Eagle Convocation (Arnold Indoor Tri) – 3/3/18

As I started planning my path to qualify in 2018, Columbus seemed like a great place to start. And with family there, I thought it’d be a great double dip of business and pleasure. Having found a guide through Team RWB (Robin) and getting all the logistics set, I was ready to go.

After arriving and doing the course walkthrough, we got in a bit of practice on the swim and spin bike. Things seemed good, and I was confident going into Saturday even with an updated run course (to ensure funeral processions didin’t interfere with us or us with them). Even without being able to fully see the lane markers at the bottom of the pool, it still felt straight.

On Saturday morning, we did the race meeting and then got everything prepped. With how things were set up, lane lines were much easier to see, so I was feeling really good about hitting a qualifying time (1:25:21 or less). Especially since during warmups, I was in the right range for the swim for 50s. I realized post race that we should have done it including walls.

With the wall time, I was about 3 minutes behind where I planned to be on the swim. And the up-and-down staircase route that was T1 was 2 minutes more than anticipated. But getting to the bike, I was confident that I could make up time. Especially since during practice, 20mph had been an ‘active recovery’ speed.

Good music has always helped during workouts, and the race was no exception. Knowing that I was behind my goal by at least 5 minutes going in, I was doing everything I could to get that time back. I believe the overall average was 22-23 mph. But when music like Welcome to the Jungle came on, I was able to just focus on that and pump out 29-30mph. The much larger TYR water bottle from the January camp (filled with Heed) helped tremendously as I was pushing through this. I would have been out of fluid if I had gone with one of the smaller bottles given how hard I was pushing it.

As we left the bike, I knew qualifying was starting to slip away. I believe I had 35 or 36 minutes left when we hit the run course. A stretch, but not impossible if it was a decent run course. And it would have left me collapsed at the finish line. However, the run course was very challenging.

I think the best way to describe it is: Get on a treadmill and set it for 3% grade. Run that for a 1/3 of a mile. Then set it for -1% grade and run that for 1/3 of a mile. Then set it for 6% grade and try to run that for 1/3 of a mile. Repeat 3 times…

While the first part was a challenge, I was still optimistic until the back 1/3 of the lap. At that point, it became about just grinding through as quickly as possible (for rankings). What helped make that happen was the Eagle cheerleader from Cincy (Kris) that appeared during the first lap of our run. Big, big thanks to her for that continual support. Even though that back 1/3 was no fun, knowing that she was up there waiting to cheer us on made it a little easier… And even with the hill issues, it was still a respectible 5K time in the range I expected.

For those of you who are wondering, I missed the NQ cutoff by about 13 minutes. Even though I didn’t qualify, there were a lot of positives out of the race and out of the weekend. It also gave me a ‘starting point’ to work from and work things out for the remaining chances to qualify.

It was great to see family throughout the weekend. Big thanks to my parents, who drove almost 700 miles round-trip in less than 72 hours so I could race.

Beat the Eagle 5K (4/8/17)

This seemed a perfect race to do — Eagles running in the Beat the Eagle 5K! And before things went awry for the last two weeks, this was going to be my benchmark race for April triathlon in terms of time. While that had changed, it still was a good testing race.

Around the last half marathon that I did (Chicago Monster), one of my guides mentioned salt to help with cramping. More specifically this meant things like Endurolyte capsults and similar products. So two days out as well as race morning, I was taking capsules. More about that later…

Proper pacing has always been a problem for me. Even though I don’t intend to swim/bike/run the first part (100/5mi/1mi) so fast, it always happens. This means that the rest of that discipline is slower because my body it trying to recover from going out too fast. Even when I’m running tethered, it’s still an issue. I really wish I could figure out a way to fix that quickly. I know it will come with time; but time is not my friend right now.

To illustrate what I mean about pacing, even with walking about a minute during the first mile to catch my breath, I was at 11:52 for it. I should have been at about 12:30 instead of 11:52. Because I pushed too hard the first mile, the last two were significantly slower. Even though the time part was frustrating, it was a great race.

That wasn’t just because I had two amazing Eagles to run with, it was also because of the learning experience. As I had mentioned a couple weeks ago, Hammer Nutrition’s generous support put a wide variety of supplies at my fingertips. For this race, I had Heed in my bottle along with using the Endurolyte capsules. Even though the breathing/endurance was an issue because of the too fast first mile, other things felt better than in other races. So I will keep using that plan going forward this season.

A huge THANK YOU to Martha & Charles for guiding me! I look forward to doing this race again in 2018!

Year in Review – 2015


I know going outside of your comfort zone is a scary thing to do. Within it, you know what to expect, what’s going to happen, and feel like you can contro things. But if you’re willing to take the chances, take calculated risks and be uncomfortable, you’ll get far more than you could ever expect.

In a nutshell, my 2015 exploded and was amazing because I went out of the comfort zone. This is what my entire 2015 was supposed to be
Shamrock Shuffle, BTN Big 10K, Naperville Sprint Triathlon
Trips to WI and MI

This is what my 2015 ended up being:
Run As One, Shamrock Shuffle, Celebrate Differences 5K, Sly Fox 10K, Dare2Tri Tri It Tri, Naperville Sprint Triathlon, Batavia Half Marathon, ITU World Triathlon Grand Finale, Fraidy Cat 10K, Team RWB San Diego 5K, Team RWB KC 5K

Rock climbing for the first time

Trips to WI, MI, NY (including a drive back west) & KC

Introduction to the VI community, Team RWB and Dare2Tri

Volunteer opportunities with Reverb (which I had to decline due to great aunt’s passing)

Dare2Tri PT Camp

Swim classes as part of Tri training

Oh, and all of the media coverage, which started with a simple interview and grew into a huge snowball. Please see the link above for all of the links.

Throughout the year, my coaches have pushed me, not just to get to what I need for the race(s), but to continue going further. I am truly grateful to all of them, although I’m sometimes uncomfortable during the workouts. But no pain, no gain — and you don’t get better by being comfortable.

Through the introductions to Team RWB (which started because of my reading of rules), I’ve had the opportunity to meet some amazing people – both former service members and civilians. And the introduction to Dare2Tri (which started because it’s Executive Director was the Shamrock Shuffle AWD coordinator), gave me opportunities that I didn’t even know existed. Not just from the raining or race aspects, but more from the human aspect. Getting to meet, interact with, and spend the weekend with the group changed my thinking on many things. For more on that, please see the Dare2Tri Camp blog here

While 2015 was an amazing year, I’m looking forward to 2016! I’ve got 22 events planned, along with several personal trips. I will share the event schedule once everything’s finalized. The first race with be the Life Time Indoor Tri this coming Sunday in Romeoville.

Virtually There – 11.7.15

RWB Logo

To celebrate Veteran’s Day, as well as help support Team RWB, I signed up to run two virtual 5Ks. The first one was for Team RWB San Diego, and the second was for Team RWB KC. As flag football playoffs were the same day, I knew I’d have to play Tetris with scheduling. I needed to get both 5Ks in before it got dark while not being tired for playoffs.

I had a chance to get the first 5K in (San Diego) before I left for the playoffs. I was tempted to try and get both in, but I realized there wasn’t enough time to do that, get a shower, and be ready by the time my ride came.

So instead I did just one (< 37m) and got ready. I got back from the playoffs (we started the day seeded 3rd and finished 3rd), and sat around for a few minutes to relax. As I looked at the clock, I had an 'oh ****' moment, as I saw it was 3:45 and it gets dark by 4:45 or so. I went and ran the 2nd 5K (KC), and it started to get dark as I was on the way back. I made it home safely, and the time was about 2 min slower because I had to walk more due to the dark. I had a great time doing these Virtual Veteran's Day runs, and look forward to doing them again in 2016. THANK YOU to ALL of the Verans and active duty personnel. And thank you to the San Diego and Kansas City chapters for putting these events together!

22 too many…

RAO Group

In February, I had joined Team Red, White and Blue, and had been to a couple of events before seeing the Run As One get posted.  Even though I was running the Shamrock Shuffle, I wanted to run this as well.

The sad truth is that every day, 22 service members that fought so bravely and sacrificed so much lose their own fight.  The run was to get more awareness out there — the RWB link does a great job of explaining it.

It was an incredible experience, and great to see members of all the organizations there.  Please take a few minutes to read the links and do what you can to help decrease the number… hopefully one day down to zero.