A Few of My Favorite Indoor Trainer Rides

Hello bike trainer!

Hello bike trainer!

If you live anywhere where it snows in the winter chances are you are quite friendly with your indoor bike trainer! Many of us spend countless hours spinning to nowhere in front of the tv watching trashy shows (okay, maybe only I do that. New guilty trainer ride show: The Bachelor)!

I’ve had a few inquiries about what kinds of workouts I do while on the trainer. Trainer rides can be quite boring as you can imagine. However, triathletes are made during the winter months. This is where you build that big aerobic engine. One of my goals this year is to rebuild my power functional threshold (FTP) again. In early 2012 it was about 180watts (although I’m sure it was higher at the end of the summer, however we never tested again) and early 2013 it was about 150-160watts. A huge drop that I was never able to recover during Ironman training. Note: FTP is relative to an athlete. It can depend on a bunch of different factors, such as weight, bike setup and, obviously, fitness. It’s best not to compare with other people. I learned that the hard way! 🙂

Here are a few of my favorite rides:

Cadence Pyramid

  • Warm-up: 10 min – Build up to Z2 HR every 3 mins, easy 1 min spin before MS
  • Main set: (1) 95-100rpm 1 min, easy 1 min, (2) 95-100rpm 2 min, easy 1 min, (3) 95-100rpm 3 min, easy 1 min, (4) 95-100rpm 4 min, easy 1 min, (5) 95-100rpm 5 min, easy 1 min
  • 5:00 easy 90-95 spin
  • Repeat pyramid in reverse starting from 5 min
  • Cool down: 5 min easy spin

I work a lot over the winter months on my cadence. I used to be a really bad gear grinder, meaning I would spin a harder gear at a lower cadence. I had very strong legs from this method, but it killed my running off the bike. Working with a coach in 2012 helped me break this nasty habit and I continue to work towards comfortably pedaling at a cadence of 85-90rm.




These are just a few of my bike trainer workouts that I have in my workout library. If you are interested in more than please consider hiring me as your coach! I have a few openings left for 2014! Check out my coaching options HERE! 🙂

What are your favorite workouts?

~ Happy Training!

Social Media and the Need for Validation

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, validation is defined as:

An act, process, or instance of validating; especially: the determination of the degree of validity of a measuring device

Yesterday I was listening to one of my favorite podcasts and they were discussing how Facebook is built upon the need for people to feel validated. Everybody posts statuses, photos, videos, etc. of their food, babies, marriage proposals, puppies, fashion, etc. just to get noticed and validation from their peers that their existence is purposeful. Don’t get me wrong, I am guilty as the next person when I post things on Facebook too.


Social media in general is all about validation and feeling like we are accepted by our peers. Who has the most friends/followers? Who gets the most “likes” for a post? Heck, the whole “selfie” thing evolved from social media and the need for people to be validated. Personally, I’m not a fan of the “selfie.” Especially the ones of girls taking a “selfie” of themselves in their car. Really?! “Selfie” is not a real word; please remove it from the dictionary… thank you.

I read an article a long time ago about the different types of people on Facebook. If I could remember it I would share it, but I’d be lucky to remember my own name most days.  I do believe that social media, especially Facebook, is built on the premise that as humans we need validation and acceptance from our peers. We need to matter in life. You may read this and say “bullshit, I don’t need validation.” But, I would equally say “bullshit” and call you out on your lie.

I would say that my blog is all about validation. I want people (as in the 10 or so people who actually read this) to read my blog and be like “okay, this girl actually has a few brain cells and is interesting.” However, I would also say that I enjoy writing and I do it mostly for me. But, damnit, I do like checking my numbers too.

From a young age, most of us received validation from our parents. We pooped in the potty for the first time. Good boy, here’s a cookie. We survived our first day of school without biting our new friend. Good girl, here’s a new doll. We used the microwave for the first time and didn’t blow it up (side note: don’t put metal in the microwave… I learned that long ago). Good boy, here’s a sticker. We passed our drivers test without running grandma over as she crossed the street. Good girl, here’s your first car.

At some point in our lives our parents don’t give us all the validation that we need. Perhaps they start to lecture us on not doing drugs and doing well in school instead. As teenagers we begin to seek validation from our peers. Heaven forbid we wear the wrong shoes or clothing to school! Then we go to college where we learn that professors aren’t going to coddle you like your elementary or even high school teachers did. Oh, your dog ate your homework? Too bad, I’ll see you next semester when you retake my class.

Facebook is a way for many of us to seek validation from our peers. I have a love/hate relationship with Facebook. I’ll be honest; I do think many people seek out too much validation on Facebook. I guess some people need to be told they are awesome every 5 seconds of the day. I’m just not one of them. I love seeing pictures of my friend’s animals and babies. Certainly they are all cute, but after 5000 pictures they all begin to look the same.

Now, you’re probably thinking maybe I’m just a jealous person. Perhaps. I would love to go on your European vacation with you! What I think it comes down to, is that I certainly want to feel accepted and validated by my peers as an awesome person, but I just don’t feel the need to throw it in people’s face every second of the day.

I enjoy sharing good things that happen to me or even crazy things that happen to me, like the time I almost ran into a donkey in the middle of the road on my bicycle. I also tend to say things I probably shouldn’t on my blog. I’m a very honest person and as a friend once told me, I have a “no bullshit” attitude. Often times it gets me in trouble. But, sometimes you have to be honest to get your point across.

Like now. I’m trying to be honest that I really can’t stand the people on Facebook that need validation for everything they do in life. I just want to be like “get over yourself.” But, everyone is different and has a different story. I made the choice to be on Facebook. I made the choice to write a blog. I know when you put your thoughts and feelings out on the interwebs, people will judge you – either you’re accepted or not.

Does this post really have a purpose? Probably not. I tend to ramble about a lot of things, this included. I do believe that validation is part of being human. No one wants to be unloved or forgotten. Even the most introverted people need some loving too. Perhaps we all need to step back once in a while and unplug. Do we really need to post that we’re awesome and have such an amazing and awesome life every single day on social media. No one is perfect and certainly no one has a perfect life. I read a lot of blogs and there are a few out there that I enjoy reading, but I suspect that half of it is probably BS. They never talk about the bad stuff, like the dog shitting in the house for the umpth time or the fact that their car’s transmission died on the way to work. I suppose that people don’t want to read the bad stuff…

So, now that I rambled on and on about nothing… my take home message: let’s keep it real people.

So what are your thoughts on the subject? Am I just crazy?

~ Happy Training!  

Follow me on Bloglovin!


I’ve been using both Blogger and WordPress to follow some of my favorite blogs, but occasionally I miss some posts from my favorites, which makes me a sad panda. I recently found out about Bloglovin and I really love the platform. Thus I will be following my favorite blogs through their reader platform and you can follow my blog there too!

Follow my blog with Bloglovin


~ Happy Training!


The Plague That Doesn’t End…

Remember this?

Only the lyrics have been changed to this:

This is the plague that never ends.

It just goes on and on my friends.

Some people started getting it not knowing what it was,

And they will continue being infected forever just because…

Two weeks ago I wrote a post about my weekend plague. I thought it was just a cold that would go away after a couple of days. Boy, was I wrong! The ugly thing morphed into a full on head cold/sinus infection that pretty much left me feeling like shit for over two weeks! I finally decided that I needed drugs so yesterday I adventured over to the doctors to demand antibiotics. Of course, I had to call my insurance company to see if my coverage was still good through the end of the month. It was. Thank God! Luckily my doctor was good and gave me some antibiotics. I wasn’t leaving unless she prescribed me something. When reviewing my medical record she noticed that last year at this time I went to see she for the same exact thing. I guess this head cold/sinus infection is an annual occurrence. Lucky me.

I was lucky that this past week was a rest week. And my week was just that – rest. I managed two half-ass workouts before I felt like death. On Sunday I attempted to complete my 2-hour trainer ride. I got to the hour mark and quit because I was getting extremely hot and dizzy. I figured it would be best to hop off my bike before I passed out. My intention was to complete the second hour after I got home from work. However, as my work day went on I started feeling really crappy and as soon as I got home I bee-lined to my bed.

Monday I was able to complete my workouts on my schedule! Yay! The next three weeks my volume is picking up so they are big weeks I don’t want to miss. Monday I was scheduled for a 30 min spin before an 1:35 run. I was surprised how well my body handled the workout. I was a bit nervous when I headed out on my run incase I died half way through it. I left the gym and just explored the area for over 9 miles. I am actually going to be coaching a run group this summer at the gym so I was scouting out the area for potential routes. I definitely found a glute-brutal hill for hillwork! 🙂

Now that the antibiotics have kicked in I’m hoping to hit the pool for a workout tonight. That could be interesting!


~ Happy Training!

The Top 10 Characters at the Gym

AUTHORS NOTE: This is supposed to be funny! If you are offended by this in any way, shape or form, then I am sorry that you don’t have a sense of humor.

Chances are you have been to a gym at some point in your life. I’ve been to quite a few over the years, but no matter where you go there is always the same sort of people there. The gym is much like the mall. It is great for people watching. Every gym has its characters. This is a collection of my favorites over the years. (Like I have said before though, I applaud anyone who makes an effort to exercise to stay healthy)

1. The girl who has to put make-up on and does her hair BEFORE she works out.

2. The guy who does ninja moves on top of a medicine ball (okay, they are really balancing exercises and I’m honestly quite impressed by his skills. I have yet to try in fear of breaking my nose against the wall)

3. The trainer’s posse of adoring fans

4. The annoying people who are “exercising” on the treadmill while talking on their cellphone and, of course, there are no open treadmills when you need to get your run in!

5. The creepy old dude who stares at woman’s butts while they are doing squats

6. The meatheads!

7. The guys who flex in the mirror thinking they are hott shit

8. The short little dude who walks around the gym in his sweatsuit carrying a gallon water jug and talking to all the women but never seems to workout.

9. The young girls who barely wear anything and always seem to exercise next to the cute guys and when the cute guys move they follow them…

10. The crazy chick wearing tri shorts doing chin-ups, running drills down the aisle, throwing medicine balls at the floor violently, and yelling at the gym trainer who has set his TRX wrong! (Oh, wait… that’s me 🙂 )

This post is brought to you by the word… Ignore

Okay, maybe it should really be brought to you by the word PROCRASTINATION since I should be either a) writing my healthcare policy paper that is worth 40% of my grade or b) writing my master’s thesis paper so I can actually graduate in December.

I know this blog is supposed to be mostly about triathlon, but I’m in my off-season with no races in my horizon so I’ve been blogging about other stuff (someone please sign me up for a race so I have something more entertaining to talk about?). In all honesty, I have a lot of crap going on in my life. I talk about in vague on here, but for the people who do know me in the “real world” I appreciate all the emails and texts I have been getting from some of you. Especially Lady Luck out in Bozone! Couldn’t do it without you girl! xoxo

I’ve been dealing with a lot of stress and anxiety lately in my professional, educational, and personal life. Most of which is self-induced. See, I have this little problem where I think I can do anything and everything all at once and survive. I’m currently in my last semester of my MPH program. I’m taking 7 credits. My advisor warned me beforehand that it might be too much with working a full-time job, but I brushed it off and said I could do it. Last spring semester I took 9 credits, trained on average 12-15 hours a week, worked a full-time job and managed to get a 4.0. Obviously, I’m a rockstar. Well, these 7 credits include my master’s thesis paper and my internship that I need to graduate.

I’m having trouble motivating myself to do either. I have started the research for my paper, but the professor in charge of it has been rather lackluster and hasn’t given me much direction. I’ve just been ignoring the fact that I should probably be writing my paper instead of this blog post. My internship project has been a bit of a slow start, but next week I will be getting a ton of data and will soon become a slave to Excel. But again, I’ve been ignoring the fact that I need to buckle down and finish all this work so I can graduate.

Ignore (verb) – refuse to take notice or acknowledge; disregard intentionally

2012 has been a bit of an up and down year for me emotionally. I sum it up to the fact that I’m growing up. I’m emotionally evolving and trying to find my place in this world. For the most part I’ve had a good life, but there are definitely things I’ve gone through in my past that have left scars. We all have scars. We’re human. My problem is I have tendency to just shut things away and try not to think of them. If I ignore my problems they will go away, right? Well, no. This year many of them have appeared in front of me with their heads rearing forcing me to confront them. I’ve been fairly successful with dealing with most of them, which is a start.

However, I’ve finally come to a crossroads in my life. I need to make some changes. Soon. I’m tired and bored. However, I feel stuck. I’ve been trying to make changes, but it’s not as easy as it sounds. But then again, if it doesn’t challenge you then it doesn’t change you, right?

I’ve been in the process of applying to graduate school (again). There is one particular school that I’m applying to. However, the catch is, I can only go if I get offered a TA position and tuition waiver because I can’t afford any more student loans. It sucks to know that my dreams could hinge on the fact that I can’t afford it (welcome to the real world right?). Plus, I don’t even know if I will get accepted or not. Only time will time.

I’ve been ignoring the fact for a long time that I need to take a different road in life. It’s been a long time coming, but I think I’ve finally accepted that it is happening. This year I finally figured out what I want to do with my life. I’ve been slowly working on getting there and, of course, a lot of it hinges on the whole grad school thing. I can reach my dreams in other ways so I do have several plan B’s.

But I’ve come to realize that ignoring my problems or people makes me a coward. A coward is someone who lacks the courage to do or ensure dangerous or unpleasant things. I’m not doing anything dangerous, but certainly somethings I have been dealing with are unpleasant (like writing a thesis paper? 🙂 ). But in order to move forward then I have to open up some old wounds. In the past I had a tendency to ignore or avoid people who I was having issues with. It was a cowardly thing to do. Ignoring someone isn’t going to make the problem go away and is hurtful to the other person. I’ve realized that I just need to “grow some balls” and deal with the problem head first. I find that honesty and the truth is much better in the end. I’m a strong believer in saying what you mean. I’m currently in a situation with a friend who has been ignoring me after I said some things. I’m very hurt about the situation and I’d rather the person just tell me what they really think. I’m sure it will not be the most pleasant thing to hear, but I’d much rather be hurt by the truth than a lie. Ya know?

As I talked about previously in one of my posts, I just need to live in the Now. Forget the past. What’s done is done. The decisions I make today are the ones that are going to affect my future. If I want to fulfill my dreams then I need to stop ignoring my problems and start working on changing them. In a nutshell, it’s called growing up. And, well, maybe I should start my thesis paper too! Unless, someone really wants to write it for me? 🙂

What Motivates YOU!?

Yesterday at the gym I was doing my dynamic warmup when a bootcamp class came over to the area I was working in to do some plyometric work. Just about everyone in the group was whining about how hard burpees and squat jumps were. Every other word out of their mouth was f-this and f-that. Wah, wah, wah! I came extremely close to asking them if they wanted a little CHEESE with their WHINE because a) I was annoyed by the lack of class they were showing with their language and b) their lack of motivation and effort. Do you think exercise is supposed to be EASY? It’s called WORKing out for a reason! If exercising and eating healthy was easy then we wouldn’t have the obesity crisis we have in this country. It never seizes to amaze me how many people will sit there half-ass a workout and whine the entire time when they would benefit more from shutting up and just doing the work. And then they wonder why they aren’t seeing any differences or making any progress?!

Thank you “People I Want to Punch in the Throat” for this one!

Back in September I read a great post from Mary Eggers entitled “Because I can.” In the post she says:

“Holding plank position in class, the woman next to me asked me “Gosh, I NEVER hear you complain in this class. Why don’t you ever complain.” I looked at her.

“Because I choose to be here.” I said.

As I walk through the gym I notice all the other people having these roaring laughing conversations with their personal trainers. In all honesty when I am working with Steve I don’t think I could have a roaring laughing conversation if I was paid to. I am totally unable to. I am working too hard. I am focused. If you have ever seen me in the gym you know I have the highest sweat rate of anyone in the damn world. Not only do I fuel as my fueling plan calls for I seriously consider adding extra sodium. Even when I am standing still.

When I am holding myself up on a pullup machine and curling a dumbbell somehow as I am suspended in mid air all I can do is stare at the tennis court where it says Player 23, and listen to him remind me to breathe, remind me to keep my elbow in, and tell me not to fall the hell off the pull up machine! Or I am shuffling side to side grabbing basketballs that he’s rolling just out of my range and throwing them back at him while he yells to throw the ball….. higher higher.

You will never hear me complain. I might roll my eyes and I might give Steve the finger behind his back (I haven’t yet but I have come close), but I am here because I choose to be here.” – Mary Eggers

This is exactly how I view my workouts. When I go to the gym or a class, I’m not there for social time. I’m there for a good ass-kicking because I know that it will make me a stronger athlete at the end. I CHOOSE to be there. You will never see or hear me complain. Sure, I might say “that hurts” or “are you trying to kill me?” but I quickly shut up and do the work.

Whining doesn’t get you anywhere. It is certainly not going to make you lose 5 pounds or get that 6-pack you so desperately want so you look good in a bikini or PR in your next 5k race. It’s a little blood, sweat, and tears that will do that! Gyms are a funny environment. I have a love/hate relationship with them. I love to see people in the gym working out, but if you look around how many of them are truly working out, there isn’t many. I can’t even count the number of times I’ve seen people walking on a treadmill talking to someone of their cell phone. However, for every person at the gym, there are probably at least a dozen sitting at home wishing they had the motivation and discipline to hit the gym. So I applaud anyone who gets up and moving.

I LOVE the quote above because it is so true. We only begin living when we are outside of our comfort zones. As far as exercise goes, our bodies are built to adapt. We quickly adapt to our current workouts that we do and that is why you need variety in your workouts. In order for me to become the best athlete I can be I need to push myself outside my comfort zone. I will be that annoying girl who throws medicine balls against the floor, skips around people doing deadlifts, and does chin-ups until I fall off the bar, but you will never hear me complain about it because I choose to do that. I choose to work my body until it screams for no more.

There are times in my life, whether in sport or life in general, when I just plain fail or get rejected. It happens. As much as it sucks, IT is what motivates me to push myself harder. People often like to say “good things happen to those who wait.” I hate that saying. Good things happen to people who work hard. No one in life is just going to hand you anything. Sure, some people are luckier than others, but for the most part, people work for what they have. I know I’m not a naturally talented athlete. I’m mediocre. Just because I’m mediocre doesn’t mean I’m not going to push my body to its limits. What sets me a part from many people is my ambition, dedication, and determination. Some people don’t like those qualities about me and hey, someday I don’t like them either. But at the end of the day it is who I am.

I do what I do because I can. I am lucky that I live in a world where I can afford expensive triathlon equipment. I am lucky that my body is healthy. I am lucky that I have healthy food that is available to me. I am lucky that if I am injured that I can seek out the best medical care that I can get. So many people can’t because they have limitations. Some people have legitimate reasons, but most people make excuses. Put those excuses out of your mind and find something that motivates you. No one said living a life worth living is going to be easy. Take chances and make changes. Put yourself out there for failure and rejection. It will only make you stronger in the end. Be ambitious. Make goals. Find your strength. And remember, stop whining and just do it.

My favorite quote!


What’s your motivation?

Operation 6-Pack Week Two Recap

Last week I fell off the bandwagon a bit. Last Sunday I was suppose to run the Maine Half-marathon, but since I’ve been injured I decided I wouldn’t be racing it. However, I did decide that if the weather was nice I would run at least the first 5k. But, the weather was a stinky rainy day so I stayed in bed. All. Day. Long. I did absolutely nothing except sleep and watch stupid reality tv shows. I think I needed a day to be depressed about not being able to run a good race and plus I needed sleep. I only slept about 20 hours the week before so it was very much needed. However, I should have at least wrote my healthcare policy paper that was due on Wednesday instead of waiting till the last minute.

Yea… so, because I didn’t write that paper on Sunday I spent Monday and Tuesday doing that. Wednesday I jumped back on the bandwagon with an awesome hip and shoulder opening yoga class at Lila East End. I just LOVE that studio. I woke up early Thursday morning feeling slightly sore from the class the night before, but I hit the gym for a kick ass workout.

Friday I took a field trip down to Mass. for my TRX training class. It was pretty much an all day workout. 🙂 Saturday I had plans to play with my TRX outside, but then it poured buckets as soon as I got out of work. I was sore from the previous few days so a rest day was probably good. Sunday was a lovely 50 mile ride over Douglass Mountain. Overall, it wasn’t a bad week, but could be better.

Thursday’s Workout:

Dynamic Warm-up (Thoracic rotational mobility, leg cradles, lunge/arm straight up, push-up yoga, straight leg kicks, deep squat/hamstring, mini-band walks)

Running Drills (High knees, butt kicks, 80% sprints)

Power/Core/Shoulder Work (1-leg hop x5/leg, Y’s/T’s/W’s/L’s x 10, Side planks 30sec/side, “T” hold w/2lb weights 1min) – 2 rounds

Strength work

Tri-set#1 (Front squat x10, Dumbell bench press x12, core rollouts x8) – 2 rounds

Tri-set#2 (2-leg deadlift x8, chin-ups x5, foot-evaluted split squats x10) – 2 rounds

Conditioning Sets

Set #1 – 30sec on/10 sec rest (bodyweight speed squats, burpees, speed lunges, push-ups) – 2 rounds

Set#2 – 30 sec on/10 sec rest (medicine ball overhead slams, medicine ball chest slams, squat jumps, mountain climbers) – 2 rounds

Stretch/Foam Roll

~ Happy Training!

My Biggest Pet Peeve

For the past couple of weeks I have dealing with my biggest pet peeve – people not emailing/calling/faxing/texting/smoke-signaling me back. It completely drives me bananas! I find it rude and inconsiderate. Just a simple acknowledgement would be nice.

At my job I am in charge of purchasing. Most of the time it involves ordering lab supplies and occasionally jumping through hoops to get sequencing invoices from a particular company that “forgets” to send them ever so often. Other than that it’s generally a smooth ride. However, every once in a while the wheels come to a screeching stop and shit hits the fan.

We use a very specific tube at work that is absolutely critical to our products. Of course, we can’t buy this tube directly through the supplier. We must go through a vendor, which normally isn’t a problem. However, there was a lot of miscommunication that occurred between our vendor sales rep and the supplier. We ended up with the wrong tubes. I called to request the correct tubes and were told by our vendor sales rep that they were no longer being made. This started a complete panic attack at work! After contacting the supplier directly we found out that they do in fact exist (Yes!) and they put us in contact with their sales rep who came to talk to us. Everything was beginning to fall into place and we were able to place an order for the correct tubes.

But, of course, things couldn’t be all rainbows and unicorns. The supplier needs to manufacture them and they will be delayed three weeks. Now the shit really hit the fan because our order we are manufacturing might be delayed to our biggest customer! For the past week I have been hounding both our sales reps to find out the progress of the order and if it will be completed by the said completion and delivery date. But, none of them have emailed or called me back! Umm… you’re a sales rep. Doesn’t your job and income depend upon you ability to make a sale?

We are honestly in a critical situation at work. I know it sounds melodramatic, but we could lose our biggest customer over someone not calling me back! I’ve actually had nightmares about this too! I understand they are busy, but a simple email staying they will get back to me very soon is sufficient.

Another thing that really bothers me is when you go on an interview and they tell you “we will let you know either way” and then you never hear back from them. Do you call/email and ask? I don’t want to sound like I’m desperate. Super annoying! Just a simple “no” is fine.

Anyway, there is no real purpose to this post. I just need to rant before these tubes cause me to have an enormous anxiety attack.

What are your pet peeves?


~ As always… Happy Training!

30 Days!

30 Days till Mooseman 70.3!! Yikes, I’m getting nervous! Azul is in the shop getting a major upgrade that I promise to share next week! And, I signed up for the Tri for the Y on May 19th as my season opener triathlon! I was suppose to walk across the stage at my graduate school graduation that day, but I decided to do a little swim, bike, run instead. It’s all about priorities!

Now, I need to get back to finishing up my homework that is due tomorrow night at midnight!

Happy Training!