IT Bands, take 1 – 7.1.15


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


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


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


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…


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


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…


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


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


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…


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.