Tag Archives: family

Training Log – Week of Dec. 22 (Week 50)

Leisurely mornings are officially over.

2014-christmas-morning-by-the-tree

I’ve spent the past week at home, working remotely, running last-minute Christmas errands, and hanging out with my family. This is the longest I’ve been back in the Syracuse area since college, and it’s been absolute bliss. Even though I had a long to-do list basically every day, my time at home seemed relatively leisurely—probably because I didn’t have to cram everything into a three-day time frame.

2014-christmas-on-the-lake

Until next year, Christmas bliss. It’s back to the Big Apple—and back to reality.

General training notes: This was far from a stellar training week. Whether it was leaving my foam roller in NYC, wearing the same pair of shoes all week (which I never do), or yolo-ing on holiday treats and booze, my legs felt absolutely trashed. The runs got logged, but I didn’t feel strong during any of them; I struggled to hit paces and turn over my legs during easy runs. It’s been a while since I’ve had a tougher week of workouts, and with any sport, it’s a question of “when,” not “if.” And that’s OK. I’ll take a series of not-so-great workouts for quality family time any day.

Monday – a.m. run and strength training

Easy four miles on snowy trails, plus upper-body strength training and corework

Tuesday – a.m. run and strength training; p.m. swim

No true speedwork this week, but Coach Pat made sure I wouldn’t slack off: five miles with two-minute pickups every four minutes sandwiched between a 10-min. warm-up and cool-down. And what was the CNY weather like you ask? Mild. I’m talking 40 degrees Fahrenheit. But then there was freezing rain so … never a dull moment. That afternoon, I hit the local college pool for 1,500 yards. The two highpoints included an oldster telling me I would’ve made an excellent rower and seeing a local swimming/triathlon super legit athlete do his thing in the water.

Wednesday – a.m. swim

Another easy-ish swim in my local yokel pool: 1,900 yards, and I actually swam 300 yards straight. It wasn’t pretty, and this was a kick-in-the-pants reminder I need to ramp up my swim volume and endurance.

Thursday – a.m. run

The fact I ran seven miles on Christmas morning in 40-degree weather … with basically no snow … am I really in Upstate New York?

Friday – off

Saturday – a.m. run

Easy four miles before getting coffee with my cousin and seeing Hairspray with family

Sunday – off

Do you find it more difficult to maintain your workout routine during the holidays?

It’s November?

Whew—marathon madness has finally ended, so I can finally come up for a breath. Throughout October and the first week of November, JackRabbit was firing on all cylinders: various events and group training runs, plus a pre-New York City Marathon party and race-day cheer zone. So many 26.2 activities!

full-throttle-whoa

Full Throttle Endurance says, “WHOA!”

Marathon week—plus Monday actually (because Meb Keflezighi had a book signing at our Upper West Side store)—centered on stress, semi-organized chaos, and tons of excitement. We live for this time of year and all it encompasses; for me, that meant making sure our Saucony pre-party and Brooklyn cheer zone were successful events.

nycm-saucony-pre-party-whoa-face

Behind the scenes–and mission accomplished!

And now, I’m embracing the work “off-season.” Thank GAWD. Here’s what’s going on:

Last week, my fam and I went to Florida to celebrate my dad’s birthday. My grandfather lives there, and my uncle flew in too, and it was great to spend some quality time with everyone. And it wouldn’t be a trip to Sanibel without plenty of beach time (where running, reading, and sunburning occurred).

2014-sanibel-florida

This weekend, I have my first “race” since Nationals in August: The Philadelphia Half-Marathon. Some of my teammates and (work) friends will be there, plus a few BoMFers and my family. I’m really excited! Not only is it an escape from the city, but it’s also an opportunity to test my training and gauge my progress. Coach Pat and I have talked race strategy, he things I can string together a solid 13.1 miles, race the thing, and shoot for a big PR. A few months ago, I planned to simply go out and run and see what happened; now, though, I feel confident pushing it. Speedwork is coming along, and my long runs have gone pretty well, and this is hands down the most prepared I’ve felt for a “straight up” road race. Fingers crossed I feel good on race day and can hop aboard the pain train for a while!

And then, it’s Thanksgiving, which means even more family time!

In other training news, I ended my 72-day swimming boycott and went to the pool. Honestly, I planned to wait until December, but several knowledgeable individuals—including but not limited to Coach Pat and my tri coach—said getting back in the water sooner may be a good idea. Specifically, “not swimming is totally going to bite you in the a** come January!” according to my tri coach. The race isn’t won during the swim, but one of my friends/Girls’ Club colleagues questioned: “How fast can you run if you’re last out of the water?”

i-hope-you-swam-this-week

Talk about tough love—and a serious wake-up call.

So two weeks ago—about 12 hours after my endorphin-inducing 11 miler—I walked to the pool after work. On the way over, I visualized myself swimming, flip turning, and doing all the little things right, but I couldn’t shake the insecurity: what if I don’t remember anything? What do my arms do again? How does one execute a flip-turn?

As it turns out, swimming is a lot like riding a bike; you never forget how to do it. When my feet touched the water, I went on autopilot: adjusted my cap, put on my goggles, and just went. Sure, I felt semi-winded 200 yards in, but those 1,500 yards felt OK. And they felt slightly better—and faster—a week later.

To be honest, I’m not sure what will happen after Philly—in terms of training and life. It feels like I’m on the brink, like a breakthrough is right around the corner, but I don’t know what is it or what it will entail. But I just hope I’m ready.

Here’s the Thing

Hello, friends! Are you bored with all the race talk? Don’t worry; after Stamford on Sunday, there are no more triathlons on the schedule until August. (Although my coach wants me to do a sprint in July, but that’s neither here nor there.)

pat-griskus-triathlon-finish

[source]

Dammit, heel strike!  Coach Pat, this is why I need you!

Even though the past few weeks have been tough, life is going pretty well right now. Here’s the thing:

Let’s talk training first. It’s still going strong. By the way, thanks for putting up with my previous posts where I talked about all my feelings. This training cycle has been mentally challenging, which affects my mood outside of swimming, biking, and running. Thankfully, the next block spans about one and a half months, so I can dial in, put my head down, and focus on putting together the best race possible at Nationals.

My work schedule changes next week—which is bittersweet. Since starting at JackRabbit Sports last year (wow!), I’ve worked Monday-Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday, which gave me Thursday and Sunday off. At first, I liked having a day off mid-week; running errands and catching up on life seemed easier when all of NYC wasn’t doing the same thing. However, as I’ve started expanding on my community outreach position, it’s become clear a “normal” schedule would be more effective. Ninety-percent of my job happens during regular hours—expos, races, and other events comprise the other 10 percent—so it makes sense that I work Monday-Friday. Hello, 9a-5p world! (Er, probably more like 10a-6p, but you know what I mean.)

This also means I need more real clothes. Yes, it’s a casual, non-corporate environment—I mean, I work in the basement—but I will need to pull myself together and put forth a decent 75-80 percent effort most days. But my (swimming) shoulders and (cycling) legs make it extremely difficult to find clothes that fit. And being on the tall side further complicates this quest. Blahhh.

I’m SO excited to go home for the 4th of July! I booked my tickets—Central New York, here I come! I haven’t been home since Christmas, so I can’t wait to see my family. The only downside is my Slice can’t make the trip too; taking it on the train during a holiday weekend would be an absolute nightmare. Guess that means I’ll do all the open-water swimming and running instead, including a 5-K my Dad and I do every year. Should be fun!

That’s all I’ve got today. What’s going on in your life?

Taking a Breath

Hi, hi! Just me popping in for an update. As per usual, it’s all over the place, and that’s indicative of my life right now.

For the first time since the holidays, my entire family spent some time together. The troops rallied for a last-minute Mother’s Day celebration, and we hung out for a few hours and enjoyed a delicious brunch.

smashed-avocado-toast

Smashed avocado toast for the win!

And in the spirit of full disclosure, I’ll add this “meal” served as my appetizer. Hey, I biked 50 miles. Toast—even with deliciously creamy avocado—was not going to cut it.

My team goes to Italy for a four-day cycling trip every year, so a few coaches and teammates were absent from practice last week—and my coach sort of left me in charge. No, I wasn’t coaching workouts yet, but I was dealing with all Full Throttle Endurance logistical matters: answering random questions, sending emails to confirm practice, etc. Basically, all the day-to-day operations. And after working in this capacity for one week, I have even more respect for my coach. Seriously.

Speaking of logistical concerns, this past week centered on the Brooklyn Half expo. You know how it takes a village to raise a child? Well it takes a store to facilitate a successful expo showing.

jackrabbit-sports-brooklyn-half-photo-2014

The entire week felt surreal: hanging out in Dumbo, working at an expo for the largest half-marathon in the country … was this real life?

Do you ever have work meetings where you brainstorm creative ideas and leave feeling energized and ready to tackle anything? That was me on Wednesday. It reminded me of an endorphin rush that follows killer bike sessions and brutal speedwork. Minus the sweat.

I got my teeth cleaned Friday morning. After looking at my not-so pearly whites, the dental hygienist asked if I drink a lot of coffee—and red wine. Woah. I mean, yes … but for health benefits.

In addition to my FTE responsibilities, my party warlord status meant I also needed to make brunch reservations and organize a team drink up meet up post-Brooklyn Half. Everything worked itself out, but there was some added stress—sending emails, waiting for responses, and deciphering emails in an attempt to figure out if someone was actually coming. Since I’m a type-A person, I can roll with these punches, but I’m grateful my next party-planning shindig isn’t until the New York City Triathlon in August.

One highpoint from my workday? Doing tricep dips during a conference call. Hey, it’s called multitasking.

Do you multitask during meetings?

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.

mizuno-wave-sayonara-cazenovia-fourth-of-july-foot-races

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.”

7:4-4th-of-july-walk-zelda

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.

7:4-4th-of-july-fruit-salad

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.

7:5-cazenovia-sky

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?

Currently

Happy Tuesday, friends!  I have a busy day ahead of me—a long shift at the running store and shoe class tonight—so let’s keep it simple with a survey.  Sound like a plan?

Current Book(s):  Aside from my pre-bedtime magazine reading that includes Triathlete and LAVA magazines (#trigeek), I’m also working my way through Savor:  Mindful Eating, Mindful Life for book club!

runners-world-triathlete-magazine-savor-book-club

Most nights, I get through one chapter before falling asleep.

Current Music:  My most recent workouts have been sans music, but here three of my favorite high-energy jams.

“Can’t Hold Us” by Mackelmore

“My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark” by Fall Out Boy

“Sweet Nothing” by Calvin Harris feat. Florence Welch

Current Guilty Pleasure:  My Paleo chocolate chip banana bread.

paleo-chocolate-chip-banana-bread

It may have disappeared in less than four days.  Just sayin’.

Current Nail Color:  No polish right now, but you better believe my nails will be red for the Mighty Montauk Triathlon!

Current Drink:  Water.  So exciting, I know.  My second cup of coffee will happen momentarily, though.

Current Food:  Post-ride (during which I got “called up” to ride with the ladies on the “racing team!”), I ate my standard spinach and egg white breakfast sandwich.  However, four Central Park loops (about 24 miles) means breakfast number two is only a matter of time.  It’s super humid today, so a smoothie sounds perfect.

Current Favorite Show:  Well, you know I’m obsessed with Dan Stevens, and I’m always down for some Downton Abbey.

the-heiress-broadway-dan-stevens

I also get sucked into Say Yes To The Dress and Sex and the City marathons.

Current Needs/Wish List/Indulgence:  I’m combining these three because they’re connected.  Since I only have one team cycling kit, I need another; therefore, it’s been on my wish list.  And the online team store reopened, and even though this may not qualify as a typical indulgence, I treated myself to some new pink gear.

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I even opted for the (unpictured) bib shorts—who would’ve thought?  Ha!

Current Blessing:  My supportive and loving (and goofy!) family.

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Hopefully they will visit again soon!

Current Outfit:  One thing I love about working at a running store?  A laid-back dress code.  I usually wear jeans and a race or JackRabbit t-shirt.  And sneakers of course.

Current Excitement:  My big-girl promotion still makes me giddy (I have my first conference call today–ahhh!), and I’m also counting down the days until Montauk.  Only 17 days until race day!

Please play along in the comments!

Write It Down, Do It Up – Week of March 31

Happy Easter, friends!

2013-easter-eggs-easter-bread

I hope you get to spend the day with friends, family and loved ones.

My trip home to Syracuse was short and sw-EAT:  yesterday morning, I met up with MB and one of her running buddies (another Ironwoman nonetheless) for an easy 45-minute run before I grabbed breakfast with two of my cousins.  Then, my aunt and I went to Syracuse Bicycle and Fleet Feet to do some MuckFest mud run shopping.  At Syracuse Bicycle, I stocked up on cycling socks, water bottles, and even bought a pair of toe covers and a black Patagonia vest. (Hey, it was on sale.) The shop was recently renovated, and it’s very impressive.  Yesterday afternoon, my family watched the Syracuse-Marquette game, and the Orange won—Final Four, here we come!

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Marquette vs Syracuse

[source]

We enjoyed a sinfully delicious Easter breakfast this morning before we headed to my aunt and uncle’s house for Easter “dinner”—and then I hopped on a train and am currently en route back to New York City.

So now that it’s officially Sunday, you know what that means:  It’s race week!

nautica-south-beach-triathlon-seven-days

This time next week, I will hopefully have completed my first triathlon of the season—and will be celebrating accordingly with my teammates!  Race week, race week!

As you know, I didn’t blog about my workouts at home, but my final push before the taper went well:  on Friday, I had a solid swim that included a 15-minute time trial.  My wetsuit was quite the topic of conversation, and the old ladies at the local pool loved me! (And some of them knew me when I was little.  Oh, small towns.) That afternoon, I completed the best tempo run I’ve had thus far.  Not only did I hold paces below my designated splits (don’t yell at me, coach!), but I also felt strong mentally.  This was the first tempo run I completed solo this training cycle, and it was a huge confidence builder—I proved to myself that I can push harder and hold a faster pace than I thought possible.  Disclaimer:  The tempo run occurred in the cold (roughly 34 degrees Fahrenheit), which is basically the exact opposite of what Miami’s weather conditions will be like.  Here’s to hoping powering through snow and hail (no joke!) will help me be mentally tough come race day.

And as previously mentioned, I met up with MB and her running buddy on Saturday.  They had 10 miles on the docket, so I tagged along for 45-minutes or slightly more than five miles.  Thanks for a run fun, ladies—and for not dropping me!

Overall, I couldn’t have ended this week on a better note workout-wise, so I will do my best to embrace the taper so I’m locked, loaded, and ready to do work.

Time for Write It Down, Do It Up!

(If you’re new to WIDDIU, here’s how it works:  Every Sunday evening, I 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 – a.m. run with Full Throttle Endurance (FTE)

Tuesday – a.m. bike (outside with team)

Wednesday – a.m. indoor cycling with FTE; a.m. run off the bike

Thursday – a.m. swim with FTE

Friday – easy a.m. swim/run or off

Saturday – easy open-water swim and bike with FTE

SundayNautica South Beach Triathlon (0.5-mi. open-water swim, 19-mi. bike, 4-mi. run)

How was your Easter?

Home Sw-EAT Home

Hello, hello from Upstate New York!

3:29-lake

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.

3:28-wegmans-sushi-vegetables

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?

Snapshot Friday and Saturday

Every time my family visits, I tell myself I’ll be a good blogger, take tons of pictures, and write a really detailed recap about our adventures.  And every time I fail miserably—ha!  This weekend, though, I managed to snap a few pics, so I’ll share those with you.

Friday

After rocking my wetsuit at Friday’s swim practice, I spent the day hanging out with my sister Margaret.  First, we ate lunch at Terri, an organic and vegetarian restaurant.

terri-nyc-menu

I ordered the “tuna” melt (aka chickpea salad) with a side of roasted sweet potatoes.

terri-nyc

It tasted great and kept me full during our entire shopping trip, which included stops at Zara and Kate Spade.

Margaret trying on shoes—YOLO.

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I took a class in college with Michele called “He Says, She Says,” so I found this iPhone cover oh so rhetorical.

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Even though it was blizzarding in NYC, Margaret and I ordered our first iced coffees Americanos of the season.

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Spring better be on the way!

My parents and sister Ellen arrived later that night and brought some goodies from my grandma—homemade sauce and meatballs for the win!

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I cannot wait to break into this stash.

Saturday

My weekend started with a Full Throttle Endurance swimming practice at Chelsea Piers and brunch at my teammate’s apartment. (Er, triathlete brunch, I guess; we ate around 9:30 a.m.—ha!) I didn’t want to be a creeper and whip out my iPhone, but the spread was impressive:  waffles and whipped cream made from scratch, asparagus and goat cheese frittata, plus bacon, Italian biscotti, and sparkling apple cider.  Holy moley, everything was so good!  I also enjoyed hanging out with my teammates outside of swimming, biking, and running.  Yes, we talked triathlons the entire time, but it was great to focus on the conversation without keeping an eye on the clock to time our rest and intervals.

Back at my apartment, my family and I watched the first half of the Syracuse basketball game (I don’t want to talk about the final result) before heading uptown to see Jersey Boys.

jersey-boys-broadway-nyc

Absolutely incredible!

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And get this—one of the “swing” cast members played Frankie Valli, and he totally killed it!  He even had his own friends and family cheering section.

Speaking of family …

jersey-boys-broadway-nyc-family

Doing what we do best—goofing off!

Next, we wandered around Chelsea Market briefly, but it was a bit difficult navigation-wise with all five of us, so we didn’t stay very long.  I was also experiencing some stomach troubles and was so not in the mood to take pictures.

For dinner, we went to a Raymi, a Peruvian restaurant for dinner, and it was phenomenal!  Again, not pictures due to being girl-down, but we plan to go back.

How was your weekend?

Write It Down, Do It Up – Week of March 10

Happy Sunday!  Did you have a good weekend?  My family visited, and we had so much fun!

jersey-boys-broadway-nyc-family

Doing what we do best—goofing off at Jersey Boys!  I have a picture-heavy post that details this weekend’s activities slated to go live tomorrow, so let’s jump to workouts.

With less than 30 days until South Beach (27, but who’s counting?), it’s time to kick training into high gear—bring on the speed work!  Andrew’s off being a normal person vacationing, so Scott will coach tomorrow’s workout that contains 400m, 600m, and 800m repeats.  Danny will lead Wednesday’s indoor cycling session, and a mystery coach will take us through Friday’s wetsuit-optional swim.  I’m also kicking around some ideas for heat training because Miami’s humidity will be a beast, so any tips from my southern or Florida-based friends would be appreciated.

Time for Write It Down, Do It Up!

(If you’re new to WIDDIU, here’s how it works:  Every Sunday evening, I 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 – a.m. run with Full Throttle Endurance (FTE)

Tuesday – a.m. bike and strength train

Wednesday – a.m. bike with FTE; a.m. run (off the bike)

Thursday – a.m. yoga

Friday – a.m. swim with FTE; p.m. run and strength train

Saturday – a.m. swim with FTE

Sunday – off

How did your workouts go this week?  Do you prefer working out when it’s warm or cold outside?