Tag Archives: MuckFest MS Mud Run

My First Big-Girl Job Promotion

Hiya, friends!  I feel like I haven’t talked to you in forever!  As you can tell from my absence, it’s been a busy week, but I wouldn’t want it any other way.  Here are some highlights:

1.  Hello, Saucony Kinvara 3’s!

saucony-kinvara-3

These new sneakers carried me through two runs this week:  Wednesday’s run off the bike and today’s speedwork.  I’m tempted to #shoegeek out and share the details, but I’ll spare you. (Unless you come to the store for a shoe fit, then all bets are off!) I will say, though, it’s an extremely light and comfortable shoe, and I plan to use it for speedwork and racing only.  On a related note, does anyone know if Lock Laces come in orange?

2.  Speaking of racing, I officially signed up to volunteer for Ironman Lake Placid in July.

ironman-lake-placid

One of my teammates is tackling the 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike, and 26.2-mile run, so another one of my teammates and I decided make the trip, volunteer at the race, and support him.  We also plan to turn it into a fitness-cation of sorts, meaning we’ll bring our wetsuits, bikes, and running shoes.  When in Rome Lake Placid …

3.  My aunt and uncle sent the sweetest card from our MuckFest MS Mud Run escapades.

muckfest-ms-mud-run-card

In total, our team raised more than $8,300 for the National MS Society.  Way to go, Mighty Mucks!

4.  And now for the big news—I got my first big-girl job promotion!  I’m the new Community Outreach Coordinator for JackRabbit Union Square!

jack-rabbit-staff

Since day one, this job has really clicked, and I absolutely love it:  doing shoe (and wetsuit!) fits, talking about training goals, and helping people discover healthy living.  I’m excited to take on more responsibility, and in this position, I’ll be in charge of brainstorming, planning, and organizing community events like yoga classes, informative workshops, and basically getting JackRabbit’s name out there.  There are a few ideas I’m kicking around already, and did I say I’m so excited?  Oh, and I get a company email address and business cards.  Woohoo!

Tell me about your first job that clicked.  Did you love it immediately, or did you grow to enjoy it?

Friday Favorites – May 3

Happy Friday!  Has this week flown by for anyone else?  There are a bunch of things getting me in the Friday/weekend spirit, so I’m going with a list-style post today.

1.  This will be my first time in four years celebrating Cinco de Mayo.  How is this possible?  In college, I always seemed to be stuck at a prof’s house for final portfolio presentations (ah, the joys of a small liberal arts college), which meant no Cinco shenanigans.  Things will be different on Sunday!

escape-to-the-palisades

My teammates and I will bike to the start line of Escape to the Palisades, run the 5-K, and then ride around Jersey.  More likely than not, some adult beverages will be consumed—after the race of course.

2.  While working at JackRabbit Sports last night, I wore the Saucony Kinvara 3’s—and immediately fell in love.

saucony-kinvara

I’ve been eying this pair for a while, and my size was finally available last night.  I’ll spare you the shoe geek specs, but it’s an incredibly light and comfortable shoe.  Coincidentally, I’m also due for a new pair of sneakers.  Hmmm …

3.  In terms of cooking, I took a risk and threw together a new spice blend.

new-spice-blend

I don’t remember the exact measurements, but it contained cayenne pepper (obviously), garlic powder, brown sugar, and dried thyme, plus some cinnamon and salt.  Huge success!

4.  This Facebook post made my day:  MuckFest MS shared one of my aunt’s photos.

muckfest-ms-mud-run-facebook

What a great race–and we’re famous!

5.  Thanks to working tonight and swimming tomorrow morning, I’m going to have a crazy night filled with some baller reading material.

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

If you missed yesterday’s post, Jen and I teamed up to start a book club.  Just fill out this Google form if you’d like to join!

What are some things that are making your Friday extra awesome?

MuckFest MS Boston Mud Run Recap

Cross it off my fitness bucket list:  on Saturday, the Mighty Mucks completed the inaugural Boston MuckFest MS Mud Run.  And we had so much fun!

muckfest-ms-mud-run

It was only a matter of time before I did one of these messy obstacle courses, so when my aunt told me she was forming a team, I immediately said yes.  Plus, I loved how the mud run functioned as a fundraiser for the National MS Society.  If you can use your passion to help others, then why not do your part?  My fundraising efforts went much better than expected, and our team raised the second-most money out of all the Boston groups; we ended up being one of the top 10 fundraising teams in the nation.  Yaya, Mighty Mucks!

muckfest-ms-mud-run-mighty-mucks

On Friday morning, I traveled to Boston, and my aunt and uncle picked me up at the train station; we spent the day exploring the city before we met a few teammates for dinner at an Italian restaurant located in the North End.  We actually didn’t know everyone beforehand—some are from Syracuse, N.Y., others from Philadelphia, and a few from Boston suburbs—but we felt like old friends by the end of the weekend.

Our team of nine registered in the 11:30 a.m. recreational wave, so we got to sleep in and leisurely make our way to the race site.  Major props to race organizers and volunteers:  even though there were about 3,000 muckers (yes, I’m making it a word!), it took us less than 10 minutes to get our bibs and timing chips.

muckfest-boston-strong

The Mighty Mucks had two goals:  have as much fun as possible and make sure everyone crossed the finish line.  Our laidback outlook was refreshing for me.  During my training and events, I’m used to hitting specific splits, holding certain paces, and basically pushing nonstop.  I really valued taking a step back and doing an athletic event for total, 100 percent fun—with no finishing time or “secret goal” in mind.

OK, so let’s talk about the course—and the obstacles.

Thanks to my stellar investigative reporting skills, I found this video online.  As you can see, the route contained 20 obstacles and took participants through several different surfaces including grass, concrete, and trails.  There were also some very hilly sections, so if my coach asks why I didn’t ride this past weekend, let’s say I did hill work on Saturday, OK?

Anyway, this post would be way too long if I described each obstacle, but I will mention a few highlights.  First, I found “The Spinner” to be the toughest one. (It starts at 1:10 in the video.) Basically, this merry-go-round-like contraption had several ropes that muckers had to grab and hang on to for dear life while the device slowly rotated.  Since I have basically zero upper-body strength and haven’t been on a rope since elementary school (did anyone else have a rope-climbing unit?), I struggled; I started loosing my grip and sliding down immediately and thought I’d definitely end up in the water!  Luckily, though, I pushed through.

Unfortunately, there weren’t a ton of super-muddy obstacles.  Out of the 20, maybe three or four had a significant amount.  The last one, though, was definitely a favorite.

muckfest-ms-mud-run-mighty-mucks-last-obstacle

I’m the pale-looking one on the right.  Yes, I also got sunburned.

We had to crawl through these tubes army-style, which were lined with mud (and stones and pebbles).  Very mucky and very fun!

Team Mighty Mucks crossed the finish line in about two hours (1:53), and the race absolutely flew by!  The obstacles broke up the running, so we never jogged for more than a quarter of a mile or so.  Honestly, we were sad when we reached mile four; we wanted the course to be longer.

muckfest-ms-mud-run-mighty-mucks-after

Some of the ladies.

We’re obviously doing MuckFest again next year too!

Have you ever done a mud run?  Would you consider it?

What Not To Eat Before a Time Trial

Hey, hey!  How’s your Monday been so far?  I can’t wait to share the recap from Saturday’s MuckFest MS Mud Run, but I’m still waiting on more pictures.  But posting one won’t hurt, right?

muckfest-ms-mud-run-mighty-mucks

Yes, running through mud and tackling 20 obstacles totally calls for some serious muscle flexing.  Woohoo for Team Mighty Mucks!

Workout #1 – Running

Well, recovery week is definitely over:  a new Full Throttle Endurance training cycle officially started this morning—with a two-mile time trial on the indoor track.  OK, by now, I should be used to this TT business—I’ve done it not once, but twice—so you’d think I’d have it somewhat figured out.  Clearly, the knowledge isn’t the problem; it’s the execution.  Case in point:  eating pizza for not one, but two meals yesterday probably wasn’t the best idea.

muckfest-ms-mud-run-mighty-mucks-breakfast-pizza

Yes, this is leftover from Saturday night’s dinner.  Yes, this is a picture from Sunday’s on-the-go breakfast.  Yes, it was delicious.

So I probably didn’t fuel as well as I should have the day before, but what can you do?  Life happens.  Even with the sub-par pre-TT nutrition, I still shaved 30 seconds off my previous two mile time and finished in a respectable 14:0X.  Success!

Breakfast

During high school, I used to be obsessed with the breakfast sandwiches from Dunkin’ Donuts.  I actually had one Saturday before the mud run (again, not fueling adequately), but it didn’t live up to expectations.  Sadness.  So this morning called for my favorite, an egg white breakfast sandwich.

4:29-breakfast-egg-whites

Mmmm, missed this big time.

Later this morning, I met Jen for coffee—and for a trip to Dashing Diva to get our nails done!  Even though there’s an unofficial blogger commandment that says multiple photographs and posts to social media outlets are required for an event to truly happen, our morning went entirely undocumented.  We had so much fun chatting away and getting manis (for her) and pedis (for me).  I always enjoy hanging out with Jen because one, she’s super fun, and two, she reminds me it isn’t totally taboo for a young, 20-something to be active and training for events.  We hope to go to a yoga class sometime soon!

Lunch

After a quick trip to Trader Joe’s, I made a wrap with mustard, spinach, turkey, avocado, and pepper jack cheese.

4:29-lunch-turkey-wrap

Plus a ton of carrots while I worked on MuckFest donation thank you notes.

muckfest-ms-mud-run-thank-you-notes

Multitasking at its finest.

Workout #2 – Strength Training

I originally planned to lift this morning after running, but my teammates and I ended up talking about tri bikes for 40 minutes (#trigeek).  At this point, the tri bike may happen this season, especially in light of recent news, but we’ll see.  Anyway, I hit the weights this afternoon for a full-body workout.

Post-Workout Snack

My workout ended around 5 p.m., and I didn’t want to eat a huge snack before dinner, so I made a mini protein smoothie with one frozen banana, a little bit of frozen kale and spinach, plus a few blueberries for good measure and half a scoop of Jay Robb egg white protein powder.

4:29-protein-smoothie

And now it’s time to get dinner in the oven.

Without getting too graphic, is there anything you can’t eat before workouts or races?

Write It Down, Do It Up – Week of April 28

Happy Sunday, friends!  Guess who survived—and loved!—her first mud run!

muckfest-ms-mud-run-boston-instagram

Yesterday’s MuckFest MS Mud Run was so much fun!  Our team completed the 5-mile, 20-obstacle course in slightly less than two hours.  What a great day, and we’re already planning to do it again next year.  My uncle took a ton of pictures (as did the race photographers), so I’ll wait for those to include with the recap.

And with this mud run, recovery week officially ended.  This means Full Throttle Endurance workouts will pick up in terms of volume and intensity, which is good because Mighty Montauk is just around the corner—only 40 days away!  Starting this week, I’ll be focusing on getting my butt in the saddle and riding more often.  Even though Friday’s time trial in Central Park went OK, there is a lot of room for improvement.  Luckily, the Escape to the Palisades 5-K takes place Sunday, which means an additional team ride will be built into my schedule.  Here’s what I have on tap for this week’s 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); a.m. strength train

Tuesday – a.m. bike with FTE; a.m. strength train

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

Thursday – a.m. bike; a.m. run

Friday – a.m. swim with FTE

Saturday – a.m. swim with FTE or off

Sunday – Escape to the Palisades 5-K (plus two bike rides)

What did you do this weekend?  If you raced, how did it go?

Race of Truth

Good morning, everyone!  TGIF!  Any fun plans for the weekend?  I head to Boston today for the MuckFest MS Mud Run, which takes place tomorrow.  I’m so excited!

muckfest-boston-strong

[source]

Also, thanks for the positive comments on yesterday’s post.  Now that the USAT Age Group Nationals has a spot on my race calendar, it changes my outlook and training goals this season; as my “A-plus” race, I will train with the intention of peaking in August.  Obviously, I want to do work at my other events, too, but doing well at this race will be my primary goal.  My coach and I exchanged a few emails yesterday, and moving forward, I need to get my act together and get my butt on my bike—and improve my run off the bike too.  My swim seems to be at a good spot (even though it will always be a work in progress), but I can and need to make some serious gains in terms of my bike and run.

And that process started this morning.

Remember Trial By Fire, the swim-run event?  This morning, Full Throttle Endurance invaded Central Park at 5:30 a.m. for another competitive training session–Race of Truth. (Yes, that’s the name.  When I first saw the email, I started laughing hysterically—these names kill me, ha!) Since spring is hopefully here to stay, we’ll have organized team rides outside at least two days a week; during these outings, we’ll ride in groups of eight, and everyone in each pack should be about the same speed.  To determine the pace groups, we had a one-loop (about six miles) time trial in Central Park, and the coaches will use the finishing times to form training groups.  Because everyone rides the same course, we can’t argue with the times—hence the name Race of Truth.

Anyway, my time trial went OK.  My bike computer didn’t work, so I essentially rode the course blind in terms of distance, time, and speed. (The tech fail was totally my fault. Wednesday night, one of my teammates hosted a tire-changing clinic at her apartment, and after plenty of hor d’oeuvres and glasses of Prosecco, we got around to figuring out how to fix flats.  I brought my front tire to her apartment, and in total newbie fashion, I put it back on the wrong way, so my bike computer’s sensor didn’t work obviously.) One of the coaches said anything sub-20 minutes was acceptable, and I think my unofficial time was 19:XX; good starting point with lots of room for improvement.

Breakfast

Hey, it’s not a breakfast sandwich (only because I’m out of spinach)!

4:26-breakfast-protein-oatmeal

Instant oats, plus protein powder, one mashed banana, and plenty of peanut butter.  Hopefully this keeps me full on the train.

Have a great weekend, friends, and talk to you Sunday!

Write It Down, Do It Up – Week of April 21

Hiya, friends!  How was your weekend?  My Saturday started with my normal Full Throttle Endurance swim and teammate brunch.

4:20-brunch

Had to Instagram it, of course.

I’d be lying if I said the thought of homemade blueberry pancakes and a cheese, bacon, and asparagus frittata (plus coffee, bacon, and mimosas) didn’t motivate me to hit the water.  That afternoon and evening, I worked at JackRabbit.  And guess who sold her first wetsuit!  Woohoo!  Because I’m going to Boston next weekend for the MuckFest MS mud run, I swapped shifts with a few coworkers, so I’m spending my Sunday at JRab as well.  And I definitely don’t hate it.

On the workout front, the next seven days will be a recovery week, and two of our coaches will host the second indoor triathlon of the season on Saturday (which I’ll miss because of the mud run).  We begin a new training cycle next Monday, so I plan to embrace this step-back week.  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); a.m. strength train

Tuesday – a.m. bike with FTE; a.m. strength train

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

Thursday – a.m. run; a.m. swim

Friday – a.m. swim with FTE

Saturday – MuckFest mud run

Sunday – off

What’s your favorite brunch food?

My 2013 Race Calendar

Good morning, friends!  How’s your Monday shaping up?  Since getting a job at JackRabbit, I’ve finally written down my races in my planner and developed a clear idea of which weekends will be devoted to traveling and competing.

june-2013-races

I signed up for a lot of these triathlons a while back, but I haven’t taken the credit-card plunge for others yet.  So even though my calendar isn’t 100 percent solidified (in terms of monetary investment—ha!), I do have a clear idea of how many races will constitute the 2013 season.

According to this schedule, I have four definite races for the 2013 campaign:  two sprint and two Olympic.  It’s highly likely, though, that I end up doing five or six tris.  There are also two non-triathlons on the docket, and if a bunch of my teammates decide to do shorter road races (like 5- or 10-Ks), then it’s possible I may sign up too.  But as of right now, I have zero “straight up” road races that are goal races.

Speaking of goal races, I want to say that although doing four (or potentially five or six) short-course events may seem like a lot to some and not enough to others, I’m not sure what my triathlon “sweet spot” is yet.  I’m still so new to this swim-bike-run world, and I don’t know how many tris I can race, train through, or just do for fun while I avoid injury, fatigue, and burnout.  And as you’ll see below, I do not plan to “race” each one.  Don’t get me wrong; I love training and racing, but it’s important to prioritize every event, so each has a letter grade:  “A,” “B”, or “C.”  These ratings are pretty self-explanatory:  an “A” race means I will truly be racing it with the goal of meeting specific times, splits, and speeds; a “B” race means I will use the event as a dress rehearsal for its corresponding “A” race; and a “C” race means I will focus on having fun and enjoying the experience, aka no concrete time goals in mind.

Nautica South Beach

Date:  April 7

Distance:  Classic (0.5-mile ocean swim, 19-mile bike, 4-mile run)

Priority:  “C” race

nautica-south-beach-triathlon-medals

Wait, did this really happen one week ago?!  This Miami-based event proved to be a great “C” race.  I had so much fun putting my training together and kicking off the race season.  Plus, I learned what specifically I need to work on during the upcoming months.

MuckFest MS Boston

Date:  April 27

Distance:  5 miles (of obstacles)

Priority:  N/A

muckfest-ms-mud-run

[source]

T-minus two weeks until I get super muddy for a great cause!  My fundraising efforts went better than expected, and there’s still time to donate.  Anyway, this will be my first mud run, and I can’t wait to experience the hype.  My team registered for a non-competitive wave, so this event will be all about having fun.

Escape to the Palisades 5-K

Date:  May 5

Distance:  5-K

Priority:  “C” race

escape-to-the-palisades

Oh, teammate peer pressure; gotta love it.  It will be interesting to see how this bike-run-bike-eat-drink brick pans out.  The race itself could easily become a “B” event since teammates from my pace group have registered, so we may end up using it as a short tempo run.  We’ll see.

Mighty Montauk

Date:  June 8

Distance:  Olympic (1-mile lake swim, 22-mile bike, 10-K/6.2-mile run)

Priority:  “B” race

mighty-montauk-triathlon

Registration opened earlier this month, and I took the plunge and signed up for my first Olympic-distance event—ekkk!  Even though I will technically train through this event (especially in terms of nutrition), I do want to push it and determine ballpark times and splits for this distance.  Essentially, I’ll use this race as a dress rehearsal for the New York City Aquaphor in July.

Stamford KIC It Triathlon

Date:  June 30

Distance:  Olympic (0.9-mile swim in Long Island Sound, 40-K/24.8-mile bike, 10-K/6.2-mile run)

Priority:  “B” race

stamford-kic-it-triathlon

So I haven’t made up my mind about this one yet.  Clearly, it’s on my radar, but I haven’t signed up.  Full Throttle Endurance usually has a strong presence at this race because it’s only about an hour outside of New York City, but my main uncertainty lies with its timing:  it’s two weeks before my “A” Olympic-distance race.

Aquaphor New York City Triathlon

Date:  July 14

Distance:  Olympic (0.9-mile swim, 24.8-mile bike, 6.2-mile run)

Priority:  “A” race

aquaphor-nyc-triathlon

Honestly, I still can’t believe how lucky I was to score a spot in this race!  People don’t seem to love it, though:  the swim in the Hudson grosses out some (but I’m thinking of the faster-than-usual split because of the current!), the bike is tough and leaves lots to be desired (in terms of scenery), and my coach said point blank this will be the hardest 10-K run of the season.  But you can’t beat an event that takes place in your backyard.

Sherman Triathlon

Date:  July 27

Distance:  Sprint (0.5-mile lake swim, 12.5-mile bike, 4-mile run)

Priority:  “C/B” race

sherman-triathlon

Here’s another race I haven’t made a decision about yet.  Since our head FTE coach organizes this Connecticut-based event, it’s essentially a private, FTE triathlon—ha!  There are two issues regarding timing to consider:  First, it’s one week after the NYC Aquaphor.  Two, it also takes place the weekend of Ironman Lake Placid, and I may make the trip to volunteer with one of my teammates.  At the same time, though, I would really like another tune-up sprint before Cazenovia in August.  Decisions, decisions.

Cazenovia Triathlon

Date:  August 11

Distance:  Sprint (0.5-mile lake swim, 14-mile bike, 5-K/3.1-mile run)

Priority:  “A” race

cazenovia-triathlon

Not to get sappy, but this race will bring my triathlon journey (thus far) full circle:  it was this event I trained for last summer, and it was after crossing the finish line of this event that I became totally hooked on swimming, biking, and running.  I’m so excited to travel home, do this race again (especially the bike course that proved to be my demise), and blow last year’s time out of the water.  As an “A” race, this event will be all about racing, pushing, and seeing how much I’ve improved.

Timberman Sprint Triathlon

Date:  August 17

Distance:  Sprint (0.3-mile lake swim, 15-mile bike, 3-mile run)

Priority:  “C” race

timberman-sprint-triathlon

Yet another event I’m undecided about.  A ton of my teammates have signed up for the Timberman 70.3, and even though they’ve tried (unsuccessfully) to get me to do the half-Iron too, I’m seriously considering the sprint, which takes place the day before.  I don’t know how smart it would be to do another event one week after an “A” race, but I definitely want to make the trip to New Hampshire to cheer on my teammates.

Do you prioritize your events and races?  How many times do you race each year?

MuckFest MS Mud Run

Good morning, friends!  I have some exciting news to share today:  I officially registered for the MuckFest MS Mud Run!

muck-fest-ms-registration

That’s right—on April 27, I’ll be crawling, scrambling, and technically running through mud and other obstacles.  Sounds like a good time, right?

Doing a mud run has been on my fitness bucket list for a while—I almost did a Warrior Dash this past summer—and when my aunt emailed my sisters, cousins, and me about getting a team together for the Boston-based event (races take place throughout the country), I was totally on board.  She has attended so many of my high school field-hockey, basketball, and softball games over the years, and she and my uncle even visited me in London when I studied abroad during my junior year.

london-camden-market

Eating our way though Camden Market in London–typical!

bath-aunt-uncle

Grabbing a quick lunch in Bath, England.

And she helped throw me a belated 21st birthday back stateside.

aunt-and-me

Limo time!

Both my aunt and uncle came to my college graduation, too—like the actual four-hour long ceremony.  They are champs.

graduation-aunt-uncle

Oh, and remember when they cheered me on during my first triathlon?

cazenovia-triathlon-aunt-uncle-sign

Who can forget the sign and cowbell?!

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Well, before that event, my aunt actually rode the bike course with me.

caz-bike-course-with-aunt

Yes, she has MS, but she clearly doesn’t let that limit her in any way. (If you’re unfamiliar with multiple sclerosis, it’s a chronic, often disabling disease of the central nervous system.  Symptoms vary from numbness in the limbs and fatigue to blindness and challenges walking.  There’s been progress in treating the disease, but right now, there’s no known cure.)

I’m extremely blessed to have such a supportive and close-knit family, so if I can use my passion for running and doing endurance events to support my aunt and the National MS Society, then I’m all for it.  When I signed up for the 5-mile race, I also pledged to raise $200 for the National MS Society.

I’ve never fundraised this way for an athletic event (for college basketball, we swapped pink t-shirts for National Breast Cancer Awareness Month for $20 donations), so hopefully, I can reach this goal.  We’re also looking for more teammates, so let me know if you want to join us!

Have you completed a mud run?  Any tips/words of wisdom?  Do you have any fundraising experience?