Daily Archives: June 7, 2012

I’m Joining the Triathlon World!

All right, friends, I promised a second volume of news today, and here it is:  I am officially joining the triathlon world!

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It’s something I’ve been thinking about for a while, and I figured since I’m home for the summer—well, at least until I get a fancy schmancy job in New York City—now would be the perfect opportunity to cross off an item on my fitness bucket list.  Not to mention Central New York is a hotbed for triathloning, so I know its knowledgeable community will be a huge plus.

When I first told my family and friends I wanted to swim, bike, and run, I received a lot of quizzical looks and supportive, yet honest exclamations—I got a lot of  “Carrie, you’re a freak!” and “Carrie, so can so do it, but that’s crazy!”  My loved ones know me so well.

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Here’s the way I look at triathloning (I think I should get bonus points for this list since it goes in the reverse order of an actual race):  First, I’m already a decent runner, and although I love a 5-K race as much as the next runnerd, this distance is starting to become too routine.  Don’t worry, I won’t be retiring from 3.1-mile competitions anytime soon, but I’m looking to challenge myself a bit more. (I signed up for the 4th of July 10-miler around Cazenovia Lake, the 15-K Utica Boilermaker, and the Trompton Half-Marathon, and all three will definitely keep me honest and devoted to my training this summer.)

Second, at college this past year, I began an indoor cycling—or spinning—enthusiast.  Every Tuesday and Thursday evening at 5:30 p.m., I headed to Bristol Field House, hopped on a stationary bicycle, and sweated profusely for an hour with instructors Ellen and Donna.  Even though their teaching styles differed—Ellen is super bubbly and enthusiastic, and Donna is one tough cookie who makes you work—I found another workout to add to my fitness arsenal.  In fact, it was during a Thursday night spin class that Donna asked if I had ever given triathloning a thought.  The seed had been planted.

Finally, there’s the swimming.  As a kid, I took swimming lessons every summer, and I was even on track to become a certified lifeguard.  But that was then.  Now, well, I can’t lie—it’s been a while since I’ve completed a legitimate pool workout. (For collegiate basketball, we used to have a pool workout once a week during preseason, but even that was nowhere near what the William Smith swimming and diving team was doing on a regular basis.) However, an open water swim (OWS) usually constitutes the swimming portion of a triathlon. (A few events have the swim in an Olympic-sized pool, but for the most part, it takes place outdoors.) There’s no doubt the OWS will be my triathlon “Achilles’ heel”—no one can be awesome at all three, right?—but being cognizant of this anticipated weakness could be a good thing; down the road, if I’m debating between going for a run or swimming in the lake, I know which one I should choose.

Fast-forward to last week:  I went to Syracuse Bicycle to start looking at road bikes.  Since this was my first trip to the store, and I knew zilch about choosing a bicycle, I knew a purchase would not be happening.  Instead, my mentality was to learn as much as possible about the different types of bikes, the pros and cons of each, and which kind of bike would be ideal for a rookie triathloner.  During this initial visit, I spoke with Bryan and Jim, both of whom were extremely knowledgeable and helpful.  Unfortunately, I left my sneakers at home, and I didn’t feel comfortable test riding bikes while I was wearing “real” shoes, but I headed out knowing I would most likely be getting a Trek road bike.

This past Sunday, I headed back to the shop and asked my aunt to come with me.  She’s a recreational cyclist, and I wanted her input, opinions, and feedback when I was trying out bicycles.  Although I donned the appropriate bike-riding attire—think running shorts and sneakers—I was still nervous.  Sure, it’s one thing to ride like the wind during spin class, but I was on an actual road bike. (I did my best to banish the thought of totally whipping out in the parking lot.) Again, I worked with Jim, and he relayed a ton of information while I pedaled around in two Trek bicycles.  However, before I could test the third bike—a unisex ride—the typical CNY weather went from bright and sunny to torrential downpour in a matter of five minutes.  So typical.  I left the store empty handed, but Jim mapped out my two contenders.

Yesterday was my third trip to Syracuse Bicycle, and I finally bought a bike!  The unisex design had handlebars that were a bit too wide for me, and overall, I felt more comfortable on the woman’s design bicycle, so I picked the Lexa SL.

If all goes according to plan, the bike should be here by Monday at the latest … which means I can attend my first CNY Triathlon Club Wednesday Night Summer Series!  Before that can happen, though, I need to get the right gear.  After spin class at the Y tomorrow morning, I’m going to Fleet Feet to meet MaryBeth, and she’s going to help outfit me for triathlon success.  For the triathloners, which brand of gear do you recommend?  Do you wear a one-piece or two-piece tri suit?  Any wetsuit recommendations?

Time For An Upgrade

Woah, is it really Thursday already?!  This week is flying by!  I had the best of intentions to write another blog post last night, but thinking of seven unique things to share about myself and hunting for pictures left me shot.  It’s difficult to write about myself, which is ironic, considering this blog is all about me.  With Fitness and Frozen Grapes, though, I view my role—as the subject and blogger—as simply a window that frames the world of health and fitness.

Ready for today’s big news volume one?  This is the first post from my new laptop—a 13-inch 2.8 GHz MacBook Pro!

My old MacBook looked like this, and it was way past its prime.  I thought I was so cool and cutting edge when I bought this black beauty during my senior year of high school.  After all, it was my “new college computer.”  It’s brought its a-game these past five years, getting me through countless papers, video projects, and always-important Skype sessions with friends.  But alas, all good things come to an end.  Or their antennas and wireless cards stop working.

Anyway, I dedicated yesterday afternoon to transferring data—thank the Man upstairs I had a g-drive—setting things up, and general tooling around.  I’m a little apprehensive about OS X Lion, though; a few of my friends have expressed their reservations, but I did sign up for Apple One to One so I could learn how to get the most out of this software.  For my Mac people out there, do you use Lion?  What do you think?

I have another piece of big news to share later today regarding one item on my fitness bucket list, but in the meantime, here’s a look at my eats.

Lunch

After getting my laptop, my mom, my sister Ellen, and I went to Koto for lunch.

My pictures were sub-par (bad blogger, Carrie!), but I ordered a seaweed salad to start and the salmon avocado roll.  I could eat sushi everyday; I love that stuff!

Snack

A few hours later, I had some apple slices with PB and an unpictured handful of carrot sticks.

Dinner

We ate dinner late last night—it was close to 8 p.m.—so the Tortilla Pie and roasted green beans tasted extra delicious.

Beef, corn, and spinach were sandwiched in between whole-wheat tortillas, and I kicked it up a notch and added some salsa.

Dessert

Standard.

Breakfast

I woke up this morning craving eggs, so breakfast was a no-brainer.

After drinking a cup of coffee and catching up on emails and reading blogs, I made two scrambled eggs with spinach—get those servings of veggies in early, folks!—topped with a little Tabasco sauce.  I also ate one slice of toasted Ezekiel Low Sodium Bread and sipped my second cup of java.

Today looks like it’s going to be a low-key day, which is more than OK with me.  A quick trip to Wegmans might be in my future, but other than that, I’m taking it easy today.