Tag Archives: Hunger Games

Avoiding Nemo

Happy Friday, everyone!  Have anything fun planned for the weekend?  As you might have heard, New York City has issued a blizzard warning in anticipating of Nemo.


I couldn’t resist!  In all seriousness, though, the next 24 hours are all about staying safe and avoiding Nemo.


A bunch of NYC offices closed early today (including mine), and a ton of fitness stores like JackRabbit Sports have cancelled Saturday events.  Even Chelsea Piers has adjusted its hours.


Better safe than sorry, right?


As a former CNYer, I have trouble grasping the fact that 10 inches of snow warrants this amount of precaution—but I do understand the city can’t handle it, and after Hurricane Sandy, I’m not dismissing anything.


I went with an old stand-by for dinner last night—baked salmon with roasted veggies and sweet potatoes.


Lately, I’ve been loving the EVOO, cayenne pepper, garlic salt, and basil combination.

Workout #1 – Swimming

You know it’s time trial day when you’re warming up in the pool and minding your own business when Full Throttle Endurance’s head coach suddenly arrives and starts hooting, hollering, and clapping.  Twice.  Before the actual time trial occurred.  My teammates and I decided the head coach didn’t sleep last night due to sheer excitement—ha!  Anyway, the test went OK.  Andrew assigned us a heat (one, two, or three) and lane number, and I made the cut for the first wave.  Each lane contained two swimmers to help us race and push ourselves, so I shared with another girl.  Honestly, I got a little nervous right before the start, but that’s only because Andrew started counting down from 20 seconds á la Hunger Games.  Since it was a 200-yard test, I used the first 50 to find my stroke, progressed to what is probably my race pace for the next 100, and then tried to lay down the hammer for the final 50—and it burned, but in a good way.  I think my time was in the 2:50 ballpark, and I have no idea if that’s a respectable time.  I do know I was the second girl to finish, though!

Workout #2 – Running

After the rest of swimming practice, I headed to the dreadmill for a tempo run.  I couldn’t get into it mentally today and felt really ancy and unsettled; after 15 minutes on the ‘mill, I switched to the indoor track.  Meh—lesser of two evils, I guess.


I made a quick stop at Whole Foods after practice to stock up for Nemo, and I surprisingly restrained myself from the hot food bar!  Anyway, I was ravenous by the time I got back to my apartment, so a two-slice-of-bread breakfast sandwich was in order.


Hit the spot!


Before taking care of some Nemo prep, I made a quick wrap for lunch.


Turkey, spinach, and some cheese.  I always fold it up quesadilla-style to eat, but it looks more photogenic this way, right?

PS – Fitness and Frozen Grapes was featured on Be @ Home’s Best of the Web series!

When you’re stuck indoors due to the weather, what do you do to keep yourself busy?

‘First Day of School’

Even though I set my alarm for 4:30 a.m. yesterday morning, it didn’t wake me up.  Nope—I opened my eyes at the ungodly time of 4:23 a.m.  Surprisingly, I didn’t feel tired; after all, it was the “first day of school” (as Andrew dubbed it)—the first Full Throttle Endurance triathlon training workout of the 2013 season.  With a braid in my hair—it’s the only way to control my curls—and a “run fast, finish strong, and survive” mentality, I channeled my inner Katniss on the track for a two-mile time trial.



Before the time trial, our group of 25 triathletes met at the basketball courts (the indoor track circles four hoops, a boxing ring, and a beach volleyball court), and as Andrew went over the game plan, I immediately had a series of déjà vu moments.  The act of “bringing it in” on the hardwood—with a coach who reminds me so much of my high school one—transported me back to my tiny, cracker-box gym.  The time warp continued as we progressed through a dynamic warm-up; exercises like skips and butt kicks reminded me of the dreaded plyometrics, also known as “plyos,” we used to do before every practice truly began.  So unintentionally, I found myself back on the court—for the first time since my sophomore season—yet it felt right.  Instead of wearing gear like a reversible pinny, a pair black basketball sneakers, and a signature mouth guard (yes, I was “that girl” who wore a mouth guard), I rocked my Mizunos, running shorts, and a tech tee.  So even though both the apparel and sport at hand differed from my basketball days, it felt strangely similar—getting after it with a coach and teammates.  I felt like I belonged, and I honestly didn’t realize how much I enjoyed the team sport atmosphere until yesterday morning.

Anyway, on to the two-mile time trial (TT).  I planned to take the first four laps at a comfortable pace, and then shift to my tempo run pace for the second mile. (Andrew said he didn’t want to see any PRs, but rather a solid effort because our results would determine our running groups and target paces for each workout during this eight-week training cycle.) Also, during the warm-up mile, I spotted the two fastest female runners and made it a goal to maintain contact with them during the TT, which worked well.  For the first mile, I hung out with them and clocked a steady 8:0x.  From there, I transitioned pretty well to a comfortable difficult pace, and I passed both the girls on lap five. (Oh, and another speedy dude left me in the dust!) With 800m to go, things started to comfortably hurt (if that makes any sense), and I pushed to finish in 15:xx.  I’ll take it!

Here’s what confused me, though:  I passed two girls, and one of them finished before me.  Honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised if I miscounted my laps and ran an extra 400m—we all know how much I love math.  Not that these TT finishes matter, but I’m happy that I was the first or second girl to finish in my training group.  Hopefully this gives me some legitimacy—and some wiggle room so I don’t look too hopeless during the swimming TT on Friday.  What’s on the schedule for tomorrow?  Indoor cycling.  Anyone know what kind of bike Katniss rides?  Oh, wait …

Big Day

As I wrote yesterday, it’s a big day—Full Throttle Endurance (FTE) training kicks off with a two-mile baseline run test. (Oh, and my internship also begins.) I’m obviously pumped for the season and excited to meet my teammates, but I’m also nervous for baseline swimming, biking, and running tests.  Luckily, thanks to collegiate basketball, I’ve completed my share of agility drills in the gym and one-rep maxes in the weight room, but the timed mile always made me the most anxious.

Pushing Cars

[Obviously not a timed mile, but this “workout” comprised one of the most memorable (and nutso!) preseason training sessions—each player had to push a car on the track.  No joke.]

During the wee, dark hours of 6 a.m., I remember running laps around my college’s piece-of-junk track (thankfully, it’s been remodeled).  Running may not be the best word; it was more like hanging on for dear life:  As an undersized forward (I’m about 5’10”), I had to be faster than my taller teammates, so during these tests, I paced off a slower guard and hoped to finish with minimal suffering and damage. (The fact that there was an Arby’s across the street didn’t help; every time I reached the north-end of the track, I wanted to throw up—who wants to smell fried food at 6 a.m.?!) After we finished our four laps of hell, our assistant coach/strength training coordinator told us we had a rest period before we had to complete the test again.  Uh, come again?

Luckily, today’s test takes place indoors, and there’s less pressure.  During college, each player had a ballpark time/weight to meet for these fitness exams, and if you failed to reach these figures, then you could count on one-on-one sessions with the assistant coach/strength training coordinator to get your speed/strength up to par. (These workouts were in addition to the normal two-hour long practices, hour-long lifts, and any rehab/PT work and game-tape watching.) To my knowledge, there will be no “punishments” as a result of this morning’s workout; rather, the coaches will use these times to plan baseline values for workouts and paces.  So today’s game plan?  Run hard, finish strong—and stay alive.


[Like I’d pass up a Hunger Games reference opportunity.]

Did you have to complete physical fitness tests in elementary, middle, and high school?  How about for sports teams?  How do you deal with nervousness?