A Blog Full of Thankfulness (And Updates!)

Woah, where has the time gone!  I swear I just posted yesterday.

First off, HAPPY (belated) THANKSGIVING!! I hope everyone was able to find at least one thing they were thankful for.  This year, I’m thankful for my new job on the vascular surgery floor and being healthy enough to compete in the sport I love. I’m also thankful for the amazing support of my family, friends, and my amazing group of training partners.  I didn’t get to do any turkey trots this year because of an overnight shift at the hospital, but I was able to make it up to Connecticut and see my family there.  Unfortunately, this is what overnights plus tryptophan (okay, and a couple beers) do to you.

Thankful for friends, family, and pockets

Thankful for friends, family, and pockets

I’m also really thankful for my new favorite gadget.  You’d think it would be some sort of watch or bike computer, but no, it’s actually a blender.  A new Ninja blender!  My favorite part of a hard workout is being able to come and throw fruits, juice, veggies, and some protein into the blender.  Not only does it taste good, but it cools you off, provides the proper balance of protein, carbs, and fat after a workout, and since it’s liquified it’s more easily digested.  Perfect in every way possible.

Before: blueberries, banana, plain greek yogurt, spinach, protein powder, milk, ice

Before: blueberries, banana, plain greek yogurt, spinach, protein powder, milk, ice

After: pure deliciousness

After: pure deliciousness

So what have I been up to?  Well, I officially aged up!! My 24th birthday was November 8th, meaning next year will be my 25th.  In the triathlon world, according to USAT, that makes my 24th birthday, actually, my 25th birthday.  So next year I will be reading in M25-29.  Does that scare me or intimidate me?  No.  It just means I get a better challenge at kicking ass.  It also means I need to work that much harder.  So, I put together my winter training pain cave.  After every season I like to look back and see what went well and what didn’t and then fast forward to set up goals for next year.  The biggest change I’m making is I’m switching over to power-based training from heart rate training.  I’m getting a power tap hub with some new Zipp wheels and learning what this power training is really about.  I’m also using the Endurance Nation off season plan which is power based and is mainly quality over quantity type workouts.  “Get fast before you go long”.  It’s the complete opposite of how I trained last winter, but the results I’ve seen from people I know that used the plan talk for themselves.  Here’s to an awesome 2014 (I hope).

"As they're getting weaker, I'm getting stronger"

“As they’re getting weaker, I’m getting stronger”

I also have my 2014 schedule pretty much finalized, with a few things still to figure out.  I’ve already signed up for the Boston Marathon on April 21 and Eagleman 70.3 on June 8th.  I raced Eagleman 2 years ago as my first 70.3 and it was a blast.  I actually enjoyed the heat and the wind, but still fell apart on the run.  This year I’m really looking to finish under 5 hours (5:22 previously).  After a 5:11 at Quassy and a 5:06 at the  Half-Full, I can definitely see a sub-5 half ironman pretty attainable.  I’ve never ran Boston, but I know the crowds and the atmosphere will push me to a good run.  My goal is a 2:55, which is just 4 minutes faster than my previous PR of 2:59 at Philly in 2012.  I’m also signed up for my first 50K – the HAT Run.  It’s a local trail race near my house, but it’s a pretty big event in our running community.  It was capped at 500 racers so it’s a smaller race, but a challenging one.  The rest of the year is starting to come together.  I am thinking of Rev3 Morgantown in August, the newest addition to an already amazing line-up of races from Rev3, Rev3 Poconos, another new event for Rev3 that was previously a WTC Ironman 70.3, and then Ironman Miami 70.3.  Right now I am leaning towards the Rev3 events and hoping to, again, qualify for the age group series finale.

So, with my schedule coming together and my winter gear set up, I’m ready to ramp up my training.  Since the Half Full and Baltimore half in October I’ve been doing minimal training.  Fun runs and fun rides here and there and getting back to the weights with Nicole.  It’s been fun, but I’m ready to start pushing the effort again with the swim, bike, and run.  I did my first long run again today as my training for Boston starts up.  I did an easy 10 mile run at 7:34 pace, which is just about where I left off with my Lake Placid training.  Tomorrow is my official “20 week out” benchmark and the miles start ramping up.  My schedule is starting to open up a little bit with the semester being just a few weeks from over and I’m itching to get back.   I’m also going to be applying for some triathlon teams for 2014.  Not sure which ones yet, but hopefully I’ll get on one.  Who says triathlon isn’t a team sport?

Not an exciting post by any means, but just letting you all know I’m still alive.

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