Triathlon Training Log – Week 21 (April 18)

Right now, I’m off running a 77.7-mile relay race in Central New York. Maybe you’ve heard of it: The Seneca7. I did this race in 2012—wow, that feels like a lifetime ago—and I’m pumped it was able to fit into training/life this year!

Did this week seem like a gritty grind to anyone else? The weekend couldn’t come soon enough!

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Not CNY, but beautiful

General training notes: same old, same old here. Hey, uneventful training is good. Unfortunately, Tailwind Endurance’s new facility will now open May 1; this means, I’ll keep pedaling away solo for a little while longer. Swimming and I have entered the “love” dynamic of our love-hate relationship, and starting next week, I’ll be increasing my pool workouts from two to three per week. And *knock on wood* my body is absorbing and adapting to the increase in run volume well. In fact, I ran twice within 12 hours this week, and the second run felt normal—no signs of fatigue or tightness. Huzzah!

Monday – a.m. indoor trainer ride

Solo VO2 max fun in the form of 15×1-minute efforts with one minute rest between

Tuesday – a.m. run; p.m. swim with Bearcat masters

Cruise intervals progressing from endurance pace to half-marathon to 10-K to 5-K. This was the best I’ve execute this workout yet, but there wasn’t a ton of difference between my 10- and 5-K paces—maybe five or 10 seconds.

After work—and after fueling with three bananas throughout the course of the day—I hit the pool for some fast intervals. Our main set included 8x100m with sprints sprinkled in: 25 sprint, 75 easy; 50 sprint, 50 easy; 75 sprint, 25 easy; and 100 sprint. (We had two minutes of full recovery after the first four, and then we repeated the progression.)

Wednesday – a.m. indoor trainer ride; p.m. run

Another VO2 max leg buster: 6×3 minutes with one minute rest. I did the first three at natural cadence (93-95 RPMs) and overgeared (55-65 RPMs) for the final three. After work, my coworker ran along Central Park’s Bridal Path for 40 minutes. It was the perfect way to end the day!

Thursday – a.m. run

Here’s a new one: recovery hill run. Right? Per Earl’s instructions, I ran four repeats of Cat Hill at the “slowest, easiest pace possible.” Better yet, my legs felt great; there were no signs of yesterday’s run even though it occurred less than 12 hours ago.

Friday – a.m. indoor trainer ride and strength train

Easy, hour-long spin with lots of high cadence work to keep the legs fresh for the weekend. I followed it up with my normal strength training circuit and corework.

Saturday – off (travel day to Geneva, NY)

Sunday – Seneca7

I’m covering 12.4 miles today! Full “race” recap to come.

Have you ever done a relay race?

Triathlon Training Log – Week 20 (April 11)

Spring has finally sprung in New York City.

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Cherry blossom bliss in Central Park

It’s about time!

General training notes: woah, this recovery week totally snuck up on me. We backed off the intensity across the disciplines for the most part. Tuesday’s swim contained some faster intervals, but I’ve also demoted myself as far as lanes go, so they didn’t feel too bad. All my rides were easy, and fingers crossed, Tailwind Endurance should be open next weekend! Finally, Operation: Increase Run Volume is going well. In total, I logged 24.75 miles this week, all of which were easy, smooth, and most importantly, injury-free.

Monday – a.m. indoor trainer ride

Easy, 70-minute spin with lots of cadence work. This was one of those workouts where I felt a little stiff getting on the bike—thanks to last weekend’s high training volume—but felt much better at the end.

Tuesday – a.m. run; p.m. swim with Bearcat masters

I did my normal 3×12 minutes again, but instead of hitting my projected race pace, I kept it at endurance effort as per recovery week. After work, I went masters practice, and although my legs were not pleased with the 8×50 kick set following a 7.75-mile morning run, the rest of the workout went well. Our pyramid started at 100m and progressed down to 75m, 50m, and 25m and then went back to 100m. And I somehow ended up leading the lane again.

Wednesday – a.m. indoor trainer ride; p.m. run

Repeat of Monday’s ride: another easy 70-minute spin-out. After work, I met up with one of my friends for an easy four-miler along Central Park’s Bridal Path. (For the non-NYC folks, this is similar to a trail run on dirt and gravel, a.k.a. not concrete.)

Thursday – a.m. run and strength train

Like last week, I wasn’t sure how my legs would respond to a relatively short turnaround, but they felt much better this time. I will say it’s much easier to keep the pace, well, easy when I run twice in 12 hours. After, I did some strength training and corework.

Friday – off

Saturday – a.m. run; p.m. swim with Bearcat masters

Shining sun, perfect temperature—I didn’t want to stop after six miles in Central Park. Although difficult to be disciplined, I shut down the recovery run at the prescribed time. Sometimes following instructions is the worst.

Swimming and I are at a good place right now, so I was actually looking forward to this masters workout. We did a lot of freestyle tech work, which I appreciated, and eventually built up to a main set of 4x100m, 2x200m, and a time trial 400m. The goal was to hit and hold the same pace for each block. This is totally my game. In the water, I excel at dialing into an effort and holding it for, oh, 1500m. I was pretty pumped I was the only one who negative split the 400m interval, but the Russian swim coach made a cameo appearance, and he wasn’t impressed. He said to tell him when I get my 400m time in the four-minute ballpark. Sigh

Sunday – a.m. indoor trainer ride

Long story short, my #WingedFootLyfe life insurance hasn’t kicked in yet, so even though today was a perfect long-ride day, I made the responsible decision to stay indoors and grind it out for 2:20 on the indoor trainer. It wasn’t so bad because I binged-watched Nashville. My office is crazy about it, so my “homework” is to get caught up. Luckily, my boss let me borrow his DVD sets for seasons one, two, and three.

What’s your favorite TV show these days? Not that I’ll be able to watching anything else for a while, but still …

2016 Armory NYC Indoor Marathon Recap

This past weekend, I ran my first marathon—as part of a relay team known as the Flat Feet Social Club. (Check that link—race organizers interviewed us!) Comprised of endurance athletes, our group convenes for quirky events and turns off our collective competitive switch. Having fun at the inaugural Armory NYC Indoor Marathon was our top priority, but we still finished third in our division. (There were options to run the 26.2 miles as an all-male, all-female, or mixed relay.)

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What a bunch of 3:15 marathoners look like–when each person runs 6.5 miles.

At first glace, this seems like a crazy event. After all, who would willingly run a marathon around a 200m indoor track? That’s 211 laps! But endurance cray cray loves company, and when my friend proposed the idea, I didn’t shoot it down right away.  In fact, I was intrigued.  A team relay, the 26.2 miles would be broken up four ways. ‘OK, I can handle 6.5 miles on a track.’ Plus, since we were going into the race with zero time goals, I could treat it as a workout. And if this was going to be a solid sportz day, then asking my coach for permission to brick—and riding on my indoor trainer beforehand—seemed like an even better idea.  So I may be a little endurance cray cray …

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Round and round we went.

A few logistical notes:  there were more than 500 athletes registered  (either solo or as part of a two-, four-, six- or eight-person relay), and to avoid congestion, each team selected a date and time to run. The event started Friday morning and continued through Sunday, and although Flat Feet Social Club originally signed up for the “graveyard” shift from 6-9:30 a.m. on Saturday, we ultimately ran at 9:30 a.m. (We also considered the Friday evening shift from 8 p.m. to midnight, but one of our members had a work commitment.) For the relay division, each person could run a total of three times, so we decided to break up the individual workload into 20 loops, 20 loops, and 10 loops.  And during the race itself, each runner wore a bib and affixed a timing chip to their ankle (á la triathlon), and there was an exchange zone sectioned off with cones. There were timing mats at the start and end of the exchange zone that registered who was running and their split.

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It felt weird to be wearing a timing chip and not have a bunch of swimming and cycling gear with me too.

All right. I could write a play-by-play of every loop or mile or leg, but instead, I’ll share a few takeaways that made the experience memorable.

The DJ was on point.  If you have 18 or so relay teams running in a circle for hours on end, then the music has to keep everyone pumped.  There were a lot of top-40 tunes, but one of my favorite moments was when Tom Petty’s “Running Down a Dream” played. During my high school basketball days, that song was our theme song during sectionals. I loved remembering those times, and I also loved how I was running, and Tom Petty was singing about running down dreams.

Race logistics were smooth, especially given the relay component and inaugural event status. My team totally overthought the whole keeping track of laps aspect—we talked about buying a whiteboard and marking off loops—but we eventually realized we could use the lap feature on our Garmins. (Who said all triathletes are tech geeks?) The hand-off section was clearly marked on the track, and there were various screens that displayed time, distance, and laps to go. We didn’t look at them a ton given our self-described “non-competitive” status, but it was neat seeing how we stacked up against everyone else.

I viewed the “race” as a workout; I went in very loose and without a pace plan other than to run on feel. (I had my Garmin, but only used it to count laps.) Plus, being on a 200m track provided valuable race simulation experience. I practiced reeling in people ahead of me and made a conscious effort to focus on form. I hung tough when rough mental patches arrived (like when I was ready to be off the track after 10 laps during my first stint).

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Somehow, I managed to not get any official race photos, but this is a screen shot from a video clip one of my teammates took.

And overall, it was a great workout:  I covered the 6.5 miles in 48 minutes (7:23 min./mi.). The track was fast, and I felt smooth, strong, and in control of the effort the entire time. And this feeling gives me confidence I can hit and hold a similar pace when I run off the bike at Nationals.

Bottom line, the Flat Feet Social Club had a blast, and we plan to return next year—and we’re also researching our next relay. (Hint: there’s camping involved.)

I should mention that although we didn’t stick around for the individual marathon heats, both the men’s and women’s indoor records were broken. One of our NYAC runners smashed the women’s record and ran a 2:44:44!

Have you completed an indoor and/or relay event? What did you think?

Triathlon Training Log – Week 19 (April 4)

Does anyone else need to a weekend from the weekend? This one flew by!

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Sportz, sports, sportz

General training notes: lots of stuff to talk about this week. First and foremost, Tailwind Endurance is still in the process of getting settled into its new location, which means I’m doing indoor training rides solo (and also suffering from severe Tailwind withdrawal). On the plus side, I get to sleep for an extra half hour, but I miss seeing my coach and people in the mornings. Fingers crossed the facility will be rocking and rolling next week.

Second, after having a heart-to-heart with Earl, we decided to increase my run volume. I’m currently hovering around 20-25 miles per week, and the goal will be to get up to 30—slowly and safely, of course. That number is a scary because I typically run 30 miles per week when I’m training for a half-marathon; thirty miles is a substantial run load for me. But I trust Earl, I trust the process, and I know the only way to become a better, more efficient runner is to run more. And unfortunately, that in turn means backing off the strength training. So overall, I’ll be adding an extra run each week and removing one lifting session.

Monday – a.m. indoor trainer ride

Tailwind Endurance withdrawal is so real; doing 15×1-minute VO2 max intervals by yourself just isn’t as fun. *Sigh*

Tuesday – a.m. run; p.m. swim with Bearcat masters

Take two of the 3×12 minutes at race pace—and this one went much, much better. Because this was my second time completing the workout, it wasn’t as intimidating, and I knew what I was facing. Like last week, I got it done on the ‘mill and logged eight miles total.

After work, I went to swim practice and somehow ended up leading my lane! Following a shorter warm-up and tech work, we tackled a pyramid that began with one 100 and progressed from 75s to 50s to 25s and then went back up the ladder. I was elected to set the pace because I am a “triathlete and super consistent and that’s the difference between pool swimmers and triathletes.” But that also meant I had to do math to ensure we kept the correct intervals.

Wednesday – a.m. indoor trainer ride; p.m. run

Another toughie that would’ve been more fun with Tailwind buds: 6×3 minutes at VO2 max with one minute rest between.

As I mentioned, Earl wants to increase my run volume, so we’re slowly adding another run/mileage each week. I made plans to run with one of my tri buds after work, and one of my new coworkers joined us! (Woohoo for making friends!) We hit the Bridal Path in Central Park and had a nice 40-minute “yog.”

Thursday – a.m. run and strength train

It was tough turning around in less than 12 hours and running again; I’ve become used to running on fresh legs, and the fatigue was noticeable. Not detrimental, but definitely noticeable. My legs slowly loosened up over the course of seven miles, but I felt it even more during my strength training routine. Earl said to go even lighter this week, and if I’m being honest, I thought I’d be fine to do my normal lift, but this is why you have a coach. My legs were dunzo.

Friday – off

Saturday – a.m. indoor trainer ride; a.m. Armory Indoor Marathon; p.m. swim with Bearcat masters

Woohoo for sportz Saturdays! First, I hopped on my trainer for an easy 60-minute ride to spin out and wake up my legs before our indoor marathon relay. Nothing noteworthy to report here: lots of cadence drills and zone two time.

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Snapchat fun. It was bizarre to wear this type of timing chip without a wetsuit–it screams triathlon!

Then I headed way uptown for the inaugural Armory NYC Indoor Marathon. One of my triathlon buds had this idea a few months ago, and we were able to get a team of four together to take on 26.2 miles around a 200m track. We had a blast! I’ll definitely write a “race” recap, but I covered my 6.5 miles in 48 minutes. (Although I hoped to squeeze in a masters swim too, we didn’t finish post-race brunch in time. #priorities)

Sunday – a.m. indoor trainer ride; p.m. swim with Bearcat masters

Long and steady two hours in the saddle, followed by a 4,000m swim with the Bearcats. Currently ready for food and a nap/bedtime. A most successful Sunday!

Have you ever done an indoor race or event?

‘Training’ for Life

In the run-specialty industry, it’s common to hear sales associates ask customers about their goals: “what are you training for?” is a great prompt to kick off a shoe fitting. Some folks easily articulate their upcoming races while others struggle to identify themselves as runners. For a lot of people, lacing up isn’t about performance, but rather lifestyle—staying active and trying to balance being fit with living life. This principle led to the conceptualization of “training for life” at my old job, a phrase we used in the store. Customers seemed to like it. Or, maybe they humored us. Either way, a lot of the feelings we experience, obstacles we face, and challenges we overcome while sweating prepare us for the uncontrollables we face throughout the course of the day when our workouts are over.

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Central Park bliss

A few weeks ago, I had a great long run in Central Park. I executed my workout, and I felt great during my intervals. I also got some great headspace during my recovery periods; my mind wandered to the beginning of #WingedFootLyfe as my first day was less than 24 hours away. Starting a new job was relatively uncharted territory for me, but training, racing, and competing have been part of my life for 15 years. The more I thought about it, though, the more they seemed similar.

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Inspiration is inspiration

In my training logs, I’ve bemoaned the amount of time I’ve spent in zone two, but it really is an important piece of the puzzle. You can’t go from zero to 100; you need to slowly increase time, frequency, and intensity. For all intensive purposes, #TheRabbitLife was my worklife zone two time. (I’m skipping over college and internships here, but both could fall into this zone as well.) It was my first real job out of college, and I learned a lot—how a company functions, what I value in a workplace, etc. I had the opportunity to work within various facets of the run-specialty world. And thanks to last year’ acquisition, I had the opportunity to work for two different companies essentially.

It was the transition from company number one to company number two when I slowly inched out of zone two and work became more intense: my amount of responsibility increased, my opinions meant more, and ultimately, my colleagues held me to higher standards. And, of course, our key events—the main one being the New York City Marathon—represented slight “touches” to VO2 max work. Over the years, this time “in the red”—operating under tight deadlines and unrelenting pressure—felt increasingly routine. I became comfortable and confident executing campaigns; it equated to muscle memory. I knew exactly what was important, what needed to happen, and how it needed to happen.

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It’s not about the hard work—it’s about the right work.

As I’ve experienced from my triathlon training this year, it’s absolutely important to spend time doing the not-so-glamorous workouts. And that’s OK because training prepares you for something greater. But eventually, you need to challenge yourself; the magic doesn’t happen in your comfort zone. #TheRabbitLife served as nearly three years of training, growing, and figuring things out. And thanks to my experience there, I felt comfortably uncomfortable taking the next step in my career.

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Before that happened, though, I “tapered,” took some downtime, and headed to Sanibel to spend time with my family. I relaxed and recuperated—and became reenergized for the next training block. It gave me an opportunity to reflect on my worklife thus far. And much like race-day taper crazies, I did go a little nuts toward the end (mainly due to all the shopping for corporate clothing).

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There are far better things ahead than any we leave behind.

But back to that run. I entered that meditative headspace easily. And as I cruised along the lower loop, my legs responded; they opened up, they knew what to do. And as I powered up Harlem Hill, my legs reacted; they turned over. A sense of calm confidence set in. ‘Tomorrow is race-day. I am ready.’

Triathlon Training Log – Week 18 (March 28)

Yesterday’s severe winds caused my Internet to go down. Currently blogging and posting from a café on my lunch break …

Let’s sum up the last seven days of training: super, super solid.

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Smashing watts

General training notes: things clicked across all platforms this week. I’m settling into work well, and that definitely impacted my training in a positive way. Biking always feels good, and I was really happy with how I felt swimming and running this week. It’s coming together!

Monday – a.m. CompuTrainer workout at Tailwind Endurance

Another Sufferfest set of 15×1 minute at VO2 max with one minute recovery. Last week, I struck around 85-87 RPMs, which lead to lactic acid build-up after seven or eight intervals. So this time, I aimed for a higher cadence (95-100 RPMs) and felt much smoother and stronger.

Tuesday – a.m. run and strength train; p.m. swim with Bearcat masters

Well, this run could’ve gone better. I faced 3×12 minutes at my desired Olympic-distance pace, which I decided to do on the treadmill. The first two felt fine (three minutes of easy running between), but on the third repeat, I got stir-crazy and wanted off the ‘mill ASAP. Again, the pace felt fine, but it was bizarre how quickly my mind turned. Maybe it was because I can’t remember the last time I’ve been on the treadmill and this ended up being almost an eight-mile workout? I don’t know. I pulled myself together and completed my strength training program afterward though.

After work, I hit up my first nighttime Bearcat swim workout in months—and everyone asked what I was doing there, ha! There were about 35 folks split between four lanes, so we did a lot of shorter, 50m, 75m, and 100m repeats. Every time I get in the water, I feel better, so hopefully I can find that top-end speed soon. In total, we logged 2,400m.

Wednesday – a.m. CompuTrainer workout at Tailwind Endurance

The final ride at the downtown Tailwind Endurance was a toughie, but a goodie: 2×20-minute builds with the opening five minutes going from tempo to threshold, then holding steady there for 15 minutes. The facility is moving uptown, so until it’s back in business sometime mid-month, I’ll be spending a lot of quality time on my trainer (especially since the NYC weather refuses to cooperate for training purposes).

Thursday – a.m. run and strength train

Blissful five-mile shakeout and strength training

Friday – off

Saturday – a.m. trainer ride; p.m. swim with Bearcat masters

As said above, I hoped to ride outside, but that didn’t happen thanks to the rain/wind combo. So I took it to my trainer for two hours. Not glamorous, but it got done.

Later that afternoon, I spent 1.5 hours of quality time in the water. We faced longer sets this practice—think 300s and 400s—and I was pleasantly surprised with how smooth everything felt.

Sunday – p.m. run

A wind advisory warning prompted me to push my run to 3 p.m., and those 10 miles felt amazing—absolutely blissful.

How did your workouts go this week?

2016 NYRR Spring Classic 10-K Recap

This past Sunday, I ran my first race of 2016:  NYRR’s Spring Classic 10-K.  Normally, I wouldn’t pay to run in Central Park, but the entry fee was only $10. (It was open only to NYRR members, and there weren’t t-shirts, medals, etc. ) And that’s a cheap pricetag for quality racing experience. Also, Earl and Coach Pat wanted a check-in race to gauge my running fitness.

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No photos during the race, of course–I snapped this one as I cooled down.

Of course, I wanted a strong showing, but Earl and Coach Pat made it very clear the main objective was executing the race plan and running on feel (i.e. not shooting for a PR).  With this in mind, we decided that although I would turn on my Garmin to capture data, I would not look at my watch during the race.  Running is extremely mental for me.  Although I’m becoming fitter, faster, and stronger, seeing certain values (read: anything in the sevens) intimidates me and makes me second guess whether I can sustain the pace.  And as we determined from my splits below, thank GAWD I didn’t look at my watch.

Mile #1 – 7:56 – “Let it happen”

The opening mile contained Harlem Hill, so we figured this would be my slowest mile of the race.  I didn’t complete a long enough warm-up, so I was still finding my rhythm here, and I was pleasantly surprised how smooth I felt while climbing the hill.  Thanks to my Sunday Snowman Challenge, I’ve run Harlem Hill frequently so I knew how to pace it:  I broke it up into three sections and gradually increased the effort as I neared the top.  “Let [the first mile] happen,” Earl advised.  “It was going to be what it’s going to be.”

Mile #2 – 7:43 and mile #3 – 7:32 – “Let the course do the work.”

A few days before the race, Earl and I talked strategy, and he said it was important to let the course do the work.  That meant absorbing the “punches” on the uphills and making the necessary cadence adjustments and then smoothing out the effort on the downhills.  My mantra during these two miles along the West Side Rollers was “let the course do the work” and “smooth, strong, and controlled.”  If I had seen my splits during these two miles, especially the 7:32, I would’ve freaked out and eased off the gas—I didn’t and continued to run on feel.

Mile #4 – 7:58

With Cat Hill coming up, I ran the little hill conservatively.  This was also the point in the race the lactic acid started to make itself known in my legs.

Mile #5 – 8:07 – “Hang on”

Dun, dun, duuuun: Cat Hill.  Like Harlem Hill, I broke it into three sections, but struggled to find the next gear as I neared the top.  In hindsight, this was the race’s TKO punch.  My legs felt dunzo, and although “hang on” was not the most positive mindset, that’s exactly what I was doing.

Mile #6 – 7:45 – “I’m dragging.”

Again, I’m really glad I did not look at my watch.  My legs felt heavy, and I felt like I was running through molasses; it felt like a 9:00 min./mi. pace.  It’s important to run your own race, but around this time, I listened to the people alongside of me; they were totally gassed.  I was still breathing easily.  And that’s been the story of my running life—feeling the burn in my legs and not my lungs.

Last bit – 2:04

As per usual, I was feeling a lot of feelings when I finished.  I was surprised with my average pace because it felt like I was running 7:40-7:45 throughout—which, if you take out the Cat Hill mile, is exactly what happened.  It also gives me confidence to know that when I thought I was “dragging” I was actually fine and running a 7:45. It comes down to dialing in my mental game and trusting myself. As Earl said post-race, becoming a better racer physically is the easy part—the challenge is getting your mind to catch up.

How do you power through tough workouts and races?

 

Triathlon Training Log – Week 17 (March 21)

Another Sunday and another week of training complete. This month is flying by!

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I’m digging the #WingedFootLyfe views.

General training notes: the main takeaway from this week was reminding myself what it’s like to run on less-than-fresh legs. I had a killer bike workout Monday and carried the fatigue through the week. Swimming could’ve helped the recovery process, but it didn’t happen because (a) Rich Roll was in NYC Tuesday night, and I obviously had to #fangirl, and (2) the pool was closed for Easter weekend. And speaking of Easter weekend, I did a race simulation workout in Central Park on Saturday, so we tailored lead-up sessions accordingly.

Monday – a.m. CompuTrainer workout at Tailwind Endurance

Long warm-up and then a monster 15×1 minute at VO2 max set with one-minute recovery between efforts. (For the bike/tri nerds, yes, this was a Sufferfest workout.) We alternated between natural, high, and low cadence to ensure we hit all the main muscles.

Tuesday – a.m. run; p.m. swim

Six-ish miles of progressive cruise intervals: 4×8 minutes at Ironman, marathon, half-marathon, and 10-K efforts with two minutes recovery between. No strength training due to Saturday’s race; no swimming due to Rich Roll.

Wednesday – a.m. CompuTrainer workout at Tailwind Endurance

Loved this workout: after a long warm-up, we tackled two, 15-minute sets. Since I was racing, my builds were one zone lower. First, I built from tempo (seven minutes) to sweet spot (eight minutes); the second time around, I went from sweet spot (five minutes) to threshold (10 minutes).

Thursday – p.m. run

Thanks to Wednesday margarita night with friends, I pushed my fartlek run from morning to evening. I’ve struggled with this set in the past, but I was able to lock in my paces and smoothly transition from my “on” efforts to my “off” ones. I sensed some fatigue in my legs from Monday’s intervals, but the workout went well overall.

Friday – a.m. run

Easy, three-mile shakeout to keep the legs fresh. My legs still didn’t feel totally recovered from Monday’s workout, but thanks to even more foam rolling time, they loosened up as the day progressed. (I also decided to stay off my feet and not use my standing desk at work, ha!)

SaturdayNYRR Central Park Spring Classic 10-K

Surprise—my first race simulation of 2015! I was under strict instructions to run this race without looking at my watch (but turn on my watch for the data), and all things considered, it went OK. Not a PR day, but we confirmed my run training is on track. Recap coming later this week. (Official time was 48:59.)

Sunday – a.m. CompuTrainer ride at Tailwind Endurance

From the Church of the Long Ride, I spent two hours in the saddle alternating between Ironman and half-Ironman efforts. And thankfully, there were a few FTP blocks thrown in.

What are your plans for Easter?

Triathlon Training Log – Week 16 (March 14)

I survived week one of #WingedFootLyfe—huzzah!

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Cute and crazy cruel shoes. The back of my heels were a bloody mess.

And because this was such an important week life-wise (I’ve got a post drafted so don’t worry), training took a backseat.

General training notes: weeks like these make me appreciate having a coach who’s in charge of my triathlon life—and who’s smarter than me. If left to my own devices, I would’ve approached swimming, biking, and running normally. My work life is changing, so keeping training the same makes sense, right? Wrong. Oh, so wrong. I discounted the mental energy required to learn new policies, procedures, and standards, meet new people, figure out where everything is located … luckily, Earl did not. So, yes, I basically collapsed after work every day, and luckily none of my workouts were too taxing. Recovery weeks have their time and place.

Monday – off

Coach-ordered rest day—and first day of #WingedFootLyfe!

Tuesday – a.m. run and strength train; p.m. swim with Bearcat masters

Finally nailed this tempo run: one minute “on,” one minute off, up to three minutes with 10 minutes of easy running between sets. (I cycled through twice.) This was the first time I not only hit and held legitimate tempo paces, but I also felt smooth and strong—and the pace felt sustainable. I also did my strength training routine for the first time in a few weeks. However, my after-work swim didn’t happen. I felt physically exhausted from a quality morning workout, and I was mentally wiped out from surviving day two.

Wednesday – a.m. CompuTrainer workout at Tailwind Endurance

Easy riding: two, 18-minute sets in zone two, plus a few VO2 max sprints because I was a good athlete and followed orders.

Thursday – a.m. run and strength training

Easy 50-minute run along the West Side Highway, plus upper body strength training; my legs were toast from the sprints.

Friday – off

I had an optional ride programmed, but told myself if I naturally woke up in time, then I would go—but I did not. Earl was glad I took the extra rest, and I was even more motivated to get after it during the weekend.

Saturday – a.m. CompuTrainer workout at Tailwind Endurance; p.m. swim with Bearcat masters

First up was the blissful two-hour ride. We warmed up for the first hour, which included a sweet spot gear pyramid: during the four-minute set, we’d add one gear each minute with the goal of staying around 88-92 percent. In order to execute properly, that meant starting in a light gear and keeping the cadence high. We did it four times, and I loved it. For the second hour, we rode a course, and the grade dictated the effort: the flats (less than one percent) were zone two; hills up to three percent were zone three; and anything steeper was zone four.

Even though most of the masters team was competing at a meet, there were a few of us who took on the 4,100m practice. The Russian coach was in charge so there was a ton of IM work. We also dove off the blocks a few times, and on one of them, my goggles came off. I slowed down to adjust them, but he yelled, “keep swimming! It isn’t acid!” I was dying!

Sunday – a.m. run

After cheering for some friends running the NYC Half, I completed my long run that included the lower loop/Harlem Hill challenge. I ran the long way up to Central Park—I didn’t want to go anywhere near Times Square—and logged nearly 12 miles for the day. Sweet!

How did your workouts/races go?

Triathlon Training Log – Week 15 (March 7)

I spent a solid amount of time this week cross-training, a.k.a. shopping for adult clothes.

2016-corporate-wardrobe

Leslie Knope’s goofiness + Claire Underwood’s fierceness = Carrie, a reluctant adult

My new gig starts tomorrow (gah!), so my sister and I shopped ‘till we dropped from Wednesday through Saturday. You would think swimming, biking, and running endurance would translate, but it does not.

General training notes: All in all, this was another mixed bag training week. It started in Sanibel and ended in New York City, and my body felt the heat and extra travel. Luckily, my recovery week starts Monday, and it’s the first time this season I feel like I actually need it.

Monday – a.m. swim

Back to my “office” for an easy 2,250-yard workout.

2016-sanibel-rec-center-swimming

Unpictured: freckles/tan lines

It was actually the same one I did last Wednesday, and it was rewarding to feel a difference in terms of smoothness.

Tuesday – a.m. run

All right, pros to this fartlek workout: it was the same one from last week, so I knew what I was facing; I felt smoother and more in control of the paces. Cons: it was super hot (around 80*F), so I tacked on some extra rest intervals; and due to poor planning, I had time to do the ladder (2-4-6-4-2 minutes) once before heading to the airport. Overall, it was a mixed bag, but it gives me confidence to know I can hit and hold the prescribed pace in hot conditions—because that’s what Omaha will probably be like in August.

Wednesday – a.m. CompuTrainer workout at Tailwind Endurance

Back in the saddle! I made my triumphant return with a 3×10-minute zone two set: for the first block, we alternated between high gear/low cadence (75 RPMs) and natural cadence every minute; the second set was straight natural cadence; and the third was high gear/low cadence and natural cadence every two minutes.

Thursday – a.m. run

Another cruise interval workout: eight minutes at Ironman effort, marathon pace, half-marathon pace, and 10-K pace with two minutes recovery between. Intervals one, two, and three were fine, but I struggled to maintain an even pace for my 10-K effort.

Friday – a.m. swim with Bearcat masters

A lot of my masters buds swam Harvard this weekend (er, the 2016 New England LMSC Short Course Championship), so this was a taper swim that contained mostly short (25 to 100m) efforts. I also nailed three dives off the blocks! After 4,000m, though, I was dragging for the rest of the day; swimming takes it out of me.

Saturday – a.m. CompuTrainer workout at Tailwind Endurance

Like most two-hour rides, this workout contained two hour-long blocks. First, we tackled a longer warm-up with single-leg and high cadence drills, plus some over/under efforts. (“Over” meaning more than 100 percent and “under” 85 percent; we alternated between these two for 10 minutes.) The opening main block included four, four-minute intervals: three minutes at tempo (75-85 percent) and one minute at VO2 max (105-120 percent). I was sore from Friday’s swim and didn’t know how long I’d last, but it ended up being fine. For the second hour, we rode the Ironman Germany course and alternated between 10 minutes at tempo, five minutes at sweet spot, and five minutes at threshold.

Sunday – a.m. run

This was my second time taking on Earl’s snowman challenge and trying to match my lower loop and Harlem Hill loop times. (For those unfamiliar with Central Park, the lower loop is relatively flat and fast and a bit longer than the Harlem Hill lap.) I settled in to my tempo pace for the lower loop and ran the 1.7 miles faster than I did two weeks ago. And in an effort to match the total time, I ran the 1.39-mile Harlem Hill loop about 15 seconds slower than my previous time. Although my times were closer, they didn’t match up exactly. On the bright side, though, I felt much more confident and in control of this workout, and I was happy with how sustainable my tempo pace felt.

How is it mid-March already?! Has spring sprung yet?