NYC Triathlon: I’m IN!

A month or so ago, my coworker asked me how I felt about being the runner in a relay team for the NYC Triathlon. After a little research showed me what a ridiculously cool race this is (and that the run was only a 10K around Central Park, yes, please), I was stoked: of course I said yes!

Cut to a few weeks later when we realized that the entry was a fundraising spot that we’d all have to raise upwards of $1k for, each, in addition to the entry fees. That’s a lot of money, so we shelved the idea until the race lottery opened and we decided to enter as a relay team that way. “Who knows”, we reasoned. “If we get in, we get in, and if not, no sweat.” We’d find another event to enjoy together.

Fast Forward to this afternoon when I came face to face with the following email:


Few subject lines make me squeal as much as “You’re In!”

I immediately ran to find my coworker – the biker of the group – and we promptly high fived and jumped in the air, Anchorman-style.


(but with less mustaches)

I then texted my other co-worker (or rather, former co-worker, as she recently accepted an awesome new position!) and we freaked out for a bit via text. She’s the swimmer of our group, and the initial idea was hers in the first place.

Once I got through all of the details and filled out our form officially registering us, it finally sank in: I’m going to be doing the NYC Triathlon, and as a part of my first-ever relay team! How cool is that? I never pictured myself doing this event, but once the tri bug bit me, I knew I had to be a part of something larger like this. My confidence in my swimming skills, however, are somewhat lacking, and my biking… well, let’s just say I’m more Beach Cruiser than Iron Man. But with two unbelievable athletes like these folks by my side, with their own strengths in swimming and biking? Piece of cake!

The Reluctant Tri-ers (yes, that’s our team name) are headed to the Hudson River on July 24th, 2016!

How about you – have you done a relay race before? Or the NYC Tri? Any tips for a first time relay team member?

A New Family Member, Training Update, and MEB!

First, I want to apologize for being absent so long! Things at work are really heating up, and I’m in the thick of training for both my second sprint triathlon this weekend and my next half marathon on 10/18. And on top of all that, just this past Monday, we finally pulled the trigger and brought in the newest member of the family: Sammy!


We first met Sammy a year or so ago, and after sporadic visits for a year, he started showing up every day about a month ago, for a few hours each morning and every night, sitting on our lawn every night waiting for us to come out again in the morning. Once he started showing up with flea bites and chewed up ears, we finally took him to the vet, got him checked out and cleaned up and he’s currently sleeping on the couch next to me! He’s the most loving, sweet-hearted kitty we’ve ever met – he needs to be touching someone to fall asleep, and is my little shadow when I get ready for work in the morning. We’re smitten with this kitten! So on top of the double weekday workouts, 2+ hour runs on the weekends, and crazy work schedule, I also have this new creature to help take care of every day (along with balancing the love for our other cat Lucy who was living here first, and family and friends too)! So needless to say, by 10PM each day I have just about enough time to brush my teeth before falling into bed, so the blog was the first thing to be neglected. My apologies!

While Mr. Sammy sleeps next to me though, I’ll give you the highlights: everything is great! My long runs are right on pace at 12:15-12:45 per mile, and my shorter runs are stable at 11:30/mile too. I’m up to 10 miles in my long runs, and the best part? I hit a new one-mile PR in the NYRR Fifth Avenue Mile last weekend with an unbelievable 8:51!! I almost died when I saw the number on the clock, seriously. I promise I’ll post a full recap soon, but here’s a teaser:



He was right there at the finish when I crossed and he greeted me with a huge smile and hearty congratulations. BRB, squealing and fangirl-ing all over the place again just looking at the pic…

OK, I’m back. I’ve got a big weekend ahead with the Seaside Semper Five 5K on Saturday and the One More Tri triathlon on Sunday! It’ll be my first back-to-back race weekend, and I’m going into it with absolutely zero expectations, just looking forward to swimming, biking, and running with a big smile for two fantastic causes: the Marine Corps and the NJ Special Olympics! I’m only $74 away from my One More Tri fundraising goal, so if you’re so inclined you can make a donation here! Every little bit helps, even $5 or $10 – why not consider skipping one pumpkin spice latte and putting that cash towards the inspirational athletes of the Special Olympics? It’s less calories anyway 😉

OK, so that’s my quick update – I hope you all are doing well and your training is going smoothly! We’re in the thick of training and racing season now, so stay strong and trust your training – you’re all rockstars for getting out there and getting it done! Tell me how it’s going in the comments, I want to hear it all!

Catching Up – and a Giveaway Winner!

Hello and Happy Wednesday guys – how’s everyone doing?? It’s been a hot minute since I last posted, so how about we take a little trip down memory lane and recap the past few weeks!

After the Jersey Girl Tri, I was riding high on the post-race endorphins and immediately wanted to put my training to use with another tri, soon. After flip flopping between a few other events like Iron Girl in Sandy Hook, I stumbled across One More Tri in Asbury Park this September.

one more tri

This event is pretty much the perfect combination: it’s in Asbury Park, one of my favorite places on earth, it’s a fundraising event for the Special Olympics, which is very near and dear to my heart, and it’s a unified triathlon event, where Special Olympics athletes and members of the community compete side-by-side! That just brings it to a whole other level. I get goosebumps just thinking about it – I used to love volunteering at events like this back in high school and college, but getting to actually participate in these sports with these inspirational folks? What an honor! I can’t wait. Click here to learn more – or make a donation towards my fundraising efforts, if you’re so inclined!

Once I signed up for that, I realized I had to come up with a new training plan that will prepare me both for the tri and the Atlantic City Half Marathon in October! I took to the interwebs and found my favorite 6-week triathlon training plan once again, then layered my usual half marathon training plan on top of it. BOY was that a mess. After some tinkering (and taking into consideration the other shorter races I’ve got planned in September and October), I finally came up with a plan that works. I was SO excited to take it on! I hit the first week hard, nailing every single workout, and I was feeling good in time for my first long run of training.


It was a little harder than I expected because of the heat and hills I took on, but I was so pumped to keep it up and tackle week 2! Aaaaand then I got sick.


::sad trombone music::

Last week I was knocked out by a nasty sinus infection and bronchitis that prevented me from breathing or hearing or basically using my head properly for a good 5 days. I finally started feeling human again on Sunday in time for a quick weekend getaway with my friend and her daughters, and now I’m easing back in to training once again with renewed excitement. Kind of. I mean, my lungs are still filled with gunk and it’s like 100 degrees out, but dammit I’ve got races to crush this fall, and I’m not going to let anything get in my way!

Which brings us to today, and another exciting announcement – the winner of my Freekeh Foods Giveaway! Drumroll please…. Congratulations to Jamie Harrings, you’re a winner!


Check your email for details on how to claim your prize – and thank you to all who entered, too! Have a great day everyone 🙂

Long Time No Blog!

Hey everyone! Sorry for the lapse in posting – I’ve been on vacation for the last week and made a point to spend a little less time “plugged in”. It was hard to break the constant habit of checking my phone, but the less I did the easier it got. I had my first open water swim (eeeek!), Hubby and I went to the movies, we went hiking in the park and we did some shopping at the fancy mall (don’t we all know one?). 


Wednesday night I made a dream come true and saw the Smashing Pumpkins at the PNC Arts Center. I don’t mention it very much here, but next to running, music (most notably 90’s alternative music) is my life, and the Pumpkins are everything to me. Billy Corgan and Jimmy Chamberlin were a few of my first celebrity crushes, my father took me to my first concert at MSG to see them, I used their lyrics in our wedding vows… You get the point. So I met up with a bunch of my best girls (one even came all the way down from Cape Cod!) and we had an amazing night filled with nostalgia, laughs, and fun 🙂


As if my week could get any better, on Friday we schlepped into NYC to celebrate my birthday with some adventures at the Museum of Natural History!

After about 7 straight hours of walking and climbing stairs, my legs were fried. So this morning’s final open water swim before tomorrow’s triathlon was just what the non-existent doctor ordered!

I also got to try out my new birthday gift from hubby: a GoPro! 🙂

When I first dove into the water on Monday night, I didn’t know what to expect. I joined the Jersey Girl Triathlon crew for a group swim to conquer all the unknowns I faced: what would swimming in the ocean for the first time be like? What kind of crowd would be at the race? Was I going to regret this? You know – the stress inducing questions that keep you up at night. Well it turns out the answers were: awesome, the best, and hell no!

I’m listening to my towel from now on.

Today’s swim was no different from my first, either. Waking up at 5:30 to drive down to the starting line, making a new friend (What’s up, Amanda of King Yogart?), swimming, getting my ass handed to me by a few waves, and sitting through a Q&A with the race coach was the best thing I could have done the morning after my birthday.

Amanda, Heather (my tri-pro cousin), and I were all smiles after our swim!

And now I know: if I can swim 300 meters, get knocked face-first into the sand and spun around like a plastic bag in a tornado, get sand rash all over my elbow, and still feel ready to bike & run, I can do anything!

So now that I’ve got 7 weeks of training, a handful of solid brick workouts (in pretty atrocious weather, to boot), and 2 open water swims under my Fuelbelt, I’m ready to take on the Jersey Girl Triathlon tomorrow morning! 


Just Keep Swimming… and Biking and Running

It’s a good thing I’m a runner and not a mathematician. Because evidently – waaaay back when I first found my training plan – my silly ass miscalculated the number of weeks I had before my sprint triathlon, and I focused on training for 6 weeks when in reality I had 7. I never said I was good at math, guys.

tumblr_m9321xHlsO1rtwaqkAs such, I’ve been totally enjoying my “extra” week of training by building up these muscles even stronger! In the past week I completed not one but two brick workouts, and my confidence levels are nice and high.

IMG_7932Last Thursday I ran a few miles right after work in about 80 degrees and full sun – not my brightest idea, but I rationalized it by thinking if I could run in that weather, I can do anything. The brain is a funny thing, isn’t it?

My time wasn’t the best, but I wasn’t dead by the end of the run, which is important. I’m really trying to increase my endurance by pushing past the half hour/hour mark of my normal workouts, and it’s paying dividends. After the run and a short drive to the gym, I hopped right in the pool for 400m at top speed. To my surprise, the swim felt easy! Sure I was sucking wind at the end of every 100m, and guzzling Nuun like it was my job, but at the end of the workout I walked out of the pool not ready to die. Which is a huge step up from my swimming workouts a few months ago!IMG_7925

Friday I earned my rest day – but I couldn’t help it and ducked down to the office gym for 20 quick minutes of strength training.

IMG_7937Yep, in a skirt. Cause why not?

Saturday I woke to the sound of thunder, and rather than test out my lightning-dodging skills on the bike, I decided to take my next brick workout to the gym, where I [spoiler alert] totally killed my previous treadmill 2-mile PR! I think it had something to do with my new goodies courtesy of Brooks – tee, tank, hat, and new Transcend 2’s!!

IMG_7955I started off on a spin bike – yes, I know it’s nowhere near the same as a normal bike on an outdoor ride, but I just don’t work up a sweat on the regular stationary bikes like I do with the spin bikes. So I set the timer for 40 minutes and told myself to beat my previous outdoor bike 10K in 40:40 and well, as you can see I kind of crushed it. By doubling my distance in less time 🙂

IMG_7966Feeling pretty awesome, I hit the treadmill directly in front of me for 1 mile (as the schedule called for), and found myself flying.

IMG_7967Yes, that says 2 miles in 20:02. That means each mile was 10:01. And YES that annoys me to NO END. Sub-10:00 mile, you will be mine!!!

I was feeling so good, in fact, that I decided to keep going and pushed to 2 miles. After all, I told myself – I’ve got 3 to run on race day, I’d better get used to covering the distance.

IMG_7971I sweat clear through my shirt – and all over the treadmill – but I blew through those 2 miles and desperately wanted to keep going. But I don’t want to push myself too hard, my knees were starting to ache a bit, and I figured I’d give myself a nice thrill next weekend when I can really go for it and enjoy the final brick workout before race day.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – all this cross and strength training must really be doing something, because I’ve never seen running times like, at least not since 2011-ish. I’m feeling like I’ve finally found my fitness balance and I’m excited to see what this will do for me when I start distance running again in about 3 weeks.

How about you: any of you tri-hards find increased stamina when you returned to running? Any tips now that my first sprint is less than two weeks away?

My First Brick Workout

As my first sprint triathlon draws near, I’ve starting to feel the pre-race nerves kick in over the strangest things. For example, I had a stress dream last week about forgetting my sneakers, my bike having flat tires, a thunderstorm over the ocean at the starting line, and accidentally swimming with my phone in my pocket.


So to alleviate some of that stress, I’ve started checking things off my race-prep to-do list – one of them being my race day outfit. Initially I just thought I’d go to the store and get a tri suit and be done with it, easy peasy. Well, after driving around to 7 different stores for 5 hours on a Sunday with my poor cousin (and returning home empty-handed), I realized I’d have to resort to the trusty interwebs once again.

Enter – my cousin (who’s raced a few tri’s this spring already) got her outfit from here and loved it, so I took a look. To keep myself from getting too stressed out over multiple orders and sizing issues, I ordered basically half of the site in various sizes to ensure that I got it right on the first try. My credit card probably had a heart attack at the initial charge (frankly I’m surprised they didn’t call me about a possible fraudulent charge!), but the upside is that I finally found a suit that works!!

IMG_7069It’s by Zoot (who I’d never heard of before this), and after testing it out for a bike and run brick workout – my first tri-related double workout ever! – I’m officially convinced it’s the one!

IMG_7204 (2)This past Saturday, the schedule called for a 10K bike ride followed by a 1 mile run. Not bad in theory – I’ve been kind of doubling up with the DeskCycle during the day and running at night so this wasn’t a huge stretch, but putting the two activities together immediately after one another was an eye-opener. In a good way!

It was gorgeous outside – hot and not as humid as it had been all week – so I jumped into my new Zoot suit (sorrynotsorry), and set off. One thing I did notice was that the tri top rides up a bit, but I’m thinking some safety pins on race day will keep it in check. I cruised along at about 6:15-6:45/mile on the bike, which is a moderate effort. I could have pushed harder, but I wasn’t just looping along humming a song either. My legs were definitely feeling it the two times I stopped for water (I’ve since installed a bottle cage on the bike!), and once I hit 6.2 miles I was pleased with my time of 40:40. 10 miles would be a little over an hour, which I’m totally capable of!

IMG_7239Once I put the bike away, I set out for one mile and went by feel. Immediately I took off and found my leg turnover to be ridiculously fast. I’m talking like 9 minute miles fast – nowhere near my usual 11-12:00/mile pace! I must have been all warmed up and stretchy from pedaling the bike! I checked myself and slowed down to around 10:30, and at about the half mile marker, I flagged. The heat and full sun (it was 12:30 in the afternoon by now) were beating me down, so I walked where I needed and jogged slowly where I could, then took off again at 3/4 mile to finish at 11:24. Not gonna lie – I was shocked at how speedy that mile was after 40 minutes of biking!

IMG_7213 I wobbly-leg walked back to the shade of a nearby tree where we took the cooler out of the trunk and I downed a Gatorade so fast I think I can now coin the term “Gatorade Headache”. But it was so worth it – I’d just showed myself that I’m capable of so much more than I think! Sure it was just about an hour’s worth of work, but it’s something entirely new to me, this triathlon thing, and this workout proved that all the work I’m doing is paying dividends, and will continue to every day. And that’s pretty exciting if you ask me!

How about you: when was the last time you surprised yourself?