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Monthly Swim & Coffee Social

swim-coffee

The first Tuesday of every month, Empire Tri Club and Red Tide Master’s Swim Team will be teaming up to host a swim and coffee social!

Start your morning off with a refreshing dip in the pool, followed by coffee and breakfast with your teammates!  (It’s a great way to meet each other, both in and out of the pool)!

The swim will take place at Baruch College from 6:30-8am.  After the workout, head around the corner to Gregory’s Coffee (Flatiron District – 327 Park Ave S).

Before you go:

  • This workout is not free.  To attend, athletes may sign up for a Red Tide 10-class pass or monthly unlimited swim membership.  However, ETC members can sign up for a free trial before signing up for a swim membership.
  • A free trial may be used at any swim on the schedule.  However, we strongly encourage athletes to attend our Swim + Coffee Social for your trial.  Red Tide coaches will be there to welcome new swimmers and make you feel comfortable.
  • Coffee and breakfast is not provided – you’re welcome to purchase anything you’d like at the coffee shop!
  • We understand that everyone has places to go and business to attend to.  If you can’t make the social, or want to just grab coffee and go that’s totally fine!  If you have the chance to stay and hang for a few minutes, we encourage you to do so, but there is no official “start or end time” to the social.
  • More details can be found here.
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#ProjectRun with Mike & Joey Devlin

We’re running across the country for ALS Research.

That’s right, across the country. 3,000 miles. 5 million steps. 114 marathons.  From San Francisco to New York City. All of it.

Three years ago, we watched as our Grandmother passed away from Bulbar ALS.  We watched as this horrific disease attempted to strip our Grandmother of her humanity.  We wanted to do something about it.

In partnership with Project ALS, we are launching a self-funded expedition to run across the country in the hopes of raising money and awareness for ALS Research.

This is completely self-funded.  We aren’t going to be taking a dime.   Nada.  Zip.

We are committed to making sure every dollar raised is used directly for funding ALS research and finding a cure. Every. Single. Dollar.

We are heading out on this 3,000 mile journey across the country in honor of our Grandmother, Edna Devlin.

 

Grandma Devlin was an absolutely, incredible human being.  Mother of five children and Grandmother to many more, she was the first person to let you know how amazing, beautiful, or wonderful you were!  She lit up every room she entered with her smile and her voice, especially her voice.  Grandma Devlin loved to talk.  A quick conversation could quickly turn into an hour.  HOWEVER, she wasn’t talking about the weather or the news or anything like that… all she ever wanted to talk about was YOU.  It didn’t matter if you were her own child or someone she just met, she wanted to talk about you.  After each conversation with her, you walked away smiling from ear to ear, thinking you were the most special snowflake, the most special human being who ever lived, that you could conquer the world!  It was kind of mind blowing. But, that’s what she did.  That was her super power.  She made you feel loved. In everything that she did, she made you feel completely loved.

Four years ago, Grandma Devlin got sick.  She was playing bridge with her friends when she started to slur her words.  They thought it might have been a stroke.  But, when she went to the doctor, they couldn’t find any indications of a stroke.  A month later, it was worse.  Much worse.  Grandma Devlin was slurring her words and having trouble speaking.  Doctor after doctor tried to figure out what was wrong, but no one was sure.

Finally, in December of 2013, right before Christmas, Grandma Devlin was diagnosed with Bulbar ALS.

That Christmas was strange.  We knew we didn’t have much more time with her.  The disease was aggressively attacking her body, taking away her ability to speak and making it difficult for her to eat.  But, when Grandma Devlin arrived, she was smiling.  Most years, our family gatherings were filled with her voice.  She would be bouncing from person to person talking up a storm. But, not this year.  When we were all sitting together, Grandma Devlin took her white board and wrote, “God told me that I’ve done enough talking for a lifetime.”  We all laughed.  There she was again, making us all feel loved.

On January 26th, 2014, three weeks before her 77th birthday, Grandma Devlin passed away.

Although the disease had worked quickly, nothing could slow down her infectious spirit.  Throughout those last few months, Grandma Devlin was a force of positivity.  When we were struggling, she gave us strength.  When we were feeling depressed, she lifted us up.  Just as she had always done, Grandma Devlin focused on the people around her.  She made us all feel loved.

For Grandma Devlin, we wanted to do something BIG.  We thought if it was BIG, we could make a BIG difference.  So, when we decided to run, we decided to run across the country!

But, the only way we are going to make a difference is with YOUR help!

All donations will go directly to research and we’ll let you know exactly where and for what.  We’ll tell you how you’re helping.  We’ll tell you about the research.  We’ll tell you about the progress.  Together, we can do something about this terrible disease.  Together, we can make an impact.

ALSO, we are going to document it ALL.  We will be posting, tweeting, snapchatting and Facebooking with all of YOU.  The whole experience.  The ups and the downs.  The highs and the lows.  We want to share this journey with you.

Because, the more we share, the more people will know. And the more people who know, the more we can all make a difference.

So, follow us on this journey. Join us on this cause. Together, we can make a difference.

Check out the #ProjectRun website.

The day is here!  One time Empire athlete Mike Devlin has taken on a 3,000 mile run, 100-day challenge across America.

DAY 1: SATURDAY APRIL 15TH / SAN FRANCISCO, CA / 8:00 AM

For Mike and Joey’s full schedule and to donate to #ProjectRun, follow their journey at ALSProjectRun.com, Twitter.com/TheMikeDevlin, Instagram.com/TheMikeDevlin, and Facebook.com/ProjectALS.

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Mailchimp account update

Dear Athletes –
As many of your know, our Mailchimp account was hacked on Saturday 3/18/17.  An email went out to everyone in our network claiming to be an order notification for a product you did not purchase (a coaching package for $319).  We are aware that you did not purchase this item and apologize for any confusion.  We have done our very best to reply to all the messages we received through Facebook, Twitter, Email and Text as quickly as possible.  We have been working tirelessly over the past few days to get to the bottom of this and keep you informed of the situation and will continue to do so until the issue is resolved.  If you have not done so yet, please DELETE the email and DO NOT CLICK on any links!
We have new information to share from Mailchimp….”Based on our analysis the link contained a trojan file, trojan.valyria.  Anyone who clicked the link should perform a full system virus scan and remove any found malicious files. We suggest one of the following programs:”

We want to ensure you that while the email was disguised as an “order confirmation” eliciting people to click on a fake “receipt” you were not charged, nor do we store credit card information in Mailchimp so there is no way for your card to be affected.

We understand that this malicious email was confusing and upsetting to many people in our community.  (Trust us, we were just as shocked!).  We truly hope that you follow the above instructions to ensure your computer is rid of any potential virus.  We sincerely apologize and will continue to keep you updated of any new information as it becomes available to us.

Best,
Alison & Jessica
Co-Founders, Empire Tri Club

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Empire Spotlight- Liz Harris

We recognize our athletes achievements which help build team spirit and inspire athletic advancement.

Meet Empire athlete Liz Harris:

Just 1 year of doing triathlons and already Liz has accomplished qualifying for nationals, placing 2nd overall in her very first duathlon, and several podium finishes at Olympic distance triathlons! “I have always been athletic and am always trying new things – marathons, body building, and now triathlons.  Last year I just went out, bought a bike and registered for a Half Ironman. I was committed (not to mention I had just spent a ton of money), so I was going to train and do it well.”

A love for travel and her new found sport, she’s combined the two by doing destination races. She finished her 2016 season at IRONMAN 70.3 Cozumel. “What’s not to love about Cozumel…  clear water, warm temperatures and the most amazing people. It is a magical place…and they have tequila! The race itself was so well organized and it is truly a fast, flat course. You swim in the ocean which is crystal clear and you can see the bright colored fish, then bike 1 loop around the island with amazing views of the ocean. The run is all along the main road where people are dreaming and cheering the entire way… just the motivation you need to cross the finish. Oh, destination races!”

What’s on her calendar for 2017?  The NYC Tri, IRONMAN 70.3 Lake Placid, and her “A race” IRONMAN 70.3 Cozumel!  We are sure to see her atop that podium again!

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Empire Spotlight-Larry Lue

We recognize our athletes achievements which help build team spirit and inspire athletic advancement.

Meet Empire athlete Larry Lue:

Larry had a very limited athletic background and was a self-proclaimed couch potato! He wrestled and played some basketball in high school but his only exercise since then was to walk 18 holes of golf every once in awhile.

In 2012, and not so sure of his decision as to why, he ran his first marathon in NYC.

“I enjoyed the atmosphere as a spectator and thought it was a great event. The real reason was probably that I was turning 53 that year and was beginning to feel my age and my mortality. I then saw an ad for the NYC Triathlon and thought it might be interesting, although I knew almost nothing about triathlons. I went out and bought a bike and had to learn how to swim properly. That’s when I found Empire and signed up for the Beginner’s Program. I enjoyed the training and the fellowship and now I’m hooked.”

This year he will be competing in his 4th NYC Triathlon and 4th NYC Marathon.  In addition to his second Half IRONMAN in Lake Placid and his second NYRR 60K race!

“My goal is to do a little better with each race but really just to stay fit and healthy while enjoying the training and the company of my teammates at Empire. I’m only two years away from turning 60 but, as long as I stay healthy, I plan to continue to participate in triathlons and marathons.

It occurs to me that triathlons are basically what I did as a kid growing up. Every day in the summer, I’d get up, ride my bike down to the park with my friends, run a few miles playing basketball, then ride to the lake to splash and float around before riding home for dinner. I guess I’m just back to being a kid again.”

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Empire Spotlight-Sara Bryant

We recognize our athletes achievements which help build team spirit and inspire athletic advancement.

Meet Empire athlete Sara Bryant:

Sara has always been a strong runner.  She ran high school track and cross country, both sports propelling her to be faster on the soccer pitch.  This past November she ran the TCS NYC Marathon with a finish time of 3:33, a 25-minute personal record from her first NYC Marathon in 2010.  As a result, she qualified for the 2017 Boston Marathon.  This impressive accomplishment came after an unfortunate IT band injury in September, giving her only six weeks to train for the marathon.

“It was actually the friends and teammates I met through Empire who allowed me to see that potential and encouraged me to go for it.”

After finishing her first marathon back in 2010 she was determined to find another sport that she equally loved.  After trying many sports, she gave triathlon a shot and was instantly hooked!

She has competed in a few Sprint and Olympic distance triathlons and is set to compete in two Ironman 70.3 races in 2017, in addition to the Chicago and Boston Marathons.

When asked about the future, Sara said she looks forward to winter training and a fun and challenging 2017 season!

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Empire Spotlight-Sharon Rochford

We recognize our athletes achievements which help build team spirit and inspire athletic advancement.

Meet Empire athlete Sharon Rochford:

Sharon is all too familiar with the challenges of being a triathlete and a single mom with a full time job.  Her time is a precious commodity.  It’s a balancing act between parenting, a demanding job, housework and getting her training in.  As Herculean as it seems for the rest us, to her this is a lifestyle.  She has learned to prioritize and make exercise part of her daily routine, just like brushing her teeth!  She’s had days when a late-night workout gets done after dinner, homework and putting her 12yr. old son Noah to bed.

She looks forward to her workouts because it makes her feel happier, stronger and helps her focus better at work.  Noah has also noticed the difference and encourages his mom to exercise when he notices her mood is down.

What makes this all worthwhile?  Being a mom that Noah can look up to and know that goals can be accomplished when your determination is strong.

“I would like Noah to know that anything is possible once you put your mind to it regardless of your age or fitness level.  The human body and the mind are stronger and more powerful than we think.  It is okay to push ourselves sometimes, even if we feel pain, because we are resilient”.

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Empire Spotlight-Olof Dallner

We recognize our athletes achievements which help build team spirit and inspire athletic advancement.

Meet Empire coach & athlete Olof Dallner:

He is a level I USAT certified triathlon coach and category 3 road cyclist.  This past October, Olof finished 3rd overall at IRONMAN Louisville with a time of (9:09) and qualified for the IRONMAN World Championship; the world’s most prestigious triathlon.   Within the same month he won 1st place at Empire Tri’s Beer Mile and finished of the season by marrying his fellow Empire coach and IRONMAN, Caitlin Alexander.

Olof is a firm believer that everyone can go beyond their perceived limits, and he is passionate about showing you how. He has worked with many athletes helping them reach their fitness and racing goals.

Olof has helped me tremendously. He pushes me to be stronger and faster than I thought possible. His coaching supports me both physically and mentally.” – Sam Tergek

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#Trackmytraining: “I AM a Triathlete!!”

image001Date:  10/4/16

I started writing this week’s entry during the bike so you’d think it’d be easier for me to get down on paper… ok the screen… but it is still all sinking in. I did it!  Me!  Someone who, when this began, couldn’t even run a mile! Someone who a year ago weighed 75lbs more and was so accident prone walking was nearly an extreme sport. I started this journey with a Little Engine That Could mentality… I think I can, I think I can, I think I can… and Sunday, I proved I COULD.

The night before the race, I was talking to someone who asked me how long I had been training for this race, and without thinking I answered 10 weeks. I knew I missed the first 2 weeks of the 12 week beginner program so it was an easy calculation for me. It wasn’t until I saw the look on his face that I realized how much I had accomplished in such a short time. At the beginning of this, I couldn’t run a mile without stopping and now I am a triathlete! In case you were wondering, saying that doesn’t get old! The word alone is intimidating- triathlon. That’s three times an athlete! I wasn’t an athlete at all when this began- and as my mom will lovingly remind me, I never really was. Beginners start at all different levels, but for me, this was very much stage 1.  Empire gave me the tools, the training and the confidence to get there without even realizing the amount of hard work I was putting in. How do you eat an elephant, they ask? One bite at a time.. well how do you train for a triathlon- one work out at a time! Each week, I’d seen improvement but not until I was really put to the test could I see it all come together. The camaraderie amongst the team helped push us all further, in our work outs but also on race day. With 23 of us testing our training, there were plenty of supportive faces around the course, and each time I saw someone or heard someone yell out “EMPIRE” or “caliente,” I knew I had to kick it into high gear (sometimes literally).

Some of you may be reading this thinking about signing up so let me give you the Good, the Bad and the Ugly so you can see, from my perspective anyway, what it’s really like.

The Ugly: The mental game is so much more important than you realize. Telling yourself you can’t even for a second can put you back minutes or completely. The moment you start to doubt yourself or get scared, you give yourself a window of saying ok to failure. That’s not why you work hard each day to get to this point. Can’t is my least favorite word, because it’s bs. What you mean is won’t- you won’t try harder, you won’t go out of your comfort zone and that’s fine, but you won’t accomplish all that you can either. Sunday’s swim was particularly difficult for me. I don’t know if it was my anxiety going into the day, the crowds or just fear but I found the swim to be the biggest challenge (and as a water baby this threw me). Close to the first buoy, I had been swum over, hit, grabbed onto and probably even inhaled some pond. I heard myself saying, “why are you doing this?? This is stupid! Just stop now!”. I didn’t like the way this voice sounded in my head. I remembered my training, took a second to treadwater, let people pass, shook my head and thought about all the Empire people there with me, my parents who had driven nearly 5 hours to watch me cross that finish line and how hard I had worked to get to this point, was I really going to give up that easily?? I changed the tune- slow and steady I repeated to myself. And in the end, it was only 6 minutes longer than it took me in the pool! Keep stay positive, it’s not easy, but the negativity is ugly and if you’re not careful, it will win. 

The Bad:  Man, it’s hard work! Each day, each work out, each milestone is a hard won victory. Every day is a day to conquer a different work out and push yourself harder. Uphill speed drills, biking up the Harlem hill- I wouldn’t say it’s fun during, but I have always felt better after and been impressed with what I was able to achieve. You have to push yourself each step of the way. Race day is no different- the swim was hard, getting onto the bike and going almost immediately up a long slow incline was hard, talking myself into not stopping running even though I was tired, was hard. Each step of the way can feel difficult and almost tedious but getting back to transition to start the next activity, I knew I could keep going and was that much closer to crossing the finish line. During I felt like I did all I could do, but now looking back, I think I could have pushed harder! This is not for everyone, but everyone can do it if they’re willing to work for it.

The Good: Crossing that finish line was the greatest and most proud moment of my life. I surprised myself by being so overwrought with emotion I was fighting back tears. I had done it!! I finished! There is no better “good” than setting out to accomplish something and working hard to achieve it. The confidence the beginner program has helped me unleash comes out in all areas of life, not just in my fitness routine. The friendships I made during the last few weeks are ones I know will stay with me for a long time, our racing days are just getting started after all! I have definitely caught the bug and am looking forward to another race- I’m not saying I’m going right to the Olympic distance, but I know I can do better and I am looking forward to proving that to myself! 

The Mightyman Montauk Triathlon was by far the hardest and most rewarding thing I’ve ever done and I couldn’t be happier to have done it! The Empire Beginner Program comes with a group of incredible coaches to help guide and push you as well as a group of people who are in the same boat you are. It’s not about how fast each person finished, or how well you did, but that we all finished, therefore we all crushed it!

I am so thankful to everyone for all the support along the way, for believing I could do this, especially when I needed the reminder and for reading these updates so I knew I couldn’t let you down either! Thank you for sharing in this journey with me!

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#Trackmytraining: Montauk, Here I Come!

Date: 9/26/16

“After the LBI Tri you’ll officially be a Triathlete!” The words hung heavy in the air, I hadn’t even thought of that! A year ago, I was just starting out and hadn’t even thought of completing a triathlon yet and now I was looking at this as practice for Montauk, but it’s true! I did it! I finished my first triathlon even if it was a mini sprint and for me just practice! I know I could have done better, but I felt like I pushed myself and I still finished in under 1:30 which was my goal.

400m swim- Check
10 mile bike- Check
3.1 mile run- Check!! 
1:29:01 – sure I can think of a few better ways to spend an hour and a half, but by 9am, I had already completed more than most people would all day!

I’m so happy I decided to do the LBI Tri this year, not only is it my “home course” and my original bucket list race, but it gave me the practice and confidence I need for Montauk. I definitely have a lot of changes to make but I wouldn’t have realized them without this experience. 

The swim, which I had envisioned being the easiest part for me, proved to be more difficult than I anticipated. I’m blaming most of that on the wetsuit I borrowed. I didn’t realize there was a difference between a surf suit and a swim suit which made it a little harder, but what really did me in was the fact that it was too big! Just a couple of weeks ago it fit fine, and now I felt like there was an inch of water between me and the suit anchoring my whole swim. I still finished in a little under 9 minutes so not too bad, but felt I could do better. Working on sorting out the wetsuit for Montauk now, so glad I practiced in this one before October 2nd!

My first transition, was just shy of disastrous and will be the biggest area of improvement for me! I decided I’d wear the same thing I did for the Empire Mini Tri several weeks back, putting on the tri shorts with suspenders and t-shirt as well as my sneakers before the bike. Between putting my clothes on in the wrong order (suspenders should go first, duhh!), not using a racebelt and needing to re-pin my number, twice and forgetting to untie my shoes before, I lost a lot of precious time- 5:40 to be exact! I am looking forward to the next Empire shopping day so I can get my one piece Tri Suit to wear under the wetsuit, a racebelt and the quick ties for the shoes so I don’t have to worry about tying my sneakers at all. I knew this transition would take a longer than it should, but I didn’t expect to watch people come out of the water after me and start the bike before I could. It really helped show how the transition areas can make or break it- you know if you’re really racing.

The bike took a lot longer than expected! Having done 9 miles in 20 minutes at a not race pace, I had high hopes for making up some time on the bike. But three loops half into increasing head winds, gears changing on their own (have I mentioned how awesome my 25 year old Caliente Schwinn is?) and hairy turns at each end brought me in with a time over 40 minutes which really surprised me. I did make up some ground from the transition which was good. Now looking back, I can say I just didn’t push myself hard enough.  Each time I passed my family and those who came out to cheer me on or even one of the friends I did the race with, I got a new spur of energy and picked up the pace. Montauk will be even better for this with so many friends participating and everyone cheering me and the Empire team on. 

The run and transition to it were pretty uneventful which is all I could hope for. I walked a little here and there in the beginning but felt my muscles seizing when I did so I slowed the pace and kept to a jog for the remainder. Getting my “land legs” back after being on the bike, and the swim, was my biggest challenge here. I can see, if need be, walking a little in the beginning and then pushing hard with the run the rest of the way through. They had so many awesome volunteers to really cheer us on during this part which also helped. 

All in all I’m really proud of myself. I finished, which was all I really wanted to do and I came in 2nd place of the Athenas.  Which still feels a little embarrassing to admit, even if it took losing 72lbs to get there (and now I’m 74lbs down and officially no longer even qualify for this category).  I hoped when I had to check that box that perhaps it would mean I’d be the best out of the category, but I had no idea I really did it until they called my name!

A fellow Empire beginner (thanks Yael!) gave the great advice of smile the whole time, this way you get great pictures! While I tried my best and felt like there were definitely times my smile was traded in for a classic- “why am I doing this??/how many more laps is it?” look  instead, I have it on high authority I had a big, proud, heartfelt smile on my face and even a couple of pictures to prove it! It was a really great experience overall and I’m so thankful to have participated in a more formal race as practice for Montauk- MightyMan here I come!!