Monthly Archives: June 2017


Summer is here and summer sports, vacations and events are in full swing. Here in Vermont, summers are beautiful and often too short. Who knows what this summer will bring? And, as always, outdoor activities are at the mercy of the weather – cold, cloudy, hot, humid, windy, rainy, foggy, and of course those T-storms! Athletes (i.e. all who are active) do not stop, they adjust. 

Add or subtract layers as needed, add on the bug repellant and/or sunscreen, dial it back/drink plenty of fluids in high humidity, and get the heck out of the way when the thunder rumbles. Other than that, grab the fun, play the play, indulge and enjoy.

An obvious way to beat the heat is to head for water. When a boat, paddle or swim is not an option, it’s time to be creative.

Summer Solstice SUP Yoga photo by Merin Perretta

Last weekend I participated in a beginners’ SUP Yoga Workshop. Wow that was fun! (Trust me, if I could do it, anyone could!) We celebrated the change of season as we neared the Summer Solstice and talked about the need to realign, change gears and get onboard with the new season. Simply being on the water in a meaningful and mindful way can be profound.

Hiking trails abound* and right now there’s plenty of water continuing to run off and swell the brooks and water falls tumbling down the hills. Late Sunday afternoon I had guessed correctly and my pup, Sophie, and I spent a few hours on the Cotton Brook Trail in Moscow, Vermont. It’s an easy walk/hike and, if there is no one else around, I can let her off leash. Whenever we approach some water she sweetly looks back at me as if to ask permission.  “Go swim,” sends her straight in. This particular time she found a deep pool at the base of a small falls and joyfully swam round and round in circles. Happiness is where you find it – even for a dog.

If you run, ride or swim, here are some local options for you. (see below) Choose one and go play. Or find other ways to connect with family and friends, head out solo, or join a team. Maybe, just maybe, this is a good time to leave the gym work for September and build your strength, endurance, skills and aerobic capacity in other, outdoors, ways.

A sign on Camel’s Hump.

*NEVER forget the many safety precautions for hiking adventures. Be prepared, plan ahead, carry emergency layers, food, water, first aid, and flashlight. Tell someone where you are going and, best of all, hike with another. Assess your fitness level and avoid extreme fatigue. Have a great time but be alert and sensible. 



2nd Elmore Triathlon of 2017 this Thursday June 22

I’ll still allow a duathlon option for those who choose not to swim, but encourage all who can swim to try the whole thing.  The water has warmed up and the forecast for Thursday is great right now! I hope to see you Thursday for a 6:30 pm start.  Based on last event’s observations, we will have a bike mount/dismount clinic at 6:15 for all who are there and have their transition set up in time.

For Results from 6/8 and all race info see

Training Opportunities!
Central Vermont Runners Fun Runs are every Tuesday at 5:30 in Montpelier From the Dept of Labor Park & Ride on the bike path. 1, 2, 4, or 6 mile options–run for distance or for speed! CVR also has interval speed workouts on the MHS track every Wed at 6 pm. All are welcome at both workouts!

The Stowe Bike Club Time Trial series every Wednesday evening at 6:30.  I promise that it is the best way to improve your bike time in a triathlon (of course just biking more helps a lot). All are welcome for free the first time, membership requested for multiple time participants.

For replies: My best contact remains, 



Fitness goals are more achievable when their pursuit is injected with fun.

Earlier this year I struggled with my fitness/sports/lifestyle choices. For several years my cycling season dominated my entire periodized year of training. For a few seasons I piled on the miles and the hours and over the course of a few years completed 15 centuries. Then last summer I chose to focus on shorter distances and participated in a Time Trial series that made me the strongest and fastest I have ever been. (Mind you, I am NOT an ace athlete! I am a fitness professional who thrives on putting into practice the techniques and strengths I both learn and teach. So zero bragging rights here!)

Bottom line: I have been, for about 6 years, a serious if not gifted road cyclist glued to my heart rate monitor, power meter and gps.

So it has been stunning for me to decide to give it a break this year. In doing so I have battled many varieties of guilt.

But here’s the thing – this year I have a dog. My chocolate Lab is starting her 9th month, weighs 61 pounds and is possibly all muscle. She and I have made it outdoors every day since she came home with me at 7 weeks, and she has achieved exactly what I had hoped she would do for me – led me into new avenues of exercise and injected my fitness life with that elusive but oh so important quality of PLAY.

Now I must do the same for her and provide her daily opportunities for adventures in the woods and on the trails (not to mention in the ponds!) Since I also work full-time, there are limits on the hours I can spend in pursuit of strength, balance, coordination and aerobic conditioning. This year I choose to spend them with my dog.

Are these hours different? Yes. Will I become as fit as I was last year? No. And do I question my plans? Yes. But I’m just having so much fun hiking with my dog!

A few days ago, a trusted cycling partner and friend reminded me of the “F Rules”. (Thank you Frank – another FJ)

Here’s how it goes. For several of my most intense training years I had the privilege of working with Joey Adams, a metabolic specialist and coach whose theme is “Getting workouts on target and making your time count,” and who signs off with “Miles of Smiles.” Joey’s expertise is equally teamed with compassion, skill and humor. He has that unique ability to bring out the best in his athletes while keeping everything real.

Below is what Joey has to say about his “F RULES.”

“The pursuit of fitness has varying “rules”. Do this, try this, don’t do this, eat this, not this. Yet, where is the fun in any of that – in following someone’s dogma? So, without being dogmatic, I’d like to start with the concept of FUN in re-defining the pursuit of fitness.

.When I think of the concept of fun, and the creation of my F rules (Fun-Focus-Flow-Fit-Form-Fuel-Fitness to avoid Fooey!) in pursuing fitness, I always use fun as the litmus test. As a true Vermonter, I think of Ben and Jerry and their famous quote, “if it is not fun, why do it?”

I then immediately think of the experience of watching my own children at play and now pursuing their own fitness passions. I’m captivated by their total immersion in their sports. It LOOKS like fun. You can see it on their faces and in their bodies’ expression.

So I offer you this, when it stops being fun, when you don’t look forward to your wellness pursuit in whatever form, it is time to stop and change course, shake it up, try something new. Get outside, try a new sport, take a new class, dance, move, play, create!”

Joey goes on to discuss other Fs (FOCUS, FLOW, FIT, FORM, FUEL), but ends with: Your F rules are in line. You’ve mastered and embraced FUN. You’ve discovered FOCUS that led to FLOW. Your gear finally FITS because of the guiding hands and eyes of a specialist. Your FORM is impeccably evolving and you are continually vigilant. You honor your FUEL needs. You have created a deeper FITNESS FOUNDATION.

The other choice, when any F gets out of balance is to just say Fooey (you could put in your favorite F word), but there’s good news. You then go back to FUN and start again, maybe in a new direction. When I was out of balance, I found yoga and meditation in my arsenal and I’m sure I will discover other fun things in my future.

Wishing you miles of smiles down your personal road to wellness, balance and peace…and as always, lots of fun!”

So, yes, I will suffer pangs of guilt and a bit of loss. I will ride the short rides but hike the long hikes this year. I will enjoy the growth, development and companionship of my pup, and I will see Vermont’s hills and trails with new eyes. I will learn to balance the outdoors with the studio, intensity with ease, and sound with silence. I will trade in workouts for wanderings, groups for solitude shared with my dog, and lean energy for solid endurance.

I will seek fun and play and find what I find. After all, fun is where you find it.