Tag Archives: Syracuse basketball

Race Preparations for Nautica South Beach Triathlon

Happy Friday, friends!  This time tomorrow, I’ll be in Miami for my first triathlon of the season—woohoo!  In completely unrelated news, Syracuse plays Michigan tomorrow night.

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Unfortunately, the tipoff is scheduled for 8:49 p.m. (so approximate), so I won’t be able to watch the game; early to bed for an early morning filled with swimming, biking, and running!

Speaking of Nautica South Beach, I briefly mentioned my race-day preparations yesterday.  As a type-A person who thrives off making lists and organizing in general, I figured today would be the perfect time to share the behind-the-blog logistical stuff that’s required for any race, especially an out-of-state triathlon.

Early January – I officially registered for the race.  Wow, that seems like such a long time ago!

Early February – I took care of airline, hotel, and trailer transport stuff.  I lucked out because Full Throttle Endurance owns three bike transportation trailers, so I didn’t have to go through a third-party.  Plus, I personally know the guys who drive down and handle the bikes, so that’s definite peace of mind.

Early last week – This shouldn’t surprise anyone:  I made a rough itinerary of each day’s activities, along with a race-day packing list.

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Obviously, there were items I forgot the first, second, and third time I thought about race day, so I’m glad I drafted it so early.

I also printed a hardcopy of the race packet.

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Not a ton of information, but at the very least, I know which direction to swim, bike, and run.  That’s half the battle, right?

Monday – After work, I headed to Zen Bikes and had my indoor bike trainer tire removed.  Because I’ll be riding outside from now on, it was time to reinstall my road tire.  I even saw one of my teammates at the shop who made the eerily accurate prediction that our race kits wouldn’t make it to Miami.  Well played, sir.  More on that shortly.

Tuesday – Around 7 p.m., I went to the Performance Center at Chelsea Piers for the second part of my bike fitting with Ann Marie.  During my first fit, she added a new saddle and saddle post, which have made a huge difference in terms of speed, efficiency, and comfort.  This time, she added new aerobars (Profile Design T1 Plus for my fellow trigeeks), and even though we talked about replacing my stem, it wasn’t necessary.  I plan to blog more about this second fitting, but here’s a sneak peak.

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[Photo courtsey of Ann Marie]

Pretty legit looking, right?  Honestly, I’m a little worried about using the new bars for the first time on race day, but I’m not technically “racing” SoBe, so it will be OK I hope.

Wednesday – Bike-loading morning.

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See you in Miami!

After our indoor cycling session, a teammate who isn’t racing this weekend gave me her tri top to borrow as a backup.

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Good thing, too—even though we ordered our race and cycle kits a while ago, there was a mix-up, and long story short, our gear is currently somewhere in Oregon.  Needless to say, we won’t have it by Sunday.  I owe my teammate big time!

Gentlemen readers, feel free to skip down to the Thursday section now.

So I tried on the top yesterday.  It fits surprisingly well, but it’s literally the most unflattering thing ever.  One, I don’t look good in white because I’m so pale.  So there’s that.  And two, I have virtually no boobs to begin with, but the top totally mashes anything that had a chance.  Womp womp.

Thursday – Since I won’t be in Miami for our team’s scheduled bike pick up, I handed off my pedals to one of my teammates.

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As I mentioned yesterday, I’ll write a full-fledged post that details the bike-loading process and what I learned, but basically we had to remove our pedals just in case something happens to the trailer and/or our bikes.  Thankfully, nothing has ever happened, but as a precautionary measure this ensures we’ll be able to install our own pedals on any bike and easily clip in and out.

I also started packing.

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So.  Much.  Stuff.  And this is all for the race.  I’ll also have to lug around a suitcase with my “real” clothes.

Friday – After an FTE swim this morning, I took care of last-minute tasks like printing my plane tickets, organizing my snacks and nutrition (yes, there’s a difference!), and painting my nails to match my sneakers and race kit.

nautica-south-beach-nails

As per tradition, I like my nails to match my swim cap, but since I don’t know which color that will be yet, I went with this sandy red.

All right, friends—have a great day, and I’ll talk to you from the beach!

How do you prepare for trips, events, and races?  Do you make lists like me?

Home Sw-EAT Home

Hello, hello from Upstate New York!

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Even though spring has officially arrived, the lake remains frozen.  Before I left practice Wednesday, my teammates said I should drill a hole and hop in for some open-water swimming.  It sounded like a great idea to me, but my mom shot it down—ha!

Anyway, it feels so nice to be home!  My tiny hometown is basically the exact opposite of New York City, and although I love living there, I do like escaping the concrete jungle every now and then.  My train yesterday arrived almost an hour late—you’re killing me, Amtrak!—so lunch was on my mind. (Not that there’s ever a time when I’m not thinking about food, but you get my point.) Luckily, my mom had some Easter grocery shopping to do at Wegmans, so we went there for lunch.

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Holy cow—I’ve missed Weggies so much!  I planned to get the citrus tofu roll, but it wasn’t available, so I went with a spicy tuna roll, plus a side of roasted mushrooms and asparagus.

For dinner, my family went to Circa, our favorite local restaurant.

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Luckily, my sisters and I “like” Circa on Facebook, so we knew there wasn’t wine—and alerted my parents, so we came prepared!  Salad and turkey mole for dinner.

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Mmmm!

Breakfast after my swim this morning was my standard spinach and egg white breakfast sandwich, and I enjoyed a delicious bowl of homemade black bean soup after my tempo run.

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Black bean soup never photographs well, but trust me:  To.  Die.  For.  I also chased it with an orange.

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Speaking of orange, Syracuse beat Indiana last night and advanced to the Elite Eight—woohoo!  I’m so happy the Cuse-Marquette matchup will start at 3:30 p.m. tomorrow afternoon; the past games have tipped off around 9:40 p.m., which is past my bedtime. (Seriously.)

I’m going shopping with my sister now—enjoy your Friday!

Do you certain meals or visit certain restaurants when you’re home?

Six Things Thursday

Hey, hey—happy (throwback) Thursday!

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I’ve been sitting on this high school basketball picture for a while, and I finally uploaded it to Instagram today.  Miss those glory days!

Anyway, this post is all over the place, which makes for a perfect list.

1.  Wednesday’s edition of heat training for Nautica South Beach went pretty well.  During the Full Throttle Endurance indoor cycling workout, I wore three layers (Under Armour, short-sleeved t-shirt, and long-sleeved t-shirt) and noticed a few key things.  Aside from the obvious (warming up quickly, sweating more, etc.), my heart rate rose quicker during power intervals and took longer to drop during recovery efforts.  This was probably due to a combination of rocking the extra layers and pushing myself more—t-minus 16 days, so it’s crunch time!  Honestly, though, the heat didn’t take its toll until mile three of the run off the bike.  I had to work harder to hold my steady pace, and I was so tempted to take off a shirt or two; I was uncomfortably warm for sure.  Stripping won’t be an option in Miami (need to have some decency, right?), so I pushed through. (Side note:  We talked about the run during our bike workout, and Andrew said four miles have never felt so long.  Gulp.)

2.  My appetite and grocery bills have increased exponentially this week.  Case in point:  My supply of roasted sweet potatoes that normally lasts five days disappeared last night. (Who could’ve eaten them all?) This warranted a trip to Whole Foods, and I also picked up more spinach, almond milk, and protein powder.  Seriously, where is all my food going?!

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Can’t wait to have this fresh batch tonight!

3.  This afternoon’s swim workout wiped me out. (I tagged along with another FTE training group this morning for a 40-minute tempo run and waited until the afternoon to hit the pool.) My training plan called for an endurance swim with longer intervals, so I wrote this down beforehand:

3:21-swim-workout-endurance

Swimmers, would you call the main set an endurance swim?  The 30 seconds of rest was too ambitious, though.  After the first and second 500s, I bumped it up to one minute.

4.  I’m so excited to go home for Easter!  This will be my first trip back to Central New York since January, and I can’t wait to see a certain greyhound.

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Let’s hope Zelda will pull me through a tempo run or two.

5.  It’s the most wonderful time of the year: March Madness has begun!

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[source]

Syracuse plays Montana tonight, but I’m not a fan of the 9:57 p.m. tipoff—that’s way past my bedtime! (But really.)

6.  For my fellow Downton Abbey fanatics, have you seen Dan Stevens’ new look?

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[source]

I definitely don’t hate it!

Did you fill out a bracket for March Madness?  What are your plans for Easter?

Syracuse Basketball at Madison Square Garden

As I’ve alluded to on the blog, I’m obsessed with collegiate basketball and basically live for March Madness.  I played quite a bit back in the day—from third grade through sophomore year of college, so 12 years—but what else was I supposed to do growing up in Central New York?  Well, I could’ve taken up cross-country skiing because it snows basically six months out of the year, but I digress.

high-school-basketball

Friday flashback–why not?

Even though I retired about three years ago (no regrets!), I still love watching the game, especially when my boys at Syracuse University take the court.  I’ve been bleeding Orange for as long as I can remember, and my devotion to the team truly solidified when my immediate family lived with my grandparents during our house renovation project.  As a seventh grader, I would watch each game with my grandparents:  my grandma would braid my hair, and my grandpa would yell at Craig Forth.  Good times!

craig-forth-syracuse

[source]

I got his autograph at Chili’s!

Over the years, I’ve attended lots of Orange games, including a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to sit courtside in the Carrier Dome.

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Courtside seats granted us access to the hospitality suite, aka unlimited sangria.  Oh, and Chris Joseph talked to me.  I almost died.

So really, it should come as no surprise that when I faced the choice of cleaning, doing laundry, and working on a freelance assignment or going to the Syracuse game at Madison Square Garden (MSG), I chose the latter.

big-east-basketball-tournament-ticket

You need to take what the defense gives you, right? (One-hundred percent intended basketball pun.)

My uncle Jim and a few of his friends came to New York City for the Big East Tournament, and we went out to dinner Wednesday night after Syracuse put away Seton Hall. (Hey, an outing I didn’t blog about—shocker!) Anyway, the group had an extra ticket to Thursday’s showdown against Pittsburgh, so when uncle Jim offered me the seat, I took him up on the offer.  Obviously, I will never say no to watching a Syracuse game, and plus, I’d never been to the Garden.  This series would also be the last time SU plays in the Big East Tournament. (The team moves to the ACC conference next year, and since this isn’t a basketball blog, I’ll refrain from sharing my two cents.)

Anyway, I spent the bulk of the day spectating games—first Cincinnati-Georgetown, then Syracuse-Pittsburgh—and “broing out.”

syracuse-pittsburgh-basketball-big-east-tournament

Hanging out with the boys and analyzing the game is good for the soul!  My friends in real life can attest to the fact that my inner jock comes out when I watch games, and I’ve been known to yell at the TV and get into heated debates with fellow spectators. (That’s why scheduling my indoor trainer bike rides has worked so well–it keeps me under control and takes the edge off my anxiousness!)  I also tend to ignore everything that isn’t game-related, so if Syracuse is playing, then I won’t respond to your question, tweet, etc.

It was so cool watching the game at MSG!  Situated at center court, our seats gave us great views (not that there’s a bad seat in the Garden), and the crowd’s energy was contagious.

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I like to think the Orange needed our support because they almost threw away the game, but ultimately won 62-59.  The team faces Georgetown tonight, and even though I won’t be at the game, you’ll probably be able to hear me cheering—ha!

Are you a sports fan?  What’s your favorite sport to watch?  Do you enjoy “broing out”?

Snapshot Friday and Saturday

Every time my family visits, I tell myself I’ll be a good blogger, take tons of pictures, and write a really detailed recap about our adventures.  And every time I fail miserably—ha!  This weekend, though, I managed to snap a few pics, so I’ll share those with you.

Friday

After rocking my wetsuit at Friday’s swim practice, I spent the day hanging out with my sister Margaret.  First, we ate lunch at Terri, an organic and vegetarian restaurant.

terri-nyc-menu

I ordered the “tuna” melt (aka chickpea salad) with a side of roasted sweet potatoes.

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It tasted great and kept me full during our entire shopping trip, which included stops at Zara and Kate Spade.

Margaret trying on shoes—YOLO.

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I took a class in college with Michele called “He Says, She Says,” so I found this iPhone cover oh so rhetorical.

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Even though it was blizzarding in NYC, Margaret and I ordered our first iced coffees Americanos of the season.

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Spring better be on the way!

My parents and sister Ellen arrived later that night and brought some goodies from my grandma—homemade sauce and meatballs for the win!

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I cannot wait to break into this stash.

Saturday

My weekend started with a Full Throttle Endurance swimming practice at Chelsea Piers and brunch at my teammate’s apartment. (Er, triathlete brunch, I guess; we ate around 9:30 a.m.—ha!) I didn’t want to be a creeper and whip out my iPhone, but the spread was impressive:  waffles and whipped cream made from scratch, asparagus and goat cheese frittata, plus bacon, Italian biscotti, and sparkling apple cider.  Holy moley, everything was so good!  I also enjoyed hanging out with my teammates outside of swimming, biking, and running.  Yes, we talked triathlons the entire time, but it was great to focus on the conversation without keeping an eye on the clock to time our rest and intervals.

Back at my apartment, my family and I watched the first half of the Syracuse basketball game (I don’t want to talk about the final result) before heading uptown to see Jersey Boys.

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Absolutely incredible!

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And get this—one of the “swing” cast members played Frankie Valli, and he totally killed it!  He even had his own friends and family cheering section.

Speaking of family …

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Doing what we do best—goofing off!

Next, we wandered around Chelsea Market briefly, but it was a bit difficult navigation-wise with all five of us, so we didn’t stay very long.  I was also experiencing some stomach troubles and was so not in the mood to take pictures.

For dinner, we went to a Raymi, a Peruvian restaurant for dinner, and it was phenomenal!  Again, not pictures due to being girl-down, but we plan to go back.

How was your weekend?

‘Shorter, Shorter, Quicker, Quicker’

Happy Monday, everyone!  Did you have today off for MLK Day?  Three-day weekends are the best, right?  Before transitioning to the bulk of this post, I want to thank everyone who came to last night’s first official #TriChat.

#trichat-twitter-profile We discussed 2013 season goals, and Jen and I were blown away by the sheer amount of participants and the high-quality conversation.  It wouldn’t have been as successful without USA Triathlon’s presence, and we couldn’t have asked for a better first chat.  If you want to #trigeek out with us (and let’s face it, who wouldn’t?) our next Twitter-based conversation will take place Sunday, Feb. 3 at 2 p.m. EST.  Yes, it’s Superbowl Sunday, but this afternoon chat time leaves plenty of time for football festivities! (After Feb. 3, we’ll return to our normal time of 8 p.m. EST.)

Workout #1 – Running

Today’s workout with Full Throttle Endurance (FTE) included the same running drills we did last week, including more barefoot running.  During the tech work, Andrew told us to shorten our strides and increase our cadence, which will help improve running efficiency, muscle memory, and arguably recovery.  As you can tell from the title of this post, the phrase of the day was “shorter, shorter, quicker, quicker”—shorter strides and quicker turnover.  Eventually, we split up into our pace groups for 2-3 tempo miles.  Even though my group’s prescribed pace was 8:28 (which is a little conservative for me), we banged out two miles in the 7:20-7:30 ballpark, so I struggled to hang on for the final four laps.  I kept telling myself “shorter, shorter, quicker, quicker,” but I fell off the pace and ended up finishing about 10 seconds after my group’s first runner. (Our group contained three people, and our third member dropped off with 800m left.) I’m obviously disappointed I couldn’t maintain my splits, but it’s early in the season, and I can only improve.

Breakfast

I refueled after practice with coffee (obviously) and a spinach and egg-white breakfast sandwich.

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Mmmm!  A few hours later, I sliced up a banana and sprinkled on some cinnamon and almond butter.

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I don’t usually blog my snacks, but most days, I have a banana or almonds between breakfast and lunch.

Lunch

After doing laundry and watching President Obama’s inaugural address, I turned to the fridge for lunch.

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First, I steamed a boatload of spinach in the microwave and then added some of the spicy vegan black bean quinoa I made yesterday.  It tasted good, but it still seems to be missing something.  Hmmm …

I spent about two hours shopping for big-girl internship clothes—and subconsciously thought “shorter, shorter, quicker, quicker” as I walked from store to store—which proved to be unsuccessful except for an unpictured Americano from Starbucks.  Priorities.

Workout #2 – Biking

Since Syracuse conveniently played Cincinnati at 3:30 p.m., I multitasked by watching the game and pedaling away on my indoor bike trainer. (I originally planned to swim after this morning’s workout, but the masters swim team had taken over the pool, and none of my teammates wanted to swim with them—ha!) Anyway, my legs felt a little tight and an easy 60-minute recovery ride sounded ideal.  Holy cow, though–what a game!  The Orange barely held on, 57-55!

When you run or workout, do you repeat words or phrases in your head?  What do you say?

Write It Down, Do It Up – Week of Jan. 20

Happy Sunday, friends!  Did you do anything fun this weekend?  After #TheBestDay ever on Friday, I spun off those delicious Crumbs cupcakes with a 60-minute indoor bike trainer ride on Saturday, which I completed during the Syracuse basketball game. (The sixth-ranked Orange upset the number-one ranked Louisville Cardinals 70-68—such a great game!) And this morning, I headed outside for a short 30-minute run.  In shorts and a t-shirt.  In January.  Crazy, right?  The rest of the afternoon included some serious meal prep for the week—cooking quinoa, plus roasting veggies and sweet potatoes (because I like them now).

1_20-meal-prep

In terms of workouts this week, I’ll be back at it with Full Throttle Endurance (FTE) for three swimming, biking, and running sessions.  Because our training schedule is broken up into four-week segments—weeks one, two, and three are hard, and week four is recovery—this seven-day span will most likely be the final “big push” for January.  Let’s Write It Down, Do It Up!

(If you’re new to WIDDIU, here’s how it works:  Every Sunday evening, I post my workout schedule for the week, and I invite you to do the same.  This way, we can motivate each other and hold ourselves accountable.  Sounds like a win-win, right?)

Monday – a.m. run with Full Throttle Endurance (FTE); a.m. swim

Tuesday – a.m. run and strength train (You can read about last Tuesday’s CrossFit workout here—in the group picture, I’m on the far right in the blue tank top!)

Wednesday – a.m. bike with FTE; a.m. swim

Thursday – a.m. yoga/off

Friday – a.m. swim with FTE; a.m. run

Saturday – a.m. bike and strength train

Sunday – off

How did your workouts go last week?  Did you take advantage of crazy-warm temperatures and sweat outside?

PS – Triathletes, see you at tonight’s first-ever #TriChat at 8 p.m. EST!

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?

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas, friends!

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(And for those who are obsessed with Syracuse basketball like me, Happy Rakeem!)

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[source and source]

I wasn’t sure if I’d post today, but since we’re still waiting for a few family members to wake up, I figured I’d pop in and wish you a happy holiday.

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After doing stockings, eating breakfast (egg bake and gingerbread pancakes, yum!), and opening presents, we’re going to my aunt and uncle’s house for our Yankee swap.  I can’t wait to see everyone! (We had a small party of 11 last night for Christmas Eve surf and turf.) Enjoy the day!

The Best Seat in the House

Friends, I did my type A/multitasking self so proud yesterday afternoon.  I watched the Syracuse basketball game (the Orange won—woohoo!) while I cycled for one hour on my new CycleOps Fluid² trainer.  Talk about the best seat in the house.

Almost as good as a courtside seat, right?

Even though this may seem like a simple process—set up the trainer, hop on the bike, and pedal away—getting a bike trainer has been an involved process. (For those who aren’t familiar, a bike trainer functions similarly to a dreadmill treadmill; it lets you cycle on your own bike indoors.)

As a budding cyclist and new triathlete, I knew getting a trainer this off-season was non-negotiable.  After all, I couldn’t chill out and watch winter pass without biking regularly.  And even though I have a fairly high tolerance for running outside in cold weather, I’ve discovered that riding in the elements boasts its own challenges (mainly expert handling).  Basically, it was get a trainer or bust.

When it came time to select a trainer (and “Santa” agreed it would be an early Christmas present), I did some research, but I mostly relied on MB to steer me in the right direction.  Like treadmills and running sneakers, many models exist, so I didn’t really know where to start.  And just as you have a sales associate help select a ‘mill and fit you for running sneakers, I couldn’t get this gizmo without help.  Ultimately, I went with the Fluid².

Here’s how I see it:  Trainers aren’t exactly cheap, and getting one is definitely a triathlon investment.  However, since I plan to use it quite often for the foreseeable future, I wanted a high-quality product that would last a long time.  Basically, even the entry models have hefty price tags, so paying a little more for a higher-quality product makes sense.  Plus, everyone I talked to said the trainer is not the place to pinch triathlon pennies.  At MB’s suggestion, I went with the Fluid², which has a life-time warrantee, and since Syracuse Bicycle is hosting a trainer sale, that reduced the price a bit, too.

Anyway, when my family visited this weekend, they brought the trainer, and I got right to work setting it up.

After spending 15 minutes staring at the instructions and struggling to decipher them, I turned to YouTube for help.  When it comes to functional activities—whether it’s doing a spin move on the basketball court or trying a new swim drill—I’m a visual learner, so I knew watching a how-to video would be more effective than trying to read Russian directions.  Thankfully, I found these two gems and set up the trainer in less than five minutes.

Woohoo!

With the trainer assembled, there was no way I could let it sit there and not test it out.  And conveniently, Syracuse played yesterday at 4 p.m.—perfect time for a test ride.  Before tip-off, I embarked on assembly part two:  attaching my bike.  Again, I took to the Internet and found an instructional video on the CycleOps website.  I broke a sweat and got my hands dirty, but the turning, lifting, balancing, and twisting paid off—tada!

Cycling while spectating proved to be great multitasking, and it also ended up being an effective way to spin off my game-time nerves and frustrations. (When it comes to Syracuse basketball, I am totally that girl who cheers, yells, and screams.  Just ask anyone who’s ever watched a game with me.) Instead of shuddering after each unforced turnover or sloppy play, I simply pedaled harder and added gear.  Sixty minutes on the saddle flew by!

Before riding again, though, I needed to get one more item—a trainer wheel.  I followed this lovely lady’s suggestion and went to Bicycle Habitat this morning.  Success!

Time to attach it!  Gulp.  Wish me luck!