Golden Ticket – 11/24/16


“I’ve got a golden chance to make my way
And with a golden ticket, it’s a golden day” (from Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory)

About two years ago, it all started with a simple goal – to find a male guide for Triathlon races (not knowing that local RD/ROs could waive that). But in that time, there have been so many unexpected benefits from the connections made from the original offshoot. Once of which was being made aware of an amazing Blind Triathletes camp (Amy Dixon’s #NoSightNoLimits camp).

I applied for the camp in early October, and received my Golden Ticket the day before Thanksgiving! I am extremely grateful for and exicited for this amazing 5 day camp experience. But I can’t just show up for it — there are two very important things that I need to do between now and January.

The first is to keep running consistently and increase my miles. Going into camp, I need to be at 15mph on bike, 1500m swimming and 5 mi running. The bike and swim are good, especially since a running joke among some of my teammates is about me not wanting to get out of the lake at camp. As running is the weakest of my 3, I know that this is going to be a challenge. But I know I can make it; especially after the improved performance at the Turkey Trot.

The second is to reach the fundraising goals. In addition to the camp costs, we’ve also got transportation costs to get there and back. If you would like to support Luke and me, please go to our fundraising page. As USABA is a 501(c)(3), all of your generous support of us is a tax-deductible donation. Even if you can’t support us, please share the link with family, friends and colleagues through social media, e-mail and your Christmas letters. Thank you in advance for your help with this!

I also want to give a big shout out to United Airlines for their help in ensuring that I’ll have my tandem with me for camp. In the past, I’ve looked for and used whatever airline offered the cheapest fare. But going forward, I intend to use United for all of my Triathlon related travel. I would strongly encourage all of my PT friends to talk with United about their travel needs after all their help!

This will truly be an amazing opportunity, and I’m extremely grateful to all that are making it happen!

Gobble Gobble – 11/24/16


“Just when I thought I was out… they pull me back in.” (Al Pacino)

After the Chicago Monster Deah Half Marathon, I thought that my 2016 season was over. Time to go from race preparation to off-season work and start focusing on 2017. And then I get an invitation to run the Naperville Noon Lions Turkey Trot. This is a great race, and a great way to start Thanksgiving, so I naturally said yes.

So in that 4-5 week period between the Half Marathon and Turkey Trot, I tried to keep a consistent running schedule. While it wasn’t perfect, it did help tremendously on race day. As you’ve probably realized by now if you’ve been rading constantly, running isn’t my strongest suit. And in 2016, with a few exceptions, my runs have been more of run/walks.

But with the more consistent training, I felt really good going into the 5K race Thanksgiving morning with my guides (Ralph and Terri Hayes). And that feeling turned into reality! It wasn’t a PR, but it was by far my best 5K. In the past, it’s typically been a 4/1 or 5/1 interval at the start, with it decreasing later in the race as I got tired. During the Turkey Trot, I only stopped and walked 4 times. Two of these were to talk off layers, and the other two were for about a minute (at about 2 mi and about 2.75 mi) to catch my breath.

While this is a great benchmark for the effort, it’s not an endpoint. Before camp in January, I need to be at a comfortable and consistent 5 miles. Much more to do, and I’m sure there will be a lot of cold runs. Please see my next blog entry for more on the camp.