Back on the Horse – 6.19.16


Last weekend took a lot out of me. Two days of being pushed by coaches followed by a grueling Triathlon on Sunday put me down for the count for a few days. Monday is my standard off day, but I was limping through Wednesday — even with 3 solid days of heat and Advil. And with other commitments in the back half of the week, today was my first training session since last weekend.

If you want a good Triathlon simulation, head to a local pool on a hot summer day. I wasn’t even thinking that with today being Father’s Day a lot of people would stake places during Adult Float and stay most of the day with the Beach being their Father’s Day event. So instead of a moderate crowd, there were a lot of people — and thus a bigger obstacle course.

So we worked around the crowds, first in the shallow (4ft) end and then in the deeper (13 ft?) water. I played around a little bit with my most favorite drill (bilateral breathing), but gave it up quickly due to the traffic. When we found a little clearer spot, Terri introduced yet another ‘fun’ drill. This one was swimming sidestroke, and IMO is far less fun than bilateral breathing. Like saying a root canal is more fun than a frontal lobotomy.

But just like with bilateral breathing, sidestroking will continue to be part of the workouts. Not because it’s fun, but because you need to have a Swiss army knife of skills out in the water. And since I know bilateral breathing saved me at Leon’s, I won’t fight sidestroking… too much. 😛

And after struggling to do 50m of sidestroke swimming, I have a new found respect for my guides. A lot of them are swimming 10-15 times that without issue to make sure we stay on course.

Back to the scene of the crime (Pleasant Prairie) next weekend. Hopefully I can get at least 2 runs and a swim in before heading back.

The Most Important Bike Ride – 7.28.15


For those of you that have been following the blog, the title and date may look odd. You may be thinking – ‘Isn’t the Tri on Sunday? (making that the most important one?)’ While Sunday will be an important bike ride, last night was the most important one.

It was the most important for this simple reason — it was the first time we’d been able to make it out in more than 2 weeks. The last two times had been complete scratches and total frustration. And last night started off the same way.

But we were able to get things going, figure out a plan for Sunday, and get 6 miles in. I’m feeling much better after that bike ride. We’re all set for Sunday now. 🙂

For those of you that are planning to come out — Centennial Beach in Naperville. Race start is 7A, but we should be starting 10 minutes early so we’ve got a little distance before the masses start. I’m grateful that the RD is doing that for us.

Blindsided at the Beach – 7.27.15


Earlier this year, I was asked about doing an interview related to the Naperville Tri that is this Sunday (in relation to me being the first AWD to participate). I said yes, and thought it would be at some point in June. We did the interview last Monday, but since I was unable to practice for a few days last week, the photo shoot was moved to last night.

So Terri and I showed up thinking it would just be a photo shoot. And then it turned into a video interview (about 15-20min) followed by about 30-45 min of the photographer taking photos while we practiced. While it wasn’t planned, there should be a LOT of visibility for several of those who have provided support and sponsorship throughout this process. 🙂

The article will be in Sunday’s Daily Herald, and the video should be up on the same day. I will post links to Marie and Bev’s work once it’s publicly available. I am excited to see how it all turns out!

One other very cool thing happened at the end. After Bev had left and Terri and I were drying off, a group behind us struck up a conversation with us. Very nice people and they were extremely supportive of what we were doing. 🙂

A Cloudy Fish Bowl – 7.13.15


I know that any beach / lake will inevitably have ‘crap’ in the water (leaves, sand, sticks, etc). But when it gets bad, some sort of management comes along and cleans it. Centennial Beach is getting to that point with lot of leaves and other things in it. I know it’ll get cleaned up before the Tri on 8/2, but for the meantime, it’s like a cloudy fish bowl.

We got about an hour in the water, including laps in both shallow and deep along with a start practice. It was a very odd feeling to swim those first 5-6 strokes with my hands hitting the bottom, but good practice. We will do the full out-back practice before the Tri.

During the run, the dogs were out in full force, which meant a few manditory puppy breaks (aka the walk part of our interval training). A couple of the ladies that we met said that they’d be there cheering for us on the 2nd. 🙂

Fish in a Storm – 7.6.15


Sunday was such a perfect day for a swim; Monday was not. I thought that Mother Nature would scratch Monday night’s swim like she’s done so often this summer. But we were fortunate enough that the storm held off until we were done.

We got in about 600m during the swim, both in deep and shallow water. I still need to work on the breathing part, as my head is coming up too much at points and taking me off course. It was interesting to swim the laps back as the storm kept threatening and would then move around us.

Super Fish – 7.5.15


After a break for the 4th, we picked up the training again, with Mother Nature smiling for the first time in a while. Weather was in the low 80s and the water temp was about 70.

We were fortunate to have very little traffic during the adult float, and thus were able to get in about 1000m before it ended. As we left the beach, there was a long line and people were continuing to show up. So it was a REALLY good thing that we had gotten our swim in during adult float. Although practice in that crowd might have been some good race-day prep.

But instead of staying around, we went for a 4 mile run/walk. It got hard towards the end as the humidity picked up and we weren’t in the shade. But we made it back. 🙂

Stretchy Bands – 7.2.15


After yesterday’s ‘fun’ IT band stretches, followed by another set in the AM, I was a little more loose today. Good news, for the most part.

We started off with 700m in the pool between the deep and shallow ends, including experiments on positioning the golden tether so I could get my left arm higher up. More testing is needed, but good results for the day.

This was followed by a 4.5mi run, during which nothing felt tight. The photo at the top of the post is from where we turned around. Great view, but quite the challenge to get to the top of the hill.

While everything was loose during the swim/run, a tiger was clearly hiding under the surface. The post-run IT band stretches were painful to say the least. Think root canal without novicane…

IT Bands, take 1 – 7.1.15


Today’s brick session started off well in the pool. We did 550m between the shallow and deep ends. Even more so since this was the first session without the wet suit (being repaired). However, things did NOT go well with the run.

About 1/3 of a mile into the run, it started hurting when I tried to run. We stopped, and Terri helped to stretch out the IT band. But it wouldn’t allow me to run much. We did 3 mile with the vast majority after that point walking. One small upside to that was finding the FD/PD memorial, which I had never noticed before.

While there was pain during the run, that was minor compared to what I felt during the post-run IT band stretches. But I’d rather have that minor pain now than 4+ months of PT and being sidelined. So those stretches will continue…

Super Fish – 6.19.15


Knowing that we’d lose a big chunk towards month’s end, we made the most of the session at the beach. This included our first trip into the deep water.

Centennial Beach goes from zero depth to 15 feet, and the Triathlon on 8/2 will be swum in Ms going from zero to 15 feet. The pool itself goes immediately from 5 to 15 feet with the drop off.

Overall, things went really well — both in the shallow and deep ends. We ended up doing 750m total, which is the longest swim to date.