Back in the Saddle

I mentioned the other day that I’m exploring tri clubs. Although 70.3 just wasn’t for me right now, I am definitely enjoying tris. I like the addition of biking and swimming to my running as cross-training. Although I do lifting stuff because I know I should/it’s good for me (as both a woman and a runner), my jam is endurance, baby. 

With a little help from Triathlon Angel Sam and an open-water swim clinic, I gained a ton of confidence with the open-water swim. The bike? Still getting there. The idea of riding more than 30 miles at my slow pace sounded torturous to me, but 30 and under was definitely achievable to me. I don’t know what my triathlon/life/fitness goals will be for next year, but I do know I want to do more tris and get more comfortable on the bike. Which involves taking advice/being pushed by others.

So, this morning I went to meet up with my friend Sarah and her tri team. Homegirl is FAST, and to be honest, I was a little intimidated. I should have left at 8:45 to get up to the park by our 9:15 meeting time, but it was 8:50 as I was about to leave. I told her I didn’t think I’d be able to make it since I was running late and she told me it was okay! I could just meet up with them on one of the loops.

She saw right through my apprehension, and off I went to meet up with them. 

Bethesda Terrace Biking

There’s Roxy in the back! (I don’t remember quite when I settled on that name for my bike, but I think it’s fitting.)

Anyway, I met up with them at the 72nd Transverse for the following workout:

1 full loop (~ 6 miles) on the bike

1 lower loop (~1.6 miles) on the run

1 4-mile loop (up to 103rd and back) (~ 4 miles) on the bike

1 lower loop on the run

I showed up and was a little intimidated, but figured I had to start somewhere. Off we went, and man, it was humid. (And I’m getting over a cold, PMSing and didn’t get enough sleep last night. And no, I don’t have any other possible excuses, but thank you for asking.) 

We went off on the bike and my usual bike anxieties returned right away, but I reminded myself they’d only go away with practice, and that’s why I was there. I finally even got into a little groove, and didn’t freak out going down the hill before you ascend Harlem Hill (that usually scares the CRAP out of me on my bike.) I knew I was way behind everyone, but I just kept on keeping on.

I came back for the run…and everyone else was gone. “Are they long gone?” I asked Kevin. He politely said that, yes, they were, and that it probably made more sense for me to wait a few minutes with him and then jump in for the next bike interval. I chatted with him for a few minutes to ask him more about the team, and everyone was back before I knew it.


This time, we were only doing 4 miles AND cutting off both the lower loop, which was full of tourists on their CitiBikes, and the upper loop, containing Harlem Hill. EASY BREEZY. I was a little flustered and forgot to reset my Garmin, but overall, I rode 10.3 miles in 45:50 (13.5mph.) 


Run part, fun part. 

For the run, we did a lower loop, which is 1.6 miles. I vaguely remember Kevin saying something about trying to negative split the run, but I just wanted to keep up with everyone on the run, and Sarah went out balls-to-the-wall. It’s on, girl. I felt like I was going to die, and then I looked down at my watch and saw I was running a 7:30 pace. No wonder my lungs and legs hate me. Stick with it, stick with it, I kept telling myself. My watch beeped, and the first mile was 7:55! I don’t remember the last time I ran one of those, so I was super happy. And still dying. I kept trying to hold on, and even chicked one of the dudes in the group, and rolled in for the next .69 at a solid 8:00 pace.

1.69 miles / 13:29 / 7:57 average


Holy hell, was I sweaty! Sarah and I chatted for a bit about my bike fears, and she said she took a class with NYCC that taught her a ton and changed the way she cycled. She said they learned all the basic bike maintenance stuff and they were riding up to 100 miles by the end. Unfortunately that program isn’t until the spring, but I can still learn some bike skillz between now and then, I think.

So yeah, awesome Sunday morning workout.

On a random side note, I’m really loving Amanda Berlin’s site lately. Lots of great info there for all kinds of writers. (In small-worldness: we’re from the same town and her sister was my year, and we connected last year via the powers of the almighty Internets.)

Tell me about your killer weekend workout. (And what sites you’ve been loving lately.) 

11 comments on “Back in the Saddle

  1. Katie

    I went to a yoga sculpt class on Saturday am with my aunt and cousin (the same studio where Lee teaches actually!) Tomorrow I’m joining my tri team for a bike. There’s a 30 mile loop and a 20 mile loop. At this point I’m planning on starting with the 30 mile crew. But I’m also about to go out for the night. So that could easily change. #priorities.

  2. Nikki@will run for pizza

    Good job getting out regardless of your fears! I have days where I face my fears of group running, and then other day (last Saturday, to be exact…), where I give in…I want to get into doing tri’s so bad, but I need the moolah for the bike. Side note: I had NO idea there were tri groups! I’ll have to look into one in my neck of the woods because that would be awesome to have some support/coaching/guidance for training for the first one!

    1. Theodora Blanchfield Post author

      1. You win for best blog name.
      2. I was thinking about how group runs initially scared me, and now I feel so confident – but it took a long time to get there.
      3. Have you looked into used bikes? I think that, like cars, they depreciate pretty quickly so you might be able to find a decent one.

  3. Debbie @ Live from La Quinta

    It is always hard to step outside our comfort zone, but it we want to get better at anything, it is required. Good job for stepping outside YOUR comfort zone!

    And good job on the run. I think that good runners always have a better chance to excel at triathlon. You can get better on the swim and the bike, and then your strong run will help you to finish well.

  4. Ash Bear

    Climbing up to the Acropolis yesterday was pretty incredible but this morning’s speed workout is what I REALLY loved! It flew by and dare I say I wanted to add an 11th interval?

    AWESOME job yesterday!

  5. Lauren @ Beautiful Plant-Based Life

    I was also in Central Park Sunday morning, running the Bridle Path and Reservoir with my husband. (Super humid, right?!) We had a whole plan. Run in the park, stop and get bagels from our fave shop, and head to the Hudson River to catch the annual Tugboat Race. I guess we didn’t push ourselves during the run… by the time we got to the Boat Basin, we had missed the tugboats! The humidity made us feel like we were barely moving. Can’t wait for fall running!!!

    Site I’m loving: A Word At a Time ( Incredibly written, with a focus on family, motherhood, and adjusting to a new life in the “country”.

  6. Lucy

    I agree! It’s more fun trying variety of sports as a part of your workout than sticking to one. As for me, I want to try triathlon too but I am having workout with a different program right now. But I’m gonna do that soon. Nice post though, keep it up!


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