Tag Archives: trail running

Training Log – Week of Sept. 21 (Week 38)

The mountains called.

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And I answered.

I’ve been in Colorado the past week, spending a few days in Denver for work and a handful in Colorado Springs for fun. I’m honestly shocked I didn’t “accidentally” miss my flight yesterday.

General training notes: Going into this trip, I knew my weekly mileage would fall short of what I’ve been logging, but I was totally OK with that. My coworkers and I got in two trail runs, plus a November Project workout, and I did a ton of hiking and exploring in Colorado Springs. So even though my officially mileage was much lower, I came back to NYC feeling extremely sore from my off-road adventures—ha!

Monday – off

Travel to Denver

Tuesday – a.m. run

Tough and gorgeous 3.7-mile sunrise trail run at Red Rocks. I planned to buy trail shoes while in Denver, but didn’t have them for the outing … and it’s highly possible I wiped out. On the bright side, my road rash made for some great conversation with the higher-ups; they were definitely impressed and won’t forget who I am!

Wednesday – a.m. November Project “5280” (Denver) workout

Are you surprised? The NYC tribe has exploded in popularity, but my rigid triathlon training has made it tough to attend. (Based on my normal schedule, I’d have to sacrifice a swim or bike workout to sweat with the NP folks.) But since swimming and riding weren’t options in Denver, I went with three coworkers, two of whom are avid NPers in NYC. Spoiler alert: I enjoyed it a lot more than I thought I would. We started the workout with 100 pushups and leg throws, and then did a playing card workout for about 30 minutes: each colored card from the deck determined if you did pushups, mountain climbers, or sprints.

Thursday – a.m. run

Woof: even tougher 4.9-mile trail run at Green Mountain. The altitude and hilly terrain proved to be a tough combination to overcome, but it was the perfect way to start our final day in Denver.

Friday – hiking/exploring in Colorado Springs

I hiked the Manitou Incline, which spans only one mile, but gains more than 2,000 feet of elevation.

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Like all my CO workouts, this climb was super challenging. (I didn’t time myself, but I’m guessing it took 30-45 minutes to get to the top.) On the bright side, I was able to keep up with some Air Force students who were doing the climb as part of their training. Then, I went to Garden of the Gods and wandered around for about an hour.

Saturday – hiking/exploring

After my inaugural full-blown camping experience in Fairplay, we explored the Breckenridge area, which included a hike through the Lilly Pad Lake Trail.

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Sunday – off

Traveled back to NYC

How do you stay active during work trips/vacations?

Game On!

Oh, Winter Storm Juno. As a native of Central New York, I really want to tell everyone to calm down; but I do understand the city cannot handle half a foot of snow.

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Eerily quiet and beautiful walk home by the High Line

And I’m all for an adult snow day.

Anyway, apologies for my lack-of-blogging phase. It’s been one of those months—seriously, how can January nearly be over?!—where I’ve been firing on all cylinders all the time. But since I’m hanging out and hunkering down today, there’s no time like the present. So fill up your water bottle, top off your coffee, and, well, hunker down for some updates.

As far as work goes, I’m nearing the end of a transition. I don’t talk about JackRabbit a lot, but for the past few weeks, I’ve been moving away from the outreach/event planning stuff to the digital editorial/social media side of things. Yes, this is a vague description, but these responsibilities are more along the lines of what I want to do long term. I’m working on several projects now (#vagueblogging), and in the words of one coworker, “you have a voice, and it matters a lot.”

Some of my BFFs/Girls’ Club colleagues have transitioned too, which is bittersweet. I’m pumped for them—after all, they’re doing big things!—but it stinks because a lot of “my people” won’t be around any more. It’s tough when your inner circle changes, and yes, I realize it’s incredibly rare to work with your friends.

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Rabbits at the Rescue Mission!

Thankfully, not everyone is leaving. This should go without saying, but the people I work with and the community we foster are why I love (working at) JRab. And on the bright side, I’m becoming friendlier with higher-ups, which is good. (Sidebar: One of my teammates recently wrote about transitions too.)

My triathlon training is undergoing a transition too. This came up in my off-season recap, but basically, my mindset, motivation, and outlook have totally changed. I’m enlisting different resources (Coach Pat, Tailwind Endurance, etc.), and I’m cutting out the toxic aspects of my training. “Toxic” may be a little harsh, but I can’t think of another word right now.

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Non-toxic decaf almond milk cappuccino

For better or for worse, certain people and atmospheres alter my internal dialogue, and although it’s OK during races and tough workouts, it is not a narrative I want to hear all the time. Last year, I needed this tough, in-my-face coaching, but I’ve matured as an endurance athlete. I’m getting better at using mantras, finding that “second wind” on my own, and basically tapping into what motivates me.

Who knew running fitness translates to semi-decent swimming? I mean, it makes sense. Both are full-body activities. And people will aqua jog if they’re injured and can’t run. But if you told me I’d not only survive, but swim somewhat respectably during my first 3,000 yarder since August, I would not have believed you. But that’s exactly what happened. And I threw down some semi-respectable times for the 100- and 400-yd. time trials.

My new obsession is escaping to a cabin and writing, writing, writing.

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Up, On, and Over

Ever since going to New Paltz, I’ve been craving more trails, more nature, more outdoors—basically, the polar opposite of New York City. Coincidence my quarter-life crisis is coming up?

Overall, though, 2015 is off to a solid start. I’m pumped to see what it brings, and in the mean time, I’m continuing to work hard and dial everything in. Game on!

Final Thoughts: 2014 Triathlon Off-Season

See ya in nine months, off-season! It’s been real. It’s been fun—a lot of fun. I’ve relaxed, recharged, and reconnected with non-SBR folks. I’ve embraced sleeping “in” and staying out “late.” (Both relative terms, by the way.) I enjoyed the finer things in life, including but not limited to wine, margaritas, and my grandma’s Venetian cookies.

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After Christmas, my grandma sent me back to the city with close to five pounds of cookies.

Suffice to say, it’s been an indulgent four months.

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Like I’m going to not eat this.

Between eating dark chocolate covered pretzels and drinking RumChata, I actually have done some legitimate work and confirmed some theories regarding said work. For example, I can drink two pineapple margaritas (or were they mango?) the night before speedwork and still string together solid repeats. (Just don’t tell Coach Pat!) In all seriousness, though, I’ve learned and improved more during this downtime than any previous off-season. Let’s recap, shall we?

I’ve embraced “me time”—and loved it. Yes, I trained with Full Throttle Endurance during the season, but for the past four months, I’ve done the majority of my workouts solo.

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Snow and solitude

Don’t get me wrong. There are benefits to training alongside others—more motivation, increased accountability, consistent feedback—but I’ve enjoyed swimming, biking, and running alone.

I’ve always been an independent, intrinsically motivated athlete. Even when playing team sports (field-hockey, basketball, and softball) back in the day, I always completed off- and pre-season workouts whether or not teammates wanted to meet up and do work together. Being dedicated and dialing in has always been non-negotiable; it has to get done. (And “it” means training, work, you name it. If you’re going to do it, then really do it.) To me, this trait is normal. But this off-season, I was reminded it isn’t “normal” for everyone. Countless times, teammates watched in awe as I did speedwork solo. “I could never do that alone” and “how do you push yourself?” became regular comments.

What this means for 2015: I’ll do a portion of my training solo. This off-season highlighted my discipline and independence. At first, I wasn’t sure how tougher, lung-busting workouts would go—especially speedwork—but as I’ve rocked 400s, 800s, and 1200s, I’ve proved to myself I can function and thrive solo; I don’t need a group to get the training done. With this renewed confidence, I will continue working with Coach Pat during the tri season. Sure, I’ll probably “lone wolf” the majority of my runs, but I’m OK with it.

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Another thing I’m totally OK with: a vendor bringing branded wine to an event.

I’ve expanded my circle of friends, coaches, and mentors. Even though I did most of my running alone, I didn’t totally isolate myself: I volunteered/ran with Back on My Feet (BoMF), and I logged miles with friends; I frequented Tailwind Endurance for CompuTrainer classes and continued to build relationships with athletes and coaches. I feel very fortunate because there are so many trustworthy and knowledgeable people in my triathlon arsenal.

What this means for 2015: I’ll continue to build these relationships. Last season, I was all Full Throttle all the time. Monday through Friday, I plugged away at the gym with coaches and teammates. This year, it will be different. Yes, I’ll still race for the team, but I will continue to cultivate the relationships I’ve built and “diversify” my triathlon arsenal. Joining a masters swim team may happen (#wannabeswimmer), being a Tailwind regular will continue, and running actual races will most likely occur.

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“Cross training” while trail running in New Paltz

I’ve become better at being discerning with my training. Everyone chooses to do something different with their tri downtime. Some do yoga, some do CrossFit (ugh, don’t get me started), and some do nothing. (And there’s nothing wrong with that.) But as teammates perfected their butterfly and raced countless IMs for fun, I ran—a lot. This was not a popular move; and there was some pressure to stop running and start swimming. But I knew my training time would be better spent in my running shoes than in my TYR swimsuit. And spoiler alert: Even though I swam less than 15 times during the off-season, I’m still the lane leader for fast lane number two (but forever a #wannabeswimmer). And since my current easy runs are about a minute faster than they were during the season, I’d say I had a productive off-season.

What this means for 2015: I’ll do what’s right for me. Last year, I simply followed the team plan and did what everyone else did. And for the most part, it worked; I had some solid races, including a decent showing at Nationals. But in order to keep improving—becoming faster, growing stronger—I need an individualized plan with specific, structured sessions. This means I’ll be more “selfish” in regard to my training, and it will be an added bonus when my workouts sync up to team ones.

I feel like my best self when I’m training. All right; brace yourself for some left field action.

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Even more New Paltz trail running

I’ve become a total fangirl of Rich Roll and his podcast, the RRP (Rich Roll podcast). He’s a plant-powered, ultra-endurance athlete and bestselling author of Finding Ultra, and in his podcast, he sits down with the best and brightest paradigm busting minds in health, fitness, nutrition, creativity, and entrepreneurship. His goal is simple: to educate, inspire and empower you to discover, unlock, and unleash your best, most authentic self. Seriously, check it out. Anyway, one universal theme that’s discussed during these conversations is self-actualization—identifying what constitutes your most authentic self, using your energy to actualize yourself, and then going out and affecting change. Honestly, I’m still figuring out what my most authentic self is exactly, but I do know I feel like myself when I’m swimming, biking, and running—not only with consistency, but also with purpose.

What this means for 2015: I’ll rededicate myself to the process. Since hopping aboard the RRP wagon, I’ve done a lot reflecting—on myself, on my goals, on my career. And bottom line, my most authentic self includes triathlon—specifically training with conviction.

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And it’s kinda cool seeing myself on the store’s wall.

Sure, racing is fun (a lot of fun), but during the season, I took the process for granted. It was all about pushing and performing, and I lost sight of purpose: growing not only as an athlete, but also as a person, and waking up with the goal of becoming better. There is a finite timeline to chasing tangible athletic accolades like swim, bike, and run splits. Sooner or later, something will give. But the desire behind this drive should remain constant, and that’s what needs to be tapped into when the going gets tough. Essentially, my training itself will not change too much—but my mindset and motivation have already shifted. I’m not totally sure where this will take me, but that’s why it’s called life, right?

Overall, I’ve matured a lot throughout the past year—both as a person and athlete—and 2015 will be much different. But I’m ready to see what it brings!

Training Log – Week of Dec. 29 (Week 52)

‘I’m at the base of the mountain running uphill.

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‘You’re either running for the top, coming down, or you stand still …

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‘The way up, the way on, the way up, on, and over.’

General training notes: As the last week of the off-season, these past seven days have been bittersweet. Overall, I’ve really enjoyed doing my own thing throughout the past four months—especially focusing on the run—but I am ready to officially start training for 2015 races. (Post coming soon!) For the first few weeks of January, I’ll be playing with what has become my normal off-season training schedule. The run volume seems to be at a sweet spot, but the swimming and biking need to gradually increase.

Monday – a.m. run

Four miles with BoMF, plus four easy official ones

Tuesday – a.m. run

Coach Pat’s speedwork took the form of some difficult 4x1200s. I hit the first two, deviated by a few seconds on the third, and totally blew up on the fourth. Womp, womp. But as he pointed out, I’m not a machine—but we’re working on changing that. Ha!

Wednesday – a.m. CompuTrainer class at Tailwind Endurance

Our “resolution ride” contained an interval countdown: five minutes at endurance, four minutes at tempo, three minutes at threshold, two minutes at VO2 max, and one minute all-out. I’m coming for you, 2015!

Thursday – p.m. run

Fun, peaceful, and perfect trail run in New Paltz with some friends.

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It was painful to wake up after “sleeping” for four hours (hey, it was New Year’s Eve!), but it was totally worth it. I took it easy and did 7.5 miles. And I only say “easy” because most people logged double-digit runs. You know you work for a running store when …

Friday – a.m. CompuTrainer class at Tailwind Endurance

The coach split up the long- and short-course athletes for this ride, and I almost jumped ship because they rode the Ironman Lake Placid course! Instead, I took on the Rev3 Quassy Olympic course, which is known for being extremely hilly and challenging. This ride served as a final check-in point before doing FTP tests this upcoming week; the goal was to ride based on effort and see what numbers we put up. For the 26.3-mi. course (not sure where the extra two-ish miles come from), I averaged 220 watts and 20 MPH, which blows my mind because (a) 220 watts felt extremely manageable and (b) I’ve never averaged above 19 MPH during a race—you know, when I was actually racing. This is a huge confidence boost going into in-season training; even though the bike has not been my primary focus during the off-season, I’m already starting at a stronger, more efficient spot.

Saturday – a.m. swim and strength train

Easy 1,700 yards in the pool, plus upper-body strength training and corework

Sunday – a.m. run

Steady 45 minutes along the dark and dreary West Side Highway. Where is the sun?

Does a new year mark a fresh start for your fitness goals? When’s your first 2015 race?

Triathlon Training Log – Week of Aug. 25 (Week 33)

Hello, hello!

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I’m back in Upstate New York for a few days. Gotta appreciate the Cuse Nation section in Wegmans!

General training notes: Woohoo for the official start of run training! As I mentioned, Coach Pat has put together my plan, and I’m currently entering phrase one, aka base building. The primary goal centers on (slowly and safely) increasing my mileage. (During the season, I was not running enough.  Period.) It’s been tough to run easy, but I’m keeping the larger goal in mind.

Monday – a.m. swim and run

Still not feeling swimming at all. The only reason I made it to the pool was because I planned to meet a teammate. Nice perk of training with other people, right? I essentially pulled 1,500 yards and then ran an easy 3.5 miles outside.

Tuesday – a.m. run and strength train

Easy four miles outside and some upper-body strength training and corework.

Wednesday – a.m. bike

Our team rides are becoming smaller and smaller, but I still got in a solid 40 mile with some teammates. I’m not sure if it’s because I’ve been running more or biking less, but my legs felt incredibly fresh, and climbing hills seemed easier too. However, I felt much less explosive. Trade-off of running all the miles, probably.

That night, some coworkers and I went to Brooklyn Boulders to scale things.

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Bikes, bikes, bikes!

It was awesome, and I can’t wait to climb again!

Thursday – a.m. run

OMG, this was such a great run. Clear skies, no humidity, slightly overcast, upbeat playlist—those eight miles flew by in no time. I felt invincible. I love running!

Friday – a.m. run

I took the train home Thursday afternoon for Labor Day weekend, and since Coach Pat suggested seeking out surfaces other than pavement/concrete, I met up with MB for an easy 40 minutes on the trails at Green Lake State Park. Running on dirt and dodging rocks and roots provided a new challenge to say the least—I’m not quite ready for my XTERRA debut—but it was nice to change it up. MB and I always have a ton to talk about, so it was great to catch up and log some miles.

Saturday – a.m. run

Since all my weekday runs went well—I felt great and followed the distance/pace/time plan—I asked Coach Pat if I could run around the lake, which equates to nine-ish miles. And under two stipulations, he gave me the green light! As per his instructions, I took a gel and 15-minute break halfway through, and I kept the pace extremely easy; if I felt fatigued at any point, I would have to be a responsible athlete and shut it down. Like Thursday’s run, the 9.25 miles passed quickly. And even though the mid-run break was new protocol, it allowed me to break up the outing into two, 4.5-mile shorter runs. For what it’s worth, my second wind kicked at around mile six, and I had to be carefully not to speed up.

Sunday – a.m. run

Easy, 30-minute shakeout on trails. My calves felt a little tight, but that’s probably because I didn’t foam roll the day before. Because I foam roll now because I’m a runner!

In related news, I logged 34 miles this week. That’s a solid start to base building, right?

So what’s going on with you? What did you do for Labor Day? How’s the working out going?