Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Hot Chocolate 15/5k Chicago!

Hello Everyone!

While I was out in Chicago for the Chicago Triathlon my cousin Kim and I decided we should sign up for the Hot Chocolate 15k in November. I was battling a calf injury that began the end of July and continued through August so I knew I would have to be seeing Dr. Goldberger and probably taking time off to rehab...I needed a race to come back to and what better than a no pressure 15k! Of course I always have my own expectations when racing, who doesn't? but it was more of a race to see where I was in my training, a confidence booster, a starting point to continue getting faster.
I arrived in Chicago on Halloween, went to workout at the gym and then later handed out candy to some kids, until we ran out of candy! I have never seen so many children! Once the candy was gone we had to get the heck out of the house before more kids came! We went out to a friends "Fall Festival" party across the street for the rest of the night. Friday morning I was dragged to a yoga class against my will. Kim is a super yogi and so I really had no choice. In the beginning of class Kim tells everyone to "set their intentions" my intention was "I was forced to be here, just survive the class." I did just that. I survived...and I felt I needed a nap afterwards...downward dog is not easy...
Saturday I did a shake out run with some strides to make sure I was ready, the usual. I was feeling good and confident but still had really no idea what pace I would be able to average. Partly because this was my first race back from an injury and also because I had never raced a 15k before. My goals were just to negative split and run sub 7s.
Saturday afternoon Kim and I decided to be real tourists and go on a Segway tour, a 2.5 hour Segway tour. We were unaware of the length when we signed up...but regardless it was still a lot of fun and REALLY cold. We learned a few things about the city, but questioned some of it since the other tour guide from the group next to us was saying different information about the same object...So don't ask me anything about Chicago...I still have no idea.
Sunday morning rolls around, rise and shine, time to race! It was cold but not unbearable. My uniform was blacked out and for a specific reason...I had on black shorts, black arm warmers, red sports bra (to match the red "Rangers Lead the Way! on the back of my singlet), and my custom made singlet with the American flag on the front and the names of the 3/75 guys KIA October 5 2013 on the back in support of my boyfriend who is in the Ranger Regiment and his friends who were killed and injured that night. I was bundled up and had my gear check bag with me so I could check all my sweats before the race. I didn't realize how far the gear check was from coral A...Surprisingly the run to the start was long enough for a warm up so once I dropped off my gear I headed to the start line, I was warmed up by then and jumped into the crowded Coral where I was able to stay pretty toasty due to all the body heat! I was planning on starting out at a decent pace, warm my body up more and then go after it. I was successful in my attempt and by mile 2 I was feeling great. With every mile I was picking up the pace slowly and I went through 3 mile in 21 minutes. I went through 10k in 41 minutes. I finished in just over 1:02 for the 15k. I heard from a few people that the course wasn't exact and I had the course quite long according to my watch it was 9.54 and thats even with losing satellites on my GPS when we ran in tunnels for quite a bit. So I can either go by averaging 6:30 pace for 9.54 miles or averaging 6:40 pace for 9.3. Either way I was happy with my time. The lead woman finished in 59 and change. I was 15th, which means all of us were within two and a half minutes of each other! Thats a good race! I will most likely be going back next year to see what I can do, hopefully not coming off an injury and in a little better shape.
Lets back track a minute. When I say crowded I mean 20,000+ people!!! Not all in Coral A but I think there was a Coral for almost every letter in the alphabet. It was insane. There were about 6500 women in the 15k and many more in the 5k that went off simultaneously and split mid race.

Headed home Monday where somewhere in my travels I caught a cold. Off for a few days from training but now I am back at.

Train Happy.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

To Cole...

This is one I wish I never had to write as it is hard to find words to describe an incredible man like Cole. However, it is the least I could do to honor the life of a friend and fellow athlete who had such an amazing impact on so many people.
I didn't know Cole very long but in the short time I did get to know him, I found out what an awesome person he was. He was a dedicated husband, father, fireman, friend and athlete. I got to know Cole this past spring at a Red Bicycle Tuesday night ride.  I feel like Cole came out of nowhere although he must have been cycling somewhere else for a while before he met up with us because he was one hell of a rider and athlete!! That first Tuesday night I met him he was super friendly (as always!), introducing himself before we headed out and we rode the Red Bank course together. I remember about half way through he said "You're a pretty strong rider!" I was psyched to be able to hang with some of the guys on the ride. Little did I know he was just out for a joy ride that night. I never rode another Tuesday ride with Cole as the group dropped me about +/-5 miles in EVERY time. However we did ride together on some weekends from Tavolo Pronto. On one in particular, we sat outside of Pronto after a long weekend ride, eating pizza and chatting about life. My brother asked him how having kids had changed his life. He told us his incredible transformation story as we all sat there giggling from sheer disbelief that Cole at one point was not too athletic. He told us he went to his first back to school night with his daughter, looked around at the other parents who were in better shape and living a healthy lifestyle and decided he had to change his life not for himself but for his family. His family was his whole world. His story was incredible. Triathlon, then became his passion.

One weekend ride, we were on a road full of potholes. So naturally I was yelling "HOLE! HOLE! HOLE!" every couple of seconds so those behind me knew what was coming. From the back a fellow cyclist yells "I can't tell if you are yelling Hole! or Cole!" That is now a memory that will always stick with me. Every time I yell "Hole!" I think, Cole Porter.

Cole lived life to the fullest and really just enjoyed it. You could see it in the way he talked about just about anything. Nothing ever seemed to bother him. He made the best of everything. He had the best outlook on life. He was just...happy.

Cole would want every single one of us to keep doing what we are doing, keep pushing hard, keep pushing each other to be the best we can be, have fun, be happy, lend a helping hand, celebrate life, be kind to one another and remember to say I love you because....


Rest in Peace Cole, you will forever be in our hearts.
My sincere condolences to the Porter family, we are all here for you.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Big Announcement- XTERRA

I am proud to announce I have partnered with XTERRA for the 2014 triathlon season! 

XTERRA was my first wetsuit brand and my only wetsuit brand. I am so happy to be able to represent and promote XTERRA, a brand I love, stand behind and highly recommend to fellow athletes. I look forward to an awesome season with them, crushing times and reaching goals! 

Please feel free to use the code below to get 60% off of a new wetsuit!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Chicago Triathlon

Hello Everyone!..Catching up on my blogs, which have all been done for a long time but never published!

Just want to say thank you to all who supported the Girls On The Run charity that I raced for this past weekend, together I beat my goal and raised over 700 dollars! That money will go towards scholarships and running programs to keep young girls in school and running! Whats better?!

Rise and shine 4am Chicago time, 5am our time which was actually lovely! I was in bed the previous night by 9pm their time so I was still on NJ time schedule so it didn't seem so bad. Transition opened at 4:15am. My cousin, Kim let me crash for the weekend and she was 1.5 miles away from the transition and about 3/4 of a mile away from the start of the swim. I walk out the door and there is a small park out front of her house FILLED with rabbits. Bunnies running everywhere it was insane! Cycled over to transition with all my stuff and racked my bike in a decent spot that was easy to find. Racks were all marked too which made everything easy. The sprint race started at 6am, the olympic didn't start until 7:38am so I went back to Kims house to eat and relax for a bit. I then warmed up around the neighborhood and headed over to the swim start. The swim was in Monroe Harbor, we swam along the bulkhead and the water was a nice 70 degrees. I was honestly almost too hot in my wetsuit. My right calf (the one that was previously injured) started to cramp up again for whatever reason but I was able to stretch it out while swimming and had no issues once out of the water. We swam to the up about 1/3 and then did a 180 turn to swim back the rest of the way....Never ending swim. BUT I did pretty well. I wasn't far behind the top 4 women, sitting in 5th place maybe about 15-30 seconds back. The run out of the swim was 450 yards or so and the swim time didnt stop until we hit the mat crossing into transition so that added quite a bit of time to everyones swim. Out of my wetsuit and onto the bike in 1 minute 39 seconds. Could have been a little faster but it was ok. The bike was an out and back out and back. Relatively flat, some rollers but nothing crazy. There were quite a few bumps and holes though that I had to watch out for and I saw a few guys with flats and one with a busted disc wheel. I had no issues, if you payed attention you were fine.  The weird part was they made us stay to the left and pass on the right, in any other big USAT race thats illegal. So I found myself drifting to the right a few times and having to get back over. At one point an official told me to move and I thought I had gotten a penalty as I saw her writing something but lucky for me I did not! Phew! My bike was 1:07:59, way down from last year where I struggled to be under 1:10 in many races. I have found my bike has gotten faster but in the end my bike was still the thing that cost me first place since my run and swim were on par with the top 3 women. Off the bike and onto the run. At this point it was getting warm. The run turned out to be long, Id say about .15 long in both directions. It got to the point where I had to look back to make sure people were still coming and that I hadn't missed the turn around! Then I saw it up ahead and I knew it was way long. I spoke to a few people after the race and they both said the same thing. Unfortunate bc it was hot! I hope they fix it for next year. I managed to pass one woman on the run but the other 3 were a little too far ahead off the bike and although my running was a tiny bit faster than theirs, it wasn't enough to catch them. I placed 4th overall woman, 25th overall and first in my age group 20-29 in the elite division. No pro card this time around but now I know what I need to work on for next year and I expect big things from myself. Overall the race was good, the course was nice and it was well run. Definitely will do it again next year with faster splits and a triathlon coach guiding me.
To celebrate we went out to the street festival that was within walking distance from Kims house. We decided it was a good idea to Sumo Wrestle in the blow up sumo pit with Sumo suits....

Monday I felt my calf bothering me again. I may have masked the pain by taking advil before the race but I wasn't about to quit during the run so I had to deal with it regardless of advil or no advil. But now I am in pain again although it seems to have moved up the calf and to the right. I will be going to see the doctor soon and I am calling it a season. As much as I want to get in a couple more races, I know it is not smart. I need to get myself healed and back on track. Injury is the worst part of the sport but something we have all dealt with. I find the hardest part isn't the injury itself but knowing when to tell yourself enough is enough and I have reached that point this season. I feel I am causing more harm than good and I don't need to be out any longer than I will be because I wasn't smart about it to begin with.

A side note: was awesome. My bike was at the fedex location when I arrived, put it together, raced, disassembled it, dropped it back off at fedex and it arrived back home two days later! You can have it shipped to bike shops to assemble and disassemble for you but I chose to do it myself. You can also have it dropped off at a house and picked up as long as someone is there to sign for it since its value is over $500. A great company, take advantage of it if you are traveling as it will save you some money!

Train Happy.

War at the Shore

Hey everyone! Catching up on my blogs....Almost there
Well never made it to Wisconsin as I pulled my calf muscle at NJ State and was on and off (mostly off) running the next 3 weeks to heal it up and start training again. There was a chance I could go to Age Groups but I wasn't ready to risk the re-injury if it wasn't fully healed yet so I opted out this year and I have to say I think it was a good choice. I hit the track my first week back with a brick workout and knocked it out of the park. A HUGE confidence booster telling me I hadn't lost a lot of fitness if any at all between pool running and a lot more cycling and swimming. I decided War at the Shore would be a good short test/prep race for Chicago. 
Off to War at the Shore, the race with many issues....but dont get me wrong, I still loved it and raced well despite the issues!! Made the best of it. But I will go into detail below of what I am talking about....
Rise and shine 5am Sunday morning. Out the door around 5:15 and down to Pier Village shortly after to sign up for the race since I officially decided on Thursday that I would be doing it. I got everything set up in transition and went out for a short warm up jog. In my wetsuit (to practice transition for Chicago) and down to the race start. Swim went ok, not great, got wacked in the head not once, not twice but THREE times by the same girl who decided she had to swim super close and squeeze her way in between the men right next to me instead of going to the one side while I went to the other. Like  LEECH I tell ya!! ....Anywhoooo

Out of my wetsuit with no issues and onto the bike. Everyone and their mother decides to mount at the mount line of course, so I run by all of them and then jump on. Remember, you don't have to mount at the mount line! If its crowded, run up past it and then get on your bike. 
Pedaling along at about 23-24 MPH in the beginning and through the third intersection with the cop standing there (where we continue straight) he decides to wave his fellow cop buddy through the intersection. Luckily the cop in the car saw me and didn't go. As I passed I was sure to yell "Dude! Are you serious?!" Continue along into Lake Tak..."Hmm this is weird why are we making the right in the middle and not at Ocean Avenue?" Didn't think too much of it and made the right, eventually turning left at the end of the block and then right onto Ocean Ave. On my way back I see people coming out onto Ocean Ave where we should have at Lake Tak. You can not change a USAT certified course in the middle of the race! Regardless of whether its the same distance or not you still cant do it, they should have left it the same the whole time after making the mistake. I continue just doing my thang....After the loop in the neighborhood to turn around I see a guy in a black and white outfit come speeding by me only to realize he slows down once he passes so naturally I go around, about 30s-1 min later there he goes again, I go around AGAIN. 30s-1min later same thing! I then realize him and maybe one other guy I caught a little later on the bike were drafting hardcore off of me. So annoying. They weren't the only ones drafting though. I saw a bunch of people drafting who I know know that they shouldn't be doing it. You can avoid drafting, its not that crowded. Practice good habits, this race doesn't have officials but other races do and they are looking for you, they will find you!...Hide yo kids, hide yo wife.... Off the bike and onto the run. The run is where I had zero issues with other people, the course etc. AH a breath of fresh air! Except I was having issues breathing due to the fact I didn't take my inhaler BUT I still had a really good run considering I was only a week back running. I averaged 6:07 pace which I was super happy with and I felt I could have kept going. 
I actually have to just laugh out loud at this race. What a disaster! But I still had fun and it was still a decent race. Getting out of the swim a little angry made me want to run as fast as I could into transition and get the heck out of there and onto the bike! And on the bike I was trying so hard to drop those two behind me so I probably worked even harder! So hey, it may have worked in my favor. Finishing time was 55:00. 
On to Chicago this weekend. Supposedly a very nice course so looking forward to it! Also get to see and stay with some of my family that I don't see as much as I would like. My cousins house is 1 mile from the start of the race as well so it really cant get much better! Just shipped my bike today through Check them out if you have to ship a bike. Shipping mine 2 day ground to arrive on the 22nd (the day before I arrive). Shipped to a Fedex location where they hold it for 5 days for me to pick up. Cost was $125 bucks round trip. Call them and ask them to guide you through the process, the guys are super nice.

Train Happy,

NJ State Triathlon

Wow I have had these blogs done forever and forgot to publish! Catching up....
Rise and shine! 4:10am on a Sunday morning....My mom and I were out the door just after 4:30. I said to her I hated getting up for swim meets so early in the morning, I used to sleep in my bathing suit the night before, why do I do this to myself?! I guess because I love it so much! Arrived at Mercer County Park at 5:38, a few minutes before transition opened because Im so tired of having to rush rush rush. I headed over to the packet pickup tent and got all of my stuff, had my wristband put on and headed to transition to get a good spot on a bike rack...First of all as the morning started to warm up my skin started to expand a little and that wristband started getting tighter and tighter. I finally had to get a new one because my skin was bulging from around the sides of it! Secondly I had no idea I had signed myself up for the elite wave way back when I registered so when I racked my bike I racked it with my number where its 7 bikes per rack not on the elite rack where its 4 and you have much more room. Lucky enough my numbered bike rack was the one right behind the elite rack so I was in the same area, no big deal. I get everything all set up in transition and head out for a mile warm up run. After I am all ready I head to the start line. Some swim chords to warm up the arms without having to get in the water was what I felt the best way to go. The announcer for the race told us the water was at a very warm 89 degrees. After I am all warmed up, I look around, still not realizing I had signed myself up for the elite wave and everyone else in my age group has a white cap! WHAT THE HECK!? So the green caps (me) started heading into the water, I said I guess Ill go since there are no green caps left for another wave. So in the water and off we went. Then it all clicked.  I must have signed myself up for this heat and not realized it! Duh.
The swim was HOT but surprisingly I was comfortable. The water was dirty, not with garbage but just with dirt. The First Responder wave (which they always do for firefighters, policemen etc) and the elite wave were the same so I had a few manly men breastroking and weaving back and forth in front of me until I was able to fight my way around them. Finally out in more open water and I have this big dude drafting off my left side. I found myself getting angry, every time I took a breath to my right I could feel the water flinging off his hand onto my face. I then realized he's a drifter. He drifts to the right. I cut in the left forcing him right and finally I was free!!! I began closing on those in front of me. All of a sudden I hear a loud clicking under water, something was down there. I swam my butt off to get away from that area. My right calf got a little tight in the water, after all you are sweating in 90 degree water and unable to drink.
Out of the swim and into transition. I get to my spot and the guy next to me is sitting down getting ready pretty much in front of my area. My thoughts were: WHAT THE HECK ARE YOU DOING!? I get around him and get myself together, pull my bike off the rack and run the long run to the road to mount the bike. Id say it was 100-150meter run with the bike to the mount line. On the bike and my legs were ok but not fully there. 2 loops of the same course, a portion of which had a lot of turns. Once I went through it once I felt more comfortable the second time and was able to hammer away even through the turns. I had one girl ahead of me out of the swim and on the bike and had another girl pass me on the bike. I felt 10x better on the second loop, my legs came around and I was feeling really good! I averaged over 22 on the bike which was a big goal of mine even with all the turning. The girls ahead had about a 2 minute lead off the bike.
Back into transition and onto the run in just over 41 seconds. The course is 3 out and backs which may be a little boring but its great because you can see your competition. I felt good on the first out and back, decent on the second and pretty good on the third. I grabbed a bag of ice they were handing out and shoved it down the back of my suit. I then took it out and held it to try and cool my body a little and then I started drinking it to get in as much fluids as I could. At the last turn around both girls still had a decent lead on me, Id say just over 1 minute. I continued with my pace and I could see her way ahead of me still. Once I got to the top of a small incline I could tell she was starting to fade. With each step I got a little closer and with about 4-600 meters to go I was able to close in and pass her. Finished in just over 2:08.

My transitions were good. My first one could have been faster but the dude sitting in front of my bike didnt help the process. Nothing I can do about that, its just another unexpected part of triathlon. Transition #2 was 41 seconds. Very happy with that one. My swim is getting faster but still need to get the time down a bit more. My bike was good but I need to keep getting faster on that as well! The turns in the course were great for me. I am just getting used to my new TT bike and learning how aggressive I can be on it. I have improved over the past year which is very nice to see. So hopefully that will keep moving in the right direction and my run wasn't as fast as it should have been. I was hoping for sub 40 but with the swim being so hot and pulling a calf muscle on the run I guess I did the best I could! I have a few different sophisticated workouts up my sleeve to incorporate into the next couple of weeks so I can make sure I am ready for transitioning from swim to bike and bike to run before I head out to Wisconsin to race Age Group Nationals.

Train Happy

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Race Recap-LB Sprint #2

Hello Everyone!

Race Recap! Lets reverse to this past week first... A sudden sickness fell over me on Wednesday, little sore throat but nothing of great concern but I took the day to just relax and not push myself so maybe I could avoid a full blown sinus issue and by Thursday it was BAM holy sinuses. Got tons of off the shelf crap and chamomile tea to knock it out of me before this race. Friday I took off again, still trying to knock it out of me since I was feeling a tiny bit better but still not great. Saturday was a track day, the race in long branch wasn't a big one so I headed to the track for a workout since I was finally able to breathe out of my nose again! About 6 miles at the track, warm up, workout, cool down. Felt decent, had trouble breathing and with the humidity it made it even more difficult but as long as it doesn't go to my chest I do what I can, I usually cut back but still try and get in some workouts except for the worst of days when I really just need to give my body a break. Sunday morning I woke up, feeling a tiny bit better but still no where near 100%. I headed down to the race very late and had to throw on my wetsuit and head to the start with 4 minutes to go time! Oops. Who needs a warm up?! GO! We were off. Rounded the first buoy feeling great just chilling. Another girl and I came out of the water neck and neck, got to transition, I had my wetsuit half off already and I was able to pop it off my legs super fast. Out of transition in 50 seconds, and onto the bike. Anything under a minute with a wetsuit Im happy with! On the bike, my legs hurt. The workout yesterday definitely affected my race today as I was aiming to be well above 22mph but it just wasn't happening especially with not being 100%. Overall the bike was decent, it was the first race on my new bike, not having many miles on it yet its working new muscle groups Im not sure I even knew I had! My legs just weren't there on the bike today. But thats ok, Im not alarmed, I need to get used to my new bike and a completely new position. Most exciting part of the race? Id say the deer that jumped in front of me on ocean avenue near deal casino!…Going towards the ocean!…It was hot so maybe he wanted to take a dunk and cool off…Anyway, off the bike, through transition in 34 seconds and onto the run. Again not as fast as I would have liked but decent under the conditions. It was hot out there on the run. I usually run with a certain breathing cadence, breathing out on a certain foot strike but today I was pretty much just gasping for air in between spitting (gross I know. Triathlons aren't always pretty). Overall I would call it a decent race. Nothing great, nothing terrible. Somewhere in the middle. I always try and look at the things that went well. My transitions were good, my wetsuit came off with zero issues and super fast!  My mount and dismount were spot on and I had a decent swim. I swam in my wetsuit today for two reasons, one because I didn't warm up and two because I need the practice under race stress for future races. The next two days are kept relatively easy to try and get myself 100% before this weekend.

A lot of dudes got CHICKED today. Congrats to Amanda and Janet!
Congratulations to everyone who raced, you all did great!!!

Train Happy.

The New Blog!

Hey Everyone!

I used to keep another blog but I have recently decided to start Life Through Numbers. Aside from my usual race recaps and other news in my life I will be posting some tips and interesting articles for everyone to read!

Train Happy!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Life Through Numbers

Hello Everyone.

I decided to create a new blog, Life Through Numbers. I was speaking with my coach, Gerard Pearlberg, the other day and we were discussing workouts while I was inside on the bike due to storms in the area. I asked if I could give him a call when I was done, he said "how about 6:30?" I said "Ill be done at 6:33." He said "6:33, not that you're counting!" And thats when I said "I live my life through numbers."

How true it is that us athletes live our lives in the form of numbers. Starting from when we wake up to the chime of the alarm clock to the time we head back to bed that night. Swimming, Cycling and Running are all full of numbers. Triathlon is full of numbers, from the one you wear on your chip, to your calf, to your finishing time. My life has become numbers. Tons of numbers. I live my life through numbers.