Tag Archives: New York City

Foodie Friday: Grimaldi’s Pizzeria

TGIF, friends!  And Happy National Run at Work Day!



I’m heading out shortly to co-lead a run for a company, but first, I want to share my latest Foodie Friday adventure.  My friend and fellow foodie Gabby and I finally crossed off one item on our New York City Bucket List this week: getting pizza at Grimaldi’s!


Its flagship restaurant is situated in DUMBO (district under the Manhattan Bridge overpass, aka Brooklyn), but there’s also a location within Chelsea’s Limelight Marketplace.  This restaurant was on the smaller side (Gabby said it used to be a club back in the day), and it was packed when we arrived around 7:30 p.m.  We immediately ordered a regular pizza (Grimaldi’s doesn’t do slices) with peppers and sausage …


… and devoured every last bite.


Let’s say I was carbo-loading for my 3,000-yard swim and four-mile run the next morning, ha!


Anyway, besides the obvious—it’s pizza, therefore it’s delicious—we really enjoyed the thin crust.  The crust itself tasted crispy, and the sauce worked to soften it a bit in the actual pie.  It gets two thumbs up from me!

What’s your favorite pizza topping?

A Silver Lining

Greetings, friends!  Thank you so much for your thoughtful comments on yesterday’s post.  Obviously, Sunday’s race was a very scary experience, but I learned a lot.


From what more experienced triathletes said (*cough* Victoria *cough* Katelyn *cough*) blowing up is the nature of the sport, as is figuring out nutrition.  Looking forward, I plan to sit down with my coach, discuss the meltdown in detail, and start to develop a new hydration plan for the run (and potentially the bike).  And speaking of Sunday’s episode, a race representative called me yesterday at work to make sure I was doing OK—and to let me know that since I didn’t cross the finish line (womp, womp), I qualified for guaranteed entry for next year.  Woohoo for a silver lining!

My road to redemption officially began this morning, although it almost didn’t.  I was tempted to sleep a little longer, but then I remembered this video that went viral (in terms of my teammates) yesterday.

So the run happened.  It wasn’t fast, and it wasn’t far, but I got it done.

Seeing as this was my first “workout” since Sunday’s race, there clearly hasn’t been any swimming, biking, or real running.  So what have I been doing?

Drinking … smoothies. (Hey, I was severely dehydrated and all.)


It’s been so oppressively hot in New York City that smoothies sound super appealing.  The one I had this morning (look familiar, Alex and Hollie?) contained kale, spinach, frozen banana and blueberries, protein powder, plus lots of almond milk.

Cleaning … because I’m OCD just because.

Baking … because I’ve been bored.


Paleo chocolate chip banana bread, anyone?

Admiring tri bikes … because a girl can dream, right?


On sale at Zen Bikes.  And it’s my size.  Just sayin’.

Doing laundry … because it’s somewhat therapeutic.  And needs to be done.

Shopping … sort of.


Uh, where were these when I was in college? (OMG, I sound so old!)

Hope you’re having a great Thursday!

13th Annual Aquaphor New York City Triathlon (Partial) Recap

All righty, let’s get to it.  On Sunday, I attempted to complete my fourth swim-bike-run event of the season, the 13th Annual Aquaphor New York City Triathlon.


To say I felt pumped, nervous, amped, and anxious would be a huge understatement.  I couldn’t wait to race on my “home turf,” and the stakes were higher:  This event would boast the most competitive field to-date (in terms of my age group, women 24-under), and it also served as a team competition.  Based on how well triathletes placed in their age groups, their respective teams earned points, and the team that accumulated the most points would win.  My racing season has gone well, so I really wanted to deliver for the team.  Plus, the NYC Tri would be my final tune-up race before a certain event in August, so I really wanted to finish off this first half of the season strong.

I’ve written a few times that my coach says if you don’t pass out or throw up after a race, then you didn’t push hard enough.  And sorry if this is TMI, but let’s say I covered all my bases—and recorded my first DNF.  Here’s how it went down.

Swim – 1500m – 18:10 (2/36)

Prior to this race, I heard nothing except negative things about swimming in the Hudson River.  However, I went into it with the ignorance-is-bliss mentality:  Most likely, this would be my fastest swim ever because of the current.

In the week leading up to the race, my coach and I talked extensively about my game plan, and we knew having a strong swim would set the tone. (As I get further into this triathlon journey, it’s become more evident the swim is where one of my strengths lies.) Right from the start, I needed to push.

The swim was a time-trial start, so groups of 20 athletes were led onto the pier and jumped into the water every 15 seconds.



Back in 2011 when it was the Nautica New York City Triathlon.

Age group placements determined starting times, and my wave began around 7 a.m. (More than 3,000 triathletes competed, so there were two different transitions:  yellow and red.  My wave was the last to go for the yellow, and following a 20-minute break, the red transition participants hopped into the Hudson.)

In terms of the swim course itself, my coach and a few teammates gave me some pointers, so I situated myself in a favorable spot on the pier.  As soon as I jumped in, I noticed the current (the official water temperature was 75 degrees Fahrenheit):  I felt like I was flying!  I kept my strokes long, focused on gliding, and barely kicked.  Unlike past races, I allowed myself to smile once and be grateful for the experience, but then got down to work.  As I caught up to waves that started before me, there was some bottleneck action, but I navigated it fairly well.  I also really liked how there were meter postings along the left side of the water, so every 300m, 600m, etc., you knew your progress.

Toward the end, I started to kick more to ready my legs for the run to transition, and I caught up to the group (women 35-39) that started three waves before me.  Needless to say, I exited the water feeling high on life.  I was really happy with the swim.

Transition 1 – (~0.5 mi. run) 5:16 (2/36)

Another part of the race my coach and I talked about was the run from the swim exit to transition 1 (T1).  Depending on where your bike rack was located, each triathlete had a 400-800-yard barefoot run on concrete.  My goal for T1 was to strip off my wetsuit and pick off as many people possible on the run.  It was definitely painful, but I knew what to expect thanks to my Trial By Fire experience; I knew what running right after swimming would feel like, and I knew how to work through it. (And for what it’s worth, I passed the girl who beat me out of the water in T1.  I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was first in my AG heading out on the bike.)

Bike – 24.8 mi./40-K – 1:26:58 (5/36)

The race plan for the bike was to push the pace without burning out, and for the most part, I executed.


Even though I hoped for a faster split, this is definitely the strongest and most confident I’ve felt during a race.


As the ride progressed, I worked my way up the waves, so by the time I rolled in to transition 2 (T2), I was alongside women who started nine swim waves before me.

Transition 2 – 1:36 (3/36)

Got in, changed gear, and got out.  No messing around.

Run – 6.2 mi./10-K

At the start of the run, I had a feeling I was in a good spot in terms of my AG.  And now, since reviewing the data and splits, I know I was in first place—until I blew up.


For the run out of T2, we exited at Riverside Park at 72nd Street and ran one mile before arriving at Central Park.  Once I hit the hill, my quads immediately locked up.  Then and there, I knew the run was going to be a suffer fest.  In hindsight, this should’ve been a warning sign; this exact thing happened at Nautica South Beach before I hit the wall, but luckily, the run was short enough (only four miles), so I could power through.  This run, however, went from bad to worse—and fast.  My pace slowed big time, and even though I dumped water on my head at every aid station, I refused to walk or take in nutrition.  In hindsight, this was not a good decision. (In the past, when I’ve taken in fluids on the run, I’ve experienced stomach cramps.) Around the mile-two mark, two girls in my AG blew past me, and I knew catching them was out of the question.  However, when a third girl tried to make a move, my competitive side took over, and I surged ahead.  We matched pace for a bit, and around mile four, I surged again and hoped it would put enough distance between us.

It was around mile 4.5 that I collapsed.

The next few hours were a dizzy and hazy blur:  riding in the ambulance (with one of my teammates who was a few minutes behind me on the run), getting tests done, etc.  The doctors said I was severely dehydrated, which means I should’ve been fueling on the run.  I hung out in the hospital for a few hours as they pumped fluids into me, and two of my teammates stayed with me for a bit.  I was released later that afternoon, and one teammate brought me some clothes, and another picked me up and drove me back to my apartment.  My mom also made the trip to NYC, so I’ve been under her watchful eye since Sunday evening.

Since the race, I’ve received so many texts, emails, and Facebook messages, and it makes me feel truly blessed and grateful to have such a supportive and caring network of friends, teammates, and family.  If this had to happen, then at least it occurred in NYC, at a race where plenty of people were present.

I’m well on the road to recovery now, and I’m starting to feel more like myself.  No workouts for a few days obviously, but I’m slowly easing back into my normal routine.

So what did I learn from this race?  The importance of knowing your limits—and when you can keep pushing and when you need to back off.  This race also makes it necessary to reevaluate my nutrition strategy during the run, especially on hot and humid days. (The heat index was 107 degrees Fahrenheit.)

Oh, and in terms of the team challenge, Full Throttle Endurance came in second place—by one point.  And I know that one point is on me.

And this may be too soon, but you can bet I’ll be back at this race next year on a quest for redemption.

Have you ever fainted or passed out while exercising?  How did you handle it?

Write It Down, Do It Up – Week of June 23

I planned to publish this post last night—but arrived home from work and crashed hard.  Zero A/C (yes, it’s broken again) and nine hours on my feet did me in.  Anyway …

Whew, it’s been another whirlwind weekend!  I worked Saturday and Sunday at the running store.  A lot of first-time marathoners have been coming in to get new sneakers, and their energy is contagious.  It almost makes me wish I had a 26.2-miler on the docket.  Almost.

Anyway, guess what?  It’s RACE WEEK!  This time next week, I will hopefully have completed my second Olympic-distance event, the Stamford KIC It Triathlon.


Here’s a quick peak at what I did last week:

Monday – a.m. run with Full Throttle Endurance (FTE) and strength train

We ran along the West Side Highway and eventually ended up at an outdoor turf field for some “fun sprints” in the words of my coach.  I had some serious flashbacks to high school field-hockey!  It felt so weird running on the turf without my stick and trusty mouth guard!  After, I did some full-body strength training and ab work.

Tuesday – a.m. bike with FTE

So, I’ve blogged before about how the bike is my new triathlon Achilles heel, and even though it needs work, it may not be so bad.  My coach had me ride with a faster pace group, which resulted in pedaling alongside all guys and “bro-ing” out—and averaging 23 MPH during our “warm up” loop.  Totally not sustainable, but you’d be surprised how much you can push yourself when there’s a cute cycling coach nearby.  Anyway, it ended up being a solid, 30-plus mile ride.

Wednesday – a.m. brick workout with FTE—indoor cycle and run off the bike

Seventy-five minutes on the spin bikes and thirty minutes running outside.

Thursday – off

I absolutely love having a weekday off.  I slept in until 6:30 a.m., and aside from having my first big-girl meeting, I didn’t do a whole lot.

Friday – a.m. swim with FTE, plus run and strength train

As Friday’s post said, this swim focused on longer sets in preparation for Sunday’s race.  Honestly, the run after was a little frustrating, but that’s my own fault because I didn’t have a concrete game plan; I wasn’t doing a tempo run, speedwork, hills, etc., so it felt very unfocused.  About 10 minutes in, I came to the conclusion my coach would classify it as a “junk miles” run, so I turned around, headed back to the gym, and shut it down.

Saturday – a.m. swim with FTE

More of the same—another swim with longer sets based on time.

Sunday – a.m. bike

Before work, I headed to Central Park and completed a few loops before a teammate joined me.


In total, I logged 42-ish miles!

And here’s what I’m up to this week.  Let’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 FTE

Tuesday – a.m. brick workout with FTE—outdoor ride and run off the bike

Wednesday – p.m. CompuTrainer workout (I’m riding the NYC Triathlon bike course)

Thursday – off

Friday – a.m. swim with FTE; a.m. run

Saturday – a.m. swim with FTE

Sunday – Stamford KIC It Triathlon

How did your workouts go last week?

Party Warlord

Happy Friday, everyone—and happy first day of summer!  Let’s hope the official start of a new season means tons of runners will be out shopping for new gear today.

Workout #1 – Swimming

This morning started with a Full Throttle Endurance swim workout that focused on long sets—think 10-minute steady swim, 8-minute steady swim, etc.—and pulling, my favorite type of tech work. (Note sarcasm.) Since a lot of us are racing Stamford next weekend, we also practiced sighting and drafting.  And I rocked a new pair of goggles!


I received this TYR pair (polarized special ops if the #trigeeks are interested) in my shoe training graduation swag bag, and as you can see, the goggles have a blue tint, which works better for pool swimming. (My trusty Speedo goggles have a dark tint.) Nothing but good things to say so far:  They didn’t fog up, they didn’t let in water, and they felt really comfortable.

Workout #2 – Running and Strength Training

After spending some quality time in the hot tub (more on that shortly), I hit the West Side Highway for an easy 20-minute run and finished with a full-body strength training workout.


Back home, I made an extremely green smoothie that contained frozen kale, one frozen banana, frozen blueberries, spinach, protein powder, and almond milk.


Perfect for a warm summer day!

So you’re probably wondering about the title of this post, right?  In the hot tub after practice, my teammates and I started talking about the New York City Triathlon, specifically our post-race plans.  Yes, we’re pumped to swim, bike, and run on our own turf, but let’s be honest—the after party is a major source of excitement too. (Exhibit A:  South Beach.  Exhibit B:  Montauk.)  Somehow, one thing led to another, and my teammates voted me “party warlord”—yes, that’s the actual title—which means I’m in charge of planning our afternoon shenanigans.  How this responsibility gets delegated to the youngest person on the team … I have no idea.  Luckily, I have some party-planning experience:  In high school, two of my best friends and I hosted a summer “formal” for a bunch of our friends.  Midnight Masquerade was the theme in 2007.


And in 2008, we went with a color theme—silver and gold maybe?


Anyway, organizing these parties was a lot of fun—and a lot of work.  It definitely gave me a new respect for event planning.  Our setup worked nicely because we were a team of three, and thankfully, two of my teammates volunteered to help with our upcoming get-together.  But I was told to still “rule with an iron fist and veto dumb ideas,” so we’ll see what happens!

Do you have party- or event-planning experience?  Also, NYC-ers:  any recommendations for fun party venues?

My First Work Meeting

Hiya, friends!  Happy … Thursday?  Yikes, I’ve gone a long time without blogging.  It’s been a busy week filled with work (more on that in a second) and working out, and I’m happy to have today off on both fronts.  As per tradition, my morning began with Wegmans Cin-A-Nut coffee.


What, you don’t have spare goggles hanging around?

Weggies, please come to NYC.  Thanks.

Although I’m not scheduled to work today, I met with a local yoga company to discuss our partnership and other outreachy things.  Friends, this was my first solo big-girl meeting of my career!  And I wore “real” clothes (i.e. not running shorts and/or a race t-shirt)!


My coworkers commented on how cute I looked, so just humor me with this outfit of the day picture, OK?  I could’ve showed up to the meeting looking like this:



Yes, this happened at work on Wednesday.  No, this isn’t me.  This time.

Anyway, the meeting went well.  There was some miscommunication about the location, but once we sat down, the ideas started to flow. (Inadvertent yoga pun.) Exciting things on the horizon!  Right after, I recapped the main points with my manager and assistant manager, and they were really pleased.  By now, I should be used to this responsibility, but I still can’t believe how much they trust and believe in me—slash I’m still wrapping my head around doing somewhat big things at age 23.

I didn’t want to waste looking like a “real girl,” so I went shopping.  And not for groceries.  Although I did that later.  Success at Anthropologie!


Plus both the tank and pj bottoms were on sale.  Love it when that happens!

Back at my apartment, there was a package waiting for me.


Thanks for hooking me up, FitFluential and Kona Kase!  Review to come once I test these endurance nutrition samples.

Oh, and speaking of endurance, please start praying for me in regards to the Stamford bike course.


If it were easy, then everyone would do it, right?  Oh boy.

Meeting Pro Triathletes Tim ‘T.O.’ O’Donnell and Mirinda ‘Rinny’ Carfrae

So … guess who I got to meet Tuesday morning?  Professional triathletes and power couple Tim “T.O.” O’Donnell and Mirinda “Rinny” Carfrae!


Check out these accolades:  A nine-time Ironman 70.3 Champion, T.O. most recently won and tied the course record (8:01:31) at Ironman Brazil; Rinny has 15 Ironman 70.3 wins and finished first at the 2010 Ironman World Championships in Kona (aka the Super Bowl of triathlon).



Thanks to Castelli and Colavita, the two came to Chelsea Piers for a brunch and Q-and-A session that our head coach moderated.


Here are a few things I found interesting:

1.  Before the official chat, a few teammates and I talked to Rinny about last weekend’s Rev3 Quassy, a half-Ironman in which she finished 5th in the competitive pro women field.  It was a tough day for racing—temperatures notched 90 degrees Fahrenheit—and even without the heat, the pros say this Connecticut course is the toughest 70.3 the United States offers.  Based on the pros’ finishing times, the heat didn’t seem to be a factor.  What’s their secret?  Rinny said she regularly retreats to the sauna post-workout and spends 10-15 minutes acclimating to the heat and humidity, so that her body’s used to it on race day.  As you may remember, I experimented with this strategy for the Nautica South Beach Triathlon, and looking forward, it would probably be a good idea to log some quality time in the sauna before NYC Aquaphor in July.

2.  Rinny doesn’t stretch, foam roll, or strength train.  Ever.  But she does get two massages each week.

3.  T.O. and Rinny listen to music during all of their workouts.  Both enjoy the Foo Fighters, and Rinny said she listens to David Guetta a lot.

4.  T.O. was recently diagnosed with a gluten sensitivity, so he eats gluten free now.

5.  What’s your go-to pre-race breakfast?  T.O. and Rinny eat cupcakes.  T.O. also has a cup of coffee, but Rinny doesn’t ingest caffeine of any kind (except caffeinated gels).

6.  T.O. and Rinny come from athletic backgrounds—he swam, and she played basketball—and when asked about their favorite workouts (swimming, biking, or running), both T.O. and Rinny would pick running.  T.O. likes long runs (at a “steady” 5:40 pace!), and Rinny enjoys intervals on the treadmill.

7.  The couple made several references to drinking red wine.  Winos of the world unite!

After the talk, I snagged some photos and autographs.  #Trigeek.


I talked to T.O. about the transition from sprint- to Olympic-distance events and asked if he had any tips for Saturday’s race.  He said to trust my training (easier said than done!) and focus on the bike-run.


Speaking of, I need to start packing.  Montauk, here I come!

Would you ever eat a cupcake before a race?  What’s your favorite type of workout?

Write It Down, Do It Up – Week of June 2

Hey, everyone!  I hope your June (wow!) is off to a great start.  Yesterday looked like a typical Saturday:  swim with some Full Throttle Endurance teammates and then work at JackRabbit.  I went right from the pool to the store, so I missed triathlete brunch (and a 60-mile bike ride, boo), but one of my teammates brought me a muffin.


Homemade blueberry with lemon zest—yum!  Also, four teammates—yes, four—visited me at work yesterday, so that was awesome.  And today, I met up with a teammate for a run in Central Park, completed a solo indoor cycling workout, and headed back uptown for our first book club meeting.


Thanks for taking the picture, Jen!  Great meeting you, Emily and Lynette!

So much fun—and no food pictures.  Whoops!  The official recap will go live Tuesday.

Anyway … it’s officially RACE WEEK!  I still can’t believe Mighty Montauk is next weekend, and right now, I have very mixed feelings about this Olympic-distance event.  As always, I’m excited and ready to do work, but I don’t feel ready.  This week’s taper will probably be more challenging than the one before Nautica South Beach; I really want to keep pushing, but I need to embrace the taper.  Here’s this week’s edition of 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. swim with FTE

Wednesday – a.m. brick workout with FTE—indoor cycle and run off the bike

Thursday – a.m. easy swim; a.m. easy run

Friday – off

Saturday – Mighty Montauk Triathlon

Sunday – off/easy run

When is your next race or event?

Write It Down, Do It Up – Week of May 26

Hiya, friends!  How’s your Memorial Day Weekend been so far?  After yesterday’s swim, I went straight to work.  We weren’t super busy (thanks a lot, rain), but two of my teammates stopped in during my shift, which helped the day pass quickly.  Luckily, the weather shaped up today, so I rode in Central Park with some teammates.


I had my bike tuned up at Zen Bikes yesterday, and the guys regripped my handlebars—love the pop of red!  And in semi-related news, t-minus 12 days until Mighty Montauk!  Coming off recovery week, I feel fresh, energized, and ready to attack this week’s workouts.  Chelsea Piers is operating under holiday hours tomorrow, so we won’t have official team practice, but I made plans to meet up with my running buddy to tackle Central Park’s hills.  I’m coming for you, Montauk!  Here’s this week’s edition of 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; a.m. strength train

Tuesday – a.m. bike with FTE

Wednesday – a.m. brick workout with FTE—indoor cycle and run off the bike

Thursday – off

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

Saturday – a.m. swim with FTE

Sunday – a.m. (long) bike

How did your workouts go this week?  Do you usually take a rest day during the week or weekend?

Shoe Training Graduation

Hello, Friday!  Whew, this has been a busy week—lots of working and working out, and this weekend will be more of the same.  Fingers crossed New York City doesn’t see another monsoon.


Yep, it absolutely poured yesterday.  The streets flooded, and the subway system shut down.  At least it wasn’t snow, right?

Anyway, I don’t want to rehash a previous post, but about one year ago, I attended a graduation ceremony that looked like this:


Upstate New York.  Four hundred and seventy eight graduates.  One diploma.

And Tuesday night, I officially graduated from JackRabbit shoe training!  No ceremony this time, but I did receive a swag bag stuffed with goodies.


Just a little different from last year:  New York City.  Five graduates.  One baller goodie bag.


Aside from the freebies—everything from sweat-wicking socks (do not wear cotton ones, friends!) to calf compression sleeves to a Polar heart rate monitor—this loot also means my JRab training has ended.  When I first accepted this job, I knew the learning curve would be tough, but manageable, and the company’s training program worked really well.  After completing several online training modules, I shadowed some of my coworkers while they did shoe fits.  Watching them in action and learning how they select sneakers proved to be really helpful, and I also attended two in-person shoe training classes with our head shoe buyer:  one devoted to the biomechanics of running, and another that addressed the construction of running sneakers.  In a short period of time, I’ve learned so much about running from a physiological perspective, plus how sneakers work to make the activity enjoyable.  And that’s the bottom line:  the proper pair will make running much more fun!  Speaking of sneakers …


Let’s call this voucher for some free Sauconys (woohoo!) my “diploma,” OK?  And maybe this five-plus pounds of nutrition products could be my tassels?


Woohoo for #runnerd goodies!

Have you attended a non-academic “graduation” of sorts?