The Most Important Bike Ride – 7.28.15


For those of you that have been following the blog, the title and date may look odd. You may be thinking – ‘Isn’t the Tri on Sunday? (making that the most important one?)’ While Sunday will be an important bike ride, last night was the most important one.

It was the most important for this simple reason — it was the first time we’d been able to make it out in more than 2 weeks. The last two times had been complete scratches and total frustration. And last night started off the same way.

But we were able to get things going, figure out a plan for Sunday, and get 6 miles in. I’m feeling much better after that bike ride. We’re all set for Sunday now. 🙂

For those of you that are planning to come out — Centennial Beach in Naperville. Race start is 7A, but we should be starting 10 minutes early so we’ve got a little distance before the masses start. I’m grateful that the RD is doing that for us.

Blindsided at the Beach – 7.27.15


Earlier this year, I was asked about doing an interview related to the Naperville Tri that is this Sunday (in relation to me being the first AWD to participate). I said yes, and thought it would be at some point in June. We did the interview last Monday, but since I was unable to practice for a few days last week, the photo shoot was moved to last night.

So Terri and I showed up thinking it would just be a photo shoot. And then it turned into a video interview (about 15-20min) followed by about 30-45 min of the photographer taking photos while we practiced. While it wasn’t planned, there should be a LOT of visibility for several of those who have provided support and sponsorship throughout this process. 🙂

The article will be in Sunday’s Daily Herald, and the video should be up on the same day. I will post links to Marie and Bev’s work once it’s publicly available. I am excited to see how it all turns out!

One other very cool thing happened at the end. After Bev had left and Terri and I were drying off, a group behind us struck up a conversation with us. Very nice people and they were extremely supportive of what we were doing. 🙂

Some Good, Some Bad – 7.26.15


On Sunday, we took advantage of Adult Float to swim the course. There were still some obstacles (ropes, lane lines, floats, etc.), but we made it through. We did 1 M in wet suits and 2 without. The non-wet suit went well, and I’m in favor of going that way on race day. But I will listen to what my coach says.

After doing 1300m in the pool, we headed to Oswego to do some bike training. It did not go well – the balance just wasn’t there. The frustration pushed me to a breaking point (but not past it). I was grateful to have a friend help put everything in perspective and give me additional long-term advice as well. 🙂 Oh, and ice cream makes everything better. 😀

We will be back in Oswego tonight to give the bike another try.

Best Laid Plans – 7.25.15


Last year when I ran the BTN race (5K distance) with my guides, I was disappointed about the out-and-back under the McCormick tunnel. It was about 3/4 – 1 mile of having to walk because I couldn’t see much of anything. However, it seemed that the 10K only went through it once and snaked around the lakefront trail back to the finish line.

So this year, I signed up for the 10K version with my guides. Unfortunately, it was the same way with the out-and-back under McCormick. Somehow it seemed that the back portion was longer than the out and even darker. I had to walk the 3/4 – 1mi total again this year in the dark.

While that was a frustration, it was a great day otherwise. I ended up tracking down the Rutgers mascot for a photo post-race, and we had fun at the Fan Fest.

Thanks to Mike Gorason and Beth Golden for running with me this year!

A Bad Day – 7/19/15


Last Sunday, we headed to Oswego for a bike/run brick. Since we were an hour early to do the bike, we went for a run first. Everything seemed fine until we turned around at about 2.5 miles. At that point, I got some kind of heat exhaustion/heat stroke. I’m confident that it was caused by heat, humidity and dehydration, as I was fine by the time we walked back to the bike shop.

While that was bad, the training day got worse when we got back to the bike shop. We’ve done a minimum of 10 sessions on the bike (both here and in WI), and in the past it’s takes maybe 2 – 3 tries before we’re on the bike and off. However, on this day, I had to give up after about 35 misses.

While this was not a good day, I’ve moved past it. I know that there will always be bad practices, and bad days. But you need to move past it. And hydration is key.

The Finished Product (1 of 2) – 7.17.15


As I had mentioned in earlier posts, there are two main sponsors that I wanted to make sure got visibility on race day. I’m grateful to ALL of those who have helped to sponsor me and help along the way. And you’ll see representation for all of them on race day. These two have been key, so I wanted to do something special to say thank you to them.

Earlier today, I received the printed tri suit back from Kiwami Triathlon. They did an AMAZING job and got it turned around extremely quickly. Including all of the transit, it was out of my hands for less than 4 days from start to finish!

At the beginning of the summer as we were trying to find a reasonable tandem rental, Art Black of Oswego Cyclery offered to let us just borrow a tandem that he had. This has helped IMMENSELY, and I am extremely grateful for that. So I decided to go with his logo on the tri suit.

As mentioned in the title, this is just 1 of 2. I will share info on the other main sponsor and what I’m doing for them when it’s ready. That probably will happen July 31st.

A Cloudy Fish Bowl – 7.13.15


I know that any beach / lake will inevitably have ‘crap’ in the water (leaves, sand, sticks, etc). But when it gets bad, some sort of management comes along and cleans it. Centennial Beach is getting to that point with lot of leaves and other things in it. I know it’ll get cleaned up before the Tri on 8/2, but for the meantime, it’s like a cloudy fish bowl.

We got about an hour in the water, including laps in both shallow and deep along with a start practice. It was a very odd feeling to swim those first 5-6 strokes with my hands hitting the bottom, but good practice. We will do the full out-back practice before the Tri.

During the run, the dogs were out in full force, which meant a few manditory puppy breaks (aka the walk part of our interval training). A couple of the ladies that we met said that they’d be there cheering for us on the 2nd. 🙂

Crazy Wheels – 7.12.15


Today’s forecasted temp was supposedly in the low 80s, and they claimed the ‘feels like’ was 86. It may have been 82, but with the humidity, I would have put it closer to 95.

We headed over to Oswego, checked out the tandem from Osweg Cyclery, and did our normal ~9mi trek. It’s got a few steep inclines and one major hill. Normally, it’s not too bad — I’m able to stand up and push until we get to the top. But with the humidity, that just wasn’t possible. It was a challenge a couple of times to make it up, but we always did. 🙂

One other note about the bike ride — I think SOBOBJ123 on BirdBook told all his orange-winged friends to follow us. Two days in the forest, and 3 orange-winged blackbirds. Thankfully, the one today just stayed where it was. In the humidity, I’m not sure how well we could have outrun it.

Normally on the bike->run bricks, while it isn’t easy, I’ve still got something in the tank. But today between the humidity and the extra exertion on the bike, it was fumes of fumes as we started off. We still went two miles, but more than half of it was walking.

Here’s to hoping that Mother Nature gets all of her pissing and moaning out of the way overnight so we can get a swim in tomorrow afternoon.

T minus 20.5 days… 🙂

A Race to the Finish – 7.11.15


As I’ve mentioned in the past, for the Naperville Tri I have a couple of things planned to make sure all of those who have helped me along the way get recognized. I’ve been waiting on a logo so I can get my Zoot suit properly printed, and I received that yesterday.

So I’m now waiting on an answer from Kiwami on how quickly this can get turned around. I know they do lightning fast work, just not sure if there’s enough time. I really want it back in my hands by 7/21 so I get practice in in it. You don’t want to be making changes on race day (or too close to it).

If they can’t, I’ll look for other options. But I’m really hoping that Kiwami can get this done for me. 🙂

I will share the full layout(s) a day or two before the race once everything’s properly in place.

The Birds! – 7.11.15


As it wasn’t the greatest of days for a swim or bike yesterday, we went for a 5 mile run. It was raining a little, but nothing serious. And unless it’s thunder or lightning, the race goes on — and so does practice.

So we set off for a run through the connecting piece (over the dam) and into the forest preserve. The wildlife was out in full force because of the rain, and not all of it was friendly. Specifically the orange-winged blackbird. That bird is one extremely fierce thing when it thinks you’re trying to go after it’s young.

While that was physically impossilbe for either of us (as the next was 100 feet+ up in a tree), that didn’t stop the blackbird from trying to divebomb us twice as we were running the out-and-back. It made for some very interesting speed work. Oh, and then it decided to follow us back about half a mile and perch on another pole, waiting to dive bomb again.

The pace was about 6 min slower from the last time I had done a 5 mile run. Learning experience from this run is that I either need to get a fuel belt or find a larger bottle that’s easy to carry. I continually run out at about 2.5-2.75mi and there wasn’t a place to fill up on this route.

And while 5 miles was plenty for me, Ms. Bad Ass went and ran another 3 miles after we parted company. 🙂