Monthly Archives: November 2013

Write It Down, Do It Up – Week of November 24

Is it just me or was that the longest week ever?  Even with a foodie adventure and informal team social, the past seven days totally dragged by.  As per usual, I wanted this post to go live on Sunday, but I was a little busy.

11:24-catching-fire-ticket

A few coworkers and I saw Catching Fire, and it was so good.  So good.  Definitely better than the first one in my opinion.  See it ASAP.

Anyway, after last week’s series of subpar workouts, my motivation returned, and I logged some great sessions:

Monday – a.m. run; p.m. bike trainer

The 60-minute run was my focus, so I sprinkled in some intervals.  I still haven’t been wearing my watch, which means these sections have been based on perceived effort.  After work, I hopped on the trainer and spun out my legs for 30 minutes.

Tuesday – a.m. swim; p.m. bike trainer

Oh, look who made it to the pool.  As I wrote, this swim was on the shorter side (about 40 minutes).  Since this workout wasn’t taxing, I worked the bike in the afternoon:  50 minutes, my longest ride this offseason.

Wednesday – a.m. run and strength train; p.m. bike trainer

I used the 30-minute run to warm up and focused on the strength training.  After work, I did some spinning for 40 minutes before meeting Gabby at Broadway Bites.

Thursday – a.m. run and strength train

I hit a workout wall and had a difficult time getting this one done:  short tempo run on the ‘mill and then full-body lift.  Swimming didn’t happen, but that actually worked in my favor; at our team social, one of my teammates offered to teach me how to flip turn the next morning.  Count this wannabe swimmer in!

Friday – a.m. “swim,” which was technically a flip-turn clinic

This may be the first edition of Flip-Turn Friday; I’m drafting a post about my wannabe swimmer tendencies.  A few months ago, one of my coaches held an informal how-to and told us there are four flip-turn progressions.  In the group, I made it through phase two (or flipping in the water without a noodle), so I had a general idea of how to flip.  Anyway, my teammate was a great teacher, and even though I feel gassed after 100 yards (as the real swimmers know, flip turning affects breathing), I feel so much more legit!

Saturday – off

The store hosts free yoga classes on Saturday mornings, and I planned to practice—but we had a full house!

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If I can’t do yoga because we reached our R.S.V.P. cap, then I can live with that.  It also means I’m doing my job, ha.

Sunday – a.m. easy run and strength train

I lead a chilly and windy group run, and we covered three miles.

Since I’m heading home for Thanksgiving, I’m not sure how intense my workouts will be.  Unfortunately, I won’t have my bike with me, and I just called my local pool’s hotline, and it sounds like it will be closed until further notice—womp, womp.  So I’ll just run all the miles.  Here’s this week’s Write It Down, Do It Up:

Monday – a.m. run and strength train

Tuesday – a.m. CompuTrainer class

Wednesday – a.m. swim

Thursday4th Annual F-M Turkey Trot

Friday – run

Saturday – off

Sunday – run

Who else will be trotting on Turkey Day?

Foodie Friday – Broadway Bites

TGIF, friends!  Did this week drag by for you too?  For whatever reason, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday seemed never-ending, so it was especially nice to grab dinner with Gabby at Broadway Bites this week.

foodie-friday-broadway-bites-urbanspace-nyc

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Similar to Madison Square Eats, Broadway Bites showcases 25 New York City food vendors.  Some of the market’s offerings changed when it moved from the Flatiron area to midtown Manhattan, and the biggest difference was the atmosphere.  Whereas the Madison Square Eats edition was packed into the park, Broadway Bites was spread out, spanning two city blocks.  There’s more room to walk around, so it doesn’t feel as congested, but it’s just as crowded.

Anyway, we kicked off the evening with spiked apple cider from Sigmund’s Pretzels and then began our main mission: eat as much food as possible before the market closed at 9 p.m.  Challenge accepted!  Seoul Lee Korean Barbecue was our next stop.

broadway-bites-seoul-lee-korean-barbecue-sesame-chicken-taco

This sesame chicken taco was savory and packed a delayed kick of spice–delicious!

Since we had a deadline looming, Gabby and I briefly split up to cover our bases: truffle fries and gourmet grilled cheese followed, plus spicy chickpea and sweet potato stew from Two Tablespoons.  It was a windy and cold night, so the cider, stew, and Mexican drinking chocolate proved to be excellent choices.  Oh, and dessert happened too.

broadway-bites-stuffed-artisan-cannolis

I joked that my Italian grandma probably wouldn’t like me buying cannolis from an inauthentic-sounding vendor (“Stuffed Artisan Cannolis”), but my cookie dough one still tasted pretty good.

Wait, Gabby—we took pictures of our food, but didn’t get one together?  Unacceptable!

Rumor has it the market will move north to Columbus Circle area next month.

Enjoy the weekend, friends!

How often do you eat out?

Not Swimming and Celebrating National Hug a Runner Day

Is it Friday yet?  It’s been a long week so far over here.  I guess that’s to be expected after a mini-vacation, right?

sanibel-island-shore-2013

Oh, Sanibel—take me back.

Since I have the day off from work, my morning was slow going, but I did eventually motivate myself to hit the weights and do some strength training.  Although today’s workout should’ve included swimming too.  Which brings me to part one of this post.

During this off-season, I’ve gone through several phases.  First, I ran all the miles and avoided the saddle.  Then I sprinkled in swimming and made strength training a priority—and continued to ignore my bike.  However, since putting on my trainer tire, I’ve actually been enjoying myself.  And by “enjoy,” I mean warming up and making it hurt for as long as I can while watching this year’s Ironman World Championship over and over and over again.

Can I be Rinny when I grow up?

But now that I’ve been hitting the pavement and logging time on the trainer, I’ve been neglecting the pool.  This week especially, the excuses have piled up:  the mornings are cold and dark; it takes about 20 minutes to walk there; I’d rather run or hop on the trainer.

Wait, did I just say that?  Who am I?

And when I do get in the water, the swims have been short and relatively unstructured; most last 40-50 minutes and include tech work and some 100s and 200s to keep things interesting.  This is probably why people sign up for master’s swim classes, right?

Anyway, I should be swimming more, but there will be plenty of time for that when I’m home for Thanksgiving next week.  Especially since I won’t have access to my bike.  And I’ll be able to drive to the pool, so that’s a plus—ha!

On the non-triathlon front, work is going well.  I don’t talk about it a lot here—there’s only so much running stuff you can handle, right?—but we’ve been busy post-New York City Marathon.  We’re currently gearing up for our annual January/New Year’s campaign (woohoo for event planning!), and yesterday, we celebrated National Hug a Runner Day in the best way possible—by bringing out the bunny suit!

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We have four stores in the city, so the rabbit started at Union Square before making the rounds to Brooklyn, Upper East, and Upper West.  It was funny to watch runners’ reactions, and one person even tipped the rabbit!

Now it’s time for me to be a real person and get ready for tonight’s team social.  Fingers crossed I can stay awake!

Write It Down, Do It Up – Week of November 17

Whew, this weekend flew by.

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In case you couldn’t tell from my Instagram feed, I spent the weekend in Sanibel, FL with my family.  It was a quick getaway—I left Thursday morning and returned this afternoon—but definitely worth it.  Sanibel always rules, and the trip came at the perfect time:  leaving chilly, 30-degree New York City for sunny, 75-degree southwest Florida?  Sign me up!

11:17-sanibel-island-beach

As it goes on vacation, I had the best intentions to complete several workouts.  Not only did I bring my running gear, but I also packed my swimsuit, goggles, and bright orange cap for some open-water ocean swimming.  The ‘rents vetoed that plan, unfortunately. (They said something about sharks?)

On the bright side after weeks of procrastination, my trainer tire finally found its way onto my bike.

Monday – a.m. run

Tuesday – a.m. swim; p.m. 30-minute bike trainer ride

Wednesday – a.m. strength training; p.m. 30-minute bike trainer ride

Thursday – a.m. 40-minute bike trainer ride

Friday – a.m. beach run

Saturday – off/a.m. beach walk

Sunday – off

Clearly, the bike got some love this week, but I slipped on the swim and run.  Now that all three sports have returned to the fitness arsenal, I’ve decided to start scheduling my workouts like I did during the season.  Sure, I may switch one day with another, but overall, I do need to be smart and strategic in terms of allocating my training time.  With that being said, here’s this week’s Write It Down, Do It Up:

Monday – a.m. run and strength train; p.m. bike trainer

Tuesday – a.m. swim; p.m. bike trainer

Wednesday – a.m. run and strength train; p.m. bike trainer

Thursday – a.m. swim; p.m. run and strength train

Friday – a.m. bike trainer

Saturday – a.m. yoga

Sunday – off

When you go on vacation, do your workouts tend to slip?  How do you hold yourself accountable?

Write It Down, Do It Up – Week of November 10

Greetings—happy Sunday!  Not too much to report here:  I worked and went to a work party yesterday, and I hung out and watched a few movies today.  After spectating the marathon last Sunday, I needed a low-key weekend.

And I had a pretty low-key week on the workout front, too:

Monday – a.m. run (45 minutes) and strength train

Tuesday – a.m. run (50-ish minutes)

Wednesday – a.m. run (30 minutes)

Thursday – off

Friday – a.m. swim and strength train

Saturday – a.m. yoga

Sunday – unintentional rest day

Like last week, I stuck to my goal of running for frequency (not duration); the more I can get out, the better.  Not going to lie, though, this week proved to be tough on the motivation front.  My workouts before Thursday went OK, but each one fell under the “going through the motions” umbrella.  So when I woke up on Thursday and didn’t want to do anything, I went with it.

And in an effort to reenergize my SBR-ing, I finally made moves and signed up for two 2014 races:  Lifetime South Beach Triathlon and USAT Age Group National Championships.

2014-south-beach-usa-triathlon-age-group-nationals-registration

Let the road to 2014 begin!

I’m pumped to return to both races (SoBe will be the same as this year’s Nautica South Beach Tri—the sponsorship just changed) and see how much I can improve.  Aside from these two races, nothing is set in stone, but I’ll keep you in the loop.  On a related note, if anyone knows of a July short-course tri in the northeast, then please let me know.

Anyway, I think because my workouts have focused on running—with some swimming and strength training sprinkled in—boredom has become an issue:  same routes, same music, same structure (warm up, then assess and decide whether I should push or cruise).

Perhaps I needed to reach this point because for the first time in a while, I want to get back in the saddle.

Same game plan for this week’s Write It Down, Do It Up:

2-3 swim workouts

2-3 bike workouts <– and I will get that trainer tire on

3-4 run workouts

2-3 strength training workouts

1 yoga/Pilates session

How did your workouts go this week?

My First Marathon Sunday

This past Sunday, a record-breaking 50,000-plus runners started in Staten Island and made their way across the Verrazano Bridge, through Brooklyn and Queen’s Long Island City, over the Queensboro Bridge, along Manhattan’s 1st Avenue, through East Harlem and the Bronx before finishing the ING New York City Marathon in Central Park. (Whew, I’m tired just typing that!) Talk about inspirational!

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As you know, because of Hurricane Sandy, and this iconic event was ultimately canceled last year, and people took different courses of action:  Some would-be-marathoners ran to Staten Island to deliver supplies while others completed an unofficial marathon in Central Park.  Either way, Sunday’s race was the first of its kind since 2011.

Anyway, let’s talk about the fun stuff.  As the party warlord, I co-planned a cheer zone for work.  Since there were ten people from my store running, plus a bunch of my friends and teammates, this event needed to be successful.  Running 26.2 miles seems unfathomable to me right now, so I wanted this cheer zone to boost the runners’ spirits.  And I also wanted everyone spectating to have a fun time, too.

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First, we solidified a location.  The guys at East End Bar and Grill graciously let us camp out for the race and offered us a drink deal—which, let’s be real, is a necessary ingredient for a baller cheering section (at least according to my experience from college football and hockey games). Then, I asked runners what they’d like to see at the cheer zone and what would give them a boost at mile 17.5.  Turns out, it’s fairly simple stuff:  posters, cowbells, and, in the case of coworkers, someone dressed up in the bunny suit.  Done, done, and done!

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Unfortunately, I didn’t take a ton of pictures because the tracker app drained my phone’s battery, but you get the idea, right?  During the race, friends and teammates stopped by, waited for their runners to pass, and then moved to another mile marker, so there were people trickling in and out.

Personally, I loved cheering at one location.  There were about 15 runners I wanted to see, so it made more sense to stay in one spot and wait for everyone. (And a party warlord never abandons ship—ha!) Plus, it was nice to be on the spectating side for a change and not racing, especially because this stretch along 1st Avenue felt like a stadium; these three-ish miles are relatively flat, and this section also marks runners’ arrival to Manhattan, so the energy was electric.  Everyone running by looked like they were having a blast! (Granted, this would probably be the last time most people felt good during the race; as the course goes to the Bronx, it becomes hillier and the crowd support decreases.  Not to mention all bets are off at mile 20 and beyond.)

So, from a work standpoint, the cheer zone seemed like a success.  Looking ahead to next year, there are a few tweaks that will make it even better, but I’m happy with how it went.  And from a personal standpoint, I had so much fun.  I know this question will be asked:  No, I have no intention of doing this race—or a marathon for that matter—for a long, long time.  But after experiencing it as a triathlete/runner/NYCer, I would love to do it one day.

But then I remember it’s 26.2 miles.

Have you completed/would you run a marathon?

Write It Down, Do It Up – Week of November 3

Wow, has it really been two days since the ING NYC Marathon?

jackrabbit-nyc-marathon-cheer-zone3

Yeah, JackRabbit Cheer Zone!

Watching friends, coworkers, and teammates rock out, put their training to the test, and cover 26.2 miles was very inspirational.  I snapped a few pictures from the cheer zone that I’ll post later this week.  As you tell from my blog absence, I’ve been busy, and the creative juices haven’t been flowing.  Hopefully my marathon pictures will help this change!

On the workout front, here’s what I did last week:

Monday – a.m. run and strength train

Tuesday – a.m. swim

Wednesday – a.m. run with some FTE teammates

Thursday – a.m. swim; p.m. run and strength train

Friday – a.m. run

Saturday – Pilates

Sundaycheering and drinking off

Hmmm, no biking again.  Whoops.  There are several reasons/excuses for my lack of saddle time (it’s cold, it’s dark, it’s not as much fun riding by myself, etc.), but bottom line, I need to put on my trainer tire.

On the bright side, swimming and running have been going well.  I read an article from Triathlete magazine that recommended swimming three times per week during the off-season and increasing running frequency (i.e. going from three runs per week to four) before adding miles.  With this principle in mind, I’ve been logging shorter (30-45-minute) runs, but hitting the pavement more often.

I really need to get that trainer tire on, though.

And this week’s Write It Down, Do It Up plan looks similar to the one from last week:

2-3 swim workouts

2-3 bike workouts

3-4 run workouts

2-3 strength training workouts

1 yoga/Pilates session

How have your workouts changed since the arrival of the off-season/cold weather?