Posted by: stefanycritelli | June 28, 2011

Tupper Lake Tinman

(Picture Disclaimer: Not from Tinman – this is from Musselman last year. Tinman would’ve been cloudy with rain!)

Another whirlwind of a weekend! I finished up at school and hit the road by 1:00pm on Friday afternoon. The car was packed and the bike was racked. Oh, the bike with the new Shimano Dura-Ace c-50 race wheels!!!! Driving to Tupper was not exactly fun. I hit no less than four rain storms! I think it was following me. In hindsight,  I should have put the bike inside the car, I kept thinking about it the whole ride!

I got into town about 6:00pm and headed to packet pick-up. I then met Greg and Amanda at the motel (or shall I say cabin) and then the three of us headed to the pasta dinner. We got back to the room and set up some stuff but then hit the bed early, I think it was still light out and if I forgot to mention it was pouring!

The alarm went off at 5am and I got up to take a quick shower and have breakfast. It was pouring…still! I headed over to the transition early as I wanted to get tires checked and filled. Normally I would do this task myself but I don’t know I just felt like I wanted a “professional” to do it! I set up transition and found Mark (friend from BTC). We hung out and got ready for the swim start. I did my 1/2 bar one hour before and then a gel 15 minutes before race start. I was the second Tinman wave (8:15am). As always I surveyed the buoys and tried to mentally navigate the course. The water temp was great, maybe mid 60’s. Sirens went off and I just started swimming! That’s what I do. Maybe I should go out faster, but I like to settle into my rhythm early on and just try to stay with it. Pretty good swim for me – no concerns, some slight navigation issues but nothing crazy. I had no idea of time because I didn’t have my watch, but later found out it was a 48:54 (2:18/100 yds) good for a 70.3 swim PR!

Transition was fine – maybe a little longer than I was hoping but got in and out in 3:39.

Bike – love this course! Well paved roads and an out & back on Route 3. Did a gel as soon as I got started. Nutrition throughout the bike was spot-on! Finished all three bottles (2 carbo-pro, 1 perform). I was passing a few and getting passed by a few riders in the first hour, which is normal. Some riders were passing on the right! Really!!! Apparently not well-versed in USAT rules (or common sense). Where was the Ref then? After the first hour I was averaging 18.1mph, did I mention it was raining? At one point I had to take off my glasses because I couldn’t see. Another time the rain was hitting me in the face, it actually hurt!.

I hit the turn around (28 miles) at 1:32 – I was well on my way to a bike split PR! With the bit of tail wind on the return I was hoping to get this time under 3 hours by a minute or so until…mile 43. I heard something and then I felt it, a flipping flat rear tire! Right away I was like “shit this race is over I can’t change it, not the rear tire!” I remembered the Vittoria I carry on every race but have never used. (I wonder if there is a shelf-life for this stuff because I have had it for over two years). I rushed to just pump the stuff into the tire (I don’t even know if it went in) and then immediately fired up a CO2 cartridge to add to the pressure. Of course, it went everywhere but in the tire! At this point (maybe 3 minutes has gone by) I feel like I am losing it. A gentleman rode by and asked if I was alright and I said probably not. He turned around (yes, even in a race). I told him no, I would be ok this is a race. His response was “we are all out here together!” I love him (I think his name was John but spelled Jean maybe french Canadian?) So anyway he helped with another cartridge and after two more attempts we seemed to have it so off he went and I followed. All together, it was about a 7-8 minute loss of time. I know knew I wouldn’t go sub 3 on the bike, but could still have a respectable PR from Musselman. Everything held fine until mile 53.5! We slowed down due to the Harley convention of riders so traffic was tight and I felt like I was losing pressure and sure enough the tire was. I could see the transition so I just kept going. I wasn’t completely flat so I figured it was ok because I hadn’t lost a lot of speed. I dismounted and ran through the mud puddle to my spot in T2. My bike split was 3:08:30 (17.8 mph). Still a 9.5 minute PR!

Other than the guy next to me who so nicely hung his wet suit to dry on my bike rack number (which is why I couldn’t find it!) T2 was quick – 2:33.

Started the run and it was sunny and warm – what a crazy day of weather. Still not knowing my swim time I noticed the finish clock said 4:17 and I was wondering if that was from the start at 8:00am or just for the start of the Tinman at 8:10. Anyway, I realized that if I do well on the run I was going to net a big PR. Mary wanted me to get the first mile under my legs and hold the HR and pace steady from there. My first mile was a 10:04 (which is pretty nice for me). I felt good so I kept everything steady. My HR was hovering between high Zone 2 and low Zone 4. I ended up with an average of 158 Zone 3. There was really no part of the run I was not liking. I met a few people along the way and had a good time. I grabbed powerade at every aid station and some water to throw on my head! I did a total of 6 shot blocks. In hindsight this may have been a little light on nutrition, but I went heavier on the bike so that helped. At about mile 11 or so my stomach got funky after the last gulp of Powerade so I skipped the last aid station. I was running with a guy from Amherst at this time and slowed up a bit so I could let out a little whizpopper  and not be linked to the lingering effect! Then I caught back up and felt great!. When I realized that I was going to finish this half marathon in ~20 minutes better than Musselman and snag a huge PR I was psyched to kick it up for the finish!

Final Results 6:17:49 (PR by 33 minutes over Musselman)

AG 19/30

After the race I saw Greg and Amanda and congratulated Greg on an outstanding finish. I hung out with a few people and got my Lake Placid Brewery Moose something beer! I went to my cabin , showered and headed to April’s to spend the rest of my weekend!

Next up…Tri in the Buf Sprint, some solid training weeks, a taper and then…LAKE PLACID 2011 in exactly 26 days!!

Posted by: stefanycritelli | June 28, 2011

Lake Placid Camp




People often ask me, “Are you crazy? Why do you put yourself through that?” Of course they are referring to the wonderful world of multisports! Without hesitation, my response is always the same – because I love the challenge! It’s weekends like last week and this week that make it all worth it.

Lake Placid Camp  6/17 – 6/19

This was exactly what I needed! The fear of the unknown is now past. While I am still and will still be nervous as hell leading right up to race start, at least I have some confidence with the familiarity of the bike and run course. We did a recovery ride and a swim on Friday. Mirror Lake was beautiful and serene. I know in 27 days it will be total chaos but I now have a mental image of how it was then and I will use that to get me through the mass chaos!

Saturday I rode two loops of the bike course. First loop went well. It was a challenging ride, but manageable. The descent was crazy!!! I stopped at Stewart’s in town after loop one to refuel and use the bathroom and got right into loop two. I was averaging right about the same pace on the second loop until mile 90 or so when I got a flat tire. I changed it (all by myself). The other riders were awesome, I must have had 20 offers for help, but I wanted to do it on my own. I got back on the road and finished that loop. The climb back into town sucks! I was glad to finally get to Baby Bear! I met April (my sister) back at the hotel and we did a transition run. We then headed over to Mirror Lake for another swim with Kristin.

Sunday morning April, Kristin and I set out to run one loop of the marathon course. The weather was perfect all weekend. Then I headed home! What a whirlwind!

Posted by: stefanycritelli | June 12, 2011

Another PR!!

If you think like this you will believe it!

 So I decided to run an impromptu 5K last Friday night. Carol, Christal and I said what the heck, let’s do that 5K at NCCC. I needed to get in a recovery ride so I rode to the race, nice and easy 11 miles. There were only 80 runners or so, which was too bad because it was an awesome course and a great after-party. So I went into figuring I would just run how I felt. It was cool, so the weather was perfect for a run.

 The three of us started in the back of the group and listened to the race director explain the course. Then bam the gun went off and we were like oh we should probably start running! We joked with one another for a minute and then I started moving! I only looked at my Garmin for the mile splits.

Mile 1 – 8:58. I thought, “this is a possible PR if you kick it up!”

Mile 2 – 8:45. “Oh yeah, my best 5k to date is a 27:39, so I start to run the numbers in my head.”

Mile 3 – 8:23. “I see a 26: on the finish clock so I know if I kick up the finish I will clock a PR.”

Finish – 26:38/8:40 pace

Christal and Carol also had great finishing times, so it was definitely a success for all of us!

Very cool! It wasn’t even a scheduled training run or race. I felt fine, and had a great time hanging out after with Rich and Teena Clark and family.

Now I am excited and nervous about Lake Placid training camp this weekend! I can’t wait.

Posted by: stefanycritelli | June 10, 2011

Keuka Lake Triathlon

I know, it has been awhile since I posted, but I knew that would happen because I am bad at these things!

I am very psyched about the first tri of the season – Keuka Lake Intermediate on Sunday 6/5/2011. Let me start by saying it was an absolutely perfect day for a race as far as the weather goes. With all the rain and crappy weather we have been dealing with, this was a dream. OK, so maybe the water temperature could have been a little warmer, but 64 was manageable.

We drove up from Niagara Falls early Sunday morning. As a matter of fact, we were leaving the house at 3:15am and passed by a few local bars that were just closing! Carol and Rina decided to make the trek with Christal and I even though they were not racing – that’s true friendship:)

We got into Canandaigua by 5:00am so we stopped at DD to get coffee and pre-race breakfast. Perfect timing – 2 hours 45 minutes prior to start which is what was in my race plan. One hour pre-race I had my Luna bar and some Gatorade.

I am not going to lie…I was nervous as hell about this race for some reason! I think for a few reasons:

  • 1st tri of the season
  • Representing Train-This
  • Wanting to PR

Got in and out of transition to set up pretty quick, I always over-think this part because it seems too easy! One last trip to the bathroom and now the daunting task of applying (I mean putting on) the wet suit.


We went down to the swim start and I had my gel about 20 minutes prior to start. We actually started about 15 minutes late because of the State Troopers not being on the bike course yet. I didn’t get a warm-up swim in, so I was a little apprehensive about this but figured I would stick my face in when my wave goes down.

Calling all pink caps! That’s my wave! One last high-five and fist pump for luck from my girls and into the water I go. Believe it or not, this is where I start to relax a bit. I put my face in and think “not too bad”. I usually start way in the back but I decided to get right up towards the front and off to the right. Horn sounds and we are off. I got into the groove quickly and just swam. I felt strong and in a rhythm. The first half seemed to fly by, when we hit the bright green/yellow buoy which was the half I knew I would knock a few minutes off from last year. I did slow down on the 2nd half, not sure why but I think I lifted my head to sight far too much. I need to work on that. At no time did I feel cold or weak or any negative thoughts! When I rounded the turn to head to the dock I was smiling under water! I got out and walked up the stairs but then jogged into T1. i saw Carol and she said I was out in 40 which was 6 minutes off last year! By the time I hit the mat my actual time was 41:16.


Wet suit came off quick. Jersey, helmet, sunglasses on. Feet wiped, shoes on (sockless). Out of T1 in 2:43.


Great start coming out of the college. Was cruising and passing a few riders while settling in. Started drinking Power Bar Endurance bottle right away (Aero). The bike was smooth – great roads, no wind and temperature was just right. Did a gel after 15 minutes and one after 60 minutes. Drank about 36oz total of power drink. As we turned on Pepper Road, I remember the never-ending climb! With the new rear cassette, I had more options to climb with and I tried them all! It was good, stayed in the saddle most of the time. When we turned on Skyline for the last miles before the turn-around I got a burst of energy and just felt great. Once I made the turn around I was really pushing it. Last year I did the bike in 1:36 – 15.7mph. This year – 1:24 – 17.7mph! Coming into the campus I knew I had a good PR going and I was PSYCHED!


1:20! Rack it, helmet off, switch shoes, grab race belt and off I go!


The legs felt amazing! All those T-runs off the bike in training are paying off now. I ran my best ever here! It was getting hot, but I kept pushing. Took a couple of gulps of water and HEED at most of the aid stations and popped 3 margarita shot bloks through out the run. I only looked at the Garmin for each mile split. I figured I would let mile one guide me. Well, not only did it guide me it gave me the fire I needed!

Mile #1 – 9:03   Mile #2 – 9:19   Mile #3 – 8:57   Mile #4 – 9:31   Mile #5 – 8:57

Mile #6 – 8:58

Last year my run was 1:06/10:33 pace

This year 57:04/9:12 pace

I have to say it was an awesome race! It was definitely a great start to the season. Overall I took 26 minutes off of last year’s time, I’d say that’s a PR!!! I guess I set the bar for the 2011 Season and I look forward to every minute of it!

Posted by: stefanycritelli | April 5, 2011

Counting Down…

So another week on the books! I am counting down for a number of reasons:

vFirst – Ironman Lake Placid – the vein of my existence lately!

vSecond – Spring Recess! I know, I know, teachers are so lucky we get all this time off! We are one of the few school districts that still have two weeks off for Spring Break and that means I have only 3 days left of school!

vThird – and right now most important – 3 days in sunny Puerta Vallarta, Mexico! Don’t worry about me and the unrest in Mexico – I don’t plan on leaving the pool resort!

vFourth – I think it’s a recovery week while in Mexico which means an easy morning swim or two and a few short recovery runs and rest and relaxationJ

vOh and with any luck when I get back from Mexico I will not have to do another 4 hour ride on the trainer!


Last week was another successful week of training. I am pleased again at how my tempo runs have been pacing out.


5×1 – kept rest interval to 2-2; 20 minutes walking

Mile 1 = 9:25 HR 156 (last time – 9:38)

Mile 2 = 9:10 HR 160 (last time – 9:17)

Mile 3 = 8:54 HR 164 (last time – 9:17)

Mile 4 = 8:48 HR 165 (last time – 9:07)

Mile 5 = 8:29 HR 169 (last time – 8:54)

Seriously!!! OMG!! I was syked:)

Overall the numbers looked like this:

Swim: 2:61 hours (6400 yards)

Bike: 7.95 hours (92.86 trainer miles & 3 spin classes)

Run: 4.73 hours (27.29 miles – all outside!)

Strength Training: (1:59 hours)

Total: 16:53 hours

Posted by: stefanycritelli | March 27, 2011

Moving Forward



I was looking through my things the other day and came across my infamous “before” photo. I forget about this time of my life because I still can’t believe that was me. If you asked me back then, I would have come across like I was happy and go-lucky and being sedentary and overweight didn’t bother me. Deep down inside, I know that it did, otherwise I would not have made the changes in my life! Thanks to Weight Watchers, I lost the weight and made health and fitness part of my lifestyle. i don’t want to dwell on the past anymore,  I am moving forward to greater things in my life now!

Week in Review

Swim:  1 hour 36 minutes = 4050 yards & a kick ass TT

Bike:  4 hours 10 minutes = 20.10 trainer miles & spin classes

Run: 3 hours 4 minutes = 17.50 miles

TRX & Weights = 1 hour 30 minutes

Total = 10 hours 20 minutes

This was a recovery week-or at least that’s what it was called! I didn’t get a day off, which was ok because my training volume dropped down from 15 hours to 9-10 hours. The best part of the week was my swim time trial. I took 5 seconds off my 100-yard TT pace, that’s HUGE!!! (or at least I think it is). Despite the crappy weather, I still got outside for my runs, not my biking yet!

Looking ahead a couple of weeks, I have some big blocks of training. It will be well worth it because after that i am on vacation in Mexico for 5 days! WOOHOO!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: stefanycritelli | March 20, 2011

End of a Good Week!



Today brings to a close my first tempo block of training this year. I have to say, I am very pleased with the outcome. Throughout the last three weeks, I have pushed myself more and accomplished to make forward progress. Isn’t that what it’s all about? I used to want to see results like “yesterday”, but I have since learned (or shall I say come to terms with) that major changes will not happen overnight and they require calculated action plans executed properly to become evident. While I may have days or training sessions that lack an obvious improvement of performance, overall, I am moving forward!

This block I was able to PR a race and put out some really good mile repeats. I actually ran 5×1 mile repeats this past week outside instead of the treadmill and put out times better than my Shamrock race PR! I also hit a  milestone on the bike-well not really, but I lasted four hours on the trainer in my basement! That was after a spin class and two-mile run too.

Today I got up at 4:30am and drove to Pittsford to do a long run with some of the Train-This team members. We all ran our own thing along the canal which was pretty cool. After that we met for the above team photo. It was great to get to meet some new team members. Oh, and I also got to view my swim video! That was exciting. There are a few things Mary pointed out that I should focus on, but overall I have good body position, now if I could only get a little faster! I know, I know, changes will happen. Actually, I have made some great improvement in my swim pace and more importantly, swim endurance.

I look forward to the week of recovery, especially because it brings me one week closer to my vacation!!!!

Training totals this week:

  • Swim: 2 hours 19 minutes = 5450 yards
  • Bike: 8 hours 26 minutes (including spin classes) = 92.75 trainer miles
  • Run: 5 hours 9 minutes = 26.82 miles
Posted by: stefanycritelli | March 12, 2011

Last Week

Just a weekly update! I guess if I am going to be a “blogger” I should actually post! Let me start with my weekend…

Friday I had a swim w/o after school that went well. My racing  jitters started Friday evening. I always get a little nervous before a race, but when I am approaching a race with a certain goal-albeit a set time, pace or PR, I must wear my nerves on my sleeve a little bit! I was told I was a bit grouchy Friday evening and during the ride to the race on Saturday morning! I wish I could say I would work on that, but quite honestly, that’s just how I roll! I guess I think that if I am not worried about it, I am not putting forth the effort I should.

So on to Saturday…

Did you know that it rained on Saturday? Or should I say, there were animals lining up 2×2 to get on the arc it rained so flippin much. Not to mention winds at 20-30mph. It is what it is I tell myself. One of my favorite quotes:

“You can’t change the wind, but you can adjust your sails.”

When I read my race plan on Friday evening I said to myself, “What, 9 minute miles? Does coach know who she wrote the plan for?” I actually e-mailed her to say “you have far more faith in me than I have in myself! She reassured me that I would PR regardless and that I would be able to run that pace if I was actually tapering for the race. That made me feel better(not as much pressure on me). So let me just skip to race morning…

I taught my spin class as usual – didn’t lay up as I thought I should! I did eat my breakfast prior to spin (which I don’t normally do) and also had another pre-race breakfast when I got home. So I was definitely fueled properly I think. We left the house and actually got a little lost when searching for a parking spot and I arrived at the start line literally two minutes before the gun went off! I didn’t have time to use the bathroom-and my bladder was FULL! So I set out and just started running, full bladder and all. Wind, rain and 3,000 people!

Mile 1: 9:36

Mile 2: 9:16

Mile 3: 9:38

Mile 4: 9:44

Mile 5: 9:22

Overall – 9:31 pace 47:39 finish time (2010-51:53)

I was 50/272 in my age group and 1543/3439 overall runners.

We enjoyed the rest of the day, drinks, laughs and fun with friends.

After a late start on Sunday, I rode my long ride on the trainer in my basement all by myself! I did however discover Books on CD and got through more than half of a 6 hour book.

3:42 – 65 miles – average pace 17.4mph

Total for last week: 14 hours 25 minutes

Swim – 2:14 – 5700 yards

Bike – 7:36 – Including spin classes

Run – 3:20 – 20.25 miles

That’s It-next week slightly more volume, I can’t wait!

Posted by: stefanycritelli | March 4, 2011

Stay Strong!

If you think like this you will believe it!

So…..I am a little less nervous because I did my first tempo run for the training block.

I originally planned on doing it tonight around 6:00pm after my swim, but an early morning opportunity presented itself so I took advantage of that. I had my coffee and I actually ate a pre-run snack (usually I don’t for an AM work out unless it’s a double).

I got my stuff all set on the treadmill and taped up a note in front of the treadmill that said:


I did my warm up and got into Zone 2. After 15 minutes, it was time to start. I was to do 4 x 1 mile repeats with 3 minutes recovery in between each interval.

Mile 1: 8:57

Mile 2: 8:43

Mile 3: 8:38

Mile 4: 8:29

Done!!! Not going to lie, it did get tough and I actually went too high on my HR, so I must work on that for the next one! And, I know, it was a treadmill and not a true test of what I can do outside, but it is definitely a step in the right direction!


Posted by: stefanycritelli | March 2, 2011

Tempo Week!

This week is an exciting training week! It is the beginning of my tempo block and i am looking forward to see what I can do. I am also a tad nervous for the same reason. I did my first bike tempo workout and was able to increase my sustained HR for each interval, so I hope that means I am off to a good start.

I also get to do my first workout of mile repeats (4×1). This will be very interesting. It is also Shamrock Run weekend. That means I will get a race plan to attack on Saturday. I can’t wait for that, I just hope the weather doesn’t suck!

New Train-this logo, love the colors-thanks to our team manager Kim!

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