Aquaphor NYC Triathlon…6 Times!

I started with triathlons 7 years ago a the NYC Triathlon.  I started this blog 4 years ago around NYC Triathlon time.   Boy, how time flies.  This is a race that is near and dear to my heart. I know the course, I know the walk to the swim (my running route!), I love going and running into people I know.  And I run into lots of them!

I’m flying off to London for a week. While I’m excited about the British Airways business class flight. I’m not excited it’s at 9:55 tonight after getting up at 3:30 am.  Till next weekend!

Mont Tremblant Half Ironman…I Finished!

I started training in January, with some very cold runs.  And soon it was June.  After months of swimming, biking and running, I finished my first Half Ironman on Sunday.  I said under 8 hours (because I really had NO idea how long this was really going to take), and finished in 6 hours and 58 minutes!  A HUGE thank you to Mark who supported me when I went off for 2 hour runs, Monday night swims and 5 hour bike rides in New Jersey.   He was on this 6 month journey with me.

Best of all?  I raised over $4,000 for the Lymphoma and Leukemia Society (and over $8,000 when it’s matched by Bloomberg!).   32 of us raised nearly $150,000.  I raced with people who have had cancer and used LLS during treatment.  I couldn’t say more about this cause and the organization.  I’ve done 5 races with Team in Training, and estimate I’ve raised over $15,000.

I drove up to Canada with fellow Team in Training teammates, Kelly and Stephanie, on a Friday.  Nothing like telling border patrol you are visiting to help fight cancer.  What a beautiful location!

And then some day before practice on the bike and in the lake…and posed for pictures.  It was all fun and games at this point.  Except that it was raining, that was a little dreary.  But meant I didn’t need quite as much sunblock.

And then it was race day!  Someone laughed at my LL Bean tote I used to cart my stuff to the transition area.  What can I say, it’s my beach tote and works well.  I already have one coat of sunscreen on at 5 am.  And reapplied before the bike and run.  Got to protect the skin!  Even if it means 2 minutes off my time.

I have videos, but no space on the blog, so some shots I borrowed from my finisher pics (and if you want the video or want to see what the swim start for us amateurs looks like, let me know).  Let’s just say I wasn’t running into the water.

Finisher Pic2

Finish Pic

And now what…maybe a full Ironman?  We’ll have to see about that.

And a shout out to my littlest fan, Ben.  Look at him supporting Auntie Jill with his cute little t-shirt on race day.


63 Miles. Farther Than I’ve Been.

It was a big training weekend, our last big one before the race (in a week!).   Again, both days started with my standard PB&J, though I changed up the bread for something with less fiber this week.

5590_10101071039245616_1427815533_n IMG_1485

Saturday morning destination:  Coney Island at 7:30 a.m. (= 6 am train out of Manhattan).   The water was COOOOLD, or about 56 degrees.  I moved myself up to the advanced group and stayed in there for the 25 minutes.  My toes were numb.  The entire time I was thinking about the Bachelorette episode with Tiara going for the plunge in the freezing lake and ending up in the hospital.  Then it was off to run through Brooklyn.

IMG_5536Back at it Sunday morning.  It was a 63 mile ride waaaayyyyy out to Rockland Lake with a few fellow TNTers.  Ok, so I stopped to take pictures along the way.  My food for the ride above.  Can you tell I like the sweet/chocolate flavors?  This is just the start of the ride.  I’m on the George Washington Bridge with Manhattan behind me.IMG_1503 IMG_1492

And we made it.  I thought I was the slowest, but we rode as a group.  With a few pit stops, and stops to make sure everyone was ok and still with us.  Yes, that’s my bike jersey that makes me feel a little more professional.  I’m not as matchy matchy as all of the other bikers, so only sort of look the part.



The Training Go To: PB&J


For all the fun and fancy things I find to eat, there is nothing like a PB&J pre bike ride.  I think I’ve finally gotten the exact components that work for the long haul:

  • Trader Joe’s sprouted bread:  nice balance of fiber and protein.  I like the texture.  
  • Trader Joe’s boysenberry:  I like the seeds and it’s a little tart, but sweet
  • Jif creamy peanut butter:  The Tj’s unsalted is usually my go to.  But the manufactured aspect of the big brands means it’s good for the long ride.  The PB doesn’t get all messy (when I decide to pack a sandwich and stick it in in the bento box on the bike).  I’m working through a container of Skippy this week and think the Jif is sweeter.  So Jif is the new go-to.  Can you tell I like the sweet side of life?

I eat one every Saturday morning.  Sometimes I toast the bread if I’m pulling 2 slices out of the freezer.  And I’m off!  I did notice the bread gets a little “crunchy” after 3 hours of being wrapped in a paper towel if I bring one on the bike.

Half Ironman for Lymphoma & Leukemia

One of our 1st Saturday morning Central Park runs.

It’s a cold run when we head out in the winter to run.  But 18 degrees in fresh snow is nothing when it’s for a great cause.  I did my first triathlon at 30, now 7 years ago.  And after 5 NYC Triathlons and over $6,000 raised for Team in Training, I’m embarking on my first Half Ironman.  I’ll be raising $3,900 for Lymphoma & Leukemia and finishing a 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike ride and 13.2 mile run in Mont Tremblant, Canada.

Check out my Fundraising Site:

Group training on the computrainers at Tailwinds on Saturday.
Monday night 8:30 swims at Asphalt Green.


I’m training with 2 people who have benefited from the support of LLS, having been diagnosed with Hodgkins.  If they can train, I can too.  And if they can finish, I can too.  Even I wonder how I became a triathlete, I was very not sporty in high school.  But I’m here and feel better than ever.  In fact, this blog started with a triathlon in 2009.  And I continued on in for my 5th 2012. I’m addicted, and I’m addicted to the cause.  LLS has raised $750 million running Team in Training.  I’m a small part.

Smiling at the 2012 NYC Triathlon finish.

I just hope I’m smiling like this in June!

NYC Tri: 2 Flats, Steamy Run, Sub 3 Hours

The title sums up my race.  It was a great day for the NYC Triathlon (my 3rd with Team in Training).  There was no choppy water, just a dead fish or two (yes, really).  I had my fastest time on the swim and was having a great bike ride.  Then about 20 minutes from the transition I hear “PSHHHHHHHH”.  Flat tire!!  Since TNT makes us practice, I knew I could do it, it just wasn’t going to be pretty.  I pull over as bikers fly by me, and realize that I don’t have the right tube and used my OTHER spare for the flat before the race even started.

And out of nowhere, the Toga Bikes truck appears.  It was like someone was watching out for me because we are warned you might never get help because there is one truck over the course.  Two guys jump out, give me a new tube, fix up the sliced tire…hold the bike while I clip on and push me off back into the pack.  Below is the very start of the run as we head to the street and into Central Park.

And where we come up out of the river.

I still finished the bike in decent time, despite the 15 minute delay.  Good race, good story.  More than anything, I proved to myself I could deal with the unexpected.  And until next year…

NY Times article post race here.

Race Day: Rain Rain & More Rain!

The forecast for rain has somehow totally brought down the stress level for some reason.  It’s almost like I can just enjoy the race now.  And maybe the run won’t be so incredibly hot!

But it’s not just the race and I was reminded of that last night at our Team in Training Inspiration Dinner where 500 of us started the carbo load.  Lily Hubschman was the honored speaker.  Her father was the CEO of GECAS, GE’s aircraft leasing business, where I worked in 2004.  I remembered Henry, he knew the airline industry, he was respected, and he had a very loving family.  And he suffered from Leukemia for 10 years, just passing away in February.  Lily is doing her first tri this year, Team in Training giving her the momentum to keep going.  I’ve raised over $2,800 this year, and I’m reminded why.  It was honestly a bit of a shock to see his picture up there and see his daughter so poised on stage.

On a lighter note…I laugh at all the gear required, and I don’t even have the bike here.

The tested race day energy gels.  The morning will start with PB&J on wheat at home at 3:30 am.  Then a banana around 5 am at the swim start.  Then we’ll move on to the Espresso to start the bike.  Then some Chocolate Cherry to carry me through the bike.  We’ll have a burst of freshness as we hit 72nd street when the Green Apple hits the taste buds.

Ohhh, the swim start barge.

And my exit from the swim (it won’t come soon enough).

My bike, where I left it, with a little note from the race organizers.  

Rocking the body marking.  I’m going to own that 35 on my calf.  And I’m going to do this race with a smile, all the way through the downpour, for Team in Training.  Of all 4 years this has been my favorite.  The NYC coaches are amazing, the people are great, and they’ve really pushed me.

Oh, and I can change a flat, now, too.  Thanks go my TNTers!

Still an amateur, though, if you see the grease on my other leg (and all over my hands).

If you knew me in high school (especially during my track & field days)…you and I would never have thought I’d be doing this in 20 years.  Oh, what you can do when you put your mind to it!

Thank you to M, for being so incredibly patient over my 5 months of training and my early Saturdays.

Triathlon. Donut Plant. Triathlon. Square Donut.

I was so pumped Wednesday night! I left work, headed over to the NY Blood Center an joined a few hundred other Team in Training triathletes at the kick off for the NYC Triathlon event. Ready to jump in at that official start of training on Saturday. SO EXCITED!

Well, look what happened:

A little background, first. I did my first triathlon with TNT 5 years ago. I learned to swim, bike and run and had a successful finish. Then I did it 2 more times on my own. The last time I made my goal of 3 hours. And I was supposed to go into retirement. But then someone contacted me about doing a team at work (we’d get special shirts!). I guess I had added “triathlons” to my interests on our work bio pages and they found me.

And since I didn’t get in via the lottery, this was my chance. So I’m back and raising money. Honestly, it’s a great cause. We’re targeting to raise over $25K for my work team and $1.6 million from the entire NY team (500 of us).

My personal page: Jill’s Donation Page (click here)

I think 75% goes towards the Lymphoma & Leukemia society, and the rest is really just to provide all the resources to get everyone trained up.

When I read that the 1st training was 20 min of running, squats and running form, I started to rethink going. On 90th and 5th at 8 am, that’s not even near me. I sort of decided I’d join when it was a little more training, or at least biking.

So I’m going to enjoy my donut, run on my own and jump into the swim practice on Monday.

It’s funny, because I started this blog nearly 2 years ago when I was completing the 2009 triathlon. How time flies.

Triathlon Clothes

I just finished 4 days of harder training on the triathlon front and have to admit, I’m a little tired right now! I’m trying to work on the nutrition part so am biking with my preferred G2 (Blueberry Pomegranate) and am testing out a few Gu flavors (one would think I would remember what ones I like).

Besides concern about overall training, I’m thinking about my race outfit. There is something mental about having the right shorts or the right shirt with support. I have my fair share of natural padding so like longer shirts and things that aren’t too tight (why create more bulge?)

Last year, I found myself shopping for a new shirt the day before the triathlon. This was not a good idea, as I was frustrated with my choices, tired from walking and should have just relaxed the day before the race. Needless to say, I was late getting my bike to check in and wiped out on the way. This year I started a little earlier (a month). My lesson learned is that I should shop year round and get last season’s styles on sale in the winter.

Team Estrogen has a great site. A great site in my opinion does not have an overwhelming number of items, but has a solid selection that has been tested out and comes recommended. I bought these De Soto shorts because they are low rise and don’t have a really tight band at the bottom. These have been on the bike twice now and are working well. I don’t think I’m going to wear these race day because they lack pockets, but have been good on the trainer.

I am still in search of a shirt that is quick dry when I come out of the water, has enough bra support, and is just a bit longer (for vanity reasons). I haven’t found it yet, so stay tuned.

30 Days to Go!

I am doing the NYC Triathlon for the 3rd time this year. I picked up the sport after the end of a relationship and a 6 month stint on I thought it would be a good challenge for a new year, and completed my first one in 3:06!

I couldn’t have done the race in 2006 without Team in Training, and really believe that anyone can accomplish an athletic goal with this great organization. And it supports a really great cause.

With extra time on my hands these days, I’ve committed to training more this year and use to track my training. I’m pretty obsessive about it and don’t miss a workout (even if it means I have to double up one day). And now I own a bike, bike gear, clip pedals, many swimsuits, a wetsuit…and so can’t retire yet.

This is a shot from the day before the race in 2006, with all the bikes ready to go for the next day.

At one point earlier this year, I committed to a half ironman in CA. I think this is going to have to be a goal for another year, as I wasn’t ready to train so many hours each day. So I set a 3 hour goal for this race. With 30 days to go, I’m not sure yet this is possible. The posting from a bschool classmate (with a 2:35 time) made me wonder if 3 hours wasn’t enough of a goal. And then when I added up a 30 minutes swim, 1:30 bike ride and hour run…it’s hard to figure out where I’m really going to cut time out.

After a few minutes of analysis, I realized I can cut the most time from the bike ride. My tush would agree, as it doesn’t like to sit for hours on the small seat on a bumpy road! But my legs can only go so fast, and as I watch the beer belly 50 year old men whiz by on their $5K bikes, I wonder what I’m doing wrong here.

Oh, and my flat tire strategy: Right now I pray every time before I head out, and take $20 to get a cab home.