Roaring Back for the 2024 Season

Since the beginning of my Triathlon endeavors, the Naperville Noon Lions club has supported me. I am extremely grateful for their continued support and continued vote of confidence in my success on the race course! THANK YOU to the entire Club for your support!

If you would like to donate to Naperville Noon Lions, please visit

ET Indoor Tri (3/10/24)

February was bittersweet for me. While I was really happy for Coach Joe that the ET Indoor Tri had sold out, I was disappointed that I didn’t get to race. So I made sure that I registered in plenty of time for this race in March.

The Experience Triathlon Indoor Tris have been the most consistent indoor ones I’ve done since 2016. Not only does Coach Joe and his staff put on an amazing, well run event, but they’re a lot of fun. I STRONGLY recommend that you look into doing one of the 2025 races!

Coming off of the LifeTIme Indoor Tri a few weeks earlier, I had benchmarks for this race.

I was able to essentially match the swim (the last length didn’t count even though the actual swim was 435yd ballpark).

In past years, I have lost 2-3 minutes off of the bike because of T1. It always takes me more than 10 minutes to get upstairs, get changed, and then get back downstairs. To try and minimize loss of time on the bike, I decided to go barefoot downstairs and put on shoes/socks there.

However, it still didn’t help. It seemed that they held our bike wave until everyone was there. This meant that even though I was on the bike and ready to go within 10 minutes, I still lost about 3 minutes on the bike. Between that and not being able to adjust the resistance, this bike was shorter than last month (8.86 mi).

After a short break, we moved over to the treadmills. While it was still a struggle, it went a little better than last month (1.33 mi).

This was the second year that my mom did the Indoor Tri with me. I was also really glad to hear that ALL 3 Triathlons had sold out! I hope to see some of you in 2025!

Dare2Tri x LifeTime Indoor Tri (2/24/24)

(Photo courtesy of Natalie)

This year, my Triathlon season started with an Inddor Triathlon hosted by Dare2Tri in Lake Zurich.

The format for these races is typically a 10 minute swim, 10 minute T1, 30 minute bike, 5 minute T2, and 20 minute run. Because they’re done in an indoor pool, the waves are 4 – 8 people.

I participated in the Adaptive wave with other Para athletes. Because of the awards ceremony for the prior wave, we started late. But once we did, the swim went really well, with me setting a PR (400m).

After changing, we headed up to the bikes. It took a little bit of time to find the right place, and I believe they waited for everyone to show up, even though it meant a T1 of greater than 10 minutes. This bike leg was different than most of the others I’ve done.

Typically, the spin bikes will be set and locked at a consistent resistance. So to get a long distance, you’re having to really push on the pedals. But you could adjust the resistance level on these bikes. This helped a lot, and most likely led to another PR (10.35 miles).

After a short T2, we headed to the treadmills for the run. Because of my vision, I have always strugged with treadmill runs. Most have narrower bands, which leads to me hitting the sides if I run as “normal”. So it ends up making it harder. The run was 1.22 miles.

Overall, it was a great event and a lot of fun. I did finish 2nd in the Adaptive wave! Thank you to Dare2Tri for organizing the event and to LifeTime Fitness for all their support!

Aramco Half Marathon (1/14/24)

(Photo courtesy of Anna)

As I talked about last year, the last 4+ miles of the Half were beyond painful. It took everything I had to get some sort of mild jog in place during the last 150 yards or so so that I wasn’t just walking across the finish line.

As the intervals had worked so well during camp in November, I planned to use a 3/1 interval to “save” myself for the later miles. I believed that this would also give me the opportunity to hit my time goal.

To help achieve this, I asked both Paul and Jamie to help with watching the pacing. The first 5 miles went really well — both in terms of pace and overall feel. Between miles 5 and 7, I had to go to walk/run intervals at times, but it still felt fine. But by mile 8, my legs started to really tighten up.

This meant having to walk for about ten to fifteen minutes to try and stretch it out (around the turnaround). But by doing so, I was able to get back to a walk/run interval by the time we came out of the turnaround.

So this year, miles 9 to 13 weren’t as bad. I still couldn’t fully run them as hoped, but at least it was far better than last year. Instead of limping in pain and having to stop every few minutes to stretch, I was able to run in spots.

Also, what REALLY helped with the Team Catapult cheer and “hydration” station at about 12.5 miles. That shot of Fireball was a great boost for the final push!

Thank you to Team Catapult for all of their help and support throughout the weekend! Thank you to Jamie and Paul for all their help and guiding!

We Are Houston 5K (1/13/24)

(Photo courtesy of Paul)

As I mentioned, when I ran last year, on-course hydration led to issues. At that point last year, I was on track to PR. But with having to stop every 100 feet or so after the aid station because of flem getting stuck in my throat, that went out the window. So this year, I planned to completely skip it, opting for pre-race nutrition instead.

After having met up with the rest of Team Catapult, Paul and I headed to the start line. We were able to start up front, which helped with clean running space for most of the first 1 1/2 – 2 miles. As I didn’t have a “blocker” this year, that helped out a lot.

My goal for this year was to negative split while trying to PR.

Paul helped with the pacing as I tried to obtain both of those goals. However, I ended up going too fast at some points. The 2nd mile was slower than I had wanted it to be.

Even still, it was a much more consistent run over that final mile. I did pass on the aid station after last year, and sprinted into the finish. It was a great “warm up” for the following day.

Thanks to Team Catapult for all their help and support, and to Paul for guiding me!

Back in the Pool (Columbus Swim Training) (January 2024)

(Photo courtesy of Ryan)

Given the successes of last year, I once again went to Columbus to work on my swim with Coach Ryan.

I had hoped to have more time in the pool with him. Unfortunately, the timing this year did not work out as well as in 2023. I was only able to get three sessions in with him.

Prior to getting to Columbus, I had also spent time working with Coach Joe (Experience Triathlon) during the winter.

I hoped to build off of what I had been working on with Coach Joe as I worked with Coach Ryan. And I believe that I succeeded in that!

While I don’t remember all of the drills we did over the three sessions, I do remember having come out of those two days feeling faster! We’ll see how it plays out during the Indoor Tri season.

If you’re in the Columbus area and looking for a swim coach, I STRONGLY recommend reaching out to Ryan ( I hope to work more with him in the future!

2023 Welcome2Running Camp (10/20-22/23)

(Photo courtesy of Brandin)

Last year, I cam away from the Inagural Welcome2Running camp with a lot of knowledge. I went into this camp intending to build on last year. Like last year, the different groups (VI, Ambulatory, Wheelies) rotated through the different sessions.

After eveyone had arrived, the camp started with a run of about 2 miles at a “warm up” pace and yoga, followed by dinner. Knowing that the next day would be a long, challenging one, I tapped out early.

The second day started started with functional strength, dynamic warmup/”tire pulls” and “circle running” (essentially running a 1/4 mile loop over and over at a decent pace). After lunch, a nutrition session, and an amazing presentation by Jeff, we headed out for the “main” set. This was doing repetitive 3/1, 2/1, and 1/1 run/walk intervals, with increasing paces as the run time decreased. At that time, my back was hurting from the tire pulls in the morning, but I was determined to go for as long as I could. I believe that I made it through 3 cycles of the intervals, with the 1/1 pace being about 10:45 – 11:00, before having to tap out. After getting through dinner, I was in so much pain that I had to lie down in the room instead of hanging out in the pool as intended. But it helpef for Sunday.

The camp finished with the same “community run” (athletes) and “beer mile” (coaches) as last year. The community run was great, and I finished by sprinting in.

Thank you to Team Catapult and all the sponsors/volunteers that made this camp possible! Thank you to David for all his help and for guiding me throughout the weekend!

Virtual Naperville 5K (Team DONKA) (October 2023)

(Photo courtesy of guide)

Over the past 10 years, DONKA has helped me tremendously in so many ways — including technology training, book conversions, and more. So it has been an honor to be part of their team and help raise funds through running the Naperville Half Marathon / 5K!

While I couldn’t be there in person, I did run the 5K virtually before heading to Texas. Although I thought I had marked it out properly, we still ended up finishing on the big hill. Nothing like a steep climb after 3 miles of running…

Thank you to the local runner who guided me while I did this virtual 5K! If you would like to support DONKA, please visit

Light the Torch 5K (9/30/23)

(Photo courtesy of Ian)

I have done a lot of night runs over the last several years. They have run the gamut from the really great GloRUns to the really bad “glow runs” (which IMO should really have been advertised as a “night run”). While not being a Glow Run, Light the Torch was just as good!

This was because the RO/RD did an amazing job of finding a path that was naturally well-lit and then adding additional lights where needed. Also, the route was almost completely smooth, with very few cracks. That’s extremely important when you can’t see all the little details in the dark.

The race itself went well for us. As I couldn’t see much, I was completely relying on Ian to be my eyes. While there were a couple of decent hills, it was still a solid night run.

There had been a festival going on throughout the day. When the race ended, the beer was within it, so we saw a little of it. This was a really, really, really fun, well organized race. Can’t wait to run it again in 2024! Thanks to Ian for all his help and guiding me!

Challenges in VA (Patriot’s Triathlon — PT Nationals) (9/10/23)

(Post race at Patriot’s Tri)

I understan that no race is ever going to be “perfect”. Weather can change a Tri to a Du, among other things. BUT IMO, the Race Director (RD) and Race Organizer (RO) should have everything that they can control in line. That did not happen here IMO…

To start with, the weather made it an “interesting” weekend. I flew into and out of Charlotte. Throughout almost the entire drive up, back, and surrounding the race, it was raining hard.

There was about a 30 minute delay to the race start. During that time, I believe the RD/RO should have been checking the buoys. From others who had watches, the swim appears to have been 950-1000m instead of the 750m. This also explained why we were in the water for more than 30 minutes.

Once on the bike, a couple of sharp turns gave me issues. I also did not like the fact that this was not a closed bike course. It wasn’t so bad going out, but trying to make a tight turn with cars less than 6 feet from the bike created issues.

After making it to the run, we ran about a 1/4 mile, and were then directed onto the “para only” run course. Each of these loops was about 1.25 miles, so as we finished the 2nd loop, I believed we were going to run out and towards the finish line. However, Jonathan said that we still had another loop per the signage.

At this point, I was hurting (as I had being pacing for a 5K), and knew I was in 3rd place for ADT1 (Open) VI Male. I had seen the 4th place guy behind me by about 3/4s of a lap as we were running our second lap. After giving Jonathan an “aw [explitive]” look, we started the 3rd loop. As much as I was hurting, the largest goal was to not get passed. And thankfully I was able to keep that going until we crossed the finish line at roughly 4.25 miles (instead of 3.1).

I am grateful to Jonathan and Para Guide for all of their support so I could race PT Nationals! If PT Nationals is back there in 2024, I truly hope that the RO/RD will have made the proper adjustments. The race is supposed to be 750m/20K/5K, not 950-1000m/13mi/4.25m.