Monthly Archives: September 2014

(Almost) All of The Updates

Sometimes the words come easily, flowing from my fingertips to the keyboard with little thought. This is my favorite part about writing; when the thoughts, sentences, and ideas come together effortlessly.

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Obligatory sunset picture because I actually do things after work now. #realgirl

Sometimes the words need coaxing, wanting to come forward and make themselves known, but feeling inhibited. The intention exists, but the execution idles; it needs a spark, a prompt, or a reason to make the words come out.

Can you guess which scenario has been the case for the past month? Yikes, has it really been that long?

Since the end of triathlon season, I’ve embraced “real life,” and it’s completely taken over. There’s so much to share, but I’ve had a hard time articulating everything—and keeping track of it all too. So I’m going with a good ole fashioned list. Type-A personality for the win!

Biking and running have been going very, very well. I hope I don’t jinx myself with that statement. Up until a week ago, the only Full Throttle workouts I attended were the Central Park rides, but thanks to accidents, tickets, and general animosity among runners, pedestrians, and cyclists, I’ve decided to avoid the park until further notice. There’s no reason to put myself in those risky situations, especially since I don’t have any upcoming tris.

No Central Park hammer sessions means plenty of quality time with my people at Tailwind Endurance—and I’m totally psyched. My bike improved tremendously in 2014, and I’m excited to build on the progress.

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Finally got my roadie re-fit so legit cyclists don’t make fun of me anymore: raised and moved back the seat; dropped handlebars; cut head tub; installed longer steam. Thanks, Bikeriders NYC!

From now until November, I’ll do one-two CompuTrainer rides per week for “fun.” What? You mean doing VO2 intervals, generating all the watts, and telling your legs to shut up isn’t fun?

Come December, I’ll do another functional threshold power (FTP) test and structure workouts around those values. The Tailwind coaches think raising my FTP by 30-50 watts is doable, but it will take work, obviously. On the bright side, everyone seems to be in agreement that I’m just scratching the surface of my cycling potential.

My run finally seems to be clicking too. Coach Pat has done a great job of structuring my run training and striking a balance between the biking and running. (Still not swimming. Still not caring. #sorryimnotsorry) Honestly, I can’t believe how well my body has responded to the increased frequency and mileage (I’m up to 25 miles per week, which is a lot for me), and I’m also learning a lot about the sport in the process. Dynamic stretches, strides, driving from the elbows, oh my!

I guess this would be a good time to share my next “race.” After talking with Coach Pat, we decided I could run the Philadelphia Half-Marathon as a long—potentially tempo—training run. As a short-course triathlete, I don’t need to be training for and racing 13.1 miles, but I do need to be able to run long as an aerobic workout. And I’m also a runner now.

So why Philly? First, I haven’t been there in forever—we’re talking elementary school Girl Scout days. I remember thinking it was a cool city and would be a great place to live; in fact, it made an impression on me long before NYC. Second, some coworkers plan to do the half and full (if they ever pull the trigger and sign up—c’mon, guys!), so it would be fun to road trip and race together. Three, the timing is perfect. Right now, my long run is 10 miles, so barring a catastrophe, I should be able to run 13 miles by Nov. 23.

I’ve started volunteering with Back on My Feet (BoMF). At JackRabbit, I manage our relationships with clubs, teams, and charities, and when I first met the BoMF representatives last spring, they made a huge impression on me. I immediately wanted to be their BFF, and they spoke about BoMF so passionately; their energy was contagious, and I decided once my triathlon season ended, I wanted to get involved.

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#BoMFlove #allthehugs

A little bit about BoMF: It’s a national nonprofit organization that uses running to help those experiencing homelessness change the way they see themselves; ideally, this helps them make real change in their lives that results in employment and independent living.

The NYC chapter has four teams that run Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings, and I’ve committed to one run per week so far. Even though I’m still getting my feet wet, I absolutely love it. The folks I run with—fellow volunteers and residential members (those experiencing homelessness)—are awesome, and it’s inspiring to see and hear how you can make a positive, tangible impact on an individual level. I’m so grateful to be part of BoMF.

This is pretty long, so I’ll wrap it up here.  Maybe there will be another post sometime soon?

What’s new in your life?

Training Log – Week of Sept. 22 (Week 37)

Hello! Just popping in with an all-too-familiar workout recap. Believe it or not, I drafted a post (shocking, I know) so there may be some real world updates to share later this week.

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But let’s stick to talking about miles and watts for now, OK?

General training notes: Overall, this ended up being a solid, solid training week. Coach Pat’s running program continues to work, and I made my triumphant (read: painful) return to Tailwind Endurance. It’s time to lay the groundwork for 2015!

Monday – a.m. run

What is going on with the weather? Twenty-four hours ago, I ran through a wall of humidity. This morning, though, it was chilly. No complains, though. Four easy miles, done and done.

Tuesday – a.m. run and strength train

Six awesome and easy miles on the West Side Highway, plus some upper-body strength training and corework.

Wednesday – a.m. CompuTrainer class at Tailwind Endurance

It was good (and painful) to see my people at Tailwind after a multi-month hiatus. Even though it’s been fun riding in Central Park with my team, these morning outings aren’t safe anymore. There have been a few bad accidents, there have been way too many tickets issued to cyclists, and since I don’t have an upcoming race, I can’t justify the risks. So it’s back to the pain cave! Lots of threshold and VO2 max intervals and lots of pain.

Thursday – a.m. run

Fall running is the best—and it’s even better in the rain. Crazy you may say, but here’s the thing: precipitation means fewer runners, so I basically had the West Side Highway and Central Park to myself for 9.5 miles. Rain, neon tanks, and Maroon 5 tunes for the win!

Friday – a.m. CompuTrainer class at Tailwind Endurance

Note to self: do not attempt a threshold CompuTrainer workout the day after a long run. The first five or six intervals felt OK, but my legs eventually gave out and couldn’t generate the watts.

Saturday – off

Sunday – a.m. run

Summer doesn’t want to leave so soon. This steady, 40-minute run packed the humidity. Why do my tougher workouts always seem to take place on the warmer days?

The hunt for October is on—time to keep bringing it!

What’s your favorite part about autumn workouts?

Training Log – Week of Sept. 15 (Week 36)

Hi, hi—I’m Carrie, the girl who used to blog here on a regular basis.

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Now I work all the time and run all the (pain- and injury-free) miles and go to the suburbs to watch little kiddos do triathlons.

General training notes: Fall has arrived—and thank GAWD. Even though we had a mild summer, I’m more than ready for cooler temperatures (read: no humidity). I’m definitely a cold-weather athlete, so I’m excited to continue my training with Coach Pat and build some mileage momentum going into … October. Wowza!

Monday – a.m. run and strength train

My signature Nike tanks won’t cut it anymore—I was cold! It took a while for me to warm up, but the four easy miles went by quickly, and I did some upper-body strength training and corework.

Tuesday – a.m. run

Five easy miles in the rain—and no complaints. Sure, wearing a visor would’ve been preferable, but I had the entire West Side Highway to myself.

Wednesday – a.m. bike

Even though I’ve reduced my biking mileage and frequency, I don’t think I’ve ever felt this good in the saddle. My teammates and I logged about 28 miles and shut down the workout before 7 a.m. There have been more accidents in Central Park recently (both cyclist-on-cyclist and cyclist-and-pedestrian crashes) so I wanted to get out of there ASAP.

Thursday – a.m. run

I didn’t have a great long run last week, so I wasn’t sure what to expect this time around—but I felt good. Really good. I forced myself to start out conservatively, and when I hit mile seven, my second wind kicked it; I really wanted to crank it, but it wouldn’t have been a smart move. I stopped at nine miles exactly, chugged a large iced coffee, and got myself to work on time. (Oh, and I foam rolled too.)

Friday – a.m. bike

So … I got promoted to the top group for the ride. Granted, there were only 10 people there, but my coach had me ride with him and another super-speedy teammate. After our warm-up loop, the premise was simple: “Carrie, don’t get dropped.” Aye, aye! Between losing a contact lens and constantly telling my legs to shut up, I had an eventful ride, but managed to hang on. Sweet!

Saturday – off

Road tripped to the ‘burbs to work the Westchester Triathlon Expo

Sunday – a.m. run

Woof. It was only a matter of time before a stinky run worked its way into the mix, but wow, this one was pretty horrible. My legs weren’t totally fresh from being on my feet all day Saturday, and I waited too long to run—and it was humid. The plan called for 40 minutes steady, which I did not execute well. In typical fashion, I started out too fast, hung on for three miles, and then slowed significantly for the second half of the run. Train and learn, right?

What are you looking forward to about the fall?

Training Log – Week of Sept. 8 (Week 35)

Hi, there—yes, I’m alive. And yes, I’m the worst. Work has picked up—woohoo for full-blown marathon season—and the writing juices haven’t been flowing. You win some, you lose some, right?

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The calm before the runner/biker/triathlete storm in Central Park

Even though my typical stream-of-consciousness word vomit has been suppressed, my running and biking have been going well. (Let’s not talk about swimming, OK?)

General training notes: Week three of training with Coach Pat saw a semi-important running milestone—strides! These short pickups at the end of runs reintroduce speed and basically remind me what it’s like to run fast. (Remember, the prescribed pace has been easy up until this point.) I’m also knocking on all the wood everywhere because my body has still been responding well—no disconcerting aches and/or pains, and I genuinely look forward to each and every run. That’s what it’s all about! (Also, super congrats to Coach Pat on finishing second overall at the North Face Endurance Challenge: Wisconsin 50-K! #proudathlete)

Monday – a.m. run and strength train

Nothing too exciting to report: an easy 3.5 miles and some strength training. (And a skipped swim workout. #sorryimnotsorry)

Tuesday – a.m. run

I saw Lauren Fleshman! She’s a pro runner for Oiselle, and she was in town for fashion week. She passed me on the West Side Highway (surprise, surprise), and she was heading south as I continued to head north, and I thought, ‘Hey, that looks like Lauren Fleshman.’ Obviously, I tweeted about it. And she responded. And Kara Goucher favored it. #fangirl

Oh, and the five miles went OK too.

Wednesday – a.m. bike

Honestly, I’m shocked how good I feel on the bike for being in the saddle only twice a week. We met in the park well before the crack of dawn and logged a warm-up loop before my coach split us into groups. My attempt to sneak into the boys group failed, but as soon as my girl group started our first hard effort, I flew up Cat Hill and dropped everyone. One of my coaches caught me, and we worked together for two loops. He pushed me big time—it was a tough ride. I was ready to shut it down after 28 miles.

Thursday – a.m. run

My long runs the past two weeks spanned eight miles, and Coach Pat increased it to nine this week. In typical me fashion, I started out too fast (in my defense, the West Side Highway is flat and fast) and paid for it big time once I reached hilly Central Park. Thankfully, I saw one of my Girls’ Club colleagues, which gave me a second wind. Anyway, I felt OK overall, and the miles got done.

Friday – a.m. bike

Guess who got to ride with the boys? This girl! At 40 miles, it ended up being a longer weekday ride, and the guys pushed me too.

Saturday – a.m. run

Steady 40 minutes in Central Park—and it was a great run! Cool, crisp, and good energy thanks to the 5th Ave. Mile. The hills still kicked my butt, but I’m getting better.

Sunday – off

So what’s going on with you? Ready for fall weather—and running?

Training Log – Week of Sept. 1 (Week 34)

Thank GAWD for four-day weeks.

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Andy Dwyer anyone?

That is all.

General training notes: Woohoo for week two of base building with Coach Pat! The combo of doing shorter runs more frequently seems to be working because my body has handled the increased mileage pretty well. I’m also being responsible about stretching and foam rolling because I did not take proactive recovery steps during the season.

Monday – off

Travel day back to NYC

Tuesday – a.m. run and strength train

Aside from the oppressive humidity, these four easy miles went pretty well. (Seriously, isn’t fall supposed to be here?) I also attempted pushups and corework.

Wednesday – a.m. bike

Here’s a cycling first: One of my contacts fell out mid-ride. Maybe because I was going so fast? Ha! The group logged four loops, but I shut it down after three; figured I should play it safe since I had only one functioning eye.

Thursday – a.m. run

Full disclosure: I went to a work party, didn’t get home until 2 a.m., and attempted my long run on 4.5 hours of sleep. And it went OK. Sure, I felt like I was going to die the first few miles, but once my body woke and loosened up, I settled into a groove. Take that, eight miles!

Friday – a.m. bike

Like I said last week, the increased running seems to be helping the biking. Sure, I don’t feel as explosive on hills, but I’ve been able to hang with strong cyclists. During this 35-mile ride, I sort of dropped everyone except one guy. So there’s that.

Saturday – p.m. run

Whew, this was a busy day on the workout front. First, I led a JRab/Shake Shack group bike ride. When I started triathlon—and essentially needed to learn how to ride a bike—I went to a bunch of Syracuse Bicycle Women on Wheels rides, so the least I can do now is give back to the sport and pay it forward. I’m happy to report no one crashed, got lost, or sustained a flat. We covered about 20 leisurely miles.

Thinking ahead, I brought my running gear with me and hit Central Park for 40 minutes—after having a coffee shake. The heat and humidity were killer, but it was a good run. I couldn’t tell you the last time I’ve run in the park, and it reminded me how much I miss it.

Finally, I spent a few hours rock climbing later that afternoon. I still have so much to learn, but I’m working on my belay certification so I can scale all the things. And it’s also been incredibly humbling. As far as triathlon goes, I’ve gotten to the point when I know what to do and can put it on autopilot; it’s becoming second-nature. With rock climbing, though, there is so much going through my head, and I obviously do not know what I’m doing in terms of technique yet. It’s fun, it’s challenging, and it’s keeping me on my toes!

Sunday – a.m. run and strength train

Easy 3.5 miles. Upper-body strength training and corework. Brunch. #nailedit

What’s one activity you’ve always wanted to try—but haven’t yet? (Go do it!)