Category Archives: Blogging

‘Training’ for Life

In the run-specialty industry, it’s common to hear sales associates ask customers about their goals: “what are you training for?” is a great prompt to kick off a shoe fitting. Some folks easily articulate their upcoming races while others struggle to identify themselves as runners. For a lot of people, lacing up isn’t about performance, but rather lifestyle—staying active and trying to balance being fit with living life. This principle led to the conceptualization of “training for life” at my old job, a phrase we used in the store. Customers seemed to like it. Or, maybe they humored us. Either way, a lot of the feelings we experience, obstacles we face, and challenges we overcome while sweating prepare us for the uncontrollables we face throughout the course of the day when our workouts are over.

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Central Park bliss

A few weeks ago, I had a great long run in Central Park. I executed my workout, and I felt great during my intervals. I also got some great headspace during my recovery periods; my mind wandered to the beginning of #WingedFootLyfe as my first day was less than 24 hours away. Starting a new job was relatively uncharted territory for me, but training, racing, and competing have been part of my life for 15 years. The more I thought about it, though, the more they seemed similar.

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Inspiration is inspiration

In my training logs, I’ve bemoaned the amount of time I’ve spent in zone two, but it really is an important piece of the puzzle. You can’t go from zero to 100; you need to slowly increase time, frequency, and intensity. For all intensive purposes, #TheRabbitLife was my worklife zone two time. (I’m skipping over college and internships here, but both could fall into this zone as well.) It was my first real job out of college, and I learned a lot—how a company functions, what I value in a workplace, etc. I had the opportunity to work within various facets of the run-specialty world. And thanks to last year’ acquisition, I had the opportunity to work for two different companies essentially.

It was the transition from company number one to company number two when I slowly inched out of zone two and work became more intense: my amount of responsibility increased, my opinions meant more, and ultimately, my colleagues held me to higher standards. And, of course, our key events—the main one being the New York City Marathon—represented slight “touches” to VO2 max work. Over the years, this time “in the red”—operating under tight deadlines and unrelenting pressure—felt increasingly routine. I became comfortable and confident executing campaigns; it equated to muscle memory. I knew exactly what was important, what needed to happen, and how it needed to happen.

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It’s not about the hard work—it’s about the right work.

As I’ve experienced from my triathlon training this year, it’s absolutely important to spend time doing the not-so-glamorous workouts. And that’s OK because training prepares you for something greater. But eventually, you need to challenge yourself; the magic doesn’t happen in your comfort zone. #TheRabbitLife served as nearly three years of training, growing, and figuring things out. And thanks to my experience there, I felt comfortably uncomfortable taking the next step in my career.

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Before that happened, though, I “tapered,” took some downtime, and headed to Sanibel to spend time with my family. I relaxed and recuperated—and became reenergized for the next training block. It gave me an opportunity to reflect on my worklife thus far. And much like race-day taper crazies, I did go a little nuts toward the end (mainly due to all the shopping for corporate clothing).

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There are far better things ahead than any we leave behind.

But back to that run. I entered that meditative headspace easily. And as I cruised along the lower loop, my legs responded; they opened up, they knew what to do. And as I powered up Harlem Hill, my legs reacted; they turned over. A sense of calm confidence set in. ‘Tomorrow is race-day. I am ready.’

Back To Reality—Whatever That Is

Whether it’s a job or a vacation, good things eventually end. My last day of work was one week ago (wow!), and my quality Sanibel time has run its course too; I head back to New York City today.

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My best beach bud

It was nice to enjoy a true vacation. My old workplace had a liberal working remotely policy, and it proved to have its pluses and minuses. On the pro side, I travelled to Lake Placid twice in 2015, plus I went home for the 4th of July weekend and for a local yokel race. And earlier this year when I headed south to Florida for some quality family time, I didn’t have to worry about missing anything important—because I was expected to be contributing on conference calls, checking email, and responding to our social channels regularly. But therein lies the downside: I couldn’t unplug, disconnect, and go off the grid; I couldn’t recharge my own battery.

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For headspace, just add water. (Also, who am I?!)

My coworkers and I joked if I turned off my phone, there was a good chance the Internet would implode. Of course, that’s not totally true. I could leave my phone or laptop untouched for a few hours. But whether I was racing, training, or vacationing, I was still posting content, responding to customers, and making sure our brand didn’t cease to exist in the digital space. Flexibility comes with responsibility.

So this time around—with no work/social media constraints—I got to be as digitally active or inactive as I wanted. Full disclosure: I did not go an entire day without checking my personal platforms, but I dialed back my usage considerably. And when I did use—do I sound like an addict?—it was on my own terms. I uploaded plenty of photos to the ‘Gram of Zelda, and I had a blast chronicling my days on Snapchat. (I’m kind of ridiculous; follow me at carriestevens25 if you feel inclined.) This is a crazy concept, but I used social media for pleasure.

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<3 <3 <3

And as I ready to board my flight, it’s finally starting to hit me: I’m going back to reality—but my old one is over. I’m not going to roll in to the Bullpen (the nickname for my old office) on my own sweet time tomorrow. (Anytime between 8 a.m. and 11 a.m. was acceptable.). I’m not going to immediately ask my old Work Husband, “what did I miss?” and then immediately start discussing the Downton Abbey series finale. I’m not going to climb a flight of stairs up to the store and ask sales associates about their training and weekend races. I’m not going to take a field trip to one of the East Side stores and catch up with the store manager and eat too many homemade cookies.

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A delicious birthday throwback

I’m not going to be seeded shoes. I’m not going to have a generous discount. I’m not going to wear running apparel to work.

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Direct, but true

I’m not going to be living #TheRabbitLife.

I have yet to develop a snappy name for my new worklife—maybe #WingedLife or #ClubLyfe—but it starts Monday. Aside from a desktop computer, an office with windows, and a strict dress code (related: who wants to teach me how to walk in heels?), I’m not sure what will constitute my new normal. And I’m sure it will take several months to figure it out. In the mean time, I’m trying to see the beauty in uncertain intricacies of the job, the culture, and the institution. It’s an opportunity to learn, grow, and develop. It’s a blank document that offers the potential to write, curate, and connect. It’s a fresh start, it’s a new gig—and although there are some uncertainties, it’s certainly exciting.

The Next Step

Generally, I don’t blog a lot about work. My day-to-day revolves around niche topics—shoe updates, nutrition tips, and upcoming events, races, and activations. I could talk about the adidas PureBoost X, a shoe designed for women. (Ironically, the shoe isn’t made in my size.) I could mention new gel flavors that GU released. I could gush about the Los Angeles U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials. (I loved seeing Shalane and Amy rocking visors, a.k.a. the unofficial triathlete uniform.) One thing I will announce, though, is yesterday was my last day in the run-specialty world.

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*Sigh* the good ole rabbit times

Unless you follow news in this industry, you may not know the roller coaster of this past year. And I chose not to discuss that topic here. I had no idea what the future would bring, so I didn’t want to publically comment on what was happening or speculate on what could happen. Plus, the news didn’t affect me initially—the same could not be said for coworkers in sales—so it wouldn’t be totally fair for me to voice my two cents. But, in summary, our locally owned and operated specialty shop was acquired by a larger conglomerate, and its portfolio contains more than 70 stores nationwide. Over the next few years, the goal is to rebrand all doors as one entity, and the company chose the NYC market as its first relaunch site.

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The new Rabbit Life

The wheels slowly turned, and our NYC team worked tirelessly to unveil the new brand as the New York City Marathon approached in November. The month leading up to the race (and the day after) was crazy, chaotic, and unrelenting. That’s par for the course when it’s your busy season, and we executed some great campaigns, did some impactful stuff in the digital space, and introduced the city and the industry to the new face of run-specialty.

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And the new face of the Bullpen?  Antonio, our stoic mannequin.  FYI, this is our Western Wednesday getup for spirit week.  We obviously won.

What followed? Post-race blues. You know when you throw yourself into training, devote yourself to the process, and work hard to make sure you are set up for success on race day? You know when race day comes, and you execute and get it done? You know the high you experience as soon as you cross the finish line? You know the thoughts that creep into your head shortly thereafter: ‘what’s next?’ That’s a question I asked myself every day after the marathon. And I struggled to find an answer.

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Can I get some clarity, please?

At first, I put my head down and continued to work. Marathon month felt like an “A” race, and this series of emotions is normal after a big event. However, every other time I’ve experienced these feelings—whether I was racing or working—I had been able to refocus, identify the next goal, and work toward it. This time, though, the process felt different. Upcoming projects were easy to pinpoint, but I couldn’t throw myself into it. I made an effort to be present and embrace the process (#MostAuthenticSelf #RichRollfangirl), but it didn’t click. Things had changed. I had changed.

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Peace out!

It was time to move on.

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Swimming, biking, running, moving … and remembering that time I was a triathlon model

Throughout the next few months, I updated my resume, poked around LinkedIn, and went on several interviews. I didn’t need to leave right away so I had the luxury of time: to find a position that made me excited and gave me a good feeling. (And, of course, would pay me well and challenge me and help me grow as a human.)

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Doggies always give me a good feeling. Now to find a job that makes me feel the same …

As my job search progressed, it became clear one institution would most likely make an offer—which, in turn, meant I needed to be OK with leaving my current position. Mentally, I was ready to leave the actual work. It didn’t stimulate me anymore, and I felt unfulfilled. But the hard part would be saying goodbye to folks I worked alongside.

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Our holiday card. Antonio is not impressed.

I am fully aware JackRabbit Sports/JackRabbit was/is not a normal workplace. A lot of my best friends here in NYC came from JRab when I started nearly three years ago. And after the acquisition, I grew close to a handful of my “new” coworkers who became mentors and friends. And through it all, my Work Husband has been a permanent fixture. He has been my person, and there’s no doubt I would’ve lasted as long as I have without him.

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Some of the best humans I have ever met

But the magic doesn’t happen in your comfort zone. It’s impossible to grow without facing challenges. And if it scares you, then it’s a good thing.

In a few weeks, I’ll continue my career at New York Athletic Club (NYAC) as their social media manager/assistant editor–and I am pumped!

Game On!

Oh, Winter Storm Juno. As a native of Central New York, I really want to tell everyone to calm down; but I do understand the city cannot handle half a foot of snow.

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Eerily quiet and beautiful walk home by the High Line

And I’m all for an adult snow day.

Anyway, apologies for my lack-of-blogging phase. It’s been one of those months—seriously, how can January nearly be over?!—where I’ve been firing on all cylinders all the time. But since I’m hanging out and hunkering down today, there’s no time like the present. So fill up your water bottle, top off your coffee, and, well, hunker down for some updates.

As far as work goes, I’m nearing the end of a transition. I don’t talk about JackRabbit a lot, but for the past few weeks, I’ve been moving away from the outreach/event planning stuff to the digital editorial/social media side of things. Yes, this is a vague description, but these responsibilities are more along the lines of what I want to do long term. I’m working on several projects now (#vagueblogging), and in the words of one coworker, “you have a voice, and it matters a lot.”

Some of my BFFs/Girls’ Club colleagues have transitioned too, which is bittersweet. I’m pumped for them—after all, they’re doing big things!—but it stinks because a lot of “my people” won’t be around any more. It’s tough when your inner circle changes, and yes, I realize it’s incredibly rare to work with your friends.

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Rabbits at the Rescue Mission!

Thankfully, not everyone is leaving. This should go without saying, but the people I work with and the community we foster are why I love (working at) JRab. And on the bright side, I’m becoming friendlier with higher-ups, which is good. (Sidebar: One of my teammates recently wrote about transitions too.)

My triathlon training is undergoing a transition too. This came up in my off-season recap, but basically, my mindset, motivation, and outlook have totally changed. I’m enlisting different resources (Coach Pat, Tailwind Endurance, etc.), and I’m cutting out the toxic aspects of my training. “Toxic” may be a little harsh, but I can’t think of another word right now.

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Non-toxic decaf almond milk cappuccino

For better or for worse, certain people and atmospheres alter my internal dialogue, and although it’s OK during races and tough workouts, it is not a narrative I want to hear all the time. Last year, I needed this tough, in-my-face coaching, but I’ve matured as an endurance athlete. I’m getting better at using mantras, finding that “second wind” on my own, and basically tapping into what motivates me.

Who knew running fitness translates to semi-decent swimming? I mean, it makes sense. Both are full-body activities. And people will aqua jog if they’re injured and can’t run. But if you told me I’d not only survive, but swim somewhat respectably during my first 3,000 yarder since August, I would not have believed you. But that’s exactly what happened. And I threw down some semi-respectable times for the 100- and 400-yd. time trials.

My new obsession is escaping to a cabin and writing, writing, writing.

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Up, On, and Over

Ever since going to New Paltz, I’ve been craving more trails, more nature, more outdoors—basically, the polar opposite of New York City. Coincidence my quarter-life crisis is coming up?

Overall, though, 2015 is off to a solid start. I’m pumped to see what it brings, and in the mean time, I’m continuing to work hard and dial everything in. Game on!

My 2014 Running and Triathloning Recap

Happy New Year’s Eve, friends! Can you believe it’s that time again? Wowza, 2014 flew by. But before saying goodbye to this bittersweet year, I want to reflect on some awesome, pivotal, and memorable swimming, biking, and running moments.

Best race experience

Given the number of triathlons I did in 2014, this surprised me: The Philadelphia Half-Marathon.

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Pre-race cold temperatures and throwaway clothes. Good times with good friends.

Not only was it the actual race-day experience—feeling invincible for 12.5 miles, seeing a bunch of funny signs and cute spectators, hanging out with friends and family during the weekend—but it was also the pre-race preparation. I’ve talked about my running progression, but Coach Pat really dialed in the plan; I crushed key workouts, felt prepared, and simply exuded calm confidence. Above all, everything lined up on race day, and I couldn’t have asked for a better experience. And now I want to go 1:45 (let’s be real, 1:40), which speaks volumes: I want to run more and faster miles!

Best swim

Total no-brainer: swimming in Mirror Lake during Ironman Lake Placid weekend.

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The course, the atmosphere, everything that comprises Placid is magical. Being there always ends up being a highpoint of the triathlon season and overall year, and I’m already looking forward to going back for another Sherpa stint in 2015.

Best bike

Rather than wax and wane about nearly perfect training rides, I’ll simply say my bike split at Nationals best exemplifies progress: In 2013, I logged a 1:17; in 2014, I rode a 1:10. That’s seven minutes shaved off.

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I have no pictures of me doing work on the Slice. Womp, womp.

And yes, some of that time can be attributed to equipment upgrades (tri bike, race wheels, aero helmet), but most is sheer improvement. To me, that’s what this sport is all about.

Best run

Aside from the abovementioned 12.5 miles of bliss, one that sticks out is the 10-K I ran off the bike in Stamford.

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Hot outta T-2!

That’s my standalone and off-the-bike 10-K PR, and more importantly, I felt comfortably uncomfortable the entire time—and felt in control. I’ve also had some great training runs—both steady where I’ve pushed the pace a bit and long where I’ve chilled out—but that 6.2 miles off the bike is what I’ll be chasing in 2015: the split (I want to go faster!) and the feeling.

Best piece of new gear

Since I actually raced on it this year—my Slice! Yes, it’s all about the engine in endurance sports, but the tri bike set-up has been a game changer. I’ve been able to ride stronger and faster, plus run better off the bike. Now about that power meter …

Best piece of running/triathloning advice you received

Nothing newsworthy: trust your training, trust the process, listen to your body. But these messages resonated with me this year thanks to knowledgeable coaches (looking at you, Coach Pat!) and trustworthy teammates.

Most inspirational runner

I’m totally pulling the sap card: I train and work with some phenomenal people who also happen to run, and they inspire me to keep pushing, keep improving, and keep striving for that perfect race.

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

Memorable, nearly perfect.

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In terms of training and racing, I really couldn’t have asked for a better year. Sure, I powered through some not-so-great showings, but for the most part, I’m happy with how the cards fell. On the non-triathlon front, it was a challenging, yet rewarding year (#vagueblogging #sorryimnotsorry), and bottom line, I’m amped for 2015.

What is your best, most memorable moment from 2014?

Here’s the Thing

Hello, friends! Are you bored with all the race talk? Don’t worry; after Stamford on Sunday, there are no more triathlons on the schedule until August. (Although my coach wants me to do a sprint in July, but that’s neither here nor there.)

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[source]

Dammit, heel strike!  Coach Pat, this is why I need you!

Even though the past few weeks have been tough, life is going pretty well right now. Here’s the thing:

Let’s talk training first. It’s still going strong. By the way, thanks for putting up with my previous posts where I talked about all my feelings. This training cycle has been mentally challenging, which affects my mood outside of swimming, biking, and running. Thankfully, the next block spans about one and a half months, so I can dial in, put my head down, and focus on putting together the best race possible at Nationals.

My work schedule changes next week—which is bittersweet. Since starting at JackRabbit Sports last year (wow!), I’ve worked Monday-Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday, which gave me Thursday and Sunday off. At first, I liked having a day off mid-week; running errands and catching up on life seemed easier when all of NYC wasn’t doing the same thing. However, as I’ve started expanding on my community outreach position, it’s become clear a “normal” schedule would be more effective. Ninety-percent of my job happens during regular hours—expos, races, and other events comprise the other 10 percent—so it makes sense that I work Monday-Friday. Hello, 9a-5p world! (Er, probably more like 10a-6p, but you know what I mean.)

This also means I need more real clothes. Yes, it’s a casual, non-corporate environment—I mean, I work in the basement—but I will need to pull myself together and put forth a decent 75-80 percent effort most days. But my (swimming) shoulders and (cycling) legs make it extremely difficult to find clothes that fit. And being on the tall side further complicates this quest. Blahhh.

I’m SO excited to go home for the 4th of July! I booked my tickets—Central New York, here I come! I haven’t been home since Christmas, so I can’t wait to see my family. The only downside is my Slice can’t make the trip too; taking it on the train during a holiday weekend would be an absolute nightmare. Guess that means I’ll do all the open-water swimming and running instead, including a 5-K my Dad and I do every year. Should be fun!

That’s all I’ve got today. What’s going on in your life?

Spill It

Hey, look who’s popping in on a weekday and blogging!

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Jokes.  You know you work at a running store when …

I know, I know.  Blogging has fallen to the wayside since triathlon training began in January.  There aren’t enough hours in the day, and something’s gotta give.  But in an effort to start again, I’m taking a page from Alex’s book and spilling it.

The last five people you spoke to on the phone:  Do people still talk on the phone?  Aside from work-related calls, I talk to my mom everyday, and that’s about it.  So let’s go with texts instead.

Coach – re: triathlon stuff

Sister – re: boyz and nailpolish colors

Sister – re: the dentist

Mom – re: finally getting a Valentine’s Day card because I don’t check my mail

Friend/coworker – re: inside joke/making fun of someone

The last five meals you ate:  Hello, standbys.  Aside from Whole Foods sushi and Taco Tuesdays, I cook 95 percent of my food.

Eggs and egg whites with spinach and avocado

Chicken fried rice from The Feed Zone Cookbook

Indian-spiced turkey burgers with roasted Brussels spouts, mushrooms, and sweet potatoes from Practical Paleo

Protein smoothie with banana, frozen strawberries and blueberries, almond butter, and protein powder

Turkey wrap with spinach, hummus, and avocado

The last five places you traveled/will go:  Define “traveled.”

Stamford, CT to swim in a long-course pool

Prospect Park in Brooklyn to run The Cherry Tree 10 Miler

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The Armory in the Bronx to watch some friends from work race

“Upstate,” aka about an hour and forty five minutes outside of the city to see my sister and Zelda

And I will go to South Beach in 38 days to race!

The last five workouts you did:

See training log—swimming, biking, running, and strength training.

Five things that make you happy right now:

My friends (both coworkers and teammates) – I’m surrounded by some awesome people.  It’s a blessing to train and work alongside folks who truly “get it,” and they constantly inspire me to become a better athlete and employee.

My job – I don’t talk about it a lot, but it’s going well.  Really well.

My health and training – My life centers on swimming, biking, and running, and again, I feel so blessed to have the health, body, and support—from my family, teammates, and friends—that allow me to train.

(Pictures of) Zelda

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And my Dad’s coming to visit this week!

Your turn—spill it!

Real Talk: Part II

Merry belated Christmas, friends!

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For those who celebrated, I hope you spent plenty of time with loved ones.  My family hosted Christmas Eve dinner; we had 11 people over for our signature surf ‘n’ turf meal of steaks and lobster tails.  And On Christmas Day, we went to my aunt and uncle’s house for our annual Yankee Auction and hung out for a few hours.

As usual, my time at home seemed too short, and I’m currently en route back to New York City.

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I’ll miss drinking coffee by the Christmas tree every morning.

Anyway, since I have a few hours to kill on the train, I figured it’s time for another random, real talk post—because honesty is always the best policy.

Our store’s holiday party, specifically the flip cup tournament, served as a turning point for my relationship with a few coworkers.  Let’s just say most people now understand how I received my “party warlord” nickname.

Speaking of work, store traffic lagged last weekend, so we capitalized on the downtime and did some community outreach.

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Hey, if another retail store hosts a grand opening, it can’t expect us not to crash it.

Is it a deal breaker if a guy has a tattoo that’s grammatically incorrect?

My normal, 23-year-old life officially ends on January 6 when triathlon training begins.  I’ve really enjoyed being a “real person” these past few months, but I’m also ready to start seriously swimming, biking, and running again.  Let the countdown to South Beach begin!

In related news, I will train with the five-day-a-week program this upcoming season.  The three-day-a-week group served as a great introduction to structured workouts, but to continue improving, I need to swim, bike, and run as much as possible—and with people who are better, more experienced athletes.  During the last month of this season, I basically transitioned to the five-day-a-week cohort, so I know what I’m in for, but the first few weeks of practice will be brutal. (I also agreed to do social media work for the team in exchange for training.)

My latest Netflix binge?  Parks and Recreation.

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Why did it take me so long to watch this show?!

My Slice and I are currently facing a dilemma.  We have yet to take the maiden outdoor voyage, and I want to see how it rides—and practice being in aero and not falling.  At the same time, I also need to get comfortable in this position in terms of breathing, shifting, etc.  Honestly, my best bet would probably be to switch my trainer tire from my road bike to my tri bike, but that would eliminate the option of outdoor riding for the foreseeable future.  Triathletes and cyclists, what would you do?

Talk to you from NYC!

One Year Ago Today

Today—May 13, 2013—marks one year since I graduated from college.  How is this possible?

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What I really want to know is where the past 365 days have gone.  Life at Camp Hoho—filled with classes, papers, and weekend shenanigans—seems like both yesterday and several years ago.

bestfriendsIt’s so strange to look back on college as a past experience:  During high school, the number one goal was to do well and get into a good institution; and during college, the number one goal was to do well and graduate with a degree.

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Anyway, graduating from college marked a huge transition.  This is when I started blogging and gave triathloning a shot, and I moved from my tiny hometown in Upstate New York to New York City in October.  My big-girl internship started in January.

As I adjusted to these changes, I didn’t blog about what I was experiencing.  Basically, going from college life to the real world was much more challenging than I anticipated.  The high-school-to-college change wasn’t too difficult for me, so I expected a similar transition, but I really missed living with my best friends, having my support system of mentors at my fingertips, and being in an academic atmosphere.

And to further complicate things, my big-girl internship wasn’t what I expected either.  After college, I envisioned myself working for a diet and fitness publication.  However, things in the office didn’t click, and I came to the realization that the field wasn’t for me.  This was a huge, somewhat scary discovery because it essentially took me back to the career drawing board.  Where do I go from here?

Aside from the support of my family and friends, one constant throughout this journey has been triathloning.  I gave it a tri try last summer, became totally hooked, and started training with Full Throttle Endurance in January.  The sport has become a lifestyle, and I rediscovered how much I love being part of a team.  Between training, traveling, and racing, you spend so much time with your teammates and coaches, and it’s like having a second family.

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This sounds dramatic, but I have no idea how I would’ve coped with these changes without FTE.  Waking up and getting after it in the pool, in the saddle, or on the track gave me a sense of purpose, and even though I struggled to figure things out work-wise, I could always count on my teammates to start my day off on the right foot.  Having this excitement and positivity every morning during a time of change made a world of difference.

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Anyway, moving away from the sappy stuff, if you told me that one year after graduation I’d be living in NYC, training for triathlons, and working at a baller running store, I would’ve given you a skeptical look.  Big Apple life?  Sure, that’s been part of the plan all along.  But doing tris and fitting people for running sneakers?  Not really on the agenda—but I absolutely love it!

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I’ve been working at JackRabbit Sports for about one month, and I couldn’t ask for a better bunch of coworkers.  Even though I’ve had several internships, this is the first group of colleagues I’ve really clicked with.  Everyone lives an active lifestyle—running, cycling, triathloning, doing yoga, you name it—and we truly want to help others discover healthy living.

The little things have also made a huge difference.  I’ve been given a lot of responsibility since day one, my training has been expedited, and after every shift, at least one of the floor mangers or assistant managers thanks me for coming in and doing a good job.  Obviously, I don’t need this feedback, but it’s nice to know you’re valued and appreciated.  My coworkers also treat everyone as a friend.  After closing the store Saturday night, we hung out for a beer or two, and one of the floor managers invited me on a long bike ride. (She and a two others are training for the Musselman, a half-Ironman that takes place in my college’s town.) These things have never happened at any other job.

So one year after graduation, I feel like I’m finally starting to figure things out, and I’ve found “my people” in terms of my social life, work life, and triathlon life.

What were you doing one year ago today?

Zelda’s on Slowtwitch!

Hi there, friends!  How’s your Thursday going so far?  Thanks a bunch for your thoughtful comments on yesterday’s post.  Riding and becoming comfortable in aero will take time—but patience isn’t exactly my virtue (ha!), so we’ll see how that goes.

Anyway, Zelda wanted to pop in and say hi.  She hasn’t been on the blog recently and was feeling neglected.

5:9-zelda

She also told me to share a link to a story.

slowtwitch-random-age-group-triathlete-chat

Yep, that’s Zelda on the Slowtwitch.com homepage.  She even got a shout out in the Q-and-A itself, so check it out!