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Back on the trainer

by Meghann on February 6, 2013

Just when I thought my lunches couldn’t get more random… I pull together something like this.


Cucumber, carrot sticks, hummus, crackers, cheese, leftover chicken breast, and avocado.

Really, who ever said a meal had to make sense? As long as tastes good (and makes sense to you), that’s all that really matters, right?


p.s. it was awesome.

A little bowl of greek yogurt, walnuts, almonds, cereal, and fresh strawberries made a killer snack this afternoon.


It also acted as fuel for this:


Yes, that’s our messy garage. In the background you’ll see a dresser (psstt… anyone in Tampa want a free dresser? Please. Take it. Now.), Christmas decorations, golf clubs, and luggage. You are welcome. πŸ™‚

I hate the bike trainer, but not for the same reasons most people do. Mostly people hate it because it’s boring, I hate it because I have no idea how to operate it. It took me 45 minutes to set it up this afternoon. 45 minutes! When they popped my bike in the trainer at the bike store last week it took them less than two minutes. I spent 45 minutes lining everything up and making sure it was secure, having no confidence in my abilities.

Alright, maybe hate is a strong word. Perhaps fear is what it is. We “fear” things we don’t understand, and the trainer is something I don’t understand.

I had a bad fall off the trainer last summer. The back tire wasn’t secure and 10 minutes into my workout the bike toppled over (with me still attached to it). I landed hard and my butt and ego were both bruised. I was so afraid of the trainer after that, that I set it in the garage to collect dust for the next 10 months.


I know the trainer and I are about to become good friends during Ironman training, so I dusted it off this afternoon for a test ride. Once the bike was secured, I just hopped on and sort of rode.

On top of being afraid of falling again, there are other aspects of the trainer I’m still not sure about. Like what gear I should be in when riding, how much pressure should be on the tire, or how to execute a trainer workout. I’m working on figuring these things out. I’m a visual learner and need to see something in person in order for it to make sense. Luckily a friend said he was willing to walk me through a workout on a trainer soon (where we would be without awesome friends?). Until then I’m just going to sort of do my own thing. My own thing this evening was riding 30 minute while listening to this month’s book club selection”Red Tent.”

The good news is I didn’t fall (yay!) and the 30 minutes on the bike wasn’t terrible (double yay!). Hopefully next time it won’t take me so long to setup the darn trainer and I’ll have more time to ride. πŸ™‚

Is there a piece of gym equipment you’re afraid to use because of a bad experience? What happened? Have you conquered your fear?

Oh, I made this eggplant dip for dinner and it was delicious!


Unfortunately it wasn’t very pretty. We used the eggplant dip as a sauce for steak tonight and it was, um, not very photogenic.


Sigh. At least it tasted good. πŸ™‚

I updated the wedding page today. Check out the details behind the reception here.

Good night!

1 Sana February 6, 2013 at 9:22 pm

Yikes. I am sure you can YouTube how to make the trainer work? When in doubt YT always knows!
Sana recently posted..Juicing With A Vitamix+ Shilla Bakery

2 Julie @ Swim Bike Running on Empty February 6, 2013 at 9:24 pm

Hey Meghann! I can help you with the trainer if needed, too. After moving to Edmonton, I started doing all workouts between October and March on the trainer, and have learned how to know when to be in certain gears to mimic pushes, straight riding, climbing, sprints, etc. Everything I know came from my coach, a former national cycling champion & Olympic trials qualifier. I can also help with some recos to make time go by faster. Just shoot me an email if you’d like my help! πŸ™‚
Julie @ Swim Bike Running on Empty recently posted..Turkey, Kale & Brown Rice Soup

3 Anne @ eatcleaneatreal February 6, 2013 at 9:46 pm

Random lunches, or what I call “snack plates” are the best.

All I have to say about the trainer is load up on movies and good music. I used to watch movies on closed caption while rocking out to music for a few hours. Or my friends and I would have “trainer parties” when we had to do long rides inside during the winter.

I think as long as you can have someone show you the proper way to set it up you will be fine. I had to experiment with the tire pressure a lot, and I realized that there would be slight differences in what gear I needed based on the pressure in the tires and how tight I had the wheel against the roller. Just some thoughts!

4 Becky @ Olives n Wine February 6, 2013 at 9:49 pm

I use to be TERRIFIED of box jumps in crossfit. Like the kind of terrified that I would skip a WOD if I knew it would involve them terrified. I am proud to report that I conquered them last week!!! It felt amazing πŸ™‚
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5 Stephanie @ Steph's Miles February 6, 2013 at 9:59 pm

I give you credit for at least putting lunch on a plate instead of snacking out of a bag or container like people sometimes too. That’s a bad place to be when you are hungry!
Stephanie @ Steph’s Miles recently posted..Crockpot Lasagna

6 Jaima February 6, 2013 at 10:11 pm

You can call Salvation Army locally and they will come pick up your dresser usually a day or two from when you call!

7 KatieTX February 6, 2013 at 10:21 pm

I feel ya about falling off the trainer. I fell off mine due to the same reason (still attached to the bike via clipped in shoes) and have a pretty bad scar on my arm. Not the best story to tell…I have yet to get back on since I need a new skewer for it to not fall over. It is on my to do list. What did you do to make your bike more secure?

8 Matteson @ Healthy High Schooler February 6, 2013 at 10:28 pm

In indoor track workouts last year, I tried to clear one of the jump boxes in the weight room. I ended up nailing my knee and have been terrified ever since. Now when I have to do them, I just do the smallest one and jump as high as I can on my own with out the box. I can clear it but it’s all mental now!
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9 Reenie February 6, 2013 at 10:37 pm

Call Salvation Army, DAV, or whatever you have there. Or put it by the curb with a FREE sign and I guarantee it will be gone in 30 min. Or list on Craigslist in their FREE area for a “curb alert” you can describe the dresser and even load a picture, list what time it will be out there. πŸ™‚

10 Angela February 6, 2013 at 11:18 pm

That is scary!! That would be hard to get back on after a bad fall. Way to go girl!
Angela recently posted..My 25th Birthday

11 Steph February 6, 2013 at 11:24 pm

I thought the same thing when I made black bean hummus the other day. I’ve avoided blogging the recipe until I make it so that it doesn’t look so, unappealing lol.
Steph recently posted..Obscene gym noises

12 TorontoRunner February 7, 2013 at 1:02 am

the bike trainer sounds so complicated!!
I’ll look at those complicated weights machines at the gym and get suuuper intimidated. I like to go at night when NO body is around so I can mess around and find my way without embarrassing myself too much!
TorontoRunner recently posted..The transition from 1/2 to Full?

13 Alison February 7, 2013 at 4:31 am

I would LOVE that lunch! I love random plates of yummy bits and pieces. πŸ™‚

14 Katherina February 7, 2013 at 6:47 am

The Red Tent is such a wonderful book. Friends of mine have started a red tent movement in Orlando which is part of a much bigger red tent movement <3
Also, you can put your dresser on freecycle and someone will snatch it up within a day, guaranteed!

15 Victoria (District Chocoholic) February 7, 2013 at 7:33 am

Intervals, dude. It’s the only way I can manage the trainer. There are a couple ways to go about it:
-Power-based intervals – only an option if you have a powermeter, which I don’t think you do.
-Heart rate based intervals – e.g. go for 2×20 minutes in zone 4 for a lactate threshold workout, or 4×5 minutes, etc. It keeps your brain occupied and makes your workout more focused. Unfortunately, heart rate is a lagging indicator, so you can be working at a higher effort before your heart rate catches up. This makes it harder to target your efforts, and is why I invested in a powermeter. Still, it’s not a bad way to go about effort-level intervals.
-Cadence variance – e.g. 5×5 minutes at 100 rpm w/2 min rest. These are helpful if you need to increase leg speed (by using higher cadence intervals), or strength (by using lower cadence intervals). They can’t be the only thing you do, though, because you want to get used to that ideal 85-95 rpm cadence.

Also check out the sufferfest and trainerroad online for visual stimulation/workouts.

Oh, and a little NIN in the background helps, too.
Victoria (District Chocoholic) recently posted..Cocova January Sample Day

16 Cait February 7, 2013 at 7:59 am

are you planning a ski trip to Vermont this year? I just saw they are supposed to get over 2 feet this weekend!

17 Meghann February 7, 2013 at 8:03 am

We will not be heading to Vermont this year, but I’m jealous they’re getting so much snow and we won’t be there to enjoy it!

18 Robin February 7, 2013 at 8:16 am

I have fallen off my trainer twice!!! Luckily, or maybe not luckily, I have a staircase right next to my trainer so I fell into my metal stairs. It hurt but it wasn’t as far a fall. But like you, I am training for my first Ironman so I have no choice but to get back on that thing and keep riding. I have been riding for a few months now and I know I still suck at it and I still hate it but I keep reminding myself that I will eventually get to ride on the road again. Lucky you, you Florida people!
Robin recently posted..Getting Used to Training AGAIN + Giveaway Winner

19 Beth @ Running with the Sunrise February 7, 2013 at 8:23 am

Good luck using your trainer! I’m sure you’re more cautious this time and won’t fall over. πŸ™‚
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20 Katie @ Peace Love & Oats February 7, 2013 at 8:50 am

It’s like getting back on the horse when you fall! You’ve just got to get back on and go! Personally the trainer seems like an awesome workout tool, you can just set it up in front of the TV in the comfort of your own home! Haha too bad I don’t have one… or a bike… or a TV…
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21 Carrie @ Fitness and Frozen Grapes February 7, 2013 at 8:50 am

Do you have a CycleOps trainer? Their website has instructional videos that show how to set up the apparatus and attach your bike, which I totally stalked when I got my trainer a few months ago. πŸ˜‰ In terms of tire pressure, you should pump them up before every workout–just like you’re going for a ride outside. Trainer time can be boring, so I do lots of intervals to keep my body and mind engaged. Good luck!
Carrie @ Fitness and Frozen Grapes recently posted..‘Fun Time is Over’

22 Lauren @ Eat Like An Elephant February 7, 2013 at 10:00 am

I used to be afraid of the Stairmaster! I’m not the biggest fan of heights and the first time I ever got up that whole 3 feet I was sure I was going to fall off! I have since conquered my fear πŸ™‚
Lauren @ Eat Like An Elephant recently posted..Cooking Healthy (And Gluten Free) For A Family

23 Karen @ Runner Girl Eats February 7, 2013 at 10:35 am

I’m terrified of the trainer just because I’ve never used and I feel like I’d set it up wrong and going flying through my living room. I made eggplant dip a few weeks ago and decided its the most unphotogenic/delucious thing ever.
Karen @ Runner Girl Eats recently posted..Bling run

24 Jamie in Arkansas February 7, 2013 at 11:06 am

I have a RacerMate CompuTrainer that hooks up to my computer and you can pick any course you want and it will give you all your feedback. It’s amazing! It’s in 3D so you see the course and the hills…

25 Emily N February 7, 2013 at 11:33 am

I think I need to purchase a bicycle BEFORE I worry about a trainer. Although a trainer is cheaper… hmmm. πŸ™‚

Glad you got it figured out at set up though. That certainly helps!

26 Jen February 7, 2013 at 11:37 am

Why the need for a trainer when you live in Florida? I would love to be outside year-round…..

27 Meghann February 7, 2013 at 11:55 am

Because it’s a 20 minute drive to the trail and I don’t live in a bicycle friendly area of town (especially when I’m still trying to get used to aero position).

28 Katherina February 8, 2013 at 7:42 am

The weather is nice but unfortunately we’re not that progressive of a state and it’s totally unsafe on most of the roads. Especially if you’re trying to go fast.

29 Corrie @ Blurb Column February 7, 2013 at 10:25 pm

Actually, your snack plate lunches have really helped me. I struggle with eating healthy and a boring salad for lunch every day just doesn’t light my fire. Snack plates, on the other hand, suit me so well! I am so much more willing to eat veggie sticks and slices if I can have a little side of hummus, a few crackers and a bit of really good cheese, too. Plus, because I always use my small plates when I do a snack plate my portion control is built in. You are the one that introduced me to snack plate lunches and I am super thankful! (also yesterday I had a very similar lunch and later yogurt and granola..haha).
Corrie @ Blurb Column recently posted..SUPER Bowl Sunday!

30 William Carter February 25, 2013 at 3:27 pm


One comment on the trainer. I would move it inside. I keep mine in my office. I decorate the room around the bike and mat. Remember those old exercise videos from “The Firm”. Oriental rugs and chrome dumbbells? It is all about image for me and the bike, well, sort of like the alter in a church.

I work out very hard and very serious. Many hate the trainer? Not sure why. I use Spinervals, Epic Ride, or other DVD’s and good old Workout Music from iTunes. I even have a little projector table $40 that sits over the from wheel to hold laptop or what ever.


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