Tag Archives: travel

Triathlon Training Log – Off-Season, Week 6 (Oct. 10)

For the second weekend in a row, I escaped the concrete jungle.

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Eight miles + four hours = one incredible view at Slide Mountain

The time, the destination was the Catskills, and the fall foliage, weather, and hiking did not disappoint.

General training notes: before heading to the Catskills, I logged some solid workouts this week, specifically in the pool. We’ve slowly built my swim volume throughout the past few weeks, and I’ll log a few workouts before this Saturday’s meet—which will be my first one ever! I’ve been told my event list is aggressive (50m, 100m, and 200m freestyle, plus the 100 IM and most likely a 4x200m freestyle relay), but ignorance is bliss, a.k.a. I don’t know any better. It will a learning experience, and I’m pumped.

Monday – p.m. run

Nearly six miles after work

Tuesday – a.m. run; p.m. swim with Bearcat masters

Easy 3.5 miles before work, plus a surprise IM masters practice. (Tuesdays are typical freestyle while Thursdays are IM.) As the lane worked through the main set, I thought about how far I’ve come both physically and mentally as a swimmer. Sure, an IM practice isn’t my favorite thing, and I’ve altered these types of sets in the past (by swimming freestyle when the workout called for stroke work). But on this night, I didn’t think twice about it; I just did it.  Also, during my first few IM practices last year, I had to ask what “IM order” meant, or which stroke I was supposed to do when. On this night, though, I led the lane. Whether I’m becoming faster is one thing (which I feel like I am), but I’m also excited about the mental/knowledge aspect of this progress. Something that originally scared me big time is now normal, although still challenging. To me, that’s what this sport is all about.

Wednesday – a.m. swim with Bearcat masters

Up until this point, I’ve avoid morning swims because of the logistics involved. But since I have a meet coming up—and since Earl wants me to swim five days this week—I put the hassle aside and got my butt to the 6 a.m. practice. And I was so glad I did. Not only did I get to see my Bearcat tri buds, but I also completed an endurance-focused workout that was a perfect follow-up to Tuesday night’s harder session.

Thursday – off

My family visited for a few days, and we hung out Thursday evening.

Friday – a.m. swim with Bearcat masters

I didn’t realize how much I missed these morning practices. I need to keep playing around with the timing of my commute (what time I need to leave the pool, what time the nearest train comes, etc.), but in the future, I should be able to be in the water for nearly 75 minutes of the 90-minute session. Aside from underwater drills—where you hold your breath and swim underwater for a predetermined length, a.k.a my nemesis—I felt great in the water and finally got a Bearcat masters swim cap. The hay is in the barn, and I’m as ready as I’m going to be for next weekend’s meet!

Saturday – hike in the Catskills

There’s nothing like escaping the concrete jungle for a fall foliage weekend north. The four hours and eight miles of hiking were absolutely perfect.

Sunday – a.m. run and hike

Easy six-mile shake-out in the Catskills, plus another hike

What are some of your favorite fall activities?

Triathlon Training Log – Off-Season, Week 5 (Oct. 3)

OK, OK—I have a legitimate reason for the delay this time: I spent the weekend in Arizona.

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One of my friends ran her second ultra and asked if I wanted to tag along. Since I’ve never seen an ultra—or been to Arizona—and had an extra day to take off due to August’s Olympic mayhem, I was able to swing it. In short, it was an amazing experience, and I have a newfound respect for folks who go that distance and run more than 26.2 miles in one stint.

General training notes: overall, this past week ended up being a down week in terms of workouts, intensity, and overall mileage due to my trip to Arizona. Oh, I registered for my first swim meet! I’m still very much living the #wannabeswimmer life, and next weekend’s competition will take me completely out of my comfort zone. I can’t wait!

Monday – p.m. run

Logged about six easy miles after work in the park

Tuesday – p.m. swim with Bearcat masters

Another packed practice with eight people in my lane, so we stuck to shorter sets of 50s and 75s—and I led the lane!

Wednesday – a.m. run

Easy 4.5 miler in the park

Thursday – p.m. swim with Bearcat masters

Tough 2750m IM practice

Friday – off

Travel to Phoenix

Saturday – a.m. hike in Canyon de Chelly

While my friend ran 34 miles (gah!), I went to the White House Trail Ruins in Canyon de Chelly and completed the 2.5-mile hike. Between the climbing and altitude, it took more out of me than anticipated, and I spent a few hours that afternoon napping and streaming Ironman Kona on my phone.

Sunday – a.m. run

Easy shake-out after my friend’s ultra and before we headed home

What’s the last trip you took? Would you ever do an ultra?

Triathlon Training Log – Base Building Phase II, Week Seven (Jan. 11)

Greetings from sunny Sanibel, FL!

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I escaped NYC Thursday for some quality sun, sand, and SPF 85+ time with my family.  Spoiler alert: SPF 85+ does not work.

General training notes: This week marked the second phase of base building, which equated to an increased focus on strength: on the bike, this means more sweet spot/FTP intervals; on the run, this means hill workouts; in the weight room, this means adding an extra low weight/high rep set to my normal routine. Since I headed to Florida, we frontloaded my workouts so I could truly enjoy the downtime.

Monday – a.m. CompuTrainer workout at Tailwind Endurance

Like last Monday, I completed “Goldilocks,” a.k.a. my new favorite workout with high cadence, VO2 max, and sweet spot efforts. I’ll continue to do this set every Monday. It’s a great way to recover and spin the legs out after a high-volume biking and running weekend.

Tuesday – a.m. strength training and p.m. run

Keeping with the low-weight/high-rep strength training plan—and it’s working. I’ve been able to increase reps per set from 12 to 15, and as part of base building phase two, I’ve added an extra set. After work, I repeated last week’s Cat Hill workout. Although my splits were about the same, I felt smoother and much more in control.

Wednesday – a.m. CompuTrainer workout at Tailwind Endurance

Even though I had a quick turnaround from the previous night’s hill workout to this threshold session, I felt pretty good. The group tackled 3×8-min. threshold blocks with four minutes recovery between each. Per Earl’s instructions, I hovered around 91-95 percent and built to 105 percent when prompted: for the first set, I spent two minutes at 105 percent; for set two, I stayed there for four minutes; and for the final set, I held 105 percent for six minutes. Although these are relatively short FTP blocks, I felt smooth, strong, and in control—it was definitely a confidence booster and reaffirmed the plan is working.

Thursday – off

Travel to Sanibel, FL

Friday – a.m. run

Well, this was an interesting day. Thunderstorms and a tornado warning kicked off the morning, so I wasn’t able to run until 1:30 p.m. or so—and holy humidity! It was only about 70 degrees Fahrenheit, but the added moisture made it easy to stay in zone two for 45 minutes. Looking back to South Beach, I don’t know how I was able to “race” in even hotter conditions!

Saturday – a.m. swim

Yep, that’s right. I broke my four-month hiatus and hit the water!

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Breaking the no-swimming streak at the Sanibel Recreation Center

Earl programmed an easy 2,100-yd. set to shake off the rust. Being away from the water for so long (for me, I know this may not be long for actual swimmers) has negatively affected my body position, but on the bright side, I never felt like I was fighting the water—I was just a little awkward and much slower.

Sunday – a.m. swim

Can’t stop, won’t stop: another day and a second swim in the outdoor pool. Immediately after yesterday’s workout, I emailed Earl and requested another swim. I know; I don’t know who I am anymore. But look at the pool—how can you not swim? Another easy 2,250-yd. workout with tech work and 6×100 pulls.

How does being on vacation affect your workouts?

Seventy-Two Hours in Utah

Two weeks ago, I took advantage of the triathlon off-season, headed to Utah, and spent some quality time exploring outdoors.

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Mormon mobile license plate!

One of my best friends was invited to a (Mormon) wedding, and when he asked if I wanted to go, I immediately said yes. Since it was the off-season, I wouldn’t have to worry about logging workouts (a.k.a. trying to find a pool and going days without biking), and to be honest, Utah would not be a place I’d seek out on my own. Colorado, absolutely. Wyoming, sure. But Utah? Without a legitimate reason to go, I don’t know if I would have ended up there—but I’m really glad I did.

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Who knew?

I made an effort to unplug during those three days, so there was not a lot of ‘Gramming, but here are a few highlights:

Enjoying plate after plate of delicious food

You read my blog. You know I’m going to mention food. At first glance, Salt Lake City doesn’t appear to be a foodie paradise, but thanks to some recommendations, my friend and I had some seriously tasty meals. We went to Ogie’s Café and Penny Ann’s Café for breakfast and ate some pre-flight $3 tacos at Taqueria El Rey De Oros. The best meal, though, was lunch at Blue Poblano.

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Located in downtown Salt Lake, this Mexican restaurant specializes in farm-to-table fare and sources only local ingredients. (Unfortunately, they had no liquor license.) We enjoyed pre-wedding nachos and portbello mushroom vegetarian tacos. This was definitely the best Mexican I’ve had in a while—and I eat it about once a week in NYC.

Wandering around the area

Salt Lake City is known as an LDS (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints) hotbed to say the least, and two Mormon-centric sites we visited included the Gilgal Garden and Salt Lake City Temple.

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Containing 12 sculptures and more than 70 engraved stones, the garden was conceptualized by Thomas Child. He hoped it would inspire visitors to ponder “the unsolved mysteries of life.”

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Before our return flight, we spent some time walking around the Salt Lake City Temple Square.

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The atmosphere felt like a well-manicured college campus.

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I also felt somewhat out of place without a small child.

Exploring Utah Olympic Park

Hitting up the Olympic Park was non-negotiable, and we spent three hours exploring the museum, taking goofy pictures, and getting a tour.

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We really shouldn’t be left to our own devices.

Even though the Summer Games are my jam, it was still neat to see the facilities and learn more about the 2002 Winter Games.

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Our tour guide said Salt Lake plans to throw its name into the hat to host the Winter Olympics again, but since it costs $10 million (!!) to be considered, they are focusing on updating the park for the next year or so.

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Not real life

Hiking at Zion National Park

The highpoint of the trip was hiking at Zion National Park, specifically taking on the 5.4-mile “strenuous” Angel’s Landing loop.

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Obligatory

The park guide said this hike would take 4-5 hours, but even though we did it in three, we did not have enough time to do The Narrows. (We originally planned to do both.) Next time!

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This photo basically sums up the day at Zion: I’d walk a little bit and then stop for a few minutes to take in my surroundings.

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Interestingly enough, there’s a half-marathon here in March … any takers? (I’m looking at you, Natalie!)

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All in all, Utah ended up being a fun trip and a great “hoo-rah” because we’ll be firing on all cylinders at work with the New York City Marathon approaching.

Have you been to Utah? Has a trip or vacation surprised you?

Oh Snap!

Here’s a shocker: this is not a triathlon-training heavy post. Oh snap! These check-ins have not be happening consistently—partly because my day-to-day is routine and partly because work is still semi-unresolved.

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April acquisitions bring May transitions. Starting to nest in the new office.

April brought a lot of changes and stressful moments, which made tri training even more important; pedaling it out, running it out, and even swimming it out helped clear my head, keep me grounded, and focus on the present (and the feeling, of course).

#MatchRace

This past weekend, I helped Tailwind Endurance plan its Inaugural Match Race, a fundraiser for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

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We had four teams of three people compete by riding one loop of the Ironman Coeur d’Alene bike course. As the party warlord, I made sure we had plenty of snacks, swag, and raffle items, and we also organized a swabbing station so folks could register for the national registry. In total, we raised about $2,500, and we’re already talking about hosting another this fall.

#NomadStatus

Lately, I’ve been overcome by the urge to travel: Boulder, Austin, Seattle … or Alaska … or South Africa. Granted, I go places for races, but I really want to visit an exotic destination with the intention of experiencing everything (and not swimming, biking, and running). Anyone up for a trip?

#Noms

This is not something I’ve been keeping secret, but it is something I have not been broadcasting: for Lent, I gave up red meat, chicken, turkey, etc. I thought a lot about this decision, and the 40-day period seemed to be a good time to give it a shot. Full disclosure: I am still eating fish and am trying to eat more of a plant-based diet. So if a label is necessary, let’s call it a “plant-strong pescatarian diet.”

There have been two slipups—the most notable of which occurred after racing the South Beach Triathlon when I took a flying leap off the wagon at Yardbird with fried chicken—but I have maintained this eating plan. It’s been relatively easy to eat this way for a few reasons. One, I’ve never been a big chicken person. Two, I don’t deny myself meat, but honestly, I don’t crave it. And if you don’t crave it, why eat it? And three, I feel great from a training standpoint. Knock on wood, my workouts continue to go well, and I’m recovering better/quicker/more effectively. I also don’t become sleepy after eating kale, quinoa, and peppers at lunch. (At this point, I should note that although leaning out did not drive this decision, I have lost about eight pounds. That’s another post, though, so I’ll leave it at that for now.)

#GoingLong

One night in April, I had a dream I was doing a 70.3. “Was it a good dream?” asked Coach Pat. “Was it a dream or a nightmare?” asked Earl. Guys—I was rocking it. In my mind, the only discipline holding me back right now is the run, but Coach Pat and I are working on getting it dialed in. Maybe this jump will happen sooner rather than later.

#WannabeSwimmer

I almost, almost signed up for a swim meet.

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My actual swimmer coworker even filled out part of the form for me. One of these days, though!

#BlackSheepStatus

Because I’ve taken a piecemeal approach to training—swimming with the Bearcats, biking at Tailwind, and running with Coach Pat—there were some people who were not psyched I was hanging out with the team in South Beach. I’d rather not talk about dynamics, but this trip really shed light on the friendships that transcend triathlon—those folks know who they are, and I’m extremely grateful to have them in my corner.

#ProudAthlete

Speaking of Coach Pat, he crushed The North Face Endurance Challenge New York at Bear Mountain this past weekend: He ran 50 miles in 8:59, and PR’ed!

So what’s going on with you?

It’s November?

Whew—marathon madness has finally ended, so I can finally come up for a breath. Throughout October and the first week of November, JackRabbit was firing on all cylinders: various events and group training runs, plus a pre-New York City Marathon party and race-day cheer zone. So many 26.2 activities!

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Full Throttle Endurance says, “WHOA!”

Marathon week—plus Monday actually (because Meb Keflezighi had a book signing at our Upper West Side store)—centered on stress, semi-organized chaos, and tons of excitement. We live for this time of year and all it encompasses; for me, that meant making sure our Saucony pre-party and Brooklyn cheer zone were successful events.

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Behind the scenes–and mission accomplished!

And now, I’m embracing the work “off-season.” Thank GAWD. Here’s what’s going on:

Last week, my fam and I went to Florida to celebrate my dad’s birthday. My grandfather lives there, and my uncle flew in too, and it was great to spend some quality time with everyone. And it wouldn’t be a trip to Sanibel without plenty of beach time (where running, reading, and sunburning occurred).

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This weekend, I have my first “race” since Nationals in August: The Philadelphia Half-Marathon. Some of my teammates and (work) friends will be there, plus a few BoMFers and my family. I’m really excited! Not only is it an escape from the city, but it’s also an opportunity to test my training and gauge my progress. Coach Pat and I have talked race strategy, he things I can string together a solid 13.1 miles, race the thing, and shoot for a big PR. A few months ago, I planned to simply go out and run and see what happened; now, though, I feel confident pushing it. Speedwork is coming along, and my long runs have gone pretty well, and this is hands down the most prepared I’ve felt for a “straight up” road race. Fingers crossed I feel good on race day and can hop aboard the pain train for a while!

And then, it’s Thanksgiving, which means even more family time!

In other training news, I ended my 72-day swimming boycott and went to the pool. Honestly, I planned to wait until December, but several knowledgeable individuals—including but not limited to Coach Pat and my tri coach—said getting back in the water sooner may be a good idea. Specifically, “not swimming is totally going to bite you in the a** come January!” according to my tri coach. The race isn’t won during the swim, but one of my friends/Girls’ Club colleagues questioned: “How fast can you run if you’re last out of the water?”

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Talk about tough love—and a serious wake-up call.

So two weeks ago—about 12 hours after my endorphin-inducing 11 miler—I walked to the pool after work. On the way over, I visualized myself swimming, flip turning, and doing all the little things right, but I couldn’t shake the insecurity: what if I don’t remember anything? What do my arms do again? How does one execute a flip-turn?

As it turns out, swimming is a lot like riding a bike; you never forget how to do it. When my feet touched the water, I went on autopilot: adjusted my cap, put on my goggles, and just went. Sure, I felt semi-winded 200 yards in, but those 1,500 yards felt OK. And they felt slightly better—and faster—a week later.

To be honest, I’m not sure what will happen after Philly—in terms of training and life. It feels like I’m on the brink, like a breakthrough is right around the corner, but I don’t know what is it or what it will entail. But I just hope I’m ready.

Random Thoughts Revisited from the 2013 USA Triathlon Age Group National Championships

Just for fun, I thought it would be cool to revisit what went through my head at last year’s Nationals and how my mindset changed this time around.

Last year: ‘Friendly triathletes and great atmosphere—I don’t want to leave!’

This year: I really tried to avoid the hoopla this year. My flight landed in Milwaukee earlier, and I took care of the expo and pre-race stuff on Thursday when most folks were still trickling in. I also opted out of the Friday afternoon practice swim in an effort to avoid the nervous energy. Overall, I came to Nationals with a different mentality—I wanted to fly under the radar, do my own thing, and stay out of my own head. Yes, I wanted to enjoy the experience and have fun, but putting together a solid race was my primary focus.

Last year: ‘Milwaukee is a great venue.’

This year: Milwaukee is still a great venue. Going back to a familiar place gave me an increased sense of calm confidence: I knew the city, the course, and exactly what to expect. Before the race, I visited the Milwaukee Public Market several times, which was a foodie’s paradise.

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And I went to Kopp’s post-race for some life-changing tiramisu custard.

Last year: ‘Everyone looks so fit.’

This year: Everyone still looked fit, but I didn’t have the jaw-dropping reaction I did last year. This is partly because I came into the race leaner and fitter, and I also knew everyone else would be chiseled.

Last year: ‘I need a new bike.’

This year: Hello, race-ready Slice!

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But I still experienced some bike envy. My teammates and I were talking during bike drop-off, and we estimated transition was probably worth $10 million. And one of my teammates who has a custom bike said even his eyes were wandering.

Last year: ‘I can’t believe how far I’ve come in one year.’

This year: I’d been looking forward to this race all year; I could not wait to take on the same course with another year of training and see how much I’ve improved across the disciplines. My swim was three minutes faster, and I shaved seven minutes off my bike split. (Based on my training and racing, I was hoping to take four minutes off my run, but we know what actually happened.)

Last year: ‘I have the best team ever.’

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This year: Still true!

Random Thoughts from USA Triathlon Age Group National Championships

Hey, friends!  How’s it going?  It’s been a while since my last post, but there’s a good reason:  This past weekend, I traveled to Milwaukee for the USA Triathlon Age Group National Championships.

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Oh yeah–four-time Ironman World Champion Chrissie Wellington gave me that medal.  I totally freaked out and acted like a fan girl. #noshame

More than 2,700 triathletes participated in the Olympic-distance event (1.5-K swim, 40-K bike, and 10-K run), and the field was one of the most competitive ever.  I’m working on the race recap, but I want to share some random thoughts from the trip.

Friendly triathletes and great atmosphere—I don’t want to leave!’

Really, this shouldn’t be a surprise.  Everyone was excited, chatty, and outgoing, and it seemed like every time I found myself in a hotel elevator I walked out with a new friend.  And even though we were competing—there were 28 age-group national titles up for grabs, plus slots on Team USA for the 2014 World Championships—the vibe wasn’t intense or off-putting; maybe it’s because I’m coming from New York City, but it was so nice to walk around, make eye contact with others, and say hi.

‘Milwaukee is a great venue.’

Even though the Olympic race started late (more on that in the recap), the city did a great job hosting this event overall.

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Everything—transition, restaurants, etc.—was within walking distance, the weather on race day was perfect (around 70 degrees Fahrenheit with basically zero humidity), and the course was flat and fast.

‘Everyone looks so fit.’

OMG—so many lean and chiseled triathletes, but what do you expect from some of the country’s best age groupers?  Also, the fact that I didn’t strength train during the taper didn’t help, and I stuck out a bit in my age group.  Although there were other tall women, I was the tallest, and a lot of the girls were tiny—like 5’3” and nothing but skin and bones.  I had a major flashback to my basketball days; it felt like I was a forward again competing against point guards.

‘I need a new bike.’

I experienced major big envy all weekend.  Between aero helmets, race wheels, and five-figure tri bikes (seriously), I felt totally out of my league.

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There were some other roadies there, though.  In fact, on race morning, one USA Triathlon official was checking transition setups and after looking at mine, he commented on how many road bikes were there.  Zing.  I tried not to take it personally.

‘I can’t believe how far I’ve come in one year.’

Yes, I wanted to have a good race this past weekend, but I also made it a priority to savor the experience.  Not everyone gets to do this event (there are a few ways to qualify), and I felt truly blessed, grateful, and humbled to have the opportunity to compete.

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Plus, race day marked exactly one year to the day I completed my first triathlon.  Talk about coming full circle!  This progress—going from a local tri to a national event—highlighted how much I’ve improved and reminded me how much I’ve grown as an athlete and person.

‘I have the best team ever.’

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Enough said.

Write It Down, Do It Up – Week of August 4

Hi, everyone—happy Sunday!  Did you have a good weekend?  After work on Friday night, I transformed into a real girl and attended not one, but two birthday parties.  I know; I couldn’t believe it either.  And by some glorious stroke of luck (er, coffee), I managed to stay up past my normal bedtime—huge success!  Needless to say, Saturday seemed like it would never end, so I plan to keep things low-key today.

So … guess what:  The time has come!

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Yep, in less than one week, I’ll be competing in a certain August race that I’ve alluded to for a while—the USA Triathlon Age Group National Championships.

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There’s no question this will be the most competitive race of my triathlon career, and surprisingly, I feel calm.  For one, unlike every other tri I’ve done this year, there are basically zero expectations.  Don’t get me wrong; I want to have the best race possible, but there are no podium goals.  This will be a very humbling event, and even though I want to rise to the occasion and perform well, this trip will be all about savoring the experience.  Plus, after seeing how relaxed, loose, and strong my Ironman Lake Placid teammate looked in the days leading up to the race, I want to replicate his outlook.  He was calm and performed, whereas for New York City, I was wound up and crashed.

Here’s a rough workout schedule for this week.  Let’s Write It Down, Do It Up!

(If you’re new to WIDDIU, here’s how it works:  Every Sunday, I post my workout schedule for the week, and I invite you to do the same.  This way, we can motivate each other and hold ourselves accountable.  Sounds like a win-win, right?)

Monday – a.m. run with Full Throttle Endurance (FTE); a.m. swim

Tuesday – a.m. indoor cycle

Wednesday – a.m. brick workout with FTE—indoor cycle and run off the bike (if my coach doesn’t veto my brick)

Thursday – off/travel to Milwaukee

Friday – easy swim, easy bike, maybe an easy run (at my coach’s discretion)

Saturday – USAT Age Group National Championships

Sunday – off/travel back to NYC

During the week leading up to a race or big event, are you calm, cool, and collected, or bouncing off the wall?

Ironman Lake Placid 2013 – The Workouts

Hiya, friends!  As promised, here’s the first of a few recaps from my trip to Lake Placid this past weekend.

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One of my teammates completed the 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike, and 26.2-mile run, and another volunteered and spectated with me.  The three of us made the five-hour drive from New York City to Lake Placid Thursday morning, and we agreed heading up earlier would be better; this was confirmed when my soon-to-be Ironman teammate whizzed through paperwork, packet pick up, weigh in, etc. once we arrived.  More on that in a later post.  Here’s what my workouts looked like:

Thursday – Rest/pack/assemble bike rack.  My teammate who wasn’t racing and I must’ve been quite the sight: two girls sprawled out on a side street trying to put together a bike rack.  We eventually figured it out, though!

Friday – One loop of the swim course (1.2 miles) in Mirror Lake and 50 minutes on the run course.

Oh my gosh.  Words cannot begin to describe how much I loved these workouts.

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Want to know why it’s called Mirror Lake?  Because you can always see the bottom.  This swim was the farthest one I’ve officially completed in open water, and I soaked it all in; the calm water, the shining sun, and the breathtaking scenery when I sighted (which wasn’t that often because the buoys are attached to a silver wire that lines the bottom of the lake, so as long as you follow the wire, you’ll stay on course).

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Prior to this trip, I knew Lake Placid would be my first Ironman (in about 10 years maybe, ha!), and after the swim, there was no question.

Afterward, I headed out for a 50-minute run on part of the marathon course.  Again, oh my gosh:  running with mountains in the distance and under a clear blue sky—can you ask for anything better?  I probably looked like the biggest goon ever because I couldn’t stop smiling!  Like the swim, it was incredibly therapeutic and reconfirmed my desire to do this race.

Saturday – One loop of the bike course (~56 miles).

This Lake Placid long weekend resulted in two personal distance records:  my longest OWS and my farthest bike ride yet—about 56 miles thanks to one loop of the Ironman bike course. (There are a few lollypop turns, but my teammate and I didn’t do all of them; we guessed our total mileage was in the 50-54 ballpark.)

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Going into this ride, my teammate and I decided to do it for fun, so we wouldn’t push the pace, we’d take breaks when needed, etc.

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Ride fueled by PowerBar, ha!

We also planned to chalk the course, so we knew we’d be stopping at least four times.

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My teammate’s nickname is “Double D” or “DD” for short.

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Goofing off, ha!

Although the swim and run tempted me to sign up for the 2014 race, the bike proved to be a reality check.  Overall, it’s the discipline where I have the most room for improvement, and this course cannot be taken lightly—it’s tough, it’s hilly, and the wind can play a huge factor.  For any Ironman race, if you don’t respect the course and the distance, you’ll pay for it, and if you don’t pace the Lake Placid bike portion the right way, then you’ll definitely blow up later.  Even though I enjoyed the ride, it’s safe to say at this point, I’m not ready mentally or physically to make the jump to long-course events, which is totally OK.

Sunday – Rest/volunteer/spectate.

Detailed post to come, but wow, what an incredibly inspiring day!  My teammate finished in 12 hours and 11 minutes, which is an impressive time for his first Ironman and for this course.

Monday – One loop of the swim course with some easy/solid intervals.

I had to get back in the water one last time.  Even though I enjoyed Friday’s swim, this outing meant so much more after seeing the race.  Yeah, Ironman Lake Placid will definitely happen one day.

After watching or volunteering for a race, have you been tempted to sign up?