Walls in the Pool – 5/20/16


As I’ve mentioned in prior blog posts, you sometimes have bad workouts. Last night was one of those for me in the pool.

With about 45 min in the pool, my goal was to hit between 1300 and 1400 (including the breaks). Too get there during these shorter swims, I do increasing 100s — 100/200/300/400/500 (or part thereof). And it usually works out well, with me getting to or close to 1500.

But last night, my body just wouldn’t cooperate after the 200 piece. I was only able to get 50s in before I had to take breaks. And there were a couple of times that I had to stop mid-lap. That’s not happened for a LONG time. Thinking it might be too much CO2 in my lungs, I did some modified sink downs (as the pool is only 3 1/2 feet deep). That helped a little, but not enough.

I left the pool only having been able to get 750 in. While that wasn’t what I had planned to do, as I told my friend — Even a bad workout is a workout. It won’t always be perfect, but you still need to keep moving forward.

Please Help – 5/20/16


If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you’ve probably noticed another big interest of mine – football. I started a project in 2007 (The Dream), and I t’s been stalled over the past few years for financial reasons.

Earlier this year, I started a GoFundMe project (For the Love of Football) to try and make 2016 an amazing camp year. Unfortunately, that hasn’t gotten to the point I need for even one camp experience. Very frustrating to lose a year on the sidelines.

Despite the frustration, I am focusing on 2017 and selecting 1 camp (Notre Dame). If the GoFundMe project exceeds that cost, then I will look at my other options. And yes, I do realize how odd that may look to those who know me since Notre Dame is now an ACC team. All I can say to that is that I can’t control conference realignments. This has been part of the plan since 2006.

I am asking for your help to make this happen for me as there’s no way I can afford to do it on my own. Please support the GoFundMe project (For the Love of Football) if you can. If you can’t support it, please share the link on social media and with friends, family, coworkers and anyone else who might be interested in helping.

Thanks so much!

Giving Up… Some things – 5/14/16


One of my biggest challenges with nutrition is that I can’t cook (mostly because of vision). So the majority of my meals have been something you can put in the microwave. I’m sure that this means a lot of preservatives and a lot of other crap that’s not so good for you. And while I had fruits and vegetables around, that wasn’t what I reached for for snacks.

As the outdoor season is close, I decided to try two things – one being giving up the bagged snacks (pretzels, chips, etc.) for vegetables and fruits, the other being replacing at least 3 meals a week with fresh meat (typically chicken).

So far it seems to be working well. Thankfully I’ve got people to bring me fresh produce, as the closest grocery store charges 2-3 times reasonable prices. The first measuring stick of progress will be Leon’s on 6/5.

Paying the Price – 5/9/16


In late April, I had gotten back to a routine where I was running at least twice a week in addition to swimming. Then I had a couple of bad weeks back-to-back where I think all I got in was one swim workout.

When I got back to running this week, I could tell that I’d have to pay the price for that. And unfortunately, I am… big time. To put it mildly, my body has not been happy with me since I got back to running.

To illustrate what I mean, while I’ve never been a strong runner (1st full mile was in 2013), I’ve been able to put together run/walk miles with more ease this year prior to the break. The first run was a painful mile out and I had to walk the mile back.

It’s gotten better since then, but it’s not yet where I need it to be. I can’t read my phone’s screen when I’m running, but I could have sworn I heard it say an 11:21 mile yesterday. Regardless of what it says now, I need to be able to put 3.1 miles together in the 34-35 min range when it’s race time. Doing the math, that’s what I need to be in the ballpark for a Nationals Qualifying time.

We’ll see how it all turns out. First outdoor race of the season is Leon’s in Hammond on 6/5.

Start the Season – 5/1/16

D2T High Res

The Start the Season event is Dare2Tri’s kickoff event for the season. This year, it was a combined event with the Chicago Tri Club (CTC), who has helped Dare2Tri since its inception and who provides a tremendous number of volunteers each year.

It was a great event, including an amazing program (including BP’s donation), bowling/botchi and more. Photos from the vent are available here I was having such a great time talking with other Dare2Tri members that I completely spaced on the raffles. Oh well, next year…

To help support Dare2Tri, either financially or through volunteering, please check out www.dare2tri.org.

Inner Strength – 4/16/16

D2T High Res 2

In early March, one of my friends that used to play for the Chicago Chaos (semi-pro), and who is now a coach, invited me to their charity game against the Chicago Fire Department’s team. That immediately went on my calendar. And when a couple of other options came up that could have worked around it, I declined them to ensure that I could be there for it.

Because of my vision, traveling during the day is sometimes a challenge. Not so much because of not being able to read signs (I always figure a way to amek that work), but moreso that I’m dependent on someone else driving. To keep things within budget, I figured out a triant to train to cab route that was about $25 there and back. I even left early in case things didn’t work out exactly as planned.

When I made it to the city, I ran into the first bump with Metra having eliminated the a time for the 2nd train I needed. But because I had left early, I was still somewhat on track. As I wandered Union Station and got lunch, I saw two peacocks fighting (visually – not literally — essentially an man and woman were about to come to blows over one of them bumping the other and then both bringing out their feathers). Knowing I was cutting it close, I even took time to put Uber on my phone so I had a back up if needed.

When I got off the 2nd train, I only had 10 minutes to find a cab and get the 2 miles to the event. When I couldn’t find any or get one to come by 2:15, I went the Uber route. I really should have just figured out how to walk it and done that. I would have been better off, as I waited almost 90 minutes for the Uber to show. By the time he did, I wasn’t in any state to go for the last few minutes (if it was even still going on), so I went back to Union Station and went home.

While I was waiting to get picked up and the cabs / Ubers weren’t showing up, I was getting more and more frustrated. Not just in that moment, but also about when the vision gets worse and I have even more issues with getting around. I happened to be waiting in front of a liquor store, and I had serious thoughts of going inside to get a bottle of something strong to pound when I got back home. I knew it would sidetrack training and all productive things for a few days, but that really wasn’t my concern in those moments.

What stopped me every time I got to the point where I was ready to walk inside were thoughts related to Dare2Tri. Not just having met a long list of extraordinary athletes that do so much with less than me, but also the fact that they had selected me for the Development Team. They’ve put their resources and belief behind me, even with the limitations I have. Those were the strings of thoughts that kept me from going inside.

While it was a hard day, and not something that I necessarily wanted to write about, I did it for this simple reason. There are ALWAYS going to be hard days – in training, in races and in life. When those come, find a way to push the dark clouds away and bring the sun back into full focus.

Indoor Tri Wrap-up & Training – 2/28/16 – 4/14/16


First of all, sorry for the long hiatus. Life has been extremely busy since late February and I haven’t had much time for blogging. This and the next few entries dated prior to today (5/20/16) are all ‘ctach up’ articles that have been in my queue to post.

After the last Indoor Tri post, I did two more – the final event in the MITCS series and the final event in the ET series. The first went really well; the latter had bumps. Specifically, towards the end of the bike at ET I felt really constipated. So I lost 4 minutes of the run while I was still taking care of that.

Overall, the Indoor Tri season was a great experience. Not only did it give me an opportunity to have targets to push for as I was training, it also gave me experience for the outdoor season. I plan on doing both the MITCS and ET series next year. I will not do Life Time again – IMO it was far too crowded, and just not a great experience. Combined with the fact that it’s the only for-profit race that I’ve had to pay for my guide, just not on my list for next year.

I greatly appreciate everyone who helped me throughout the Indoor season. Specifically Coach Joe, Todd, Lee & Steven who all really helped to make it work out.

In between the Tris and once the season ended, I was back into the pool. Although it isn’t a big jump, I was able to cut another 10 seconds off of my CSS time in the pool. I know that every little bit helps.