Category Archives: New York City

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!

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?

It’s November?

Whew—marathon madness has finally ended, so I can finally come up for a breath. Throughout October and the first week of November, JackRabbit was firing on all cylinders: various events and group training runs, plus a pre-New York City Marathon party and race-day cheer zone. So many 26.2 activities!

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Full Throttle Endurance says, “WHOA!”

Marathon week—plus Monday actually (because Meb Keflezighi had a book signing at our Upper West Side store)—centered on stress, semi-organized chaos, and tons of excitement. We live for this time of year and all it encompasses; for me, that meant making sure our Saucony pre-party and Brooklyn cheer zone were successful events.

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Behind the scenes–and mission accomplished!

And now, I’m embracing the work “off-season.” Thank GAWD. Here’s what’s going on:

Last week, my fam and I went to Florida to celebrate my dad’s birthday. My grandfather lives there, and my uncle flew in too, and it was great to spend some quality time with everyone. And it wouldn’t be a trip to Sanibel without plenty of beach time (where running, reading, and sunburning occurred).

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This weekend, I have my first “race” since Nationals in August: The Philadelphia Half-Marathon. Some of my teammates and (work) friends will be there, plus a few BoMFers and my family. I’m really excited! Not only is it an escape from the city, but it’s also an opportunity to test my training and gauge my progress. Coach Pat and I have talked race strategy, he things I can string together a solid 13.1 miles, race the thing, and shoot for a big PR. A few months ago, I planned to simply go out and run and see what happened; now, though, I feel confident pushing it. Speedwork is coming along, and my long runs have gone pretty well, and this is hands down the most prepared I’ve felt for a “straight up” road race. Fingers crossed I feel good on race day and can hop aboard the pain train for a while!

And then, it’s Thanksgiving, which means even more family time!

In other training news, I ended my 72-day swimming boycott and went to the pool. Honestly, I planned to wait until December, but several knowledgeable individuals—including but not limited to Coach Pat and my tri coach—said getting back in the water sooner may be a good idea. Specifically, “not swimming is totally going to bite you in the a** come January!” according to my tri coach. The race isn’t won during the swim, but one of my friends/Girls’ Club colleagues questioned: “How fast can you run if you’re last out of the water?”

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Talk about tough love—and a serious wake-up call.

So two weeks ago—about 12 hours after my endorphin-inducing 11 miler—I walked to the pool after work. On the way over, I visualized myself swimming, flip turning, and doing all the little things right, but I couldn’t shake the insecurity: what if I don’t remember anything? What do my arms do again? How does one execute a flip-turn?

As it turns out, swimming is a lot like riding a bike; you never forget how to do it. When my feet touched the water, I went on autopilot: adjusted my cap, put on my goggles, and just went. Sure, I felt semi-winded 200 yards in, but those 1,500 yards felt OK. And they felt slightly better—and faster—a week later.

To be honest, I’m not sure what will happen after Philly—in terms of training and life. It feels like I’m on the brink, like a breakthrough is right around the corner, but I don’t know what is it or what it will entail. But I just hope I’m ready.

Out of Whack

Helloooo, Friday!

mean-girls-october-3Had to do it #sorryimnotsorry

Even though I’m inclined to say “it’s been one of those weeks,” it really hasn’t. But it kinda has. Let me explain.

Earlier this week, we undertook a renovation project of sorts at work. This meant about 2,000 pairs of running sneakers had to be moved from the shoe room on the ground floor to the basement downstairs. And this relocation displaced our buyers, marketing folks, editorial gurus, etc. Somehow, my workspace became the new garbage location (I don’t ask questions), so I’ve been working remotely.

It’s been a productive, but surreal week. Nearly all of our “downstairs” people have been working from home, so when I stopped in Wednesday afternoon to take care of a few things, it felt like summer camp—a.k.a. hanging out with your friends without adults. (This doesn’t mean people are not responsible adults; the atmosphere was just different because our corporate contingent wasn’t there.)

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Action shot from our Marathon FAQ Panel.  See the sneakers on the left?  Direct result of the renovation project.

Working from home has its positives and negatives: Woohoo for wearing glasses, camping out on the couch, and blasting Maroon 5 all day (and OneRepublic and Sara Bareilles too.) Boo for going stir crazy, experiencing Girls’ Club withdrawal, and having no one to talk to. Gotta take the good with the bad, right?

On a related note, I’ve felt totally out of whack this week.

My routine changed because working remotely means I can start doing my thing earlier. This week has actually reminded me of Honors Week during my senior year of college. Basically, students undertaking Honors projects had five days to write at least 50 pages of a dissertation of sorts; and since I’m a morning person, I’d wake up early, crank out words for five hours, and then take a break. There’s no drafting and revising now, but there have been similarities like days blurring together and taking 30-minute power naps.

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Also, thank GAWD season six of Parks and Rec is on Netflix Instant

During Honors Week, I shut myself off from everyone, put my blinders on, and basically only did one of three things: wrote, ate, or slept. Thankfully, I lived with my BFF who was also doing Honors, so we felt some solidarity in our zombie statuses: ‘Are you alive? What page are you on? Nice, ready, break!’

That rigid intensity hasn’t been replicated this week, but that sense of distance feels familiar. Since I spent my Honors Week waking hours dialed in, there was virtually no socializing. Granted, it was only five days, but still. Not ideal. This week has felt like that too: It’s tough when you know exactly what’s going on in someone’s life—including the nitty gritty stuff—and then you don’t see or really talk to them for a week. Again, not ideal, but normally, this wouldn’t be an issue; as a type-A person, I’d cling to and find comfort in my routine, but since my day-to-day has changed too, well, it’s been a long week.

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Miss you, Zelda!

There’s no concrete end date in sight—just the vague, “sometime next week”—and since we’re in full-fledged marathon season, we can’t let up either. It’s the most wonderful (and crazy and stressful) time of the year!

Speaking of, two quick PSAs: First, for you NYC folks, JackRabbit is holding our Four Jacks Run tomorrow morning at 8 a.m. If you need one last long run (20 miles) before the marathon, then this is perfect!  Second, I’m doing Bike MS Sunday with some coworkers. This has become a personal cause—you may remember I did MuckFest Boston last year with my aunt—and every donation helps.

All right. It’s back to Sara B. until further notice.

What are you up to this weekend?

(Almost) All of The Updates

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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#BoMFlove #allthehugs

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

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

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

What’s new in your life?

Happy

I’m crossing my fingers and toes this post doesn’t act as a jinx and cause not-so-great things to happen. My check-ins have been few and far between, but that’s because I’ve been out living life—and being happy. It’s taken a while to figure it out—or at least partially figure it out—but I’ve found my groove. And that makes me happy.

Work

My schedule shifted to Monday-Friday two (or three?) weeks ago, and my productivity has skyrocketed.

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Sugar-free watermelon slurpee for National Slurpee Day

Even though I enjoyed having Thursdays off (and taking noon power hour CompuTrainer classes at Tailwind Endurance), I really thrive off these normal hours. Work does keep me on my toes, though. A lot of time, I don’t know what I’ll be doing until I get to the store; my role isn’t totally clear-cut, and there’s a lot of ebbing and flowing. But that’s OK. I can handle the combination of structured hours and dynamic responsibilities.

These new hours have led to some new and great friendships. When I worked the floor regularly, I became close with my fellow floor staff. (One guy calls me “Carebear,” which is a nickname reserved for family and close friends, and he knows it’s a big deal.) But now, I see our “downstairs” folks—think corporate like buyers, marketing, etc.—more often. They’re the ones who know about my training, my racing, and my general life happenings. For whatever reason, I’m better friends with the guys who work the floor, but my best friends downstairs are girls. (Shout out to Girls Club!) It’s taken more than a year, but I’ve finally found my work BFFs. And that makes me happy.

Triathlon

Where to even begin? First, I signed up for a sprint tri this weekend (0.5-mile swim, 10-mile bike, and 3.1-mile run). It ends in a vineyard. Total no-brainer.

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In all seriousness, though, I wanted one more tune-up race before Nationals in August. This will give me a chance to work on top-end speed (or see if I have any) and test new equipment.  I’m also planning to test an aero helmet.  It even matches my bike, and we know it’s all about looking good in the race photos!

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Not multi-tasking at the swim exit: ain’t nobody got time for that!

Training continues to go well: The swim is at a good spot, the bike is still a work-in-progress, and the run really depends on the day. Overall, though, the improvements I’ve made this season makes me happy—and I’m excited to see how everything (hopefully) comes together in August.

Speaking of Nationals, there are goals this time around. And these goals sound lofty and scare me. My coach has outlined race scenarios and expects me to dial in, arrive in top form, and piece together my best race of the year. His confidence in me makes me happy. Whether I have that confidence changes every minute (seriously), but knowing that he believes in me makes me happy.

Lake Placid

Before heading to Milwaukee, I’ll make the trip to Lake Placid to cheer, volunteer, and sherpa (yes, it’s a verb) for my five teammates taking on the Ironman (2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike, and 26.2-mile run).

Last year, I logged some quality training, volunteered at gear bags, and soaked in the experience of watching my first in-person Ironman event. This time around, though, my priorities will be different. My teammates will dictate my every move; whatever they need, I’m their girl.

Another change this year includes how emotionally invested I am in this race. When swim splits don’t get hit, I feel frustrated and unsettled. When brick workouts get nailed, I feel ecstatic and unstoppable. Obviously I haven’t done the training in terms of hours and volume, but I feel like I’ve become part of their journey.  And being there for them makes me happy.

This involvement hasn’t affected my training. Aside from the pre-Timberman sympathy taper crazies, I’ve maintained focus and logged the workouts I need to log. However, as Placid inches closer, my mind has started to wander during sessions: ‘I’m doing a five miler right now. So-and-so is running 20. I hope they’re feeling OK. They were worried about their calf …’ I usually let myself think about it for a few seconds and then refocus.

Being this emotionally involved in a race I’m not even doing scares me, but it also makes me happy.

So that’s the gist of happenings here lately. Keeping busy and keeping happy. What’s going on with you?

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?

I Mean …

Oomph. This has been the longest, strangest week. And it’s only Wednesday. Everything has seemed off—both at practice and at work. Are the tides changing?

Happy National Running Day!

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Just being a model (again) and hamming it up at work.

If using a crockpot during the summer is wrong, then I don’t want to be right.

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Chicken has returned to the rotation thanks to this recipe. I made some swaps—chicken breasts instead of thighs, one can of black beans and one cup of quinoa instead of two cups of black beans, all the sweet potatoes, etc.—and I highly recommend this meal if you like Mexican/Latin flavors. So good.

Speaking of food, almond butter and jelly has been my, erm, jam. Before every bike workout, I toast a waffle and layer on this combo. I’m a little kid at heart.

… and I’m a little kid who can’t count. During swim workouts, I can keep track of laps up to 200 yards, but then all is lost. If the actual swimmers have any tips, then I’m all ears. #wannabeswimmer

Somehow, I end up in charge during workouts. Even though I got bumped up a cycling group, I’m definitely on the brink—meaning I’m the slowest and hanging on for dear life—but everyone turns to me: “Carrie, what’s the workout? Carrie, when do we attack? Carrie, should we be sitting or standing for these climbs?” It’s amusing because (1) I’m the youngest, and (2) I’m the least experienced. Yes, this happens during swim and run too, but who would’ve thought I’d be captaining my bike group? Certainly not me.

All I want is a maxi dress that actually touches the floor. I went shopping on Thursday and tried on all the clothes, but could not find one acceptable dress. You’re to blame, swimming shoulders and cycling legs.

I don’t blog about work a ton, but it’s going well. However, in recent weeks, I’ve been struggling to maintain a work/life balance. My schedule is unique (I’m off Thursdays and Sundays), which makes it tough to leave work at work, especially during the week. When I was the editor of my college’s newspaper, I trouble pressing “stop”—signing off email, taking a break from editing articles, and leaving the computer suite even though the InDesign layout wasn’t complete. I’m hardwired to work hard—if you’re going to do it, then really do it and give it 150 percent—and this is a blessing and a curse. I need to figure out how to “power down,” and I hope changing my work schedule will help.

How do you “unplug” after work?

Taking a Breath

Hi, hi! Just me popping in for an update. As per usual, it’s all over the place, and that’s indicative of my life right now.

For the first time since the holidays, my entire family spent some time together. The troops rallied for a last-minute Mother’s Day celebration, and we hung out for a few hours and enjoyed a delicious brunch.

smashed-avocado-toast

Smashed avocado toast for the win!

And in the spirit of full disclosure, I’ll add this “meal” served as my appetizer. Hey, I biked 50 miles. Toast—even with deliciously creamy avocado—was not going to cut it.

My team goes to Italy for a four-day cycling trip every year, so a few coaches and teammates were absent from practice last week—and my coach sort of left me in charge. No, I wasn’t coaching workouts yet, but I was dealing with all Full Throttle Endurance logistical matters: answering random questions, sending emails to confirm practice, etc. Basically, all the day-to-day operations. And after working in this capacity for one week, I have even more respect for my coach. Seriously.

Speaking of logistical concerns, this past week centered on the Brooklyn Half expo. You know how it takes a village to raise a child? Well it takes a store to facilitate a successful expo showing.

jackrabbit-sports-brooklyn-half-photo-2014

The entire week felt surreal: hanging out in Dumbo, working at an expo for the largest half-marathon in the country … was this real life?

Do you ever have work meetings where you brainstorm creative ideas and leave feeling energized and ready to tackle anything? That was me on Wednesday. It reminded me of an endorphin rush that follows killer bike sessions and brutal speedwork. Minus the sweat.

I got my teeth cleaned Friday morning. After looking at my not-so pearly whites, the dental hygienist asked if I drink a lot of coffee—and red wine. Woah. I mean, yes … but for health benefits.

In addition to my FTE responsibilities, my party warlord status meant I also needed to make brunch reservations and organize a team drink up meet up post-Brooklyn Half. Everything worked itself out, but there was some added stress—sending emails, waiting for responses, and deciphering emails in an attempt to figure out if someone was actually coming. Since I’m a type-A person, I can roll with these punches, but I’m grateful my next party-planning shindig isn’t until the New York City Triathlon in August.

One highpoint from my workday? Doing tricep dips during a conference call. Hey, it’s called multitasking.

Do you multitask during meetings?