2019 Year in Review

I thought this was the most appropriate photo for the ‘year in review’ blog post. Throughout the season, ALL of my guides put their needs aside and are there to support me. So it was great to be able to return the favor during the season at one point!

Going into the season, I had several distinct goals. 2019 was going to be an incredibly strong season, including my first showing in the PT National wave. And then life happened…

For those of you that haven’t been following me for long, let me just say that 2019 was one of the hardest years of my life. I know that we all have a bad race, a bad week, or even a bad month. For me, 2019 was full of downward cascading dominos — health issues, being downsized and my first DNF among other things.

But that’s not to say there weren’t a lot of successes during the season. These included huge time cuts at Lake Zurich and Naperville, getting invited to two additional camps and a silver at PT Mideast Regionals (VI Male)!

Throughout the struggles of the year, Triathlon and running helped me to ignore the shit. Being able to focus on a practice in the city, an upcoming race or an exciting camp took my focus off of the rest. And I know that that helped in the long run. If I hadn’t had these distractions, the last 8 months would have been 500 times worse…

In addition, those who supported me helped to ensure that things didn’t fall apart. These included the supporters that you saw in my ink kit (Dare2Tri, Team RWB, Achilles Chicago, Challenged Athletes Foundation, Naperville Noon Lions, Team Catapult and Foreseeable Future Foundation), family/friends and so many others. THANK YOU all for ALL of your support!

With 2019 in the books, I am already starting to focus on 2020. The main goals are the same as 2019 — I need to deliver on them in 2020. It’s also going to include new challenges (Olympic/70.3s) and new destinations. I would also LOVE to see a non-triathlon dream get added into the 2020 season mix.

As some of you may know, I have been at several different football camps since 2007. Before my vison makes it impossible, I would love to be at Notre Dame’s week-long camp. It’s not something that I can reasonably afford. I believe that new technology will give me a couple extra years for it to happen (I thought 2019 was my last shot given the vision). Hopefully the generosity of the Notre Dame Football program can make it happen for me in 2020!

To keep up with all of my 2020 exploits, please follow the blog and my social media accounts:


Santa Rotary Run 5K – 12/7/19

During one of my races last year, Rob mentioned the Santa Rotary Run. As I planned my 2019 schedule, it was how I wanted to end my year.

After doing packet pickup Saturday morning, we hung out and then did a brief warm up. While we tried to seed ourselves ahead of all the walkers/strollers, we didn’t succeed. As a result, we ran faster than the planned pace during the first quarter mile to get around traffic.

Once we cleared the big throngs of walkers, we were able to settle into a good pace. There were a couple of spots before the aid station (halfway point) where I wanted to walk. But because of Natalie’s help with pacing and breathing, I was able to push through. I was able to ‘reset’ at the aid station and refocused on the second half.

Typically by this point in a 5K, I’m headed towards a walk/run finish. It will start out decently (say 6/1) and slowly decline as we head towards the finish. In this race, because of her help, I didn’t really have to walk until about 2.5mi. After that point, I was able to run for about a half mile, walk for 30 seconds, and then finish strong.

This was an amazingly fun race and a great way to end the 2019 season! I will have much more to say about the season as a whole in the next blog. Thanks to Natalie for guiding for me, and to Achilles Chicago for all their support!