Category Archives: Biking

My 2013 Running and Triathloning Recap

… but mostly triathloning.

Can you believe 2013 is coming to a close?  As part of Miss Zippy’s yearly roundup, bloggers post their “year in running” recaps, and since both Jen and Jamie shared their reviews, I decided to follow suit.  Below are some 2013 highlights.

Best race experience

Whew, starting with a toughie!  Three races stand out from this season, so I’ll briefly talk about each.  Going in chronological order, my first swim-bike-run contest of 2013 was the Nautica South Beach Triathlon.

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As my first official race “flying” the Full Throttle Endurance colors, this event served as a benchmark; it gave me an accurate idea of where I stood in terms of my training and showed which areas needed more work.  Due to the waves, the swim was hands down the most challenging one I’ve completed, but I put together a decent bike and run to take second place in my age group.

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Another reason I loved this event?  I got to race, cheer for, hang out with my teammates!

Taking place in late June, the Stamford KIC It Triathlon was another favorite.  The race had an edge in terms of logistics:  located close to New York City, a.k.a. no overnight stay required.

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The event’s atmosphere made it one to remember too.  The volunteers and crowd support were awesome, and even though the bike course kicked my butt, I loved almost every minute.  The pictures from this race speak for themselves.

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Last but certainly not least was USA Triathlon Age Group Nationals in Milwaukee.  This was my first trip to the “Big Dance” of short-course racing, and wow, what an experience:  perfect venue, ideal course, and an exciting atmosphere.

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I got my butt handed to me, but I loved racing and hanging out with my teammates.  I can’t wait to get back on this course in 2014 and see how much I can improve!

Best run

During the end of my season, I used to run long with one of my pace group teammates as she prepared for Timberman 70.3.  These outings were always fun; we slowed the pace, chilled out, and talked literally the entire time.  And during my half-marathon training, I had a lot of quality runs with my coach and teammates.  Gotta love going long, right?

In terms of best run off the bike, I finally started to get close to the lactate threshold “sweet spot” at the Darien ITPMAN Triathlon.  Giving credit where credit is due, my coach yelled at me, which helped a lot.  And I also wanted to leave everything on the course; after all, it was my last race of the year.

Best piece of new gear

OK, so I’m obviously pumped about my Slice (my parents bring it tomorrow!), but since I didn’t use it this season, I’ll go with my wetsuit.  As a wannabe swimmer, I need all the help I can get!  My new saddle comes in at a close second.  Again, I didn’t race on it this year, but it’s made my offseason CompuTrainer/indoor bike trainer workouts so much better. (For the trigeeks, I went with the Cobb Gen2.)

Best piece of running/triathloning advice you received

This has been drilled into my head:  “Shorter, shorter, quicker, quicker.”  The principle of taking short, quick strides has revolutionized my running.  I’ve become a midfoot striker, which has alleviated nearly all of the calf pain I experienced last year.  Also, reminding myself to run this way makes it easier to turn over my legs, maintain an ideal cadence, and overall hit and hold paces coming off the bike.

Most inspirational runner

Between teammates and customers at the store, I see inspirational runners everyday.  One woman does stand out, though.  Earlier this month, she stopped by to get a pair of sneakers because she just finished chemotherapy for pancreatic cancer.  She used to run half-marathons all the time, but things changed with her diagnosis.  Even after everything she’s been through, she absolutely radiated positivity.  We had an hour-long shoe fit and found two options that would help her start running again.  Working with folks like her in this component of my job make me feel like I’m actually making a difference.

If you could sum up your year in a couple of words, what would they be?

Swim, bike, run, improve, repeat.

How did your year of running/triathloning go?

Most Improved Cyclist Award

Happy Friday, friends!  First, thanks for your comments on my previous post.  I cannot wait to start riding my Slice, and even though there will be a learning curve, I’m excited to take the next step in my triathlon journey.

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Thanks for sharing, Syracuse Bicycle–you guys are the best!

Speaking of biking, I have some exciting news to share.  Last night, my team hosted its holiday party, which very similar to an end-of-the-season sports banquet.  Do you remember those from high school and collegiate athletics?  Players, coaches, and sometimes parents would gather at a restaurant, eat some delicious food, and reminisce about the season with slideshows, speeches, and awards.  If you swap a restaurant for a bar and food for booze, then you’ll have an accurate description of our gathering.  Anyway, before the karaoke portion of the evening began, my coaches handed out some awards, and I was pleasantly surprised:

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Most Improved Cyclist “Jamis Award” (our bike sponsor)

Woohoo!  I figured if I were up for an award, then it would be most improved swimmer. (Because I’m all about the flip turns these days.) But as soon as my coach made a comment on the recipient’s bike that “weighs as much as a Volkswagen,” then I knew it was me.

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The best coaches you could ask for.

Even though I got my road bike after graduation last year, this season was my first one in which I truly trained; and it’s no secret the bike was my Achilles heel this year.  Yes, I knew the basics thanks to Syracuse Bicycle’s Women on Wheels program, but it took time in the saddle to develop confidence and muscle memory.  Over time, the bike went from something I “had to do” to something I “wanted to do.”  I loved riding long on the weekends, and although I had some humbling workouts in Central Park, those sessions pushed me and helped me improve.  And this offseason, I’ve made the bike a priority, and honestly, I’m enjoyed it more than running right now.  But I digress.

Anyway, I’m honored and humbled to receive this award.  In the triathlon community, my team is known for having some powerhouse bikers.  Yes, we have baller athletes who excel at all three disciplines, but we do a lot of damage in the saddle.  And knowing that I’m moving in that direction is awesome; it’s all about personal progress.

Let it be known this upcoming season will be the year of the bike.  Watch out, 2014:  I’m coming for you—on my new Slice!

My First Triathlon Bike

The secret’s out:  While home for Thanksgiving, I visited Syracuse Bicycle three times in two days and officially joined the speed club—hello, 2013 Cannondale Slice 5 105!

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Sigh, what a beauty.

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Basically since the start of the season, my coaches have been on me to get a time trial/triathlon bike (TT).  Even though I knew this purchase would be necessary, I waited.  The last thing I wanted to do was learn how to ride a new-to-me bike during the season, and plus, in terms of finances, it was advantageous to hold off until after Kona; that’s when older (2013 and 2014) models go on sale.

Anyway, I didn’t blog about what happened behind the scenes of my bike selection process, so here’s a summary.

Researching, aka envying others’ bikes

Yes, I love my road bike.  Yes, I know it’s about the engine and not the car.  But I experienced some serious bike envy this year—especially at Age Group Nationals.

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Lots of staring occurred, but I didn’t truly start my research until October.  At first, it was informal:  simply talking to teammates and coworkers, asking which bike they ride, and figuring out why they chose it.  From these conversations, I slowly developed a passing knowledge for components and started to read up on a few brands.  By the time I went home for Thanksgiving, I had narrowed down my selection:  I wanted an entry-level ride, preferably a 2013 Trek or Cannondale (but I wouldn’t say no to Felt or Cervelo).

So why entry level?  At this point in my triathlon career, I don’t need the latest and greatest in terms of bike technology; and because I’m relatively inexperienced, the difference between entry-level components (like Shimano 105s, which are perfectly fine) and those that cost more (like Dura-Ace) probably wouldn’t be incredibly noticeable.  Not to mention I have an unexplainable fear of riding a bike that’s too good for me.

With this in mind, I wanted a bike with a baller frame; down the road, I reasoned, upgrades to components could be made.

And why Trek or Cannondale?  I ride a Trek roadie, so trying the brand’s Speed Concept TT made sense.  And my coworkers talked up Cannondale’s Slice big time.  Not that it matters, but four-time Ironman World Champion Chrissie Wellington rode a Slice.

More researching, aka taking what the defense gave me

With my TT options narrowed down, the next step included calling Syracuse Bicycle, explaining my situation, and seeing which models would be available.  Over the phone, we determined a 54 cm TT frame would most likely fit. (I’m 5’10” and ride a 56 cm road bike.) It’s an odd size to begin with, and since the shop held its annual winter clearance sale, a lot of inventory had been cleared out to make room for 2015 models.  There was one option:  the 2013 women’s Slice 5 105.  Bingo!  I read up more on this bike specifically and knew that barring some sort of catastrophe, this would be my new ride.

Seeing the Slice

On Friday morning, I brought my cycling shoes and shorts to Syracuse Bicycle and hoped to test ride the Slice.  In typical Central New York fashion, we got a ton of snow, so riding around the parking lot wouldn’t work.  Another factor I failed to consider included the seat post; unlike road bikes where you can adjust its height, seat posts need to be cut on TT bikes.  This combination meant it wouldn’t be possible to get a good feel for the bike before buying it.

This made me uneasy at first, but I remembered a handful of my teammates and coworkers bought their bikes without riding them. (Maybe this is normal?) And this would’ve been my first time on a tri bike, so it would’ve felt awkward anyway.

At this point, I relied on my research:  Cannondale makes one of the most versatile, high-quality frames on the market, so getting fitted and dialed in wouldn’t be a problem.  I also heard Cannondale bikes work really well for riders with long legs.  And on a vain note, the red matches my team race kit—and we know it’s all about looking good in race photos.

Fitting

With the bike purchased (a big thank you goes out to Santa for my Christmas present for the next five years!), the next step included getting a general fit.  As cyclists and triathletes know, there are several in-depth fitting processes options (which I eventually plan to do), but a general fit offers a good starting point.

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First, the seat post was cut, and then David, the fitting technician, determined how much the aerobars needed to be cut.  The cockpit area—including the aerobar width—fit perfectly, which David said is very rare.  During this process, I swapped the stock saddle for the Bontrager Hilo RXL, and pedals, a water bottle cage, and mount for my Garmin 310XT were also installed. (Although I’m thinking about getting a straight-up bike computer so I’m not fumbling around in T2.)

Riding

TBD—the Slice still lives in CNY, but my parents plan to bring it down to New York City in a few weeks.  When it arrives, I’ll put on my trainer tire and start riding it during CompuTrainer classes.  The sooner I can become comfortable in this more aggressive position, the better—because my first race of the 2014 season is only four months away!

Humble Pie

Hey, hey—happy October!  Yikes, September sure flew by.  Even though this means no more triathlons until 2014,  I am doing a half-marathon soon (in less than two weeks!); and aside from running, I’ve been logging lots of swimming and biking time too, which is a direct result of getting “called up” to the racing team. (This group trains five days each week.) Throughout the past few weeks, I’ve experienced a new level of training intensity—and I love it.

But it isn’t without its frustrations and growing pains.

Sometimes, I can hang—like during last Thursday’s long-course pool swim.  Sometimes, I fail to execute the workout properly and crash—like during last Thursday’s speedwork.  And sometimes, I push, get dropped, but fight my way back—like during last Friday’s bike ride in Central Park. (Actually, the same series of events happened this morning too.) Basically, this is the hardest I’ve ever trained.  And it needless to say, it’s been one reality check after another.  But since food metaphors are irrefutably better, let’s say there have been several servings of humble pie. (And that’s also the phrase my coach used, so I’m accurately reporting the details, ha!)

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My first serving of humble pie was consumed on Thursday when a few teammates and I made the drive from New York City to Stamford, CT for a swim workout in the long-course pool at Chelsea Piers Connecticut.  Even though my swim is at a good spot now, I’ve noticed improvements thanks to new-to-me drills this training group does regularly. (For the swimmers and those curious, we’ve been doing a lot of sculling and hypoxic breathing sets.) And during this workout, I tried to “punk out” of a hypoxic nine breathing set (or breathing once every nine stroke).  My coach called me out, yelled at me a bit, and said there’s no reason I couldn’t do it.  So I womaned up and did it.  Sweet!

However, after a quick rinse and gear change, a few teammates went out to do some speedwork on the Darien Triathlon run course, and I royally blew up.  The game plan was to do a 10-minute warm-up, then alternate between two minutes at lactate threshold and one minute off for five miles.  Long story short, I took the first three intervals too fast, then crashed and paid the price during the remaining sets.  It was frustrating because I knew the pace that I should hit, but I pushed too hard in an effort to keep up with the fast people.  Train and learn, right?

And last Friday’s ride in Central Park was solid, yet mildly frustrating as well.  When it became my turn to pull (or take the lead) the paceline, I struggled to maintain the speed, which usually isn’t an issue.  Later, I fell behind the group as we climbed Harlem Hill, but I somehow fought back and regained contact with the pack. (Shout out to the friendly cyclist who gave me gearing and climbing tips!)

When my coach asked me how I felt after the ride, I simply said frustrated.  And he put things into perspective:  Triathletes in this training group have been doing the sport longer than I’ve been alive.  Triathletes in this training group continually win their age groups—and win races overall.  Triathletes in this training group went to London for the World Championships.  Overall, the triathletes in this training group will make me better, but they will push, challenge, and humble me first.

Let the feast begin.

How do you deal with adversity?

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.

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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?

National Dog Day, Training Updates, and a Bout of Nostalgia

Hello!  Woah, I totally didn’t mean to take a five-day hiatus, but it feels like I’m still catching up from my weekend in New Hampshire.  Here are some highlights from the past few days.

Celebrating National Dog Day

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Unofficial blogger rules question whether I celebrate since I didn’t Instagram a picture of Zelda–ha!

Setting a new bike personal distance record (PDR)

Early Sunday morning, a teammate and I rode across the George Washington Bridge, explored New Jersey, and logged 60 miles.  For the serious cyclists and long-course triathletes, this distance won’t seem impressive, but it’s a PDR.  And we’re already planning to break it this upcoming weekend with another multi-hour outing.  In related news, I’m now taking road saddle suggestions.  And starting my tri bike research.

Contemplating a long (for me) race

Speaking of going long, I need to start doing some double-digit runs.  Even though there’s a training philosophy that says you should go fast before you go far, it’s important for athletes to develop both fast- and slow-twitch muscle fibers. (Read more here.) All of my Full Throttle Endurance run training has worked toward building speed (our workouts cap at five or six miles), and I haven’t logged longer runs this season.  In fast, my farthest one was with Jen back in February.  And sure, I could go long for fun, but I know myself well enough that a tangible goal (read: race) would hold me accountable.  Enter the 3rd Annual Fall Foliage Half-Marathon.

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Yes, I am considering a half marathon.  Considering.

Starting the final training cycle

Yep, the last eight-week training session kicked off this week, and it’s been bittersweet so far.  I’ve had so much fun this season—training, racing, and hanging out with my teammates—and part of me doesn’t want it to end.  But on the way to practice yesterday, it hit me:  I’ve been swimming, biking, and running for eight months.  Eight months.  Let’s just say some downtime (read: unstructured workouts) will be welcomed.

Feeling nostalgic

College students across the country are heading back to campus, and my alma mater hosted its first-year orientation this past weekend.

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Photo has reached 113 likes, FYI.

This is for real.  There are no words.

Moving on, I met a teammate and newly crowned Ironman for lunch last week. (He’s the one who completed Lake Placid.) Of course we talked triathlon, but we also discussed writing (because he finally launched his blog)—blogging for a digital space, getting into a writing routine, etc.  It’s been a while since I’ve talked about writing, and I didn’t realize how much I missed it.  And that in turn made me miss the critical classroom discussions, which in turn made me think about college … you see where this is going, right?

When’s the last time you felt nostalgic?

Tough Love

Approximately 1.75 laps into this morning’s team bike ride in Central Park, I got dropped.  I hung tight with the all-girl “racing team” group during the first 6.2-mile loop, but as we powered up Harlem Hill for the second time, a gap began to emerge.  I couldn’t find the next gear (both figuratively and somewhat literally), and even though I fought to maintain contact, the distance slowly grew until two of the three girls were out of sight.

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Too bad the snazzy red grip tape didn’t help.

This was the first time I’ve been dropped, and it stinks.  A lot.  Defeat, frustration, inadequacy.  Yes, it’s a cycling/triathloning rite of passage, but that doesn’t make it any better.

Prior to getting dropped, I received feedback and lots of tough love from one of my coaches.  As the ladies and I took turns pulling or leading the pace line, he yelled and told me to get off the hoods and use the drops. (This lower position helps the rider conserve energy and be more aerodynamic.)

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Throwback from the DeRuyter Lake Triathlon–this is hood riding.  The drops are the white, lower sections on the handlebars.

I hesitated before holding the drops—recent wipe out, anyone?—and even though I eventually got there, he totally called me out:  “You’re afraid of your drops!”  Afraid?  Meh.  Anxious?  Yeah.  Hey, I’m a biking newbie.  But it ended up being fine.  During this part of practice, he also barked at helped me with shifting and general technique, but I was on my own once the group separated at Harlem Hill.

After completing the third loop solo, I pulled over at our group’s meet-up spot, and my coach and I developed a rough game plan.  Bottom line:  I need to spend more time in the saddle.  The best way to improve as a cyclist is to ride, so that’s what needs to happen.  Based on my Nautica South Beach results, I knew my bike needed work, but what I haven’t totally accepted until recently is it’s where I have the most room for improvement (read:  this is where I need to improve).  Yes, I want to get better across the disciplines, but as of now, the bike has turned into my new triathlon “Achilles heel.”  Point blank, our group rides in Central Park prove to be the most challenging, and I feel the least confident in the saddle, which is mainly due to inexperience.  And most triathletes will tell you the race is won on the bike, so if I want to put myself in a position to do well in August, then I need to make logging miles a high, high priority.  And for what it’s worth, I tried playing the newbie card—which is true because I’ve been riding for less than one year—but my coach didn’t buy it.  His response?  “When you’re on the podium, you’re no longer a beginner.”  He had more nice things to say, but we don’t need to go into that … moving on …

So what’s the plan?  Since Montauk is only 10 days away (yaya!), I’m not changing anything for the time being.  Afterward, though, my coach recommended removing my aerobars for the group rides in Central Park, which will make it easier to use my drops (aka he’ll force me to use my drops).  Then for weekend riding, I should reattach the aerobars and practice.

And just so this post isn’t all about biking …

Breakfast

Post-ride, I inhaled this bowl of overnight oats that included banana, frozen blueberries, plain Greek yogurt, almond milk, old-fashioned oats, chia seeds, and cinnamon.

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It hit the spot, but I’ll definitely need a snack before work.

How do you handle tough love?

My First Wipe Out

A rainy day in New York City (and a day off from work at JackRabbit Sports) calls for baking and napping.

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I made a loaf of Paleo chocolate chip banana bread and enjoyed a brief siesta this afternoon.  After a late night JRab shoe biomechanics class and an early morning brick workout, I needed a nap.

So switching gears a bit, remember way back when I blogged about my Chinese horoscope?  Remember the injury projection and how I predicted a bike wipe out?

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Well, it happened yesterday morning.

Our bike session in Central Park started off great.  My coach led one pace line and told me to take the front spot on the other—progress!  Anyway, as we made our way through the park, he told me to try moving into aero.  Riding this way makes me nervous, and honestly, I haven’t been able to hold this position on the road yet.

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Being in aero while my bike’s hooked up to an indoor trainer is fine.  On the road, though, I can place only one arm on the aerobars; when I try to shift the other, things feel unstable, and I always chicken out.  But he’s my coach, and I trust him, so I gave it a shot, slowing moving my right hand and arm from the handlebars to the aerobars.

When I made the adjustment on the left, my bike drifted that way, and I panicked and overcompensated:  I steered too far to the right, which caused my bike and my coach’s bike to collide.  He’s an experienced cyclist, so he rode through it, but I went down and took another teammate with me.

Thankfully, everyone is fine.  I’m a little cut up on my knee (I’ll spare you pictures), but nothing serious.  The actual wipe out didn’t hurt, but I felt really bad:  My rookieness caused practice to stop and created an unsafe environment.

Even though I felt so frustrated and defeated, I got back in the saddle and finished the ride.  I wasn’t in a great place mentality, and my coach definitely noticed and gave me a pep talk.  My teammates were great too, checking in throughout the day and making sure I was feeling OK.

On the bright side, I couldn’t have asked for a better (?) first wipe out.  After all, I was riding with my coach and teammates, so I wasn’t alone, and we were in a familiar location.  Plus, no one was seriously injured.  And it’s the nature of the sport too.  As my Twitter buddy Chris so eloquently says:

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How do you pick yourself up after you’ve been knocked down?

2013 Race Calendar Updates

Happy Hump Day, friends!  It’s an absolutely gorgeous day in New York City today—plenty of sunshine and warm temperatures.  Dare I say spring has finally arrived?  But this favorable weather doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy warm beverages, right?

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Say hello to the city’s best hot chocolate.  I met Jen at The City Bakery this morning for a super-secret brainstorming meeting.  We have an exciting announcement to share tomorrow!

And in unrelated news, I officially added two more races to my calendar:  the Stamford KIC It Triathlon on June 30, another Olympic-distance event.

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And the USAT Age Group National Championships in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

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Yikes!  Honestly, it still feels somewhat surreal, but signing up confirmed the facts:  It’s real, it’s happening, and I’m determined to show up on race day prepared to the best of my abilities.  I know I have a lot of work ahead of me, which was further confirmed when our official Race of Truth times were released.  Five groups were formed based on the results of the six-mile time trial in Central Park (group one being the fastest riders, group two the next fastest, etc.), and yours truly will be riding in group four.  You have to start somewhere, right?

When it’s warm outside, do you stick with cold beverages?  Or will you still order warm drinks?

Race of Truth

Good morning, everyone!  TGIF!  Any fun plans for the weekend?  I head to Boston today for the MuckFest MS Mud Run, which takes place tomorrow.  I’m so excited!

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Also, thanks for the positive comments on yesterday’s post.  Now that the USAT Age Group Nationals has a spot on my race calendar, it changes my outlook and training goals this season; as my “A-plus” race, I will train with the intention of peaking in August.  Obviously, I want to do work at my other events, too, but doing well at this race will be my primary goal.  My coach and I exchanged a few emails yesterday, and moving forward, I need to get my act together and get my butt on my bike—and improve my run off the bike too.  My swim seems to be at a good spot (even though it will always be a work in progress), but I can and need to make some serious gains in terms of my bike and run.

And that process started this morning.

Remember Trial By Fire, the swim-run event?  This morning, Full Throttle Endurance invaded Central Park at 5:30 a.m. for another competitive training session–Race of Truth. (Yes, that’s the name.  When I first saw the email, I started laughing hysterically—these names kill me, ha!) Since spring is hopefully here to stay, we’ll have organized team rides outside at least two days a week; during these outings, we’ll ride in groups of eight, and everyone in each pack should be about the same speed.  To determine the pace groups, we had a one-loop (about six miles) time trial in Central Park, and the coaches will use the finishing times to form training groups.  Because everyone rides the same course, we can’t argue with the times—hence the name Race of Truth.

Anyway, my time trial went OK.  My bike computer didn’t work, so I essentially rode the course blind in terms of distance, time, and speed. (The tech fail was totally my fault. Wednesday night, one of my teammates hosted a tire-changing clinic at her apartment, and after plenty of hor d’oeuvres and glasses of Prosecco, we got around to figuring out how to fix flats.  I brought my front tire to her apartment, and in total newbie fashion, I put it back on the wrong way, so my bike computer’s sensor didn’t work obviously.) One of the coaches said anything sub-20 minutes was acceptable, and I think my unofficial time was 19:XX; good starting point with lots of room for improvement.

Breakfast

Hey, it’s not a breakfast sandwich (only because I’m out of spinach)!

4:26-breakfast-protein-oatmeal

Instant oats, plus protein powder, one mashed banana, and plenty of peanut butter.  Hopefully this keeps me full on the train.

Have a great weekend, friends, and talk to you Sunday!