Monday, October 31, 2011

Spooktacular October

It’s that time of the year again… my favorite holiday!

I thought it would be appropriate to write up a little something for today since it’s the last day of October and I’ve had a very fulfilling off-season this month.

October 1st was the day of my last triathlon for 2011 and I vowed to take some time off following that race. I cheated a little bit and signed up for an open water swim on October 8th because Nick emailed the team about it and I hadn’t done an open water swim by itself in forever so of course I wanted to sign up. I convinced Marc to do it with me as well, so we had a chill Friday evening and woke up early on Saturday morning to drive to Red Bank, NJ. It was very familiar because Marc and I had been there earlier this year in April for the Red Bank Olympic and it was in the exact same place!

I’ve never done an open water swim longer than 1.2 miles, so this 2.4 mile race was quite a swim! Luckily I brought my wetsuit and it totally helped me out. Marc and Nick didn’t wear a wetsuit and they had to get out of the water after the first 1.2 mile lap because it was too cold! Not to mention there were JELLYFISH!!! Yep. They were stinging us randomly along the way because they were just chilling in the water as we swam. All in all it was a fun time. I ended up around 25 minutes for the first lap and 26 minutes for the second lap, coming in at 51:24.2 for the total time. CLICK HERE for results. After not swimming for a week, my triceps and lats were very sore by the end of it, but I did really well and it was a good experience!
Now I know that if I ever do an ironman, I should definitely be coming in under an hour for the swim part.

So that was that. Marc and I went to Sandy Hook to walk around and get lunch after the race and the weather was sunny and perfect. On Sunday we took a trip to the High Line Park in NYC and also made a stop at the Peanut Butter & Co. Sandwich Shop. It was a perfect day during a perfect weekend.  We even went Pumpkin Picking at Peaceful Valley Orchards at some point that weekend and it was so fun! I didn’t have to worry about swim practice, going for a run, needing to ride my bike, nothing. Being so carefree and relaxed is something I’m not used to and it felt so good!
Marc pulling our pumpkin wagon...
The rest of the week I did zero physical activity and prepared for the most epic October weekend ever to be! Stevens Institute of Technology was preparing to inaugurate its 7th president since 1870, Dr. Nariman Favardin, and they had planned one hell of a party to celebrate.

I invited Sarah and Andrea to be my guests for the actual Inauguration on Friday, and we went from the Inauguration in the gym to a wine and hors d'oeuvres reception in Babbio. We met some very nice elderly alumni and had a grand old time. Then Saturday was Stevens’ first home swim meet of the year, so I gathered the alumni on a full bleacher section at the pool and we prepared to cheer on our old teammates! It was soo weird being on “the other side.” So weird. I felt old and very nostalgic because I totally wanted to be swimming with them. I guess that’s how I’ll always feel now that swimming is no longer my life. We cheered on the Ducks and grabbed some free food and drinks during the Homecoming festivities out front of Walker Gym.

We then headed back to prepare for the epic Edwin A. Stevens Society & Inauguration Gala!!!! Pictures below. It was just a beautiful night at The Westin in Jersey City filled with good food, good drink, great friends, awesome music, and killer dancing.

After all the amazingness of that weekend and about 2 weeks off of physical activity, I was feeling the happiness in my body start turning into sluggishness. So I decided to run a couple times that following week and I even ended up running 8 miles on October 23rd and 7 miles on October 30th after a few miles here and there throughout the week. So I’m slowly easing into it and it feels great!!!! I never knew that running could feel so freeing and relaxing. I bike so much during training that it never gives me the opportunity to run effectively on fresh legs.

After these few solo runs, I can definitely tell that my running during the season is affected by all the brick workouts, lack of rest in between bikes and runs, and lack of rest in general. After reading THIS ARTICLE that was passed along to me, I may be changing up how I approach my training a little bit this year and see what happens. I don’t want to be tired all the time… I want to be fast and efficient and that’s how I’m going to train.

Here are some photos from our Winter Storm Watch weekend
Yup, it was only the fourth time since the Civil War that snow has fallen in NYC in October!

Pumpkin Carving!
Pumpkin Spice Cookies!
So on this beautiful Halloween day, I am kicking off my new season and jumping back into training! Here’s to a great upcoming season…
Look out for more training reports along the way as I figure out how to face the freezing temperatures on runs and bike for hours on my trainer indoors. I may even start blogging about some delicious and nutritious meals I cook up as well!


Pretty sweet pumpkin bike racking I found randomly ; )

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