Category Archives: Events and Outings

My 2015 Running and Triathloning Recap

So long, 2015! I have mixed feelings saying goodbye to this year. It felt like a roller coaster ride right out of the gate, and almost immediately, there were some big triathlon and work changes. The highs were high, and the lows were low—and I was always on my toes. I did a lot of learning, growing, contemplating, and of course, swimming, biking, and running. Let’s take an easy, zone two jog down memory lane.

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Christmas Eve lakeside bliss

Best race experience

Several factors comprise an awesome race experience. Of course, there’s the training—dedicating yourself to the process and doing everything in your power to prepare for a successful outing—but there’s also the traveling, hanging out with friends, and soaking in the overall race atmosphere. In 2015, I didn’t complete an event that rose above the others as the pinnacle of racing. Whether that’s good or bad, I’m not sure. But I enjoyed every race.

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Post-trail run in Denver. This is why people wear trail shoes.

When I went to South Beach in April, I had a blast hanging out with friends before and after the hotter-than-hot classic-distance event (a.k.a. eating all the food). At Kingston in July, I had fun getting to know my Tailwind Endurance buddies more and executing a decent race given the weather. At Nationals in August, I loved trying on “autopilot” and doing me. A few weeks later, I returned home and did the same course that served as my first triathlon ever, which was a neat way to look back and see my progress. And at the Philadelphia Half-Marathon in November, I proved to myself I am a mentally strong runner who can execute 13.67 solid miles.

Best swim

Swimming and I have an interesting relationship. Simply going to the pool for a workout requires so much logistical coordination: getting my cap, goggles, swimsuit, towel, and flip-flops together; walking the 17 minutes to the facility; jumping in the freezing water and attempting to warm up. It’s a wonder I manage to swim at all! (Full disclosure: I still haven’t been in the water since September.) But I never struggle to swim when I’m in Lake Placid.

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Swimming in Mirror Lake is therapeutic. During these mile outings, my mind wanders. I reflect on the past year or so—the last time I was in Placid is usually the baseline—and what was going on in my life then. I love getting this headspace. Hitting paces and making intervals are the last things on my mind.

But as far as those lung-busting swims go, the best one I had during a race was at Nationals. Not only did I lay down a respectable split, but I also knew within a 15-second ballpark what my time was. (Related: I plan to start swimming again next week.)

Best bike

Thinking back to the time I spent in the saddle, a few things jump out: starting my training early at Tailwind Endurance; sustaining a crash (and concussion); recovering from said crash physically and mentally; logging blissful rides in Placid; and executing a decent 40-K at Nationals. The happiest miles I rode definitely occurred in Placid, but I can’t discount the comeback process.

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Everyone loves a good #TrainerSelfie, especially when it showcases a black eye.

I vividly remember my first outdoor ride post-crash, and even though I was a bit twitchy, the outing restored my confidence.

Best run

I didn’t run to my potential off the bike this year; I never found that effortless, invincible feeling, and I failed to execute strong, mentally sound miles. But that’s OK. These “close, but no cigar” experiences helped me fully devote myself to Philadelphia Half-Marathon training.

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… and refocus my run training

The goal was to run strong and bring home a PR, and this running block catapulted my 2016 triathlon training. And during the race itself, I felt smooth, strong, and confident in my ability to execute.

Best piece of new gear

Santa delivered: hello, power meter!

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Watts, watts, WATTS!

Obviously, I haven’t used it yet, but this tool will revolutionize my racing. I’ll be able to see how many watts I make!

Best piece of running/triathloning advice you received

This year will go down as the year of the bike crash, and as I mentioned previously, it really forced me to let go and trust the process.

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Head down and getting to work

The crash affected me mentally too, and as I recuperated and approached my races, Earl gave me some sound advice: “Confidence is a choice. You need to choose to be confident.”

Most inspirational runner

Like last year, I continue to train and work with some stellar humans who also run—and they run fast, far, and a lot.

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

Challenging, humbling, and memorable

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#2015bestnine

Thanks for following along this year–bring it on, 2016!

Seventy-Two Hours in Utah

Two weeks ago, I took advantage of the triathlon off-season, headed to Utah, and spent some quality time exploring outdoors.

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Mormon mobile license plate!

One of my best friends was invited to a (Mormon) wedding, and when he asked if I wanted to go, I immediately said yes. Since it was the off-season, I wouldn’t have to worry about logging workouts (a.k.a. trying to find a pool and going days without biking), and to be honest, Utah would not be a place I’d seek out on my own. Colorado, absolutely. Wyoming, sure. But Utah? Without a legitimate reason to go, I don’t know if I would have ended up there—but I’m really glad I did.

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Who knew?

I made an effort to unplug during those three days, so there was not a lot of ‘Gramming, but here are a few highlights:

Enjoying plate after plate of delicious food

You read my blog. You know I’m going to mention food. At first glance, Salt Lake City doesn’t appear to be a foodie paradise, but thanks to some recommendations, my friend and I had some seriously tasty meals. We went to Ogie’s Café and Penny Ann’s Café for breakfast and ate some pre-flight $3 tacos at Taqueria El Rey De Oros. The best meal, though, was lunch at Blue Poblano.

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Located in downtown Salt Lake, this Mexican restaurant specializes in farm-to-table fare and sources only local ingredients. (Unfortunately, they had no liquor license.) We enjoyed pre-wedding nachos and portbello mushroom vegetarian tacos. This was definitely the best Mexican I’ve had in a while—and I eat it about once a week in NYC.

Wandering around the area

Salt Lake City is known as an LDS (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints) hotbed to say the least, and two Mormon-centric sites we visited included the Gilgal Garden and Salt Lake City Temple.

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Containing 12 sculptures and more than 70 engraved stones, the garden was conceptualized by Thomas Child. He hoped it would inspire visitors to ponder “the unsolved mysteries of life.”

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Before our return flight, we spent some time walking around the Salt Lake City Temple Square.

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The atmosphere felt like a well-manicured college campus.

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I also felt somewhat out of place without a small child.

Exploring Utah Olympic Park

Hitting up the Olympic Park was non-negotiable, and we spent three hours exploring the museum, taking goofy pictures, and getting a tour.

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We really shouldn’t be left to our own devices.

Even though the Summer Games are my jam, it was still neat to see the facilities and learn more about the 2002 Winter Games.

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Our tour guide said Salt Lake plans to throw its name into the hat to host the Winter Olympics again, but since it costs $10 million (!!) to be considered, they are focusing on updating the park for the next year or so.

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Not real life

Hiking at Zion National Park

The highpoint of the trip was hiking at Zion National Park, specifically taking on the 5.4-mile “strenuous” Angel’s Landing loop.

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Obligatory

The park guide said this hike would take 4-5 hours, but even though we did it in three, we did not have enough time to do The Narrows. (We originally planned to do both.) Next time!

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This photo basically sums up the day at Zion: I’d walk a little bit and then stop for a few minutes to take in my surroundings.

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Interestingly enough, there’s a half-marathon here in March … any takers? (I’m looking at you, Natalie!)

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All in all, Utah ended up being a fun trip and a great “hoo-rah” because we’ll be firing on all cylinders at work with the New York City Marathon approaching.

Have you been to Utah? Has a trip or vacation surprised you?

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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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!

Foodie Friday – Broadway Bites

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Enjoy the weekend, friends!

How often do you eat out?

My First Marathon Sunday

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But then I remember it’s 26.2 miles.

Have you completed/would you run a marathon?

Random Thoughts from USA Triathlon Age Group National Championships

Hey, friends!  How’s it going?  It’s been a while since my last post, but there’s a good reason:  This past weekend, I traveled to Milwaukee for the USA Triathlon Age Group National Championships.

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Oh yeah–four-time Ironman World Champion Chrissie Wellington gave me that medal.  I totally freaked out and acted like a fan girl. #noshame

More than 2,700 triathletes participated in the Olympic-distance event (1.5-K swim, 40-K bike, and 10-K run), and the field was one of the most competitive ever.  I’m working on the race recap, but I want to share some random thoughts from the trip.

Friendly triathletes and great atmosphere—I don’t want to leave!’

Really, this shouldn’t be a surprise.  Everyone was excited, chatty, and outgoing, and it seemed like every time I found myself in a hotel elevator I walked out with a new friend.  And even though we were competing—there were 28 age-group national titles up for grabs, plus slots on Team USA for the 2014 World Championships—the vibe wasn’t intense or off-putting; maybe it’s because I’m coming from New York City, but it was so nice to walk around, make eye contact with others, and say hi.

‘Milwaukee is a great venue.’

Even though the Olympic race started late (more on that in the recap), the city did a great job hosting this event overall.

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Everything—transition, restaurants, etc.—was within walking distance, the weather on race day was perfect (around 70 degrees Fahrenheit with basically zero humidity), and the course was flat and fast.

‘Everyone looks so fit.’

OMG—so many lean and chiseled triathletes, but what do you expect from some of the country’s best age groupers?  Also, the fact that I didn’t strength train during the taper didn’t help, and I stuck out a bit in my age group.  Although there were other tall women, I was the tallest, and a lot of the girls were tiny—like 5’3” and nothing but skin and bones.  I had a major flashback to my basketball days; it felt like I was a forward again competing against point guards.

‘I need a new bike.’

I experienced major big envy all weekend.  Between aero helmets, race wheels, and five-figure tri bikes (seriously), I felt totally out of my league.

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There were some other roadies there, though.  In fact, on race morning, one USA Triathlon official was checking transition setups and after looking at mine, he commented on how many road bikes were there.  Zing.  I tried not to take it personally.

‘I can’t believe how far I’ve come in one year.’

Yes, I wanted to have a good race this past weekend, but I also made it a priority to savor the experience.  Not everyone gets to do this event (there are a few ways to qualify), and I felt truly blessed, grateful, and humbled to have the opportunity to compete.

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Plus, race day marked exactly one year to the day I completed my first triathlon.  Talk about coming full circle!  This progress—going from a local tri to a national event—highlighted how much I’ve improved and reminded me how much I’ve grown as an athlete and person.

‘I have the best team ever.’

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Enough said.

Foodie Friday – Chelsea Market

Happy Friday, everyone!  I’m currently en route to Montauk for Saturday’s triathlon, but I want to share some escapades from my mommy’s visit last week.

Wednesday

My mom met me after my shift ended at work, and we wandered around Union Square and went to The Strand until it was time for dinner.  This was a no-brainer:  Rosa Mexicano, here we come!

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We polished off some guac, chips, and one pitcher of red sangria, plus our delicious chicken enchilada entrees. (She totally copied me.) Everything tasted so delicious, but not going to lie, my stomach was not happy the next few days.  You win some, you lose some.

Thursday

Since I had a double-off day (no work and no workout), my mom signed us up for a Foods of New York walking tour of Chelsea Market.

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Fourteen people comprised our three-hour long tour, and our guide Darryl was hilarious.  He’s an actor, so he’d randomly start singing and dancing.  Anyway, our first stop of the day was Eleni’s, a bakery that fuses sweet treats with graphic art.

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The Chelsea Market shop was huge and had a ton of delicious looking cookies.

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And cupcakes.

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Nothing like a mini-red velvet cupcake at 10 a.m.  And I know Tim O’Donnell and Mirinda Carfrae would approve!

Next, we took a quick peek inside Chelsea Wine Vault, and I loved seeing a few CNY bottles.

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Woohoo for hometown pride!  No tastings unfortunately, but the store does offer classes, and my mom and I decided we’ll do one next time—with my dad, too, of course.

A quick chocolate milk break at Ronnybrook Milk Bar followed, and then we looked around Spices and Tease and Nutbox.

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You’re not a healthy living blogging unless you photograph various nutbutters, right?

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We visited Lucy’s Whey for cheddar cheese and a sinful grilled cheese panini.

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I’m not a huge cheese person (so weird, I know), but I easily polished off this comfort food favorite.

During our break, we had time to browse a bit, and I found this chipotle extra virgin olive oil at The Filling Station.

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Yes, chipotle EVOO.  How good does that sound?

Farther into this store area, there was a book exchange.

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Too funny!

Anyway, even though I started to feel full, I powered a quiche-like sampling at Buon Italia, a sausage roll, and some chocolate at Jacques Torres.

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Our final stop in Chelsea Market was Sarabeth’s where we tasted a scone with jam and marmalade.

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The tour then took us outside to the High Line, and we walked further into the Meatpacking District to Marcelleria for some pasta.

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And later that night, my mom and I saw The Book of Mormon on Broadway.

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Two words:  hilariously obscene!

What’s your favorite way to explore a city?  Have you been on a walking tour?

Meeting Pro Triathletes Tim ‘T.O.’ O’Donnell and Mirinda ‘Rinny’ Carfrae

So … guess who I got to meet Tuesday morning?  Professional triathletes and power couple Tim “T.O.” O’Donnell and Mirinda “Rinny” Carfrae!

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Check out these accolades:  A nine-time Ironman 70.3 Champion, T.O. most recently won and tied the course record (8:01:31) at Ironman Brazil; Rinny has 15 Ironman 70.3 wins and finished first at the 2010 Ironman World Championships in Kona (aka the Super Bowl of triathlon).

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Thanks to Castelli and Colavita, the two came to Chelsea Piers for a brunch and Q-and-A session that our head coach moderated.

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Here are a few things I found interesting:

1.  Before the official chat, a few teammates and I talked to Rinny about last weekend’s Rev3 Quassy, a half-Ironman in which she finished 5th in the competitive pro women field.  It was a tough day for racing—temperatures notched 90 degrees Fahrenheit—and even without the heat, the pros say this Connecticut course is the toughest 70.3 the United States offers.  Based on the pros’ finishing times, the heat didn’t seem to be a factor.  What’s their secret?  Rinny said she regularly retreats to the sauna post-workout and spends 10-15 minutes acclimating to the heat and humidity, so that her body’s used to it on race day.  As you may remember, I experimented with this strategy for the Nautica South Beach Triathlon, and looking forward, it would probably be a good idea to log some quality time in the sauna before NYC Aquaphor in July.

2.  Rinny doesn’t stretch, foam roll, or strength train.  Ever.  But she does get two massages each week.

3.  T.O. and Rinny listen to music during all of their workouts.  Both enjoy the Foo Fighters, and Rinny said she listens to David Guetta a lot.

4.  T.O. was recently diagnosed with a gluten sensitivity, so he eats gluten free now.

5.  What’s your go-to pre-race breakfast?  T.O. and Rinny eat cupcakes.  T.O. also has a cup of coffee, but Rinny doesn’t ingest caffeine of any kind (except caffeinated gels).

6.  T.O. and Rinny come from athletic backgrounds—he swam, and she played basketball—and when asked about their favorite workouts (swimming, biking, or running), both T.O. and Rinny would pick running.  T.O. likes long runs (at a “steady” 5:40 pace!), and Rinny enjoys intervals on the treadmill.

7.  The couple made several references to drinking red wine.  Winos of the world unite!

After the talk, I snagged some photos and autographs.  #Trigeek.

rinny-and-me

I talked to T.O. about the transition from sprint- to Olympic-distance events and asked if he had any tips for Saturday’s race.  He said to trust my training (easier said than done!) and focus on the bike-run.

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Speaking of, I need to start packing.  Montauk, here I come!

Would you ever eat a cupcake before a race?  What’s your favorite type of workout?

Foodie Friday – Smorgasburg and Madison Square Eats

Happy Friday, friends!  We made it to the weekend!

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Along with the MuckFest MS Mud Run card my aunt and uncle sent yesterday, they also passed along a CD of race photos.  I love this one!

Since the blog has lacked food photos lately, I thought I’d share a few noteworthy eats from the past week, starting with Sunday’s trip to Smorgasburg in Brooklyn.

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It’s highly possible the maple bacon on a stick happened.  And it may have been absolutely delicious.

Anyway, Sara and I spent the afternoon grazing and hanging out, and I tried South Indian food for the first time.

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I ordered a Masala Dosa, which tasted like a rice pancake and packed a nice kick thanks to the spicy potatoes.

And last night, I went to Madison Square Eats with some teammates.

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Situated in Madison Square Park near the Flatiron Building, this outdoor market showcases 28 of New York City’s most popular restaurants—think things like Korean BBQ, comfort food, gourmet Mexican street food.

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My evening of eating started with a margarita and—wait for it—a lobster BLT from Red Hook Lobster Pound.

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Disclaimer:  The margarita came from a different vendor.

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Lots of flavors worked together—lobster, bacon, chipotle mustard—and this was easily the best BLT of any kind I’ve had in my entire life.

Rounds two and three included a chipotle pork taco from Calexico and hazelnut and tiramisu gelato from Eataly, and unfortunately, both went undocumented.  Eh, you win some, you lose some.

And on a semi-related note, I spent this morning making my staples:  sweet potatoes wedges and spicy black bean quinoa.

5:17-meal-prep

Have a great weekend!

What’s the best thing you’ve eaten recently?