The Race That Wasn’t – 6/25/17

While I did not qualify for Nationals, I was still excited for Pleasant Prairie and racing in the PC Open wave. Having been there two weeks prior for PT camp, and having had a good day of practice on Saturday, I was extremely optimistic for Sunday. Specifically, I thought I’d set a PR by 10-12 minutes.

That was a good thought going in, but unfortunately belief and reality separated Sunday morning…

In the last two weeks, I had swum more than a mile in Lake Andrea. Even with it being choppy on Saturday, I was able to make it through the 750m swim without issue. However, at some point in the first 150-200m, I started to have problems with breathing. Long story short, I think it was a combindation of CO2 buildup and a little bit of panic about not getting enough air when the buildup started. My guide was able to help get me calmed down and doing other strokes to get back to normal breathing. While it all worked out, the breathing issue added an extra 8-10 minutes to my normal swim time.

T1 went well, and so did the actual bike ride. However, when we got to the dismount line, I didn’t realize that my left foot had clipped back in. This meant that when I went to plant my left foot, the bike tipped over with me still on it. I was able to catch myself with my hand, so it wasn’t anything major. But I still lost at least 5 minutes between having to stretch out my leg and shaking out my hand.

T2 went well, and so did the run. This was the bright spot of the race. In each of the previous outdoor races this season, there’s been an issue during the run (tight leg, tight back, etc.) that’s ultimately made it a mess. With Eric’s help, I was able to run throughout the 5K outside of about 60-80 seconds for aide stations and a few seconds during a steep uphill.

While it wasn’t the outcome that I wanted for the race, three main points came out of it:

1) That the T1/T2 times are continuing to decrease. While they’re down dramatically from last year since I’ve taken some gear out of the mix, they’ve also been decreasing throughout this year.

2) That I’ve found a way to make running a 5K possible as part of a triathlon. I’ve talked with my coach about ways to not only continue to make that happen but also to increase the pace. That will be implimentated throughout the rest of the year.

3) That I’ve finally got the first fall out of the way, and that it didn’t lead to injury. And even more to that point that I’m able to have a ‘if it isn’t broken, worry about it later’ mentality rather than an ‘oh shit’ (I just fell, let’s quit) one.

I had a chance to meet Aaron prior to the race, and he was coming back from his bike as we were going out. An amazing athlete, and we’ll see what USAT decides to do with the math for Men’s PTVI QTs for 2018. There was only one other athlete able to qualify with a 12+ minute decrease from 2016 to 2017. As a side note, they did not show up to compete, so the category was just Aaron (who rocked it at less than 65 min.)

Finish. Always. – 9.19.15


For those of you who know me well, you know that there times where in frustration, profanity comes out in spades. But even in that time, there are words that you’ll never hear me say. Simply because they’re not in my vocabulary. Another word, which you’ll never hear me say had a 3 letter acronym. If you change the F to a C, you’ll get DNC.

Yesterday, the PC Open race at the ITU Grand Finale bent me but couldn’t break me. Even with the challenges of the day, it was an incredible one.

The swim was the worst part of it. Even though we were inside of the break wall, the waves were still bad enough that I couldn’t get my head in and keep it there to do a normal freestyle stroke. And the tether broke shortly into the swim. Luke figured out a plan B to deal with that and kept pushing me along to finish even when I felt like there was nothing in the tank. I was really concerned that we were going to get pulled out of the water (which would have ended the race), but we finished and headed back to transition.

After transitionwe headed out on the bike for our ride. This particular course would have been impossible for me to do without a guide, as about 1/3 of it was on lower Wacker Drive in the dark. But with Luke as the pilot, it went well. The extra padding in the Dare2Tri suit helped from the last time I was on the race tandem.

We then came back to transition and out for the run. About 1/2 way through, my lower back started to tighten up and it got hard to run for any long length of time. But I kept pushing with Luke encouraging me on, and we finished (2:21 total), and I was so happy for the post-race massage. 🙂

Even though it was a struggle yesterday, many positives and many things to work on for the 2016 season.

1) Even with Lake Michigan utterly kicking my ass, the difference in the finish time at ITU and Naperville as about 1 minute. And that’s with an additional 350m in the water at ITU. I see that as a HUGE psitive.

2) There will be a lot of early mornings this fall and winter for swim training. And I need to find a way to make it down for Open water sessions in Lake Michigan next spring/summer.

3) The struggles of yesterday did nothing to discourage the long term goals. It only fueled me to push harder to reach them. To that point, Naperville (8/7/16) is already firmly on the schedule and about 15 other events (Tris and running races) are in pencil.

One final thing — THANK YOU to the ITU event staff and all of the fans that were out there yesterday. As usual, there was a tremendous amount of encouragement and support for us out on the cours and at the finish. And a special thanks to the kind woman from Canada who lent us her phone so we could coordinate the post-race meet-up.