Tag Archives: 13th Annual Aquaphor New York City Triathlon

A Silver Lining

Greetings, friends!  Thank you so much for your thoughtful comments on yesterday’s post.  Obviously, Sunday’s race was a very scary experience, but I learned a lot.

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From what more experienced triathletes said (*cough* Victoria *cough* Katelyn *cough*) blowing up is the nature of the sport, as is figuring out nutrition.  Looking forward, I plan to sit down with my coach, discuss the meltdown in detail, and start to develop a new hydration plan for the run (and potentially the bike).  And speaking of Sunday’s episode, a race representative called me yesterday at work to make sure I was doing OK—and to let me know that since I didn’t cross the finish line (womp, womp), I qualified for guaranteed entry for next year.  Woohoo for a silver lining!

My road to redemption officially began this morning, although it almost didn’t.  I was tempted to sleep a little longer, but then I remembered this video that went viral (in terms of my teammates) yesterday.

So the run happened.  It wasn’t fast, and it wasn’t far, but I got it done.

Seeing as this was my first “workout” since Sunday’s race, there clearly hasn’t been any swimming, biking, or real running.  So what have I been doing?

Drinking … smoothies. (Hey, I was severely dehydrated and all.)

7:18-breakfast-green-smoothie

It’s been so oppressively hot in New York City that smoothies sound super appealing.  The one I had this morning (look familiar, Alex and Hollie?) contained kale, spinach, frozen banana and blueberries, protein powder, plus lots of almond milk.

Cleaning … because I’m OCD just because.

Baking … because I’ve been bored.

7:18-paleo-chocolate-chip-banana-bread

Paleo chocolate chip banana bread, anyone?

Admiring tri bikes … because a girl can dream, right?

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On sale at Zen Bikes.  And it’s my size.  Just sayin’.

Doing laundry … because it’s somewhat therapeutic.  And needs to be done.

Shopping … sort of.

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Uh, where were these when I was in college? (OMG, I sound so old!)

Hope you’re having a great Thursday!

13th Annual Aquaphor New York City Triathlon (Partial) Recap

All righty, let’s get to it.  On Sunday, I attempted to complete my fourth swim-bike-run event of the season, the 13th Annual Aquaphor New York City Triathlon.

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To say I felt pumped, nervous, amped, and anxious would be a huge understatement.  I couldn’t wait to race on my “home turf,” and the stakes were higher:  This event would boast the most competitive field to-date (in terms of my age group, women 24-under), and it also served as a team competition.  Based on how well triathletes placed in their age groups, their respective teams earned points, and the team that accumulated the most points would win.  My racing season has gone well, so I really wanted to deliver for the team.  Plus, the NYC Tri would be my final tune-up race before a certain event in August, so I really wanted to finish off this first half of the season strong.

I’ve written a few times that my coach says if you don’t pass out or throw up after a race, then you didn’t push hard enough.  And sorry if this is TMI, but let’s say I covered all my bases—and recorded my first DNF.  Here’s how it went down.

Swim – 1500m – 18:10 (2/36)

Prior to this race, I heard nothing except negative things about swimming in the Hudson River.  However, I went into it with the ignorance-is-bliss mentality:  Most likely, this would be my fastest swim ever because of the current.

In the week leading up to the race, my coach and I talked extensively about my game plan, and we knew having a strong swim would set the tone. (As I get further into this triathlon journey, it’s become more evident the swim is where one of my strengths lies.) Right from the start, I needed to push.

The swim was a time-trial start, so groups of 20 athletes were led onto the pier and jumped into the water every 15 seconds.

aquaphor-nyc-triathlon

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Back in 2011 when it was the Nautica New York City Triathlon.

Age group placements determined starting times, and my wave began around 7 a.m. (More than 3,000 triathletes competed, so there were two different transitions:  yellow and red.  My wave was the last to go for the yellow, and following a 20-minute break, the red transition participants hopped into the Hudson.)

In terms of the swim course itself, my coach and a few teammates gave me some pointers, so I situated myself in a favorable spot on the pier.  As soon as I jumped in, I noticed the current (the official water temperature was 75 degrees Fahrenheit):  I felt like I was flying!  I kept my strokes long, focused on gliding, and barely kicked.  Unlike past races, I allowed myself to smile once and be grateful for the experience, but then got down to work.  As I caught up to waves that started before me, there was some bottleneck action, but I navigated it fairly well.  I also really liked how there were meter postings along the left side of the water, so every 300m, 600m, etc., you knew your progress.

Toward the end, I started to kick more to ready my legs for the run to transition, and I caught up to the group (women 35-39) that started three waves before me.  Needless to say, I exited the water feeling high on life.  I was really happy with the swim.

Transition 1 – (~0.5 mi. run) 5:16 (2/36)

Another part of the race my coach and I talked about was the run from the swim exit to transition 1 (T1).  Depending on where your bike rack was located, each triathlete had a 400-800-yard barefoot run on concrete.  My goal for T1 was to strip off my wetsuit and pick off as many people possible on the run.  It was definitely painful, but I knew what to expect thanks to my Trial By Fire experience; I knew what running right after swimming would feel like, and I knew how to work through it. (And for what it’s worth, I passed the girl who beat me out of the water in T1.  I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was first in my AG heading out on the bike.)

Bike – 24.8 mi./40-K – 1:26:58 (5/36)

The race plan for the bike was to push the pace without burning out, and for the most part, I executed.

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Even though I hoped for a faster split, this is definitely the strongest and most confident I’ve felt during a race.

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As the ride progressed, I worked my way up the waves, so by the time I rolled in to transition 2 (T2), I was alongside women who started nine swim waves before me.

Transition 2 – 1:36 (3/36)

Got in, changed gear, and got out.  No messing around.

Run – 6.2 mi./10-K

At the start of the run, I had a feeling I was in a good spot in terms of my AG.  And now, since reviewing the data and splits, I know I was in first place—until I blew up.

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For the run out of T2, we exited at Riverside Park at 72nd Street and ran one mile before arriving at Central Park.  Once I hit the hill, my quads immediately locked up.  Then and there, I knew the run was going to be a suffer fest.  In hindsight, this should’ve been a warning sign; this exact thing happened at Nautica South Beach before I hit the wall, but luckily, the run was short enough (only four miles), so I could power through.  This run, however, went from bad to worse—and fast.  My pace slowed big time, and even though I dumped water on my head at every aid station, I refused to walk or take in nutrition.  In hindsight, this was not a good decision. (In the past, when I’ve taken in fluids on the run, I’ve experienced stomach cramps.) Around the mile-two mark, two girls in my AG blew past me, and I knew catching them was out of the question.  However, when a third girl tried to make a move, my competitive side took over, and I surged ahead.  We matched pace for a bit, and around mile four, I surged again and hoped it would put enough distance between us.

It was around mile 4.5 that I collapsed.

The next few hours were a dizzy and hazy blur:  riding in the ambulance (with one of my teammates who was a few minutes behind me on the run), getting tests done, etc.  The doctors said I was severely dehydrated, which means I should’ve been fueling on the run.  I hung out in the hospital for a few hours as they pumped fluids into me, and two of my teammates stayed with me for a bit.  I was released later that afternoon, and one teammate brought me some clothes, and another picked me up and drove me back to my apartment.  My mom also made the trip to NYC, so I’ve been under her watchful eye since Sunday evening.

Since the race, I’ve received so many texts, emails, and Facebook messages, and it makes me feel truly blessed and grateful to have such a supportive and caring network of friends, teammates, and family.  If this had to happen, then at least it occurred in NYC, at a race where plenty of people were present.

I’m well on the road to recovery now, and I’m starting to feel more like myself.  No workouts for a few days obviously, but I’m slowly easing back into my normal routine.

So what did I learn from this race?  The importance of knowing your limits—and when you can keep pushing and when you need to back off.  This race also makes it necessary to reevaluate my nutrition strategy during the run, especially on hot and humid days. (The heat index was 107 degrees Fahrenheit.)

Oh, and in terms of the team challenge, Full Throttle Endurance came in second place—by one point.  And I know that one point is on me.

And this may be too soon, but you can bet I’ll be back at this race next year on a quest for redemption.

Have you ever fainted or passed out while exercising?  How did you handle it?

Write It Down, Do It Up – Week of July 14

So … Happy Monday, friends!  As you know, I had the 13th Annual Aquaphor New York City Triathlon yesterday.

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No smiling this time around.

Long story short, it did not go as planned:  I made it through the mile swim, 24.8-mile bike, and about 4.5 miles of the run before I passed out to due to severe dehydration and wound up in the hospital.

I’m well on the road to recovery now (and my mom is here!), but needless to say, working and working out will not be happening for the next few days.  I do plan to write a partial race recap; prior to blowing up, I was having a decent outing.

Anyway, on the bright side, the team is taking a mid-season break this week, which means no organized workouts.  And that definitely will make it less tempting to get back into training too soon.  With this in mind, I’m not mapping out workouts for this week.  I plan to take today, tomorrow, and most likely Wednesday completely off, and then I’ll assess things on Thursday and go from there.

How do you know when to push and when to back off during workouts and races?

Severe Case of Taper Crazies

Hiya, friends—happy Thursday!  How’s your week going so far?  Mine’s been filled with working and working out—and suffering from a severe case of taper crazies.  As you know, the 13th Annual Aquahphor New York City Triathlon takes place this Sunday.

nyc-triathlon-count-down

T-minus three days (for those of us counting)!

Obviously, I’m pumped and excited to race, but this tapering stuff has been tough.  Physically, I hate shutting down workouts feeling strong, and mentally, I’ve been all over the place.  One second, I’m confident, and then next, I start questioning everything:  is my training adequate?  Did I bike enough?  Should I have strength trained more?  And plus, I don’t feel like myself.  I’ve been quiet and reserved at work, yet anxious and on-edge. (Thanks for the pep talk yesterday, Patrick!) Here’s a rundown of what I’ve been doing and thinking this week.

My appetite has disappeared.  Friends, this is huge.  Yes, my workouts this week haven’t been as long or intense (hence the phrase tapering), but my hunger seems to be non-existent.  This is weird and isn’t like me at all.

‘Drink more water.  Drink more water.  Drink more water.’

‘How fast should I run during the half-mile trek from the swim exit to transition?’

Because workouts have been shorter, I’ve had free time every morning this week.  Which is also weird.

‘Should I hammer on the bike?  Maybe after the turnaround point …’

‘How will I handle the inevitable heat and humidity?  Can I run strong and not blow up?’

Sleeping.  Lots of sleeping.  My “grandma hours” have become even more exaggerated, and I feel tired all the time.  Case in point:  I crashed hard after work yesterday, started to fall asleep while watching the news, and tucked myself into bed at 8:20 p.m.  I didn’t wake up until this morning’s 6 a.m. alarm.

‘What will it be like running Central Park clockwise?  Is it harder or easier than counterclockwise?’

‘Will everyone have fun at the post-race party?’

Workout

So remember how I fell asleep at 8:20 p.m. last night and woke up at 6 a.m. this morning?  The only reason I didn’t hit snooze was because I made plans to run with a teammate.  We took to the track and completed a one-mile warm up before we alternated between steady and solid efforts:  three laps steady, one lap solid.  Repeat for three miles.

Breakfast

I wasn’t hungry after the workout, but polished off a bowl of overnight two-hour oats anyway.

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And now it’s after 2 p.m., and I should start to think about lunch.  Again, not so hungry.

How do you feel during the days leading up to a race?  Have you experienced taper crazies?

Party Warlord

Happy Friday, everyone—and happy first day of summer!  Let’s hope the official start of a new season means tons of runners will be out shopping for new gear today.

Workout #1 – Swimming

This morning started with a Full Throttle Endurance swim workout that focused on long sets—think 10-minute steady swim, 8-minute steady swim, etc.—and pulling, my favorite type of tech work. (Note sarcasm.) Since a lot of us are racing Stamford next weekend, we also practiced sighting and drafting.  And I rocked a new pair of goggles!

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I received this TYR pair (polarized special ops if the #trigeeks are interested) in my shoe training graduation swag bag, and as you can see, the goggles have a blue tint, which works better for pool swimming. (My trusty Speedo goggles have a dark tint.) Nothing but good things to say so far:  They didn’t fog up, they didn’t let in water, and they felt really comfortable.

Workout #2 – Running and Strength Training

After spending some quality time in the hot tub (more on that shortly), I hit the West Side Highway for an easy 20-minute run and finished with a full-body strength training workout.

Breakfast

Back home, I made an extremely green smoothie that contained frozen kale, one frozen banana, frozen blueberries, spinach, protein powder, and almond milk.

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Perfect for a warm summer day!

So you’re probably wondering about the title of this post, right?  In the hot tub after practice, my teammates and I started talking about the New York City Triathlon, specifically our post-race plans.  Yes, we’re pumped to swim, bike, and run on our own turf, but let’s be honest—the after party is a major source of excitement too. (Exhibit A:  South Beach.  Exhibit B:  Montauk.)  Somehow, one thing led to another, and my teammates voted me “party warlord”—yes, that’s the actual title—which means I’m in charge of planning our afternoon shenanigans.  How this responsibility gets delegated to the youngest person on the team … I have no idea.  Luckily, I have some party-planning experience:  In high school, two of my best friends and I hosted a summer “formal” for a bunch of our friends.  Midnight Masquerade was the theme in 2007.

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And in 2008, we went with a color theme—silver and gold maybe?

summer-party-2008

Anyway, organizing these parties was a lot of fun—and a lot of work.  It definitely gave me a new respect for event planning.  Our setup worked nicely because we were a team of three, and thankfully, two of my teammates volunteered to help with our upcoming get-together.  But I was told to still “rule with an iron fist and veto dumb ideas,” so we’ll see what happens!

Do you have party- or event-planning experience?  Also, NYC-ers:  any recommendations for fun party venues?

My 2013 Race Calendar

Good morning, friends!  How’s your Monday shaping up?  Since getting a job at JackRabbit, I’ve finally written down my races in my planner and developed a clear idea of which weekends will be devoted to traveling and competing.

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I signed up for a lot of these triathlons a while back, but I haven’t taken the credit-card plunge for others yet.  So even though my calendar isn’t 100 percent solidified (in terms of monetary investment—ha!), I do have a clear idea of how many races will constitute the 2013 season.

According to this schedule, I have four definite races for the 2013 campaign:  two sprint and two Olympic.  It’s highly likely, though, that I end up doing five or six tris.  There are also two non-triathlons on the docket, and if a bunch of my teammates decide to do shorter road races (like 5- or 10-Ks), then it’s possible I may sign up too.  But as of right now, I have zero “straight up” road races that are goal races.

Speaking of goal races, I want to say that although doing four (or potentially five or six) short-course events may seem like a lot to some and not enough to others, I’m not sure what my triathlon “sweet spot” is yet.  I’m still so new to this swim-bike-run world, and I don’t know how many tris I can race, train through, or just do for fun while I avoid injury, fatigue, and burnout.  And as you’ll see below, I do not plan to “race” each one.  Don’t get me wrong; I love training and racing, but it’s important to prioritize every event, so each has a letter grade:  “A,” “B”, or “C.”  These ratings are pretty self-explanatory:  an “A” race means I will truly be racing it with the goal of meeting specific times, splits, and speeds; a “B” race means I will use the event as a dress rehearsal for its corresponding “A” race; and a “C” race means I will focus on having fun and enjoying the experience, aka no concrete time goals in mind.

Nautica South Beach

Date:  April 7

Distance:  Classic (0.5-mile ocean swim, 19-mile bike, 4-mile run)

Priority:  “C” race

nautica-south-beach-triathlon-medals

Wait, did this really happen one week ago?!  This Miami-based event proved to be a great “C” race.  I had so much fun putting my training together and kicking off the race season.  Plus, I learned what specifically I need to work on during the upcoming months.

MuckFest MS Boston

Date:  April 27

Distance:  5 miles (of obstacles)

Priority:  N/A

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T-minus two weeks until I get super muddy for a great cause!  My fundraising efforts went better than expected, and there’s still time to donate.  Anyway, this will be my first mud run, and I can’t wait to experience the hype.  My team registered for a non-competitive wave, so this event will be all about having fun.

Escape to the Palisades 5-K

Date:  May 5

Distance:  5-K

Priority:  “C” race

escape-to-the-palisades

Oh, teammate peer pressure; gotta love it.  It will be interesting to see how this bike-run-bike-eat-drink brick pans out.  The race itself could easily become a “B” event since teammates from my pace group have registered, so we may end up using it as a short tempo run.  We’ll see.

Mighty Montauk

Date:  June 8

Distance:  Olympic (1-mile lake swim, 22-mile bike, 10-K/6.2-mile run)

Priority:  “B” race

mighty-montauk-triathlon

Registration opened earlier this month, and I took the plunge and signed up for my first Olympic-distance event—ekkk!  Even though I will technically train through this event (especially in terms of nutrition), I do want to push it and determine ballpark times and splits for this distance.  Essentially, I’ll use this race as a dress rehearsal for the New York City Aquaphor in July.

Stamford KIC It Triathlon

Date:  June 30

Distance:  Olympic (0.9-mile swim in Long Island Sound, 40-K/24.8-mile bike, 10-K/6.2-mile run)

Priority:  “B” race

stamford-kic-it-triathlon

So I haven’t made up my mind about this one yet.  Clearly, it’s on my radar, but I haven’t signed up.  Full Throttle Endurance usually has a strong presence at this race because it’s only about an hour outside of New York City, but my main uncertainty lies with its timing:  it’s two weeks before my “A” Olympic-distance race.

Aquaphor New York City Triathlon

Date:  July 14

Distance:  Olympic (0.9-mile swim, 24.8-mile bike, 6.2-mile run)

Priority:  “A” race

aquaphor-nyc-triathlon

Honestly, I still can’t believe how lucky I was to score a spot in this race!  People don’t seem to love it, though:  the swim in the Hudson grosses out some (but I’m thinking of the faster-than-usual split because of the current!), the bike is tough and leaves lots to be desired (in terms of scenery), and my coach said point blank this will be the hardest 10-K run of the season.  But you can’t beat an event that takes place in your backyard.

Sherman Triathlon

Date:  July 27

Distance:  Sprint (0.5-mile lake swim, 12.5-mile bike, 4-mile run)

Priority:  “C/B” race

sherman-triathlon

Here’s another race I haven’t made a decision about yet.  Since our head FTE coach organizes this Connecticut-based event, it’s essentially a private, FTE triathlon—ha!  There are two issues regarding timing to consider:  First, it’s one week after the NYC Aquaphor.  Two, it also takes place the weekend of Ironman Lake Placid, and I may make the trip to volunteer with one of my teammates.  At the same time, though, I would really like another tune-up sprint before Cazenovia in August.  Decisions, decisions.

Cazenovia Triathlon

Date:  August 11

Distance:  Sprint (0.5-mile lake swim, 14-mile bike, 5-K/3.1-mile run)

Priority:  “A” race

cazenovia-triathlon

Not to get sappy, but this race will bring my triathlon journey (thus far) full circle:  it was this event I trained for last summer, and it was after crossing the finish line of this event that I became totally hooked on swimming, biking, and running.  I’m so excited to travel home, do this race again (especially the bike course that proved to be my demise), and blow last year’s time out of the water.  As an “A” race, this event will be all about racing, pushing, and seeing how much I’ve improved.

Timberman Sprint Triathlon

Date:  August 17

Distance:  Sprint (0.3-mile lake swim, 15-mile bike, 3-mile run)

Priority:  “C” race

timberman-sprint-triathlon

Yet another event I’m undecided about.  A ton of my teammates have signed up for the Timberman 70.3, and even though they’ve tried (unsuccessfully) to get me to do the half-Iron too, I’m seriously considering the sprint, which takes place the day before.  I don’t know how smart it would be to do another event one week after an “A” race, but I definitely want to make the trip to New Hampshire to cheer on my teammates.

Do you prioritize your events and races?  How many times do you race each year?

Building My 2013 Triathlon Race Calendar

Hey, friends!  Can you believe it’s Thursday?  This week seems to be flying by—no complaints here!  I think we’re in agreement about the “healthy” Girl Scout cookie news.  If you try it, please let me know what you think!  Anyway, after publishing yesterday’s post, I found out that registration for my hometown triathlon opened (which caught me off guard because the original date advertised was my birthday, Feb. 5!), and I didn’t waste any time: I officially signed up for the 13th Annual Cazenovia Triathlon!

cazenovia-triathlon-registerMore on that in a minute—today’s eats first!

Breakfast

I’m feeling stuffy and congested today, so I opted out of my planned morning yoga class.  And plus, Andrew told us to take today completely off after yesterday’s butt-kicking indoor cycling workout.  I slept in until 7:20 a.m.—glorious!—enjoyed two leisurely cups of coffee, and then made an egg-white breakfast sandwich.

1:17-breakfast-egg-whites-mushrooms-red-peppers-udis-gluten-free-bread

I finished the spinach earlier this week—grocery shopping needs to happen today—so I added roasted mushrooms and red peppers instead.  This combo packed more flavor, and I’ve become a huge fan of Udi’s Whole Grain Bread.

Lunch

I wanted a warm meal for lunch, so I heated up a spinach, turkey, and pepper jack cheese tortilla in the oven.

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Plus some carrots on the side.

13th Annual Cazenovia Triathlon

Even though I’m locked into the Nautica South Beach and New York City Triathlons, my 2013 race calendar hasn’t been completely finalized. (I’ve talked to Andrew and nailed down potential events, and I plan to share my official schedule once I register for each event.) Unfortunately, Full Throttle Endurance will not take a team trip to Central New York in August, but I knew signing up for the Cazenovia Triathlon needed to happen.  It takes place in my hometown, and it was also my first official swim-bike-run race; completing this sprint event got me totally hooked on the sport, so I have an emotional attachment to this race, too.  Plus, triathloning is all about finding your limits and pushing past them, so I want to kick butt, take names, and see how much I can improve—aka blow last year’s time out of the water.  It’s all about progress!

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Speaking of progress, there’s been some already.

cazenovia-triathlon-swim-wave

That’s right—no longer a swimming novice! (Since the 2012 race was my first true triathlon, I opted for the novice swim start.) Hey, remember that time I swam in the fast lane? (Too soon?)

Anyway, I registered last night, and this afternoon, I saw this post on the CNY Triathlon Club Facebook group page.

cazenovia-triathlon-registration

Does it surprise you that I was one of the first people to sign up?  Type-A at its finest, ladies and gentlemen.

Is there a certain race or event that always makes it on your calendar?

Which One Doesn’t Belong?

Hiya, friends!  Happy Hump Day!  Can you believe Thanksgiving is just about one week away?  Although I’m looking forward to running a local yokel turkey trot, I’m even more excited to see my friends and family.  And eat a ton of delicious food, of course. (Calories don’t count during the holidays, right?)

Workout – Running

This morning’s workout included a “tempo run”—we’ll get to that in a second—and some strength training.  I thought about ditching my iPod and running without music, but I definitely needed it; I battled some serious negative thoughts.  After a 10-minute warm-up, I settled into a comfortably hard pace, but the cold weather (37 degrees Fahrenheit) combined with the unrelenting headwind made it extremely difficult to hold the pace.  As I continued to push, negativity started to surface:  If I can’t hold this pace, how in the world am I going to run an 8-K in one week?  If this is challenging, how can I complete an Olympic-distance triathlon?  Yeah, I was not in a good place mentally.  When I reached the halfway point, I stopped, stretched, and gave myself a pep-talk:  Yes, it’s a tempo run, so it’s supposed to be difficult.  If this were easy, then everyone would do it.  You are stronger and better than this; this is how it will feel running off the bike, so instead of fighting it, just go with it.  On the run back, instead of fighting the pain, I acknowledged it and reminded myself it’s only temporary.  Plus, I told myself this is how I will feel during the NYC Triathlon (honestly, I’ll probably hurt a lot more), so I need to get used to this discomfort.  Just the thought of July 14 alleviated some of the perceived pain, and I finished strong.  I even passed a lady who was about a quarter-mile ahead of me.  So overall, this outing epitomized a “character-building” run.

In the fitness center, I noticed something strange near the weight rack.

Hmmm.  Which one doesn’t belong?  Don’t get me wrong—I’m all for drinking coffee before working out. (In fact, I always have two cups with almond milk before getting my sweat on, but I drink plenty of water so I’m not dehydrated.) But bringing java to the gym?  That seems like a fitness faux pas to me.

Breakfast

Almost-empty nut butter jars keep piling up, so it was another overnight oats in a jar morning over here.

Now that it’s getting colder, I might have to retire this meal until the spring, but I still have two nearly empty jars.  Decisions, decisions.

Do you drink coffee in the morning?  How about before your workout?  Do you notice a difference when you have caffeine in your system?

Still in Shock

Hi, friends!  First, thank you so much for your supportive comments on yesterday’s good news.  When I entered the 2013 Aquaphor New York City Triathlon lottery, I obviously crossed my fingers and toes, but I didn’t get my hopes up.  After all, the event caps at 3,000 triathletes, and since there were several ways to obtain a guaranteed entry, I didn’t think my chances were too favorable.  Honestly, I still can’t believe my luck because I’m probably one of the unluckiest people ever.

I took some time to enjoy the good news, and this morning marked an important mental shift:  no more “fartin’ around”—it’s time to get after it! (My high school basketball coach would probably roll his eyes because I’m both using and making fun of one of his signature phrases.)

Breakfast

Before my workouts, I toasted two Van’s Power Grains and slathered them with almond butter and banana slices.

Workout #1 – Swimming

Chelsea Piers is still out of commission, so I headed to the McBurney YMCA to swim.  The pool was packed this morning; each of the seven lanes (two “slow,” “medium,” and “fast” sections, plus one “multi-use”) contained at least three swimmers, but I hopped into a “medium” one and got to work.  I focused on kicking today because I tend to rely on my arms during the swim portion of triathlons; I’m all about saving my legs for the bike and run.  However, using my legs more effectively will help me become a more efficient in the water.  Plus, during the final 100m or so, it’s common for triathletes to surge and kick harder, which helps to break up lactate acid and ready legs for the bike.  Anyway, I drilled for 50 minutes and then headed home for my second sweat session.

Workout #2 – Biking

Even after yesterday’s trainer-tire drama, I still wanted to “spin out” my legs after swimming.  And conveniently, ESPN is broadcasting 24 straight hours of college hoops today (which equates to 16 games), so I setup another front row seat for the Harvard-UMass game. (The Harvard Scholars Crimson couldn’t hang with the Minutemen; final score was 67-64.)

Can’t beat it!  I also used a climbing block today. (It supports the front tire and makes for a more accurate road-riding/climbing simulation.)

Oh boy—biking with less-than-fresh legs on slight incline made for a sweaty, 30-minute workout.

Post-Workout Snack

As I stretched, I drank plenty of water, plus this vanilla shake from Premier Protein.

OK, I’m not a vanilla person, so I didn’t care for this flavor.  It tasted like French vanilla coffee creamer–too thick and too sweet.  Yes, I still polished off the entire thing, but I wouldn’t have it again.

Lunch

I’m still making my way through some leftovers, so lunch came together quickly—tofu and chickpea curry with spinach.

I also snacked on some carrots and an apple.

Off to work on some freelance assignments!  Have a great Tuesday!

I’m In—2013 Aquaphor New York City Triathlon, Here I Come!

Breaking news:  I officially have a spot in the 2013 Aquaphor New York City Triathlon—woohoo!

I’m so pumped!  Receiving this email set into motion a slew of emotions—excitement, gratitude, anxiousness, and nervousness to name a few.  First, I’m excited to do this swim-bike-run event in my new “backyard.”  How cool is that?  (Plus, I can totally train on the course, which never hurts.) This confirmation message also designates my first official, written-on-the-calendar-in-pen-and-highlighted 2013 triathlon race.

Up until now, I’ve been swimming, biking, and running regularly—it is the off-season, not the “soft season,” after all—but I’ll be the first to admit I haven’t been “attacking” my workouts.  Sure, I’ve logged laps in the pool, time in the saddle, and miles on the pavement, but these sweat sessions have lacked that extra drive, umph, and motivation that comprised my in-season workouts.  Now that I have one scheduled race on my calendar, it makes the upcoming season more real.  Yes, July 14, 2013 is eight months away, but this date will change my mental approach.  How can it not?  In the oh-so-articulate words of my high school basketball coach, it’s time to stop “fartin’ around” and going through the motions.  Done and done.

Amidst this triathlon excitement, I tried to install my trainer tire so I can ride to my heart’s content without killing my road tire.  Oh boy.  After watching a few videos online, I felt somewhat prepared to tackle the task.  First, I removed my rear wheel from the bike frame.

And then things went downhill.  Fast.  I managed to successfully remove the road tire (after deflating the tube a bit), from the wheel, but I hit a wall trying to install the trainer tire.  When I added air to the tube, it popped.  It caught me so off-guard I actually jumped!  Yikes!  And during this process, I dropped my chain. (For non-cyclists, this means my chain came off my chain ring.) Sigh.  I became so overwhelmed, threw in the towel, and called in the experts; I went to Zen Bikes, and $9 and 15 minutes later, my bike is ready for the trainer.  Whew!

Breakfast

Totally forgot to post today’s meals.  Whoops.  After running and strength training this morning, I made an open-faced egg white and spinach sandwich.

Lunch

Not pretty, but definitely tasty—steamed spinach with leftover lentils and brown rice, plus a boatload of carrot slices.

Dinner

Three cheers for more leftovers!  My mom left me half of her sole from Saturday night’s dinner, so I zapped that along with some green beans and assembled a salad.

I also roasted some cauliflower, broccoli, and mushrooms.  Mmmm, veggies.

When you become stressed or overwhelmed, how do you react?