The cake is on fire!

Hey-O! Did everyone enjoy the Oscars? I didn’t make it to the end, but I heard good things. I was really excited to hear that Common and John Legend won Best Original Song for Glory. I mean OBVIOUSLY it was the best, but you never know. They are two of my favorites (John Legend’s EVOLVER got me through a very difficult time in 2011, and Common’s BE is probably my favorite album of all time). So, yay!

Before I fell asleep mid-Oscars though, I had the world’s chillest weekend. It was awesome. On Saturday, I took the bus out to PA to get snowed in with my mom.

Yup. It's still winter.
Yup. It’s still winter.

Now, I don’t know what “snowed-in” means in your family, but in mine it means you do an indoor “brick” workout for an hour and a half. Mom and I put a meal in the crockpot and hit the “gym”. I ran for a half hour on the treadmill, while Mom rocked the bike trainer, and then we swapped so I could do an hour on the bike and Mom could walk on the treadmill. Did I mention that my mom was in a car accident last month and BROKE her sternum? Yup. She’s UNSTOPPABLE. She’s not allowed to run yet, but she’s still logging serious workouts – it’s impressive. After we worked it out, we put a fire in the fireplace and decided to make some dessert…

FiresWelp – nobody told us that angel food cake does some serious rising while cooking, sooooo we accidentally set the cake and the oven on fire. Oops. Don’t worry though, we salvaged that shit and had some fantastic strawberry shortcake after dinner. #nailedit

After dinner, we were just chillin, catching up on The Mindy Project (aka the best show on television), when my Mom decided – at 11pm – that we should shovel the 4 inches of snow off the driveway for my Dad. I told you – she is UNSTOPPABLE.

After church on Sunday, the whole fam went up to visit my Grandpop, and while he wasn’t thrilled to hang with us, he was pretty into the pizza we brought up, so we can call it a win. I caught an afternoon bus back to the city, and got to watch this awesome sunset along the way. The weekend literally couldn’t have been better.

On the training front, I’m slowly building yardage in the pool and mileage on the bike. My running’s about the same, as it’s something I do year round. In all, I’ve gone from working out about 3.5 hours a week to 6.5, and I’m still building. Not surprisingly, my body is thrilled. It requires a little more TLC – time spent stretching, foam rolling, and giving myself tennis ball and golf ball massages – but I feel goooooood.

But here’s the real news: I’ve jerry-rigged a solution that will allow me to get in the training volume I need, at a price I can afford. Many thanks to the New York City Recreational Centers. They are NOT fancy, but for $75 for 6 months ($150 for the whole year), you have access to all the indoor pools across the city, all of the fitness centers, and more. I now have access to pools and spin bikes seven days a week – and there’s one near my office. Parks and Rec for the win! I’m keeping my Planet Fitness membership so I have a gym near my apartment (and let’s be real – I can spare the $10 a month with all the money I’m saving by NOT joining the YMCA or Equinox).

I’m feeling pretty fit and frugal. How do you save money on your fitness? What do you splurge on?

Laissez les Bon Temps Rouler!

DSC01527It’s Mardi Gras! A few years ago, Charlie and I went to New Orleans on Fat Tuesday and had a BLAST with our very gracious local hosts. I won’t reallllly be celebrating the occasion this year, but to embrace the spirit of excess, I’m gonna go ahead and eat all of the Girl Scout cookies my mom got us for Valentine’s Day. (Did you guys know that there’s a gluten free Girl Scout cookie now? Whaaaaat?)

In any case, I sort of love the idea that there’s a day (a week if you’re in a part of the world that does carnivale of some sort) devoted to getting all the crazy out of your system before you spend some time reigning it in and reflecting (if you’re into the Lent thing).

What I truly love about Fat Tuesday is that spring will soon follow. February is always a slog up here in the northeast, so it’s a huge relief to know that really, it can’t be that much longer until we get tulips, green leaves and picnic weather. I’ll drink to that!

IMG_1743Spring also means I can start riding my bike outside – which needs to happen soon, because I am not getting enough miles in on a single computrainer ride per week. While I had a GREAT ride this Sunday, I do need to ride more if I want to feel confident in my races.  I’ve been doing a lot of pricing and research on my options while the weather’s less than ideal, and I think I’ve come up with a solution – but I won’t know for sure until I’ve tested it out this week. I’ll report back next week!

Another thing I’m looking forward to with the warm weather is open water swimming! (Yes, I know I’ve got a few months before the NYC weather makes this viable, but a girl can dream, right?) The fastest woman in my Thursday AM swim practice (who I WORKED to keep up with last week – it was awesome), told me about CIBBOWS (Coney Island and Brighton Beach Open Water Swimmers). Turns out, they do group open water swims in the ocean (at my favorite beach) every Saturday and Sunday between Memorial Day and Labor Day. As a recent convert to the group workout as a training tool, I am psyched!

I love swimming in the ocean, but I’ve never strayed beyond the jetties (except in a race), because I’ve never had a swim buddy (and swimming in the open water isn’t something to do alone). I’m hoping more of my training swims will look like this, this summer:

IMG_1479

What are you looking forward to when the ice melts and we thaw out of this frigid tundra?

Would you like some humble pie with that?

Kombucha in a wine glass - just as good as the original
Kombucha in a wine glass – just as good as the original

Last time we met, I gave you a run down of how gung-ho I am about being a better triathlete this year. I told you all about my plans to get up early to work it out, drink less, learn from the best, and invest in my training and nutrition. Guess what?! I did all of those things this week, and I feel great! Buuuut, the reality is that it’s just the beginning. I’ll have to keep the commitment and the hunger for months. Getting one swim, one bike, and a few runs in every week isn’t going to cut it if my goal is to really nail it this year. So while week one was amazing, it came with a heaping slice of humble pie.

But before I get into the dirty details, I’d like to invite you Back on My Feet NYC’s Comedy Night on February 26th! I can’t be there (work event), but YOU can be! Tickets are $25 each and include DRINKS. Annnnd, if you buy a ticket and email me to let me know, BoMF will count your ticket sale toward my BoMF FundRACEing campaign for the NYC Tri. So, do a girl a favor  and laugh your ass off on 2/26!

So what was easy about week one?

For one – going to bed early and getting up earlier was WAY easier than I expected. Running with Back on My Feet has always been my favorite – it’s so much easier to get up knowing that hugs and awesomeness await me in the cold (cold) dark morning.

Swim practice is my new favorite thing. It felt just like the swim team practices I remember and love (except with less whining on my part). I cannot wait to go back.

What was hard?

Computrainer. I joined Brooklyn Triathlon Club (BTC) earlier this year, and they’ve been an amazing resource. Right now, I’m mostly trolling the forums for advice, links and words I don’t know; but come spring, I’ll be able to join club workouts, rides, etc. I’m a total novice on the bike, so when someone mentions “computrainer” I have to google it. One of the cool things about the BTC forum is that members will sell their sessions when they can’t make them – sooo I got to try out a single computrainer session without making any commitments (oh, and the triathlete I purchased it from was nice enough to pass along some key tips!).

It. kicked. my. butt. So, right before we got started the guy running the session told me that the 2 hour ride I was about to take, was equivalent to a 4 hour ride on the road… Did I mention I haven’t ridden more than 45 minutes on the road since…August? To save my own legs, I made a mental note to take it easy and ride my own pace. It was a lot of fun, and challenging (I totally got lapped on the “course”), and my quads were burning after an hour and a half. I was stunned when I didn’t end up sore the next couple of days.

Know what that means? 1) I did a bad job of hydrating and managing my nutrition, 2) there’s a healthy level of uncomfortable I need to learn to work through, and 3) I have a lot of work to do on the bike.

Which leads me to the question – how do I get more work on the bike in the winter?!? For now, I’ve snagged a spot for this Sunday, but I have no plan for the remainder of the snowy season. Buy a trainer for my apt? Sell my soul for lots of computrainer sessions? Move to California?

What would you do?

I resolve to wear more sweatpants

Yup. That’s my resolution for 2015. I want to wear more sweatpants. Here’s why:IMG_1686

1) I plan to be in athlete mode this year. I want to be a beast, I want to get fast, and I want to nail my tris this summer, so I’ll be training often. Hence I will be wearing sweatpants.

2) I want to relax more. Lounge around and get my zen on. So I’ll want to be wearing something comfy.

3) I want to move more. I want to generally just be moving more often, so I figure that if I’m always wearing things that are easy to move in, I’ll seize the moment whenever I have the chance.

4) With each passing year, the odds that the zombie apocalypse will hit rise. When shit hits the fan, I want to be wearing some comfortable shit because a) I want to be able to maneuver my escape and b) I figure I’ll be stuck in that outfit for a long time. No one wants to go into the zombie apocalypse in heels and a pencil skirt.

But in all seriousness, I am making a commitment to be a better triathlete this year. I want to see what I’m capable of, so I’m going all in. While ‘resolving’ to be better is worthless, having a plan of action and working at it every day gets results. Here are some of the elements of my plan:

IMG_1711I’ll be going to bed earlier – so I can get up earlier. Over the past couple of years, as bedtime moved from 10:30pm to 12:30pm, I got out of the habit of morning workouts. After work workouts on days that don’t have a happy hour are fine, but not enough if you want to be a competitor. So for 2015, bedtime Sunday-Thursday is 10pm (10:30pm if something special’s going on).

I’ll be drinking less. While my bottle-a-week red wine habit probably isn’t the worst thing  for my system, when you combine it with Saturday night beers and Sunday brunch cocktails, it isn’t doing me any favors. While training, five out of seven days of the week will be booze free. Making two days a week drinking days will give me the flexibility to party (or unwind) when I want to, but also give my system enough of a detox so I can perform at a higher level.

I’m reading up on and following professional athletes. Obviously, their lives are pretty different from mine, but they’re the best, so I want to know what they eat, how they train, who’s advice they follow, and what makes them tick. Hopefully I’ll pick up a few nuggets that I can integrate into MY plan.

I’ll be doing a little bit of investing in myself. The new bike was the biggest piece of this, but I’m also taking that Masters swim class with a USAT certified coach, and I’m making some adjustments to my budget so I can invest in my training. I’m not yet sure if that means purchasing a bike trainer for the apartment, signing up for a computrainer session,   joining a pool so I can spend more time in the water, or getting a coach; but I’m doing my research so I can make smart investments in myself and my training.

So that’s the first leg of my plan? What do you think?

I keep meaning to tell you!

I’ve started – and abandoned – so many posts in the past few months. Life keeps getting in the way! I didn’t kick any major milestones, master a new skill, or set a PR; but I did start a new job in the fall (which is both AWESOME and TERRIFYING), went to my 10 year high school reunion (good God, I’m old), and got to spend some quality time with friends and family. I’ve just been living life.

Buuuut old habits die hard and I’ve been itching to document all of the riveting sh*t I do in the day to day here on the inter-webs. Plus, I start training soon and I’m more consistent when I blog about it – so here we are!

IMG_1661For starters, thanks to my wonderfully generous parents I have a real road bike this year! I’ve been racing triathlons on a hybrid – which is fun and all – but when you’re placing 4th and 5th in your age group every. single. time. you kind of want to see what you can accomplish with the right tools. This year I’ll be racing on this beautiful Amira Sport by Specialized. Since the bike won’t race itself, and I am committed to kicking some multisport booty this year, I am going to WORK.

I am going to work so hard that I’ve signed up for a coach-led swim workout that starts at 6am.  WHO AM I? Yup – I’m taking the plunge and seeking advice from an expert…before I have my morning coffee. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Back on My Feet
Rocking my hottest sorority squat w/ Team Brooklyn in 2013

I’m also gambling on my skillz from my day job for a little extra motivation. For the first time in my racing life, I am FUNDracing!  (You would think that as a professional fundraiser I would be all over this, but nope.) But I’m not just fund racing for any old organization, I’m fund racing for Back on My Feet! You may remember them from my posts here and here. It’s seriously the greatest (and I reaallllllly need to get up earlier so I can start running with a team again). On July 19, 2015, I’ll race more than 30 miles around Manhattan in the New York City Triathlon, but before I do it, I have to 1) turn 29 and 2) raise $2,900 for Back on My Feet! For more details (and to help me celebrate my 29th birthday) visit my page.