Sausage Races…

al

No, not sausage races like in Miller Park. Rather a fun run ending with sausages. Thanks to Kreger’s and Addidas for sponsoring the Naperville Running Company Grub Run on Tuesday.

This was another 3 mile fun run, and there were many familiar faces from the Pub Run last month. These runs are always a good time with good people. And they provide good learning experiences for us.

In the last one, I learned that I can’t run in compression socks even though that may help in the long run. In this one, I learned that I have to find a plan B (band aids or tape) instead of an undershirt to deal with chafing. I was overheating during the run because the cotton was trapping the heat in.

One final point – Kreger’s is an amazing place that I never knew existed. I’ve lived here for almost a decade and this past Tuesday was the first time I’d even heard of it.

Black Flagged… AGAIN

bf

To whomever has pissed off Mother Nature, can you please apologize already? I know we all need rain, but the last two weeks have been absurd. I’m glad that I paid for the annual membership — otherwise, this would be even more frustrating to pay for a day at the beach and then get black flagged that quickly.

On Monday, we went to Centennial Beach to try and get a second day of swimming in. As I was putting on my wetsuit on, I saw the sky starting to get dark. So we hurried up and tried to get at least a couple laps in. But it was not meant to be… as Terri jumped in, I heard the safety whistle blow. They closed the beach for the night shortly after.

While that was disappointing, what was even more so was tearing my wet suit. I pulled it the wrong way and a piece of the outer shell came off. While that and the fingernail hole can be easily repaired, it’s so disappointing and frustrating because that’s gear that a sponsor gave me. I know that they could have put that money elsewhere, but they chose to use it for gear for me, which is why I was so disappointed when it happened. Unintentional, but frustrating as hell.

We’ll regroup for a grub run on Tuesday…

A Badass Coach…

ba

I couldn’t find a sport specific one (running, cycling, etc.), so I went with this one. It’s probably more spot on though… 😉

For those of you who haven’t caught on by now, Terri is my [badass] coach. There are many things that make her a badass, but this is just one example. On Sunday, her day started at 4A, she was at transition at 5, swam 800m as part of a Tri relay, and then picked me up for training. Which consisted of at least 600m in the pool and about 2mi of run/walk.

We had a much clearer path on Sunday than we had last week. After about 75-90 minutes in the normal area (4-5 feet), I decided to give the deep water a try. The Tri in August will go from 0 depth to 15 feet in M layouts, so I need to get into the deep water. I think that I should have stopped two laps before we did, as I was far beyond spent on the run.

I was done for the day after the training session, and spent most of the day sleeping. But not her – she caught her 4th or 11th wind and just went onto the next thing. So when you see me say ‘badass coach’ in the future, you’ll know what I mean… 🙂

Beach Brick

fow

So after two days of crappy weather, we finally got a nice day for a swim. We took full advantage of that, staying in the pool for two hours after getting properly dressed (wet suits, caps, goggles and ‘magic tether’).

It started out with a fun entry into the water, continued with drills and eventually laps. When they started the deep water test in the intermediate water, we had to dodge crowds while training since everyone was compressed. While there’s still work to be done, it all came together by the end of the swim session. One of the things I still need to work on is not losing stroke / concentration when told to turn. But there’s still plenty of time.

After the swim, we went for what was supposed to be 2 miles, but turned into closer to 3. The swim->run bricks aren’t as bad as bike->run ones are. I know that the latter is what the Tris will be, so hopefully that will get easier with more practice.

Black Flagged… Again

bf

On Sunday, we got a small amount of practice in before they effectively closed the beach down (consecutive 30 minute delays from thunder). So our plan was to go Monday evening for a swim.

Best laid plans… Unfortunately, Mother Nature didn’t want to cooperate with us. THis time round, we didn’t even have a chance to get into the water. While the swim was off, we put the time to good use (beach membership and grocery shopping), and planned to do the swim Tuesday.

The Four Elements…

tr

There are four elements — earth, wind, water and fire. Earlier today, we got to see all four together. And it was purely by chance.

We had decided yesterday to do an AM swim at Centennial Beach. Terri picked me up and we headed over to the beach so we’d be there at 9. When we arrived in the parking lot, we saw a huge assortment of police equipment. As we sat and waited for the thunder to pass, we figured out what it was.

It was the Torch Run, and as things worked out, we were in the right place at the right time to get a great video of the procession when it left.

Having captured an incredible scene, we were finally able to go into the water. I had an opportunity to try out my new wet suit. For those of you who have never put one on, it’s quite the experience. Think about how people make sausages. But in this scenario, you’re the hooves and snouts going into it. I will say that Suit Juice not only is amazing, but IMO is essential if you’re going to be wearing a wet suit.

Once in the water, we were only able to get about 200 yards in before the tthunder/lightning alarm (10 mi radius) went off. We originally thought it was just 30 minutes period before it went to all clear. We soon learned that each thunder crack added 30 minutes on instead of resetting. Having heard 6 thunderclaps in about 5 minutes, we left instead of waiting for 3+ hours to be able to get back in.

We will give it another go tomorrow. And even though we only got 200 yrds in, I’ve got ZERO complaints. The first part was well worth all the mess in the rain afterwards.

Oswego Bricks

oc

Yesterday, we headed over to Oswego for a bike/run brick session. We did about 9 miles on the bike through the Fox Valley Trail. As always, Oswego Cyclery lent us the tandem for the day. I am so grateful for Art continuing to let us use it!

Montgomery still needs to fix their part of the path. It’s got so many bumps in it that I joking said to Terri ‘stop saying bump – just say no bump when there isn’t one.’ As soon as I can figure out exactly who to report that to, I will be sending an e-mail. Everything I’ve found so far points to Aurora instead of Montgomery.

After the last bike/run brick, I could barely run. On this one, I was able to do small stretches before the jello in my legs took over and I had to walk. As we were headed back into the park, a couple of guys called ‘where’s the double bike?’, so we’re evidently getting noticed in Oswego when we ride. 🙂 We only did 2 miles of the ‘run’ because today was a planned swim. More on that in the next post…

Blindsided…. by sponsors!

gb

There have been a lot of people who have helped me since I started this journey. I wouldn’t be where I am without their help and support. Some have even helped me through sponsorships — but I always knew about that going in.

However, yesterday, I was blind sided by the generosity of two sponsors. I won’t drop names right now, BUT I will say that when the Tri kit happens in 2016, you WILL see their logos on it as my way of showing gratitude for their support. If either of them would like to publicly raise their hand, I’m happy to approve the comments.

So at the end of yesterday, I had a pair of running shoes and a wet suit. Both of which I need as I continue to push forward. THANK YOU so much to both of these generous sponsors!

One Inspires Many

D2T

Last weekend, I had the opportunity to attend the Dare2Tri ParaTriathlon Camp. It was an AMAZING experience and an AMAZING weekend. You can read my blog about it on The Imperfect Journey site. Photos from the weekend are available here.

I hope to have an opportunity to attend again in 2016!

Tethered…

run

During the run training, there’s been an on-going joke about tethering because I take off so fast and burn out. On Memorial Day, when we went for a brief (3mi) run, the tether made its appearance.

Because I still have a decent amount of vision during the day, I haven’t run tethered before. It’s always been easier and more comfortable for me to run next to or between the guides.

It helped with the training, and is something we’ll probably continue to use during it. But for races, I still plan to run untethered.