Alyssatard: the (wo)man, the myth, the legend

May 27, 2011 § Leave a comment

Well, hello there. You may have noticed that the location of my blog is different! As part of my quarter-life resolution last year,  I have tried to look a little more grown up in all things that I do. For one thing, I bought a house. That seemed pretty grown up. I have also stopped wearing sweatpants before/after races. Thanks Oiselle for helping me with that one 🙂 I cook things and keep my Ramen Noodle intake to once weekly. All super grown up right? Well, this past week I grew up a little electronically. I moved my blog over to wordpress and even made it so you can just go to and find me.

With that, came the death of the Alyssatard blog. Sad, but true. Then I realized that many of you out there probably don’t even know the origin of Alyssatard. So, here’s the dets:

I have a sister who is 3 years older than me. Her name is Leah. Nowadays the age difference is fairly negliable (minus the fact that she’s super grown up and married and a big time lawyer now, while I run in the woods and play on bikes and in the pool). However, when I was little, 3 years seemed like a lifetime. Anything she was doing was the shiz. Dave Matthews? Totally awes! Wearing a side ponytail and tying my shirt on the side? Super hot. In the earliest years, I especially liked to do the sports or activities that Leah was doing. She went to gymnastics for several years before I was old enough to go. I watched her all of these years go off to practice in her leotard. When I was finally old enough, I got suited up in the only outfit I figured was logical – if she wore a “Leah-tard”….that must mean I wear an “Alyssa-tard.”

It was years before anyone had the heart to tell me the truth. And by have the heart to tell me, I mean it slipped out in front of my friends and since then no one has ever let me live it down….


>Blast From the Past

May 18, 2011 § 2 Comments

>I was looking for something tonight and I came across some old pictures. I realized that maybe I’ve been preparing to be a triathlete all along….

Swim meet for the Evergreen Dolphins, sometime in the late 90’s. You can see by the clench of my fists that swimming has always made me absurdly nervous and fearful. And yes, those are some sweet perscription goggles I’m rocking. Apparently this was before I was allowed to have contacts.
I don’t think there’s too much to explain about this one other than it is obvious I have always had amazing style. And yes, I think that’s a mullet (albeit a baby mullet)
Somehow I bet even then I wasn’t really concerned with speed.
….And then have ice cream 🙂
I realize I look like a baby boy. But I wasn’t. See, that’s Minnie Mouse on my shirt. Girls wear Minnie.


May 13, 2011 § 1 Comment


“The fastest marathoner will be the one who slows slowest.”
-Raymond Britt, Never Settle

>Hungry Hungry Hippo

May 10, 2011 § Leave a comment

>You know that feeling where you’re so so hungry and you are going out to eat, and all you can think about is how hungry you are? So when you get to the restaurant you order 2 appetizers, a big meal, and you just know that dessert will be had too? And then the appetizers get there and you’re like “oh these are so yummy” and you chomp them up. And then your meal comes and you start to dig in. But now it’s not as easy as you thought because you no longer feel as hungry?  So you think maybe if I just take really small bites I will be able to eat it all? But then after a couple bites you’re like shoot, I ate too many appetizers. And then you just end up with no dessert and a doggie bag of leftovers even though you hate leftovers. All because your eyes were bigger than your stomach.

That’s kind of how my race last weekend went.

I came to the race with a huge appetite. By all accounts, I was ready to race. The last (and only other time) I had attempted to race a half marathon was a year ago in Miami….and I failed miserably. Blame it on the humidity, blame it on the mojitos, blame it on whatever you want – I wanted to run a 1:37 and I came no where close.  This time was different. I was hungry, but I had also put in the work that earned me that hunger. Despite my 1:48 from Miami, I was ready to go big – to order 2 apps, a huge meal, and dessert: I wanted to run under 1:35.

Ryan and I got to the race (he was timing it, so bonus for me!) and I even did a little warm up to get ready. It was a small race that would be an out and back on a flat(ish) towpath. The race started and I went out with the lead group of women. I felt comfortable and even marveled that “this must be what the dudes say when they talk about running in a pack and working together.” The first mile marker came: 6:16. Uh oh. I *knew* that was too fast. I knew I wasn’t in shape to run at that pace for much longer. But, instead of backing off to a smart 7minute pace which I knew would be sustainable, I went for it. It felt good. I was running relaxed. Why not?

Ultimately I paid the price. Just after the halfway mark, I got served my main course of the day, and sure enough I couldn’t take more than a couple bites. I was forced into survival mode and I spent the greater part of those miles back to the finish being astonished at how hard and fast fatigue will come on. I ended up crossing in the line in 1:36:39.

“Going hard” in a running race is still new to me. It was evident that I am still learning how to race like this. Do I regret going out at a super fast pace? Nah. I’ll live. It only gives me something to keep shooting for. Do I think I have a sub 1:35 in me? Shoot. I think I have a 1:30 in me. If I didn’t have big dreams I wouldn’t be going through the workouts I do each and every day.

Due to the fact that my latter 6 miles were at a relatively easy pace, I also ended up with some leftovers in my legs. This turned out to be a blessing in disguise as I had another big event that night: Arjun’s Birthday Beer Mile. I am particularly fond of this event, as I have managed to take the women’s title for the past 2 years. This year I was nervous though. There were several good competitors added to the docket and I knew they could give me a run for my money. Luckily though, my multisport abilities in drinking and running prevailed, and I took home the women’s title for the 3rd year in a row, setting a personal best for the event of 7:56.

All in all it was a solid weekend of work and experience in racing. And at the end of the day, that’s all I can ask for.

>Things I have learned

May 5, 2011 § 3 Comments

>I have now been under the tutelage of Hillary Biscay for a whole 3 months, and in this time I have learned many things. I have come up with a few of the lessons for your reading pleasure:

1. After a particularly good swim workout one day, I reported back to HB my times. Great! She wrote back. “still SCMETERS right?” After reading this I had 2 questions. One, why did she yell that one word at me? And two, what is a scmeter? So, I did what anyone would do – I googled it. This wasn’t super helpful at first as I didn’t think she was asking me if I was using a adapter cap. Somewhere down in the goggle search though I at least turned up some videos of swim meets, so I knew I was on the right track. My second option was to ask the one person who seems to have an endless repertoire of random knowledge – Ryan. And sure enough, I got my answer: Short Course Meters. Ah-ha.

2. Do not eat an entire big bag of Twizzlers (the kind with the filling inside, even though they are super tasty) and half a bag of mini Reese’s cups within 24 hours of an important workout. It will end in tears in the pool. And having to basically walk 2 miles back to your car after the run.

3. Running fast makes you run fast.

4. Riding bikes is fun. Especially when you get faster. And when you beat the boys.

5. (Coach if you’re reading this please avert your eyes) Swimming is okay. Sometimes. Like every third Thursday of the month when there’s a full moon.
6. I’m with The Band. Not this one.
7. And perhaps my most favorite HB lesson of all: Looking good == feeling good == racing fast.

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