Tag Archives: 35th Annual Tromptown Run

My 2012 Running and Triathloning Recap

Happy last day of 2012, friends!  How are you spending the last 24 16 hours (and counting) of this year?  Will you set resolutions for 2013?  Even though I’m not one to set goals when the clock strikes midnight (you don’t have to wait for a new year, month, or week to make a change), I do like reviewing what happened this year–on the running and triathloning fronts, of course.  Seeing which races and distances proved successful—and which turned into struggle fests—I can better make my 2013 training schedule and race calendar.  This post has been circulating the running, triathloning, and healthy living blogs recently—and a big thanks to Miss Zippy for conceptualizing this idea—so with the new year only hours away, it’s time to reflect on 2012.

Best race experience?

Running:  The Seneca7 (during pre-Fitness and Frozen Grapes days). (The Boilermaker 15-K was a close number two!)

seneca-7-finish-line

This seven-person relay race around Seneca Lake promised everything—running (three legs and double-digit mileage for the day), eating (the swag bags contained nut butter and chocolate!), and lots of laughing.  At the beginning of the day, I didn’t know everyone on Team Run-On Sentences, but there’s nothing like running 77.7 miles to bond people.

seneca7_medals

It was literally one of the best days ever, and four of the original Run-On members are looking to get a team together for 2013; I’ll keep you posted!

Triathloning:  Cazenovia Triathlon.

caztriathlon

It was my first triathlon in my hometown—I got to swim in “my” lake, bike on “my” hills, and run on “my” roads—and my family showed up in full force!

caztri_signwithauntjulieuncleshaun

caztri_fans_2

Even though I completed brick workouts in the weeks leading up to the event, doing a true triathlon ignited a passion in me that I thought died during collegiate basketball.  After I crossed the finish line, I was totally hooked; deciding to give this triathlon thing a “tri” (sorry, couldn’t help myself) was a huge turning point for me, and I can’t wait to see where it takes me in 2013.

Worst race experience?

Running:  Tromptown Run (half-marathon).  In hindsight, training for my first triathlon and half-marathon simultaneously wasn’t the best idea.  Doing my first multisport event provided enough of a challenge (not to mention a learning curve!) that I could’ve done without increasing my mileage; if I hadn’t spent so much time running, I could’ve worked more on my swim and bike.  Anyway, this race itself proved to be my toughest run (mentally) of the year.  On the bright side, I can only improve, and looking forward (wayyy forward), I know I can and have run 13.1 miles … for when I train for a half-Ironman.

Triathloning:  Honestly, I didn’t have a disappointing triathlon (thanks to low expectations—ha!), but the swim portion of the DeRuyter Lake Triathlon ended up being especially brutal.  Wind and choppy water equated to my slowest swim split of the season.

deruyter-lake-triathlon-swim-exit

Again, that just means there’s room for improvement.

Best piece of new gear?

Running:  Mizuno Wave Elixirs.

new-mizunos

I’ve been an ASICS girl for the longest time, but I’m really glad I switched over; these sneaks feel so light!

Triathloning:  As a swim-bike-run rookie, I had to get all the necessary gear—tops and shorts, wetsuit, bike, everything.  Today, especially during the winter, I’m grateful for my CycleOps Fluid2 trainer.

cycleops-fluid2-trainer-with-road-bike

If I didn’t have this apparatus, I wouldn’t be riding regularly.

Best running/triathloning advice you received?

Running:  “Run the mile you’re in.” (I think I read it in Runner’s World.) While running, it’s easy to get caught up the distance or time remaining.  During the summer, heading out for a 10-mile run seemed daunting, so I’d break it up into smaller chunks.  Sometimes, I could handle running five and then another five, or maybe eight plus two, but there would be those days that making it to the next mailbox was the goal.

Triathloning:  A lot of running advice translates to triathloning—don’t try anything new on race day, always have several (“A,” “B,” and “C”) goals and races, etc.  Overall, though, I’m still learning so much about the sport, and my cousin MB has been great putting up with all my questions and offering tips.  Most recently, she told me about her general fueling strategy on the bike.

Most inspirational runner/triathlete?

Runner:  How can I pick one runner?!  Everyone has overcome obstacles, challenged themselves, and pushed past their limits, which sounds inspirational to me.

Triathlete:  Again, same thing. (Although I do have a total soft spot for Craig Alexander now.) Each triathlete has a story to tell, and each has a unique journey that lead them to the swim start.  Inspirational people are everywhere; you just have to look.  I’ll freely admit to tearing up while watching the Ironman World Championships in Kona–crossing the finish line means much more than swimming, biking, and running.  And after being inspired by these athletes, how can you not want to do it too?

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

Challenging myself, going outside my comfort zone, and ultimately making a lifestyle change.

Running/triathloning ups?

Tackling new distances—like my first 10-Kvolunteering at the Ironman 70.3 Syracuse and with New York Runners in Support of Staten Island, and finishing my first sprint triathlon.

Running/triathloning downs?

Where I was mentally during my half-marathon; and honestly, the end of the triathlon season bummed me out.  In terms of confidence, I hit a turning point during my third tri, and I felt like I was starting to somewhat figure out what I was doing.  That’s off-season motivation, though!

Surprise of the year?

The fact that I started triathloning—and having people call me a triathlete.  I still can’t wrap my head around it sometimes!  If you told me one year ago—when I was a wee college senior—that I would be swimming, biking, and running after graduation, I probably would’ve looked at you in complete disbelief and had a good laugh.  Now, though, it seems like such a logical transition, and I can’t picture myself not triathloning.

Let’s hear about your 2012:  favorite race?  Best piece of new gear?  Surprise of the year?

Write It Down, Do It Up – Week of August 12

Hey, everyone!  I hope you had an enjoyable weekend!  Between running Thursday’s half-marathon, preparing for my first sprint triathlon, and completing the Cazenovia Triathlon (recap coming soon!), I’ve had a busy couple of days.

After graduating from college in May, I embarked on these 13.1-mile and swim-bike-run endurance events as summer fitness challenges.  My sweat sessions felt more purposeful because I was training for definite races, but now, my workout calendar is totally blank.

Don’t worry, though.  After conducting online research and talking to fellow triathletes, I found a few races—of both the run and swim-bike-run variety—that peaked my interest.  But before I start training for the next event, I’m devoting this week to active rest and recovery; I won’t be taking seven days off, but I also won’t be completing multiple brick workouts either.  Without further adieu, here’s this week’s edition of Write It Down, Do It Up!

(If you’re new to WIDDIU, here’s how it works:  Every Sunday evening, I will post my workout schedule for the week, and I invite you to do the same.  This way, we can motivate each other and hold ourselves accountable.  Sounds like a win-win, right?)

Monday – easy cardio at the YMCA (maybe the elliptical); yoga class with the sister

Tuesday – swim at the YMCA; strength training

Wednesday – CNY Triathlon Club training (last of the season—boo!)

Thursday – Rest

Friday – 5-mile run; strength training

Saturday – Women on Wheels

Sunday – Cycle 60 at the YMCA; strength training

What’s your workout schedule look like this week?  Are you training for any races?

35th Annual Tromptown Run Recap

Cross this one off the fitness bucket list:  Last night, I completed my first half-marathon, the 35th Annual Tromptown Run!

As both my first 13.1-mile run (and farthest I’ve ever run, period) and night race, I went into the half with zero expectations.  My longest training run allotted to 12 miles, so I knew I could physically handle 13.1, but my primary concern had to with the race’s evening start time of 6:15 p.m.  Prior to last night, I don’t remember the last time I ran at night; in hindsight, I should’ve completed at least one p.m. long run.  Because Tromptown was a race of many firsts, I didn’t set any goals.

Inside the DeRuyter Central School gym, a DIY packet pickup was held.  It was a bit strange getting my race bib and t-shirt by myself; at all other races I’m run, there have been volunteers on hand to distribute race gear and check identification.  Tables were marked off alphabetically, but each section lacked a volunteer.  I guess they don’t have problems with bandit runners!

Before the race, I saw my old JV basketball coach.  He’s a big runner who’s completed the race a few times, and he gave me some last-minute pointers:  skip the first water station (because the water tastes “funny”), pace off someone slightly faster, and remember the first hill is the worst. (Sidenote:  He finished the race third overall and first in his age group; yeah, he’s legit.)

The race featured a two-wave start—one at 5:30 p.m. for runners who would take more than two hours, and another at 6:15 p.m. for runners who would finish in less than two hours—and in hindsight, I should’ve signed up for the earlier time, especially because this was my first half-marathon.  Based on my 4th of July 10-mile time, I knew it 13.1 miles would take about two hours, so I should’ve played it safe and signed up for the earlier start time.  Oh, well.  Live and learn, right?

As I walked to the start line and stretched out, I didn’t feel ready to run.  Although I followed a low-fiber pre-race eating plan, my stomach seemed a little full; not uncomfortably so, but it wasn’t ready to tackle 13.1 miles. (For my next afternoon or evening race, I’ll skip the bowl of oatmeal and slam an energy gel instead.) Mentally, I felt off, too.  It was strange getting ready to run at 6:15 p.m.; it didn’t feel natural or comfortable, which, as a morning runner, I should’ve been expecting.  Before all of my races, I’m psyched and ready to go, but I wasn’t last night.  These firsts—following a new eating plan, running a new distance, running at a different time of day—were not ideal race-day conditions, and they made me feel uneasy.  Overall, these factors made it difficult for me to get into the zone, yet I hoped my mental outlook would improve once I started running.

(source)

Anytime I run, the first five miles are the toughest, a fact I kept in mind during the beginning of the race.  Plus, I knew after the steep incline at mile three the terrain would consist of rolling hills; I just had to make it past the incline, and I would feel fine.  However, as I logged miles five, six, and seven, I knew it was going to be a long race.  Everything that gave me trouble during past training sessions—mainly my calves—felt fine (thanks to tapering), but I couldn’t get myself into the run mentally.  Running in no-man’s land didn’t help either; there were big packs in front and behind me, but I ran the majority of the race alone.  Normally, running solo isn’t a big deal—it’s what I do during every run—but being alone in an unfamiliar environment proved to be an issue.  Basically, the entire race didn’t feel “natural,” which only worsened my mental game.

Even though I was in a less than ideal mental state, the volunteers and spectators provided spurts of encouragement.  There were encouraging course marshals around every turn, and the people manning water stations were also very supportive.  When I passed a spectator around mile six, I couldn’t help chuckling when whe exclaimed, “Run with your tits!”  Yeah, she was probably buzzed (she was holding a beer can), and the comment was definitely obscene, but it made me smile.

From a mental perspective, the final three miles epitomized sheer exhaustion.  It’s not like I mentally checked in to the race at the start, but I was more than ready to be done once I hit mile ten.  Luckily, I ran the remaining 5-K with a bobcat, aka a good-looking older gentleman.  He set the pace, and I totally zoned out.  After crossing the finish line—with an unimpressive and unofficial time of 2:11—I thanked him for running with me because I was struggling mentally, and he said I helped him, too.

Overall, aside from confirming the fact to never try anything new on race-day, I experienced firsthand how running is 90 percent mental and 5 percent training.  I prepared for the cardiovascular component, but the mental challenge surprised me.  Plugging into my iPod didn’t help my mental approach, but zoning out and keeping pace with someone else seemed to work.  For my next half-marathon, I will definitely run with a friend.

I’ve always respected people who complete half- and full-marathons, and now, I have even more esteem for those who tackle 26.2 miles.  My mentality for 13.1 miles was subpar at best, and I have no idea how I could keep myself mentally (and positively) engaged for that period of time.  I’ve been truly running for only one year, so I hope this mental strength comes with time and experience.

Tell me about your first half-marathon.  Was it a morning or evening race?  Did you run it alone or with friends?  Have you ever struggled mentally during a race?

I Survived!

Good morning, friends, and Happy Friday!  I figured I’d type a quick post to let you know I survived last night’s half-marathon—and I have the t-shirt to prove it!

A race recap should be up later this afternoon; it was an extremely tough race mentally, and by far the most challenging thing I’ve ever done.  I still can’t believe I finished; it was that tough.

Breakfast

My 9 p.m.-dinner following the 13.1 miles lacked starches—I wasn’t hungry at all, but I forced myself to eat grilled chicken, roasted veggies, plus one four of my sister’s chocolate chip cookies—so I woke up craving carbs. (My stomach actually started growling at 5 a.m., and I considered eating a pre-breakfast snack—has this happened to anyone else?) Enter pancakes.

I followed Tina’s recipe, and although these flapjacks look like hot messes, they tasted delicious!

Three-Ingredient Pancakes

  • 1 banana
  • 1 egg
  • 1 huge scoop of nut butter

Directions:  Blend ingredients in food processor (or mash by hand) and cook batter like a regular pancake.  FYI: Medium-low heat works best. Otherwise, you’ll burn that bad boy!

I used almond butter and mashed the ingredients by hand.  The batter made two medium-sized pancakes, and I topped the pile with another scoop of almond butter.

Today’s looking like it’s going to be a low-key, which is fine by me; I need to rest and recover for Sunday’s triathlon.

Question of the morning:  Are you a pancake or waffle person?  I don’t remember the last time I ate/made waffles from scratch, but I sure do love the frozen Kashi ones.  However, if I could have either homemade flapjacks or waffles, I’d pick pancakes.

Full-On Tapering

Happy Monday, everyone!  It’s been a busy day here, and on the workout front, I’m now entering my final half-marathon training stage—full-on tapering.

Workout #1 – Open-Water Swimming

This morning kicked off with a short, 10-minute open-water swim (OWS).  Although I wanted to swim longer, I knew my body would appreciate an abbreviated workout come Thursday.  In terms of general swimming, I feel like I’m finally starting to turn a corner.  At the YMCA yesterday morning, I completed three-quarters of a mile using the front crawl for 85 percent of the laps (without stopping, too!); and while swimming in my wetsuit this morning, I freestyled exclusively.  I’m excited to see how this progress translates on Sunday—I’m sure hoping it translates!—but I also wish I had more time to continue to improve. (I could always sign up for another triathlon, right?)

Workout #2 – Running

After drying off and changing into my running clothes, I hit the road for a two-mile run.  As my last workout before my half-marathon, this run served as an opportunity to hit and hold my goal pace without racking up high mileage.  Since I had only two miles to cover, I found myself speeding up, and I had to force myself to back off.  Overall, though, it was a good “last run.”  Now it’s time to rest up!

Breakfast

I needed a cold meal after my run, and cereal sounded perfect.

The mix included 1/2 cup of Kashi Go Lean, 1/2 cup of Fiber One, frozen blueberries, and almond milk.  Yummy!

Lunch

I snacked on some raw hazelnuts while I prepped my midday meal.

In the spirit of Meatless Monday, lunch took the form of an egg and cheese sandwich with S&P and Tabasco.  I used half of a whole-wheat English muffin as a bun and spread some crunchy PB on the other half.

I also had some cherries for dessert.

Fleet Feet

After lunch, I ran some errands with my mom and sister, and one of our stop included Fleet Feet.  I had to pick up a few things for my upcoming races, and here’s a look at my loot.

An extra pair of triathlon goggles—a strap could break or a lens could crack—and I stocked up on GU energy gels.

Dinner

Keeping with the Meatless Monday theme, I had black bean burgers for dinner.

I had this combo times two–delicious!

I’m off to watch the Olympics for a bit.  Have a great night!

Write It Down, Do It Up – Week of August 5

Hi, friends!  How was your weekend?  I just realized today’s my half-birthday, so I am officially 22.5 years old, aka almost 23.  Wowsha!  Anyway, I drove by this sign on my way to the YMCA this morning.

Triathlon (T-Day) day is only seven days away!  Oh, and there’s also that half-marathon on Thursday.  On that note, here’s this week’s edition of Write It Down, Do It Up!

(If you’re new to WIDDIU, here’s how it works:  Every Sunday evening, I will post my workout schedule for the week, and I invite you to do the same.  This way, we can motivate each other and hold ourselves accountable.  Sounds like a win-win, right?)

Monday – OWS with wetsuit; 2-mile run @ half-marathon pace

Tuesday – Rest

Wednesday – Rest (and volunteer at CNY Triathlon Club training)

Thursday – 35th Annual Tromptown Half-Marathon

Friday – Rest (?)

Saturday – Rest (?)

Sunday – Cazenovia Triathlon

Have you ever run an evening race?  How/what did you eat that day?  The half-marathon starts at 6:15 p.m., and since I’ve never run a night race, I’m not sure how to approach nutrition on Thursday.  Looking forward, I’ll most likely rest on Friday and maybe do something low-key on Saturday depending on how my body feels.

What’s your workout schedule for this week?

How To Taper For a Half-Marathon

Hi, everyone!  Happy Thursday!  Between yesterday and today—and the day before that, and the day before that, etc.—my Olympic fever continues to run rampant.

(source)

Khatuna Lorig did some serious work this morning.  Did you know she taught Jennifer Lawrence how to shoot for The Hunger Games?  Can’t complain if your teacher is a four-time archery Olympian, right?

Workout

I set my alarm for 6 a.m. this morning and headed out for my last pre-half-marathon long run at 6:30 a.m.  At 12.2 miles, this is the longest distance I’ve covered, but this will obviously change on Aug. 9.

Minus the challenging incline between miles three and five, I felt pretty good, so I feel prepared for next Thursday.  And with seven days to go, it’s taper time.  I’ll come back to this in a minute.

Breakfast

Like yesterday morning, I multitasked during breakfast—Olympics and overnight oats for the win!

Today’s bowl contained two scoops of PB, lemon Chobani yogurt, 1/3 cup of old fashioned oats, 1/3 cup of almond milk, cinnamon, and chia seeds.  Sorry I’ve been boring with my breakfasts lately—I just love overnight oats!

How To Taper

So, my first half-marathon is one week away!  Gulp.

Because I will be running 13.1 miles in seven days, I’m beginning to taper.  What exactly does this mean?  Active.com calls it a period of training at decreased mileage before race day:

“Taper is a time of rest and reduced workouts prior to a race.  During this time, your body rebuilds, refuels, and recovers from the weeks of hard training you have completed.  Research has found that reducing training before competition allows muscle tissue damage to heal and the body’s energy reserves to replenish.”

Experts say you won’t lose fitness during this period of R&R; in fact, it will ensure you have fresh legs on race-day.  For a half-marathon, Runner’s World recommends a taper length of 10-14 days.  However, since I’ve been training for a half-marathon and sprint triathlon simultaneously—and the events actually occur within a four-day span—I wanted to delay my taper.  Here’s a look at the final four weeks of Hal Higdon’s intermediate half-marathon plan I’ve been following.

Up to this point, I’ve been logging 20-25 miles per week, but from now until Thursday, I might run around 10 miles.  Runner’s World says my final running workout, a two-mile run, is especially important—I should run these miles at race pace, and then taking the following two days completely off.

How do you taper before a race?  What’s your tapering progression?  Do you do anything different when you taper?

Going All In

Hi, everyone!  Happy Hump Day!  Wednesday means it’s almost Friday, and for this aspiring triathlete, it also signifies CNY Triathlon Club training series.

(source)

With less than three weeks until the Cazenovia Triathlon, I’ve decided to go all in during training tonight—I will complete the 800m swim, the 10-mile bike ride, and 3.1-mile run.

Since I have three more training sessions until “T-Day”—well, most likely two because I’m running a half-marathon on Thursday the 9th—it’s time to evaluate my current training plan’s effectiveness.  Plus, putting the swim-bike-run progression all together will serve as a productive dress rehearsal for race-day. (I also need to practice my nutrition strategy a couple of times, and fueling for a sprint aquabike, or another two-sport combo, isn’t necessary.)

Overall, I’m keeping a positive outlook on tonight’s practice.  Sure, each event may not progress perfectly—does a “perfect race” even exist?—but whatever problems arise will serve as learning experiences.  Also, if one leg proves to be horribly difficult, I’ll still have some time to adjust my training plan accordingly.  (FYI, the Jamesville bike course spans a moderate 10 miles while the Caz bike route traverses a hilly 14 miles, so I’ll have to take into consideration when I evaluate my performance tonight and how I approach the bike portion on race-day.) Here’s my game-plan for tonight:

Nutrition:  A few hours before heading to Jamesville, I’ll eat a Greek yogurt and fruit or have a protein shake.  Fifteen minutes prior to the start—around 5:45 p.m.—I’ll slug an energy gel, which is what I plan to do on race-day.

Swim:  Swim confidently, sight effectively, and conserve energy for the bike and run.  However, “conserve energy” does not mean wuss out and rely on the breaststroke; when the uncomfortable feeling strikes, I need to stay calm, push past this threshold, and improve my stamina.  It’s training after all.

Transition 1 (T1):  Jog to transition and practice removing my cap, goggles, and wetsuit (if we can wear them) quickly.

Bike:  Settle into an efficient cadence and become more aggressive (compared to the swim).  I’ll also make a mental note of how I feel at the end and evaluate how this feeling would change if I biked an additional four miles.

Transition 2 (T2):  During these training series, most club members stow their bikes in their cars before they begin to run, I’ll do the same. (This will obviously effect my T2 time, but again, it’s OK because it’s training.) After returning my bike to the car, I’ll put on my sneakers, grab my visor, and start moving forward.

Run:  Once I get my legs under me, I’ll cruise into gear and lay down the hammer.  As my “in-the-bag” event, the run should be my strongest leg.

Breakfast

Don’t let this bowl fool you, friends.

What looks like overnight oats is actually 45-minute oats; I forgot to prep them last night, so I threw the mix together this morning, which included plain Greek yogurt, a mashed banana, a scoop of PB, cinnamon, chia seeds, and almond milk.  It tasted a little soupy, but that’s my fault for not planning ahead.

Lunch

Although I’ve been enjoying salads for the past few days, I wanted to change up my midday meal this afternoon.

Open-faced turkey sandwich with carrot fries.  On one slice of Ezekiel bread, I layered red pepper hummus, spinach, turkey, and one slice of American cheese.  I put the sammie on a cookie sheet and baked it at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes.  Simply delicious!  The carrot fries burned a bit, but you can’t win ‘em all, right?

I’m off to get my hair cut, and then heading to triathlon training.  Have a great day!