Well, it might have taken me almost 2 weeks, but I’m so excited about this post because I love to reflect back on all the fun stuff! As a matter of fact I just might not even mention a thing about my injuries in this post because we all know they were a far cry from a highlight =)

January 26th, 2014: The Fred Lebow Manhattan Half Marathon

We sure had one very cold and very snowy winter and it was great to have a half marathon to run in the new year while everyone else was home in their PJs watching TV and staying warm. It was 17 degrees that day. I always feel like running in inclement or extreme weather gives you honorary rock star status.

2014 fred lebow half1

Enjoying some frozen Gatorade

My friend Carey was the only other brave peep with me that day and we ran together from start to finish. She’s such a consistently paced runner and I enjoyed letting her keep us nice and steady.

2014 fred lebow half1a

Carey and me braving the cold for 13.1 miles in Central Park

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Holy bejeezus! I can’t even believe that Sunday really happened.

I completed the Jersey Girl Triathalon and managed to live to tell. Here’s how the day went.

3:40am Alarm clock goes off
I popped up and got myself together. I had packed all my gear the night before. I even put the bike in the car the night prior as well. My gear was all put into a backpack with 2 separate clear bags. 1 containing what I needed for my bike and 1 with my running gear plus a towel in each bag as well. Unfortunately I was too nervous to eat so I just put a few teaspoons of sugar in my coffee figuring at least I’d get some calories.

5:45am Arrive at race destination
I sat in the car waiting for Jane watching the pouring rain and wondering what the heck I was getting myself into.

bikes on a bike rack before dawn in the pouring rain...yup, they must be headed to the triathalon too

bikes on a bike rack before dawn in the pouring rain…yup, they must be headed to the triathalon too

5:55am Jane and her posse arrive
We start to unpack the cars and make our way to set up our transition area. I had planned on wearing flip flops to the transition area but I must have been half asleep and packed 2 right feet! (I have 2 of the same pair). Luckily this was the worst thing that happened all day. =)

two right feet

two right feet

6:00am-6:40am pre-race stuff
We first made a pit-stop to the ladies room and then took the time to set up our bikes and gear in the transition area and then went to get marked. I just assumed that they used wax crayons or something but they used sharpie markers! I still have some residual marker left on my skin 2 days later! Then it was time to grab a bunch of pictures since we all looked so sexy in our swim getup.



I feel like a prisoner...but it's nice to be 29 for the day instead of 40 =)

I feel like a prisoner…but it’s nice to be 29 for the day instead of 40 =)

6:40am-6:53am Heats line up
We were the second heat and lined up waiting to go into the ocean. Not gonna lie, I was shitting a brick.

don't let the smile fool ya.. I was freaking out!

don’t let the smile fool ya.. I was freaking out!

The water was choppy I’m guessing due to the rainy weather we were having. The swim angels were all waiting to to buddy up with whoever needed assistance. As soon as they gave us the go I buddied up with Paul, my “angel”. He said to wait for the bulk of the girls to get in the water so we would have some clear space and then said we should wait for 3 big waves to come in before starting to swim past the break. I was so disoriented. The swim cap was squishing my head and the goggles had already become foggy and covered with rain drops and I think I just misjudged the waves and started into the water as a wave came crashing in. I panicked and of course opened my mouth and gasped in fear as I swallowed the wave (and this is not like eating hills for breakfast). After it passed over me I started hyperventilating (yep, keeping it real.) I almost made an about face until I heard Paul talking to me. He just kept easing my mind and instructing me on my breathing and told me to just point my arms toward the buoy. I told him I could only do the doggie paddle. Poor guy, probably had no idea what he was in for. I actually found myself enjoying the water somewhere around the 1/2 way point. Things were under control and I could see the second buoy was so close. Once I reached it I just had to make a turn and head toward the shore. Here’s where I really found myself chipping away at my fears. I now knew that the waves were out of my sight and I was freaking out that one would just come and knock me down. But I realized that you actually get a little warning as the water level drops a smidge just beforehand (oceanographist I am not. and no oceanographist isn’t a word but you get what I’m saying). Paul told me when I felt that to just let the wave push me forward. Before I knew it I could stand….almost done….but of course in the very last minute when I stood up and tried to walk gracefully out of the ocean a wave came and knocked me down to my knees. I laughed at this point. I was SOOOO freaking pumped that I made it through the scariest part of this triathalon and the rest would get easier. A volunteer grabbed my hand and helped me out of the water and I slowly trotted through the sand and up onto the boardwak where they hosed off my feet and I grabbed a cup of water. This was mostly to clear the salt water out of my throat. I wasn’t really thirst yet. =) The swim took me just over 10 minutes.

7:04am-7:08am T1
I spent 4 minutes here swapping swim cap for bike helmet, goggles for sunglasses, drying off my feet and shoving on socks and sneakers. I don’t have a road bike with clipped in style pedal/shoes so I just put my running sneakers on. One less thing to do in the next transition. I grabbed a couple of energy chews and a swig of water from my water bottle and then walked the bike out of the tranisiton and to the bike mount/start. The ins and outs of the transition was fairly foolproof and alleviated my fears of potentially being disqualified for missing a mat or mounting bike too soon etc.

7:08-8:09am Bike
The bike was fairly relaxing for me. It was along the same route as the NJ Marathon and I knew the ins and outs. Most of it was an out-and-back along Ocean Ave (parallel to the ocean). The roads were slick and it was still lightly raining but I tried to keep my mind off of that and just sang songs out loud (Sara Bareilles’ Brave and One Republic’s I Lived to be exact) as I heard the constant “on your left” coming from behind me. I averaged just under 11mph which was about 2 mph slower than I expected I’d ride. But honestly I’m still happy with my bike time. I wasn’t in competitive mode at all. I was euphoric about my swim completion and just processing the whole experience over and over.


Just cruisin’. Smiling and I didn’t even know I was being photographed so that’s a genuine smile

8:09-8:12am T2
This transition was much faster and easier for me (less than 3 minutes). I swapped the bike helmet for a baseball cap and pulled on a running skirt. Ate 2 more energy chews and grabbed another swig of water from my water bottle.

Photo courtesy of my surprise spectator Greg

Photo courtesy of my surprise spectator Greg

8:12-8:42am Run
Now the 3 mile home stretch was upon me. Just 1 1/2 miles out and then back. I was SO pumped for this. Just as I crossed the mat to officially start the run, I heard someone call out my name. I looked up and saw it was a surprise spectator…my friend Greg. I was so happy to see his friendly face. I felt like my legs were heavy but I finally had the chance to pass people. I was in my element and ironically the finish line for this is exactly the same as the NJ Marathon. And I FELT exactly like I was at mile 25 of the marathon. Exhausted, spent but exhilarated and so friggen happy!

closing in on the finish!

closing in on the finish!

annnnd DONE!

Happy Runner Girl (who swam and biked first)

Happy Runner Girl (who swam and biked first)

I was the last of Jane’s posse to finish and they were all enjoying massages and snacks at the post race festivities. Once everyone was refueled and relaxed we took some obligatory bling pics. Jane finished 3rd in her age group with a time of 1:11 (the overall winner finished in 1:02). And Jane’s mom finished in 1:27! Not too shabby for a 54 year old woman. She even had to stop to get one of her pedals repaired. I finished in 1:47 which is 13 minutes faster than I predicted. I know i can shave 15 minutes off my time easily if I just learn how to swim properly and get a little more confident on the bike (and maybe upgrade to a real road bike). But who knows what lies in my future as far as sprint TRIs go.

IMG_4610 Photo Aug 03, 9 28 45 AMThe entire event was just awesome. There were so many first time triathletes and so many supportive volunteers. It was the most inspiring and uplifting event I’ve done in a while. Girl power!!! I’d highly recommend this event for anyone who is curious about triathalons.

Do you know how to swim? Did you learn as a kid or an adult? Ever done a TRI? How about bikes? Do you own a road bike?



Happy Monday!

I’m wrapping up at work and realized that unless you follow me in Instagram you are still in suspense about how I fared in the Jersey Girl Triathalon yesterday.

Well, good news is that I didn’t die in the ocean! I DID have a panic attack when the first wave crashed into me and I swallowed half of the Atlantic Ocean (ok maybe i’m being a bit dramatic) but Paul, my “angel” swam next to me and just encouraged me and coached me the entire time. He helped by giving me constant reminders to slow my breathing and point my arms toward the buoy to keep the shortest tangent and just basically kept pumping me with positivity. He had a noodle in case I needed it but I never did! I did the doggie paddle for 300 straight yards and can’t even begin to tell you how AMAZING I felt to come out of the water knowing, at 40 years of age I FINALLY faced my fear of the open water. Before yesterday the farthest I had ever gone in the ocean was about hip level and that was in Bermuda where you can see your feet because the water is so clear and the waves were quite calm. Yesterday, apparently the waves were intense (it was pouring rain in the ours leading up to the race and still raining when our heat began).

Swim: 300 yards 10:35

And while my bike was not the fastest, I was relaxed and just still riding high from knowing I finished the swim. Soooo many women passed me. I could hear the constant echo of “on your left!”.

Bike: 11 miles 10:86 MPH

And the run? Well that was cake =)

3 miles: 29:18


So yes! I AM OFFICIALLY A TRIATHLETE!!!!! Pretty cool considering I had never even thought of participating in one until 3 days prior.

Jersey Girl Triathalon 2014

See Sally and Jane show off their bling

I’m working on a full recap to share which I should have up in the next day or two. And now it’s time to JUST SAY NO to any more events until September. MY lingering peroneal tendonitis is still hanging around. It’s not too bad today considering but I’ve gotta just get a little more serious about staying off it to heal once and for all! I’ve got lots of events planned for September, October, November and even December.

How was your weekend? 

“Do one thing every day that scares you.” 
― Eleanor Roosevelt

This is a quote my friend Lisa shares frequently. Well, not sure that I have been doing one thing every day that scares me but tomorrow I’ll be doing something that is sort of like 365 days of scary all rolled in one. I’m doing a TRIATHALON!!!

Jersey Girl Triathalon

Jersey Girl Triathalon

Nope, never done one before. You know that I only recently bought a bike for the first time as an adult and I’m still quite the novice on it.

photo copy

And I don’t know if I’ve shared this before but I didn’t ever learn how to swim so when I am in a pool I mostly just do the doggie paddle or hold on to the wall. And my body issues usually keep me from ever getting into a pool in the first place. Not to mention the ocean. I love to be near the ocean but swimming in it?! Um, I think I might have once in Bermuda in 1991. So how did this all happen? Thursday evening Jane, my NJ Marathon friend texted me to let me know a friend dropped out and they had an extra bib.

see jane and sally finish the marathon

see jane and sally finish the NJ marathon

I said “thanks, but no thanks”. She worked on me for a bit until finally the text that changed my mind “I’m just trying to keep you young!” Challenge accepted! Yesterday on my lunch break I bought a bike helmet, swim cap, goggles and some longer spandex/nylon bike shorts.

bike helmet

bike helmet

swim cap, nose plugs just in case and goggles

swim cap, nose plugs just in case and goggles all on sale 25% off because the store was going out of business! SCORE!

I’ve got a sleevlees spandex tank already. And I’ve obviously got running sneakers and a bike. Gear: CHECK! The Jersey Girl Triathalon is a beginner friendly, all-women’s event consisting of a 300 yard open water swim, an 11 mile bike and 3 mile run. They welcome all types of bikes so my 6 speed cruiser will be fine. And they even have “swim angels” in the water to help you if you’re struggling. Swim angels are guys in gold spandex shorts with angel wings on their back. This may or may not be the real reason I agreed to this =)

Training for a TRI in 2 days:

The bike and run are both along the same course as the NJ Marathon so I’m familiar and know that the route is fairly flat. I spent the month of June bike riding and worked my way up to 24 miles so 11 miles doesn’t scare me at all. And a 3 mile run? Well, that’s cake (save for the fact that I’m sure I’ll feel like a ton of bricks by then). But the swim? How on earth would I manage this first leg of the journey? I live in a condo development and we have a community pool.



I’ve lived here for 14 years and until yesterday had never used it. I knew I had to at least see if I could stay afloat for 300 yards before I truly could agree to this event. I got to the pool at 7:15pm last night knowing they closed in 30 minutes. I jumped in and just started paddling. First the doggie paddle which then lead to some sort of side stroke. I barely let my limbs break the water but keeping the splashing down made it easier for me to stay calm. I ended up finishing in 15 minutes with just a 5-10 second stop at each end of the pool to get in a good inhale.


Obviously in a normal triathalon you don’t have the option to stop and take a breath but since this event is beginner friendly they have this info on their website:

Course will be lined with more than 20 lifeguards. In addition, swim angels will be available on shore and in the water (wearing yellow caps) if you need assistance for the swim. You can rest on a surfboard, rope or use a noodle* at any time during the swim”

This morning I went back and did the same only i shaved one whole minute off my time!

And that is how I trained. As for the tranisitions? Jane has been giving me the 101 via pictures she took of her transition area all laid out for last years race and a checklist so I’m following that as a guideline. The good thing is I don’t care about how long this event takes me.

photo courtesy of Jane

sample set-up run gear left and bike gear right…photo courtesy of Jane

So basically I just need to A) Not have a panic attack in the ocean B) somehow fake it with my half side stroke/half doggie paddle swim style and complete the 300 yards. C) Figure out transitions on the fly having never practiced this before and D) Not screw up with mounting/dismounting spots and end up disqualified.

And yes, I’m crazy. But I’m excited. I can’t wait to conquer fears that have plagued me for so many years, and my healing foot will love the cross training and short run.  Just think….3 months ago I was afraid to ride a bike having not been on one since my accident at camp when i was a kid.

Now you tell me one thing you did that was WAY out of your comfort zone?