Tag Archives: tempo run

Saturday Thoughts … and a Big Announcement

Happy Saturday, friends–and woohoo for the weekend!  Any big plans?  First, I have to thank you for your thoughtful and amazing comments on my Nautica South Beach recap.  You know how to make a girl feel loved!  Since coming home Monday, I’ve been bouncing around all over the place, trying to play catch up, which means this post has virtually no structure.  Have to go with the flow, right?

1.  You don’t want to know what I would do to be back in Miami right now.  I would do the race again in a heartbeat—and partake in the post-race festivities.


Just taking over the hotel pool.  Hey, carbo-reloading while floating in a water sounds like legitimate recovery, right?

2.  Post-SoBe, my Full Throttle Endurance workouts have been a little easier this week:  low-key tempo work Tuesday and recovery indoor cycling session Wednesday.  However, I totally attacked the water during Friday’s swim, and not to jinx myself, but things technique wise seem to be clicking.  Like really clicking—guess who will be in the fast lane number one next week?  Woohoo for progress!

3.  This Facebook update from Brooklyn Cupcake totally made my Friday.


My love of cupcakes (and Brooklyn Hijinx) knows no bounds.

4.  And the big news:  I got a part-time job at JackRabbit, a New York City fitness store that specializes in all things running, biking, swimming, triathloning, and yoga-ing.


I actually held off on going public with this update for a while (shocker!) because I wanted to make sure it was A-OK with the company for me to mention this news.  You know how much I love JRab—remember when I went to the Craig Alexander event and bought my Saucony running sneakers?—so applying for a position seemed like a no-brainer.  Plus, since my current internship is part-time (and ends in May), I needed to make moves and lock down a steady paycheck. (Although it’s entirely possible my paycheck will go directly back to JRab—how can I say no to new gear at an employee discount?) Anyway, Friday was my first day, and it was great!  My coworkers are so awesome and friendly; I mean, they’re all runners and triathletes, so that’s not really a surprise.  And yes, there’s a learning curve, so even though I have to digest a lot of information regarding specific product features and general retail protocol, I’ve been around athletic apparel and bought enough gear over the years to know a lot about it.  And I feel very confident talking to customers about their fitness goals and figuring out which products they need.  I’ll definitely blog more about my experience as I gain–ya know–more experience.

Have you worked in retail?  What did you think?

(Sort of) Trending

Hey, hey—happy Monday!  And Happy Presidents’ Day!


Because everything comes back to chocolate, right?

Last night, Jen and I hosted our third #TriChat, and it went really well!  We welcomed ENERGYbits as a sponsor and guest host—which fit perfectly with our theme of pre-/during/post-workout nutrition and fueling strategies—and three lucky participants won samples.  The highpoint of the night occurred toward the end of the Q&A session when I glanced to the left of my newsfeed.


Trending for the win!  Technically, though, this is in terms of Twitter’s “tailored trend” algorithm. (For those unfamiliar with Twitter, its “tailored trend” shows hot topics based on your location and who you follow; its old system showed hashtags in reference to the wider-world of Twitter.) So even though #TriChat didn’t trend on a global scale (yet!), it still made its mark in triathlon and fitness circles.  Very cool!

Shameless plug:  Feel free to join us Sunday, March 3 at 8 p.m. EST for the next #TriChat!

Workout #1 – Running

Let week seven begin!  There were only 10 of us at our Full Throttle Endurance practice this morning (a bunch of guys went on a ski trip), which changed the group dynamic, but still lead to a great workout.  Like our previous sessions, we started with technique drills and barefoot running before doing tempo work on the track and tempo/hills on the treadmill.  On paper, this was the most challenging workout to date (our ‘mill incline values increased from 3.0 to 3.5 to 4.0), and it was also the strongest I’ve felt mentally and physically.  As you know, I read Chrissie Wellington’s book yesterday, and one idea that resonated with me was turning your brain on “autopilot,” which I did during this workout.  I’ll definitely talk about this concept more in the book review, but basically, even though it’s important to have a constant stream of assessment and feedback during training and races, it’s also crucial to know when to override your brain, shift into “autopilot,” and somewhat disconnect your head from your body.

Workout #2 – Swimming

Although tempted to call it a day after the running workout, I knew I needed to spend some quality time in the pool.  It was only 40 minutes, and nothing groundbreaking to report—except for the really cute (and obviously legit) guy wearing a TEAM USA swim cap.  Uh, what?!  He definitely wasn’t Vince Vaughn or Michael Phelps … I need to get to the bottom of this!


Breakfast started off with a spinach and egg-white breakfast sandwich, plus coffee.


And about an hour later, I also ate an unpictured banana with some PB.  Swimming revs my appetite big time!


I ran some errands this morning and heated up a piece of leftover pizza for lunch.


Yes, I totally impulse-bought whole-wheat pizza dough at Whole Foods yesterday.  They saw me coming!  I also had a peach for dessert.

Later this afternoon, I multitasked–doing laundry and baking.


Seeing as how I’ve eaten five of these banana “cookies” already, this recipe is a keeper—and coming your way later this week!

Are you guilty of impulse buying while grocery shopping?  What items typically find their way into your cart?

Being a Horse in the Year of the Snake

Good morning, friends, and happy Tuesday!  I kicked off my day with a run and strength training session in my new Sauconys.


So far, so good!  I wore them for the warm up and technique drills at yesterday’s Full Throttle Endurance run workout and slipped into my Mizunos for the 40 minutes of tempo work.  (We completed the same workout as last week, alternating between tempo pace on the track and tempo pace on the ‘mill with hills.  It still kicked my butt, but not as much as it did last week.  It’s all about progress.) Anyway, I’m slowly breaking in the new sneakers, so I’ll keep you posted.  The feel a little heavier than the Mizuno Wave Elixirs, but they offer more support, which is a fair tradeoff.

On the walk home from practice, I received a lovely notification via my countdown app.


Six months and counting!

So, at work yesterday, I was doing work-y things when I found a story about the Chinese New Year.  Basically, we’re now in the year of the snake, so I obviously needed to see what my Chinese horoscope projected for 2013.  Umm, this reading is dead on. (As you’ll see below, I’m a horse.)


Guilty as charged.  As a type-A person, I thrive off organizing, planning, scheming, moving, socializing, you name it; I’m always moving full force ahead, and I totally have trouble sitting still, slowing down, and stopping to smell the flowers—or switching from a gallop to a walk, according to my horoscope.

Next, there’s this injury projection.


Does triathloning count as an extreme sport?  In all seriousness, though, a bike wipeout could totally happen.  I’ve been really lucky on that front—even though I anticipated it, I didn’t get up close and personal with the pavement when I got clipless shoes and pedals—so I almost feel like a crash is inevitable.  If I had to guess, I’d say it will probably occur during one of my first few rides outside when I go aero. (On a semi-related note–triathletes, do you have any recommendations for an aerobars-compatible saddle?  I definitely need to get one installed this weekend.)

Let’s talk travel.


Miami here I come!

Like the previous sections, this next paragraph is totally true.


Even though there were classes and classmates and professors I didn’t always enjoy, I really loved college and had a great experience; I definitely miss the academic/intellectual side of it—reading theory, doing analysis, and having critical discussions.  At least it says biking can help keep “depression at bay”—yikes.

And with Valentine’s Day coming up, this horoscope couldn’t overlook love.


Yeah, I’ll admit I’m critical and have high expectations—hello, type-A!—and patience isn’t exactly my virtue.  This stems from the fact that I hold myself to very high standards, so I expect the same from others.

Good news ahead, though!


Does this allude to my now full-time big-girl internship?  Or maybe I’ll find an official big-girl job!

Oh, and I have this clause somewhat under control.


In college, I took three economics classes:  I convinced my adviser to let the introductory course count as my math requirement (remember my powers of persuasion?), and I took two upper-level courses as a senior—Introduction to Investments and Portfolio Analysis.  I learned a ton about navigating the stock market, investing wisely, and building a balanced portfolio.

Please check the original link and let me know if your horoscope is as accurate as mine!

Do you check your horoscope often?  What does your Chinese horoscope say about you?  Have you ever been read by a psychic?

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?

‘Fun Time is Over’

Hey, hey!  Thank you so much for your birthday wishes via comments, texts, and tweets—they made my day!  My coworkers even gave me a card yesterday, which was such a sweet surprise.


Another surprise greeted me when I got home—PajamaGram pj’s from my parents!


Now that I’ve been 23 for a solid 24 hours, I’ve come to the conclusion that—to quote Red Forman from That 70s Show—fun time is over.

In the above clip, Red (who reminds me so much of my grandpa!) determines he’s been too lenient in raising his son Eric, declaring “fun time is over!”  And for the past week, I’ve been living in a let-the-easy-workouts-roll world, which screeched to a halt Monday morning with some Full Throttle Endurance tempo work.  After warming up and progressing through some technique drills, my pace group ran around the indoor track for 10 minutes, then hopped on treadmills for 10 minutes of hills—while maintaining our tempo pace. (We eventually built up to 90 seconds at 3.5 percent incline—whew!) Then we repeated this cycle for a total of 40 minutes, and I hit the pool afterward for a 30-minute swim.  This girl was down for the count!


On Tuesday morning, I shutdown “playtime” (another Red Forman-ism) and upped the weight on all my strength training exercises.

And this morning, our team indoor cycling practice contained mostly solid intervals (80-85 percent of maximum heart rate), plus a few all-out efforts.  My crazy dedicated teammates and I also did a quick run off the bike.  So basically, there will be no more FTE playtime until the end of the month!


After my double-workout, I refueled with a protein smoothie.


Kind of a gross color thanks to the spinach, but super delicious—one frozen banana, frozen strawberries, a ton of spinach, plus almond milk, chia seeds, and a scoop of Jay Robb egg white protein powder.

After breakfast, I met Jen at Starbucks!  She was in the neighborhood for a Finish Line Physical Therapy appointment, and since we tried (and failed) to meet up before Sunday’s race, we made it happen today.  She’s super bubbly and sweet, and you should definitely check out her blog if you don’t read it already.


After I ran errands and organized my apartment, I threw together some spinach and leftover spicy black bean quinoa for lunch.


Topped with avocado of course!

Oh, and before I forget, I have some exciting news to share—my big-girl internship will transition from part-time to full-time starting next week!  I just wanted to give you a heads up my blogging might be sporadic for the next week or two as establish a new schedule.

How often do you back off your workouts or take a recovery week?  Better yet, how many rest days do you take each week?

Four Workouts in Twenty-Eight Hours

Hey, everyone—TGIF!  We made it to Friday!  The past two days have passed quickly thanks to my festively color-coded structured pre-season triathlon training plan.  Let’s backtrack to last night.

Workout #2 – Biking

So after running and strength training yesterday morning, I also completed a 90-minute indoor bike trainer ride.  Luckily, I could pedal and yell cheer on the Orange.


(I tried to Instagram this collage last night, but the Internet wasn’t working.  There’s something about a sour-looking Jim Boeheim that makes me pedal faster; like if I don’t step it up, I might get benched.  Maybe my basketball past is haunting me.) According to the plan, the ride should be relatively easy, and my heart rate should stay below 140 BPM.  My Garmin was acting funky, though, so I didn’t get a heart-rate reading until I finished the ride, which said I hovered around 130 BMP; that means I can push more next time.

Workout #1 – Swimming

This morning, I headed to Chelsea Piers for 45 minutes of drill work.  As I walked to the facility, I knew the workout would be tough; my entire body felt incredibly heavy from lifting.  This prediction was confirmed when I slipped into the water.  Even though I swam slowly, I worked through the exercises Andrew mapped out:  back kick with rotation; side kick; alternating side kick; pulling with kickboard; and 5×100 easy swim.  I almost cut the “easy swim” short, but I remembered July 14—there would be absolutely no quitting then.  To break up these final sets, I alternated my breathing.  For the first 100, I stayed on my dominant (left) side; for the second 200, I switched to the right.  This variation made the final drill pass a little quicker, and it forced me to focus on rotating to both sides.


Unsurprisingly, the walk back to my apartment took longer today.  In a strange way, it feels good to be sore.  With my typical spinach and egg whites, I toasted an Ezekiel Cinnamon Raisin Whole Grain muffin.


Yummy!  This will stay in the breakfast rotation for sure.

Workout #2 – Running

After quick trips to Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods, I ate a banana and hit the pavement.  The plan called for a 45-minute light tempo run at 75 percent effort.  Between my soreness and the rain, I had to work harder than usual to maintain the designated pace.  Even though it was challenging, I didn’t feel completely wiped out at the end, which is a good thing.


A wet and soggy run demanded a meal more substantial than a salad.  And plus, I was freezing and didn’t want to eat something cold.  So I went with another favorite—salmon.


I drizzled it with a little EVOO and sprinkled on basil, garlic salt, and red pepper flakes before baking it at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for about 25 minutes.  Plus some peas on the side because I haven’t had enough green.

Banana number two of the day is about to happen.  Have a great Friday!

Do you get sore after your workouts?  How do you deal with it?

Seven Things

Hey, everyone—Happy Thursday!  I have a ton of information to share today, so I figured a list would keep everything clear and concise. (More for my benefit, really!)  Here we go!

1.  My mom and I went to Cantina Laredo for lunch yesterday.

I hoped our journey to the mall would lead us there!  Chips and salsa to start.

I ordered the vegetarian and gluten-free avocado enchiladas.

They were just OK; nothing to write home about.

2.  I purchased my blog domain:  Fitnessandfrozengrapes.com.


For $18, plus an additional $8 for “private registration,” it’s well worth the price tag.

3.  I have a big-girl interview in New York City next week for a paid editorial internship at a diet and fitness publication—woohoo!

Gerard Butler, feel free to crash on my couch anytime.

4.  Today’s tempo run kicked my booty.


On the bright side, I definitely earned tomorrow’s rest day.

5.  A cool bowl of overnight 60-plus-minute oats made it better.

I let the mixture—half of a banana (ate the first half before running), strawberries, Greek yogurt, 1/3 cup old fashioned oats, 1/3 cup almond milk, cinnamon, and chia seeds—sit in the fridge while I trudged along on the dreadmill.

6.  My bike underwent its first tune-up, and I picked it up at Syracuse Bicycle.

Don’t let the empty-looking parking lot fool you; I strategically planned my visit to avoid both the morning and lunchtime rushes, so I arrived at 11:40 a.m.  In addition to the tune-up, I also asked if the guys could install a second water bottle cage and a wireless computer, the Bontrager Trip 5W.

Because I’m trying to be as legit as possible; fake it ‘til you make it, right?

Plus a pleasant surprise—regripped handlebars!

So long, dirty and sweaty bike handlebar tape!

7.  When in doubt, make a salad.

Today’s blend included spinach, celery, carrots, apple slices, red pepper, and a homemade black bean burger.


Your turn:  Share seven things!

Fitness-Filled Friday

Hi, everyone!  Happy Friday!  This was one of those weird weeks that seemed to simultaneously drag on and fly by.  Either way, I’m glad it’s the weekend.


I woke up at 7 a.m. this morning, and after sending emails and reading blogs, I prepared my morning meal.

Two toasted Kashi waffles with PB and banana slices.  This combo never lets me down.

Workout #1 – Swimming

Guess who swam half a mile today?  This girl!  That’s right—I tackled all 800m and lived to tell the tale.  As usual, I alternated between the freestyle and breaststroke.  This means I can probably handle swimming two loops at next Wednesday’s CNY Triathlon training series.

Workout #2 – Tempo Run

Since I was at the YMCA anyway, I figured I might as well knock out my 40-minute tempo run.  Nine times out of 10, I prefer running outside, but doing a “comfortably fast” run is one of the only times I’ll seek out the dreadmill treadmill; it keeps you honest and prevents you from subconsciously slowly down.  After a 10-minute warm-up, I slowly increased the speed for 20 minutes and worked my way up to 8.2 mph, which I held for the final three minutes.  This nifty chart from Fitsugar converts treadmill speeds to mile splits, and fellow runners might it find helpful.

Working my way up to 8.2 mph wasn’t a stroll in the park, but I can definitely push myself more; it wasn’t until the last two minutes that my legs no longer felt fresh, so next time, I will arrive at the 8.2 threshold sooner and hold it there longer.  Once I hit the 30-minute mark, I did a quick 10-minute cool down and hit the weight room for some upper-body exercises.


When I got home, I inhaled a banana and took my bike out to practice clipping in and out, and I assembled a salad when I got home.

Today’s mix included spinach, leftover chicken, carrots, cucumbers, red peppers, and golden raisins.

I had a Cascadian Farm Organic chocolate chip chewy granola bar for dessert that I got in my Boilermaker swag bag.  It was just OK, nothing special.


This afternoon, I ate some watermelon and a Chobani yogurt.


I made a simple rice and beans quesadilla for dinner.

Now it’s time to find some frozen grapes.  Have a great night!