Sunny March Run: Finally!

Today was a gorgeous day for an outside run. 60 degrees in Cambridge — what more could I ask for?!

It was one of those runs where things just clicked – no stomach or nutrition issues, and I really was able to get into the zone. Running along the Charles River is super relaxing and scenic (see the pictures below), and kept me motivated along the way. USAT Collegiate Nationals (in Arizona!) is in less than a month — so I’m trying to get in as many quality runs as I can before the big day!

Fun 10k run, sunny day, and signs of spring everywhere (ahem, melting river) made for a great day. I was even able to do a second workout later in the day with Ambassador Brittany, who stopped by Harvard!

Here’s to spring coming sooner & more quality training days like these!

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Perfect day for a run in Boston!

 

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Trails along the river

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Melt river, melt!

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Boston skyline selfie… haha

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Sunny day run 🙂

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Ambassador Brittany stopped by for a PM workout!

How’s your training going? Is your big “beginning of the season” event coming up soon (like nationals, Boston Marathon, etc.)? 

Tri Hard,

Caity

 

Early Wake-Ups — How to Deal

We’ve all been there. That 6:30 (or 5:30 or WORSE 4:30 like below) alarm goes off. You’re abruptly awoken from a peaceful slumber — and maybe even an awesome dream. And you know that there’s no turning back. No avoiding race day wakeup. Or practice. Or whatever it may be.

But there are a few ways to avoid either sleeping through your alarm OR trudging through the morning with that awful tiredness feeling all over you.

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My iPhone realizes that 4:30 wakeups are usually tri-related. Haha

  1. Realize it could be worse. Hey… at least you’re getting your workout in early??? Haha
  2. Lay things out the night before. Whether it’s your tri bag or just clothes for practice, laying things out in advance can give you an extra few minutes of sleep 🙂
  3. Set your alarm 10-15 minutes earlier than you actually have to get up. That way, you can hit snooze and ACTUALLY wake up at the time you need to rather than running behind.
  4. Shake it off. My approach to waking up early = once out of bed NO MORE THINKING ABOUT BEING TIRED. Splash your face with cold water. Do some push ups (Yeah, no. But if you’re desperate, it’s worth a try…). Anything that gets your mind off of being drowsy.
  5. Play some music. This one is my favorite — it always gets me going in the morning. Jam to your favorite workout playlist, or start off with some slower, more thoughtful songs — whatever you think will get you going.

What are some of your most successful approaches to early wakeups?

Tri Hard,

Caity

5 ways you know that it’s not summer anymore.

  1. Open water swims and long beach days are a thing of the past and have been replaced with indoor lap sessions and the whole “trying to convince yourself to get out of bed and venture into the cold” ordeal each morning.
  2. You. Have. No. More. Tris. This. Year. Planning next year’s calendar already?
  3. Your hard-earned training tan lines have been replaced by paleness. All. Over.
  4. You’ve brushed the dust off off your cycleops or other indoor trainer and have began to realize that you can no longer ride in the morning without being FREEZING. Brr.
  5. Out with the nike running shorts and tank tops and in with the leggings and long sleeves!
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One of the tell-tale signs of summer = training tan lines

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Missing open water swims & beach days!

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Missing the days of reading by the beach!

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Nothing better than summer races!

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Spending time with family is one of my favorite parts of summer!

Hey, but fall isn’t all bad — right? Kona, Halloween, pumpkin runs, cider, cool air perfect for running… 🙂

What were your favorite parts of summer that you’re missing in the fall? What do you like about the fall training season?

Tri Hard,

Caity

Reflections – “Where to Go From Here?”

Lately, I’ve been very reflective. Pausing a lot to think — think about where I’ve been, where I am, and where I’d like to be (both in racing and in life). This summer was a big step for me — I completed my first Ironman at age 18, which had always been a goal of mine. It was an incredible feeling to cross the finish line with my dad; a rush of emotions and adrenaline that can only be experienced race-day.

This fall has been a transition period for me; moving from summer triathlon training to intense schoolwork, rowing, and otherwise here at Harvard. It took some adjusting to last year, but this year I absolutely love Cambridge. I have amazing roommates, other closer friends who make my experience here enjoyable and fulfilling. But besides all the exciting parts of being back at college — football games, social events, regattas, triathlons, meals out with friends, trips to Boston, and more — other things can become a bit overwhelming.

When I get overwhelmed, I tend to deal with it in a number of ways. One of them is reflection. I’ve found that this approach — both internal and external — can help manage the “Where do I go from here?” feeling that can eat away at not just me, but myriad other college students, athletes, adults, and more at various times in life.

Sometimes, especially at Harvard, I feel like everyone has everything figured out. Like people are rushing from moment to moment, place to place, class to class, without even thinking. Like people already have their entire lives planned out in their minds — graduate. Work in finance or consulting. And so on and so forth. Which makes me feel a little bit out of place, especially because I’m still debating what I want to concentrate in (Harvard’s word for majors, we have to decide by mid-November)! And I don’t have set concrete plan for the rest of my life.

This applies not only to my situation at college, but also with training. Sometimes, after finishing a big race or attempting a new milestone, we can come to a point where we need to decide where we want to go. Pick a direction. Pick a spot; a niche.

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Sometimes it’s okay to not know. To sit back, reflect, appreciate, and think.

I think that sometimes, that’s the problem with our way of thinking. We don’t take enough time to reflect. To get lost. To understand that sometimes, it’s okay to not know where exactly you’re going from your current location.

This was best brought to my attention by Kaitlin — after she wrote a piece for YoungTri that included how she liked to get “lost” on runs (as in, run wherever the road takes her), but that she made sure to take her phone with her when she did so. So that she made sure to couple adventure with security.

And it kind of hit me that that would be a wonderful way to approach training all the time — and even life in general.

And as such, as of right now, I’ve been taking some time to let myself reflect. To know that wherever the road takes me will be the beautiful, right road where I’ve always meant to end up. Training, school, work, and social life are all a part of our puzzles — and they all have a way of working themselves out as long as we’ve pointed ourself in the general right direction.

It’s okay to not know exactly “Where to Go from Here?”. It’s okay to reflect. That’s what life is for. For figuring things out.

What have you been reflecting upon recently? Do you ever feel as if you’re at a stepping stone in life (but you don’t know where it’s taking you)?

Tri Hard,

Caity

Collegiate Triathlon Teams: Get Involved! (you know you want to)

Joining a triathlon team in college is a great option — whether you’re a current student looking to get more involved in triathlons during the year (or get started in the sport) or a high school student starting to look at schools. Not only are the collegiate triathlon races fun (you get to compete against other schools in your region/conference), but it’s also a great way to get involved in the sport at a different level.

Triathlon is currently an NCAA Emerging Sport for women, and it’s current “club sport” designation allows teams to compete within ten large conferences. I am a Co-Captain of the Harvard Triathlon Team, and we compete in the Northeast Collegiate Conference (along with teams like West Point, Yale, and many others). There are nine other regions, all of which come together to compete at the USAT Collegiate National Championship in (this year it was held in Arizona).

Some fun parts about collegiate triathlon are the flexibility and the friendships formed. Depending on your school’s setup, you may have a professional coach or a student-run program (and may be able to be a member of the team if you are a varsity athlete on a different team — depending on the schedule).

For a complete list of collegiate triathlon clubs, go here.

Stay tuned throughout the summer and fall for more information and features on collegiate triathlon! Below are some pictures from my first race with the Harvard Triathlon Team in May — the New England Season Opener.

Questions? Want to submit your collegiate team’s information (pictures!) for free YoungTri stickers? Email caitlin@youngtri.com.

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At the NE Season Opener in May!

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Team dinner night before the race

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Leaving Harvard!

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The transition area

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The members who raced!

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“Call Me Maybe” after the race

Are you planning on joining a triathlon team in college? Are you a member of one now?

Tri Hard,

Caity

Become a YoungTri Ambassador!

Want to get more involved in the triathlon community? Connect with other triathletes? Receive free gear?

Then Apply to Become a YoungTri Ambassador! Fill out the form below.

The Executive Board Members & I have decided to put together a team of passionate, excited YoungTri ambassadors from all over the world. We’re very excited about the program!

Who: Members in the Youth, High School, College, and Beyond category… of ALL experience levels!

Why: Connect with other young triathletes, share your story, spread the word about YoungTri, and receive free gear!

When: Don’t worry! Being an ambassador can be a small time commitment (unless you’re interested in doing more!). It’s all up to you.

All ambassadors receive FREE YoungTri gear as well as being featured on the website, newsletter, and blog (if they’d like… and other perks – like free samples!). 

A little bit about YoungTri ambassadors:

  • Featured on Site as Ambassador
  • Spread the YoungTri love in their community
  • Receive updates & Contribute ideas and input
  • Optional: Run local training groups & events

We’ll email you back with more information.

Tri Hard,

Caity

How to Conquer Workouts in the Heat

You CAN conquer the heat.

As much fun as June, July, and August can be — filled with sun, sand, and relaxation — it can also making working out outside a tad more difficult. Depending on where you live, the humidity and/or outside temperature can be unbearable and at times unsafe — making it difficult to plan workouts.

Even though I don’t live in Arizona or Florida — where temperatures can be a lot hotter, the New Jersey heat in the summertime can still be pretty brutal. I’ve never done very well in the heat (I passed out on my Kindgergarten trip to the farm when it was 100 degrees, haha and have also had bad experiences in races with heat. I’m sure many of you can relate).

However, you don’t have to completely forgo outside workouts when the temperatures outside are intense. Try to follow some of these steps:

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You don’t have to avoid sunny workouts completely! Have a nutrition plan and stick to it, and all should go according to plan.

1. Dress for the weather. Obviously, you wouldn’t go running in a jacket and leggings in the heat, but it is still important to pay attention to what you are wearing (for guys and girls!) so that it doesn’t get in the way of your workout. Go for lighter colors and looser fabrics — and shorts that wont ride up or bother you at ALL (since you will probably be sweating more!) I like to wear spandex bottoms (sometimes my JL racing bottoms) and loose, cut t-shirts or moisture-wicking tanks.

2. Hydrate before, during, and after. Be sure that you’re sipping cold water (or an electrolyte-enhanced beverage) before and after your workout. Try freezing a GU gel and having it a few minutes before you start. It tastes so sweet and is very cooling and refreshing! If possible, a fuel belt or water stop on a long workout in the heat is beneficial (albeit not always realistic).

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Freeze a gu and have one before you workout! It tastes sooooo yummy and is a great way to energize

3. Have a post-workout snack ready. Be sure to re-fuel after your workout! The heat puts added strain on the body, so have some items ready in the fridge before your workout. My favorite post-workout snack is cold fruit or a banana almond milk smoothie (there will be a post later this week on this!).

4. Schedule your workout when the day isn’t at its peak temperature. Kind of a given, but running at noon or 1 PM on a 100 degree day with intense humidity is not the smartest idea — especially if your body doesn’t usually respond well to heat. Try for the morning or evening, when the temperature may not be as intense.

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Working out at night (out of the prime sunlight hours) can help prevent fatigue and exhaustion from the heat & humidity.

5. Listen to your body. Even if you’ve followed all necessary steps to have a successful workout in the heat, there may be times where your body won’t listen. It’s okay to push yourself, but listen to your body (especially in the heat)! There’s no shame in stopping or cutting a workout short if you’re really feeling dizzy or out of it.

What do you do to try to make sure your body cooperates during a workout in the heat? 

Tri Hard,

Caity

The New & Redesigned YoungTri Times WEEKLY Newsletter – Comes out Tonight! Sign Up

The first edition of the new WEEKLY YoungTri Times Newsletter comes out tonight! Don’t want to miss it? Sign up for YoungTri!

**Everyone who signs up is entered to win free YoungTri gear!** Winners announced next week.

We’ve turned the YoungTri Times into a weekly newsletter that will arrive in your inboxes every Monday night. The YT Times features pictures from members, triathlon tips, photos, recipes, relevant columns and more that will add a little more swim, bike, & run to your week.

Sign up here

A preview of the new weekly newsletter!

A preview of the new weekly newsletter!

Tri Hard,

Caity

There’s Nothing Like a Weekend Bike Ride. {Sunny Sunday}

Weekend rides are wonderful.

Well, besides the moment when the alarm rings. And you know that what lies before you is crawling out of bed and facing a long, arduous cycling workout. But once you’re out the door — shoes clipped, helmet on, nutrition ready — it’s like a whole different world.

Varying scenes, landscapes, animals {from alpacas to deer to turtles!}, noisy cars, bustling roads, and winding trails passing by as each minute elapses are what makes biking so enjoyable. Miles that pile onto each other and at times turn into firsts {first 30 mile ride, 50 mile ride, century, etc.}. There’s something about biking that shows the world in a whole different way. In a way that can’t be viewed from the vantage point of a walker or someone in a car. When you’re on a bike, you feel the route passing by you… since you’re powering your own vehicle.

Between windy hills, salt tablets, GUs, {lots of} water, lush green landscapes, crowded streets, aching legs, and biker’s tans {rough, haha} there’s nothing like a weekend bike ride. When you can go back home after riding and relax on the couch. Or the beach. Or with family. Or go on a run…? Haha.

Biking on the weekend is quite enjoyable. Especially on a sunny Sunday like today.

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Riding at Harriman State Park in NY!

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So beautiful… and so hot! About 90 degrees and a lot of humidity.

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3 weeks until IMLP!

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The aftermath… such a bad biker’s tan!

What do you like best about weekend rides?

Tri Hard,

Caity