Tag Archives: 4th Annual DeRuyter Lake Triathlon

23

At approximately 8:41 a.m. this morning, I turned 23 years old.

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Holy cow—talk about old!

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Ballet days throwback.  My grandparents included this photo in the above birthday card–aren’t they sweet?

It seems like yesterday I was playing high school basketball, then hanging out at CampHoho going to college.  Where has the time gone?

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In all honest, though, 22 treated me very well.

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I rang in my second year of official adulthood with plenty of homemade cupcakes and Pinot Grigio.

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I ran my first relay race, the Seneca7, with some awesome Writing and Rhetoric teammates.

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What?!  Who doesn’t like pondering grammar?

I had so much fun fully embracing the sweetness of senior spring—after completing my Honors project, of course.

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I survived my first wine tour.

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I graduated?!

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I decided to give blogging and triathloning a shot.

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I volunteered at the Syracuse 70.3 Ironman—and watched MB kick some serious butt!

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I partied through ran the Boilermaker 15-K with Sara.

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I bonded with Zelda at the Grapehound Wine Tour.

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I finished my first triathlon—and was instantly hooked!

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I completed my second and third swim-bike-run events.

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I moved to New York City, survived Hurricane Sandy, and found a big-girl internship.

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I explored Brooklyn with Gabby and Connie.

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I spent lots of quality time with my family during Thanksgiving and Christmas.

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I officially started training with Full Throttle Endurance.

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I trigeeked out and met Craig Alexander.

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Twenty-two was pretty sweet, but 23, I’m ready for you—let’s do it!

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!)

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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

Best piece of new gear?

Running:  Mizuno Wave Elixirs.

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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.

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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?

4th Annual DeRuyter Lake Triathlon Recap

Well, that’s all, folks—I finished my inaugural triathlon season on Saturday by completing the 4th Annual DeRuyter Lake Triathlon.

I knew this swim-bike-run event was going to be low-key—it’s relatively late in the season, and there was no preregistration—and this triathlon epitomized a “grassroots” event:  no swim caps, no race bibs, and no timing chips. (No age-group awards either, just top three overall male and female winners.)

Without these staples—plus no sponsors and no USAT sanctioning—the event’s overall atmosphere was different.  Don’t get me wrong; as always, the race director, volunteers, and triathletes were helpful, friendly, and excited. (Sidenote:  I bonded with two, erm, older male participants.  One even said I looked like an elite, legitimate triathlete, which totally made my day!) However, the race didn’t feel like a traditional tri.  Overall, though, I think this laidback vibe was good for a “one last triathlon hoorah” before ending the season.  Although triathloning centers on challenging yourself and pushing your limits (and having fun, of course!), this non-competitive atmosphere reminded me why I got into the sport and why I love it.

Anyway, because this DeRuyter Lake multisport event differed from both the Cazenovia and Skinnyman Triathlons, this recap will be a little different, too.  First, because there were no timing chips, I’m going to guess the “official” times aren’t 100 percent accurate.  What’s more, there  T1 and T2 weren’t calculated. (T1 was counted as part of the swim time, and T2 was counted as part of the bike segment.) Time and speed are important, but they can be overshadowed by lessons learned during the tri itself.  With this perspective in mind, I’m going to focus on what I learned from completing my third triathlon.

Swim – 0.5mi./800m

Overall, the half-mile swim was logistically similar to CNY Triathlon training sessions, but the weather and water conditions created the toughest OWS I’ve tackled to date.  Here’s how it went down.

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(I’m wearing the Zoot wetsuit and bright orange swim cap.)

Usually, swim waves are organized by sex and age, but on Saturday, race numbers determined start times.  For example, since as number 8, I—along with triathletes numbered 1-19—was in the first wave alongside men and women of various ages. (Lower numerical values are generally reserved for professionals and elite age-groupers, so I felt very legit!  Ha.)

Twenty swimmers comprised each wave, which made jockeying for position virtually a non-factor.  Nonetheless, I secured a spot far to the left and at the front of the line.  The course itself was an out-and-back loop; out was fine, but back was tough.  Really tough.  The headwind created white cap waves, so swimming forward was difficult, and simply getting a clean breath was nearly impossible.  Even though I had some OWS experience in these conditions, it wasn’t enough; in fact, during all of these choppy swims, I cut the workout short.

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Lesson learned:  It’s beneficial to practice in all OWS conditions. (Within reason, though–stay inside if there’s thunder or lightning).

Bike – 15.9 miles

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Coming off a slow swim, I wanted to get after it on the bike.  Before the race on Friday afternoon, I drove the course with my mom—well, she drove while I took in the terrain—so I knew the general elevation.  Plus, since the route circled the lake three times, I became familiar with it in no time.  Here’s the good news:  Not a single person—male or female—who had a roadbike passed me.  In fact, no women overtook me. (I think my “roadkill” count was about seven.)

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All the men who passed me had tribikes, so I did my best to maintain contact for as long as possible, but I couldn’t hang with them.  Throughout the ride, I focused on maintaining a high cadence, and ideally, I wanted to negative-split my loops, meaning each lap would take less time than the previous one. (According to my computer, the course measured 15.7 miles, and my speed averaged 16.5 mph, which was OK considering the wind.)

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Lesson learned:  Get a tribike Consider getting a tribike down the road. (And seriously think about getting aerobards during the off-season.) A girl can dream, right?  Until then, embrace biking in a variety of conditions, including the wind and rain. (Again, within reason.)

Run – 3.0 miles

Even though I felt strong coming off the bike (“strong” being relative, ha!), I was too conservative on my run.  Like the swim, the run course was an out-and-back loop.  On the way out, I found a pace bunny, “reeled” him in, eventually passed him, and repeated the process. (Both people I passed were men.) I like loop courses because you can catch a glimpse of your competition, and sure enough, I spotted two women in front of me.  The first was too far ahead to catch; the second was a bit closer, and it would be a challenge to reel her in. (I also couldn’t believe only two women were ahead of me!)  Rounding the turnaround point, I picked up the pace.  During the trip out, I noted some prominent landmarks and their locations so I’d have a sense how far into the run I was and how much farther I had to go when I came back.  However, I’ll be the first to admit I didn’t have a strong sense of the course. (When I drove it Friday, I went by the map from last year, which mirrored the bike course.  However, the route actually went the opposite way.) Basically, in what was about 400m from the finish (I didn’t have a strong sense of the distance at the time), a woman surged ahead and passed me.  My gut told me to stay with her, but since I didn’t have a clear idea of how close the finish line was, I simply maintained contact.  It wasn’t until I saw the final descent that I realized the finish line was near, but by then, it was too late to catch her.  Even though I finished strong, it was frustrating to cross the finish line and know (1) I still had gas left in the tank, and (2) the woman who ended up placing 2nd or 3rd overtook me. (I think I placed within the top five or eight, but I’m not sure.) The good news:  I set a new sprint-distance PR.  The bad news:  The time probably isn’t that accurate; as I crossed the finish line, volunteers yelled, “1:33, 1:36, 1:39,” so my time is somewhere in that ballpark, ha.  Lesson learned:  Energy allocation is huge.  During a race, a triathlete constantly assesses how much energy they have and how much they can expend on a given event.  I’m hoping this principle becomes more natural with experience.

After the race, the participants, organizers, and volunteers gathered in the DeRuyter General Store.

There were lots of snacks … and mimosas?!

Oh yes.

Have I mentioned how awesome triathletes are?  Unfortunately, the bubbly beverages were just for a small group of people, but it was a great way to celebrate the end of the season.

And amidst smiles, laughter, and adult beverages, my first triathlon season came to a close.  I can’t believe how quickly it went by–from deciding to try a swim-bike-run event, selecting triathlon gear, and completing my first race in my hometown, I’ve had a total blast becoming a triathlete.  What’s more, I’ve found a sport–and a lifestyle–that I truly love; now, I can’t imagine my life without a wetsuit, roadbike, or super-short fingernails. (Hey, don’t want to rip the wetsuit, right?) Although I’m sad the season’s over, I’m excited to enter the off-season; I’m “hungry” and ready to improve.

National Run at Work Day

It’s Friday—TGIF!  And it’s also National Run at Work Day!

In its seventh year, this campaign encourages adults and children to get 30 minutes of exercise each day in accordance with the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans.

Company-based wellness programs, human resources departments, running clubs, running events, running shoe stores, teachers, coaches parents, and individuals nationwide are encouraged to plan fun runs and walks around the country with their employers or at local schools … either before work/school, during lunch, or immediately following work/school. RUN@WORK Day also encourages companies to help employees schedule time for physical activity.

Pretty neat, right?  Are you celebrating? (If I had a big-girl job, I totally would!)

Dinner

Holy cow—take a look at last night’s winner.

I repurposed our leftover local, organic free-range chicken and made a healthified curried chicken salad.  I’ll post the recipe next week; for now, I’ll share two of the no-longer-secret ingredients:  chopped apple and purple grapes.

Workout – Open-Water Swimming

An empty stick of BodyGlide signals a successful triathlon season.

And I ran out on the day of my final OWS no less; couldn’t have planned it better! (I did pick up more when I went to JackRabbit Sports while interviewing and apartment hunting in New York City.) Because yesterday ended up being an unintentional rest day, I wanted to swim one more time before tomorrow’s DeRuyter Lake Triathlon.  For both the Cazenovia and Skinnyman Triathlons, I rested one day before, but this time around, I obviously used my recovery day 48 hours beforehand.  It will be interesting to see if this affects things tomorrow.  Anyway, this morning’s blustery winds created white cap waves, so even though my OWS lasted about 10 minutes, it felt like an hour-long workout. (And there were fisherman nearby puffing away on cigarettes, which contaminated the air—gross!)

Breakfast

A cold workout called for a warm meal, so I whipped up a modified two-ingredient pancake.

Today’s flapjacks included one banana, one egg, one egg white, half a scoop of Jay Robb protein powder, and a sprinkle of cinnamon.  Topped with PB and frozen blueberries, they hit the spot.

I’m off to test-drive the bike and run courses.  Neither looks too bad, right?

(Times three because it’s three loops.)

Famous last words, though, right?

Taking Inventory

Happy Hump Day, everyone!  How’s it going?  For me, today epitomized the middle-of-the-week funk.

This is so a Wednesday picture, right?  Lots of cleaning, organizing, and taking inventory for my move to New York City—yaya!

Dinner

After spending four jam-packed days in the Big Apple and eating out for my grandma’s birthday, I was more than ready for a home-cooked meal.  Last night, we went with an old favorite.

Spicy shrimp with cilantro and lime plus roasted broccoli and mushrooms left me feeling satisfied.  But not stuffed to the brim so I couldn’t enjoy a bowl of frozen grapes.

It had been far too long.

Workout – Bike-Run Brick

Clear skies and no precipitation meant all systems were go for my final pre-DeRuyter Lake Triathlon brick workout.  Both segments were relatively uneventful, except for this morning’s cooler temperatures.  It wasn’t freezing, but it definitely felt (and smelled) like fall, which got me thinking about how a chillier race-day forecast could affect my performance.  All summer, I’ve been training in warm conditions (obviously), and with temperatures starting to cool down, I haven’t practiced as much as I would’ve liked prior to Saturday’s triathlon.  For example, on the bike today, I never truly warmed up; it didn’t hinder the ride too much, but I definitely noticed a difference when it came time to run:  “Jell-O-legs” feel heavier when it’s chilly.  I can only control the controllables—like my training and nutrition—and I’m hoping the thermometer hits Saturday’s projected high of 67 degrees by 9 a.m.  On the bright side, I probably don’t have to worry about the triathlon being wetsuit-legal.

Breakfast

Following the chilly brick, a warm meal sounded perfect.  I attempted to make almond “oatless” oatmeal, but the almond extract proved to be too overpowering.

Speaking of Paleo-friendly oatmeal, I’ll post my go-to recipe tomorrow morning.  Let me know what you think!

Lunch

I ran some errands with my mom this morning, so I enjoyed a late-for-me 2 p.m. lunch of quick ravioli and spinach soup.

Plus last night’s leftover roasted veggies.

And a peach for dessert.

Fueled by soup and veggies, I tackled the remains of my college glory days.

Yikes!  Bag by bag, bin by bin, I took inventory of what needed to be thrown out, what could be donated to the Salvation Army, and what was acceptable to bring to my big-girl apartment. (“This is a grown-up apartment now.” SATC the Movie anymore?)

Since I’m a type-A person, I thrive on organizing, so it was this process was quite therapeutic.  Weird, I know.

Even though the mess has reduced to a more organized form of chaos, I’m also a little overwhelmed; I’m planning to purchase a lot of household goods once I get to NYC, but there’s a bunch of stuff I should get beforehand.  A vacuum cleaner is on the top of the list.

Do you like cleaning and organizing?  Do you find any household chores strangely therapeutic?

Happy 77th Birthday, Grandma!

Last night, we celebrated my grandma’s 77th birthday with dinner at Canal View and a delicious chocolate cake from Wegmans.

That’s our version of 77—“76 plus 1.”

What a great evening!

Workout – Bike-Run Brick Run

Originally, a bike-run brick workout was on the docket for today, but the weather had other ideas.  With showers all morning and afternoon plus a tornado watch beginning at 3 p.m., a ride wasn’t going to happen. (Note to self: Get bike trainer ASAP.) Instead, I swapped today’s multisport workout for Thursday’s 30-minute run; I’ll complete the brick tomorrow and bump my final pre-DeRuyter Lake Triathlon OWS to Thursday.  Anyway, I hopped on the treadmill for half an hour this morning, and it wasn’t bad.  Definitely not my best run ever, but far from the worst.

Breakfast

Soaking in sweat, I knew a cold morning meal would hit the spot; after rummaging around the fridge and freezer, I compiled a yogurt bowl.

Come to think of it, this mess looks more like a deconstructed parfait.

Banana slices and frozen blueberries lined the bottom, Greek yogurt comprised the middle layer, and Fiber One cereal, Seitenbacher muesli, and more banana slices topped the mixture.

Lunch

My mom and I met my dad at Zabroso’s this afternoon.  I’ve been to this Spanish eatery once before—many, many years ago, and I loved it—so I had high hopes.  Unfortunately, though, lunch was a bust.

All three of us ordered the chicken and rice special, but it wasn’t good.  Chicken and I are acquaintances—I don’t love it, but I’ll eat it if no other health options and/or protein sources are available—but this dish didn’t exactly help our trying friendship.  There was barely any meat on the bones, and the chicken that was present lacked flavor.  I ate two pieces and half of the rice before throwing in the towel; it just wasn’t worth it.

Afternoon Snack

After a disappointing lunch, a more substantial snack was in order.

First, I sliced an apple and microwaved it for one minute.  Next, I added some cinnamon and 1/4 cup instant oats, 1/2 cup water, and zapped the combo for another minute.  Topped with a heaping spoonful of peanut butter, this hit the spot.

OK, so changing gears a bit, you know how I found a big-girl apartment in New York City this weekend? (Here are the recaps, part one and two.) So, I received more paperwork this morning via email, and one of the forms listed restricted dog breeds.

No joke.

Luckily, the building is greyhound friendly, which means Zelda can visit.

Do you have any pets?  Did you have any growing up?  Does your building allow pets? (Is this list normal for an NYC apartment?  Just curious.)

Recovering from New York City

Hiya!  How’s your Monday been?  I feel like I’m playing major catch-up from my trip to New York City.  Four days of interviewing and apartment hunting can really exhaust a girl.

Workout – Swim-Bike Brick

I’m not going to lie:  Although I was tired, I was pumped to zip up my wetsuit and hit the open water this morning.  After walking and exploring—without proper hydration—my calves have been screaming for three days, so I knew swimming would feel good.  And it did.  After thirty minutes of OWS, my calves felt like new.  Until I hopped on my bike.  I made sure to drink more water than usual during my ride, but lower-body was beat. (Interesting, I held a faster pace than normal during this routine loop.) Until further notice, I’ll be rocking my trusty compression sleeves.

The glamour is just too much; I know.

Breakfast

After my ride, I made a bowl of “oatless” oatmeal.

I’ll share the recipe this week—promise!

Lunch

After tweeting, emailing, and blogging the morning away, I broke at 1:30 p.m. for a simple midday meal.

First, I wilted spinach in the microwave, and then added some rice and beans before warming up the entire mixture.  I also snacked on some unpictured grapes for dessert.

We’re off to Canal View for dinner to celebrate my grandma’s birthday.  Have a great night!

After traveling, do you usually get tired?  How do you bounce back and readjust to your normal routine?

Write It Down, Do It Up – Week of Sept. 16

Hey!  Greetings from an exhausted, but excited future resident of New York City; that’s right—I found a big-girl apartment this weekend!  From my interview to my apartment search, a ton happened this weekend, which I will of course share later this week; keep your eyes peeled for a two- or three-part recap. (And I also promised I Choose To Live Stronger that I’d share my perfected “oatless” oatmeal and protein pancake recipes, too; all in good time, friends.) So where does this leave me?  My apartment move-in date is Oct. 6, which means the DeRuyter Lake Triathlon this Saturday is still a go!  Onto Write It Down, Do It Up!

(If you’re new to WIDDIU, here’s how it works:  Every Sunday evening, I’ll 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 – 30-minute OWS; 45-minute bike

Tuesday – 45-minute bike; 30-minute run

Wednesday – 30-minute OWS

Thursday – 30-minute run

Friday – off

Saturday – 4th Annual DeRuyter Lake Triathlon

Sunday – off/easy run

How did your workouts go last week?  What are your plans for this week?

Never Forget

Eleven years ago today, as I sat in Mrs. Webber’s 6th grade RLA class, our world changed forever.

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My classmates and I were diligently working on a grammar assignment when Mrs. Webber turned on the TV. (Later, I discovered our principal and administration debated whether or not to tell us about the horrific events, and if they should let us watch live coverage.) Saying I was shocked would be an understatement; I couldn’t process or wrap my head around it.

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9/11—never forget.

Dinner

For yesterday’s Meatless Monday, my mom marinated tofu, and my dad cooked it on the grill.

Plus roasted broccoli, zucchini, mushrooms, and red peppers on the side.  Delicious and nutritious.

Workout – Bike-Run Brick

Another day, another brick workout.  With temperatures hovering around 45 degrees Fahrenheit this morning, my old friend Under Armour and I reunited. (I guess fall is really here!) Even with this extra layer, my body refused to warm-up as I set off on my bike—tight quads, freezing fingers, and numb toes comprised my first loop around Cazenovia Lake.  About 30 minutes later, I felt warmer (warmer being relative!) and even clocked a negative-split on the second loop.  Following a quick wardrobe change, I hit the road for a 30-minute run.  I’m not sure if it’s the motivation from Sunday’s #runchat or my body becoming accustomed to brick workouts, but the run was great; I actually covered my usual 30-minute route in 20 minutes, which I didn’t discover until I got home and checked my watch.  It’s all about progress.

Breakfast

A chilly morning called for a warm meal, and “oatless” oatmeal fit the bill.

The proportions are almost perfect, and I topped my serving with blueberries and banana slices.

Lunch

Leftovers from last night made lunch a no-brainer.

Reheated tofu and roasted veggies on a bed of spinach.  I’m going to track down an apple for dessert.  Have a great day!

#Runchat

Around 8 p.m. last night, I found myself on Twitter and noticed a ton of tweets that contained #runchat. (Read: hashtag runchat for you non-tweeters.) If you follow me on Twitter, you know my tweets are peppered with the #runchat.  Using a hashtag to categorize popular phrases makes these text snidbits more searchable, and it helps to better connect members who have similar interests.

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Even though I use #runchat frequently, I hadn’t participated in a true chat prior to last night, which is exactly what I stumbled upon:  I checked Scott’s feed and realized the organized chat was up and running.

#Runchat takes place on the second and fourth Sunday of every month, and I’m already excited for the next one on the 23rd.  Here’s how it worked:  Scott and David, who moderated the chat, posed five questions throughout the hour, or one every 10 minutes or so; each participant answered the question and talked to other runners.  Plus, if we had any questions, we could ask those, too.

The guys came up with some great prompts, and my favorite was “who would be on your dream relay team?”

Too funny!  Instantly interacting with likeminded people was awesome.

It’s nice to know I’m not the only person obsessed with Ryan Gosling.

Going into the chat, I had no idea there would be a giveaway taking place.  However, the nine-o’clock hour brought a prize—I won a “Run All Night” package from Ragnar Relay!

Not a bad way to end my first-ever #runchat, right?

I’ve heard the package contains some pretty awesome swag—no complaints here!—and even though winning a prize is cool, I also enjoyed interacting, helping, and learning from other runners.  Most importantly, I left the chat feeling inspired, energized, and ready to take on my next run.  Thanks for hosting last night, Scott and David!  And thanks for sponsoring, Ragnar!

Breakfast

Before this morning’s swim-bike brick, I fueled up with a favorite combo.

Two Kashi waffles with almond butter and banana slices. (Plus two cups of coffee; I’m useless without caffeine!)

Workout – Swim-Bike Brick

In preparation for the DeRuyter Lake Triathlon, I’m amping up my training this week.  First, I hit the lake for a 30-minute OWS, and then ran into the garage for a makeshift transition.  After a quick wardrobe change—take off wetsuit, cap, goggles, and tri-top; put on socks and bike shirt—it was off to road for a 70-miute ride.  This was my second trip with the Bontrager Trip 5W, and I love it; it’s easy to use, and it’s helpful to have instant feedback.  Without it, I wouldn’t have known that I sped through in a school zone! (Why yes; I did clock 21 mph in a 20 mph area.)

Post-Workout Snack

The Paleo diet seems to be all the rage, and I’ve seen a ton of recipes for Paleo-friendly oatmeal, so I decided to give it a try today.  (The Paleo diet centers on what the first caveman ate:  wild plants and animals.  The modern version of this eating philosophy allows unprocessed foods like fish, meat, eggs, and nuts, while forbidding fare including dairy, grains, and legumes.  Here’s a great infographic from Greatist.) Good news—this dish is a keeper!

Basically, this is oatmeal without the oats; it contains egg whites, almond milk, half of a mashed banana, flaxseed, cinnamon, and vanilla extract.  I’m still tweaking the portions, so I’ll share my go-to mixture later this week.  This definitely has an acquired taste, and I can see how someone who loves regular oatmeal’s texture might not like this “oatless” version.  It also has serious staying power. (I wasn’t hungry for lunch until 2:30 p.m.)

Lunch

My mom and I ran some errands this morning, and since we almost went to Chipotle for lunch, I knew exactly what my midday meal would look like once we were back at home.

After wilting some spinach in the microwave, I added a homemade black bean burger, red pepper slices, and some of my uncle’s hot peppers that were leftover from last night’s dinner.  This combo packed some serious zip.

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