Tag Archives: NYC triathlon training

Triathlon Training Log – Weeks 36 (August 1) and 37 (August 8)

And just like that, the “A” race has come and gone.

2016-usa-triathlon-age-group-national-championships-omaha-bike-rack

Not pictured: cornfields. Cornfields everywhere.

I spent a total of 30 hours in Omaha, Nebraska this weekend doing some swimming, biking, and running with 2,000 other triathletes—including the one and only Victoria! We had three-plus hours to wait between transition closing and our respective swim waves starting at USA Triathlon Age Group National Championships, so it was nice to hang out and talk about watts, amongst other things. The race itself was an interesting experience. All things considered, I had a relatively good day, but Omaha has a lot of work to do in order to even come close to how efficiently Milwaukee hosted and produced this race. More to come in the race report!

Anyway, I didn’t post last week’s training log because we’ve been firing on all cylinders at work with the Olympics. We have 68 athletes competing—they’ve already won 13 medals—and they are keeping us busy in terms of digital communications.

Monday – a.m. CompuTrainer ride at Tailwind Endurance

There’s no better way to kick off the training week than with a ride on your race course. The Nationals bike course was available for download online, so we synced it up with the CompuTrainer software. The good news: it’s incredibly hammerfest friendly. The bad news: I don’t know how hard I’ll be able to hammer after swimming in water that’s 85*F.

Tuesday – p.m. run in Central Park

We played around with my rest/recovery this week, so what would normally be a morning workout turned into an evening run. Based on the fact that I slept 10 hours, I definitely needed the extra rest! After work, I did my 6x800s at race pace in the park, and although it was packed, it *was not* humid, which was amazing. Hitting and holding my pace—while not running like a basketball player—felt much easier without the extra moisture in the air. I was happy with how I executed, but I know Omaha will be hot and humid, a.k.a. not these conditions at all.

Wednesday – p.m. brick/ “Groundhog” workout (CompuTrainer ride at Tailwind Endurance and run on the treadmill)

Putting the finishing touching on the fitness with a final race simulation workout: 3x (10 minutes on the bike at 95 percent and 8 minutes on the treadmill at race pace). This went so much better than it did last week! Being able to execute confirmed the hay is in the barn—at Nationals, it will come down to how well I manage the heat.

Thursday – a.m. run in Central Park; p.m. swim with Bearcat masters

Another round of 6x800s with descending rest for a total of 5.5 miles. Since the water temperature in Omaha is hovering around 85*F, I ordered a Blueseventy PZ4XT swimskin and tested it out at masters. Wiggling into it was quite the process, but I definitely felt a difference in terms of body position/buoyancy and hydrodynamic.

Friday – off

Saturday – a.m. CompuTrainer ride at Tailwind Endurance

Hammered the Omaha course and then went to work

Sundayp.m. swim and run home

I was at work all weekend due to the Olympics, which meant my normal masters swim wasn’t going to happen. My coworker gave me a guest pass to Equinox so I could swim on my own after work, but the pool was closed. Womp, womp. So I did an easy three-mile run home.

Monday – off (with p.m. sports massage)

Recovering and resting was the number one priority this week. I stayed up late Sunday night because we had swimmers competing, so I knew a morning workout wasn’t going to happen. After work, though, I got my usual pre-race sports massage.

Tuesday – p.m. run

Well, this could’ve felt a lot better. I had 4x800m on the docket, and even though I executed and hit the pace, I felt not-so-great. I’m sure this was due to a combination of not getting enough sleep, being mentally stressed/fatigued from work, and eating a piece of chocolate cake beforehand. (What? How else would you celebrate one of your athletes getting a silver medal?)

Wednesday – p.m. CompuTrainer ride at Tailwind Endurance

Easy 45-minute ride to flush out the legs

Thursday – p.m. run

I was supposed to fly to Omaha after work, but my flight—and all flights out to Omaha—was cancelled. I needed to blow off some steam, so once I was back in the city, I ran a few easy miles with Tailwind folks.

Friday – travel

Travel day, part deux. Once I finally made it to Omaha around 1:30 p.m., I spent the rest of the day going to packet pick-up, getting my bike, and bringing it to transition. In theory, this process shouldn’t have taken long. However, the race site was a few miles from my hotel, and the bike pick-up spot was about a half mile from transition. Under normal circumstances, this wouldn’t have been a big deal, but the school bus shuttles the race provided (that took folks from their hotel to the race site) were not running as often as they should have. I have a lot to say regarding the logistics of this race, but that’s another post.

Saturday – USA Triathlon Age Group National Championships

It was not a fast race, but I am satisfied with how it went. I almost cracked the top third of my age group, but I had a mentally strong day overall—including hanging tough and staying focused during a hot run.

Sunday – travel

Caught a super early flight back to NYC, and I’ve spent the day recuperating and mentally preparing for the next two weeks at work. Covering the Olympics is a serious endurance event.

What have I missed? How are your workouts going?

Eight Things

Hey, everyone!  Is it really Wednesday?  This week seems to be flying by!  I crashed hard yesterday after my swim workout; the combination of traveling, working out, and recovering from Thanksgiving hit hard, and I may have spent the day watching Downton Abbey.  In my defense, it was raining, so I didn’t feel like running my errands.  Or moving for the matter.

Anyway, I got nine glorious hours of sleep last night, and I feel completely rejuvenated.  I also have a bunch of random stuff to share, so I’m going with a list format today.

1.  I really, really missed salmon when I was home.  Fish doesn’t exactly scream Thanksgiving, so it fell out of the rotation for the week.  But it’s back now—I’ve had it the past two nights—so it’s all good.

2.  I went running without my Garmin this morning. (I owe you a post on that, actually.) Honestly, I totally forgot to put it on and didn’t realize it until I left my building.  I’ve been wearing it a lot lately, so it was nice to disconnect and simply run.

3.  I spiced up my overnight oats with some cinnamon spiced granola courtesy of NatureBox.

The granola was good—fresh, tasty, and not overly sweet.  Speaking of Nature Box …

4.  I actually received a sample over the Thanksgiving holiday.  I’m slowly working my way through the snacks, so I’ll post a review in a few weeks.

[Full disclosure:  NatureBox contacted me and asked if I would like a sample package in exchange for a blog review.  As always, all opinions expressed are my own.]

5.  While out running errands this morning, I saw Andrew, one of the Full Throttle Endurance coaches from Chelsea Piers.  What a small world, right?  CP should reopen Dec. 1, but it’s unclear whether Full Throttle Endurance will still hold its off-season training program.  Because “normal” training begins in January, holding one month of organized off-season training doesn’t make much sense.  Anyway, once the complex opens on Saturday, I hope to work with Andrew more on swimming, and he also mentioned triathlon-specific strength training, too.

6.  Guess what came in the mail today—my USA Triathlon membership card!  Woohoo!

7.  This will make me sound extremely nerdy, but whatever—I bought an ice scoop and spice rack at The Container Store today, and I cannot begin to articulate how happy they make me.

Until I spilled vanilla extract while organizing my spices.  Now both the kitchen and I reek of vanilla.

8.  I’m trying something new for dinner tonight—a “healthified” personal pizza.  We’ll see how this goes.

How’s your Wednesday going?  Have you heard of NatureBox?  What’s been your go-to dinner lately?

Developing a Triathlon Off-Season Workout Plan, Part 2

Hi, friends!  Great news—I survived my bike workout this morning!  It actually went a lot better than I anticipated. (If you missed part one, read it first; I’m working with Andrew Kalley of Full Throttle Endurance to develop my triathlon off-season plan of attack.) Before getting to that, though, here are some eats from my last few meals.

Dinner

I haven’t been eating salmon as often as I usually do, so I’m craving it more and more; it’s like my body wants to make up for lost seafood opportunities.  Anyway, when dinnertime arrived last night, I rolled with it.

This is the same Hungry Girl-inspired crazy pineapple salmon teriyaki I had before.  The teriyaki and sweet Asian chili sauce work really well together; I’ll share the measurements next week.

Breakfast

Before heading to Chelsea Piers this morning, I “carbed up” and toasted two Van’s Power Grains.

With almond butter and banana slices, of course.

Then I headed to the Performance Center.

Holy cow—talk about super impressive.  With a total of two Super Treadmills and eight CompuTrainers—bike trainers that allow cyclists and triathletes to execute very specific, monitored workouts—this hub has everything an endurance athlete needs.  Oh, and casually hanging on the wall was an autographed tri-top from Tim O’Donnell.  No big deal.

Anyway, here’s how the workout progressed:

-First, I told Andrew that I’ve never used a CompuTrainer—let alone a trainer (except for my fitting at Syracuse Bicycle)—so I had no idea what any of the readings and numbers meant.  Ha!  Honest is the best policy.

-After setting up my bike (and raising the saddle a few inches; maybe I grew?), I warmed up while Andrew gave me the lowdown on CompuTrainers.  Basically, this type of trainer is a great training tool because it allows the rider to replicate courses from all over the world (hypothetically, I could ride the Ironman Kona bike course), and it calculates the exact wattages and cadences required for an efficient, successful ride.  All of the terms he mentioned—lactate heart rate, lactate power, lactate threshold, V02 max—I’ve heard of, but I’ve obviously never been tested for these values and don’t know how to use these measurements to structure workouts.

-Time trial time.  For my workout-turned-test, I had to ride a flat, three-mile course as fast as possible.  Then I would rest and recover for 10 minutes or so and repeat the course.  Pretty easy, right?  Not exactly.

-Even though I wanted to negative split my rides—or complete the second faster than the first—I put forth a “monster effort” (Andrew’s words, not mine) for the first leg and finished in 8:26.  On my second ride, though, I started too conservatively and couldn’t make up the time; I clocked 8:32.  So no negative splittage today, but the highpoint of the ride was finishing strong and notching a wattage of 400, which I guess is pretty respectable. (Again, total CompuTrainer newbie here.)

-Based on these two time trials, I now have some data that will come in handy for planning my bike workouts.

Where do I go from here?  Now that Andrew’s seen me swim, bike, and run, I wanted to hear his general assessment and thoughts on how I should structure my off-season.  Based on these sessions, he says I have the potential to become a really strong biker-runner, as in those two disciplines are where I’ll win (yeah—wow!) triathlons.  And as I know, my swim needs work. (Although he did say he watched me swim yesterday, and I’m already improving in terms of form and efficiency.) So here’s the plan:  I’ll focus on my bike (number one priority) and swim technique (number two).  In terms of running, he said I should continue to log miles, which will help maintain my base, but I shouldn’t train intensely; my running workouts should be fairly low-key and should be based off how my body feels.  Sounds good to me!  I plan to hit the pool a few times before our next session on Monday.

Post-Workout Snack

CHO-time!

I inhaled this Chobani before showering.  Hey, priorities.

Lunch

After sending out more resumes, I broke for lunch around 12:30 p.m. and assembled a salad.

Even though the leftover blackened tofu and roasted veggies tasted great, it was the avocado that made the salad today.  Yum!

Back to Two-a-Days and Job-Hunting Frustrations

Did today fly by or what?  I actually did a double-take when the clock read 4 p.m.  Where did the day go?  Oh, that’s right—I ran and swam this morning before I became wicked frustrated and discouraged during my job hunt.

Dinner

Let’s rewind to last night first.  For Meatless Monday, I originally planned to bake tempeh, but during my Trader Joe’s run, some biddie cut me off and proceeded to take the remaining three packages.  Uh, rude.  Girlfriend already had two, so why not share?  I was peeved.  Anyway, I ended up making blackened tofu and green beans.

Luckily, she left one package of tofu for me.

Workout #1 – Running

My day began with a 40-minute run.  Before heading out, I looked at my workout schedule, and I couldn’t believe the last time I ran was this past Wednesday—yikes!  Even though I anticipated heavy legs, I was pleasantly surprised; I felt fresh, rested, and fast enough to sprinkle in some fartleks.  Afterward, I completed some upper-body exercises that will help to strengthen my “swimming muscles” like bicep curls, tricep kickbacks, and pushups.

Breakfast

A craving for eggs hit hard, so I made an open-faced breakfast sandwich.

Sadly, I used up the last of my Greenmarket spinach.  Oh, well; I guess I’ll have to go again tomorrow.

While my breakfast digested, I caught up on emails and started poking around online for job postings.  I haven’t talked about my job hunt at all because there hasn’t been anything to report.  Even though I’m doing some freelance writing now (I wrote these three articles for SheKnows.com), I still need a full-time “big-girl” job.  My friend Gabby wrote a really good blog entry about the current market, and basically what it comes down to is everyone wants an unpaid college intern, which I am not, or they want an employee with 3-5 years of experience, which I don’t exactly have right now.  Anyway, after searching for an hour, I became really restless, so I headed over to Chelsea Piers to swim.

Workout #2 – Swimming

When I went to bed last night, I mentally prepared for two workouts today.  Given my employment status, there’s no reason I shouldn’t be able to workout twice a day, or at the very least, swim on a regular basis.  Plus, since I did a bunch of drills with Andrew yesterday, I wanted to work through them a bit more.  From my basketball and strength training background, I know it’s all about muscle memory, which can only be accomplished through lots of proper repetitions.  Basically, hitting the pool 24 hours after working with a coach was a no-brainer.  Anyway, as I walked into the pool, I wondered if I’d see Andrew, and sure enough, he was there working with another triathlete—too funny! (I’m hoping I got a few brownie points!)  During my 40-minute swim, I revisited a lot of the drills Andrew showed me yesterday.  It might be mental at this point, but I’m already starting to feel faster and more efficient.

Post-Workout Snack/Lunch

After my swim, I was staving, so I whipped up a protein smoothie and chased it with plenty of water.

Today’s glass included one frozen banana, frozen kale, a few frozen blueberries, almond milk, and one scoop of Jay Robb egg white protein powder.  I was still a little hungry, so I also ate a no-bake peanut butter protein bar.

It hit the spot!

More job searching ensued this afternoon, and I’ll be honest, it was quite depressing.  There are a few career websites I consult multiple times each day, plus the webpages of big-time publishing companies like Rodale, Meredith, American Media, etc.  I’ve started to think creatively, and I sent my resume and a general cover letter to a bunch of New York City-based fitness brands.  However, for every unsolicited email I sent, there were easily five postings that asked for applicants with at least three years of experience.  One webpage even said, “If you graduated in 2011 or 2012, you will not be considered.”  Glahhh!  So yeah, I’m feeling a little down right now.

How did you land your first job out of college?  What did you do?  Did you like it?  How long did you stay there?

Developing a Triathlon Off-Season Workout Plan, Part I

Hey, everyone!  How’s your Monday going?  Let’s zip through today’s eats so I can share some triathlon updates from my initial consultation/mini-workout and full-fledged swim workout with Andrew Kalley of Full Throttle Endurance.

Breakfast

Before heading to Chelsea Piers, I “carbed up” and had waffles with almond butter and banana slices.

I definitely liked these Van’s Power Grains more this time around, but I really, really miss my Kashi waffles. (I couldn’t find them at Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods, so I need to think outside the figurative waffle box.)

Lunch

I was starving after my workout, so I whipped up a quick protein smoothie.

This mixture contained one frozen banana, frozen kale, frozen blueberries, almond milk, chia seeds, and one scoop of Jay Robb egg white protein powder.  I also ate a boatload of carrots, plus a no-bake peanut butter protein bar for dessert.

Recipe coming tomorrow!  OK, time for the triathlon updates.

Friday

On Friday afternoon, I met Andrew for the first time, and we talked for 30 minutes or so about my athletic background, triathlon experience, plus my off-season and long-term goals.  Here’s what we established:

-Based on my personal self-assessment (I’m an OK biker and decent runner, but need to improve a lot as a swimmer), Andrew wants me to focus on my swim and bike—in terms of form, technique, etc.—this off-season, and I agree.  My swim has the most room for improvement, and since the bike constitutes the longest leg of a triathlon (in terms of both time and distance), I also need to improve there, especially because I’m not coming into the sport as a cyclist.  Running won’t be totally ignored—remember my list of upcoming NYC races?—but I will spend more time in the water and on the saddle.

-During the off-season, one of the FTE coaches is leading a strength and conditioning program, which I plan to sign up for.  Not only will I get to know conditioning/weight lifting from a triathlon standpoint, but I’ll also get to meet FTE athletes.  However, Andrew said I won’t benefit from it as much as more experienced triathletes, and he compared it to strength training for basketball—even though I started lifting in 7th grade, I didn’t see dramatic improvement until high school (and especially college) when I gained more sport-specific knowledge and experience.

-After we talked, Andrew put me through a short running workout:  He filmed and analyzed my gait and had me do a few drills; nothing too fancy, except for running with a weighted sled. (Totally normal, I’m told.) Anyway, at the end of the session, we decided to meet three times so he can assess my fitness levels/strengths and weaknesses for each discipline, which will then help us come up with more specific goals and a detailed off-season plan of attack.

Monday

As I walked over this morning, I felt a combination of nervousness and excitement.  I feel the least comfortable in water, and prior to today, I had never completed an official swim workout.  Plus, it had been a while since my last true one-on-one workout with a coach; we’re talking my dark ages of collegiate basketball, which is about three years ago.  However, I reminded myself that I could only get better, and overall, it went fairly well:

-I warmed up by swimming 100 yards so Andrew could assess my stroke, technique, etc.  Guess what—I’m not a lost cause!  Overall, Andrew said my form works, but there are some tweaks that will make me a faster, more efficient swimmer.

-I can’t remember the official names of all the drills, but I started with the kickboard to isolate and further engage my hips and legs. (I definitely rely on my upper body during the swim so I can conserve my lower body for the bike and run.) Wowza—after 50 yards, I felt the burn!

-Next came some on-deck, or out-of-water, exercises.  With an elastic exercise rope, Andrew demonstrated proper shoulder, arm, and elbow movements.  After practicing for a few minutes, it was back to the water.

-Finally, I did a bunch of single-stroke drills like using only one arm (while keeping the other straight), making fists (which forced me to use my entire forearm), and wearing flippers to practice rotating.  After this technique work, Andrew told me to put it together and swim normally, but when I left the wall, I actually forgot how!  We both started laughing (he said it was normal), and eventually, I got it.  Once our session ended, I stayed in the pool for an extra 10 minutes or so to practice swimming normally; it’s all about muscle memory.

So what’s next?  We’re meeting on Wednesday for a bike workout on a CompuTrainer.  Andrew thinks I’ll like the workout because it will be intense.  We’ll see.

Do you remember what your first sport-specific workout was like?  How did it go?

Write It Down, Do It Up – Week of Oct. 21

Hi, all—happy Sunday!  How was your weekend?  I had a great time hitting up the Union Square Greenmarket and wandering around a street fair yesterday.  I also did some baking refrigerator-ing today.

No-bake peanut butter protein bars.  Recipe coming your way this week!  Plus, I also made it to Chelsea Piers to swim not once, but twice.

Since I’m meeting with Andrew, one of the Full Throttle Endurance (FTE) coaches, for a swim session tomorrow, I figured I should needed to go to the pool solo beforehand; prior to this weekend, my last time in water was at the DeRuyter Triathlon, which was basically one month ago.  Not good.  Anyway, I swam for 30 minutes yesterday and today, and unsurprisingly, I’ve lost some of my swimming stamina.

It’s not all bad, though.  Remember last week when I was under the impression that FTE was not having an official off-season triathlon training?  This isn’t the case:  An eight-week program begins Nov. 5—woohoo!  I still owe you a post detailing my initial meeting with Andrew, which should be live Monday afternoon; it will most likely include a recap of tomorrow’s swim session, too.  In the mean time, here are the basics:  Right now, my off-season will be devoted to my swim and bike, aka my not-as-strong disciplines. (That’s not to say running will be ignored, though; I still want to tackle as many of my potential New York City races as I can.) This week, I’m meeting with Andrew three times for three sport-specific workouts (swimming, biking, and running), so he can assess my technique and fitness levels before developing a definite off-season plan of attack.  Aside from tomorrow’ session, we haven’t schedule each workout yet, so my workout plan this week isn’t as specific as normal.  Onto Write It Down, Do It Up!

(If you’re new to WIDDIU, here’s how it works:  Every Sunday evening, I’ll 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 – swim workout with Andrew

One bike workout with Andrew

One run workout with Andrew

Bike solo x1

Run solo x2

Strength training x2

How were your workouts this week?  What’s on tap for this week?

Rain, Rain …

You know how it goes.  It’s a wet and soggy one here in the Big Apple today.  However, the yucky weather didn’t stop me from hitting up the Union Square Greenmarket.

Unsurprisingly, the market lacked its normal crowd.  I quickly stocked up on spinach, broccoli, and yellow peppers before the skies really let it pour.

Dinner

Last night’s meal used up the remaining veggies from my first greenmarket haul.

Well, the blackened tofu didn’t hail from the market, but the roasted zucchini and red peppers sure did.  Yummy!

Breakfast

This morning’s original plan included a bike ride, but the rain combined with my achy and swollen knee (remember my special talent?) prompted me to pass.  Around 8 a.m., I fixed a yogurt bowl.

One mashed banana and frozen blueberries comprised the base layer, while plain Greek yogurt and Kashi Go Lean went on top.  I haven’t had cereal in a long time, so it was nice to bring it back.

My trip to the greenmarket happened after breakfast, and shortly after, I went to Chelsea Piers to meet with Andrew, one of the Full Throttle Endurance coaches.  Even though the appointment lasted one hour, I already feel much more prepared about my first triathlon off-season.  I’m still trying to digest and think over everything we talked about—it definitely deserves its own post—and for now, I will say this:  I am super excited to hit the water/trainer/pavement swimming/biking/running. (Whew, that’s a mouthful!) Today’s session with Andrew also confirmed FTE is the triathlon club for me; I’m meeting with him again next week so he can assess my current fitness levels for the three disciplines, which makes me excited and nervous.

Lunch

Back at the apartment, I threw together a “refrigerator” salad.

On top of a bed of fresh spinach from the greenmarket, I added leftover tofu and roasted veggies, plus some carrots and yellow peppers for good measure.  I also had an apple cinnamon Chobani for dessert.

Which reminds me, I only have one left–need to add it to the grocery list.

How’s your Friday going?  Any fun plans for the weekend?  How do you spend rainy days?

Write It Down, Do It Up – Week of Oct. 14

Happy Sunday, everyone!  How was your weekend?  After riding to the George Washing Bridge and exploring the Union Square Greenmarket yesterday (how was that only yesterday?!), exhaustion hit me like the marathon’s dreaded 18-mile wall. (Not that I would know personally, but I’ve heard it’s rough.) The combination of moving to a new city, shopping for apartment necessities, and returning to yoga after a yearlong hiatus caught up with me, and I spent Saturday afternoon curled up in a ball on the couch. (Some nachos from Friday night also disagreed with me—I was so girl-down.) Luckily, the Ironman World Championship coverage steamed all afternoon, so I had something to watch in between napping and running to the bathroom.  Another sign of my fatigue:  I slept in until 7 a.m. both Saturday and Sunday morning.

Anyway, I have good news and not-so-good news to share.  The good?  I officially joined The Sports Center at Chelsea Piers!

Which means I can start working on my triathlon swim—ya! (Half-sarcastic, half-serious.)

Speaking of triathloning, I wanted to join Full Throttle Endurance’s off-season training program, but unfortunately, the club won’t be holding official workouts until January.  Huge bummer.  I was pumped to meet NYC triathletes, develop an off-season training plan, and begin preparing for 2013.  However, with my Chelsea Piers membership, I get one complimentary personal training session, so I hope to meet with one of the FTE coaches to talk about my goals and how to structure my off-season.  Plus, some of the coaches might offer smaller group workouts, which I would totally get behind.

So, with all the information in mind—dealing with fatigue and planning my off-season—I have a very tentative schedule this week.  Listed below is everything I would like to have happen (plus maybe a swim), but I’m going to back off and listen to my body.  Time for Write It Down, Do It Up! (If you’re new to WIDDIU, here’s how it works:  Every Sunday evening, I’ll 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 – off/rest or easy run

Tuesday – a.m. 40-minute run; strength train; p.m. yoga

Wednesday – a.m. 30-minute run; strength train; p.m. yoga

Thursday – a.m. yoga

Friday – 45-minute bike

Saturday – off/rest

Sunday – off/rest or easy run

Anyone else feeling totally drained?  When you’re tired, do you back off your workouts?

Link Love and Furniture Shopping for New York City, Take Two

Because one spree isn’t enough.

Hey, friends—Happy Friday!  Do you have plans for the weekend?  It’s been raining all afternoon, so it’s going to be a low-key evening.  Tomorrow, though, the fam is going to my cousin’s football game.  I haven’t been to a high school football game in … well, since high school.  Funny how that works.

Yesterday afternoon, I got some serious link love from my friends at Chelsea Piers and Full Throttle Endurance.  We’re talking two social media outlets—Facebook and Twitter.

So cool!

Did you miss the recap of FTE’s swim practice at Chelsea Piers?

Unfortunately, these screenshots were the sole pictures I snapped yesterday.  For lunch, I had more healthy curried chicken salad, which tasted even better leftover; we also had our neighbors over for drinks and hors d’oeuvres, which also went undocumented.  Whoops.  Just picture lots of red wine, cheese and crackers, veggies and dip, plus some tasty finger sandwiches.  No dinner after was required thanks to the copious amount of cheese I ate.

Workout – Running

This morning, I “slept in” and answered some emails before tackling a 7.25-mile run.  For me, this qualifies as a semi-long run, although I know my marathon-training friends would say different. (One day!) Even though it was lightly misting, I still had a great, low-key outing, minus my iPod shuffle dying about 15 minutes in. (I even charged it last night—what the heck!) “Running naked” ended up being a nice treat, and I also left my compression sleeves at home.  The eight-mile threshold is usually when my calves crave compression, but I was still pleasantly surprised there were no tightening issues.  Woohoo!

Breakfast

We go through a lot of peanut butter, which works out perfectly for an overnight-oats-in-a-jar addict like me.

This morning’s mix included one mashed banana, plain Greek yogurt, 1/4 cup old fashioned oats, 1/2 cup almond milk, and plenty of chia seeds.

Lunch

Before heading to Raymour & Flanigan for furniture shopping round two, I made a veggie scramble.

With a one-egg and one-egg-white base, I added leftover roasted asparagus and red peppers, plus some tofu for extra protein. (Plus Sriracha, obviously!) I also ate a few handfuls of grapes.

Onto some good news:  Guess who has big-girl furniture for her big-girl apartment?

This girl!  I ended up going with the sofa sleeper, accent chair, and ottoman.

This area rug. (And the blurry dining set.)

And a dresser and nightstand I totally forgot to take a picture of, probably because I was so excited!

Also, on a completely unrelated note, I found out today I won a GNC Twitter giveaway.

All I had to do was click “retweet,” so I figured what the heck.

Wow!  First the #RunChat prize package and now a Total Lean Pumpkin Spice Shake?  Heck, maybe I should go buy a lottery ticket.

Have you ever won a prize or giveaway (either virtual or in “real life”)?

Trip to New York City – Full Throttle Endurance Swim Practice

Aside from spending time in New York City interviewing and apartment searching (read all about it here and here), I also attended a Full Throttle Endurance (FTE) practice, which is a triathlon training club based out of Chelsea Piers.

Before leaving for NYC, I emailed FTE’s Head Coach Scott Berlinger and explained my situation:  I’m a new triathlete who’s moving to the city soon and interested in joining the club.  Scott invited me to watch his swimming practice Monday morning, but since I would be leaving town Sunday, I ended up tagging along to Coach Danny Viera’s one on Saturday morning. (FTE has two “teams”—a “racing” team for elite age-groupers, which meets five days per week for two-hour practices; and a “level-one” team for triathlon newbies and for those who can’t commit as much time to training [this sounds like it’s for “normal” triathletes], which meets three or four days per week for one-hour practices.)

I arrived at Chelsea Piers at 6:40 a.m. and met Danny.  I liked him immediately; he’s young, fit, and very knowledgeable about the sport of triathlon.  He struck me as legit right away; I can’t put my finger on it, but after talking with him for a few minutes, I had a feeling he’d be a great coach.

Before practice began at 7 a.m., he led me inside, asked me if this was my first time at Chelsea Piers (it was), and told me to take a look around.  Holy cow—the facility blew me away.

There were cardio and strength training machines galore, a full-length indoor track, plus basketball and beach volleyball courts.  Clearly, Chelsea Piers has the best facilities in NYC, which is a huge plus for FTE.

After looking around, I headed to the 25-yd. indoor pool.

(Not-so-great iPhone photo.  Better pictures posted here.)

As people began to arrive, Danny told me the pool is closed on Saturday morning from 7-8 a.m. for everyone except FTE members.  So not only does the club have access to state-of-the-art facilities, but it also holds private practices in them.  Very cool.

Ten triathletes attended the practice, and it was nice to see a wide range of people and abilities.  One guy was learning how to swim, so he had his own lane, and there were three strong swimmers present too. (Danny told me one woman usually wins her age group when she races.) The lanes were labeled “slow,” “medium,” and “fast,” so triathletes could swim with people of the same speed.  Danny told me he places athletes in a speed-appropriate lane based on the workout at hand.  Speaking of workout, here’s what was on the FTE docket.

(Note:  FTE practices in four-week cycles–three weeks of hard training, and one week of recovering.  This is a recovery week swim session.)

I’ve never attended a true swim practice before, so I had no idea what a lot of this terminology meant.  Luckily, before each set, Danny explained each drill, demonstrated the proper movement and technique (on the deck), and identified why the drill was important.  Throughout the practice, he cycled between lanes and provided personalized feedback, and I really liked how he interacted with each athlete on an individual basis; Danny knew which athletes could handle tough love, which ones he could joke with while relaying feedback, etc.  It’s been three years since I’ve been to an organized athletic practice of any kind, and watching the FTE team swim session made me realize how much I’ve missed it.  Well, not the playing basketball part, but the having a knowledgeable coach and supportive teammates part.

Another aspect of the practice I really liked was the atmosphere.  Let’s be real—seven a.m. weekend workouts aren’t for a lot of people, but the fact that everyone rolled in on time, talked and chatted beforehand, and then got down to work speaks volumes.  Honestly, if I had brought my bathing suit and goggles, I would’ve felt 100 percent comfortable hopping in the pool and doing the workout.  Everyone seemed truly happy to be there, yet ready to practice and improve.  And in terms of my own triathlon training, this is exactly what I need; I’m at the point where I feel relatively confident and have a good amount of base training, but during the off-season, I want to work on technique across the disciplines (among other things), which will help me become a faster, more efficient triathlete.  Plus, once I move to the city, it would be nice to instantly have a group of people with similar interests.

One woman had to leave the pool early, and I got to chat with her for a few minutes.  She told me she’s been a member of FTE for three years, and she absolutely loves it.  She wasn’t athletic growing up, and she never thought she’s do a triathlon.  One thing she said really stuck with me:  “Joining [FTE] was the best decision I’ve ever made.”  Wow.  Not that there was any doubt in my mind before, but speaking with her solidified my decision:  When I move to NYC in October, I plan to join FTE.