Spring Racing and 2014 Plans

This post is a long time coming. And just plain long. I apologize in advance if it seems like a bunch of random thoughts thrown out. But there are a lot of factors going into my plans for the year and I want to try to explain them all so that my decision makes sense (even if just to me). After making the announcement of my goal of qualifying for the Ironman World championships (one day) back in October, I began filling my race calendar with triathlons – 70.3 Eagleman in June, 70.3 Princeton in September, Ironman Florida in November. Every ounce of my competitive self wanted to train my butt off and focus as much time and energy as I could to start the road to (hopefully  one day) qualify for Kona. (*Note: the only race I am currently signed up for is Eagleman; I held off on Princeton and it is now sold out; I was going to run IM Florida with Team Refuel again so no entry was necessary.) I don’t remember the exact moment or day, but at some point in December / January I kind of had that “aha” moment and realized there was a Continue Reading →

PR Spotlight – Sarah (Run Far Girl)

Happy Friday!! Thank you so much for all of your comments and words of encouragement on yesterday’s post!  I’m getting ready to head up to West Point for the weekend – it’s my 10 year reunion and I will be spending quality time with some of my closest girl friends ! There is a dinner/social tonight followed by a parade, lunch in the mess hall, and football game on Saturday.  Sunday morning I will be racing the SI Half Marathon – I’ve done this race twice before and am excited to be running in my hometown again. I’m hoping for a PR, but it’s not the easiest course, so will be satisfied with a steady effort and strong finish! Lots of racing going on this weekend – including my triathlon coach, Marni and running coach, Katie who will be tackling Kona (the race I discussed yesterday) and the Hartford Marathon, respectfully.  Are you racing this weekend?? ——————- I am excited to share my good friend, Sarah’s, running story with you. We became acquainted through twitter/blogs a couple of years ago and became really close last year. We were due on the same day with our second baby and shared pregnancy, Continue Reading →

Weekend Highlights + 20 Mile Success


This past weekend was amazing! Thank you for all of your words of support and good luck wishes for my husband! He is officially a half-Ironman! =)  Below are some of the highlights from our weekend: – Crossing Finish Line with our youngest. I can’t stop smiling at this picture. This is the first finish line the little guy has crossed. – Half Ironman: Despite the heat (it was 90 degrees + super humid despite being a week into October), a pinched nerve in his neck last week (he was on steroids and muscle relaxers until race day to help with the pain and stiffness), a flat tire on the bike and bad stomach cramping during the run, my husband crossed the finish line!! There will always be something to complain about if you want to, but we are focusing on the good instead. He is a half-Ironman! – Weekend with our youngest – It was so fun to get 24+ hours with just the little guy. I put a picture up on IG last week and mentioned how I am loving my 90 min twice/week with him right now while my oldest is in “class” (it’s a toddler program that focuses on being around Continue Reading →

So You Want To Do An Ironman?


First, let me please preface this post by stating that I am by no means an expert at triathlons or Ironman competitions. Full disclosure: I’ve done ONE Ironman.{Hope to go for #2 next year!} But I’ve received a number of emails and comments asking various questions regarding choosing a race, training for one, time commitment and so on that I wanted to share my experience and “beginner” thoughts (not training tips) in hopes that it might help you if you are toying with the idea of one. AND, since the Ironman World Championship is next weekend (!!), I thought this was a great time for this post. I’ve watched Kona on TV for years – and each year, I would tell my husband that I wanted that to be me. {Note: most of these are not exclusive to Ironman competitions or even triathlons…many can be used in regards to your first running race as well!} You have to be all in. Training for an Ironman isn’t something you can fake or get by on with sporadic or little training. If you aren’t completely on board with wanting to do one, then you will slack on your training when things get tough. Course Continue Reading →

Things I’m Loving

erica sara

So I had my first stress workout on Monday.  Plan called for 2 miles warmup, 2 x 2 mile tempo interval (with 3 min active recovery in between each), 2 mile cooldown. Goal pace was 7:00->6:55. I hit the paces (6:54-> 6:52, 6:58-> 6:53), but it was a lot tougher than I would have liked.   The first set was manageable, but I was exhausted by the mile part of the second set. I don’t think it should have felt that hard.  UGH. Truth is, I am trying really hard to not get down on my speed just yet.  Ironman training put me in the best shape of my life – my fitness level is higher than it’s ever been.  But, my run speed suffered. Something had to take a backseat…and for me, that was running.  So although I can run 20 miles the day after a 100 mile bike ride, I cannot hold a speedy pace on a tempo run.  My worry (fear?) is that my spring marathon goal is not feasible right now.  My plan is to just focus on each speed workout, each long run the best I can and see how my body responds.  I have Continue Reading →

More Recovery + I waited 7 months for this


Hey friends! So not much running last week.  Or blogging.  It was just what I needed.  Although I thought I was ready to begin marathon training, my body and heart needed more time to recover. More time to not really do much of anything.  Except sleep in, spend more time outside with the boys, stay up watching movies with my husband, eating whatever I wanted, and drinking a bit too much. After a week of binge living (ha), I feel ready to start training again. So let’s catch up. As it turns out, two weeks was not enough time for me to fully recover from the Ironman. My first run was one week after the race and was entirely too fast.  I knew it while I was running.  I should have slowed down.  But it was one of those runs where you just say “screw it” and run what you want. It was a celebratory run.  My victory lap.  My legs didn’t feel fatigued but I knew they were. Does that even make sense? 7 miles / 7:30 pace. Splits: 8:06, 7:43, 7:32, 7:33, 7:25, 7:19, 6:52. Whoops. read more

Ironman Lake Placid Race Weekend

I decided to break this into two segments – the days leading up to the race (Race Weekend) and then Race Day (swim, T1, bike, T2, run, post-race, post-race day). There’s a lot to say and I don’t want to have a ridiculous amount posts so bear with me. It’s long. If you want the cliff-notes version of the below novel, check out yesterday’s post =) Race Weekend My husband, sons, and I made our way up to the Adirondack region late Wednesday night (boys’ bedtime) and arrived at our friends’ home just after 1am.  The house could not have been more perfect.  I mean, what is there not to love about waking up to this view for a few days? Although the temps at night dropped down to the mid-40s (!!) and only got up to low/mid-70s during the day, the lake was really warm (mid-70s maybe?). The early mornings were eerily beautiful because of the mist coming off of the warm water. We spent the next couple of days not doing a whole lot – hanging out at the lake, feeding the ducks, reading, relaxing in the house, doing a bit of sight-seeing in Long Lake (the town where our Continue Reading →

Ironman Lake Placid


Good Morning!! I am working on a full recap from Sunday’s Ironman, but wanted to share the news (in case you aren’t on twitter or Instagram)… I am an Ironman!!! =) Sunday was a long day, but one that went amazingly smooth for almost the full 140.6 miles.  I finished in 13:04.  The swim was slower than I had wanted or anticipated, but man, it felt GOOD to be finished with it and to feel the ground on my feet.  The bike was awesome.  My laps were almost even split and BOTH were significantly faster than the one loop I did during my training weekend a few weeks ago.  The run started off amazingly – my legs were not dead and I was maintaining about 8:30 pace (I started walking through aid stations at mile 4 to ensure I was drinking at least 2 cups of water so my mile splits were around 9:00).  Unfortunately, pretty serious stomach cramping began just before mile 10 and I couldn’t eat anything for the final 16.2 miles.  Even worse was that at times it was so painful that I couldn’t run – I was bent over in pain. read more

Ironman Lake Placid: Tracking Details


I’ve been asked a lot over the last week by friends and family about how they can track me on race day, so I wanted to share all the details here! Race Day: Sunday, July 28, 2013 Start Time: Pros start at 6:30am; waves will begin a few minutes after that based on projected finish times.  I should enter the water sometime around 6:45-6:50am. Bib #: 604 Finish Time: Anywhere between 7:15pm and midnight (7:15 is hoping that things go amazingly well on race day!) Ways to Track Me: Ironman.com website: The “results” page should be updated on race morning to have live athlete tracking. There will be a TON of splits that will be given (start, loops, transition) Twitter: My sister, Danielle, will be tweeting the splits from the website as soon as they are updated.  Additionally, she will tweet any pics/updates that my family gets “in-person” from me as they will be at the race Instagram: Danielle will also be posting any pictures they are able to take to my IG account throughout the day! Got Chocolate Milk: I am representing Team Refuel this weekend and they will be posting/sharing pics and details of the race on their Twitter page! read more

Ironman Lake Placid Goals + Woman Runs 366 Marathons in One Year


Although the big day is still 11 days away, I know that there will be little to no time to post here next week.  We are heading up to Lake Placid Wednesday evening until Monday afternoon. Those days will be filled with as much relaxation and family time as possible.  I am not even sure if we will bring the computer. One of the reasons I jumped on the opportunity to race Lake Placid was proximity.  Yes, it is 5 1/2 hours away.  Not an easy drive.  But it is driving distance.  It is also considered to be one of the more spectator-friendly Ironman races.  I knew I wanted my family there.  They have supported me through so many challenges I’ve taken on and been at the finish line for some of the most important (my first marathon {Philadelphia – 2002}, my first NYC Marathon in 2007, winning the Foot Locker 5 Borough Challenge in 2011).  My cheering squad will be out in FULL FORCE for the race – my husband, sons, mom, dad, all 3 sisters, my grandmother, brother-in-law, and niece and nephew.  Not only that, but they will be supporting me in style.  It will be SO easy Continue Reading →

Lake Placid Training Weekend


It was bound to happen.  Up until this point, most of my Ironman training recaps have been successful.  They may not have been perfect, but I’ve hit the distance or time I wanted.  Well, I didn’t this weekend. While our weekend trip to Lake Placid was great for so many reasons (I’ll explain below), I am not entirely thrilled with how my training went down. It seemed like nothing went according to plan and I didn’t manage to reach any of my goals for the 3 disciplines.  And it was my last training weekend.  Not the way I wanted to enter the taper. We left at the boys bedtime on Friday night. The plan made sense – in theory.  For whatever reason, my husband and I were thinking it would take just over 4 hours but in reality, it took us 5.  We left at 8pm.  We go to bed early…we get up early.  So you can imagine how the drive felt by 10pm. Brutal. Slapping the face, drinking coffee trying-to-stay awake brutal.  I dozed in and out of sleep for the first 2 hours while my husband drove solo.  We checked in to the hotel just after 1am.  Carried Continue Reading →

Single Parenting


I have so much respect for single moms and dads.  I function fine with the boys during the day but I start counting down the minutes until my husband walks in the door after he finishes work.  Kind of unfair to him because he just returned from a full day of work too.  But, even if I just occupy myself with one little guy while he gets the other, it’s a huge break. Especially when the littlest is now doing things like this: I’ve had to single parent twice in the last week.  It’s exhausting. Straight from work on Friday, my husband headed up to Boston for a wedding and returned late Sunday afternoon.  And then late Tuesday night, he went down to DC for work and returns tonight.  It’s tough to have no break. No help at dinner. Bath time. Cleanup. Bedtime. It doesn’t help either that my youngest has been waking up 1-2x a night lately and the oldest is up for the day just after 5.  So there hasn’t been much sleep for me.  But who needs sleep when you have these two little nuggets? read more

Mighty Moss Half Ironman Race Recap

After the Rev 3 Quassy Olympic 4 weeks ago, I knew it was in my best interest to have another tune-up race before Lake Placid.  There was so much that I learned in that first triathlon and I wanted to make some adjustments as well as test out my nutrition plan at the longer distance.  My training plan had a half ironman on the schedule for this past weekend and I couldn’t believe  my luck when I found the Mighty Moss Half – it was within driving distance, was the right weekend, and was a small race.  Sign me up! The website touted it as a great tune-up for Ironman Lake Placid and although I looked at the elevation for the run and bike, I didn’t realize how hilly it was.  It had 3,700+ ft of gain for the 56 mile bike and 800 ft for the 13.1 mile run.  The great news is that this course is actually hillier than Lake Placid!  Lake Placid has 2,400 ft of gain per loop for the bike (4,800 total) and about 500 for the first half of the run (1,000 total) – so over the same distance, the course this weekend was 50% Continue Reading →

Age Group Win at Mighty Moss Half Ironman!

Happy Monday, friends!! The full recap of yesterday’s half-ironman is coming…I have so much to share, but was too wiped out after the race to write it last night. Plus, I wanted to spend the rest of the afternoon with the boys rather than sitting in front of the computer. Lots of good things (36ish minute swim!!) and not so good things (I crashed on the bike) happened.  The rain held off but the heat and humidity came out to make for a very long, sweltering day.  The run was a gut check.  But as one of my Instagram friends said “This is a memory bank race for IMLP. Draw in the good and build on the bad.” I finished in 6:03ish (results have not been posted yet so I don’t know my exact time or placing yet)…but I do know that I won my age group.  Granted, this wasn’t a huge race, but placing in my age group makes the day a bit brighter and somehow even makes me forget some of the pain I felt during the run! Thank you for all of your messages, comments, and tweets wishing me good luck.  They mean so much to me! read Continue Reading →

Triathlon #2: Mighty Moss Half Ironman

Follow NYC Running Mama on BlogLovin or subscribe to receive email notifications! This weekend will bring me one step closer to Ironman Lake Placid (which is ONE month away today – aghh!). My second triathlon will be the Mighty Moss Half Ironman. I am surprisingly calm – and actually, even really, really excited! This race is important for a number of reasons. First, it will be my longest triathlon {to date} and it fits perfectly into my trainup for IMLP. I lucked out that I was able to find the right distances at the right time based on what my training plan has called for. Second, I’m anxious to see how I do with the transitions and the other trouble areas I had for the Rev 3 Olympic a few weeks ago.  Practice makes perfect, right? Third, I’m testing out my nutrition plan for IMLP.  Fingers are crossed that things go smoothly. I’m replicating what I did for my 100 miler last weekend (I had no stomach issues albeit I think I need to consume a bit more calories/hour). read more

Breastfeeding and Endurance Sports

Follow NYC Running Mama on BlogLovin or subscribe to receive email notifications! ———————– I’ve gotten a ton of emails, comments, and messages from readers asking how I am managing to breastfeed while Ironman training.  I am not going to sugar coat this post and pretend that I am doing all of this training while happily and easily breastfeeding without any issues or concerns. SO not the case. Juggling both is hard.  I do a lot of things on a regular basis to ensure I have enough milk. And as my husband can account to, I am often stressing out about how much milk I am providing for the little guy. I’ve had issues with supply (which I discuss below) and it’s almost a daily fight to keep the supply up.  But, here I am – just over 4 weeks away from my first Ironman and still exclusively breastfeeding my 9 month old son.  If nothing else, I hope this post shows that breastfeeding CAN be done while training for long distance events like marathons and even an Ironman. Yes, it takes a bit more time and energy to maintain a healthy supply, but it 100% can be done if you are determined Continue Reading →

Century Ride + 5k with Double Stroller


Don’t forget to enter the Sparkly Soul Giveaway! After last week’s post on the demons I have been dealing with, I have tried to focus on what I can control each day while not freaking out about things that are still weeks away (less than 5 now!). Saturday was scheduled to be my longest ride {so far} in my training for Ironman Lake Placid.  My plan was to ride at least 5 hours (which would put me at 85-90 miles), but I knew in my head that my real goal was to hit 100 miles.  I wanted to see those three digits. Took me 5 hours 45 min (17.4 mph). It wasn’t easy and at points, really not fun, but it’s one more long training ride that is in the bank that hopefully will pay dividends on race day.  I rode continuously except 2 minor stops – at mile 31, I stopped at my mom’s to refill water bottles and use the bathroom and at mile 63, I returned home to breastfeed and pump. These long rides are important for three major reasons. The first two are the obvious ones – they are physically preparing me for the 112 miles Continue Reading →

Chasing The Demons


Don’t forget to enter the Sparkly Soul GIVEAWAY! I’ve been having a really hard time sleeping lately.  Most nights, I fall asleep pass out as soon as my head comes within 10 feet of my bed.  But I often find myself waking up for no apparent reason.  I spend the next 2-3 LONG hours willing sleep to wisk me away. These moments when I’m wide awake have been filled with demons.  Those little voices in your head that question your dreams, doubt all the work you have done, and scare the daylights out of you.  As I lay there at 2am, 3am, my head is filled with worry and my heart feels like it’s beating out of control. These demons are not new to me.  They are familiar visitors that I have been ready for in the past.   I have come to expect them in the days leading up to a big race…they often go by names such as taper crazies and doubt.  I guess in some weird way, I look forward to their visit.  I know they have come because I’ve dreamed big.  Because I’ve spent weeks/months working for this goal.  Because I’m scared of failing.  These are good things. And so Continue Reading →

Whirlwind Weekend on the West Coast + 100 marathons by age 28

Just wanted to drop in and say hello! It’s been over a week since I last came on here to blog.  I had such great intentions while I was on vacation – I even brought the computer with me…I always seem to think that I will have all this free time and that I will blog and respond to emails after the kids go to sleep.  But honestly, I am often in bed earlier than when we are home.  Being away from home with two little ones is pretty exhausting.  There is no safe area to let them roam while you kick your feet up and relax.  I also think I reached muscle failure no less than 50x this weekend from holding them so much.  The only place where it was really okay for my youngest to be roaming on the ground (crawling) was either the hotel room or the grass – but even in those instances, my husband or I could not take our eyes off of him.  So while it was technically a vacation, it’s not really a rest and relaxation vacation. HA.  We often passed out alongside the boys as we were putting them to sleep – so Continue Reading →

Tempo Run with Double Stroller

double stroller3

Last Wednesday was supposed to be a 45 min run (with 25-30 min at tempo).  My goal pace would have been between 6:40-6:45  (average) for 4 miles. But after deciding to sleep in a bit, my options were either the treadmill or the double stroller.  I spent almost the entire winter logging miles on my treadmill in the basement – long runs, intervals, tempos.  It was the rare occasion when I would head outside – especially on speed days. Now that I’ve been running and biking almost exclusively outside, I DREAD the treadmill.  And I’ve (re)learned that running outside is harder.  A 7:45 pace on the treadmill is much easier (at least for me) than a 7:45 outside.  You have to work for every step, every mile.  And you can’t zone out the way you can on the treadmill – especially on speed days. Truth is, I have been forcing myself to get outside as much as I can.  I’d rather run slower outside on a daily basis and be ready for my pace on race day then run much faster on the treadmill and walk away from a race disappointed. read more