6 Months Later (7/16/18)

6 months ago, I was introduced to Chris Holley of Evolution Multisport at a Triathlon camp when I needed a pilot/guide for the week. I’ve been struggling with weight for more than 25 years, so I was interested to hear more about his success. As we talked both during and after camp, he provided helpful information.

I’ll be honest, in the beginning, it was hard. There were several times in the first couple weeks that I just said ‘screw it’ and went back to how I had been eating prior to camp. What stopped me from doing so was his encouragement and slowly starting to see a few early signs. So I didn’t give in to falling back into what was ‘comfortable’, even though it meant giveng up some foods I really liked.

Since that point, I’ve seen his help and advice pay off. I’ve seen all of my race times go down, the runs are getting easier, and yesterday I was able to do 12 x 400 repeats with only 90 second rests. That is after struggling to do single 400s in January as part of bike/run bricks. And the weight has come off and stayed off.

I am grateful that I was introduced to Chris. I would strongly suggest working with him if you want to get better, faster and fit!

I See You (Endure It 10K) (7/15/18)

Earlier this summer, I saw an interesting new race concept get posted. It was a Team 10K, where team members swap off at each 400. After seeing the success I had at camp with doing sub 2:30 4x 400 repeats, I decided to give it a go.

So team I See You was formed with Owen as the other half and Eric and Chris as the respective guides. Even though I knew the rest periods would be short (90s – 1:45 max), I was still excited to do it. And I believed I could negative split like I had at camp.

However, the breaks were not long enough to allow for the negative splitting. For the most part, by the time I was able to get liquids and catch my breath, Owen/Eric were 3/4s of the way around. Even still, all except two were below my best 5K pace. I did negative split the final one.

While it was hot and while it was a grind, I had a tremendous amount of fun. Also the consistent grind kept me from losing focus, as I had maybe 15-20 seconds to think about running the next lap before it actually happened. I look forward to doing it again next year!

I Don’t See You (Glo Run Chicago) (7/14/18)

Over the last few weeks, I had talked to a few different people about the trust aspect of doing Triathlons. The synposis of the conversation being ‘you can’t do it unless you have total faith and trust in your guides’.

Since I have a decent amount of vision during the day, I can lend some extra advice if I see something or ask about something I’m seeing. But in the dark, I have to have complete faith in my guides. Some may say it’s silly to race when I can’t see anything. But to me, it’s fun and a challenge I accept now. But it may also be a long-term reality for all races, whether it’s daylight or not.

For night races, I run with two guides so that each can watch one side. With the path being narrow, Rob suggested that one go in front and the other by my side. That turned out to be a tremendously helpful suggestion. With Jen keeping her headlamp on the back of his bright yellow shirt, and her guiding, it went really well.

For those of you who have been continually following my blog, you know that running is not my strong suit. But because of the work I’ve been putting in, I was able to run the entire 5K. I stopped for about 20 – 30 seconds to get water at the aid station, but that was it. And in a sprint towards/through the finish, I was told I surprised one of the camera guys (who had to scramble out of the way). I’m looking forward to seeing those finishing photos!

Thanks to Jen and Rob for all of their help!

Lake Zurich Tri (7/8/18)

My plan after PT Nationals was to hit it hard and crush the next race (Lake Zurich). But with work and other chaos, I unfortunately got little training in during the two week period. But with the success to this point, I wasn’t worried about the race.

After getting transition set up, we got in the water for a brief practice swim. The drift came up then, but we at least worked out all of the signals to try and correct it.

The swim went about as expected — the drift added much more distance than it should have. I can accept it adding 30 – 60 seconds, but in this race it was at least 8 minutes. Something that needs to be addressed in order for me to keep moving forward; and quickly.

Last year, the bike course was an out and back, with a couple of harry corners. This year, even though they changed it to a loop, one of those corners still existed. We had to contend with a moving truck on the course that didn’t realize it was a bad idea to pull out as we were on an uphill. But it still went well overall. Especially since this year I was much more confident on the downhils. Last year, we coasted on almost all of them; this year, we pedalled through almost all.

And then there was run… With the loop bike course, the run was reversed. This meant running up two large hills early on into the run instead of running up them at about 2 and 2 3/8 miles in. It was still a decent run, even considering that I couldn’t really see the course the last 800 – 1000 yeards. Running through planters and shadows would have been impossible without Lee’s help.

While there were some hiccups, I did improve on 2017’s time by 9 minutes. I also got to see one of my friends win their AG (25-29).

IMO, one very big improvement from 2017 to 2018 was putting Mr. Mic (Dave Kappas) on the PA. Night and day difference, IMO.

2018 PT Nationals (6/24/18)

Even though I didn’t make the National wave as intended, I felt a lot better going into PT Nationals this year than I did last. A big part of that was because of the nutrition changes and the byproducts/results from them.

While the swim felt really long, Saturday’s practice went really well. Especially the run, during which the pace seemed faster but I was still able to hang in for a good while. Dave showed up after practice finished and we did our final race prep after the course preview.

After watching teammates get in and start the National wave on Sunday, it was our turn (PC Open). Last year, I was accidentally at the front of the starting pack, and paid for it (going out too fast to attempt to avoid being run into). So this year, I positioned us further back.

While it seemed longer than 750, the swim went well. I did have some of the normal ‘drift’ issues, but felt I was in the right time range (20-22 min) getting out of the water. After a few minutes in T1, we were out on the bike for a scenic ride. This scenery included a mooing cow, which we mooed at coming back on the bike. The bike saddle change between last year and this helped immensely. Even with an unintended early dismount, it was a great bike.

So then it was onto the hardest part for me — the run. The goal was to replicate what had been done at PT Camp two weeks prior and end up with a roughtly 38min 5K. While it was a decent run, it didn’t turn out as I had intended or hoped. The main reason being that without intending to, I did mile #1 in 11 min (including a 1min walk). That was way too fast, and I paid for it during miles 2 and 3.

Even though it didn’t go exactly as planned, I did shave about 4 minutes off from 207, and I did win the PC Open Mens VI division!

I will continue to work on fixing these issues. This is only the halfway point of my summer season, so there’s a long way to go in the 2018 season!