Tag Archives: Central New York

Triathlon Training Log – Off-Season, Week 16 (Dec. 19)

To everyone who celebrated, I hope you had a memorable Christmas surrounded by loved ones.

Surrounded by Grandma’s cookies

My days at home flew by—I took the train Upstate on Thursday and am heading back to NYC today—and it never seems like enough time.

General training notes: this was another good week of being a triathlete again, meaning I swam, biked, and ran. In fact my cycling and running mileage were nearly the same. Not sure if that’s a good thing or a not-so-good one, but I’m enjoying being back in the saddle. Throughout the next few weeks, we’ll slowly build this base and most likely bump up my rides to twice per week by the end of January.

Monday – a.m. CompuTrainer class at Tailwind Endurance

Back on the bike and feeling great! This 75-minute ride centered on technique and speed skills—think single-leg drills, spin-ups, etc.—and I felt more powerful and comfortable than last week. For what it’s worth, I’m also feeling less “frisky” in the words of my coach. Everyone else had permission to bump up the tempo blocks to threshold, but since this was my second ride in three months, I was instructed to stay at 75 percent—which, surprisingly, I was perfectly fine with. Am I finally maturing as an endurance athlete? Ha!

Tuesday – a.m. run

My final 2016 outing with my run bud—so bittersweet! We braved the elements and logged 6.5 miles in 24-degree weather.

Wednesday – a.m. swim with Bearcat masters

How swimmers celebrate Christmas

HY-POXIC FIVE: the morning group of Bearcats tackled a 12 days of Christmas swim that included 12x50s broken up in a variety of ways: straight freestyle, 25 drill, 25 swims; 25 butterfly, 25 freestyle; etc. At the end of the 12, we swam 200m straight, and then did the 12×50 once again. It was a lot of fun!

Thursday – off (travel home)

Friday – a.m. swim

For once, my hometown’s pool was open while I was home. Huzzah! I drove over first thing and tackled a 3,600m set my coach wrote titled “Christmas Toys,” which appropriately contained a lot of fun with fins, paddles, and pull buoys.

Saturday – a.m. run

Long and easy 10 miles around the lake

Sunday – a.m. run

Easy five-mile shake-out at home

Where did you go for the holidays?

Triathlon Training Log – Off-Season, Week 12 (Nov. 21)

And just like that, another whirlwind trip home has come and gone.

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Hometown lake life

I’ve been home in Central New York since Wednesday—and I’m heading back to NYC this afternoon—but those four days didn’t feel like enough time. We hosted a “modest 21” for Thanksgiving this year (my family is pretty big), and we had our annual extended family Christmas gift exchange yesterday. Now I’m even more excited for the holiday season!

General training notes: this week ended up being all about the run. Originally, I planned to get in a swim before heading home, but I procrastinated packing. (I was also hoping the local pool here would be open, but unfortunately, it’s closed until tomorrow.) Per usual, I kept everything easy and gave myself an extra rest day mostly because running three days in a row is a lot for me. I also clocked in at 34 miles this week, which, again, is a lot for me as a short-course triathlete.

Monday – a.m. run

Although I usually take Mondays off, I decided to shake out Sunday’s long run with a super easy 5.5 miler.

Tuesday – a.m. run

Easy loop of the park with my tri training (long run) bud

Wednesday – off (travel home)

Thursday – a.m. run

Trot early, then eat all day: a lot of the local races were cancelled due to snow, so I ran one of my favorite hometown routes instead around the lake. I love running when I’m at home because it gives me headspace to reflect, and those 10 miles flew by.

Friday – a.m. run

Easy five miles to shake out yesterday’s long run

Saturday – a.m. run

Another easy, mid-distance run at home

Sunday – off (travel back to NYC)

What did you do for Thanksgiving?

Triathlon Training Log – Week 39 (August 22)

Well, that’s it. My 2016 triathlon season is officially in the books.

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Nice view up here. Wonder what it is like a little bit higher …

Thanks to the Olympics, I accumulated a few comp days at work, which let me come home for a long weekend, spend some time with the fam, and do the 16th Annual Cazenovia Triathlon.

General training notes: Since I was still recovering from work—and because I had the local yokel sprint on Sunday—we kept training light this week. Nothing hard, nothing strenuous: just enough to keep the body moving and the legs fresh.

Monday – off

Tuesday – a.m. run

After disembarking the early morning bandwagon pre-Nationals, I struggled to hop back aboard this week. I did three loops of the Reservoir in Central Park that were peppered with fartleks, plus one mile at projected local yokel pace for a total of seven.

Wednesday – a.m. CompuTrainer ride at Tailwind Endurance

Easy-ish 70-minute ride with lots of cadence drills

Thursday – a.m. run

This four miler was a total slog, but on the bright side, I saw a few friends in Central Park.

Friday – off

Travel home

Saturday – shake-out run and tech ride

Easy 10-minute jog, and I rode my bike up and down the driveway a few times to make sure everything felt OK. My front brakes were rubbing, so I paid a quick visit to Syracuse Bicycle for an adjustment (and to see my people).

Sunday – 16th Cazenovia Triathlon (800m swim, 14-mile bike, 5-K run)

My final race of the 2016 was a sweet one: I cracked the overall female podium for the sprint! That means a lot because this was the first tri I did four years ago, and it’s super motivating to see the progress I’ve made. Race report to come!

What’s new with you? How did your workouts go?

2016 Seneca7 Recap

On April 23, I returned to my old college stomping grounds in Geneva, NY with six New York City friends for the annual Seneca7. (Sidebar: I can’t believe this race happened nearly one month ago! Time sure does fly.)

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Lakeside at Camp Hoho

I’ve referenced this seven-person, 77.7-mile relay on the blog a few times, and last month’s outing was my first time doing it since 2012—a.k.a. my senior year of college. Now that seems like a lifetime ago!

That race four years ago easily makes it onto my “best days ever” list, but even so, I struggled to field a team and head back to the Finger Lakes region. For the past few years, the Seneca7 fell on the same weekend as the South Beach Triathlon. And although the majority of my NYC friends are runners and triathletes, it was tough to find seven humans who could commit tin February to a race in April. Luckily, though, our schedules worked out, and “Joe Paulik’s Inaugural Fun and Senexy” (it’s an inside joke) was one of the 283 groups who made the cut; when registration opened, it sold out in 31 minutes! When I did this race in 2012, there were about 1,200 runners compared to the nearly 2,000 this year. Clearly, the Seneca7 has become well known over the past four years, and I wondered if this growth would affect race day. Spoiler alert: it was an amazing day.

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Each race medal has the leg engraved (1, 2, etc.) so you can collect all seven!

As our team organizer/head Sherpa, I was responsible for pre-, during, and post-race logistics including, but not limited to getting a rental car, making hotel reservations, and navigating our minivan through Upstate New York. The drive from NYC to Geneva was uneventful, but long; we left around 9:30 a.m. and arrived at the pre-race briefing site at 3:30 p.m. I was really looking forward to the trail mix bar, but most of it was gone by the time we got there, which is totally our own fault. Packet pick-up went smoothly, and Jeff Henderson, the race director, kept everyone laughing during the race briefing. He definitely had the line of the weekend: “There are not enough port-a-potties in the state of New York for this race.”

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Buncha port-a-potties because we “can’t get enough!”

We grabbed an early dinner at one of the restaurants downtown, and I took everyone on a tour of campus. And that’s when worlds collided: being back on campus four years removed from graduation with friends from NYC. It was crazy to think back to where I was four years ago, what I was doing, what my goals were, and where I ended up.

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Ah, Quad life …

Just like the Armory Indoor Marathon, our number one priority for the Seneca7 was having fun. Everyone on the team was a runner, but we were at very different fitness levels. Case in point: one girl ran a 3:25 at Boston while another hadn’t laced up since December. So for us, the day centered on hanging out, having fun, and doing a little running.

For us, race day began at 6:45 a.m. Like years past, start times were staggered based on projected paces, and I selected a conservative 9:30 min./mi. team average. I wanted to start as early as possible because we’d be making the drive back to NYC immediately afterward. In the end, we averaged 8:25 min./mi., although we received a penalty too much of a differential between our projected pace and actual pace/finish time. We were pleasantly surprised with our average, and although receiving the penalty was a bummer, it didn’t break the day—it was all about having fun. The high-energy start line and the super friendly volunteers set the tone for the day, and I even reconnected with several college classmates and a few tri friends.

For those who are unfamiliar with the Seneca7, each team of seven covers a total of 77.7 miles around Seneca Lake, a.k.a. the mileage is divided up. And since it’s a relay-style race, you don’t log your entire mileage in one stint: runner one runs and passes off the slap bracelet to runner two; runner two runs and passes off the slap bracelet to runner three; etc. This cycle repeats three times as the team makes its way around the lake.

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Exchange point at mile 37.8: Clute Park in Walkins Glen

Each person covers somewhere between nine and 15 miles, and as runner six, I logged 12.4 miles total. When discussing the pace plan with Earl, we determined each leg was essentially its own race: my first leg (4.6 miles) was flat and fast; my second (4.9) was a gradual climb; and my third (2.5) was rolling. And the goal was to run each as fast as possible. As to be expected, the terrain affected my pace—my first and flat leg was the fastest, and my second and hilly leg was the slowest—but I averaged 7:50s for the 12-ish miles. Also, breaking up the mileage and running it relay-style added an extra challenge: sitting in a car and then running on fatigued legs. On my third outing, my legs felt totally trashed—but it was great practice for running off the bike, ha. It made me wonder if the cycling teams—the folks who *biked* around the lake instead of drove—were onto something!

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Grinding it out on hilly leg number two. Imma runner?!

Overall, it was a super fun day, and we’re already looking forward to heading back next year.

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Unpictured: delicious post-race chili, cornbread, and homemade chocolate chip cookies

Have you completed a relay race?

Home For The 4th (and 5th) of July

Hiya, friends!  I hope your long holiday weekend is going great so far!  On Wednesday, I hopped on a flight home to Syracuse, and I’ve been fully enjoying Central New York.

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A little different than New York City, right?

My first stop after the airport was Wegmans.  Obviously.

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I have yet to find sushi that even comes close to this in NYC.

While home, I needed to complete a tempo run, so I signed up for my hometown’s 4th of July 5-K.

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I debated whether or not I should write a race recap, but honestly, there isn’t too much to say.  I did a quick warm-up mile on the high school track, and excluding two big hills at mile one and two-ish where my pace creeped up to 8:1X, I hit and held my tempo pace.  Official finishing time was 23:36 (7:36), which I’ll take for not “racing.”  Shortly after, I took Zelda for a “recovery jog.”

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Good news—the Mizuno Wave Sayonaras can withstand both road racing and greyhound walking!

Anyway, later that afternoon, my entire family—aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents—came over for 4th of July festivities.

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My uncle’s girlfriend’s mother made this patriotic fruit salad, and I had to try really, really hard not to put away the entire spread.  The fruit was delicious, but it was the dip that proved to be my demise: fluff and cream cheese.  Yum!

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Other shenanigans ensued.

And yesterday, I completed a five-mile recovery run before hitting the pool.  I mean LAKE!

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Words cannot begin to describe how much I missed open-water swimming here.

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My 20-minute “workout” consisted of a 10-minute warm up and 10-minutes of intervals.  I swam steady to a predetermined point, then swam hard back, and repeated this cycle.  My mom and dad spotted me, and this was the first time since last year they’ve seen me swim, bike, or run—and they were floored.  They said I looked like a completely different swimmer.  Woohoo for progress!

The rest of my day consisted of napping outside and trying not to get sunburned.

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My extended family eventually visited for round two of festivities.  No pictures, but I will say we polished off a bottle of limoncello and citrus-flavored vodka.

How did you celebrate the 4th of July?

Home Sw-EAT Home

Hello, hello from Upstate New York!

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Even though spring has officially arrived, the lake remains frozen.  Before I left practice Wednesday, my teammates said I should drill a hole and hop in for some open-water swimming.  It sounded like a great idea to me, but my mom shot it down—ha!

Anyway, it feels so nice to be home!  My tiny hometown is basically the exact opposite of New York City, and although I love living there, I do like escaping the concrete jungle every now and then.  My train yesterday arrived almost an hour late—you’re killing me, Amtrak!—so lunch was on my mind. (Not that there’s ever a time when I’m not thinking about food, but you get my point.) Luckily, my mom had some Easter grocery shopping to do at Wegmans, so we went there for lunch.

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Holy cow—I’ve missed Weggies so much!  I planned to get the citrus tofu roll, but it wasn’t available, so I went with a spicy tuna roll, plus a side of roasted mushrooms and asparagus.

For dinner, my family went to Circa, our favorite local restaurant.

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Luckily, my sisters and I “like” Circa on Facebook, so we knew there wasn’t wine—and alerted my parents, so we came prepared!  Salad and turkey mole for dinner.

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Mmmm!

Breakfast after my swim this morning was my standard spinach and egg white breakfast sandwich, and I enjoyed a delicious bowl of homemade black bean soup after my tempo run.

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Black bean soup never photographs well, but trust me:  To.  Die.  For.  I also chased it with an orange.

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Speaking of orange, Syracuse beat Indiana last night and advanced to the Elite Eight—woohoo!  I’m so happy the Cuse-Marquette matchup will start at 3:30 p.m. tomorrow afternoon; the past games have tipped off around 9:40 p.m., which is past my bedtime. (Seriously.)

I’m going shopping with my sister now—enjoy your Friday!

Do you certain meals or visit certain restaurants when you’re home?

So Much Snow

Happy Thursday, friends!  I hope you had a great holiday and have started to recover accordingly.  My family and I spent the day hanging out, reading, and organizing Christmas leftovers.  The first order of business included putting cookies in Tupperware and burying them in the freezer.

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Out of sight, out of mind, right?

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I haven’t broken into these frozen stashes yet, but I did eat wayyy too many of my grandma’s Italian venetian cookies.  So many, in fact, that they’re all gone, which means no picture.  Whoops.  Anyway, we also laid low yesterday because of a winter storm warning for Central New York; we got easily 10 inches of snow last night, and it’s still coming down.  Plus, the lake finally froze over.

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The bad weather even caused my local pool/fitness center to close, which I discovered after digging my car out of the snow and driving there.  Oh well.  Fingers crossed it’s open tomorrow.

Breakfast

My breakfast started off with an unpictured banana I ate before going to the pool, and after coming back home, I made “oatless” oatmeal an hour or so later.

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I followed the recipe, except I substituted almond extract for vanilla.  I didn’t taste a difference, but that’s probably because of the huge glob of Justin’s chocolate almond butter.  Would you believe Santa put a jar in my stocking?  He knows me well! (And there’s no way it will last more than a few days!)

Workout – Running

After letting my breakfast digest, I headed outside to run.  This wasn’t the greatest idea—the temperature notched 20 degrees Fahrenheit, and the snow continued to fall—but I will do anything (and run in anything) to avoid the dreadmill.

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One of my go-to routes takes about 45 minutes to complete, but it took me an hour to run it today.  Yeah, it took my body about 40 minutes to warm up (ha!), but the roads desperately needed to be plowed again—no sign of pavement.

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Please note the snowbank on the left; it reached my hip!  I would’ve been better off running in snowshoes!

Lunch

After showering, I heated up a bowl of homemade shrimp bisque.

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Mmmm!  I was still hungry, so I put together a plate of Christmas leftovers for round two.

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My uncle’s girlfriend made these delicious jalapeno-stuffed peppers with cream cheese, sausage, and cheese, and I also had a little wild rice.  I’m thinking an apple with some chocolate nut butter is in order!

How are you recovering from the holidays?  Have you taken down Christmas decorations yet?  What about your tree?  Would you ever run in the snow?

Greetings From Central New York

Hello!

That’s right—I’m back in CNY for Turkey Day.

The past few days have revolved around organizing, packing, and doing laundry, and I took the train home yesterday.  One of the benefits of freelancing/not having a full-time “big-girl” job includes getting a jump-start on holiday travel, so I beat the rush.  No complaints here!  Oh, and in somewhat-related news, operation clean out the fridge went pretty well.

Two things:  First, that is not my can of Dr. Diet Pepper.  Someone (*cough* mom *cough*) left it when they visited.  Second, I craved and had to buy more almond milk.  I almost had a one-trip-to-the-grocery-store week.

Dinner

My mom asked what I wanted for my first meal back home, and there was no hesitation—spicy shrimp with cilantro and lime.

Delish!

Breakfast

I tried to make a modified two-ingredient pancake this morning and failed miserably.

Whoops.  It still tasted good, though.

Lunch

I ate an early lunch today of leftover chicken and green beans, plus an unpictured apple.

Aside from the food front, I don’t have too much to report.  I spent the afternoon running some Thanksgiving-related errands; nothing too exciting.  We host Turkey Day every year, and we have 17 people coming.  Actually, in the words of my mom we “have only 17 people” attending; most years, we get more than 20!  Thank you, large Irish-Italian-Roman-Catholic family.

What are your Thanksgiving plans?