Raising the Bar: Boston Marathon Edition

by: amy frankenthaler

HB All-Star Erica Mellone out for a training run in Kenmore with her dog

HB All-Star Erica Mellone out for a training run in Kenmore with her dog

With the Boston Marathon on Monday, we thought it would be a fantastic idea to shine a spotlight on one of our many regular riders that just completed a charity ride to fundraise for the Boston Marathon! Introducing Erica Mellone! Erica is a passionate rider at our Fenway location and a real inspiration to us. I had the privilege of speaking to her about her training experience and how the Handle Bar helped her reach her goal! Join me below for a look into Erica’s marathon training. She really is #handlebarstrong #bostonstrong.

What inspired you to run the Boston Marathon?

I ran XC in high school and college, and always had the goal of running a marathon. My Grandfather and I used to watch the Boston Marathon on tv together, and once I moved to Boston, I always went to see it.  Boston became my dream to run.  The whole city comes together to show the world what a great place Boston is, and we do it with a marathon!

Tell me a little bit about the charity you are running for. How did your charity ride go?

I’m running for the Alzheimer’s Association – I’ve been on their RunTriRide team for four years now.  The mission at the Alzheimer’s Association is to eliminate Alzheimer’s disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health.

The best part about the charity ride was that I was able to tell and show many friends The Handle Bar.  It was really cool to see Sarah C get so excited about my charity ride.  One thing I’ve always noticed about HB instructors and staff is how enthusiastic everyone is about our success with spinning and fitness.

How did you incorporate HB cycling into your training? How has the HandleBar helped you with your Marathon training journey?

Do you want to know how you can train for a marathon with three feet of snow on the ground without getting sick or falling on ice?  You substitute 1-2 training runs a week with long (or double) spin classes.  There was once day I was supposed to run 15 miles and it was snowing hard.  So I did three miles on the treadmill (torture!) and sprinted to the Handlebar for back to back classes to get a similar cardio affect.

Time on the bike helped me build up my cardio endurance without the impact on my knees.  And every time the weather was bad or the roads were slippery, I had a place to go get a great cardio workout without getting injured.f

What are some favorite songs on your running playlist right now? Any song planned for Heartbreak Hill?

I have a lot of techno music on my playlist, and a few guilty pleasures.  It’s good to have a good beat to listen to, but also be able to listen to the crowds and everyone that encourages you along.  Classes with Cara reminded me that JT has some good running music!

What kept you running this winter with the record breaking snowfall? How did you stay inspired and stay on goal?

I’ve run marathons before, so I know that this isn’t something you can cram for.  You have to build up endurance for months or you will get seriously hurt or not finished.  So  I know that you have to keep training.  I’m lucky that I have a dog who expects a short run everyday and is ready to go as soon as the sun is up.  It’s the longer runs that are hard to do when it is cold – that’s when the support of friends checking in or recent donations are what push you along.  I ran in 2013 and 2014, so there is a lot to reflect on that becomes motivation to get out the door.

What it was like for you to run the 2013 marathon? It must have been and still be emotional for you. How close were you to the finish line?

Fortunately I was not close to the finish line. I started in the last corral of the last wave, which going into the marathon I was bummed about, but it means that when the bombs went off I had just gotten to the top of heartbreak hill, and was stopped shortly after.  It was pretty emotional, in many different ways, and things of course remind me of it, but what I chose to remember and focus on is the incredible amount of support that came after the marathon, and as I started training for 2014 – often when I wasn’t expecting it.  Someone tried to terrorize us, and while failing, let us see how incredibly strong and unified as a city we actually were.

As a city on April 15th, 2013, our lives changed forever. As the people of Boston thrive, so will the Handle Bar community…we have each other! As we go into the weekend before the Boston Marathon, take this time to reflect, but also celebrate how strong we are.

Are you running the marathon on Monday? How has spinning helped you with your training journey? We want to hear from you! Tweet us your story! Tweet or Instagram us @The_Handle_Bar a picture of you embodying #hbstrong #bostonstrong. We as a city are strong. Boston Strong.

From race to recovery

By Falon Sweeney IMG_8376I could say I’m sore, but that would be a complete understatement. I’m counting the days until I stop hobbling across the street like I’m actually injured. This past weekend I ran my first Tough Mudder – 10 miles of sweat, a little bit of blood, but thankfully no tears – over, under, down, and around 20+ obstacles. Oh yeah, and a whole lot of mud. I was a little nervous going into the race, seeing as I hadn’t trained much for the event itself (tisk, tisk, I know…). I registered in early September, so that gave me just shy of a month to prepare. But with my busy college schedule, juggling my part-time job at lululemon with my internship and my class schedule – oh yeah, and that thing called my social life – I really only had time to get in the workouts that work for me – cycling classes, barre classes, and early morning runs. Even though I lacked a little on the training side of things, I was confident in my athleticism and my “toughness” (it is a Tough Mudder, after all isn’t it?) and was determined to complete the race. Fast forward to Monday – two days post race and I am still aching and groaning every time I go up or down the stairs. I want to get back into my fitness routine, but want to avoid injury and focus on my recovery more than I did my training, so that I am better prepared for my next race, whether it be a half marathon or a 10k. So, I turned to Lena Rakijian, The HB’s own Registered Dietician for some guidance during the recovery process. So Lena, What are the most important parts of post-race recovery?

  1. Hydration
  2. Recovery nutrition
  3. Active rest

What is the best way to refuel the body after a long race? Water and/or electrolyte enhanced beverage, complex carbohydrate + Lean High Biologic Value Protein Is it OK to down that victory beer? You just CRUSHED a race. Obviously, celebrating is a wonderful light at the end of the tunnel after IMG_3341pounding 13.2 miles of pavement. Before racing to the beer tent after crossing the finish line, it is important to hydrate with water or an electrolyte beverage to replenish fluids lost during the race.  As an athlete, it is important to understand your body’s hydration needs pre-, during, and post exercise. One hour prior to your race, drink about 16 ounces of water, during the race rehydrate every 15-20 minute intervals to minimize loss of water. To know exactly how much fluid you will need, use the hydration protocol formula below. Here is an example to guide you through it to reach your hydration goals!  Hydration Protocol Example: (1 kg = 2.2. lbs) An athlete exercises for 2 hours. His weight before exercise is 80.5 kg and his weight after exercise is 77 kg. He consumes 500 mL of fluid during exercise and urinates 200 mL of fluid before post exercise weighing.

  • Sweat loss: 80 kg – 77.5 kg = 2.5 kg = 2,500 g + 500 mL – 200 mL = 2,800 mL/2 hr
  • Sweat rate: 2800 mL/120 min = 23.3 mL/min x 60 min/hr = 1,400 mL/hr
  • Fluid replacement schedule (60 min = 6 intervals of 10 min): 1400 mL/6 intervals = 233 mL/10 min

To replace sweat losses during exercise, this athlete would be advised to consume ~235 mL of fluid every 10 minutes during his 2-hour training. This is equivalent to about ~1 cup of water every 10 minutes. After the race, once you’ve hydrated, stretched, and had something to eat to refuel the body – you can reach for that celebratory beer if you choose; however, it is important to note that alcohol inhibits the muscles ability to synthesize protein. Thus, it will delay muscle recovery and you may be feeling sore for longer. So it really is up to you whether the benefit outweighs the cost. Although I agree a cold microbrew sounds tempting after a long race, from a nutrition and sport performance standpoint there is no benefit. But hey, sometimes you just gotta live a little 😉  Recovery means rest which means lie in my bed for 2 days straight, right? …right? Wrong. Recovery starts the minute you finish the race and continues for about 2-3 days after. Right after you cross the finish line with your hands up in the air and the crowd cheering you on, the best thing you can do is KEEP MOVING. Do a light jog or walk up and down the corral after the finish line to give your legs time to cool down to prevent cramping. Continue walking off those legs until you find a source of hydration! Water is great or you could go for something like coconut water or a sports drink to replenish electrolytes lost through sweat. After you’ve cooled down and rehydrated with fluids, get a good stretch in! Stretch the quads, gluteals, hamstrings, calves, and shoulders and focus on a minimum stretch of 30 seconds per muscle group. Within one hour of the race, EAT SOMETHING. Ideally, fuel within 45 minutes to actively recover the muscle. Muscles need carbohydrate and protein together for reloading muscle glycogen, your muscles’ stored form of energy, and optimal tissue repair and muscle recovery. Most races will have foods for you at the finish line. Grab carbohydrate and protein sources, like sports bars, protein shakes, bananas, or bagels. A protein sports bar coupled with a banana or a protein shake combined with a bagel would be excellent recovery food combos as they contain carbohydrates and protein to fuel up.  One or two days after the race, continue hydrating throughout the day and definitely continue stretching. Stretching is so important to help alleviate muscle soreness and lengthen muscle fibers that will likely be tight following a race. Your muscles will need time to recover. A phenomenon known as “DOMS” stands for “delayed onset of muscle soreness”. After your race, it may take 48-72 hours before you feel relief from sore muscles.  With hydration and stretching this process will move right along. Foam rolling provides self myofascial release, essentially acting as a massage to your muscles.  I highly recommend foam rolling major muscle groups in the lower extremities, like gluteals, hamstrings, quads, and IT band for at least 10 minutes every day for 3 days following the race. As a runner, foam rolling should be built into your training. Another excellent recovery technique, is through massage. A sports massage a few days after your race for a deeper release would work wonders. Now that race day is over and I’ve completely crushed my goals, how do you recommend I ease back into my nutrition plan? ..cause I’m not gonna lie, I definitely ate my weight in pizza, pasta, and any carb I could get my hands on post-race. Fueling up post race is encouraged! Your body needs the recovery fuel. Enjoy and celebrate on race day! You earned it! After a race, the key things to remember are moderation, balance, and variety. Eat real foods like fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, heart healthy plant based oils and fats, like olive oil and avocados, lean sources of protein like chicken, fish, tofu, eggs and low-fat dairy/cheeses. Limit processed foods high in added sugar, fat, and salt which slow down our metabolism. Instead, aim to eat whole sources of foods. At the end of the day, all foods can fit into a healthy and balanced diet. Restricting food groups and/or foods from your diet, will only leave you craving more. It’s okay to enjoy a piece of chocolate or a scoop of your favorite ice cream. Just be mindful of your portion sizes and practice moderation of these indulgence foods. Eating a plant based diet coupled with lean protein and heart healthy fats will optimally fuel your body for not only a race, but for LIFE!  Is cross-training an important part of the recovery process? Cross-training is not only an important part of recovery, but it is excellent training for your next race. Functional and balance training is essential for runners to strengthen the musculature supporting the joints which take significant impact during training. So often, runners undergo injury during marathon training due to lack of conditioning, cross-training, and stretching. Cross-training and stretching should be built into your training plan to prevent injury. Not only will it prevent injury before your race, it will also increase your level of performance on race day. Interval training, like in an indoor cycling class at The Handle Bar combines speed work at varying resistance levels to increase cardiovascular fitness and improve your VO2 max, otherwise known as your maximal rate of oxygen consumption during incremental exercise. Maximal oxygen consumption reflects your aerobic physical fitness level and is an important determinant of endurance capacity during prolonged exercise. Yoga, pilates, and strength training, are other examples of cross-training techniques that can fit into a marathon training program to enhance performance and prevent injury.  Well, HBer’s, there you have it! Turns out, recovery is as important, if not more important than proper training. Cause what’s the point of running a race if you set yourself up for harm or injury afterwards? So I’m not totally in the dog house – as long as I take Lena’s recommendations to heart. So, keep up your training and make sure you focus on your post-race recovery just as much as you did your training. 

Screen Shot 2014-09-30 at 5.48.01 PMLena Rakijian, Master Instructor at The Handle Bar, is a Registered Dietician at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. If you have any questions about the information provided above, please do not hesitate to reach out at her next class. See you in the saddle!

Honoring the past and preparing for the present: The 118th Boston Marathon

ERINOur very own Handle Bar instructor, Erin McDonald will run this year’s Boston Marathon with a full heart and fierce dedication. We reflect on the past and look forward to Monday, interviewing Erin on her efforts and thoughts during this momentous time.

Every third Monday in April, Patriot’s Day is observed. But to true Bostonians, it’s Marathon Monday! A day to gather along the Boston Marathon course to cheer on the thousands of participants as they complete their 26.2-mile journey from Hopkinton to Copley Square. As always, thousands of onlookers and participants indulged in the Marathon Monday experience on April 15, 2013. Then tragedy struck. Two bombs were detonated near the finish line of the marathon causing shock, horror and complete disbelief. Individuals frantically searched for safety amidst the chaos, while everyone wondered why and how this could happen.

It has been one year since the ghastly attacks that occurred at the 117th Annual Boston Marathon finish line that shook the City of Boston. When we speak of the horrific events that took place, “Boston Strong” is instinctively the phrase uttered, showing the strength and resilience the city possesses. Immediately after the tragedy, Boston came together to provide support to all those affected by the Boston Marathon bombings and emphasize the heart the city truly has.

One year later, the city is prepared for the 118th Boston Marathon, which will take place on Monday, April 21, 2014. Residents of Boston and visitors to the city are eager to participate, volunteer and cheer at the Boston Marathon conveying the message we all know so well “Boston Strong”. Our very own instructor at The Handle Bar, Erin, will be participating in the marathon on April 21st. This will be Erin’s fourth time running in the marathon and it will be a year like no other. Erin expresses her reactions to the events that occurred last year, why she wanted to run this year, and her feelings about the 118th Boston Marathon.

Q: Where were you last year when you first heard about the bombings at the Boston Marathon finish line? What were your reactions?

I was walking towards the finish line after leaving a Red Sox Game. I heard a bunch of sirens and could see swarms of police, EMT’s and fire fighters racing towards the finish line. As I walked, I could see people running towards me, crying. I stopped a man and asked what was going on and he told me that there had been some explosions and to not walk down there, it was gruesome. My stomach dropped to my toes and all I could think about were the friends I had that were running and also those who were watching as spectators in the area. I immediately tried to call my mother but my cell phone was not working. I ended up having to walk back towards Fenway Park where I could see so many people with distressed looks on their faces. Thousands of runners had been brought to a halt and pure panic had set in. I proceeded to walk towards the Mass Ave Bridge towards MIT, eventually stopping in at a bar in Cambridge where several televisions had the news on. As I watched in horror I started to cry and felt a tremendous amount of fear and vulnerability.

Q: Why did you want to participate in this year’s Boston Marathon?

After I finished the 2012 Boston Marathon in the extreme heat, I vowed to never run that race again. That lasted exactly one year! After the events that occurred on April 15, 2013 I didn’t give it a second thought. I knew I had to run this marathon at least one more time for the victims, survivors and the city I love so much.

Q: How do you feel the running community reacted to the tragedy that occurred this past year?

I have always felt that the running community was a unique group, but even more so now. The camaraderie and support has been unbelievable. The running community in Boston is a special group that has an endless amount of compassion.

Q: The Boston Athletic Association made the decision to allow for 9,000 more runners in this year’s marathon, making the 2014 race the largest it has ever been. The total field size is 36,000 runners, which is an enormous jump from the amount of participants in years past. Do you feel that it is a good idea to invite more runners to participate in this year’s marathon compared to past years?

I do feel it’s a good idea to invite more runners to participate in this year’s marathon. After seeing so many runners come so close to finishing and suddenly being brought to a halt was devastating. They deserve the opportunity to finish what they started one year ago. And for the added charities, what better way to remember the victims and survivors and to show that Boston will never be defeated. We are stronger and more united than ever!

Q: What is the first thing you think of when you hear “Boston Strong”?

A city that has become more united and resilient. The sense of community that has come out of such a tragedy is amazing and will only grow stronger. As David Ortiz said it best last year “This is our F’N City”. #BOSTONSTRONG

Q: What are you most looking forward to for this year’s marathon?

I am so excited to see how this city celebrates the camaraderie, strength and spirit. I am excited to meet new runners from all over the world and most importantly cross that finish line.

 Boston responded to the tragedy with great courage, strength, and passion. The city will come together for the 2014 Boston Marathon not just to run and support those participating, but to honor the first responders, the survivors and most importantly, remember the victims of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings. Boston makes it clear that they will not give in to tragedy. When we look around the city, “Boston Strong” is everywhere. But it’s not just a slogan; it is the city’s identity. One year later, Boston is only stronger.

All the victims of this tragedy will never be forgotten and forever will be honored.

Injury Prevention 101

Silhouette woman run under blue sky with cloudsAs we roll into Spring after one of the longest and coldest Boston winters, we runners no longer need to worry about our runs getting sabotaged by impromptu blizzards. We no longer have to pile on layers of clothing and pray that we won’t be too cold, or rip off layers mid-run, realizing it is much warmer than we thought. We no longer have to squeeze in boring treadmill workouts that leave our shins in pain and our knees aching. We finally can just lace up and begin our run. At this point, anything above 40 degrees is enough to get me out on the street in shorts and a t-shirt. And while I enjoy the freedom that comes with good running weather, I know there are serious precautions that need to be taken.

Up until this Winter I didn’t understand how important injury prevention was for runners. Having been a runner for almost seven years now, I barely thought twice about warming up, stretching, the shoes I was wearing, or the courses I was running. My main concern was to stay in shape, burn calories, and space out listening to my music. I didn’t realize the wear and tear of unknowingly mistreating my body would disable me from doing any of those things. This past January, the entire lower half of my right leg started to ache whenever I ran. Disregarding this thinking it would pass, I continued to run on it for another month until it got to the point where I couldn’t even flex or point my ankle. When I finally understood this wasn’t going to magically go away, I contacted a physical therapist. Right off the bat she gave me an immediate list of things she could tell I was doing wrong that brought me to this point. Here are some of things I learned that are essential to taking care of your body as you enjoy running outdoors:

 Sneaker Choice: Yes, those neon orange training sneakers in the window may be the cutest sneaks you’ve ever seen, but they could very well be an immediate recipe for shin splints. Little did I know, the roots of my injury started from my poor choice in footwear. This ultimately led to shin splints that I ignored “because every runner deals when them, right?” Wrong. Wear the correct shoes to avoid unnecessary pounding. Go to a sports store with a footwear section that specializes in long distance running shoes. Marathon Sports and City Sports are two great choices. Running shoes are very different from every day sneakers. Training sneakers are designed to allow for significant range of motion to engage in every day activities and cross training, but running shoes have very specific padding and support to cushion your foot in the right places to avoid injury. Have a specialist watch you walk and run so they can recommend the best type for you. Sadly, but with good reason, I’m saying bye to my neon green trainers for now.

 Terrain: One bonus to outdoor running is the choice in terrain—grass, in the woods, on the beach, or the pavement. However it is very important that during your workout you stick to one or two of these over the course of your run. Your joints adjust to the specific terrain you are running on at that given time and if you are constantly switching between grass and pavement, etc., you can tear your joints or cause unnecessary strain.

 Stretch and Warm- up: If there is one thing I have learned from my injury, it is that warming up and stretching is a daily necessity for athletes.  In order to effectively prevent injury, you have to engage in a dynamic warm-up that raises your heart rate, gets blood flowing to stagnant joints, and prepares your body for the movements you are about to do, making your body able to adjust to the impact without strain. Failure to stretch before a run is one of the top ways to injure yourself. If you have not fully warmed up, you literally are just tearing your muscles before you have even begun your workout. Some examples of dynamic warm-ups include ankle rolls, in-place lunges, skips, hip circles, and leg swings. Stretching should either be done after a full dynamic warm-up (about 15-20 minutes), or at the end of your run. Attending yoga classes a few times a week is also a great way to stretch out those contracted muscles.

Speed and Form: Running is running, right? Not necessarily. Whether on the playground or on a sports team, we’ve been running since we were little kids and it feels pretty natural to us. But the truth is there is a specific form that all runners should learn and practice to stay safe and healthy while running. My physical therapist watched me run on the treadmill and told me that the way I slammed my foot down was sending significantly more shock through my body than if I had used correct form. When you run, focus on rolling from heel to toe distributing equal pressure through the ball of your foot as you bring your foot back up. My ankles were so stiff that I just swung my leg around and slammed it on the ground without rolling through the entirety of my foot. When she looked at my “new shoes” that I had only had for about two months, she said she would’ve thought I had been running in them for years. That’s how much slamming I was causing from poor form. Also, don’t assume that running faster causes more pounding and is worse for you, because the slower you run, the more shock is sent through your leg. This doesn’t mean sprint out of your comfort zone for the entirety of your run, but you aren’t necessarily “taking it easy” when running at a slow pace.

 Cross Training: This is by far the most important part of injury prevention for runners. Up until this past winter I didn’t give any other workout the time of day. I thought that running was the most effective, only way to stay in shape. But being injured and physically unable to run for an entire season, I forced myself to detach from the unrealistic notion that running is the only form of exercise. Craving that runner’s high and endorphin release that I normally got from running, I tried other things like weight training, the elliptical, and stair machines. Nothing really seemed to cut it. Then I started to take classes at The Handle Bar. The combination of cardio, strength, interval and speed training set to upbeat and high- energy music began to satisfy all my running cravings. Not only was I maintaining the endurance I worked so hard to gain from running, but I was strengthening not only my muscles, but my bones and joints as well. This cardio workout is a perfect compliment to anyone who also loves to run. Stationary biking is almost always recommended to anyone with an injury as it is a low impact alternative that not only keeps you in shape, but actually strengthens your weak areas without straining them. It is crucial to any runner’s health to switch up your workouts. As you start to run outside more and more this upcoming spring, it is in your absolute best interest to compliment your runs with spin classes, particularly at a place as specialized in the workout as The Handle Bar.

Mix runs in with your cycling classes, and cycling classes in with your runs. You will find that the two go hand- in- hand beautifully and you will find yourself stronger than ever. Finally able to run again, I don’t regret one minute I spent switching my workouts from running to cycling. Whenever I’m running up a hill I just picture Elise or Sarah leading us through a tough climb in class. One of the best benefits from switching up my workouts and adding classes at the HB is that I’ve been able to add some great new music to my running playlists—all of which I’ve heard here.

These tips will help keep you healthy and running through this spring and onward. And remember that pushing through the pain for that one run isn’t worth a season on the bench. Don’t be afraid to switch it up and take that extra few minutes to stretch!

Image: http://www.beyondvitality.com/Blog/Exercise_Green

Who raised the bar in December?

Julie Moody!

Julie has been riding at The Handle Bar since September and has proven herself as one of our strongest riders! She always grabs a front row seat and leads the pack with great form and impeccable rhythm. When she’s not in the saddle, Julie can be found jogging the streets of Southie, and she most recently signed up for her first ever marathon. Check out our post by Susan about spinning to run..  preparation for her first marathon this November.. Julie will certainly be following suit!
Congratulations Julie! 
 
Julie Moody

Everyone has their own unique fitness journey. What has yours been like with spinning?

I took my first spin class in college and loved it! I played college soccer and always needed to stay in shape throughout the year. Nothing really got me in the shape I needed to be in like spin. I used to work at a gym in Boston and would try out all the classes they had to offer. I soon realized that I only wanted to go to the spin classes. That’s when I knew it was the right workout for me. When I moved to Southie in September and saw the studio in the neighborhood I knew I needed to join and I have been hooked ever since. I have always been a huge fan of intense, quick workouts and the 45 minute classes at The Handle Bar do the trick for me.

How do you fit fitness into your everyday life?

I really enjoy working out so I look forward to spin everyday. After a long day at work there is nothing that makes me feel better than an amazing spin class. Walking into the studio after a 9 hour day I’m feeling pretty tired, but walking out after a great ride, I feel like a completely different person. I think I work out more for the mental benefits than the physical benefits. Endorphins are no joke! 🙂

Why do you come to spin at The Handle Bar?

I love The Handle Bar for a lot of different reasons. I think a huge factor for finding a place to workout is convenience. That’s what got me in the door when I first moved to Southie. But the attention to detail is what keeps my coming back each month. I think the instructors at The Handle Bar are amazing. Everyone brings something new to the table and it keeps all the classes fun. Also, I love the community feel at the studio. Walking into The Handle Bar at 6am for a Monday Morning class and hearing, “Happy Birthday!” is something that you wont find in many places. Everyone really makes you feel great when you’re there and its something that makes The Handle Bar so special.

What did you do for fitness prior to joining the studio?

My whole life was filled with soccer so when that ended my senior year of college I was in need of something else. I would go running which I really enjoyed, but I got bored pretty quickly. I also needed some strength training to go with the running. Spinning is the perfect workout to incorporate cardio, strength training and a full body workout all in one.

What goals has The Handle Bar helped you achieve?

The Handle Bar has helped me get in a great workout routine that I love. I actually joke with my friends that I am addicted to spinning because I hate to miss a class so much.

What’s your favorite way to retox after a long week?

I love a glass of Sauvignon Blanc and going out with friends.

Do you have a favorite class at The Handle Bar?

My favorite classes are Lena’s 11:30 Saturday and Sunday rides. Gotta earn my weekend!!

What is your favorite music to spin to?

I like it all! A little pop, rap, rock, mashups, techno — anything. The best classes are the ones with a good variety.

What are your thoughts on using bike shoes? Had you ever used them prior to riding with us at The Handle Bar?

I love bike shoes. I had never used them before starting at The Handle Bar but now I don’t think I could go back to sneakers.

What motivates you?

I’ve always been a self motivator. I don’t think there is a better feeling than setting your mind to something and accomplishing it.

What words do you live by?

“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude”