Sunday, May 23, 2010

The missing miles.

Yesterday I ran the Brooklyn Half Marathon. 13.1 miles. I consider them the missing miles from my meaningful but failed attempt at the Wildflower Half Ironman. 21 days later but I did them. And in typical Kim fashion, I did not prepare for them adequately. Or at all. I ran once between Wildflower and yesterday. It has been crazy busy at work and well, despite my pride over the whole Wildflower weekend, my workout ego has taken a bruising and I have let myself go. I've been off the workout wagon and unmotivated to get out there and fix that. So the fact that I actually got up at 5am and took the Q train to Brooklyn yesterday is pretty tremendous.

I can't tell you how many times over the past week I thought about ditching the race. "I haven't trained." "I'm too busy to pick up the race packet." "I need to sleep more than I need to run." "It will be one more race to prove how slow I am these days and I will be disappointed." But I kept thinking about the need to "fail better." Just finishing would be a much better "fail" than not doing it at all. So I did it.

And slow it was. I took the run 4 minutes/walk 1 minute approach and the breakdown into 5 minute chunks made the whole thing more palatable somehow. The humidity was not helpful and the two loops of Prospect Park were steamy indeed. It was nice to see my co-worker Sam on the course (twice) and very nice to have the water stations stacked to the brim with cups at every turn! I think I only skipped two and did a decent job of adjusting walk breaks to coincide with fluid stations. I took 2 gus and a few sport beans and ditched the fuel belt for this one. Luckily that worked for this race.

The last, straight, flat stretch on Ocean Parkway was fine but just a tad longer than I needed it to be. I just wanted to get to the boardwalk, and when I did I couldn't have been more relieved. I didn't have any extra kick in me for a big finish and somehow even managed to miss a few folks calling my name! The finish was uneventful and after half a bagel and a banana, an extremely efficient bag pick up (there weren't that many left in my corral ;) and a quick shirt change, I headed to the beach.

I was hurting and I remembered regretting that I hadn't taken a dunk in Lake San Antonio after the ride at Wildflower. So I headed down to the ocean for a little stroll. It was cold and served as a perfect post-race ice bath! A relaxing visit to the post-race festival followed. There were cool sand castle building experts, kids games and a fun band (April Smith and the Great Picture Show.)

As I was on my way down Stilwell headed to the subway home, a few Wildflower peeps spotted me and I ended up hanging with them at a beach bar for a bit longer. Friends, fun and food. All good things. I was home before 1pm and will admit to crashing hard. Old man Sam and I napped away the afternoon. And today, I hurt. My quads are killing me and I've been icing and ibuprofening all day.

But 70.3 was done in the month of May - 1.2 in Lake San Antonio, 56 in the hills of Bradley, California and 13.1 on the roads of Brooklyn.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Wildflower 2010...setting up camp

I might need to buy this print from the Keep Calm Gallery Says it all, don't you think? Well I did a horrible job of recounting race weekend last year so I thought I'd try to do a better job this year.

I've found that people are afraid to ask me about the race - they're scared I'll break down and cry (shocking, I know) or be too embarrassed to talk about it. But I'm not. I'm proud of the weekend and all that I experienced. So here goes:

This year I took advantage of an airline credit I earned by volunteering and booked a flight to SF a day earlier than the group. My co-worker Karen was my coordinator and had to travel out early to set up the campsite for the team. I offered to help. Well, really I used that as an excuse to travel on Thursday so as not to arrive Friday afternoon and feel the panicked rush of traveling for 8 hours, setting up camp, retrieving my bike and getting up the next morning at the crack of dawn to attempt 70.3 hilly miles. I was very glad I did.

Karen and I had a lovely drive down to Lake San Antonio in the rental Mercedes SUV (thanks free upgrade) with stops to eat yummy Mexican food, load up on supplies and drink some Starbucks on the cheap (compared to NYC!) The weather was stunning and continued to be so for the entire weekend. Sunny, clear and not the least bit hot. In fact, our first night and day might even be considered a little bit cold! Gloves were in order as the night went on and there is at least one picture of me floating around in which I look like a giant blue marshmallow because I have so many layers on under my sweatshirt.

First order of business - pick a campsite for 30+ tents. This did not prove to be an easy task. Many TNT chapters had already arrived and I was disappointed to see that last year's NYC Chapter spot was already taken. With not a flat inch to be found we staked out a lovely spot near the TNT Pasta Party Tent. Amenities: 2 fire pits w/grills, 3 picnic benches (until another chapter stole one,) nearby bathrooms and shower truck and ample parking. The SF Chapter nearly kicked us out but finders/keepers ruled. We set to work bringing the tents from the tent box and laying out Team NYC's tent village. We had 21 tents to set up and only a few hours of daylight left. Imagine two city girls trying to set up that many tents. Especially considering most of the tents were missing one part or another. Karen was impressed by my knowledge of the term "fly" and kindly put up with my bossy tent assembly guidance. Not more than 7 0r 8 tents in our hands were frozen and the sky was dark. We set up my solo tent and packed it in for the night. The team was expected around 3:30 or 4pm on Friday so we were safe to finish up the next morning. As long as we woke up early enough to fend off earlier arriving chapters and defend our space we were good to go. Day 1 of Wildflower - quiet, cool, beautiful.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Wildflower 2010

May 1, 2010 - Race Report Part 1

"I may not be a finisher, but I'm definitely a winner." I've been repeating that mantra since about 3:15pm Pacific time on Saturday, May 1. For the bicycle gods were not kind to me you see. Not one, but two flat tires foiled my attempt to finish the Long Course at Wildflower this year. Between myself and Mike the SAG guy the flats got fixed and I completed all 56 miles of the bike course, but I only managed to get through 57.3 miles of the 70.3 I was aiming for overall. As with most races there were time cutoffs - and I missed the one that would have allowed me to start the run course and finish those last 13.1 miles on my feet.

Disappointed? You bet. Horribly disappointed and riddled by "What if?"s Friends and supporters keep telling me not to beat myself up. I was fairly hysterical as I sped down the final hill on Charlie with the knowledge that I would not be able to continue once I hit the transition area. A little white car had come up beside me somewhere between miles 50 and 53 out of 56 (I seem to have blocked exactly when) and the men inside informed me that the run course had closed. "I can't do the run?" I asked, still pedaling. "I'm afraid not," they said. "You mean I can't run?" I asked again. "No, we're sorry," they said. "We can take you in or you can finish the bike course, just be aware that the roads are open to traffic." A brief hesitation and then I continued on.

In the last few miles I passed cars and lingering spectators and even a portion of the run course as the rest of the field finished up the race. And as I got to the chute heading into transition, I knew I would need to let go of 2010 and set my sights on Wildflower 2011. The timing mats had already been removed and if you look at the official results, I only have a swim time (and a decent one at that.) As my dear co-worker Karen says, I successfully completed the Wildflower Biathlon.

But here's the part that makes me a winner - that night at the 2nd Inspiration Dinner for the 400+ Team In Training participants from across the country participating in the Wildflower Triathlon that weekend, I was announced as the 9th highest fundraiser. The NYC Chapter had 3 of the top ten fundraisers in the country for Wildflower and I was one of them. That is what truly counts. That is what means more than the shiny medal I didn't get this year. That is what means more than another embarrassing finish line photo that didn't get taken. Months of training and bothering all of you may not have ended the way I had hoped, but I couldn't ask for anything more wonderful than the tremendous support I have received and the success I have had where it matters the most.

My initial goal was to be able to say I had raised $25,000 over 3 seasons. That milestone was blown out of the water. 128% of my fundraising goal this season alone. Nearly $9,000 this season and nearly $27,000 overall. I could not be more humbled or more grateful.

So thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I can't say it enough. Thank you for your donations, thank you for your kind words, thank you for your faith in me and thank you for defining "team" in an astonishing way. Donors, teammates, coaches, bike shops, co-workers and friends made up the best Team a girl could hope for. I hope you won't mind if I ask for your support again next year :) Wildflower Long Course 2011 - I'm coming for you.

Stay tuned for a more complete recounting of what turned out to be an amazing weekend.

I did a little googling for some inspirational quotes -

Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.

And I can't believe I'm going to quote a sports figure but:

Michael Jordan:
If it turns out that my best wasn't good enough, at least I won't look back and say that I was afraid to try; failure makes me work even harder.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

99 miles this week

If you hadn't noticed my new widget on the left, check it out! Dailymile is like facebook for athletes (and I use the term "athlete" loosely.) It's been a great way for me to track my workouts and, in combination with my new Garmin, a great way to watch my progress. And this week Dailymile tells me I covered 99 miles in the pool and on the roads!

That's insane! It's like going to Philadelphia from NYC!

43 miles of that happened today on a lovely bike ride to Nyack, NY and back. Destination, the cyclist's pit stop, The Runcible Spoon.

An 8am start at the GW bridge for me, one of my TNT coaches and a few of my teammates led to some lovely mileage in NY and NJ. Despite a few wrong turns we all made it to the pictured cafe, had a few baked goods and then headed home. The route along 9W is packed with cyclists on the weekend and the fantastic weather made for a beautiful ride.

The hills were definitely challenging but the ride up the hill at the state line seemed much less difficult than I remembered it being from last year! Progress!

Worst part of the ride? On the way to the Boat Basin for a brunch with teammates, I took a tumble on Riverside Drive. I hate riding in traffic and a slow moving car on a downhill coupled with me riding too close behind a teammate led to me bouncing between my teammate's bike and a car and crashing to the street. Scraped knee, torn tights and bent handlebars notwithstanding, I'm totally fine. The cars behind me were far enough back to stop and not run me over. The car I hit stopped to make sure I was okay and I got right back in the saddle to finish the journey to a sunny table with friends and a turkey cheeseburger.

I'm a klutz, but a really lucky klutz.

On the fundraising front we're super close to the uber-goal of $25,000. Spread the word! Donate what you can!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Pay It Forward

When I started training for my first triathlon in 2008, I didn't have a bike. I was unemployed and the thought of buying a bike was daunting. Plus, what if I hated biking?

In walks my pal Jason, who listened to my dilemma and said, "I have a bike you can use." And he gave me a bike. Flat out gave it to me to use for my training. Problem solved. Chuck the mountain bike served me well. He never got a flat and he never complained. Which isn't to say he was the perfect choice for a very hilly triathlon. But Chuck was free and available and I rolled into the cycle finish shoot grateful to have such wonderful friends.

When I signed up to do the Half Ironman, I knew that Chuck couldn't do it with me. Twice the hills would be too hard on Chuck. So I saved my pennies (pulled out my credit card) and with the help of a very patient coach, purchased Charlie, the road bike.

Poor Chuck watched as I headed out for rides on Charlie and gloated a little as I fixed two flats on the new bike. But there wasn't really room for both in my studio apartment. So, with the blessing of Jason, Chuck has found a new home.

The bike that made my first TNT Triathlon journey possible is now in the hands of Chantelle. I met Chantelle while she was training for the Marine Corps Marathon with TNT last fall. She's lovely and energetic and passionate and a part of my extended TNT family. And now Chuck has been re-gifted to her.

Pay it forward.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Cycle gear :)

One of my cycle team members took this pic of me at the first team ride in NJ. Snow, rain, we got it all :)

7 weeks and icky weather

7 weeks from today it will be over. I will have completed 70.3 miles. I gotta admit, I'm a little terrified. I've kicked up my training over the past two weeks and am pretty proud of that (it's about time.) But the next few weeks are super busy and it's gonna be a challenge to keep at it - this week's training plan calls for a 3-4 hour (50-60 mile) bike ride! Yikes!

Speaking of bike's was a doozy. The rain the weathermen have been promising arrived and was pretty relentless. But I'm crazy and couldn't deal with setting up the trainer. kept promising a dry spell in the afternoon and I foolishly believed them. They lied.

But I did it anyway. The good news is that it wasn't cold. The bad news is that it was wet. Really wet. But it wasn't crowded at least. In fact I only saw 2 other cyclists as foolish as me. And one of them was smart enough to have a bike with a back fender. Because when you ride in the rain, everything you ride through spits up off your back tire and onto you and your bike. I don't even want to think about what all of the gunk was that ended up on Charlie and me. I just know that it took me twenty minutes to clean everything when I got home and I had to strip in the tub to avoid the dirt and gunk ending up all over the floor. Gross.

The best part about biking in the rain? Watching all of the runners. Tons of runners. All different types of runners. There was barefoot runner with his Vibrams in his hands. There was "I will not move my hands up from my sides" man who ran keeping his arms down at his sides the whole time. There was windmill girl - hands and feet akimbo with every step. There was "come with me" man who's right arm waved in such a way that he looked like he was beckoning you to follow him. There was shuffle man who did not fully lift either foot and sounded like he was doing a soft shoe as he moved along. And there were the folks running in sweats. Cotton sweats. In the rain. Ow.

The amazing part is that we were all out there getting it done. As my marathon coaches always said, "You never know what the weather is going to be on race day." I'm pretty certain it rains in triathlon world sometimes too. I'll be ready for it if it does.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


No, I haven't turned into a soccer fan, but with your help I reached part one of this season's fundraising goal. That's right, as of today I have raised $4900 - the fundraising minimum for the Wildflower Triathlon this season.

But that doesn't mean I'm going to rest on my laurels and stop - oh, no. Part two of my fundraising goal is to hit the $25,000 mark - not for this season alone, but for all three of my seasons with TNT combined. That's right, $25,000 total. And we're only $2082 away.

I'll pretty much do anything to get donations right now. Proof? Last week I recorded the intro to Chris Russell's Run Run Live podcast -- and he used it! Check it out here! I included a plug for my donation site and this blog. I guess now I have to post a little more frequently :)

Thanks to everyone for their continued support. $25,000 and 70.3 miles - we can do this!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


I'll believe it when I see it but that's what they're saying is heading our way. One more thing making it harder for me to get out there and run. The treadmill is mocking me and I'm starting to panic just a tad about 70.3 in May. Swimming is going well. Biking is, well, non-existent except for some spin classes and I've hit a low point in terms of running speed. The Gridiron 4 miler in Central Park this past Sunday was my slowest race - ever.

So I for one am hoping for clear skies and less pre
cipitation so that I can get out there and run!

p.s. Did I mention my new bike - my first road bike - arrived? It's at the local bike shop being put together as we speak. Can't wait to get on it!!!!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Chilly Central Park this morning

There was a lot going on this morning. I headed up to 77th Street for an 8:20 start. Checked in with my winter season Miami team (as a coordinator) and handed off some info before walking over to the park with my spring season half ironman team (as a participant!) and doing one hour and 16 minutes. The plan from the coaches was 3x up Harlem Hill and then sprint repeats across the 102nd Street transverse for about 20 minutes. I was sloooow and my breathing is not right yet, but I did it. 1 hour and 16 minutes and 7.02 miles. Back to 77th to check in with Miami one more time and see some Fall Season alum and then down to 63rd for a recruitment meeting! Whew. Now I'm off for a swim since I missed my swim yesterday. If only Rock of Ages didn't pay me so much to stand around for 3 hours. ;)

Wish me luck!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

The New year.

Seems I wrote a post with this title last year :)
But it's a new year once again and I've got to getting on the training train fast! Official TNT training started before Thanksgiving, but I've admittedly been slacking and that has got to stop! So I'm trying hard to stick to the schedule and it was going okay, until this morning.

I had signed up to run the Fred Lebow 5 miler. And I overslept. Didn't hear the alarm at all. Woke up when the dog started barking in his sleep.

But I'm tracking my activity on in an effort to feel more accountable. Wish me luck!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Tuesday, December 8th, starting at 8:30pm, join Bret & Kim at The Mean Fiddler on 47th Street and help in the fight against blood cancers. A $10 donation at the door gets you drink specials, live entertainment beginning at 10pm and one chance at your choice of the door prizes below. Can't make it but want to be eligible for one (or more!) of the prizes? Make a donation of $5 or more to
Kim's Fundraising Page ( by noon Tuesday and leave a comment letting us know what prize(s) you're interested in - we'll enter you for a chance to win! Winners not present will be notified on Wednesday, December 9th.

1. $800 flight credit on Continental Airlines for 2010
(some restrictions apply)

2. 1 hour massage at Longevity + Health ($110 value)

3. 1 1/2 hour Acupuncture Support for Running Buddies
acupuncture and tui na massage ($300 value)

4. A STEADY RAIN windowcard autographed
by Hugh Jackman & Daniel Craig and a SHREK windowcard
autographed by the company (pricesless)

5. A 2010 personal forecast from Sharita's Star Secrets
($200 value)

6. A stunning print from David E. Liddell of Liddell Photography

7. 2 tickets to WEST SIDE STORY at selected performances
in January ($240 value)

8. A Nike+ Sportband and Brand New Official Human Race
T-shirt and limited edition drawstring bag ($100 value)

One chance for every $5! A bonus chance for every $20!

Thanks for your support! We hope to see you there.

Visit for more information about The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and their mission to cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease and myeloma and to improve the quality of life for patients and their families.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Bret & Kim's Holiday Fundraiser December 8th!

Are you ready to join us on December 8th? I hope so! Bret Shuford and I decided to throw a fundraiser to support The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Bret is training with LLS's Team In Training for the first time and aiming to cross the finish line in at the Walt Disney World Marathon in January. I just started my third season with TNT and am aiming for the Wildflower Half Ironman Triathlon in May. We're both doing this to raise awareness and funds in the fight against blood cancers.

We hope you can make it!

When: Tuesday December 8, 2009 8:30pm-midnight
Where: The Mean Fiddler - 266 West 47th Street
What: $10 donation at the door gets you:

drink specials
live entertainment
door prizes including:

$800 flight credit on Continental Airlines for 2010
(some restrictions apply)
1 hour massage at Longevity + Health ($110 value)
1 1/2 hour Acupuncture Support for Running Buddies
acupuncture and tui na massage ($300 value)
A STEADY RAIN windowcard autographed
by Hugh Jackman & Daniel Craig
SHREK windowcard autographed by the company
A stunning print from David E. Liddell of Liddell Photography
2 tickets to WEST SIDE STORY in January
A Nike+ Sportband and Brand New Official Human Race T-shirt

additional chances for door prizes available for $5 each or 5 for $20 - choose which prize you want to win!
Performances begin at 10pm. Currently scheduled to appear:

MC Lara Yaz first performed stand-up comedy when she was 13 years old in her middle school cafeteria for a talent show. Ten years later she moved to New York and decided to try it for reals. Since then she has been featured in the comedy group 'Lack of Etiquette' with Tim Warner and Ed Murray and wrote the popular music blog for under the name April O'Neil. Spring Street Sessions' compilation cd of featured music which was released in 2006 also includes several tracks of her live performances at Sly Bar. Most recently Lara appeared on Comedy Central's Open-Mic Fight New York. She continues to perform at comedy clubs around the city.

Becca Ayers Broadway: South Pacific (original revival cast); Les Miserables (original revival cast); Avenue Q. Off-Broadway: Sarah Plain and Tall. Film: Clear Blue Tuesday (a movie musical with characters, songs and scenes created by the cast.) Itunes: brainypants with band: baby goes bang, Becca Ayers; live at the Laurie Beechman


Kay Trinidad

and Tituss Burgess

And starting at 11pm - DJ Theocracy - Theo Stockman from HAIR


Introductory astrology and numerology readings from Sharita's Star Secrets. Discover the connection between your sun sign, karmic path, and your current place in time for only $15 bucks to help support our cause. Check out

Special thanks to Mike at The Mean Fiddler for generously donating the space! Tip your bartender :)

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Save the Date!

So Bret and I are having a fundraiser on Tuesday, December 8th! Bret is training for the Walt Disney World Marathon in January and very shortly I will begin my training for the Wildflower Half Ironman in May. We each have separate fundraising goals, but we're teaming together to hold one whopper of an event! Mark your calendars! Details coming soon!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Coming soon - Kim Is At It Again!

Alright everyone, there's a new obejctive and I'm trying new things. I can't wait to get started. A half ironman, a $25,000 goal and a new job. Get ready for more of the craziness that is Kim!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

kim on a bike

I'm still pasty white so this must have been early in the bike portion!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


raceOlympic Course
hometownNew York, NY
time04:09:15 at Finish Line
Swim36:2539:05 min/mi
Bike02:12:0511.29 mi/hr
Run01:09:2811:11 min/mi


I did it!  I'm still recovering and unpacking and procrastinating doing the laundry, so give me a few days to gather my thoughts.  It was an amazing weekend that finished off with another surprise which I will fill you in about soon.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

8 hours....

....until my flight for San Francisco leaves.  I have packed - although I am not confident that I have packed the right things.  My obsession with the weather forecast continues and I just can't decide if I I've packed warm enough/cool enough/enough enough clothing.  I am just befuddled by the whole camping thing!  Wish me luck!

can you tell I'm obsessed with the weather forecast?

Sunday, May 3
High: 64 °F RealFeel®: 63 °F
Cool with times of sun and clouds

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

accuweather forecast - fingers crossed!

Sunday, May 3
High: 63 °F RealFeel®: 58 °F
Cool with times of sun and clouds

Sunday, April 26, 2009

the kindness of strangers

Today I reached a new goal - $6000!  
Thanks to many friends and, just today, a stranger - we broke the $6000 mark.  And oh yeah, one week from right now I'll be heading into my tent after completing my first triathlon.  A little hard to believe, but I can't wait!

My Fundraising Total

Raised: $6,023.00 | Goal: $4,900.00
122 %

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Chuck's on a truck

I leave on Friday and race day is one week from tomorrow!  Woo hoo!
Last night I took my bike, now known as "Chuck", on the subway for the first time.  We did not enjoy that part.  Once far enough uptown we walked across Central Park to get to a bike shop on 87th St. and 2nd Ave.  Waiting for us was a giant moving truck.  That's right, Chuck got loaded onto a truck and is now heading cross country to Monterey where we will be reunited on Friday afternoon.


That is not Chuck being loaded, he went on second and I didn't think of taking a photo until much later.

Th truck driver very carefully wrapped packing blankets around all 45 bikes.  He had no clue why they were going to California and was mostly concerned about getting a ticket.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

send off!!!

One step closer.....!!!!!!  Tonight was our team send off event.  All 43 of us got together and met with TNT staffers Tyler and Robert and Coach Jay to go over the details of our trip.  We got our travel info and went over the weekend itinerary.  We're the only TNT team coming from the east coast so it will be us and a couple hundred west coast TNTers in our designated campsite, which - get this - is a 15 to 20 minute walk from the race start/finish!    Downhill, they said, which sounded good until I realized that getting back to camp after finishing my race will be UPHILL!! Do they not realize that I might not be able to walk?!  Actually, I'm still feeling foolishly confident.  Let's see how I feel by the weekend!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

two weeks from now... should be over!  I will have completed (promise!) my first triathlon.  I really can't believe it.  But I feel good.  I feel ready.  And now I can't wait!!!

I'd still like to hit that $6000 mark in my fundraising, so spread the word!  I am deeply humbled by and grateful for everyone's generosity.

(On a side note - I'm amazed at all of the wonderful comments on my quilt post!)

Friday, April 17, 2009

a brief departure to enter the quilt blog world

Okay, so excuse the brief departure from my usual training/fundraising blogging....but since this is the only blog I have, I wanted to join Park City Girls Quilt Festival - Spring 2009 and share a quilt that I made a few years ago.  It now belongs to the lovely Miranda Kennedy and family, but it was an unexpected design that I love.  I had purchased some Aunt Grace fabrics on  a trip to Denver that I had no idea what I was going to do with.  A bit later I took a class at the City Quilter in NYC which used a quilt as you go pattern.  I was in love!  Here is the end result:

34 minutes

That's how long it took me to swim a mile on Monday night at Asphalt Green pool with the team.  Woo hoo!

And then there's the time at Wednesday's Group Training session when I heard someone say that last year it got into the 90's at Wildflower temperature wise.  Uh oh.....

Saturday, April 11, 2009

chuck and the rainy brick or... I like to call it - Bike-Run-ICK!  Today was a wet one!  The workout for this morning was:

10 min run warmup
pushups to exhaustion (to simulate swimming, yeah right)
1 hour bike
1 hour run (or 6 miles)

It was dreary when we started and by the time we finished, it was downright miserable.  Wet, wet, wet.  But I did it!   

Three weeks from tomorrow it's race time!!!!  So I figured I'd better do this:
       I sharpied my name in my wetsuit!

And did I mention I reached (and exceeded!) my fundraising minimum of $4900 this week?  I couldn't be more grateful.  $6000 anyone?  Spread the word!

Oh, and "chuck?"  That's what I named my bike.  Don't ask me why.  I just thought my lovely blue bike (thank you, Jason) was a "chuck."

Sunday, April 5, 2009

4 weeks from today!

I will be competing in a triathlon!! Yikes!  
Actually, I feel pretty good about it.  Yesterday's bike workout was basically a hill workout. Wildflower is notorious for being hilly.  6 Harlem Hills was definitely a smart move for the workout.  Total mileage was probably about 25.  Hmmm, kinda like race mileage!

A quick (or not so quick, depending on how you look at my time) 4-mile race in Central Park today and now I'm off to see a show!  Sounds like a perfect day.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

wetsuits are hot

Really, really hot.  And I don't mean just when you are out of the water.  (And I really don't mean "hot" in the sense that they are a giant, full-body Spanx.)  They are hot when you are IN the water.  But, on the other hand, they are really, really buoyant.  You can pretty much float upright without doing anything.  Neat.

Here are two pictures of my wetsuit.  And yes, that is my chest in a wetsuit. :)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

run 5 swim1

or "take that, charlie horse"

Tonight was "swim .75 miles" night at swim GTS.  And after turning over a new leaf today, I decided to go straight from my temp job at BC/EFA up to Riverbank State Park and run on the cushy track before the group swim.  It took me a few minutes to convince the front desk guy to let me stash my stuff in a locker an hour early, but I prevailed and hit the track.  I don't typically like running on a track - it's boring! - but I have to admit that the soft surface makes it feel a heck of a lot easier.  

I plugged in my headphones and re-visited an old running playlist on my iPod.  I almost never run with music these days.  The coaches prohibit it at GTS.  But listening to my "running" playlist I definitely had some flashbacks to running in San Francisco more than 2 years ago.  Nothing like a little OK Go to get you moving.  

There was a track club of some sort training tonight and let's just say I was seriously lapped....several times.  Those guys were fast!  I got in a decent 5 miles before heading in for the swim.

Tonight's challenge was to swim a continuous .75 miles.  And when I finished, I kept going...until I had swum a full mile!  Woo hoo!  And I did it in under 40 minutes despite a wicked charlie horse that stopped me cold for a second and had me kicking with only one leg for a few lengths.  (And despite constant notes from the coaches that I need to keep the fingers of my right hand closed - I just can't seem to do it!)  I am happy to report that I have now exceeded all of my race distances.  I have swum more than the 1.5K swim, biked more than the 40K bike and run more than the 5k run.  Now I just have to put it all together.  Only 5 1/2 more weeks to go!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

six weeks and counting

Well, my race is 6 weeks from tomorrow.  And I feel pretty good.  My workouts this week were a little erratic due to 3 gigs in the same week, but I'm not freaking about it.  I got in an unexpected advanced swim workout on Monday and learned all about the wetsuit.  Wetsuit pickup is Thursday!  I must say I'm not exactly looking forward to squeezing into a rubber suit.  And at some point they make us swim in them in the pool.  Fun, fun, fun!

Today was another bike GTS, although not nearly as long as last week.  For the second day of spring it's still pretty cold for a bike ride.  But I bundled up and headed up to meet the group at Riverside Park.  A few instructions and we headed off to Central Park.  Ultimately I did 2 lower loops, 2 upper loops and two full loops.  An hour and a half and home.  I am really, really, really going to try to get in a run tonight after I get home.  Tomorrow is the Colon Cancer Challenge but I'm only volunteering.   If you're running look for me to be your chip clipper!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

i'm pretty sure i just biked more than four hours...

* photo courtesy of RoBoNC on

Okay - things I learned today:

1. When they say the bike workout is an hour and a half, they are LYING.  The "workout" may be 1.5 hours, but by the time you add in travel time it's more like 4HOURS!!!

2. There are literally hundreds of bikers out training on a day like today. 

3. Our coaches are magicians of some sort.  They are able to re-appear at any point even if you never see them pass you.

3.  Seeing roadkill is inevitable.

4.  Your cell phone can freeze.

I left my house at 6:55 am and headed up to Riverside Park at 72nd street.  There were 2 options for GTS today - a beginner workout in Central Park or an intermediate workout across the GWB into NJ. I wasn't sure which one I was going to do - I felt better than the beginner description but a little unsure of the GWB option.  I checked with coach Jay and coach Mike and they pretty much said "go for it."  So I did.  I met up with the intermediate group at Riverside Drive and 72nd and by 7:30 we were off.  (total non-biking/wait time: 10 min)

By 8:05 or so we were at the entrance to the GWB.  A quick 2 min. instruction stop and we were off.  I had run the bridge to NJ last year and the bike was definitely easier.  Except for the hairpin turns when you pray that no one is heading at you from the other direction.  

Another 2 minute instruction break and we headed onto Route 9W.  We were heading for the New Jersey/New York state line.  Hmm....that sounds far.  It was.

I managed to stay apace with a few fellow teammates.  At one point a coach road up alongside me from behind to check in.  He then sprinted on ahead to the next group.  I swear twenty minutes late he came up from behind AGAIN to let me know we were almost there.  I never saw him head back the other way after the first pass!

Now, even though I had told the gig am working on that I wasn't available until 12 today when they hired me (so I wouldn't miss this session), I had planned on getting back to midtown by 11am.  As I came upon the state line around 9:15am I thought perhaps I should turn around and head back.  But as I slowed near the coaches, who were magically waiting at the state line, they yelled out "Easy ride down the hill and stay on the saddle back up."  I felt guilty and just kept going.  Down the hill.  The very long hill.  Too late to change my mind now!

So a short water stop at the bottom of the hill and it was time to climb back up.  I swear I could have run up the hill faster.  It was endless.  Another 5 minute re-group at the state line and it was time to head home.  All the way home...

As long as it seemed to take to get from the bridge to the state line, it seemed ten times longer heading back to the bridge. Road kill seen along the way?  A poor deer and a sad looking raccoon.  And one of the coaches magically appeared at the turn off before the bridge.  Never saw her pass.  How do they do that?   I had a brief stop to pick up the water bottle I dropped while trying to drink and ride and didn't bother to stop again before heading back over the bridge.  

The scariest part was the ramp back down to the Manhattan side.  It is very narrow and there were large groups of bikers heading west as I was heading east.  I swear at one point I was holding on to the bridge railing for dear life while trying not to crash into oncoming bikers or fall over onto the ground completely.  Yikes!

At this point I'm pretty sure I'm not going to make my 11am arrival time at rehearsal but am too cold to stop and pull out my phone.  I've felt it buzz a few times but it's not worth the time waste at this point to pull it out.  I make my way over to the Hudson River path and start the fairly flat journey back downtown.

I realize it is actually 11am when I hit the short but steep hill that leads up into the esplanade at Riverside park.  I figure now is as good a time as any to try to send word that I'm not dead, just slow.  I pull out my Blackberry to see at least one message from rehearsal.  Funny, I can't seem to open it.  Okay, I'll call instead of text.  Funny, it won't let me into the address book.  Funny, it won't let me do anything!  Screw it...just get back on the bike and keep moving towards midtown. (Later at rehearsal it will require 4 battery removals/re-starts to get my phone functioning again.  I'm pretty sure it literally froze.)

I get held up for a brief moment by all the cars heading to drop people off for their cruise ships at the piers in the 50's but by 11:30 I'm finally at my final destination - 45th and 6th.  11:30.  Hmmm.  6:55.  Yowza!  That's more than 4 and a half hours!  And I figure non-saddle time was about 20-25 minutes.  Okay, I'm pretty sure I can handle the ride portion of the triathlon.  I'm going to go MapMyRide right now, but I'm quite certain that was more than 40k! Yay me!

And oh, yeah.....ouch.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

my first brick

Today I did my first "brick."  "What's a brick?" you ask?  Well, it's the workout that prepares you for the actual triathlon - the part where you have to get off your bike after pedaling for quite some time and then run.  (You can also do a swim/bike brick to practice that transition.)   
"Why do they call it a brick?" you inquire further - well.....some people claim that it's because your feet feel like bricks after you get off the bike and try to run.  They might be a little right.  

It's definitely a weird feeling to switch gears after biking.  Today I biked from Riverside park over to Central Park and did one big loop (6miles) and 1 small loop (1.7 miles) and then back to Riverside and 72nd.  We had set ourselves up in a mock transition area and returned to our spots to switch to a 20-30 minute run.  I de-helmeted and grabbed some water and started off on a 10 minute out-and-back.  Of course our route was a hillier section than just along the river.  Since the Wildflower course is notoriously hilly, I better get used to it now.  Two of those and a few extra loops of the small track and we were done.  

So how did it go?  I feel good.  I'm not fast and I definitely need to get my running legs back in shape, but I feel good.  There will be many more bricks over the next 8 weeks.  Many, many more.....

My next challenge? - I'm gonna switch it up and go to the Int./Adv. swim GTS this week.  Wish me luck!

Friday, March 6, 2009

warm enough to forget your hat and not freeze

That's right, it's getting warmer!  Now let's just hope it lasts.  Halfway to the gym tonight I realized that I forgot a hat.  I'm usually too lazy to dry my hair after swimming and just slap a hat on for the walk home.  Tonight, I forgot the hat.  And tonight, it didn't matter!  
And even better than that?  I swam for 45 minutes straight - 15 minutes longer than I intended. Woo hoo!

And in other news -

My pal Maggie is having to switch events.  She was going to be doing the Wildflower 1/2 Ironman but is now going to do the NYC Triathlon.  I'm bummed that we won't be traveling together, but happy that she gets to swim in the Hudson ;)

Eight weeks from today I fly to Monterey!

And my college buddy Katja in Virgina has just signed up with TNT to train for a half marathon!!! I am so excited and proud.  Go Katja!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

3/4 of the way there

On the swim that is.  The official distance of my swim in the triathlon will be 1.5km which is .932056788 miles.  Tonight I swam 1000 meters (20 lengths, 10 laps) in 25 minutes at GTS.  Woo hoo!  The goal for the night was only to swim 1/2 mile (804.672 meters).  I swam .621371192 miles!  A lot of silly numbers, I know, but I just like doing the math!  Now if I could just keep the fingers on my right hand closed while swimming....

Saturday, February 28, 2009

two out of three

Today I hit two out of the three.  I went to bike GTS (now at 7:30am!) and did 4 lower loops and 2 full loops of Central Park.  The coldest part was waiting for the start of practice over at 72nd and the river.  Once we got going, however, it wasn't so bad.  I'm feeling more confident every time I hit the road.  I had a nice chat with coach Jay and went over some shifting issues.  I just have to keep practicing!

And then, because I got called in to sub unexpectedly last night and missed my Friday night solo swim, I went to the gym and swam....for 40 minutes straight!!!!  And I wasn't busted afterwards!  I am feeling pretty great about the swim bit.

Now, if I can just get back my running legs.  Let's hope the Coogan's Salsa Blues and Shamrocks 5K goes better tomorrow than it did last year.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

harlem hill with sandwich bags on my feet

I've been embroiled in AEA negotiations all this week and am exhausted, but I promised myself I would not miss bike GTS this morning.  So, with 5 hours of sleep I got up, put on 5 upper layers, 2 pairs of gloves, 2 lower layers, 2 pairs of socks and some sandwich bags over my socks and got on my bike and headed up to Central Park.  

I must say I loooove my new tires.  That suction cup feeling is totally gone and except for going uphill I actually felt like I was moving quickly and not trudging along.  And after releasing the urge to stay with the basic, basic group, I headed off with the main group for some gear work.  After 2 lower loops we did 6 runs up Strawberry Hill as I like to call it.  I have no idea what it's actually called, but it's really steep.  I was very excited to get an "excellent" from Coach Scott.  Small things :)

Then we headed back down around the bottom of the park and up to the north end.  Harlem Hill.  Eeek.  I thought running up it was hard.....

But I did it 3 times before braving 9th Avenue to get home to shower and get ready to go back to AEA.  

I don't anticipate resurfacing from 46th street until some time tomorrow.  It's going to be a fun night!!!  And I promise to get in a run as soon as it's over.

Saturday, February 14, 2009


I'm a little in love with the guys at Toga bikes on 64th and West End.  They were very nice and didn't charge me for the adjustments my bike needed or the labor for changing my tires.  They didn't make me feel like an idiot and answered all of my questions. 

And just for the record - I biked for an hour and a half this morning.  It was cold.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

A Thursday morning adventure and battle wounds

I had a plan this morning.  I accidentally left a binder uptown last night and I definitely need saddle time so....   The plan was to ride up the west side, retrieve the binder and ride back.  The ride uptown was pretty good.  I'm still having trouble with the whole shifting thing, but the ride along the Hudson is pretty flat so it wasn't too painful.

The first thing I realized is that I need to get some eye protection - sunglasses or something. The wind makes my eyes water and there is so much crud flying around in the air that eye protection is definitely my next purchase.

The next thing I realized is that the simple things, like locking up the bike, are really not that simple for me.  It took me a good ten minutes to remove my chain, get it around the bike without the bike falling over and safely lock the bike.  It's all still so awkward.

And here's where the plan derails: City College -where I left the binder - was closed.  Lincoln's birthday.  Apparently they take advantage of President's Day AND Lincoln's birthday.  Seems a little redundant to me, but oh, well.  So much for my plan.

So I make my way back downtown.  Only now I'm riding directly into the wind.  Wow, what a difference that makes.  I was bad about checking the time, but I think it took me twice as long to get home as it did to get there.  I also managed to lose my chain once.  I am very proud to say that it only took me a few minutes to get it back on.  I did not panic.  Yay.

On the way back I decided to see if the Toga bike shop at 64th and West End was open yet.  I think my bike might need some gear tweaks and the guys there were really helpful at our group info session a few weeks back.  I head out of Riverside Park at 59th street and then back  up West End Ave to 64th St. to find that they are not open yet.  Foiled again.  And here's where I get brave....I decide to ride the rest of the way down 12th Avenue.  The traffic was fairly light and I did quite well if I may say so myself.

That is until the last half block.  I stupidly decide to ride on the sidewalk on 45th St. past 9th on the way to my building mid-block.    20 yards from my door I lose my balance and topple over onto the tree guard between the parking lots.  I now have a very sore thumb and a nice gouge on my right inner thigh.  My first battle wounds.  

The entire trip was a little over 10 miles.  25 miles still seems quite daunting!