Thursday, January 18, 2018


It seems this is the year of "The Half" - half marathon and half ironman.  When I first started in triathlon I raced A LOT!  Racing was (and still is) my favorite thing to do - it keeps me focused on a goal and I love the energy of being at a race with all of my friends.  There is just something magical about race morning.  But over the past few years, I've realized the cost and travel is just not sustainable for my current life.  Triathlon is an EXPENSIVE sport!  We hear this a lot: "You paid to do that?" - not only do we pay to race, the fee is not cheap - then add in driving there, hotel, eating - it adds up quickly!  The past few years I've really cut back on racing in an effort to save money and I just needed a little break.

When I was deciding what to do for 2018, I figured this was the year for me to Go Big and this is BIG for me!  I registered for the NYC Half Marathon, in March - it's a race I've done twice before but I want this year's race to be one that I'm not dreading or dying through.  I'd like to once be actually well prepared for it and enjoy the entire race and the post race festivities.  So far, I'm on track.  I'm also so excited to be raising money for my favorite charity ever - Girls on the Run New Jersey North - feel free to click here to donate - you won't regret it!

The other big race is a 70.3 - that's a Half Ironman - which for me is CRAZY.  It's crazier than crazy but I finally felt like "it was time".  My beloved, loyal and hard working training parter signed up for the race as well so we are well on our way to training...right Tara??!!!!

As of today, there are 58 days until NYC Half Marathon and 180 days until 70.3...that seems a little closer than it should!  But I think we are on track.
We are out there in all kinds of weather!
....but always make sure we get a hot cuppa after!

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Motivation - how do you find it?

No seriously, I'm asking - where do you find your motivation?  I struggle with this every minute of everyday.  If I don't have someone to meet for a workout, I simply won't do it.  Take this morning for example: I got up at 4:15am, made 3 giant stacks of pancakes so the kids would have breakfast when they woke up, drove into NYC (paid the damn toll), only to walk into Central Park to meet my teammates and find out my sitter had not shown up.  I then had to drive all the way back home without ever seeing any of my friends or getting any sort of work out done.  By 9am,  all of the kids were where they were going and I had nothing but free time on my hands while they were at camp.  One would think that this would be the perfect time to get that run in that I had missed a few hours ago but NO I was not going to do anything, at all!  Why?  Because I had no one to meet and could not motivate myself to go alone.  So imagine I'm all dressed in running clothes, perfect weather, no children at home and I can't seem to get myself out the door because I was alone.  I really envy people that can just get up and run out their door.

EMILY: she's so fast she's always blurry in photos!
And she's most happy with a Diet Coke!

But then came Emily - she texted me about the morning's run and I told her the whole story.  She told me to just "go now".  Excuse, excuse, blah, blah, blah, excuse.  She said, "I'm not texting you back until you go".  It worked - I got off my ass and went for a 30 minute run - all by a big girl.

So what is it that motivates some and not others?  What's the real reason you work out?   Vanity?  Bikini season?  Making your ex sorry he left?  Boredom?  Health?  Fitness?  Speed?  Do you want to beat your track record from HS?  And why do I have so much trouble just walking out the front door by myself?  If I have someone to meet or a class to take - I'm there.  Fully committed.  Something about the Mob Mentality I guess.  And like the rest of the universe, I feel AMAZING after I've worked out even the smallest amount and am always so glad I did it but that doesn't work in getting me to get started.

Please tell me your secrets.......I'll take any help I can get!

Monday, June 19, 2017

First 10K & 5K of 2017 Season

Why is it that people never take t heir own advice?  Every season of coaching Girls on the Run, I tell the girls they cannot compare races to other races.  You can't compare Apples to Oranges.  Every race is different even if they are all 3.1 miles or 140.6 miles - there are hills, flat roads, heat, cold, wind, feeling bad that day, lack of sleep, life stress - every race is different.  Yet for some reason I have trouble taking my own advice...I realize that's very shocking to everyone reading!

The first two races of The Summer Of Speed are under my belt and I'm ready to get faster as the summer goes on.  BUT, big but here, I recently found out I have a bunion which doesn't sound all that terrible but it's actually quite painful.  So much so that I thought I had a hairline fracture or something in my foot.  When my favorite Physical Therapist, Lawrence of Edge Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine (shameless plug for my amazing Non-Lesbian Life Partner's PT office!) told me I had a bunion I told him he was wrong - aren't those for old ladies?  Like really old ladies?  Turns out, not so much.  Since then I've been trying some things are home to get my foot to feel better - it's kind of working but we'll see.  

Two weekends ago I did NYRR Mini 10K - my foot hurt from the first step so I knew it wasn't going to be pretty.  It was also the very first hot day, it's been a pretty cold Spring so far.  I vowed once a long time ago to never complain about the heat - I love the summer, I HATE HATE HATE the winter so I never complain about any temp being too high but it does affect running when you are not used to it.  But the real issue was my foot hurt so it wasn't great but Wendy and I stayed together and got it done.  I figured it was best to start the season off with  my slowest run so I can get faster as the summer goes on....not a real plan but it is now!

June 10, 2017 NYRR Mini 10K Central Park 1:12 Finish time.  These are my split times (avg pace 11:24/mile):

I will admit I was expecting worse so not a terrible start to The Summer of Speed!
That's funny - it doesn't look like you are in any pain? 
I can find GOTR girls anywhere I go!

Yesterday was my first 5K of The Summer of Speed and I got to do this one with my sisters!  It was great fun but again wasn't sure how it was going to turn out.  I decided to run on feel rather than using my watch and it went well until mile 3 - I was able to run pretty fast (for me) and then it blew up but that's fine bc at least I know how far to push things.  Even the last mile, although slower, wasn't terrible.

June 18, 2017 Ray Downey Memorial 5K Deer Park, NY 31:13 Finish Time.  These are my split times 
(Average Pace 9:56/mile):

The Sisterhood is simply the greatest thing ever!

Family Support....they're cute sometimes!

Next race:

Sunday, June 4, 2017


Every summer I sign up for my favorite triathlons or ones that I can do with my friends.  This summer I haven't signed up for any mostly because I didn't really train all winter and I was kind of excited to have nothing on the calendar.  Except, for someone like me - a race with a paid registration fee, is usually the only thing that keeps me motivated.  So last week I decided on a new, specific goal for this summer.  SPEED.  And by speed, I mean MY kind of speed which means faster than I've been before.  This speed goal is only about ME and my PRs -not about being faster than anyone other than myself.  I will constantly need to remind myself of that bc I often get caught up in "I'll never be faster than_________ (insert name of anyone I run with)".

This goal has to be about me and only me as......

In order to stay focused on this goals, I need to publicly announce my times that I'm trying to beat - this isn't easy for me so be kind:

5K: 27:38     Pace: 8:53      October 2013
10K: 1:03:09      Pace 10:09          September 20, 2014

I'm looking for a 5K every month and a 10K every other month - my goal is to work on speed all summer and get faster with each race.  The ultimate goal: beat the above PR by the end of 2017.  So far I have a few races that are officially on the calendar:

Saturday, June 10th - NYRR Mini 10K
Sunday, June 18th - Father's Day 5K
Saturday, July 8th - Women's Distance Festival 5K

Working on the rest of the schedule for remaining of the Summer/Fall.  Anyone want to join me?  Links are attached to above races!

Friday, May 19, 2017

Time or Money

Any adult will tell you: you either have Time or Money.  Most people don't or will never have both.  Everyone needs to make peace with the one they are given and make the most of it.  For the most part, I have not made the most of my situation.  I have more time than money but I haven't been using it wisely...until now.  I know many moms that work full time outside of the home and I'll hear them say, "Oh it must be nice to be able to work out all day while the kids are at school" and I think, "Yes that would be nice - why the hell aren't I doing that?".  So I do work a few part time jobs and I have 3 kids (one of them requires a shit ton of my time even during school hours) but I still have more time than my other training parters and they get it done WHILE working a full time job and raising children.  So I have no excuse.  I can make and/or find an excuse - I'm a pro at that but it's time to stop making excuses.

This past week I had a revelation - thanks to my friend Deirdre T.  We had a very quick, very not important exchange about how we both have a few free hours in the afternoon before we pick up the kids but we don't use it for any training.  With just an hour a day, I could be significantly faster and in way better shape getting me towards my triathlon goals rather than moving farther and farther away from those goals.

The One.  The Only.  Deirdre T.

With that small exchange, DT and I are going to meet as often as possible to run and/or bike during that window of time we have between the end of our work day and the beginning of the Mothering Day (i.e. after school!).  So be on the look out for the two D's on the road to be kicking major ass very soon - ok maybe not kicking ass but pursuing a goal and not sinking deeper into my couch cushions (I cannot speak for her and her couch sitting)!  If you are around 1PM weekdays - let us know, you can join us!  

If you are out at 5am, you can find me with my amazing and very pregnant run buddy Tara - she's one of those working moms that inspires me to do more with my time.  I think, "if Tara had this much free time during the day, she'd be an elite athlete".  Time to make all of my full time working training partners proud of me and hopefully make them so jealous they all quit their jobs and train with me all day!  

5am, 32 weeks pregnant, 2 small children, husband, full time job, commutes to NYC...SuperWoman

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Pain is life.

People often say the key to being an elite athlete is those that are able to suffer the most - the more you can deal with pain, the  more successful you'll be as an athlete.  This statement always explains to me why I'm never the fastest in any race bc I don't do pain well - I have the lowest threshold for pain out of anyone I've ever met.  I've made peace with that - it's who I am but now this constant back problem is really throwing a wrench in those plans.  In the past, I've been in "pain" just from pushing myself I've never had this constant nagging lower back issues.  

I've taken nearly the entire summer off from any sort of exercise hoping to heal my back in order to come back stronger but that doesn't seem to be happening.  Since it seems this will be a constant, nagging issue I've decided to just deal with the pain - continue great treatment and even greater nutrition and continue on.  

My C25K  Run Buddy TARA!

Just last month I started back with the Couch to 5K program which is going well except for the back pain when I get home.  The alternative it more than I can tolerate so I'll just learn to deal with it.  Continue to ice, get adjusted, go to PT, stretch and most importantly EAT CLEAN and GREEN!  The amazing part is that I feel  GREAT while running/walking and that's the feeling I've missed all summer.  Being out with my run friends, in the fresh air - makes me feel alive.  So let's hope for this thing to not get any worse and just keep on keeping on - and toughen up a little to live with a little more physical pain than I'm used to in life!

Monday, June 6, 2016

Rev3 Quassy 2016

First triathlon of 2016 is in the books!  Rev3 Quassy is my all-time favorite race even though I seem to get slower each year.  I love everything about triathlon: the gear, the friends, the people, the Expo at the race, the feeling on race morning, the sunrise, the energy I just love the entire atmosphere that surrounds triathlon.  It's also a great way to not turn into an obese loaf and it's hard to get bored of it since it's 3 different sports rolled into one.  Everyday is something different from the day before.  Even though my love for triathlon runs deep, my love for training does not and therefore I pay for it physically after each race.  As Justin Trolle says, "anyone can do an Ironman it's just how badly their body will pay for it after the race" so if you don't train, you will be in pain.  That's where I am today - 2 days post race.

Saturday was Rev3 Olympic distance race in Middlebury, CT.  I was so anxious for at least 4 days before the race bc I knew I hadn't trained enough although does any athlete ever feel that they've trained enough for any race?

The best part about this race was my girls =)  It was a full race weekend with my favorite teammates and we had so much fun from the minute we got there until the minute we left!  I just wish I was younger or they were older so we could all start together and then I could watch them fly past me!!  The swim was delayed 30 minutes due to the most dense fog I've ever seen.  I was so so so so hopeful they'd call off the swim - my weakest leg of the race and really, just one less thing to get done before the crack of dawn.  But no such luck - within 10 minutes the fog burned off and it was crystal clear - swim on.  I've made peace with the fact that my swim will never really get faster - I just need to get through it and hopefully work on endurance so I'm not so wiped out after a long swim.

The bike course was great - it has steep uphills but even faster downhills and I LOVE downhills!!!  It's really the only reason I ride - it's the closest thing to flying you'll ever come across (although I've never done drugs so that might work as well!).

The Run...well, that was a shit storm.  Something tweaked in my back in the swim and the bike made it a little worse but then the run was just bad.  This run course is so difficult - either STRAIGHT downhill or STRAIGHT uphill - either way it's not pleasant.  I considered DNFing after T2 bc my back hurt but figured I could get through 6 miles somehow and I did.  It wasn't pretty but I did get through.  Finished before the cut off...not much time to spare but who's counting?

In every other race in my past I would have beaten myself up over these times but this race I finally made peace with myself.  I kept thinking on the run course, "remember you are in pain here when you are all pissed next week looking at your times"  so there was that.  Also the week before this race I did a swim race with my friends: one of them stopped half way bc she wasn't willing to risk getting injured and my other friend came in 2nd to last and finished with a smile.  No one cared about either one of their finishes - we were there to swim and be together and have fun and that's what we did.  So this past weekend was just that - a great weekend with great, great friends doing something I love!

The best part is on Sunday I got to JUST spectate and watch Kevin race - I got to repay him as his Race Support for his race.  I can never be as good of a Sherpa as he is but I tried my hardest.  I love spectating and watching him makes it even more fun!

So back to training - back to having fun and continue training with my friends and having fun while being healthy and setting a great example for my children.

Until we meet again next year, Quassy!

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Watch out 2016...

My beloved older sister once told me, “wait until you turn 40, then your body will really start to fall apart”.  I turned 40 last year and was still fine – this past March I turned 41 and shit started to roll down hill very quickly!  For the first time in decades, I went to the ER for me (obviously I’ve been there a few other times for kids and Kevin but not for me).  I had a migraine for more than 5 days and wanted to kill myself – I’ve had bad headaches before and most members of my family suffer debilitating migraines but this was my first one that stopped me in my tracks.  It was so bad that I had to go to the ER and get morphine (I thought they stopped using Morphine with Laura Ingalls – who knew it worked like a charm!).  Then a month after the migraine, I had 2 bulging discs.  Only old people have back problems – never heard a 20 year old say, “can’t run today bc of my bulging discs”.  Maybe there are young, healthy people out there with back issues but this was my first and it was brutal.  I couldn’t walk or put any weight on one leg – I had my first MRI of my life.  Needless to say, 41 hit me hard.

Once my back healed and I got back to training, I vowed to pull my shit together for my 2016 year of racing.  No more of this bullshit, pretend training I attempt to do.  For instance, I did the West Point Triathlon in August and instead of doing any sort of swim training AT ALL, the week before the race I went to the pool and swam 800 meters.  That’s the exact distance of the swim in the race – just wanted to be sure I could make it through to the end.  Then I wonder why oh why I’m so tired on the bike and run after using every ounce of energy I have to just “get thru” the swim. 

I also tend to lose focus A LOT!  I get on a roll of great training and great successes and then something happens and I fall off the wagon.  The problem with that for me is that I don’t have years and years of fitness to fall back on.  So when I stop for any period of time, I lose any progress that I made.  My favorite saying: If you're tired of starting over, stop giving up.  So that’s my motto for 2016.  Stop Stopping.  Just keep going!  Train hard.  Work hard.  Have successes.  Be healthy.  Have fun.  Perhaps keep my weight/nutrition in check and stop letting it continue to yo yo. 

Along with my vow to up my training and fitness, I’ve also vowed to work on my diet and nutrition.  It’s never been great but gets better with each passing year of my life.  My sugar and carb addiction is so strong and so difficult to kick but I’m working hard to keep things in balance.  I’ll never go through life without cupcakes and pizza but I’m trying to make sure it’s not my #1 source of nutrition for all 3 meals a day (and I certainly could do that!). 

I’ve started making my goals for 2016, here are just a few:

5K: beat my PR time of 27:38 
10K: sub 1:00 – PR is 1:03:09 but I want 59:59 or less
Navesick or Swim: beat last year’s time  52:41
Rev3 Quassy: KILL time from last year – when I came in DFL in my AG.  Will come up with an exact time goal as it gets closer
IMAC 70.3 RELAY: 13.1 – sub 2:23:39

I’d like to also set a goal of how much mileage per week or month with all 3 disciplines plus Pure Barre.  In order to make that happen I need to sit down with a calendar and figure it all out between kids/work/logistics in general.  I’m not expecting to light the world on fire but I’m going to push myself to continue to get better and fitter with each training session. 

Just like Kevin says, “go fast, then go a little bit faster”.  It’s a great motto to keep repeating while racing.  He always has great motivational tips as I could do none of this without him: the best NLLP on the planet and training partner =)

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Norwood 5K brings out the best!

With every lesson I teach of Girls on the Run, the more I wonder what effect it would have had on my life had I been a GOTR girl in elementary school.  Most of the coaches and parents have that thought while their daughter goes through the program.  It is a life changing program and it's just the smallest thing - imagine thinking "I can do anything I want"  "I am enough"  "I am awesome" and "I CAN do it".  These simple statements make huge impacts on people and we hope that we impact the girls we coach so these concepts are ingrained in their brain so that no one can tear these girls down.  I do wonder how different my life, especially my athletic life, would have been if someone made me believe those things of myself at an early age.  At an age before Negative Nelly moved into my brain and refused to leave - she still resides in my brain but I do have the strength to kick her out for longer periods of time now that I'm an old bat.

Today was one of those days that I felt on top of the world - I felt I could do anything and most importantly I did NOT lessen my joyous accomplishment by comparing myself to anyone else.  This morning I ran the Norwood 5K as a Girls on the Run Sole Mate (full disclosure: I did not raise any money for this event, I was just given a free entry).  For the past 3 days I've been unmotivated to do much of anything so I wasn't excited to drive 30 minutes away to run a 5K by myself but I'll do just about anything for GOTR so I went.  I actually enjoy racing alone but I do like when someone is at the finish line but today was just me.  

First mile seemed ok I was moving along and then I got to the first mile marker and it was 9:50 (this is way fast for this girl!) and I felt good so I kept cooking along.  Second mile was 10:00 and time to set this race in motion.  Then something amazing happened: I was running next to this girl, never saw her before but we were running step for step for the entire last mile.  I knew the pace was way faster than my normal pace but I was determined to keep up with her.  Neither of us got ahead or behind one another, we never looked at one another we just kept in the same rhythm the entire last mile.  I was running so hard that I couldn't even look at my watch and the air was kind of cold so my eyes were tearing - I really, really wanted to stop.  Not just stop but collapse.  The finish line was around 2 corners so I had no idea how much further it was but just needed to keep up with my new run BFF and I did!  We finished together - she actually surged at the line so finished 1 second ahead of me - then she came over and hugged me!  It was like being in the Olympics (amuse me here since I'm never going to the Olympics!) it was the coolest thing ever.  I looked up her name but she's not on FB or any other social media so I can't reach out to thank her. 

This was playing in my mind while running the last mile...not too dramatic!

What I thought we looked like...

what we actually looked like!!!

 My last mile was 8:23...let me type that again 8:23 for mile 3.  I could have cried when I saw that - last week I was just about to throw in the towel and give up triathlon altogether bc it seems like I work so hard and never get any better.  Then today happened...I'm back on track, back to training, back to getting faster.  Now if I could stop eating so much shitty food then I'd really get fast!!!!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Goals. Goals. Goals.

Now that the triathlon season is officially over for the year, I've been struggling to find some goals to set for myself.  I'm "that" person, without a goal I will sit on my couch and not move.  Fear motivates me and I fear not being ready for a race.  SO, I find a race, register for it and that keeps me training.  It keeps me waking up early to get the workouts done at the crack of dawn over and over.

In years past, by this time I'd have an entire race schedule set up for the following year, google spreadsheet, color coded, costs, hotel, drive time, etc.  Every detail mapped out.  But money has gotten a little tighter which has changed what events I'm willing to pay for and how far I'm willing to travel.  Now I'm going over any race I've done in the past, how much did I enjoy the race?  Was it worth my money and time to get there?  Etc.  Etc.  Etc.  


What was your favorite race: spring/OLY triathlon and runs (13.1 and under)?  Is there a race you loved so much and you continue to go back year after year?  And is there a race you've done that is worth using all of the season's allotted money to race?

I need some serious focus - I NEED goals ASAP!

Friday, September 11, 2015

Be Careful What You Wish For....

Everyone knows I NEVER stop complaining about training and working out.  I hate the actual act of working out, being uncomfortable, being pushed - I hate it all.  But I do it for a few reasons: 1. I'm terrified to turn into any of my very unhealthy family members I see what my DNA has in store for me if I don't change it 2. I love training with my girls 3. I love the feeling of completing a race - as in the day after when I can talk about it like it was no big deal and 4. I love to go on rides with my sweet NLLP!

This group of people (and the sunrise) make training so fun and worth it:

After all is said and done - I constantly complain and it's a constant struggle to get it done.  However, now here I am with what I thought would make me happy "an excuse" & an injury.  Last week, I had extremely painful shooting pains down my leg and was unable to put any pressure on it.  I thought for sure my hip bone broke right out of its socket.  The pain was unbearable.  That day went straight to the chiropractor and he was able to fix it temporarily only for the pain to come back within an hour so I headed back over to him.  He took an Xray and didn't like what he saw so I went for an MRI.  The results came back last night and I have 2 bulging discs and some other random stuff but the bottom line is that it's nothing too serious and will be better, soon.  But Not Today.

I've got TWO of these - lucky me!

Never did I think this day would come where a doctor told me not to run for a few weeks and I'd be sad.  ME - SAD - NOT RUNNING!  WTF - this is the day I've been waiting for!  An actual real life excuse to sit on my ass.

It's now been 10 days since my last workout of any sort and it feels like 100 years ago.  The depression is setting in bc of it.  I was feeling so bad today that I took my dog for a walk over a mile and that was my form of exercise for the day.

The really bad part of this whole situation is having another DNS on my record.  Sunday is Run the Reservoir 13.1 just a few towns away from me.  A half marathon is really hard for me, it's far and long but I registered in order to raise money for my GOTR girls.  And most importantly, I trained for this damn thing. The money is still raised and goes to the girls but now I'm not actually running in the race which feels just lame.  Flat out: LAME.  So instead I'll go on Sunday to the race to cheer everyone on, watch all of the other runners finish their race while I stand at the finish line with a stupid cow bell feeling like a failure that couldn't start or finish a race I registered for AND raised funds for - damn bulging discs.

So for the rest of the weekend I will wallow in my own self pity of: getting old, turning into someone I don't want to be, getting fat, slow, lazy and pathetic.  DAMN where is my Girls on the Run lesson when I need one???

OK going for a short run/walk tomorrow - wish me luck!