Tethered…

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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.

Fish Training, take 3

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With the nice Memorial Day weekend weather, we took advantage of it and put in a brick session (swim/run). While still a struggle, it went better than the first one (bike/run) — I could actually run this time.

We started out at Centennial Beach for the swim. Beginning first with drills and then doing laps. As always, Terri helped to support me and teach me through the drills. 🙂 We ended up doing about 400 yards between the drills and laps.

After the swim, we went for a run on the same course that we’ll be running in August. I was only able to make it about 2 miles total with walking, but it was an improvement from the ‘no run’ during the first brick session.

A Lesson in Limits

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Having found a new way to get into the forest preserve,we set out for a run. At about 2.5 miles, Terri asked me I wanted to turn around. I said no, that I wanted to keep pushing, so we turned around at 3 miles. I really should have kept it at 5 total, as that last mile was painful. I had absolutely nothing left in the tank and had to walk almost all of it.

Lesson learned – we’ll see if I remember it…

Race2Raise – Naperville Triathlon


As I mentioned in an earlier post, I was introduced to Dare2Tri through Keri at the Shamrock Shuffle. As part of a Facebook post they did last week, I noticed Race2Raise. And as this is a great organization that I’d like to support, I inquired about how to enroll.

My goal is to raise $1,000 for Dare2Tri by the Naperville Triathlon in August. You can donate by going to my fundraising page. I have also created a public Facebook event page that you can join. If you are unable to give, please at least share the event with your friends, pages/groups you’re part of and on other social media sites you’re on. I really want to hit this goal ASAP!

And no, I haven’t figured out any of the logo logistics for race day. But there will be something to recognize the three main organizations/companies (Dare2Tri, Team RWB and Oswego Cyclery). I will figure that out when things get closer.

Nutrition on Steroids…

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After the 4 mile run today, we headed over to Aldi to work on nutrition. While it’s nowhere bad as it used to be (i.e. a package of hooves and snouts… I mean hot dogs as a meal), I still want and need the help. Going in, I had a specific budget, and hoped we’d hit a few things now and have a plan for the future.

That plan fell apart simply because Aldi had some amazing prices on produce. With 45 lbs of produce (carrots, potatoes, peppers, tomatoes, cavalcades, apples and bananas) cost less than $20, there wasn’t any good excuse to buy any crap. Especially when fore 1/5 of the cost of junk, you could get something 5x as good for you. 🙂

By the end, we had a cart full of good food, and Terri had given me several good ideas for quick, easy things to make. I will try some of those out this week!

As we were about to leave, the second dog of the day (Dinga) approached us. Unlike the one on the path, Dinga knew EXACTLY what she wanted — some good scratching and petting. 🙂 She was with a couple that was trying to put their groceries in their car, and she just wanted to come play.

A brief jog…

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Earlier today, we went for a ‘brief’ run. I say brief, because most of our recent runs have been 5+ miles. However, since Terri was going to take me shopping and help with nutrition afterwards, this was a shorter one.

Several interesting notes / thoughts from the run:
1) If you’re a biker, and you don’t have the common courtesy to call out ‘passing on the left’ as you come up behind runners, you definitely deserve to be cited by the Karma Police.

2) Forgetting to empty your pockets before you run makes for a more interesting run. I forgot that I had my Pebble in my pocket until we had already left the car. So I had to do the run with an extra 4-5lb weight in my pocket.

3) Finish lines may seem closer than they actually are. 🙂 We still had about 1/3 of a mile to go when we got back to the normal finish line, so we went further in the other direction.

4) Hats may confuse dogs. While running, we encountered a dog that couldn’t make up his mind. He wanted to come up to us and his tail was wagging (universal sign for ‘hi, I’m friendly, pet me’), but he was growling when he came up to us. We went on from there.

4m – 50:50 (12:43 pace)

Fish Training, 2nd session…

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A LONG time ago, I was on the Lombard swim team. As part of that, the stroke that I ‘mastered’ was the breast stroke. Not too bad for 100m when I was 9 or 10; but a true challenge for 80m at 35.

So when we started the fish re-training in April, it was quickly decided that freestyle would be a better way to go. The first session was a lot of retraining and getting the feet down. The session this past Sunday involved adding in more arm movements, breathing, rocking and more. It’s still a work in progress, but it will come together in time.

Next planned fish session is Memorial Day weekend after when the outdoor pools open.

Crazy Wheels, take 2…

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After the last bike ride, we both learned several valuable things. The two most important were that (1) Terri needed to get on first and then me instead of both at once and (2) gloves are a MUST.

So with that knowledge, we went on a 9.46 mile ride on Saturday. It went well for the most part, but there were two major issues. One is that Montgomery needs to do a better job of maintaining its part of the path; the other was my depth perception playing tricks on me. As you cross the stop light, there’s a steep decline for about 100 feet. Now if you’re on the bike yourself, probably not a big deal.
But when you’re seeing it at the last second, it creates quite the ‘oh s****’ moment.

We dropped the bike back off at Oswego Cyclery and headed over to the coffee shop for a drink. We did not try a brick session that day.

Again, a huge THANK YOU to Art and Oswego Cyclery for letting us use the tandem!

Crazy Wheels, take 1…

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A couple of weeks ago, Terri and I sat down and made serious training plans for the Traithlon in August.  While we had a framework, we were still missing one very key piece – a tandem bike.  As Terri worked through trying to find a solution, she spoke with Art Black, who’s the owner of Oswego Cyclery.  He generously offered to let us use the tandem they have to training and for the triathlon.  That was HUGE and greatly appreciated!

After the Celebrate Differences race, we went over to the bike store to check out the tandem.  Art did some initial changes so the pilot seat would work for Terri, and was going to put pedal blocks on to make it even more comfortable before Monday’s ride.  After that initial stop, we went to the Naperville Running Company, where I purchased compression socks (and other gear) — more on that later.

On Monday, we got out on the tandem, and it was a bumpy start.  The best parallel for how I felt is what Stephen King describes in It relating to Bill Denbrough and Silver.  But we learned a good deal, including communication, mount/dismount and more.  It also became crystal clear that I need a hydration pack for the bike part, as we will both get hurt if I try to reach down for a water bottle.

After returning the tandem to the bike shop, we did the other half of the brick training (run). Whether it was just the normal jello legs or the combined 4 days of running, I could barely run.  We ended up just walking for about 30 – 40 min.  When I got home, I put on the compression socks that I had bought the day before.  While those are the most expensive socks I’ve ever bought, they are worth their weight in gold.

If you are in the Oswego area, please check out Oswego Cyclery  They will take great care of you and your bike needs!

Celebrate, We will…

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As I was talking with Terri during one of the sessions, she mentioned that she was part of the Celebrate Differences 5K race committee.  As she does so much to help support me, both as a coach and as a guide, I wanted to participate in this and help support something she was involved in.  Even though I knew this would make 4 consecutive days of activities (training, Sly Fox, Celebrate Differences, training), I was up for it.

When I got to packet pickup on Friday night, I was pleasantly surprised to be handed a drawstring bag with all the swag in it.  Not only are those extremely useful, but an incredible way to get visibility for Celebrate Differences out there.  That one will become my default ‘gear’ bag. 🙂

We had great weather for the day, and it was great to see so many people out there!  There were far less hills in the 5K than in the previous day’s 10K.  And the course was FILLED with Oswego High School cheerleaders encouraging people on!  That was a really nice part of the race, and I’m glad that they were out there.

We finished in 37:27, which was a PR for me.  When we crossed the finish line, a videographer grabbed us and interviewed me.  I was out of breath on the first take, and honestly can’t remember everything I said in the second one.  I will post the video link when it’s available.

Celebrate Differences will be the charity partner for the FraidyCat series in October.  I am looking forward to signing up for the Ghost Run 10K and hope to have an opportunity to volunteer with Celebrate Differences in the near future.  This is a great organization — please check them out and support them if you can!