Dr. Seuss Meets Triathlon – 7.24.16


Growing up, one of the things I heard a lot of was Dr. Seuss books. I specifically remember The Sneeches, The Sleep Book and Horton Hatches the Egg. As a nod to the last, I think the following pretty much sums up my Wauconda experience. “I meant what I said, and I said what I meant.”

For those of you who haven’t been reading my blog in the past, what that refers to is no DNFs. I’ve said it, and I meant it. And unless I’m physically injured, I’ll stil finish even if means walking the bike back (see Pleant Prairie blog).

Peter and his wife Carol were very kind to let me stay at their house so I didn’t have to mess with Chicago transportation fun. So I was thinking Wauconda would be a great race for me, especially since I’d have a full night’s rest going into it. However, at about midnight, I woke up sick. What immediately went through my head was ‘how do I get back to passable so I can race?’ 3 hours of ‘fun’ in the bathroom later, I was feeling better. We headed off to the race, and Todd and I set up transition. This included adding a flat kit to the bike after Pleasant Prairie.

While the walk over loose gravel in bare feet wasn’t fun, I thought we were all set for a great race once we got to the start area. And the swim went really well – out in about 20 min range. We moved to T1, then the bike without issue. That is until we were about a mile out. At that point, the rear tire went flat. As we had a flat kit, I thought we’d only lose a couple of minutes. But when Todd looked in the saddlebag, the tool that the CO2 cartridge goes into wasn’t there. So we lost at least 15 minutes waiting for the support vehicle to come along with a bike pump.

We got back on the bike course to finish the last 13+ miles, and I know I pushed it too hard. We had lost a good deal of time from the flat, and I wanted to try and make it up. But by doing so, I overstretched/pulled something in my lower back. This made it hard to run throughout the run portion overall, and near impossible at times.

We did finish, and while I don’t see official results yet, there was still improvement from Leon’s (subtracting out the flat time). And as frustrating as yesterday was (especially to have flats 2 races in a row), there were still several learning points.

1) Always check and triple check everything in your gear. And once you’ve done that, check it again.

2) While you may gain a little back by overexerting yourself, you’re going to lose 2-3 times as much in a later discipline. Nothing wrong with pushing it, but if you go too far, you can ruin a day.

3) That there are always going to be some challenge during a race. Whether it’s wather, a course change or something else. Deal with it, find a way to move forward and keep racing.

And while it’s frustrating to have a flat issue two races in a row, it’s just that. I’m not upset or disappointed. I am grateful that I’ve had great guides to help get things back on track and support me. The support of my teammates also helps greatly when these things happen. And yes, I would have walked the bike another 13 miles to finish if the support vehicle hadn’t had a pump.

Even though things didn’t go as planned, I am grateful to everyone who helped to make this race possible. Especially the person who provided the sponsorship so I could race.

Back to training and back to focusing on the next race. Naperville on 8/7 is the next Tri on my schedule.

A Year Later – 7.19.16


A Bad Day – 7/19/15

For many years, I drank at least 1 2 liter of diet soda (whatever was on sale when I had run out). And when I was in the middle of a large development project, it would be more. I heard all of the things about diet soda from friends and family, but just ignored it. The caffeine was helping me to get things accomplished, and with a couple exceptions prior to last July, I hadn’t had issues.

What it took to make the change was almost missing out on a very important triathlon. After the scare on the path, I had to rush around to get medical clearance to race a couple of weeks later. It all fell into place in time, but the two pieces together made me finally give up soda. All of the triathlon and racing things I’m doing are ffar more important. And I don’t ever want to go through that again.

More Media Coverage – 7.15.16


Last week, I was asked to do an interview as part of the Chicago Triathlon race. As one of my goals is to get more AWD/PT competitors out to races, I immediately agreed. The article by Bill Bird of the Naperville Sun is below.

Naperville Sun – 7.15.16 (Bill Bird)

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Back in the Lake – 7.12.16


It’s been about 9 months since I’ve been in Lake Michigan. And with the Chicago Triathlon in less than 2 months, it was time to get back in it. Dare2Tri hold Open Water Swim (OWS) sessions in it, so I went downtown to take part Tuesday night. What I didn’t know was that Life Time was also doing one of their five training sessions at the same time.

So instead of it being the handful of us in the lake, we had several hundred people along with us. Even with those crowds of people, the swim still went well. With Eric Robb guiding me, we made it through a 1/2 mile swim. The time was about 2 minutes faster than my ITU time, so something to build on / from.

I’ll have a couple more chances for OWS practices before the Triathlon.