April 22nd, 2012- I Don’t Want To Wake Up At 5:30am!
So training to start the season hasn’t gone as well as I’ve hoped. I have a 5K race next week which I would like to win and I’ve only had a chance to run a few times, I have 60 mile bike ride on May 20th and have yet to get on my bike…or even put air in my tires (or take a spin class because I quit the gym!) I have a sprint triathlon in June and have yet to get in the pool (my bother-in-law Dan is probably going to beat me and he’s never even done one)…Not a good start to my season. I guess I have to come to the realization that you can’t really train for a triathlon while working 5 days a week, going to school at night, coaching a tennis team, trying to see Andy much as I can (he’s in bed by 8pm), and trying to make time to go out and spend time with Jess (she’s in bed by 9:30pm haha). I do have some time on the weekends but working out for 2 days in a row and then doing nothing for 5 isn’t what I call “training.”
Right now, my free time during the week is as follows: Monday nights, Wednesday nights, and the weekend. Monday night is my night with Andy because I get home early and Jess doesn’t get home till 9:30pm. So if I want to train, I need to start at 9:30 which means I won’t get to see Jess that night. That sucks. Tuesday night I’m in class and don’t get home till 10pm. Jess is sleeping already but I’m not starting to work out after 10pm. Wednesday night is ball night (balllll niiiight- Mike and Tony know what I mean). I guess you can say that I am working out because basketball is great exercise, but it doesn’t really help in the distance-running, biking and swimming departments…. “So don’t play ball….” My problem is I love playing ball on Wednesday nights with my friends. While I was training for the Half Ironman, I gave up ball (officially retired) because I didn’t have time to play and I was really nervous to injure myself and have all that training go down the tubes. I don’t want to be Brett Favre and keep retiring and un-retiring from the game and I’m not giving up ball night! Plus, now that tennis season started most of matches are scheduled for Wednesday nights so I barely get to play ball as it is! Thursday night is class again. Woohoo- there’s my week.
What? The gym opens at 5:30am and there is a spin class twice a week at 6?? Yea ok.
March 28th, 2012: You’ll Get Better- Trust Me
I can’t wait for triathlon season. I actually started training this week for my first race in June. Here are a few tips for first-time triathletes:
1. Start with a shorter distance and work your way up. The first 2 triathlons I ever completed were sprint triathlons. This distance is great because it is short, quick and you get to learn the ins and outs of racing and transitioning from swim to bike and bike to run, plus, what exactly you need in order to finish the race. When it comes to triathlons, there’s a ton of equipment and it definitely gets confusing. It’s not like a 10K race, where you can show up with shorts, a shirt and sneakers and be ready to go. Also, by starting with a shorter distance, you will realize how much you need to train in order to get to the next level.
2. Get familiar with the course. For the first race, make it easy on yourself and choose an event close to home. If the event is within easy driving distance from your house, it helps reduce race-day stress and hassle. You can also do some of your workouts on the course, increasing your confidence and your familiarity with the race. One time during a 5K race, I accidentally made a left instead of a right because I didn’t know the course at all…I was actually in first place at that point and finished in 4th place because of that stupid mistake. Don’t let that happen to you! (unless your racing against me, then it’s fine).
3. A swim-suit and goggles is all you need. If you do not own a wetsuit, no problem! Most people think you need a wetsuit in order to compete but I can attest you really don’t…I am usually one of the few out there in just a swim suit and goggles and it works out well because I can find myself easily in post race pictures! Sometimes however, races do require a wetsuit because the water is freezing and in that case you can always rent one if you don’t want to throw down $300 on a brand new one. Good goggles however, are a must. I’ve tried to buy a cheap pair of goggles and ended up regretting it since the straps come loose and the lenses fog up which makes for a brutal swim.
4. Any bike is fine. Any working bike you have will be just fine whether it’s a road bike, mountain bike or hybrid. When I first started, I did my first 60 mile bike ride with my Trek mountain bike. Needless to say, I was the only one there with a mountain bike but who cares! It was definitely tougher on a heavy mountain bike but I still finished. Also, try and train on the bike you will be riding during the race rather than borrowing a bike on race day. It’s really important to be comfortable with the bike you are racing with. Make sure you know how to change a flat tire just in case!
5. Running sneakers are actually important. If you do not currently own a pair of running sneakers, you need a pair. Jackrabbit in Manhattan/Brooklyn is a great store that specializes in triathlon sports. They have treadmills in the store and can help you find the right sneakers for you. They should ask you questions about your feet, running history and watch your gait while walking and running.
6. It doesn’t take as much training as you might think. If you are in good running and biking shape you shouldn’t have a problem finishing a sprint triathlon. I’m not saying you’ll come in first place, but you should be able to finish. Getting to a pool is the main issue. Once you find a pool or lake to train in you should be money. You don’t need to be training 20 to 30 hours per week. You can be ready for a sprint-distance race on less than five hours per week of training. Most weeks are less than five hours.
8. Transition time actually counts. I was surprised by time it takes to change from swimming to biking and from biking to running (known as transitions, “T1” and “T2”). All of the time between the start of your swim and when you cross the finish line at the end of the run counts! Make sure you practice your transitions and have your transition area set up in a way that makes sense. After the swim, have a towel to dry off, make sure your change of clothes is in order, sneakers or bike shoes are open and ready to go and your helmet is on your bike. For T2, I am usually in the top 10 in this stage because I don’t have clips on my bike. It saves me almost 2-3 minutes because I literally get off my bike, take my helmet off and go! In a sprint triathlon 2 years ago I had a T2 transition time of 16 seconds- good for Number 1 overall!!
For your first race, try to keep things simple. Once you get hooked on the sport, you can look into ways to get faster or go longer. Once you do get hooked, there’s PLENTY of gear such as Garmin heart rate monitors, odometers and GPS systems, specialized triathlon bikes, and a ton more…If you do your first triathlon this summer, please be sure to let me know how it goes! (Thanks to Gale Bernhardt at active.com).
March 14th, 2012: Goodbye NYSC
I have officially frozen my New York Sports Club membership and I cannot be more excited! Don’t get me wrong, I loved being a member and especially loved their spin classes, but I hated the fact that due to my current schedule, I can only get to the gym on Sundays and frankly paying $82 a month to go once a week is robbery. I actually went to cancel my membership à la the Friends episode where Chandler tries to quit the gym and was told that instead of paying $82 a month for a passport membership, they would give me the Morgan Stanley corporate discount of $54 a month! There’s $224 down the toilet since I started at M.S. 8 months ago! Ok I’m sorry, enough about how much I’m spending on my gym membership…
Anyways, the reason for cancelling/freezing my membership you ask?
1) It’s finally that amazing time of year when the temperature rises over 40 degrees (during any other winter I would write “20 degrees”) and all the joggers and bikers come out of hibernation. The winter is by far the hardest time to work out and stay in shape since it’s (usually) freezing outside and it gets dark at like 2pm. If you want to stay in shape you either have to hit the gym, starve yourself, or throw on super tight compression leggings, a long sleeved spandex shirt, shorts and normal shirt so you don’t look weird, extra warm socks, hat and gloves and maybe even a jacket and go for a run or a ride. I’ve done that and it SUCKS. Being outside isn’t that bad but getting dressed is a bitch; not to mention peeling off all of that sweaty clothing when your done. When the weather gets nice, you can just throw on shorts and a t-shirt and head out. It’s a beautiful thing.
2) After three weeks of waiting, my Bowflex SelectTech 552 weights have finally arrived! If you remember, my birthday theme was to make life easier. Well having the equivalent of 30 dumb-bells in your apartment is a big help. The weights adjust 5 to 52.5 lbs. and they’re really easy to use. Not to mention they take up no space at all right next to Andy’s exersaucer, swing, bouncer, pack n’ play, play-mat etc… I can now finally lift weights before or after doing cardio without going to the gym, which is a huge deal for me. Coming home from school and doing a 15 minute workout could not be easier. This was actually the main reason for trying to cancel my gym membership. For $399, I was able to get 2 sets of weights and a stand for them. The stand actually costs another $159 but Bowflex threw in the stand for free and didn’t charge me for shipping; a pretty sweet deal if you ask me (this is what happens when you call and negotiate instead of buying right online- thank you Baruch MBA negotiating class). While you might be thinking “Hey $399 sounds like a lot of money”…it’s true- it is. But if you really think about it, I was spending an absurd amount of money on my gym membership (~$984) and now that I have my Bowflex 552 weights I don’t need my membership anymore! So really I’m being paid $585 to work out with Bowflex!! Ahhhhh…the power of rationalization…
March 2nd, 2012: Summer Triathlon Schedule
After carefully trying to figure out my race schedule for this summer, I think I have come to a decision. My goal is to complete the Ironman. Unfortunately, there is no chance I am going to have time to train for that this season between work and school. Instead of taking the summer off because of my busy schedule (like I did last year), I have decided stay in triathlon shape and train for a Sprint Triathlon (the Gold Coast Triathlon on Long Island) to start the summer in June, and finish the summer off with an Olympic Triathlon (Westchester Triathlon…in Westchester) in September. When I am finished with school and actually have some time on my hands next season, I plan on training for and hopefully completing the Ironman. I am really excited and hopefully I will be able to run these races with a friend to make training and racing more fun; since it’s 100x more fun when you beat someone you know! Any volunteers??
In case you are unaware of the different kinds/lengths of triathlons, here is an explanation and links to triathlon websites I plan to complete this season and next:
While there are shorter distances than the sprint triathlon, the distance of the sprint triathlon is the fastest growing and most popular distance for beginning triathletes. This race involves a 750 meter swim (approximately .47 miles), a 20 kilometer bicycle (approximately 12.4 miles), and a 5 kilometer run (approximately 3.1 miles).
The Olympic distance is also known as the “standard” or “international” distance and is considered the Olympic distance based on its inclusion in the Olympic Games. For the Olympic distance, the swim is 1.5 kilometers (.93 miles), the biking portion is 40 kilometers (24.8 miles), and the run is 10 kilometers (6.2 miles). The Olympic distances are twice as far as the sprint distances.
While the sprint distance is half of an Olympic triathlon, the half triathlon distances are half of the full, or Ironman, distances. The half triathlon, also known as “middle distance” triathlons or “Half-Ironman,” is composed of a 1.9 kilometer swim (1.2 miles), a 90 kilometer bike ride (56 miles), and a half-marathon (21.09 kilometers or 13.1 miles).
The full triathlon, known worldwide as the Ironman, is one of the most grueling athletic events regularly enlisting competitors. Those who complete an Ironman have swam 3.8 kilometers (or 2.4 miles), biked 180 kilometers (112 miles), and finished off the race by running a complete marathon (42.2 kilometers or 26.2 miles).
*(Thank you Cassie Escriture, from the Yahoo! Contributor Network)
February 23rd, 2012: Happy Birthday To Me!
For those of you who didn’t know, this weekend was my birthday…happy birthday to me- thanks. I love February 20th. Not only because the entire day is centered around me and I get to speak to family and friends who call/text/bbm/facebook/email ect…me to wish me a happy birthday, but because my birthday always falls out right around President’s Weekend. (FYI: if you have yet to wish me a happy birthday, now is your chance- better late than never). I received some great gifts this year but nothing can compare to the gift of “No School and No Work On My Birthday!” Most of the time my birthday falls out over the weekend but this year I got the weekend AND Monday off. It was incredible….I was able to spend time with my family, work-out, go out for dinner, hang out with friends and not have to worry about work, school and everything else in between.
I did however get some amazing gifts that gave the gift of “No School and No Work On My Birthday” a real run for its money. As everyone already knows, I have a lot on my plate right now. Between school, Morgan Stanley and coaching HS varsity tennis, the main parts of my life that suffer the most are time with my family, exercising /staying healthy and getting school work done. This year I decided that the theme of my birthday was to get presents that will make my life easier. There are a few gifts I wanted to mention but I will start with the one gift that I’ve had in my possession for a few weeks and I can intelligently review.
The first gift Evan received on his “make my life easier” themed birthday is…drum-roll please! Amazon’s Kindle Fire! So far, it’s amazing. I can’t say enough about this device. I can actually read the Wall Street Journal on the subway before work and not have worry about: 1) going on my blackberry and loading every article on wsj.com before I lose service in the subway, 2) restarting my blackberry because it has frozen, 3) my hands becoming black with ink, and last but not least 4) the impossible feat of having to read an ACTUAL NEWSPAPER while on the subway! In my last post, I mentioned I do all my reading and school work on the subway since I do not have second to do anything during the day. Having this Kindle is a HUGE help. Not only can I read the paper on the subway, but it also allows me to get my reading for school and work done on the subway so I can spend some time with my family and *try* to work out when I get home. It’s a great little device that costs about 1/3 of what the iPad costs and works really well. I highly recommend it!
I haven’t received my next gift yet since it needed to be ordered online…as soon as I get it I will report back.
February 15th, 2012: Relaxing…
So here I am, standing on the subway at 9:30pm on my way home from school. I thought I would be sitting (semi) comfortably, but for some reason the train is PACKED at 9:30 at night. Fantastic…
For those of you who didn’t read my Bio, I’m in the process of getting my MBA at Baruch College part-time after a long day of work at Morgan Stanley. I’ve been trying to find a second in my day to post my first blog and it seems 9:30pm on the E-train is basically the only time I have. Between work all day, school at night, coaching tennis on the weekends…trying to find time for school work is nearly impossible, since I would rather spend time with my family and *try* to work-out…thank god for the Subway.
So this is what my life has come to: “thank god for the subway.” For most, when you mention the word “subway” they think: rush hour turmoil, standing next to some homeless guy trying to hold your breath and racing the person standing next to you for that seat. For me its the oppostite. I love the subway. I am lucky enough to live next to the E,F,R, & M. The E & F in Queens are express trains and will get me to work faster, but I choose to take the local M train to work. Granted, I need to wake up 10 minutes earlier to get to work on time, but by taking the local train in the morning I get the almighty “seat.” No one would even consider taking the local train in the morning because it’s too slow (it’s actually not that bad) but sitting on the subway is the key to my morning. It allows me to read the paper, do my school work and when I’m feeling extremely lazy, watch Dexter and Scrubs on my iPod. It is my place of relaxation away from a crazy world where my Blackberry rings for 10 hours straight.
Right now is supposed to be my second round of relaxation for the day…the E train at 9:30 at night on my way home from school. Why are there no seats??????????????????????????
And now I’m walking home in the rain…..crap.