Frugal Fridays: My Not So Frugal February


Today is the last day of February. Whew, the year is already flying by. As I have mentioned before, one of my main goals this year is to build financial stability. Last post I talked a bit about my obsession with budgeting.

Well… I have a major confession. I totally blew up my February budget. Yikes! At first I was nervous, but then I realized these were all big purchases I was planning to make in 2014.

Let’s take a look at my extra expenses:

  1. Travel – I was originally debating taking my Africa trip over Thanksgiving break this year, but then one of my best friends whom I haven’t seen in 3 years (she lives in Montana) told me she booked a plane ticket to Belize in May, I knew I had to buy a ticket too. Luckily, I had been saving money in my vacation fund, thus I had the $730 in my bank account to cover the costs of that large semi-unplanned purchase.
  2. New Camera – I’ve wanted to purchase a new camera for upcoming travel and also for a few projects I have in line for Big Sky Multisport Coaching & Personal Training for awhile. I finally pulled the trigger due to my trip to Belize and the fact that I can write it off as a business expense. I did some research and found out that February is generally a good month to buy digital cameras; I did some scouting around for sales. I found the camera I wanted at Best Buy on sale, plus I was able to cash in some credit card points I’ve had for several years for a $75 gift card. Win, Win! I’m now a proud owner of a Canon Rebel T3i DSLR camera. Now, to figure out how to use it… anyone want to give me lessons? 🙂
  3. LL Bean Boots – I’ve been wanting a pair of LL Bean boots for a couple of years now, but just never pulled the trigger on buying a pair. I had been wearing my Uggs boots around forever, which are ugly and falling apart. I was up in Freeport a couple of weeks ago and decided to check out the Outlet store to see if they had any boots in my size. I lucked out and found the exact pair I wanted in my size. Clearly, I purchased them and have been living in them since due to this crazy winter weather. I found out last week that LL Bean currently has a 6+ week backorder on their boots so I lucked out with my find.
Yes, I'm from Maine. I proudly wear LL Bean!

Yes, I’m from Maine. I proudly wear LL Bean!

Other than those three expensive purchases that were semi-unplanned, I stayed well in my budget. Another thing that is worth mentioning is that I increased my monthly student loan payments. When my graduate student loans came out of their grace period, I would have had paid over $500 a month in combination with my undergraduate student loans. Which, at the time, was over a quarter of my monthly budget. I decided to apply for the graduated student loan payment plan to ensure that I could pay my student loans monthly without eating ramen noodles every day!

I did a bunch of calculations recently with various student loan payment plans and realized that I was only paying interest on my graduate student loans and a couple of them even were more than I originally took out! Yikes! I played around with my budget and decided to reallocate some money to increase my monthly payments back to the standard 10 year repayment plan. It will add an additional $100 to my monthly bills, but will pay off in the long run with less interest paid. Of course, I’m hoping to pay a majority (if not all) of my student loans off well before the 10 years is up!

I will fully admit that I am obsessed with budgeting and watching my bank account and net worth increase. However, sometimes you need to make big unplanned purchases. Even though my purchases weren’t completely unplanned, I was a bit reluctant to drop hundreds of dollars for a plane ticket and camera. I will say that I am completely excited to head to Belize and see one of my best friends and hopefully come back with some killer photos.

Until next time…. happy training and keep saving!

2014 Goals: A Year of Adventure, Stability, and Growth


This year I decided to pick three words that I hope will describe the upcoming 365 days in 2014. Adventure. Stability. Growth. These three words have multiple meanings to me, but in summary the words are synonymous to the goals that I will work towards achieving this year.

2013 started off a bit rough, but as the months passed on, I started to move my life in the right direction – where I wanted to go. You can read my 2013 recaps HERE and HERE if you missed them last week.

2014 Goals:


  • Grow in my job – I have been in my current job for just over 3 months now and I really love it thus far. Throughout my public health graduate studies, I would have never thought that I would find a job in healthcare technology. It was a topic that never really interested me; however, now that I work in the field, I love it. Not only is healthcare technology important in the United States, but globally, where my heart lies in global health and international development. My job is challenging and rewarding. Each week I am learning new skills that will only improve my work quality and also aid in my future career development. In 2014 I look forward to working hard, learning new skills, and furthering my future career path.
  • Grow my business – If you have read my blog for a while you have probably noticed the changes over the past couple of months. I plan to officially launch my new business in a couple of weeks. I started my own coaching and personal training business because it is my passion and I find great satisfaction in helping people achieve their goals. I don’t plan to make a million dollars in my business, but a few extra dollars to help pay my student loans would be nice. I have some interesting plans and opportunities in the future so stay tuned for future developments! 🙂
  • Learn French – This has been one of my goals from early fall 2013. I want a future career in global public health and international development, thus I need to become bilingual, or at least competent at a second language. I’ve been slowly practicing my language skills via software programs, but I will continue in 2014 with french lessons at The Language Exchange in Portland. I don’t naturally pick up language quickly, so this is going to be a tough goal, but it is necessary and important for my future career goals.


  • Become more financially stable – The last couple of years have been a bit tough financially. Last year I took a risk with my career and it did not pan out as well as I hoped. The last couple of years were also riddled with unexpected purchases, i.e. lots of car repairs and health bills. My graduate student loans also kicked in and I quickly realized that about a third of my monthly income goes directly to SallieMae and Nelnet. Awesome. With my new job I received an increase in pay from my old one. I need to buy a new car some point this coming year and thus I have begun to put some cash away for that big-ticket item. I’m still driving my little car until it dies for good (or is going to cost me a zillion dollars to fix). I also plan to stash some money away again into my emergency fund since it became low due to said expensive car repairs. For the past few months I have created budgets and reviewed my spending habits to determine where I can cut back. Going into 2014 I feel pretty comfortable with my monthly budget and I have been researching ways to live more frugally. Stay tuned for that journey.
  • Travel – It’s ironic that one of my main goals is to save more money and live frugally, but I also seek adventure outside the US. I haven’t been to a new country in a couple of years and thus, 2014 is the year I discover a new part of the world. My mind has gone crazy with ideas, but I yet to commit to anything yet. I may travel to South America with a friend, go on a medical mission to a developing country, or take a solo trip to Southeast Asia or Europe. I love daydreaming about traveling the world and I know this year will be the year of an adventure. Anyone looking for a travel buddy? 🙂
  • Volunteer more – This past fall I joined the Junior League of Portland, Maine and have met some pretty fabulous and inspiring women. The organization is built on giving back to the community, which is one of the main reasons I joined. I look forward to volunteering around the community with the JLP, but I also hope to give back to my community in other ways. I have been researching various organizations related to my career interests and will be making contact soon so hopefully I can help in any way needed.
  • Read a book once a month (or more) – I love to read and you periodically will have book reviews on my blog. For a collection of old book reviews click HERE. I’m an avid reader and I usually read daily, whether job related papers or pleasure reading. My goal in 2014 is to finish a book at least once a month; however, I would like to read more than just 12 books a month. Heck, in the past 5 days I have almost finished all three Hunger Games books. 🙂 I have a stack of half-finished books so I will start my reading list there.


Health & Athletic:


  • Injury Prevention – I plan to focus a lot this year on injury prevention and prehab. I was struck with a lot of hip/knee/IT-band issues last triathlon season and I don’t want a repeat this year. Now that I’m confident that my chiropractor and I have identified the underlying cause of my chronic right hip issue, I know where to target my prehab exercises. Much of my issues are fascia-related, which often take 12-18 months to fully heal and thus it will be a long-term goal to return to normal human movement patterns.
  • Weight – I’ve mentioned before that I’ve struggled with disorder eating in the past. I still have relapses often and thus I need to focus on living healthy and forgive myself when I make mistakes. I’m so use to negative talk about my body image that sometimes it is often tough to shake a stick at it. I’m slowly accepting my body and learning to create a healthy body image through exercise and a “diet” that works for my body. I’ve played with different “diets” (note: I use the term diet to refer to food in general, not your typical diet to lose wieght) over the past couple of years and have discovered what works and doesn’t work for me. I will continue on this journey over the next 12 months.
  • Triathlon – I announced my tentative 2014 race schedule about a month ago. You can view it HERE. My “A” race is Timberman 70.3 in August with a few local races spattered in between. I tried to keep my race schedule light this year to save money (racing is expensive!), making sure I keep my body healthy, and also to enjoy other fun things in Maine, like hiking, rock climbing, and go to the beach with friends just for fun (apparently brining your wetsuit to swim is frown upon with “normal” people). I would love to qualify for Age Group Nationals. If I qualify for this coming season then I won’t go because Timberman is so close, but I would consider 2015 depending on the locale. My very, very far-reaching goal who be to qualify for 70.3 Worlds at Timberman but the chances of that happening would be that of me winning the lottery (and I would actually have to purchase a lottery ticket to do so)!


So what are your 2014 goals? Anything fun and exciting? Want to travel together?

~ Happy Training!


A Year in Review: 2013 – Part II


Yesterday I reviewed 2013 by month in photos. If you missed it then check it out HERE. I recently reviewed my Year in Review posts from 2012 (here and here) and have realized that I have come a long way personally and professionally. 2012 was a good and rough year for me. In reality, the past couple of years have really been BIG growing years for me as a person.

I’ve always felt that I aged a decade or two after losing my mom at 22. Losing your mother at a young age can definitely do that to a person. I learned quickly to enjoy the moments with your loved ones and live life to the fullest because you never know how long you may have left on Earth. I know it sounds super cliché and I honestly hate clichés, but it is true.

2012 gave me an incredible triathlon and athletic achievement year, but personally it was not such a good year. I learned important lessons about myself as a person, which allowed me to grow further as a person in 2013. I finished my master’s degree in December 2012, which was huge accomplishment that I had worked for 2.5 years to complete while working fulltime. Finishing my degree also meant looking for a job in 2013; a process that was ultimately very stressful and difficult because the economy and public health job market was not yet recovered.

First, I’ll begin with a review of my 2013 goals:

1. Become an Ironman! Check!

2. Learn to piss on my bicycle! Nope, still failed! 2014 maybe?

3. Increase my bike fitness and finally achieve the perfect VI so I can get an A from my coach! Epic fail here! I did well on the VI aspect in that I learned to pace myself well at long-course events. I rode strongly at IMLP. However, my bike fitness and functional threshold power suffered greatly due to my 2012 fall running (and subsequent bike) hiatus from injury. It was my own fault in that I let my aerobic fitness suffer over the fall months. Training for an Ironman also did not help my case in improving my FTP on the bike.

4. Focus on doing at least 10-15 minutes a day dedicated to mobility, soft tissue work, and core strength. Kinda. I would do well with this for a stretch and then would fail miserably for a while. I certainly did much better with this after my IT-band/knee issues began in April and lasted throughout my Ironman training.

5. Continue learning and seeking out knowledge and advice from the leading health and fitness professionals so I can continue helping my clients and athletes reach their health and athletic goals. I definitely met and surpassed this goal. I am constantly reading and researching exercise physiology and training techniques.

6. Continue working on achieving a healthy body composition through proper nutrition and training. Yes and no. I never got down to race weight this year and I believe it was because I did not train well in the proper HR zones at the beginning on the season. Also, I did not starve myself like previous years and thus that is a small victory in itself. My 2013 aerobic fitness was not the same as my 2012 aerobic fitness. I learned a lot of lessons because of this.

Now, for a greater, more philosophical review of my year:

Athletic/Triathlon – Overall, I am disappointed with my 2013 season. I had such a solid 2012 that I was hoping it would continue into 2013. I met my main goal and that was to complete my first Ironman. However, I do find this year a blessing in disguise. I find that I am the type of person that learns best from her mistakes. I made a lot of mistakes this year and I have learned what not to do in the future for myself personally and the athletes/clients that I coach. I would often have to tell my clients to do what I say and not what I do. That’s truly a bad business motto and thus I will focus on not making stupid decisions and mistakes in 2014. Athletically I suffered a lot in the beginning months of base training because I was super stressed from my work situation, working three jobs, and being sick for several weeks on end. That was critical time I needed to build my aerobic base in running, cycling, and swimming. I did the best that I could, but in retrospect, it was not enough. In April I began to have IT-band/knee issues, due to my chronic right hip issues. I was devastated with the diagnosis and I worried that I would not be able to toe the start line at IMLP. I had several people tell me not to do it. Umm… would you not do an Ironman after you stood in line for 3+ hours and paid $700 the year before to do it? I realized that many people thought that I was crazy to attempt such an event and I found myself having to defend my sport and desire to compete long-course events. Despite my reluctance to give up on my dream of becoming an Ironman in 2013, I knew that if my injury was not going to heal then I would have accepted the DNS. I’m not that stupid.

Health – I was under constant stress at work for a large majority of the year, which took a huge toll on my health both physically and mentally. I never really talked about the situation at my old job and I still am not going to because it’s in the past, but I was put into a really shitty situation and I just wasn’t able to deal with the stress of it well. My immune system took a major hit, which lead to a major cold that turned into a sinus infection and then later developed into a fever of 102. Being constantly sick and stressed led to my poor aerobic fitness in the early season that I was just never able to regain and build later in the season. Because I had a bad aerobic base, and the fact that I did not prioritize strength training enough in the early base phase, I developed painful IT-band/knee issues that succeeded to plague me throughout my Ironman training and made me re-evaluate my goals for IMLP. A lot of the stress and injury prevention could have been prevented from the start. It was my own fault and I own up to it. However, when I returned to running again in the later summer/early fall I developed some serious right hip issues. Working with my brilliant chiropractor I think we finally nailed down what is wrong with my hips and why I continuously get chronic overuse injuries. Going into 2014 I feel confident that I have all the knowledge and tools I need to “fix” my hip issues and hopefully prevent any serious injuries and lingering issues in 2014.

Professional – I finished my MPH degree in December 2012 and began my “big girl” job search. As I have mentioned above, I was put into a shitty situation at my job and dealt with a lot of stress from that. I was also working part-time at a gym training clients. I loved that job, but quickly realized that I did not enjoy working in the traditional gym environment. I left my gym job in July to pursue my interest in starting my own endurance sport coaching and personal training business, and thus Big Sky Multisport Coaching and Personal Training was born. I interviewed for my “dream job” in June, but was second choice due to my lack of supervisor experience. I was genuinely heartbroken, but I realized that I was going to have to work harder to find my next job. At this point I began to realize where and what I really wanted to do as a career. I really enjoyed personal training and nutrition, but I knew that it was not my future career. I love doing it on the side as my passion. Through a lot of reading, researching, and evaluating my personality and passions, I discovered that my true career goals lie in international development and health care systems. I was lucky in August to find a few job advertisements in the state of Maine that were related to health care systems and health care reform. I quickly applied for the jobs and had several interviews. Once again I was second choice for a few of them, which left me disappointed. But, at the end of the day I was offered a fabulous job at a non-profit that I have come to love quickly. The job environment is about 1000 times less stressful and I am really enjoying the work that I am doing. It is the perfect “first career” job and I look forward to working here for a few years before heading back to school for my PhD. It was a long bumpy ride professionally in 2013, but at the end of the day, everything worked out for the better. The bumps in the road made me a stronger person today.

Personal – I have evolved and grown immensely as a human being this year. My graduate education has led me down a road that I never predicted and I have researched and discovered new views on life and the world. I’ve always loved travelling and experiencing new cultures, but I was unable to do so this past year. Thus, 2014 has some big travel plans! As I grew as a person, I became more aware of the crowds of people I associate with in the past and present. I have some amazing friends. Some I see often, while others not as much. I’ve come to realize that some people in my life are toxic and I need to let go of them, while I need more contact with the good people. I accepted the mistakes I have made in past friendships and I hope not to repeat them in the future. I realized that I’d rather have a few good friends that I can count on then a bunch of friends that will be available only at certain times. I have branched out and formed new friendships that will hopefully last for a lifetime. I have discovered my strengths and my weaknesses and work towards accepting the things I can change about myself and the ones that I cannot. I have learned to speak my opinions despite what others may think. I have learned to accept the negative things that happen and find the lesson and the good in each to grow as a human being. I have learned to live a life of love, happiness and passion for oneself and others.

2013 was a growing year and I have accepted the mistakes I have made and only hope to grow further as human being. Bring on 2014!


~ Happy Training!

A Year in Review: 2013 – Part I

Since today is the last day of 2013 I should probably start my Year in Review posts. Hmm… I’ll keep this one to more of the highlights and photos. But, 2013 was a good year. It started off a bit rough, but ended with many good things happening. I can’t complain.



January was a month of ups and downs. I just finished my MPH degree in December and began my job search. Some decisions made by my boss at work made me extremely stressed since I wasn’t sure I was going to have a job. This caused me become sick often, which hindered a lot of my tri training, which began on the 1st of the year. Things at the gym were also unusually slow so professionally and financially I was stressed. However, I got my degree in the mail so it made things more real!


Picking the pace up!

Picking the pace up!

I ran the annual Mid-Winter Classic 10-Miler again. It went way better than my disaster of 2012 race where I ran sick and came really close to DNFing. However, I still treated the day more of a training run than anything because I was learning I lost all my running aerobic fitness over my Fall running hiatus due to plantar fasciitis. I also learned important lessons in time management. Working three jobs and training for an Ironman is not fun or easy to do.


My mother, my sister and I (1989)

My mother, my sister and I (1989)

Azul and I celebrated our One Year anniversary. I love that bike! I also celebrated the 4 year anniversary of my mother passing, which is never easy to do. I miss her everyday.




I started April off with a bang! I ran the Race the Runways Half-Marathon again, this time as a training run. It was insanely cold and windy, but I had great company throughout the race. The next day I developed a 102 fever and was out for a couple of days. Go figure! Towards the end of the month I began to develop a bit of a twinge in my right knee. I also went to the USAT Level One Coaching clinic and became a certified coach!


Tammy, Myself, Marisa, and Beth - all taking home hardware after a great race!

Tammy, Myself, Marisa, and Beth – all taking home hardware after a great race!

That twinge in my right knee developed into full-fledge IT-Band issues that plagued me for the rest of the summer. I managed to race the PolarBear Tri… barely. Miraculously, I placed 3rd in my age group.


Okay, not from my rides this week... but from the Patriot Hald Aquabike

Patriot Half Aquabike

My run training was extremely limited. I saw my chiropractor at least once a week to help heal my IT-Band issues. I dropped down from the Half-Ironman to the Half Aqua Bike at the Patriot Half. I had a good day, pacing myself like I would at Lake Placid. However, I almost ran over both turkeys and geese on the bike.



I became an Ironman! I celebrated yet another epic 4th of July with my favorite family and began my final build to the big day. My Ironman day went as planned. My knee held out to mile 18ish of the run before I was forced to walk the rest of the way, but I finished my goal, and that was to become an Ironman.


Enjoying a day at the beach

Enjoying a day at the beach

August was a recovery month. I spent a lot of time with friends and family. Towards the end of the month I began running again slowly just to rebuild my horrible running fitness. I had several promising job interviews. I also left my job at the gym I was working at to go off on my own to start my own business.


An example of pubis symphysis seperation - clearly an extreme case (Source)

An example of pubis symphysis separation – clearly an extreme case (Source)

I finally got offered a job! A great deal of stress was lifted off of me. I continued running easily until my pelvis decided to twist itself again. Awesome. I then began another running hiatus and began my yoga addiction.



Hot Yoga Time!

I became addicted to hot yoga and it was fabulous. I saw my chiropractor at least once a week to convince my pelvis not to split into two. I was happy as a clam at my new job and I joined the Junior League of Portland, Maine.


One of my favorite quotes of the year!

One of my favorite quotes of the year!

I continued with my yoga binge, loving every minute of it. I was slowly cleared to return to “normal” training. I mostly rode my bike, but ran a few times. It hurt.


Skiing at Shawnee Peak

Skiing at Shawnee Peak

I skied for the first time since my mother died almost five years ago with a friend. More to come of this in the next week or so. I’ve slowly been building my aerobic base again, mostly through cycling.

~ Happy Training and Happy 2014!!

Travel Throwback Thursday: My Summer in Bar Harbor


During the summer of 2007 I had the opportunity of a lifetime… I was accepted into the very prestigious summer student research program at The Jackson Laboratory. The Jackson Laboratory, or Jax for short, is the top mammalian genetics lab in the world where cutting-edge research takes place daily. Every summer a select group of students from across the country live at HighSeas, a laboratory owned mansion on the ocean, and work with some of the top cancer, obesity, etc. researchers in the world.

Bar Harbor is a small, tourist town located on Mount Desert Island about 3 hours north of Portland. Mount Desert Island is home to Acadia National Park, the oldest park east of the Mississippi. The Island offers a wide range of activities from art galleries, the beach, to many mountains to hike. It’s a great place to be during the summer months.

I spent my days that summer conducting ovarian cancer research in mice. I spent my nights and weekends exploring the Island and town with my fellow students. Of course, me being a native Mainer, I had the pleasure of introducing my out-of-state friends “the way life should be.” Items included blueberry ice cream, lobster (and lobster ice cream), and red hot dogs.

Below are some of my favorites memories of the summer. Not only did I have a summer of a lifetime, but I made some really good friends. 🙂

The coastline is absolutely stunning (and some of the summer homes are just as amazing)!

The coastline is absolutely stunning (and some of the summer homes are just as amazing)!


Part of the lab

Part of the lab

I did lots of hiking that summer on the various mountains.

I did lots of hiking that summer on the various mountains.


Sunset from Cadillac Mountain, which is the highest mountain within 25 miles of the shoreline in North America

Sunset from Cadillac Mountain, which is the highest mountain within 25 miles of the shoreline in North America


Part of the Summer Student Program is cooking on the weekend (we had a cook during the week, tough life I know). I loved the American flag apron!

Part of the Summer Student Program is cooking on the weekend (we had a cook during the week, tough life I know). I loved the American flag apron!


We spent time at Sand Beach

We spent time at Sand Beach


Each summer the Summer Students participate in the 4th of July Parade... this year we were Astronaut Mice (Jax is known for its mice)

Each summer the Summer Students participate in the 4th of July Parade… this year we were Astronaut Mice (Jax is known for its mice)


I was a tree hugging Astronaut Mouse

I was a tree hugging Astronaut Mouse


One of the best ways to explore the Island is via scooters. You can rent them in town and it is so worth it!

One of the best ways to explore the Island is via scooters. You can rent them in town and it is so worth it! 

Bar Harbor is a great place to visit. Summer is the busy season and the town pretty much shuts down during the winter. I’ve visited during the Fall months too and Island is just as beautiful as the summer (just fewer people!). I highly recommend a visit to Mount Desert Island if you ever find yourself in Maine. And try the lobster ice cream while you’re there! 🙂

~ Happy Training!

The Day I Swallowed a Bug and Puked on my Bike


Yup, you read that title correctly.

On Sunday I had a 3 hour ride and the weather was beautiful! I was psyched to get out on my bike. I decided to head out towards the Baldwin/Sebago area to hit up some rolling hills. The first hour of the ride was intended to be my warm-up/endurance zone, followed by 2 x 20 at half-Ironman zone, and then wrapping up with an 1:10 of zone 2 endurance riding all the way back home.

My goal of the ride was to improve my power VI and make it “perfect” so my coach can give me an “A.” If you don’t know what that means, then go buy a powermeter! 🙂 In layman term’s I need to learn to ride at a steady pace throughout the entire ride – keeping power low as possible while climbing and pushing the watts on the downhills. I’m getting there, but I still have a lot of work to do. However, my cadence is improving rapidly. I’m a former gear masher and over the course of the past year or so I have been working hard to spin instead of push weight. The ideal cadence for a triathlete is between 80 and 100 rpm, with the “golden number” around 90 rpms. Spinning the legs versus mashing gears will save your legs for the run.

The first hour went by quickly. I wasn’t sure at first on what to wear. It was sunny and it the 60s. I settled on wearing cycling capris, a long sleeve cycling jersey and a thermal shirt underneath. I brought gloves with me in case I needed them, but I didn’t. Yay, Spring! I had to stop every 45 minutes to 1 hour to stretch out my hip. With all the climbing my psoas (especially the right side) were cramping up. Luckily my bum knee held up just fine (at least for the bike portion). I rode out Route 113 for 1.5 hours and then turned around and headed back towards home. Later this spring/summer when my mileage increases I plan to ride up 113 to Fryeburg and back. Possibly all the way to the New Hampshire border and back. That should be a good 100+ mile ride. 🙂

Shortly before the incident...

Shortly before the incident…

Anyway, at the 1:30 mark I turned around. And it happened shortly after that. I hit a slight downgrade and started to push the power downhill. I was cruising at about 30 mph minding my own business (and apparently with my mouth open) when a giant bug flew into my mouth. Actually, I think it skipped my mouth and went right to the throat. Obviously it caught me completely off guard. It happened almost instantaneously too. I have a major gag reflex and a swallowing a giant bug will trigger it. I puked up the gel and Ironman Perform that I had just consumed about 10 minutes before all over the cockpit of my bike and all over myself. Great! I’m sure that all the cars that drove by me got an awesome sight. I bet they all want to be triathletes now too. Not only do we piss on our bikes, but we puke on them too! Yay!

And this is pretty much how it went down...

And this is pretty much how it went down…


But, seriously. Worst experience ever on the bike. Lesson learned – keep mouth shut while riding to avoid ingesting large insects. I cleaned my bike up from the gooey, sugary mess and attempted to wipe myself off and then started pedaling again. My tummy was still doing flip-flops for a while afterwards, but other than that I felt fine. During the last hour of the ride the wind picked up a bit since I started heading towards the lake. Other than that it was a rather dull last hour home.

My transition run on the other hand was not a good run. I managed to run 15 of the 20 minutes before my knee really started to hurt. I decided to play it safe and walk the remaining 5 minutes. Let’s hope this knee gets better soon! PolarBear on Saturday! Eekk!

~ Happy Training folks (and remember to not eat bugs on your rides)! 

Weekend Wrap-up: The Goo Goo Dolls Edition


I spent Thursday and Friday in Short Hills, NJ for my USAT Triathlon coaching certification clinic and didn’t arrive home to my bed until 2am Saturday. Unfortunately, it was also an early morning. I had a personal training client at 8am and then a few more throughout the day. There was definitely a lot of yawning going on!

One of the lectures at the clinic was on run training and I was super pumped for my run on Saturday to work on some running drills during my 45-minute run. We talked a lot about run gait analysis so I really focused on proper run form throughout my run and I actually felt pretty good with it. If any of you have ever seen me run I have the “marathon shuffle.” It’s not a horrible gait to have, especially if your niche is long-course, but I do want to focus on improving my gait so I become more efficient and also prevent future injuries, i.e. stupid plantar fasciitis that I have a tendency to get every year.

Goo Goo Dolls at the State Theater

Goo Goo Dolls at the State Theater

All last week I was looking forward to Saturday night because the GOO GOO DOLLS were playing in Portland! You have no idea how excited I was. Iris is my absolute favorite song and I can listen to it over and over again. I couldn’t wait to hear it live! The concert was awesome! They played a good mix of old songs (which tend to be my favorites) and some of their new stuff that will be on their new CD coming out in June. They ended their set without playing Iris. I was starting to get a little upset when they came back for an encore. Thank God! They played a new song and then they played it! They played my absolute favorite song! And guess what? It’s AMAZING live! Totally made my life at that moment. Okay, maybe finishing an Ironman will do that too in a few short months!

As you might guess, I slept in on Sunday. I was physically and mentally tired from a long week. I caught up on some TV shows while eating breakfast and moved quite slowly all morning. I had a 3 hour ride plus a 25 minute T-run on the schedule. It was sunny in the 50s and windy. I honestly was dreading the workout. Part of me what to push it to Monday, but I didn’t want to mess with my schedule too much since I know there is a rhyme and reason (no pun intended 😉 ) to my training plan. By 1 pm I knew I had to get out on the road so I bundled up and pumped Azul’s tires up to finally hit the road. I had an idea of my intended route, but nothing set in stone. I headed up towards Standish and was planning on riding up Route 25 for 1.5 hours and then turning around and coming back. I made my way up Route 25 and then in Baldwin decided to take the right onto Whaleback Rd. If you like hills and climbing then you will love Whaleback Rd. It’s a slightly shorter version of the epic Mooseman climb. It’s definitely a badass hill to train on for Lake Placid. Once I got to Route 113, I decided against my normal route and headed back up Route 25 towards Gorham while hitting some nice Lake Placid-style hills. I climbed over 1500 feet over the course of 43 miles. Not bad for my second ride outside for the year! The last 20 minutes or so of my ride was rough. The headwind picked up a bit and my legs were getting tired. I was barely crawling at 10mph. I was convinced someone tired a cement block to the back of my bike. I actually stopped at one point to check to see if I had a flat because I couldn’t figure out why I was moving so slow… Finally I made it home.

Ride Elevation

Ride Elevation

I decided against my T-run because my right hip is out again and it’s causing some irritation in my knee. I don’t want to risk any injuries until my hip is back where it should be. I have spent a great deal of time the past few days foam-rolling the crap out of my lower body. Yesterday I hit up a yoga class and holy cow was my body tight. Yoga actually hurt. Any pose that involved stretching the right hip was painful. Thank goodness I see my Chiropractor on Thursday!

This week is a big week in training so crossing my fingers that everything goes well.

~ Happy Training!

Weekly Recap: 4th of July and a Summer Cold!

The week started off with a lovely open water swim in the ocean with my tri group. And by lovely, I mean, I inhaled half the ocean and almost puked it up twice. Must remember to keep mouth shut while swimming in the ocean! It was a decent little swim on the Tri for a Cure course at Spring Point. So pretty there! Anyway, I finished the loop about 2 minutes before anyone else and got out and out of my wetsuit and watched the rest of the group finish up while chatting with one member from Waterville. She is doing both her first Peaks to Portland and her first HIM at Rev3 so I shared some advice with her. She is worried that she’s not ready for the HIM, but I let her know that she will totally be ready and be more ready than a lot of other people doing the race. I absolutely love the fact that so many people are excited about Rev3 and signed up for the HIM. However, there are a few random people I’ve heard doing the race that I question about their fitness and dedication for the training and race. Doing 4 spin classes a week is not going to cut it for training for 56 miles on the road, just saying...

The camp

I woke up on Tuesday with a super dry and sore throat. I assumed it due to the ocean swim the previous night. I finished up work and a quick 5 mile run before heading down to my favorite family’s camp on Little Ossipee Lake for the holiday! I arrived just in time for the “Happy Hour” boat ride around the lake. We cruised around the lake in an old 50’s wooden boat as the sun set and the full moon rose above the pine trees. Very pretty moon! So many people were setting fireworks off so we were able to catch a bunch of shows. One guy set about $500 worth of fireworks off! Just as we were about 2000 yards from the camp the engine in the boat died and we couldn’t get it started! My bestie’s BF started paddling us back and was making some progress when a kind soul in a party boat offered to give us a tow back to land. It was prefect timing because after a few beers all our bladders were about to explode!

After we waited in line for the bathroom (ok, maybe half of us made a beeline for the nearest bush), we set off our own firework show. I’m glad I left my poor doggie at home. She would have died in fear.

My favorite – The Exploding Bin Laden Noggin 

On Wednesday I woke up with a killer hang over and succeeded to feel like crap all day. I apparently I had two beers too many the night before (and I only had 2.5 Bud Lights)! I brought my bike with me to get my workout in before everyone else arrived later in the day, but I decided not to ride in fear of falling over and ruining my expensive bike. My bestie decided that my poor, unpainted toes needed a pedicure.

Not usually a fan of nail art, but she felt the need to give me flowers anyway

We watched the boat parade from the dock while eating breakfast while the rest of the family arrived. The parade was dedicated this year to Stan Goff, a firefighter who passed away this year from a heart attack.

One of the “floats”
Group photo!

On Thursday I woke up with a very runny nose and a bad cough. Apparently, I wasn’t completely hung over yesterday, but instead was developing a lovely summer cold. Who the heck gets a cold in the middle of the summer?! Oh, I do! Grr… For the past two days I have been blowing my nose every 5 seconds and coughing up a lung. I did a quick swim and a quick (but very hilly) ride last night with a few ladies, but I decided to take today completely off and rest so I can get ready and healthy for the Norway Tri next weekend!

~Happy Training!