Tag Archives: 2013 Cannondale Slice 5 105

Neither Here Nor There

Happy Friday, friends!  Was this week incredibly busy for you too?  I have lots of updates to share, but since everything does not fall under the “random training thoughts” umbrella, I figured a new title seemed appropriate.

Guess who got a big-girl promotion!

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Not in reference to said promotion, but still funny. ‘What?  That’s totally crazy!  I am super chill all the time!’

I’ve been doing community outreach for a while and absolutely loving it, but I wanted to take on more responsibility—and I got my wish!  Now in addition to doing outreach for my store specifically, I’m also in charge of managing partnerships with clubs, teams, and charities, plus I’ll be doing a lot of type-A/logistical stuff:  staffing expos, coordinating volunteers, etc.  I’ll still work the floor a bit—it’s important to interact with runners, listen to their input, know our products, etc.—but I’ll mostly be a “real person” now.

With SoBe rapidly approaching, I’ve been dialing in my nutrition.  I know it’s a sensitive topic in both the endurance and blogging worlds, and I don’t want to get into it too much right now.  That being said, though, it is astonishing how fueling adequately—pre-, during, and post-workout—makes a difference.  Again, this calls for its own post, but my run has finally started to click, and I think it’s because I’ve leaned out over the past few weeks.

My Slice will make its maiden outdoor voyage tomorrow.  Again, with SoBe only 22 days away, I need to get comfortable riding in aero.  Or at least ride without falling off.  That’s the goal right now.

Can we talk about “House of Cards” for a second?  My normal jams include “Parks and Recreation” (obviously), “30 Rock,” and “The Office,” but holy cow, why did it take me so long to hop on this bandwagon?  Who would’ve thought a comedy-lover like me would enjoy a political thriller?

That’s all I’ve got today.  Have a great weekend!

Random Training Notes From Jan. 6

So after I wrapped up the training portion of Sunday’s post, I realized there were still some things I wanted to talk about; related to but not actually training, this stuff needed its own post.  Not sure if I’ll write one of these every week, but I had enough material this time.

Now that I’m swimming, biking, and running consistently again, I feel like myself—yet I didn’t know I’ve felt “off” for the past three months.  Returning to training has given me a renewed sense of self, purpose, and motivation; I know this is where I belong, and this is what I should be doing (as opposed to getting engaged like some of my high school classmates, but that’s neither here nor there).

On Thursday morning, I had my Slice fit with Mike from Bike Riders NYC. (I had a general fit done when I purchased the bike, but I needed to get dialed in.) No pictures, unfortunately, but the appointment lasted about two hours, and Mike did a phenomenal job:  He adjusted my cleats (my right leg is longer than my left), raised my saddle, and moved my aerobars forward (#tallgirlproblems).  Sunday’s CompuTrainer class was my first post-fit ride, and everything felt great.  It’s probably a combination of having a great fit and finally building some cycling strength, but today’s Tailwind class went really well too.  And I’m excited for next week’s FTP test—I can’t wait to see how much I’ve improved!

This past week or so, I’ve been playing with my fueling and overall nutrition.  Since our practices typically last three hours, I’ve experimented with taking a gel between swimming/running workouts, and it’s definitely helped my energy levels. (I use PowerBar Perform on the bike and haven’t felt the need for a gel before strength training.) And in terms of cooking, I’ve made a few recipes from The Feed Zone Cookbook, including chicken fried rice and these fish tacos.

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The meals I’ve prepared so far are easy to make, and one factor I struggled with last season included snacking after eating dinner.  I always have fruit for dessert, but there were also several trips to the almond butter jar. (Please tell me I’m not the only one!) Anyway, these Feed Zone recipes have eliminated my post-dinner “snacky” mood; they fill me up.

I really enjoy being “Young C.”  As the youngest person on the team, I secretly love how everyone teases me from time to time—because that’s what I usually do.  Before practice started on Wednesday a few of us were shooting hoops, and one of my teammates ended up with a cut on his nose.  I didn’t do it, but my coach called me a bully for the next few days—and then my nickname switched to Gumby when we did partner stretching.

Speaking of my coach, we spent some quality time running together in Central Park yesterday morning. (Practice was canceled because of electrical gym repairs.) As my first time in Central Park post-half marathon, I had zero expectations, but we ended up covering a little more than six miles.  Anyway, the more I get to know my current coach, the more he reminds me of my high school basketball one—which is definitely a good thing.

And in other Full Throttle Endurance news, being the team social media manager/warlord is going well so far.

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It makes me laugh when I receive about six of these emails before 11 a.m.

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And now, I’m off to mentally prepare for tomorrow’s two-mile time trial.  Oh boy.

Write It Down, Do It Up – Week of December 22

Greetings, friends!  As usual, I planned to post this recap yesterday, but my parents and I road tripped home from New York City.  They arrived on Friday with a special delivery:

cannondale-slice-home-bedroom

Hello, Slice!  I hoped to ride it Sunday morning, but I didn’t think it would be smart to make my maiden voyage in the rain.

In semi-related news, my workouts this week went OK.  For whatever reason, I couldn’t make two-a-days happen.  After all, I sign my life away in two weeks, so I might as well rest as much as I can, right?

Sunday – p.m. 50-minute bike trainer ride (on my road bike) during the Syracuse game

I’ve received a few questions about what I do while on the trainer.  No matter what, I always start with a 10-minute warm-up (in my small ring) and end with a 5-10-minute cool-down.  For the next 10-15 minutes or so, I do shorter intervals:  two minutes solid, one minute easy; three minutes solid, one minute easy, etc.  My “main set” is simple:  find a gearing that’s hard, hold it/make it hurt for 10-15 minutes, then take 3-5 minutes to recover, and repeat.  As you can see, it’s rare for a workout to last longer than an hour, and I would rather get in saddle, push it, and cool down instead of pedaling for hours on end.  Not that there’s anything wrong with longer rides, but these shorter workouts make more sense given my projected race schedule.

Monday – a.m. 50-minute run and upper-body strength training

Running consistently has been a challenge, so I made an effort this week to hit the pavement frequently.  I kept this run easy in preparation for Tuesday’s CompuTrainer ride and only did upper-body lifting to save my legs.  It was a wise choice.

Tuesday – a.m. CompuTrainer class at Tailwind Endurance

This week’s threshold Tuesday contained a power test.  First, we warmed up for 10 minutes and did some high cadence drills before we completed a five-minute wattage test.  Our instructor said we should attack this test strategically and be “in the red” the whole time.  I broke up the five-minute effort into two, two-and-a-half minute sections.  I took the first section out too aggressively, so I didn’t increase my gear until minute three, and then I had to dig deep and hang on.  My average output clocked in at 270 watts.  We spun out for 10 minutes and then tackled a 20-minute time trial.  Like before, I broke it into four, five-minute portions.  This time, my first two sections were on the conservative side, but I was able to hammer for the final 10 minutes and post an average output of 230 watts.  Cyclists and more experience triathletes, how do these numbers look?  One thing to take into consideration, our instructor said, included our lifestyle choices for the past few weeks—i.e. if we’ve been going to holiday parties, eating and drinking differently, not getting enough sleep, etc.  Guilty, guilty, guilty.  On the bright side, I now have wattage ballparks for these workouts, and there’s nowhere to go except up.

Wednesday – a.m. 40-minute swim

Do not go more than one week without swimming.  Just don’t do it.  Yes, I should know better, but biking has sounded so much more appealing.  I faced the music and dealt with extremely sloppy warm-up laps and flip turns.

Thursday – a.m. 50-minute indoor bike trainer ride

This ride looked similar to Sunday’s one.

Friday – a.m. 40-minute run and strength train

Saturday – a.m. 30-minute run and strength train

Sunday – off

Since I’m home for the holidays, I’m not sure how much swimming will happen, but I plan to run everyday.  Here’s a rough idea of what I want to accomplish this week.  Let’s Write It Down, Do It Up!

Sunday – off

Monday – a.m. run and hopefully swim

Tuesday – a.m. run and hopefully swim

Wednesday – a.m. run

Thursday – p.m. indoor bike trainer

Friday – a.m. swim

Saturday – a.m. indoor bike trainer

What are you doing for the holidays?

My First Triathlon Bike

The secret’s out:  While home for Thanksgiving, I visited Syracuse Bicycle three times in two days and officially joined the speed club—hello, 2013 Cannondale Slice 5 105!

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Sigh, what a beauty.

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Basically since the start of the season, my coaches have been on me to get a time trial/triathlon bike (TT).  Even though I knew this purchase would be necessary, I waited.  The last thing I wanted to do was learn how to ride a new-to-me bike during the season, and plus, in terms of finances, it was advantageous to hold off until after Kona; that’s when older (2013 and 2014) models go on sale.

Anyway, I didn’t blog about what happened behind the scenes of my bike selection process, so here’s a summary.

Researching, aka envying others’ bikes

Yes, I love my road bike.  Yes, I know it’s about the engine and not the car.  But I experienced some serious bike envy this year—especially at Age Group Nationals.

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Lots of staring occurred, but I didn’t truly start my research until October.  At first, it was informal:  simply talking to teammates and coworkers, asking which bike they ride, and figuring out why they chose it.  From these conversations, I slowly developed a passing knowledge for components and started to read up on a few brands.  By the time I went home for Thanksgiving, I had narrowed down my selection:  I wanted an entry-level ride, preferably a 2013 Trek or Cannondale (but I wouldn’t say no to Felt or Cervelo).

So why entry level?  At this point in my triathlon career, I don’t need the latest and greatest in terms of bike technology; and because I’m relatively inexperienced, the difference between entry-level components (like Shimano 105s, which are perfectly fine) and those that cost more (like Dura-Ace) probably wouldn’t be incredibly noticeable.  Not to mention I have an unexplainable fear of riding a bike that’s too good for me.

With this in mind, I wanted a bike with a baller frame; down the road, I reasoned, upgrades to components could be made.

And why Trek or Cannondale?  I ride a Trek roadie, so trying the brand’s Speed Concept TT made sense.  And my coworkers talked up Cannondale’s Slice big time.  Not that it matters, but four-time Ironman World Champion Chrissie Wellington rode a Slice.

More researching, aka taking what the defense gave me

With my TT options narrowed down, the next step included calling Syracuse Bicycle, explaining my situation, and seeing which models would be available.  Over the phone, we determined a 54 cm TT frame would most likely fit. (I’m 5’10” and ride a 56 cm road bike.) It’s an odd size to begin with, and since the shop held its annual winter clearance sale, a lot of inventory had been cleared out to make room for 2015 models.  There was one option:  the 2013 women’s Slice 5 105.  Bingo!  I read up more on this bike specifically and knew that barring some sort of catastrophe, this would be my new ride.

Seeing the Slice

On Friday morning, I brought my cycling shoes and shorts to Syracuse Bicycle and hoped to test ride the Slice.  In typical Central New York fashion, we got a ton of snow, so riding around the parking lot wouldn’t work.  Another factor I failed to consider included the seat post; unlike road bikes where you can adjust its height, seat posts need to be cut on TT bikes.  This combination meant it wouldn’t be possible to get a good feel for the bike before buying it.

This made me uneasy at first, but I remembered a handful of my teammates and coworkers bought their bikes without riding them. (Maybe this is normal?) And this would’ve been my first time on a tri bike, so it would’ve felt awkward anyway.

At this point, I relied on my research:  Cannondale makes one of the most versatile, high-quality frames on the market, so getting fitted and dialed in wouldn’t be a problem.  I also heard Cannondale bikes work really well for riders with long legs.  And on a vain note, the red matches my team race kit—and we know it’s all about looking good in race photos.

Fitting

With the bike purchased (a big thank you goes out to Santa for my Christmas present for the next five years!), the next step included getting a general fit.  As cyclists and triathletes know, there are several in-depth fitting processes options (which I eventually plan to do), but a general fit offers a good starting point.

2013-womens-cannondale-slice-5-105-syracuse-bicycle-fitting

First, the seat post was cut, and then David, the fitting technician, determined how much the aerobars needed to be cut.  The cockpit area—including the aerobar width—fit perfectly, which David said is very rare.  During this process, I swapped the stock saddle for the Bontrager Hilo RXL, and pedals, a water bottle cage, and mount for my Garmin 310XT were also installed. (Although I’m thinking about getting a straight-up bike computer so I’m not fumbling around in T2.)

Riding

TBD—the Slice still lives in CNY, but my parents plan to bring it down to New York City in a few weeks.  When it arrives, I’ll put on my trainer tire and start riding it during CompuTrainer classes.  The sooner I can become comfortable in this more aggressive position, the better—because my first race of the 2014 season is only four months away!