2013: Just the Beginning

“Memory is a way of holding onto the things you love, the things you are, the things you never want to lose.”  ~From the television show The Wonder Years

There was a lot of changes in 2013: I bought a triathlon bike (prior to), completed my first olympic triathlon, completed my first half ironman, tackled the half marathon again, biked more than I ever, got a rather large promotion, I was chosen for not 1 but 2 ambassador programs, oh and I started my little blog! But first, I think I’ll sum up some of the races.

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My beautiful bike.

Oswego Olympic Triathlon: I did not enjoy this (to be honest). My ‘new’ bike had to get dropped off earlier in the week because of the brake cables and I didn’t get it back until friday at 6pm. The race was Saturday at  9AM (I think). It left no time to go for a ride, etc, etc. Mostly because I had to drive back to my parents for the race and wouldn’t get there until 9PM. Side note: I’m probably the worst triathlete ever, in my first triathlon (Sprint, CLT 2012) I never completed a brick, it was an experience running off the bike. Now, I was doing my first olympic with a brand new bike (it had my saddle, clip pedals, etc) AND I had to swim a mile (I’m far from a swimmer). In the end, I was glad to be done. I was tired. It was my birthday and somehow I got 3rd. Not sure how that happened but it did. Phew Olympic was over. Next would be the Peasantman Half Iron before I had another triathlon.

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So out of it that my glasses are crooked! Yikes!

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Award Podium

Peasantman Half Ironman: The only other triathlon I did was one my friend Alex had me roped into last winter (Thanks Alex, I blame you for my triathlons endeavors-and Ian I suppose). This was a new half iron distance in the area and I was really excited but terrified. Goals were to survive the swim, be relaxed on the bike, then kill the run. The swim was survived and I couldn’t wait to get on the bike. My bike was great, especially considering the my bike had a crack in the seat stay and had a last minute switch to a friends bike (Thanks John). Add that to the stress levels of first time race of that distance and my longest race ever. In the end it was good, I enjoyed this the run it was exactly what I wanted to, ended up 4th with a big smile on my face.

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Bike Portion

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All I’m thinking is ‘get me to the run’

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Coming to the Finish

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Cheesin’

Empire State Half Marathon: Probably my best race all season. It was after taking the team to princeton and back, then driving home (which was only a tad stressful). However, I was relaxed, took it mile by mile, step by step, was competitive and had fun. It definitely hurt and for the next 3 days I was exhausted (probably from everything combined). My favorite part was probably wearing my Oiselle Threads combined with a PR 🙂 Again, I was 4th with 1:26:14 PR.

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Finishing, Cheesin’ again

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🙂

Favorite moments: Besides each of the above races, the Nike Women’s Distance Half in DC was a good one. A fun weekend getaway with my mom (AKA my biggest fan & my rock). It was fun to run through DC, see the sights and be out there with that many women also running through DC. However, I’m not going to lie, I LOVED getting that pretty blue box. I always wanted be the person to get my first piece (or only piece) of Tiffanys 🙂

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Momma! My Biggest Fan!

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Possibly one of favorite pictures

Also, the most recent race, It’s a wonderful run 5k, when it was held in a snow storm. Not to mention the countless miles along the way with my friends, on the bike and by foot. Some of my favorite moments are just in training, like the long ride with Alex where we went up Honeypot (dear lord it was a large hill). Watching/Volunteering at Ironman Lake Placid was another great moment, so full of emotion, it was incredible. I still dream about it (except they are slowly involving my worst fears as I tackle 2014 IMLP).

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Spectating at IMLP w. Alex

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Volunteering w. Alex

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Right before signing my life away!

Two of my other favorite moments are 1) Oiselle Team: I am so honored still, I love everything about Oiselle, not just their super awesome apparel but what they stand for, what the team stands for, and how we are one large family! It’s so much fun to learn about my teammates and see what goals they have and what they have accomplished. 2) I just recently found out I was chosen as an ambassador for Coeur Sports. Coeur Sports is another women’s only apparel line for multisport athletes. Again, I love everything they stand for, and again it’s another huge family. I’m so honored to be among the women that I am for both brands. I’m so honored to wear their threads and help promote not just the companies but what they stand for. If anyone reads this, PLEASE check them out on my behalf, not the companies. Both are utterly awesome and support a wide range of women from pros to the little people-like me!

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Heads up, Wings out!

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Look, it’s there, my name it’s really there!

Best advice: have fun, be relaxed and enjoy the process. The advice I remember the most- accept I’m a poor swimmer and basically deal with it (ugh). I hate being bad at anything but this was hard to completely accept instead of just brushing it off by a joke. I’m proud to say I’ve been in the pool more since sept than the rest of the year & tri season. Go Lisa!

Moving on to 2014: It’s going to be a big year and I can’t wait for it. Things get started in January where I’ll cap of my run season with the Rock N Roll 13.1 in Phoenix. I’m SO excited (plus I’ll be with my best friend and college teammate, just like the old days!!). Things have been really going well with my training and I’m excited to see what I can do. When March rolls around I’ll be heading to VA beach with my Oiselle Team for the spring meet up at the Shamrock Marathon & Anthem 13.1, I can’t wait to meet everyone and grow closer! It’ll be a great training run as I’ll be in the midst of Ironman Training, which brings me to my next point. The big race, Ironman Lake Placid. It’s going to be crazy, one heck of a roller coaster but I’m looking forward to the hard work, the training and being strong. I also have the Syracuse 70.3 which will have a special place as thats my hometown. I’m sure I’ll have a few half marathons (Skunk Cabbage in Ithaca in April) and other races after Ironman, but we’ll play that by ear. I had a great year in 2013, but 2014 is already so exciting to me. I can’t wait to wear the Oiselle Singlet and Coeur Kits for 2014.

Here’s to 2014! Best Wishes! 

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It’s a Wonderful Run 5k

Sunshine is delicious, rain is refreshing, wind braces us up, snow is exhilarating; there is really no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather.  ~John Ruskin

Welp. I can cross off running a snow storm off my bucket list. Towards the end of last week the big talk of the town: the snow that was headed our way. I was pretty excited for some snow, I feel it’s not Christmas if it isn’t white (sorry to you all who have never experienced it!). Further being from North of Syracuse we know ALL about the snow. It’s been the snowiest place in the continental US for the last couple years.

I signed up for It’s a Wonderful Run 5k, in Seneca Falls a couple months ago hoping it could be a nice fast 5k before RnR Arizona next month. Especially after I was in NO mood to race (or enjoying) the turkey trot last month. Now with the snow on the way I was unsure of the benefits of racing Saturday too. 

Well the snow came, we got over half a foot in Ithaca (which is a lot for this town!). People were off the roads left and right. It was quite nerve wracking, should I make the trek or just settle for a nice little quality session in Barton Hall. I even questioned the foolish decision halfway through the drive. However, we went and made it in one piece. I calmed down a little once we got there, found parking and got our bibs. Oh, did I mention that Seneca Falls had a winter storm warning in effect? That the roads were completely covered in slushy brown snow? That I made have slipped a billion times walking to get my bib? It’s AMAZING to me that somehow I wrapped my head around to get it in a positive mindset [AMEN, THANK GOD, THANK YOU ALEX & ARTIE and all the other crazy race-goers!]. 

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After sitting in the car, talking about race plans and changes to my normal warm up [which is normally beginning 60-50 minutes before race start], it was now beginning at 4:10 with the race starting at 4:40 PM. I tried not to worry about it too much, this was mostly so I was warm at the starting line and because I wasn’t planning on ditching any clothes [again, it was a snow storm with a temp of 14 without the wind chill]. 

The big problem I had at our Turkey Trot was being competitive and dealing with the adverse conditions, so the race plan was to get out and really compete but mostly to HAVE FUN. More or less this racs was to help mimic how I would feel the last few miles of my half marathon next month and to deal with the ‘pain’ so to speak. We weren’t expecting any crazy times and weren’t really sure what to expect at all. 

4:10 Pm rolled around and it was time to leave to warm car and go warm up. I was bundled in my Oiselle Flyer jacket, Flyte Long sleeve (one of my favs!) and another base layer on top, and my FAVORITE Lesley Tights on the bottom combined with some heavy duty winter accessories to keep my head, neck, hands and ankles warm! Needless to say, it was the PERFECT combo of lightweight but keeping me warm! I was also wearing my new Pearl Izumi N2 shoes. I’ve been trying to figure out what I’ll wear for Ironman etc etc. The 20 minute warm up flew by fast and my YakTrax helped a lot with the footing despite still slipping all over the place. 

Before I knew it, it was time to head to the starting line. The cool thing, they started the race on a bridge! It was pretty neat. Plus there was close to 3000 still participating in the race. I just had to smile at myself. I tried to get some drills in but only managed leg swings (hanging on to the railing) and a couple slippery strides. I hung out on the left side of the bridge to make sure I could get out and be on the outside for the first short right turn. Next thing I knew was my friend Alex was standing in front of me! It was a little relief to me before the race start, I was trying not to be anxious but of course I was. We wished each other well and I knew when I was done I’d run back to find her 🙂 (hopefully she remembered it too).

The next thing I knew, the starter was saying the popular line from the movie and at ‘wings’ we were allowed to head out! I got out well, only had to sneak through a couple people. I was chatting with this woman right before the start and made a mental note about her. Well, she got out well and enabled me to head out with her. I made another note to thank her after the race. Somewhere after a half a mile I decided I should start moving forward (we were 2nd and 3rd Females at that point too, and I believe she finished third). I was moving pretty well, trying to stay as relaxed as possible considering the roads were still slippery AND the snow and wind picked up. I just kept fighting. I’m not sure if it was because my eyelashes were frozen or what but the first mile seemed to take FOREVER! When I finally saw the sign I just bucked down and kept moving, only about 14 minutes left. I started my watch but didn’t want to check the splits and get discouraged, this race was about pushing it and being competitive. So then I started chasing the men in front of me. I was moving up pretty well. Then this guy just wouldn’t let me pass, I was slightly getting annoyed, as he would slow down, I’d try to go around and he’d speed up (later I learned it was Mike Bersani! Hey Mike if you’re reading, thanks for pushing me to go harder!). After the battle with Mike and the water station, the 2 mile marker came up pretty quick and I could see the first woman. 

“You only live once,” “you want it to hurt” and “fight” all came to mind after the second mile marker and I went for it, I just kept my momentum from Mike and went right on by. She must have been just running behind this guy to block the wind because as soon as I went right on by she ducked behind me. I was just trying to keep everything moving in the right direction and pull away. But in competitive spirit she came up next to me and we ran like that for about a half a mile. Then she started to pull away. I tried to go with her but my lower legs were starting to tighten up and my shins (anterior tin muscle) started to get crampy as we headed onto main street and were only about 400m from the finish. Does anyone else get crampy shins? Mine always cramp in the slippery snow covered roads.

Before I knew it we were headed downhill to the finish. I was 2nd Female, 19th overall and 20:07 (gun time) in slushy, snowy, slippery conditions. I was pretty happy. It was 50 seconds faster than the turkey trot and the conditions were absolutely worse. The first female also won last year in 17:4X so I was content that I was that close. The men were also over a minute and a half slower. Of course as soon as Artie and John finished we ran back to find Alex 🙂 She was bundled and looked like she was having fun (I think?). After we all went into the gym for some goodies and to wait for the award ceremony ($50, a bottle of wine and a fun chalice-Thank you!).

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Post Race & Winnings!

After thinking more I am really happy with how this race went. It wasn’t ideal by any standard but hearing from EVERYONE that the times were on avg 1:30-2 minutes slower than last year makes me so happy. The best part, was that I actually had a blast, I was positive, competitive and just had fun. I’m getting more excited about the ‘goal’ race next month as well as getting some faster stuff in Barton this week (yay I still get a workout inside!). By the way, I LOVED the shoes I wore. I’m totally going to wear them for IMLP. They were so comfy and I didn’t even think about them during the race (or the new race belt, this one didn’t slide once! It was great!).

The trek back to Ithaca wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought, but the walk into Wegmans for dinner was probably quite entertaining for anyone watching (I was SO SORE). The night concluded with CHRISTMAS COOKIE MAKING! Booyah!

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Don’t worry, I only ate 3 :X

 

Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas to everyone! 

Turkey Trotting & Austin, TX

“Relish the bad training runs. Without them it’s difficult to recognize, much less, appreciate, the good ones.” – Pat Teske
Rewind: Left off with heading to NCAA Division 1 XC Championships. Take Home Message: the girls ran incredible in a muddy, cold, windy week and messy course. It was awesome.
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 Van Selfie!
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 The Girls!
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 At the Line!
B’ville Turkey Trot
At first I was so excited to be running a 5k, so far all of my races have been much longer so I was excited to see what I was going to achieve. Well, that slowly changed. I woke up Thursday to 4″ of snow and 6 degrees outside. I did NOT want to go run hard. This was the 3rd Annual Turkey Trotting Expedition for the family, so my mom came with me. Without her there I probably would have packed up and headed back home to do something fun out on the roads. In any rate, Mom’s a better coach than she thinks, She told me ‘Just have fun.’ How could I be such a grump when there were still SO many others there to run on this snowy thanksgiving day. I decided to just roll with the punches. I was completely numb so I opted for a 4 mile run before the 5k went off. I was warm, then got numb again (side note: I was wearing a LOT of clothes & wool socks, I just couldn’t stay warm). Finally the 5k went off and I just told  myself it was only 3 measly miles and to just give a decent effort (tempo effort) and to be semi competitive without slipping on the snowy roads, so I wouldn’t fall or injury myself. FYI: Two winters ago I was laid up for 3 months because I tore the upper part of my hamstring from slipping on the only snowy day we had that winter, so that’s my big hesitation for snowy road races. Needless to say, the 5k went by really fast and as in tradition I ran back to find Momma Holt and help her finish strong 🙂 It’s probably my favorite part of our thanksgiving traditions. She ran an incredible time (under 33 min for a 63 yr old woman). Somehow this missed me in the results so I don’t have my official time. But I felt a lot better when I finally warmed up and my legs weren’t tired at all, nor was my breathing really labored so I took that as great sign for the half in Jan. The rest of thanksgiving was great however went by in a blur. Caught up with family and best friend before headed back to the Ith for work.
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Post Snowy Turkey Trotting
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One Speedy Momma
With a day of work, we were off to The Running Event in Austin TX. I was SO excited to get to Texas and have some warmer weather. My sole workout for the week went awesome, it was 68 degrees, I was able to run in my Mio Mesh Tank, Strappy Bra and Flyte shorts, and run along the Colorado River. The workout was tough, BUT I felt great, 4 sets of 2-1-2 with 1 min rest. It was fun. Running was fun because of the Expo (I’m pretty sure), there were people running EVERYWHERE. It just made me smile. HOWEVER, I was completely bummed the last 2 days… it was warmer in ITHACA than it was in AUSTIN and I left all warm clothes in Ithaca because WHY would I pack warm clothes for AUSTIN Texas? We’ll lesson learned. Always bring ONE pair of tights where ever you go 🙂 The Convention and Expo were great, I learned a lot. We were up at 6AM to run and then Expo from 8 AM to 6 PM. I also got to meet the Oiselle Ladies and Sally and see the Fall 2014 line (which was probably one of my favorite parts). Wednesday night we hung out with the Brooks crew and saw this awesome band, The Spazmatics. Let’s just say they are known as THE 80’s Cover Band. The were incredible.
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 Downtown Austin
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The Running Event!
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Saucony Chandelier

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The Spazmatics!

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Indoor Track started yesterday with the first home meet of the season at Cornell. A long run, christmas shopping and christmas movies are on the schedule today. I am so excited. Next up: It’s a Wonderful Life 5k in Seneca Falls.