Monthly Archives: June 2013

Huma Chia Energy Gel Review

Hello, and happy Thursday, friends!  How’s your week going so far?  Mine’s been filled with work (A/C is finally fixed—woohoo!) and working out (t-minus 3 days until Stamford!), and my cousin came to visit yesterday.  We’ll be up to our usual hijinks—think exploring, shopping, eating, and maybe some drinking.  Hopefully, we’ll make it to Chelsea Market and the Union Square Greenmarket today, and she wants to visit The Strand too.  Anyway, I’ll try to pop back in before Sunday, but in the mean time, I want to tell you a bit about a new-to-me nutrition product I recently sampled:  Huma Chia Energy Gels.

huma-chia-energy-gel-apples-and-cinnamon

The company sent me two gels a while back, and clearly, it took me a while to test them.  As you know, I take gels only before races, and plus, I’m not training for any long-course endurance events right now, which means taking gels during workouts isn’t necessary.  So even though I wouldn’t be sampling these Huma gels during true races, I definitely found them intriguing and wanted to try them.  How many chia-based energy gels are on the market right now? (You can read more about the power of mighty omega-3s here.)

Huma-Infographic

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I’m such a sucker for infographics.

Oh, one of Huma’s claims to fame is being 100 percent stomach-pain free, which is one of the reasons Gina and Beka raved about them.

huma-chia-energy-gel-ingredients

Being able to pronounce each ingredient?  So solid.

Anyway, I took the strawberry one during a bike-run-bike training day that included a 5-K race.

huma-chia-energy-gel-strawberry

It was hands down the best tasting gel I’ve had simply because it tasted real—not super sugary or sickenly sweet like a lot of nutrition products.  And I don’t know if I can totally credit the gel for my performance, but I ended up doing pretty OK during the race itself.

escape-to-the-palisades-5-k-plaque

Technically, this plaque should say “2nd place overall, female.”

This past Sunday, I tried the apples and cinnamon during a Central Park bike ride, and then it became my new favorite.  I actually said “Mmmm!” aloud because it was so tasty—think good-for-you applesauce (without all the added sugar) with a hint of cinnamon.  And in terms of performance, it kept my energy levels up for the entire two-hour ride.  Success!

Clearly, these Huma Chia Energy Gels impressed me, and I’d definitely recommend them, especially for athletes who are training for longer endurance events.  It can be tough to keep slamming gels and sucking down sports drinks, and I know taking these gels that taste so real would be refreshing.  Er, as refreshing as possible if you’re swimming, biking, and/or running serious mileage.

Full disclosure:  A representative from Huma Chia Energy contacted me and offered a sample of two gels in exchange for a review.  As always, all opinions expressed are my own.

Write It Down, Do It Up – Week of June 23

I planned to publish this post last night—but arrived home from work and crashed hard.  Zero A/C (yes, it’s broken again) and nine hours on my feet did me in.  Anyway …

Whew, it’s been another whirlwind weekend!  I worked Saturday and Sunday at the running store.  A lot of first-time marathoners have been coming in to get new sneakers, and their energy is contagious.  It almost makes me wish I had a 26.2-miler on the docket.  Almost.

Anyway, guess what?  It’s RACE WEEK!  This time next week, I will hopefully have completed my second Olympic-distance event, the Stamford KIC It Triathlon.

stamford-kic-it-triathlon

Here’s a quick peak at what I did last week:

Monday – a.m. run with Full Throttle Endurance (FTE) and strength train

We ran along the West Side Highway and eventually ended up at an outdoor turf field for some “fun sprints” in the words of my coach.  I had some serious flashbacks to high school field-hockey!  It felt so weird running on the turf without my stick and trusty mouth guard!  After, I did some full-body strength training and ab work.

Tuesday – a.m. bike with FTE

So, I’ve blogged before about how the bike is my new triathlon Achilles heel, and even though it needs work, it may not be so bad.  My coach had me ride with a faster pace group, which resulted in pedaling alongside all guys and “bro-ing” out—and averaging 23 MPH during our “warm up” loop.  Totally not sustainable, but you’d be surprised how much you can push yourself when there’s a cute cycling coach nearby.  Anyway, it ended up being a solid, 30-plus mile ride.

Wednesday – a.m. brick workout with FTE—indoor cycle and run off the bike

Seventy-five minutes on the spin bikes and thirty minutes running outside.

Thursday – off

I absolutely love having a weekday off.  I slept in until 6:30 a.m., and aside from having my first big-girl meeting, I didn’t do a whole lot.

Friday – a.m. swim with FTE, plus run and strength train

As Friday’s post said, this swim focused on longer sets in preparation for Sunday’s race.  Honestly, the run after was a little frustrating, but that’s my own fault because I didn’t have a concrete game plan; I wasn’t doing a tempo run, speedwork, hills, etc., so it felt very unfocused.  About 10 minutes in, I came to the conclusion my coach would classify it as a “junk miles” run, so I turned around, headed back to the gym, and shut it down.

Saturday – a.m. swim with FTE

More of the same—another swim with longer sets based on time.

Sunday – a.m. bike

Before work, I headed to Central Park and completed a few loops before a teammate joined me.

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In total, I logged 42-ish miles!

And here’s what I’m up to this week.  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 FTE

Tuesday – a.m. brick workout with FTE—outdoor ride and run off the bike

Wednesday – p.m. CompuTrainer workout (I’m riding the NYC Triathlon bike course)

Thursday – off

Friday – a.m. swim with FTE; a.m. run

Saturday – a.m. swim with FTE

Sunday – Stamford KIC It Triathlon

How did your workouts go last week?

Party Warlord

Happy Friday, everyone—and happy first day of summer!  Let’s hope the official start of a new season means tons of runners will be out shopping for new gear today.

Workout #1 – Swimming

This morning started with a Full Throttle Endurance swim workout that focused on long sets—think 10-minute steady swim, 8-minute steady swim, etc.—and pulling, my favorite type of tech work. (Note sarcasm.) Since a lot of us are racing Stamford next weekend, we also practiced sighting and drafting.  And I rocked a new pair of goggles!

tyr-polarized-special-ops-goggles

I received this TYR pair (polarized special ops if the #trigeeks are interested) in my shoe training graduation swag bag, and as you can see, the goggles have a blue tint, which works better for pool swimming. (My trusty Speedo goggles have a dark tint.) Nothing but good things to say so far:  They didn’t fog up, they didn’t let in water, and they felt really comfortable.

Workout #2 – Running and Strength Training

After spending some quality time in the hot tub (more on that shortly), I hit the West Side Highway for an easy 20-minute run and finished with a full-body strength training workout.

Breakfast

Back home, I made an extremely green smoothie that contained frozen kale, one frozen banana, frozen blueberries, spinach, protein powder, and almond milk.

6:21-breakfast-green-protein-smoothie

Perfect for a warm summer day!

So you’re probably wondering about the title of this post, right?  In the hot tub after practice, my teammates and I started talking about the New York City Triathlon, specifically our post-race plans.  Yes, we’re pumped to swim, bike, and run on our own turf, but let’s be honest—the after party is a major source of excitement too. (Exhibit A:  South Beach.  Exhibit B:  Montauk.)  Somehow, one thing led to another, and my teammates voted me “party warlord”—yes, that’s the actual title—which means I’m in charge of planning our afternoon shenanigans.  How this responsibility gets delegated to the youngest person on the team … I have no idea.  Luckily, I have some party-planning experience:  In high school, two of my best friends and I hosted a summer “formal” for a bunch of our friends.  Midnight Masquerade was the theme in 2007.

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And in 2008, we went with a color theme—silver and gold maybe?

summer-party-2008

Anyway, organizing these parties was a lot of fun—and a lot of work.  It definitely gave me a new respect for event planning.  Our setup worked nicely because we were a team of three, and thankfully, two of my teammates volunteered to help with our upcoming get-together.  But I was told to still “rule with an iron fist and veto dumb ideas,” so we’ll see what happens!

Do you have party- or event-planning experience?  Also, NYC-ers:  any recommendations for fun party venues?

My First Work Meeting

Hiya, friends!  Happy … Thursday?  Yikes, I’ve gone a long time without blogging.  It’s been a busy week filled with work (more on that in a second) and working out, and I’m happy to have today off on both fronts.  As per tradition, my morning began with Wegmans Cin-A-Nut coffee.

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What, you don’t have spare goggles hanging around?

Weggies, please come to NYC.  Thanks.

Although I’m not scheduled to work today, I met with a local yoga company to discuss our partnership and other outreachy things.  Friends, this was my first solo big-girl meeting of my career!  And I wore “real” clothes (i.e. not running shorts and/or a race t-shirt)!

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My coworkers commented on how cute I looked, so just humor me with this outfit of the day picture, OK?  I could’ve showed up to the meeting looking like this:

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Yes, this happened at work on Wednesday.  No, this isn’t me.  This time.

Anyway, the meeting went well.  There was some miscommunication about the location, but once we sat down, the ideas started to flow. (Inadvertent yoga pun.) Exciting things on the horizon!  Right after, I recapped the main points with my manager and assistant manager, and they were really pleased.  By now, I should be used to this responsibility, but I still can’t believe how much they trust and believe in me—slash I’m still wrapping my head around doing somewhat big things at age 23.

I didn’t want to waste looking like a “real girl,” so I went shopping.  And not for groceries.  Although I did that later.  Success at Anthropologie!

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Plus both the tank and pj bottoms were on sale.  Love it when that happens!

Back at my apartment, there was a package waiting for me.

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Thanks for hooking me up, FitFluential and Kona Kase!  Review to come once I test these endurance nutrition samples.

Oh, and speaking of endurance, please start praying for me in regards to the Stamford bike course.

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If it were easy, then everyone would do it, right?  Oh boy.

Write It Down, Do It Up – Week of June 16

Whew, what a whirlwind weekend!  Er, pseudo because I worked Saturday and Sunday at the running store.  Fortunately or unfortunately, it wasn’t swamped because most people were celebrating Father’s Day.

2008-high-school-basketball-senior-game

Going with the 2008 throwback, aka the glory days from my senior basketball game.

Happy Daddy’s Day!

Let’s talk workouts because my next swim-bike-run event is only 14 days away—ahhh!

stamford-kic-it-triathlon

Since I’m not blogging daily anymore, here’s a quick recap of what went down one week post-Mighty Montauk.

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

Everyone was still sore from Saturday’s race, so we ditched speedwork for steady six-mile jog to get the legs moving.

Tuesday – a.m. indoor cycle with FTE and strength train

The original plan was to ride in Central Park, but it was rained out.  Instead, a group of us spent about 75 minutes on the indoor spin bikes, and then I completed a full-body strength training workout.  In the week leading up to Montauk, I didn’t lift, so it was nice to hit the weights again!

Wednesday – a.m. brick workout with FTE—indoor cycle and run off the bike

Seventy-five minutes on the spin bikes and forty minutes running outside.

Thursday – off

No work, no workout.  I did absolutely nothing all day minus seeing Jen for a pedicure and going to Whole Foods lunch.  It was glorious.

Friday – a.m. swim with FTE, run, and strength train

Easy 2,800-yard swim that called for lots of paddle and pull buoy action.  Since my shift at the running store wasn’t until later in the afternoon, I also ran a steady four-ish miles, lifted, and spent some quality time in the sauna.

Saturday – a.m. swim with FTE

Another easy 3,200-yard workout that focused on technique and sighting.

Sunday – a.m. run

Steady run in Central Park with a teammate.

And here’s what’s on the docket this week.  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 FTE; a.m. strength train

Tuesday – a.m. bike with FTE

Wednesday – a.m. brick workout with FTE—indoor cycle and run off the bike

Thursday – off

Friday – a.m. swim with FTE; a.m. run; a.m. strength train

Saturday – a.m. swim with FTE

Sunday – a.m. bike

When’s your next race?

A Whole Lotta Updates

Hey, everyone—happy Thursday!  Geez, it that right?  This week has flown by.  Maybe it’s from coming off a race?

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Thanks for your support, by the way.  I rode the post-race high through the wee hours of Sunday morning, which was fueled by way too much red wine and Endless Summer cocktails at The Surf Lodge in Montauk.  But doesn’t this recipe sound good?  Vanity Fair says it contains Belvedere vodka, red grapes, and chardonnay.

Anyway, I have a lot of updates to share on the triathlon and real-life front, so grab a cup of coffee and get comfy.

1.  A rest day means enjoying gourmet coffee, courtesy of Wegmans. (And in related news, I slept in until 7:45 a.m. this morning!)

wegmans-cin-a-nut-coffee

Please tell me I’m not the only one who rations good coffee.  Chugging a cup of this before practice would be sacrilege; it needs to be savored.

2.  I’m settling into my new position at my big-girl job—and I’m officially official!

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Ekkk!  Even though it’s been about two months since I started at JRab, I still can’t believe how lucky I am.  My coworkers are absolutely fantastic, and it goes without saying that we have a ton in common.  And our store’s manager and assistant manager have given me so much freedom and responsibility in terms of brainstorming, planning, and organizing events and truly want me to take this position and make it my own.

3.  Strength training made its post-taper resurgence to my workout schedule on Tuesday.  How Rinny doesn’t lift is beyond me, but if I could run 6:20’s off the bike during a half-Ironman, then I wouldn’t hit the weights either.

4.  Speaking of triathloning, the splits from Saturday’s race were posted online; my swim was faster than I thought (31:14) and my bike was slower (1:07:31).  It is comforting to know my swim was semi-decent, especially for not pushing, but the bike remains my Achilles heel.  My coach and I chatted yesterday about preparing for a certain August race, and there will be a new game plan moving forward.  I owe you a post, but it boils down to focusing on my “strengths” (in quotes because I don’t see myself as a super strong swimmer and runner) and minimizing my weakness, aka the bike.  My quest as a #wannabeswimmer continues!

5.  And on a completely unrelated note, this article from BuzzFeed had me laughing out loud; this is reason I lovingly refer to my alma mater as Camp Hoho.  Numbers 2, 5, 11, 12, 14, 29 are spot-on.  Thanks for the find, Michele!

Mighty Montauk Triathlon Recap

On Saturday, I completed my first Olympic-distance triathlon, the Mighty Montauk.

mighty-montauk-triathlon-t-shirt-2013

Held in Montauk, NY, this 1-mile swim, 22-mile bike, and 6.2-mile run featured tough race conditions thanks to Tropical Storm Andrea, which pounded the area with rain the day before.  The unrelenting precipitation made parts of the course challenging—and don’t even get me started on the standing water in transition—but I still had a lot of fun.

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Red nails and red swim cap—and I didn’t even plan this matching!

As outlined in my race calendar, I didn’t “race” Mighty Montauk because it was my first Olympic, but I did establish a few training goals.  I drafted this post the week before the race, but never published it; and this actually works out better because final finishing times are available online, but splits are not (i.e. exact times for the swim, transition 1, bike, etc.).

Goal:  Get experience in my new wetsuit.

Thanks to my big-girl job, I’m eligible for generous discounts off products we carry in store, which includes Blueseventy wetsuits.  Even though I have a wetsuit from last season, I needed to upgrade, so I ordered the Helix.

blueseventy-helix-wetsuit

I won’t bore you with its characteristics, but it’s the best Blueseventy suit on the market:  the lower body provides buoyancy, and the upper-body contains thin, 1.5-mm neoprene, which ensures flexibility in the water.

blueseventy-helix-wetsuit-full-sleeves

Basically, it feels like a sleeveless wetsuit.

Result:  Success!

The suit arrived Wednesday, just in time for a pool test swim on Thursday morning.  I only did 500 yards, but immediately loved it.  I felt faster and more streamlined, yet totally forgot I was wearing a suit because the upper body is so flexible.

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And on race day, I had a pretty good swim.  Lake Montauk’s temperature notched 50ish degrees Fahrenheit, and even though it took me half a mile to “warm up” (that phrase being relative, ha!), I felt strong, calm, and totally relaxed in the open water.

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It was a bit choppy and windy, but nothing compared to South Beach or last year’s DeRuyter Triathlon.  I didn’t push the pace, and overall, I definitely like the one-mile distance of an Olympic more than the half-mile of a sprint.

Rough time estimate: somewhere in the 35-37-min. ballpark.

Goal:  Push—aka don’t be complacent—on the bike.

Based on the SoBe results and recent happenings, I have the most room for improvement on the bike.  With another two months of training under my (race) belt, which includes an expedition to New Jersey and group rides in Central Park, I hope to feel more confident come race day.

Result:  Meh.

So remember that tropical storm?  Its residual effects—think heavy winds and a partially flooded course—made the bike tough.  The course itself wasn’t too technical or challenging, but the wind and water combination made it touch-and-go.

mighty-montauk-triathlon-bike-course

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Cruising into transition 2.  Clearly, I cannot wait to get out of the saddle!

(My “favorite” part of the course was the turnaround point that had one foot of standing water.  Good times.) Even our coaches commented on the unfavorable conditions.  On the bright side, only two women passed me, both of whom had tri bikes.

Rough time estimate:  The last time I checked my bike computer, it read 1:01, so one-hour plus.

Goal:  Develop a nutrition strategy.

Even though this will be the longest tri I’ve done to-date, I don’t plan to do anything different in terms of nutrition.  After all, nothing new on race day, right?  I’ve fine-tuned my pre-race eating plan and hydration strategy, and I hope this combo can adequately fuel me for a 10-K run.  Both my coach and a few knowledgeable triathletes advised skipping the gel on the bike/during the run.  I won’t #trigeek out and go into the nitty-gritty science, but basically it will take energy to digest those calories, and during a short-course event, I want that energy to be spent on swimming, biking, and running.

Result:  Success!

I followed my tried-and-true plan—GU Espresso Love 15 minutes before the swim start and one bottle of PowerBar Perform on the bike per hour—and didn’t feel my energy levels plummet on the run.  In fact, I completed the 10-K without taking any of the on-course water, Gatorade, etc.

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“Hydrating” off the bike at the post-race party.

Goal:  Execute the pace plan—aka be disciplined—on the run.

So South Beach was a classic example of making a game plan and then totally throwing it out the window.  Luckily, that run spanned four miles, so I hung on and finished somewhat strong, but ignoring the pace plan won’t be OK during an Olympic-distance event.  My coach gave me a target pace I should hit and hold for the run, and the toughest part will be being disciplined coming off the bike.  I’ve also talked to my coach and teammates about the course itself, so I know what to expect at each mile.  Miles four and five head downhill and then up hill through cul-de-sacs, which means I need to capitalize on the declines to make up for time lost on the inclines.

Result:  Semi-success!

Aside from my first quarter-mile off the bike that was too fast, I executed the plan pretty well.  I settled into cruise control for miles one, two, and three, and there was surprisingly little discomfort.  It was tempting to push the pace, but I alternated between telling myself “discipline” and “shorter, shorter, quicker, quicker.”  There was some discomfort that ebbed and flowed during miles four and five, and luckily, one of my male teammates caught up to me (his swim wave was five minutes after mine) and pulled me up the hill—like he literally reached back and grabbed my hand in an attempt to pull me up!  I saw only four or five teammates on the run, but it was still great to cheer on each other.  As I neared the top of the hill, one of my female teammates who was making her way down told me that’s where the mile-five maker was located, and the last one-plus mile was a downhill stretch to the finish line.  Thanks to her tip, I settled into my tempo pace for the final mile.

mighty-montauk-triathlon-run-finish

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Rough time estimate:  50:XX.  I didn’t stop my Garmin exactly when I crossed the finish line, and it also measured the course as 6.4 miles.

Official finishing time:  2:33:00.5—first in my age group (18-24) and 12th in women overall!

mighty-montauk-triathlon-division-champion-t-shirt

No medal or actual podium this time, but this t-shirt is much more practical.

Given the circumstances, I’m happy with how this race played out.

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(Some of) the best teammates a girl could ask for.

Overall, I definitely could’ve pushed more during each leg, and I still have a lot of work to do in terms of the bike.  Honestly, I finished each discipline feeling way too comfortable, but since this was my first Olympic-distance race, I wanted to leave enough gas in the tank.  I’ve also decided I prefer this distance to the sprint; at the halfway point for the swim, bike, and especially the run, I was glad there was more ground to cover.

Let the training and countdown for Stamford (19 days!) continue!

Write It Down, Do It Up – Week of June 9

Greetings, friends!  Despite heavy rain and flooding from Tropical Storm Andrea, the Mighty Montauk Triathlon went on as planned this Saturday.  The conditions were less than ideal, but I had a pretty good race.

mighty-montauk-triathlon-division-champion

I can’t get over this mug—ha!  The full recap will be posted tomorrow, but for now, I will say that so far, I enjoy the Olympic distance more than sprint events because I like pain.

Anyway, with my first Olympic under my (race) belt, it’s time to look ahead to the next one:   Stamford KIC It Triathlon on June 30, which is three short weeks away.  Let the training continue!  Here’s this week’s edition of 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. strength train

Tuesday – a.m. bike with FTE

Wednesday – a.m. brick workout with FTE—indoor cycle and run off the bike

Thursday – off

Friday – a.m. swim with FTE; a.m. run; a.m. strength train

Saturday – a.m. swim with FTE

Sunday – a.m. bike

What’s your favorite distance or event to race?

Foodie Friday – Chelsea Market

Happy Friday, everyone!  I’m currently en route to Montauk for Saturday’s triathlon, but I want to share some escapades from my mommy’s visit last week.

Wednesday

My mom met me after my shift ended at work, and we wandered around Union Square and went to The Strand until it was time for dinner.  This was a no-brainer:  Rosa Mexicano, here we come!

foodie-friday-rosa-mexicano

We polished off some guac, chips, and one pitcher of red sangria, plus our delicious chicken enchilada entrees. (She totally copied me.) Everything tasted so delicious, but not going to lie, my stomach was not happy the next few days.  You win some, you lose some.

Thursday

Since I had a double-off day (no work and no workout), my mom signed us up for a Foods of New York walking tour of Chelsea Market.

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Fourteen people comprised our three-hour long tour, and our guide Darryl was hilarious.  He’s an actor, so he’d randomly start singing and dancing.  Anyway, our first stop of the day was Eleni’s, a bakery that fuses sweet treats with graphic art.

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The Chelsea Market shop was huge and had a ton of delicious looking cookies.

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And cupcakes.

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Nothing like a mini-red velvet cupcake at 10 a.m.  And I know Tim O’Donnell and Mirinda Carfrae would approve!

Next, we took a quick peek inside Chelsea Wine Vault, and I loved seeing a few CNY bottles.

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Woohoo for hometown pride!  No tastings unfortunately, but the store does offer classes, and my mom and I decided we’ll do one next time—with my dad, too, of course.

A quick chocolate milk break at Ronnybrook Milk Bar followed, and then we looked around Spices and Tease and Nutbox.

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You’re not a healthy living blogging unless you photograph various nutbutters, right?

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We visited Lucy’s Whey for cheddar cheese and a sinful grilled cheese panini.

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I’m not a huge cheese person (so weird, I know), but I easily polished off this comfort food favorite.

During our break, we had time to browse a bit, and I found this chipotle extra virgin olive oil at The Filling Station.

foodie-friday-chelsea-market-chipotle-extra-virgin-olive-oil

Yes, chipotle EVOO.  How good does that sound?

Farther into this store area, there was a book exchange.

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Too funny!

Anyway, even though I started to feel full, I powered a quiche-like sampling at Buon Italia, a sausage roll, and some chocolate at Jacques Torres.

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foodie-friday-chelsea-market-sausage-roll

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Our final stop in Chelsea Market was Sarabeth’s where we tasted a scone with jam and marmalade.

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The tour then took us outside to the High Line, and we walked further into the Meatpacking District to Marcelleria for some pasta.

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And later that night, my mom and I saw The Book of Mormon on Broadway.

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Two words:  hilariously obscene!

What’s your favorite way to explore a city?  Have you been on a walking tour?

Meeting Pro Triathletes Tim ‘T.O.’ O’Donnell and Mirinda ‘Rinny’ Carfrae

So … guess who I got to meet Tuesday morning?  Professional triathletes and power couple Tim “T.O.” O’Donnell and Mirinda “Rinny” Carfrae!

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Check out these accolades:  A nine-time Ironman 70.3 Champion, T.O. most recently won and tied the course record (8:01:31) at Ironman Brazil; Rinny has 15 Ironman 70.3 wins and finished first at the 2010 Ironman World Championships in Kona (aka the Super Bowl of triathlon).

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Thanks to Castelli and Colavita, the two came to Chelsea Piers for a brunch and Q-and-A session that our head coach moderated.

tim-odonnell-mirinda-carfrae-chelsea-piers

Here are a few things I found interesting:

1.  Before the official chat, a few teammates and I talked to Rinny about last weekend’s Rev3 Quassy, a half-Ironman in which she finished 5th in the competitive pro women field.  It was a tough day for racing—temperatures notched 90 degrees Fahrenheit—and even without the heat, the pros say this Connecticut course is the toughest 70.3 the United States offers.  Based on the pros’ finishing times, the heat didn’t seem to be a factor.  What’s their secret?  Rinny said she regularly retreats to the sauna post-workout and spends 10-15 minutes acclimating to the heat and humidity, so that her body’s used to it on race day.  As you may remember, I experimented with this strategy for the Nautica South Beach Triathlon, and looking forward, it would probably be a good idea to log some quality time in the sauna before NYC Aquaphor in July.

2.  Rinny doesn’t stretch, foam roll, or strength train.  Ever.  But she does get two massages each week.

3.  T.O. and Rinny listen to music during all of their workouts.  Both enjoy the Foo Fighters, and Rinny said she listens to David Guetta a lot.

4.  T.O. was recently diagnosed with a gluten sensitivity, so he eats gluten free now.

5.  What’s your go-to pre-race breakfast?  T.O. and Rinny eat cupcakes.  T.O. also has a cup of coffee, but Rinny doesn’t ingest caffeine of any kind (except caffeinated gels).

6.  T.O. and Rinny come from athletic backgrounds—he swam, and she played basketball—and when asked about their favorite workouts (swimming, biking, or running), both T.O. and Rinny would pick running.  T.O. likes long runs (at a “steady” 5:40 pace!), and Rinny enjoys intervals on the treadmill.

7.  The couple made several references to drinking red wine.  Winos of the world unite!

After the talk, I snagged some photos and autographs.  #Trigeek.

rinny-and-me

I talked to T.O. about the transition from sprint- to Olympic-distance events and asked if he had any tips for Saturday’s race.  He said to trust my training (easier said than done!) and focus on the bike-run.

tim-odonnell-mirinda-carfrae-autographs

Speaking of, I need to start packing.  Montauk, here I come!

Would you ever eat a cupcake before a race?  What’s your favorite type of workout?