Jersey Shore Bachelorette Party

23 07 2012

My oh my, what a weekend! Look who I was hanging out with!

Yes friends, I got to see Chloe for her bachelorette party this weekend! Chloe and nine of her friends converged on Avalon, NJ for a weekend of sun, fun, and all things bachelorette! Unfortunately, the sun decided to hide behind some clouds for most of the weekend, but we still managed to have a total blast.

On Friday night, we kept it low key and hung out at the condo. The group was a mixture of Chloe’s childhood friends, college friends, and DC friends, so many of us had never met. It didn’t take much time for us to all feel like old friends 🙂

Chloe’s friend Livey is a bartender, and she mixed us some creative and delicious concoctions:

Spiked blackberry lemonade

And some drink I’m going to call Berry Basil Gold. I don’t know exactly what she put in it, but it reminded me of a sangria. The basil added such a great freshness to it!

Many laughs and stories later, we hit the sack. A few girls had long runs planned (yay triathlete/runner friends!) for Saturday morning, so we didn’t make it too late of a night.

Another reason I think we all bonded so well this weekend: we all love good food! A few of the girls who arrived early made some stops at various farmer’s markets to stock up on fresh veggies. YES PLEASE! Farmer’s market veggies > supermarket veggies!

Saturday’s lunch spread was pretty impressive:

My favorite was definitely the tomato, basil, and mozzarella salad. The basil was purple, which I thought was really cool. And I’m biased, but I don’t think anything beats Jersey tomatoes! The girls mixed it up a little with some avocado slices, and it was to die for! I could have probably eaten the whole plate (I didn’t).

We spent a lazy afternoon by the pool reading trashy magazines (why not?) before heading out to get our nails done.

So happy that neons are coming back in style 🙂

And no hang out with Chloe would be complete without Fro-Yo!

We stopped at a cute self-serve fro-yo place called Toppings.

I got cookies and cream, cake batter, and tart yogurt, topped with strawberries, mini caramel cups and wet nuts. I got a little too much, and didn’t end up finishing it because I knew we had a yummy dinner planned for later in the evening!

We went back to the room and got all gussied up for our big night out.

Chloe and her sister Jocelyn 🙂

(Side note: Yes, that is a boot on Chloe’s leg. She has a torn plantar fascia, and will be in the boot for a few months 😦 )

The decorations were set:

Let the party begin!

There were games.

And lots of smiles.

A little before 8, we walked over to the Windrift for dinner.

The Windrift was a little bit of a conundrum to me. Based on the website and the prices on the menu (entrees $30-40), I was expecting a classy seafood restaurant. We walked in through the bar, where there was a man playing typical sing along bar songs (think Piano man) on a keyboard/piano, basically ON the bar.  There was definitely a uh, different generation hanging out in the bar, singing along and dancing. Don’t get me wrong, it was fun to sing along too, just not what I was expecting.

At the other end of the bar, there was the sushi bar. I guess there is seafood in sushi, but again, I guess it just caught me off guard.

Anyhow, we were seated in the back of the dining room that was attached to the bar, and we promptly perused the menu.

We ordered a few appetizers: the Windrift bang bang (tempura shrimp), a Rainbow roll (sushi), baked brie, and Parmesan crusted dayboat scallops with lobster rissotto. The lighting was not so great so I didn’t get any pictures, but the scallops were OUTSTNADING.  The risotto was rich and creamy, with a perfect amount of lobster. The scallops were perfectly cooked, and melted in your mouth. Mmmm.

At least three of the girls ordered the entree size of the scallops, so I snagged a picture of it. Man, my mouth is watering just thinking about it!

When I learned we were ordering the scallops as an appetizer, I opted for the crab encrusted halibut for my entree. It was delicious, but I definitely thought the scallops were just incredible and the real winner in my book.

Dinner wrapped up and we headed to The Princeton to get our groove on.

Glow bracelets? Check.

Bachelorette paraphernalia? Check.

Bar with a band of cute boys playing pop hits? Check.

The band was Total Whiteout, and they played everything from “Call Me Maybe” to “Baby Got Back” and everything in between. Basically, it was perfect music to dance your face off to!

And lots of dancing we did! We danced for hours straight, and finally called it a night after the band’s last set.

The whole weekend was an absolute blast. It was SO GREAT to see Chloe and my other DC friends again, as well as to make a few new friends! I want to do it all again next weekend!

Happy Bachelorette Chloe! Less than 2 months to go!

Ending on a High Note

3 10 2011

I’m a wus when it comes to cold weather, so when I woke up on Sunday morning for the Bassman International Triathlon and saw that it was 53 degrees, I REALLY wanted to just stay in bed and say, “Forget about it.” But, I’m not one to give up, so I rolled out of bed, put on my tri gear and some sweats, and made my usual pre-race breakfast of oats with banana and peanut butter.

The race was about 40 minutes from my parents’ house, so we left at about 5:20am. When my mom and I arrived at the race site at 6am, it was still dark, and pretty hard to see anything. The race was in a State Park/Campground, so the only lights were the car headlights and the one set of lights the had shining on the transition area. I definitely need to purchase one of those head lamps for future early morning or late season races!

(Side note: one really nice thing about doing races at home in NJ is that I have my own personal paparazzi. My mom brought TWO DSLR cameras to the race. Yeah, she’s pretty awesome. Thanks for the great pics mom!)

The race day schedule was that the sprint tri would go off at 7am, and then the International distance race would go off at 8:30. Transition opened at 6am for everyone. I always like to get there right when transition opens to snag some prime rack real estate, but this race had our places all marked for us already.

One of my favorite things about CityTri events? Personalized race numbers! This race had numbers for your bike, helmet, swim cap, run, and the rack!

Getting there that early allowed me PLENTY of time to prepare myself…or stand around and freeze. It was pretty unpleasant just standing around, so I sat in my car and blasted the heat.  At about 7:45, I took a pit stop at the porta potties, and then headed to the swim start for the pre race meeting.

The swim was a 500 meter swim, in a triangle shape. There were two buoys off to the left in a straight line, and then two more off to the right, making a V with the beach. The race director said that the sprinters had gone through the course counter clockwise, but the low-lying sun was right in their eyes, making it hard to sight. So, he thought that switching it to clockwise might make it a little easier (it didn’t, at least not for me). He gave some general notes about the bike course, and to the water’s edge we went.

Swim: The swim was in the beautiful Bass River, which was crystal clear and 70 degrees! It was the absolute perfect place for an open water swim.  I definitely didn’t need my wetsuit but wore it to keep me warm while standing around. By the time we started, the air temperature was probably about 55, but thankfully the sun was shining. The women, duathletes, and relays were all in the first wave. He blew the horn and we were off! I dolphin dove a few times, and then started stroking. I saw a man off to my right, and then one right in front of me (duathletes perhaps?). I drafted off him for a little, until we were just about to the first buoy and I passed him. I stayed in the lead until after I made the second turn, and I felt someone touching my feet. I kicked harder to try and get away, but she ended up passing me anyhow, a little before the last buoy.

that’s my arm!

I want to catch you!!

I came out of the water 2nd, with a time of 13:56, 8/120.

T1: As I was running from the water to the transition area, I started to feel a little light headed. So, as soon as I was into transition, I walked to my bike in an effort to lower my heart rate. I took my time taking off my wetsuit, then putting on my socks (for extra warmth!) and shoes, and my arm warmers. I really struggled with the arm warmers, and ended up throwing my watch off to make it a little easier to get them on. When I was FINALLY ready, I headed out for the 29 mile bike ride.

I was in there for 2:09, which placed me 53/120.

Bike: I was sort of dreading the bike because I knew that it would feel even colder out on the course. It didn’t help that I wasn’t feeling super at the start either. But, I started off and hoped for the best. It took me awhile to feel like my muscles were warmed up, and the rest of my body never really did feel warm. I was thankful for the arm warmers, but wished I had something on my feet. Like wool socks. Or Uggs. Why aren’t Uggs acceptable bike attire? Yes, I am a wus.

Enter this picture into “awkward race photos” gallery

For the first 15 miles, I was miserable. I had cotton mouth, my lungs hurt to take a deep breath from the cold air, and I was freezing. To top it off, my stomach felt unsettled, which is unusual for me. I’m not quite sure why it felt that way; I used Nuun in one of my water bottles, which I don’t normally do, but I had been hydrating with Nuun during spin class last week, and never had problems. So, I’m not sure if that’s what it was, but I was not a happy biker. I’m usually a positive person, but there were some pretty negative thoughts going through my head: “I should have done the sprint, I would be done by now,” and “If I get a flat, could I stop the race?” were just some of my thoughts. But, I decided that a negative attitude wasn’t making anything better, so I needed to stop thinking that way and be positive. Or at least remember Allison’s tweet:

Finally at about mile 15 the thought of taking in some kind of nutrition was mildly appealing. So, I had a black cherry shot block (which reminded me of a black cherry soda, yum!) and pushed harder. From that point on, I tried to keep a positive attitude (though at mile 25 my thoughts were “If this was a normal triathlon, I’d be done!!“) but was thrilled to rack my bike again. I honestly think this was the first time I’ve ever actually looked forward to the run. I just wanted to get warm!

When it was all said and done, my bike time was 1:35:50, 77/120.

T2: Nothing much to report in T2, but I was really excited to run so I could warm up. As I started to run, my feet really hurt, because they were so cold. It took me a little into the run before they stopped hurting. I was in and out in :50, 31/120.

Quick transition and happy to be off the bike!

Run: When I could finally feel my toes, I felt pretty strong on the run. The run was 4.1 miles through the campground. It was an odd distance for an International tri, but I didn’t mind, since the run has never been my strength. Before we hit the first mile, there was about a half mile stretch where we ran on hard, packed sand. It was a nice change, and easy on the knees. 🙂 At one point during this section, I heard a girl yell “Shut up!” from behind me. I turned quickly and saw a girl and guy (who I had already passed) about 50 yards or so behind me. Shortly after, she passed me, and I thought about asking why she yelled, but let her go. Weird. Anyhow, I really appreciated the volunteers along the course, at all the intersections, since the run had a lot of turns. I think it would have been a great course to run in the middle of the summer, because it seemed to be completely shaded.  I finished strong, though I wish someone else had been close by to push me to the finish, but oh well.

My run split was 32:30, 57/120. Right about the same mile pace as Atlantic City! I’ll take it!

Overall: 2:25:12, 60/120

In my age group, I was 3rd (out of 6), but the first two girls in the age group got 2nd and 3rd female overall. That helped my standings, and I ended up winning my age group. Small races are good for getting hardware 🙂

All in all, I think this was a great way to end the season. CityTri comped my entry (THANK YOU!) and put on a great race! And though I didn’t have the best bike leg ever, my other two legs were strong. I learned that I probably can’t use Nuun in my tris (sad day). I also learned that taking salt tabs after my race helps prevent the headaches I ALWAYS get after a tri or brick workout. So, I’ll take those lessons into next season, do some experimenting over the winter, and then rock it out in 2012. I’ve got my eye on a Half Iron Man for next season, and I can’t wait!

Oh, and the coolest part of the day? Someone recognized me from the blog! He was an athlete from the Atlantic City race, and had seen the link to my blog in the post-race email the Race Director sent out. He even shared the blog with his dad, to show him what the AC race was like! If you’re out there, thanks for reading 321delish!

One More

29 09 2011

Hey friends! Though the next few weeks will be mostly me (Steph) blogging, Chloe will be back before you know it, and I’m sure she’ll have lots to share!

Anyhow, some of you may have seen my tweets asking you to “Like” my post on CityTri’s Facebook page, so that I could win a free race entry to the Bassman triathlon this coming weekend in New Jersey. CityTri  hosted the Tuckahoe race I did in August, so I thought it would be fun to do another one of their races, and do it for free!

What I didn’t realize was that because I had commented from my personal Facebook page (which I’ve tried to make as private as possible) only my Facebook friends could actually see that I had even commented. So, to those who tried to “Like” my comment THANK YOU and I’m really sorry that I didn’t realize my settings made it impossible for you to help me out. I appreciate your attempts!

Well, when I finally realized the problem and requested support on Facebook instead of Twitter, I was able to get the 25 likes I needed and a free race entry!

What I find a little funny about this, is that before the Atlantic City Tri, I was complaining to my boyfriend that I was burnt out on training, and that 5 triathlons in a season was too many for me. And now here I am, signed up for my 6th of the season. Whoops.

I think that I was still riding the high from my finish at the AC Tri, and was excited about the  opportunity to race close to home again, which is why I even tried for the entry in the first place. I mean, sure I’ll do a race 40 minutes from my parents house on someone else’s dime!

And so, this weekend, I’m driving back up to NJ to race in the International distance triathlon. It’s a little different than I’m used to:  There’s a .5MS/29MB/4.2MR. Yes, I said a 4.2 mile run. Running is not my strength, so I’m pretty excited about the shortened distance. I feel like 4 miles is right about where I start to die, so hopefully the sight of the finish line will push me to finish strong.

So, what have I been doing to train for this late season addition? To be honest,  I’ve been doing what I want to do. My bike still has my race number on it from AC. I went spinning on Saturday and Tuesday, and I’ve gone to yoga twice this week. I started a lifting program the week after AC (which I plan on continuing in its entirety in the off season), but stopped this week so I’m not sore on Sunday. I’m actually really excited for my off season, but I guess I’ll have to delay it a little longer. After this race, I’m only doing Waterman’s on a relay. No more tris until 2012! Hold me to that!

Oh, and another bonus for this weekend? My high school reunion is happening on Saturday night, and though I’m not going, I’m planning on having my own lil’ reunion with friends who I still stay in touch with on Sunday afternoon. Win!

Question of the day: Have you ever won free entry into a race?