Tag Archives: YMCA

It’s not about me this year

Well, sorta kinda it is about me, but it’s really not.

I’ve signed up to be a volunteer pace group leader at a Frontrunners marathon running clinic, starting January 12 and leading up to the 40th BMO Vancouver Marathon May 1, 2011.

I already know from leading indoor spin-type classes at the YMCA that it’s not about me so much as the participants. Certainly it’s a good way to keep on track with my own fitness and to get in the training to complete the race, but at a certain point a fitness leader has to put aside her own goals and tune in to the needs of the group members.

  • You have to show up even when you don’t feel like going that day.
  • You have to know where the heck your run route is, because you’re out in front.
  • You’re out there for 2, 2.5, 3, 3.5 hours, you better make that route interesting, preferably a loop that is do-able in the time frame allowed.
  • You have to adjust on the fly, make sure everyone gets back to the start line, sweep the stragglers if someone’s having a bad day, and be prepared for anything.

As our clinic leader put it this morning, if you’re hell bent on getting a Personal Best this time, don’t be a run leader, be a participant. Runners will sense a pressure to perform, and that leads to overdoing it, overtraining, overuse — injury — and failure to cross the finish line. Maybe not for you, but for them. And the whole idea of these clinics is to get people to the finish line injury-free.

The good news is – helping people achieve their fitness goals is a passion of mine, it keeps me going. It’s why I volunteer at the Y. It’s why I join clinics – because a shared victory is sweeter than a personal one.

Besides, I live to run and I don’t like to run alone all the time.

So if you’re making a resolution to run a marathon in 2011 — sign up for the race, sign up for the clinic. We’ll get you there!


Instructions for a kick-ass Halloween bike class


  • One (1) Hallowe’en playlist (found in my Workout Music section).
  • Two (2) Greater Victoria YMCA Freewheel (spin-type bike class) volunteer instructors; one carrying candy and wearing huge bear suit  (John Kelley), the other working the music (me).
  • Seventeen (or so) participants to fill up all the bikes.

Mix together. Whoop it up for 40 minutes. Sweat like crazy. Repeat every Hallowe’en.


  • Make sure you work out how to do the Time Warp on the bike BEFORE trying to lead it in a full class.
  • To get the bear-suit wearing guy to keep the costume on the entire class, bribe him. Several of us agreed to donate $10 each to the YMCA if he did it. Mission accomplished.
  • When in doubt, throw more candy at the class participants.

I’m teaching the one-hour version Sunday morning Oct 31. It’s your last chance until next year to get in on the fun! (Alas, John and his bear suit won’t be there, and I’m not putting that thing on now. Ew.)

Playlist here.


My 101st post is about workout music…

Exercising in middies & bloomers circa 1915 (thanks to Cornell University Library)

In March I had a request for workout music playlists, so I posted this. Recently I had another request, so I decided to publish this post as a page too. After the jump, you’ll see a couple of my playlists. Apologies to those who (when I polled readers a while ago) told me they are not interested in my music playlists!

Now on to the music >>