Tag Archives: CycleOps Fluid2 trainer

Training For the Heat

Happy Tuesday, friends!  How was your day?  I kicked things off this morning with a 75-minute indoor bike trainer ride.

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At first glance, this setup looks like a usual ride, but I made an important change today:  I wore an Under Armour top, which is normally reserved for chilly outdoor runs.

So why rock cold weather gear during an indoor spin?

One of my main concerns about the Nautica South Beach Triathlon (in t-minus 18 days!) includes the heat.  Since I grew up in the tundra Central New York, freezing temperatures don’t bother me, but high humidity is a different story.  Basically, aside from high school field-hockey practices (and the very end of a few long runs this past summer), I don’t have any experience working out in the heat, and I have no idea how my body will respond.  Obviously, I can’t become totally used to warm temperatures during the upcoming weeks, but I do want to get a rough idea of how my body will respond—and how much I can push.  This morning’s ride was a little toasty, and during tomorrow’s Full Throttle Endurance indoor cycling workout, I plan to wear more layers.  And even though my normal spot isn’t next to a fan, I need to choose a seat that’s in the middle of the room that has zero chance of getting a breeze.  Andrew also suggested spending some quality time in the sauna, so I’ll probably camp out there Thursday and Friday post-workout.

Breakfast

My appetite has been out of control the past few days, and this morning was no exception.

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Post-biking and strength training coffee, water, and overnight oats.

Lunch

I haven’t been posting pictures of my meals because I eat literally the exact same thing every day.

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Spicy black bean quinoa that I almost forgot to photograph with an unpictured side of carrots.  A strawberry banana Chobani served as an afternoon snack.

Dinner

The usual suspects made appearances tonight.

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Baked salmon seasoned with EVOO, cayenne pepper, garlic salt, lemon pepper, and a sprinkle of basil, plus some peas and roasted sweet potatoes.

Do you prefer warm or cold weather?  Any tips for preparing for hot and humid races?

I Just Like to Kick …

Happy Friday and February 1, friends!

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I ventured to the New York Road Runners (NYRR) office yesterday afternoon to pick up my t-shirt and bib for the Gridiron 4-miler race, and my walk to and from the subway took me through Central Park.  No complaints here!

Workout #1 – Swimming

Recovery week team workouts officially ended this morning in the pool.  How’s this for a pleasant surprise—Andrew moved me from fast lane number two to fast lane number one! (During our team swims, Full Throttle Endurance uses five of Chelsea Piers’ six lanes—one slow, two medium, and two fast.) Technically, I’ve been in the fast lane for this training cycle, but it was the slower of the two. (I’ve mentioned this before, but I should note again that I’m training with the “level-one” team; if I were training with the racing team, then I’d probably be in the slow lane.) Anyway, Young C got called up to swim with the big dogs!  I also learned I’m a semi-decent kicker:  The guys in my lane told me to lead our 6x50s.  I was a little hesitant to hop up to the lead-off spot, but I put on my big-girl pants and set the pace.

I just like to kick—kicking’s my favorite!

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[source]

Overall, I really liked life in this new fast lane.  Swimming alongside these guys (I was the only girl in the lane) was definitely more challenging, and I had to work harder to stay on pace.  That will hopefully lead to improvement, though, so I hope to stay in that lane for future workouts.  And honestly, based on my basketball experience, I’ve learned that guys—in terms of both coaches and teammates—push me more and typically don’t take things personally.  Case in point:  All four told me to lead the kicking drills.  This honesty makes it easier for me to do the same.  Case in point:  Once it was time for the pulling drills, I promptly demoted myself and took the caboose spot. (Remember the pulling drills from last week?)

Finally, after practice, we tried on team cycling and racing uniforms! (When we start riding outside, everyone wears a team jersey and shorts, which makes it easier for the coaches to tell who’s in our group.) Much like getting my FTE t-shirt, trying on tops, bottoms, and jerseys made everything seem real—it still blows my mind that I’m part of an awesome NYC triathlon team sometimes.  I’ll definitely share pictures when the gear arrives!

Breakfast

I refueled after practice with my go-to spinach and egg white breakfast sandwich.

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With a slice of pepper jack cheese for good measure.

Workout #2 – Biking

Originally, I planned to ride during tomorrow afternoon’s SU game, but since my family will be here, I want to watch the game with them—and not be pedaling away on my indoor bike trainer.  Around 11 a.m., I hooked up my bike, hopped in the saddle, and put in my 60 minutes of zone-2 work.  Done and done.

Lunch

I can’t decide if I like the spicy black bean quinoa better hot or cold; I eat it chilled at work, but always heat it up at home.

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Either way, the avocado needs to be there!

Time to clean my apartment for the fam—enjoy the day!

Do you prefer working out solo or with a group?  Have you ever trained alongside members of the opposite sex?  What did you think?

Something Clicked

Happy Saturday, everyone!  How’s your weekend going so far?  Last night, I hit up happy hour at Brother Jimmy’s BBQ with Sara, which included margaritas and fries; no pictures, unfortunately.  This morning, I had a leisurely breakfast and completed a full-body strength training workout before tackling a 75-minute indoor bike trainer ride.

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This was the best ride I’ve had in a while—and something definitely clicked.  The training scheduled called for a steady zone two workout (aka not super challenging), and I remained in the aero position the entire time.  Granted, I wasn’t pushing big gear by any means, but my legs felt fresh and noticeably stronger; I didn’t seem to be working as hard to turn my legs over and maintain an ideal cadence.  Maybe last night’s strawberry margaritas deserve the credit?  Ha—just kidding!  Anyway, after pedaling through the first half and watching the disappointing result of the Syracuse-Villanova basketball game (I don’t want to talk about it), I headed to the Union Square Greenmarket.

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It was a little chilly, so the amount of people there was a pleasant surprise.  However, since the SU game went into overtime, I missed a lot of my go-to vendors.  Le sigh.

Enjoy the rest of your Saturday!

Two Things

Happy Saturday, friends!  How’s your weekend going so far?  Other than cleaning and doing laundry, I have only two noteworthy things to report today.  First, I completed an indoor bike trainer ride this afternoon, my first with aerobars.

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Hello, hot mess!  I obviously rocked my neon orange CNY Triathlon Club t-shirt because the Syracuse Orange played beat the Villanova Wildcats 72-61.  Anyway, the training schedule Andrew sent last Sunday called for a 60-90-minute ride in steady zone 2, but I cut my ride short at the 40-minute mark because my left knee felt off; not too painful, but noticeably not right.  It’s probably due to my saddle adjustment—coupled with being in aero and riding on the trainer for the first time since before the holidays—so I’m not concerned, but better safe than sorry, right?  Aside from my knee, the ride felt surprisingly good.  It’s probably in my head, but I feel much more powerful, and surprisingly, my back didn’t hurt at all.  It’s all about finding the positives!

Second, while flipping through the February issue of Runner’s World, I loved seeing Syracuse’s Lake Effect Half-Marathon featured as the race of the month.

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Woohoo for hometown publicity!

Has your hometown or current city been featured in a publication?

My 2012 Running and Triathloning Recap

Happy last day of 2012, friends!  How are you spending the last 24 16 hours (and counting) of this year?  Will you set resolutions for 2013?  Even though I’m not one to set goals when the clock strikes midnight (you don’t have to wait for a new year, month, or week to make a change), I do like reviewing what happened this year–on the running and triathloning fronts, of course.  Seeing which races and distances proved successful—and which turned into struggle fests—I can better make my 2013 training schedule and race calendar.  This post has been circulating the running, triathloning, and healthy living blogs recently—and a big thanks to Miss Zippy for conceptualizing this idea—so with the new year only hours away, it’s time to reflect on 2012.

Best race experience?

Running:  The Seneca7 (during pre-Fitness and Frozen Grapes days). (The Boilermaker 15-K was a close number two!)

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This seven-person relay race around Seneca Lake promised everything—running (three legs and double-digit mileage for the day), eating (the swag bags contained nut butter and chocolate!), and lots of laughing.  At the beginning of the day, I didn’t know everyone on Team Run-On Sentences, but there’s nothing like running 77.7 miles to bond people.

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It was literally one of the best days ever, and four of the original Run-On members are looking to get a team together for 2013; I’ll keep you posted!

Triathloning:  Cazenovia Triathlon.

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It was my first triathlon in my hometown—I got to swim in “my” lake, bike on “my” hills, and run on “my” roads—and my family showed up in full force!

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Even though I completed brick workouts in the weeks leading up to the event, doing a true triathlon ignited a passion in me that I thought died during collegiate basketball.  After I crossed the finish line, I was totally hooked; deciding to give this triathlon thing a “tri” (sorry, couldn’t help myself) was a huge turning point for me, and I can’t wait to see where it takes me in 2013.

Worst race experience?

Running:  Tromptown Run (half-marathon).  In hindsight, training for my first triathlon and half-marathon simultaneously wasn’t the best idea.  Doing my first multisport event provided enough of a challenge (not to mention a learning curve!) that I could’ve done without increasing my mileage; if I hadn’t spent so much time running, I could’ve worked more on my swim and bike.  Anyway, this race itself proved to be my toughest run (mentally) of the year.  On the bright side, I can only improve, and looking forward (wayyy forward), I know I can and have run 13.1 miles … for when I train for a half-Ironman.

Triathloning:  Honestly, I didn’t have a disappointing triathlon (thanks to low expectations—ha!), but the swim portion of the DeRuyter Lake Triathlon ended up being especially brutal.  Wind and choppy water equated to my slowest swim split of the season.

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Again, that just means there’s room for improvement.

Best piece of new gear?

Running:  Mizuno Wave Elixirs.

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I’ve been an ASICS girl for the longest time, but I’m really glad I switched over; these sneaks feel so light!

Triathloning:  As a swim-bike-run rookie, I had to get all the necessary gear—tops and shorts, wetsuit, bike, everything.  Today, especially during the winter, I’m grateful for my CycleOps Fluid2 trainer.

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If I didn’t have this apparatus, I wouldn’t be riding regularly.

Best running/triathloning advice you received?

Running:  “Run the mile you’re in.” (I think I read it in Runner’s World.) While running, it’s easy to get caught up the distance or time remaining.  During the summer, heading out for a 10-mile run seemed daunting, so I’d break it up into smaller chunks.  Sometimes, I could handle running five and then another five, or maybe eight plus two, but there would be those days that making it to the next mailbox was the goal.

Triathloning:  A lot of running advice translates to triathloning—don’t try anything new on race day, always have several (“A,” “B,” and “C”) goals and races, etc.  Overall, though, I’m still learning so much about the sport, and my cousin MB has been great putting up with all my questions and offering tips.  Most recently, she told me about her general fueling strategy on the bike.

Most inspirational runner/triathlete?

Runner:  How can I pick one runner?!  Everyone has overcome obstacles, challenged themselves, and pushed past their limits, which sounds inspirational to me.

Triathlete:  Again, same thing. (Although I do have a total soft spot for Craig Alexander now.) Each triathlete has a story to tell, and each has a unique journey that lead them to the swim start.  Inspirational people are everywhere; you just have to look.  I’ll freely admit to tearing up while watching the Ironman World Championships in Kona–crossing the finish line means much more than swimming, biking, and running.  And after being inspired by these athletes, how can you not want to do it too?

If you could sum up your year in a couple of words, what would they be?

Challenging myself, going outside my comfort zone, and ultimately making a lifestyle change.

Running/triathloning ups?

Tackling new distances—like my first 10-Kvolunteering at the Ironman 70.3 Syracuse and with New York Runners in Support of Staten Island, and finishing my first sprint triathlon.

Running/triathloning downs?

Where I was mentally during my half-marathon; and honestly, the end of the triathlon season bummed me out.  In terms of confidence, I hit a turning point during my third tri, and I felt like I was starting to somewhat figure out what I was doing.  That’s off-season motivation, though!

Surprise of the year?

The fact that I started triathloning—and having people call me a triathlete.  I still can’t wrap my head around it sometimes!  If you told me one year ago—when I was a wee college senior—that I would be swimming, biking, and running after graduation, I probably would’ve looked at you in complete disbelief and had a good laugh.  Now, though, it seems like such a logical transition, and I can’t picture myself not triathloning.

Let’s hear about your 2012:  favorite race?  Best piece of new gear?  Surprise of the year?

Big-Girl Job, Here I Come! (Sort of)

Great news on the job-front, friends—I received an offer for a paid, part-time editorial internship at a well-known diet and fitness publication!  After two interviews—one last week and a second-round one Monday—I heard from the company, and they offered me a position.  Woohoo!  I’m super excited because this brand (and its corporation) has been on my shortlist of dream jobs, and out of all the interviews I’ve had in New York City, I wanted this position the most.  The details are still being solidified, but I will start in early January and hopefully continue until May.  The new year also marks the start of official Full Throttle Endurance triathlon training, so 2013 will bring lots of structure and changes, and I couldn’t be more excited.

Dinner

After meeting Craig Alexander last night (did that really happen?!), I baked a piece of salmon and reheated some leftover roasted veggies.

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And then I proceeded to read As the Crow Flies: My Journey to Ironman Champion way too late, so I got a late start this morning.

Breakfast

With a 90-minute indoor bike trainer session and full-body strength training workout on the docket, I decided to eat a real meal first.

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Good thing my toaster decided to work this morning.

Workouts – Biking and Strength Training

First up, I hopped on my bike for a steady, 90-minute aerobic endurance ride.  I played around with my Garmin and set it to beep if my heart rate went above a predetermined beats per minute (BPM) level.  Doing this workout based on BPM proved to be tough; my watch beeped a lot, which forced me to control my breathing.  Once I got into a rhythm, though, the ride progressed very smoothly.  In fact, it was definitely the best bike trainer session I’ve had yet, which makes me think I executed it correctly.  Andrew told me these workouts should be moderate—I should work up a good sweat—but not intense or super challenging; I should leave each working feeling good and strong (read:  not push myself to the limit).  At the 90-minute mark, I definitely felt strong; I could’ve pedaled longer, and I even thought to myself, “Running right now doesn’t sound so bad.”  Famous last words, though—ha!

Next, I went to the fitness center to lift.  I haven’t said much about the program up until now, but I do like it so far.  I’m familiar with most of the exercises because of basketball, so the learning curve is nearly non-existent.  However, I’m a little nervous—the plan prescribes high weight, low reps for each exercise, and I didn’t like how my body responded to that philosophy during my college basketball days. (Read:  I became very strong, but I also gained a lot of weight.) Granted, I know the high weight, low rep outlook wasn’t correctly executed then, so I’m willing to try it again.  And if I don’t like the results, then I’ll back off the weight.

Lunch

Ham and Swiss melt with avocado for the win!

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Oh, this was epic.  I also made a side salad with spinach and roasted veggies.

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Yum!

Heading to my building’s holiday party shortly.  Have a great night!

Four Workouts in Twenty-Eight Hours

Hey, everyone—TGIF!  We made it to Friday!  The past two days have passed quickly thanks to my festively color-coded structured pre-season triathlon training plan.  Let’s backtrack to last night.

Workout #2 – Biking

So after running and strength training yesterday morning, I also completed a 90-minute indoor bike trainer ride.  Luckily, I could pedal and yell cheer on the Orange.

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(I tried to Instagram this collage last night, but the Internet wasn’t working.  There’s something about a sour-looking Jim Boeheim that makes me pedal faster; like if I don’t step it up, I might get benched.  Maybe my basketball past is haunting me.) According to the plan, the ride should be relatively easy, and my heart rate should stay below 140 BPM.  My Garmin was acting funky, though, so I didn’t get a heart-rate reading until I finished the ride, which said I hovered around 130 BMP; that means I can push more next time.

Workout #1 – Swimming

This morning, I headed to Chelsea Piers for 45 minutes of drill work.  As I walked to the facility, I knew the workout would be tough; my entire body felt incredibly heavy from lifting.  This prediction was confirmed when I slipped into the water.  Even though I swam slowly, I worked through the exercises Andrew mapped out:  back kick with rotation; side kick; alternating side kick; pulling with kickboard; and 5×100 easy swim.  I almost cut the “easy swim” short, but I remembered July 14—there would be absolutely no quitting then.  To break up these final sets, I alternated my breathing.  For the first 100, I stayed on my dominant (left) side; for the second 200, I switched to the right.  This variation made the final drill pass a little quicker, and it forced me to focus on rotating to both sides.

Breakfast

Unsurprisingly, the walk back to my apartment took longer today.  In a strange way, it feels good to be sore.  With my typical spinach and egg whites, I toasted an Ezekiel Cinnamon Raisin Whole Grain muffin.

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Yummy!  This will stay in the breakfast rotation for sure.

Workout #2 – Running

After quick trips to Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods, I ate a banana and hit the pavement.  The plan called for a 45-minute light tempo run at 75 percent effort.  Between my soreness and the rain, I had to work harder than usual to maintain the designated pace.  Even though it was challenging, I didn’t feel completely wiped out at the end, which is a good thing.

Lunch

A wet and soggy run demanded a meal more substantial than a salad.  And plus, I was freezing and didn’t want to eat something cold.  So I went with another favorite—salmon.

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I drizzled it with a little EVOO and sprinkled on basil, garlic salt, and red pepper flakes before baking it at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for about 25 minutes.  Plus some peas on the side because I haven’t had enough green.

Banana number two of the day is about to happen.  Have a great Friday!

Do you get sore after your workouts?  How do you deal with it?

A New Long Bike Ride

Good morning, friends!  I hope your week is off to a great start!  With two great workouts completed yesterday, I’m feeling really good.  However, I have to get a flu shot today, so that might change things—ha!

Dinner

Last night, I finished up the crock pot chicken cacciatore leftovers.

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Like the new festive placemats?  I ate early—around 6 p.m.—because I had a 90-minute trainer bike ride scheduled for 7 p.m.  Conveniently, that’s when SU played Eastern Michigan. (The Orange won 84-48!) There is a method to the madness.

Workout #2 – Biking

Promptly at tip-off, I hopped on my bike, which was hooked up to my CycleOps Fluid2 indoor trainer, and got to work.

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Even though this session would be my longest true training ride to date, I tried not to psyche myself out.  When training for sprint triathlons this summer, my longest trip lasted 75 minutes (and during events, I always finished the bike portion in less than an hour), so spinning for an hour and a half would be a huge milestone, especially looking ahead to the 2013 season:  For Olympic-distance events—ahem, July 14—I’ll have to spend at least this much time riding, so I wanted to prove to myself that I could do it.

Anyway, biking for 90 minutes added another element to the equation:  nutrition.  During workouts and events, I’ve stuck to water, but I knew this ride called for fuel.  I took it to Twitter and received some suggestions from Amy and Corey (thanks, ladies!), and I also asked MB for advice.  She told me about her nutrition strategy, and I ended up buying Powerade (for the first time in years) and filling up my water bottles with the blue liquid.  My fueling objective was to consume one bottle every hour, or a bottle and a half total.

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Overall, this plan worked well.  I encountered some minor stomach cramps at the 40-minute mark, but they quickly passed.  Drinking Powerade definitely helped my energy levels—I didn’t bonk (physically) once, and I felt relatively strong throughout the ride.  In fact, my second wind arrived once I hit one hour, and I suddenly felt super fresh!  However, I definitely need to practice this strategy and probably tweak it; I ran out of fluid with 10 minutes to go, and even though I drank regularly, I craved water the entire time.  Mentally, I faced some rough patches, which I expected since 90 minutes was uncharted territory, but I used my mantras, pushed through, and finished strong.  Woohoo!

Breakfast

I slept in this morning and enjoyed a leisurely breakfast.

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Have to fuel up for today’s swim workout!

How do you fuel during workouts?  Do you stick to water, or do you prefer sports drinks?  Triathletes, please share your nutrition strategies!

Still in Shock

Hi, friends!  First, thank you so much for your supportive comments on yesterday’s good news.  When I entered the 2013 Aquaphor New York City Triathlon lottery, I obviously crossed my fingers and toes, but I didn’t get my hopes up.  After all, the event caps at 3,000 triathletes, and since there were several ways to obtain a guaranteed entry, I didn’t think my chances were too favorable.  Honestly, I still can’t believe my luck because I’m probably one of the unluckiest people ever.

I took some time to enjoy the good news, and this morning marked an important mental shift:  no more “fartin’ around”—it’s time to get after it! (My high school basketball coach would probably roll his eyes because I’m both using and making fun of one of his signature phrases.)

Breakfast

Before my workouts, I toasted two Van’s Power Grains and slathered them with almond butter and banana slices.

Workout #1 – Swimming

Chelsea Piers is still out of commission, so I headed to the McBurney YMCA to swim.  The pool was packed this morning; each of the seven lanes (two “slow,” “medium,” and “fast” sections, plus one “multi-use”) contained at least three swimmers, but I hopped into a “medium” one and got to work.  I focused on kicking today because I tend to rely on my arms during the swim portion of triathlons; I’m all about saving my legs for the bike and run.  However, using my legs more effectively will help me become a more efficient in the water.  Plus, during the final 100m or so, it’s common for triathletes to surge and kick harder, which helps to break up lactate acid and ready legs for the bike.  Anyway, I drilled for 50 minutes and then headed home for my second sweat session.

Workout #2 – Biking

Even after yesterday’s trainer-tire drama, I still wanted to “spin out” my legs after swimming.  And conveniently, ESPN is broadcasting 24 straight hours of college hoops today (which equates to 16 games), so I setup another front row seat for the Harvard-UMass game. (The Harvard Scholars Crimson couldn’t hang with the Minutemen; final score was 67-64.)

Can’t beat it!  I also used a climbing block today. (It supports the front tire and makes for a more accurate road-riding/climbing simulation.)

Oh boy—biking with less-than-fresh legs on slight incline made for a sweaty, 30-minute workout.

Post-Workout Snack

As I stretched, I drank plenty of water, plus this vanilla shake from Premier Protein.

OK, I’m not a vanilla person, so I didn’t care for this flavor.  It tasted like French vanilla coffee creamer–too thick and too sweet.  Yes, I still polished off the entire thing, but I wouldn’t have it again.

Lunch

I’m still making my way through some leftovers, so lunch came together quickly—tofu and chickpea curry with spinach.

I also snacked on some carrots and an apple.

Off to work on some freelance assignments!  Have a great Tuesday!

I’m In—2013 Aquaphor New York City Triathlon, Here I Come!

Breaking news:  I officially have a spot in the 2013 Aquaphor New York City Triathlon—woohoo!

I’m so pumped!  Receiving this email set into motion a slew of emotions—excitement, gratitude, anxiousness, and nervousness to name a few.  First, I’m excited to do this swim-bike-run event in my new “backyard.”  How cool is that?  (Plus, I can totally train on the course, which never hurts.) This confirmation message also designates my first official, written-on-the-calendar-in-pen-and-highlighted 2013 triathlon race.

Up until now, I’ve been swimming, biking, and running regularly—it is the off-season, not the “soft season,” after all—but I’ll be the first to admit I haven’t been “attacking” my workouts.  Sure, I’ve logged laps in the pool, time in the saddle, and miles on the pavement, but these sweat sessions have lacked that extra drive, umph, and motivation that comprised my in-season workouts.  Now that I have one scheduled race on my calendar, it makes the upcoming season more real.  Yes, July 14, 2013 is eight months away, but this date will change my mental approach.  How can it not?  In the oh-so-articulate words of my high school basketball coach, it’s time to stop “fartin’ around” and going through the motions.  Done and done.

Amidst this triathlon excitement, I tried to install my trainer tire so I can ride to my heart’s content without killing my road tire.  Oh boy.  After watching a few videos online, I felt somewhat prepared to tackle the task.  First, I removed my rear wheel from the bike frame.

And then things went downhill.  Fast.  I managed to successfully remove the road tire (after deflating the tube a bit), from the wheel, but I hit a wall trying to install the trainer tire.  When I added air to the tube, it popped.  It caught me so off-guard I actually jumped!  Yikes!  And during this process, I dropped my chain. (For non-cyclists, this means my chain came off my chain ring.) Sigh.  I became so overwhelmed, threw in the towel, and called in the experts; I went to Zen Bikes, and $9 and 15 minutes later, my bike is ready for the trainer.  Whew!

Breakfast

Totally forgot to post today’s meals.  Whoops.  After running and strength training this morning, I made an open-faced egg white and spinach sandwich.

Lunch

Not pretty, but definitely tasty—steamed spinach with leftover lentils and brown rice, plus a boatload of carrot slices.

Dinner

Three cheers for more leftovers!  My mom left me half of her sole from Saturday night’s dinner, so I zapped that along with some green beans and assembled a salad.

I also roasted some cauliflower, broccoli, and mushrooms.  Mmmm, veggies.

When you become stressed or overwhelmed, how do you react?