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  • Writer's pictureAutumn Plourd

The Trainer; The Boredom Inducer

This post documents my dread to mount the bike trainer. The truth is I know it's a vital part of Ironman training so I will suck it up and endure. But sometimes it just feels good to vent!

My living room set up (trainer on bottom left). Also in this picture: a cardboard box so I can reach the remote control, a yucky old towel, and a stool so Blythe can climb on the couch. Not pictured, an outdoor ceiling fan on MAX.

I really shouldn't complain, it's pretty awesome that a friend let me borrow this trainer.

I’ve always heard good things about bike trainers. They help you focus on technique; they allow you to bike when there’s crappy weather outside; and they can even help you get faster too. Added bonus: You’ll never get hit by a car in your living room. Sounds like the solution to all problems! That is, until I sat on one and an eternity later looked down to see I was 7 minutes into an hour-long ride. I really hate when someone misuses the word literally, but here I am struggling not to say that a bike trainer literally makes time slow down. I think I might ride when my kids are nearby so they can stay this age forever. No, they might try to poke their little fingers in the bike chain. An eon later and I’m up to 9 minutes.

I even purposely save my favorite TV shows to watch on the trainer, but instead of helping me forget I’m spinning my legs over 90 rotations a minute, it somehow makes me hate Survivor, the Bachelor, Project Runway and This is Us.

This is Me, trying to Make it Work, Trying to Outwit, Outplay, Outlast the most dramatic ride ever!

I have no explanation as to why it makes me wish I was delivering a baby instead (actually, that wasn’t that bad, GIVE ME ALL THE MORPHINE) but man, anything but the bike trainer! I literally (proper definition) spend a majority of my workouts thinking of all the places I’d rather be. On the couch eating Cheetos. In a bubble bath drinking hot chocolate. In my favorite outfit getting pooped on by a bird.

So why do I do it? Why not just go outside to ride on the road, with the wind in my hair, birds over my head? Well, schedules. Blake goes to work before the butt crack of dawn and I’m with the kids or at work the rest of the day. When Blake gets home I can either leave on a bike ride or we can spend quality time as a family (Blake’s love language, not mine). And by the time everyone’s asleep, it’s dark. So I pull this doodoo out of the garage and board the trainer.

Fortunately, the midweek bike workouts in the 30-week Ironman training plan I’ve selected are 30-60 minutes long, which are perfect for a trainer because it’s about the max length of time I can ride it without getting not literally suicidal. This is great from a schedule perspective because it’s less time I’m away from the family, and I’m trying really hard to focus on that positive point.

And hey, I didn’t like running at first and it grew into one of my biggest passions. I didn’t like bike rides either, but half Ironman training helped me appreciate that one too and now I look forward to them (outside rides; not on this ugly stepchild).

So now that I’ve gotten all this negativity out of my system, from here-on-out I'll choose to look at the trainer as an opportunity to workout indoors and after bedtime, enabling me to spend time with my family and fill Blake’s love tank with the quality time and acts of service that I rarely commit enough time to. Also I’m going to work on technique and get faster and I’ll treat this as a mental exercise because Lord knows that’s a major hurdle of any physical competition! But also pray for me. And if you ride a trainer that costs less than adoption, what tricks do you use to overcome the blah?

PS: Next weekend is the Velo Club’s Ride the Yuha event, so maybe a race recap next Sunday?? Looks like it's going to rain, pray that doesn’t happen too.

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