Oswego Bricks – 7.3.15

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As a finale to the first three-day run of sessions, we headed to Oswego for another bike/run session. It was great to see the new Oswego Cyclery store — great layout and more space for them.

With the Camelback on for the first time, we headed out for the normal ~9mi ride. It had been 2 or 3 weeks since the last bike session, so there were a couple of hiccups along the lines of the first one. But once we got going, it all came back just like riding a bike!

One of the challenges for me was learning how/when to grab the straw from the Camelback. Doing so meant taking one hand off, which was a concern. But it all worked out well. More practice is definitely needed with both the Camelback and the drinking process.

After returning the tandem, we went for the normal 3 mile run. Unfortunately, about 1.75mi in, the IT band on my right side got extremely tight. Yes, that was painful both during the last 1.25mi and even more so post-run.

But no pain, no gain. At least tomorrow’s a day for R&R before the second three-day run starts.

Another Thank You to my sponsors – 7.3.15

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I am extremely grateful to everyone who has helped me to this point, and continues to help me, with this journey. Several of them have surprised me with needed gear out of the blue. Today was another example of that, as one of them gave me a Camelback. This was something that I still needed for the bike, as there’s no possible way for me to reach down to a wire cage.

I am working on a way to make sure that all of them to this point get visibility on race day.

Stretchy Bands – 7.2.15

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After yesterday’s ‘fun’ IT band stretches, followed by another set in the AM, I was a little more loose today. Good news, for the most part.

We started off with 700m in the pool between the deep and shallow ends, including experiments on positioning the golden tether so I could get my left arm higher up. More testing is needed, but good results for the day.

This was followed by a 4.5mi run, during which nothing felt tight. The photo at the top of the post is from where we turned around. Great view, but quite the challenge to get to the top of the hill.

While everything was loose during the swim/run, a tiger was clearly hiding under the surface. The post-run IT band stretches were painful to say the least. Think root canal without novicane…

IT Bands, take 1 – 7.1.15

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Today’s brick session started off well in the pool. We did 550m between the shallow and deep ends. Even more so since this was the first session without the wet suit (being repaired). However, things did NOT go well with the run.

About 1/3 of a mile into the run, it started hurting when I tried to run. We stopped, and Terri helped to stretch out the IT band. But it wouldn’t allow me to run much. We did 3 mile with the vast majority after that point walking. One small upside to that was finding the FD/PD memorial, which I had never noticed before.

While there was pain during the run, that was minor compared to what I felt during the post-run IT band stretches. But I’d rather have that minor pain now than 4+ months of PT and being sidelined. So those stretches will continue…

The Thin Red Line – 6.26.15

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I know that a common saying if not an actual quote is that there’s a thin line between genius and insanity. And based on what many of us do on a daily and weekly basis there is also a thin red line between passion and insanity. That thin line is made in the blood from our scrapes and breaks as we chase our goals.

At this point last year I was struggling with how in the hell am I going to get ready for this 5k? That was my first race and the goal was really just to finish. As I mentioned in an earlier blog it went really well and was a start of the insanity.

As the year has progressed the snowball has continued to grow. From an original plan of three races at the beginning of the year to now a minimum of 11 will the 12th planned in January 2016 It’s a little overwhelming at times. But the way I continue to look at it is reaching that first stretch goal and then pushing towards the next one.

So back to the original line about insanity and red lines. Earlier tonight I made the commitment to do itu in September. The swim will be about twice as long as the August triathlon and open water There’s also a possibility of getting run into by the crowds and maybe ending up with a bloody nose. Even with all that I’m still excited to push forward towards it and continuing to build up distance and endurance after the August triathlon.

Am I insane for trying to do this much in my first full year? Some may say so but I look at it has just continuing to push forward. And with all the good people I have in my corner I know it will all work out even if it isn’t perfect.

Don’t worry about the labels Just be confident in yourself and abilities. everything else will take care of itself. Take a walk out of your comfort zone and go do something incredible!

Final June Brick – 6.22.15

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As this was our last session until July, my coach decided to make it a brick session (run / swim).

The swim was 200m in the deep end sandwiched by 200m in the shallow end. We then went for a 4mi run, which is longer than the normal run portion of the brick sessions.

Super Fish – 6.19.15

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Knowing that we’d lose a big chunk towards month’s end, we made the most of the session at the beach. This included our first trip into the deep water.

Centennial Beach goes from zero depth to 15 feet, and the Triathlon on 8/2 will be swum in Ms going from zero to 15 feet. The pool itself goes immediately from 5 to 15 feet with the drop off.

Overall, things went really well — both in the shallow and deep ends. We ended up doing 750m total, which is the longest swim to date.

Sausage Races…

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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

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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…

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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… 🙂