Posted by: stefanycritelli | February 21, 2011

I Can’t Wait!!

Winter has been far too long! I can not wait until I can run, bike outside without dressing for the North Pole! I have actually been a weather wimp this year. I have only done a few of my runs outside. I think I have done more treadmill running this season then I have ever done in my life. Soon enough, soon enough. I do know that my outside running HR and pace do not match up with my inside HR and pace! I actually knew that all along, but it was kind of cool thinking I really could run that much faster in my Zone 2!

As far as my biking, I have just finished up a big strength block. During that time I rode some of Ironman Utah and Ironman Lake Placid courses. Let me just say, downhill on the compu-trainer is much harder than downhill outside! I did 3 hours, 3.5 hours, 4.5 hours and 4 hours. I have never rode on a  trainer longer than 2 hours, so that was truly a challenge. It helped that I rode at TriSpot and had others around me. I don’t think I could do that at home.

My swimming has improved, or at least I think it has. I have done quite a few longer swim sets this block, and it seems as though I am improving each set.

I am actually feeling pretty good about Lake Placid! I definitely think I will be ready in 154 days!

Posted by: stefanycritelli | January 24, 2011

Snow Day? Questionable at Best!

Let me just start by saying, I am not a fan of a snow day! Especially when it is not really necessary. I understand the concept and all, but  on days like today it doesn’t make sense. I am a teacher, but I worked for many years in the restaurant business and there was no such thing as a snow day! As a matter of fact, we looked forward to the days when the kids were off, that just meant we would be busier! If it would truly be a danger to the children I would accept it, but those kids will be out today and they will certainly be fine! With that being said, I will get off my soap box and talk about something else!

So I rode the Ironman Utah course yesterday, or shall I say part of the first loop. We only had three hours (actually less because we got a late start) so I only got to the 43 mile mark, which was 3/4 the way up that big climb! Only on a trainer can you just stop in the middle of a 7% graded climb! It was a neat course though! It was challenging because it was a series of climbs, but there were short bits of recovery (aka downhill) that made it bearable. I would like to ride it again, and try to get through the whole first loop-that would require closer to 4 hours! I was able to maintain my heart rate towards the higher end of my Zone 2 for the entire ride. I kept expecting the big climb, so I was slightly laying back. Had I known we wouldn’t have enough time to hit it, I would have pushed harder!

Overall, I had a great training week – 15:30 hours. Now on to a recovery week! I have a big strength block coming up so I will take this recovery week and run with it! Oh, and very excited I will have a 400 yd swim TT on Friday. Looking forward to see what I can do there.

Now I am going to start my car and go get a cup of coffee on my unexpected day off!

Posted by: stefanycritelli | January 21, 2011

How’s This For a Ride?

Really???? What was I thinking?

So I am reading the Buffalo Tri Club forum and I see one of the members wants to get a group together at Tri-Spot to do a 3-hour ride on Sunday. So, I say to myself, “Perfect, I can get my long ride in for the week.” So I reserve my spot and then I decide to look at the course we are going to ride. OMG!!!! Did you see that profile? Am I seriously supposed to ride up one of those mountains? When I was telling a friend, she said, “Of course there are mountains there, didn’t they have the Winter Olympics there?” DUH!!!! I forgot about that. So I email Coach Mary and she responds with…
“This would be one of those times I was going to, oh let’s say throw you into the fire! Darn, you looked! I should have known!!!!”Her advice…
Keep the cadence high, spin the “hills” and it’s ok to stand when you need to. You know the fueling, this will be a great strength building ride for you sister.

Did she say it’s ok to get off the bike and walk it up the hill? I don’t think so.  What a better way to spend my Sunday evening. At least I know it is great preparation for Lake Placid!

I will let you know how it turns out. I am sure it will kick my butt!


Posted by: stefanycritelli | January 17, 2011

Syracuse Train-This Day


Yesterday I had the opportunity to finally meet some of the Train-This athletes I read about all the time. It was great to finally get to put a face to a name. We met in Syracuse for a swim analysis and a ten-mile time trial ride on a compu-trainer.
I must say, I was a bit nervous and anxious about going to Syracuse. I had a nice long drive to help ease the nerves, until about 25 miles outside of Syracuse when the visibility just about disappeared! That did not help! Finally I arrived and was happy to see one of the only team members I have met pull up right beside me! David and I met at Finger Lakes last September.
Once I got inside and set up the bike I eased up on my anxiety a bit, until we started to ride and I realized all of our stats were up on the wall for everyone to watch! Needless to say, I was in last place out of the seven riders. Greg kicked out butts! All of the other riders (female) were ahead of me, but that’s ok, I was still there, part of the team, and doing the same ride!
I learned awhile ago to compete with only myself, and to embrace the fact that I have accomplished so many personal goals and that I should be extremely proud of myself! So with that being said, I rode the ten-mile time trial, had my swimming get video-taped (with an extraordinarily high-tech camera I must say!)
After all of that we went to lunch to a vegan cafe (I know, really I went someplace different!). It was fun we got a chance to relax and talk!
I then had a nice easy, clear drive back home! I am so glad I decided to join the team yesterday and I can’t wait to get involved in more training events!

Posted by: stefanycritelli | January 11, 2011

My Sister

Kayleigh, Brien, LTC April Critelli, Mom & Dad

I have always admired my sister April, for many reasons. We have always seemed to just click with one another. She is a few years older than me and for as long as I can remember, there was always something really “cool” about her.
She was the first one to get braces out of the four of us.
She had the coolest boyfriends in high school.
She ran track.
She made the Senior class slide show.
Her favorite band was Genesis.
She even brought home a cat for biology class that had to be dissected and boiled it in formaldehyde in the basement kitchen (ok, so maybe that wasn’t really wise, but that’s April, she was and still is a risk taker!)

April is my role model. She is a runner, a triathlete, a marathoner, I followed in her footsteps. I love when we get the opportunity to train together, however it doesn’t happen often as she lives upstate near Albany.
April has served in the military for 25 years. She was in the Persian Gulf War in 1990 and has been an active duty soldier, reservist and now Deputy State Sgt. in the NYS National Guard (I think I got that right!) This leads me to the reason behind my post today. Last week, April was promoted to a Lt. Colonel in the Army/National Guard.
I am so proud of her and all her accomplishments. She is a great friend, daughter, mother, sister and most of all a truly dedicated American to have served her country selflessly for so many years.
April loves what she does, and it is very evident in her life. I am proud to say she is my sister and I have the utmost respect and admiration for her.

Posted by: stefanycritelli | January 7, 2011

Daily Reflection

When I was awaking this morning, or shall I say during the “snooze alarm period” I realized something. Every morning during this time, I actually take a few minutes to think back to the previous day and reflect on how it went. I usually reflect on my nutrition habits for the day, or my training schedule, but sometimes I will just ask myself, “How did yesterday go?” If it was a school day, I will think about my students and their goals and think about how I need to approach today.
In that 3-7 minutes, I will think about how I will spend the 86,400 seconds I have ahead of me today! If I missed a work out, will I make it up today; If my nutrition habits were not spot-on, will I correct that problem today. I love when I wake up and am able to say, “Wow, yesterday went great!” I am happy to be able to say that quite often! However,when I can;t for some reason, I don’t dwell on it or beat myself up for it. I simply look at the day as a new opportunity to make things great!

Posted by: stefanycritelli | December 19, 2010

Facing Your Fear

Cleveland Marathon 2008

A week or so ago one of my personal training clients took my spinning class as she always does, but I noticed she didn’t seem to be herself. While I teach my class I always watch the members and this time I focused on her to make sure she was okay. After the class I noticed her slightly limping (and we had a session scheduled after the class). To make a long story short, she was suffering from some knee pain the past few days and is afraid to rest it becasue she doesn’t want to take the time off of her exercise routine.
Boy, have I been there before I confessed to her! I told her the story about training for my first marathon and how 2 weeks out I had terrible knee pain and was fearful that i would not be able to run the marathon. My first thought when that happened was, “How will I explain myself to anyone who asks how I did?” I begrudgingly rested my knee for the two weeks prior to the marathon and I was able to not only complete the marathon, but not have any knee pain during or even after!
I think it helped her to know that we have all been in that type of situation and we sometimes learn things the hard way. She faced the fact that resting her injury would be the wise choice, and she is back up and running today!

Posted by: stefanycritelli | December 8, 2010

I Love it When They Get It!

We are learning about our history in my 5th grade class this year. I enjoy teaching American history because I think it is so very important that the students learn how this great nation began. I took a different approach this year and I am exposing the students to not only the text-book recollection, but various other forms of media such as re-enactment videos of the Revolutionary Period and History channel documentaries. We were watching a History Channel episode where different prominent people gave their input on what the Declaration of Independence and the Revolutionary War meant to them. Not only did they hear from political folk, but some sports icons and TV reporters. I wasn’t expecting Peter Jennings to say we should have opened a big can of “whoop-ass” on the British, but I am sure they have heard worse!
So I couldn’t help but get excited when we were talking about the causes and events leading up to the war when the kids were just calling out information like crazy! It wasn’t just one or two students, but many of them! As a matter of fact, my enthusiasm was contagious because a few of them were almost out of their seats with the answers!
I love being a teacher, but it’s days like today that make it even better. When I see that proverbial lightbulb go on in their head it puts a smile on my face!

Posted by: stefanycritelli | December 5, 2010

Exactly at This Moment

Have you ever sat back and thought about how you feel at this time in your life? As I was driving home from a great swim workout this afternoon, it dawned on me that right now….I am at the best place in my life I have ever been! I know it sounds corny, but it is truly how I feel.

I have my family. I have wonderful and supportive friends. I have a rewarding career as a teacher. I have an additional satisfying job as a spin instructor and personal trainer. I love where I am right now as an athlete. Most important, I am an Ironman!

Posted by: stefanycritelli | December 4, 2010

Giving Back

Rockefeller Center

The Critelli Family Christmas will be much different this year, but in a good way.  My wonderful father (affectionately known as “papa”) initiated the idea that because we are all so fortunate in love and life it makes sense for us to give back and help others.  So instead of gift exchanging amongst the adults, we are going to take the money and “adopt” a family less fortunate than us.  Through Heart & Soul we have located a family of five, single mom with four young boys. Ironically, we are four girls! Maybe secretly my parents want to see what it’s like to buy presents for boys instead!

So despite my intense loathing to shop, I will happily be shopping for our adopted family with my family! It has kindled my holiday spirit! AS a matter of fact, I am even going to the annual Lewiston Christmas Walk! Tis the season.

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