Naperville Sprint – 8/7/16


(Photo courtesy of Diane Gilliard)

This is truly one of my favorite races Not just because it’s put on by an amazing Race Organizer (RO) and Race Director (RD), but also because it gives me an opportunity to thank those who have and continue to support me. Between the Tri kit, hat, body marking and race belt, all of them got a shout out.

As with last year, I suspected that I would be the only ParatTriathlete (PT). I was surprised to see two of my Dare2Tri teammates that are headed to Rio soon and the Executive Director of Dare2Tri show up! Very nice surprise, and I found out that they all did it last minute.

The swim played out pretty much like last year. We entered the water right after the Elite athletes, had assholes trying to swim over us and through the tether, and having to fight said assholes off. I understand competitive drive, and it’s a race. But FCTFOL, you have decent vision; USE IT and observe the fact that we’re tethered.Even with getting tied up twice in the water because of these ‘lovely’ people, we still made it out in about 12 minutes (4:15 decrease from 2015).

T1 and the bike mount went well, and we were off for 12 miles. While I still don’t have clips, I was trying to consciously pedal the way I would if I was clipped in. It seemed to work a bit better than bike has in the past. While everything went well for us, we did see someone completely total out on the course.

Back to transition and then out on the run. We walked for about 3-4 minutes before starting to run so I could get the legs stretched out. And when we started to run, instead of doing the 5/1 interval, Terri did it with a distance interval. The run still wasn’t perfect, but it seemed to go a lot better. During it, I had a lot of people encouraging me on, and even had a few people recognize me from last year. One of them commented that I was looking better than last year.

We finished about 20 minutes faster than 2015, including a sprint of the last 100 yards. Great to see this improvement, but still much more to do. I would like to shave a few more minutes off of that before Chicago at the end of August.

This was an amazing day and only possible because of the help and support of so many. Thanks to those who came out to cheer us on, and expecially to Terri Hayes of Artistic Creations Salon for guiding me along with everything else she does, and Art Black of Oswego Cyclery for letting us use his tandem.

And while my focus is on Chicago Tri for now, I will also be stalking 2017 Naperville Tri registration. Yeah, it’s that damn good of an event…

One and Done – 8/1/16


Last summer, Terri and I made it out to Oswego many times to practice on the tandem which Art Black of Oswego Cyclery has generously let us use. This summer, the timing just hasn’t worked. We were supposed to get in at least two sessions, but Mother Nature had other plans about that…

So yesterday was our one and only practice session on the bike before the Naperville Sprint Tri. While we were waiting for the previous pair to return the tandem to the bike shop, we went for a walk along the path. During this time, we experienced this very odd situation. We were walking against traffic and a bicyclist was going with traffic (both as we should have been). But instead of doing the normal thing and going around us, the bicyclist kept heading towards us. Terri saw her and had to put her hand out to physically stop the bicyclist. We saw that same bicyclist on the way back, and she apologized for being an ass. 🙂

When we actually made it out on the bike, things went very well. While the Fox Valley path still needs a lot of work, it was nice to see they had patched a few places. We did have a couple of issues with the 2nd restart (having to dismount/remount after crossing at light). But for not having ridden together since last August, it went very well.

While we didn’t get much bike practice in this summer, I know we will starting next spring. I am extremely grateful to Art for letting us borrow his tandem for the last two years. I will hopefully have my own tandem before year’s end (still working with Comotion).

Final Bike Training Session – 9.12.15


Saturday marked the final bike practice of the year. We did about 9.5 miles on the usual path. It was a nice day out and a great way to end the season.

While I’ve mentioned it several times before, I wanted to thank Art Black of Oswego Cyclery again for his generosity. Being able to use it throughout the entire spring-summer season helped immeasurably, and I’m truly grateful. I hope that he’s able to rent the tandem out to people for their fall rides!

If you’re in the area, stop by for your cycling needs and bike maintenance.

The Finished Product (1 of 2) – 7.17.15


As I had mentioned in earlier posts, there are two main sponsors that I wanted to make sure got visibility on race day. I’m grateful to ALL of those who have helped to sponsor me and help along the way. And you’ll see representation for all of them on race day. These two have been key, so I wanted to do something special to say thank you to them.

Earlier today, I received the printed tri suit back from Kiwami Triathlon. They did an AMAZING job and got it turned around extremely quickly. Including all of the transit, it was out of my hands for less than 4 days from start to finish!

At the beginning of the summer as we were trying to find a reasonable tandem rental, Art Black of Oswego Cyclery offered to let us just borrow a tandem that he had. This has helped IMMENSELY, and I am extremely grateful for that. So I decided to go with his logo on the tri suit.

As mentioned in the title, this is just 1 of 2. I will share info on the other main sponsor and what I’m doing for them when it’s ready. That probably will happen July 31st.

Crazy Wheels, take 2…


After the last bike ride, we both learned several valuable things. The two most important were that (1) Terri needed to get on first and then me instead of both at once and (2) gloves are a MUST.

So with that knowledge, we went on a 9.46 mile ride on Saturday. It went well for the most part, but there were two major issues. One is that Montgomery needs to do a better job of maintaining its part of the path; the other was my depth perception playing tricks on me. As you cross the stop light, there’s a steep decline for about 100 feet. Now if you’re on the bike yourself, probably not a big deal.
But when you’re seeing it at the last second, it creates quite the ‘oh s****’ moment.

We dropped the bike back off at Oswego Cyclery and headed over to the coffee shop for a drink. We did not try a brick session that day.

Again, a huge THANK YOU to Art and Oswego Cyclery for letting us use the tandem!

Crazy Wheels, take 1…


A couple of weeks ago, Terri and I sat down and made serious training plans for the Traithlon in August.  While we had a framework, we were still missing one very key piece – a tandem bike.  As Terri worked through trying to find a solution, she spoke with Art Black, who’s the owner of Oswego Cyclery.  He generously offered to let us use the tandem they have to training and for the triathlon.  That was HUGE and greatly appreciated!

After the Celebrate Differences race, we went over to the bike store to check out the tandem.  Art did some initial changes so the pilot seat would work for Terri, and was going to put pedal blocks on to make it even more comfortable before Monday’s ride.  After that initial stop, we went to the Naperville Running Company, where I purchased compression socks (and other gear) — more on that later.

On Monday, we got out on the tandem, and it was a bumpy start.  The best parallel for how I felt is what Stephen King describes in It relating to Bill Denbrough and Silver.  But we learned a good deal, including communication, mount/dismount and more.  It also became crystal clear that I need a hydration pack for the bike part, as we will both get hurt if I try to reach down for a water bottle.

After returning the tandem to the bike shop, we did the other half of the brick training (run). Whether it was just the normal jello legs or the combined 4 days of running, I could barely run.  We ended up just walking for about 30 – 40 min.  When I got home, I put on the compression socks that I had bought the day before.  While those are the most expensive socks I’ve ever bought, they are worth their weight in gold.

If you are in the Oswego area, please check out Oswego Cyclery  They will take great care of you and your bike needs!