At Decater Fitness, we pride ourselves on building muscles and building friendships. When we hear about our crew doing awesome things outside of the gym, we want to shout about it! We caught up with four amazing ladies, Kristen, Kristi, Lorrie & Brenda, who took their training to the next level and cycled hundreds of miles over the summer. Their achievements culminated into riding the GranFondo Whistler, a 75 mile ride on the Sea to Sky Highway in British Columbia. Read on to learn more about their adventures.
Decater Fitness: How did you all get started?
Kristi: I saw the ride on FB and sent it to Lorrie with this: Girls weekend?? And that’s how it started! Ha! Lorrie signed up for the race, then bought a bike…gotta love her style. =)
Lorrie: I remember Kristi messaging me asking me if I would be interested. I’ve always had a “dive-in and see what happens” attitude so of course I was in! And yes, I signed-up of for a century without actually having a road bike or having ever done a road race! Why the heck not?!
Brenda: I was working out at Golds Gym and training with the Lake Sammamish Rowing team. I was looking for a more structured workout environment with more personal coaching since I had experienced some injuries. Lorrie was working out at Decater and I decided to try it out. The class size was great and I loved the group workout concept. Derek was great at gathering in depth info about my injuries and working my competitive rowing goals into the workouts. I noticed a huge difference in my endurance level and within 2 months I had lost the 10 lbs I needed to lose to row in the lightweight class. At that point I decided to give up Golds and commit to Decater. Matt and Derek won me over with their personal attention, encouragement and attention to technique.
KSchu: As the last member to join, I can’t remember who started begging me to join the ride. I was a little concerned about being post op with my knee surgery, but provided an amazing focus to heal and push myself. Once we met for coffee one morning, I knew I wanted to train and ride with these inspirational and badass women. They are all incredible athletes but more so, incredible women and friends.
Decater Fitness: How has Decater Fitness helped you reach your goals?
KSchu: Strengthening those quads! I was in rebuilding mode, and Derek and Matt would just simply encourage me to stay positive, be patient and Id get stronger. Their encouragement and belief in me helped me believe in myself. The winter challenge also helped with changing nutritional habits, which in the end, helped my performance as well. We hope to tackle many more Fondo’s! Now we are all “Fit and Vicious”!!!
Kristi: Decater definitely helped me to prepare for those hills, no question. As soon as Derek knew about my goal he designed a great workout for me to get my legs hill ready. It was awesome, it didn’t take long for me to see the results from my time at DP translate to the bike. Nothing feels better than passing other riders on hills!
Lorrie: Having been with DP for two years I was already was in good shape. With road racing being new to me I knew that leg strength was going to be the key. I didn’t change my work-outs one bit, just kept with the program that was designed for the group fitness 5:30 AM crew. I stayed consistent with my 4+ weekly work-outs.
Brenda: In addition to rowing, I began cycling last year. Through Decater, Lorrie, Kristen and Kristie and I started cycling. When we decided to ride the Gran Fondo Whistler we all began to train on the road and in the gym for this event. The Tuesday and Thursday workouts increased my endurance for those hill climbs and I noticed my recovery time was shorter. I found my glutes and lats through their instruction and found that I was getting alot more power in my legs and upper body. One of my goals was to get my husband, Dave, to a new level of health. He did the spring challenge with me and Kim. He lost 42 lbs and is still working towards his goal of 70 lbs. This is the first gym I could get him to commit to. Dave appreciated Derek and Matt’s style of coaching and Dave like the workouts. This is my biggest victory! Seeing my husband achieving his goals and having fun in the process is a dream come true! Now my 14 year old son works out with us and occasionally on Friday nights- all working out together.
Decater Fitness: What extra training did you do?
KSchu: Weekend rides, and a couple training century (100 miles) rides together..either some or all went out when we could. A couple good hikes ….And as many lifting and cardio days possible. This event was a 75 mile ride, with many inclines as you can imagine riding from Vancouver to Whistler…I know I was physically well prepared for it because of DP.
Kristi: We got together and rode on the weekends as a group as much as we could, we did a couple of century rides in the summer. This was my favorite part, going after a goal together as a group made it a blast! Also did a few good hikes and spin classes
Lorrie: I rode or ran when I could after work and joined in on the weekend rides. The weekend rides were so much fun. I love getting up early and hitting the pavement, especially with these ladies!
Brenda: I continued to row and worked in rides with my cycling team. We signed up for a practice century ride and I found it to be easier than I thought. I was really impressed that none of us were sore the next day. Decater prepared us well
Decater Fitness: Did anything else cool happen during your rides?
KSchu: Well, there was some blood spilled a ‘few’ times, a bike that seized up completely which lead to bloody mary’s, and a graceful flip into a ditch….(at least we found that cell phone!) But we all trained together really well. The Grand Fondo in Whistler was an amazing experience. About 5,500 other international riders, perfect weather, gorgeous mountains and even with a funky start, karma was on our side. This event was incredibly well supported, and had a fantastic mix of competition and fun. Celebrating at night was fun too! Hope I’m not forgetting anything….
Kristi: Totally agree with Schu! It was a great weekend spent with amazing ladies. With all of the wipe outs leading up to the race (ahem! Lorrie…) we got through the Fondo without a scratch! The most gorgeous scenery ever, very fun town to end our ride in. Loved every moment with this group! Can’t wait for our next Fondo in NYC….then again in Whistler (with some mountain biking mixed in next time)!
Lorrie: The coolest part is training then reaching a goal as a group. We were never in competition with each other, but were cheering for each other’s success all the way which is much like our group work-outs at 5:30 AM at DP! And the one with the biggest trepidation about joining the race due to recent surgery (Schu) crossed the finish line first! So proud of her! The race itself was the best! Sailing down the freeway at top speed without the stress of cars was so freeing and amazing! I reached my goal of finishing strong without blood spurting from my elbows so I consider the 2015 Whistler GranFondo a total success! Counting the days until our next adventure together! NYC…here we come!
Brenda: Passing dudes on hills during the Fondo rocked! We had team Decater riding jerseys made with a Derek-ism” “Motion is Lotion” on the back. we had some fun comments about that- from the riders we passed. The Fondo was a big challenge- more hills than anticipated. I didn’t feel fatigued or sore during or after the ride which amazes me! Again, we were well prepared with our training.
Decater Fitness: Congratulations, ladies. Well done!
Are you training for an event? Let us know so we can map out a plan for success.