Monthly Archives: September 2013

Write It Down, Do It Up – Week of September 29

Hey, friends—happy Sunday?  How’s your weekend been so far?  Yesterday, I had a great 10-mile run before work; it went much better than the one I did last week.  Who knew what a difference running with “friends” makes!


Along with my trusty SPIbelt and iPod shuffle, I also carried this FuelBelt handheld water bottle and slammed this Honey Stinger gel at the halfway point.  It tasted like pure honey, so I’m a fan!  And after this outing, I feel much better about my ability to string together 13 solid miles for my half-marathon. (Is it really two weeks away?  Yikes!)

Aside from this run, I had a good week of workouts as well.  Since being “called up” and training with the racing team, I’ve had my butt handed to me on more than one occasion.  I actually wrote a post about this transition that will go live later this week, but for now, I’ll say my training has reached a new level of intensity—which is awesome.  Here’s a quick look at what I did last week:

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

Even though we’re starting to back off a bit, we aren’t quite shutting down the intensity yet:  3,000-yard swim followed by a five-mile run.

Tuesday – a.m. brick with FTE—outdoor ride and run

Since most Full Throttlers are done racing tris for the season, we’re shortening our bricks:  12 miles in the saddle followed by a two-mile run.

Wednesday – a.m. run with FTE

A little bit more than eight miles in Central Park and along the West Side Highway.  This was a really, really good run.  Instead of doing our normal loop through the park on concrete, we stuck to the Bridle Path and broke off to the Reservoir too.  I felt like I was in The Hunger Games!


Thursday – a.m. swim and run with FTE

This was a roller coaster of a training day:  a solid swim workout in the long-course pool, and then I made a rookie mistake during speedwork (aka went out too fast), which resulted in a huge crash and burn.  Train and learn, right?

Friday – a.m. bike with FTE

This was another toughie:  three loops in Central Park during which I “broed out” and rode with the boys—and nearly got dropped, but somehow managed to hang on.  Progress?

Saturday – a.m. long run

Great 10 miler, and I’m already looking forward to next week’s outing!

Sunday – off

And here’s this week’s edition of Write It Down, Do It Up, which looks fairly similar:

(If you’re new to WIDDIU, here’s how it works:  Every Sunday, 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. swim and run with FTE

Tuesday – a.m. brick with FTE—outdoor ride and run

Wednesday – a.m. run with FTE

Thursday – a.m. swim and run with FTE

Friday – a.m. bike with FTE

Saturday – a.m. long run

Sunday – off

How did your workouts go this week?

My Next ‘Race’

So as you know, my triathlon racing season concluded last Saturday with a sprint in Darien, CT.  After a humbling yet motivating experience at Age Group Nationals, the ITPMAN served as an ideal last race; it reminded me why I love swimming, biking, and running—and training, racing, and hanging out with my teammates.


Even though there won’t be any more swim-bike-run races until 2014 (boo!), I still plan to SBR with Full Throttle Endurance through mid-October.  A few weeks ago, I got “called up” to train with the five-day-a-week group. (I trained with the three-day-a-week group this season.)  Obviously, I don’t want to turn down this opportunity—oh, no, that’s OK; I’ll just see you guys in January!—and plus, this gives me a chance to work out with new teammates and develop a solid relationship with the head coach.

Anyway, so why am I sharing this information?  Well, I’ve been entertaining the idea of doing a half-marathon for a few weeks, and most of my five-day-a-week teammates are training for marathons (mainly New York City in November) or doing a few half-marathons.  And since I embarked on Operation: Go Long—and since I’m prone to succumbing to peer pressure—I officially registered for the 3rd Annual Fall Foliage Half-Marathon when I got home from Darien.


The race takes place in four weeks, so there’s plenty of time to log some longer runs.  On Saturday, I completed a 10 miler sans music, which was a huge confidence booster, even though it didn’t go as well as I would’ve liked.


Coach Pat to the rescue!  This epitomizes “do as I say, not as I do”:  At the running store, I always tell half- and full-marathoners to carry water or make sure there will be water available on their route, practice their nutrition strategy, etc.  But during my run, I had zero water and zero nutrition.  Yes, I should—and do—know better.

Anyway, I’m locked into doing this 13.1, but I haven’t decided whether I want to truly race it.  Honestly, staying positive, running strong, and crossing the finish line will be a huge victory after last summer’s half from hell.  I’ve definitely matured and developed as a runner this year, but spending so much time in my head still makes me nervous.  And I know that sounds ridiculous because Olympic triathlons last longer than half-marathons, but switching sports breaks up the race.  Basically, I’m not used to spending so much interrupted time in my head.

How do you stay positive during longer workouts and when the going gets tough?

Foodie Friday: Grimaldi’s Pizzeria

TGIF, friends!  And Happy National Run at Work Day!



I’m heading out shortly to co-lead a run for a company, but first, I want to share my latest Foodie Friday adventure.  My friend and fellow foodie Gabby and I finally crossed off one item on our New York City Bucket List this week: getting pizza at Grimaldi’s!


Its flagship restaurant is situated in DUMBO (district under the Manhattan Bridge overpass, aka Brooklyn), but there’s also a location within Chelsea’s Limelight Marketplace.  This restaurant was on the smaller side (Gabby said it used to be a club back in the day), and it was packed when we arrived around 7:30 p.m.  We immediately ordered a regular pizza (Grimaldi’s doesn’t do slices) with peppers and sausage …


… and devoured every last bite.


Let’s say I was carbo-loading for my 3,000-yard swim and four-mile run the next morning, ha!


Anyway, besides the obvious—it’s pizza, therefore it’s delicious—we really enjoyed the thin crust.  The crust itself tasted crispy, and the sauce worked to soften it a bit in the actual pie.  It gets two thumbs up from me!

What’s your favorite pizza topping?

8th Annual ITPMAN Triathlon Recap

Cue the waterworks—Saturday morning, I completed my last swim-bike-run race of the season, the 8th Annual ITPMAN Triathlon.


Held in Darien, CT, this event ended up being my first and final sprint of the year (even though the distances were a bit on the long side).  Even though I had fun and strung together a solid race, this outing further confirmed I prefer the Olympic distance.

On Friday afternoon, two teammates and I made the drive to from New York City to Darien and picked up our swim caps and bib numbers at Weeds Beach.


Yep, definitely not in the concrete jungle anymore.

After getting these materials, it started to rain, so we retreated to the car and waited it out; we wanted to stash our bikes in transition, which would give us one less thing to worry about on race morning.  As you can see, the rain eventually stopped.


How can you not be pumped after seeing a double rainbow?

Anyway, another teammate lives about 20 minutes from the race site, so we stayed with her, which worked perfectly because we got to “sleep in” the following morning.  And in terms of the race itself, it was definitely on the smaller side (about 250 participants), but it provided a great atmosphere for a final race of the season.

Swim – 0.5 mi. – 17:40

OK, so Garmin readings aren’t everything, but the swim course was probably closer to 0.65-0.75 miles.


Even though the water was surprisingly warm and calm, it still felt like a long swim (for the official distance), and several of my teammates who race with Garmins measured the course between the previously mentioned values.  Anyway, since it was a small race, there were only three waves:  red (men), green (more men), and yellow (women).  My wave was the last one, and I situated myself toward the front of the pack, put my head down, and got to work.  As usual, it took me a bit to get into a groove, but once I hit the first buoy, I started passing men in green caps.

Transition 1 – 1:27

Upon exiting the water and unzipping my wetsuit, I immediately heard my coach:  “You are the sixth girl out of the water!  Get to transition and go!”  I picked up the pace (and picked off some guys!), and a few spectators started yelling, “hey, it’s a girl!  You go, girl!”  In transition, I started talking to one of my teammates. (What?  We were next to each other, and I wasn’t going to ignore him.  Uh, rude.) And then my coach starting yelling again.  “Carrie, so-and-so is one minute behind you—get out of here!”  Done and done.

Bike – 15 miles – 49:50

Before the race, there were rumors of a flat bike course, but that wasn’t quite the case.


Yes, it wasn’t as hilly as Central Park, but it also wasn’t Milwaukee flat; “false flat” would be an accurate description.  Anyway, as usual, the bike was my weakest of the three disciplines (in terms of average speed and overall ranking), but on the bright side, I stayed in the drops for the majority of the ride.

In addition to “false flat,” there’s another phrase that sums up my experience:  Wall of Dudes (coined by Victoria).  Since I caught up to and passed a lot of guys on the swim, I “broed out” on the bike and road with them.  However, there were several points during the race that guys were riding three or four abreast across the road, resulting in a Wall of Dudes.  This was especially frustrating when we reached hills because several guys didn’t downshift, couldn’t turn over their legs, and didn’t leave the passing lane clear.  Anyway, I digress …

Transition 2 – 0:45

T2 was a little on the slow side because I couldn’t feel my feet.  Gotta love late-season tris!

Run – 5 miles – 39:43 (7:57)*

Coming off the bike, my legs felt relatively good, minus being a little numb.


At the 0.25-mile mark, my coach caught me on the course and briefly ran with me.

Coach:  “Do you want me to lie to you or tell you the truth?”

Me:  “Tell me the truth.”

Coach:  “You are the tenth female overall now.  There’s a pack of girls out in front that you can run down.  It will hurt a lot, but you can get in the top five.  And getting in the top five would be huge.  But you need to embrace the pain.”

Me:  “All right.  Let’s do this.”

Then and there, I decided to run based on feel and refused to look at my splits.  This strategy worked well in Milwaukee when my watch died, and plus, I knew I needed to push the pace, but I didn’t want to psych myself out with numbers.  Aside from a killer hill after mile two, I felt good—working, but not maxing out—and my mind was right.  I tried not to think too much about what my coach said and focused on running my own race.  As the miles passed, I picked off woman after woman, and before I knew it, I had reached mile four.  And like clockwork, my coach was there waiting.  “You have less than a mile left—you need to turn over your legs and go faster!”  Yessir!  The final stretch hurt, but I held on and finished strong.

*According to my Garmin data, the course measured 5.2 miles, resulting in an average pace of 7:38.

Official finishing time – 1:49:26 – 1st in age group (20-24) and 6th female overall

And just like that, I completed my final race of the season.  Way to go, FTE!



Way to go, FTE!  About 15 Full Throttlers raced, and two of my teammates even won first and third overall for women—woohoo!

So what’s next?  Stay tuned.

Photo Dump

TGIF, friends!  It’s been a whirlwind week over here filled with working and working out—as per usual.  Yesterday morning, a few teammates and I made the 50-minute drive to Chelsea Piers Connecticut to swim in the long-course, 50-yard pool. (Ours has been closed for the past two weeks for cleaning and repairing, but on the bright side, it will reopen this weekend.) Holy cow—it was so, so cool!  Even though I was a bit worried about my swimming endurance (between logging zero pool time in the past 14 days and hitting a long-course one for the first time), the workout went well.  Swimming for 50 yards instead of 25 allowed me to get into a rhythm much easier, pick up speed, and make adjustments to my stroke because I didn’t arrive at the wall immediately.  Plus, it made the sets go by faster!

Anyway, you’ve probably seen these photo dump posts circulating the web, and since I have some random pictures to share, the timing seems perfect.

Chocolate cherry protein smoothie


After getting home from my weekend bike rides (woohoo for Operation: Go Long), I always whip up a protein smoothie so I don’t eat everything in my apartment.  Lately, I’ve been experimenting with frozen cherries and chocolate protein powder.  Mmmm!

Throwback Thursday college ID


A few Thursdays ago, I shared this throwback of my old college ID on Instagram; it’s the most “liked” photo by a landslide.  Believe it or not, this headshot is actually my high school senior portrait.

Saucony for the win


Yep, professional triathlete Linsey Corbin and I run in the exact same shoe—the Saucony (neon) Ride 6.


And those would be Kinvaras, aka my racing shoe.  No big deal.

Battle of Brooklyn


So my running store hosts its annual race—the Battle of Brooklyn 10 miler—every August, and relay teams of three can also participate.  Between our four locations, there’s a friendly inter-store relay competition, and my store won!  This homemade trophy is so JRab.



Why I love my job:  I went to at a local community college yesterday for their kick-off carnival and spent a few hours talking to students about running (and fitness and maintaining healthy habits in college).  A lot of them seemed very receptive, so hopefully a few will come to our social runs.

Biking tan lines


Whoops, I totally forgot sunscreen. #Triathleteproblems

Have a great weekend, friends!

Write It Down, Do It Up – Week of September 8

Happy Monday, everyone!  How was your weekend?  Saturday proved to be a super busy day at work (guess all those marathoners needed new sneakers, ha!), and yesterday, in the spirit of Operation: Go Long, I rode 62 miles with a teammate.


Oh, you expected a picture of my bike computer?  This iced hazelnut coffee and peanut butter and honey bagel fueled my ride.  We planed to do 70, but unfortunately, there was a street fair set up along one of our usual stretches, which threw a wrench in our plans.  Oh well; there will definitely be another ride.

And in related news, guess what … it’s race week!  I can’t believe my final triathlon of the season takes place this Saturday.  Since a lot of Full Throttlers will be racing Darien, we’ll back off the intensity as the week draws to a close.  And unfortunately, our pool is still being cleaned/repaired.  I hope to make it to Chelsea Piers Connecticut on Thursday for a light swim—in the long-course (50-yard) pool.  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, 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. bike with Full Throttle Endurance (FTE)

Tuesday – a.m. run with FTE

Wednesday – a.m. bike with FTE

Thursday – a.m. light swim with FTE

Friday – a.m. light bike with FTE

Saturday – IPTMAN Triathlon (0.5-mi. swim, 15-mi. bike, 5-mi. run)

Sunday – off or light run

How did your workouts go this week?

Operation: Go Long

TGIF, friends!  What’s on tap for this weekend?  I’m working tomorrow, and then on Sunday, I’m looking to notch a new personal distance record on the bike:  a teammate and I have 70 miles on the docket.


Lake Placid throwback.  Riding long means eating candy!  Er, fuel.

I’ve talked about it a little on the blog, but as the end of my triathlon season draws closer (nooooo!), I’ve started to increase my mileage on the bike and run.  Riding 60 miles and logging 7-9-mile runs have become normal, and not going to lie, I’m enjoying it much more than I thought.

So what’s up with going long?

I want to develop my slow-twitch muscle fibers.  I’m not a doctor, personal trainer, or running coach, but I do know our bodies contain two types of muscle fibers:  fast-twitch white and slow-twitch red. (Who said I wasn’t paying attention in 12th grade AP Biology?) As I’ve briefly mentioned, the majority this season’s training has focused on fast-twitch fibers, which makes sense given my short-course race schedule.  However, successful endurance athletes need both types, and I’ll be the first to admit my training lacked longer workouts.  Hence, Operation: Go Long. (For the off-season, only—and for now, anyway, ha!)

I want to gain more experience, which goes hand-in-hand with logging miles.  Even though I came into triathlon with a good engine and athletic background, I’m still inexperienced from a sport-specific standpoint.  After all, this is my first year of true, structured training.  Plus, a lot of my teammates have been swimming, biking, and running longer than I’ve been—er, you know—living.  How’s that for humbling?  So yes, being a former athlete helped me pick up the sport, but I need to spend more time in the saddle and on the pavement; it’s all about muscle memory, which means more pedal strokes and more “shorter, shorter, quicker, quicker” strides.

I want to maintain base mileage, but reduce intensity.  During the off-season, which officially starts mid-October, workouts will not be coached—and that’s OK.  And that also means tough sessions probably won’t happen on a regular basis.  But if I don’t feel like I’m going to pass out or throw up as the workout comes to a close, then that means I should keep going, right?  Hello, Operation: Go Long.  And at this point in my triathlon career, going long means adding distance (duh) and dialing back speed.  A lot of athletes can go fast while going far, but that’s not me.  Maybe one day, right?

I want to … have fun?  I know.  I know.  Who would’ve thought I’d enjoy riding 60 miles?  I hoped this point would come in my biking/triathloning career, but I didn’t expect it to arrive so soon.  And after a disastrous half-marathon last summer, I swore off the distance for a while, but I’ve really liked logging longer runs.  That half-marathon is starting to sound better and better.

Do you prefer short- or long-course races?  Would you rather go fast or far?

Write It Down, Do It Up – Week of September 1

Hello … September?  Wow.  This means summer’s really over, huh?  As usual, I planned to post this entry yesterday, but I collapsed on the couch after a 60-mile bike ride and spent the rest of the day doing laundry and watching The Office on Netflix Instant.



Obviously starting with season one.

Anyway, I’ve fallen off the WIDDIU bandwagon the past few weeks, so it’s time to bring ‘em back.  Last week, I worked through a training funk, but I kicked it:  On Friday morning after our team ride in the park, I officially got “called up” to train with the crazy intense racing team!  Being around this group will definitely keep me motivated—less than two weeks until Darien!  Without further adieu, here’s my schedule for this week.  PS – The pool is currently being cleaned, so no swimming.  Let’s Write It Down, Do It Up!

(If you’re new to WIDDIU, here’s how it works:  Every Sunday, 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 – off

Tuesday – a.m. run with Full Throttle Endurance (FTE); a.m. strength train

Wednesday – a.m. bike with FTE

Thursday – a.m. run with FTE; a.m. strength train

Friday – a.m. brick with FTE—bike and run outside

Saturday – a.m. “long” run (to prepare for the tentative half-marathon)

Sunday – a.m. long bike

Do you have any fun, fit plans for Labor Day?