)

I’m excited to break in my Newtons.  I think I’ll take those for a little spin on the treadmill tomorrow!

What’s your favorite piece of workout gear to go shopping for?  Nothing beats a good pair of shoes and a supportive sports bra!

Clean house, Happy House

Happy Monday Friends!  Did everyone enjoy a long weekend?  I feel like weekends are never long enough.  I had Friday off of work.  Instead of doing something fun and enjoying the day, Madelyn went to daycare and I went to a quick workout class and then home to clean.  It’s much easier to do a deep cleaning when there isn’t a toddler running around destroying everything in her path.  After 5+ hours of cleaning, I promised myself that I would never spend a Friday off of work cleaning again.  Enter the long awaited chore chart.  cleanhousehappyhouse

I’m surprised this wasn’t done sooner.  But it is here and I’m really hoping that it works, because spending your whole day cleaning is zero fun.

Also done this weekend?  My longest run since the Chicago Marathon.  After the marathon, I look a very long, much needed break from running.  It was nice to casually get back into it and run for fun not because I had to.  I had been keeping it around 3 or 4 miles each run, mostly because that’s all I could muster for the treadmill.  But on Saturday, I was feeling really good and I just kept going.

5miler5 miles done.  Now to increase my mileage and get ready for a half marathon in March.

Here’s what’s on the workout and dinner schedule this week:

Monday: Barre & leftovers from date night in (Recipe coming this week!)

Tuesday: Easy 3 miles/pasta with italian sausage, veggies and sauce

Wednesday: Barre/roasted chicken and butternut squash

Thursday: Run 3.5 + core / Fish tacos and beans

Friday: Much needed rest day! No set dinner plans.

I’m off to go get dinner prepared for Madelyn and then to get studying for my NASM test.  I hope everyone has a good week!

What’s the one household chore you hate the most?  Mine would be cleaning the shower!  Luckily, I came across a very helpful pin that will hopefully make it less painless.

Chickmas #18

Happy Sunday!!  Who’s ready for a Packers/Bears Showdown hashtag fighttothedeath?  We are!  Unfortunately though, we live in a house divided and someone is going to be very sad at the end of the game…hopefully it’s hubs :-) I can’t wait to watch the return of Aaron Rodgers and cheer on my Packers!

So last night, 6 of my girlfriends and I celebrated our 18th Girls Christmas together.  I was talking to someone at work about this and they were amazed.  “How is that even possible? You’re not old enough!”  Well we’ve been doing this since we were in 6th grade, so yes it is possible :-)  Normally, we get together at someone’s house sit around and eat, drink and gossip.  This year I volunteered to host and decided to mix things up a bit.

There’s a place in the village of Tosa called Artè that I’ve been wanting to try out and thought it would be so fun to go to for girls night.  The concept behind Artè is that you “drink until it looks good”.  Painting & drinking-a winning combination :-)

We started out at my house with tons of appetizers and Christmas Sangria.  Afterward, we headed out to our painting class.  This place is so cool.  When you first walk in they have a separate part where you can just go and paint a little canvas and sit with some drinks (a fun place for a date night!).  In the back area of the bar is where they have the class.  The instructor takes you step by step to create your canvas work of art.

arte1 arte2 arte3It was a lot easier than I had anticipated and was really happy with the way that it turned out.  I had so much fun with my girls and I see a fun little date night in mine and Larry’s future :-)

With the New Year coming up, I’m trying to get back on track with healthy eating.  These past few weeks have been so tough with the holidays!  Tina over at Carrots N Cake has started an 8 week Get Healthy Stay Healthy.  Each week, she posts a new challenge to follow for the week.  This week’s challenge is to keep a food journal.  This is a big one for me since I feel like I have a good base as far as working out goes.  The food part is always the hardest for me when it comes to losing/maintaining weight.  I’ve always found that if I keep track (whether is just writing it down, counting calories/weight watchers points) of what I’m eating, I have better control over my weight and I make more conscientious choices.  So today, I started tracking what I’m eating over at MyFitnessPal (my username is MLC1102 if you want to join me!).

Sunday: Rest day/Game day…no dinner plans
Monday: Barre Bee & Run 3.5 miles + Chili
Tuesday: Last Blast of 2013 Bootcamp Style workout +NYE soiree at my sister’s house
Wednesday: Barre Bee (gotta start the new year off right!) + Chicken Noodle Soup
Thursday: Run +Gym workout with my mom :-) + Fish/veggies
Friday: Barre Bee & Run