Monthly Archives: May 2015

Triathlon Training Log – Week of May 25 (Week 21)

I reached an important point in my bike crash recovery. Sure, my road rash has healed up nicely, and yes, my black eye has almost disappeared, but I’m not talking about the external stuff. I’ve come to terms with the fact healing will be a process—and even though I don’t know how long it will take (it’s been two weeks, and I’m hovering around 75 percent), I’m OK with going into this segment with no expectations.

5:28-tailwind-endurance-power-hour

Focus on the feeling; don’t become emotionally attached to the numbers. #tailwindendurance

I’m going to keep listening to my body and giving 100 percent of what I have that day—even if this 100 percent used to be 50 percent.

General training notes: Like last week, training was incredibly light. Physically, swimming is still not happening, and although biking feels pretty good, running really depends on the day. Mentally, I’ve been a mess. I feel like I’m losing fitness (which I probably am a little bit), but as my coaches/advisors have pointed out, I cannot expect my body to both perform and recover. Right now, healing is the top priority.

Monday – off

Tuesday – a.m. run and strength training; p.m. swim with Bearcat Masters

Four extremely easy miles along the West Side Highway. It took me a while to loosen up, and thankfully, my ribs didn’t flare up too badly. Again, I’m running slower than I ever have before, but healing is the goal—not pushing the pace.

After work, I attempted to swim with the Bearcats; I hopped in the pool, took one stroke, and my ribs said no way. As I tried to pull my right arm through the water, pain shot up my entire side body. It actually hurt a lot more than running did at its worst. I’m stubborn, so I kicked for 150m before trying to swim again. And it still wasn’t happening. At that point, the coaches told me to get out of the water. In related news, I miss swimming. #wannabeswimmer

Wednesday – a.m. brick (CompuTrainer class at Tailwind Endurance and run outside)

Gratitude was the theme of this workout. I eased back into bricking with a long warm-up and build from tempo to sweet spot to threshold. It felt OK, and I was extremely thankful I could hit my power numbers. Then, I went to the West Side Highway for three steady miles, which were actually executed at a steady pace. Breathing/cardio-wise, it felt more like a race-pace effort, but that’s the fastest I’ve run post-crash.

Thursday – a.m. CompuTrainer class at Tailwind Endurance

Although programmed as a VO2 max class, my ride consisted of sweet spot and threshold efforts. Simply put, I didn’t have the power to hit those harder, sustained efforts. And that’s OK. As Earl put it, I should not be able to hit those higher numbers because my body is focused on recovering and not performing. Basically, I crammed three months of hard training into a 12-second crash, and now my body needs to bounce back and recover.

Friday – a.m. run and corework

I planned to log eight miles this morning, but the ribs were not happy. I shut it down at three. Suffering just isn’t worth it.

Saturday – a.m. bike

Logistically, riding outside wasn’t happening—because my sister moved in!—so I set up indoors for a two-hour ride. Maybe it’s due to CompuTrainer mental conditioning, but I really don’t mind plugging away inside. Actually, it’s probably because I was watching 2014 Kona coverage. Either way, I did a longer warm-up with single-leg work, cadence drills, and a few gear pyramids, and my main set included 5×5-min. builds. I don’t own a power meter, so the first few felt like tempo to threshold while the others felt like sweet spot to threshold to VO2 max. Toward the end of the workout, muscle memory took over, and my legs didn’t seem like they were connected to my body; they simply absorbed the workload and continued to turn over. It was really cool, and it was one of those moments where everything felt normal.

Sunday – a.m. run

What a sweaty, yet somewhat smooth run. It felt kind of confusing, though. My legs perceived it as an easy run (which it was), but my lungs processed it as a race-paced effort. It’s bizarre to be on two totally separate pages, but this is progress; after all, I couldn’t run this time last week.

What happened to you this past week that made you feel grateful?

Triathlon Training Log – Week of May 18 (Week 20)

Focus on what you can do—not what you can’t. That was my mantra for the week. And this week saw a lot of biking.

2015-5-23-indoor-bike-workout

Those watts won’t make themselves.

I wish I could say this was a strategically planned cycling block where I purposely avoided the pool and my running shoes and manufactured a boatload of watts every day. Unfortunately, that was not the case.

Last Sunday’s bike crash was a bigger deal than I originally let on: I went to the hospital, and I was diagnosed with a super mild concussion. So this week revolved around healing and easing back into it.

General training notes: In addition to the bike crash aftermath, pool maintenance also affected my training. The Bearcat masters pool was closed for cleaning, so even before my accident on two wheels, I knew it would be more challenging to get in the water. At the beginning of the week, the thought of swimming made my body hurt. And my road rash is still healing up too.

Monday – off

Tuesday – a.m. CompuTrainer class at Tailwind Endurance

Super easy 30-min. spin to get the legs moving and blood flowing

Wednesday – a.m. brick (CompuTrainer class at Tailwind Endurance and run at Finish Line PT) CompuTrainer class at Tailwind Endurance and corework

I hoped to spin for an hour and run an easy three miles, and although I hung out at my low sweet spot just fine, my body was not OK with running. Immediately, my hip twinged, and my upper back/shoulder hurt, so I shut it down. I felt really frustrated and defeated. As I stretched on a mat, I threw myself a pity party for a few minutes: why can’t my body handle this? I can’t run. Why is this happening now? After awhile, though, I decided to redirect this energy toward what I could do: I can bike. Can I do corework? Yes. Can I do pushups? Yes.

Thursday – a.m. CompuTrainer class at Tailwind Endurance and strength training

Again, I focus on what I could do: Seventy-five minutes in the saddle with a few builds to VO2 max, plus corework, pushups, and fun with Therabands.

Friday – a.m. CompuTrainer class at Tailwind Endurance; p.m. run

I actually hooked up to the CompuTrainer software for this workout and rode the Rev3/Challenge Quassy Olympic course. There was no hammering, but I was pleased to felt pretty OK at my wattage sweet spot and cruised along at 19 mph. Normally, I don’t care about speed, but this average proved I have not lost any bike fitness during this recovery period—which I knew, but needed to confirm.

2015-5-22-central-park-run

And once again, I hit up Central Park after work for my long run. Going into it, I mentally prepared to feel not-so-great, and thankfully, my legs/body felt OK. However, I definitely bruised a rib or two, which made breathing hurt. I was not able to run the nine miles at my target long-run pace, but I ran the nine miles. Yes, it was the slowest I’ve run in a long, long time, but I got it done. (My average pace was about 45 seconds slower per mile than normal.)

Saturday – a.m. bike

Since my new post-crash helmet hasn’t arrived (or my replacement sunglasses), and since Tailwind was closed for the holiday weekend, I set up shop indoors. Honestly, I wasn’t sure what to expect coming off a the run, but I felt good. Really good. Sure, there weren’t a ton of hard efforts during those two hours—lots of drill work, builds, tempo efforts, etc.—but this is the first workout post-crash where I felt like my normal, triathlete/watt-producing self.

Sundaya.m. run off

Attempted to run on the treadmill, but since the pain became more prominent, I shut it down after five minutes. I emailed Coach Pat, and we decided to take today and tomorrow off. If you need me, I’ll be resting and recovering (and trying not to be cranky) until further notice.

What are your plans for Memorial Day Weekend?

My Updated 2015 Triathlon/Race Schedule

Wait, has it really been one month since South Beach?

2015-miami-sunrise

All in all, it was a successful outing that served a few purposes and prompted some training/racing changes. As of now, here’s what’s slated for the swim-bike-run season:

Lake Placid training trip with WorkLiveTri

Although I originally planned to do Mighty Montauk in June, I felt pretty ambivalent about actually doing it: If it worked out, great; if not, no big deal. I also held off on registering until my tri peeps did, and no one was making moves. But when I heard one of the Tailwind Endurance coaches was leading a Lake Placid training camp the same weekend, I immediately wanted in. (Full disclosure: I have no intentions of signing up for the Ironman anytime soon.)

So why Placid instead of Montauk? First, I never need a reason to justify a trip up. It is paradise. Even though I’ve visited the past two years for Ironman weekend, I’ve never gone with the sole purpose of doing all the swimming, biking, and running. Let’s face it: between swimming in Mirror Lake and manufacturing all the watts on that brutal but gorgeous bike course (I’ll do some running too, Coach Pat!), training there for four days will be a far more efficient use of time than doing a “B” priority event. I cannot wait to get after it, lock it in, and hopefully return feeling like superwoman!

At the end of the day, it’s all about having fun—and I know I’ll have a blast in Placid.

Stamford KIC It Triathlon

Date: Sunday, June 28

Distance: Olympic

Priority: “B” race

This race is non-negotiable. It’s my first and only Olympic tune-up before Nationals in August. Plus, it’s 40 minutes away, and they had post-race iced coffee.

On the radar: Hopkins Vineyard Triathlon

Date: Saturday, July 18

Even though it’s a sprint, this race could be a good training day. It was a lot of fun last year, and I even won a bottle of wine. However, it takes place the same weekend as the NYC Triathlon, so there probably won’t be a lot of interest. This is another case of, “if it happens, great. If not, no worries.”

USAT Age Group Nationals – Milwaukee

Date: Saturday, Aug. 8

Distance: Olympic

Priority: “A” race

Well, obviously. #Hammerfest2015

Cazenovia Triathlon

Date: Sunday, Aug. 23

Distance: Sprint—0.5-mi. swim, 14-mi. bike, 3.1-mi. run

Priority: “C” race

After what will hopefully be a solid showing at Nationals, I’ll end my triathlon racing season with my hometown’s local yokel sprint. If you’ve been reading a while, then you may remember this was the race that started it all—and I’m pumped to take on the same course with three years of structured training!

… and then I’ll be running all the injury-free miles for road racing season. More to come.

Triathlon Training Log – Week of May 11 (Week 19)

So today started off perfectly.

2015-smashfestqueen-ohana-kit

Manufactoring watts in a new Smashfestqueen kit!

But it ended 20 miles in to a 50-mile ride with some serious road rash. Part of the sport, though.

General training notes: All in all, another solid training week. Swimming and I seem to be getting along these days. Biking is always my BFF. And aside from speed workouts, running feels great too. I also made an effort to start doing more corework and strength training, which led to some ab and arm soreness toward the end of the week.

Monday – off

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

There was some #FireOnTheTrack, but the flames were extinguished sooner than planned: 12×400. Wowza. I tried not to psych myself out, but the splits Coach Pat outlined are the fastest I’ve run—ever. With this in mind, I focused on maintaining a quick cadence or turning over my legs as fast as possible. I was on pace for about three-quarters of the workout, but I slammed into that wall so hard … it became a mental battle at the end. I somehow rallied for corework and fun with weights.

At masters that night, I got promoted to the fast lane! Yes, I was hanging on for dear life, and yes, I did get lapped by a dude during the 300m pull, but I held my own and made the intervals. That’s the hardest I’ve worked in the pool in a while, and even the coach said I did a good job. Still rocking the #wannabeswimmer status, though, because everyone in that lane swam in college.

Wednesday – a.m. brick (CompuTrainer class at Tailwind Endurance and run at Finish Line PT)

Rocked this brick: Twelve minutes at low threshold, one minute at race pace times three. I faced this bike-run fun a few times leading up to SoBe, and by focusing on the feeling this week, I realized how much stronger and fitter I am. I made more watts on the bike, ran a bit faster, and felt so much more in control.

Thursday – a.m. CompuTrainer class at Tailwind Endurance and strength training

Brutal VO2 max ride with longer efforts: 4×4 mins. and 2×6 mins. with a few hills sprinkled in. Plus some corework and pushups.

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

At morning swim, I learned the “cycle” drill in which you kick more and get to the other side of the pool with fewer strokes (probably not the most accurate description). Thirty-three hundred meters later, my stroke felt more elongated.

After work, I headed to Central Park for an easy eight miles. This run felt really smooth; it reminded me of my longer Philly Half training runs, which is definitely a good thing.

Saturday – a.m. run

Steady 50 minutes along the West Side Highway in the rain

Sunday – a.m. bike

Only logged about 20 miles due to the aforementioned road rash. Thanks to the Gran Fondo, we did not ride our usual 50-mile route; basically, we were on unfamiliar roads, and as we were bombing down a hill (I was going easily 30 mph), I hit a pothole, lost control, and flew over the top of my handlebars. I’m fine, and my bike is fine. I do have some battle wounds on my shins, knees, elbows, and right hip … and I also wound up with a black eye … but I’m OK. Nothing a little R&R can’t heal. Sadly, my new Smashfest kit is dunzo, but if that’s the worst that happened, then I’m very lucky. I’ll spare you the pictures.

How did you spend the weekend?

Triathlon Training Log – Week of May 4 (Week 18)

Happy belated Mother’s Day to all the mommas and momma figures out there! I spent the day with mine, which is why this post didn’t go live yesterday.

2015-first-long-bike-over-bridge

As seen on the bike

General training notes: Aside from Tuesday’s speedwork, my workouts went pretty well. I felt great in the water, strong in the saddle, and smooth on the run. On Wednesdays at Tailwind, we’ve started a hill series; New York City isn’t exactly known for its hills, and a lot of folks are racing not-flat courses. In terms of the run, Coach Pat is slowly increasing the volume. All good things!

Monday – off

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

My legs felt fine when I started, but I struggle to dial in and hit the target splits for these 8x600s. It definitely became a mental battle at the end, and it definitely was not how I wanted to start the training week. At masters that night, we logged 2,500m.

Wednesday – a.m. CompuTrainer class at Tailwind Endurance

Mmmm, hills for breakfast: we faced two, 12-min. blocks that both contained four percent gradients. For the first six minutes, we stayed at tempo effort and then alternated between threshold and VO2 max. For the final two, six-min. hills, the instructor increased the gradient to five and six percent respectively. Wowza!

Thursday – a.m. brick (CompuTrainer class at Tailwind Endurance and run)

So I survived my first Sufferfest workout: Fifteen, one-minute efforts at VO2 max-plus with one-minute rest. It doesn’t sound bad—only 15 minutes of “work”—but after the seventh interval, my legs were burning. Actually, we did 16 repeats; after the fifteenth one, the screen said something along the lines of “and here comes a super fast chick! If you’re a girl, you have another one to do!” Everyone did it, though.

And coming off that brutal bike, I didn’t know what to expect from my legs. The first mile was rough, but then I was able to settle in and build to cruise control—which is also my target off-the-bike race pace. Coach Pat, it’s working!

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

Great swim with the best of both worlds: lots of stroke work to help me become less of a #wannabeswimmer, plus some 50s, 75s, 100s, and 300s. I love dialing in to cruise control on the 300s. Even though swimming and I have a complicated relationship, I’m feeling so good—and smooth and strong—in the water these days.

After work, I went to Central Park for my eight-mile long run. I felt OK—still getting used to (1) running during the evenings/on less-than-fresh legs, and (2) running in the relatively hilly park. It’s more challenging to zone out during these runs because there are all the people walking, biking, and hanging out. So I was cruising along, and this guy wearing Florida Gator boxers came up to me: “Nice running, you look really good,” he said. Thank you, sir? Do I know you? Ha!

Saturday – a.m. bike

I’m slowly getting my outdoor cycling legs/stamina back. I felt OK during this 40-mile ride, and surprisingly, this was my first time going over the George Washington Bridge and riding completely solo. It was really nice to do my own thing—start when I wanted, push the pace when I felt strong, etc.—but I did miss chatting with someone. It was also really nice to be back in the city, showered, and being productive before noon. Once 2 p.m. hit, though, I crashed and took a power nap. I forgot how much these longer rides zap your energy!

Sunday – a.m. run

Cruised along the West Side Highway for 45 minutes before meeting my family in Albany for Mother’s Day.

Did you celebrate Mother’s Day?

Oh Snap!

Here’s a shocker: this is not a triathlon-training heavy post. Oh snap! These check-ins have not be happening consistently—partly because my day-to-day is routine and partly because work is still semi-unresolved.

2015-nesting-jackrabbit-upper-west-side

April acquisitions bring May transitions. Starting to nest in the new office.

April brought a lot of changes and stressful moments, which made tri training even more important; pedaling it out, running it out, and even swimming it out helped clear my head, keep me grounded, and focus on the present (and the feeling, of course).

#MatchRace

This past weekend, I helped Tailwind Endurance plan its Inaugural Match Race, a fundraiser for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

2015-inaugural-match-race-tailwind-endurance-banner

We had four teams of three people compete by riding one loop of the Ironman Coeur d’Alene bike course. As the party warlord, I made sure we had plenty of snacks, swag, and raffle items, and we also organized a swabbing station so folks could register for the national registry. In total, we raised about $2,500, and we’re already talking about hosting another this fall.

#NomadStatus

Lately, I’ve been overcome by the urge to travel: Boulder, Austin, Seattle … or Alaska … or South Africa. Granted, I go places for races, but I really want to visit an exotic destination with the intention of experiencing everything (and not swimming, biking, and running). Anyone up for a trip?

#Noms

This is not something I’ve been keeping secret, but it is something I have not been broadcasting: for Lent, I gave up red meat, chicken, turkey, etc. I thought a lot about this decision, and the 40-day period seemed to be a good time to give it a shot. Full disclosure: I am still eating fish and am trying to eat more of a plant-based diet. So if a label is necessary, let’s call it a “plant-strong pescatarian diet.”

There have been two slipups—the most notable of which occurred after racing the South Beach Triathlon when I took a flying leap off the wagon at Yardbird with fried chicken—but I have maintained this eating plan. It’s been relatively easy to eat this way for a few reasons. One, I’ve never been a big chicken person. Two, I don’t deny myself meat, but honestly, I don’t crave it. And if you don’t crave it, why eat it? And three, I feel great from a training standpoint. Knock on wood, my workouts continue to go well, and I’m recovering better/quicker/more effectively. I also don’t become sleepy after eating kale, quinoa, and peppers at lunch. (At this point, I should note that although leaning out did not drive this decision, I have lost about eight pounds. That’s another post, though, so I’ll leave it at that for now.)

#GoingLong

One night in April, I had a dream I was doing a 70.3. “Was it a good dream?” asked Coach Pat. “Was it a dream or a nightmare?” asked Earl. Guys—I was rocking it. In my mind, the only discipline holding me back right now is the run, but Coach Pat and I are working on getting it dialed in. Maybe this jump will happen sooner rather than later.

#WannabeSwimmer

I almost, almost signed up for a swim meet.

swim-meet-wannabe-swimmer

My actual swimmer coworker even filled out part of the form for me. One of these days, though!

#BlackSheepStatus

Because I’ve taken a piecemeal approach to training—swimming with the Bearcats, biking at Tailwind, and running with Coach Pat—there were some people who were not psyched I was hanging out with the team in South Beach. I’d rather not talk about dynamics, but this trip really shed light on the friendships that transcend triathlon—those folks know who they are, and I’m extremely grateful to have them in my corner.

#ProudAthlete

Speaking of Coach Pat, he crushed The North Face Endurance Challenge New York at Bear Mountain this past weekend: He ran 50 miles in 8:59, and PR’ed!

So what’s going on with you?

Triathlon Training Log – Week of April 27 (Week 17)

Another week, another opportunity to do work—and make watts.

2015-watts-street-nyc

Surprisingly, I did not bike here. Shocking, I know.

General training notes: From a work perspective, this past week brought a lot of changes. But whenever life gets hectic, my workouts become therapy. (I was also mentally and physically ready to ease back into normal training intensity/volume post-SoBe.) I executed across the disciplines, and I’m really happy with how I’m feeling in the water and on the saddle.

Monday – off

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

Coach Pat had me kick off the day with some #FireOnTheTrack in the form of mile repeats. (Does this mean I’m a real runner now?) Seeing paces in the low sevens still psyches me out, so I broke up each repeat into 400m segments and focused on locking in the split for each lap: 1:48, 3:36, etc. Not only did I come pretty close to the projected pace for each one, but I also felt mentally sound. It became more challenging to hold the pace around the 1200m—that’s when I could tell I was working—and by focusing on the feeling (and not looking at my watch every two seconds), I told myself yes, I was working, but I could handle it—because that’s where the improvement happens.

After work, I met up with the Bearcats for about 2,000m in the pool. There were a ton of fast folks, so I demoted myself a lane and spent time doing the catch-up drill, back kicking, and lots of 100m builds. I’m also pleased to report I nailed three out of my four dives off the blocks! #wannbeswimmer

Wednesday – a.m. CompuTrainer class at Tailwind Endurance

When in doubt, make a bunch of watts.

2015-tailwind-endurance-watts

I felt super smooth and strong—and I need to do another FTP test soon.

Thursday – a.m. brick (CompuTrainer class at Tailwind Endurance and run)

It’s definitely time to test again. During this VO2 max-focused ride—sprints, plus 4×2 mins. and 2×4 mins.—I was hitting and holding 130-plus percent of my FTP. (For VO2 intervals, you should be around 106-125 percent.) Immediately after, I headed outside for a steady four-miler. All I could do was smile and shake my head as I settled into cruise control and logged split after split that was faster than my projected off-the-bike speed in Miami. That SoBe humidity …

Friday – a.m. swim with Bearcat Masters and p.m. run

Everything from longer (2x400m) to shorter (8×50) sets was fair game, including some “hilariously fast” 8x25s. I’m still not sure what this means/how fast this is, but we did the 25s on 40 seconds, and I came in around 17-19 seconds for each one. Total distance was 3,400m. Actual swimmers, please advise.

After work, I went to Central Park and logged my eight-mile long run. (Hey, it’s all relative.) Because I never run in the evenings, I didn’t know what to expect from my legs/body, but it actually felt great. Even though the park was packed, I enjoyed brief periods of people watching, especially as I ran by baseball fields where kiddos were playing. That took me back!

Saturday – a.m. run

With about 12 hours between runs, my legs felt OK during this steady 45-minute run with 6x100m strides.

Sunday – a.m. bike

Short, sweet, and sunny 20-mile-ish ride outside

Does your fitness routine change when work gets stressful?