Finish. Always. – 9.19.15


For those of you who know me well, you know that there times where in frustration, profanity comes out in spades. But even in that time, there are words that you’ll never hear me say. Simply because they’re not in my vocabulary. Another word, which you’ll never hear me say had a 3 letter acronym. If you change the F to a C, you’ll get DNC.

Yesterday, the PC Open race at the ITU Grand Finale bent me but couldn’t break me. Even with the challenges of the day, it was an incredible one.

The swim was the worst part of it. Even though we were inside of the break wall, the waves were still bad enough that I couldn’t get my head in and keep it there to do a normal freestyle stroke. And the tether broke shortly into the swim. Luke figured out a plan B to deal with that and kept pushing me along to finish even when I felt like there was nothing in the tank. I was really concerned that we were going to get pulled out of the water (which would have ended the race), but we finished and headed back to transition.

After transitionwe headed out on the bike for our ride. This particular course would have been impossible for me to do without a guide, as about 1/3 of it was on lower Wacker Drive in the dark. But with Luke as the pilot, it went well. The extra padding in the Dare2Tri suit helped from the last time I was on the race tandem.

We then came back to transition and out for the run. About 1/2 way through, my lower back started to tighten up and it got hard to run for any long length of time. But I kept pushing with Luke encouraging me on, and we finished (2:21 total), and I was so happy for the post-race massage. 🙂

Even though it was a struggle yesterday, many positives and many things to work on for the 2016 season.

1) Even with Lake Michigan utterly kicking my ass, the difference in the finish time at ITU and Naperville as about 1 minute. And that’s with an additional 350m in the water at ITU. I see that as a HUGE psitive.

2) There will be a lot of early mornings this fall and winter for swim training. And I need to find a way to make it down for Open water sessions in Lake Michigan next spring/summer.

3) The struggles of yesterday did nothing to discourage the long term goals. It only fueled me to push harder to reach them. To that point, Naperville (8/7/16) is already firmly on the schedule and about 15 other events (Tris and running races) are in pencil.

One final thing — THANK YOU to the ITU event staff and all of the fans that were out there yesterday. As usual, there was a tremendous amount of encouragement and support for us out on the cours and at the finish. And a special thanks to the kind woman from Canada who lent us her phone so we could coordinate the post-race meet-up.

Final Bike Training Session – 9.12.15


Saturday marked the final bike practice of the year. We did about 9.5 miles on the usual path. It was a nice day out and a great way to end the season.

While I’ve mentioned it several times before, I wanted to thank Art Black of Oswego Cyclery again for his generosity. Being able to use it throughout the entire spring-summer season helped immeasurably, and I’m truly grateful. I hope that he’s able to rent the tandem out to people for their fall rides!

If you’re in the area, stop by for your cycling needs and bike maintenance.

Final Outdoor Swim Weekend – 9.5 – 9.7


With Centennial Beach closing after Labor Day, we made the most of the final weekend. During it, we swam at least 1.5 miles total, along with a 4 mile run/walk.

While the outdoor pools are closed for the season, we will find an indoor pool to use for continued practice. And while the outdoor season is over, it was an INCREDIBLY productive one. I can’t thank Terri enough for all of her help and coaching.

At the beginning of the season, I I had a hard time doing the basic freestyle stroke. But by the end, I not only had it down but we were doing 100m+ sessions. Along with doing 2 (soon to be 3) Triathlons.

8.30.15 – 1st Half (AKA WTF was I thinking?)

Peapod Half

Shortly after the SlyFox 10K in April, I was presented with an opportunity to run the Batavia Half Marathon. While a 10K was the longest thing I had ever run at that point, I said yes. The simple reason being that I saw it as a challenge and a continued part of the large goals.

So after the Naperville Triathlon, we started increasing distance, including the 10 mile run I posted about earlier. And while the shorter distances seemed like child’s play after the 10M, the Half was a whole other beast.

Things started out well, with only minor foot cramps at about mile 6. By mile 9, they were really hurting. Terri helped with getting them back to being flexible for another 1.5 miles at that point. However, by about 11.25 miles, I just couldn’t run at all. So we ended up walking the last 2+ miles.

While that was a bit frustrating, two important things came out of it – I finished a Half Marathon, and I think I figured out a way to deal with what happened.

The finish time was 3:07, including having to walk the last 2+ miles. So we were probably on pace before that happened. That’s encouraging, as I’ve got another Half Marathon in January (the true WTF was I thinking moment — 13.1miles in Jan along the Chicago lakefront). . .