Category Archives: Workouts

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.

2015-christmas-eve-sunset-lakeside

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.

2015-trail-running-denver-wipe-out

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.

2015-ironman-lake-placid-mirror-lake-rock

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.

2015-bike-crash-black-eye-trainer-selfie

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.

west-side-highway-running-artsy-blurry

… 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!

quarq-riken-power-meter

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.

5:28-tailwind-endurance-power-hour

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

2015-best-nine

#2015bestnine

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

Getting Perspective in Lake Placid

About a month ago (yikes, I should’ve published this sooner), I packed as many synthetic socks, PowerBar gels, and Smashfestqueen cycling kits as possible into my backpack, vacated the Big Apple, and retreated north to Lake Placid for a triathlon training camp with the awesome Work Live Tri folks.

2015-worklivetri-camp-wheels-up

Wheels up.  Lake Placid, here we come!

As a kid, I attended basketball, softball, and field-hockey camps during the summer, but I had yet to go off the grid and escape to this type of atmosphere as an adult. And I was so excited! Spending quality time swimming, biking, and running in paradise helped me regroup post-bike crash, refocus my tri training, and ultimately rediscover my motivation—in terms of triathlon and life.

Lake Placid will always be my happy place.

Long before I heard of triathlon, my high school basketball team traveled to this area of the Adirondacks for a holiday tournament. Unfortunately we didn’t win, but we made memories that we still talk about today—like that time we broke the hotel bed. My family has also made the trek up for a few daytrips, so my first impressions of Placid centered on quality time with friends and loved ones.

Fast-forward a few years to when I discovered the swim-bike-run world—and Ironman.

In 2013, I experienced this epic race weekend for the first time. They say if you watch an Ironman in-person, you’ll have one of two reactions: it’s either “yes, I am so doing this one day!” or “I will absolutely never do this, ever.” Training, volunteering, and spectating lit my 140.6 flame; even though I couldn’t (and still can’t) wrap my head around the 2.4-mi. swim, 112-mi. bike, and 26.2-mi. run, I knew then and there Lake Placid would be my Ironman. The atmosphere during race week was unlike anything I had witnessed, which says a lot coming from me as a former collegiate athlete. And training amongst trees, rivers, and mountains was also unlike anything I had experienced. Paradise had officially been found.

2015-worklive-tri-camp-room-view

View from my room:  home is where the lake is.

In 2014, I became even more familiar with Ironman training and Lake Placid itself when I functioned as a full-fledged Sherpa/emotional guardian. Everything that happened last year—watching the training, seeing the sacrifices, and becoming invested in the journey—highlighted just how inspiring it is to do an Ironman. And actually being there on race day—volunteering as a wetsuit peeler, getting swept up in the emotions, and celebrating the accomplishment—further solidified my desire to tackle Lake Placid one day.

Thanks to these memories, I could not wait for training camp.

The environment motivates me.

My bike crash resulted in some serious training funk, and I hoped retreating to my happy place would restore my spirits. And did it ever.

2015-worklivetri-camp-mirror-lake

Almost too beautiful to be real

Training camp centered on long-course athletes doing Lake Placid and Ironman Mont Tremblant, so I knew most, if not all, of my workouts would be logged solo. Aside from the first ride, I basically did my own thing and embraced the headspace.

Swimming in Mirror Lake and cycling through blink-and-you-miss-them towns was absolute bliss. Lately, I’ve been feeling uninspired by the NYC training grind, so I appreciated the sunshine, the clear skies, the mountains, and the breathtaking rivers even more. Finding inspiration in your surroundings is powerful: this is how training should be. This is why I love it.

The journey motivates me—and the feeling motivates me.

Each time I wiggled into my wetsuit and jumped into Mirror Lake, I found my groove quickly. Residual bike crash/rib flare-ups simply did not make themselves known. For the first time since wiping out, I felt natural in the water. I can’t believe it feels this easy—and this blissful. When I swim for distance, my mind wanders and eventually finds a zen space; and as I made my way to the other side of the lake, I felt grateful: to have the body and health that allow me to swim; to have supportive and genuine people in my life; and to physically be in such a gorgeous and peaceful place. Then I remembered where I was—physically, mentally, and emotionally—this time last year, and I was humbled by how much I’ve grown.

Each time I pumped up my tires and buckled my helmet, I felt excited and inspired to ride; these feelings have been missing since my crash. Honestly, I wasn’t sure what to expect mentally during these solo rides, but Placid lifted whatever post-crash barrier was holding me back. I just rode and reacted to the course. I felt “at one” with the bike. My mojo returned!

2015-worklivetri-camp-smashfest-cycling-kit

Signs of a successful smashfest.  Picture this setup on ten different bikes.

I didn’t think about the crash, but I spent a lot of time reflecting on last year’s training. For whatever reason, I was lucky enough where everything fell into place pretty perfectly. Although I knew it during the season, I didn’t truly realize how rare it is. It never happens like that. While out there on the course, I discovered an even greater sense of appreciation for last year, especially since transition has defined my training this year.

Basically, each time I thought about where I was at this point last year—in terms of training, work, and life—I felt incredibly humbled, grateful, and motivated. Even though I try to focus on the feeling during training, I definitely fell victim to the numbers game: chasing swim splits, becoming obsessed with power wattages, wanting faster run paces. If you’re looking to compete, this is part of the sport, but the trip to Placid reminded me I simply love the lifestyle: swimming, biking, and running. And really, that’s what it’s all about.

Teams and training groups have different vibes.

For the past two years, I logged essentially all of my triathlon training with a team, but I broke off and am currently doing my own thing. Because I have diversified my “triathlon arsenal”—it now includes folks from a masters swim team and my CompuTrainer studio—I’ve gotten to know, learn from, and train with new people, which has been beneficial for both my triathlon and “real” lives. And going to Lake Placid with a new-to-me group was an eye-opening experience. Prior to the long weekend, I knew only the coach and one other woman, but everyone welcomed me into the tribe with open arms. I’ve trained and become friendly with a lot of people in the triathlon community here over the years, and the Work Live Tri folks were absolutely top-notch individuals. (On a related note, this trip made me realize my old team dynamics/dysfunction is not normal, but that’s neither here nor there.)

2015-worklivetri-camp-podium-legs

Also not normal:  having Podium Legs at your disposal.  I used them so frequently there was an inside joke about going through withdrawal.  I sort of did.

“There is comfort in that grind. I get solace and a sense of self out of that, but that’s not my life right now. And I’m OK with that. I’ve been nudged to do this kind of stuff, and I’m happy to do it, and I love it.” –Rich Roll

Overall, Placid reminded me that triathlon is about the journey, the progress, and the relentlessness to be better. “Unplugging” from power and swimming by feel highlighted how much I love this sport at its core. Although racing provides an opportunity to tangibly track progress, I don’t need to compete.

Aware of this front-of-mind perspective, I thought about Rich Roll’s recent podcast with Josh LaJaunie, specifically the abovementioned quotation. A lot of Rich’s ideas resonate with me, and when I listened to this statement, I felt like he had a birds eye view of everything that’s going on in my life. (Sidebar: Rich, will you be my life coach?) Even if I don’t have a race coming up, I’ll always find a strong sense of self when I swim, bike, and run, and it will always be an aspect of my lifestyle.

I say this because there’s an opportunity at work (#vagueblogging), and I want to immerse myself in it 150 percent. What’s on the horizon is reinvigorating my work life and giving me a strong sense of self and purpose. And honestly, I haven’t felt this excited and focused since … the only instance that comes close is Honors Week during college.

That’s not to say racing doesn’t matter any more, obviously. I definitely associate triathlon with who I am. But now, my #workflow also comprises my best, most authentic self (#fangirl).

“Congratulations, you’re a human being. It’s not going to be perfect.” –Rich Roll

In mid-June, Rich came to one of our stores for a social run and book signing, and he also hosted an informal Q-and-A session. As a self-professed fangirl, I took notes, and this quotation hit home.

Life brought a lot of changes this year—tri life, work life, and actual life—and coming off a nearly perfect 2014 training cycle, these transitions seemed even bumpier. My swimming, biking, and running essentially took a one-eighty, and although there were some who did not support this change, I know my current regiment is exactly what I need to be doing.

We’re still in the midst of a lot of work changes too. It’s cliché, but the focus and dedication that leads to solid swimming, biking, and running also sets up success at the office. All I can do is keep showing up, giving it my all, and trusting the process. Of course it will feel challenging and uncomfortable and maybe even impossible at points, but just like training, it’s about focusing on the task at hand and knowing the struggle is where the personal growth happens.

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.

2015-winter-storm-juno-nyc-high-line

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.

2015-jackrabbit-nyc-rescue-mission

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.

almond-milk-cappuccino

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.

2015-new-paltz-trail-running-pana

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!

Training Log – Week of Nov. 24 (Week 46)

And just like that, Thanksgiving is over. It was great to spend some QT at home relaxing, recharging, and seeing my family. The city wears you down after a while, and I always leave home ready to take it on again. Yesterday, we got our Christmas tree and went to our annual extended family Christmas party.

2014-christmas-tree-selfie

So much room for winter activities!

In other news, my 2015 race calendar is starting to take form.

2015-usat-age-group-nationals-qualified

Third time’s the charm—Milwaukee, I’m coming for you! Honestly, I didn’t expect this email and figured I’d have to qualify at South Beach in April, so this news alleviates a ton of early-season pressure.

General training notes: Even though I didn’t “race” the Philadelphia Half last weekend, this week took the form of a step-back period. All my workouts aside from Sunday’s steady run centered on recovery. Case in point: I swam twice and biked zero times. Ha!

Monday – a.m. run and p.m. swim

I actually felt pretty decent upon waking sure. Sure, a little soreness in my quads, but nothing worse than what usually sets in after a normal long run. Even so, I stuck to the plan and ran two easy miles. After work, I went to the pool and pulled for 1,000 yards. (Full disclosure: I tried to swim, but my legs said no way.)

Tuesday – off

Wednesday – a.m. swim

Back home, I headed to a local pool and planned to log a true workout that included tech work. And for the first time in about three months, I revisited my favorite (finger-tip drag) and not-so-favorite (catch-up) drills and swam a total of 2,100 yards. On the bright side, my 5x100s were all where they should be (1:21-1:23), but I felt gassed after each one. Meh, I’ll take it.

Thursday – F-M Turkey Trot (8-K, technically 4.66 miles)

Coach Pat gave me the go-ahead to run this local yokel turkey trot as long as I treated it as an easy run. But it’s highly possible I went out too fast and logged a couple of “steady” miles before easing off the gas. Sorry, Coach. I also kinda felt like a jerk because people around me were coughing and dry-heaving while I chilled out. Hey, getting out there and running is awesome, but if you’re on the verge of throwing up at a turkey trot, you’re probably doing it wrong.

Friday – a.m. run

You know you’re in Upstate New York when you spot more snowplows (four) on your run than runners (zero). No complaints, though—just an easy 9.25 miles around the lake. Things got a little dicey at some points with the snow and ice combo, but on the bright side, that ensured I kept an easy pace. Just trying to be a good athlete, Coach Pat!

Saturday – off

Sunday – a.m. run and strength training

Since this was supposed to be quality run, I hit the ‘mill for 40 minutes. It wasn’t good, but it wasn’t bad. Let’s blame it on the … stuffing. I ate all my grandma’s stuffing. No regrets.

How was your Thanksgiving? Did you run a turkey trot?

Training Log – Week of Nov. 17 (Week 45)

Spoiler alert: This was one of the best weekends ever.

2014-philadelphia-half-marathon-post-race-cropped

Friends, family, running … what more could you want? A PR perhaps? Got that too.

General training notes:  Woohoo for “race” week! Even though Philly isn’t a goal race, my workouts did change a bit in preparation—no true speedwork, no normal Thursday long run, and no Friday bike ride—so my legs would feel fresh on Sunday.

Monday – a.m. run

Four-and-a-half unofficial miles with BoMF, plus four miles easy

Tuesday – a.m. run

On the bright side, I got this bad run out of my system. After a 10-minute warm-up, Coach Pat had me log five miles with some pick-ups, but the West Side Highway wind was unrelenting. Everything progressed as planned through mile four, but then the wind chill became too much. Still got in seven miles, but didn’t feel great doing it.

Wednesday – a.m. CompuTrainer class at Tailwind Endurance

I loved this class! On the bike, I struggle with maintaining an even power output, which means big wattage swings. Long story short, power spikes are not good, and this workout focused on dialing into specific efforts: slightly over threshold, then slightly under threshold. During this “over/under” session, I focused on making cadence changes (rather than shifting), and my numbers were pretty steady. Progress!

Thursday – a.m. swim

Yes, I’m finally swimming regularly again (and by regularly, once a week), but the last time I went to the pool during the morning? Aug. 25. Wowza. Nothing too exciting: my usual 500 warm-up, 5×100 solid, and 500 cool-down. I’m still about three seconds off my in-season 100 times, but I’ll deal with the damage.

Friday – a.m. run

Easy four miles. The hay is in the barn!

Saturday – off

Sunday – Philadelphia Half-Marathon

Any day you can go out and run 13.1 miles is a good day—and when your family and friends are there too … I’m one lucky girl. Race recap to come later this week, but I executed the pace plan and PR’ed (1:49:26), so mission accomplished. Hope I made you proud, Coach Pat!

So what’s next? A local yokel Thanksgiving Turkey Trot! What are you doing for Thanksgiving?

Training Log – Week of Nov. 3 (Week 43)

Woah, it’s really November.

empire-state-building-instagram

Hello, Empire State Building!

Sure, last weekend’s marathon mayhem marked the start of the month, but still … it’s actually November. Which means Thanksgiving is right around the corner. And the holidays too. There was Christmas music playing in Papyrus today. Wayyy too soon.

General training notes: Good, but tough training week. Coach Pat’s speed workouts continue to kick my butt. (Well, technically, they make my butt feel like it’s going to fall off.) But—ha, ha!—they are working. I’m feeling better and going a bit faster during my long runs, and the distance I cover during steady runs has slowly increased.  AND, I SWAM this week.

Monday – a.m. run and strength train

Four easy miles, plus upper-body strength training and corework

Tuesday – a.m. run

#FireOnTheTrack? More like death on the track. Coach Pat prescribed 8x800s: The first three were on pace, but I slowed down big time on numbers four and five. I was able to get back on track for six and seven, and my legs were totally dunzo by the eighth.

Wednesday – a.m. indoor bike trainer and strength training

Tailwind Endurance hosted a swim camp in St. Croix this past week (yes, seriously), so I didn’t hit the CompuTrainer. Instead, I watched 2012 Kona coverage, hammered away on my indoor trainer for an hour, and then did some push-ups and corework.

Thursday – a.m. run and p.m. swim

Hands down, this was the biggest endorphin high I’ve experienced in a while. Even in the rain, my 11 miler went really well, and … guess who returned to the pool for the first time in months? This girl! I can still breathe, swim, and flip turn, but not very fast—or for very long (just did an easy 1,500 yards). Totally my own fault, and I accept full responsibly for the 5-6 seconds I’ve lost per 100 yards. Back to #wannabeswimmer status.

Friday – a.m. indoor bike trainer

Sixty-minute spin-out with some pick-ups

Saturday – off

Sunday – a.m. run and strength training

Forty-five minutes steady, plus upper-body strength training and corework

Another week, another month—here we go!

Training Log – Week of Oct. 27 (Week 42)

I’ll be honest. I had every intention of publishing this log last night, but after throwing a pre-marathon party at work on Saturday and manning our cheer zone on Sunday, I was spent. Not only did I take an hour-long nap yesterday, but I also slept nine hours last night.

tcs-nyc-marathon-2014-central-park-sign

Marathon-related activities take a lot out of you. And I didn’t even run the thing like 50,000-plus other people.

General training notes: Between marathon madness and general life happenings, this week was both extremely long and emotionally taxing. For whatever reason, when things pick up “in real life,” I find it’s easier to throw myself into training and log some solid workouts. Coach Pat reintroduced speedwork this week, and I had a phenomenal long run, plus two quality bike sessions.

Monday – a.m. run and strength train

One mile at BoMF, plus four miles easy. Closed out the morning with some pushups and corework.

Tuesday – a.m. run and corework

Dun-dun-duuuun! To say I was a little anxious about returning to the track would be an understatement. Up until now, I’ve been building my base and running easy miles, and true speedwork hasn’t happened since July. Basically, I wasn’t sure how it would pan out—but it was surprisingly OK. Coach Pat’s workout called for 800s and 400s, and it was relatively manageable. Sure, my legs were trashed by the third and fourth 400, but that’s how you get faster. And I was also able to hit and hold paces slightly faster than what I could do at the tail-end of the triathlon season, which is promising.

Wednesday – a.m. CompuTrainer class at Tailwind Endurance

Hands down, this is the best I’ve felt on the bike in a while. And I executed this workout really well. After warm-up and a few build efforts, we faced a two-block ride: five minutes of threshold and sprint efforts, followed by a five-minute threshold block. I felt smooth and strong throughout, and for once, I didn’t have 50-plus wattage swings during efforts.

Thursday – a.m. run

Believe it or not, this run topped last week’s 10 miler. Everything clicked, felt good, and I could not get over how quickly the first five miles went by. Great energy in Central Park too with the upcoming marathon. At mile nine, my legs seemed to unwind on there own, and my stride opened up and my cadence increased—but it felt effortless. My average pace was on the faster ride of the range, and my closing mile was 7:15 (which is fast for me). And I felt like I could and wanted to keep going. Is this another running breakthrough?

Friday – a.m. CompuTrainer class at Tailwind Endurance

To get into the marathon spirit, we rode the pre-loaded New York City Marathon course. Nothing too interesting to report: averaged 19 mph and 185 watts during the 26.59 miles. Should’ve been faster and should’ve pushed more watts, but I’ll take it coming off a long run.

Saturday – off

Sunday – a.m. run

Woof. Serious props to the marathoners. The wind blew me around on the West Side Highway, and I lasted 25 minutes outside before I retreated to the treadmill for 20 more.  The fact that 50,000-plus people ran 26.2 miles in those winds is a testament to their toughness. Although I have to say, watching the marathon this year kinda sorta made me want to do it. Not for a long time, of course, but running 26.2 miles doesn’t seem as unfathomable as it did a year ago.

Would you (or have you) run a marathon?

Training Log – Week of Oct. 13 (Week 40)

When it doubt, quote Parks and Recreation.

everything-hurts

So spot-on, Andy Dwyer. Nailed it!

General training notes: Sigh, it was only a matter of time before I experienced a tougher training week. I’m guessing my body finally felt the effects of running all the miles, and I was noticeably “off” from last weekend’s Steamtown adventures. As the week progressed, I bounced back, though, and logged some quality workouts Friday and Saturday.

Monday – a.m. run

My friends and I traveled from Scranton back to the city that morning, so my four miler didn’t happen until after work. Even though the run itself wasn’t great—being tired from the weekend, feeling each and every potato chip I ate, etc.—I did enjoy shaking off the day. I can totally see why people exercise after work.

Tuesday – a.m. run and strength train

This run wasn’t that great either. I’m guessing I was probably still tired, and I also didn’t have as much recovery time between these outings. Still got those seven miles done, though, and did some core- and upper-body work.

Wednesday – a.m. CompuTrainer class at Tailwind Endurance

For whatever reason, I was convinced a power test would happen. But it didn’t. I still got in a butt-kicking ride: two different seven-minute blocks with various lengths of tempo, threshold, and VO2 max intervals, and we did each block twice.

Thursday – a.m. run

Ugh, another not-so-great run. Granted, it was humid, and everything felt so heavy. I’m still not totally sure how those 10.5 miles got done, but they did. That afternoon, I went to Isang for a sports massage (NYC people, go see her!), which definitely helped me recover not only from the morning run, but also the past two months of training. I felt like a new person when I left!

Friday – a.m. CompuTrainer class at Tailwind Endurance

After a long run and sports massage, I didn’t know how my body would respond to another hilly CompuTrainer ride—but I rocked this ride. It was a tougher course than last Friday’s workout, and my numbers were better too. Take recovery seriously, kids!

Saturday – a.m. run

Steady 45 minutes? Crushed it. Bring on the speedwork, Coach Pat! #fireonthetrack

Sunday – off

Unless you count a Hudson Valley nature walk/hike as cross training.

rhinebeck-ny-fall

I escaped the city for a day and spent some quality time with one of my sisters. Apple picking and apple cider drinking for the win!

How do you bounce back from a series of not-so-great workouts?

Training Log – Week of Oct. 6 (Week 39)

So sorry, so late. So busy spending the weekend cheering on friends who ran the Steamtown Marathon.

girls-club-steamtown

So much love for Girls’ Club. Thanks for the photo, Ali!

General training notes: This week’s training was a mixed bag—two good runs, one OK run, and one not-so-great run, plus two killer CompuTrainer classes. And Coach Pat says speedwork is coming soon too! #fireonthetrack

Monday – a.m. run

Easy four miles (plus 5.5 non-training ones with Back on My Feet) and corework

Tuesday – a.m. run and strength train

Easy seven miles, plus upper-body strength training and corework

Wednesday – a.m. CompuTrainer class at Tailwind Endurance

Lots of pain during this power hour class. But lots of threshold and VO2 max efforts and lots of watts, so no complaints.

Thursday – a.m. run

My long run of 10 miles (hey, it’s all relative) started out great: I didn’t go out too fast, paced myself, and felt good. Until I hit the wall at mile 9.5. My energy levels tanked, and even though my legs felt fine, I struggled to turn them over. If I had to run longer, then I would’ve slammed a gel, so I just slugged through the last half mile. On the bright side, I learned mile 9-9.5 is when I need to take nutrition.

Friday – a.m. CompuTrainer class at Tailwind Endurance

In hindsight, a hilly CompuTrainer workout probably wasn’t the best idea after a long run. My legs felt trashed for the first 45 minutes, but I was able to hold a low-threshold wattage for the 90-minute class. It didn’t feel great, but threshold isn’t supposed to be easy.

Saturday – a.m. run

Bad run. Just bad. Two friends and I ran in hilly Pennsylvania, and between the terrain and cold weather (and not wearing enough layers), I felt awful. Running steady wasn’t going to happen (sorry, Coach Pat), but I did what I could: five easy miles is better than zero miles.

Sunday – off

Spent the morning spectating Steamtown—and the afternoon relaxing!

What did you do this weekend?

Training Log – Week of Sept. 29 (Week 38)

So on the non-running/training front, this proved to be a bizarre week. Thankfully, I got an adequate dose of people time on Friday and Saturday—and despite rain, our Four Jacks Run was a success!

four-jacks-run-jackrabbit-sports

That morning, I ran in the rain for forty minutes. I can’t imagine (a) running 20 miles and (b) running 20 miles in the rain. These folks are rockstars! (One of four pace groups I should add; we had so many rockstar runners!)

Even though I had a productive week working from home, I’ve decided to camp out at coffee shops (or diners?) this week. I underestimated how much I enjoy being around people, and I really can’t go too long without talking to someone. It’s important to make this arrangement work too because it sounds like I’ll be working remotely for the next week at least.

General training notes: Overall, nothing too groundbreaking to report. I felt good during my runs and strong during my rides. I’ve also stepped up my corework routine, and I’m really trying to make strength training happen consistently. On an interesting note, I’ve definitely been sleepier this week. (Case in point: daily post-lunch powernaps.) Runners, is this normal when you increase mileage?

Monday – a.m. run

Early and easy five miles with Back on My Feet, plus four on my own after and corework. (BoMF miles will not be counted toward my overall weekly mileage because these runs are extremely easy. To account for this extra time on my feet, however, Coach Pat makes my workout after the shortest of the week.)

Tuesday – a.m. run and strength train

Six easy with strides, plus upper-body strength training and corework

Wednesday – a.m. CompuTrainer class at Tailwind Endurance

The line of this power hour was “Carrie’s over there pushing 4,000 watts.” My numbers were through the roof, and I’m still trying to wrap my head around why. Even the coach asked what I’ve been doing. It’s not like I’ve been biking more—just running all the miles. As per usual, we did lots of threshold and VO2 max intervals, and I was able to hit and hold 300-plus watts for the VO2 sets (#letstalkwatts). Until I do another power test, the plan is to go by effort.

Thursday – a.m. run

Blahhh, messed up this long run big time. I ran my usual route to Central Park and hit the Reservoir, but my Garmin died at 5.65 miles. I totally froze, panicked, and stopped running. In hindsight, I should’ve kept going or even turned around and retraced my steps home so I’d have a ballpark mileage. But a device has never died during a true, structured training run, and I didn’t know what to do. After consulting with Coach Pat, I finished the second half that afternoon for a total of 10 miles. GAWD, I’m such a rookie sometimes.

Friday – a.m. bike

Easy, 50-minute recovery spin on the indoor trainer

Saturday – a.m. run

Finally nailed it! Because of our Four Jacks Run, I woke up early to get after it before heading to the store. And thanks to the wind and rain, I had the entire West Side Highway to myself. Things simply clicked; muscle memory kicked in, my legs turned over, and my brain stayed “off.” I ran a little faster than I should have, but I honestly expected to slow down eventually—but I didn’t. Dare I say progress?

Sunday – a.m. Bike MS NYC

bike-ms-nyc-2014

Great cause, great company, great post-ride food. My friends/coworkers and I did the 30-mile route, which circles Manhattan. We thought about doing the 55-mile ride, but that course essentially follows our normal ride over the bridge—and plus, two of them did 70.3 Princeton last week. So we hung out, spun out, and had a leisurely ride.

How did your workouts go this week?