Beating in the Pool – 1.27.16


With the Half Marathon on Saturday, I had moved my 1 swim session to Wednesday this week. Wednesday sessions are endurance sessions, and typically have been okay for me. However, this one took a tremendous amount out of me.

While I was swimming straighter, and thus going a bit faster, I think the continued 200s just took their toll on me. Usually, I’m good to go after a 30-60 minute nap post-workout. But after that one, it took me close to two hours to get to a passable awakens, and I was dragging all day.

As tiring as that was, I know it’s just one more step towards getting better. And that it’ll get easier and less draining as time goes on. Onward and upward…

Peanut Butter Lesson – 1.23.16


Growing up, I was taught not to waste things (among many others). As such, even when I’ve gotten to a point that I can’t get peanut butter out of the jar, I still keep it and move onto the next. Later, I’ll go back and get the last bits that are hiding under the rim. And I look at that model to get every little bit out of everything I have before I replace it.

On Saturday, I learned the painful lesson about doing that with my running shoes. Because of the cost to replace them, I had been trying to hold off until the spring to do so. Little did I know that they were already past replacement from all the training / races. So instead of having proper shoes, I had to go with a backup pair that is more of a gym shoe (although a running shoe).

As you can already guess, things did NOT go well. By mile 5, my left arch was hurting so much that I couldn’t keep up the 1/2 mile run / 1 min walk that we had been doing to that point. And before the turnaround point, I was in so much pain that I couldn’t run. At a minimum, I knew that I’d have to walk back about 2 miles to the closest van. I walked back the entire way – out of determination and pride. I wanted to finish the race, even if I had to crawl.

As I limped / walked back, my guides (Terri and Steve), along with another Eagle (Wanda) stayed with me. And surprisingly the aid stations were there, there were volunteers still cheering us on, and the finish banner was up. Even though we were more than 30 minutes after the cut off time..

After the race, I was out of commission until Monday morning. And I’ve learned my lesson about replacing gear more frequently. New shoes have already been purchased.

And while Saturday was a disappointing day, I did learn a lot from it. I am extremely grateful to the F3 staff and volunteers for staying out there until we finished, and everyone for sticking with me to the end.

Training Notes – 1.17 – 1.19.16


With the Half Marathon less than a week away, we needed to get at least a couple of training runs in prior to it.

On Sunday, we got about 2 1/4 miles in on the indoor ‘gerbil track’ since it was about -15 with the wind chill outside. Things went well with the run, and this was the first time we had done the 1/2 mile run/1 min walk training. Prior to that, it had been 4/1 (walk/run) at best.

On Monday, I was back in the pool and that session went well. Even though there were challenges with the bilateral breathing drills. The taxi (303 Taxi) kept me waiting for 70 minutes after class. Not very fun having to wait that long on the coldest day of the year. Or having temporarily lost my work cell (I believe I left it in the cab and the driver left it outside).

On Tuesday, we ran again – and I ran into issues. At about 2 miles, I started to feel a twitch in my right knee. After doing some testing, Terri said that it was the IT band (again). So after we finished with the run, we stopped so I could get more Epson salt and a way to stretch. I will not be going anything except the baths, ice, stretching and recovery until Sat.

Being Comfortable Being Uncomfortable – 1.16.16


Once a year, I head out with friends for what is unquestionably the most uncomfortable night for me. In most dark places, I can usally see a little outside of the immediate area. However, Union Pizza and Space are very dark and thus I can see very little outside of the lit stage. Even with all of those challenges, I still make trip to be with friends to hear great music and hang around for the meet & greet.

While this is an extremely uncomfortable evening for me, I’ve become comfortable with being uncomfortable. I know that everything will go well. Plus the upsides of the evening – especially having a few minutes with Tim, who is not only an amazing guitar player, but a genuine and extremely kind man – make it a bit easier.

Being able to be comfortable being uncomfortable has helped in the triathlon side as well. There have been MANY times on training sessions, and even in races, that I’ve been uncomfortable. Whether it’s been a new drill (especially the bilateral breathing ones), pushing further (i.e. going from 4/1 to half mile/1 in run training), or even things not going right in a race (ITU swim – waves / tether breaking), I’ve pushed through the discomfort. I know it’s temporary, that things will get easier in the future, and that there’s a long-term upside.

On a related topic, it’s always been uncomfortable to ask for help needed because of the vision issues. Even though it’s not easy, I’ve gotten comfortable with that as well. And as you look through the posts since the start, you can see the dividends that that’s paid.

The bottom line is that we all have baggage and issues, which can make us feel uncomfortable with things. But you can’t let that discomfort stop you from living life — you’ll miss out on too much if you do!

Pool work, Plan B – 1.11 / 1.13.16


While the workouts with Coach Seay are extremely helpful, and like bricks of gold, I had to cut back starting this week. The transportation costs are just too steep to continue doing it 3 days a week, so I’m down to 1 day a week until I can find someone to do it with me (and the driving). Until that happens, I thankfully have a friend that’s letting me use their club as a guest.

So this week, Monday was the normal training drills with Coach Seay and Wednesday was on my own. There is obviously a HUGE difference between having someone in your ears coaching you on and being on your own. But until I can get the transportation issue resolved, I need to stay with Plan B.

We’ll see how long it takes to resolve that – I know it’s early as crap, but there has to be someone in the area that can help me out.

2nd Indoor Tri – 1.10.16


Having done the first Indoor Tri a week prior, I had a better idea of what to expect. And knowing what bumps could come up, I tried to put proactive preventative measures in place so they didn’t happen this week.

Early in the preceding week, I was concerned that I’d have to do this on my own since I didn’t have a guide. However, Coach Joe was able to help find one for me. And with the additional help of another volunteer in the pool, everything went great.

I was able to go further in the pool and on the treadmill than I had the previous week. TI did not go as far on the bike, as I lost time when my feet came out of the cages twice. The first time, I took the couple of minutes to let them fix it. The second time, I just kept pedaling because time was almost up on the bike.

I will be doing another ET Indoor Tri in March, and will look to improve on these numbers then!

Snow Run – 1.9.16


With the Half Marathon only 2 weeks away, we needed to get in a long 10 mile training run. And even though it was supposed to snow, we still headed out. The first 5 miles wasn’t too bad, and I believe we kept on pace until the turnaround. However, after 5 miles the pace decreased. And by 7, I really couldn’t run because of my IT band (right side).

By that point, it was dark already and the ground was slick with new snow, so I doubt I could have run too much if the IT band issues hasn’t been there. So we walked the last 3+ miles of the training program back. The most difficult part for me was the last 3/4 of a mile where we had to go in complete darkness. We were using a tether, and I trust Terri completely, so it all worked out.

When I made it back, it took about 90 minutes of hot showers and layers to get my body back to normal after being out in the cold for 3+ hours. And the stretching afterwards was painful to say the least…

A Busy Week in the Pool – 1.4 – 1.8.16


This week marked a month since I had started the indoor swim sessions. No, it hasn’t been fun to get up at 3:30AM to make it there in time or to be waiting out in the cold for 15 – 20 minutes until the center opens. However, it’s all been worth it!

With all the work that Terri and I did during the spring and summer, I had a decent base going into the classes. But Coach Seay has continually pushed me further and further from that point since December. There have been some struggles, but in general things are coming together.

This week was one of the most challenging between all of the drills and endurance training. Especially the breathing drills to the weak side (to develop bilateral breathing), and adding backstroke in. Not being able to have the normal visual cues from the bottom of the pool made it a very interesting set of laps.

I know that it will continue to get easier and all come together. It just takes time.

Dare2Tri Development Team – 1.4.16


In November, I was presented with the opportunity to apply for the Dare2Tri Development and Elite teams. Being on one of these teams gives you additional support and opportunities to push towards your PT goals.

On January 4th, it was made official that I will be part of the 2016 Development Team! I am extremely grateful for this opportunity, and am looking forward to an AMAZING 2016 season!

While this is an opportunity for me, I realize that I would not have gotten it (or the opportunity to apply for it) without the help and support of everyone to this point. A HUGE thank you to Terri Hayes (owner of Artistic Creations Salon) and the Dare2Tri family for everything in 2015 that helped me to get to this point.

This is the next step forward towards many short, medium and long term goals. I will share more about all of that when it’s appropriate!

1st Indoor Tri – 1.3.16


As part of my 2016 Triathlon training, I decided to add the Indoor season. For me, this will consist of 6 total races from 3 different race presenters. The first of these was the Life Time Indoor Tri.

Having never done an Indoor Tri, I went into this event not 100% sure of what to expect. I did look at the YouTube videos prior so I did have some idea of what was in store.

There were some bumps – including us not getting called for our wave and the bike clock resetting itself, but I made it through. The staff and volunteers were all very helpful and we were able to make the necessary adjustments to get everything back on track. While I finished in the bottom 3rd, it was a good place to start, and I appreciated Todd’s help as my guide for the event!

1 down, 5 to go….